February 19, 2011

Five NEW reasons you should watch Fringe

The fate of “Fringe” hangs in the balance and you dear viewer (new and old) have the power to save this show. After FOX moved “Fringe” to the Friday-Night Death Slot their ratings have continued a slow, but noticeable, decline. Always a bubble show, this slide in the ratings could spell the end of our beloved, dysfunctional, fringe science family. So for your consideration I present five NEW reasons you should be watching “Fringe.”

5. The Ratings Suck – If you are a Nielsen Family I implore you to watch live or even DVR this show. If you are not a Nielsen family get thee to a keyboard and email FOX a.s.a.p. to show your support! Only you can prevent the untimely death of “Fringe.”

4. The Heart & The Smart – When “Fringe” first premiered many wrote it off as an “X-files” clone that didn’t quite live up to its predecessors reputation. But in the past two seasons “Fringe” has very much become its own show. We still get the freak-of-the-week stories but in addition the mythology has deepened and actually become easier to navigate. We’re now treated to weekly geek spasms of real AND fringe science, alternate universes, shape shifters and Observers. We also have greater character development, higher emotional stakes and not one, but two worlds to care about.
When we first meet the inhabitants of the alternate universe they appear to be the enemy, hell bent on our destruction. But as the show progresses, we learn not everything is black and white and you actually find yourself curious as to what the other side is up to, what their fringe cases are like, what will become of them.

3. The Writers – No, not every episode is going to be golden, but week in and week out the “Fringe” writers deliver some of the highest quality television on any network, in any genre. They must find a way to balance the heart and the smart not only in every episode but also across the entire season all while setting up the story arc for their (hopefull) retun next fall. It is due to this smart, crafty writing that the altverse has become so important to the viewers. Because of them Joshua Jackson’s Peter Bishop has become such a driving (and driven) force this season. I know, most folks think this season is about Olivia’s journey and struggles, but I think it’s been more about Peter and how he deals with the tug-of-war between Olivia/Fauxliva and Walter/Walternate. I wouldn’t be surprised to see his head explode from the pressure!

2. John Noble – By far the best actor on “Fringe” John Noble brings to life not one, but two great characters. While Walternate is just starting to show his true colors and the chinks in his armor, Walter Bishop has been a brilliant and twisted, funny and frightening work of art for three seasons. It is a testament to his acting skills that I despised Noble’s Denethor in “The Lord of the Rings”, but have completely embraced Walter and all his craziness.
Noble has created a fractured genius, a man-child brilliant and visionary but also haphazard and mischievous. You can feel how hard Walter has to work at maintaining his cool, yet you just know he is one bad milk shake away from unraveling.
John Noble deserves an Emmy folks, seriously!

1. Oliva Dunham (over here & over there) – Anna Torv finally got to show how good an actor she could be when they introduced Fauxlivia. The altvereses Olivia was like a breath of fresh air, she burst on the scene all redheaded, gun toting and ass kicking. Torv was able to shed the by-the-book, icy, detached Olivia façade and exorcise some of that character's (repressed) demons.
Like John Noble’s Walternate, Torv’s Fauxlivia was not a likable character. She’s gruff and over-bearing and when she slips into our universe unnoticed she wreaks havoc on Peter’s life. Peter finally beds Olivia only to find out it isn’t HIS Olivia (whoops)! But after her return to the altverse she’s a changed woman. She’s been softened by her relationship with Peter and when she (and her fiancé) finds out she’s pregnant with Peter’s child, well, the ice cap melted and you actually felt sorry for her. I look forward to our visits to the altverse and watching Fauxliva in action, I’m not sure how the writer’s plan to end the altverse storyline but it won’t be easy.

Right after I finished writing this I Googled "Fringe ratings" and found this happy news:
'Fringe' ratings improve; Fox ties CBS for Friday win
“Friday ratings offer Fringe fans some relief: After two weeks of declines, the series stopped falling and reversed course.”

Good work citizens!

Fringe on FOX
Uh-oh: 'Fringe' ratings drop again
The Science of Fringe

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