I do not have too much time for TV series, so I watch less than a handful of them each season. J.J.Abrams is one of the producers I follow and I try not to miss the series created by him. For most of the time I was captivated by Lost, and I was disappointed when Alcatraz was discontinued. Now another one comes to its end, and although Fringe was far from Abrams’ best, it had enough reasons for me to follow it weekly during all its five seasons.

 

source www.imdb.com/title/tt1119644/

source www.imdb.com/title/tt1119644/

 

 

I am wondering whether how J.J. Abrams conceives his series. Lost started like a fictional version of reality show Survivor, to slide soon into science-fiction and then expand into cosmological saga, and this is where it started to lose me. Did J.J. plan this from start? To some extent Fringe followed a similar path. It started as a science-fiction and strange events investigation series, it included even political and anti-corporate messages which got lost in time, and many compared it with X-Files. I personally would have considered this the supreme praise, as X-Files is my preferred TV series of all times. It certainly had its oddities, and its funny science, but this was to some point an element of charm. In the second and third season the science fiction threads became more complex, with the alternate worlds and the communication between them succeeding to keep my interest awake. The romantic thread started or was predictable from the beginning, and it only became more complex in time with the addition of the different instances of the characters in other universes. With time travel an ubiquitous technology the last two seasons projected us in the future, and the salvation of mankind became again the goal of the action. Here I got against lost. Beyond the lack of credibility of the story, the thought that characters I became familiar and resonate with have to save mankind makes me slightly uncomfortable.

 

(video source Jack Smith)

 

There are however many good reason I loved and watched this show for five years. First of all the retro atmosphere was fun and I could resonate with. Semi-crazy scientist Walter Bishop (John Noble) exits after almost two decades spent in a mental institution at the beginning of the series, and his retro leanings cover not only science, but also candies and ‘substances’, and the music and the feelings of my younger years. The relation between Walter and his son Peter (Joshua Jackson) is one of the most amazing relationships father-son that I have seen on screen or read in literature ever. The love story between Peter and Olivia (Anna Torv) builds slowly but convincingly, and makes us resonate with them. A few more characters around are well constructed, and even the ‘invaders’ have a dimension of their own (I cannot call it human, can I?). Overall the characters are much better than the stories which are pretty routine action, and the simplicity and straightness of the relations between them balances the pomposity and sometimes the over-morality of the action. It’s one of these shows where I would rather remember the small details than the big picture.