Re: The X-Files
I'm caught up again! The crazy AI episode was really funny, and quite creative. Really harkened back to the old days. As for the Familiar episode, yes, well done, but also I think a bit too Supernatural!
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I'm caught up again! The crazy AI episode was really funny, and quite creative. Really harkened back to the old days. As for the Familiar episode, yes, well done, but also I think a bit too Supernatural!
THE X-FILES was the first show I ever saw where small children were acceptable victims of the week. It really disturbed me and I don't really know what to say about it. SMALLVILLE also really troubled me with the way it casually massacred teenagers (even if they were played by actors in their late 20s).
My main problem with the X-FILES formula for monsters of the week: Mulder and Scully never accomplish anything. Had they not appeared, the story would have unfolded in much the same way. THE X-FILES does it deliberately to represent how our world is at the mercy of inhuman, unknowable and otherworldly forces whether they're technologically advanced aliens or supernatural beings. It's not something I enjoy.
I don't really feel comfortable saying whether "Familiar" was good or bad except to say I don't really like THE X-FILES, I never have, I study it rather than enjoy it and it always makes me appreciate FRINGE.
With FRINGE, the victims of the week are played for tragedy and grief, but their deaths also lead Fringe Division to preventing further bloodshed and loss of life with every case-of-the-week building to the Season 5 finale in which Fringe Division saved the entire human race.
In every FRINGE episode, there is a scientific explanation. Sometimes, that science is absurd emotionalism masquerading as empirical analysis, but the show is commited to something resembling rationalism whereas THE X-FILES is an abstract horror show one week and a technology driven thriller the next and the lead characters are helpless. That's not what I personally want to see.
I will never say that THE X-FILES is a bad show, but it's not *my* show. No thank you. I'll watch it. I'll study it. I'll never buy DVD sets to revisit its narrative. I'll never like it and I'll never write a six part series of screenplays for it.
But people should be free to create work that I don't like.
One of the reasons that I dislike Stephen King as a writer is his tendency to do horrible things to children. I find his habit to be gross, and cheap (I feel the same way about some of his other habits... I just don't like him).
That said, I'm not opposed to using kids in stories like this, as long as it doesn't feel cheap.
But yeah, I know what you mean about appreciating something as a story, or art, without necessarily enjoying it or liking it. The Passion of the Christ is like that for me. Beautiful movie all around. Deserved all the awards that it didn't get. However, it is incredibly difficult to watch (as well it should be).
I guess this week's episode of The X-Files marks the end of the season, since next week is a Chris Carter mythology episode, so I feel safe in assuming that it will suck.
And this week was... Weak. "Nothing Lasts Forever" was a directionless mess of an episode. The writer obviously didn't know if it was the story of a cult, an actress feeding off of humans in order to remain young, a Frankenstein-ish mad scientist, a Buffy-like action hero, or Scully-religious-something-blahblahblah. And failing to tell one story resulted in a failure to tell all of these stories. And then we end with the old "mysterious whispered secret" trope, which rarely works. We might as well have had a slow motion shot of a coin being tossed into a fountain.
It frustrates me how easily this show could be great, if only someone would run it.
I've enjoyed this season. Not having much in the way of season arcs has been felt but I think there's been a lot of creativity.
I know Gillian is done but I think they should have her as a non-field agent in the future. Skinner type. Assuming the ratings are good enough for FOX to want to spend the required budget of this series.
They probably should have anticipated Anderson an Duchovny wanting less to do with to do with the series going forward, if the network wanted to keep it around at all. They had those other agents last season, but they were pretty much joke characters, too similar to Mulder and Scully. They should have established new agents that Mulder and Scully could work with and train. Perhaps even someone who had been part of an X-File as a child, back in the 90's. Even better if we know the character from an old episode.
This is also something that Supernatural should be doing, but they insist on killing off every human character who could possibly become a major recurring character.
Casting is super duper hard for younger agents. But if you can do it, you have a shot.
There is something like 300-400 scripted series on tv nowadays, far less than when David and Gillian were cast, so getting top talent is a bigger challenge. Though it looks like the X-Files budget is pretty high. I'm really impressed with the amount of locations, etc, they have had in recent episodes.
My Struggle, Part 153...
