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NikkolasKing
Apr 3, 2010





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vpqffgak7To

I have only seen up to Season 5. Please mark spoilers.


It must have been about ten years ago when I started collecting X-Files Season Sets from FYE. They were overpriced and I only got up to Season 5. I just now bought the bluray collection of the first series and the revival series for less than I spent on those five DVD season sets. I never did finish even Season 5 back a decade ago. I don't know why I stopped exactly, I am just impulsive like that. My randomly deciding to finish this series is a good example of that. I was just sitting here and was like "I really liked that show. I should finish it."

I like to think I've grown vaguely wiser in a decade, too. I certainly enjoy academic work more than I used to and I think a critical, scholarly appraisal of pop culture is vital. I can't do it but I can buy books from people who can or read their papers online. An immensely popular and influential franchise like The X-Files definitely demands attention from smart people and it has received quite a lot of that. Unfortunately, I can't read much of it because spoilers. But I just figured I'd try and collect some of it in the meantime and also share it with those who might be interested.

The Philosophy of The X-Files
We Want to Believe: Faith and Gospel in the X-Files
The X-Files and Philosophy
The X-Files and Literature
The Essential Science Fiction Television Reader
The X-Files FAQ:

It is my firm belief that, even if you think a piece of art sucks, it's vital to understand that art. Why do people like it? What does it say about the culture that created it, consumed it and passed it on to future generations to shape the culture of the future? Of course, I think the show was brilliant so I endeavor to understand its deeper meaning and influence for that reason as well.

I think part of what drew me to The X-Files, the substance I see in it which sets it apart from a lot of the superficial crap I consume, is its emphasis on faith. I wholeheartedly identify with Mulder, only with none of the good looks or college degrees. A relevant article I found when researching or academic material on The X-Files was an article called "U.S. Adolescent Religious Identity, the Media, and the “Funky” Side of Religion" in which this part was most relevant:

quote:

“I watch a lot of extraterrestrial stuff,” Jodie, a young, Anglo American woman from an impoverished economic background, told me as she puffed her cigarette. “They’re different. It’s a new outlook on what could be happening, rather than on what already is happening, or what in the past has happened.” Skeptical about the God she associated with organized religion, Jodie was fascinated instead by other forms of the supernatural such as the paranormal, ghosts, and aliens. When I asked her what television program she believed was most like her religious beliefs, she offered this intriguing answer:

It would have to be X-Files. Because, no matter what anybody says . . . I’ve seen everything that everyone’s compiled together about aliens. There’s no doubt in my mind that we are not the only intelligent life . . . God was a higher being. How do we know he wasn’t an alien? On X-Files, Mulder, he would say something like that: How do we know God’s not an alien?

I'm not a Christian but I got "We Want To Believe" because it's not about being any one religion. It's about being a seker, about being a person who isn't content with conventional reality and believes there must be something more. What hat something is is almost irrelevant in a way.

quote:

MULDER: I guess I just wanted Big Blue to be real. I guess I see hope in such a possibility.
SCULLY: Well, there’s still hope. That’s why these myths and stories have endured. People want to believe. (“Quagmire,” 3x22)

From the first episode of The X-Files, you see this poster with a spaceship on it, and it says, ‘I want to believe.’ And that really is Mulder’s mantra. He doesn’t believe—he wants to believe, he wants to find reason to believe.” 1 As Chris Carter describes here, the slogan on Mulder’s poster is a major theme throughout the series. I want to believe. This implies both passion and doubt, volition and uncertainty. Behind it lies the fervent desire to find something worth believing in, accompanied by the nagging possibility that the search for proof will eventually prove one wrong. Mulder wants to believe that there is other intelligent life in the universe, but the very heart of his quest is to find evidence to justify such a belief.

The search for the truth by Mulder, and Scully alongside him, symbolizes the most basic of human needs. We all long to believe in something, in some truth, that provides meaning for our everyday lives. For some people, it may be the truth about extraterrestrial life. For others, it is the truth about our existence on this planet, how we came to be here, why, and to what end. For yet others, it is the truth about experiences that defy explanation—whether there really is a divine hand behind them, and whether that divine being is personally engaged in our lives. Although many of us pursue these truths on an individual basis, we must also rely on one another in our search, on each other’s experiences and interpretations of reality. Whether or not we will proclaim it explicitly with the poster on Mulder’s wall, we all have an innate desire to believe.

Unfortunately I couldn't read much further than that because it startd dropping spoilers. Apparently there' an alien cult in Season 8 and 9?

In my current re-watch I just started Season 3. I don't pretend to have great insights, I posted the links to those books and stuff because they'r the smart ones. I just collect what they say and try to get others to read it too because I love analyzing art as philosophy. In a lot of ways The X-Files and The Matrix and other works will influence future religion and philosophy to the vast majority of people more than Plato or Aquinas will.

I do have some comments and questions if others might be so kind as to help with that.

