The End of “Fringe”

It is with complete sadness that I write this post talking about the end of this wonderful show, Fringe. After 5 very well-earned and incredible seasons, Fringe has come to an end. I won’t go into details of the series finale itself, but rather I’d like to take this opportunity to just write about the show.

From its start, Fringe was a show that defied the odds and sort of epitomized the saying “expect the unexpected.” Being a show from J.J. Abrams and the Bad Robot brand, and premiering after the mainstream cult success of Lost, high hopes and expectations were thrust upon the show. Many were trying to tout it as “the next Lost” (a label that gets put on any sci-fi/high concept series nowadays); some called it “the new X-Files“. What intrigued me was, of course, that it was a J.J. Abrams show (I never watched Lost, but I was a huge fan of Alias) and the sci-fi aspect of it. I saw Anna Torv, as Agent Olivia Dunham, as the new Sydney Bristow – a strong, kick-ass female lead. Then they cast Joshua Jackson as Peter Bishop, and seeing as how I watched Dawson’s Creek in my tween years (and also The Mighty Ducks movies as a kid), that got me really excited.

The first season, while trying to find its footing, wasn’t perfect. They started off as a show that seemed very procedural, with a case-of-the-week style of storytelling that gave room for new viewers to jump in. With the nature of the show being part science, they had dropped hints along the way of some sort of a mythological background in the overarching story. By the end of season 1, going into season 2, we were introduced to the idea of alternate universes, and that’s where things really got going for the show. Once we got to season 3, it felt like the sky was the limit for the writers; a creative kick bumped the show from a really good show to a really great one, exploring these alternate universes and different character dynamics. At this point of course, the show was much more serialized than its first season, but it still contained case/monster-of-the-week storylines, that which had an impact on the characters. While most shows that straddle the line between procedural and character drama, it can become very cheesy and cliche; with Fringe, everything came about in a rather organic and grounded way, which is a little funny considering all the weird stuff it has going on each week.

Aside from all the sci-fi, what really set Fringe apart from all the other genre shows was that it had such a strong focus on the characters and their development. As someone who majored in Sociology in university, it somewhat surprises me how sociological they got with the characters and the relationships in the show. These characters – Olivia, Peter, Walter, Astrid, and extending to Broyles, Nina, and Lincoln – became a family to each other. They have suffered in their lives and through insurmountable odds and circumstances, they found a way to connect to each other and form this incredible bond. Particularly in season 4, with the timeline reset, it begged the question: how do the people around us affect who we are?

For a show like this to reach 5 seasons, 100 episodes, and get a proper ending is rare. Yet like our characters, the show itself has beat the odds (moving timeslots from Tuesdays to Thursdays to Fridays, low ratings) to get to this point. Many shows don’t often get the opportunity to wrap up storylines before going off the air, and the fact that Fringe got this final season was a complete act of faith/kindness by Fox, who really could have cancelled the show a few times in its run. It is the group of passionate fans that the show has that played an integral part in the show’s survival. In the end, the loyalty and passion put on display by the fans paid off, as the show ended with what can only be said as a perfect finale. The ending was a wonderful recall of everything we know and love about the show – the action, the scientific elements, the love and relationships, Walter’s humour, the alternate universe, and even a sequence that featured a callback to past “monsters of the week.” It ended in a way that gave us a sense of finality with regards to the overarching series and storyline, but leaves us in a state of wonderment as to what these characters are up to now, in hopes that we can get a movie made to catch-up and go on a different journey with the gang. Now, can these fine actors and writers get the credit and respect they deserve?! They are overdue for some Emmys.

Thank you J.J. Abrams, Robert Orci, and Alex Kurtzman for developing this wonderful series. Thank you to Joel Wyman and Jeff Pinkner for spearheading the creativity and uniqueness of the show, along with the rest of the writers. Thanks to the Fox network for keeping the show on the air for five seasons. Without a doubt, thank you to the cast – Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble, Jasika Nicole, Blair Brown, Lance Reddick, Seth Gabel, and all the actors who have come through the show – who brought such heart and emotion to these characters we have all come to love dearly. For this fan, I don’t think it’s possible for there to be another show like Fringe.

Thank you again for 5 incredibly heartfelt and awesomely weird seasons.

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‘Fringe’ Renewed!

This is going to be short and simple. FOX announced earlier today that it has decided to renew ‘Fringe’ for a 5th and final season. Similar to other formerly on-the-bubble shows, ‘Chuck’ and ‘One Tree Hill’, the final season of ‘Fringe’ has a 13 episode order, making the show’s final episode its 100th.

All I have to say to all of this is: YAAAYYYYYYY!!!!! Sure, there is a sadness that it is ending, but it is awfully nice to hear that your favourite show gets the opportunity to end properly and on its own terms (as opposed to unceremoniously cancelled with a ridiculous cliffhanger that makes you scream at your TV.) Thank you FOX and Warner Brothers for allowing this fifth season to happen and not making us wait until May to find out the show’s fate.

Now, let’s see if we can get the showand thecast Emmy nominated! We can hope and wish for that still, right?

Kudos as always to the ‘Fringe’ promo department for being so on the ball with getting a video out in honour of the pickup.

Save This Show!: Fringe (FOX)

In previous posts, I’ve made it known that I love a good underdog. It wasn’t until recently, while checking the renewal statuses of all the TV shows this season, that I realized a good number of my favourite shows are in fact shows whose renewal statuses are on the bubble. In other words, my favourite shows are TV’s underdogs – shows whose fate are not guaranteed.

In light of this realization, I figured I should do my part as a fan (regardless of how small a part that is) and try to get it out there why some shows deserve to be renewed. So consider this my plea to the powers that be. Instead of doing one big posting, I’ll be doing this in installments, one per show.

