Friday, April 20, 2012

Fringe - TV Guide: Weekend TV in Review Apr 20 '12 - FOX 9/8C

Source: TV Guide [follow link for complete column]

Fringe Friday

TV GUIDE: Weekend TV in Review: Fringe, Nikita, Birdsong on Masterpiece

Apr 20, 2012
by Matt Roush

Starting this weekend's busy roundup with a few items from TV's cult corner, by which I mean Friday night TV on Fox and The CW, which each offered up an advance screener.

The one I was most anticipating, naturally, was Fox's ever-challenging Fringe (Friday, 9/8c) with another genre-stretching leap — hint: new color-coded credits featuring philosophical constructs in place of pseudo-scientific terminology, with an emphasis on "freedom." (The episode's title, "Letters of Transit," is a nod to the classic Casablanca, a romance of resistance against an implacable enemy.) As is the show's custom, nothing is done by half measures. We get a glimpse of the future, and of Fringe's possible future (fingers crossed), as we are thrust headlong into a dystopian, totalitarian society — think Observers as bald, oppressive, humorless Nazis — where in 2036 a discovery is made bridging the future Fringe division (now performing perfunctory police duties) with one or more remnants of our current team.

Henry Ian Cusick, in a role better suited to his swarthy charisma than the underwritten sidekick on Scandal, is a Fringe agent of the future who's part of the resistance, working alongside the gorgeous Etta (Georgina Haig), who declares, "I love being special," when singled out for her ability to stand up to the Bald Meanies. There are familiar faces and familiar locales, all changed by time, as we once again adjust to a new world, new rules, new surprises and new dangers: in other words, Fringe business as unusual.

The bad news: Coffee is now chewed, not drunk. The good news: Red Vines (also chewable) have somehow survived. The best news: Fringe, should Fox choose to renew it for a fifth improbable underdog season, promises to give us plenty more fantastic stories to chew on...

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