This week’s bumper-pack of new stuff continues tomorrow (Wednesday) with the final season of Fringe kicking off at 10pm on Sky 1. Now, I stuck with Fringe for a very, very long time, but even Pacey Witter couldn’t keep me watching as season 4 became denser, duller and just plain dud. There is only so much punishment I can take, you guys. The show’s small but dedicated fanbase – including the Fox execs who kept renewing the show in the face of quite spectacularly bad viewing figures – are devoted to it, however, multiple universes and all, and, regardless of how I feel about it, it’s heartening that this type of complicated sci-fi with grand ambition is being allowed to finish its story, even if it doesn’t have mass appeal. All I want is for Peter and Walter to end up happy but, on past experience, I’ll not hold my breath.
At the other end of the scale as regards complexity and ambition, meanwhile – the jury’s still out in terms of ratings – Wednesday (9pm, Sky Living) also sees the debut of Dick “Law and Order” Wolf’s latest procedural, Chicago Fire. The clue’s in the – depressingly or comfortingly, depending on your point of view – literal title: the show follows a team of firefighters in, surprise, surprise, Chicago. It’s Jesse Spencer’s first post-House gig and Taylor “Lady Gaga’s boyfriend” Kinney from The Vampire Diaries also stars, so if you’re looking to watch Fireman Chase and Uncle Mason glower at each other while they run around burning buildings, looking buff, this may be right up your fire escape. In all honesty, it looks terrible but in a completely watchable, cheese-on-toast kind of way, so it should be good for at least a
leer look and maybe a laugh, anyway, although I very much doubt I’ll make it past a couple of eps.
And finally, if Fringe is too dense and Chicago Fire too shallow, More 4’s new US political drama Scandal is probably somewhere in the middle. From the Shonda Rhimes stable which brought us Grey’s Anatomy – the soapiest, most melodramatic and irritating medical drama on tv – Scandal stars Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, a former White House Communications Director turned chief of a crisis management firm. You might well worry that this will involve Ms Pope regularly uttering lengthy, histrionic speeches, over-identifying with all of her clients given that all of their problems will serve as handy metaphors for her own and her staff’s, and consistently splashing her private life all over her workplace in a manner that would get you fired and possibly sued in real life, but hey, it’s not like 9 seasons of Grey’s should be any sort of guide, should they? Anyway, reviews have been reasonably positive and Henry Ian Cusick’s in it, “brotha”, so I might give it a shot – 10pm, Thursday if you want to do the same.