1. So I know of The Syndicate and the Colonists. The big conspiracy is that the Syndicate are working with them to help prepare Earth to be taken over. I think? This is my rough understanding of the overall Mytharc and so I'm trying to fit in everything I encounter into that framework. One thing I find a bit perplexing is how many aliens we see on Earth. I've been told that Season 2 and "Little Green Men" is a repilot with a lot of people just starting from there. But Season 1 obviously still happened. Mulder and Scully met several different types of aliens in that season. The ones that could radioactively burn people, the Gender Bender ones, and maybe others. This is to say nothing of the parasite in ice episode. So the Colonists are a specific type of alien but they let other aliens come here to chill out I guess.

2. As I start Season 3, I have to wonder about the limitations of the Mulder-Scully dynamic. The X-Files is basically the opposite of Scooby Doo where the answer is almost never mundane. Scully's steadfast refusal to believe in the wirld and supernatural after all she's seen is as absurd as an atheist in a world where God regularly shows up to say howdy. To me, this is a minor flaw baked into the narrative structure of the show. Another one is the problem of our intrepid FBI Agents fighting a conspiracy in their own government, a conspiracy with what appears to be near-limitless power. The result is that Mulder and Scully must be constantly pursuing The Truth but they can never really reach it as the all-powerful Synciate could have them whacked if they so desired. This is another minor flaw in my view but, like Scully's ridiculous skepticism, it grows and grows the longer the show goes. Even if Chris Carter had a perfectly laid out plan for the story, The X-Files' wild success meant that it would continue as long as it could. If he had the perfect ending for Season 5, the show wouldn't end then just so long as it continued to bring in ratings. My point is, the longer the show goes, the more the minor flaws of Mulder and Scully being alive and Scully' skepticism become seriously detrimental.

3. Speaking of narrative structure and weirdness, I know a lot of people nowadays say they prefer the Monster-of-the-Week eps more than the Mythology but I see value in both of them. I've been told Chris Carter was making poo poo up as he went along but that doesn't lessen my enjoyment. I am sincerely trying to fit together all the pieces the best I cam able and I like doing so. "Colony" and "End Game" from Season 2 were so good.

4. Are the movies worth watching? I don't own them. I would ask if the revival was worth watching but I own it so I'm gonna watch it anyway.

5. Do you have a preference on what type of threat they face? Aliens, the supernatural, mutants, etc.? That one vampire episode was total poo poo, IMO. Season 2 was going so strong until then.

6. Getting back to the academic stuff, a lot of the stuff I've found focuses on how The X-Files worked so well because it was the product of the 90s and post-Cold War America. It was a good show on its own but it became a popular show, breaking into that ever elusive mainstream, because it embodied anxieties of a formless enemy now that our formal enemy - the USSR - was gone. Similarly, at least one reviewer claimed the X-Files fell out of popularity due to 9/11. They criticized the show as "self-indulgent" and said that, in the "real world" of post-9/11 America, people had no patience for such a show.

Another given reason for its popularity was how it was "postmodern" and transcended genre. It's scifi, a cop procedural, a conspiracy story, a supernatural detective story, and probably a lot more. You can probably throw romance in there, too. Mulder and Scully have such great chemistry and I bet a lot of fans were just waiting from the start for them to get together.

I looked at the last X-Files thread and it was very long. I've never found many X-Files fans on any forum I frequent which I think was part of what put me off last time I watched it. I enjoy fiction to share it with others and having nobody to talk to about the series was a huge bummer. I hope for abit more engagement here if you all have the time or interest.

NikkolasKing fucked around with this message at 00:56 on Apr 18, 2020

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NikkolasKing
Apr 3, 2010





Well I'll just jot down an additional thought that I feel is particularly relevant to an intensely Left Wing forum like this one.

I've seen some people say The X-Files is, in a bizarre roundabout way, Conservative. I can see elements of this if you tilt your head enough but I just got done watching episodes about how the military is poo poo and prisoners are beaten to death by corrupt prison guards. There was also the episode last season about how Haitian refugees were being abused by the US military.

So the show is harshly critical of authority, especially the type of authority that is usually beloved by conservatives like the military, prison wardens, etc..

piratepilates
Mar 28, 2004

So I will learn to live with it. Because I can live with it. I can live with it.





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zg_vVKcVYbo

Hello, since I have the third post in the thread I felt like I needed to suggest some episodes in case anyone is starting fresh and doesn't know what to watch.

Season 1: starting out
The first four episodes are good and introduce you to the concept and the overarching plot (the "mytharc") of the show. After that is "The Jersey Devil" which is pretty boring. The rest of the episodes are hit or miss, with some gems (Fallen Angel, Eve, Tooms), and some more of the mytharc (Fallen Angel, E.B.E., The Erlenmeyer Flask).

If you're not that interested in the mytharc, you can try out some of the monster of the week episodes from other seasons that don't need to be watched in order:

Monster of the Week ones (no myth-arc)
2x14 Die Hand Die Verletzt
The occult, small towns, a teenager dies as part of a ritual, satantic cults. This episode is pure horror and incredibly creepy. It also takes a swing at -- what was for the time a current event -- the trend of satantic cult panics in small towns that turned out to be made up.

