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'Fringe': Headlines from the Other Side

September 14, 2009 |  4:35 pm

Fringey If you haven’t realized by the commercials, the billboards or the giant grin on my face, "Fringe" returns for its second season this Thursday. Of course, being the huge pillar of entertainment reporting that I am, I got my DVD of the premiere today. You’ll all have to wait until after it airs this week to read my post about the episode, partially because I don’t want to spoil any surprises and partially because I was asked not to in the letter that accompanied the DVD. A letter signed by J.J. Abrams, Jeff Pinkner, Joel Wyman and Akiva Goldsman that starts with “Dear Bright, Witty, Attractive TV Journalist.” How can you not abide by a letter with a greeting like that? And how do they know me so well?

While I might not be able to talk about what’s coming in the new season, I can talk about what also came in my "Fringe" package. That extremely accurate letter wasn’t the only enclosure I received. The package included two other, very interesting items.

First there was a copy of the New York Times from the déjà vuniverse (I’m going to get that name to stick) from May 12, 2009. You might remember the brief glimpse of the newspaper on William Bell’s desk in the alternate reality. I know I spent more time than I probably should have pausing my TiVo to read the headlines: “Obamas set to move into New White House,” “Former Pres. Kennedy to Address UN,” Stock Market Remains Closed: 21 Days & Counting…,” and “Boston Sweeps! Len Bias wins MVP.” If I’d known I would be getting the actual paper four months later, I wouldn’t have risked the eye strain.

Of course, it’s not the full paper:

It’s only the outside page, so all I have is the cover, back, Page 2 and Page 67. But that does include the crossword puzzle. What else do you need from a newspaper? Um, besides all the wonderful reporting of the L.A. Times. That paper you should read cover to cover.

The story of the Obamas moving into the New White House continues on Page 2. Nothing is said about what happened to the first White House, but it does say that a president hasn’t lived at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. for nine years, that $60 million of the reconstruction money was missing but contactor Halliburton Inc. had no comment, and that the rededication ceremony was interrupted by shouting that the destruction of the original White House was an inside job. I wonder if that came from the déjà vuniverse’s version of Birthers.

The paper contains several other telling articles. Apparently the alternate world’s FDA has approved a new form of plastic surgery called “facial landscaping,” Guns N’ Roses has re-released its 2000 platinum album “Chinese Democracy,” and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s "Terminator" opera is coming to Radio City. Put that together with ads from Massive Dynamic R.E.M. pods and genetically engineered Cust-a-Pets, and the déjà vuniverse is sounding pretty fun. I wonder if you can get tickets there on Expedia...

The second item included in the package was a paper with some cryptic messages in all caps. It reads like the scariest Twitter conversation ever.


Doesn’t take much to get some ideas about whom and what they’re referring to, but it does imply that the déjà vuniverse has some agents working in our world.

Oh, it’s so exciting. If the powers that be over there are putting this much time and thought into these press extras, I can’t wait to see what they’ve come up with for Season Two. Luckily, we won’t have to wait long.

-- Andrew Hanson

Photo credit: Fox