“The impressive young actress Sophie Turner plays Sansa with the thousand-yard stare and flat-affect voice of an abuse victim living from beating to beating. Sansa gets a lot of grief from fans of the show and the books alike – she’s stupid, she’s insipid, she’s prissy, she’s gutless. Bullshit. She’s doing what she needs to do to survive, as the episode’s opening scene demonstrates. She instinctively plays to Joffrey’s narcissism and cruelty, convincing him to spare a drunken knight’s life while dropping enough “Your Grace”s on him to make him think it was his idea. If she’d been less courteous, like the other Starks would have been, she’d be dead.”—
Many adults are put off when youngsters pose scientific questions. Children ask why the sun is yellow, or what a dream is, or how deep you can dig a hole, or when is the world’s birthday, or why we have toes. Too many teachers and parents answer with irritation or ridicule, or quickly move on to something else. Why adults should pretend to omniscience before a five-year-old, I can’t for the life of me understand. What’s wrong with admitting that you don’t know? Children soon recognize that somehow this kind of question annoys many adults. A few more experiences like this, and another child has been lost to science.
There are many better responses. If we have an idea of the answer, we could try to explain. If we don’t, we could go to the encyclopedia or the library. Or we might say to the child: “I don’t know the answer. Maybe no one knows. Maybe when you grow up, you’ll be the first to find out.”
”—Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as the Candle in The Dark (via ironfleet)
One of my big problems with Watchmen is how stupidly the near-rape is handled. And it’s EPIC stupid.
It’s full of every dumbass cliche there is,…
Really? Silk Spectre I falls in love with him after he tries to rape her and beats the shit out of her. SS II specifically states how cool he is, and flirts with him openly. Ozymandias respects him. Rorschach praises him, that leaves almost no POV characters left who don’t openly express admiration for him. And, this stuff doesn’t happen in a vacuum…using rape cliches isn’t excused because the writer is talented, unless the cliche is subverted or presented in some manner that illuminates the characters in a new way. This doesn’t. In my opinion, of course. The victim falling in love with her rapist is a hoary cliche and there’s nothing here to elevate that cliche away from its crappy peers. Brilliant book. It doesn’t mean it’s without problems.
I got this lovely note in my ask box. I’m not going to post the name because I don’t know if the poster involved wanted her name used. It got me thinking:
“I just wanted to thank you. I know it sounds extremely cheesy/lame, but I just appreciate all of your work so much - especially Birds of Prey and the new Batgirl. I’m a huge Barbara fan, and for some reason, reading the stories that you write about her makes me feel a lot less lonely. Thank you for all of the hope that your stories have given me. Can’t wait until Issue 5!”
Of course, I appreciate the kind words, but I was really struck by what she said, about comics making her feel less lonely.
I don’t talk about this online a lot, but I grew up in an extremely rough situation that didn’t really get better until I left home. I’m not going to whine about the whole story here, but one problem was that I grew up on a farm, far, far away even from the teensy little redneck town where I went to school. We had no close neighbors with kids my age, no television, very little to do other than chores and wandering.
But comics really did help with that. When I read comics (or some really good fantasy fiction), I felt like the world wasn’t so tiny, that it was MASSIVE and filled with wonder and people from other planets and amazing friends with wonderful adventures. I was just a kid, but I treasured those stories and read them to tatters.
As I grew up and moved away, comics had gotten pretty grim and unwelcoming to female readers and I drifted away a while.
Then I went through a very sad period, and rediscovered comics by accident (it was Mark Waid and Alex Ross’ KINGDOM COME). I just fell in love with it. And now they had actual SHOPS where you could buy comics, and you could talk to the other readers, and the staff. And holy crap, I went online and there were whole message boards where you could talk to hundreds of people about these wonderful books.
So, lots of times comics have been lovely for me, made me feel emotions. And twice, it was life-changing. That’s not counting going pro and all the things that that has brought to my life, I’m speaking solely as a reader.
