Binge-Watching The X-Files

I recently started watching The X-Files for the first time. When it premiered almost 25 years ago, I didn’t watch much TV. But now, working at home and having access to c52a782d86e841116a324a1032dcfa74streaming video, binge-watching is one of my favorite things. Since I watch nearly every paranormal/supernatural show I can find, finally watching The X-Files was bound to happen.

Let me be clear about one thing. I do like the show. I’m into season 7 now, so obviously I enjoy it. I’m less clear about why it has achieved legendary status and a reboot. (I’m looking forward to the reboot seasons, though! Another week or so and I should be there.)

Since it premiered in 1993, I expected it to feel dated, and it does, a little. The cars, technology, wardrobe, even the on-screen graphics show it’s not a recent production. I was surprised to find the feel of the show felt dated even for 1993. Then I decided that’s what they were going for. Sort of a noir atmosphere, or a somber Twilight Zone tone. Fine. I can live with that.

But there are still some things that nag at me as I’m watching.

  • Scully’s wardrobe. I know it’s 1993 business professional stuff, but were the suits really so boxy then? And collars up to the jaw? Because I’ve seen nuns and Amish grandmothers looking more stylish. I assume Gillian Anderson has a figure under there, but you rarely catch even the faintest hint. I’m not saying dress her up like she’s on The Bachelorettee, but c’mon.
  • Lack of facial expressions. I’ll probably catch hell for this, but I don’t think Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny are spectacular actors. They’re not bad. They’re just not…great. The lack of facial expressions is almost amusing. It’s like all their emotions are on a dimmer switch set to low. Even when they raise their voices, their faces barely move. It’s almost like a ventriloquist dummy. The mouth moves, and the eyes go back and forth, and that’s it. Sometimes it even looks like they’re trying to speak while moving their mouths as little as possible. Duchovny has at most three expressions. Neutral/brooding, alarmed or excited (which are the same) with slightly widened eyes and open mouth, and worried/angry/furious which involves a somewhat furrowed brow.

3799336e7873b1499941bc1e4466e957

  • Where’s the humor? I get it, it’s a serious show. But even the most serious, dark shows usually break it up now and then, or have the wacky best friend, nosy neighbor, quirky co-worker, running jokes…something to lighten the tone once in a while. As I’m getting to later seasons, it has improved. There are a few episodes where they break from the weighty story arc, like the time the shapeshifter guy locked Mulder in the basement and put the moves on Scully, or the one where they went to Texas and discovered vampires, and they were each recounting the case from their perspective to Skinner. Mostly, though, it’s dark, dark, dark and kind of oppressive. Oh, The Lone Gunmen? They’re awesome.

x-files-the-lone-gunment

  • Zero chemistry. Maybe it’s coming, or maybe it’s just never going to happen, but most shows which feature male and female leads usually bring them together eventually. Booth and Bones, for example. They didn’t get together until the start of season 7, but even before then, they had a lot of chemistry. I know, it’s not necessary for them to get together; it doesn’t change the point of the show. But, hey, maybe then they’d show some emotion. Not betting on it, though.
  • Are there aliens or not? At this point, I guess there are. There’s that fetus they’re passing around like a dead baby football and using to try to breed hybrids. But it could well turn out to be something else. First, it’s “the government is covering up the existence of aliens.” Then, “the government is pretending to cover up the existence of aliens so people will think that’s what they’re up to and not notice they’re really conducting human experiments.” Now I think it’s “all of the above, but there are actually aliens involved in the experiments.” Maybe. That could change in the next episode.

One thing I really enjoy is watching the list of guest stars after the opening theme. So many actors who have become favorites in other shows appeared on The X-Files back in the day. Mark Sheppard, Laurie Holden, Luke Wilson, Bruce Campbell, Willie Garson, Peter Boyle, Seth Green, Bryan Cranston, Donal Logue, Kurtwood Smith, James Pickens Jr., just to name a few.

So, what do you think? Are you a fan of The X-Files? What do I need to know, or what am I just not seeing clearly? I like it a lot. I’ll keep watching. But I don’t see me getting an “I Want To Believe” tattoo any time soon.

Paying For Saturday

I did a whole lot of nothing yesterday, other than wash our bedding and knit. Today has been much busier. Morning house chores, got a batch of dog treats in the dehydrator (Super easy two-ingredient “recipe” HERE), wrangled work email, figured out how to use my new scanner and scanned and emailed some photos, and I have a huge pot of pasta sauce simmering so I can assemble a couple of pans of lasagna to take to a family gathering out of town tomorrow.

Now, while the sauce simmers, I can finally knit! I am still working on my super-long rainbow scarf, but started a new one yesterday that is still small enough to take with me tomorrow. So far…

It’s a feather and fan scarf (pattern HERE), using Premiere Serenity yarn by Deborah Norville, in the “sea” colorway. I love this yarn. I made a window treatment with it several years ago, found a ball of it in my stash over the winter, and ordered a bunch more. I’m also using my brand new Knit Picks Caspian wood straight needles, and I love them. The surface has just the right texture for a 2 weight yarn, not as slippery as metal, but more grip than regular bamboo.

There’s a marathon of Season 8 of The Walking Dead, and I’ll alternate between that and a re-watch of an old favorite, Eureka, while I knit. Tonight is the season finale of TWD, as well as the premiere of the new season of Fear the Walking Dead. I can’t wait! I host a live chat on Facebook, and it’s sure to be a ton of fun tonight.

It’s raining off and on, with storms expected later, so it’s a good day for cooking, knitting, and TV. Even rainy, though, it’s a huge step up from our old home in Minnesota, which we fled 4 1/2 years ago. They got over a foot of snow yesterday! Nope, I don’t miss that even a little.

