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Old December 25 2010, 06:43 PM   #1
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The Truth Is In Here: The X-Files Review Thread

Okay, I have not had the best history with review threads, but in my defense other people were doing them much better at the same time (in the case of DS9 and Lost) and I got a little over excited with The Twilight Zone and I didn't prepare for youtube taking them down. But here, I have the DVDs and no one else is doing it.

I have watched the first half of the first season about a dozen times, but I've never gone past that. Mostly because I have trouble focusing on netflix and it's a show that you have to focus to. So I got the seasons 1-4 for Christmas, therefore I should be able to get motivated with this and also keep myself motivated.

Here's my rating system
()- I most likely shut it off before it was over.
(*)- Awful
(**)- Average
(***)- Enjoyable
(****)- Great
(*****)- Exceptional

I will also include half stars.

And although it goes without saying... NO SPOILERS! Well, I hope you enjoy the ride with me. Here we go!
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Old December 25 2010, 07:03 PM   #2
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Re: The Truth Is In Here: The X-Files Review Thread

The X-Files is one of my favorite shows. I'm looking forward to your reviews.
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Old December 25 2010, 07:17 PM   #3
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Re: The Truth Is In Here: The X-Files Review Thread

One of the these days, I really should sit down and watch the whole series from beginning to end. I've seen a large portion of the show, but much of it was out of order which caused a lot of confusion. And this was back in the days before Wikipedia.
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Old December 25 2010, 09:21 PM   #4
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Re: The Truth Is In Here: The X-Files Review Thread

Okay, so since I've seen through Ice, I'm not going to go all that in depth with each, but talk about them as a whole.

Pilot
(****)

Deep Throat
(***1/2)

Squeeze
(****)

Conduit
(***)

The Jersey Devil
(**1/2)

Shadows
(**)

Ghost in the Machine
(**)

I know that people excuse shows like Star Trek: TNG for having a weak first season because the show needs time to find its footing. Though I'm only seven episodes in, The X-Files shows that it's not a proper excuse. From the start this sets itself apart from other shows from a signature tone. In the first two episodes, we've set up a very realistic world with UFOs, Alien Abduction, and Government Conspiracy. The show feels like a period piece set in the early 1990s, yet it's timeless and could have easily have been produced recently. How many shows from that era could say that?

Also, I have an obligation to talk about the chemistry between Mulder and Scully. I'm not sure what exactly I can say other than it's fantastic. There is no indication that they're acting when it comes to their interaction. Through their interaction, Mulder and Scully become more than characters in a show. They become real people. I love the slowness that Scully is taking to become more like Mulder. She could have easily believed right after the first episode, yet they are prolonging it and Gillian Anderson is doing a fantastic job of portraying her inner conflict. David Duchuvney is fantastic as Fox Mulder, I believe that he believes and his deadpan comedic timing is golden.

Watching these episodes through again really are making me look forward to the rest of the series.
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Old December 25 2010, 10:40 PM   #5
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Re: The Truth Is In Here: The X-Files Review Thread

Ice
(****)

My reviews are going to start to become redundant if the show keeps up this kind of quality. For those of you who are reading my reviews instead of watching the show (There's always one strange person out there), this episode featured our favorite dynamic duo heading up to a research station to discover why the researchers went crazy and killed themselves/each other. They go up with a very angry pilot, a redshirt and a very young Xander Berkeley and Felecity Huffman.

The tone of this episode is just fantastic. Very creepy and all the performances give the viewer the illusion that you're there, that's extremely talented direction and whoever directed it, I will certainly be looking forward to their work in the future. The sense of paranoia given off will certainly be hard to match and there was a time that I was even worried that it was Mulder. And then of course when the building was torched at the end. Just another link in the chain that is the Government conspiracy.

