Last Sunday I partied like it was 1999. Because in 1999 I was a teenager watching the X files, glued to my TV every time it was on, (in the days before DVR, when you actually had to be in front of the TV at a certain time every week). It was strange, thrilling, but strange, to see Mulder and Scully teamed up again. And not strange because of the paranormal subject matter, strange because it felt so much like it did before, but not in a good way, if that makes any sense at all. It felt like they had taken 14 years off, then came back on, shoved a bunch of exposition into the first 15 minutes of the show to take note of the bush era, 9/11, and Obama, before going right back to 90’s camp and that dry banter that made them famous. But I didn’t feel anything…greater… between them and I felt like should have because of all the time that had passed. I felt like there should have been so weight to the reunion, but it felt kind of empty, and I’m wondering why. Was it the acting? Perhaps. They both seemed like they were trying too hard to get back to what they had. Duchovny has grown in his craft over the years to wider ranges (see Californication). Honestly I can’t say I’ve followed much of what Anderson has done over the past decade, but it seems like they both had to regress to fill these roles again, despite, the subject matter of their absent child, the government conspiracy to genetically engineer alien human hybrids and then use alien tech in a secret plot to take over the world. Even Joel Mchale of Community fame seemed to fall a little flat, filling a role but not making it “pop” as a Bill O’Riley inspired conservative political mouthpiece who is secretly, then not so secretly, a Mulder-level conspiracy theorist.
The special effects were well-wrought and tactically deployed. From UFO’s and monsters to deformed children and eerie flashbacks, the technical aspects of the show have only grown. The media build was also very well done, and the two-part premiere over two days was a good move to get people hooked in. I just hope that the chemistry and plot grow a bit beyond what came before. I will not discuss the movies here, because I feel like they don’t belong to the spiritual continuity of the show, but I think they started too much where they left off (the smoking man was in this one)
despite the time jump. I hope to see a bit more emotion and irrationality out of the two headliners as things around them grow even more out of control. On the whole a decent re-launch of the series, but perhaps a bit behind the starting line. I will tune in to see how it develops because, much like the characters, I believe, and the truth of the show is out there.