What It's About: Agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) and her team including kookball scientist Walter Bishop (John Noble) and his son Peter (Joshua Jackson) investigate crimes involving ''fringe science.''
Why It's Cult: Fringe was conceived as a mass-appeal genre procedural, with a background mythology that wouldn't detract from monster-of-the-week episodes. (Think X-Files except...well, think X-Files.) But the mythology overtook the monsters following the revelation of a parallel universe. By its third season, Fringe was overpopulated by multiple versions of every character. Unfortunately, that increasing narrative complexity has steadily pigeonholed it as a niche show.
Secret Handshake: Do Peter and Olivia really need to be a couple? Discuss. Darren Franich