Hardcore Fringies


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Entertainment Weekly finally had something to say about Fringe in the May 11 issue with the Johnny Depp cover. Though when they do write something they are invariably positive, the blurbs about it are so few and far between, I can't see they ever helped increase viewership. So, I was surprised that they have a full review for the season finale, airing this Friday. I just have one little nagging problem with their review. Not that they gave it only an A-, a very good score. I haven't seen it yet, so I can't judge, but I don't doubt I will love it more than that. I don't give grades anyway, since every episode holds a vital piece of the puzzle or has that one perfect moment you will never forget.

What I had a problem with was the hardcore audience comment. Ken Tucker mentioned that Fringe has a hard time attracting an audience because most people don't know "how much heart and soul and well-wrought romanticism have been poured into this series." Sadly, the show was never advertised well. But he then basically puts down the true fans who are there for and eagerly await every episode, who have chased it around time slots, who devour the DVDs or Blu-rays, and who tweeted about it until Fox listened: "Meanwhile, its hardcore cult audience is regularly grumpy that Fringe declines to turn into the vast sci-fi epic some seem to want it to be." Crossing universes and time travel, mixed with all kinds of other scifi conventions in thrilling ways, certainly seems epic to me. It's just that it happens to be grounded in an intimate, human way. And I know one person who agrees with that, Fringe: The Spoilery Review. Yes, the review is from last year, but that's what I got searching for "epic and intimate" in the context of the show, and it just so happens to be from my favorite reviewer.

Who the hell are these people that Tucker was talking about? I've never come across them. I guess I'm just not hardcore enough and neither is any other person I know who loves Fringe completely, who would follow it anywhere. We don't wish it would become harder scifi, and with the reveal of Peter's origin in the first season it became epic. If those people exist then they don't really understand Fringe is the perfect mix of heart, soul, and intelligence. We wish only that everything works out in the end for these beautiful characters. Now that I think about it, he must have gotten us mixed up with a tiny but, I guess, loud minority that only watches for the scifi and doesn't care about the story.


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