Fond farewell: ‘Fringe’

To me, one of the most exciting things about the end of "Fringe" is that I can now look forward to rewatching the show on DVD someday. For five seasons, I watched every episode as it aired on Fox, but I've found that people who watched it in large chunks on DVD embraced it more than me. Ironically, like a lot of complex TV shows ("Lost" being another prime example), "Fringe" didn't play as well with the weeklong gaps.

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War — what is it good for? A few good TV plots, at least

We're in a curious situation right now where 94 percent of the country supports pro-war presidential candidates yet other polls show that the majority of people are against war (although most of Congress is pro-war). Of course, war is a complicated issue, and I don't pretend to understand all of it (although I certainly respect soldiers' views, which tend to lean anti-war, in my experience). But because of the mainstream media's focus on the two major parties, the raw fact of our involvement in the Middle East is generally not questioned -- rather, the questions are about the details of how to conduct the wars.

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First episode impressions: ‘Fringe’ Season 5

In the early days of TV, every episode was a standalone, so if you missed an episode you wouldn't get lost. Eventually, we started to see more serial TV with ongoing stories that rewarded regular viewers. "Fringe" (8 p.m. Central Fridays, Fox), now in its fifth and final season, is the next iteration: I've seen every episode, yet I feel like I've missed several.

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Five buzzworthy season finales

It's that time of year when summer movies start to steal the headlines from TV, but boob-tube fans have one last gasp, at least: The May season finales. Due to the evolving TV calendar, it's not as jam-packed of a month as it used to be; "Parenthood," "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," "Ringer" and "The Walking Dead" had their finales in previous months, while "The Killing" and "The L.A. Complex" will run well into the summer.

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What happened to Sophia? (and six other burning TV questions)

Part of why it's been a great TV season is that there are so many compelling questions that keep us watching from week to week. And these aren't just a matter of "Oh well, I've followed it this far so I might as well keep going" like I sometimes felt with "Lost." A lot of shows this fall actually have mysteries where I want to know the answer. Here are seven of the most burning questions among currently airing shows (No, I haven't forgotten about "Who killed Rosie Larsen?," but I'll save that for when "The Killing" returns). (All times Central.)

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First episode impressions: ‘Fringe’ Season 4

Most shows are naturally constrained by their narrative -- sort of like a choose-your-own-adventure book where every choice is locked in once it happens. But at the staff meetings for "Fringe" (8 p.m. Central Fridays on Fox), I imagine that if a writer says "What if this were to happen?," he never hears "Oh, that can't happen" as a response.

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Where have all the epic season finales gone?

For as long as I can remember, TV has served up an epic season finale or two every May. In recent years, up until 2010, there were the season-enders of "24" and "Lost." Before that, we had "Buffy" and "The X-Files," just to scratch the surface.

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First episode (of new season) impressions: ‘Fringe’

Here are my first impressions of the Season 3 premiere of "Fringe" (8 p.m. Central Thursdays on Fox).

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In search of the next ‘Lost?’ It’s already here, and it’s called ‘Fringe’

A recent issue of Entertainment Weekly examined networks' efforts to find the next "Lost," in terms of both quality and ratings, and determined that nothing fits the bill. I disagree: "Fringe" (8 p.m. Thursdays on Fox) -- like "Lost," produced by J.J. Abrams -- is as good as "Lost" (maybe better), and it's successful enough that it has been renewed for a third season.

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Are TV shows getting dumber or am I getting smarter?

Are TV shows getting dumber or am I getting smarter? I'm not talking about TV as a whole, because obviously it's dumber than it was 10 years ago. This is because of the influx of cheap TV -- reality shows, game shows and talk shows -- taking over primetime slots.

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