Who would win in a contest between Supernatural and Fringe? We examine 10 aspects of each show to see which one will win in Friday night’s new TV rivalry.
#22 Supernatural vs. Fringe
At this week’s TCA Press Tour, Fox network executive Kevin Reilly maintained that his network’s show, Fringe would have no trouble standing up to The CW’s Supernatural. As Reilly put it, “Even in genre, [Supernatural] is not a ratings powerhouse.”
Strong words. But, ratings aside, how would the two shows fare when pitted against each other? We compared Fringe and Supernatural in 10 areas to see which show would triumph when forced to compete with each other.
#21 Hunky Heartthrobs
Supernatural has the unnaturally hot Winchester brothers. Fringe has Pacey.
No shortage of hotness on either program.
#20 Winner: Supernatural
Joshua Jackson’s Peter may be all sorts of emotive deliciousness, but there are two smoking hot heroes on Supernatural. When you’re equal on quality, quantity takes the prize.
#19 Wise Elders
Bobby Singer’s got a lot of books, kickass weaponry and an impressive number of phone lines dedicated to criminal activity. Despite a gruff nature, he’s the toughest and kindest father figure the Winchester boys could hope for.
Walter Bishop has a full-on mad scientist lab equipped with mind-altering drugs, computers, medical apparatus and a cow. He’s also kind of bonkers and is often more concerned with milkshakes than saving the day.
#18 Winner: Fringe
While Bobby can kill you with little effort, Walter can bring you back! He wins.
#17 The Ladies
Wonderful as Supernatural may be, the show doesn’t do female characters so well. Meg and Ruby have been mildly interesting villains. Ellen and Jo were decent allies. Lisa was pretty cool.
But can any of these women hold a candle to Fringe’s Olivia Dunham? Or even to Astrid, for that matter?
#16 Winner: Fringe
Olivia is possibly the coolest woman on TV right now. No one else stands a chance.
Remember “The Pattern” on Fringe? The show apparently doesn’t either. But that was about as determinedly-evil as the show has managed. The current arch-villains are merely doppelgangers of the heroes themselves. Creepy, yes. But not as evil as one might want.
Over on Supernatural, it’s another story. In addition to monsters, demons and vengeful god-figures, the Winchesters have had to face down Satan himself. That’s serious.
#14 Winner: Supernatural
While the greatest foe you could ever face is yourself, monsters make for better TV. And again, Supernatural has the Devil.
#13 Unemotional Types
When not fighting a seemingly endless battle in Heaven, Castiel always takes the time to pal around with Sam and (especially) Dean. He misses the jokes, rarely cracks a smile and is generally mystified by the lighter side of humanity. But Castiel always wants to help out.
On Fringe, the Observer mostly does just that: observe. When not eating spicy food and taking notes, the man just kind of watches. Occasionally he saves someone’s life, but you get the feeling there may be some nefarious parts to that.
#12 Winner: Supernatural
Castiel is way cooler.
#11 World-Ending Events
Sam and Dean have recently averted the apocalypse. Armageddon itself. The combined forces of Heaven and Hell came down to Earth and lost to the Winchesters and their car.
Meanwhile, Fringe has dealt with an entire alternate universe that declared war on our own. And the other guys have better weapons.
#10 Winner: Supernatural
Fringe might mount some competition if the battle between universes ever reaches a boiling point, but for now, Supernatural’s actual Armageddon wins out.
#9 Things That Make You Want to Puke
Both Supernatural and Fringe specialize in the gross and disturbing. Monsters eat people, gory events transpire and science goes horribly wrong. It’s never safe to be eating while watching either program.
#8 Winner: Fringe
Supernatural has its gross-out moments, definitely. But Fringe has made it a habit to begin virtually every episode with a scene so grotesque that you question why you ever wanted to watch the show in the first place. So Fringe wins.
#7 Cool Toys
Fringe has a never-ending supply of technology-filled gadgets that do everything from play music to rip holes in the fabric of reality. Unfortunately, they all kind of look the same.
Supernatural is decidedly lower-tech. The toys tend more toward an ample arsenal of weaponry — such weaponry! Also, there’s the Impala.
#6 Winner: Supernatural
Their toys may not be as flashy, but Supernatural’s weapons have a coolness factor that no high-tech gadgetry can touch. You don’t need computers and flashing lights when guns and salt will do the trick.
#5 Alternate Universes
Fringe and Supernatural have both played around with the idea of alternate universes. On Supernatural, the Winchester brothers visited alternate universes to catch brief glimpses of the lives they might have led. Then they snap back to reality.
On Fringe, however, the alternate universe is reality. It’s just as real as our universe. And going back and forth, although hazardous to your health, doesn’t change much. Both universes still exist.
#4 Winner: Fringe
It’s not just a glimpse at “what might have been”: Fringe’s alternate universe is a real, comprehensive, co-existing world with just as much to offer as our own.
Even before he was born, Sam was chosen for nefarious purposes that came to light when he reached adulthood. And then both Sam and Dean turned out to be “vessels” for the opposing forces’ leaders in Armageddon: Lucifer and the Archangel Michael.
The Fringe characters’ destinies are a little more vague. Olivia is supposed to be a soldier to fight the other universe. And there’s a picture of Peter showing him destroying worlds. If we ever figure that out, it could be pretty big.
#2 Winner: Supernatural
Without destiny, Sam and Dean would just be violent guys with issues. It’s destiny that makes them into heroes.
Besides, if you’re going to bother with destiny, you need to spell it out for us.
#1 Overall Winner: Supernatural
It’s close, but Supernatural does seem to have what it takes to win out over the challenger, Fringe. Now we’ll just have to see whether the ratings agree or differ.