So can we talk about Fringe? I hope we can talk about Fringe.
I’m so mad I missed this show while it was on originally. You know what happened though? Picture it, Sicily, 2008. LOST had been shitty for a while(I think the point at which Lost got shitty is different and personal to each of us, but for me it was season 3), and I was beginning to curse J.J. Abrams’ name. So when this new show came out, Fringe, I only knew two things about it: It was science-fiction (Yay! Something modern television desperately needs!) . . .but it was created by J.J. Abrams.
At that point, Abrams had already stomped on my heart once and I’m not that kind of girl. I’m not going to let a man treat me like that twice, no sir. So I ignored this new show’s siren call and trudged through Lost until it started getting better and then getting worse.
(I am really trying not to go off on a tangent about how good Lost could have been had it only been a few seasons shorter, but I so want to. It was still a great show, but it had the potential to be art.)
Anyway, Fringe. I managed to avoid it up until this year when my good friend James suggested I watch it. JJ Abrams is literally James’ nemesis (it’s the lens flare, I think), so if he managed to watch it and love it, then I thought maybe it was time for me to give it a chance.
I was pretty much hooked from the first scene of the pilot onward.
I was kind of halfway watching it while writing, but as soon as I saw a dude’s face melting off, I put down my pen and started paying attention. Fringe is like the X-Files, except better – and that’s saying a lot, because I loved the X-Files. There’s a little bit of a Twilight Zone/Outer Limits feel in there, too, and – of course – echoes of Lost, except so far Fringe has a lot more satisfying answers than Lost did.
It deals with a lot of awesome subjects. Shapeshifters. Mind readers. Crazy experiments. My personal favorite – alternate universes. I find alternate universes especially fascinating, because no matter what one says, you’re always going to have regrets or at least wonder “what if” about decisions you’ve made, you know? What if I had stayed in Florida? What if I had dated Guy B instead of Guy A? What if I had stayed at Job One? So many what ifs in life, and to think there’s a version of you that did make those decisions out there. . .it’s weirdly comforting, somehow.
It also doesn’t hurt that Joshua Jackson is in it. I was never into those Gilmore’s Creek of Five shows when I was a teen, and I remember thinking he looked kind of goofy back then, but oh my has he ever aged well.
In any case, Joshua Jackson’s dashing good looks aside, the entire cast is amazing. I do mean every single cast member. They all have such amazing chemistry with each other. I think the standouts are John Noble as Walter Bishop and Blair Brown as Nina Sharp. Noble plays Bishop, a brilliant but mentally fragile scientist, with the perfect balance of humor and sensitivity. The scenes between him and his son are some of the most touching I’ve seen on television. Blair Brown is just. . .great in anything, but she’s especially great as the secretive, wily Nina.
I’m about halfway through season four right now, and I’m sad that I’m almost to the end, as the show only lasted five seasons. But – and here I’m bringing up that show again – at least it didn’t go on as long as Lost, and risk losing its way. This is some powerful television.