My TV and Me

February 26, 2011

Fringe: Episode 3.13

Filed under: reviews — Tags: — gina64 @ 12:14 pm

Immortality

“You’re pregnant.”

Well, they went there. As I said in a previous comment, I was not happy with the rumors, and in my naive way I dismissed them, thinking they were ridiculous. Silly me. And because I really didn’t think they would go there, the reveal at the end totally took me by surprise, despite all of the foreshadowing (“The gestation has already begun.” Duh!)

However, despite my reservations – that this would unnecessarily complicate an already highly complex situation, that I want Peter to be with Olivia, not Fauxlivia, dammit! – I’ve had time to think about it and I think I’m OK with it. Why? I said it in my previous recap: The complex relationships on this show have always been integral to the plot and the greater mythology . I have confidence that the show runners will not do with this story what we are all afraid they will do. That nothing happens between these characters that is not central to the context of the show. I do not anticipate that the show will handle a pregnancy storyline in the generally anticipated way. They haven’t let me down yet and I’m sure they won’t this time.

This was another solid episode, and it really felt like an X-File. Random stuff:

What do you think Walternate’s plans are for the baby? Will he use the pregnancy as a way to lure Peter back over? Or can they just use the baby’s DNA for the device? They took the time this episode to reinforce the idea that “there are some lines” that Walternate will not cross (like testing on children, interestingly enough, something Walter had no qualms about). Will the baby force a moral dilemma for him?

Here’s a question, now that I’m thinking about it: Had the Cortexiphan trials on children already started *before* our Peter died, or did that start after?

I liked Bug Girl. She’s no Bambi Berenbaum, but she’ll do. I hope we see her again.

Of course Walternate has a little thing going on the side, and with the beautiful Joan Chen, no less.

I’m still puzzled as to why there is no Massive Dynamic in the other universe. Is there? Where’s Nina’s double? Was there a second William Bell? I need to know!

Here’s a link to a TVLine interview with the show’s producers, Wyman and Pinkner about the pregnancy twist. What they had to say about it is very re-assuring:

“We get to tell stories that maybe you understand as a viewer, and you’ve seen before” – but always with a twist, exec producer J.H. Wyman points out. “This is not the first time you’ve heard about somebody having an affair, which is always interesting drama. But it becomes a totally different thing when the person your loved one has fooled around with is another version of yourself!”

“In keeping with that,” Wyman continues, “this reveal will not unfold in a way that is traditional. So people should prepare for that, because it should be very interesting.”

So now I’m going to catch up on the the past two episodes, and I’ll be back soon with another post.

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February 25, 2011

Fringe: Episode 3.12

Filed under: reviews — Tags: — gina64 @ 1:21 pm

Concentrate and Ask Again

“No one should know exactly what someone else is thinking.”
~ Simon

This was more of a stand-alone, self-contained episode than recent prior episodes, with the case consuming most of the screen time. They did tie the story into the larger mythology by bringing in an old Cortexiphan test subject of Walter’s named Simon. Simon developed the ability to read minds, an ability which has forced him to move to the isolation of the deep woods. Olivia and Simon make a nice connection with each other, a connection which I think served as a reminder for Olivia of how damaged she was from Walter’s experiments, and perhaps how as a result, she is less appealing to Peter than the “undamaged” Fauxlivia. Like Olivia says to Nina: “She’s like me, but better.” Poor Olivia.

The case was peripherally interesting but the important stuff came at the end. We find out that all of the First People books, despite being attributed to different authors and in different languages, are exactly the same. This means they must have all been written by the same person, and Nina figures out who that person is: Samuel Weiss, our bowling philospher/therapist. Who the heck is this guy and how old is he? When Nina starts asking him questions, he tells her, “Peter Bishop is uniquely tuned to operate the device. Whatever frequency Peter is vibrating at will determine how the machine reacts. Olivia from here, or Olivia from the other side – whichever one he chooses, it will be her universe that survives.”

And so the plot thickens. The complex relationships on this show have always been integral to the plot and the greater mythology – Walter’s love for Peter and desire to save his son at all costs led him to kidnap Peter from the other universe, which led to everything that’s going on now. And now Sam tells Nina that Peter’s love for a woman will determine the fate of her universe. That’s some heavy shit!

The final scene delivered the real gut-punch. Olivia never actually comes out and asks Simon what Peter thinks of her, but he gives her the envelope anyway. She could have burned it and listened to Simon when he said that no one should know exactly what anyone is thinking, but she can’t resist opening the envelope and finding out. What she reads – “he still has feelings for her” – breaks her heart, but for the viewer this revelation carries even more weight because we know something that she doesn’t: That the way Peter feels about the Olivias will determine whose universe survives.

So many layers to this show. I love it.

February 19, 2011

Producers talk to TV Guide about recent developments on Fringe.

Filed under: reviews — Tags: — gina64 @ 10:53 pm

I came across this TV Guide interview with Fringe producers Wyman and Pinkner yesterday, and they address something I alluded to in my post on the episode “Reciprocity”: Was Peter’s ruthless, machine-like behavior a result of being changed by the Machine, or did the Machine simply bring out something in Peter that was always there. Here’s what Pinkner had to say:

We were not trying to suggest that Peter was becoming a machine. The machine is clearly tapped into the darker side of his nature. This is a character who, because of Olivia and Bolivia,who he thought was Olivia, has become more vulnerable and more willing to allow somebody into his heart and to know him, both good and bad, since he was brought to our world.

So, it sounds like he’s saying that the “bad side” we saw in this episode is actually a part of who Peter is. Interesting. What do you think?