This is one of the reasons why I take this stuff so seriously. An issue of a particular book might be just an assignment to the writer, but it might be tremendously important to a reader. I’ve had, probably, over the years, maybe eight to ten people say that stories I’ve written helped keep them from hurting themselves, and I know other writers have had that, as well. Comics can do that, they are stories of better possibility, they can touch the heart.
So my question is, have comics ever helped you feel less alone? Have they ever caused you to experience a powerful and positive emotional response?
If so, what characters do that for you the most?
(Also, I have no idea why Tumblr is ignoring my paragraph breaks on this post…any ideas? It looks like a block of text!)
Rifling Through The X-Files: 1x06 "Ghost in the Machine"
Have you tried turning it off and on again?
Mulder’s former partner (heyyyy), Jerry Lamana, approaches Mulder and Scully about a case Lamana’s working on: Benjamin Drake, the CEO of a major software company, Eurisko, died when he was electrocuted after trying to open one of the company’s doors with his electronic key. Lamana suspects murder most foul, and the evidence suggests that someone hacked the COS security system and electrocuted Drake remotely. Yikes. Mulder constructs a rough criminal profile of the culprit being a “sociopathic game-playing recluse.” Lamana, hard up for a victory after a humiliating, career-damaging fuckup, swiftly steals Mulder’s notes and presents it as his own work. All signs point to recently fired founder Brad Wilczek, who argued pretty vigorously with Drake immediately prior to Drake’s death, and who is essentially the only person capable of accessing the COS, since he built it. Other suspects include the sentient COS itself, since Drake wanted to disable it because it caused a huge financial loss to the company. So basically it’s your standard “wait, did this artificial intelligence contrive to murder a human in order to preserve its own ‘life,’ such as it is?” plotline. And the answer to that question is “yes.”
Hey there, people who read this blog. As you may or may not have noticed, I haven’t been able to post an X-Files recap this week — unfortunately my boss has been out sick for the past two and a half weeks, which means I’m the only person running our department so yay for simultaneously working two jobs. It also means writing lengthy blog posts has been more than a little difficult.
Which brings me to a question: are the lengthy blog recaps of all the X-Files eps actually fun to read? Would you prefer shorter recaps? A shorter wiki-like summary that glosses over some of the nuance followed by a slightly longer and possibly (I make no promises) humorous commentary? I love writing the recaps but I don’t want to send everyone to snoresville if they’re just too damn long. What are your thoughts? You can send an email here or message me here.
"When I die, I will haunt all your asses." — Benjamin Franklin, drunk, possibly.
I’m going to be honest, you guys. “Shadows” is almost offensively boring.
So before we get to a lengthy plot summary, let’s talk about the most fun thing about “Shadows”: terrible fashions. Specifically the terrible fashions of Lauren Kyte, a lady who is being haunted by her ghost-boss…and an array of florals?
Is that a teal silk blouse and an odd and unflattering rose-patterned skirt? You bet. Also that glass plaque has just been moved by a ghost.
You know what’s better than one ugly floral? Two (mismatched) ugly florals! Bonus points if one is in the form of a faux-quilted purse.
I’m going to try to give Lauren a pass on this ensemble because it was the mid-90s and everyone fell in love with two things: 1) burgundy/cranberry and 2) vests. It was like everyone spontaneously realized that their upper rib cage needed more coverage and/or emphasis. Seriously, itwasathing.
I come from a little rednecky town in Oregon, and honest to god, if a kid had been openly gay, his or her life might have been at risk. There was simply no tolerance whatsoever, and this wasn’t all that long ago.
Now, the school has several openly gay kids, including my niece, and they are well-liked, popular and accepted. No question that there are still struggles and prejudice, but it’s a different, and better world by far for them.
I do have a lot of hope for the future. I feel like the hard wave of sheer, rampant, unapologetic homophobia is in fact fear…these people know the world is passing them by, and they want to hang on to their ignorance any way they can. But they’re going to lose, it’s just inevitable, and their kids will be ashamed of them, and history will portray them as the fearful little bigots they are.
