Throwdown, the Results Show: Which J.J. Abrams Show is Better, Lost or Fringe?

By Tim Surette

Jan 26, 2012

Remind me never to ever make Lost or Fringe the subject of Throwdown again. You guys commented in record numbers for the feature, amassing more than 600 responses. And for the most part, the discussion was remarkably civil and only devolved into fanboy name-calling toward the end. But I don't see that as hostility, I see that as a sign of passion (and maybe a little bit of "daddy didn't love you enough").

It was great to see all the love for Fringe and Lost. The majority of you really liked both shows, and I got a kick out of all the "Don't make me choose!" responses. But think of it as practice for the next time you're in a concentration camp and the German guard says you can only take one of your children (Sophie's Choice, anyone?). Also, a lot of you with Fringe user icons chose Lost, and vice versa. To me, that's a testament to how good both shows are.

But in the end, the winner was... Fringe, by a vote of 219 to 143. There were lots of disclaimers because Fringe hasn't ended, and some people were turned off by Lost's finale. Fringe supporters cited its sci-fi roots, question-answering, and more time spent with a smaller cast. Those who favored Lost noted its ability to change the way we watch television, its spirituality, its social impact, and its abundance of stellar episodes. As for my stance, I'm going to side with the 17 folks who copped out and said "both." Yeah, yeah, I'm a wuss. I know. But when I look at the pros and cons of both shows, I see them as even. I'm a million-percent invested in Fringe and love the way it makes me think, but I'll never forget how I felt about Lost and how it changed me as a television viewer.

Let's take a look at the results in pie-graph form, because that's what Mr. Eko would have wanted us to do.

Which J.J. Abrams Show is Better, Lost or Fringe?
Fringe 219 | Lost 143 | Both 17 | Alias 7 | Alcatraz 1 | Felicity 1

Just look at Walter. He's clearly wondering who the boob is who voted for Alcatraz. Relax, Walter, it was just a joke. There were plenty more jokes in the comments (which I always love), as well as some incredibly serious answers. And a few of you even wrote books on the subject! Special shout-outs to @bendyelgsnick, @bothcats, @Summerqueen, @Hungry_Homer111 (who always provided excellent commentary on my Lost articles), @JeffBabies, @TrevPlatt, @shootingstar609, @Arch_Angel88, @neilwatches, and @AlexanderZhao for their extensive thoughts. I encourage you to take a look at everything they wrote. But for now, let's highlight the best snippets!

Chumpstlz1 made no sense, but made me chuckle with: "I guess the hipster thing is to say Fringe."

NateDogTheGreat managed to bring Lebron into the argument: "Fringe by a couple of universes. Not only does it have time travel like Lost, but it handles it much better than its more popular counterpart. On top of that, it has basis in real areas of cutting-edge science. Lost never even knew what its identity was until its writers decided their horrendous ending. Religion, the worst cop-out to many decently written supernatural sagas that were all overrated in the end. As if that weren't enough, Fringe handles (channeling Lebron James) not one, not two, but possibly as many as three separate universes and makes them intertwine and snuggle in comfortably with one another as if that were the plan all along. Lost infamously has more loose ends than, well. . . nothing good. As it turns out, Lost was doomed once it received its name and became the epitome of itself. Fringe will make you tingle with happiness and joy, just as I imagine the fringe of many things will do." Some would say Fringe is also channeling Lebron because it's weak in its fourth quarter.

Miss_Mouse88, will you marry me? "Fringe is weird and great without going over the edge into crazy town. Lost, on the other hand, skipped merrily into crazy town, ran for mayor, won, painted the entire town pink with yellow polka dots and decreed it law that people must speak backwards from that day forward. What I'm trying to say is that Fringe wins."

platoonist loves his parents very much: "Asking to choose between these two is like asking to choose between your mom and dad."
Montana_Katana does not: "Maybe, if one of your parents is a drunken ex-con." Which one is the drunken ex-con, Montana?! Lost or Fringe?

skyermay00 still thinks Mrs. Cruise is Joey Potter: "Lost. Anytime I've ever tried to watch Fringe I can't believe Joshua Jackson as anyone other than Pacey."

But Shikady, they DID die! "I'd say: Fringe wins in almost every aspect of what makes a show... a show lol. It has better actors, better story, better story telling, all the characters are great, while in Lost I hated characters so much I wanted for them to die. (I'm looking at you, Jack and Sun...and sometimes Kate.) [Fringe] doesn't leave you hanging all the series just to know what the hell happened, etc."

Left4Ed got honest and gave great examples of how a show can bring people together: "At a low point in my life, when I was mopping floors at an office building for minimum wage, I discovered one of the higher-up worker bees was a huge Lost fan and while I was emptying his garbage, we'd chat excitedly about the previous night's episode like friends. At a grocery store, I got into a twenty-minute discussion with a complete stranger about Lost after commenting on her Lost-themed shirt. With Fringe, not only did I have that completely stunned moment, it's never led to those wonderful little moments with other fans. A lot of my friends watched Lost. None of them watch Fringe... So that sort of connection isn't there, with the community of fans, despite familiarity or class difference, and because of that, it doesn't make me appreciate Fringe like it made me appreciate Lost. I love both but Lost will always win in my book, for those reasons."

cezarrrr is talkin' 'bout his generation: "I might always prefer Lost because it was a mark for my generation, just like people who saw Twin Peaks in the '90s might always prefer Twin Peaks over any weird mystery sci-fi show."

Cranky_Old_Batt did not watch the same Lost pilot I did: "Fringe. I couldn't get past the first fifteen minutes of Lost."

