The X-Files Re-Opened

Tonight the X-Files, the science fiction, supernatural series created by Chris Carter, returns to television on the Fox channel. That’s right. The X-Files will be re-opened. The show aired from September 10, 1993, to May 19, 2002, spanning nine seasons and 202 episodes.

In case you hadn’t noticed, my blog name has always been a kind of spin on this beloved show. The return of the show inspired me to create a new header in celebration. My mermaid is now underwater. I hope you can tell.  

Back in the day, I was a huge fan. I even went to an X-File convention. Yes, I did that! It was in San Diego and there I saw Alex Krycek (Nicolas Lea), FBI Assistant Director Walter Sergei Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) and last, but certainly not least, the genetic mutant serial killer aka Eugene Victor Tooms(Doug Hutchison), you know the guy who could squeeze his bones into sewer pipes. Remember him? He was sitting casually in a breakroom or something. I couldn’t believe the monster was before me. And Krycek? He was smoking hot! I had an extreme crush on him after that convention, eagerly awaiting each episode, hoping to see him once again.

Alex_Krycek_infected_with_black_oil
Alex Krycek, infected with the black oil. Image source: x-files.wikia.com.

The X-Files so inspired me, I even purchased a script at the convention, the first in my possession. Yeah, I was a little geeky about this. This was my Star Wars without the light saber. My Friday nights were built around catching the latest episode of the X-Files and nothing could ever interfere with that, an era when you waited for new episodes and nothing was leaked about them; social media didn’t even exist. Can you imagine?

Fox Mulder (David Duchovnyand Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) were so green. I felt like I was a part of something fresh. I had never seen either of them before and you felt like you, too, were a part of these moments they were experiencing for the first time. They had an edgy, natural chemistry. I mean were they ever going to have sex or what? They kept you guessing. The writing was inventive and intriguing, the stories spooky fun and strange, leaving you with the feeling something could be lurking around you or crawling under your skin.

xfiles
Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. Are you guys even attracted to each other? Image source: observationdeck.kinja.com.

Admittedly, by the end of the series, I felt pretty twisted and turned around with each episode, and had more questions than answers. The movie which later came out, ignored all these questions with no answers in sight, but rather spawned more and more questions. Now, it’s more of a blur than ever. These questions still cling to my subconscious:

  • Whatever was that black oil coming out of their eyes and why did it have to come out of Krycek’s eyes?
  • More importantly, will Mulder ever learn what happened to his sister? Will he reunite with her? On a different planet perhaps?
  • What happened to Mulder and Scully’s son? What a minute, was it their baby?
  • Did the Cigarette Smoking Man light a cigar for Scully and her baby?
  • Are the super soldiers alien hybrids?
  • Are The Lone Gunmen still alive? Do they still believe?
  • Will Mulder and Scully still whip out those cool flashlights?
  • Did Skinner retire from the FBI and flee to a deserted island? Will Skinner be in a good mood?
  • Are the Anasazi Indians the missing link?  Maybe they can commune in the tent again and sweat out all the answers.

I’ve read there are 16 answers we must have from the 6 episodes scheduled to air. In all the pre-hype, I learned that the original theme was based on the How Soon Is Now song from The Smiths. Who knew? Chris Carter requested that  Mark Snow, the show’s music man, come up with something with jangling guitar and the iconic theme song was born! And now, a new theme song will emerge with these new episodes. Reviews have called these new episodes a little overstuffed and devoid of all their previous charm, leaving new watchers wondering what all the fuss was about. I’m just thrilled they’re back. 

As for me, my decision to discontinue cable prevents me from watching tonight’s episode. What?! Perhaps I will wander into a Best Buy searching for a new TV and just accidentally turn to the Fox channel. Or just maybe I’ll binge-watch previous seasons. That could be a whole new experience. Just maybe I could put the pieces together better, not having to wait so long in between. The silver lining is I can watch all these shows with my kids. We watched one episode and they wanted to see the next! Now that is something I could never have predicted. Watching the X-Files with my kids, while new episodes are waiting in the wings. It’s golden.

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Movies with Grandpa

The day we finally have a decent television is also the first time that we have eliminated cable. Show of hands now if you think it’s absolutely ridiculous what the cable company charges and gets away with. “Enough,” we said.

What this means in reality is that we have Netflix for movies and for old television shows, and Hulu Plus for current programming, which so far has been a disappointment. Our set-up requires that we use our Play Station 3 for streaming, a remote, and the game control console, hand controller thingy.

This thing.

You know what I'm taking about. This Game Controller Thingy. And, of course, I know what it's called.
You know what I’m taking about. This Game Controller Thingy. And, of course, I know what it’s called.

It just doesn’t feel natural for me to hold one of these, a keen reminder that I’ve never played video games and, when I did, I was lousy at it. Are you surprised I’m not good at everything? I’ll let you down easy. This is just one thing I’m really not good at.

