J.J. Abram’s “Fringe” on Fox

(Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, Lance Reddick)

Fringe is a new series on Fox I’m sure you all have heard is “the new X Files.” Well, after watching the pilot episode there on Hulu, I’ve come to find out, that statement isn’t all that false. It bears a striking resemblance to The X Files. Maybe not on the outside, but the themes it uses. All throughout this episode you begin to see themes unravel that are in fact, themes used in most of The X Files.

Here are two of the three themes used in Fringe, that are also used in The X Files. You can view the post about The X Files where i analyze these themes, here.

  • Government Cover-Ups and Conspiracies
  • And the ‘Mad Scientist’ Style/Underground Operations (Not Cover-Ups)

These two solid themes unraveled in only one episode of Fringe. It took an entire series of The X Files for 3 main themes to come clear. Only one episode of Fringe. Oh the possibilities! Looking into it with that perspective opens a lot more potential for this show.

Here is a simple ‘all you need to know’ description.

Fringe is the fourth TV series co-created by J. J. Abrams (Felicity, Alias, Lost) and also his fourth collaboration with co-creators Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (Alias, Mission Impossible III, Star Trek). It is produced by Bad Robot in association with Warner Bros. Television. The plot deals with a research scientist named Walter Bishop (who Orci describes as “Frankenstein mixed with Albert Einstein”), his son, and a female FBI agent who brings them back together. The show is described as a cross between The X-Files, Altered States, and The Twilight Zone.[1][2] Like Abrams’ previous TV shows, it will have an overarching mythology. A two-hour, $10,000,000 pilot was produced,[3] where Walter is in a mental hospital. Jeff Pinkner will serve as executive producer/showrunner.[4] The Fringe series premiere aired September 9, 2008 at 8:00 p.m. ET on FOX, CTV and A, and is scheduled for airing on October 6, 2008 at 9:00 p.m. on Sky1 in the UK and September 17, 2008 at 8:30 p.m. on the Nine Network in Australia.[5] However, as anticipated, a pre-air version of the pilot was screened in its entirety for fans at Comic-Con 2008. -Via Wikipedia.

The show has a lot of potential, and i suggest that everyone give it a chance. You can watch it for free on the Fox website, and you can watch it for free on Hulu as well. If you can’t stay awake until 2am to catch The X Files, be sure to catch this instead!

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Alan Ball’s “True Blood” on HBO (Pilot)

(Anna Paquin, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley)

Every Sunday at 9pm EST, True Blood will be airing on HBO. I will be there every Sunday to watch it. It honestly blew me away. I’m going to give some details about the show you will not want to miss! For those of you that haven’t seen it, it will probably be on HBO on Demand tomorrow. (Monday is when they update)

The show True Blood, is about vampires living in modern day society as minorities. They are allowed to live among them because a scientist has developed a synthetic blood they can purchase in stores to survive. There are details about this synthetic blood which i couldn’t quite catch while only seeing one episode.

Vampires within the society the show goes by are within stereotypes as monsters by most people. They do have rights, but going back before Alan Ball’s unique viewing on vampires, they always had a mean streak and were only out to kill. In this show, they can kill. They are fast, and they still have fangs but it seems like most of them like to blend in with society.

“The series follows Sookie Stackhouse, a barmaid living in Louisiana who can read people’s minds, and how her life is turned upside down when the Vampire Bill, walks into her place of employment two years after vampires ‘came out of the coffin’ on national television.”

The creators did an amazing job on keeping me hooked on this show. They sure raised the bar with this new series. The creators aren’t scared to go too far with this. They really used their imagination when bringing vampires into this modern day world.

I knew right from the start of the show that i was going to love it. This series has a perfect mix of hilarious country humor, the mystery and suspense that you need, and the characters that you can relate to. After one episode i found myself relating to some of the characters. It’s going to be an amazing series.

As the show progresses i will have a lot more to say about it, I’m still very excited from enjoying the hell out of it to produce any real words about it just yet. There will be more! Check back soon!

Here is HBO’s full description of the show! How this all happened!

Thanks to a Japanese scientist’s invention of synthetic blood, vampires have progressed from legendary monsters to fellow citizens overnight. And while humans have been safely removed from the menu, many remain apprehensive about these creatures “coming out of the coffin.” Religious leaders and government officials around the world have chosen their sides, but in the small Louisiana town of Bon Temps, the jury is still out.

Local waitress Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin), however, knows how it feels to be an outcast. “Cursed” with the ability to listen in on people’s thoughts, she’s also open-minded about the integration of vampires — particularly when it comes to Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer), a handsome 173-year-old living up the road. But as Sookie is drawn into a series of mysteries surrounding Bill’s arrival in Bon Temps, that tolerance will be put to the test.

A sexy, scary new drama from ‘Six Feet Under’ creator Alan Ball, ‘True Blood’ delves into the meticulously-crafted world of novelist Charlaine Harris. Described by the Emmy®-winning Ball as “popcorn for smart people” and featuring a colorful cast of local misfits, ‘True Blood’ promises an intense ride.

Sundays at 9 on HBO!

Steven Bochco’s ‘Raising The Bar’ on USA

(Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Jane Kaczmarek, J. August Richards)

The newest TNT drama series from award winning producer Steven Bochco is beginning it’s action, and I’ve lived through it to tell you about it, and boy am i happy with it. Raising The Bar will be airing on Mondays, at 10/9 central. So far, the Pilot episode is what I’m going by in this review.

Let me just start off here by saying that the last thing this show lacks, is drama. TNT says they know real drama, and this show is there to prove it. The drama is so strong, it’s suspenseful. The acting is so flawless, you can relate to the majority of the characters. You can really feel what they feel. When they get hit, they get hit hard. There’s no cry baby drama in this series.

