I have vivid memories of Friday nights in the 1990s. They went a little something like this. Eat dinner. Turn on Fox. Turn off the lights. Grab something soft to throw. (TVs are expensive.) Prepare for giant doses of frustration. Then The X-Files would start.
I would watch carefully for guest stars that would give away the appearance of the Cigarette Smoking Man, Ratboy, Deep Throat or Mr. X. I would wait to see who that week’s writers were so I knew how likely I was to be frustrated by plot lines and the ever-expanding conspiracy. Morgan and Wong meant twisted but brilliant humor. Chris Carter usually meant a conspiracy episode concocted in the seventh level of Dante’s Inferno. Commercial breaks found me either staring blankly at the screen or attempting to analyze what the hell just happened with my over-analyzing The X-Files partner and BFF, Mo. She moved away at several points during the series’ run, but that didn’t stop our endless X-Files discussions. I recall some outrageous phone bills resulting from weekly 2-hour phone calls, the first hour of which involved us actually being on the phone during the course of the episode. It was several minutes of complete silence followed by intense debate during commercial breaks.
My passion for the show waned after the movie came out. Truth be told, I got bored. I lost track of the conspiracy’s never-ending twists and turns. Who’s Mulder’s father again? What actually happened to his sister? How many types of aliens are there? Who injected what into whom? Part of me believes that Chris Carter lost track of his own conspiracy.
I also lost interest when Mulder disappeared. One of the things I loved about the show from the beginning was the banter between Mulder and Scully. When he left, I missed dialogue like this:
Mulder: "Whatever tape you found in the VCR, it isn’t mine."
Scully: "Good. Because I put it back in the drawer with all the other tapes that aren’t yours."
And like this:
Scully: "I’m driving. Why do you always have to drive? Because you’re the guy? Because you’re the big macho man?"
Mulder: "No. I was just never sure your little feet could reach the pedals."
Unfortunately for me, my lack of continuing interest meant I did not see most of the 7th, 8th or 9th seasons. It was only after the show ended that I began to truly appreciate the wonders of Agent Reyes (Annabeth Gish). Of course, that might have something to do with my fan fiction addiction.
I’ve since caught up and have been reading about the possibility of a second big-screen story for Mulder and Scully. Turns out, the rumors about a second X-Files movie are only slightly less common than those about a big-screen Xena flick. The big difference with The X-Files is that both Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny have basically confirmed the existence of the project, complete with script by Chris Carter. And now, Duchovny has let slip that the gang is hoping to begin shooting in December. Merry Christmas to me.
So what’s this X-Files fan to do to while away the months until an actual release date approaches? Well, since Duchovny has also made remarks about this second movie not being a conspiracy-focused flick, I figured I’d get with my buddy Mo and relive fond memories of the stand-alone monster-of-the-week episodes that have become my favorites. I plan to go back and watch episodes like Humbug so I can see Scully eat a cricket, War of the Coprophages so I can listen to the disdain in her voice when she mentions Mulder’s new friend Bambi, How The Ghosts Stole Christmas so I can laugh at Lily Tomlin‘s brilliance and Syzygy so I can hear the best last line of an episode ever. "Sure. Fine. Whatever."
Will you go see the new installment? What will you be re-watching while you wait?