I haven't seen the finale, but I watched the penultimate episode (catching up from missing everything the week of my Honeymoon). Alan Sepinwall says that it would've made a great finale, and I agree. It definitely feels like the end of the Mulder and Scully adventures. I don't know if it plays into the final My Struggle, but I could've easily seen that be the end.
One question I have - Duchovny seems really wooden this year. I can't tell if he doesn't care or if he's just gotten bad at acting, but it just seems like he's reading his lines. There doesn't seem to be much emotion behind them. A lot of people claimed he was checked out last season, but this one seems just as bad (or worse). Has anyone else thought that? I think Gillian has been great, but Duchovny seems really out of it. I know he's a good actor because I've seen it before.
I think the acting comes and goes, for both of them, depending on the material. There have been moments when I really felt Mulder back on the screen, but I agree that he's really wooden at times. And it sometimes comes across as an age thing to me. He seems tired and old, and at times it seems like his face isn't even capable of moving in the ways that it once did.
But I have issues with Anderson's performance too, at times.
loved the finale!
(agree on david, gillian imo has been better, but that's over now).
"Nothing Lasts Forever" and "My Struggle IV," despite being written by two different writers, seemed to have the same writing style: both Karen Nielsen and Chris Carter write scenes and moments instead of stories. In "Nothing Lasts Forever," Nielsen has written some truly creepy and compelling gore-horror scenes and some genuinely heartfelt character interaction scenes for Mulder and Scully matched with some superb superhero action with Juliet spiking murderous organ harvesters. There's a linking theme of youth and age and how some seek to defy it with supernatural-paranormal science, some expend it on vigilante exploits that lead to prison and some go with the flow.
But the end result: Mulder and Scully wander through the story and don't make any difference except for the worse -- which is to say that had they not gotten involved, the story would end with Juliet having killed the organ harvesters and set off to rid the world of more evildoers. Instead, because Mulder and Scully are involved, Juliet will now go to jail and the world of THE X-FILES is now deprived of a badass lady who stakes evil, bloodthirsty lunatics through the heart. Mulder and Scully have therefore made the world worse and the episode is simply a collection of nice moments.
"My Struggle IV" is much the same except Chris Carter isn't really a character oriented writer. His cool moments are action: car chases, William making people explode, Mulder and Scully running through the dark halls of an abandoned factory, a shootout, a car possibly running Skinner over. He's all about the action sequences and thriller escapades and as a result, there isn't much space for Mulder and William to reunite, for Scully to process William's parentage, for Mulder to grapple with the revelation.
There are truly nice scenes throughout: Mulder hugging William, Scully's revelation, Skinner explaining he helped the Smoking Man to gather more information, but they're so crowded out by empty action that they have no room to breathe. The shootouts and car chases and multiple sequences of Mulder getting close to William only for him to slip away add little to the story beyond delaying reunions and confrontations that come too quickly to have impact.
As a final episode (and it probably should be), it's effective enough in concluding the mess that is the myth-arc and ending with Mulder and Scully together and the X-Files Division shut down again (although it's unclear why it was reopened in the first place). Skinner's fate being left unknown is the only plot point that truly calls for resolution and it's irksome that Carter left that dangling for no real reason beyond the wish for a Season 12 despite Season 11 being Anderson's last (or so she says).
I think THE X-FILES under Chris Carter has come to a belated, awkward, strangely rushed yet overlong finale that wasted a lot of time but found some nice notes on which to conclude despite Skinner's frustratingly unknown status.
I wonder if Anderson is really out, or if she is looking to get a huge pay raise after her last contract got so much press.
I don't have much to add to the finale conversation. I was just... All wrong. And Reyes. Wtf?
Wow. That's interesting.
I'm not sure what all the hubbub is about? They sort of killed a bunch of characters off, revealed a whole lot of anti-climatic stuff, and whatnot. Basically exactly what the show did 15 years ago.
I am surprised they didn't go forward with other actors like Ambrose and Amell from last year. I hope they return, maybe this time it's just 6-8 shows, and they can wrap the thing up once and for all.
Generally speaking, it seemed like a large portion of fans liked it, but those that didn't -- including likely Gillian -- were disappointed in how Scully moves on from William so easily. Gillian is a mother, I don't think she bought it. And many fans were super attached to that boy.
