Last night’s repeat of Fringe was going to be a “tweet-peat” where producers and cast members would use twitter to answer questions while the episode was airing. I wasn’t able to watch the actual episode on TV due to a Pre-season football game airing last night (from a couple other tweets I think any city who’s teem was paling a home game had the game instead of Fringe). What I also didn’t realize was that the tweets from the producers and cast members would be appearing on the TV screen – which turned out to be a disaster.
I can understand the annoyance – especially for those who were watching the episode for the first time. From the pictures I was able to find of other people’s TV screens the tweets did take up a good portion of the screen and I think even i would have been distracted them. Another potential problem is that the tweets are in the same area as closed captioning would be – perhaps interfering with those captions – which would make it hard for deaf and hard of hearing viewers from watching the show.
However the reactions I saw last night were very much over the top – especially from those who decided to post anonymously in the comments of FringeTelevision – which is a fan site by the way, and they aren’t the ones who did it despite what the commenters seemed to think. I think people failed to understand that this was an experiment and some times things are done to test the audience – for good or for bad. Granted I could understand it if a person was caught totally unaware (someone who watches the show but doesn’t use the internet to visit fan sites) but if the people who commented last night had visited FringeTelevision prior to the episode I would expect them to know better. I think they were wanting to lash out and FringeTelevision was the easiest target – who cares if they are totally innocent of any wrong doing.
I also would have been more understanding of the commenters if they had been simply voicing their annoyance, but that’s not what a lot of the comments were. Most were people screaming for the tweets to be removed – acting as though FringeTelevision was responsible for putting them there. Others were simply screaming that they’d never watch Fringe again because of how horrible it was for them to have done this. And still others were calling for people to be fired for not considering how bad it would be… I have no sympathy at all for those who decide that throwing a anonymous tantrum is the correct response, especially to something as minor as this.
For those who were annoyed by the episode last night (but stayed mature about it) the good news is FringeTelevision has a new post which makes it clear that the Tweet-Peat was a one time thing and they have information from someone at Fox that it would never be done on a new episode. Also the season 1 DVDs will be out September 8th (I’m definitely buying them) and season 2 will premiere September 17th at 9pm eastern.