I want to like “Fringe.” I really, really do. Really. I like what JJ has done in the past, and while I still have mixed feelings about “Lost” (I’m genuinely lost most of the time when I watch it), but I like it. He’s good with characters. I didn’t see the monster movie he produced, but I’d be willing to give it a chance.

But “Fringe.” I can’t help but feel it’s a bit of a faux “X-Files.” I’m sure JJ doesn’t want to bill it that way, but it just smacks of it—fringe science, alien abductions, all the things that the “X-Files” had covered.

This show seems less interesting. I sat down after it was caught on my Tivo with a glass of vino, and watched about half of it, which was all I could really take at the time. It just didn’t capture my interest. The characters weren’t that compelling. The whole plot about the lovers was a little predictable. You know that as soon as someone—at the BEGINNING of your story—tells the other that he loves her, there’s going to be trouble. Contemporary storytelling (especially on television) dictates that the three little words cannot be uttered without consequence.

And maybe what bothers me the most is that attention wasn’t paid to the characterization like it was with Lost. There’s no real fascination with the characters—there’s more focus on the plot and making the audience zip around the twists and turns. It was one of those shows where SO MUCH had to be packed into the 90 minutes that it HAD to skip along, at the expense of the characters.

The science, however, WAS interesting. I haven’t looked into whether or not what happened to that guy’s skin could really happen, but I’m guessing it could. (“Fringe” science.)

What happened at the end, of course. WAS a surprise. Interesting, but … not THAT interesting. It just wasn’t enough for me to give a crap about whether she goes on to take the job or not.

I think, unfortunately, the producers are going to have to take a few more cues from the “X-Files” to get the show off on the right step, namely conspiracy theories and outer space dudes. Threats from outer space are always fun to work with.

But of course—the series is still in its infancy. These kinds of shows have a way of developing over time.