It didn't bother me, but I definitely am not the hardcore female audience of this show. It's a valid perspective, one that I don't think Chris Carter understands. It's not clear who the show should be trying to appeal to. I just love it either way.
It was an incredibly dishonest moment, in an incredibly dishonest scene, in an incredibly dishonest episode. At no point we're the characters driving the vehicle. They were simply there to speak Carter's words.
I'm not a father. I'm certainly not a mother. However, I am a human being. I haven't gotten over my dogs that died nearly a year ago. I can't even imagine how I would react if anything bad happened to one of the kids in my family, much less something as horrible as what happened to William (or so they thought). Scully's reaction made her look inhuman... Which she may be, given that she is a 54 year old barren woman, pregnant with her third child.
Hmm... I think I just figured out how I'd write the next season, if Anderson really didn't want to come back. It would explain this whole revival, and why each episode feels like it takes place in a different universe! And it could undo some bad decisions! And it's a really bad idea, but it would explain so much!
Scully is dead. Her cancer returned at some point, and she died a quiet death, without any action or drama, and without conspiracy. And this caused Mulder to break. He is an aging, reclusive, depressed shell of his former self, stuck in an endless cycle of what could have been. Him and Scully, together again, doing what they always did best.
But something happens. A young agent finds himself (or herself) in a situation that they can't navigate, because there is no training for it. Mulder is their best option, but he is a mess. To help matters, Skinner could bring in another agent whose life was changed by Mulder and Scully, back in the 90s.
Or maybe Mulder is almost killed and the delusion happens when he is near death. Maybe the arc of the season can be about who tried to kill Mulder, and why. And Reyes can help, because she was never murdered.
These aren't really good ideas. Can anyone else do better?
I don't think Carter *really* meant to say that adopted children or children of surrogacy don't deserve to be loved. He wanted to dramatize Scully accepting that William didn't want her as his mother, but he wrote the dialogue carelessly. Carter seems to write in a very hurried, improvised fashion without much revision, thinking in terms of moments rather than stories.
The finale felt like a first draft where an editor would then declare that the action should be scaled back and the dramatic scenes -- Mulder and William reuniting, Scully discovering William is CGB Spender's son, Skinner and Reyes turning against the Smoking Man, William asking Scully to let her go, Mulder confronting CGB Spender -- should then be expanded. Carter doesn't outline, doesn't plan, just writes moments upon moments, then goes ahead and films. He doesn't believe in planning ahead; he says he likes to let inspiration strike him. But sometimes, inspiration only offers him B-movie action tropes.
I'm home sick today and maybe not thinking so clearly, but here's my proposal for "My Struggle V" -- which I actually imagined as "My Struggle IV," but it works just as well after the fourth installment.
It *does*, however, need Duchovny and Anderson back. So, here's how we go: we open with a voiceover shared between Mulder and Scully speaking to an unknown party, describing what the X-Files Division does from its origins in the 60s to Mulder and Scully discovering it in the 90s. The voiceover is overlaid on a sequence of an unknown figure breaking into the FBI headquarters (and passing by Skinner who is alive but walking with a cane). The figure comes to the door of the X-Files basement office. Begin opening titles.
After the titles, we see Mulder and Scully sitting on the floor of the office, opening file folders. Mulder, speaking to an unseen listener, shows a casefile and begins describing an X-File set during Season 3 and we get a 10 minute 'short' in which he's investigating a werewolf in Paris, Texas (although we see only the final confrontation in a zoo with Duchovny in deaging makeup and a hairpiece where Scully comes to his rescue).
Then Scully shares an X-File set during Season 9 where she was investigating a series of mass hallucinations alone, was exposed to a fear toxin (with Anderson in deaging makeup), but the Lone Gunmen and Mulder talked her through it over a phone call. This sequence also includes introducing the Lone Gunmen (old footage only that shows their magazine office, voiceovers for the phone call). Scully speaks of how it was never really about the X-Files or an alien invasion plot but instead the friendships and partnerships and trust between her and Mulder and all their friends -- Byers, Langley, Frohike, Danny, Pendrell, Doggett, Reyes, Skinner.
