Each season we announce our new titles individually, each in their own post, to give you a little extra background...Posted April 2nd
Paranormal Is the New Normal
The Fringe Files
On September 9, 2008, Fringe premiered on Fox, the same network that launched The X-Files fifteen years earlier (almost to the day). The two shows seemed to share a lot in common: in both, a specialty division of the FBI investigates paranormal activity, applying scientific rigor and professional investigation techniques to the bizarre and unexplained. There is even a no-nonsense female lead new to all these strange goings-on about to be taken on a journey that will change her life. It seemed Fringe would have little to distinguish itself from its groundbreaking kith, until a pattern—if you’ll excuse the phrase—began to emerge.
Within its first season, The X-Files’ investigators had encountered ghosts, mediums, reincarnation, faith healing, werewolves, and, well, whatever you call it when a twin is psychically controlled by his dead brother’s frozen head (“Roland,” 1-23). Within its first season, Fringe covered exactly two of these topics: ghosts (“The Equation,” 1-8) and mediums (“The Ghost Network,” 1-3)—and in neither case were they faced with the real deal. The X-Files would go on to tackle vampires, the Devil, zombies, and God. In its entire run so far, Fringe has tackled exactly none of these.
Two Flavors of Weird
When paranormal stuff happens in fiction—or real life, for that matter—we tend to blame one of two culprits: the supernatural or the scientific. If we see a magician pull a rabbit out of a hat, either he has mystical powers that science cannot explain or he’s simply opened a portal to another universe …
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