It hits where it hurts. Matters of putting an innocent man is jail all because of a half-the-time crooked judge is backing a crooked legal system. The balance of using the standard processes of law to get to the truth, versus knowing what is actually true. In this show, there seems to be only one man that will stand up for what is the truth, and for what is really right.

Raising The Bar teaches you about the very horrors that could go on with such a crooked legal system. Ahead you will find some quotes from the show i hand picked, that i think, define the show entirely in a nutshell.

  • “You don’t have to believe the words, you just have to say them.”
  • “You would rather win, than find the truth.”

The term ‘Raising The Bar’ i think goes hand in hand with ‘Crossing The Line.’ But yet for the good, not the bad. That is what this show is all about.

The show so far follows a public defender going head to head with a judge who backs a crooked legal system. The system happens to be kept alive by what the system will and will not let leak into the media. The protagonist in this series, seems to be the only one strong enough to make the system bend for the truth, and to do what is right.

In a nutshell, i loved the Pilot episode. I couldn’t get enough of these characters. Very easy to connect with. It only took about half of the episode for me to realize which characters i could connect with and which ones i couldn’t. All of the actors just nail it all the way through the hour. I cannot wait for some more episodes of ‘Raising The Bar.’ It’s going to be a great show, and I’m sure many will love it like i did!

Update – The premiere episode of Raising The Bar broke a Cable TV record!

That beat the previous record set in 2004 by USA Network’s “The 4400” (7.4 million) and also bested the 2005 debut of TNT’s hit drama “The Closer” (7 million).

Lost Episodes – The X Files – ‘X Cops’

Well if you don’t know this already, you can still catch The X Files on the Sci-Fi channel at 4pm EST and again later that night. I walked by my TV today, heard the original X Files theme created by Mark Snow so i took a seat and watched an episode titled ‘X Cops.’ It was very interesting.

This post contains episode spoilers.

The episode followed Mulder and Scully around on an episode of Cops. At first i wasn’t really liking it too much, seeing The X Files without the cinematic directing. It was filmed on a 60i camera just like the show Cops, and they were allowed to look at the camera. They made it well as an episode of Cops. If you were watching Cops and didn’t know who Mulder and Scully were, you would be convinced. That is, until you hear the paranormal case they were on. After all, The X Files isn’t a reality TV show.

Apparently there is some type of force going around because there is a full moon. The first thing they assume, is that its a werewolf. The first couple victims of the force had claw marks on them, so it was obviously a werewolf. The next victim was a lady that claimed she was attacked by a man with knives on his fingers. The sketch artist then drew up a sketch of Freddy Krueger and she identified that as the man that attacked her. This is when the plot thickens in the episode.

When Scully is performing an autopsy on a woman that saw the sketch artist get attacked, she uses a figure of speech for exaggeration about a disease. The lady assisting Scully with the autopsy then thinks to herself that the said disease would be the worst way to die. And then about 2 minutes later, the disease that scared her out of her wits killed her. The thickened plot at this point is solved.

Mulder becomes aware of the pattern and then realizes that all these people are getting attacked by the thing in the world they fear the most.

That is where i will stop, but this was a great find and i figured i would share it with you. For more information about this episode, visit this page.

RIP Don LaFontaine – Now Bring In Pablo Francisco

Everyone has heard his voice. ‘The Movie Trailer Guy’ has died at the age of 68. Don LaFontaine was around 13 years old when in mid-sentence his voice dropped making him embarrassed to talk the next day in school. His voice never went back to normal again.

He then went into the movie industry as a film editor and then went on to be the guy you hear in every movie trailer you ever see. He has done over 5,000 movie trailer and TV voiceovers. Whether you know the name or not, you will always remember the voice attached to all of what he has done.

Here is a video tribute to the man behind the voice. Here is Pablo Francisco the hilarious comedian doing his voice better than I’ve seen anyone do it. I wonder if film-makers will go to Pablo now.

Update – I just realized he was set to be interviewed for an upcoming documentary titled ‘The Voice Gods Of Hollywood.’ Hopefully they got his interviews finished because he was the voice god! It’s filming right now, heading for a 2009 release. Keep your eye out!

HBO Marathon In Memory Of George Carlin

Starting tonight, HBO will be airing a marathon from 8 to 1 in the morning. Tomorrow night it continues as well. Here is the schedule! Via /Film.

Wednesday, June 25th
8:00pm George Carlin at USC (1977)
9:00pm George Carlin Again! (1978)
11:00pm Carlin at Carnegie (1983)
12:00am Carlin on Campus (1984)
1:00am Playin’ with Your Head (1986)

Thursday, June 26th

8:00pm What Am I Doing in New Jersey? (1988)
9:00pm Doin It Again (1990)
10:00pm Jammin in New York (1992)
11:00pm Back in Town (1996)
12:05am You Are All Diseased (1999)
1:00am It’s Bad For Ya (2008)

Dana Carvey – Squatting Monkeys Tell No Lies

I wish i could have announced this before hand, but i actually didn’t find out about this early like i usually do. I haven’t been watching too much HBO lately. So you all know Dana Carvey (Garth from Wayne’s World) the stand up comedian and actor. Hes still kicking, and he is funny as hell.

Dana Carvey is mostly known for his amazing impressions of people and his unique comic take on satire. In Squatting Monkeys Tell No Lies, he does what we will call a classic act. With so much more in the year of 2008 to make fun of, the show just lights up the room. It was just too funny.

It premiered at 10:30 EST on HBO June 16th. I caught the 1:30 AM showing on HBO West. Click here for full details and a full list of showings of his 55 minute HBO Special. I enjoyed it a lot, and i know everyone else will too if they haven’t seen it already. Check out this preview clip from Funny Or Die.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Click here for full details!

What did you think of this amazing HBO Special?