Mulder’s Gut and Scully’s Butt: Looking Back on the Return Run of “The X-Files” and Forward to the Show’s Future

In the week since the season finale of the return run of “The X-Files” I have taken time to consider all six episodes as a unit and given some thought to the future of the show. Read on for my thoughts.

Mulder’s Gut and Scully’s Butt

Early in the finale, we see a series of still photographs that show how the two agents aged through the eight years “The X-Files” was originally on the air. Upon seeing them one could not help but ponder the hand that father time has dealt the show’s two leading characters. Gillian Anderson (who portrays Dana Scully) aged remarkably well in the fifteen years since the series was last on television. She has kept her figure, retained a very youthful looking face and was as sexy as ever in a scene in the “Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster” episode that was so steamy it made we wonder if I had accidently tuned into “The XXX-Files” instead of “The X-Files.” Could it be the alien DNA that explains why she has retainer her beauty so well?

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David Duchovny (who plays Fox Mulder), on the other hand, has really let himself go. Even when Duchovny appeared in business attire in the first installment of the season, it was obvious that he had a prominent gut. For this reason, I was surprised to see him in nothing but red Speedo underwear in the same “Were-Monster” episode in which Anderson looked so sultry.

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He looked even worse in “Babylon” when he was shown wearing no shirt and his stomach hung down so low that it sometimes covered his belt. It must be said, though, that he deserves to be commended for his willingness to appear in these two scenes for the good of “The X-Files” despite his appearance. Its further evidence that he is not one of those vain self-obsessed Hollywood/television types. Either way, I think both straight and gay people can agree that Fox Mulder in a state of undress is something we all could have done without seeing this season.

Duchovny has the wealth to hire a nutritionist and personal chef. His career affords him plenty of free time to work out. Looking his best is part of his job. His fans from “The X-Files” heyday who work regular jobs can be forgiven if they have “dad bods.” Duchovny is a dad who has no excuse for having a dad bod.

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In interviews Duchovny has always come across as a pleasant, down-to-earth person and so I do not want to just run him down without giving him his just desserts. He was the star of all six installments. Duchovny is that rare actor who can do drama and comedy and did both equally well this past season. I was particularly struck by how well he used facial expressions to deliver humor.

“The X-Files” in HD

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The first run of “The X-Files” ended in 2001. Watching in 2016 we were able to see the series on large, widescreen, flat HD televisions that project brilliant colors. The program was always visually sumptuous. These last six episodes were even more so due to advances in technology.

Product Placement

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Every episode had at least one scene that began with a Ford motor vehicle approaching from a distance and ended with a close-up on the front of the vehicle and the Ford logo. The coming of such blatant and reappearing product placement is an obvious evolution in television. Every day the percentage of us with DVRs is increasing and less and less of us are watching commercials because it is so easy to fast-forward through them. Advertisers will not buy commercial time if people do not watch their advertisements. Expect to see arrangements such as “The X-Files” had with the Ford Motor Company, in which Ford both bought traditional commercial spots and had their product featured in each episode as well, to become the norm. This does not bother me since it may lead to the eventual elimination of traditional commercials altogether. Furthermore, if done skillfully, product placement could even aid the viewer in her or his willingness to suspend disbelief when viewing a television program.

The Future of “The X-Files”

The return of the series was a hit! Although the ratings did trail off as the season progressed, it garnered far more viewers than was necessary for Fox to bring it back next year. News broke in the last week that suggests it is almost a lock that there will be a season eleven.

I want the program’s quality level to return to that of its glory days. For this to happen there will have to be more monster-themed episodes and less storylines centered around extraterrestrials and government conspiracies. There will also have to be less politics and lecturing of the audience.