For the most part, our TV arrangement has meant my sons watch commercial-free programming, typically with a nature theme like The Blue Planet. It’s educational, calming, and who doesn’t want to learn about the plight of the sea turtle? You somehow feel like a better human being for watching it. Just recently, it was World Turtle Day. I hope you celebrated.

Photo credit: Wikipedia commons

When Grandpa (my Dad) came over the other day, he and my seven-year-old son decided to watch a movie together. I assumed they would watch something along these lines or another family friendly offering like Hugo or Happy Feet.

I left the room momentarily so the two of them could select a show together. I returned to see on the screen a movie starring Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman. Hmm.

“What are we watching?” I asked.

“I don’t know. I can’t remember what it’s called,” replied my dad.

Oh really? The name of it escaped me, but I know it was something I had considered watching once.* I left the room to do a few household chores.

When I returned Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher are at a party drinking beer, flirting. Obviously not family fare. My son’s attention was already elsewhere, playing a game on the device. Grandpa’s attention, rapt. I rationalized that Grandpa doesn’t have the opportunity to watch movies everyday, and left again, seizing these minutes to do some quick chores, or maybe check my blog. Okay, perhaps not a shining parental moment.

I return once again, not even ten minutes in mind you, and Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman are laying on top of one another…naked! They don’t waste any time. We are in the middle of what appears to be a sex scene. Perfect.

“Oh, Oh. Oh,” I say, shocked.

“I didn’t…I really….I really didn’t know. I…oops,” Grandpa says, grinning from ear to ear.

Uh huh.

“Obviously, we must watch something else,” I counseled.

Meanwhile, I’m frantically trying to manipulate the controller. Is it the circle? The X? What is it? Arrghh.

On screen:

“We need a condom,” searching the end table drawer.

Off screen:

“We need to turn this off. Quickly.”

On screen:

“Where is it?”

Off screen:

“Where is it?

Oh, child of mine. I handed the controller to my son. Can you please turn this off…and help mommy turn off this sex scene you’re not supposed to see. My son, completely unperturbed, takes control of the situation by fast-forwarding through probably what are dozens of scenes with sexual content. I’m not even sure he noticed they didn’t have clothes on.

Whew! That was close. Turned off, we desperately tried to find The Blue Planet or something like it. My son was typing “blue” into the search but was having trouble finding the space bar for the space. I left to get something in the kitchen, perhaps.

I return to the room a minute later and observe that my son has typed into the search function the word “fuck.”

I’m thinking to myself, Fuck? Fuck! Oh, well this is fucking perfect, isn’t it?

For my son, this is a fascinating new word that holds a lot of mystery and power, and at this particular moment in time, will be an incredibly awkward moment for mommy since Grandpa has earlier expressed that when he was a little boy, no one ever used this word, or any swear word. Ever.

“Oh, this is not the word we want,” I say to no one.

At this point, my son has spilt his chocolate protein drink all over his hair, his face, his shirt, the couch. Grandpa, already laughing before the protein drink explosion, is now on the verge of completely losing it, choking uncontrollably. I’m fearing a visit to the ER.

I guess I can’t leave these two alone for a minute.

Postscript: They finally decided to watch The Monitor Lizards. They are, after all, lizards with an attitude.

* The Ashton and Natalie movie was No Strings Attached.

Post of the Week: Realism Redefined

The zombies. Did you know they’re here? Yes, they are. I read all about it in Ly’s post from her blog, realism redefined. The zombies have appeared in her home town.

The day after I watched my first two episodes from the TV series, “The Walking Dead,” I read Ly’s post. It was cosmic. Some things simply are; there is no other explanation.

I’m two seasons behind on Walking Dead. This is how I roll, apparently. It’s okay. I’m fine with it, really.

I just recently got my first smart phone. So, now that I’m surrounded by smart devices, I’m tuned in. I’m on my fifth episode of “The Walking Dead,” and started from the beginning. The first two episodes I watched out-of-order. Now I’m on target.

At the end of the first episode, I liked the song that was playing. I, of course, Shazamed it, and it was none other than Wang Chung. This is a band I’m embarrassed to admit I liked back in the day. Oh, c’mon now, you must have one or two bands, or songs, that you liked that you’d rather keep to yourself. Many of you may not even know who I’m talking about. That’s okay. You know, they had two hits, and I really only liked one of them. Not the Wang Chunging one, the Dancing one.

And like Ly’s post and the zombies, Wang Chung has made an appearance. Everybody across the nation, around the world…you might as well Wang Chung, and you must read Ly’s post.

My Post of the Week: Get ready to Rescue Zombies?

Wang Chung, zombie style. You can see this is altogether cosmic. Enjoy.