Date: Fri Sep 10 1993 10:51:00
From: Anson Kennedy
Subj: The X-Files
Attached is a review of FOX-TV's new series THE X-FILES which is
JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION ON LINE FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 1993 PAGE 44
FOX OPENS `X-FILES' -- SERIES CHARTS ALIEN COURSE
By Drew Jubera
``The X-Files'' is the best harebrained TV to
come around in a while.
For those who've been beamed up by aliens, it
satisfies every paranormal buff's most cherished
notion: that the government knows all about your
big trip and has squirreled away the evidence.
For the rest of us, ``X-Files'' crosses genres
until it creates one of its own, a daffy mix-and-
match high concept straight out of ``The
Player.'' It couples the reality-based storylines
of ``Cops'' with the belief-suspending elements
of ``Unsolved Mysteries'' and ends up, as
anything that's coy and off-beat inevitably does
these days, resembling ``Twin Peaks.''
The title refers to documented accounts of
unexplainable phenomena supposedly locked away in
a Pentagon basement. It is these documents upon
which the show's hourlong stories are
``inspired,'' TV shorthand that means it'll cheat
the truth every chance it gets.
``X-Files'' cheats like a pro. At each story's
center are two FBI agents. Fox Mulder (David
Duchovny) is a highly respected but barely
suffered J. Edgar who's holed away in a
windowless office papered with what he calls
``the FBI's most unwanted'': photos of flying
saucers and their enigmatic footprints. His
unwavering cool is saved from becoming outright
annoyance by a cynical self-knowledge that he's
the FBI's resident pariah, a condition that has
taught him to manipulate the bureau's bureaucracy
well enough to avoid being completely written
Dispatched to Oregon in the first episode to
reinvestigate the mysterious deaths of four high
school students (obviously the work of spacemen),
Mulder cracks to his new partner, ``When local
attorneys failed to turn up any evidence, our
boys came out here, spent a week, enjoyed the
local salmon, which with a little lemon twist is
to die for, if you'll pardon the expression,
called back in without an explanation and buried
[it] in the X-files.''
The partner is agent Dana Scully (Gillian
Anderson), a bright, by-the-book literalist who's
assigned to Mulder's side by exasperated FBI
brass to debunk the nutty things he comes across.
But it isn't long before Scully starts seeing
things Mulder's way. The two play off each other
wonderfully in this twist on good-cop/bad-cop
reverie, and Scully winds up getting the same
sidelong looks from her superiors that Mulder has
endured for years.
``X-Files'' is spooky and funny, and full of
enough U-turns and red herrings to qualify as a
classy pulp mystery. It's dumb, too -- why is
anything that can't be explained always
attributed to martians? -- and that's finally the
quality you'll either embrace or dismiss.
... END ...