Overall, the wring just needs to be better. In a vox.com piece, Todd VanDerWerff argued that it “would…be interesting to explore what “The X-Files” might look like if it were written by a woman, or a person of color, or someone barely in their 20s, who only knows the show from binge-watching it on Netflix?” (http://www.vox.com/2016/2/24/11104426/the-x-files-finale-recap-bad) Unilke VanDerWerff, I believe that what would make “The X-Files” most interesting is if the series hired the most talented writers available regardless of what demographic group they may fall into.

In my reviews of all six installments, I was at times quite hard on “The X-Files.” Despite its flaws, the show was still better than almost everything else on TV. It will be a long wait for the next fall television season and another string of what will hopefully be entertaining episodes.

 You may also want to follow my blog and follow me on Twitter (T.J.Kong @Ride_the_bomb).

You can email me at T_J_Kong@yahoo.com. I always welcome suggestions for blog topics.

 I also have a YouTube.com channel called: “Ride the Bomb!” See https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpauuMnQBSI2FWgFiScj2mw

I believe in free speech and so I approve all blog comments. No exceptions.

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My Review of Episode Six (“My Struggle II”) of the Return Run of “The X-Files” (Some Spoilers are Revealed Below)

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Episode six (“My Struggle II”) of the return run of “The X-Files” closed the season on a down note. Its plot was so silly that it almost came across as parody. The fact is it was really not deserving of a detailed review and so I will instead just make some observations on the installment.

Scully Morphing into ET was Wonderful

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A scene early in the show that depicted Dana Scully’s (Gillian Anderson) face morphing first into an elderly woman and then into that of an extraterrestrial utilized a great special effect. It was the only highlight of the show.

The Episode’s Conclusion

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I saw nothing else that moved me to write about until near the conclusion of the episode. A fight scene between Fox Mulder, portrayed by David Duchovny, and a bad guy sent to kidnap him used sped up footage. It was a cheap trick that looked like it belonged in a martial arts movie. The same could be said for fight moves during the same scuffle that defied physics. Are the writer and director of the show fans of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon?”

A Tired Theme Revisited

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During the installment and season’s big reveal, we are presented with the tired television and feature film theme of man destroying the world’s environment via global warming and other means. Did we really have to get hit over the head with that one again? Was it really the best “The X-Files” could come up with? Fans of the series expect a much greater level of creativity from the show.

How the Season was Concluded

Now on to the season’s conclusion. Major cliff hangers are acceptable for two-part episodes in the middle of a season. The cliff hanger on which the episode and season ended was completely unacceptable because it left way too many questions unanswered. The audience was cheated!

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The return of Agents Miller (Robbie Amell) and Einstein (Lauren Ambrose) makes it clear that “The X-Files” hopes to stick around for a long time and the intent is for Mulder and Scully to eventually hand the program over to them. The ratings this season were high. Several episodes in the Fox Corp began referring to the return run of the show as “Season 10.” There will be a season 11 but the show might not last beyond next season unless those behind “The X-Files” step their game.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.

 You may also want to follow my blog and follow me on Twitter (T.J.Kong @Ride_the_bomb).

You can email me at T_J_Kong@yahoo.com. I always welcome suggestions for blog topics.

 I also have a YouTube.com channel called: “Ride the Bomb!” See https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpauuMnQBSI2FWgFiScj2mw

I believe in free speech and so I approve all blog comments. No exceptions.

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A Review of Episode Five (“Babylon”) of the Return Run of “The X-Files” (Some Spoilers are Revealed Below)

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Episode Five (“Babylon”) of the Return Run of “The X-Files” left me more conflicted than any installment of the series ever has. Read on if you wish to learn why the show pulled me in two different directions.

Islamofascist Terrorists on Television

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I was shocked by the first few scenes that depicted an Islamic fascist terrorist cell, two of its members entering an art gallery, explosions and people catching on fire.  Arabic terrorism being featured on television dramas is not common these days. The belief that such depictions are racist (or in some cases the fear of being labeled racist) has made them few and far between. (The pure insanity of associating a religion-related issue with race is a subject better left to another blog post.) More usual is the fantastical image of a white male terrorist dressed in typical American clothes and carrying himself in a typical American manner that we see in the “See Something Say Something” videos that play on endless loops at every major train station in the United States.

