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Open Source Idiom
Jan 4, 2013


Through a bit of coercion, mostly achieved by me jumping up and down and insisting that everyone would like to watch the show, I managed to get Fringe included as part of my gang's weekly tv hang outs. Only four of us (out of the fifteen or so regulars) have ever seen it before, but it turns out most of them enjoyed the pilot, so we'll probably be doing this every week. I don't know if we'll be able to keep up with the thread, since we'll probably take a week or two off for Christmas, but I'll certainly keep the thread updated as to what we think of the show as we go (if people want to read that, of course).

* All the gay men in the room loved Olivia, all the girls love Joshua Jackson. No-one was a big fan of Walter, for some reason. They found him mostly unremarkable. (They'll learn). Gene was everyone's favourite character (for being a total cow), followed closely by Nina (for being a total loving boss, and for her pretty awesome shutdown on Olivia).
* It was pointed out, repeatedly, that Olivia's isolation tank dream looks like an expensive hair commercial; and that John Scott was probably covered in blueberry pudding.
* Uncomfortable realisation that John Scott was probably having a translucent boner during aforementioned expensive hair commercial.
* Debate over the true purpose of the Massive Dynamic building: secret modern art installation, or just a sex palace?
* Nobody liked the floating location signs (which are shown off in a big way here, in a way that was probably too expensive to do again). Friend pointed out that they weren't tracking too well with the camera in some scenes.
* Someone threw popcorn at the screen when they found out that the dead twin was sitting on flight 108 of the doomed flight. Might have been me.
* More popcorn was thrown at the screen during the final scene, which people found kinda corny.
* One girl was completely grossed out by the desiccating jaw, and spent the rest of the hour jumping behind her boyfriend whenever she was in danger of seeing a shaved ferret, blueberry pudding boyfriend, and, one time, the giant floating 'IRAQ' sign. Don't ask.

Generally people liked it though. People are kind of frustrated with the show's clearly JJ Abrahm's influence, but they find the characters generally quite likeable and charming.

Personally, it struck me on rewatch how much the Fringe pilot was probably intended to be a more strongly feminist show -- beyond having a female lead, I mean. Throughout the pilot Broyles (and Peter) keep calling her "honey" and are pretty patronising to her, and there's a confrontation between Olivia and her boss that's basically a paraphrased repeat of a conversation between Sydney and Vaughn back in Alias. Kinda glad they stopped being so strident about things, not the least because this pilot has Broyle's trying to defend a friend over what sounds like rape charges. He really comes across as an irredeemable arsehole, in that moment. (...)

I'd forgotten how good this pilot looks. JJ Abrams is really a director's writer, and his script has some really great set-pieces throughout. The cold open is great, as has already been mentioned, but I really, really love the set-piece where Scott and Dunham investigate the storage sheds. The romance stuff is cute and funny ("I love you too. Let's go check the trash together."), the snowy tunnels between the shipping containers are really beautiful and ominous, I love the spinning overhead shot where everything looks like a maze, and the symmetry with the flickering street lights is really clever. In short, it's a well-paced, atmospheric, self-contained little set-piece. Pretty sweet.

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SLOSifl
Aug 10, 2002




Fringe is one of my favorite shows ever. I will probably watch it all again over the holidays. It's one of the most rewarding shows to rewatch too.

...of SCIENCE!
Apr 26, 2008
Probation
Can't post for 10 years!


Open Source Idiom posted:

Personally, it struck me on rewatch how much the Fringe pilot was probably intended to be a more strongly feminist show -- beyond having a female lead, I mean. Throughout the pilot Broyles (and Peter) keep calling her "honey" and are pretty patronising to her, and there's a confrontation between Olivia and her boss that's basically a paraphrased repeat of a conversation between Sydney and Vaughn back in Alias. Kinda glad they stopped being so strident about things, not the least because this pilot has Broyle's trying to defend a friend over what sounds like rape charges. He really comes across as an irredeemable arsehole, in that moment. (...)

Another upside of the switch in tone from pilot to series is that for once you have a show like this where the protagonists can actually get poo poo done without wading through red tape or fighting against their bosses and the government. Compared to Mulder and Scully being undermined every step of the way by the conspiracy or Sam and Dean Winchester alternating between being fugitives and FBI LARPers it's a nice change of pace.

