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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

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joepinetree
Apr 5, 2012


NikkolasKing posted:

Also I'm still not sure why it's so hard to find people to talk about The X-Files. I used to post on a scifi forum and they got me to watch Stargate SG-1. It was...okay but nothing special. I have no desire to ever see it again and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. So why were people still talking about it ten years ago? And i think there's an active thread for it here, too.

This in contrast to The X-Files which is not only a great show but possibly the most influential scifi show of the last 30 years. It certainly has to be up there. But nobody talks about it. Babylon 5, Stargate, Farscape, they talk about these but not a show so much bigger than any of them.

And no disrespect to B5. I need to watch that myself someday.

Funny thing: what got me to sign up for SA was one of the old xfiles threads that was doing a rewatch of the series. There used to be a ton of x files forums, but eventually they all died off.

I think it was just a matter of a show overstaying its welcome. As someone old enough to have caught the original run, a lot of people I knew who were super into the show in the mid 90s all would react with "that show is still going on? huh" when it got to 2001-2002.

At some point, people just burn out of all build up no payoff.

joepinetree
Apr 5, 2012


crispix posted:

This became a real problem in the 00s imo. Shows would start out great and have a couple of good seasons but then the writing would get over encumbered with intrigue sometimes to the point where the writers themselves couldn't resolve plot lines convincingly and only attempted to after many had lost interest anyway

When series were still a network affair and producers couldn't rely on subscription fees, the main way the TV business operated was that networks would spend less than cost for TV shows and production companies would only turn a profit if they made it into syndication. With the X Files, it was worse because fox had a couple of seasons where all their new shows flopped. I don't remember if it was carter or spotnitz who said at the end of season 7 that they still didn't know if there was going to be a season 8 so they filmed two endings.

Gilligan was asked about the show staying too long and his basic take was that some 200 people are employed on a show that size, and that ending the show at the artistically satisfying time also meant 200 of your friends losing their jobs.

joepinetree
Apr 5, 2012


NikkolasKing posted:

Thanks for the replies everyone.

perhaps you can also offer some more of your knowledge of TV writing. I mentioned earlier one of the reasons I like the Mytharc is because of its big Muldr and Scully moments. However there is a definite incongruity between them and MOTW episodes. For example, Scully just found and lost her daughter in Season 5. Then...we continue on with adventuring like nothing happened. Time and time again in the Mythology episodes some earth-shattering event happens to our heroes but we go straight back to trundling along looking for random mysteries.

I'm told the X-Files was on the cusp of more modern television writing and that the kind of consistent character development I want from the show was actually rare or unheard of before the X-Files. The X-Files in a lot of ways started more focused television with consistent character development and narratives. Is this true?

It would match up with how people have told me, when I've considered watching Star Trek, that I can just skip around and watch whatever because TOS and TNG are almost entirely episodic.

The incongruity between mytharc and motw is explained in large part because the writers for each were different. Early on, other writers like Morgan and Wong would contribute episodes to the mytharc, but after season 6 or so it becomes exclusively a chris carter thing.
Meanwhile some writers focused only on MOTW episodes. These writers include Vince Gilligan, Darin Morgan, Howard Gordon, John Shiban, etc.

joepinetree
Apr 5, 2012


False posted:

Anyone found a good "rewatch" guide they can recommend?

I'm wandering through the early seasons watching episodes that sound interesting, that I have fond memories of, or that are in common top 10 lists at the moment (Goddamn, I forgot how many episodes are in a season).

On the whole I'm enjoying it but it is striking how crude and theatrical the early episodes are. I get that its a foundational show for mondern TV but you really need to suspend disbelief - especially re. realism and character motivations. Mulder is a total lunatic who should be loosing his job about 3 times an episode and 80% of his character motivations can be summed up as "the writers need to emphasize that this is spooky or unusual" and Scully seems to get hit in the head with a coconut every 2-3 episodes.

Still - absolutely loving it. Just so many fond memories from growing up - my parents even got The Lone Gunmen on DVD (after the VHS recording stopped working) so we can watch it when I visit.

depends on the type of rewatch you want to do. Mytharc or MOTW?

joepinetree
Apr 5, 2012


False posted:

Both, really. I enjoy reading about why other people enjoy things before I enjoy them (and it helps to avoid the waste of time episodes).

Also: I just re-watched S1, episode 1 and contrary to what I said about early seasons being pretty hoaky - it was really great. Great set-ups, back-story, intrigue, and characterization.

The list of mytharc episodes is in this post I made in the old thread:

https://forums.somethingawful.com/s...0#post450954564

Mytharc gets incoherent at the end, but makes a vague sense till the end of season 7. This is the serialized part of the xfiles.

