The X-Files was the first television show that was mine. When you’re a kid you watch what your parents watch, and part of growing up and becoming your own person is starting to find the things that you consume for you instead of for everyone else. Books are different. They’re fundamentally solitary and so past the point where your parents are reading aloud to you, they’re always going to be your individual selections and tastes. Television though, particularly in the days before streaming video onto everything with a shiny surface, was to a degree communal. When the television is in the living room of a small house or apartment, everyone watches or no one does unless you make a great effort. So Friday nights my parents would go to bed early, and I’d sit up watching The X-Files, and it was wonderful and terrifying and dark.
I think The X-Files ruined television for a lot of people of just the right age, who stumbled onto it as their first solo television passion. Meta plots and myth arcs and a show both serious and funny, its narrative structure was a new and different thing, but if it was the only thing by coincidence of age, it meant that the old world of sitcoms and procedurals weren’t just less satisfying, but were the hallmark of television that old people watched. And there is no taint to a thirteen year old like the taint of association with one’s elders who clearly have no taste.
A pair of forgettable movies failed to recapture the feeling of the show, but rumor has it that the show itself is going to make a comeback. Allegedly, both Duchovny and Anderson have agreed to reprise Mulder and Scully, and an offer is out to Mitch Pileggi.
Fox and Chris Carter are still in talks, but the completely unsubstantiated rumors (oh, those never turn out to be untrue) are that they’re close and it’s just dotting t’s and crossing i’s sort of things going on.
The show is set to be a mini-revival, with somewhere around 6-10 episodes in a limited engagement like Agent Carter or the revival of 24 last year.
No word yet on whether the Peacock family will return, but they’ll always be in our hearts.
And as a bonus, silly pictures of Duchovny and Anderson: