Friday, April 15, 2011

Birthday Girl: Anna Torv

Let's get this out of the way first. Fringe is one of the best TV shows on the air right now. Not only does it consistently challenge our notions of family, identity, and humanity but it's also a ridiculously thrilling piece of science fiction complete with alternate universes, doubles, and seemingly omniscient beings. And in the center of this wonderful show is Anna Torv who celebrates her birthday today, the same day Fringe comes back after a brief hiatus.

One of my favorite developments this season, and even in the latter parts of last season, was the show giving Anna Torv more challenging roles and storylines to tackle. The general fandom and even some critics were down on her when the show debut, with her character seemingly stuck in the rote role of "tough but reserve FBI agent" which wasn't exactly sexy or flashy especially when comparing to Peter's mysterious past or Walter's eccentricities. Now, most agree that she has been the MVP of the main cast even over the consistently effective work of John Noble.

But it's no susprised because this season Anna Torv have had to juggle an insane amount of characters and doing so quite proficiently. As the Olivia from the other universe (Faulivia), she had to be less reserved, but the genius of it all wasn't fully realized until Fauxlivia had to pretend to be Olivia at the same time that Olivia had to take on Fauxlivia's role. Confusing? Probably, but on screen not at all and most of that was due to Torv's mastery of the subtle differences between these two Olivia characters. Even after that whole riveting storyline ended, the emotions she was asked to play once Olivia figured it all out (her reaction to Fauxlivia sleeping with Peter being the most salient) was moving and heartbreaking.

And even with the last new episode that aired a few weeks ago, Torv was asked to play another character as an old man had taken possession of her body and she was fantastic. With the show miraculously renewed for a third season, I know the network is probably going to be cutting their budget. How about they just cast Anna Torv to play every single character? I'd watch it. But you, you should watch the show which airs Fridays at 9PM. Do it tonight to celebrate Torv's birthday!

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