The Fringe Candidateson January 24, 2012
Your foreign policy record is questionable at best, and you have yet to form a coherent theory as to where Nina Sharp’s true allegiance lies. What makes you think you can lead this country?
Sorry, non-Fringe fans. Not because you don’t get this comic, but because you aren’t enjoying the best show on TV. This will likely be Fringe’s final season (a year sooner than J.J. Abrams would like), due to it being too fantastic to be profitable. This seems to be the fate of all original, thought-provoking, well acted (extremely well acted in the case of John “Please let me curl up in your grandpa cheeks” Noble), well produced sci-fi on television. Any show that refuses to dumb down it’s intensely complicated, yet expertly executed premise in order to reach a wider audience just isn’t commercially viable on TV.
I think Fringe is the type of show you have to already be a sci-fi fan to enjoy. It asks a lot of the audience, but the average sci-fi fan is already used to accepting things like alternate dimensions, shapeshifters, techno-organic hybrid beings, and Leonard Nimoy. Each of those is probably a stumbling block for the average Joe “Is Real Housewives new tonight?” Television Viewer. J.J. Abrams has said that this season’s finale can act as a series finale if the worst happens, but that certainly won’t be ideal for the fans or the creators. I want, just for once, to know what the actual planned ending of a high concept sci-fi show was supposed to be. LOST and BSG don’t count since not even the writers themselves knew how those shows were supposed to end.
- Joshua Jackson hints how Fringe could live on even if Fox kills it
- J.J. Abrams is ‘hopeful’ that Fringe will live to see season 5
- On Fringe, the Love of Shapeshifters Vs. the Love of Doppelgangers
I used to think the place for shows like Fringe, Firefly, Stargate SG:U, etc was on the Internet, free of the trappings of network expectations, ratings and advertising. I wanted them to be directly accessible to the people they were made for, instead of slotted between Kitchen Yelling and Crime Cops: Topeka on Friday night. But those kinds of shows require MILLIONS of dollars per episode to maintain their level of quality. And I don’t mean 1 or 2 million. It’s more like 6 to 10. These are absurd numbers and certainly not Internet-type numbers. The worst thing about trying to independently produce and distribute sci-fi is the “sci” part and the “fi” part. The medium REQUIRES that spaceships, robots, lizard people and all other manner of imaginary things that simply do not exist and cannot be filmed unless created out of foam latex, pixels and money. So how does the BBC do it? Is it because they are publicly funded? There’s no way Doctor Who costs as much as an episode of Fringe, but the quality is there. Is there a DiY work ethic to BBC shows that the US entertainment industry simply doesn’t abide? Or is there just a wider acceptance amont the average brit for science fiction, and thus sci-fi TV stands a greater chance of reaching a mass audience over there?
COMMENTERS: I’ve asked about 100 questions in the post above. Feel free to tackle any of them. Or just post more Fringe debate questions.
UPDATE 01/25/12: You can now purchase a super high quality 11×17″ print of any HE comic by clicking the “Buy A Print” button between the “Previous” and “Next” buttons in the navigation menu. If you don’t see it, try refreshing your browser cache.