The X-Files (season 10)
When I heard the news about The X-Files coming back to television, I had mixed feelings on it. Was this a cash in? Or a legit return to form from the creators? Could it be *any* good or will this just tarnish the shows namesake? Perhaps it was already tarnished enough. After all, who am I to judge? I watched The X-Files when it premiered in 1993 and loved it for many years; it was a staple in my television diet. That is, until the last few seasons. Me going "away" to university and Duchovny quitting the show aligned for what it's worth, and I stopped watching (to be fair, I stopped watching mostly everything during those college years). The show seemed to have run its course, and I wasn't eager to go back to it - at all. I had seen the movies, of course, but they were forgettable. I couldn't tell you where the Mythos storyline ended, nor did I really care. Because I really don't care for that story. The monster-of-the-week were some of my favourite shows; showcasing the paranormal, completely unexplained cases were the most fascinating, interesting and entertaining shows of the run - for me, at least.
We sat down to watch the premiere of season ten, and all my fears were realized: it was heavy on mythos. They tried to explain much of what happened in the previous nine seasons, and they did a good job. They also seemed to explain away a lot of big mystery and decided to move forward full tilt. I was not sold on it.
However, the new season did feel like the old show, and I give them major kudos for that. The music, the pacing, and the acting were all spot-on to give me that X-Files Feeling. Things got exponentially better, as the following episodes dealt with unique cases and nothing to do with the mythos. It was refreshing to see our investigators in the modern world, handling old supernatural and quirky creatures and phenomenon. The humour was perfect, and I felt as though the show took on the fourth wall a bit, with subtle winks handled through new characters. With the introduction of Agents Einstein and Miller, we're seeing The X-Files - in the show's reality, questioned, just like we were told about at the shows introduction. A decade later and the Files are completely forgotten about, considered a myth on their own; it's easy to see that happen in today's fast technological world. Einstein and Miller also represent potential replacements for Scully and Mulder, something which I suppose could happen if the show gets picked up again. Then I think: why haven't they just remade the show?
Well, I'm glad they didn't. Gillian Anderson is even more beautiful now than she was 20 years ago, and Duchovny looks very comfortable in front of the "I want to believe" poster. Gillian is obviously out-acting everyone now, giving her character depth that I'm not sure was present before - or at the very least, that I've forgotten (definitely the case). If they were replaced, I would be sad. But if they can develop new characters with the same writing that made The X-Files so great to begin with, I think we would be in good shape. That is, if I get exactly what I want: light mythology with the focus being on the investigation of weird stuff all over the continent. It's why I enjoyed Fringe so much: those one-off episodes were brilliant, but the mythos was more straight-forward. They also - in Fringe - made a point to resolve a mystery and introduce more, giving you and the characters some sense of satisfaction while moving the show forward into new situations. The X-Files could really learn from that if they push through to more seasons.
It was a great ride, and I'm sad that it ended at six episodes. The last episode was just awful though. Just. Awful. "Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster" was absolutely brilliant, but the other stand-alone episodes are great as well. Looking forward to more, regardless!