Scott Hardie | September 28, 2003
I'm working my way through "The X Files" season by season on DVD. Right now I'm 66 episodes in (late season three), and I'm getting tired of an annoying trend: Of those 66 episodes, the plots of 38 of them have been series of murders. In the prologue, we see the villain-of-the-week kill a victim with his paranormal abilities. Then it happens again around the 20-minute mark, and usually again at the 40-minute mark, and then Mulder & Scully interrupt the killer as he's about to claim his fourth victim. Certainly this trend is not limited to the TV show: This is the structure used by so many horror movies, especially slasher movies. I understand that it has its appeal - like song-and-dance numbers in musicals and gun battles in action flicks, you're supposed to want such a moment after so many minutes of dialogue. But doesn't that structure get tedious after a while? And doesn't it seem, I don't know, morbid? Maybe I'm just discovering a dislike of an entire cinematic genre. Horror fans, speak up.

Jackie Mason | September 29, 2003
[hidden by request]

Scott Hardie | September 30, 2003
I recommend watching it like I am, Jackie. It's a good show. I've only ever seen the first three years, and most of the episodes play as well as I remember them. The reason I stopped watching is that I lost track of the mythology (not to mention the in-jokes) by missing too many essential episodes. That's obviously not a problem in this format, and the deleted scenes & director commentaries aren't half bad.

Scott Hardie | January 15, 2004
I'm now almost finished with season four (91 episodes in), and another part of the X Files formula is growing tedious: The sympathetic villain. He's not bad for killing his neighbor because the mean voices in his head made him do it. He's not bad for coming back from the dead to murder his own killers. He's not bad for assassinating the generals who left him to rot in a POW camp. On top of the villain being sympathetic, his victims often deserve it, as you can see in these examples. I don't mind deconstructive horror that asks me to shift my loyalties (I might if asked to root against Mulder & Scully), but I do mind when this formula wears thin by being applied in nearly every "lore" episode.

And while I'm on the subject, I may as well mention my frustration at something else that shows up nearly every time: The scene in which Mulder tells Scully what to do next in the investigation, she asks him where he's going, and he says he's off to investigate something else that might be related but is usually much more interesting than what she gets. I can accept Mulder being the true star of the show, but the writers needed to come up with a new technique for separating them.

Anna Gregoline | January 16, 2004
I LOVE that about the X-Files! It cracks me up. Mulder yelling at Scully to go do something, while she slogs away at a gross autoposy, while he finds the killer and brings him to justice. Oh, and they need to use their cell phones a lot, and they have to scream at each other in the dark a few times: "Mulder!" "Scully!" "Mulder, where are you?!?" "Scully, help!" It is so funny.

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