Monday, February 8, 2016

The X-Files Season 1 Review

The X-Files has returned to television with a new six-episode event, so it’s time to take a look back at the very first season of the legendary sci-fi television series.
For those unaware, The X-Files is the cult classic science fiction series that has spawned a thousand imitators, including recent fan favorites such as Warehouse 13, Fringe, and even Supernatural. 

The X-Files follows two FBI agents, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, who investigate unexplainable cases ranging from aliens, to the supernatural, to genetic mutation, which are referred to by the FBI as The X-Files. Essentially, The X-Files is about anything strange and unexplainable with each episode featuring a wide variety of different strange phenomenon. If you are interested in the paranormal, chances are at least one episode covers something that you will enjoy.

The Good: Realistic feel, Revolutionary concept, Thought-provoking and solvable mysteries, Strong character development, Endlessly intriguing sci-fi and supernatural concepts, Wide variety of mysteries, Using real life aspects, Iconic opening theme, Many notable guest stars,

The Bad: Occasionally weak writing,

Plot: 9.5/10- Despite an often episodic crime drama format, The X-Files' wide variety of different cases and concepts range from a creepy horror tone to mystery suspense to more familiar crime drama elements. Every episode introduces something intriguing which sends my mind racing to figure out what it could be. The series is not predictable, because not every case is sci-fi or supernatural. Unlike almost every other crime drama, however, each episode is often so unique that it never gets boring. The only common element is the "Monster-of-the week" format.

As someone who is interested in, and knows about the real life paranormal conspiracy theories about UFOs, ghosts, and bigfoot, X-Files’ way of expanding upon reality, yet still remaining subtle, is often executed with excellence. Of course, it is all fictional, but the basis in reality and the realistic tone gives The X-Files a sense of reality not found in many other sci-fi works.

The only weak element of The X-Files’ plot is the occasional smaller things in a few episodes that do not always make sense, but again, that is typical for most 24 episode series.

Characterization: 8.2/10- In the first episode, FBI agent Dana Scully is assigned to be Fox Mulder's parent to investigate the X-Files. When Muler was a child, his little sister was abducted, by what he believed were aliens. Years later, Mulder joined the FBI in order to pursue his life's goal of finding and exposing the truth behind extraterrestrials and other paranormal coverups. On the other hand, agent Dana Scully, who is a skeptic that often tries to explain things through science, is assigned to the determine whether or not the X-Files project is worth continuing. Being a skeptic, Scully clashes with Mulder, but not in an annoying or obstructive way. As the season continues, their working relationship develops well in a platonic way (at least so far, don't spoil it for anyone), which is nice to see, and I wish that would happen in more modern series. 

According to what I have read, Scully's role was somewhat revolutionary at the time in terms of roles on TV, which makes sense. She is one of my favorite types of heroine because the series rarely draws direct attention to the fact she is a woman working in the FBI, but rather just another agent in the bureau. Both Mulder and Scully receive a solid amount of develop, especially Mulder. While there are a few minor recurring characters, Mulder and Scully are the only ones that receive much time; however, each episode introduces new characters, most of which are interesting.  

Acting: 7.9/10- David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson take some time to grow into their roles, but once they do, their acting improves and remains quite good throughout the series. The first season alone of The X-Files features many guest stars, who would later become notable actors in other media including, Seth Green (Mass Effect, Robot Chicken, Family Guy), CCH Pounder (Warehouse 13, Avatar), and Roger Cross (Arrow, Continuum).

Special effects: 7.9/10- Despite being more than 20 years old, the special effects hold up relatively well overall. Being that most of the science fiction elements are obscured and mysterious, special effects are not often used, but rather mysterious things are briefly glimpsed.

Soundtrack: 7.5/10- Some of the tracks are effective at creating an eerie atmosphere, although most of them are not worth listening to on their own. On the other hand, the opening theme is iconic and perfectly fitting the series mysteriousness.

Humor: 7.3/10- The X-Files contains some good bits of humor throughout the interplay between Mulder and Scully, although the series is mostly serious.

Entertainment Value: 9.2/10- The X-Files is my type of TV series. It’s mysterious, intriguing, and dark, yet not overly dark, and containing enough wit and characterization to constantly hold my interest.

Overall: 8.9/10- The X-Files is an intriguing, entertaining, and unique twist on the standard crime drama that no other copy-cat has yet to best in terms of quality. Even today, season one of the X-Files is worthwhile viewing experience for fans of science fiction, supernatural, or crime drama. Nothing else is quite like it.

Closing comments: Remember everyone, "Trust no one," and "The Truth Is Out There."

Recommended for: Sci-fi fans, Crime drama fans, Anyone, Supernatural fans, Warehouse 13 fans, Fringe fans,

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  1. I'm a big X-Files fan, asily in my top 10 favorite shows of all time. Mulder and Scully might be my favorite TV dou of all time, they are simply great together! The first season isn't the best, but it's the beginning of a great series! Plus season one features Eugene Tooms!

    1. Agreed, the series is fantastic! I've seen about half of the original series and I'm watching the new one that's airing now. I plan to finish the series when I get a chance, but it's already one of my favorites!


  2. I'd never seen this show before, but when the new season came on we started watching and at the same time went back to the beginning, and honestly I'm liking the old stuff better than the new! The costumes date SO bad, but the rest of it holds up so well, and is just as good as anything else like it I've seen. I watched Fringe before, so now I'm noticing how much Fringe borrowed from X-Files! :P It's definitely my kind of show too! I love the level of scary it is, and the darkness and strangeness, and the two leads are great characters, I really enjoy their dynamic. Great review, James!

    1. I agree! The new season is more interesting if you have knowledge of the most of the original series for context and character development, but the first season holds up well. And yes! The tone is perfect for the type of show it is. And thank Sarah!


  3. Great review! I've been wanting to watch X-Files for a while now (I really enjoy that kind of show), so I'm glad to hear more good things. Glad you enjoyed it! :)

    1. Thank you! I really think you'd like the show. :)



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