Jan. 27th, 2016

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Tried to check out the new X-Files on Hulu just to see but it ended up playing the pilot. I was like "This is surprisingly interesting but seems kind of dated" for the first seconds, then decided to just watch the thing. No Lost viewer should be allowed to, clearly (since there seems to be even solider consensus that it devolves into un-fun, un-self-consistent, uninspired bullshit).

The extent to which this show mediated Twin Peaks for Lost was also surprising and surprisingly obvious. "Twin Peaks except we ditch the teenage girl stuff promptly and promise everything is ultimately aliens rather than David Lynch's mindhole" is aggressively telegraphed - coattails are being ridden in on. Lots of other shows were trying the same thing around the same time (Northern Exposure imitating the humorous aspects etc.), and I of course realized there was some influence, but it's strange to think of The X-Files as not having stood on its own two feet at first. Though maybe I'm underrating its originality because everything that isn't Twin Peaks-y is Lost-y, pretty much. And of course much is both. I guess it's rare in the world to find an apparent originality that isn't instead just a link in a tradition new to you, but on t.v. it's practically an iron law.

The line readings are terrible and the actors have no idea what to make of their characters yet, unlike in the very polished Lost pilot, to say nothing of the Twin Peaks one, plus the pace is jagged and the degree of network tv audience-handholding very annoying, but the tease elements are irresistible. J.J. Abrams' soul was delivered into the world by whatever that vial doohickey is.

I think I saw one or two very early episodes and found them dull or silly, and then disliked everything I heard about the show from the people I met who liked it (and more importantly disliked those people), and then largely lacked cable or reception for fifteen years. I did watch the clairvoyance episode because a friend said it was the best thing she'd ever seen, but I'd thought through the issues involved by then so found it tedious - and kind of wonder if you need be a legitimate depressive to see glory in it. Then I took a stab at a couple of the supposed "bests" recently and was only fitfully amused. So I'm going to resist this. I need to not care why he painted a red X, who the guy smoking a cigarette is (boy was True Detective's looming, lurking police higher-up stolen from here), what the doohickey is, why the corpses shriveled up, or what the two marks are. So I won't, damn it.

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