I wrote this entry a couple of weeks ago, really inspired… but then I just stopped caring… still… Here it is.
Two series. Two problem. Writing and Casting on Fringe and V.
So I’ve been watching two series the last couple of months named Fringe (2008) and V (2009).
I hate those series, but I also enjoy them. I like the series for many reasons, but I hate them mainly because of two reasons; the writing and the casting.. In this blog entry I will try to analyse why the scripts sometimes are bad, and why the casting sometimes seems wrong in two series that had, and in many ways, still have potential.
The Pro’s of Fringe:
I like Fringe because it’s storyline is consistent, some surprises are believable and even foreseeable while still being surprising. The character of Walter Bishop is fascinating and the effects are great. I also like how the storyline sometimes thematically touches upon very current issues of religion v. science v. world.
The Cons of Fringe:
I hate the writing. Especially in season one. Painful dialogue like “You got exactly 12 minutes” and “You wanted my father, now you’ve got my father. Which falls into the category be careful what you wish for [pause] sweetheart. “. Ugh, and it’s not even camp writing, it’s just horrible!
I swore I wouldn’t see another episode after the pilot as the dialogue, plot and most of the characters annoyed the hell out of me. Especially Peter Bishop. He only works as a background character and in every episode that he gets alot of playing time I get annoyed.There is something completely unbelievable when Joshua Jackson tries to be bad ass. I just can’t believe it as I think I could beat him in a fight (no promise). I don’t know if it’s bad casting or bad writing that makes me hate the character of Peter Bishop but I would guess it a little of both.
But I kept watching because John Noble’s interpretation of Dr. Walter Bishop as this was the only character that didn’t seem one dimensional and was original, funny and fascinating. The character of Oliva in the beginning was also dangerously uninteresting, as was the villain corporation of Massive Dynamic and the Lance Reddick character Phillip Broyles was and is so clichéd, uninspired and disgustingly “cool” that it borders on racism.
One of the worst parts of the writing is when it’s time to be emotional. The scenes where we are supposed to get to know the characters seems forced. This mainly because of how the dialogue is build. In the Fringe universe there are no problem reading the other persons feelings. “You acted like you wanted to [something], but I understand now [their real psychological motives].”
In real life there are people that can read other people like books, but not after one year and not out of the blue and not everybody at any time. That’s why it seems forced as there doesn’t seem to be any clear motivation, nor reason for one character to know the other characters emotions, other than the writers need to express them.
In TV this is a normal problem as all TV shows need to be entertaining and not to difficult to understand for anyone who fell into it when aired. This, in tv terms, is called flow and glance where the producers of a show need to keep the audience hooked to the show, while “knowing” that the average tv-viewer don’t pay attention all the time.
This affects the writing of tv by the need for constant recap of the events that happened before, dialogue that states clearly what kind of problems their are in and where they were going before commercial. The problem is of course to make this seem probable and not forced a task Fringe often fails in.
The problem with bot series boils down to this. I like them, but I HATE parts of them. And it makes me annoyed but hopeful for salvation. Every episode that sucks I think “Please be better next episode. Please be believable and interesting. Not unbelievable and bland.” So I’ll keep watching them but hopefully I will not be punch in the face as much as the first season of Fringe and V.