Best of the Small Screen, Dramas No. 3

Over the next 3 weeks I'll be taking a look at some of my favorite TV series, broken down into three groups (Limited Run Series, Comedies, and Dramas). In my post on March 1 I laid out the ground rules for these categories and this exploration, the biggest of which is no series that are currently airing. To read the whole thing, check out the post "Best of the Small Screen" from March 1.

Today  I continue my countdown with a delightful sci-fi gem.

Fringe (2008-2013)
Number of Seasons/Episodes: 5/100
Network: FOX
Starring: Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson, John Noble, Jasika Nichole, Lance Reddick, and Blair Brown
Creator: J.J. Abrams, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci
Favorite Season/Episodes: Season two; 1.20 "There's More Than One of Everything," 2.16 "Peter," 2.18 "The White Tulip," 2.20 "Brown Betty," 3.08 "Entrada," 3.15 "Subject 13," 4.06 "And Those We've Left Behind"
Synopsis: Of all the shows on this list, "Fringe" might be the most surprising to some. It is the second entry from J.J. Abrams on this list, and it was a place where he teamed with Kurtzman and Orci, a pairing that led to the "Star Trek" reboot. That was also how "Fringe" got Leonard Nimoy in a fascinating recurring role. This show, at times, felt like "The X-Files," another series that really popped for FOX. But it also worked because of the great father-son dynamic, and the great dynamic between Peter (Jackson) and Olivia (Torv). In fact, those are the key themes in my favorite episodes. A lot of the Walter (Noble)-Peter dynamic is in "There's More Than One of Everything," "Peter" and "The White Tulip." The Peter-Oliva dynamic features strongly in "Subject 13" and others I didn't add to this list. I also loved the was "Fringe" could spin an interesting yarn. "Brown Betty" was a great period-piece look, while "And Those We've Left Behind" was a sweet and sad tale. "Fringe" was also great at event episodes. I loved "Entrada," which was a key episode that wrapped up a long-term arc. It also had a cool, cinematic, episode trailer. "Fringe" never had a huge audience or ratings, but I loved it. It was my No. 1 show for four of the seasons it was on the air. If you've never seen it, I recommend giving it a watch.


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