Well, it's not as if he's got a show about strange and unexplained phenomena being investigated by the FBI...with a hot female playing the role of one of the agents... and sexual tension between the two leads...emmm...
Here's how things went down with Carter, as best I can recall. X-Files was an awesome and quirky series covering subject matter like deadly fungus, la chupacabra, and robot cockroach spies. But then it got all government conspiracy. Blah. Then Carter unveiled Millennium, which hit the ground running with Lance Henriksen as the lead, a great premise, and some great episodes. But then it got all government conspiracy. Carter, did you learn nothing??
Along comes JJ Abrams with LOST, and the country goes nutty. A book used as a prop in an episode jumped into the best sellers lists as a result. LOST hit the ground running with a great premise and some great episodes and then...yeah, you know what happened. Conspiracy and stupid convoluted plot twists to the point that I utterly LOST interest. It was a shame.
Last Sunday we caught the latest JJ Abrams series, Fringe. And you know what, it's not half bad! And Tuesday night the second episode aired, and also was not half bad! Which makes me nervous. The premise involves a possible big-picture pattern of unexplained phenomena, but the pattern I'm more concerned with is the X-Files/Millennium/LOST one described above.
The cast is solid, including John Noble (Denethor in The Return of the King) as the eccentric mad scientist. Granted, some of Fringe is cheesy (you HAVE to strip down to your underwear and get in the water to communicate telepathically with coma victims. Everyone knows that. It's science.) but for the most part, it was enjoyable and interesting, and used some cool animations and integrated location text.
You can see the premiere episode of Fringe on the official site. In the end, it's fine for the show to follow the general premise of X-Files (I liked the general premise of X-Files!), but can we just this once NOT ruin yet another good series by smothering it with a cheap synthetic pillow of plot twists and conspiracy? I'm a little uneasy about the threat of this that the mysterious Massive Dynamic corporation represents, but so far, that's being well-represented by Blair Brown in the role of Nina Sharp.
Oh, and my new Trek movie, Abrams, you better watch your step with that! Do a good job or as Heidi Klum and all the major league umpires like to say, "You're OUT!"