Friday, June 3, 2011

I Want To Go To (Over) There...

Get your gun, get your gun, get your gun,
Take it on the run, on the run, on the run,
Hear them calling you and me, ev'ry son of liberty
Hurry right away, no delay, go today
Make your Daddy glad to have had such a lad,
Tell your sweet-heart not to pine, to be proud her boy's in line

O-ver there, o-ver there, send the word, send the word, o-ver there,
That the Yanks are coming, the Yanks are coming,
The drums rum-tum-ming ev'-ry where
So prepare, say a prayer, send the word, send the word to be-ware
We'll be o-ver, we're coming o-ver,
And we won't come back 'til it's o-ver; O-ver There!

Can someone please explain to me why in every show or movie that shows us a glimpse at an alternate universe or world with slight variations on our own, the "other" is always more technologically advanced and seemingly a happier, better place to be? I posed this question to my Twitter followers while watching the "Over There" season finale of
Fringe earlier today (Disclaimer: as of press time I have still only finished just the first two seasons), and while it was kind of rhetorical, it certainly seemed to span an interesting debate. Instantly, my @reply feed was flooded with thoughts and opinions, some on the nature of television's story telling, and some on the nature of the science involved. Now, in any case, I love to, for once, see an alternate world that is darker and dustier and more archaic than our own (and post-apocalyptic ones will not suffice here). After all, I like my television to come with a side of hope. And when do we have more hope than when we see our world side by side with what could have been just to realize we actually did something right?

Of course, in shows like Supernatural alternate universes like the dream state in "What Is And What Should Never Be" are not realities at all, and that in itself can be seen as not as "good" as the world in which the characters inhabit-- even when those worlds include demons and ghost ships and killer monster trucks (yes, really). But in the case of Fringe? I just don't get why anyone wouldn't want to stay "Over There." Especially Peter (Joshua Jackson) who was essentially stripped of his entire family by the move. You can't just walk into somebody else's life and steal a kid. That is the literal definition of kidnapping!

But besides that, step outside the personal attachment for Peter for a second and look around. It looks like a damn successful place to be. Martin Luther King made it onto the currency! The Statue of Liberty is so new it hasn't even tarnished yet! The World Trade Center is still standing! Obama is still in the White House! Sure, big brother is able to keep tabs on every citizen by using their "show mes" (aka IDs) as GPS devices, but that's a small price to pay, and honestly I'm not sure we're not on our way to that right now. California just issued new, slightly suspicious, drivers licenses, after all. And that kind of technology just lends itself perfectly to better BluTooths, iPads, and I'm sure Wi-Fi. Hell, I bet their damn cars even hover!

I know that there are consequences and reactions for every piece of particular or matter that switches sides, so to speak. So by Peter going to the alternate world, theoretically someone or something of equal mass should have ended up in the other world. And that is kind of a shame because it will tear a part someone else's family. But thinking strictly selfishly, strictly about creating the best life for one's self (and honestly, that is what we are put on this Earth to do), Peter has everything in the alt-universe and nothing in the other.

Don't say he has Olivia (Anna Torv) in the other. Because he really doesn't. Not just because Faux-livia infiltrated but because Peter and Olivia were never really a "thing" there.

I have managed to stay spoiler free for season three, which I hope to dive into soon so that I can be all caught up when season four starts on FOX in the fall. I plan to watch that season live and write about it from here on out because I really am deeply invested in this story now, after only four days (and forty-some-odd episodes) of spending time with them. I just hope that in season three we see more of the alt-universe-- much more. Because I have taken to calling it "my world" now. Or at least the world in which I really want to live.

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