Why Aren’t You Watching Fringe?

Fringe Promo Fox Fringe Season 2 is now over.  It concluded with the second-half of an excellent two-parter, and now we have to wait until fall to continue the story that makes me want to throw a hissy fit if I thought it would let me find out an tiny bit more about it.

Seriously.  Of all the shows I watch regularly on TV, Fringe is probably the best, outpacing both LOST and Stargate Universe by a sizable margin.  Not saying the other are bad, not at all.  Fringe simply delivers more high quality episodes with fewer filler hours.

So again, I ask: why aren’t you watching Fringe?

Two Seasons, One Structure

When I first watched Fringe, I didn’t care for it.  It was very slow to start for me, but by the end of the first season, I was invested 100% in the narrative and cared about the characters and what happened to them.  I hoped that the second season would be as good.

But the same thing happened again.  The initial episodes were pretty much standalone and did not deal with the mythology set up during the second half of the first season or very much of what happened during the finale.  I thought maybe that over the break Fox had its way with J.J. Abrams the way they consistently do with Joss Whedon.

Fortunately, though, Fringe history repeated itself, and by the finale, I was more wrapped up in the narrative’s twists and turns than ever.  And, like my other mystery-laden favorite LOST, Fringe’s later episodes draw from events in the first season that have not been mentioned on air in a long time, giving the series a feeling of solidity and that the writers aren’t just throwing things out there as red herrings after all.

If Season 3 follows the same pattern, I expect to wonder what the creators are doing in the beginning and then be blown away and crave more by the time the finale runs around.

The X-Files 2.0

My wife said it best when she started watching Fringe’s pilot episode: “This show is what The X-Files would have been if it had modernized itself correctly.”  It’s the truth.  There are obvious similarities in the shows, and the love that Abrams & Co. have for Chris Carter’s opus is apparent from the moment the credits start to roll.  There’s the mythology—called the Pattern in Fringe—and the dichotomous main character leads, not to mention monster-of-the-week episodes that always tend to tie back into the main story just when I think it has no chance to.

Fringe Season One DVD I don’t love X-Files because the monsters and aliens are neat, even though they are.  I don’t love Fringe because the tech and science is awesome, even though it is.  I love X-Files because the characters intrigue me; I love (and secretly want to be) Mulder.  I adore Scully.  I love Fringe for the same reasons; Walter is just a dandy character, and Olivia and Peter’s chemistry is almost—almost!—as volatile as Duchovny and Anderson.

Chris Carter once said that The X-Files was really telling Scully’s story.  And I feel that way about Fringe.  Even though we follow Olivia through most of the series, I feel that it is actually Peter’s story we’re getting let in on.

The Third Time’s The Charm

I honestly don’t know if Season 2 was better than Season 1.  It was certainly as good, but better?  I’m not sold yet.  There was a musical episode, though I thought it was a little overhyped for what it delivered—I’m used to musical episodes like “Once More With Feeling” and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, and it was not that high quality, I’m afraid.  But the rest of the second season was superb, and was just as enthralling as the first one was last year.

So, if you haven’t already, arrange to pick up the first season DVDs.  Watch them.  Then wait impatiently for the Season 2 set to be released.  Then eagerly devour those.  And then you’ll be in the same boat I am, and we’ll be impatient for Season 3 together.

Really, if you don’t watch Fringe, what’s keeping you from it?  And if you do, then what did you think about how Season 2 played out?  Sound off in the comments!

Oh, and by the way, this post marks the official 200th post on Professor Beej. Hooray.

Comments

  1. Funny you mention this. I just started watching season one a few days ago and I’m on episode ten. I tried to get into it when it first aired, but like you said, it takes a little while to catch on. By episode three, however, it’s in full swing and I’m hooked. It’s not better than Lost, though. No way. But it’s still young and I suppose it has time to improve.

    • I don’t think it’s better than the whole series of LOST, but on an individual episode basis, I’m more likely to watch Fringe these days. Of course, that could be my bias against Season 6 showing.

  2. I’ve only seen a couple episodes of season 2 on Hulu, it is meh so far. My GF hates it, but she watches House and I can’t stand that show. I should watch some of season 1 to understand what the show is about.

    Grats on 200th post. I don’t know how many I have my blog got deleted last month and I lost the count.

    • Thanks. The only reason I know is because WP tells me. 😉

      You really should start from the beginning. At about ep 3-5 of Fringe, things take off. By the end of Season 1, I was hooked forever. They don’t even get into the actual narrative until halfway through.