2x20 Humbug
Murders start occuring in a community of circus sideshow performers. Mulder thinks it's the "Fiji mermaid", but the reality is stranger. This is the first episode Darin Morgan wrote for the show, the next one he wrote won two Emmys, and the others are some of the other finest episodes of the show.

3x04 Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose
Quite frankly just an amazing episode of television, and my overall favourite episode of The X-Files. When a series of murders start occuring in a small town draws Mulder and Scully, a cranky insurance salesman sees visions of how people will die crosses paths with them. It runs a fine balance between comedy and tragedy, examining fate and the inevitability of death. This one won two Emmys, one for Darin Morgan for writing it, and other for Peter Boyle for guest actor in a drama series.

7x21 Je Souhaite
A man (MADtv's Will Sasso) finds a genie in an abadoned storage locker, and uses the wishes to enrich his life. As it usually goes in genie tales, the wishes misfire and end badly for all involved. This shows off comedy elements of The X-Files that the show was good at, while also humanizing the genie and examining the standard genie tale from the other side. Written by Breaking Bad's Vince Gilligan.


The X-Files was a show with a lot of variation in types of stories they tell. There's a little something for everyone. Are you looking for:

Aliens: Pilot, E.B.E., Fallen Angel, Duane Barry
Horror: Squeeze (and the sequel, Tooms), Eve, Die Hand Die Verletzt, Home
Gore: Sanguinarium
Great Writing: Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose, War of the Coprophages, Jose Chung's From Outer Space
Monsters: The Host
Comedy: Humbug, Syzygy, Jose Chung's From Outer Space, Small Potatoes
Sci-Fi: Synchrony
New Age: The Field Where I Died
Plagues: F. Emasculata
Vampires: 3 (warning: boring)
Alternate History: Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man
Rashomon: Jose Chung's From Outer Space, Bad Blood
90's Internet: 2Shy
Literally the movie The Thing: Ice
Vince Gilligan: Soft Light, Pusher, Unruhe, Paper Hearts, Small Potatoes, Unusual Suspects, Drive (with Bryan Cranston!)

piratepilates fucked around with this message at 14:56 on Apr 21, 2020

Yannick_B
Oct 11, 2007


NikkolasKing posted:

Well I'll just jot down an additional thought that I feel is particularly relevant to an intensely Left Wing forum like this one.

I've seen some people say The X-Files is, in a bizarre roundabout way, Conservative. I can see elements of this if you tilt your head enough but I just got done watching episodes about how the military is poo poo and prisoners are beaten to death by corrupt prison guards. There was also the episode last season about how Haitian refugees were being abused by the US military.

So the show is harshly critical of authority, especially the type of authority that is usually beloved by conservatives like the military, prison wardens, etc..

I think the political leanings of the X-Files have to be looked at when it was made. It's pretty left-leaning, made by people who were kids in the Watergate era.
That being said, a pair of crusading government-conspiracy-hunting heroes now...it just has a different flavor. In the rebooted seasons, one of the Darin Morgan episodes
has a character commenting that chasing conspiracies ain't what it used to be. It's still one of my favorite shows though.

Alris
Apr 20, 2007

Welcome to the Fantasy Zone!

Get ready!


NikkolasKing posted:

Well I'll just jot down an additional thought that I feel is particularly relevant to an intensely Left Wing forum like this one.

I've seen some people say The X-Files is, in a bizarre roundabout way, Conservative. I can see elements of this if you tilt your head enough but I just got done watching episodes about how the military is poo poo and prisoners are beaten to death by corrupt prison guards. There was also the episode last season about how Haitian refugees were being abused by the US military.

So the show is harshly critical of authority, especially the type of authority that is usually beloved by conservatives like the military, prison wardens, etc..

To quote The American Conservative:

"Most critically, like all good horror and science fiction, The X-Files played upon—and at times exacerbated—our deepest fears as a people. This is not to suggest that it would have failed at a different time in our history, but it certainly didn’t hurt that libertarian angst over Gulf War I, Ruby Ridge, and Waco, the general conservative distrust of the New World Order, and the rise of popular and consumerist radio talk shows coincided with its success. And while Watergate was two decades past by the time The X-Files began, Nixon’s specter of corruption hangs over the entirety of season one."

Personally I don't think The X-Files set out to make a big conservative political statement or stick it to Clinton specifically, but there's no denying it wasn't afraid to play on the right's paranoia. It's the same sort of stuff you heard Oathkeepers, 3%ers and Cliven Bundy and Co. never shut up about during the Obama years. I can guarantee you those same voices were around in the 90's (just look at the OKC Bombing), although without Fox News you probably wouldn't have heard of them as much. Hell, David Dees is still photoshopping pictures with the same general themes nearly 30 years later, albeit with far more antisemetism.

