Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fox's "Fringe" Based In Boston. Sure It Is.

As a budding screenwriter and one who's interested in all entertainment off the beaten path, I have to laugh out loud at Fox's Fringe. I find the plot compelling in an X-Files sorta way but, as a Bostonian born and bred, many of the exteriors are laugh-out-loud funny.

A very non-Logan looking Logan airport? A Harvard that's a dead ringer for MIT? A large bridge and a waterfront in the oh-so-very land-locked Stoughton? (C'mon, I grew up two towns over!) Aerial camera shots of a baseball stadium unlike any that exists in New England? This Boston as portrayed in Fringe is not a Boston that ever existed. It's pathetically generic and unimaginative.

It sucks and badly at that.

I remember back a million years ago when Spenser: For Hire was filmed locally. For months at a time, the whole crew was based out of Boston to faithfully film exteriors. The problem was the late Robert Urich (as Spenser) would be chasing some dude near Berklee and turn a corner only to have an edit suddenly transport him to South Boston. It was unbelievely jarring to anyone who knew Boston intimately. Still that's something a reasonably small number of TV viewers would notice. We natives chuckled some and let it slide.

It's obvious that Fringe's creators were wed to the "crazy" Harvard professor father character's back story from jump. That I can deal with. Even with the dollar's decline it is still frequently much cheaper to shoot in Canada than it is in the States. OK, reality blows. I've read how the City of Boston had promised to cut Fringe production breaks only to later renege. Shit happens frequently . "Fringe" cut a deal with New York City & the great Silvercup Studios to film in Queens, Brooklyn, etc. You gotta do what you gotta do

But there is no sane fucking reason for Fringe's "creators" to hinge a major plot point around a goddamn bridge on the "waterfront" of a town miles from the fucking water? It's not like we have a shortage of harbors and bridges in Metro Boston or anything. (Quincy/Weymouth's Fore River Bridge came immediately to mind). What is the point in setting a story in a well-known, beloved and an unusually idiosyncratic city only to neuter said locale all completely Vancouver-generic? Is Hollywood's fake (Canadian) America now officially more real than real America?

This is some stupid shit.

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.