A week late, but here we go with the catch-up edition of the meme. quarter_to_five
asked for: Fringe vs. Person of Interest
Huh. I'm not sure what angle to tackle this from! But I'll ramble on and see what happens.
I was intrigued by Fringe from the original ads, and watched the first few eps live, but I think I drifted away for a bit. Partly things weren't quite grabbing me hard enough, and partly I stopped trusting JJ Abrams shows after Alias; he loves mysteries but hates answers, and that's frustrating to me. But by mid-season I was back and caught up, and never left again; by the end of first season, I was actively pimping people into the show. Some of the things that really upset a lot of the fanbase in the last season or two didn't bother me; I was along for the ride without any real qualms. It was one of those shows where I watched pretty religiously but didn't really go looking for fanac, beyond enjoying vids at Vividcon, and I didn't pay that much attention to what other people were saying about it.
In a lot of ways, I reacted to it the way I did Farscape several years earlier; I was in it for the mindfuck and the sheer sense of "this is SF, and we can do whatever the hell we want to". Hedgehog man? Sure! Time-traveling bald aliens in hats? Sure! FBI agent all mpregged up with worms? Sure! A cow hanging out in a lab where homemade LSD was being created next to genetic experimentation next to a window into an alternate universe? SURE! \o/
I was absolutely terrible at keeping track of things except in the moment; I was hugely impressed at people who were writing in the different universes, or crossing the different universes, because my brain was basically just stuck on "wheeee!"
Person of Interest was different; the few ads I saw before it aired didn't particularly interest me, and I never even turned it on. Then partway through first season, dorinda
came to town for a visit with a fistful of eps (having recently been pimped in by sakana17
, and by the time she left a few days later, mollyamory
, and I were all completely hooked. For the first time in years, I wanted everything with this one: more canon, all the fic, vids, art, gimme gimme GIMME. (Not that I've managed to catch up with everything, or keep up as things have gone along, mind you.)
About the only thing it has in common with Fringe is that it has SF elements; it approaches them very differently, with no real sense of gleeful abandon. More of a wary paranoid protectionism. *g*
It's -- huh. Huh.
Fringe had that gleeful abandon in the possibilities it was willing to explore and was full of people being heroes, but really was dystopic; universes crashing together, thousands people dying horribly, really just vast amounts of misery, and nothing anyone did made a difference, except to make things demonstrably worse, at least for someone, somewhere, right down the line. (Which is why I still think they got the finale wrong, but hey.) It was all sort of summed up by Walter at the heart of it all, singing and dancing in delight but so incredibly, incredibly
broken at his core.
POI is way more dystopian on the face of it, with the sociopathic spies and the brutal government agencies and the secrecy and the spying and seriously
, but the heart of it, to me, is people learning to trust and love each other, creating families out of (often self-imposed) isolation, learning to look past the grimdark world and find a little comfort and humanity. Trying to make things better almost always works, if only in small ways (and small ways are almost the only way it works -- Finch already knows that trying to save the world will only make it worse).
I think, with Fringe, I watched to see what would happen next; I was in it for the characters, sure, but also hugely for the universe itself, and all the weirdnesses therein. And the multiple versions of the characters, of course -- ye gods, but Anna Torv and John Noble are good at that. But I never got personally invested in the other versions, particularly. As the show got increasingly convoluted and started eating its own tail a bit, I was a distant enough observer that I could ride it out, just sorta fascinated to see where it went.
With POI, I watch for the characters and their relationships, and "what happens next" is basically just the framework within which those relationships develop for me. I don't sit back and go "wheee!", I lean forward and go "omg he *tapped the eggs benedict on the menu*!" and "oh he's so upset that the phone went dead!" and "holy crap, that was a complicated emotional eyeroll! From JOHN! eeee"" and "omg WASHING BEAR TOGETHER" and the like. And I am super-invested in these characters, which is making the current part of the current season kinda dicey for me, where if this season's POI events had happened in Fringe, I would have sailed right past them, I think. (I'm sort of... rowing past them, in POI. It's a lot more effort and my shoulders hurt and there are blisters involved and ow. But I'm moving.)
Okay, that was really interesting to sort out in my head. Very cool question!
---Full list here, with a few spots still open!