Severing ties with a series is not something I take lightly. In fact, I usually hang on too long. I’ll get through an entire season and realize that I wasn’t really paying all that much attention.
Who’s Nancy Botwin married to now? Somehow, I missed that part.
JJ Abrams’s Fringe premiered on Fox in 2008 and is now in its final season. I’ve dutifully kept up with it since the start, Hulu-ing on Saturday mornings to see which parallel universe or time warp Peter, Walter, and Olivia find themselves in that week. It’s the home stretch. And I’ve given up.
On paper, Fringe is made for me: Joshua Jackson, time travel, sexual tension, Michael Cerveris, and an obvious homage to The X-Files. Now, after four years, I have to admit to myself (and to you) that Fringe and I just never connected emotionally. Peter and Olivia are separated by a dimension? Meh. Astrid and Walter bond over lab work? Ehhhh.
Also, I just have no earthly idea what’s going on anymore. What started out as a Monster-of-the-Week procedural with a hint of coming apocalyptic drama has reinvented itself so many times that I’ve completely lost track of the story. What universe are we in right now? What timeline? What ever happened to Fauxlivia and Walternate? I’m sure JJ has told us, but for the life of me, I can’t remember.
But none of the plot clusterfuck would matter, if only these characters prompted the teensiest emotional response. The Peter and Olivia love story has never felt urgent or vital. Peter and Walter’s strained and repaired father/son relationship is touching, but the show has gone back to that well so many times. Honestly, I was most invested in Olivia’s friendships with Lincoln and Charlie, who *spoilers*, are sadly no longer with us. Returning to The X-Files comparison, I’ll note that that the thread of that series also became tangled and impossible to follow in the later years. But character development and relationships remained crucial. I was so attached to Mulder and Scully that, for a time, I refused to watch the Doggett/Reyes episodes. That probably wasn’t the outcome Chris Carter intended, and I now think those seasons are some of the series’ best, but that’s how much I love those characters.
I’m sorry, Fringe and Fringies. I wanted to love it. I really did. But life is short and TV is great. It’s time to cut the fat, pare down the schedule, and move on to other things.