FOX's "Fringe", airing Tuesdays at 9pm (after a two-hour premiere in late August).
Hm, an Abrams pilot beginning with a turbulent plane scene? It's so meta I could die. Ew, that was so much more gross and disturbing and frenetic than it was on the page (or that I remember it being... been a long time since I read the script).
Unlike Lost (which was Abrams written-and-directed), this is a somewhat maddeningly slow two hours (slower, certainly, than the genius Alias pilot). Abrams produces though, and while I don't think Anna Torv as the lead female character Olivia is quite up to par with his previous leading lady finds (Keri Russell, Jennifer Garner, Evangeline Lilly), she's good. Not Gillian Anderson good (since, ultimately, this series it going to try to be The X-Files for technological/scientific wonders as opposed to supernatural/extraterrestrial happenings), but good. She's a little smirky throughout. I love the way Lance Reddick calls her character "liaison" (let's hope that, since this is a Bad Robot project, we can still get more Matthew Abbadon on Lost).
Not sure how I feel about the giant CGI blow up superimposed letters that set us in different locations (it really tries to be the next step up from Alias's push-through lettering... but I'd almost just prefer a subtitle telling me I'm in Baghdad... especially when the angle cuts away from the moving aerial show and you can still see the giant "Q" in "Iraq"... that was weird). Kinda distracting, actually.
Joshua Jackson seems a tad young. I'm not sure if it's unconvincing... but I just don't quite buy him. He's also a tad monotone in a role that could be more colorful (it eventually edges closer to amusingly sardonic, but still isn't quite what it could be).
In series, I hope the characters don't devolve into a pattern of Waler Bishop constructing a crazy experiment, Pacey complaining about how insane it is leading to a pointless but amusing argument, and Olivia ultimately going with the crazy guy so that we can move on with the plot.
You what really bothered me about this pilot? Jasika Nicole. She just stands in the background being the diversity-required African-American lab hand (even though I think she's FBI?) until about 3/4 through the pilot. She largely serves as a talking board for Walter (and Pacey) to explain the science of what's going on. At least it's not super genius scientists talking to themselves about the experiments or tests or whatever in a way they never, ever would just so the audience can get it (see every episode of a medical show or crime show or legal show ever where people of the same profession boil down the complex mechanisms to colleagues who ought to know anyway WTF is going on...)
The shared dream is wicked.
Massive Dynamic's office building must be the coolest place to work in ever.
A lot of the music reminds me of themes from Lost. I wonder if the pilot will be re-scored.
This pilot will intrigue you... but it won't blow you away in the way Lost's pilot did (though, god bless it, it tries). It looks amazing though, you can really see the $10 million budget. Oh, there's so much more I could say, but I'd really rather you watch the think in August. And I'm particularly eager to see what comes next because this show could go either way... but I really want to know what it looks like on an episodic basis. Will is really be like The X-Files, as the pilot hints at / holds the promise of? It certainly has the conspiracy-laden underpinnings.
Oh, and that last scene? YES! YES!
Next: CBS's "The Mentalist".