Notable MOTW episodes, by season (these can be watched out of order, but i'd recommend not starting with the lighthearted ones, since they pay off more once you understand the characters better). Italics are the funny ones, bold are the really famous ones that get brought up all the time

season 1:
Squeeze
Ice
Fire
Beyond the Sea
Tooms (follow up to Squeeze)

Season 2
Irresistible
Die Hand Die Verletzt
Dod Kalm
Humbug
F. Emasculata
Our Town

Season 3
Oubliette
War of the Coprophages
Pusher (Vince Gilligan's first episode as a staff writer, he had a previous credit, but it was a submitted script that initially got him the job)
Jose Chung's From Outer Space
Quagmire
Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose

Season 4
Home (probably the most famous episode of the x files, because it was only shown on broadcast tv once and then never again)
Unruhe
Paper Hearts
Small Potatoes

Season 5
Detour
The Post-Modern Prometheus (a weird lighthearted episode that uses what is essentially rape for comedic effect)
Kitsunegari (follow up to pusher)
Chinga (actually pretty bad, but remarkable because it was written by Stephen King)
Bad Blood
Folie Deux

Season 6
Drive (Bryan Cranston is in this one)
The Rain King
Monday
Arcadia
Milagro
The Unnatural

Season 7
Hungry
Millennium (conclusion to the show of the same name, since it had been cancelled)
The Goldberg Variation
Orison (conclusion to irresistible)
The Amazing Maleeni
X-Cops (Cops, but with x files)
all things (actually pretty bad, but a favorite for the shippers for reasons that become clear at the very start)
Hollywood AD
Je Souhaite



I dont remember any worthwhile s8 and s9 motw, though I am sure there are some.







joepinetree
Apr 5, 2012


DorianGravy posted:

I was doing a complete watch of X-Files a few years ago and got to the early parts of Season 8 before dropping off (specifically episode 5 "Invocation", my Netflix viewing history tells me). Is there anything past that in the series worth checking out? I've seen bits and pieces of the later stuff, but out of order, and I know that season 8/9 have a reputation for being pretty bad. Should I try to finish the series off? I liked the myth-arc stuff, and was kind of bummed about how it fizzled out.

Also, was there anything interesting in the final new season (season 11)? I watched season 10 and, outside of one good episode (Mulder and Scully meet the Were-Monster), I'd rather just ignore it.

Only good stuff in the 10 and 11 seasons are the Darin Morgan episodes. The mytharc is completely incoherent after season 7. There are a couple of decent episodes in season 8. Vienen is one I remember enjoying.

Now, season 9 has the one that made me the most angry at the time. Trust No 1. The premise is that Scully misses Mulder so much she asks him to come back, but some people might be waiting for him. So the entire episode is about whether or not Mulder got on a train, and it was entirely about teasing that maybe Duchovny was going to be in that episode.

joepinetree
Apr 5, 2012


My favorite Krycek moment is when he very dramatically drops the vial with the vaccine that could have saved Mulder, only for Scully to then use "an anti-viral" to save Mulder.

It just highlights the incoherence of it all.

There's an alien virus that incubates in seemingly dead people and transforms them into supersoldiers so indestructible that if even a single vertebrae is left they can instantly restore themselves to full health. There is a vaccine to said virus. But it doesn't matter, generic antiviral drugs just as well.

The indestructible super soldier comes from a virus that is easier to treat than the flu.

joepinetree
Apr 5, 2012


algebra testes posted:

I forgot that Mulder threatens to shoot the NSA agent in the dick.

edit: the start of the Corckroaches episode.

edit 2: "My mind isn't the only thing you boys want to expand" is uhhh probably the risque-est line i've heard so far.

edit 3: Hate him, wouldn't wanna date him

Syzygy is such a reminder of a pre-internet world for me. I didn't have internet at the time, and so the episode came out and I really liked one of the songs in it. All Over You by live. Of course, I had no way of finding out what the name was, so I would go to record stores and sing the refrain to see if anyone would know it. And then the next year I got the internet, so I searched for it and found it that way.

joepinetree
Apr 5, 2012


After The War posted:

Man, Live was such an alt-rock radio staple, buying an album would have seemed superfluous at the time.

At the time, I was an exchange student in rural northwest Michigan. If they had an alt-rock radio station, I didn't know of it.

joepinetree
Apr 5, 2012


Milo and POTUS posted:

Were Mulder+scully ever a thing? I never watched the later seasons but the fact that they stayed just friends + respected colleagues was shocking given the time and is still shamefully rare even today. I don't count one, two time things.

