Re-Opening the X-Files

I’m not sure what happened, but last week I lost my damn mind and started watching The X-Files on Netflix Watch Instantly. Started with the pilot episode (originally aired on September 10, 1993) and I’ve slowly been going through the first season. Most of these episodes I haven’t seen since I first watched them, and some I haven’t seen at all.

I’ve talked about The X-Files before, and not charitably. It was a show that was appointment TV for my group of friends, a show I invested a fair amount of attention on, only to have it squandered away. It was one of my first experiences with watching a show I liked devolve into stupid nonsense. So why return to it? No idea. Maybe this time, knowing that there’s no payoff, that there’s no underlying sense to be made of the dumb mytharc episodes, I can enjoy what there is instead of what I think there will be.

So far, though, I’m enjoying it, not worrying about what’s coming. I’m only a few episodes into the first season and it’s…well look, I know what the producers were going for and it wasn’t “adorable” but that’s what it is. Oh sure, there are some creepy things, but Mulder and Scully are just so damn cute together. Small wonder this is one of the places “shipping” got started; their chemistry is great.

The writing too is pretty good in these opening episodes. I just finished “Conduit” (the one with the kid who writes 1s and 0s he gets from the TV), which I remember thinking was a really good one, and it holds up. It’s well done in that although Mulder and Scully only see the edges of the story, you can piece it together. I’ve also seen “Squeeze” (the first episode with Tooms) and “Deep Throat” (the one with Ellens Air Force Base, featuring a wee little begoateed Seth Green) and they also hold up.

Also, goddamn, Gillian Anderson.

(She apparently is blonde now, and a blind idiot god rules over his hapless creation.)

You know, as big as the show got, I thought it would be bigger. I imagined that it would be a thing where, if someone told you a story that was kind of spooky or weird, instead of doing the “do-do-do-do, do-do-do-do” of the Twilight Zone theme, you’d do this:

That didn’t happen, and I don’t think people even do the Twilight Zone thing anymore either. I’m going to make it my goal to make that something people do, won’t you join me in this?

I don’t know if I’ll make it past the point in season five when I originally got fed up and quit. Hell, I don’t know if I’ll make it to the end of season one. But for now it’s kind of a fun ride. And already it’s paying off in things I didn’t notice the first time around. Like how it only just now dawns on me, twenty years later, that Mr. and Mrs. Mulder named their kids Samantha and Fox.

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