For those who need a refresher, Fox’s ‘Fringe‘ was a series that started off as a procedural drama starring Anna Torv who worked with a father and son on cases that involved seemingly supernatural events. She led the action, the drama, and the cast in the first season, and while it was entertaining, it did not become a cult hit until later seasons. From Season 2 onward, the show’s focus shifted from the episodic procedural formula to a more extended storyline, and became more of an ensemble cast, with every character having moments to shine, and at this point the show became a cult hit, massing enough fans to carry them into five seasons despite the middling ratings and Fox’s propensity to cancel any sci-fi show that does not perform to some ridiculous standard.
Unfortunately, in the years since it seems some members of the cast are not entirely happy with the direction the show took. In recent comments, Blair Brown, who played Massive Dynamic COO Nina Sharp in the series, has been lamenting the loss of focus on Torv’s Olivia and saying the show basically became a boy’s show about a father and a son as it progressed. In her own words:
“I loved my time on ‘Fringe,’ but the truth is that was originally a story about a female protagonist… and the show turned into a story about father and son [played by John Noble and Joshua Jackson]. Very often in this business, that’s what tends to happen… A lot of the time, those boy shows, it’s not that there’s anything against women, they just don’t know how to write women, so they go right back to [the trope of Steven] Spielberg, father-son — and there are mothers and sons, and mothers and daughters.”
I personally think that the heart of that show was the love between Peter, Walter and Olivia, and that their story would not have been possible without Olivia, who was responsible for pushing the plot forward, so I definitely do not agree with the idea that Torv’s character became secondary. She was always the protagonist, only later she was joined by Peter and Walter as protagonists. That does not necessarily make it a boy’s show, especially when Olivia was also the character driving the action and climactic scenes in almost every episode.
What are your thoughts on Brown’s statement? Do you think ‘Fringe’ became a boys show? Share your opinions in the comments below!