Getting Back Together with the X: Reactions to the X-Files Miniseries – Episode 2, “Founder’s Mutation”

thexfilesAlmost 14 years after it ended its original run, The X-Files is returning to the small screen with a six-episode miniseries this winter. To welcome it back, Jeff (of Slazenger1) and I will be writing responses to each episode. Here’s the hook: Jeff is a pretty hardcore X-Files fan and I haven’t seen a single episode of the show. How we’ll respond is anyone’s guess, but as always: The Truth is Out There.

This post covers the second episode of the miniseries, “Founder’s Mutation.” It contains spoilers for this episode as well as the entire original run of The X-Files.

Patches
Oh god… I go first this week? This is more terrifying than shoving a letter opener into my own skull or having my brain telekenisised out of every facial orifice.

“Founder’s Mutation” begins with Mulder and Scully back on the case. The show doesn’t mention how much time has passed since the X-Files were reopened at the end of “My Struggle,” but it doesn’t seem like enough time for a government agency, specifically one Skinner called ponderous, to fire up and start accepting cases. I think that can be easily forgiven, however. With only six episodes the whole season, you don’t want epiosde two to be “My Bureaucratic Struggle ” where Mulder fights the violent, uber-fascist fascistocracy to requisition a rolly chair for the office. Jumping directly into the action was a good idea.

Also a good decision was the transition from what seemed to be a very serialized opener to a more episodic format. Given that this season’s finale is entitled “My Struggle II,” I’m guessing that one will try to close up shop. “Founder’s Mutation” hit the sweet spot that shows like Deep Space Nine were so good at, using standalones to contribute to the larger arcs. If I interpreted things correctly, those terrifying laboratories were Department of Defense facilities, likely housing and experimenting on children infused with alien DNA. That adds to the government conspiracy/nonspiracy mytharc, except through a story instead of through exposition. Good stuff.

vlcsnap-2016-02-04-21h02m25s208“Founder’s Mutation” got to be creepy (THOSE BIRDS, THOUGH), violent (you heard that scientist’s skull crack too, right?), and told an interesting story. It also attempted a tug or two at the ‘ole heartstrings. Continue reading

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Getting Back Together with the X: Reactions to the X-Files Miniseries – Episode 1, “My Struggle”

thexfilesAlmost 14 years after it ended its original run, The X-Files is returning to the small screen with a six-episode miniseries this winter. To welcome it back, Jeff and I will be writing responses to each episode. Here’s the hook: Jeff is a pretty hardcore X-Files fan and I haven’t seen a single episode of the show. How we’ll respond is anyone’s guess, but as always: The Truth is Out There.

This post covers the first episode of the miniseries, “My Struggle.” It probably contains spoilers for this episode as well as the entire original run of The X-Files.

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Jeff
“My Struggle” is an apt title for the first episode of The X-Files miniseries, because I think it’s going to be a struggle for me to put this miniseries into the context of the original 9-season run of the show that I loved so much.

This feels a lot like a late-series mythology episode, complete with period flashbacks, info-dump, JFK-esque montages (including Mulder’s own Mr. X…not to be confused with The X-Files’ previous Mr. X), and a final act that frustrates our heroes’ quest by continuing the cover-up. We also have the familiar faces of Mulder and Scully, as well as Walter Skinner and an unlikely, or impossible, appearance by the Cigarette Smoking Man. We have the basement office, UFOs, Roswell, a parking garage, Scully in scrubs and even a Reticulan. The pieces are in place, but this episode is saddled with introducing an all new conspiracy, which is problematic to say the least. Continue reading

Getting Back Together with the X: Reactions to the X-Files Miniseries – Prologue

thexfiles

Almost 14 years after it ended its original run, The X-Files is returning to the small screen with a six-episode miniseries this winter. To welcome it back, Jeff (of Slazenger1) and I will be writing responses to each episode. Here’s the hook: Jeff is a pretty hardcore X-Files fan and I haven’t seen a single episode of the show. How we’ll respond is anyone’s guess, but as always: The Truth is Out There.

This post covers our personal relationship with the series thus far and our expectations for the miniseries.

