I wanted to like The X-Files again this year. It was to be the Season of Scully and the season opener was pretty cool. Lots of Scully. Plus more Skinner. The pregnancy, the search for Mulder . . .
And then we got to the stand-alone episodes. At least there was talk of Mulder's disappearance, at first. And acknowledgement of the difficulty involved with a new partnership. I even like Doggett, I do.
But I never cared much for the standalone Monster of the Week episodes of the show. Only if there was cool character stuff going on or cool humor involved. But most of the ones that played it straight, trying to scare me either grossed me out or bored me (or both), especially when Mulder and Scully weren't on screen together.
And it seems that's what Carter and company think this season is about (grossing me out and boring me).
Autumn Tysko's review of the "Surekill" episode nails it:
The X-Files sure has "reinvented itself." It's reinvented itself right into a dull anthology series with a quasi-paranormal slant. Carter and Spotnitz have been telling us for years that they believe the show is plot driven rather than character driven, and in the last two months they've proven it to us. Guess what guys? Your plots are dull. Dull, dull, dull.
[ . . . ]
Instead of giving the audience what they want, the 1013 writing staff continues to think people are interested in the likes of Squinty and Stupid the Wonder Twins and their mousy assistant Tammi. Gee, how is Scully's pregnancy going? How bad were things that she was recently in the hospital? Did she ever tell her family she's pregnant? Has her mother EVER called her back? Does it wear on her to be investigating these stupid cases without Mulder? Is she as annoyed with Doggett just barking out "Agent" whenever he wants her to come as the rest of us are? Is she still having nightmares about Mulder? Does she still go over to Mulder's apartment every few days and feed his fish? No, we can't answer any INTERESTING questions that might lend to character growth for the series LEADS when we can instead find out that three loser men are all in love with the same loser girl for no apparent reason. Because that's the plot. Congratulations Greg Walker, you too are a plot driven writer. You've learned to fill your script with the sort of tension that Spotnitz and Carter, rather than the audience, crave. Thrilling stuff like the unbearable tension of Tammi and the answering machine message and the chilling "let me use this lighter to see your face because this office is lit too dark to make it seem spookier" scene. Pardon me while I yawn.
As did I. The Mighty Big TV recap of "Surekill" is pretty cruel, too. Deservedly so. What a dud of an episode. There've been worse episodes, I think, though now the worst ones I'm thinking of at least had some funny one-liners from Mulder.
Only good thing? Scully's hair looked great, her clothes were great. That's it. Sigh.
I miss Mulder. And the Mytharc, even. And I'd grown to really dislike the mytharc in recent years.
I miss Mulder's wit. Everything's so dark these days on The X-Files. And with this Sunday's metal-man episode, we don't get one Doggett/T2 reference? Or did I miss it?
Posted by: Owen Leonard at January 16, 2001 11:31 AM
I haven't watched the Metal Guy episode yet, though it's on my Tivo. That's a sign that my interest is waning . . . that I haven't watched it yet.
I miss Mulder's quips, the banter between him and Scully. She and Doggett may get along okay, but they don't have *fun* together like M & S did. Even somehow when facing awful stuff.
Posted by: Laurel at January 16, 2001 01:02 PM
There was a T2 reference -- Doggett has a line to the effect of, "I hope you're not suggesting he's some sort of metal man, Agent Scully, because that only happens in the movies."
I think it would be implausible to have banter from these characters at this point in their relationship. Now, you could say that they should have written Doggett with a lighter touch from the start, but I think making him even that tiny bit like Mulder would have made for an even worse situation.
I think it's important to the fan base that Scully's relationship with Doggett be strictly-business-verging-on-adversarial. We can't entertain the notion that she might have a friendly relationship with any partner other than Mulder. The shippers would storm 1013's offices.
I always liked the MOWs myself. I don't want a soap opera with aliens -- if I did, I'd be watching Babylon 5 (ba-dum-bump!).
Posted by: jjg at January 16, 2001 04:04 PM
Banter with Doggett wouldn't be right (though Mulder and Scully had banter right from the start).
I like him as is, I'm just kindof tired of MoW episodes by now.
If the plots were better, I wouldn't mind so much.
Mostly I'm frustrated with the shell game they're playing re Scully's pregnancy. We know she's been to the hospital, but we don't know details.
Posted by: Laurel at January 19, 2001 12:25 AM
Patience, my dear. Big Revelations are why they invented sweeps!
Posted by: jjg at January 19, 2001 02:36 PM
This is most certainly true.
Actually, I was encouraged by some of the recent stories re the show. Sounds like a lot of stuff is gonna happen during February sweeps.
Posted by: Laurel at January 19, 2001 05:51 PM