Archive for the ‘TV reviews’ Category

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After watching Sunday’s disappointing and cliched episode of “The X Files”, I went back to Netflix to relive the glory of the originals. This only deepened my belief that the first new episode was nothing more than a simple rehash of old ideas(albeit with a visually stunning flying saucer crash and CGI alien that put the old episodes to shame). Watching these episodes also helped me feel more comfortable about how the second episode on Monday completely disregarded the events that transpired at the first episode’s conclusion. What’s going on with Tad O’Malley? And what about the Sveta’s death? Instead, Monday’s episode made a completely 360 degree turn to a new set of events with only slight references to what happened in the new pilot(children and women being experimented on with alien DNA, also a crucial element in the original series). The result? A back and forth mind bender that truly has the ability to engage the audience and leave them wanting more. This is a tactic used extensively in the original series, especially in episodes like season four’s “Herrenvolk”, which ended with the death of “X”(Mulder’s shadowy informant) and questions about bees and alien bounty hunters, and then jumped to the next episode, “Home”, in a completely unrelated story about a sadistic family of inbreds(thanks netflix!). “Founder’s Mutation” doesn’t do a switch quite that extreme, for as I said, it still has an underlying plot theme about alien/human experimentation continuing on from the first episode, and even expands on it a bit. I won’t spoil too much of the plot, so you can either guess the rest or watch the episode. Here’s what I can say about it, and then on to the actual review: Dr. Augustus Goldman , nicknamed “the Founder” by his employees at the Nugenics Technology facility, runs a facility where he works on healing children afflicted
by severe genetic mutations. One of his employees, Dr. Sanjay, kills himself after hearing a screeching sound in his head that is inaudible to everyone else. This leads Mulder and Scully on an investigation that eventually uncovers a more sinister plot behind the Founder’s work with genetic deformities. So, what’s the verdict? Compared to the previous episode, I can sum up this one with one word. Wow. Wow. Wow(okay three words). First of all the plot, the script, and the acting are among the best I have ever seen in this show. Scully and Mulder have some very emotional daydreams about their child, William, whom they had to give up for adoption, and their reactions to these sequences are superb. Secondly, the cinematography makes this probably the clearest and sharpest looking of the X files episodes. Somewhat related to that is the gore and violence, which is just enough to be shocking without going completely overboard. The whole thing really reminds me of some of the best “mythology” episodes of the saga, such as “Herrenvolk”. That being said, this new run of the series is now beginning to feel fresh, with just enough new material in it to separate it from our favorite 90s TV show(including references to recent events such as 9/11, Obama Care, and Edward Snowden). There are even references to our modern “PC” culture, including a very humorous incident with a man misunderstanding Mulder’s request for them to enter a small closet to “talk privately”. I can only hope that not too many people were turned off by the pilot on Sunday(yes, decent, but still seriously lacking in quality compared to this one), and that they stuck around to give Monday’s episode a chance. Now, the show’s creator, Chris Carter, is the one who wrote the first episode, “My Struggle”. While I think he is a fantastic writer in most respects(I mean come on, he INVENTED this pop culture icon), I’m sorry to say that he sometimes rehashes stuff and tries to confuse you too much(Mulder has gone back and forth on believing in aliens many times in the series, but it just feels silly in “my struggle”.But I guess it’s because the alien invasion didn’t take place in 2012 like he was led to believe. I don’t know). The writer of episode 2, James Wong, executed a much better story. Hopefully, the remainder of this series’ limited run is more like “Founder’s Mutation” than “My Struggle”. Well…. I WANT to believe 😉

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