During seasonal breaks, fans of shows can be seen doing many things to get over the emptiness of their weekly television slot. And while many fans hate them, I for one love hiatuses because they give me a chance to touch base with fellow fans to discuss in more depth than usual the different themes, concepts, storylines and, of course, theories. And hiatuses are usually when I get the time to catch up on reading, some of which has to do with the shows I watch.
After finishing Welcome to Wisteria Lane: On America’s Favorite Desperate Housewives (you can find the review here), I immediately picked up Fringe Science: Parallel Universes, White Tulips, and Mad Scientists. I only had one review of Fringe left (episode seven of season four) and I think it hit me, that it was the hiatus, and due to hectic, 60-hour work weeks, I had not had the time to geek out as much as I would have wanted to with the likes of Lola, Ana and Bastian. For shame!
Thanks to this book, which should grace the shelves of all Fringe fans, I caught up somewhat with my geeking out. Despite the weight of the geek factor, a chorus of light and often entertaining voices meticulously yet not overwhelmingly deconstruct the scientific aspects of the show, such as time travelling, parallel universes, neurotechnology, infectious diseases and so on.
Although every single chapter was a wonderful source of information I poured over, no chapter could beat that of Amy Berner, entitled “Moo”. Just the introduction itself was worthy of a good laugh: “…before we stampede headlong into the next serious topic… Amy has an important moosage she’d like to ensure doesn’t slip pasture attention, one regarding Walter Bishop’s brown-eyed assistant. Not Astrid, the udder one: Gene the cow! I’d lay steak that you, too, will find her essay udderly delightful.” Don’t get me wrong; the essay is not a strictly humourous one, as it focused on the many reasons why Gene plays such an important role in Fringe. Rather, it is the one that, in my mind, struck the balance between tongue-in-cheek humour and scientific inquiry the best. In fact, it reflected beautifully some of the subtly hilarious scenes from the show which fans still quote years later.