I applaud “The X-Files” for having the courage to show the television viewer Muslim terrorism in all its horror. The show deserves credit for its willingness to accept absurd criticism from individuals such as  Price Peterson, who wrote in his tv.com review that the episode “included some of the hoariest, most stereotypical terrorism imagery of the past 15 years.” How in the heck could the word “stereotypical” apply here when 99% of the terrorist attacks against the U.S. since the year 2000 have been conducted by Muslims? Using the word “stereotypical,” as well as using the word racist in the context of Islamic terrorism, are two prime examples of how the Left tries to win politically by changing the definition of words.

The Politics of The X-Files

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There is also much about the episode that I condemn. Before the terrorist attack one of the terrorist suffers racist and xenophobic insults at the hands of three “red neck” Texans. In the eyes of “The X-Files,” Texans are seen to be as almost hateful as the terrorist and stereotypes are acceptable when they involve white Southerners. (Price Peterson did not feel moved to point out this stereotype in his review.) Another implication behind the behavior of the Texans is that the conduct of the U.S. and its citizens is at least partially responsible for terrorism. This point is further brought home  by a cable news debate several minutes of which are seen and/or heard during the episode. The argument is disgusting.

About half way through “Babylon,” F.B.I. Special Agent Brem (Eric Breker) expresses views about Muslims and terrorism that are only held by a minuscule percentage of the American population and no F.B.I. agents that exist outside of movies and TV shows. The audience is condescended to when Agent Dana Scully, portrayed by Gillian Anderson, responds to his rant with the line: “Not all Muslims are extremists, certainly.” Even a young child knows this. The lesson is repeated when two Homeland Security agents converse in Arabic later on in the show. Are we all grade school students who need to be reminded that some Muslims are working in law enforcement to keep us safe in the U.S.?

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Before Brem exits the episode he explains that he wants a terrorist in a coma, who is actually a “beautiful baby boy,” because he did not activate his suicide vest, to remain alive so he suffers. When Scully says she “witnessed unqualified hate that appears to have no end” later in the episode she is talking not of the “beautiful baby boy” terrorist but of Brem and a nurse.

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This white female nurse (Janet Kidder) in question tries to kill the terrorist by turning off his respirator. When she is interrupted she takes the bizarre step of utilizing the opportunity to express over-the-top opposition to Islamic refuges entering the U.S. I assume “The X-Files” creator and episode writer, Chris Carter feels that consulting the online terrorist membership directory will be enough to vet those refuges and ensure that no terrorists enters the U.S. disguised as refugees. The fact of the matter is that many of those who request asylum either have no paperwork or destroy it before it can be checked. Such people can claim to be anyone and none of their assertions can be verified. Terrorists have already entered the Europe and the United States while pretending to be refuges. Will Carter allow any of the refuges to crash at his mansion until they can get settled?

The nurse, of course, had to be a white person because the Left believes that non-whites can never be prejudiced. I am surprised the nurse was not a man since in the eyes of people like Carter, white males are responsible for all that is bad in the world.

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Moral Equivalency

The overarching theme of the installment was moral equivalency. Carter wants us to come away from the episode with the sense that the average citizen of the U.S. is little better than a Muslin terrorist. This point is touched upon during a discussion that takes place during the final scene in which violent passages in the Koran and the Old Testament (or Tora) are compared. The comparison is flawed for several reasons. The number of Christians or Jews who commit terrorist acts after claiming to be inspired by their respective holy books is so small as to be statistically insignificant. Only a small minority of the world’s Christians and Jews interpret their holy books literally. By contrast, 100% of the planet’s faithful Muslims believe every word of the Koran was dictated by God to Mahomed and therefore believe the Koran is the literal word of God. Keep this last point in mind the next time you hear a terrorist justify terrorism by quoting from the violent rhetoric of the Koran.

Miller and Einstein

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Moving on to more lighthearted criticism, the episode introduced us to F.B.I. Agents Miller and Einstein. Lauren Ambrose brought to life a mildly interesting character in Einstein.  Robbie Amell’s Miller looks more like someone you might see posing outside an Abercrombie and Fitch store with no shirt than an F.B.I. agent.  The concept that the two are meant to be young versions of Agent Fox Mulder (portrayed by David Duchovny) and Scully was just plain silly in a stupid and boring manner of speaking. Is Carter really setting the stage for “The X-Files” to continue on with these new characters after Duchovny and Anderson either quit the show or age out of their roles?

A Major Continuity Error

IMG_0722.JPGThis photograph was taken from my TV and is the best I could do. On both the left and the right sides of the gallery you can see fire balls, smoke and debris from two different bomb detonations.

Before I close I must bring up a whopper of a continuity error made by those who created “Babylon.” It is obvious that, as previously mentioned, the show wants the audience to accept that only one of the two terrorists who walked into the art gallery detonates his suicide vest. However, the viewer is clearly presented with two distinct explosions and two different fireballs during the art gallery scene. This would suggest both vests had to have been detonated. If they were, however, both terrorists would have been blown to smithereens and neither one could have later been seen lying in a hospital bed and in a coma.

Despite the hammering I have given the episode in this review, I nonetheless found it to be fun and thought-provoking TV. Check my blog next week for a review of the season finale.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.

 You may also want to follow my blog and follow me on Twitter (T.J.Kong @Ride_the_bomb).

You can email me at T_J_Kong@yahoo.com. I always welcome suggestions for blog topics.

 I also have a YouTube.com channel called: “Ride the Bomb!” See https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpauuMnQBSI2FWgFiScj2mw

I believe in free speech and so I approve all blog comments. No exceptions.

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My Review of Episode Four (“Home Again”) of the Return Run of “The X-Files” (Some Spoilers are Revealed Below)

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In my review of the premier of the return run of “The X-Files,” I longed for episodes that were based on monsters rather than extraterrestrials, but related I would “probably enjoy shows about ‘little green men’ as well as long as they do not come with a dose of blue state men’s politics” as was the case in the premier. It was good that we were given a monster installment last Sunday night. Unfortunately, by “The X-Files” standards the show was weak overall and both political and preachy in a blue state sort of way.

Trashman

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Having the monster mysteriously appear from behind an equally mysterious garbage truck as the vehicle drives off was a nice touch. The concept of the monster itself was more silly than scary.

The Band-Aid Nose Man monster, played by John DeSantis, is born from the angry thoughts of a homeless artist known as “Trashman” (Tim Armstrong) who becomes upset over the city of Philadelphia’s insensitive treatment of the homeless. His clay sculpture comes to life and begins killing powerful people who show a particularly high lack of empathy towards the homeless.

The Homeless and the Collective “We”

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In an exchange between the artist and Scully the two articulate one of the themes of the episode. The artist remarks that the homeless “ain’t got no voice. They get treated like trash.” After he makes a few more comments Agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) responds: “You are responsible if you made the problem. If it was your idea then you’re responsible. You put it out of sight so that it wouldn’t be your problem. But you’re just as bad as the people that you hate.”

On the surface, Scully is chastising the artist for creating a killer monster. But her words are also intended by the show to leave the viewer with the impression that the collective “we” are responsible for the fact that people are homeless.

