The truth is out there and thanks to a reboot of the 90s breakout hit The X-Files, we have another chance to discover it.
And it’s no secret that, having grown up watching the show, I’ve been pretty geeked to see Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny revisit their iconic and award-winning roles.
Don’t laugh–I know plenty of you are just as hyped as I am to see the old gang back.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Granted, a lot of time has passed since the show went off the air almost 14 years ago. Dana Scully and Fox Mulder, who share a son they gave up for adoption, have both left the Bureau and “moved on.” Scully has shifted back into medicine assisting surgeons and Mulder has grown a little more paranoid and depressed (as if that were even possible) and stays cooped up in the country isolated from the world.
Through a series of events and some new characters they meet along the way, Mulder and Scully find themselves right back in that basement office with the X-Files reopened and more cases to solve. The 6-episode limited series allows for the characters to revisit old wounds including Scully’s abduction, the birth and adoption of their son William, what ever happened to Mulder’s sister and getting closer to the truth of what the government is really hiding from us when it comes to life forms from outer space.
And this is where all the fun begins.
HOW IS IT SIMILAR AND DIFFERENT THAN THE ORIGINAL?
While the original started in the 90s with bad clothes, archaic special effects and huge cell phones, this reboot does an amazing job modernizing itself to reflect the Post 9/11, Post-Obama America we live in by throwing Phones, high-speed Internet, Uber, crazed Right Wing zealots and even Henrietta Lacks into the mix.
But don’t worry, the crux of what made us fall in love with the show in the first place hasn’t changed. Expect that same great mix of mythology episodes that focus on the alien nation conspiracy (if there really is one) and that “monster of week” format that scared the hell out of us back in the day. And what’s good is that with advanced CGI and make-up, the show just looks much more believable than its predecessor.
But most important, that blend of emotional drama, smart humor and complicated chemistry between Mulder, the believer, and Scully, the skeptic, are all still there. These new episodes also help us understand a little better the romance the two shared, that for whatever reason Chris Carter,the show’s creator, rarely let the viewer see in past seasons. Oh, and Assistant Director Skinner and that sneaky Smoking Man are back for the ride too.
Even better: The opening credits and eerie theme music are exactly the same from back in the day!
EYE CANDY FACTOR
Yo, Duchovny may be no Idris Elba, but by the second episode with a pressed suit and fresh shave, the 55-year old still has some sex appeal to him. And low-key, Anderson isn’t looking too bad herself. She’s been sipping on the same vampire blood tonic that Angela Bassett partakes in. Because for a woman pushing 50, she is absolutely killing it.
And thank goodness, Scully has upgraded from those boxy and unflattering suits that plagued her in the past and is now rocking fitted shirts with tailored pencil skirts. Perhaps, the show’s costume designer took notes from Analise Keating or Olivia Pope’s wardrobe.
All I can say is “Werk!”
WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING
In fairness, a reboot like this creates a lot of hype to live up to. And while many TV critics have called the season premiere “slow,” “too focused on mythology” (which makes me think they have never seen an episode of the show before) and “clunky,” diehard fans are living for this new season. But it’s the ratings that will have the final say, as the season premiere opened with a whopping 16.7 million viewers (thanks to following the NFC championship game) and the second episode staying strong with 9.7 million.
So there you have it.
WHAT LIBATIONS YOU NEED ON DECK
Now girl, The X-Files isn’t giving you those twisty-turny HTGAWM stunts that make your heart stop, but don’t sleep on the anxiety factor when it comes to aliens and monsters. So go ahead and pour that extra big glass of vino. Trust me, you’re going to need it.
IT IS WORTH WATCHING?
Most definitely! If you grew up on this show, this reboot is exactly what you’ve been waiting for. If you’re a new viewer who likes Sleepy Hollow, The-X Files is perfect for you, especially given that it was a major force in making genre television part of the mainstream. Not to mention, Abby and Ichabod are totally Scully and Mulder.
But there is a caveat here: In an age where more African-Americans and people of color are becoming the norm for network television, unlike Sleepy Hollow The X-Files doesn’t have the best track record with inclusion, nor with tackling race with the best tact. There were definitely some older episodes with African-Americans, Native-Americans and Asians that made me shake my head.
To make matters worse, in Chris Carter’s universe, Black women were either on the peripheral or pretty much non-existent. I can’t think of one time, where a Black woman was a lead guest star in one of its 202 episodes. And while there seem to be a few more people of color in the newer episodes, we do hope to see some sistas in the remainder of the new season. And if we don’t and the show comes back for an eleventh season, Carter and company better get with the program, because no one is giving out passes based on nostalgia anymore.
EXTRA CREDIT: CLASSIC EPISODES TO REVISIT
Watching past episodes aren’t required, but if you want to revisit classic ones to get a refresher, here are a few of my favorite that you can steam on Netflix or Hulu.
“Ice,” Season 1, Episode 8
“Darkness Falls,” Season 1, Episode 20
“Home,” Season 4, Episode 2
“Bad Blood,” Season 5, Episode 12
“X-Cops,” Season 7, Episode 12
Catch new episodes of The X-Files on Hulu, On Demand or the FOX Now app.