My initial plan for today’s post was to write a review of the first episode of Colony, the new show about aliens from Carlton Cuse (of LOST fame). As I started to gather my thoughts on what I thought of the show I started to realize that I was kind of indifferent. I didn’t love it nor did I hate it. It was a show that just existed. Yes I’ll stick around and give it my three episode test and see if it could win me over. Oh, the three episode test. You see any show I’m interested in based off of trailers gets a three episode window to wow me. If the third episode ends and I’m not gushing like an 80’s girl who just got her first Rainbow Bright then I move on with my life. No harm. No foul. Although I guess you could say those are hours of my life I won’t be getting back, so maybe the crappy shows win in the end? Nah.
As I was pooling together my thoughts, and napping, during the Panthers/Seahawks game, something happened. Well for starters I opened my eyes to peep my TV which happened to be on commercial, and I saw a UFO crash into the desert. Instantly I was like whaaaaaat and rewound my TV so I could catch the trailer from the start. It actually turned out that was the start of the trailer and I didn’t need to rewind at all. I watched as this UFO crashed into a sandy terrain, the camera swooped in on the now busted up ship, and an alien hand slapped against the window. Picture the sex scene in Titanic just not as sexy, more eerie cause you know aliens have those long finger, the better to probe you with. I doubt this alien had asked to be painted like a French girl [Author’s Note: Is it me or am I just killing it with these references today? Reference game on point ya’ll] After the window slapping the logo for The X-Files popped up on the screen, and it dawned on me. I am pumped for the X-Files revival.
The X-Files is the first television show that I can remember obsessing about. I think I would also classify it as the first show I ever truly binged watched. I remember for Christmas I got a number of X-Files VHS box sets to watch. I think it was three. Maybe four. Any way, the VHS tapes were listed as volumes not as seasons and contained three episodes per tape. I originally thought that the full season of the show didn’t make it on to the tapes, that the creators just picked and chose the best of the season. Of course this meant episodes that were heavy in the X-Files mythology and also the best of the spooky monsters. But now that I’m thinking about it, I’m sure the volumes were just the breakdown of the season. That makes more sense I think.
I got really into The X-Files as a teenager. On a personal level I’ve always been big into alien conspiracy theories, and believe that it’s more than possible for aliens to exist. It’s almost arrogant of humans to believe that we’re the only species in this infinite universe of ours. The conspiracy theories/aliens are what drew me in but it was Mulder and Scully that made me stay. I guess you could say that Mulder and Scully were the first television characters that I shipped hard for, plus there was this need for Scully to believe. Her brain would rationalize everything and just once I wanted to see her see some strange shit for what it was. Some strange shit. Also… major crush on Gillian Anderson. Major.
Being a huge fan of LOST, I make no secret for my love of shows with deep mythologies and it was The X-Files that first introduced me to that love. A show that gave us a main character whose sister was kidnapped by aliens, a secret group of alien soldiers, all those dark and seedy government officials behind the curtain manipulating everyone like puppets on strings, who was the Cigarette Smoking Man, and how was this all connected. Was there a chance that Mulder was just a giant pawn? All of these questions drew me deeper and deeper into the world that Chris Carter created. The X-Files exposed me to a world where a television show could really dive deeply into a bigger more connected story.
Then the movie came out. And it was awesome! I want to say that this was the first time that a show that was dominating TV filmed a movie while still on air. I could also be making that up. The girl I was dating at the time was also a huge X-Files fan (hi Julie!) and I want to say that we saw it at least three times in the theater. I had X-Files t-shirts, figures of Mulder and Scully, the soundtrack, and I want to say a traveling mug but I’m not entirely sure if that’s true. I was straight up obsessed with The X-Files, and then the strangest thing happened. I stopped watching. Just like that.
I can’t remember what caused me to stop watching The X-Files. Maybe it was because I associated the show with Julie and after we broke up I just couldn’t deal with watching it anymore. But my love for The X-Files existed before Julie so that couldn’t be it (sorry Julie!). I definitely wasn’t bored with the subject matter, but I think in some way I think the show had reached it’s ultimate mountain with the movie. The aliens were confirmed, the X-Files were re-opened, and I think Scully was able to finally see the big picture. Maybe that was all I needed so I trailed off.
I came back to the show for the final episode but by then I was so far removed that I didn’t know what was going on. Mulder and Scully had a kid? There was an explosion in the mountains that might have killed the Cigarette Smoking Man. The conspiracy had finally unraveled. But having missed like four seasons I didn’t get the emotional impact that I could have had if I stayed with the show.
Now the return of The X-Files is only a week away, and it took a thirty second TV spot to make me understand just how excited for the show I am. Don’t get me wrong I had been paying attention to the filming and the fact that it was coming back, but the excitement levels were even. Now I’m all like, I need to binge all of The X-Files tonight! Actually I have played around with the idea of re-watching The X-Files but the honest truth is I’m scared of the undertaking. There’s like ten seasons and each season has like twenty-two episodes. It would be such a huge project, but with the return of the show approaching I’m considering it more and more. Actually my friend Tom (hi Tom!), who might be the biggest X-Files fan I know, re-watched the entire series and it took him a great deal of time but said it was ultimately worth it. I think he might be right.
There is such a huge feeling of nostalgia with the return of The X-Files. I don’t hide the fact that I’m a child of the 90’s, I actually wear that badge quite proudly, and The X-Files was a huge part of growing for me. I can remember watching the VHS tapes in the living room with my parents trying to get them to believe as well. As a matter of fact they did, and I want to say they kept watching after I had stopped. There’s just something truly rewarding about getting your parents into something that you’re fully invested in. My ability to talk about the show with them was fun. I don’t know if you guys know this about me, but I love to discuss things (shocker), and the more people I can draw in to talk to me about it the better.
Next Sunday when The X-Files returns I will not be watching live. I’ll be doing the whole DVR thing because I have a Royal Rumble party to attend. Yes you read that right. But this doesn’t diminish how pumped I am. With only six episodes it feels like the show is going to go back to it’s core, and revive that kid in me who spent hours watching episodes on VHS tapes. A call back to being a kid, and speaking honestly I think we all strive for that feeling. Even if it’s just for an hour. When that theme strikes up it’ll be like going back in time. That alone is enough for me. The truth is out there and I can’t wait to start searching for it again.