Spacebump
Dec 23, 2003

Dallas Mavericks: Generations


This is one of my favorite shows. This thread inspired me to rewatch the series. I'm really glad they got to have a proper ending for the show instead of getting canceled early.

bobkatt013
Oct 8, 2006

You’re telling me Peter Parker is ...... Spider-man!?


What are we going to do about the "lost episode" during the rewatch? Watch it during the middle of season 1, during season 2 where it does not fit, or not at all? I am all for skipping it since it sucks and has no relevance to the story.

Will have thoughts about the first episode in a bit. I forgot how much I love the show, and just the opening theme brings it all back.

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


bobkatt013 posted:

What are we going to do about the "lost episode" during the rewatch? Watch it during the middle of season 1, during season 2 where it does not fit, or not at all? I am all for skipping it since it sucks and has no relevance to the story.

Will have thoughts about the first episode in a bit. I forgot how much I love the show, and just the opening theme brings it all back.

Good question. Netflix has it as the last episode of season 1, so maybe then? it doesn't fit anywhere particularly well, it's got such an awkward tone and it's obvious that no one enjoyed doing it (except of course John Noble), but it'd be good for a laugh.

bring back old gbs
Feb 28, 2007

by LITERALLY AN ADMIN


bobkatt013 posted:

What are we going to do about the "lost episode" during the rewatch? Watch it during the middle of season 1, during season 2 where it does not fit, or not at all? I am all for skipping it since it sucks and has no relevance to the story.

Will have thoughts about the first episode in a bit. I forgot how much I love the show, and just the opening theme brings it all back.

Just treat it like any other episode because there isnt anything special about it. Just a weaker episode.

I AM GRANDO
Aug 20, 2006



I like how when it came out somebody either on the show or with the network tried to claim that it was interesting because maybe it was from the other universe or some other universe where Charlie is still alive and also the other characters act like they're in season 1.

grilldos
Mar 27, 2004

BUST A LOAF
IN THIS
YEAST CONFECTION


Grimey Drawer

That episode was such a mind-gently caress when it aired. Ironically it probably helped the episode's reception because it kept the fans interested both during and after the airing.

bobkatt013
Oct 8, 2006

You’re telling me Peter Parker is ...... Spider-man!?


Hard Clumping posted:

Good question. Netflix has it as the last episode of season 1, so maybe then? it doesn't fit anywhere particularly well, it's got such an awkward tone and it's obvious that no one enjoyed doing it (except of course John Noble), but it'd be good for a laugh.

The blu rays just have it as a special feature.

I AM GRANDO
Aug 20, 2006



Edit: wrong thread, so I'll just say here that for a man so tall and physically imposing, Lance Reddick has surprisingly delicate hands.

I AM GRANDO fucked around with this message at 23:25 on Nov 26, 2014

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


1x02 - The Same Old Story

✓Boardroom full of old people recapping the plot
✓Some fuckup trying to get women pregnant
✓Second episode's gotta be all sexy
✓Grudge Case
✓Meat Baby

Discuss.

Hard Clumping fucked around with this message at 17:31 on Dec 7, 2014

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


I stopped watching Fringe somewhere around season 3 or 4 because it felt like they were forgetting plotlines, resetting the show to accomodate new viewers, and generally making poo poo up as they went along.

I've since mellowed a little and no longer necessarily consider those things to be fatal flaws, but the title still has me curious: did the show bring all the bits and pieces it kept dangling together in the end?

Tuxedo Catfish fucked around with this message at 02:26 on Dec 1, 2014

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


Tuxedo Catfish posted:

I stopped watching Fringe somewhere around season 3 or 4 because it felt like they were forgetting plotlines, resetting the show to accomodate new viewers, and generally making poo poo up as they want along.

I've since mellowed a little and no longer necessarily consider those things to be fatal flaws, but the title still has me curious: did the show bring all the bits and pieces it kept dangling together in the end?

Not all, but most. The show was fighting cancellation for five straight years but still managed to have a wild last season that ended on a satisfactory note.

