March 25, 2015
I used to be a HUGE X-Files fan. Massive. I organized viewing parties in the dorm in college for second season. I dressed as Scully for Halloween at the bookstore. (I still have the fake FBI ID badge I rigged up from my old military ID. I probably broke some laws doing this, now that I think of it. Hm.) How big of a fan was I? I have pretty much every magazine that put the show on its cover in the mid-90’s. I have them bagged. Cinefantasique did great episode guides, and I have all those too. This is only part of the collection — I didn’t dig the rest out of the basement.
I realized recently I don’t talk about this fandom of mine much. Mostly because I completely stopped watching the show after about sixth or seventh season. It lost its way, it lost the thing that made it great, and became one of my early data points on how not to write a series.
The early episodes, particularly right around seasons 2 and 3, are still brilliant. Go back and give them a spin.
So how do I feel about news of a reboot? Very, very meh. I’m glad it’s a mini-series — less chance for everyone involved to embarrass themselves. But mostly I feel the way I did when the second movie came out. Why? Why? Is there a reason for this except to cash in on the nostalgia of old-school fans? The first season is more than 20 years in the past. In some ways The X-Files was a product of its time — post 80’s cynicism merging with the growing paranoia of the 90’s. Can this premise even really function in an age when Ancient Aliens is an actual TV show? Can The X-Files really do anything new? Does it even want to? Or is this just to roll around in the nice cozy blanket of Scully and Mulder’s banter? And the idea of The X-Files ever being cozy is a bit much for me to wrap my brain around. This is the horror TV show that made all horror TV that came after it possible.
I’ll watch, most likely. I’ll probably even like it. But I don’t expect it to be in any way as amazing or as revolutionary as it was then.
And really, I want something new to get excited about.
(If they can get Darin Morgan to write an episode, I’ll take everything back.)