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JJ Abrams Doesn't Want to Confuse You That Much With Fringe

JJ Abrams Doesn't Want to Confuse You That Much With Fringe

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

Join The Conversation
outofhere outofhere 8 years
I agree with your comment californiagirlx7! He's a brilliant writer but after a couple of seasons he loses interest and starts working on another show and then the original show goes in the tank. So, while I enjoy his work, it ticks me off he doesn't finish what he starts so I'm beginning to lose faith in his new shows. Why bother getting hooked on them if he's just going to abandon them? I still haven't forgiven him for what he did to Vartan in Season 4 of Alias :(
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 8 years
The thing I don't like about shows helmed by JJ Abrams is that he never seems to finish his job, at least as far as TV shows go. It seemed like he had less input in Alias in the later, crappier seasons and he ditched Lost after Season 1, which was the highpoint for the show.
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
I think CSI does this well. Every episode tell it's own story and has a conclusion - but then there is an overall storyline with the character's that continues through each episode. But if you just watched one episode here and there, you wouldn't be too confused at all.
susanec susanec 8 years
It's Abrams, I gotta watch. Maybe one of these days I'll catch up on Lost. Or maybe he can cast Vartan again...
Allyace Allyace 8 years
Thanks Buzz. I was wondering how this would affect his part on LOST. He is so creepy and intriguing! I am also okay with him playing a part similar to Daniels on The Wire. It suited him. Now if only we can get Dominic West back on TV :).
Linda-McP Linda-McP 8 years
Looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts about Fringe. I hope the show will live up to the buzz.
Entertainment Entertainment 8 years
Allyace — I'll definitely be mentioning Lance! I thought he was one of the best parts of the pilot, and his character is fairly reminiscent of his character on The Wire, which works for me. Unfortunately the cast wasn't here today and only John, Joshua, and Anna were even on the satellite call. By the way, this is interesting: Abrams told one reporter that he'll make Lance available for Lost when need be, and he figured he'd have better control by casting him again himself rather than letting him go and maybe get cast on another show. Here's the whole story.
jasmint jasmint 8 years
Glad you got to see it -- I was just about to offer to send you a copy... I heard he was making some changes though, I wonder what they'll be.
mandatedfun mandatedfun 8 years
jj must have been watching an alias episode from seasons 3 through 5, when the show really lost its direction (um hello, weird green magical goo?). season 1 still stands as one of my all-time favorite seasons of any show. looking forward to seeing what fringe has to offer.
Allyace Allyace 8 years
I hope it will be good! I find it weird that no one mentions Lance Reddick when they talk about this show though. He is in all the promos and yet no one mentions him. He was wonderful on the Wire and so creepy on LOST.
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