Thursday, September 17

X-Files is getting a Revival - are you ready?

The first "grown-up" fandom that I was able to deep-dive into (in any modern sense of the term), was X-Files. Oh, there were plenty of fandoms before that (Star Trek, X-Men and New Mutants, Power Pack, Pern... well, let's just say we'd be here awhile, okay?) but what I mean by "in any modern sense" is fandom as we see it now. Online fandom, interactive fandom, fanfiction and forums and fan art and meta discussion: those things that were made more possible and accessible by the introduction of the internet. 

Twenty-two years later, we're on the cusp of a revival, and we're all different fans than we were then. What was a burgeoning platform to collaborate and explore has exploded into a panoply of material and ideas we couldn't even dream of. The very forms of television storytelling have shifted dramatically from how they were when X-Files was first conceptualized, much of which is, at least in part, due to the advancements that X-Files made in terms of long-form arcs and mythology. More to the point, as a viewer of the material, I'm radically different than my thirteen to eighteen year old self. I see things in new ways, want different things from my stories, and know both more and less than I did back then. I also know that I missed huge chunks of the text in the days before Netflix and Hulu and DVRs, despite my extensive and well-loved homemade VHS collection.

So I'm taking this opportunity to go back with fresh eyes and rewatch the series in a mad dash before January's revival premieres. I realize that there are ways it might go horribly wrong, but I don't care. I want to wax nostalgic about the passion I once felt for these stories, and I hope against hope that even some part of that will re-emerge in the aftermath of something new. (I would also love for a whole new generation of fandom and fic writers and artists and thinkers to discover this show and explore all sorts of new ways of looking at it.)

As I go, I'm attempting to analyze most (if not quite all) of the episodes to help me figure out what I'm seeing and what I think about it. And I'm finding some really fascinating things. I started out without any clear theme or direction to my ponderings, but two and a half seasons in, I'm starting to see some threads and patterns that I'm focusing more tightly on, particularly the Believer/Skeptic dynamic, and the Eternal Chess Game that is the Conspiracy, with some possible bunny trails into just how awesome Walter Skinner really is and a look at Scully and Mulder in parallel to Christos and Magdalene mythology.

Also, whatever I think is cool at the time. Randomness happens.
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