From this week's Entertainment Weekly (Fall Preview issue):
Abrams [...] believes the pilot, though entertaining, doesn't quite nail his character-driven series vision: "In many ways, the first episodes that follow are better. They're much more focused."
In that case I might check out the next few episodes if I have the time (I watch too many shows already) and I see more positive reactions in the threads here, but I doubt I will continue watching this show.
I gave up on X-Files relatively early because I got fed up with the "supernatural" episodes that quickly got ridiculous and the more interesting alien plot went nowhere fast. This doesn't exactly make me look forward to more Fringe episodes.
As The characters? Meh. Don't care for any of them. And that's the real problem. I would have given up on shows like Lost a long time ago if there weren't some intriguing characters on that show (YMMV of course).
I gave this an average. It wasn't bad
per se, just not all that interesting compared to the shows I already like and watch.