I came to a realization tonight while watching the newest episode of Fringe.
This is The X-Files. Follow along:
FBI agents. Check.
Large, over-arcing plot that deals with supernatural themes. The whole thing is fuzzy enough that it keeps you interested, but never so concrete that it makes complete sense. Check.
A character with dubious motives (the smoking man) that helps the FBI agents at times. The observer. Check.
"Freak of the week" episodes that have absolutely nothing to do with the show's over-arcing theme. Little to no plot or character development in these episodes. Check.
Slight sexual/romantic tension between the male and female leads is hinted at from time to time. It never really goes anywhere. Check.
And that's it. All the ingredients are there. It's a rip-off of a show that's not even a decade old.
I'm a little disappointed in Abrams and company. I know everything is derivative of something else, but this is a little too close to be okay, in my book.
Not to mention the fact that Fringe is sloppy. The writers are either dumb or they write dumb FBI agents from time to time, and that bugs me.
In addition, the science in the show is bad. Now, I know it's fringe science, but I'd like them to at least attempt explanations for everything and then remain internally consistent. But instead, they do whatever they want without explaining it over half the time, and then don't bother to be consistent within their own universe.
It's lazy writing. I'd be done with this show except for Walter and the aforementioned over-arcing show theme.