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Jeff
I was in elementary school when The X-Files premiered, and was probably a bit too young to watch it, understand it, or really know anything about it at all. I remember seeing the original broadcast of Season 1 episode “The Jersey Devil” when I spent the night at a friend’s house and his dad was watching it. I don’t think I watched another episode until I came to the series on my own, late in Season 4. I’m pretty sure the episode was “Unrequited” because I specifically remember being intrigued by promos advertising an invisible assassin. I also remember the Fox “next time on” promos for the rest of the season counting down the number of episodes remaining until what turned out to be a pretty great season finale, “Gethsemane.” From that point, I was hooked. Continue reading

“AWK” for “Awkward:” A Dead Season Discussion of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Season 1 (Part 2)

title cardCreated by Dan Goor (Parks and Recreation) and Michael Schur (The Office, Parks and Recreation), Brooklyn Nine-Nine debuted on September 17, 2013 on Fox. Although conceived as a vehicle for Andy Samberg in his first post-SNL role, a top-notch supporting cast turned Brooklyn Nine-Nine into one of the best comedies of the year, winning Golden Globe awards for Best Comedy Series and Best Actor in a comedy (Samberg), and earning Andre Braugher an Emmy nomination for Supporting Actor in a Comedy along the way.

To celebrate the show’s Season 2 premiere, Jeff (of Slazenger1) and I break down Season 1 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

As usual, SPOILERS abound. Also, possibly penis graffiti…

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Welcome to Part 2, which is all about our Superlatives. What were the best and worst, the highs and lows, of Season 1? Let’s find out!

Best Performance
Jeff: Terry Crews. I must’ve been living under a rock, because I don’t think I knew about this guy until I heard he was the one Expendable I hadn’t ever heard of. He’s huge, he’s sensitive and he’s hilarious. (I liked Jerry Gergich’s “fart attack” on Parks and Recreation better though)
Patches: You’ve never heard of President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho? I’m doing the only thing I know how to do, which is to place Andre Braugher on a pedestal. Braugher, and the writers, forged the best gay character (I know of) on television. It’s a clear part of who he is, but it doesn’t define or trap him in any way. He’s a police officer who happens to be gay.

vlcsnap-2014-09-22-09h34m01s55Worst Performance
Patches: You’ve already mentioned her, but I’ll pick Continue reading

“AWK” for “Awkward:” A Dead Season Discussion of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Season 1 (Part 1)

title cardCreated by Dan Goor (Parks and Recreation) and Michael Schur (The Office, Parks and Recreation), Brooklyn Nine-Nine debuted on September 17, 2013 on Fox. Although conceived as a vehicle for Andy Samberg in his first post-SNL role, a top-notch supporting cast turned Brooklyn Nine-Nine into one of the best comedies of the year, winning Golden Globe awards for Best Comedy Series and Best Actor in a comedy (Samberg), and earning Andre Braugher an Emmy nomination for Supporting Actor in a Comedy along the way.

To celebrate the show’s Season 2 premiere, Jeff (of Slazenger1) and I break down Season 1 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

As usual, SPOILERS abound. Also, possibly penis graffiti…

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Patches: Jeff! It’s been a while since we’ve done one of these, hasn’t it?

Jeff: Yeah, you know, the important stuff gets in the way: life, work, responsibility, binge watching the first season of Once Upon a Time….

Patches: Once Upon a Time? Oh, Jeff… I understand. I’ve also made some terrible decisions where attractive ladies were involved… Wait, did that make it sound like I think your wife is hot? Wait, did that make it sound like I think your wife is ugly? Godammit…

Let me change the subject by linking Robert Carlyle’s Wikipedia page. This the least flattering picture in the history of photography, right?

Jeff: What a beautiful woman! Too bad even she can’t save OUaT. But we’re not here to talk about fairy tales, we’re here to talk about a show that actually tries when it comes to writing: Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Let’s get to it!

Patches: Very well! From our brief conversations on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, it seems as though we both enjoyed it and think the show has a lot of potential. If not for the surprising resurgence of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, B99 would have been my comedy of the year. Then again, I’m not a big comedy guy, which I suppose makes the fact that I’m watching it pretty big compliment itself. So, WHAT DID YOU THINK OF SEASON 1, OVERALL?

Jeff: B99 was the comedy with the most promise for the 2013 fall season. Not only did it have the pedigree of Schur and Braugher (which was a big sell for yours truly), but Continue reading