The X Files
This week’s piece of media needs no introduction or commentary, so this will be just very short thoughts about why I love this show and why I think you will too if you decide to (re)watch it.
Everyone who enjoys TV has heard of The X Files, which is a staple in the sci-fi world and, really, television in general. Started in 1993 and spanning 11 seasons, the show remains a beloved cult classic that has inspired many many many other pieces of media and has influence even in the art we consume now.
The basic rundown of it, provided here simply for context although I’m pretty sure everyone knows what it’s about, is that two FBI agents assigned to a special division of the Bureau investigate strange and/or supernatural cases across the United States. A broad theme, allowing the show to explore enormous amounts of stories and possibilities, which makes it no wonder it ran for so long. The chemistry and dynamic between Mulder and Scully also needs to be credited here, but I’ll expand on that later.
Continuing my earlier point, the case-of-the-week approach The X Files takes makes it perfect to dive into a lot of different mythology and kooky foes, with cases ranging from the occult to aliens to just twisted humans. This style of storytelling also helps a casual viewer or someone on a nostalgia trip just choose whatever episode they want at random and enjoy it without needing too much context and understanding of other episodes. Of course, there are storylines spanning across a season or even several, but in general, The X Files is really easy to watch, which makes it neat in my book.
Although it’s a ‘90s show, it’s not as cheesy as other works made during that time. When looking back at stuff from those years, you might feel like the acting was stiff or the lines were too cliché, and the special effects were a bit cringey, but The X Files manages to stay timeless. Of course, it looks very ‘90s, but it could very well have been made now. Honestly, diving into this show and allowing yourself to be transported back feels very healing regardless of cheesiness, if only because of the escape into a time when things were better. I know I’m big on nostalgia with most of my recs, but this time it’ll really hit you, even if you might’ve not even been born in ’93 yet.
Coming back to the chemistry, how iconic are Mulder and Scully? The believer and the skeptic have become tropes, and I have no doubt they were one of the pioneer couples to lead them there. Not only do they provide a pleasant balance and relatability to both types of viewers – those who indulge in weird theories and those who find them silly – but they make an incredible team and are an example of a TV couple done right. The fact that even after all these years these two get emulated in other media is very telling of how iconic they are both as individuals and as a pair. The way they rub off on each other is really great to watch, and their growth throughout the series is something I found really engaging and worth investing time into following.
The one thing that needs mentioning is the simplest, but most engaging part of the series. I’ve found myself constantly anticipating the taglines, in the hopes they’d change the famous “The truth is out there” to something else, and whenever they did I’d have a mini freak-out about what could possibly happen in the episode to necessitate the change. It was a neat and really simple way to get the audience engaged in the conspiracies, and boy was it fun to wait for every time I’d watch an episode.
Similarly, the title song is now legendary on its own, so do yourself a favor and watch the show just so you could hear that total jam 218 times. You won’t tire of it.
Like I said, I feel like this week should be kept short because everyone should be familiar with this show already and have their own reasons why they cherish it (or don’t, some people have no taste and that’s okay), so I’m going to stop here. All I can say is that this is a very very very enjoyable series, full of nostalgia and cool ideas that’ll make you want to spend the whole day watching, so why not give in to it? I know I will.
As always, thank you for reading, see you next week, and remember,