New episodes of X-files finally made it’s grand debut on on Fox following the NFL Playoffs. And just a few episodes in, it’s already must-see TV.

The return of the x-files

Confounding.  Suspenseful.  Confusing.  Infuriating.  Compelling.  Memorable.  All of these adjectives were used at times to describe The X-Files, one of the most unusual and lasting dramas of the 1990s.  It often drew comparisons to David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, but it had much more longevity and, despite my love for Twin Peaks, much more substance as well.  In reality, The X-Files was nothing short of The Twilight Zone of the ‘90s.

Its return is not so auspicious as its beginnings, although it seems unlikely, nearly impossible, that it would be.  Nevertheless, the new series of episodes is certainly more satisfying than the muddled feature-length film, which bottomed out the franchise just when it was flying high.

The X-Files has always relied upon the chemistry of its leads, and David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson still know how to radiate that sense of friendship and trust that counter-balances X-Files’ (and Mulder’s) preoccupation (paranoia?) with conspiracy theories.

In a post-911, post-Wall Street bailout, post-Edward Snowden and post-Citizen’s United era, is it still paranoid to think that the game is fixed, everyone is watching and no one can be trusted?  Once upon a time, X-Files’ novelty was its claustrophobic belief that everything was conveniently connected.  Turns out, everything is.  Could there be a better time for Mulder and Scully to return?

If you liked The X-Files then, you’ll like The X-Files now (just watch and see). . .

more tv SHOWs make their debut

Far less interesting is Fox’s Second Chance, a vacuous “immortality” drama about a cop (Robert Kazinski) who gets reanimated by a brother-sister pair of scientists (Adhir Kalyan, Dilshad Vadsaria) looking for a cure for her terminal illness.  As a bonus, he wakes up 50 years younger with comic book strength.  Wait, it gets even more clever when he encounters his son who fails to recognize him and develops a crush on the hot, terminally ill scientist.

Sometimes you see a show and just know that someone thought their idea was so cool they didn’t need characters or a story or dialogue or anything else.  Siskel and Ebert used to get offended when they saw a bad movie because they so revered the medium.  Now I know how they felt.  I’m offended that this show was even made – it’s that bad.  And for the record, if my dad, who died in 1991, were to come up to me tomorrow as a 20 year old man, I’d recognize him instantly.  So I call bullshit on that, specifically.

If you liked New Amsterdam or Forever, you might like Second Chance, and you might want to try asking some friends what they watch.  Or maybe take up bowling.  If you must, however, here’s a clip:

On a roll with Fox, you can also skip Bordertown, a one-note animated sitcom from Seth MacFarlane, who is obviously stretched way too thin to have an original idea these days. Don’t be tempted by the talent (Hank Azaria, Missi Pyle, Alex Borstein), this show has zero laughs per episode, and only the most sycophantic MacFarlane follower could possibly get anything out of watching this.

If you STILL think Family Guy is funny, you’re gonna just love Bordertown.

 

Educational TV

Things we learned from TV this week:

1) A rare white giraffe has been discovered in Africa. . .and it was promptly nominated for an Oscar (Conan);

2) The world’s toughest physicist is Neil DeMike Tyson (@Midnight);

3) Cinemax has nothing to do with art (It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia)

 

LOOKING AHEAD

American Crime Story:  The People Vs. O.J. Simpson premieres on FX on February 2.

Madoff debuts on ABC on February 3.

TV’s a big place and I haven’t been to all of it yet.  Got a favorite show you’d like me to comment on?  Post a comment below, contact me on twitter @RobLazlo. or shoot me an email:  [email protected]  I welcome your input!