Get out your blazers with the giant shoulderpads. Dust off your Doc Martens. Pop a Kenny G cassette into your boombox and play “Forever in Love” fifteen million times. Heck, even set your VCR to record your favorite TV show (if you can figure out how to set it). Why? Because we are taking a trip to the early 90s.
After about a month, I finally finished watching season one of The X-Files. Holy moly. At this point in my media journey, I am really starting to love it when networks make a 13 episode season instead of the bazillion episode season that The X-Files used. And before anyone bristles up at the thought of me not liking The X-Files (What? Is that even possible for a true geek to even say aloud? It has to be one of the geeks’ unforgivable sins; like thinking Captain Kirk was in Star Wars…), let me say I have no beef with the show. It just took me for-flipping-ever to watch one season.
I must have been hiding under a rock in a bomb shelter on a deserted island on the moon when this show was on TV because I have previously only seen one episode (it was about a chupacabra. Probably because I love the word chupacabra. Say it with me: “chupacabra.” Fun, right?). Sure, I knew of it, but I just had not seen it. Most likely I was busy practicing for marching band (is it left on 1 and 3 or 2 and 4?), rehearsing for my role as a tornado in our school’s production of The Wizard of Oz (In retrospect, I wish they would have just said I sucked and didn’t deserve a part. A tornado is pretty insulting, right?—essentially the t-ball of the musical world), or trying to bone up on the book list for AP English (Enough with the rabbits, Lenny!). Needless to say, I was quite a busy teen.
Because Netflix has extensively profiled me and believes me to be some sort of freaky supernatural-believing, David Duchovny-loving, conspiracy theorist; they kindly recommended that I watch The X-Files season 1. So I gave it a whirl. I slowly began to work my way through the first season.
The X-Files stars David Duchovny as Fox Mulder (what a cool name) and Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully (what a less than cool name). Mulder and Scully are FBI agents who work on X-Files– cases involving unexplained or supernatural occurrences. Mulder is a believer and Scully is a doubter, so they make one balanced team. Trust me when I say the 90s were all about balance. How else would you explain music videos featuring people in neon clothing dancing in front of a black and white background? Balance.
Season one features cases involving possession, poltergeists, werewolves (no, not Jacob, sorry ladies), creepy kids, and UFOs, the bread and butter of The X-Files.
Aside from the credit sequence which relies heavily on 90s-style editing (were they trying to achieve the stop-motion animation in a photocopier look?) I enjoyed the show quite a bit. I have a feeling I may like later seasons even more as season 1 still felt like it was trying to find its groove. While many of the episodes were predictable, there was something cozy about that predictability—like curling up with a book you have read a hundred times before, yet still come back to.
I found it extremely interesting to watch this show—especially when compared to shows today. In addition to the less-than-real looking sets, I noticed how the standards for the female body type on TV has changed since this show. Perhaps this is just an anomaly, but I think that women on today’s TV shows seem much slimmer than Gillian Anderson did. The scary thing is that Gillian Anderson looks like a pretty small, fit person. I guess I hadn’t noticed this difference until I saw today’s standard directly compared to that of the 90s. The wardrobe department has also evolved. Scully wears sensible clothes. I am not sure, but this seems pretty far from the “look” most shows today try to go for. I think if The X-Files was “reimagined” (that is the trendy word, right?) today, women would be wearing high heels (not the short pumps from ’93) paired with either skinny jeans or a mini skirt and a tank top (it seemed Scully liked the trench coat—but that doesn’t show much skin….). I dunno, it was just a thought.
Watching The X-Files made me think that I should really brush up on my TV history. I feel that several recent and current shows were inspired by this show, and now I want to find out if this was a groundbreaking show (which I kind of think it was) or if it was inspired by another similar show. I made a note to research this while I watch the second season. Yes, I added season two. Sigh. I need to read more.
It is with a heavy heart that I pack away the old Doc Martens and neon pink skirts, the walkman, and the trusty old VHS player. I safely store my NKOTB sheet set, my John Grisham paperbacks, and my box set of Full House. Until next time, dear 90s, until next time.
Have a fantastic day!
Netflix Watch Instantly Queue: 201 (Yes, I realize this increased. I went through some of my old notes this past weekend and saw a few films I jotted down in the margins that I intended to watch. I added them. It’s what I do. Would you ask a fish to stop swimming or an eagle to stop soaring? Didn’t think so.)