Just to what degree are “we” responsible for the homeless? Democrat Mayor Ed Koch, one of the most effective mayors any big city has ever had, came up with a solution to much of the problem of homelessness in the 1980s. Koch accepted what all reasonable people know. A great many street people live the way they do because they are severely mentally ill. Koch decided he would send out a large team of professionals to interview and medically examine the homeless. Those who were determined to be so mentally ill that they could not care for themselves would be institutionalized. If Koch’s plan had been implemented, a large portion of the homeless would have had a warm, safe place to live, healthy food and free health care. If at some time their mental health problems improved to the point that they could care for themselves they would be released. Unfortunately, the awful American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which undoubtedly shares the same political ideology as the shows writer[s], successfully stopped Koch’s plan in the court system. The next time you see a poor unfortunate soul shivering in the gutter while arguing with himself and stewing in his own bodily excretions, thank the august ACLU. Are “we” responsible for what the ACLU did? Only those amongst us who are supporters of the ACLU are responsible for that segment of the homeless population that is homeless due to severe mental illness.

Some homeless are so because of poverty. A research study completed in the recent past showed that if a person living in the U.S. never gets arrested, completes high school and waits until marriage before becoming a parent there is a 93% chance that person will never spend a day in poverty and therefore never become homeless.  Only a minority of those who become homeless for economic reasons therefore become so for reasons other than bad life decisions. Since individuals have free will the collective “we” are not responsible for the bad choices some make which lead them into homelessness.

I believe that another portion of the homeless population can be attributed to drugs and alcohol addiction. During a visit to Manhattan late last year I walked about forty minutes north from Penn Station and noticed an average of one nodding off, begging opiate addict per block. It was unsettling to see how bad things have gotten under comrade Mayor Bill de Blasio in the world’s greatest city.

As I have gotten older I have begun to wonder just how effective is drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Is the reason why AA refuses to release statistics on how successful the program is because its success rate is so dismal? Perhaps some are just born with a physiology and psychology that is so heavily inclined toward addiction that throwing away their lives away on drugs and alcohol is almost an inevitability and no amount or type of rehab will save them. Are “we” responsible for the way people are born?

I do believe that society can and should do a better job of treating mental illness and educating people about how to live their lives in a manner that allows them to avoid poverty. However, I nonetheless strongly disagree with the episodes writer[s] on the degree to which the collective “we” are responsible for homelessness and the homeless.

Concept that Ideas are Dangerous is Very Scary

The same homeless artist also states: “An idea is dangerous. Even a small one.” Once he lets go of his hate his clay sculpture stops murdering people. I believe what the installment is shooting for with this theme is a connection with American politics.

The Left in the U.S. has a short memory when it comes to the presidency of George W. Bush. Rotten fruit was thrown at his limousine as he was driven to the White House on his first day in office. He had barely been in office long enough to get his office chair warm before Democrats started calling him the “worst president in history.” The refrain continued for eight years. One Liberal columnist even went as far as penning a piece that attempted to “prove” that Bush was mentally retarded.

Yet for the last seven years the Left has pushed a narrative of angry Republicans who oppose President Barack Obama and have been saying and writing “dangerous” things (“hate speech”) and espousing “dangerous” political ideas.  I think the episode reflects the fear of the writer of the installment that if Hillary Clinton does not win the next election we will instead have a Republican president who is a racists, sexist, homophobe who wants the homeless and poor people in general to suffer while dying a slow death.

The concept that ideas can be dangerous is actually a lot more scary than anything ever seen on “The X-Files.” One example are “hate crimes.” If a person murders someone for money they receive a certain amount of jail time. In some states, someone who is convicted of the exact same murder will receive many additional years of prison if they were motivated to commit the crime by hatred of a particular group of people. This means that individuals are being kept behind bars for what goes on inside their heads. The thought police have arrived and are prosecuting people for thought crimes.

The insanity of thought crimes can be easily seen in the example of a case that worked its way through the justice system not long ago. A man was arrested for a series of muggings of gay men. He admitted that he was singling out homosexuals and was charged with hate crimes. However, he said he only robbed gays because he assumed there was less chance they would fight back. Should he have been charged with a hate crime even though he did not act out of a hatred of homosexuals?

