Category Archives: books/movies/TV

Lunatic Fringe (An X-Files Comparison)

Last year the new TV series Fringe appeared, and many people were quick to call it “The X-Files for the new century,” and rightly so.  While the show has its flaws (don’t they all?), the characters are interesting, and although Mo dropped out, K and I watched it through season one and look forward to the upcoming season.

But back to the X-Files comparison — this was a fun little mental exercise one morning when I woke up too early and couldn’t get back to sleep; let’s see if it makes any sense in the light of day.  The characters, and their equivalent:

x-filesAgent Fox Muldur
Agent Dana Scully
fringeSpecial Agent Olivia Dunham
Peter Bishop
Assistent Director Walter Skinner Homeland Security Agent Phillip Broyles
lone gunmenMelvin Frohike
Richard “Ringo” Langly
John Byers
walter bishopWalter Bishop
Astrid Farnsworth
CGB Spender “Cigarette Smoking Man” (CSM) Nina Sharp

No X-Files equivalent has come to mind for Fringe‘s Agent Charlie Francis, and until more is known about Fringe characters Mitchell Loeb (Alex Krycek?), William Bell (Well-Manicured Man?), Agent John Scott, or even The Observer (Alien Bounty Hunter?), making any comparison is just conjecture.

The comparisons can go a lot deeper than just the characters (alien activity vs. “The Pattern”, the Syndicate vs. Massive Dynamics, etc.) but again, Fringe needs to flesh things out more before conclusions can be drawn.

In the meantime, can’t wait until season two!  Now, back to sleep…

Lew Zealand: Muppet of the People

Lew2 Thought it was high time I gave a shout-out to my de facto avatar, Lew Zealand, Muppet extraordinaire.  Sure, folks have their favorite Muppet: Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew or Beaker, or even Sam, the American Eagle, but none of those have the quiet, confident demeanor of Lew Zealand.

Lew blew onto the scene in mid Season 3 of The Muppet Show, where in his opening sketch he “played” a musical number by squeezing various “tuned” fishes.  Later, he introduced his now-famous Boomerang Fish Act, and his follow-up performances almost all had some variation on the fish theme.  His best Muppet Show performance was with Spike Milligan in the classic “Intergalactic Brotherhood of  Man, Including Things“.

Lew Zealand is one of the only (maybe the only) Muppet ever to successfully stand up to Miss Piggy, expertly wielding a large fish to fend her off and avoid the Karate Chop of Death.  In The Great Muppet Caper, he swung a fish and got a hit when pitched the famed Baseball Diamond.  His last appearance (?) was in Muppet Treasure Island, where he had a cameo knitting a Jolly Roger while the ship was trapped in the Doldrums.