We end this flashback with Mulder and Scully revealing that they are packing up the X-Files after Kersh has closed it; Kersh required that they file everything away to get their severance. They have been addressing the intruder; the intruder is William. William said after he survived being shot in the head and drowning, he needed answers and sneaked into the X-Files office only to discover that there is no X-Files office. But maybe there could be. He holds up several winning lottery tickets.
Cut to: the former office of the Lone Gunmen magazine, abandoned and vacant. The door opens. Mulder, Scully and William enter. In a timelapse video, they move in furniture, workstations, TVs, whiteboards. A framed photo of the Gunmen is hung on the wall. In the next shot, we see William attaching a sign to the door of the office. The sign reads: X-FILES INVESTIGATIONS. Roll credits.
Post credits scene: the X-FILES INVESTIGATIONS website's contact form. Sound of a keyboard. Text appearing in the contact form describing a ghost sighting. Screen splits to another contact form shot with a municipal government wanting to hire Mulder and Scully to investigate a monster attack. The screen continues to divide we are seeing hundreds of case submissions from people seeking Mulder and Scully's services.
This isn't really an X-FILES sort of story, though. This is FRINGE. This is SLIDERS. This is STAR TREK. X-FILES doesn't really seek to be uplifting and hopeful. Even the finale, showing Mulder and Scully in each other's arms, left us knowing that Skinner could be lying dead under a car nearby.
Going private could definitely work for Mulder and Scully, as well as others (Reyes should have been working with a private company that helps get people out of potentially dangerous cults). And part of me thinks that's the best way to go, given how much the FBI is pissing me off lately (not about Trump). However, part of me thinks that the show needs the FBI element. Maybe Mulder and Scully could be private consultants for the big new myth-arc, where they work with the FBI, but the rest of the time they work on their own?
I think Season 6 was pretty definitive: even without being assigned to the FBI's X-Files division, Mulder and Scully still investigate weirdness the way other couples go bowling. Going private allows them to bring their trainee, William, on cases. I think it's fine for them to be outside consultants to the bureau, but I don't think the show needs a myth-arc. It's never really had one, just a scattered number of episodes that are (mismatched) sequels to each other. Even the four "My Struggle" episodes were detached. Colonization had nothing to do with Sveta's story which had nothing to do with the Spartan virus which had nothing to do with William's mental manipulation powers which had nothing to do with the CSM actually wanting William for his immortality. The show would've been better with character arcs over a myth-arc.
Probably true. I just like the element of having a case (or cases) which aren't resolved in one week. Perhaps a killer that Mulder can't profile for some reason, and he doesn't know if the guy is human or supernatural. But the alien mythology type stuff, where they go out of their way to no resolve it, is probably better left out
At this point -- I think Disney would be wise to offer Chris Carter a mid-budget series finale TV special -- maybe three 90 minute films done for a budget that would usually be assigned to make six episodes. Mandate that it is to be a conclusion. Wrap up this show. Make it an event, clear the deck for the X-FILES brand name. If Carter refuses, then hire Joel Wyman and Jeff Pinkner (FRINGE) to write the finale instead. The important thing is that the X-FILES be presented not as an abandoned product but as one that was resolved and concluded.
After that, I think it's time to reboot THE X-FILES. The concept of a paranormal procedural is fine, but a lot of thoughtless, unconsidered choices have marred the franchise over the years from missing the opportunity to wrap up the original myth-arc in a big budget finale to the anti-climax of I WANT TO BELIEVE and the clumsy retcon of the Revival.
I think Disney should bring the original show to an end in 2020. Then, in 2022, we should have a reboot. Fox Mulder, played by Summer Glau (yes!), is a 30-year-old FBI recruit on academic probabtion and voluntold to work on the X-Files Division. She becomes fascinated and enthralled by the paranormal cases to the dismay of full-fledged agent and medical doctor Dana Scully, played by Rupert Grint (with an American accent) who was also banished to the X-Files for some undisclosed indiscretion. Dr. Scully has spent his days debunking all the crazy, absurd reports with which no serious FBI agent could ever hope to make a career.
I think by gender swapping, you could avoid recasting and instead engage in a vivid reinterpretation and you could hire Duchovny and Anderson to play the parents of the rebooted Mulder and Scully.