The notion that ideas can be dangerous also plays out in the Left’s attacks against free speech. The Left justifies speech codes that restrict free speech on university campuses because of this notion. The same can be said of the left’s belief that people who dare to do things such as speak out in opposition to gay marriage should not just be fired from their jobs but be blacklisted and never be able to work again. Many examples of people which this has happen to could be cited.

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Other Plot Lines

Two other plot lines in the show may at first seem to have nothing to do with the show’s homeless theme but actually do. When Scully’s mother Margaret, portrayed by Sheila Larken, lies dying she calls for her estranged son, Charlie. The take away here is supposed to be that a parent is doing the responsible thing by attempting to reconcile with her son before she leaves the earth. Agent Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully later fret over their own responsibility for the son they were forced to give up for adoption and have never seen since. Just as Scully’s mom and Mulder and Scully feel responsible for their sons,” The X-Files” wants us to feel more responsibility for the homeless. It is an interesting manifestation of the Leftist notion that government should be our mommies and daddies.

My thoughts on all this are summed up well by a comment I made in a different blog post about another television program. I wrote: “No one likes to be lectured. That those doing the preaching come from an entertainment industry that is often hedonistic and peopled with many who would sell their mother for fame and fortune is particularly irksome.”

I do not want to be entirely negative. The episode did have some very funny lines. Despite its drawbacks it was still more entertaining than most everything else on TV. Let all of us fans of “The X-Files” hope these last two installments can end the miniseries on an upward trajectory.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.

 You may also want to follow my blog and follow me on Twitter (T.J.Kong @Ride_the_bomb).

You can email me at T_J_Kong@yahoo.com. I always welcome suggestions for blog topics.

 I also have a YouTube.com channel called: “Ride the Bomb!” See https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpauuMnQBSI2FWgFiScj2mw

I believe in free speech and so I approve all blog comments. No exceptions.

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My Review of Episode Three (“Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster”) of the Return Run of “The X-Files” (Some Spoilers are Revealed Below)

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In my reviews of the first two episodes of the miniseries I expressed my desire for installments that were centered around monsters rather than extraterrestrials. On Monday I got my wish. I could not be more happy.

Wonderfully Inventive

Episode three’s backward take on the were-monster myth was wonderfully inventive. On this skeleton was hung some clever humor, biting criticism of human society and behavior and interesting existentialist musings.

Odd Moments

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The show also had some odd moments. Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) asking Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) if she is “enjoying herself” while she was conducting of the autopsy of a man who had been violently murdered struck me as strange. Her response explaining that she was, meaning that she was enjoying again working with Mulder on X-Files cases, was a weird thing for a person to say while she was in the middle of a multiple murder investigation. It could be that the scene was really the program’s way of asking the audience if they were entertained by Mulder and Scully being reunited and back on television. I most certainly am but think the exchange between the two would have been a better fit in any number of different scenes.

Gender

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Also surprising was the context in which the gender identification and transgender issues society is struggling with today came up. We heard a discussion of the monster’s wrestling with whether he was a man or a creature of some other type. Once the subject of transvestites and men having their genitals surgically removed entered the conversation it was clear the particular scene of the episode was offering a commentary on the surreal notion of people claiming to identify with the opposite gender and getting hormone treatments and having plastic surgery to appear like a person of that gender. Guy Mann the Were-Monster (Rhys Darby) has a very hard time getting his mind around what he is being told just as many of us do today. Of course there is no such thing as gender identity in the animal kingdom. People are also animals. Ironically, those who would agree the most strongly with this proposition are also those who would argue most vehemently in support of gender identification and transgender issues.

Bringing up the themes of gender identification and transgender issues are just one example of how all three installments of the show have done a thought provoking job of pointing out how much society has changed since The X-Files was last broadcast on TV in 2002.  The constant presence of cell phones and their cameras in our lives today was more than just a theme of the program. Touches like this have prevented the series from feeling at all dated and carried The X-Files into 2016. Having the entire plot turn on a photograph taken by Mulder on his phone was something we could not have witnessed in the 2002 version of the show.