Lol, yeah. Appealing and teasing shippers became Chris Carter's go to move in later seasons when he ran out of ideas.


Not going to spoiler tag a 20 year old TV show, but people who don't want to know should stop now


In season 7, all things starts with Scully getting up and getting dressed as the camera pans over to a nude sleeping Mulder in bed. By the end of it, Scully is pregnant and it is implied that it is Mulder's baby.

Season 8 includes both a retcon of how Scully got pregnant (turns out her and Mulder had been trying for a long time), and the plot verges on the nonsensical: the aliens are trying to either kill and/or save their baby, because there is a prophecy that if the baby lives and Mulder lives he will lead the fight against the aliens, but if the baby lives and Mulder dies, the baby will lead the colonization efforts. Season ends with Mulder and Scully kissing as she holds the baby. One of the first episodes after Mulder came back was called "three little words" that every shipper freaked out about, but turns out the three words were "fight the future."

Season 9 Duchovny is out, but they still used their romance in episodes. There is an episode where Scully misses Mulder so much she tells him to get on a train to go see her, even though she knows that is a trap. The entire episode is "did Mulder get on the train or not." And then the series finale they hook up and go on the run.

2nd movie they start out together, split up, and then get back together.

The new seasons were a total mess, so I don't even remember if they hook up again or not.

joepinetree
Apr 5, 2012


Milo and POTUS posted:

Man that's disappointing. Again, I wouldn't be surprised if they did once, twice or even if it was an occasional thing. But trying for a baby give me a break

They broke up and got together more than Ross and Rachel. Which is remarkable when you think they only got together in season 7.

There was an interview at the time of the 2nd movie where Spotnitz talked about how they actually rewrote that movie to make it more ambiguous as to whether or not they were together at the start of the movie. And so there is this scene about 1/3 of the way in where Scully is laying in bed saying something, and it is shot at the same height as her face, and then Mulder gets up from behind her, making it clear that they were in bed together. And Spotnitz talked about it as if it was a great scene that the fans loved. Then they break up during the movie, but the after credits sequence is them on a boat in the Caribbean or something.

joepinetree
Apr 5, 2012


Oh, god, I forgot the other kick in the balls for shippers: there's also a season 9 episode where you have "deformed Mulder is back, look at his DNA test, oh no it is actually Spender" episode.

joepinetree
Apr 5, 2012


This thread inspired me to re watch the series and I'm watching fallen angel.
Mulder asks max how he recognized him, and Max says from an article on omni. To which Mulder replies "but i published that under a pseudonym."

Which is great, because it means that Mulder publishes under a pseudonym but uses his actual picture.

joepinetree fucked around with this message at 05:16 on Aug 28, 2020

joepinetree
Apr 5, 2012


Chairman Capone posted:

I remember when they were filming the second movie, they released a lot of fake "leaks" and blurry "set photos" to throw bloggers off the scent, and all the fakes made it seem like the movie was going to be about a werewolf or wendigo or something like that, and I still wish it actually had been that instead.

I just remember the second movie feeling like the villain was tailor-made to incorporate every right-wing bogeyman of 2008. From what I recall, he was a Russian stem-cell researcher who illegally immigrated so he could get a gay marriage in Massachusetts. I think that was the first time when I actively thought, maybe Chris Carter is a bit more right-wing than I thought....

It goes a step further:

not just a gay marriage, but also kidnapping and killing young girls to steal their bodies to implant the head of the lover to become a woman.

joepinetree
Apr 5, 2012


As a bit of meta commentary, I love how this story essentially repeatedly calls Chris Carter full of poo poo

https://www.denofgeek.com/tv/the-x-...ved-storylines/

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joepinetree
Apr 5, 2012


Payndz posted:

My wife walked out on our watch of 'F. Emasculata' because the idea of Scully, a medical doctor, poking around in oozing, pustule-covered corpses that have died from some highly contageous cause with practically no precautions or PPE actually made her angry.

I love 'Our Town', though. There's something appealingly demented about the idea of "evil Colonel Sanders with a cabinet full of shrunken heads leads a town of cultists who've halted the ageing process by eating peoples' brains in human sacrifice rituals (only to develop CJD)".

And how anyone can dismiss 'Humbug' as a nothingburger...

Scully's medical expertise, like everything else on the show in a long enough horizon, makes no loving sense. She sometimes does autopsies, sometimes treats the black oil and deals with vaccines and antivirals, in the movies does brain surgery, in the new seasons is back to creating vaccines...

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