Friday, August 26, 2011

Fringe and how to build a believable heroine

I watched the first season of Fringe when it hit TV, got frustrated half way through and stopped, but since then, Maureen and Entertainment Weekly have convinced me to give it another shot.

What frustrated me about season 1 was that I didn't buy the heroine. I didn't believe her when she fired her gun, didn't believe her when she stripped to her underwear to climb into a sensory deprivation tank for the benefit of science, (and not for the hordes of teenage boys they were trying to attract to the show,) and didn't buy that this woman would be a successful FBI agent.

But when I picked up season 2 and started watching it, that all changed. I totally buy into the main heroine. First the show has stopped trying to create a sex symbol and instead they created a character. And this FBI agent wears flat, black shoes, loose black suits and a button up shirt that is untucked and not skin tight. She ties her hair into a ponytail when she works, she gets injured and takes several episodes to heal and when she fires her gun, I believe it now. I believe that woman, the one who dresses seriously, seems to wear no makeup and when she wakes in the morning, her hair is messy and even frizzy.

As the new TV season starts, and we get into a host of female dominated shows, where women will run wearing six inch stilletos, fight hand to hand wearing tight jeans and work a twelve hour day without a hint of a mascara smudge, I love that Fringe has committed to creating a realistic, intelligent female character while no longer caring what the teenage boy wants.

Because let's face it, he'll be watching the new Charlie's Angels tv show, and I'll still be watching fringe.


Eileen said...

Oh, man, does this mean I have to go back to watching Fringe? You're going to make Andy so happy. He liked it way better than I did.

They kind of lost me in the very first episode where their solution was to try to see what was on a dead guy's retina because some poet had written a poem about the last image someone saw being imprinted there.

How is that science? It made no sense. I know what poets do. They make crap up. Just like I do. No one else seemed bothered by it, though.

Maureen McGowan said...

I'd like to take credit for you watching this one, but alas, like Eileen that show lost me early on. For me, it was the father character. Did not believe him for a second. He seemed so affected. Like an actor trying to be interesting and instead just being strange.

But based on *your* recommendation, Sinead, I did buy the first season on DVD and now that I have a new DVD player (finally--had a painful DVD-free few months) I will watch. :)

I hate shows that make the female characters so ridiculous. Especially cops. I would have thought the success of Cagney and Lacey (back in the 70's?) would have taught TV execs a thing or two about portraying women in law enforcement. Sad sign of the times that they're bringing back Charlie's Angels. I did think the movie franchise was funny, but because it was making fun of the 70's show, not trying to recreate it...

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I have to say season 2, because I skipped ahead to season 2 has an interesting overarching plotline and the monster of the week episodes and they do a pretty good job with all the characters. The Father is the most polarizing character, because my husband loves him, and this season they are doing a better job of balancing his obvious issues with some real human emotion.

But most of all, this season, I like Anna Torv.

Stephanie Doyle said...

Charlie's Angels... The criminal version. Snort! That's all I have to say about that....snort.

Rogenna Brewer said...

Guess I'll have to give that show another shot :)

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