Category Archives: TV / Movies

Media, yo. Media.

Let’s talk about Avengers: Age of Ultron!

The video above is the first teaser for Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. It was first shown during Comic-Con this year. This teaser, and a few casting announcements, are the only things we know about the upcoming sequel, which started filming this week. But is this enough to draw any real conclusions about the plot of the movie? Maybe. Maybe not. But I’m definitely going to give it a shot.

Obviously, this is all speculation, but I should point out that it’s coming from someone who has never read a single Marvel comic. My knowledge of Marvel’s expansive universe is limited to what’s in the movies and some of what I’ve read on other sites like IGN (along with journeys down the rabbit-hole of Wikipedia when I was really just looking for some basic info).

So, that being said, let’s make some guesses.

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The J.J. Abrams procedural pattern

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Fox recently released a trailer for an upcoming cop show called Almost Human. The show is about a time in the future where human police officers are partnered with cyborgs. Like Will Smith’s character in the movie I, Robot, the main character of Almost Human doesn’t trust the machines and will do anything to avoid working with them. His disdain for the mandated electronic sidekicks eventually leads to his being partnered with an outdated model who was decommissioned “for a reason” and can apparently feel emotion (compare this to the story of Sonny in I, Robot).

The show was created by J.J. Abrams, the same guy who gave us Alias, Lost, Fringe, the Star Trek reboot, the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII, and a lot more. You’ve almost certainly seen something he created.

The interesting thing about Almost Human is that it’s the third procedural drama created by Abrams, and I think there’s a lot we can look at in his previous two entries into the genre that will give us some hints as to what lies in store in Almost Human.

Alias, the older of the two shows, is about a CIA agent named Sydney Bristow show learns that she has been duped. She doesn’t work for the CIA. Instead, she works for an evil organization called SD-6 that was created by rogue CIA agents. When she learns the truth about her job, she turns herself in to the CIA and offers to act as a double agent and help take down SD-6.

Fringe, which was cancelled earlier this year, is about an FBI agent named Olivia Dunham who is recruited to work for a special division of the Bureau called Fringe Division. The team uses “fringe science” techniques to solve unusual or seemingly-supernatural crimes.

Let’s examine some of the common motifs found in Alias and Fringe–two extraordinarily different shows on the surface that have more than you might realize in common.

Spoilers! If you haven’t watched these shows yet and you think you might at some point, you may not want to keep reading. Big plot points and the finales will be spoiled below.

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How Fringe’s finale screwed up time paradoxes and ruined everything

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Spoilers! If you haven’t watched the most recent (and final) season of Fringe (which ended in January), then this post is going to ruin the ending for you. Also I’m going to talk about time paradoxes and stuff, but I’ll try to make it simple.

For a show based entirely on pseudo-scientific concepts that could never actually work, Fringe did an pretty good job of making everything that happened over its five-season run sound scientifically plausible. In fact, right up to the very last episode, every imaginable anomaly on the show was explained. They even played around with time travel and multiverse theory with pretty good results.

And then they screwed it up. In the last few minutes of the show, they basically ruined five years of storytelling with one mistake. A word of warning: if you thought Fringe had a mostly-happy ending, this post is going to ruin everything for you.

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BioShock Infinite is basically just Fringe

 

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Warning! I’m going to spoil the crap out of the TV show Fringe (up through season 2, at least) and the game BioShock Infinite.

I’m gonna go ahead and point out that I haven’t watched the season 2 finale of Fringe yet, but I mostly see where things are headed, and I’ve noticed a lot of parallels between that show and BioShock Infinite. Allow me to explain.

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