Rifling Through The X-Files: Episode 1x04: "The Jersey Devil"
Good news, everyone! I actually hated this episode way less than I remembered! “The Jersey Devil” is another Monster-of-the-Week ep, and one of TXF's weakest, but there are a lot of fun exchanges between Mulder and Scully, which reminded me that it's sometimes important to sit through even the crap episodes.
Location credits tell us we’re in New Jersey, 1947. A happy family is driving along the highway, singing B-I-N-G-O at the top of their weirdly gleeful lungs; they’re doomed, obviously. Sure enough, their car breaks down and Papa Happy gets out to assess the damage. He pokes around a bit before crossing to the passenger side of the car to ask his wife for something. Mama Happy opens her door but her husband gets only halfway through his sentence before he’s ripped away by something or someone we can’t see.
The next morning (still 1947), investigators search the woods, eventually finding the body, with a leg eaten off. Yeesh. They surround a nearby cave, cornering the large man they think is responsible. The police force opens fire into the cave. Jesus. I guess due process for manbeasts was really only a suggestion in Jersey in the 1940s.
Back in D.C., Scully walks into the X-Files office to find Mulder staring intently at a nudie mag centerfold, because apparently he can’t restrain himself from looking at porn at 9:00am in his workplace? Or be bothered to conceal it in any way? Luckily Scully’s not the litigious type, so instead of filing a sexual harassment lawsuit, she just jabs him with “Working hard, Mulder?” Mulder plays it cool, turning the centerfold toward her and explaining that “this woman claims to have been held in an anti-gravity chamber without food and water for three days.” Funny, you. “Anti-gravity is right,” Scully comments wryly.
Rifling Through The X-Files: Episode 1x03: "Conduit"
Fox and Samantha Mulder.
"Conduit" is about two stories, really. Both feature a boy who stands helpless as his sister is abducted by forces he can’t even begin to understand. But only one of those boys has his sister returned to him.
The cold open takes us to a shaking RV in Sioux City, Iowa. Glasses rattle, objects tumble from shelves. The tremors and bright lights would, on any other show, suggest a violent electrical storm. But this is The X-Files; no prosaic explanations here. A woman stumbles out of her bed, only to hear her young son screaming for her just outside the RV’s doors. He tells her that his sister, Ruby, is gone. The woman calls out for her daughter, raising her face to the sky in what could be just a cheesy dramatic gesture, if not for the fact that her daughter’s captors are, well, up there.
After the credits roll, we’re back in D.C., where Blevins is showing Scully the travel-expense requests (“302s”) Mulder has recently filed — and the tabloid article Mulder has attached, the sole “evidence” of possible paranormal activity.”That is strange, even for Mulder,” Scully admits. Blevins indicates he knows why Mulder is so eager to investigate with such little evidence, handing Scully a case file on Samantha Mulder. Blevins asks Scully if Mulder has ever shared with her his obsession with his sister’s disappearance. She hesitates. Blevins assures her that Mulder initiated the file on Samantha himself; supplying this information is no betrayal. She tells Blevins — with astonishing recall! — what she knows. Blevins then asks if, in her opinion, Mulder’s peronal agenda has clouded his professional judgment. Scully says no, though she doesn’t look entirely certain.
Blevins states that Mulder’s “fringe” interests have been a source of friction in the bureau, which sort of makes me wonder if there are a lot of people within the FBI who are actually pro-X-Files. What else affords Mulder the latitude to keep investigating these weird cases? If he pisses you off so much, why not just shut him down? Blevins says he’s going to deny Mulder’s expense requests (“I won’t break up with you, but I am withholding sex.” — Division Chief Scott Blevins). Scully asks if she can talk to Mulder first, possibly to get him to withdraw the request himself. Good luck with that one, Dana.
Rifling Through The X-Files: Episode 1x02: "Squeeze"
Creepy as hell, even before he married Courtney Stodden.
"Squeeze" is the first legitimately scary episode of The X-Files, and also its first MOW (Monster-of-the-Week) episode.