Don't be surprised if you walk in on Tayke making love to his/her television: "Let's look at it this way, Lost is your college sweetheart. You had some good times, but ultimately, things didn't end on the best of terms. you cherish your memories, but accept you no longer feel the same way. Fringe is the guy (or girl) who comes along and you end up married to. It's a relationship with it ups and downs, but in the end, worth it. Yes, what a weird, weird... Metaphor."

emmiegirl will always earn a mention if she quotes Fievel: "Fringe, 100 percent. Admitted Rabid Fan Girl. The show is brilliant, the actors are uncommonly fantastic, and I haven't found myself rooting this hard for a guy to make it back to the people he loves since little Fievel Mousekewitze sang "Somewhere Out There." (sniff). John Noble is AMAZING, cannot possibly say enough good things about his performance as Walter Bishop, and while I do not know what universe we are in half the time, my inner geek digs the challenge."

That's it for this week! We'll be back next week with a new Throwdown!

Follow writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

  • Comments (146)
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  • justtimthen Jul 07, 2014

    Game of Thrones vs Breaking bad
    Bit difficult because GoT aint finished yet But those are my two favorite shows of all time.

  • bigarbel May 19, 2012

    Run this one again but Fringe vs Person of Interest

  • PabloUriarte Feb 03, 2012

    I liked Lost a lot, I watched it once it ended and I enjoyed pretty much the six seasons, however it never hooked me like Fringe did.... in fact, I have never been so hooked for a show, not even Pushing Daisies, which was my previous favorite, or Supernatural which came next (and left in season 6). Fringe is outright perfect, it's smart, it makes you feel all kind of emotions, and it certainly made me cry once (I'm looking at you Marionette episode). I love the characters and I find the story arcs better crafted than Lost. I think Lost high point was season 4, which is my favorite; I enjoyed seasons 5 and 6, and I cried at the end when I saw Sawyer and Juliet finally together (awesome couple), but it certainly does not compare with the feelings Fringe has awoken for me. Walter just makes melt inside, makes laugh and makes sad for him, Olivia breaks my heart time to time and Peter makes me gasp, they are a wonderful cast, they bring Fringe alive along with amazing stories, which I think are the best ever made in sci-fi.

    Summing it up, Fringe>Lost. Sorry Lost, you were a wonderful show, but Fringe is only getting better and better each season, it surpassed you already by the end of season 2

  • zedtaker Mar 04, 2013

    lol, go watch Alias and X files, its far better than fringe

  • Brother0miki0jr Feb 03, 2012

    i actualy somehow cried @ the end of the lost finaly,, i had never been drawn to a show as much as lost, i mean how sad is it that jack dies on the same spot where he woke up for the 1st time on the pilot episode back in season 1. briliant!!!

    *emotionaly, lost is better but nothing compares to the thrill that comes with fringe

  • Yasser-24 Jan 31, 2012

    LOST is the best show to ever aired on TV. The pilot was the most brilliant hour ever made. The season 3 finale was the best written episode of all time. The series finale were the most breathtaking finale of all time. And now back to FRINGE. the season 2 finale were one of the most confusing episode and shocking of all time. the 'Peter' episode were one of the most touching episodes, the season 3 finale was the most mind-blowing episode ever written. and the series finale was? well are still waiting. so for now, I would say LOST > FRINGE.

  • zedtaker Mar 04, 2013

    yes agreed and the fringe finally wasn't really good.

  • Tayke Jan 31, 2012

    Haha what I do with my television is my own damn business! Thanks for the mention :)

  • shootingstar609 Jan 31, 2012

    thanks for the shoutout!

  • BigStevie1973 Jan 31, 2012

    Lost got off to a great start and then just got a bit too weird, ending finally with one of the weakest, most disappointing finales I have ever encountered. Fringe on the other hand has managed to keep me gripped from day one and here's hoping that it doesn't go off the rails too!!

  • FringeFanaticcc Jan 30, 2012

    Lost was all in all a great show with great actors. I watched all of them. Yes there were episodes that were slow/poor and some cliff hangers that made me sick but, it was good. Based on the end though, i'm still LOST lol.

    Fringe from episode 1 for me has been amazing from a scientific background and phenomena. It has delivered neat and tidy complex storylines that not only grip, but fascinate me. It's take on time and space is well done while exercising what is a police type genre. All the characters in the show execute commanding performances consistently. FINALLY and this i a fact when it came to alot of shows that registered poor viewer ratings. MOSTLY EVERYBODY DOWNLOADS THE EPISODES THE MINUTE IT'S AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY CAN'T WAIT TO WATCH IT. Based on this the ratings for screen watching will never be superb. Many of the avid watchers have never watched it live as it has come on at an hour locally unsuitable or has been inaccessible due to country restrictions, but you can guarantee that the millions and millions are hooked nonetheless.

  • FringeFanaticcc Jan 30, 2012

    Oh and when fringe ends unless it can be equaled with such greatness, my TV will only be good for use with the games consoles!!!

  • RobGrizz Jan 30, 2012

    Its easy to say Fringe since its still on, and people still feel jipped by the LOST finale. Come back with the same question in 2 years.

    Lost will always be Abram's best show. Let me put it this way: You don't see marketing that says "From the creator of Fringe."

  • BarryDalton Jan 30, 2012

    Because Lost was a "pop" show, just like Lady Gaga gets more hype than Adele.

    That doesn't mean Lady Gaga's music is better, does it?

  • joeca1234 Jan 31, 2012

    Here Here!

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