True Blood; Fringe
I'm beginning to watch episodic TV again--aside from my usual Seinfeld, Monk and The Office--so I looked forward to both True Blood and Fringe.
True Blood I liked a good deal except for two aspects. Either the lovely and sexy Anna Paquin has to come up with more expressions or they've got to quit shooting her in close up so often when the director wants to make a point. She's winsome as hell but she has only one face. You could take one close up filled with her usual business and paste it on all her other close ups. But that's not a big deal. Nor is the political message--I get it and certainly agree with it; people different from you deserve as much or as little respect as you're willing to give those of your own kind--which was bludgeoned home like a commercial. Other than that it was thrilling, fresh, cool and dazzling. Can't wait for next Sunday night.
Fringe I wasn't crazy about once I figured out that it was really a steroid version of the X-Files and not nearly as much fun. Or charming. The melodrama--are there any FBI agents who haven't been spiritually wounded?--and all the clunky clues pointing to a Big Business Conspiracy were taken from an endless number of novels and screenplays done in the last two decades. I stuck with it but by the end I felt cheated. I don't care that it was nothing new but I do care that there was nothing fresh inside the nothing new. Not a single interesting grace note, not a single action scene (the fricking endless car chase sequence) we've haven't seen dozens if not hundreds of times before, not a single plot variation on the source material it was ransacked from. This is exactly what I was afraid it would be. Chris Carter did it a whole lot better.