Hi, I’m Marisa. As Dan mentioned, I’m going to get to chime in with my television opinions. (And I’m psyched!) I occasionally write about TV for PopMatters, but I watch way more TV than those reviews suggest. My favorite shows include more cartoons than most, especially long-gone favorites like Home Movies and Mission Hill. If you’re one of the lucky one million that lives in Westchester County, you can also tune into my other blog for everyone’s favorite pop-cultural coverage–the regional kind!
Okay, I’m done with my awkward introduction. On to Fringe, which had its 95-minute premiere last night. Coming from J.J. Abrams, I expecting nothing short of utter madness. After Alias, which I didn’t watch but I know that it had something to do with the prophecies set forth by a 15th-century artist, and Lost, with its smoke-monster that bludgeons people to death, a certain level of wackadoo had to be built in, right? So I stacked the first episode of Fringe up against Lost with regards to some common elements to see if J.J. has outdone himself with craziness.
**Warning! These comparisons contain massive spoilers!**
Unfortunate Plane Incident
Fringe: Passengers liquefy, leave skulls neatly in their seats.
Lost: Mysterious forces ground the plane abruptly on a freaky desert island.
Advantage: Fringe. Because, eww.
Fringe: Brain-melding, reanimation, mind control, telekinesis.
Lost: Meteorology, psychology, parapsychology, zoology, and electromagnetism.
Advantage: Tie. Zoology doesn’t sound all that crazy, but it is when it involves corporate-logo-branded sharks.
Mad Scientist Performing Crazy-Ass Experiments
Fringe: Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble), a semi-lucid, formerly institutionalized quack with a thirst for ginger ale.
Lost: Dr. Marvin Candle, who comes across as almost pleasant in those Dharma training videos.
Advantage: Fringe. Never trust a man who prefers ginger ale to cream soda.
Shadowy Behind-the-Scenes Corporation
Fringe: Massive Dynamic
Lost: The Widmore Corporation
Advantage: Who knows? It’s another tie, but I was leaning toward giving this round to Lost, since “Massive Dynamic” sounds like it has too many MBA buzzwords to be truly lethal.
Animals When You Least Expect Them
Fringe: A cow is brought to the wackolab because, apparently, cow DNA is very similar to human DNA. The cow’s true purpose was a cheap site gag that was one chromosome away from being a cow reaction shot.
Lost: Polar Bear out of nowhere.
Advantage: Lost, because I believe the polar bear really will serve a purpose. Remind me of this post when the series ends and I turn out to be horribly, horribly wrong.
Limb With Inappropriate Number of Digits
Fringe: The bumper graphic before a commercial break shows a hand with six fingers. Princess Bride fans perk up.
Lost: That they-promised-they’d-explain-it four-toed statue.
Advantage: Lost. Who knows if Fringe will deliver on the promise of a six-fingered person?
Proclivity for Nicknames
Fringe: Peter Bishop (Joshua “Pacey Forever” Jackson) calls Olivia Dunham (Anna “Wasn’t on Dawson’s Creek” Torv) “Sweetheart” an unnatural number of times.
Lost: Sawyer calls everyone everything from Chewbacca to Short Round
Advantage: Lost. It really is quite hilarious when you hear them all in a row like that.
So, for now, it looks like Lost is still the standard-bearer for craziness. But Fringe almost squeaked by with only one episode under its belt. I’m sure crazy is Fringe‘s growth industry. We’ll see how they compare at the end of their seasons.