"Why we love the X-Files, by Laren Rusin." Am I really writing this? It's as if I have to verbalize why I breathe -I just do. If I didn't, I'd die.
Anyhow, with the sixth season premiere of the X-Files on Sunday, a movie this past summer and ridiculous amounts of press attention, it's time Oberlin recognized its own X philes. Because they're out there.
There are a few Big Questions about this season: what happens to the telepathic boy who is The Answer to All the Big Questions? What's up with agent Spender? What from the movie will spill into the series? Most importantly, do Mulder and Scully kiss?
(It's rumoured they do, but under weird circumstances.)
So why do I and other Oberlin students love the show? Maybe it provides that delicious melodrama that life in Ohio seems to lack. A change of scenery. Every week Scully and Mulder are in a new biome - and now that the show's filming location has moved to Los Angeles, the cast will have access to a much wider range of set possibilies than were available in Vancouver.
There's the constant unrequited love between Mulder and Scully, and while that exists here in Oberlin, it's much more fun in television land. Will they ever kiss? Should they? Is this seventh grade? Whatever opinion anyone holds on the kissing issue, the tension between Mulder and Scully is golden and helps drive the show along.
Mulder and Scully are attractive, or at least they've been made attractive to a large percent of their audience. Remember first season when Scully had that nasty bob and Mulder had the haircut of a 12-year old? As the show gained popularity and people looked to the two stars for sex appeal, they had to rise to those expectations. Gillian Anderson, who plays Scully, had her baby, lost weight and got a slick haircut. Mulder, who had been featured in some soft porn prior to his alien-chasing days, didn't have to work so hard. He grew his hair out and his fans printed numerous photos of him in his red speedo (remember that episode?).
There's intellectual appeal too. Figuring out a conspiracy that's spanned six seasons and a feature-length film and is still completely unresolved is intriguing and obviously keeps people tuned in. And for those who don't keep tabs on what the government is up to, they can still enjoy each episode for what it is. Those who do watch religiously get that high from being all exclusive and in-the-know. Besides, there's that little bit of that "fuck the whole system and the damn government is corrupt anyhow and I'm a radical looking for change" mentality hidden or not-so hidden in all of us.
There are the scripts that don't deal with the conspiracy, but with common myths in society; ghosts, religion and spirits, killer bees and monsters. There are also the self-parody episodes, which are generally witty and hilarious, pulling on the Mulder-Scully tension and poking fun at everything imaginable.
Each character is well-developed and almost human, if that's possible for a television show. It's not just about aliens, contradictory to what some outsiders believe. Scully is just awesome - a midnight autopsy almost every week, facts for every situation, and she's short and still sexy.
Mulder is a know-it-all and basically a perverted nerd; the last season stressed his porn obsession more than ever. He's like a modern-day MacGyver except that instead of building an atomic bomb out of a Bic pen, he reads the minds of space aliens and chases down government conspiracies. Yet he eats sunflower seeds. Scully wants a baby. They have human qualities, complimented by their own dynamics on screen. I mean, Scully is not at all squeamish when she digs into those decaying dead bodies filled with alien goop. That's just damn cool.
Copyright © 1998, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 127, Number 8, November 6, 1998
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