If there are a lot more episodes like this, I better order season five tonight.
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Old December 25 2010, 10:46 PM   #6
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Re: The Truth Is In Here: The X-Files Review Thread

I'm doing the same thing atm, watching the whole series on DVD for teh first time since I dropped out of watching it around the seventh season or so.
I just finished Gethsemane the season 4 cliffhanger.
It's cool to rediscover a show like that and find that it still holds up and everathing I liked back then I still like... more or less.
Some episodes have slightly shifted in favor of me though. Some I like a little more and some (hyped) episodes a little less. But after season 1 there are hardly more than 3 bad episodes a season.
You mentioned you like Scully remaining the sceptic, which is fine although sometime down the road it borders on the ridiculous that she's still not believing after all she has seen. The hard proof is always witnessed by Mulder before it disappears, but not always entirely.
They kept doing a good job with her anyway. She reacted like "Ok, Mulder, I admit there are some things in the world I have to acknowledge, but I think there is [scientific blabla] as the most likely explanation."
Some of Scully's theories are often even more ridiculous sounding than Mulder's almost always correct guess of the nature of the mystery.
Which Mulder is always commenting with his "Riiiight" expression.
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Old December 25 2010, 11:07 PM   #7
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Re: The Truth Is In Here: The X-Files Review Thread

And I love that. There's a bit of dramatic irony involved when it comes to Scully's character. We know that there's some crazy stuff going down, but she does not. So to us who have seen UFOs and what not think that her grounded "real world" answers are crazier than Mulder's. This plays off brilliantly. Mulder knows he's right and in her heart, I think Scully knows he's right to, but she doesn't want to admit it to herself.

Edit: Also, I'm excited you say that it gets better. I've heard a lot of people say they wish the show was canceled after the first season so it would have stayed a cult show. Granted, they aren't commenting on the quality, but that made me a little wary to want to go on.
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Old December 25 2010, 11:24 PM   #8
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Re: The Truth Is In Here: The X-Files Review Thread

It definitely gets better. For spoiler reasons I cant really tell you why. But at the beginning of season 2 a big gamechanger happens which elevates both Mulder's and Scully's investment into the X Files to a personal level. Well, in Mulder'S case to a more personal level.
And over time more and more episodes will focus on the characters , including some recurring ones to break with the moster of the week formula.
There really is a drop in quality much later on I suppose around season 7 where I originally lost interest. And in season 8 even cast changes will happen.
But there are at least 6 seasons of goodness to enjoy.
I myself am curious if the distance and maturity I developed since the original run of the show will change my opinion of the later seasons.
Until I finally get to the second movie which reunites the original cast a few years after the show ended and should be watched as a reunion episode instead of an event blockbuster movie by the way.
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Old December 26 2010, 02:22 AM   #9
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Re: The Truth Is In Here: The X-Files Review Thread

The show was best in seasons 2-5. In season 6, the drop in quality begins, but it still has some great episodes, and some not so great; it's a very uneven season, and the shift to LA instead of Vancouver didn't help, the show was generally getting too 'sunny'. Season 7 is just dreadful. It was obvious that the writers had no fresh ideas, they were doing far too many comedy episodes (and not even good ones), and Duchovny was phoning it in and playing himself occasionally more than Mulder. In season 8, the cast changes brought some fresh blood and a return to a darker tone of the previous seasons helped, but the main storyline ('mythology') was a complete mess by that point.
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Old December 26 2010, 04:58 AM   #10
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Re: The Truth Is In Here: The X-Files Review Thread

In general the show could truly hit something out of the park in quality, but the show was extremely uneven. Really only season 2 and 3 are what I would call of fairly consistent quality.

But even later in the series the show could really nail an episode.

As for the leads chemistry, for a two person show you could really feel the connection between them. In fact the closest show I can compare the connection to that is on today is Supernatural. But in that shows case I think its even stronger.
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Old December 26 2010, 06:46 PM   #11
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Re: The Truth Is In Here: The X-Files Review Thread

mswood wrote: View Post

In general the show could truly hit something out of the park in quality, but the show was extremely uneven. Really only season 2 and 3 are what I would call of fairly consistent quality.



