February 9, 2011


   From time to time I like to endorse a product. Today I would like to try to convince you to watch Fringe.
   First of all Fringe is a science fiction show that is rather heavy on the fiction. The science aspect was and is rather exaggerated.
   Sometimes shows like this are called "science fantasy" simply because what the show refers to as science is actually magic. It is a lot like the movie Weird Science that was made in the 1980s. These 2 teenage boys make a woman with a computer. In the 1980s computers were magic and could do anything. Oddly some people seem to still believe that this is true.
   Fringe is a story about a scientist that some time ago went crazy. At the beginning of the story Walter Bishop is being held inside of a mental facility. He had been there for many years. Walter Bishop was at one time one of 2 scientists whose work eventually culminated in one of the largest corporations in the world, Massive Dynamic.
   To get things started something rather strange goes down and as FBI special agent Olivia Dunham investigates into this rather bizarre event all signs begin to point to Walter. They want to bring him in for questioning but they are unable to gain access to him as only family is allowed to contact him.
   The FBI hunt down his only living relative, a son named Peter. They beg and beg and eventually go get Walter from the facility. Downplaying the drama momentarily, the FBI are helped by Walter and what is left of his memory. Walter is kept in line with the help of Peter (kept in line being used loosely).
   Ultimately the FBI opens or recruits Olivia into "Fringe Division". Essentially it is a division devoted to investigating things that are considered "fringe science". Most of these things actually seem to point to Walter Bishop and his former research partner.
   Now that you have the setting let me tell you why you should watch it.
   First of all the show is full of suspense. Not that it leaves you hanging at the end of every episode though some do. For the most part the suspense is mostly in the form of the occasional story that borders on the scary.
   Another favorite aspect is the seasonal story arcs. I know that different people favor different concepts in television. While some lean to the shows with long running stories that last for seasons others prefer shows that have self contained stories that start and end in an hour. Fringe has a healthy mixture of both.
   Early on I was rather fond of how well they crafted stories that fit comfortably into a single episode. Then I was occasionally surprised at how those stand alone episodes were used to further the seasonal arc later on. Sometimes this is done in a season that is different than the one in which the original episode aired.
   There are enough arc stories to satisfy even fans of Deep Space Nine. Usually these are placed at the beginning middle and end of each season as seems to be customary.
   Last month Fringe moved to Friday nights on Fox. You have many options to watch. If you haven't seen any yet feel free to start from the beginning. Netflix, Hulu and Hulu plus are all great ways of catching up. I know one friend picked up the show mid season and has been very glad to watch both the first episodes from Netflix as well as the current season. She told me that she has had an easy time getting involved in the show that way.
   I enjoy this show enough that I think about it during the week and it is one of the highlights of my weekend. Fringe has put the Sci Fi back in Friday.