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TV Show: ‘Fringe: The Complete Second Season’
On DVD: Sept. 14, 2010
FCC Rating: TV-14 (V, L)
Buy It: On DVD or Blu-ray
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Fringe Season 2, Family DVD ReviewSeason 3 of ‘Fringe‘ premieres Thurs., Sept. 23 at 9PM ET on Fox. I’m a big fan of the show, so the anticipation is killing me. I can’t wait to see more of the alternate universe, as well as our friends Walter Bishop (John Noble), Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) and Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv). Will she make it out of the alternate universe? But of course! Check out my season 3 preview over at TV Death Ray, where I’ll also be reviewing the show this season.

Another reason to get excited is the release of the second season of ‘Fringe,’ on DVD and Blu-ray Sept. 14, 2010. The show didn’t slow down at all in season two, and brought us further into the mysteries of the alternate universe, where we learned that Walternate, i.e. Mr. Secretary, is still alive and well and pretty much the antithesis of the kooky, rootbeer-float-loving scientist we know in this universe.

Those two completely different characters is one reason I love season two (and why I believe John Noble was robbed of an Emmy). Other reasons are many, including more shape-shifters (‘Momentum Deferred’),  nightmares (‘Dream Logic’), aliens (‘Earthling’), giant squid-like creatures (‘Snakehead’), and of course, plenty of Observers here, there and everywhere.

The mythology of the series really heats up by episode 15, ‘Jacksonville,’ where a violent tremor in Manhattan sends the Fringe team to Jacksonville, Florida, where Olivia has to face her mysterious past and those cortexiphan experiments that Walter and William Bell conducted on children so many years ago.

Things continue to spiral into madness as Walter experiments with pharmaceuticals (‘Brown Betty’), Peter learns the truth about his other-worldly past (‘The Man From the Other Side’), and a door is opened into the other universe, leading our trio into a world both known and unknown.

If you haven’t yet jumped on the ‘Fringe’ train, there’ s no time like the present. You don’t have to have seen the first two seasons to jump into season three on Thursday. You’ll figure it out as you go along, and you can get caught up with the first two seasons as time allows.

‘Fringe’ – FCC Rating

‘Fringe’ is rated TV-14, including V for intense violence and L for strong, coarse language. That rating is spot-on, because there are some pretty nasty and frightening scenes involving creatures crawling out of peoples’ bellies, people turning to ash before our eyes, Walter working on corpses, as well as the usual amount of gunfire, car/foot chases, and explosions in a sci-fi show about crime and mystery. More details…

Sex/Nudity: In some experiments, Olivia is shown in her underwear. Couples are shown talking in bed, presumably naked under the covers.

Violence/Gore: Lots of intense action, including gunfights, car chases, and explosions, as well as some pretty gruesome deaths and medical experiments involving badly decomposed bodies.

Profanity: “Damn,” “hell,” “bitch,” and “ass.”

Drugs/Alcohol: Some social drinking, and there’s an ongoing storyline about Walter experimenting with drugs like LSD, Valium and others. The episode title ‘Brown Betty’ refers to a particularly virulent type of marijuana.

Because of all of this, I don’t recommend it for kids younger than 14. My 16-year-old son and I love ‘Fringe,’ and often talk about the episodes for days after they air, trying to piece together all of the puzzles. If I haven’t convinced you yet of the show’s brilliance, here’s a bit of John Noble talking about his character Walter Bishop.

‘Fringe’ Season 2 Bonus Features:

  • The Unearthed Episode
  • The Mythology of Fringe
  • Fringe: Analyzing the scene; sidebars on six key episodes
  • In the lab with John Noble and prop master Rob Smith
  • Commentary on four episodes by series stars and creative team
  • Unusual Side Effects: Gag reel
  • Dissected Files: Unaired scenes

Would love to hear your thoughts about ‘Fringe’ below. Got a favorite episode? How about a favorite Walter-ism?

Images: Fox

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