Tuesday, February 12, 2013


[DVD Fringe (seasons one through five)]

When Fringe began on the Fox network during the 2008-2009 TV season, I thought it was a pale attempt to recapture the glory that was Fox's earlier paranormal series, The X-Files, which had been off the air since 2002. Despite its pedigree, coming from J.J. Abrams - the producer behind such hit series as Alias and Lost, I thought the combination of an secret government agency working with a mentally disturbed genius scientist was awkward at best, and risible at worst. A pre-ponderance of "monster-of-the-week" shows in the first season (good though many of them were) seemed to doom the series to be a one-season wonder. But Fox renewed it. And I'm incredibly glad they did -- because starting with the second season, and peaking in the third and fourth seasons, the producers developed long-running story arcs that produced some excellent stories and superb performances. Anna Torv, as Olivia Dunham, grew tremendously over the course of 5 seasons, adding layers of emotional resonance to her FBI character. Joshua Jackson (from Party of Five) also grew as Peter Bishop, starting as a light-weight character and gaining in seriousness and responsibility with each episode. A stellar supporting cast, featuring Jasika Nicole as Astrid Farnsworth, Lance Reddick as Phillip Broyles, and Blair Brown as Nina Sharp created memorable characters as well. But, it was John Noble as eccentric genius Walter Bishop that absolutely stole the show. The third season introduced a parallel universe, with alternate versions of most of the primary characters -- giving all the actors the opportunity to play out their own Star Trek-ian "Mirror, Mirror" scenario. The fourth season rebooted the reality of the world the stories were set in, forcing the audience and the characters to reinvent their realities. And the fifth season threw the primary characters into a dystopian future that they then struggle to find a way to prevent from having happened in the first place. The creepy, bald Observers who have popped up in multiple episodes of the first four years become a deadly force to be reckoned with as the series wound up all its loose story threads. The series ended with a grand finale in January 2013 (the 5th season will be out on DVD soon), but this is definitely a series you need to watch in order, starting at the very beginning. Stick with it through the first-season doldrums...the payoff farther down the way makes it all worthwhile! [Warning: some of the special effects on this series can be rather gruesome -- not for the faint at heart!]. [If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try The X-Files, or Millennium.] -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library [Subscribe to Scott's monthly booklist newsletter It's All Geek to Me! - on the Books, Movies & More newsletter sign-up page].

[ Internet Movie Database entry for this series ] | [ official Fringe episode guide on epguides.com ] | [ official www.fox.com/fringe web site ] | [ official Massive Dynamics web site ]

Have you seen this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

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