NikkolasKing
Apr 3, 2010





Alris posted:

To quote The American Conservative:

"Most critically, like all good horror and science fiction, The X-Files played upon—and at times exacerbated—our deepest fears as a people. This is not to suggest that it would have failed at a different time in our history, but it certainly didn’t hurt that libertarian angst over Gulf War I, Ruby Ridge, and Waco, the general conservative distrust of the New World Order, and the rise of popular and consumerist radio talk shows coincided with its success. And while Watergate was two decades past by the time The X-Files began, Nixon’s specter of corruption hangs over the entirety of season one."

Personally I don't think The X-Files set out to make a big conservative political statement or stick it to Clinton specifically, but there's no denying it wasn't afraid to play on the right's paranoia. It's the same sort of stuff you heard Oathkeepers, 3%ers and Cliven Bundy and Co. never shut up about during the Obama years. I can guarantee you those same voices were around in the 90's (just look at the OKC Bombing), although without Fox News you probably wouldn't have heard of them as much. Hell, David Dees is still photoshopping pictures with the same general themes nearly 30 years later, albeit with far more antisemetism.

I think there's just a certain level of unavoidable overlap when you attack certain concepts. Legitimate criticism of Israel get conflated with antisemitism, criticism of the government gets conflated with we need to arm up because the government is secretly run by (((them))) and so-on. To use our current political climate as an example, look at all the Lefty Radicals and Bernie or Busters. They think the State is untrustworthy and politicians are all bought and sold just like various right wing nuts. Now, I happen to agree with the former camp more or less but the point is a piece of art that has a general message of "the government can't be trusted" will appeal to both these wildly different groups.

It's one thing I've noticed in art criticism. Interpretation leads to crazy divergent approaches. The Matrix is all about Trans identity to one group and another group sees it as we are the only enlightened ones so we are allowed to gun down the mind-controlled masses.

Art is very, very tricky because people see what they want to see. No doubt some people have better arguments for their interpretations but it's still a murky issue in my opinion.

Anyway, I just got to the introduction of the Black Oil in Season 3. So I guess the Colonists can use radiation as a weapon to kill people and that wasn't a separate alien species in Season 1.

Also, I forgot to mention that in Season 1 Mulder says he was in bed when Samantha was abducted. In Season 2 there's a dream sequence of the abduction where he was very much not in bed. Maybe it was just a dream, though.

joepinetree
Apr 5, 2012


Don't worry about the mytharc. It will never make sense. Alternatively, stop watching at the end of season 7.

As for the movies, the 1st one is good, the 2nd one is dog poo poo and completely unrelated to the mytharc.

As for the politics, it is incoherent for the most part during the original run. Fox news level reactionary right wing stuff during the movie and follow up seasons.

to wit

2nd movie A Russian gay immigrant couple abducts young white American women because they want to put the head of one of the gay men on the woman's body

later seasons the Alex Jones type conspiracist is right from the start, and there's the episode where literally every Muslim save one is a suicide bomber

A Fancy Hat
Nov 18, 2016

Always remember that the President is dumber than the dumbest person you've ever met by a wide margin


That first revival season is rough and proves that Chris Carter is, somehow, the worst X-Files writer. Curse of the Were-Monster is one of the best episodes ever, though.

The second revival season is much better, except for the finale, which you should avoid at all costs and pretend Mulder and Scully are just out there doing their thing forever.

Regarding conspiracy theories - unfortunately the world we live in right now means that conspiracy theories are (mostly) the domain of right-wing grifters scamming morons. I think the show did a good job in the 2nd revival season of addressing that fact and course correcting after presenting an Alex Jones-esque character as a voice of reason in the first revival season.

oh but seriously I
Sep 26, 2019

Do you ever wonder if there are other planets out there
(source)

I like the funny ones. Lone Gunmen did 9/11.

Milo and POTUS
Sep 3, 2017

I will not shut up about the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I talk about them all the time and work them into every conversation I have. I built a shrine in my room for the yellow one who died because sadly no one noticed because she died around 9/11. Wanna see it?


The greatest show of all time.


Except when it wasn't. God I'm struggling to think of a show I consider so good with so, so many bad episodes.

Also this thread is shamefully empty

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?


One of my favorite ever episodes is Field Trip, which is from season 6. I loved the fact they kept figuring out they were hallucinating only to realize that just because they've realized they're hallucinating doesn't mean they'll stop. When the show first aired I always most looked forward to the big conspiracy episodes but I've found as the years have passed the stories I mostly remember are the standalone more Twilight Zone/Outer Limits style ones, like the flukeman episode or the two Tooms episodes.

sticklefifer
Nov 11, 2003

TOO EASY

The fact that Pusher got away with a Russian Roulette scene on 90s primetime TV is still impressive to me.

A Fancy Hat
Nov 18, 2016

Always remember that the President is dumber than the dumbest person you've ever met by a wide margin


My absolute favorite episode is Jose Chung's "From Outer Space", but I realize that's not really a controversial opinion. It's still amazing to me just HOW good it is. It's funny, it's touching, it pokes fun at the entire premise of the X-files but manages to do it without being cynical or edgy.