Gillian Anderson is Still as Sexy as Ever

I could not conclude this review without mentioning Scully’s steamy performance in the were-monster’s imagined amorous encounter with her. Though now a middle-aged woman, Gillian Anderson is still as sexy as ever.

Episode three was not just the best of the season so far. It was classic The X-Files at its best. With three installments left I am routing for three more monsters.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.

 You may also want to follow my blog and follow me on Twitter (T.J.Kong @Ride_the_bomb).

You can email me at T_J_Kong@yahoo.com. I always welcome suggestions for blog topics.

 I also have a YouTube.com channel called: “Ride the Bomb!” See https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpauuMnQBSI2FWgFiScj2mw

I believe in free speech and so I approve all blog comments. No exceptions.

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My Review of Episode Two (“Founder’s Mutation”) of the Return Run of “The X-Files”: How I “Got” “The X-Files” After Almost Twenty-Three Years (No Major Spoilers are Revealed Below)

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In my review of the miniseries premier I wrote that I hoped for episodes that featured mythical creatures or monsters of various varieties conjured from the darkest corners of the imaginations of the show’s writers. Instead viewers witnessed another extraterrestrial-related conspiracy installment. The quality storytelling, impressive special effects and high production values fans have come to expect from the program were all present and so watching nonetheless proved to be an enjoyable experience.

Another Government Conspiracy

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The episode furthered a storyline centered on very bad and powerful people in the U.S. government power structure engaged carrying out a sinister plot to take over the nation. As I watched I came to a realization. Almost twenty-three years after the show’s debut, it came to me what “The X-Files” has truly always been about.

Oliver Stone and Chris Carter

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To explain I must bring up the despicable Oliver Stone. Stone knew when making his movie JFK that Jim Garrison had been diagnosed with “severe and disabling” mental illness “of the type that will require long-term pyscotherapeutic approach.” Stone was aware that Garrisons was corrupt and unethical as they come, had been known to have slept with a loaded gun under his pillow and his conspiracy theory related to President Kennedy’s assassination had zero merit and destroyed the lives of innocent people. Yet just as social justice warriors told us that “the facts don’t matter” after the UVA rape case was demonstrated to be a fraud, Stone, if he were to be honest, would say the same when defending his movie JFK.  From Stone’s perspective, that JFK is a pack of lies is not important. The point of his movie was to communicate to his audience a “greater truth.” This is the basic notion that the American government is horrible and the U.S. is a force for all that is terrible in the world. In the postmodernist tradition, Stone wants to help to rip down the United States so that something he perceives will be better can be created in its place.

Obviously, neither “The X-Files” creator and main writer Chris Carter nor anyone else connected with the show believes there is even a grain of truth behind the government conspiracy theories that have been a constant thread in the series. Yet like Stone, Carter wants viewers to see the U.S. government and therefore the United States in general as dark and up to no good and utilizes a fictional narrative to accomplish his goal. As is the case with other postmodernists, Carter wants to undermine the American system as we know it today by causing people to lose faith in it. Only then, can it be overturned and replaced.

#*&@ “The X-Files.”

#*&@ me too because the show has me hooked and am sure I will enjoy tuning in to the remaining four episodes.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.

 You may also want to follow my blog and follow me on Twitter (T.J.Kong @Ride_the_bomb).

You can email me at T_J_Kong@yahoo.com. I always welcome suggestions for blog topics.

 I also have a YouTube.com channel called: “Ride the Bomb!” See https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpauuMnQBSI2FWgFiScj2mw

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A Review of Episode (“My Struggle”) One of the Return Run of “The X-Files” (No Major Spoilers are Revealed Below)

x files 2016.jpgAfter all these years Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) are back for a six-episode miniseries. After watching episode one, however, it remains uncertain whether it will be worth investing the time in the next five installments set to air.

