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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Loyalty is a tricky thing in this show. Most of the characters are trying to expose a vast conspiracy that stretches to another world and threatens everything in this one. But some characters have questionable motives and even serve as double agents. There's lots of suspicion and fear here.
Positive Role Models
Olivia is a strong, independent woman with a complicated past and some extraordinary abilities. She and all of the other characters have plenty of flaws, though most of them are usually trying to do the right thing. Walter makes no secret of the fact that he has enjoyed doing drugs for much of his life; his methods and behavior in general are quite unusual. Some characters turn out to be double agents and/or working for a separate agenda.
Violence & Scariness
Plenty of action, including gunfights, car chases, explosions, and some pretty gruesome medical experiments that lead to even more gruesome deaths (with badly decomposed/disfigured bodies shown in detail).
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
There are some romantic encounters, some of which show women in their underwear. Sexual relationships are implied.
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Language includes words like "damn," "hell," "bitch," and "ass."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some social drinking. Dr. Bishop sometimes experiments with LSD and other substances (including marijuana).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that, like The X-Files, this sci-fi/action show combines conspiracy theories and sometimes-violent thrills. There are plenty of explosions, gunfights, and dead bodies (some of which are pretty gruesome to look at), as well as a bit of suggestive content (some scenes show the female lead wearing very little) and drug experimentation. The show promotes some unusual scientific theories, including interdimensional plots, dangerous biological weapons, advanced cybernetics, and much more. Most of these are clearly impossible, a few seem quite plausible, and some fall somewhere in between, which could have teens wondering where to draw the line between hard science and make-believe.
Is It Any Good?
J.J. Abrams excels at delivering this kind of taut, complex drama, filled with conspiracies, secret projects, and hard-to-believe scientific discoveries. The man behind Alias and Lost manages to please fans of smart sci-fi shows with Fringe, another engrossing, thrilling drama. Mad scientist Walter is an especially appealing character, the likes of which haven't been seen on television before -- he's happy to combine LSD visions, playful banter about dinosaurs, and impossibly complex theories about parallel universes.
The series' one notable flaw is really the same issue with Abrams' past hits. Fans are happy to ride along to see where he's going, but as the story has evolved, it's also become increasingly difficult to for new fans to jump aboard. Fringe is a complex and entertaining series, but there's a lot that won't make sense to people who haven't done their homework.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.