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Fringe on Fox
J.J. Abrams’ new series,
Fringe, (which will air Tuesdays, 9:00 p.m. ET on Fox) starts in much the
same manner as his previous hit show, Lost, with the survivors of a
mysterious airplane crash. This time, Abrams dips into the well of “mid-air
calamity” and pulls out a steaming bucket of oozing flesh. (If J.J. Abrams
doesn’t already have a fear of flying, then he seems intent on giving the
audience one.) For excessive violence and gore, the series debut of Fringe
has been named Worst TV Show of the Week.
In the opening scene, an
unknown chemical weapon decimates the passengers and crew of an international
flight. As soon as someone comes in contact with an infected person, he or she
suffers instant, extreme, liquefactive necrosis. The passengers scream as their
flesh drips off the bone and green vomit streams out of their mouths. Panicked,
the co-pilot peeks out of the cockpit into the chaotic cabin; when he turns to
face the pilot, his lower jaw dangles from stringy sinews. Once the plane has
landed, Homeland Security agents investigate the fuselage while wearing
heavy-duty hazmat suits. There are no survivors; all the passengers have been
reduced to skeletal remains. During the course of the ensuing investigation,
Agent Olivia Dunham witnesses her partner and lover, agent John Scott, become
horribly disfigured in a chemical blast. His body is charred and covered in
gooey translucent tissue.
Repellently, this debut aired
at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday September 9th…meaning that the goriest parts
of the program occurred within the episode’s first twenty minutes: perfect
timing for children watching during the Family Hour, and conveniently situated
right after dinner. Shows often begin with provocative teasers to hook the
viewer into watching; but Fox should have been more sensitive about what it airs
during the Family Hour.
Clearly, no expense was spared
on this lush, stylish, 10-million dollar pilot; but the PTC urges Fox, and all
the broadcast networks, to spare families the high-priced gross-out factor when
airing shows at the beginning of prime time.
For excessive violence and
gore, the series debut of Fringe has been named Worst TV Show of
Parents Television Council,
Clean Up TV Now, Because our children are watching, The
nation's most influential advocacy organization, Protecting
children against sex, violence and profanity in
entertainment, Parents Television Council Seal of Approval,
and Family Guide to Prime Time Television
are trademarks of the Parents Television Council.