Now, I fully realize that there aren’t a lot of people out there who read my blog, but I am hopeful that this posting, at the very least, will get read by people who care about these shows as much as I do. If it somehow makes it along with the petitions and other pleas in the blogosphere to the eyes of someone who can actually make a difference in helping these shows’ fate, then I’ll be happy.

FRINGE (FOX)

I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: Fringe is one of the best shows on television. I’m not just saying that as a biased fan, it is just the truth. I dare you to name another show on the air right now that can do what Fringe does.

And what exactly does Fringe do that makes it so great? Well first off is the writing. You can have a great concept, a great cast, but if the writing isn’t there, you’ve got nothing. As with most television series, the first handful of episodes of a freshman series can be a little clunky – trying to establish the tone and flow of the series, it can take a little while for shows to develop a rhythm. Fringe was no exception to that when it premiered in the fall of 2008. Its hook was that these unexplained phenomenons were happening in the world (or more specifically Boston/New York.) Coming into it, you knew you were going to see some pretty weird stuff. The first few episodes took on what seemed like a very standard procedural drama with a “supernatural” twist. But soon thereafter, you noticed that the writers were establishing a mythology to these odd occurrences. Four seasons later and we now have a show that is much more about the characters and relationships than a case-of-the-week procedural. What the writers have done is create a rather complex (to say the least when multiple universes are involved) story about human relationships. It’s actually quite a sociological look at how we see the world and interact with others. [Aside: As someone who was a sociology major in university, if I was given the opportunity to, I probably would’ve written an entire paper on Fringe’s take of society.]

Next to the writing is without a doubt one of the best casts on television. It completely baffles me how none of the cast members, especially the three at the head of the show (Anna Torv, John Noble, Joshua Jackson) have yet to be recognized by the Emmys or even the Globes, for their outstanding work as actors on the series. The performances by these three are so nuanced and full of life, you truly care about these characters. Not to mention how you could possibly forget Anna Torv in season three playing, quite literally, 5 different versions of Olivia. Despite how confusing it may have read or could have been, when you watch her performance you know exactly which version of Olivia she’s playing. I just can’t sing the praises of the cast enough, including Jasika Nicole, Blair Brown, Seth Gabel, and Lance Reddick. Also, can’t forget the wonderful guest actors over the years who have brought so much to the show as well: Michael Cerveris, Sebastian Roche, Jared Harris, Orla Brady, Amy Madigan, Andre Royo, and of course, Leonard Nimoy.

Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman have done such an incredible job spearheading the series, along with the other producers J.J Abrams, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Bryan Burk. It cannot be said enough how amazing the show is. Obviously, not everyone is into a show like this, which requires the complete attention of the viewer. It is not a show that you can just watch to pass the time or leave it on while doing something else. It is a complex show that, heaven forbid, requires the viewer to actually think while watching. I sincerely hope that the show gets to continue for as long as the writers are committed and passionate to it. The reality of it is, it’s struggling to even make it past this season. Speaking realistically, all I can hope for at this point is that Fox and Warner Brothers brings the show back for a fifth season and call it the final season if they want to cancel it (similar to what happened with Chuck and even One Tree Hill). To end the series prematurely and not allow the producers and writers to finish the story they wanted to tell, would be a huge disappointment, especially to the fans. We’ve already invested so much into the show, I don’t think it is too much to ask that we actually get resolution to the series or a satisfying ending. As long as the there is opportunity to resolve the overarching story, us fans could not ask for more, because this show has already given us so much.

2011 Emmy Nomination Wish List

Emmy nominations are going to be announced tomorrow morning by Melissa McCarthy (Mike & Molly) and Joshua Jackson (Fringe). Now while most everybody is busy compiling their predictions for who they think will get nominated or creating their dream ballot, I would much rather just list the names of people and TV shows I hope get called out tomorrow morning. Keeping it nice and simple. But then again, mind you, half the shows that do actually get nominated every year, are shows that I don’t even watch (or haven’t gotten around to watching) so it’s easier for me to rant now about who I want to see nominated than rant tomorrow about all the snubs. So if any or all of these names get recognized this year, consider me a very happy camper. If none of these names appear on the official nomination list, let’s just say I won’t be the most pleasant person to be around tomorrow. And you’ll probably still see me rant about these snubs.

  • Cat Deeley for Best Reality Show Host – When will they realize her total awesomeness???!!
  • SYTYCD for Best Reality Show Competition – Because really, American Idol? Or heck, DWTS? All SYTYCD ever gets nominated for, and wins, is choreography.
  • Speaking of choreography, the one routine that HAS to be nominated from SYTYCD last season? Tabitha and Napoleon’s hip-hop routine to “Outta Your Mind”, danced by Alex Wong and Twitch. It would be so wrong if it didn’t get nominated.
  • Fringe for Best Drama, Anna Torv for Best Actress in a Drama, John Noble for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama – It was the most insane/incredible/awesome season of any show. It would be absolutely criminal if the show did not get any recognition for the amazing work they did.
  • Courtney Cox for Best Actress in a Comedy, Busy Phillips for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy – It’s way overdue for Cox to be nominated for her talents (how was she the ONLY cast member to not be nominated during Friends‘ 10 year run?) and Phillips just simply rocks as Laurie on Cougar Town.
  • Community for Best Comedy, Joel McHale for Best Actor in a Comedy, Danny Pudi for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy – Just one of the most creative shows on TV right now. Who does an episode in claymation? Fully recognized bottle episodes? Clip show featuring fake/new clips? Not to mention all those theme episodes? Only Community does.

So there, my Emmy nomination wish list – not asking for much. Cat Deeley and Fringe are my main hopes because it completely baffles me how they get overlooked year after year. Here’s hoping the Emmys took some pointers from the Critics Choice Television Awards.