As an unashamed X-Files fanatic, I had high hopes for the all new six episode mini-series reboot. And it almost met my hunger for a new episode. Almost.
The X-Files has been off the air for over 10 years. But like most fans in their early 20s, I never watched the show when it was on TV. Rather, I spent my semester breaks and days off bingeing the series like a grade-A hermit. The original series, for me at least, is still fresh in my mind. And this could be one reason why I was underwhelmed by the first episode in the reboot.
Like all die-hard fans, though, I wanted the new mini-series to be true to the original nine season-long science fiction drama. The monsters, the mystery, the companionship, and the blurring of myth and reality is what got me addicted to this show, and was what I hoped the show would replicate.
The first episode, however, fell mildly flat with me.
Now don’t get me wrong: the first episode of the reboot was true to the original series. However, it was almost too true. There were moments in the first episode that felt like a copy-paste job from the series’ past iconic episodes. This is always the biggest obstacle for any show’s revival — they risk producing a cookie cutter episode that does nothing but serve one’s nostalgia.
Ultimately this is what holds the new season back. For this revival to be successful, it will need to find its new stride.
The reboot is not without its victories, however. The rough patch experienced by the show’s two star characters, Mulder and Scully, is very raw, and believable. Their recent separation is heartbreaking. I spent hours watching them fall in love, but never find the right moment. The revival is true to that struggle, and adds levels of complexity never touched on in the original series. This alone is enough to have me hungry for more.
The addition of Joel McHale as a part-time hyper-conservative talk show host and full-time conspiracy theorist, adds a new dimension that the original series never fully developed. We’re left with many questions, and few answers about who this new character is, and how he fits into the latest season. This role is very different from all the others McHale has played to date, but he does not disappoint. He delivers the crazy, the sass, and the balance the show needed to land on its feet.
With a few episodes left in the miniseries, I am not yet ready to say the reboot was a wasted opportunity. As any diehard fan knows, when it comes to this show you must be patient — something bigger is always on its way down the pipes.
After all this time, I still want to believe.