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!!!