My jury is still out — and probably trying to resist the urge to have Chipotle for lunch — after watching the first two episodes of Fox’s Fringe. Last night’s opening scene, focusing on that unexpected “baby” delivery, was hideously cool, from the squelching sound effects right down to the screaming nurse, but the show’s three central characters — Anna Torv’s Olivia Dunham, Joshua Jackson’s Peter Bishop, and John Noble’s Walter Bishop — are all perilously close to stepping over the border of Quirkyville and right into Annoyingland. I find Noble’s performance particularly distracting; he reads every line as if he was imitating John O’Hurley playing J. Peterman on Seinfeld. When Jackson’s character snapped last night that dear old dad should try talking like a real person, I found myself shouting back at the TV: “Yes! YES!”
That said, I’m probably going to stick around for another episode or two, at least. I’m loving Blair Brown’s chillingly enigmatic corporate power-player, and crazy as it may sound, I’m a little bit obsessed with the X-ray-like title cards that run before each and every commercial break: the toad with the “phi” symbol on his back; the daisy with the insect-wing petal; the leaf with the etched triangle pattern; and especially the apple with the creepy fetus seeds! Tell me I am not the only one who’s ba-da ba-bah-bah…lovin’ ’em.