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29 January 2016 @ 04:34 pm
Unboxing the X-Files (2016 mini-series)  

I have to admit I was looking forward to the new mini-series.  A clear case of curiosity and nostalgia winning over reasonable caution, one could say. No matter how frustrated I might have become with the X-Files during the show’s later years, agents Mulder and Scully will always be dear to me. Also, wouldn’t it be interesting to see what kind of spin the 21st century with its changed political, technological and social landscape of would put on the general narrative? After all, it’s a post financial crash, post Snowden world that we live in, a world ideal for any kind of deeply unsettling fictional nightmare driven by conspiracy and paranoia.

Ironically enough, the good news regarding the changed social and political climate is also the bad news: Chris Carter has noticed these changes too. However, at least in the opening episode that he wrote, Carter doesn’t really make use of them, except for some heavy-handed visualised namedropping. Like working off a bothersome checklist, really, while essentially revisiting the last remnants of the original show’s mythology arc.  Naming the new opening episode “My Struggle” (“Mein Kampf” in German), just like Adolf Hitler’s infamous manifesto, seems rather symptomatic in this regard, because  it is directly linking the episode to older mythology arc episodes like 4.01 “Herrenvolk”.

In addition, both storytelling and visuals come across as strangely 1990-ish, despite plenty of modern gadgets like IPhones, flat screens, cgi effects and the fact that everybody (well, except Mitch Pileggi’s Skinner) is looking twenty years older.

One fun twist, though, that felt surprisingly present day: Having Mulder and Scully approached by a right wing TV show host, of all people.

As for the two agents themselves: Oh, Mulder! Oh Scully! While a lot of personal history between these two got wrapped up rather hastily, in my opinion the chemistry and emotional dimension of their relationship felt right. Some very touching moments. A deeply exhausted-looking Mulder, whose appearance makes you fear for David Duchovny’s state of health, at least until the first glimpses of the old, intense sparkle appear during the course of the mini series’ s second episode, Founder’s Mutation”, a slightly overladen, but otherwise solid MotW episode penned by James Wong.

Will I continue watching? Well, yes. Next week we'll have "Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster" by Darin Morgan.

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This entry was originally posted at http://bimo.dreamwidth.org/70320.html. Comment there or here, as you like. I'd be glad to reply to your comments over on DW.
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