The location credits tell us we’re in Baltimore, MD. A businessman carrying a briefcase (N.B. I refer to all men wearing suits and carrying briefcases as “businessmen”) walks back to his office, but the camera’s gaze tracking this man does not really belong to us, the viewers. A pair of yellow eyes peek out from behind the opening of a storm drain on the street. The eyes, which have a distinctly inhuman, animal quality to them, follow the man’s movements. Even before any action has occurred, the threat is palpable. You can feel the yellow-eyed creature’s hunger. Shit’s about to go down.
Rifling Through The X-Files: Episode 1x01: "Deep Throat"
"Mildly irritated" — the low end of Dana Scully’s Rage Scale in this episode.
And we’re back!
"Deep Throat" is the first TXF episode to start “properly” — we have opening credits now, just like a real show! So much super low-fi 90s goodness! Show mottoes written over graphics! Hey there, hand moving over strange runic symbols! Hello again, weird head-stretching screaming guy who never ever figures into any episodes! “Paranormal Activity” inside a lava lamp! Fox Mulder’s badge! “Government denies knowledge” about that ghost-y hallway! Scully’s badge (IMPORTANT: both Mulder and Scully have the best-looking ID photos ever). Oh nooo, falling guy is falling into someone’s handprint! But blinking eye knows the truth is out there.
Rifling Through The X-Files: Episode 1x00: "Pilot"
Let’s take our cue from this episode and not waste too much time on preliminaries. This is a pilot episode that hits the ground running, but one that also manages to dispense information organically. No Dr. Exposition here! After a fast-paced opening scene of a girl running through the woods, a silhouetted figure emerging toward her from the dark, followed by the discovery of the girl’s body the following day, we’re brought, via location credits that will become very familiar over the course of the next nine seasons, to FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Chief Scott Blevins and a creepy looking guy known to X-Files fandom as the Cigarette Smoking-Man (CSM) are chatting with Dana Scully. One of my favorite things about this scene is that all of the background information on Fox Mulder comes from Scully, not her superiors. This makes complete sense from both narrative and character perspectives. Rather than having Blevins drone on and on to Scully (and us) about Mulder’s notorious reputation for being kind of a recalcitrant crank, Blevins asks HER if she knows who Mulder is — and she tells us “by reputation,” before proceeding to laugh and smile nervously in CSM’s direction (he gives no quarter, in case you’re wondering, and her expression sours instantly: hate at almost-first-sight) as she describes what she’s heard about “Spooky” Mulder back at Quantico — his educational background, his stellar track-record as a psychologist, his odd interests.
Here’s why this is brilliant: it tells us that Dana Scully is a smart, informed woman and it totally makes sense that we’d get this information by her trying to prove that to her bosses. But she’s not overly ingratiating; when she’s told she’s being assigned to report on Mulder’s cases, she says, with delightfully wary precision, “You mean you want me to debunk his findings?” Scully is no fool and she’s certainly no puppet. Blevins and CSM don’t seem to get that right away. More’s the pity.
And when she gets down to the basement, to Mulder’s cluttered den of UFO photos and clippings, the tension of Believer and Skeptic is immediately established. He coolly states that she’s a spy for the higher-ups, and she just as coolly informs him that she’s her own person. She may believe that nothing can be proven without sound hypotheses backed up by hard data, but that doesn’t mean she’s going to curry favor with Blevins and CSM by playing hall-monitor. But Mulder doesn’t know that yet. Not for certain.
So here are the really MAJOR THINGS ABOUT THE ENTIRE SHOW we’ve learned thus far: 1) Scully’s a brilliant scientist who believes only* in empirical data and hypotheses supported by same. 2) Blevins and CSM want her to be their gal Friday. 3) But Scully don’t play like that. 4) But she also kind of senses Mulder is not playing with a full deck. 5) Mulder knows she thinks this about him. 6) Mulder doesn’t completely trust her. 7) Scully realizes she has to state — repeatedly — that she’s not a company woman while still holding Mulder’s feet to the fire.
