Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully… Skinner, smoking man, the nerdy sidekicks, alien tornados! To this day I don’t think I’ve ever been so captivated by a television series (though an honourable mention definitely goes to Dexter), still, in my eyes, the X-Files does kinda stand a notch above the rest. In the 1990s it was a phenomenon, and oh my I was all in. Muffins, gangsters, radiowaves. This show was the perfect fit for this time of my life.
Now, with regards to the X-Files, there’s a few different things I’d like to talk about here. But firstly, in some ways it’s sad how the television viewing experience has changed. Like there’s an absolute glut of content available these days, stream at your leisure, also most shows are released in seasons, then most people binge them too. But there’s a lot less anticipation, less specialness, as everything is just so available or easily substituted. Or, so I think.
But really, in the past, a television show, the good ones used to feel like a ritual or an event. Like every Thursday night I’d watch the talk show Rove Live, then Saturday mornings I’d always watch the music videos on Rage, I didn’t even mind a bit of the soapie Neighbour’s on weeknights, but my thing was always Channel 10, 8.30pm on Wednesday nights… quiet please… X-Files.
Okay I’m sure most people have seen the show (or at least have an idea about it), so just quickly, it centres around two FBI agents who are focused on investigating the paranormal. Yeah, potential alien encounters, conspiracies, cover-ups and outright weird shit, this was this shows jam. And for an inquisitive impressionable teenager, this was my jam too. Plus, all my mates were into it as well. A cult classic. Hello hype and action figures.
Anyway, to watch the X-Files (and this is without doubt one of my favourite things about the show), every single week without fail, a group of all us mates would meet up to watch X-Files together. At times (or actually this was most common) they’d be a group of about ten of us crammed in somebody’s bedroom, lights off, and we’d all be huddled in there watching X-Files on some tiny tele. You could’ve heard a pin drop. Great times.
Also, where we’d watch Xs would always alternate from week-to-week, and half the fun was deciding on where to go. This really was event television at its finest. But then there was another part to all this too, I mean, of course we’d all have to watch X-Files stoned. So yeah, we’d always be running around Wednesday arvos scoring a mull, quickly slamming down a few bongs, then blurry eyed AF we’d be watching our heroes (Dana and Fox) delving deeper and deeper into this web of lies and the outright bizarre. Victor Tooms… damn, what a creepy hipster he was!
And maybe it was because I was always so stoned when I was watching this (and I also watched it solidly for the whole eleven seasons), but no joke, I thought the storyline and concept was going to play out in the real world – and in conjunction with the episodes. Like when they were discovering UFOs and doing alien autopsies on the show, in the following days and weeks I’d be waiting for some big government announcement on the news. Actually, I think the X-Files really did spur on some real world investigations, haha mostly by your neighbourhood know-it-all. Still, obviously nothing came of any of this but geez it was fun to dream. Imagination captured.
The truth is out there.