There is more than one of everything

3 08 2013

Two things.

1. I not only don’t mind spoilers, I kinda prefer them.

I don’t know when this happened, when I began to prefer to know how things work out rather than just waiting to find out, but now I do.

There’s more to this than that, but, for now, this’ll do.

2. I’ve been watching and more-or-less-enjoying Fringe.

I got interested in Fringe maybe a year ago, when I’d see teasers for the latest episode on Hulu. At first, I ignored it, then I thought, Huh, that might be interesting, as I flicked past, then thought, Huh, if that shows up on Netflix, I think I’ll give ‘er a go.

It showed up on Netflix.  I’m giving ‘er a go.

And while I did do a bit of skim-spoiling of the show on Wikipedia, I decided to, y’know, actually watch the show to find out what happens.

There are some things I like about it and some things which are quite ridiculous (even for the grim sci-fi/conspiracy subgenre in which it exists), but I mostly like it. I liked X-Files before it went off the rails, and Fringe clearly owes a great deal to pre-derailed X.

I also thought, prior to tonight, that while it is in many ways a more sophisticated show than X-Files, it is a lesser one.

And then the last scene of the episode. I was not expecting it. I think I stopped breathing for a moment or two.

I don’t know why, I can think of so many reasons why it shouldn’t have stopped me, but stop me it did.

I won’t spoil it for you; I was glad I hadn’t spoiled it for myself.


Brothers in arms

23 06 2013

It’s a modest little show, charming without being precious.

Eureka. I’m (re-)watching Eureka.

I’d happened upon the show at either Hulu or Netflix, watched it here and there, skipping around enough to keep loose track. I liked it, that’s all.

I don’t know if it would qualify as sci-fi. I guess so, insofar as it doesn’t really fit into any other genre—even with a sheriff at the center, it doesn’t really count as a police procedural—and with all the  future-tech, it is fictionalized science. Anyway, I like science fiction, I like clever writing, and I like odd characters.

And on second viewing, I’m latching on to the characters. This isn’t deep stuff by any means, but I’m enjoying how they relate to one another. There’s romance and friendship and antagonism and collegiality and over time it’s. . . nice to see how it all plays out.

The primary relationship is probably that between Sheriff Carter and Global Dynamics head Allison Blake, with a close second that between Carter and his daughter, Zoe, but for me, the central relationship is that between Carter and Henry.

It’s a real friendship between these two, and the actors, Colin Ferguson and Joe Morton, have good friend-chemistry. More than that, they acknowledge that they’re friends, and note on regular occasions how important that friendship is to both of them.

‘Buddies’ aren’t anything new to television, but these guys aren’t buds: they don’t drink beer and knock each other the shoulders and misdirect whatever affection they have toward one another toward, say, a basketball game or a car. They like each other, and that’s enough.

I think that’s one of the reasons I so like Numb3rs. At the center of that show is the relationship between the brothers, Don and Charlie. Don’s a bit of a hard-ass and the genius Charlie is annoyingly needy, but they check in with one another, as brothers. They look out for each other, get on each other’s nerves, and are still working through the weirdness of their childhood relationship.

It’s not a one-time thing, the working on the relationship, and I think that’s what sets apart Eureka and Numb3rs from buddy shows. It’s just there, from episode to episode, and sometimes it’s frayed and sometimes it needs work, but the friendships are demonstrated in their constancy, not in some grand epiphany.

It’s nice to see that, in men. And for them, too.