Tell Me About the Light Billy: The X-Files in 60 Days

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The new season of The X-Files is fast-approaching, making its premiere on FOX in January of next year. Having put off watching The X-Files for far too long, I’ve decided it’s finally time to watch the entire series. My father and I used to watch it together when I was younger, but except for one bit in episode four I have virtually no memory of the show. I gave it another shot in grad school, but never made it past the 2nd Season.

Instead of giving myself the full 3 months between now and the revival’s premiere, I’m giving myself 60 days to watch it all. The ENTIRE series. This will be my finest (or stupidest) attempt at TV marathoning. There are 202 episodes of The X-Files which means I need to watch between three and our episodes a day to achieve this.

Why do I do this to myself, you ask? Well, why not? The X-Files is largely considered to be one of the all-time great science fiction shows, and one I don’t have in my personal viewing library.  I’ve seen all four of the modern Star Trek series in their entirety, all of modern Doctor Who along with a handful of original episodes, all of modern Battlestar Galactica and I’m a big Fringe fan. All of these shows owe a major debt to The X-Files.  Watching the series in its entirety seems like the next logical step in my TV fandom. Every few days or so I’ll write up a bit about where I am, what I think of the show so far, and if at this pace I’m even capable of keeping up with it. By the end of all of this, I’ll either love the show in its entirety or I’ll hate every single second. Probably both.

In addition to the joy of watching The X-Files for the first time, I believe consuming the series this quickly will be able to give me an interesting perspective. The show ran from 1993-2002 which means that it ran during a period of time of rapid technology growth, which will likely be reflected in the series. This change also affected popular culture at the time so it will be quite interesting to see what effect, if any, it had on the show itself.

On top of all that, it’ll also be fascinating to see what actors show up as guests long before they were famous. So far, Seth Green has already made an appearance; it’ll be fun to see who else shows up.

As I finish writing this, I am already finishing up the third episode of the show and will likely watch another four today. I figure the further ahead I get while I can, the easier it will be when I’m unable to keep up.

Here are my observations so far:

  • Aliens, or at least something not entirely human are definitely out there in the show.
  • David Duchovny was as good an actor then as he is today.
  • The use of sound on this show is perhaps better than any other show I’ve ever watched, using sound to heighten emotions in a way that comes off significantly more subtle than shows now are capable.
  • Agent Mulder believes, and Agent Scully is doing everything in her power to not believe.

I want to believe.

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About Author

Brian King’s first memory of serially watching a TV show was convincing his father to let him stay up “late” to watch Frasier and remembers discovering the Star Wars trilogy on a poorly taped VHS copy. From there he grew up reading science fiction and fantasy eventually moving deep into the now removed Star Wars expanded universe and into the wonder that were Douglas Adams. Had he the patience he would spend his time writing novels, but has had no success making it past a single page, and he instead spends most of his time going to concerts. His all time favorite TV shows are Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Scrubs, Frasier, MASH, Doctor Who, How I Met Your Mother, and Justified.

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