This all unfolds within the first 10 minutes.
Because this episode is mostly not realllly about the plot, I’ll be brief: After their slightly rocky introduction, Mulder and Scully head to Oregon to investigate the deaths of several teenagers who “coincidentally” were all part of the same graduating class. The kids were found in almost exactly the same spot and — after some investigating — it’s revealed they all had two weird marks on their lower backs. One of the victims was housed at a mental institution (ruh roh) and, also super coincidentally, so were two other members of his graduating class — Peggy O’Dell, who is wheelchair-bound and Billy Miles, who is in a permanent vegetative state. Mulder suspects that the kids were abducted and that ~something~ alien-ish is being revisited upon them now. He gets some very real physical evidence when the exhumed body of one of the victims appears deformed and also has some odd implant jammed in its nasal cavity.
**SPOILER FOR A SHOW THAT’S BEEN OFF THE AIR SINCE THE EARLY 00s**
Mulder and Scully discover that Billy Miles and his classmates were abducted in the woods after their graduation (Ed. note: just stay out of the woods, teenagers. It never ends well.) and were experimented on, but then were systematically murdered by the aliens (?) when the tests failed. The aliens somehow summon Billy — temporarily awoken from his vegetative state (no one noticed because the aliens can cause a time displacement? Or something?) — to lure his classmates to the woods. Billy’s father, who is local law enforcement, and the medical examiner, who is the father of another class of ‘89 alum, conspire to cover up the murders. Mulder and Scully end up in the woods just as Billy has taken another classmate there but after a sequence that is basically WIND-LIGHTS-WIND, both Billy and his classmate Theresa are found mostly unharmed.
After having had most of their evidence destroyed in an earlier fire at the medical examiner’s, Scully returns to Washington with only her report of her experiences…and the implant she removed from the exhumed body. While most of us only find the occasional nickel or tissue or tube of lip gloss in our pockets, Dana Scully pretty slyly keeps her most valuable evidence there. She turns it over to CSM, claiming it’s not made of any known substance. CURIOUS!
Mulder tells Scully that all of Billy Miles’ testimony, acquired by Mulder’s hypno-therapist (hope you are expensing that, boo), is totally gone. In fact the entirety of Billy Miles’ file is gone. YOU GUYS, SOMETIMES IT’S LIKE THEY DON’T EVENT WANT THEM TO SOLVE A CASE!
We then see CSM proceed to stash the implant in the Pentagon with…a bunch of other almost identical implants. HUH.
Mulder and Scully — Men are from Mars, Women are from the Densest and Fifth-Largest in the Eight Planets of the Solar System, Which is Not Venus, From My Calculations
Much has been made about the reversal of stereotypical gender roles on The X-Files. And largely that’s accurate — Scully takes the traditionally masculine role of emphasizing data and science while Mulder relies primarily on his intuition. But one of the amazing things about the show generally, and the pilot specifically, is that this not an unreflective reversal of gender. “She’s like a dude, and he’s like a chick! It’s ~different~” is not something you would necessarily say of these characters.
One of my favorite scenes in the pilot is during a moment of intense turbulence as Mulder and Scully fly to Oregon. Scully, like most of the other passengers, is working hard not to lose her shit. Mulder, however, lies across his entire row of seats, utterly serene. He believes in aliens and paranormal phenomena, but he’s not a twitchy nutjob.That calm restraint, seen again when Peggy O’Dell flips out in the hospital, signals to the audience that this is not a character who can be dismissed easily as a crackpot.
And Scully, despite her rationalist leanings, is not a mere automaton who processes and interprets data. And she isn’t a male character being played by a woman. She’s a woman who values science and data, but not to the exclusion of her humanity. She likes Mulder almost from the moment she meets him. When he turns back to his work after questioning her motives, she smiles, almost to herself. Spooky Mulder is a lot more stable and interesting and challenging than she might’ve expected. One of the biggest scenes in the pilot for establishing the Mulder-Scully dynamic comes when Scully, who has had a bellyful of crazy nonsense, discovers weird marks on her lower back while undressing in her motel room. She throws on her robe and heads to Mulder’s room to seek his counsel (pictured above).
