FOX Premieres Win At Life


I’m a day late, and I am not pleased about it. Especially since I was looking forward to the premieres of Bones and Fringe for weeks.  I’m pretty much made of disappointment that I didn’t actually get to watch them while they aired. But, I’m caught up now, and it was all SO good, I don’t even care (that much) anymore. Without further ado, the Thursday FOX premieres:

“Harbingers in a Fountain”

Bones crew, that was an excellent premiere! Is it possible you have finally realized that it doesn’t work when you go whole-hog on “major” episodes and have instead thoughtfully decided to stick to your strengths?

This episode had no right being as good as it was, contributing factors (namely, the cracktastic season four finale and the fact that this was a premiere). But it was excellent, and I am so delighted! On the one hand, it kind of hurts that a tarot-reading psychic played by Cyndi Lauper is such a great improvement over the majority of last season. On the other hand, her performance is some of my favorite guest work I’ve seen on Bones.

“Harbingers in a Fountain” has all the classic goodness that makes this show great. The dynamic between Booth and Brennan, which is always well-executed, was absolutely superb in this episode – and that with a slightly out-of-sorts Booth. The way the whole Omg, Booth in love with Bones?! situation turns out is slightly disappointing for my inner romantic. But, practically speaking, it was handled ingeniously. Because when a show hinges almost entirely on chemistry between two characters who are not together, their feelings have to stay unrequited or the entire show flops. It’s just a fact. (See: The X-Files, and virtually every other show that focuses on a male-female partner dynamic.) As far as the other solid, classic parts of this episode that really worked, a line from Angela sums it up best: “A pit full of mass murder victims, what’s not to love?” True fact.

I’m taking this episode as an indication that Bones will be back to snuff this season – gross, quirky, quick-talking, and occasionally intensely thought-provoking. I’m also hoping this episode is an indication that Caroline Julian (Patricia Belcher) is going to be around more in this season than she was in the last, and also as an indication that we might finally see more than some superficial character development for Tamara Taylor‘s character Camille Saroyan.

I was definitely counting on being disappointed, but now I’m EXTRA excited for next week’s installment.

“A New Day in the Old Town”

One of the major differences between Bones and Fringe (discounting the obvious ones), is that when J.J. Abrams has a Big Deal episode to do, he delivers like no other. This season premiere is absolutely no exception. I was waaaaay psyched for this, mostly because it’s only been a few days since I saw the epic Season One finale. And I was not disappointed by the results.

Within the first three minutes, the unexplained, wordless, intense weirdness already had me bouncing up and down (figuratively, not literally, I hesitantly admit) because I knew this was just the beginning of excellent things. Then the grossness set it – a guy smashing in his own face? Not quite as good as the melting jaw from the pilot episode, but still greatly enjoyable. I was already consciously appreciating the way Fringe channels the good ol’ days of The X-Files, and then THE TV IN THE LIVING ROOM OF THAT FIRST SCENE WAS SHOWING ACTUAL X-FILES FOOTAGE. IT WAS LIKE PARANORMAL GEEK HEAVEN. The best part was, that was only the beginning and things just kept on getting better.

Most shows, having the main character explode through a windshield from the inside of a car from another universe would be the highlight. But with Fringe, oh no. Then it turns out that said main character is braindead and set to be Terri Schiavo-ed (which is obviously a lie, but intense nonetheless). Then it turns out she’s being targeted by a shapeshifting supersoldier from another universe. Then it turns out said supersoldier communicates with his otherwordly command unit via typewriter and mirror. THEN the intensity just keeps on building to the not-quite-explosive-but-definitely-satisfying climactic battle scene. And all this is punctuated by drama about Olivia Dunham’s memory loss, angst over the Fringe division possibly being shut down, and the introduction of a new major player.

This last bit was not quite as delightful as the rest, although I definitely stopped hating her by the end of the episode (the Hamlet quote helped a lot). If Meghan Markle sticks around for the rest of the season, I’m not going to complain. She fits in, and her introduction wasn’t horribly weighed down by an effort to make her immediately interesting. Mostly I’m just vexed that Kirk Acevedo has indeed been fired from Fringe (actual reason unknown by me, although I’ve heard rumors it was financial). There’s still hope he’ll be back every once in awhile, though, so I’m just going to cross my fingers and hope for that.

I mark this premiere as a success. Not because it wrapped up last season and got the show back on its normal track, but because it really works as a link between this season and the last, introducing new storylines and leaving some questions unanswered. Three cheers for continuity. Four for writer and director of this episode, Akiva Goldsman. I didn’t know his name before, but I will certainly remember it from this day forward (check this dude’s track record, it is pretty magnificent).

Final note: I HATE THAT THE NEXT EPISODE IS STILL SIX DAYS AWAY. GAH!

The one show I did manage to watch on Thursday was Project Runway and its newspaper challenge. I only have one thing to say to those designers: bitches, PLEASE. I could have won that with my eyes closed.

That aside, Thursday was a damned good day for television in my world. Because there were two excellent EXCELLENT premieres…both of which reminded me of The X-Files. <3 TV.

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Comments

  • Lena  On September 18, 2009 at 5:53 PM

    The way I deal with the more in-your-face romantic moments is to look for what they are still hiding. I suspect that Bones was crushed when he added the “In an atta-girl way” part, also when he didn’t want to go to breakfast with her. But she won’t admit it. He in turn was crushed when she responded with the “atta-boy” comment, but won’t admit it to save face. They are so messed up. I love them.

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