Brain Vacation

I’ve had a stressful, busy week, so other than some light editing, I’m giving my brain the day off. There will be knitting, TV, time with the Direwolves, and Tom has suggested pizza and movie night. When he gets home, he’s bringing pizza from a place with wood-burning ovens we’ve been meaning to try. Right now, I think the movie will be Three Billboards.

In the meantime, enjoy these photos of my day, as always, featuring Mozzie and Oliver.

That Time I Might Have Been Replaced By An Alien

These two posts appeared a few days apart in 2010. The only significant changes since then are I do cook and bake more often, I now prefer rum to wine, I no longer apply eyeliner to go to the store, and we did escape Minnesota for the more hospitable clime of eastern North Carolina. Oh, and no aliens or clones showed up to help us pack. Stupid aliens.


If It’s Not Aliens, It’s Something Just As Bad

 

Dear FFFans,

Try not to panic, but I have reason to believe Lori has been abducted and replaced by a simulacrum.

Erth

Creatures of interest in possible abduction

Earlier this morning, she professed her determination to remain on the Sofur, reading smut on George-the-Kindle all day. In fact, last night, she had this conversation with Tom:

Lori: I worked my ass off today. I’m not getting off the Sofur at all tomorrow if I can help it.

Tom: Do you really have to get off it? You’ve got the computer and George right there.

Lori: Yeah, I love it. It’s like Command Central.

Tom: So, why get up?

Lori: (points to the right) Because the bathroom is over there. (points behind) And the kitchen is back there. (pauses, considering) But seriously, if I had a mini-fridge and a potty-couch, I’d never have to move.

She is, obviously, quite committed to her Sofur Slugdom.

Yet this morning, she did some disturbingly out-of-character things. Before 10 a.m., she put on jeans. While it is true many people leave the house in their plaid flannel jammie pants, she never does that.

She also applied eyeliner, because if she doesn’t have on her terribly dated eyeliner, she claims to be unable to recognize her own face.

Then, she put on shoes. Shoes.

She drove to SuperTarget and began buying (brace yourselves) ingredients. She has a powerful, nearly pathological aversion to ingredients, because those imply an intent to cook, which she avoids at all costs. Yet there she was, with her red shopping cart, cruising up and down the aisles, selecting ingredients.

She is now, as we speak, in the process of making vegetable bison soup. And chocolate chip banana bread. Both. From. Scratch. Read those last three words again. It’s the only way you might start to believe them.

I don’t know how she’s going to accomplish this, but must assume by the end of the day there will be a huge cauldron of soup (because she can’t make a small batch) and a loaf of chocolate chip banana bread.

It’s terrifying, actually.

On top of that, she was seen emptying the canister of the vacuum, implying that she may actually make use of it sometime today, probably when BroZarkWin are outside. Why would she do that? She’s developed the inability to see dog hair on the carpet, much to Tom’s everlasting disappointment. But the evidence speaks for itself.

Are you hiding under the bed yet? Should we suspect a doppelganger? Alien possession? Pod people? Some sort of personality-altering brain worm?

If you weren’t already prepared to barricade yourself in the basement, you should start collecting boards and nails and enough supplies to last you till this situation is resolved. (There’s no telling who might be next!)

And the most unsettling part of the story is about to be revealed.

She did not stop at the Liquorette on the way home, despite having barely a single glass of wine left in the fridge. True, there is bourbon, but still. Wine is yummy. She loves wine. Currently, Alice White Lexia, to be exact. Yet she did not stop to visit Tim and Bill and Young Guy and Woman With The Long Hair, or any of her other Liquorette friends.

If this bizarre behavior continues, I’m going to count on you to mobilize the Men In Black. There’s no way Tom is going to do it. He’s going to think this impostor is a definite improvement.

The fate of this household – or possibly the world – is in your hands.

 

 

All Clear

For those of you who took Tuesday’s advice and boarded yourselves in the basement and are reading this on your smart phones, it’s safe to come out now.

It seems I entered some sort of fugue state a few days ago, and while there I – or someone impersonating me – made a full cauldron of soup (Yes, a “cauldron.” What else could it be?) and chocolate chip banana bread.

She/It also vacuumed copious amounts of dog hair from the carpet, and did not guzzle any wine. I know – it is still freaking me out a little bit.

I’m still unsure if it should be attributed to alien abduction or a doppelganger, but the point is I’m back now. I’m sure you remember me. The cynical, self-centered, apathetic, lazy, wine-swilling, reclusive bitch with all the dogs. Yep, that’s me.

I was probably returned because I had to go to the dentist yesterday, for what was the final time, regardless of the opinion of the staff at Otsego Dental. What alien or doppelganger wants to sit through a “full mouth debridement?” Probably none, and definitely not the one who had gained temporary control over my brain.

Hell, I didn’t even want to be there. I don’t know how long a regular dental cleaning takes. I can, however, testify that a full mouth debridement takes an hour and a half, and leaves your gums looking and feeling as if you’re suffering from an advanced case of scurvy.

This is what happens when you have not had your teeth cleaned in eight years. The procedure is apparently only slightly less involved than excavating a pachycephalosaurus from a 75-million-year-old fossil bed. I can definitely confirm that it uses many of the same tools.

So, I have returned. The best part about the whole situation is that there is still plenty of soup and some chocolate chip banana bread left. Whoever was handling things in my absence sure made some yummy stuff.

And if she’d show up again for a while when it’s time to bulldoze junk out of my house so we can get ready to sell it, that’d be awesome, because that’s one part of the whole “Leaving Minnesota” adventure that I’m dreading.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled, non-basement-hiding activities.