Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Maybe They’ll Remake Fringe Next, or The X-Files Returns

I reacted to the news of an X-Files reboot featuring the original actors with a certain ambivalence.  On the one hand, as I’ve said before, seeing Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny playing their iconic roles once more is like visiting with a couple of old friends.  But at the same time do I really want to see these two 14 years later and remind myself how old we’ve all become since the first Transporter came out?  Am I such a glutton for nostalgia that I’ll risk disappointment and disillusionment in pursuit of new stories that really don’t need to be told?
The answer to all of these questions is of course yes, I’m all in.  I always have been, I want to believe.  I watched the first episode, “My Struggle”, the literal translation of “Mein Kampf”. Mulder’s looking thick and grizzled, while Scully seems to be aging in reverse, perhaps due to the alien implant she has in her neck.  It’s nice to see Skinner with a fashionable beard, and there are rapid references to Uber, the Internet and Obama to pull this franchise kicking & screaming into 2016.  There’s also a lot of mediocre yet expensive looking CGI, though I have to admit, it was really nice to see the original opening credits in glorious high-definition TV.
“My Struggle” introduces a brand new conspiracy by throwing out the old one.  UFOs seem dated and so 90’s compared to what we have now, and the new story arc does its darndest to tie in everything relevant in 2016 from the erosion of civil liberties, 9/11, the World Bank Illuminati and even high fructose corn syrup.
“It’s fear-mongering claptrap isolationist propaganda,” Scully complains at one point, and I have to agree.  The problem with upending the old X-Files mythos is it negates the previous 9 seasons.  In the struggle to remain relevant the writers are willing to throw away 202 hours of more or less awesome TV.  I honestly think the series would have been better served by keeping it in the past and releasing some shiny new special blue ray edition boxed set.  
So the global conspiracy is back, but then again, it never really left.  However my question for you is how many of the conspiracy theorists online and active today watched the original series when they were in high school or college?  What effect did it have on their subsequent worldview and future politics?  Much like Star Trek’s tech influence on future engineers and inventors in cell phone design and iPads, the original series planted a lot of seeds got a lot of kids thinking outside the lines and looking for patterns.  That’s the real conspiracy.
And as far as I’m concerned, the reboot already happened in 1998 when they moved the show to Los Angeles.  It was never the same in the warm California sun.  Ultimately, seeing Mulder and Scully again is like seeing an ex.  You remember why you fell in love in the first place, but you also remember how they drove you nuts and why you left them.

Some things are best left in the past.

my first novel? thanks for asking:) I wrote a 4 book supernatural martial arts series concerning the ongoing feud between a group of kung-fu killer witches in san francsico’s chinatown.