JFC
Oct 16, 2003

Jesus F Christ
Finger Lickin' God


I fully intend to join in the rewatch, but with the Thanksgiving holiday it was a bad time for me to start. I'll catch up by episode 3.

I AM GRANDO
Aug 20, 2006



I remember how interested I was in that second-long shot of the three men in a hospital-esque room at the end of the episode: no connection to Massive Dynamic or the bad guy in this episode that's clear, no indication of why two are in tubes and one's on a cot, and no clear indication of whether they all look alike or are just young in-shape guys. I was hooked from that moment forward by how ominous it all seemed, shifting the scene radically from Walter and Peter sharing a moment together to something we have no way of understanding while Peter and Walter keep singing on the soundtrack. The first time I saw it it seemed to sublime in how weird and unintelligible poo poo invaded Walter and Peter's domestic tranquility just like that.

I guess that's one of the things that gets lost as mysteries resolve into clarity, but that right there at the end of the first episode just posed this threatening confusion that I really liked about the early episodes. They save the day for whoever they're trying to save, but ultimately they don't have a clue what's going on or why--and all kinds of crazy poo poo could be happening without them even noticing.

This time, I totally loved the scene between Walter and Peter where he was trying to restart that woman's heart. Walter's total unconcern as he effortlessly solves an impossible practical problem really says so much about what he's capable of and where his limits are. It's also one of the first real moments of genuine connection he and Peter share, something underscored by his faltering attempts to bond with Peter earlier in the episode.

I also wish we saw that Pattern Committee at least one more time. Some of those people have really interesting faces. It makes me wonder when and how the producers decided to rush the plotting and burn through what was going to be two-and-a-half seasons, and if we would have seen more of them if the Pattern stuff had lasted longer.

howe_sam
Mar 7, 2013

Creepy little garbage eaters



I'm kind of glad they ditched the Pattern Committee so quickly, it felt very X-Files, and besides Fringe wasn't about grand conspiracies.

I forgot this was the second episode, and I especially forgot about Olivia's nightmare when she's at Massive Dynamic :stare:

I didn't like how they had to tie it into an unsolved case from Olivia's past, that felt entirely too pat, especially since it also involved Walter's old research.

All the parts don't quite fit together, poor Loraine is completely extraneous to the plot, but it's still a good second episode.

JFC
Oct 16, 2003

Jesus F Christ
Finger Lickin' God


I can't remember if it was mentioned, but are there times the episode order as aired differs from a "correct" viewing order? Should I just watch them as presented on Amazon Prime/Netflix?

bobkatt013
Oct 8, 2006

You’re telling me Peter Parker is ...... Spider-man!?


JFC posted:

I can't remember if it was mentioned, but are there times the episode order as aired differs from a "correct" viewing order? Should I just watch them as presented on Amazon Prime/Netflix?

The only one is an episode that aired in season 2 that was filmed during season 1. You will know which one it is, due to a certain character being in it.

JFC
Oct 16, 2003

Jesus F Christ
Finger Lickin' God


bobkatt013 posted:

The only one is an episode that aired in season 2 that was filmed during season 1. You will know which one it is, due to a certain character being in it.
Okay, I think I remember that one.

I was just asking because this aired on Fox, and they are notorious for airing episodes out of order.

Taffer
Oct 15, 2010




I just got there last night on my rewatch. The episode following it in the normal order (town full of deformed people) is pretty bad too. The plot is really dumb and contrived and so is the fringy-pseduoscience aspect, and the episode has no important overall plot points in it, or particularly good character moments. It's worth skipping too, imo.

grilldos
Mar 27, 2004

BUST A LOAF
IN THIS
YEAST CONFECTION


Grimey Drawer

Never skip, never surrender.

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


We have over twenty weeks until this becomes an issue; I'm really not worried about it right now.

bring back old gbs
Feb 28, 2007

by LITERALLY AN ADMIN


grilldos posted:

Never skip, never surrender.



Hard Clumping posted:

We have over twenty weeks until this becomes an issue; I'm really not worried about it right now.

What's with the bread??

