Best TV Shows Ever: #18- The X-Files
Ah, The X-Files. In some ways I’m disappointed I don’t like this show more because it’s so obviously made for me (strong female characters, conspiracy theories, scary monsters, the occasionally super freak), but it’s still landed a respectable place in my top twenty.
Thing is, The X-Files is an amazing show, and one that everyone who wants to put together a double act should watch. No better match could have been found for each of the two leads than the ones presented here- smart-mouthed believer Mulder and sceptic Scully (on a side note, one of my closest male friends is in love with Scully. Watching an episode with him is to be subjected to a chorus of appreciative gargles followed by a sheepish “sorry, sorry”). They are the heart of a show which has otherwise been done elsewhere before in a variety of ways (The Twilight Zone, Masters of Horror, etc), and they remain one of the finest will-they-won’t-they pairings on television. I can’t remember how many times I’ve been drunkenly watching the show (which is my go-to if I’m wine-pissed), screaming “Kiss! KISS!” at the screen. Both actors are tremendous and bring an interesting depth to their characters, a talent that they’ve both proved wasn’t a fluke in a pair of excellent careers.
I think one of it’s finest selling points, though, was the knowledge that this was a show that would scare you somehow. Whatever you’re pet fear- ghosts, death, terminal illness, aliens, people who could squeeze under doors, serial killers, witches, scary water- you will find it in at least one episode (one of my most unlikely pet phobias turned up in Fearful Symmetry, when an elephant ran quite fast down a road. No joke: wild animals, out of control, and at speed, gives me the heebie fucking jeebies). We all love being scared on some level, and The X Files offers a way to indulge that desire while under the efficient protection of Mulder and Scully.
Watch If: You secretly want to believe too.
Stick Around Until: You meet some of the amazing guest stars, such as Tony Todd, Tobin Bell, John Hawkes- and of course, Bryan Cranston, who crops up in the Vince Gilligan-directed episode Drive. In fact, just skip straight to stand-alone episode Chinga, a terrifying tale written by Stephen King which is by far my favorite episode of the whole show.