  3. Congrats on 200th post sir!

    I wonder how you get so much time to do SO much things~! Write, teach and watch seasons…!

    Every day of my life since past 1 yr has been usually a fight between studies and writing and I try hard every week, month to do just both of these properly.

    Movies, seasons…I just keep craving for them..but never been actually to watch them..zzzz..and weekends I spend countless hours online random surfing..maybe that could be replaced by a movie. . I don’t know..
    .-= Dk´s last blog ..Capturing The Exam Mood =-.

    • Well, right now, I’m not teaching (yay summer vacation!) so that frees up a lot of time. Writing, I scheduled out. I make myself get up in the morning and write until 12-1 (or later, if my 2k words for the day aren’t finished) and blog in the afternoon/nights. My wife and I tend to spend our time together in the evenings, and we watch the same TV shows, so that helps out a lot in getting through them.

      Best advice to you: find a schedule you like that works for you and stick with it. I don’t have enough time to do everything I want to; my gaming habits are taking a hard hit lately.

  4. Franco

    I’m a few episodes behind, but I just have to agree with you about Fringe. I like saving up 3 or 4 episodes and then watching them on a nice lazy weekend off. I was the same way, not completely sold in the beginning but now I’m hooked. I can’t get any of my friends to watch the show, though 🙁

    • Fringe is excellent for those weekend marathon sessions.

      I try to get everyone to watch it. Most of the success I’ve had involves comparing it to The X-Files, though.

  5. I watched about half of the first season. I might go investigate it further after reading your review. I liked the characters a lot but the stand alone episodes were disappointing. I really enjoyed the episodes that pushed the main narrative along.

    Side note: Congratulations on 200 posts!
    .-= Void´s last blog ..My Top 6 Posts =-.

    • Then you stopped right when it was about to get good. The second half of the first season (pretty much after the ZFT storyline takes off) is just wonderful.

  6. Longasc

    It is good – but I have not really fallen in love yet. I cannot exactly say why. I have become a Dexter fan, which I never expected as SciFi/Fantasy dude.

    This said, compared to the DISGRACE that FlashForward was/is, I heard they cancelled it, and the ongoing demolition of the Stargate Franchise by the (at least to me) ever-disappointing Stargate: Universe (not even the best actor, guess whom I mean, can save a series from stupid writing) it is really good.

    • I can’t really get into Dexter. I want to; my best friend loves it. And I watched the first season in a day with him and read the first book, but I can’t make myself find the time to watch the other 3 seasons.

      I love SGU. What makes you not like it? I thought it’s finally found its sweet spot after the hiatus.

  7. I watched the first few episodes when it started, but couldn’t get into it. It found it slow, the writing didn’t do anything for me, and I disliked the main character. I was also constantly comparing it to X-Files (which I love), and I thought it fell short.

    I do need to find a current series to watch though. Mostly I’ve just been rewatching old shows on DVD. Now that Lost is gone I’m not watching anything current. My fiance got me to watch some of SGU, but I didn’t enjoy it.
    .-= Jasyla´s last blog ..Pets Galore! =-.

    • I love SGU. It, too, took a while go gel for me, but when it did, I was completely invested. The SGU standalone episodes don’t do a lot for me like SG1/SGA did, but I think that the overall mythology is very well done.

      Try Fringe again. Because I disliked Olivia until about 2/3 through Season 2. I thought she was trying too hard, but the second season made her a lot more sympathetic, and I eventually came around.

  8. Daria

    Fringe is one of those shows were you have to tough it out. In the first season I felt on occasion that I might stop watching, some of the episodes were a little weak because they didn’t tie in to a main theme or story. It felt more like “what wierd thing will the Fringe team investigate this week.” Also you knew Walter would have some strange food craving, and he always wanted to take the body or evidence back to his lab where he just happened to have the proper tools lying around or he just went right to some old box that contained an old file he needed. So you have to suspend your disbelief quite a bit and not compare it to the X Files.

    The second season though finally contains a cohesive story. Olivia seems too distant and serious most of the time but I’m really emphatic towards Peter now. Given the way the season ended it seems the next season will be more Olivia centric which might not be bad if they flesh out her character more.

    • I actually did stop watching for a while. Then I got the wild hair to try and finish it, and boy, am I glad I did.

      The only reason I don’t feel with Peter the way I maybe should is because I don’t get his reaction to Walter’s revelation in S2. I think it’s a kneejerk reaction that is based on a perception of how things should be instead of how things are, and I don’t get the hostility he seems to harbor there. Maybe S3 will let him grow past it.