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The X-Files “My Struggle” Review (10×01)

24 Jan

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“The truth is out there/you want to believe/trust no one/insert catchphrase here/etc. etc. etc.”

Pure nostalgia alone makes “My Struggle” worth watching. Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are two characters who never fail to make me smile, and seeing the original opening credits play out on a large screen is undoubtedly an exciting experience. This is a show that had its ups and downs–and it certainly explored both ends of that quality spectrum in depth–but in the end, it was a classic, setting the foundation for much of the television landscape afterward. And here, thirteen and a half years later, it’s making a return to TV in this age of reboots, remakes, and sequels.

So how is the premiere of the show’s new miniseries? Answer: average. Chris Carter once again demonstrates why he’s the weakest writer of the bunch, cramming a bunch of cringe-worthy dialogue into an hour that is pretty much one extended info dump. The worst of these scenes consists of Mulder and Joel McHale’s Tad O’Malley teaming up to hit us over the head with CONSPIRACY, and it’s exasperating listening to it because it sounds like a sophomoric attempt at profundity or commentary. Yes, the show revolves around paranoia, and yes, conspiracies can be fun, but this is just a mediocre way to go about it. In particular, the way Carter attempts to incorporate modern-day events falls flat more often than not.

In addition, the handling of Mulder’s character leaves something to be desired, given the fact that 1) He chucks his beliefs off a cliff here in service of the plot, and 2) We already saw something like this back in season five. Even though I liked the mythology more than the monster-of-the-week episodes at times, I can recognize now that the show’s strengths don’t lie in the character development or plot anymore. Nevertheless, as I mentioned above, it’s impossible for me to really dislike this episode because The X-Files is back. Duchovny and Anderson are always a joy to watch, and even if the acting across the board is a bit more lifeless than I would’ve hoped, it’s still one of the more iconic character dynamics ever to grace our television screens. Here’s to a great miniseries.

GRADE: B-

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-Gillian Anderson being offered half of Duchovny’s pay is just plain bullshit.

-I’m criticizing Carter’s writing here, but I will admit he had a difficult task: catch us up with the characters, introduce a new conspiracy, introduce new characters…not saying that he took the ‘right approach’, but it’s understandable why it feels clunky.

-Joel McHale and Annet Mahendru both get saddled with mediocre roles here, but they both do their best with what they have. Also, watch The Americans if you want to see Mahendru at her best.

-The tape over Mulder’s laptop is a nice touch.

-Cigarette Smoking Man is such a cool villain, and I will never get tired of seeing him.

-I’ll try to cover all six. Looking forward to it, especially the Darin Morgan episode.

Photo credit: FOX, The X-Files

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2 Responses to “The X-Files “My Struggle” Review (10×01)”

  1. Keith Noakes January 25, 2016 at 12:10 am #

    The conspiracy stuff seemed like throwing random things together and hoping it worked out. I didn’t like as much where the characters started but I liked where they ended, perhaps the in between could have been better. I share your sentiment but I guess I liked the episode a little better so I would’ve give it a B+ or a B.

  2. Robin February 4, 2016 at 12:01 am #

    The tape over the laptop seemed cool at first, but then silly when you think about it. What is the point? To stop the aliens/government watching him walk around his living room in his undies? I think a camera hack is the least of his worries. What about key loggers or a microphone hack?

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