Tuesday, February 20, 2018

TV Tuesday: The X-Files

I was looking at the list of TV shows my husband and I are currently watching to see if there were any I hadn't reviewed yet. There is! We were avid viewers of The X-Files back in the 90's, rewatched many of the old seasons with our sons in the 2000's, and were excited last year to see our old favorite show come back with a new season 10. We are now enjoying season 11, and this unique mix of detective show, paranormal, sci fi, and humor is still going strong.

In case you somehow missed The X-Files phenomenon the first time around, the shows (and spin-off movies) center on two FBI investigators, Fox Mulder, played by David Duchovny, and Dana Scully, played by Gillian Anderson. Waaaay back in the very beginning, Mulder was stuck in a basement office investigating so-called X-files, strange or unexplained cases that often veer into the supernatural. Scully is a medical doctor and was initially assigned to keep an eye on Mulder and bring her skeptical, hardcore scientific point of view to bear on his supposedly woo-woo cases. Long story short, 11 seasons and more than 20 years later, Mulder and Scully still work together in that basement office, and Scully's medical and scientific expertise still can't explain away the X-files. Along the way, they uncovered a massive conspiracy involving aliens and alien DNA.

So, when the show came back last year for season 10, more than a decade after it ended, it picked up where it left off: at the end of season 9, the X-files had been closed and the two partners had been living their own lives. At the start of season 10, we see that Mulder never stopped investigating the alien conspiracy, and now the X-files are being re-opened, with Mulder and Scully back together, along with their longtime boss, Walter Skinner, played by Mitch Pileggi. Like the first 9 seasons, the show still alternates between stand-alone episodes with investigations of weird X-files type stuff and episodes that move the bigger storyline about the alien conspiracy forward.

As ever, The X-Files is creepy, suspenseful, intriguing, and has a great sense of humor, especially in some of those strange stand-alone episodes. The chemistry between Duchovny and Anderson is still great, even more so after so many years together (both the actors and the characters). Many of the same elements are still here from the original nine seasons, sometimes with a modern twist. We are thoroughly enjoying this old favorite.

If you have never watched The X-Files before, then you might want to start back at the very beginning with season 1 (especially if you are looking for a binge-worthy show) because of that ongoing conspiracy storyline that was slowly built up over time. The beginning of season 10 does provide some information on what came before, but it is a lot to pack into a single episode recap/continuation. Season 10 is just 6 episodes (I guess they were testing the waters), but we are now 6 episodes into season 11, which looks like it will be 10 episodes long. If you were an old X-Files fan back in the 90's, then definitely dive into seasons 10 and 11 - it's like seeing old friends!

You can still find all of season 10 and what has aired so far of season 11 On Demand for free. It looks like ALL 11 seasons are available online for free at the Fox website. You can also stream The X-Files on Amazon for $1.99 an episode or $14.99 a season. Here are links to season 1, season 10, and the current season 11.


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