X-Files Hate Roundup

Did you hate the X-Files revival, or love it? Brian Z. produced this roundup of critics’ negative responses to help jumpstart discussion.

The Original X-Files Pilot Perfectly Explains Why the Reboot Fails – Slate

We wanted to believe the revival of The X-Files would be a return to form, but after last night’s inaugural episode, our hope quickly faded. From the opening monologue, a seriously confusing snooze-fest, to the arbitrary new conspiracy theory, the episode veers off track early and never recovers.

To understand where it goes wrong, watch the video above, which goes back to the masterful original pilot of The X-Files to show how creator Chris Carter and his writers have forgotten what made the show work in the first place.

weird, but not in a good way – The Guardian

“You can’t say these things,” Scully tells Mulder after his epiphany (by the way: Anderson is great here, even without this monologue to endear her to the embrained members of the audience). “It’s fearmongering claptrap isolationist techno-paranoia so bogus and dangerous and stupid that it borders on treason. Saying these things would be irresponsible.”

I have another reason Mulder, and people who think the dumb things Mulder thinks, should stay silent: equating news reports of government surveillance (which is real) with the theory that the Trilateral Commission secretly orchestrated 9/11 (which is not real) makes it harder for people who want to stop things like the expansion of the former to be taken seriously.

‘I want to believe’Hollywood Reporter

After more than a few heavy-handed scenes that would otherwise seem like parody, there’s a moment in the first hour when — after an “oh-don’t-do-that” rant by Mulder about what’s really happening under their noses — Scully says something that serves as both descriptor and indictment of revisiting the series: “It’s fear-mongering, clap-trap, isolationist, techno-paranoia so bogus and dangerous and stupid that it borders on treason.”

Yes, what she said.

 I Wanted To Believe, But… – Yahoo!

The fault in the new X-Files is in some part our own fault. After all, Carter might not have executed his wish to get the old band back together for a reunion tour if there wasn’t an audience perennially agitating for it. This aspect of Nostalgia Culture — the one that is inspiring the returns of everything from Full House to Twin Peaks to Gilmore Girls — is both understandable and regrettable.

If ‘The X-Files’ Sticks Around, It Has To Abandon Its Bloated Mythology – Forbes

Now the story goes that aliens grew concerned for humanity’s survival when we started toying with nukes, but we in turn killed their emissary at Roswell in 1947 and stole their technology to further fuel a shadow government’s takeover of America, and then the planet. That’s just…well ok, that’s something I think is borderline plausible given the evils and atrocities on display by humankind lately. But I digress.

‘My Struggle’ Doesn’t Encourage Our Faith Or Trust – Indiewire

Behold Mulder, a man of the year 2016, which we know because apparently he’s learned how to use Uber. (This is something I honestly find a little hard to believe. Any man driven to investigate conspiracies on Mulder’s level ought to at least be a little familiar with that company’s shady underpinnings.)

Everything Is Wrong (PHOTO RECAP) – tv.com

But yeah, levitating invisible spaceships built by humans. It was like we were in a Syfy miniseries suddenly! Anyway, Mulder honestly looked like he’d rather stretch out on a futon than think about aliens for another second.

Every Episode of The X-Files, Ranked From Worst to Best

That said, it’s best to be forewarned that while the post-Mulder episodes of the series aren’t spectacular pieces of television, I find season eight incredibly underrated (and miles better than season seven, where David Duchovny seems as bored as all of us were at that point), and I actually like not only John Doggett, but Monica Reyes, too. Please don’t stop reading.

21 thoughts on “X-Files Hate Roundup

  1. Well, for me it was weird in a good way. Loved it, despite the rather sudden conversion of Mulder to not believing in alien abductions ….

  2. Are there positive reviews as well?

    I rather bounced off X-Files in the second or third season, when the big reset button got too obvious and I just wanted Mulder to grab Scully by the shoulders and say “Dana, how can you say there’s no evidence. Only last week you were convinced that something was going on. And the week before that. You keep being convinced that this isn’t crazy, but you forget about it every weekend.”

  3. The AV Club review by Alex McCown discusses the first three episodes, and McCown writes “The first episode demonstrates some of The X-Files’ weaker tendencies”, the second episode is “a smart and unsettling story”, and “if the second hour feels like a solid return to form, the third episode is superlative.” So hang in there, I guess, and cross your fingers for #4-#6.

  4. The only critic that counts in my household is my wife, who enjoyed the original X-Files series and liked the first two episodes of the reboot herself.

  5. I thought the first episode was a distillation of everything that was wrong with the original late-season X-Files. (Plus we’re apparently supposed to just forget about all the stuff with aliens from the original series and the first movie. Also, thirding the sentiments of the Guardian and the Hollywood Reporter). The second episode was much better.

