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News from the "Fringe"

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | June 30, 2011 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | June 30, 2011 |

Look, I loved “Fringe” from the very first episode. The first season geared up slowly as an “X-Files” light until knocking it out of the park in the second season with John Noble taking center stage. The third season waned, came back strong now and then with a brilliant episode, but managed to have some terrifyingly bad episodes there, especially towards the end. There’s a difference between a stand alone bad episode and a bad episode that is bad because it takes the larger myth arc of the series is a bad direction. We all know where soul magnets land in that typology. Of course, the series ratcheted the quality back up for that finale, leaving viewers in that perfect off-season state of double checking when exactly the show comes back so that they can get some resolution and relief.

Well, producers Jeff Pinkner and Joel Wyman want to deflate that a little bit, saying:

“We’ve had a lot of people say ‘We love the promos; we want to figure out time to watch’, but not everyone has time to sit down and watch [three full] seasons, so we tried to make this [fourth] season like a new pilot. We did that a little bit last season, too, but it will just be an entry point for people to come in who haven’t seen everything.”

No, no, and let me check what else I had … that’s right, no. I get that from a business side you sort of want to make the series accessible without requiring a graduate course in order to get up to speed. I also think that the producers of the show should have the confidence of their work in order to say “our show is fucking awesome, it’s so awesome that you can’t just pick it up, you need to go get the first three seasons of DVDs.” You know what that’s called? Sales. If you’ve got a show that requires viewers to watch the first three seasons before the fourth, that’s a business opportunity, not something to be explained away.

That’s without even getting into the inexplicable pissing in the general direction of your fan base. Gosh, I just bought the fourth book of A Song of Ice and Fire, but it seems like so much work to read the first three books. Can someone just tell me what happened so I don’t have to? John Noble, sweet Walter himself, sees it my way, in case I need to call to a higher authority, as if you are not convinced by my simple and obvious correctness:

“I don’t know why they’re saying that. We have a mythology now that needs to be unraveled a little bit for new viewers. I defy people to come in at the end of season three and understand—they might find it really interesting, but to understand it might be hard. So we need to unravel some of that mythology a bit, and I think that might be what they mean—give it a restart, from the same place, but for example without Peter or that intangible Peter, and we have to retell some of the story.”

I just hope that there’s a place for Gene the wonder cow in the new combined universe. I am convinced that he is the key to all the mysteries.

(source: Blastr)

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Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.