One thing you have to give George Lucas credit for: when he brought back Star Wars he was doing so to introduce it to an entirely new generation. And it is highly commercially robust today as a result of that decision. Something like X-Files is clearly not being brought back with the idea of folding those younger than even 30 into the mix. And so it's audience keeps dwindling, especially as older fans move on from deep, serial drama.
If X-Files was rebooted, you could try to make it palatable for a younger generation. But then someone would complain. As they did when Lucas brought back Star Wars.
Star Trek did that too. It took fans a while to realize that Picard wasn't there to replace Kirk, but once people caught on, they enjoyed it.
Star Trek did that too. It took fans a while to realize that Picard wasn't there to replace Kirk, but once people caught on, they enjoyed it.
Note: I haven't watched the finale. So I don't know what was wrapped up and what wasn't, but I assume based on what I've scanned that it's a mess.
All that being said....I don't like reboots. Whatever the property, I like the idea that the previous continuity exists in one way or another. I prefer a "Next Generation" format when it comes to follow-ups because you're building on a foundation, even if that foundation is weak or full of holes.
I'm completely cool with ireactions' idea for a second series, but I'd make it a second series. Whatever the conspiracy between Mulder/Scully/CSM/etc ends up being, it's over. It's done. And assuming it being done doesn't end the world, I think it's done.
So Summer Glau's character shows up at the FBI, and she stumbles upon the record of Fox Mulder. She has her own ties to the supernatural, and she's interested in the fact that these files show that werewolves and vampires and aliens are potentially real. And whether Fox is dead and whether Scully is in England, it really doesn't have to matter. There can be a new, fresh conspiracy with no ties to the original....whether or not the original conspiracy made any sense.
That way, the universe continues to grow. Maybe we see the ripples from some of Mulder's work, even though Mulder may or may not appear. X-Files fans can get their new adventures with new characters and new villains....while also knowing that nothing that ever happened previously has been erased.
I think Slider_Quinn21 raises a good point that a reboot could alienate old fans. And admittedly, when Chris Carter killed off Mr. Y, Erika Price and the Smoking Man, he freed the show from ever having to address the myth-arc again. There is no need to delve into Colonization or the Conspiracy of Men or the Spartan Virus any further. A reboot creates a clean slate, but we already have one.
So, here is my soft reboot proposal (without Gillian Anderson):
FBI Agent Tamlin Rivers (obviously played by Summer Glau) is in disgrace after a botched meth lab raid blew up in her face and killed 12 agents. She has scarring that's only partially hidden by her hair. She is reassigned to the most dead-end division in the bureau, the X-Files. She is briefed by Skinner (who is in a wheelchair after his injury).
Skinner says that the X-Files was shuttered by Kersh but then reopened under classified directive and he can't tell her too much about the past except that Rivers will be joining Agent Scully who has a wealth of knowledge and experience in paranormal investigations.
Rivers, a skeptic, heads down to the basement and is greeted by Agent William Scully (Miles Robbins). Glau protests that William is too young to be in the FBI; he's 18, the average recruit is 30. William dismisses all this with a smile and paperwork indicating he's a genuine FBI agent. He drags Rivers into their next case.
At one point in the premiere, William calls Mulder on the phone to ask for advice. We see Mulder in his house, holding a bag of breast milk by the fridge. William says he's not sure he can pull this off. Mulder assures William that he'll be great but reminds William that he's no longer immortal or telepathic and needs to not take crazy risks.
The conversation is interrupted by the sound of Scully screaming for Mulder off camera (using reused audio from Season 8's "Without" of Anderson screaming for Mulder in the desert) and a crying baby in the background (stock). Mulder apologizes and hangs up.
As Season 12 progresses, Rivers researches Scully and guesses that Scully is some sort of outside operative from deep in the Department of Defense somehow planted in the FBI with a false paper trail; this is thrown off by multiple colleagues at the FBI claiming to have known Scully for years.
Rivers has also heard of Agents Mulder and Scully, but when she tries to look up their records, their personnel files have been classified and their names and details have been redacted from the casefiles. As the season unfolds, Rivers finds William's peculiar ignorance of procedure and protocol to be frustrating and disturbing. He barely seems to consider the FBI a job. He sleeps on a sofa in the office.
At one point, Rivers discovers that William doesn't even get paid: payroll's never heard of him and he's been living off lottery ticket winnings (which are running out).
