Fringe Binge

November 19th, 2011 | Tags:

The Sidhe (my partner of ten [10!] years) has been harping on me for ages to get into Fringe. I pick my TV carefully, because unlike her, I find myself engrossed in whatever is on–even if it’s drek. So if I’m going to sit down in front of the TV (or laptop) for passive entertainment, it had better be quality. She watches considerably more television because she can actually multi-task. Really I think she just doesn’t absorb much of it, which suits her just fine. Most of the shows out there are terrible anyhow. :)

So my last proper TV kick was back in 2008, and I have Ted and Jake Gellar-Goad to thank for it. Those two are political junkies of the upper tier, so their drug of choice, natch, was The West Wing. I ate that stuff up. They conveniently had all seven seasons on DVD, and we were very nearly literally a stone’s throw away at the time, so it was trivial to acquire and return. Fascinating stuff, it was, and spookily prescient of the 2008 presidential elections.

But since then I’ve been wary, mostly just filling in gaps in my experience with Netflix. Going back through Star Trek: The Next Generation has been awful in some respects, but my 13-year-old self who never had cable and read more is thanking me all the same :) We are also retreading the X-Files, which I only caught sporadically after mid-season 2. I am checking out a new anime, FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, so I suppose that’s “new,” but the writing is delightfully cerebral for the genre. (Don’t bother with the original FMA series–it’s crap.) I also picked up Eureka, which started out rough and soapy. It improves, and is somehow watchable for being essentially soap. But what I really wanted to write about here tonight is a true successor to the X Files’ throne: Fringe.

Now, I’m rather diffident concerning JJ Abrams. LOST was a soap with SF trappings (even the parts Abrams was involved in), and Star Trek was Dawson’s Creek in spaaaace. I admit he goes for and pulls off spectacle very well, but I was completely surprised when I started catching up on Fringe this fall. Specifically at its depth. Watching Fringe unfold, showing you the complexity of each of the characters and the consequences of their very human decision-making, is like stepping into a hot tub, and when you’re all the way in, you find yourself in the 12 foot section and it’s ice cold. The horror elements in it reflect the best and worst of ourselves, and the science is startlingly plausible, but the gripping part is the plot. And because of its nature, I cannot comment except to say this: if you haven’t watched past the first season, you haven’t seen Fringe.

Tonight alone the Sidhe & I have watched 6 episodes, all in season 2. It’s dreamy. I’m hoping to catch up before the hiatus is over. Won’t you join me?

  1. November 25th, 2011 at 00:47
    Reply | Quote | #1

    The West Wing never had a chance for me. Zero interest. JJ Abrams seemed (before we started watching Fringe, never had an interest in Lost) to be lens flare and teen/twenty-something angst (said basically from watching the Trek reboot). Cathy & I are still on S1 of Fringe, and we’re already hooked, though last night I paraphrased a Walter quote & then had to explain it to her (when being told what s-i-l’s m-i-l was making as a pie for TG day…). I’ve looked at the Netflix summaries for the oncoming seasons (for us) and can’t wait. I *think* we just finished disc 5 of S1… so the skin-melting-to-cover-all-orifices episode was the last we’ve seen…