Is it possible there are just no more X-Files left to be told?
Since the final episode of 'The X-Files' revival aired a few days ago, there have been hundreds of articles and blogs meticulously explaining everything the finale 'My Struggle II', as well as the rest of the mini-series, got irrevocably wrong. But, 'The X-Files' is a very important show for me, and so I feel like I have to put my thoughts out to the world, and once again shit on this polarising mess.
Yes, the problems mainly lie with show creator Chris Carter having lost his touch, wooden acting from the show's decrepit stars, Mulder and Scully's captivating relationship not being explored much/reaching no interesting peak, jumping into a big conspiracy storyline but then wasting precious time for weeks doing random Monster-of-the-Week cases, and the fact that we only got six episodes when there was enough story to fill a whole season, or, what I theorise, would have actually made a relatively interesting third film. But realistically, if any of those factors in which everyone is placing the blame on were fixed, do you think we'd still get a show as consistently good as those early days?
This is not the first time fans have been in uproar over 'The X-Files''s relentlessly on-going plot. In fact it's the third. Depending on who you ask, the show's original 9 season run started going off the rails after season 5 or 6, and while most would agree that seasons 7 and 8 had a few gems here and there, season 9 was a steaming pile which lead up to a lacklustre finale, which, ended in a cliffhanger.
Six years later we got the second film, 'I Want to Believe', which again, seemed to satisfy no one. It didn't even really resolve the cliffhanger left at the end of season 9, it just kind of swept it under the rug and continued with some bizarre psychological thriller which featured such talent as Billy Connolly as a wacky child molesting priest, and Xzibit. At least it didn't end on a cliffhanger though.
Then, eight years later we finally got our precious six episode 'tenth season', and except for one episode, everyone hated it again.... Oh and it ended in another cliffhanger! Yay!
That one episode everyone loved was of course Darin Morgan's 'Mulder and Scully Meet the Weremonster', and it was great because it was different, and weird, and was able to make fun of itself. But if all six episodes of the mini-series were as quirky as this one, then the charm would fade.
I was truly surprised at how poorly written the other 5 episodes were (No I'm not gonna place all the blame on Carter here, though his were the worst), because you'd think that after a 13 year hiatus from writing episodes (and a 19 year hiatus for the James Wong and Glen Morgan who originally left after season 4), maybe those same dried up writers had all this time to think up fresh ideas for new X-Files.... It's not even THAT hard of a feat! 'Fringe', 'Supernatural' and countless other shows that have followed in the footsteps of 'The X-Files' have churned out great concepts for episodes, and ask any die-hard X-Phile for a MOTW idea and they'll give you ten off the top of their heads.
The only other TV show which I think 'The X-Files''s drain circling can match is 'The Simpsons', which will air its 600th episode within the next season (for the record, 'The X Files' currently sits at 208 episodes). 'The Simpsons', while not taking decade long hiatuses in between seasons, suffers from a similar problem, in that they seem incapable of turning out quality episodes anymore. Despite employing new writers, episodes of 'The Simpsons' now days have a distinct alzheimery feel to them, where characters are caricatures, jokes don't land, the timing is off and even the animation is dull and uninteresting.
'The X-Files' has kept their writers, but these new episodes have that same feeling new episodes of 'The Simpsons' have: Like they're being written and directed by old men who don't quite understand how all this works anymore. Can a new team of writers solve these problems? A lot of people are insisting that's the solution, but I'm not convinced.
As much as I would love to have more and more seasons of 'The X-Files', as much as I would love to see Mulder and Scully's impeccable chemistry, I just have this gut feeling that maybe there's no way to get back to the days of old. Too much has happened, both in real life and in the show, to validate any semblance of a satisfying return. The show has aged like a withering old man itself, and trying to push it to be as impressive as its youth will only cripple it even more.
Maybe I'm wrong, and fresh new writers can revitalise my favourite show. I'd like to believe that. I want to believe that.
If you haven't already seen it, check out February's SEXY new video on the history and the heart of the Hollywood love scene ;)
About the Author:
Alexander Jones (AJ) really likes movies and TV. He really likes you too. You can find more of his stuff all over Cult Popture, in the blogs, vlogs and podcasts.