It's the first episode I saw in its entirety as a kid. My parents watched the show religiously, but I was way too young when it started. But I was 8 years old when this episode aired and was finally brave enough to watch the show. I was absolutely terrified by the opening confrontation between the giant alien and the "Greys". I watched the entire episode but the humor went completely over my head, so I just thought X-Files was the weirdest and most terrifying show of all time.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?


A Fancy Hat posted:

My absolute favorite episode is Jose Chung's "From Outer Space", but I realize that's not really a controversial opinion. It's still amazing to me just HOW good it is. It's funny, it's touching, it pokes fun at the entire premise of the X-files but manages to do it without being cynical or edgy.

Oh holy poo poo, I forgot all about that episode. I was a huge fan of the follow-up in Millennium where they have a lot of fun at Scientology's expense:

"You'll never make that jump!"
"Not with that attitude I won't! "

piratepilates
Mar 28, 2004

So I will learn to live with it. Because I can live with it. I can live with it.





Jerusalem posted:

One of my favorite ever episodes is Field Trip, which is from season 6. I loved the fact they kept figuring out they were hallucinating only to realize that just because they've realized they're hallucinating doesn't mean they'll stop. When the show first aired I always most looked forward to the big conspiracy episodes but I've found as the years have passed the stories I mostly remember are the standalone more Twilight Zone/Outer Limits style ones, like the flukeman episode or the two Tooms episodes.

I rewatched Field Trip a few nights ago and had forgotten about the scene with the grey being in Mulder's apartment. I love how they took the opportunity with that episode to throw in something so shocking and show-changing, but then gets rolled back since it's just a dream


What I watched for the first time the other night was The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat, which was uh, interesting. I enjoyed it, and it made me wish Darin Morgan had more opportunities to write episodes for TV on successful shows. What a strange episode though. Not only is it not really an X-File in the end, but it seemed like a metacommentary on the show, its fanbase, the current state of the world, and the premise of the show within the current world. It was probably the episode most unlike any other episode on the show, and now I'm sad that there aren't more like it


edit: To help me with my critical lack of X-File episodes that I haven't scene and that are actually good, I've also started watching some Kolchak, Millenium and the original Twilight Zone. I feel a bit foolish for never considering watching the original Twilight Zone before, as it turns out it's exactly what I'm looking for in terms of premises and execution, with the bonus that it's the 50s and 60s encapsulated in a time capsule.

piratepilates fucked around with this message at 14:06 on Apr 21, 2020

grassy gnoll
Aug 27, 2006

The pawsting business is tough work.

Gun Saliva

The absence of "Bad Blood" in the Rashomon list is an appalling miscarriage of justice.

In general, I think that if Darin Morgan either wrote or appears in an episode, you can count on it being top-tier TV. Folks who haven't seen the episodes of Millennium he wrote are especially missing out.

piratepilates
Mar 28, 2004

So I will learn to live with it. Because I can live with it. I can live with it.





grassy gnoll posted:

The absence of "Bad Blood" in the Rashomon list is an appalling miscarriage of justice.

your recollection seems to be faulty, from my recollection of the list, bad blood is in there .

NikkolasKing
Apr 3, 2010





A Fancy Hat posted:

My absolute favorite episode is Jose Chung's "From Outer Space", but I realize that's not really a controversial opinion. It's still amazing to me just HOW good it is. It's funny, it's touching, it pokes fun at the entire premise of the X-files but manages to do it without being cynical or edgy.

It's the first episode I saw in its entirety as a kid. My parents watched the show religiously, but I was way too young when it started. But I was 8 years old when this episode aired and was finally brave enough to watch the show. I was absolutely terrified by the opening confrontation between the giant alien and the "Greys". I watched the entire episode but the humor went completely over my head, so I just thought X-Files was the weirdest and most terrifying show of all time.

As for her partner, Reynard Muldrake... that ticking timebomb of insanity... his quest into the unknown has so warped his psyche, one shudders to think how he receives pleasures from life.

grassy gnoll posted:

The absence of "Bad Blood" in the Rashomon list is an appalling miscarriage of justice.

In general, I think that if Darin Morgan either wrote or appears in an episode, you can count on it being top-tier TV. Folks who haven't seen the episodes of Millennium he wrote are especially missing out.

I've never seen any of Millennium. Don't really know anything about it.

oh but seriously I
Sep 26, 2019

Do you ever wonder if there are other planets out there
(source)

War of the Coprophages, that was another good one.

A Fancy Hat
Nov 18, 2016

Always remember that the President is dumber than the dumbest person you've ever met by a wide margin


NikkolasKing posted:

As for her partner, Reynard Muldrake... that ticking timebomb of insanity... his quest into the unknown has so warped his psyche, one shudders to think how he receives pleasures from life.



I was SHOCKED that upon rewatching that episode you get to see Fox Mulder, 90s sex symbol and co-lead of the show, jerking off to the famous Bigfoot video. I don't know how in the world they got way with this, unless it was a combination of "It's fox, they're the edgy network" and maybe people didn't realize what he was actually doing? I apparently didn't notice it as a kid, at least.

oh but seriously I
Sep 26, 2019

Do you ever wonder if there are other planets out there
(source)

Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose!

