Let's talk about that not-so-great 'X-Files' premiere
"The X-Files" is back with a six-episode miniseries. I posted a review of the first three episodes last week, and I have a few specific thoughts on the premiere coming up just as soon as I have to, in the year 2016, use a search engine to get to a website I've previously visited on this computer...
Mainly, I'm curious what everybody thinks now that you've seen it, but hitting a few of the larger beats now that I don't have to worry about spoilers:
* I know that Mulder wants to believe — as Scully reminded us in that horribly-written, catchphrase-laden scene on his porch — but there is making him a would-be believer and then there is making him someone willing to throw out all of his previous beliefs (and pretty much everything relevant from the original series' mythology) on the basis of a few conversations with Tad O'Malley and Sveta. It's a bad look for the character, and, like so much of "My Struggle," really sloppily put together. You could make an argument that when aliens didn't arrive to colonize earth in 2012, as the Smoking Man once promised, then Mulder gave up on all the old stories, but then you need to actually incorporate that into this story.
* Joel McHale's Tad O'Malley does a decent job of illustrating how the role of the conspiracy theorist has changed so much since the series' golden days, to where there's a lot of money to be made by shouting about false flags. (Ditto Mulder and Skinner's conversation about the explosion of government surveillance after 9/11, which happened so close to the end of the series that it was never thoroughly incorporated.) At the same time, introducing Tad and Sveta in the same episode, and making sure that they get a lot of quality time alone with, respectively, Scully and Mulder, seems less about what the story needs (whatever the hell the story is meant to be this time) than about provoking the 'shippers, who are already upset that the two of them aren't a couple at the moment. I have no dog in this hunt — I never cared if or when the two of them hooked up, even as the Anderson/Duchovny chemistry was crazy obvious — but trying to incorporate a series of romantic misunderstandings into a busy episode that's already rewriting the mythology seems more trouble than it's worth.
* The expository nature of the episode does no favors for anyone, but Annet Mahendru particularly struggles with it. She's great on "The Americans," but I'm not sure Meryl Streep could have made Sveta work as a character.
* Again, in under 60 seconds, Scully says "You want to believe! You so badly want to believe!," while Mulder says, "The truth is out there, Scully." There is fan service, and then there is turning a key moment of your long-awaited return into the "I have had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane!" scene.
* How many times do you figure Carter rewatched the Mr. X scene from "JFK" as he wrote the scene where Mulder delivers his pitch about the new conspiracy?
I'm going to try to weigh in with thoughts on all six episodes. Hopefully, the back half of the season is closer in quality to the Darin Morgan-scripted third episode than this or tomorrow night's show.
What did everybody else think? Were you rapturous over the series' return, or disappointed to have waited so many years for this?