Hard Clumping
Mar 19, 2008

Y'ALL BREADY
FOR THIS


That's on a knead to dough basis.

grilldos
Mar 27, 2004

BUST A LOAF
IN THIS
YEAST CONFECTION


Grimey Drawer

Don't press us on it, we don't crumble under pressure.

bring back old gbs
Feb 28, 2007

by LITERALLY AN ADMIN


now you two jerks got me all rye'ld up

PriorMarcus
Oct 16, 2008

ASK ME ABOUT BEING ALLERGIC TO POSITIVITY


32MB OF ESRAM posted:

What's with the bread??

If you really want to know you've got to butter them up for info.

spongeh
Mar 22, 2009

BREADAGRAM OF PROTECTION


PriorMarcus posted:

If you really want to know you've got to butter them up for info.

you're not bready to know yet

David Mountford
Feb 16, 2012


spongeh posted:

it is on a knead the dough basis

look at this doofus who posted the same joke twice. what a clown

spongeh
Mar 22, 2009

BREADAGRAM OF PROTECTION


David Mountford posted:

look at this doofus who posted the same joke twice. what a clown

sorry i don't read the threads when the bread crew assembles, i just leave a couple in the oven for quick use

Narciss
Nov 29, 2004

by Cowcaster


Meh, enjoy your cliquey in-jokes. I'm just here to talk about TIme Travel and that John C. Reilly look alike.

----------------
This thread brought to you by a tremendous dickhead!

bring back old gbs
Feb 28, 2007

by LITERALLY AN ADMIN


Narciss posted:

Meh, enjoy your cliquey in-jokes. I'm just here to talk about TIme Travel and that John C. Reilly look alike.

wish i could see ur old sig, sounds like a doozie

----------------
This thread brought to you by a tremendous dickhead!

Kurtofan
Feb 16, 2011

hon hon hon


I thought the ending was weird, if the observers never existed, then Peter should have never been saved etc...

HUGE SPACEKABLOOIE
Mar 31, 2010




Everyone I'd like to have a moment of silence for Agent Jessup. She disappeared as quickly as she arrived.

Beet
Aug 24, 2003


Kurtofan posted:

I thought the ending was weird, if the observers never existed, then Peter should have never been saved etc...

Peter would have been saved if the Observers never existed. It was September entering Walternate's lab that distracted him from seeing the result of the particular test that resulted in the cure. That was why Walter knew what the cure was and crossed over to save him. The plot hole with that is that why would Walter have abducted Peter from Walternate if he knew the cure, except out of jealousy or whatever. Because if Peter isn't abducted then the plot doesn't really happen.

bobkatt013
Oct 8, 2006

You’re telling me Peter Parker is ...... Spider-man!?


Kurtofan posted:

I thought the ending was weird, if the observers never existed, then Peter should have never been saved etc...

The Observers were more like September, as everything needed to happen still in order for the Observers to be created as they did.

grilldos
Mar 27, 2004

BUST A LOAF
IN THIS
YEAST CONFECTION


Grimey Drawer

HUGE SPACEKABLOOIE posted:

Everyone I'd like to have a moment of silence for Agent Jessup. She disappeared as quickly as she arrived.

...

bobkatt013 posted:

The Observers were more like September, as everything needed to happen still in order for the Observers to be created as they did.

Massive, huge spoilers follow. Like the biggest spoilers.

So I bought September's Notebook, and it's fantastic. It's got the white tulip envelope, and there is a rare special version of the book with a copy of the white tulip drawing tucked inside of it. What's great about it is it ties a lot of loose ends together by making the implicit of the show more explicit.

All of the instances where we see September in the show are out of chronological order from September's point of view. Him and Walter loving up the timeline causes a few things: 1) September to try and fix the it so the future where Observers can come into being can still occur, 2) Walter's love for his child to inspire September to rescue his own special son and put him in safe keeping, and 3) September to begin intense self-reflection about the nature of his own race. He continues his normal Observer duties and cleans up his mess through seasons 1-4, until he finds out that his job was actually prep work for a violent invasion of the past. He ultimately decides to try and change history again so that the Observers never evolve the way they did (which was through dropping Emotions from the human mind through tech). He uses his Observer timeline-parsing powers to go through thousands upon thousands of permutations before figuring out the perfect way to accomplish that goal, with Walter helping to narrow the scope by suggesting September's special son could be used as a key component. This big picture stuff is all explained pretty well in the show, but the book fills in a lot of the gaps.