Milo and POTUS
Sep 3, 2017

I will not shut up about the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I talk about them all the time and work them into every conversation I have. I built a shrine in my room for the yellow one who died because sadly no one noticed because she died around 9/11. Wanna see it?


oh but seriously I posted:

War of the Coprophages, that was another good one.

They were huffing jenkem

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?


NikkolasKing posted:

I've never seen any of Millennium. Don't really know anything about it.

The first season was great, second season okay with some real standouts like the aforementioned Jose Chung episode or "Somehow Satan Got Behind Me". It basically went off a cliff after that in season 3, but it wraps up nicely in a X-Files crossover which has Frank ignore the changing of the millennium because he's got more important things to do.

Edit: Looking it up, it seems both the episodes I mentioned in season 2 were written by Darin Morgan, so add my praise to the pile he's been getting.

Jerusalem fucked around with this message at 22:50 on Apr 21, 2020

grassy gnoll
Aug 27, 2006

The pawsting business is tough work.

Gun Saliva

piratepilates posted:

your recollection seems to be faulty, from my recollection of the list, bad blood is in there .

Extremely good. In this context, you would also get full marks for "Don't say I never did nothin' for ya."

NikkolasKing posted:

I've never seen any of Millennium. Don't really know anything about it.

What if X-Files, but Lance Henrikson investigates murderers and cults, with slightly more plotted-out conspiracy elements and a lot more openly supernatural business toward the end of the show. I like Henrikson being an unemotive weirdo in most things, and he's good in this show, but the lack of a real co-star Scully figure to share the spotlight means that's kinda all you get. Millennium is even more my thing than The X-Files, but it's still hard to muster up enthusiasm for it.

Fortunately, you can watch "Jose Chung's Doomsday Defense" and "Somehow, the Devil Got Behind Me" without seeing any of the rest of the series and still appreciate them in full. "Doomsday Defense" is even better than "From Outer Space," believe it or not.

How far have you gotten through season 3 at the moment?

NikkolasKing
Apr 3, 2010





grassy gnoll posted:

Extremely good. In this context, you would also get full marks for "Don't say I never did nothin' for ya."


What if X-Files, but Lance Henrikson investigates murderers and cults, with slightly more plotted-out conspiracy elements and a lot more openly supernatural business toward the end of the show. I like Henrikson being an unemotive weirdo in most things, and he's good in this show, but the lack of a real co-star Scully figure to share the spotlight means that's kinda all you get. Millennium is even more my thing than The X-Files, but it's still hard to muster up enthusiasm for it.

Fortunately, you can watch "Jose Chung's Doomsday Defense" and "Somehow, the Devil Got Behind Me" without seeing any of the rest of the series and still appreciate them in full. "Doomsday Defense" is even better than "From Outer Space," believe it or not.

How far have you gotten through season 3 at the moment?

I'm on Season 4, actually. Sorry I haven't been reporting in, not too much to add. I'm having a mounting frustration with the mythar though with how S4 started. "I've got all the answers...again! But Mulder is thwarted...again." The episode just leaves you so totally hanging, not even some closure or a feeling of minor victory like S3's start. Mr. X is dead, the drone Samantha and the other one vanish, the Alien Bounty Hunter continues to live....and then we just move on like nothing happened.

I still have faith in the main plot but those were some weak episodes.

I should mention I liked Wetwired, a S3 ep about video signals being warped by some SCIENCE to distort peoples' minds and what they see. I love subliminal mind control stuff. I dunno why. One of the episodes I remembered most clearly from my earlier aborted watch was S2's "Blood" where people see digital readouts telling them to KILL and stuff. Wetwired feels like a continuation of that so I am happy that happened.

"Pusher" was good. It seems to be one of the more memorable episodes for a lot of folks? It just makes me think how there are so many "mundane" things in X-Files. A pyromancer, Tooms, Pusher, 2shy who eats human fatty tissue, others I'm probably forgetting - these are just mutant human beings who the legal system ie. our narrow scientific worldview cannot account for and thus cannot properly prosecute.

Tooms in his sequel episode especially made me think of Frank Miller's The Dark Night Returns. That doctor who was all for helping "Eugene" and was idealistic to the point he can't see a literal monster right in front of him perfectly fit how Miller depicted the doctors treating Two-Face in TKDR.

"Grotesque" was interesting because it's the one super dark and serious episode (so far) that ultimately is just mundane. The implication was there from the start the supernatural was afoot but in the end it was just the most terrifying evil of them all, man and his madness.

Some people apparently really like "Home" the episode with the inbred family. I didn't hate it but I didn't think it was all that special.

I just finished "The Field Where I Died" which I found more interesting in concept than execution.

And finally, I've been meaning to say this. In The Philosophy of the X-Files book, they have chapters on each character. one of them is on Skinner, dubbing him "The Unsung Hero." "Avatar" was appreciated for finally giving him an episode to be the star.

sticklefifer
Nov 11, 2003

TOO EASY

Skinner telling Smoking Man to kiss his rear end is still one of my favorite moments in TV. I think the episode was Paper Clip?

