Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The X Files "My Struggle" and "Founder's Mutation"

While it is not a perfect show (seasons eight and nine being exhibit a) “The X-Files” is my favorite TV show. I love the mystery, the characters, the horror and the humor. It may have been the perfect show for my generation with its “Trust Know One” cynicism, but also with the hope of “I want to believe.”

My kids and I are only just into season three, but we have jumped ahead and started watching the new shows as they air. It does a good job of bringing in new audiences. You don’t have to have seen the whole run to catch up. But, as my kids point out, it isn’t as though The X Files is about presenting concrete developments. As the master storyteller J. J. Abrams says, the real joy is in the anticipation, not the reveal.

“My Struggle” is a mixed joy. We get the good stuff of old. The opening is there. The conspiracies are there. Things have been brilliantly updated to the current climate post nine eleven. And it is fun to see them mix real world problems with the coo coo.

But there is also a bitter sweet side to things. A lot of time has past and we can see that Mulder and Scully have not had a happy ever after. And, to be realistic this first episode is just an exercise in catching people up and introducing newbies.

“Founder’s Mutation” though is The X Files as it should be. Even better, we now have better technologies, effects and new-even-scarier boogiemen.

In the nineties, The X Files worked because life was safe and good. The Cold War was over, we trusted the system, and horror stories were simply harmless fun. Today, the world is a scarier place. We are experiencing a new global religious war, anyone can be a target and we know that our governments can’t be trusted to protect us. That the show has managed to adapt is impressive. I can’t wait to see what is in store.

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