Why Fringe Is SF TV's Most Reassuring Show

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We admit it; We're fascinated by Fringe, and not just because it reminds me of The Venture Bros.. No, what makes the show so compelling for us - beyond Joshua Jackson's faux-weariness and charm - is the way that, despite the gigantic words floating above major cities worldwide and talk of some scientific pattern being used by terrorists for nefarious ends, it's actually the most upbeat and reassuring show you can imagine for mainstream America. Here're our top reasons why each episode of Fringe is an hour of being told that everything's okay, really.

Everything Weird Can Be Explained Away. Yes, the world may seem like a strange and confusing place, full of things we don't understand... but, as each new episode of Fringe demonstrates, each of those unexplainable things can actually be explained away... by science. There's no need to be concerned about anything irrational ever again, because one day or another, everything will make perfect sense, thanks to science. And that's because... Science Is Magic And Can Do Anything. Need to see the last thing a dead person saw before they died? Need to psychically project your own mind into a coma victim's? Need to speed-age your child so that the difficult puberty stage lasts less than half an hour? It's all possible... with science! Yes, science can make the dead walk again (literally, as long as you do it within six hours) and fulfill all of your wildest ambitions, according to Fringe. So now there's quite definitely nothing that we can't do if we just put our minds to it! And we don't even have to do the heavy thinking ourselves, because... Corporate America Is On Our Side. As Is The Government. The flipside to Lost's paranoia, Fringe is the all-inclusive Abrams show. We thought Massive Dynamics were going to be another Widmore Industries or Dharma Initiative, but, no! They're part of the mysterious team of backers researching the pattern... as is the Department of Homeland Security who, in turns out, are doing things we don't know about... but for our own good. Phew!


Most importantly, though, Fringe demonstates very clearly that The Good Guys Always Win. Judging by the show's first couple of episodes, part of the show's done-in-one strategy will involve our 21st Century Scooby Gang tracking down and neutralizing the cause of that week's scientific weirdness on a regular and unsurprising basis. Sure, they may not uncover "the pattern" behind it all, but that would defeat the purpose of the show (and also, we don't necessarily know that "the pattern" is a bad thing). Nonetheless, with each cracked case - even if it involves solving serial killer murders more than a decade old or uncovering the mysteries of flying melting people in the ultimate locked-room scenario - you get the feeling that they will, eventually. They're just that good... as Lance Riddick will happily tell us when given the chance. It's possible that Abrams and co-creators Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Jeff Pinker intentionally created the show as an anti-Lost, all about removing paranoia and showing that there's no such thing as a magical time-traveling island anyway, it's all the result of Dr. Walter Bishop's drug binges in the '70s and we're on it, thanks very much. But even if they didn't, and it ended up that way entirely by accident, we want to applaud this celebration of security and making the world safe for the nervous and rational once more. After all, House can't do it all alone.