A4R8
Feb 28, 2020
Probation
Can't post for 7 days!


Is there free streaming for the X-Files somewhere? I would just buy it otherwise, but the collapse of capitalism right now has me strapped for cash ATM.

Astroman
Apr 8, 2001



NikkolasKing posted:

And finally, I've been meaning to say this. In The Philosophy of the X-Files book, they have chapters on each character. one of them is on Skinner, dubbing him "The Unsung Hero."

Naw, that's definitely Reggie.

False
Oct 6, 2003
i have friends who will pull magazine models wearing headphones off of trains without even speaking the same language as them. Friends who will show up in a town after hitchhiking cross country for 3 days without showering and pull two girls working

A4R8 posted:

Is there free streaming for the X-Files somewhere? I would just buy it otherwise, but the collapse of capitalism right now has me strapped for cash ATM.

Hulu has it but I think it depends on where you live.

To contribute: Check out Kumail Nanjiani's Xfiles Files podcast. I downloaded the Darin Morgan episodes and the ep that's just Kumail recording a convo with Duchovony and Anderson on his Iphone on set and they're great.

mastershakeman
Oct 28, 2008

This neckbearded nerd has incredibly stupid opinions on fantasy firearms.

"Remember, Mastershakeman is literally always wrong."







A Fancy Hat posted:

That first revival season is rough and proves that Chris Carter is, somehow, the worst X-Files writer. Curse of the Were-Monster is one of the best episodes ever, though.

The second revival season is much better, except for the finale, which you should avoid at all costs and pretend Mulder and Scully are just out there doing their thing forever.

Regarding conspiracy theories - unfortunately the world we live in right now means that conspiracy theories are (mostly) the domain of right-wing grifters scamming morons. I think the show did a good job in the 2nd revival season of addressing that fact and course correcting after presenting an Alex Jones-esque character as a voice of reason in the first revival season.

I stopped watching after lost art of forehead sweat where scully said she'd rather remember things the way she prefers rather than knowing what they're really like. with that in mind should I ever finish watching the last few episodes? i saw everything else up to that point

OldSenileGuy
Mar 13, 2001


mastershakeman posted:

I stopped watching after lost art of forehead sweat where scully said she'd rather remember things the way she prefers rather than knowing what they're really like. with that in mind should I ever finish watching the last few episodes? i saw everything else up to that point

Yes you should definitely finish the season, but you can skip Ghouli and definitely skip the finale.

Ghouli is one of those episodes that tries to be both a MOTW episode and a mytharc episode, but the mytharc is crap at this point so it's totally skippable. And the finale is garbage, but luckily episode 9 kinda works as a finale too and is a pretty decent episode.

You've already hit the high point of the season, but there's still some meat on that bone if you want it.

EDIT CAUSE I'M BORED:

Ghouli - Skippable

Kitten - Skinner episode. Decent.

Rm9sbG93ZXJz - High concept episode that's ultimately pretty dumb but has a lot of fun moments. Worth watching.

Familiar - Pretty good MOTW episode. Of the ones on this list, this one feels the most like a classic XF MOTW episode.

Nothing Lasts Forever - Also a decent MOTW episode, with a nice finale-feeling moment at the end.

My Struggle IV - Only watch if you hate yourself. Not the worst of the "My Struggle" mytharc episodes, but it's pretty close.

OldSenileGuy fucked around with this message at 21:27 on Apr 22, 2020

NikkolasKing
Apr 3, 2010





I'm unsure if Krycek is the most pitiable man in the series or a giant rear end in a top hat. Maybe the truth lies in-between. Regardless, the latest myth episodes,
"Tunguska" and "Terma" were very good and much better than the last ones.

Most surprisingly though, I really liked El Mundo Gira which I had no memory of .I really liked the multiple choice ending and of course the overriding theme of persecution of illegals is as poignant now as it ever was. Somebody once told me the distinction between good fiction and trash genre fiction is when the orcs stand for something. These fantastical trappings aren't just there to be cool, they have a deeper meaning that can be translated to real life. This episode about an enzyme from outer space that infected a poor man from Mexico is a good example of when fiction serves its highest purpose, which is to use the fantastical to help us understand the real.

Also
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0acEl97ZBME

While the episode appears to be largely satirical, I think what we're supposed to come away with is not the facts of CSM's life but the general mood of his life. He has a bit of power and...nothing else. It's a hollow existence. Mulder and Sully don't have his power but they still have so much more than he ever will.

And while everyone knows the opening theme, Mark Snow's score for the whole show is loving amazing.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y41GmICRCqY

You can buy them here
https://lalalandrecords.com/x-files...issue-4-cd-set/
https://lalalandrecords.com/x-files...ition-4-cd-set/

Gonna buy these over the course of the next couple months. I also found some new books I might add to the OP when I get the chance.

