Re: Is Fringe any good?
Personally I really like the show, it started out a bit of an X-Files clone but it goes off in it's own direction late in the season. But they have X-Files style eps. even into the second season.
The problem isn't that they do freaks of the week type stories--the problem is that they aren't the least bit fresh or clever with any sort of interesting spin or twist. It pretty much is straightforward as we sit through the motions as they go from point A to point B by the end of the hour. It also has a bad habit of being formulaic in that some mumbo jumbo gadget saves the day. Those were big problems in season one and the only time we got a break from that was with the mythology episodes which injected some genuine mystery and suspense as to what is going on and what would happen next. That is why the show desperately needs to be the kind of heavily serialized show that LOST or season one Heroes is/was. It forces the writers to carve out a unique identity for the show.
The "freak of the week" formula on The X-Files was taken from the original Night Stalker show, so it's not new either way you look at it. But they can still provide some good shocks which really is the point of the storylines to being with.
The greatest science fiction series of all time is
Doctor Who! And I'll take you all on, one-by-one
or all in a bunch to back it up!"
--- Harlan Ellison, from his introduction
to the PINNACLE series of Doctor Who books