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The X-Files - The truth is still out there - Looking back and what it means for the future



The X Files became a cult show not long after their last season ended back in 2002. The revival is an example of how a show can tie up loose ends years after they went off air, not only because the story lets them but because its fan base has grown due to the new amount of platforms where the audience can catch up with TV series.
The show was ground breaking when it aired and it still is, an example of revolutionary storytelling, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t have flaws but that it pushes it own boundaries. Count me as one of the ones that arrived late to the party this show is. Back in the day as soon as the theme song started playing my look of pure terror would make my parents send me to bed, I’m glad. I watched the whole series not long ago and it made me appreciate the show a lot more, maybe if I did watch it back then I’d be terrified, or too frustrated by it now. (Is not the same when you wait 7 years for the main couple to share a kiss – bees are the worst obligatory comment – that when you wait around a month, or less) 

The show main characteristics during its run were: how the staging was treated and the main storylines. The show settled the tone for the hybrid genres it mixed; sci-fi, fantasy and horror; however it didn’t mean it wasn’t able to be truth to other genres it played with, like comedy and drama when the opportunity arises. (Like Syzygy – s03e13 -, Bad Blood - s05e12 -, and The Post Mortem Prometheus -S05e05 -) It was even able to caper the boundaries of what reality TV was with X-COPS – s07e12 -. 
The crew knew how to play with textures, lights and shadows with the elements inside the screen, as their flashlights, and the ones off-frame. X-Files didn’t mark a before and after in TV just because of one reason but due to how every element was displayed. 

The narrative was centered on the gigantic (sometimes too ambitious) mythology arc, the monster of the week episodes and Mulder and Scully’s relationship. They coined the term shipping due to their fantastic chemistry and the way the slow burn romance developed. 
The Mythology arc regarding the conspiracy between aliens and a group of humans called The Syndicate comes to a conclusion when the group objective to be safe from an alien invasion doesn’t end well. The problem is that sometimes the show renegades about it owns theories, are they really aliens or they were always humans gambling with alien technology. The resolution to the show's biggest mysteries, what happened to Samantha Mulder or to Scully’s pregnancies fell short to what it was promised; probably because too much weight was put into the subtext of what wasn't happening onscreen but bed crumbs were left for the audience to fill in the gaps, and sometimes you just have to take a chance.

Meanwhile, the monster of the weeks episodes were satisfying because of how they were told, the meta narrative and pop culture references being satisfying on its own, and because these episodes where the ones when the main characters were able to go through different ranks of emotions rather than the suffering they're used to. Also it was an opportunity for the cast to explore how complex their characters were and different codes of acting.

Since season 1 up to season 7 the show it's loyal to its roots, the problem with the X Files, mainly in season 8 and 9 is trying to become something it isn’t; (however, it seems this season might be taking another course of action, see Gupta stating the obvious “The truth is in here” pointing to Mulder’s heart) Mulder and Scully (and Chris Carter) are looking for the truth out there when in reality the truth about the show is in them, the kind of chemistry they have and what each character means to the other. You want to believe in extra terrestrial facts or conspiracies, when in fact, the only person you have to believe is the one that has been by your side almost every day and believes in you. 

The 6 episodes the revival has don't seem enough to wrap up the new conflicts they're exploiting. As season 10 develops there are a lot of news and speculation about what might happen or why the acceptance the show is getting is as big as it is, it might be due to the fact sci-fi is a genre not longer seen with prejudice. I tend to lean towards the reason that it’s because everyone out there is happy to have Scully and Mulder back in their TV screens (or phones or laptops), but mostly, because after My Struggle and Founders Mutation, contrary to what happened with I Want to Believe, The X - Files feels like that show everyone in the 90’s loved, the mere essence of it is back and it’s dealing with plot holes that were snubbed back in the day in a beautiful, albeit sad, way (mainly William’s story line). As the characters keep evolving so does the audience, and it’s such a wonderful moment to be a believer.


About the Author - Laura M
Laura is a proud nerd, TV and movie enthusiast. She's a teacher, producer and does different free lance gigs in her country. In her free time she likes to write and hear what other people think about the media surrounding us.
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