Monday, December 5, 2011

Olivia Dunham in Fringe

When I asked in class the other day how many people watch "Fringe," I was really surprised when no one raised their hand.  The main character is a strong female, so I thought she would be extremely appropriate to bring up in our discussion and blog.

"Fringe" is a sci fi show about an FBI division called "Fringe" that investigates a series of unexplained, seemingly supernatural events that often have to do with mysteries surrounding a parallel universe (again, thank you, wikipedia).

Olivia Dunham is the main character of the show.  She is recruited to the Fringe division in the pilot, and completely rose to the challenge.  She is strong, secretive, motivated, and smart.  Olivia fails to conform to most "superheroine" stereotypes.  She is never sexualized nor does she let her personal life get in the way of her job.  Even when she is stuck in an evil parallel universe, Olivia stays true to herself and is able to fight and find her way home.  In the parallel universe, she is sentenced to death, experimented upon, and ignored by men.  Despite these torments and hardships, Olivia succeeds in beating them.

She also doesn't conform to the "women can't be successful in their career and have a successful personal life" stereotype either.  Olivia built a strong relationship with one of her colleagues and was able to fix it even while Alternate Olivia from the other universe pretended to be her and sabotage her life.

Basically, Fringe is an excellent show with a strong, independent female lead.  You should all watch it!


  1. I watch Fringe for its first season (because you're right, it is exactly what people in this class seem to like haha), but I have to be honest, it didn't hold my interest. I think that in a large part is due to Olivia. She seemed to lack personality to me, always so serious and devoted to her job. I couldn't quite for a connection with her. This is so unlike Buffy, who has so much personality I basically fell in love with the show from the first episode. Although I agree that it is important for shows to have a strong, independent female lead, I also think she really has to be likable. Maybe I'll pick it up again and give Fringe another try though!

  2. I definitely agree Olivia lacked substance at the beginning, but as the story picked up she grew a lot! As the alternate universe started coming into play more, Olivia changed and learned to care more about the people around her. Now, in its fourth season, Olivia is one of the most complex characters!


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