Kurtofan posted:

I thought the ending was weird, if the observers never existed, then Peter should have never been saved etc...

This on the surface is fair, but if you keep what I said above in mind, it can be explained away in that the Observers of the show were a necessary paradox in order for the better version of them (+Emotions!) to exist due to September's son traveling through time, or that there are many parallel universes and we the audience are only concerned with this specific one blah blah blah.

But those are weak and boring explanations. This plot hole is actually symptomatic of an even bigger one: September's conversation with Peter in 4x14. So in this hugely expository scene we have September saying a shitload of important stuff about what Observers even are, why they had to have Peter reset the timeline, and so on. But remember, the reset reality is one where Walter still broke the universes but Peter ended up drowning. Why the gently caress does September give a rat's dick about a kid being born to the "wrong" Olivia when the Observers end up being content with Peter not even existing as an adult at all, let alone being capable of impregnating the "right" Olivia.

I like to explain this away with a fun little pet theory of mine with little to no hard evidence: that September is telling half-truths and manipulating Peter in that scene. My idea is that September is the original "Walter" in a thematic sense, in regards to a redemption story, that in order to save his son he manipulated the timeline deliberately from the start (interrupting Walternate, letting Walter cross over and back, then saving Walter & Peter's life, getting Henrietta to exist so she can be a catalyst in his plan's final stages, etc.), resulting in countless deaths and lives being erased from existence but all redeemed and justified in that he saves the entire human race. His molding of Walter is to suit his end, to share the philosophical burden, and get a like-minded partner to share his fate. He's a good guy doing what he "has to do" for the greater good. I've got a handful of additional specific circumstantial moments to support this idea that I've never formally organized on paper because why bother, it'll be a lot of words, and the crap on my list is probably all probably network TV fuckups anyway.

Anyway, September's Notebook is pretty cool. It has folders with posters in them.

grilldos fucked around with this message at 07:36 on Dec 5, 2014

bobkatt013
Oct 8, 2006

You’re telling me Peter Parker is ...... Spider-man!?


My thoughts on the first two episodes.

Walter is great from the very first episode. Lets make some LSD! Not a fan of dick agent Broyles, but I know he gets a lot better. The plots seem a lot out of X-files, but you can see the seeds of the amazing show that it becomes. First hint that something is up with Peter is in episode 2 with him mentioning that Peter was sick as a kid. The mystery of Bell is this presence in these early episodes and you have no idea what to think of him. What is his connection to the pattern, and he seems to have a connection to the cases so far. You also get some evidence that Olivia experience in the first episode will have some repercussion. drat I love this show.

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Open Source Idiom
Jan 4, 2013


Whoops, forgot to do this.

Watched it again with my mates this week, and they weren't that impressed with the episode. It held their attention for the first twenty-five minutes or so, but by the time the Doctor guy (Walter's old friend) turned up, they all seemed to tune out a bit. The episode doesn't have the strongest conclusion either, so they weren't that enraptured. They're still up to watch more though.

Personally speaking, I think it was maybe a bit much to call the episode 'The Same Old Story' when it was so blatantly the amalgam of three or four different X-Files. A supersoldier serial killer who eats pituitary glands to stop himself from rapidly ageing to death (and has magic killer sperm), who has to be tracked down using a camera that takes pictures of the last thing a dead person saw. I can see how most of those ideas work in my head, but the way the episode lays them out just sort of smooshes them together.

I'm also not a big fan of the opening, which is kinda uncomfortable and exploitative, but mostly because it's really irrelevant to the episode -- which is really only interested in tracking down the serial killer because he's into cutting open people's brains (why only women?). I get that thematically the episode's interested in the relationship between parents and children, but more specifically it's about the debt fathers owe their sons (and how they can't always fulfil that debt). I don't see how the poor, dead woman in the opening really prefigures into that. She's sort of just collateral damage.

It doesn't help that some of the dialogue in these scenes is nonsensical (Why does the hostess think the killer is hiding a mushroom pizza in what looks like a shaving case? Are we meant to think she's a really bad flirt?) and that the histrionics of the hospital staff is hilarious hammy.

Whatever, the show gets better.

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