A lot of fans, especially the shippers (that’s “relationshippers,” for the uninitiated), read this scene as having sexual tension. While I definitely think the writers wanted to tease the viewers by putting a half-dressed Scully in Mulder’s room, Anderson and Duchovny play it straight. What strikes me most here is Scully’s bravery. She is willing to be vulnerable, to show that she’s scared, that it’s possible that whatever is on her lower back is something she doesn’t yet understand. It is in this moment that Mulder is the clinician, albeit a gentle one, who assesses her marks with no trace of lasciviousness (sorry, fans! agree to disagree!). Though Mulder exhibited an appealing sociability when he asked Scully to go for a run with him earlier in the episode, there’s been no precedent for Scully to trust him as much as she now obviously does. And when she collapses into his arms after he assures her that she’s just been bitten up by mosquitos, he’s shocked.
It is only then that he shares his painful memory of his sister Samantha’s abduction and — another amazing plot revelation — that he is not only hunting for evidence of the extraterrestrial, but that he knows the government is covering it up, and he plans to expose them, too. It’s a lot of sensitive information to trust to a woman who may be out to invalidate your work. Even then, he affords himself a little protection by saying, in a completely even voice, “You know [certain information is classified]. You’re part of that agenda.” Scully very passionately explains — again — that she’s not part of any agenda, and that Mulder needs to trust her. She earns that trust, but on her own terms. She sees the ash on Billy Miles’ feet and realizes it is the same ash from the clearing in the woods; she realizes Peggy O’Dell’s watched stopped at 9:03pm — the same time Mulder claims there was a temporal disturbance. Scully believes because there is evidence — real physical evidence. But she is also building to a greater belief — to faith in Mulder and in his quest.
A lone police officer, who is just chilling in the woods where a bunch of teenagers have turned up dead, tells Mulder and Scully to skedaddle and issues some vague threats. Mulder and Scully share a knowing chuckle, keep their weapons aimed at him, and arrest him for obstructing a federal investigation and threatening federal agents. JUST KIDDING. They both meekly turn tail and get back in their car. Because…um, plotting? On this rewatch, I really did say out loud, “You’re…FBI agents? You don’t take orders from the local authorities since it’s been established this case is in your jurisdiction, I’m pretty sure?” I can see Scully being more timid since she ostensibly hasn’t ever done field work before being assigned to the X-files and this is her first case but Mulder? Really? YOU TWO! This is one of the few instances in the entire series where they actually *have* authority but maybe they’re so unused to it that they don’t even realize they’re in charge. /end fanwank
Mulder goes to an exhumation and spits the shells of his sunflower seeds out over an open grave. But then the rope lifting the coffin breaks and the coffin goes tumbling over the grass, half-exposing the severely decomposed and misshapen body inside, making Mulder’s faux-pas not the most flagrant grave-desecration on that particular morning.
Mulder actually STOPS Billy Miles’ dad from shooting Billy — after urging him to do something (Mulder, whaatt are you doing?) — because he totally wants to witness the bitchin’ otherworldly shit that’s about to go down before Billy possibly murders yet another one of his classmates. That’s obsession. I still have no idea precisely why this classmate didn’t end up dead and Mulder really had no idea that she wouldn’t, so uh, I guess all’s well that ends well?
"Not my aisle of the produce section!" — Billy’s nurse, referring to another patient. Get it? Because Billy’s a vegetable? Nurses have to have a dark sense of humor, I’m guessing, based on this episode of The X-Files.
We’ll See That Again
Mulder’s sunflower seeds. The first of many appearances.
"Oh no, all of our evidence of extraterrestrial activity has been destroyed!" is kind of the progenitor of "Oh no, they killed Kenny!" After a while it will strain credulity. But, to quote Steven Moffat, “Erm…….look, KITTENS!”
