|Fringe: A Newly Hatched Fangirl Squee
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
A couple of months ago, I had the pleasure of dining with doccy and tyrell. While we noshed on delicious Chinese food, they mentioned the television show Fringe. I had never heard of it, so they spent a good twenty minutes extolling its virtues. So convincing were they (Scifi with strong lead female character! POCs in positions of power! Three dimensional characterisation!) that I put it on my Christmas wish list. A few conversations with other people cemented my desire to see it, as did a multibeautiful post about Jasika Nicole, who plays FBI Agent Astrid Farnsworth. Fortunately, one of my sisters-out-law gifted me with S1.
We have since watched 18 of the 20 episodes, gobbling them up like Skittles. Or the yellow M&Ms that Agent Dunham didn't want. And I have fallen in love with it. Like all new lovers, I am presently seeing only its virtues and none of its flaws, of which I’m sure there are many (like the times when Olivia has ordered Peter to stay in the car and his disobedience has contributed to, if not catalysed, the capture of the suspect). Okay, maybe I’m not that blind. But I’m still smitten and I feel the need to gush about all the ways I love the show. It’s very rare for me to be willing to sit through this many hours of television. I tend to fail at committing to even one season of a show. Most of my perennial favourites fall into that category at least partially because they have very few episodes per season (e.g. Black Books, Red Dwarf and The IT Crowd). I either run out of patience because the rather thin story arc is being spun out over far too many filler episodes (Fringe does this, but it’s rare enough for me not to become annoyed), or I can’t feel enough empathy with the characters to care what happens to them.
Anyway, onward to the Loony Fangirl gushing, which I shall cut to save this entry from Teal Deer and spoilers.
I love that the first time we see FBI Agent Olivia Dunham, she's already in charge. She has authority and she wields it without expecting to be questioned, and for the most part she isn’t. I love that in the pilot episode she jumps off a roof without looking to see where she's going to land. I love that her driving ambition isn’t being rescued: she wants answers. I love that she’s emotional and she makes the point to her (male POC) boss Philip Broyles that this is a strength and not a weakness, and it makes her judgment better, not worse. I love that he listens to her and accepts this as rational. I love that her assistant is a female POC (although I do wish she had more of a voice). I love that her primary intellectual adversary is an older and even more powerful woman, Nina Sharp.
I love that this show is largely made of Bechdel win.
I love keeping track of the convoluted conspiracy theory plot. I love playing "Spot The Observer" with the bloke. I love the whacky alt!universe science, because it means I don’t have to pick it apart. I love that every bit of otherwise inexplicable technology they encounter seems to require that Walter Bishop intone something gravely about electromagnetic waves. I love that all the genetic manipulation they encounter seems to spawn weird beasties that go on the rampage. (I long for an episode that produces a giant fluffy cuddly T-Rex.) I love Walter's cravings for specific types of food at wildly inappropriate moments. I love the absolutely impassive look that Philip Broyles gives him when he makes those requests. I love that Astrid still gets pissed off when he can't remember her name.
This brings me to my request. Oh beloved internet friends, bring me your Fringe fanfic. I don’t care about pairings or character focus (although any development of Astrid’s character would be eeeexcellent). I just want it to be good. I’d prefer not to be too badly spoiled for S2 and S3, so some warning would be nice. But other than that: Give Me. Now. Please.