Fringe does feel like an updated Y2K verson of The X-Files... on Acid. X-Files at the height of its storytelling quality (years 1, 2 and 3) is still pretty good, the 'Conspiracy Mythos' that effectivly killed the show by being too convoluted for its own good has yet to become the bloated beast and the standalone episodes range from generic to inventive from week to week. I watched the pilot episode of the X-Files last week and is still a very good 45 minutes of drama and manages to give you all you need for the premise of the show and doesn't feel flabby or forced.
For all of Fringe's insane plotting and how it leaps to greater and greater heights of insanity for a primetime show... on Fox, it manages to keep the storylines ticking over and actually bothers to answer the questions it asks. THEN goes even more crazy. If you had approached me midway through watching Season 1 and told me what I would be in for by the time Season Four had finished, I would not believe you.
Fringe is really what Torchwood should have been like. Off the wall, insane drama, but knew when to take itself seriously and when to have John Noble (easily the best thing about the show) walk around naked, stoned off his tits. While doing important research work. On a cow.