He's immature and juvenile, an obnoxious quality for Rivers who is a professional, precise and highly experienced agent. However, he is loyal and self-sacrificing and completely trustworthy despite being an unknown quantity, and William and Rivers develop a heated rapport of respectful teamwork.
After several standalones, we get a William focused episode and a revelation: William, losing control of his powers, broke into the defunct X-Files office to try to find answers. Reading the casefiles made him feel connected to Mulder (whom he considers his father even though they're brothers) and Scully, whom he considers his mother. The basement felt like home.
In a final burst of telepathic and psychokinetic energy, William rewrote the memories of everyone in the building to think of him as Agent William Scully and assigned to the X-Files (and had them fake the records). This burnt out his abilities, leaving him only human but having found a place where he belonged.
William called Mulder and Scully who were relieved to hear he was alive and encouraged him to take the X-Files Division forward. After more standalones, the Season 12 finale could have Duchovny (and maybe Anderson) guest-star to officially hand over the show to Rivers and William.
I can't see Chris Carter accepting this. Despite all the ridiculousness that Carter has written into his series and scripts -- Carter would balk at an 18-year-old boy being presented as an FBI agent.
I'd probably do it without William. As I said before, I'd be fine having an agent who was connected to a past X-File as a child. Maybe Skinner would recruit that agent to work with a more by-the-books type of agent, who has a specialty in psychology (perhaps having worked with PTSD victims in the past, which could be interesting of his/her partner never really overcame their X-File experience).
The team could be fleshed out with more members, but that might get too crowded.
William has never worked for me, story-wise. Even baby William didn't work. So I'd just prefer to let him go with the old myth-arc.
I just can't make you people happy, can I?
That's not true. I often enjoy reading your thoughts and ideas in regards to different movies and shows. However, I just don't really like William.
Why does William look just like John Connor from Sarah Connor Chronicles?
I started watching the finale and had to stop with about 15 minutes remaining (including commercials).
NOTHING HAD HAPPENED YET. Like, literally, nothing.
Man... They should bring back The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
Watching these Chris Carter episodes is like a lesson in how not to stretch out a story. Not enough story to tell, so they just drive, and yell at each other without letting anyone finish a sentence, and act as though this is way more intense than it actually is.
Okay I finished it. Nothing still really happened. It was a really long chase scene, really. And I just don't really know what the point of any of it was. Was there a conspiracy or an alien pathogen or any of it?
I like some of y'all's ideas for a continuation. I think I might like Info's "Scully was dead the whole time" idea the best.
If it were me, I think I like "X-Files: the Next Generation" the best. In the same way that I like a Sliders sequel to be Quinn, home on Earth Prime, sending out Sliders for various missions (an idea I toyed around with and outlined as an E214 sequel series).
I think you either use Mulder or Skinner or some other character connected to the series. Heck, what if it's Kersch, who has some sort of weird supernatural episode and derails his own career to re-start the X-Files and investigate what happened to him. He (any of the he's or any she) recruits two agents. And in true Batman Beyond fashion, he recruits the same formula that worked in the past - a believer and a skeptic. Gender-swap them if you want. If it's Mulder, let him do most of his work on the phone or via television. He's with Scully wherever they are. If it's anyone else, have Mulder and Scully be retired. Mention them but leave them be. Maybe Mulder can show up in big Sweeps episodes to lend a hand.
But like TNG, let it be it's own thing. That's how I'd handle it.
Maybe Mulder and Scully are an X-File. They're just gone, and we see their file on Skinner's desk, along with many more, as ye recruits new agents.
Possibly. But since My Struggle IV is canon, I'm cool letting them have a happy ending. Maybe Skinner wants to investigate them because they've fallen so far off the grid, but it feels like "saving Quinn" in season 5 of Sliders. What's the point if you aren't sure if Gillian is ever going to come back?
To keep with the TNG analogy, when that show first started....I think the natural assumption was that the TOS crew lived happy lives. We see McCoy, and we know that he lived to a nice, old age. It wasn't until episodes like "Relics" and movies like "Generations" that we learned what really happened to them. I'd like X-Files to, at the very least, give the illusion that Mulder and Scully lived happily ever after.
And maybe in season 3, we can learn the real truth. Because, of course, they can't live happily ever after
William had a nightmare and blew them up by mistake.
