Over the last month and a half, via Netflix, I have been able to marathon watch–clearly, at odd intervals–all five seasons of the sci-fi drama Fringe. Referring to it simply as a “sci-fi drama” feels like undercutting it a bit, but if that is enough of a referral to at least get your toes curled then go now (click “Netflix” up there) and start watching it. You won’t regret it, and I won’t hate you for not reading the rest of this post. Honest.
My fiancée thinks I’m being too simplistic when I describe it as “The X Files meets CSI.” And maybe I am; however, in my mind this one show combines the best elements of both of those shows: “real-time” crime solving and weird science. Not that 80s movie, but the kind of science from which the title derives its name. The kind of science Leonard and Sheldon play with on The Big Bang Theory. Just on a grander, far more serious note.
The show summary provided by TV.com does its job well:
This sci-fi drama follows the exploits of FBI agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv, The Secret Life of Us), jack-of-all-trades Peter Bishop (Dawson’s Creek’s Joshua Jackson) and institutionalized scientist Dr. Walter Bishop (John Noble, Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King) as they work the cases of the Fringe Division, a task force focused on fringe science and paranormal events. They face a rapidly spreading series of unexplained phenomena of the threatening kind, leading to unimaginable discoveries and events.
While focusing on a topic that feels so out of this world and unbelievable, the plots and motivations of the characters are very real, substantial, and down to earth. Familial ties and the fight for freedom are consistent themes throughout the series, not to mention self-discovery, identity, and the concept of justice. The characters are well-developed, articulate, and relatable–even when they’re not exactly what they seem. The ensemble have great chemistry and I found very little scene-chewing; though, John Noble is a master at scene-stealing. His one-liners and non-sequitors will keep you laughing, even when the ongoing events seem bleak for our protagonists. But all comes around in the end, and I felt the ending of the entire series was rather satisfying–if not quite what I expected.
If you’ve made it all the way through this post, I’m thanking you; but seriously, if you haven’t seen this show yet, in the words of a dear friend, “Go now.”