02 03 Nerd Lunch: I Want To Believe...That It's Good. 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

I Want To Believe...That It's Good.

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Those who know me will take it as no surprise that I don't generally respond well to people telling me that I will love something. The X-Files TV series debuted my senior year of high school, but I never watched it that season and instead would only (occasionally) watch Brisco County, Jr which debuted at the same time. About a year or two later, X-Files became cool and all sorts of people found that they had to tell me that it was "my kind of show." And in spite of my usual tendencies to resist being pegged like that, I gave it a shot. I watched a handful, but by that point, the show was too deep in the mythology for me to make the effort to play catch up.

Cut to 2005 when some great buddies of mine gave me a Netflix subscription as a going away present, I immediately took the opportunity to start at the beginning and watch all nine seasons of the X-Files, plus the movie and spin-off over the course of 13 months.

I can see where someone would think that I would love the show. Aliens, monsters, and mysteries seem like something CT would like. And I do admit...it earned a place in my heart. At its best, the show was great but, in a lot of ways, it was like mining for gold. There were some absolutely brilliant episodes. And then there were a lot that just bored me. Part of that comes from me not caring much about the mythology episodes. I like the standalone episodes better for the most part. That probably came from the mythology episodes being convoluted and nonsensical.

I think my biggest problem with the show is that I just really didn't find Mulder to be all that likable of a guy. He wasn't your typical hero, I got that. But in the same way he would often wind up the damsel in distress, he often didn't seem to be working on these cases for altruistic reasons. He had goals that often seemed self-serving, and after years of working on these cases and getting glimpses of a larger picture of the universe, I would have thought he would have changed. Instead, he got more annoying. It was with the introduction of The X-Files' version of Coy, John Doggett, that I really was able to put my finger on my problems with Mulder. Doggett shows up, has no belief in this stuff and literally died for the cause (although he was eaten and regurgitated into his exact, healed form). Doggett was a hero. Mulder...not so much.

Still, Mulder was endearing and that was due mostly to the fact that Scully liked him. Scully was easier to like and if she liked someone, it somehow made it okay for the viewer to like that person, too. Although she wasn't perfect either. It wasn't that long into the show when I thought it began being hard to buy her skepticism. She saw some pretty weird stuff and after five or six years, you'd think you'd start to believe something weird was going on in the world.

Still, in spite of my problems with the show, I enjoyed The X-Files: I Want To Believe.* I found that as I watched it, I had all the same problems with it that I had with the show. So, from that perspective, it was perfect. The movie was not X-Files at its best, but it was X-Files. And for those who miss Mulder and Scully and want to see how they're doing, this is a decent way to get that. But don't expect anything above an average episode. In fact, the worse you think it will be going into it, the better you'll probably think of it afterwards.



* Gasp! But CT, you don't go to the theater to see movies. How were you one of the three people who saw X-Files opening weekend?! It was movie day at work, and I chose X-Files even though there were three other movies I would have probably rather have seen. But X-Files is safe. It's not something I would have gotten myself arrested for if there were problem folk.

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