Each weekend I'm briefly covering some of the non-Lost related media I consume. Eventually, this feature will evolve into a separate site, which I hope you'll consider bookmarking. This week - the good, the bad and the ugly.
1) Fringe - I've begun watching JJ Abrams' latest television program on the recomendation of a friend, and while it's not nearly the show that Lost is, much of what I love about Lost is present here: the continually-unfurling "mythology," the sense of unfocused, all-inclusive dread, the makeshift family created by the show's main characters. Nothing creeps me out like "body horror," a specific subset of horror devoted to the ways in which our bodies can betray us. Take that, add a healthy dollop of X-Files-esque governmental and corporate paranoia, and you've got the basic world of the show. I'm 2/3's of the way through season 1 on DVD and I'm convinced its the optimal way to absorb it. While the basic procedural aspect of the show is somewhat repetitive (something awful happens to someone in the pre-credits sequence, usually killing a number of bystanders in the process, the Fringe team is brought in, they solve the case, some hints about The Pattern are revealed), that repetition isn't as annoying when you're able to pass straight through a subpar episode to a fantastic one. John Noble's performance as a troubled, formerly-incarcerated genius is reason enough to recommend the show. I never thought I'd see the day where Pacey from Dawson's Creek would act (and act well) in a show I enjoyed, but that day has arrived.
2) Mister B. Gone - I used to be quite a Clive Barker fan. At one point I even had the priviledge of meeting the man, and found him as kind and as welcoming as his early novels are cold and frightening. But Barker hasn't written a novel worth reading in some time, and while I still hold out hope for his legendarily-delayed Scarlet Gospels, Mister B. Gone further suggests that Barker's best days are long behind him. I didn't bother finishing this book, which is rare.
3) Another friend recommended ABC's remake of "V," so I gave the show two episodes worth of time to interest me. Not only did it fail in this simple task, it pulled off the difficult feat of making me feel hate for it. This is a perfect example of how to fuck up a story. First, assume your entire audience is filled with gibbering Gibbons without higher brain functions. Then hit that audience over the head repeatedly with your plot, as if bludgeoning them for having the gall to want to be treated as humans, not Gibbons. Then add a zesty mix of hammy overacting, awful effects, and a haircut that makes the stunning Morena Baccarin look like a ten year old boy with a rare bone disease. I loathed "V," and have subsequently exorcised it's malevolent spectre from my Tivo utilizing a bottle of holy water, a copy of the King James Bible, and a hammer. I cast thee out, "V." Ne'er darken my doorstep again.