Saturday, December 18, 2010

30 Days of TV: Day 04 - My Favorite Show

Your favorite show of all time, in the history of the universe (up to this point in time, of course): The X-Files

Honestly there are a lot of shows that I really love. LOVE. But, if I had put anything else in the top position, I would have felt really guilty. Like I was cheating on Mulder and Scully. I have never been so obsessed with a show before this one came around. Granted, it was on while I was in high school so it's not like I had a chance to before then. At the time, the internet was something that was new and exciting and let me obsess about it more.

I mean, I knew the actual titles to episodes and I think that was the first time I realized that shows actually title episodes. And some of them were pretty ridiculous like "Død Kalm" (It's about a Navy ship where the people on it age rapidly. Mulder thinks it's part of the Philadelphia Experiment. Mulder and Scully enter the ship and by the end of the episode look like they're 90.) and "Anasazi." (It's some Navajo word. There's aliens in it and probably some conspiracy of some sort. They talk about how the Navajo language was used in the war to encrypt messages and that none of the code breakers could decode it.)

I was pretty ridiculous. I used to video tape every episode, and tried to watch them all live, even though I was taping them. There were some episodes I rewatched so much that I wore out the VHS tape. (It was called "Bad Blood." Luke Wilson guest starred. There were vampires. A 'he said - she said' storyline that was completely hilarious.)

Aside from sentimental value, it really was my favorite show, and for the most part it holds the test of time. Although, it is fun to see the giant cell phones back in the 90's. For those of you that never watched or are too young to have been into it when it aired and never got around to it... (it aired from 1993 to 2002.)

It was a science fiction/fantasy series that followed two FBI agents assigned the X-Files unit. These cases were largely about unexplained phenomena, alien life forms or extra-terrestrials, and conspiracy theories. There were large multi-episode arcs that were so complex, it raised more questions than provided answers. The story lines where referred to as the mythology and had themes following "black oil", "The Syndicate", "Cancer" and "Colonists". They would also have monster-of-the-week episodes that were some of their best, and worst.

The series followed agents Mulder and Scully, believer and skeptic. Scully was assigned to the x-files to debunk whatever crazy theory Mulder had come up with this week. Eventually they both found themselves wrapped up in the overarching government conspiracy and could only trust one another. (Even if the show's catch phrase was "Trust No One.")

They were close platonic friends and became my first ship... And the first time I'd even heard the word. I was a shipper... There was a fandom. It wasn't just a show, it was also a community of other people who were obsessed with it. My best friend was also really into the show and we fueled each others excitement about it. We used to watch it in our own houses, on the phone with each other (before cell phones). You couldn't talk during the show, only commercials... but we were on the phone, mostly not talking, for the full hour. I made collages of posters and had them hanging in my room.I learned a lot about story construction and what makes television entertaining from this series. It was my first complex show, at times even impossible to follow. Then, later in the series, two new agents entered the picture, Doggett and Reyes... and the show was never the same. They didn't have that magic chemistry of Mulder and Scully. In my opinion, the show ran about 2 years too long...

Regardless, I loved it. It made you think. It was the "Lost" of its generation. And, I have to admit, it was one of the influences that started me down my career path today. I may not be a medical examiner like Scully, or in the FBI, but I did end up with a forensic science career. The X-Files was a creepier version of CSI before there was CSI.

I think that the show has probably influenced a lot of television today: Lost, CSI, Fringe to name a few.

It is the only series of which I own every single episode. I wanted to believe.

I would put up video, but it's kind of impossible to decide how to represent the show. It was so many things - dark, funny, scary, suspenseful, sad. It had action, comedy, and romance.

I had a three way split scene where everyone was in the bathtub.

Yet it was a show about monsters and conspiracies.

See what others think:

End Blog.

1 comment:

Bren said...

I actually own that them in bed shot; framed and all. I remember buying a copy of US magazine (back when it wasn't just tabloid) because I saw Scully licking Mulder's face.

I keep wondering how deep into the fandom I would have been had I had internet at home during all of high school.

Mostly though I remember watching the show with Dillon as we were on the phone talking only during commercials or "did you see that!?" moments.

That and his complete mean-ness from Home. I've added every season onto Netflix for easy watching.