Fangirl Friday: X-Files Miniseries

Tonight for the first time in as long as I can remember, I watched an episode of a scripted network TV show. In fact, it’s only by happenstance that I even happen to have a Hulu account right now (thanks, cash back reward that made it free!), otherwise I wouldn’t even have TV.

If it weren’t for a recent chat with a fellow nerd coworker, I wouldn’t have even known that Fox is doing an X-Files miniseries. Seriously, I live under that much of a TV rock.

But, apparently Fox has brought my childhood obsession back to life! Huzzah! Upon clicking “play” on the first episode of the miniseries, I braced myself for a letdown. I mean, c’mon, there’s a decent chance this was done more to cash out on nostalgia than out of a creative desire. Plus, even if it were spectacularly written and produced, I worried that the magic from my childhood might be lost now that I’m watching it as an adult.

Nevertheless, that classic theme song brought an instant wave of emotions. Curling up with my mom to watch my teenage heartthrob Mulder and his gorgeous partner Scully. Writing X-Files fan-fiction as a kid. Waiting all week for Sunday night. Buying fan magazines and playing the X-Files video game. Dressing up as Scully for Halloween (duh — strawberry blonde ginger here). Always wondering in the back of my uber-logical mind, is the truth really out there?

In many respects, I was not disappointed. The plot developments and action were well paced, with character relationship building sprinkled with tense action. The scripting was dramatic without being overwrought, in spite of a flew clichés. (During one conversation, Mulder used the phrases “I want to believe” and “the truth is out there” in a single breath. No need to beat us over the head, Chris Carter!). And the episode had just enough throw backs to make you nostalgic without feeling like it was just rehashing nine seasons.

That said, a few things distracted me.

For one thing, seeing Joel McHale in the X-Files really startled me. I’ve literally only known him from The Soup and Community — both humorous, if you don’t know them — so I had a really hard time taking him seriously. I felt myself getting distracting just watching him, expecting a droll one liner every other minute. So, as much as I like the actor, I’m not sure he was the best choice for a role in this miniseries.

Also, I was a bit jarred by the ways in which Gillian Anderson has aged. Or, maybe I should say, I obviously expected she and David Duchovny to be significantly older than last I saw them, but I didn’t anticipate a change in the charm they brought to the screen.

Duchovny, for his part, still charmed me with his wry smile and obstinate questioning of the government. Anderson, on the other hand, well … For one thing I couldn’t stop staring at the massive amount of plastic surgery it seems she’s had. And she was so gorgeous naturally that it’s hard to understand why she’d go under the knife. (She’s the only other celebrity girl crush I’ve ever had, other than Katy Perry!)

Anyway, her voice, too, seemed off. I mean, literally. Not her acting. Her actual voice. It was … hoarse, tired, gravelly. Duchovny’s voice was perhaps a tad more leathery, but nothing unexpected with age. Anderson’s voice, on the other hand, was just different. I mean I get that her character is world weary and resigned by this point, but I’ve got to believe that wasn’t just acting.

I’m excited to catch the remaining episodes of the mini-series, assuming my free Hulu subscription lasts that long. If you have been watching it, what are your thoughts? In what ways have you been pleasantly surprised or disappointed?

Until next time, the truth is out there!!!

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10 comments

  1. Thanks for the review! I’m glad to know it wasn’t terrible. I was concerned, too. 🙂 That said, I don’t have TV either, only internet and no Hulu. So it might be a little while before I get to seeing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My pleasure! And yeah I certainly wouldn’t have paid for a Hulu subscription just for this, but since I happened to get it free, I decided to go ahead. I was nervous it would be terrible, but I was pretty pleasantly surprised! 🙂

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  2. I was a big fan of the X-files back in the day, and have been eagerly anticipating it’s return…though I was disappointed to see it was only a 6 episode run. It’s just my guess, but I assume they’re testing the waters to see if there is a market for another movie. But I’ll take it nonetheless.

    Having ditched cable/satellite and only having antenna tv (with the obligatory Netflix/Hulu/Amazon subscriptions), I was stuck with watching it live. Happily, the NFC title game pushed it into a relatively late hour, which allowed me the time to be able to sit down and watch. There were the expected call-backs to the original series, but it didn’t feel too over-the-top for me…and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    But I have to agree with the Gillian Anderson plastic surgery critique…I almost didn’t recognize her. Now, that’s a bit facetious, but not too far off point.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, I didn’t even realize it’s only 6 episodes! And gosh, the X-Files movie was so amazing that it’s hard for me to imagine them being able to top it. But I’ll happily take this miniseries! 🙂

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  3. I loved the original series and own all the DVD sets. I watch it through at least once a year… may be time to do that again.

    I knew they were doing a miniseries but, living in Japan, have no legal way of watching it at the moment. I’ll have to wait a bit.

    Sounds like Scully got Leia’d. Carrie Fisher lived hard and smoked too much, from what I’ve read (and you know how much stock I put in this kind of thing…). Gillian Anderson’s story though, I have no clue. People age differently though. I have an aunt that turned very gravelly voiced with age and it was just nature. Who knows. We have to let people get old, even if we don’t want them to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, I didn’t realize the miniseries wasn’t available everywhere yet. In any further reviews I will avoid spoilers.

      Re: Gillian, yes her transformation did remind me a bit of Carrie Fischer, though I believe Anderson lives pretty privately, so I have no idea what has gone on in her life. I still love her regardless, and if she felt the need for plastic surgery then that’s her prerogative. I’m still really not sure what my feelings on cosmetic surgery are, but whatever they are would apply the same to celebrities and ordinary folks alike.

      And yeah I have no clue what caused her voice to change. Maybe it’s just in my head, maybe it’s just how she has aged, maybe she became a smoker, who knows.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I found it! She is a bit gravellier, but I think it’s just age. Not a big fan of PS. I see it as cheating… and focusing too much on vanity. But, again, it ain’t my life. Do what’cha want. As a man I was more shocked at how grisly Mulder has gotten.

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  4. I gave the new X files a try, but just couldn’t get into it. I think over time the sceptical/science-loving parts of my brain have taken over and all the alien abduction and nefarious conspiracy woo just annoys me now.

    I agree it was rather disconcerting to see Community’s leading man in a serious role. I kept expecting Abed to pop up with a camera and unleash some of the surreal craziness that made that show such a treat.

    I’ll stick with Orphan Black for now and I’ve heard good things about the Brit show Humans, don’t know if that’s available across the pond.

    Any personal sci-fi faves you’ve enjoyed recently?

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  5. I watched the first new episode last night. I too was prepared for it not to be that good. I was pleasantly surprised. Although room for improvement. I too totally agree re Gilliam Anderson. I feel really sorry for people who have plastic surgery. There’s some idea that it keeps them looking young and will keep the acting jobs coming. Her face now makes her look like a wax work dummy – sorry to be so harsh Gilliam. For me this has a significant affect on her acting ability. It’s just not there.

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