The 2012-2013 Refrigerator Rants End-of-Season Awards

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It’s time to (belatedly) celebrate the end of the television season by giving out meaningless awards!

Sorry for being so late with this. I’ve been busy with other things and haven’t had much time to reflect on the TV season that just passed. But more importantly, I had a lot of frustrations with TV dramas this past season, which sapped my motivation to do these awards. But this has become somewhat of a tradition at the blog, so despite the drama categories being even thinner than last year (based on what I watched), I’m still going to pick my favourite performers and TV shows. The awards can be found after the jump. More

Game Review: Remember Me

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As is the case with all game reviews on this blog, this review will assume that you’ve played the game, i.e. it will contain spoilers for Remember Me. This review also contains some spoilers for the television show Fringe.

Remember Me is a weird game. It’s already an awkward marriage of Uncharted-esque traversal and beat-’em-up/rhythm-game,1 but then it throws in puzzle sequences whose closest cousin is the point-and-click adventure. It’s also a wonky game, with inconsistent voice acting, strange mechanics, a confusing narrative, and a whole bunch of bugs. And you what? I kinda love it. More

Thoughts on the Fringe Series Finale

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I’ve had an odd relationship with Fringe. Over the past couple of years, it has gone from one of my favourite shows on television to something that I watched out of an obligation to see it through to its conclusion. If I hadn’t known that this was Fringe’s final season, I probably would have given up after the season premiere. I’m glad I didn’t, though, because there was a lot of good material in what followed. Did it make this season any less of a gigantic misstep? No, but it was worth watching for the stellar performances alone, even as the story completely spiralled out of control. More

Some Thoughts on the Season 5 Premiere of Fringe

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Let it never be said that Fringe doesn’t take risks. Sometimes those risks pay off handsomely, like season 3’s dual-universe conceit. Sometimes those risks have mixed results, like season 4’s alternate timeline. And sometimes, those risks fall flat on their face, like season 5’s dystopian, Observer-controlled future.

Last season, I wrote a scathing review of “Letters of Transit.” I stand by the sentiment of that review. Dystopian setting or not, “Letters of Transit” was an awful episode of Fringe. I can’t say the same for the season 5 premiere, the ridiculously-named “Transilience Thought Unifier Model-11.” TTUM11, though predictably full of plot holes, wasn’t entirely tone deaf. At worst, it was just insipid and kind of boring, which is to be expected for a premiere that has to set the stage for an entirely new storyline.

But I’m not here to review TTUM11. I’m here to give my thoughts on what the season 5 premiere means for the show, both going forward and looking back. After a little soul-searching, I’ve come to a conclusion: Fringe isn’t for me anymore. More

The 2011-2012 Refrigerator Rants End-of-Season Awards

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The 2011-2012 television season came to a close last week with the end of May sweeps, so now it’s time for me to honour the best of what I watched with my annual fake awards show. The only problem is that it’s proving to be a little more difficult than last year. More

Episode Review: Fringe, S4E22, Brave New World: Part 2

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For a programme that deals with crimes of a scientific nature, Fringe is a remarkably spiritual show. The long-running debate at the centre of the show has been a question of determining what is God’s domain and what is for humans to tinker with. For much of his adult life, Walter has occupied the grey zone in the middle, and since being released from St. Claire’s, he has attempted to find a clear delineation between the two. But his past dalliances with things that are beyond man’s grasp have sometimes come back to haunt him. In this week’s season 4 finale, Walter’s past flirtation with the idea of a perfect universe reared its ugly head, and Walter was forced to confront Bell’s bastardization of it. More

Episode Review: Fringe, S4E21, Brave New World: Part 1

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Being a serialized show, Fringe has to pull double-duty: it must ensure that each of its installments is entertaining, while still serving its larger narrative. Most of season 4 has succeeded wonderfully at that first objective (with a few exceptions), but Fringe has had trouble with the second objective this season. Season 4’s long-term story arc hasn’t worked, and “Brave New World: Part 1” demonstrated why.

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Episode Review: Fringe, S4E20, Worlds Apart

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The title of this week’s episode of Fringe was quite literal. In the final minutes of the episode, the Bridge was deactivated, severing the link between the universes. Now, the two Fringe teams will be unable to cooperate and communicate, and the Other Side may never continue healing. We’ll take a closer look at this episode and the implications of this development after the jump. More

Episode Review: Fringe, S4E19, Letters of Transit

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Fans and critics alike were split over last season’s finale, “The Day We Died,” which flashed forward to the year 2026 before jumping back to the present, essentially erasing the episode’s events. Some were incensed, believing that the episode invalidated itself. Others, like me, believed that the episode took its emotional and plotting cues from the rest of the third season, resulting in an episode that made sense in context. I can’t apply that same defense to “Letters of Transit,” which apart from being a terrible episode of Fringe, came out of nowhere and had almost nothing to do with the show’s narrative. It was a confusing and frustrating hour of television that sparked a bunch of half-baked mysteries, none of which made any sense. More

Episode Review: Fringe, S4E18, The Consultant

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I was in the minority about last week’s episode, “Everything In Its Right Place.” While many thought it was the best episode of the season, providing a propulsive force for what may possibly be the series’ final episodes, I thought it was ham-fisted, steeped in cliché, and devoid of sensible plot progression. But now, after watching “The Consultant,” I can say that I’m feeling a bit of what everyone else was feeling last week. This week’s installment of Fringe was the kind of episode needed to kick the season into high gear. More

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