copyright © Jedo Dre 2011

I think many of us adults now hold X-files as a sort of a holy relic. It is one of those events from our childhood that kept our eyes fixated at the TV in awe, keeping us past our bed time. Gillian Anderson invoked sexual fantasy in young and old, while Mulder was the smart adventurer with a gun and a suit, guiding us through the creepy mysteries - the modern day sexy version of Sherlock Holmes.

However, looking at the whole show from a closer perspective now brings in light the imperfections, like the closer inspection of childhood heroes often does.

One of the first noticeable things is the difference in acting quality between the two main protagonists Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson). Maybe it doesn't help that the dialogue given to the sexy skeptic agent Scully is so dry, especially in the beginning of the 1st season, but her acting feels one level below Duchovny's. There are only so much skeptical eye rolling and tired speech a human can take. Ms. Anderson does get better as the series progress.

Believability of the characters also becomes shaky after just a few episodes. The main relationship between agent Scully and agent Mulder, which is that between a skeptic and a believer, is one of the defining features of the show, but in the first few episodes Scully already manages with her own eyes to witness several UFOs, confirm that the government is brainwashing people and see a ton of monsters and yet, several chapters into the series, she is still keeping up the disbeliever act. Many shows with two main characters suffer from this problem, not being able to build a believable character arch throughout the show in fear of changing the working formula.

The story line is the next issue. Part of the curse of the X-Files is that the makers were trying to incorporate in their show all the main folklore tales known to man and do so with a straight face and believability. It can be done if you put some brain into it, but unfortunately logical bloopers in X-Files are common and the quality of storytelling varies from episode to episode, since different episodes are written by different people. There is corner cutting, like when the military uses the same terrible uniformed folks for military police as the the police uses at another place in another episode; there are occasional illogical plot points like a disappearing tattoo to indicate that a person's soul left the body. The plot is one thing that should not depend upon the size of your budget and therefore X-Files cannot be excused from this flaw.

Thankfully these issues are insignificant and the quality of the show gets better as seasons go by. Acting and story glitches apart, the show is quite awesome and ages well. It manages to keep your attention using just the right amount of action, special effects and spooky sound effects to keep things interesting but not so much as to become boring or...bankrupt. There is a wide range between the stories presented. X-files goes from political thriller to mystery to horror and manages to keep that variety up for quite some time.

The X-Files