Here We Go Again ~ Save FringeYou have got to be kidding me! I just learned from @FringeTV today that last week's episode is its lowest rated. If you're one of the many who have refused to even try Fringe because you think it's just another cold or silly sci-fi show then you have been severely misled. Just like any other genre, there are plenty of misses to go with the few hits. Sometimes it takes a little work and patience to search out the special ones. There are a number of examples of great sci-fi - Firefly (another Fox tragedy), Doctor Who (especially during Tennant's tenure), the Battlestar Galactica reboot, Babylon 5, and Quantum Leap being among my favorites - and Fringe belongs right beside them. If you're one who tried the first episode or two and said "meh," then you didn't give the story a chance to unfold. It is beautifully layered, with incredible acting and realistic writing, even if the situations are kind of out there.
It's not a CSI case of the week, if that's your aversion. It's also not Lost, drowning in its own mythology and only asking questions. Fringe presents weird, awful, interesting things and tells us why and how and engages our minds. But more so it makes us feel for the characters, both regular and guests, such as this season's almost serial killer who was kept sane by one person's love, and the scientist with Alzheimer's whose husband attempted, through her work, to bring her back, the one that somehow received such a low rating. The show isn't all standalone episodes, even if that's what it seems like to only an observer. ;) And it isn't only serialized to make it hard to get into at any point and, therefore, unenjoyable. Although, if you start late then you will spoil the most emotional reveals. It is a lovely combination of the two. There are fantastical stories, humorous moments, a lot of suspense, and, most important of all, a tremendous amount of heart.
But thanks to the Nielsen's you may not find out until it's too late. I really can't abide by them. The Nielsen families are certainly not a big enough group. Yes, they're supposed to be diverse, but you can't ever know what's going to appeal to someone based solely on their economic and family status. It's also such a tiny group as to not really matter at all, but it does to the advertisers.
And Fox seems only to advertise to those who already watch the show. I barely see any promotional attempts beyond a couple commercials a week, one of those immediately after the episode that just ended, and the Youtube videos from FoxBroadcasting, which are made by the people who work on Fringe; i.e. those who actually take tremendous pride in the show. The Fox network itself seems to think that we're supposed to do all the marketing for them. The numerous fan sites have done so much more work on the part of Fringe, but their reach is tiny compared to what Fox could do if it wanted. Fox hasn't cared since the beginning. Don't let them cancel this series before its time. Or start petitioning Syfy right now to pick it up. I would forgive them all their horrific decisions with this one perfect act.
So, please give this show a chance, or you will no doubt be kicking yourself years down the road when you finally do give in to a friend's nagging and find out that it was not only one of the greatest, most affecting shows, with believable and well-rounded characters that you would want to know. A show that expertly reinvents itself when the story requires and moves at a satisfying pace, but one that was also over too soon and maybe not even given a proper ending because so many dismissed it without a thought. Fringe has fans worldwide, as evidenced by the "Where is Peter Bishop" fan video, which you can see in the related post. The reason for that is it can appeal to anyone who has loved and lost family, anyone who is in some kind of relationship. Isn't that all of us?
Update (11-16-11): The DVR numbers gave Fringe a 64% ratings jump this week. Though, most DVR'ed shows only count if they are watched within three days, I think I read before that someone at Fox looks at seven days, which is the only reason Fringe was saved last year. This is news to be slightly relieved about, but don't take any of it for granted.
Click here to watch one of the best scenes from season 2. I chose this one because it doesn't spoil any of the major storyline.
Apparel from the Fringe