The original X-Files premiere back in September 1993 was one of the few times I remember being gathered with my dad and brothers to just watch a show. I didn’t know back then that I’d be watching this show until I was most of my way through high school or that a lot of it’s procedural traits would bleed into shows like C.S.I.
I was a big fan; every Sunday night the show came on I was there. And when the show moved days I followed. I was too young to see the first movie in theaters by myself, but I went opening day to the second. Oh, and I own seasons one through nine on DVD.
So, when I tell you that the last few days have been pretty fucking fantastic you can guess why.
The X-Files season ten premier successfully did something few shows can claim. They resurrected a show that ended years ago with the original cast and keeping all of the old story in play.
There’s been some talk of the shows political stance…the Alex Jones-esque Info wars style character that Joel McHale inhabits and I think people forget that that’s always been there. Before there was your Benghazis or death panels there was a smoking man leading a shadowy cabal bent on plutocracy. Before there was 9/11 the Lone Gunman fought to keep a faction of the United States Government from crashing commercial airliners into the World Trade Center (this episode aired in March 2001, six months before the event).
The X-Files has never been afraid to push the envelope and use tragedy you fuel story and they’ve never been particularly disrespectful to their source material.
That rung true in the first episode and as they brought back that in 2002 they had mentioned FEMA as the secret government–a body that during alien colonization would come to control the state of emergency and other government bodies. This was years before Katrina put FEMA on everyone’s radar and that wasn’t the first time the show had name dropped that agency.
And when they named dropped Edward Snowden it seemed right in line with the kind of person Mulder is. The whole truths or bust. The kind of guy who would travel to the artic to break into a submarine or risk breaking into a military base filled with black ops agents just to glimpse the truth.
It felt like the old days or the show, but properly updated for the modern era. Cell phones and modern computers were there and the three title characters are older, but the show feels like X-Files.
The nine season history of the show isn’t used to drag the show back through nostalgic territory and is instead there to help build something new. Never mind that a lot of the conspiracy theories are thought to be held by unsavory types. That was always Scully and Mukder’s arena.
The show had to be a little faster paced because it’s not 1993 anymore and audiences have come to expect it, but it makes the transition well.
We’ve seen a trend lately of continuation shows Girl Meets World and Fuller House, but the X-Files this might be the best one. It certainly feels more necessary.