Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ask JKM a Question #42: Fringe

A reader, Brian, writes:

“As best as I can tell from your site, it looks to me that you haven't written about Fringe since Fall of 2008. If that's true, is that because you gave up on the show, or is that because you just didn't feel like writing about it any longer? I ask simply because I watched the show early on and frankly was not very impressed, but I gave it another chance a bit later on in its run, and I could not be happier that I did.

If you have continued to write about the show, and I missed it, I apologize. If you continue to watch it and don't feel like writing about it, or simply don't like it, that's fine as well. But if you gave up on it early in its run, I think you owe it to yourself to give it another chance. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. If nothing else, they took your advice and spent an awful lot of time concentrating on the relationship between Walter and Peter Bishop, which you suggested in your earlier pieces.

Thanks for your time, and again, thanks for the great blog and books.”

Brian, thank you for your kind words about my blog and books.  I also appreciate your question, and actually you are not the first person to ask me here about Fringe. 

In correspondences both public and private, several Fringe fans have asked me to take a second look at the series.  When this many people (good-naturedly) ask me to take a second look at something, I weigh the feedback very heavily.

You’re also correct in your belief that I haven’t reviewed specific episodes since 2008.  The reason I stopped originally is because I found the series extremely formulaic, and something of an X-Files rip-off.

That established, I have  indeed decided it is time to give Fringe another  shot (the way I gave Vampire Diaries a second go recently), and see if I can power through the weak first season episodes and get to the good stuff that a number of fans have now mentioned and identified.

In fact, I’m going to make a multi-season Fringe purchase on today.  So hopefully, in the not-too-distant future, there’s Fringe-centric cult-tv flashback in the offing here…

Don’t forget to ask me a question at


  1. Sorry I missed the earlier Ask JKM, as the question is identical. I think you will be surprised. Going back and looking at the grades at the Onion AVclub's reviews of Fringe, it looks like you quit right around the time the show started to take off. The episodes following "The Cure" are largely made up of "A's" and "B+s".

    I'd also say that my problems with the show initially were almost identical to yours. A seemingly unsolvable problem would present itself, Walter would say "Oh, William and I worked on that in the 70's" and would have a fix for it by the end of the show. There was little mystery involved, and it all basically boiled down to scientific "magic". Once the characters were fleshed out, the show became much more watchable, and the answers much less pat. I'm anxious to read your thoughts.

  2. I agree that the first season started a bit on the weak side, but once you get into season 2 things start to get really interesting, as plot lines get more complicated and characters further develop. While the series has made some missteps, I have followed it since the first episode, and I certainly think that it was well worth my time. There are many very memorable moments and overall it remains a very high-quality show that took many risks, with ratings always an ever-looming threat. I'm glad to hear you're willing to give it another chance.