The X-Files Past

Although I have never believed in UFOs, government conspiracies or the paranormal I was always a big fan of The X-Files. Quality storytelling, impressive special effects and high production values sucked me in when the show burst on the scene in 1993, kept my interest until it went off the air and even drew me into the movie theater for two forgettable The X-Files feature films. It was with great interest, then, that I sat down to watch the first episode of the six-episode The X-Files miniseries that debuted last night on FOX.

The Intro

The program begins with a segment that sums all that has already transpired in the world of The X-Files and sets the stage for what is to come. I can hardly find the words to describe how good these first few minutes were to watch. Enthralling, captivating, hypnotic, and cinematic are just four that spring to mind. For fans it was as if the show had never left the air. Those unfamiliar with the series were brought up to speed. I imagined everyone watching was ready to have our socks knocked off.

Bashing the Right

What came next was a string of very offensive insults directed toward Republicans and Conservatives. After what seemed like the tenth shot had been taken at the Right I had decided that this review would be limited to just three words: “#*&@ The X-Files.” By the time I finished watching the episode I had changed my mind. The program did not deserve to be dismissed so easily.

Monster of the Week

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Though most would probably associate the show with extraterrestrials, early in the series’ run many plots were centered around other subjects. The X-Files was at its best when mythical creatures such as the Jersey Devil were brought to life or monsters created in the fertile minds of the show’s writers became the program’s star for an episode.

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Mulder and Scully

The dynamic that existed between Mulder and Scully and how it shaped the series was another factor that made the show so special. Mulder was always a “believer” who was ready to accept paranormal, otherworldly and conspiratorial explanations for the cases the two FBI agents handled. Scully argued for the skeptics viewpoint grounded in known science. The audience was left to decide for her or himself which of the two presented a more believable argument in the context of the program.

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Changes in the Show

As The X-Files went on and the seasons past, the show shifted more and more of its focus toward UFOs and UFO-related conspiracies and away from all other topics. In the series’ final season, which concluded in 2002 only two episodes had no relation to UFOs.

Another change that took place over the course of the program was that Scully went from becoming a skeptic to a “believer.” As a consequence of these two major evolutions of the show, The X-Files lost much of its luster and became a shadow of its former self. It nonetheless never ceased to be worth watching and much better TV than most of what else was on television at the time.

Hopes for the Future

When I learned that The X-Files was coming back to television, I hoped that the show would return to what made it great. Scully, of course, could never go back to being an all-out skeptic. However, devoting some episodes to something other than “little green men” certainly seemed doable.

Perhaps considering what The X-Files became by 2002, episode one simply could not have centered around anything but aliens. Despite my disappointment at this fact the program did make for enjoyable TV. I will be watching tonight and hope to see Mulder and Scully chasing Bigfoot through the Pacific Northwest.

Advice for Chris Carter

If The X-Files creator and primary writer, “tolerant” Liberal Chris Carter, wants to bring the series back to TV on a permanent basis he would do well to remember that at least half of those who watch television will vote Republican in November. If the remaining five episodes of The X-Files include more jabs at Republicans and Conservatives The X-Files may well alienate a large portion of its audience and fail in the ratings for the same reason that The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is tanking.

This is not what I want. I want something similar to The X-Files of the mid-1990s, but will probably enjoy shows about “little green men” as well as long as they do not come with a dose of blue state men’s politics.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.

 You may also want to follow my blog and follow me on Twitter (T.J.Kong @Ride_the_bomb).

You can email me at T_J_Kong@yahoo.com. I always welcome suggestions for blog topics.

 I also have a YouTube.com channel called: “Ride the Bomb!” See https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpauuMnQBSI2FWgFiScj2mw

I believe in free speech and so I approve all blog comments. No exceptions.

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