View Full Version : What went wrong with The X-Files?
August 16th, 2001, 03:17 PM
Hi, gang. I'd like to get your opinions on this.
There's no denying that The X-Files has gone horribly wrong in the last few years. My fellow "Ex-Philes" (as we call ourselves) tend to debate just what went wrong, when it went wrong, and whose fault it is.
Most of us place the blame directly on Chris Carter. To me this is reasonable; if he's willing to take credit for what he did right, he should shoulder the blame for what he did wrong. In my mind his biggest mistake is simply keeping the show going as long as he has. He should have stuck to his original game plan and wrapped it up after five years. Now it's a total mess--one of the leads is gone, Golden Boy can't figure out how to replace him (nothing against Robert Patrick; he's doing a great job, but his character is too poorly defined), the mytharc became a Gordian Knot several years ago, and the fans are disillusioned and angry.
On the other hand, a friend whose judgement I trust maintains that Carter never had any original ideas, and has stolen most of the XF mythology from classic films like Nigel Kneale's "Quatermass" series. If any of you are interested in reading his theory in detail, I'll be happy to post to link to it here. Just let me know.
But what do you think? Is it the Fox Network's fault for trying too hard to market this tired show? Is it Golden Boy's fault for trying to keep too many balls in the air? Or is it the fault of the fans for demanding too much for too long? I'd be interested in what you think. Thanks!
[This message has been edited by Tanith (edited August 16, 2001).]
August 18th, 2001, 12:23 AM
Interesting question, Tanith.
Some would argue that there's nothing wrong with the X-Files at all, though even I, a devout fan and follower who's never missed an episode, have to admit that I'm a little disappointed with it at times.
Inspite of Chris Carter's very obvious genius, he too has to pander to network chiefs and ensure commercial popularity and longevity of a definite ratings winner. I don't believe personally that's it gone on too long, but the mythology is certainly strained, and as you said, quite confusing at times. The birth of Scully's baby was a good example of this, even though the episode was masterfully created as a parody on the birth of Christ!
I'll be sorry to see David Duchovny's demise from the show, but, I believe the X-Files can survive without him, though perhaps not the mythology, which I think really needs to be brought to some sort of satisfactory conclusion.
August 19th, 2001, 03:48 AM
You're very optomistic, erebus. I've got a sneaking suspicion that 1013 has all but given up on ever resolving the mythology. And I believe this is simply because they tried to do too much. Scully's baby is a glaring example of how they have not learned from their past mistakes, which for me started when the "alien resistance fighters" materialized several years ago.
For a long time Golden Boy has been saying that there is no XF show bible, that he has the master plan all written down in his head and the only other person who knows it is Frank Spotnitz. This, he says, is so no one can steal it and publish it on the Internet. But the haphazard direction of the mytharc in recent years leads me to believe that either Carter has forgotten just where in his head the story is, or else that he's just making it up as he goes along. Either way, it's starting to show.
Also a problem for me was this past season's string of pointless and gross violence, in a show that built its reputation on quiet horror in classic episodes like "Irresistible" and "The Erlenmeyer Flask". But for me this is just one more sign that the show has gone on too long, and should be retired.
Unlike my friends, I don't believe Chris Carter is some evil ogre bent on destroying his best-known creation. I think he's just allowed himself to be seduced by his own success, and has now become complacent. It's sad, especially when so much of the XF mindset is based on questioning authority and thinking for oneself. But maybe that's the ultimate lesson of Golden Boy: "Do as I say, not as I do."
August 19th, 2001, 10:31 AM
Now where I live we're getting the 6th season and I must admit I gave up at its start. it just didn't hold my interest any more. The mythology got more and more convoluted, the stories with a few exceptions lacked the spark, and the innovativeness which made it the best show on TV was gone.
August 20th, 2001, 02:36 AM
I think a lot of it has to do with the ability to suspend disbelief. Not only has the mythology gotten convoluted in recent years, but the stand-alone eps have gone completely over the edge. First they were doing the over-the-top stuff with just the lighter eps, then they started doing it with everything.
To make matters worse, when confronted with the unhappiness of the fans, the Carter/Spotnitz camp responds petulantly: "Well, if you don't like the show anymore, why are you watching?"
And the answer to that is, many of us aren't. Not anymore. Apparently the only fans still hanging on are the ones fascinated by the soap-opera taint the show has acquired. It's sad.
August 22nd, 2001, 09:15 AM
I first started watching X-files halfway through the first season. I loved the mood, the way it was shot and all the weird stuff about it. It started to lose me last season and I only watched the first two episodes of this season. It just got too complicated and (IMO) stupid.
Of course, I don't give a rip about alien invasions or government conspiracies. I loved the episodes where they were out investigating paranormal whatever. I have no deep theories as to who to blame, but somewhere along the line the show lost the edge that drew me in.
August 22nd, 2001, 10:26 AM
Although the mythology was fun, my favourite episodes were definitely all stand-alones: "Pusher", "Soft Light", "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose", "The Squeeze". Episodes of this quality have been forgotten in pursuit of an ever-more-convoluted mythology.
August 22nd, 2001, 11:00 PM
I am with you on that idea Shehzad ,the stand alones are my favs.
I really liked the X Files cross over with Cops.It was tops.
October 21st, 2001, 10:43 AM
X-Files is definitely not the same without David Duchovny. I don't even really watch it anymore. It's probably the fans' fault for wanting the show to keep going forever when it wasn't meant to. I think the show will die out fairly soon though.
October 22nd, 2001, 06:40 AM
I never liked it in the first place. The saving grace was the rather yummy Duchovny. Now it has, ummm, nothing, that appeals to me. But that's just me!
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