Today marks the 20th year anniversary of the premiere of the spooky sci-fi cult classic, The X-Files. The lead actors, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, along with creators and directors like Chris Carter, reunited this summer at Comic Con in San Diego to wax poetic on the years they had together. The show ran for nine seasons and 202 episodes, becoming a mainstream hit, winning awards, and going on to produce two feature films, and forever embedding itself into the hearts of millions of fans (including this author, who would give her right arm to melt into David Duchovny's monotone).
It was a brilliant show that pushed boundaries and gender stereotypes, tapped into that great American fear of government conspiracy and alien invasion, and delivered a new kind of boogie man every Sunday night.
Here's a Top 10 list, in my particular order, of why this show was so awesome.
10. Seriously Creepy TV -- I like to be scared by television in the same way that I like to be scared by roller coasters. I know it will be over soon, I can see where it ends, my stomach gets all weird inside. Flukeman, alien abduction, that one episode with the incestuous family that kept the mom on a skateboard under the bed? Epic nightmare-inducers.
9. Awesome guest stars -- Owning seven seasons and both movies of The X-Files made me realize how many people have had a cameo on this show. Jack Black, Giovanni Ribisi, Ryan Reynolds, Seth Green, Felicity Huffman, Luke Wilson, Kathy Griffin, a couple of SNL alum. Pretty sweet to spot them in the old favs.
8. Far-out Fiction -- Possessed dolls, lake monsters, tree people, shape-shifters... I've always been a fan of the "out there." The X-Files has taught me that adults can live in a fantasy, realm, too. It just makes life more interesting if I can look at a goat and imagine how it wants to suck my blood, a la the famous "El Chupacabra."
7. Sweet theme song. Everyone with me, "doo Doo doo Doo doo DOOOOO!!!" Whenever you're having a weird moment or something spooky is happening, this is a great song to hum.
6. Government Conspiracy. If my political science major affirmed anything in college, it was that the government is not to be trusted and I should blame them for everything that happens to me. Thanks for the heads up on that, Mulder.
5. Xcellent one-liners and inside jokes. Everything from "I want to believe" to "nice piece of ash," to Lone Gunmen, Cigarette Smoking Men, and "you kept me honest," The X-Filesis full of innuendos, puns, and characters that only true fans can recognize and appreciate.
4. Unresolved Sexual Tension. Speaking of insects with terrible timing... Mulder and Scully have incredible UST. While we always suspected that there was more happening between our two beloved agents, it was never truly confirmed until like season eight, when most of us had fallen away due to David Duchovny Deprivation Syndrome. It was almost Austenian in nature... the building of mutual attraction, the jealousy of each agent whenever another person entered the room, the stolen glances, the tiniest of hand-holds after a particularly rough case... it left us pining for more.
3. The Funny Episodes. -- The X-Files has themes that it works with... Mulder's sister's abduction, Scully's cancer and "babies," that weird black oil-ish that is threatening to take over our eyes and our world... but they often take a break to do a somewhat ridiculous (ie anything David Duchovny writes, like the Aliens-love-baseball ep, or the one when Mulder and Scully go undercover as husband and wife. "Woman, get back in the kitchen and make me a sammich!").
2. The Enigmatic Dr. Dana Scully -- The first few years with the potato-sack-pantsuits and shoulder pads, questionable hair dos, and lots of eye-rolling didn't win you any points with me... but eventually the work your new stylist did, dry sense of humor, and the way you grounded Mulder won me over. I can't tell if I want to be your friend, or just be you and make out with Mulder off-camera... either way I really appreciate that you are a strong woman of science, kicking ass and taking names.
1. Fox Mulder -- The man, the myth, the monotone. He is handsome and broody, so twisted, ballsy, intelligent and mysterious. He has that hard-to-identify quality of character about him that draws women in, trying to save his sorry self from himself. And he's got a theme song? Winning.
Happy Anniversary to all you Philes out there! Celebrate with a toast and a long look at the stars, and a prayer to the gods at Fox for a third feature film! We want to believe!
If you are a DD fan and haven't memorized Bree Sharp's ode to David...then I just don't know. but indulge yourself here: Bree Sharp -- "David Duchovny"