JJ Abrams doesn't exactly shy away from constructing complex stories (Lost and Alias, anyone?). But at this morning's TCA panel for Fringe, he insisted that his new series will be a little less obscure.
Abrams told the story of watching an old episode of Alias while hanging out with Greg Grunberg and seeing the show from an outsider's perspective: "It was impenetrable," he said. "I was like, I know I should understand this, but . . . who the f**k is that guy?"
Fringe, on the other hand, is an experiment for Abrams. The show, which stars Joshua Jackson, Anna Torv, and John Noble as a trio who investigate crimes having to do with fringe science (cloning, weird chemical reactions, etc), is meant to be a little more clear from the start. "We believe that it is possible to do a show that has an overall story and an endgame," Abrams said. "There's a direction the show is going . . . but you also don't have to watch episodes one, two, and three to tune into episode four."
That doesn't mean Abrams and his fellow executive producers aren't giving people lots of things to pick apart. Before the show cuts to commercial, there are brief images of frogs or lips, and while Abrams said they "worked simply as weird, eerie imagery," he said they'll also be referenced within Fringe as "part of the code of the show." And when they had to recast a cow who appears in the pilot (she wasn't allowed to travel from Canada), the producers actually had conversations about how to put makeup on the cow lest anyone speculate about why the heifer's markings are different.
I finally got to see Fringe last night and will write more about it soon. But between the version that's been floating around online and the nonstop promotion from Fox, I think it's safe to say this is already one of the Fall's most highly anticipated shows. Are you ready for another Abrams-led series?
Photo courtesy of Fox