RS (rainbowstevie) wrote,

Things To Ponder


2. I read an article complaining about how weird subscription services are ("Do we really have so much excess cash that we’re just giving it to some strangers and saying “surprise me”?"), and I don't know, I've always thought they sounded pretty cool.  If I had a grand or two left over after paying fixed bills each month, I'd probably go for it. Because to be honest, that excerpt I quoted sounds awesome. It combines the fun of getting mail with the fun of surprise birthday presents. That, granted, you pay for, and probably somewhat overpay at that. But based on the past examples of, it also looks like you get some unique items without spending hours shopping in random stores or searching specialty websites.

3. More importantly, X-FILES IS COMING BACK?? I have so many emotions about this, and a decidedly mixed reaction stemming from my personal experience with how I watched the show.

First, a history:

X-Files was my first, and for quite some time only, fandom. My first real one, anyway. Sure, there was my passionate 5th grade love affair with the Power Rangers ("ONLY WHEN THEY WEREN'T IN UNIFORM!!" I wanted a show about friends in high school, gosh darn it, and I fought hard to keep that fantasy in place), and some junior high tomfoolery with certain animes, but thankfully I outgrew that. X-Files was my truest measure of online fandom. I even won a calendar giveaway from fansite The Haven one year. Still have it as a point of pride.

The funny thing is, I didn't join the fandom until season 8. October 29, 2000, to be precise. I'd been aware of the show since season 2, because my mom and I like to watch Unsolved Mysteries together and I wanted to try X-Files too, but it proved too scary at the time. Until season 4 or 5, when I was 11 and old enough to get delicious delight out of the scares, so I would start watching reruns when I ran across them. (remember the days when TV used to have lots of reruns?) I distinctly remember making a special commitment to watch "Chinga" (with the evil doll), when I didn't normally watch new episodes. I came for the scares and was not as fond of mythology episodes, but I was definitely an MSR advocate by the time I was old enough to process romance.

Once I started watching TV more regularly in middle school, the FOX Sunday night lineup became a solid TV tradition, and I remember enjoying the show quite thoroughly in season 7, though I ultimately missed the finale because I was on my school trip to Washington D.C. It never ocurred to me to look the show up online.

And then on October 29th, the season 7 finale reran in preparation for the 8th season premiere, and upon seeing it for the first time that night, my lifetime of casually liking the show just EXPLODED.

Actual journal quote: "HA! HA! IT TOOK THEM 7 YEARS but we've got a more-than-friendship thing going' on for Mulder and Scully!! I thought I'd died and gone to heaven."

I was every bit as riveted by the season 8 premiere (I still remember my heart soaring when she chucked that cup of water in Agent Doggett's nosy doubt-mongering face), and from that point on I was addicted. I not only watched, I reviewed the episodes in my journal and/or wrote stream-of-consciousness rantviews while watching; I read fan site reviews, chatted up a storm on The Haven message boards, found ALL the fansites, got familiar with the concept of spoilers and devoured any information as soon as it was out, thoroughly familiarized myself with the show's canon and chornology, bought (and still own) several episode guides, and started taping every rerun I could find.

I lived through the cold, bleak winter of Pregnant Scully, wondering when we would see Mulder again and what would happen to their relationship. I was there for the misery of This Is Not Happening, survived the Long March Hiatus and was revived with the April Fool's of a Deadalive. I was there for the Ecstatic May of 2001, when the season 8 finale wrapped things up with a warm blue robe and a bow. I was there for the disappointment of season 9, the hellfire that was "William," and the 19 straight episodes of loathing Agent Reyes. And I was there for the series finale where shipper hearts around the world exploded like cannons at the indescribable number of sweet moments, regardless of how disappointing the storyline was.

All of this puts me at a distinct disadvantage beause there are two large-majority groups of people to whom I can't relate:

1. People who didn't watch the show when it was on but discovered it later.
I DON'T KNOW YOU. I can't even imagine a world where X-Files is just some show like Buffy that people talk about a lot but you aren't very familiar with, or that you picked it up in a Netflix binge one month and now consider it one of your favorite shows. X-FILES IS NOT A SHOW. IT IS PART OF EXISTENCE. It's like someone who didn't learn how to wash their own hair until they were fifteen.

2. People who watched the show from the beginning.
This is almost as weird to me as the above -- that there are people who think the way the show started was its zenith. It baffles me to think anyone can seriously look at seasons 1-3 and think, "that's it, that's the main show." That's just...not right. That's clearly not the right way to watch. Obviously you start somewhere in seasons 4-6, and then you loop around to the early years, which should look and function like a prequel, before you close out the end. Like Star Wars.

Then there's a subgroup: people who dropped the show after season 7. I know that was a valid way to feel, and that by singing the praises of later years I am like a season 6 Glee traitor (or more accurately, a season 4 pickup), but it makes me sad to think I had this not-horrible experience in a world without Mulder that other people were emotionally not able to access. Of course it was hard, because I loved Mulder and Doggett was no kind of substitute, but I felt like our pain was so thoroughly tied to Scully's that if she could survive it, so could we. It made it more authentic. And then there was my own personal catharsis: Roadrunner, the fourth episode of season 8, which was scary and nervewracking and skin-crawling but gave Doggett a chance to shine as a solid human being.

(And in case that wasn't enough, there was 8x05, Invocation, and that knocked me head over heels. For years I could not make "All The Little Horses" stop sounding like the creepy anthem of a child molester/murderer in my head.)

I know I said season 9 was extra-disappointing, and compared to season 8 it was, but I have to admit I had a lot of fun ranting at it, and Provenance/Providence were pretty great.

And episodes. I am now far enough removed from the second movie that I can admit it was actually pretty sucky, storyline-wise, and I was just too blinded by my love of new MSR scenes (and the fact that they hadn't broken up offscreen) to care. That said, it has not dampened my enthusiasm for the TV show's potential at all. So although I dread the existence of what people will say about it online, I am really looking forward to the content itself. As long as Mulder and Scully are still together, I am sure it will be amazing. This is better than a third movie (much longer!), and I'm still basically in shock that our stars are both excited to participate. I just...kind of want to experience it in a bubble, without other people having their wrong opinions about it.

I'm sure there are going to be dozens and dozens of "best of" lists, and I wanted to make my own, but I'm too paralyzed by the fact that I haven't seen any episodes in so many years. Once I knew every episode title backwards and forward from memory, and now I'm on Wikipedia going, "oh wow, I forgot about that one." I want to do a series rewatch, but like I said above, I've never watched it in perfect order -- I think it will feel weird if I try now. But maybe one day in the near future, we will have more X-Files Nostalgia Posts. I have many months yet until the series becomes a reality...plenty of time to rank episodes by season and work out some sort of top 10-20. I know that Biogenesis/The Sixth Extinction is going to be on the list, as just thinking about that aerial shot of the beach gives me chills.

However, I can definitely tell you the two worst episodes of the series: Travelers and Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man. They contain such crushing boredom I have vowed never to watch them again.
Tags: x-files

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