There is a sad irony in watching Season 11 and noticing that SUPERNATURAL started out as a cheap X-FILES clone, but over the course of five seasons, SUPERNATURAL has corrected most of THE X-FILE's flaws, improved on almost all of its strengths and Season 11 seemed like an inept and overbudgeted clone of SUPERNATURAL.
THE X-FILES is a terribly incoherent show because of the freedom accorded to each episode's writer and the lack of concern for linking each episode even when they're meant to be sequels to each other.
This freedom is often cited as a strength of THE X-FILES where the blockbuster BOURNE movie heroics of "My Struggle IV" exist alongside a surreal comedy like "Forehead Sweat" and the buddy cop drama of "This" and the sci-fi lunacy of "Familiar." But SUPERNATURAL has shown that it can easily integrate a variety of tones and styles -- horror, action, comedy, metatextual commentary, theology, hopeful stories and bleak tales -- into a collective whole by making sure the lead characters have ongoing arcs and consistent voices even if the story around them this week has a different tone and genre from last week and next week.
THE X-FILES has also been applauded for isolating the myth-arc episodes from the monster of the week episodes, allowing standalone adventures that any audience member can tune into at any point with even myth-arc episodes being somewhat accessible. As Slider_Quinn21 notes, his inability to remember the details of the myth-arc actually helps him avoid confusion because he doesn't notice contradictions.
But SUPERNATURAL handles this so much better too. There are myth-arc episodes and there are monsters of the week, but SUPERNATURAL capably builds the myth-arc into the ongoing characterization and personal arcs, allowing standalone episodes to be thematically relevant to the myth-arc even if they aren't significant to the plot.
Sometimes, the monster of the week stories offer small pieces of information or equipment that may be useful in a myth-arc episode, but SUPERNATURAL is generally successful in making sure that each episode has a beginning and an end while serving as a chapter in a larger story. In addition, SUPERNATURAL is aware that it exists in an era of box sets and streaming whereas THE X-FILES seems terrified to let elements progress between episodes.
Both SUPERNATURAL and THE X-FILES are dealing with a complex mythology that can often be confusing. But THE X-FILES frequently denies its own history through blatant retconning and rewriting and refuses to acknowledge its own revisions. Mulder confronts the Smoking Man but the change from Colonization to the Spartan Virus isn't even mentioned; he later visits Deep Throat's grave and doesn't observe that Deep Throat seemed to be involved in a completely different conspiracy than what was unveiled in Season 10.
In contrast, SUPERNATURAL has wisely given its myth-arc separate chapters, closing one off before starting another. The apocalypse gave way to a civil war between angels which transitioned into the Leviathans and battling for control of Hell and moved into the Mark of Cain and shifted into the Darkness and then moved towards the Men of Letters and so forth.
You don't get SUPERNATURAL without THE X-FILES, but I think it's safe to say that SUPERNATURAL has surpassed its predecessor and is an improvement in nearly every area except budget and women and even that last one might change soon.
I agree with all of that. I'd say that one of Supernatural's greatest weaknesses is that they kill off the human characters too often, whereas they should be building a large universe of recurring characters. But that's just my opinion.
In terms of women, they tend to go away because the Supernatural fangirls attack any woman who goes near the boys... Sometimes attacking the actresses in the real world. So the only option is to make the women more like sisters or mother's, which has allowed them to build up a nice little family of women. Now it's becoming a bit distracting that their only human friends and allies are all ass-kicking women.
Ultimately, Supernatural has to be a show about brothers. It's a guy show, with cars and guns. So while part of me wishes that they'd allowed Dean to make a family with Lisa and Ben, another part of me is glad that they didn't mess with the formula too much.
I guess The X-Files had a similar way with recurring characters. No real outside friends or love interests who weren't part of the action. Just a small group that kept the formula working.
FYI -- BBC America is airing a X-Files 3-day 72-episode marathon, which started earlier today.
I enjoyed these podcasts: http://xfcast.libsyn.com/season-11-41-l … uggle-iv-0
Not that the criticism hasn't been valid, but it's very supportive of the finale. I liked some of the discussion of the perception of casual fans vs. the online ones as well. I wonder how much FOX thinks of this, and Carter.