Hostile locals. This will reach a hilarious apotheosis in S5’s “Bad Blood.” God, I can’t wait.
Mulder spraypaints a large “X” across the road where they encounter a temporal disturbance. The letter “X,” aside from the obvious meaning of “X marks the spot” and the “X-Files,” will pop up again and again.
So that’s the Pilot. Let’s resume soon with 1x01 “Deep Throat”
*I’ll address Scully’s Catholic faith as it emerges
Image of poster I had in my bedroom from approx. 1998-2002; also the same poster Steven Karp tears up in the pilot episode of “Undeclared.”
It isn’t really a secret that The X-files was a huge phenomenon of the 1990s — one only has to watch that video of Brie Sharp’s “David Duchovny,” filled with cameo after cameo of late 90s celebrities (BTW, how great is it that Sarah Michelle Gellar is wielding a stake in the Sunnydale library as she lip-syncs the line “I’m gonna kill Scully!”?? AMAZINGLY GREAT?? Okay then.) to see that The X-Files had a cultural moment that lasted nearly a decade. On the Internet, X-Files fandom ruled — on Monday mornings message boards, newsgroups and listservs buzzed with many analyses, some virtual swoons and the occasional grainy screencap. At the tender age of 14, I was an active member of the David Duchovny Drool Brigade, where fans spent basically all day emailing one another and gave themselves honorifics like “The Keeper of Mulder’s Red Speedo” (that one was taken pretty early, I’d wager). The fanfics, rife with hypotheses about the labryinthine mythology of TXF, were myriad and, sadly, often offered better, more in-depth explanations than the convoluted mess with which we were left.
This is all to say that, now, in 2011, X-Files fandom is much harder to find. Doctor Who fandom, of which I am a (discerning, kind of grouchy) part, continues to grow online as more and more discover the show. One could easily put that down to the fact that DW only rebooted in 2005 and is still currently airing. But what of the Whedonverse? The individual fandoms for BtVS, AtS, and Firefly are still thriving, nearly a decade after all three series went off the air. One of the great ironies here is that TXF lasted a full nine seasons (not to mention two feature films) — Chris Carter chose to end the show in 2002 — while nearly all of Joss Whedon’s shows were cancelled prematurely. But TXF, which enjoyed so much mass popularity in its heyday, is now oddly forgotten.
There are probably a number of really good reasons for this: that Whedon’s and Mutant Enemy’s voice is/was markedly hipper and more youthful than Carter’s and 1013’s; that the Whedonverse has embraced graphic-novel continuations of characters and stories to a much greater extent than Carter and Co. have; that the all-too-brief run of Firefly has, even moreso than Angel, contributed to an almost cultish (and I say that lovingly) adoration of the series and all of things Whedon; that the respective casts attend comic and sci-fi conventions way, way more often than any TXF stars — and there might also be, though I don’t quite have any evidence to back this up (sorry, Scully), a sense that a show about government conspiracies that exists totally in a pre-9/11 universe is just not all that relevant anymore.
But here’s the rub: The X-Files is actually a really great show. Sometimes an excellent show. So in an effort to retain and bolster X-Phile numbers, I’ve decided to do recaps. Yes, recaps. Of all nine seasons and probably both movies, but I can’t make any promises about that sequel. They will mostly be brief because I’m not cruel, you guys! (Except for the pilot episode, which: deal with it!) Now you may have noticed that Tor.com has recently begun its own X-Files feature, penned by Meghan Deans. But Deans’ first recap started by pointing out how annoying Mulder is and how it’s okay to say that now — neither of which is inaccurate per se, but I don’t think I would begin my revisitation of a once-beloved show by talking about how the main character is an annoying fuckface (even if he is). We here at Small Galaxies, Inc. (i.e., me, my ceramic cats) will thus limit our (my) observations on Mulder’s (and Scully’s) occasional jerkwaddedness to moments when they arise. But those two, good kids, mostly.