TV review: “Fringe”

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“Fringe” (Wednesdays, Fox): The new show from “Lost” and “Alias” creator J.J. Abrams is promising, though the almost-double-length pilot episode was filled with contrivances and clichés. Then again, it surprised me several times, too, so I guess you take the good with the bad. It’s about an FBI agent named Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) who’s recruited to help the Bureau investigate weird phenomena, with a civilian genius named Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) and his crazy scientist father (John Noble) assisting in an unofficial capacity. Now, how you can make a show about the FBI dealing with paranormal activity and not mention “The X-Files,” I don’t know. But the pilot suggests that, unlike in “The X-Files,” all the stuff they’re going to be investigating is somehow tied together — “The Pattern,” they keep calling it. (Yes, I know some “X-Files” things were tied together, but certainly not all of them.) An evil corporation run by a lady who has a robot arm is involved. Also, I believe they can reanimate the dead. Things like that keep me intrigued, the central characters have potential, and the writing is snappy. I’m gonna stick with it.

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