The X-Files really is one of those shows where everything comes together just right. Music, acting, writing, cinematography - all great.

oh but seriously I
Sep 26, 2019

Do you ever wonder if there are other planets out there
(source)

Krycek dying all the time is amusing to me.

grassy gnoll
Aug 27, 2006

The pawsting business is tough work.

Gun Saliva

Krycek is definitely an rear end in a top hat.

Skinner does get some appreciation in later seasons as a character. I recall them backing off his Evil Boss persona fairly quick in the course of the series, but yeah, "Avatar" and the other Skinner-focused episodes show that he's a major player.

Also, you get to watch Mitch Pileggi's quick change act from gormless paper-pusher to impossible weightlifter badass.

A Fancy Hat
Nov 18, 2016

Always remember that the President is dumber than the dumbest person you've ever met by a wide margin


mastershakeman posted:

I stopped watching after lost art of forehead sweat where scully said she'd rather remember things the way she prefers rather than knowing what they're really like. with that in mind should I ever finish watching the last few episodes? i saw everything else up to that point

In my humble opinion you could end there and end on a high note. But of the remaining episodes I think you have 2 great ones, one loving awful one, and the rest all range from "okay" to "pretty good". Skip the finale unless you want to get angry.

I also love the Cigarette Smoking Man and "Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man" is another classic episode. Just the idea that the most powerful person in the show (and arguably in the world of the X-Files) is completely miserable and looking to become a writer is intriguing to me. He's as close to pure evil as the show gets, even in that episode itself, but you end up feeling a little bad for him by the end. He's a prisoner of his life as much as anybody else.

Also my wife and I met William B Davies in real life and he's amazingly nice. He signed my X-Files DVD and talked to us about water skiing. He actually has (or at least had when we talked to him) a bunch of records for water skiing, which is a pretty awesome mental image.

OldSenileGuy
Mar 13, 2001


A Fancy Hat posted:

. He actually has (or at least had when we talked to him) a bunch of records for water skiing, which is a pretty awesome mental image.

Holy poo poo how did I never hear this before? It's a pretty awesome actual image too. How the hell did they never find a way to work this into an episode?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Zgys8Vn-4Y

oh but seriously I
Sep 26, 2019

Do you ever wonder if there are other planets out there
(source)

Somebody is going to post Scully.zip. It is inevitable.

Milo and POTUS
Sep 3, 2017

I will not shut up about the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I talk about them all the time and work them into every conversation I have. I built a shrine in my room for the yellow one who died because sadly no one noticed because she died around 9/11. Wanna see it?


Someone is gonna find this in 5 years

NikkolasKing
Apr 3, 2010





https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6lTSPXDOAI

"It's all lies. But they're entertaining lies and, in the end, isn't that the real truth? The answer is no."

I mentioned way earlier about minor flaws that kinda just get wore over time. I just finished Season 4 and Scully has now been duped three times as far as I can recall. I can remember one of the other two instances, it was in "731" where one of the Syndicate members showed himself to her and said all the corpses were just humans experimented upon by a Japanese war criminal scientist. I know there was one other big example too but it's exact nature eludes me. The point is, how many times is Scully going to be presented with the "plausible" but obviously bullshit explanation by the bad guys?

The best explanation I can spin on all of this is that they don't want us to see Scully as dumb so much as extremely emotionally vulnerable and that vulnerability is being preyed upon by these monsters. That seems like the right interpretation but this has been going on for a while now. Sympathy for a fictional character acting wrongly is limited and after a point you just get fed up with it. I love this show and I love Scully but I hope Season 5 starts by rectifying this and it was all a ruse.

I swear I got to Season 5 but I don't recall the last half of Season 4 at all. I didn't remember Max from Season 1showing up again or Skinner covering up evidence for CSM. Those were pretty great episodes, though.

I'm told the first move happens sometime between Season 5 and 6 so I guess I'll move onto S5 and then watch it after that. I'm venturing into unexplored territory and I'm excited.

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Dog_Meat
May 19, 2013


A Fancy Hat posted:

That first revival season is rough and proves that Chris Carter is, somehow, the worst X-Files writer.


My eyes always glaze over when an episode does one of those Chris Carter droning monologues because they're just so rambling and empty of substance. I feel like I'm listening to a reading of some film student's paper on the Matrix. I actually liked the last series, but the opening and ending episodes were complete horseshit and I just pretend they never happend while enjoying a nice batch of monster of the week episodes.

Was Carter somehow involved with Heroes? Because I gave up on that because of all the opening monologues that just waffled on about nothing.

I did a re-watch of X-Files a few years ago with my wife and I found I preferred the MOTW episodes because you got to see the characters playing off eachother and having fun. I'm old enough to have watched X Files as it originally aired and as a teenager I was excited for the arc to move forwards, but I bailed out at some point because life got in the way. When I went back to it the world had changed and I never really got into it's groove.

Whatever happened to UFO hysteria anyway? One day people just suddenly stopped caring. I know camera phones killed most things like this and I guess the fact that we can now buy drones that "move like nothing I ever saw in the sky" popped the alien tech bubble, but we just don't hear from people saying they got probed anymore

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