    I also completely agree that season 8 is underrated – at least Doggett and Reyes actually solved cases, and the audience wasn’t subjected to endless, boring ‘mythology’ episodes, in which Mulder and Scully are always two steps behind and nothing is ever resolved.

  6. I thought the first episode was okay but the dialogue wasn’t terribly well written. That scene where Mulder and Scully were shout-talking at each other was cringeworthy. “They’ve been lying to us for decades Scully!” “Mulder you’re out of control!” “But the lies, Scully, the LIES!” “You’re too close to the edge, Mulder!” “Scully they’re LIARS!”

  7. Here’s another, from Devin at BMD. Although, he really like the third episode, so there’s that.

    I was a huge X-files fan for its first several seasons, although I’ve only watched the first episode of the new series so far, and I mostly felt a bit annoyed at it. I think sinister conspiracy theories have lost most of the teenage fascination and amusement I felt for them, given the current influence actual conspiracy theorists have in shaping the US, right now. I’m hoping the rest of the series isn’t quite so obvious, I guess.

    Gillian Anderson was great, though. She was about the only person I didn’t want to kick the entire time.

  8. Haven’t seen the new episodes yet. Waayyyy back when, I hated the the first episode I saw and didn’t watch the first series. Friends convinced me to watch the second series and it grew on me. The X-Files has always required some additional suspension-of-rational-function to truly enjoy it.

  9. I was a major fan whose love for the show died during the last few seasons and last movie. Or two. So I am not even bothering to try again.

  10. Robinareid on January 26, 2016 at 10:12 am said:

    I was a major fan whose love for the show died during the last few seasons and last movie. Or two. So I am not even bothering to try again.

    I quite liked the last attempt at a movie. It was understated.

  11. I’m just not a fan of reboots and reunions, especially for stuff I loved–and I did love the original X-Files, though every season had its highs and lows, and it probably should have ended three years earlier than it did. Nothing’s ever as good or fresh, it’s never going to live up to its best moments, and disappointment seems more or less guaranteed. So unless I see some really stellar reviews I doubt I’ll even watch the new X-Files.

  12. I gave up halfway through the first season when it became apparent that Scully would never be right – and if every single thing they investigated turned out to have a supernatural explanation, how the hell was Mulder not being taken seriously? There wasn’t even any attempt to handwave it with disappearing evidence or the Somebody Else’s Problem field around Sunnydale.

  13. I haven’t seen it yet- I’m in the UK – but I have to say that the Scully sentence quoted looks remarkably like an accurate description of contemporary US culture as seen from the rest of the world.

    This does seem to be coupled with a reluctance to accept that the fictional double act of Mulder and Scully is a lot less scary than the reality of Donald Trump and Sarah Palin.

    However, I should note for those who are not familiar with the Guardian that it is doing its best to ignore its less than stellar record when it comes to seeking out establishment conspiracies; it recently devoted a great deal of time and money to pursuing the publication of correspondence between Prince Charles and various people, only to discover that there was nothing in the correspondence that was in the slightest bit scary.

    In the circumstances, the Guardian claiming that Mulder has turned into a Donald Trump loving bottom-feeder seems to be more about its desperation for clicks than a serious attempt to review the programme, which is rather sad since the Guardian used to be a reputable newspaper…

  14. We liked it here. The second episode is better, since there’s less exposition and it’s just “Mulder and Scully Investigate Weird Shit”.

    Also, Mr. Right-Wing Conspiracy Theorist should have been in the show a LOT less. Like, once he’d intro’d M&S to the plot bunny, he should have been gone.

  15. @T. DeWitt Canon: I am a Lone Gunman fangirl! I bought all their episodes! I actually taught one in a class! GO THEM!

    (BUt I’m not even sure them being in the new show would get me back.)

  16. Robinareid

    But you have to! Let’s face it, the idea that they would mass suicide, for no reason, is completely bizarre; they were diverting the trail by apparently doing so.

    And if anyone wants to argue about it; they know where to find me!

  17. Well of course they’re not dead!!! Nobody believes that.

    I think they’re only going to be in one episode, so perhaps robinareid can just watch that one, or even just their scenes.

    (Which one was in your class?)

  18. The cheesy right wing internet conspiracy nut and the Roswell revisionism perfectly capture the zeitgeist. The wooden exposition, unconvincing reversals and glaring plot holes were all pitch perfect. At one point they helpfully plastered the words “Low Moor, Virginia” over an establishing shot of British Columbian trees. Who said they can’t make TV like they used to? This show has got the Right Stuff.

    (ps. I loved Doggett and hated Reyes.)

  19. Pingback: The Truth Is in Here: Lawyer Lessons Buried in 'The X-Files' - Attorney at Work - Attorney at Work

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