February 17, 2011

If I had my way, Michael Emerson would once again be a regular in a TV drama — Oh, wait —

Filed under: tv news — Tags: — gina64 @ 1:56 pm

He will be!! And in a JJ Abrams show, no less. Cool. He deserves it, and television sure could use the help.

Now we need to find a job for Terry O’Quinn…

February 16, 2011

Fringe: Episode 3.11

Filed under: reviews — Tags: — gina64 @ 1:48 pm

Reciprocity

“Fascinating, isn’t it? How the tiniest change in our composition can yield such drastic changes in our behavior.”

Oh my God, so much has happened since this aired!! (Including one MAJOR plot development last week that I KNOW people want to discuss)

I hate that I haven’t been able to really apply myself and properly review/recap these fantastic episodes. But, life is what it is right now and one must have priorities and so these things occasionally fall by the wayside.

I think the biggest question I walked away from this episode with was, “What accounts for the change in Peter?” Is he becoming more ruthless and machine-like because of his proximity to the Machine? Or is this a side of Peter that he has kept hidden all this time? I don’t really believe that’s the case, but it makes for an interesting debate. Peter lived a questionable life before events brought him back into Walter’s life – could this be a part of him that we just haven’t seen?

Here’s another question: How does Peter know who the shapeshifters are? He has pages from Fauxlivia’s file on his desk with the names circled. He gets a call at Falcon’s house, telling him where the Burmudez woman was – who is feeding him this information? Is there a mole at Massive Dynamic? Or is he working with someone from the other side? Is he still in contact with Fauxlivia? Just throwing that out there…

I liked the Walter/Chimp DNA/Banana jokes sub-plot. The show does a good job of using those subplots to prop up the main story, while also advancing the overall action: Walter wants to become smarter so that he can operate on the same intellectual level as Walternate and so alters himself (mistakenly) with chimp DNA and we get the line that I think might be a clue to Peter’s situation: Fascinating, isn’t it? How the tiniest change in our composition can yield such drastic changes in our behavior. Exactly how is the Machine affecting him?

OK, just a couple of quick items, and then I have to return to work.

X-Files fans: If you can, queue up this episode and go to the scene where Peter is in the car outside of Alpert’s apartment. I swear I heard Tooms music!

And…What’s with all the different color phones on Zack Alpert’s apartment walls? WTF?

Look back here in a day or so for a post on “Concentrate and Ask Again”, after I rewatch.

February 14, 2011

My Favorite TV Critic

Filed under: miscellaneous stuff — Tags: — gina64 @ 3:01 pm

Slate’s Josh Levin has written a really great piece on Alan Sepinwall , the emergence of online TV show analysis and how it differs from the old school TV reviewers:

Sepinwall-style criticism has obvious strengths. Week-to-week coverage reflects how people actually watch their favorite shows—we rehash the best lines, parse the meaning of weighty moments, and anticipate plot twists. At its best, new-school TV writing is brainy and inquisitive, thoughtful commentary borne out of a fanatical attention to detail. But hypervigilant criticism, written by obsessive fans for obsessive fans, isn’t necessarily an unmitigated force for good. Is it possible that today’s TV writers are sitting too close to the screen?

I think that, as a blogger, I don’t really have that issue: This is my personal blog, I write my personal opinion and choose which shows I want to talk about. My readers are people who share my TV interests. Once you move into doing that as a career, for a major media outlet, well, I wonder if readers’ expectations change? I started reading Alan’s blog during those early, heady LOST and Battlestar Galactica days. I not only shared Alan’s overall opinion of each of those shows, but reading his reviews – and his fantastic commenters – lent insight into what I had just seen. Many times Alan would point out a detail I had completely missed, or a commenter would tie a scene from the previous night’s episode to another one two seasons prior, a connection which may have been buried deep in my subconscious, but probably unretrievable otherwise.

I’ve always considered this type of TV reviewing/writing – something I’ve done since the days of The X-Files (Good God, look at that old site!), although not well enough to be a professional – as an essential part of watching and enjoying a TV show. You can read Alan’s remarks about the Slate article here.

What do you think?

Hello out there!

Filed under: miscellaneous stuff — Tags: — gina64 @ 12:10 pm

All I seem to post here anymore are apologies. There has been a lot of drama at my house these past couple of weeks and I’ve unfortunately had to sideline my blogging. I’m hoping things are beginning to calm down and I can get back to updating this site on a more regular basis. I miss this!

So, Happy Valentine’s Day. Here’s a link to someone who made a set of awesome LOST valentines. Those of you who know me know that I love the Desmond one, but I also really like this one:

Damn that’s a hot picture of Jack!!

February 7, 2011

My Favorite Super Bowl Ads

Filed under: video — Tags: — gina64 @ 12:37 pm

This list won’t be very long because, seriously, the commercials were for the most part terrible this year! Budweiser needs to take a year off and fire their marketing team. Bud Light makes everything better? That’s their tired marketing strategy? And guys are dumb? Sigh.

The best ad this year was one that everyone saw days before the game (see post below, but I’ll re-post here anyway because it’s that good) – Volkswagen’s ad for the new Jetta Passat:

It tells a story, has a great payoff that incorporates the product, it appeals to multiple generations and that kid can act, even through that mask!

My second favorite was this one from Audi. Release the hounds!

I think I recognize a couple of those people from my office.

Other favorites:

Which ones did you like?

February 2, 2011

VW’s Super Bowl Ad. Impressive. Most Impressive.

Filed under: video — Tags: — gina64 @ 6:03 pm

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