Monday, October 1, 2012

Fringe - TV Guide: Ask Matt Oct 1 '12

Source: TV Guide [follow link for complete column]


TV GUIDE: Ask Matt: Glee, Sons of Anarchy, Fringe, Revolution, Dance, and More

Oct 1, 2012
by Matt Roush

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... Question: I asked you about this last spring before Fringe was renewed for its final season and you responded that you too liked last year's one episode that fast-forwarded to the year 2036 and completely changed the story and timeline of the series and the role of the Observers. Now that the last season has kicked off, I wanted to ask you a couple of follow-up questions. Obviously, having been renewed has freed the creative team behind this great science-fiction show to go much further in this new and bold direction with the story line. I know that based on your response to my question back in the spring, this was not a direction you expected them to take, so I assume you were surprised? Moreover, do you remember any precedent where a show, freed of the need to worry about ratings and renewal (kind of like a politician not having to run for re-election), has rebooted a show with the same characters and actors but changed the story and time lines so dramatically? And is this a very unique situation or do you think this may embolden others in similar situations to do so in the future? — Raymond

Matt Roush: I find I'm always surprised by where Fringe takes me, usually in positive ways, but I've been living for a while with the knowledge that this time jump to the battle against the Observers would happen, so I can't say that this latest reinvention has been a shock to my system. As noted in my weekend roundup, I'm on board with how this season has started and will be with it to the very end, and am very glad they're getting a chance to finish the story, even in a somewhat abbreviated fashion. As always, I pause at answering the "historical precedent" part of questions like this out of fear I'll miss something obvious, but when thinking about low-rated shows that altered the form of storytelling and its timeline in its final chapters with an almost devil-may-care abandon, the show that comes to mind is ABC's Vietnam War classic China Beach, which framed much of its powerful fourth and final season through a prism of memory, giving us closure by jumping ahead in time to show us how many of the characters ended up, in each case haunted by their war experiences (seen in flashback). It's still one of the favorite shows I've covered in all of my years on the beat...

Fringe airs Friday at 9/8C on FOX.

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