I tend to agree, though I didn't think that S4 and S5 were all that bad... For me, the show began to lose something after S5 and the first movie, which I really didn't like all that much at the time.

Overall, one of my favorite shows though, and I'll look forward to dropping in on this thread from time to time.

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Old December 26 2010, 06:57 PM   #12
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Re: The Truth Is In Here: The X-Files Review Thread

Space
(**)

In this episode, we have Mulder and Scully investigating various NASA sabotages and Mulder thinks that the people in charge of the space exploration team may be controlled by Aliens. Which is all well and good, except there is really no evidence of it until the end. It's just Mulder being Mulder, yet some how he is right at the same time. Not a bad plot line, but it could have been told better, showing us a little bit more of why Mulder thinks his hero is being controlled. Either way, we get two Star Trek alum... Actually one Star Trek alum and one future Star Trek guest. Ed Lauter played Lt. Commander Albert in the First Duty just a year before this and Susanna Thompson went on to play The Borg Queen in Star Trek: Voyager.

This episode is actually fairly boring, but not bad by any means. Mulder and Scully really didn't need to be brought into this case, as it appeared like a pretty cut and dry mystery story. Even Col. Belt's condition could be delegated to simple insanity. Maybe I'm asking for too much, but I want more Science Fiction-y stuff in The X-Files. There are dozens of shows that do simple procedural stuff. I'm pretty sure even Monk did a show about an Astronaut before. But The X-Files should be based around more than just something a little bit strange and Mulder's hero worship (At least for the reasons of getting our heroes involved). But, the ending was creepy, so it wasn't a horrible outing. I'm wondering if this episode is hinting at some of the mythology. It's left a little bit ambiguous, so I'm not entirely sure.
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Old December 27 2010, 02:35 AM   #13
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Re: The Truth Is In Here: The X-Files Review Thread

Procutus wrote: View Post
mswood wrote: View Post

In general the show could truly hit something out of the park in quality, but the show was extremely uneven. Really only season 2 and 3 are what I would call of fairly consistent quality.



I tend to agree, though I didn't think that S4 and S5 were all that bad... For me, the show began to lose something after S5 and the first movie, which I really didn't like all that much at the time.

Overall, one of my favorite shows though, and I'll look forward to dropping in on this thread from time to time.

I agree I still think of season's four and five as good seasons of tv, but I think the apex of quality overall was season's to and three. After that point more and more episodes each season fall in the average to worse grading for myself.

It was just a shame to see a show that did produce some outright stellar episodes (and did this even in years that I thought overall were crap) peak so early in its run.
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Old December 27 2010, 02:37 AM   #14
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Re: The Truth Is In Here: The X-Files Review Thread

C Miller

I just find it interesting that you have three rankings higher then average and only two lower. For some reason I just find that interesting.

I agree with all your ranking except for:

Shadow (which is below average in my book), Ghost in the Machine and Space which I thought were really bad episodes.

A lot of online fans dislike Jersey Devil but I thought it was average.
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Old December 27 2010, 08:13 AM   #15
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Re: The Truth Is In Here: The X-Files Review Thread

Ghost in the Machine almost got one and a half. Shadow was pretty inoffensive, although I don't remember it much at all and I watched it two days ago, so that's not much to its credit. Space was another inoffensive episode and I liked the kind of creepy factor to the end. That kept it at two stars. My rating process is that every episode starts at two and it can go up or down depending on how much quality or dis-quality it has. That's probably not the best rating system, but it works for me. So in essence, I'm not really grading them against each other, but themselves. So a two star episode might be vastly better in certain areas than a three star episode, but not in others that I feel I stronger. Yes, it's an extremely convoluted system, but that's easier than grading them against each other (at least for me) because then I'll feel the need to go back and edit things if I feel like I rated something two high or two low after seeing a really good episode or a really bad episode... sorry for the essay. I just got back from work and I'm exhausted.

Anyways, yeah, I didn't dislike Jersey Devil. It wasn't what I would call great, but it had a lot working for it, including some nice character stuff from Mulder and some insight into Scully.
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