I'll grant that I'm not exactly a fan of J.J. Abrams' productions, but I'm having a real problem with Fringe. I mean, there's certainly enough to criticize in the episode I caught tonight, ranging from Joshua Jackson's uni-dimensional "loud and angry means I'm being earnest" method right through a plot line that was uninteresting, inconclusive, and utterly pointless. Strangely, my troubles have nothing to do with relatively high standards for sci-fi series (Seriously, I have no idea how you can watch some of this stuff...) It's based on a singular, ridiculously distracting element.
You see, whenever John Noble has lines as the somewhat unhinged (some would say, "mad") scientist Dr. Walter Bishop, I can't get past how much he sounds like August Strindberg in the Strindberg and Helium cartoons. This of course means that when he's explaining things of deep gravity and probably of great significance to, you know, caring about the characters or series, my head is inserting Helium's squeaking after each sentence.