Magazine article Variety

The X-Files

Magazine article Variety

The X-Files

Article excerpt

TV REVIEW

The X-Files

LIMITED SERIES: Fox, Sun. Jan. 24,10 p.m. ET

WRITER: Chris Carter

STARRING: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson

There are always elements of crass commercialism baked into the DNA of revivals - nobody dusts off "Full House" for the high art of it - but perhaps an even more nagging sense of reassembling everyone just for the money in Fox's joyless "The X-Files." Brilliantly promoted for months, this sixepisode reunion, premiering with a kickstart from the NFC Championship game, is virtually assured of attracting a sizable audience, at least initially. But based on the premiere, the harsh truth in here is that it seems like creator Chris Carter and his collaborators have forgotten what people liked about the show.

In hindsight, after a long series run and two uneven movies (the last, which made its debut in 2008, having literally ended with the seemingly definitive image of the stars rowing away together), the logical move, in terms of investing the franchise with greater longevity, would have been to start from scratch, with new FBI agents delving into the strange and paranormal. Instead, Carter has reunited much of the cast, including leads David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, the original believer and the scientifically minded skeptic, whose roles have flipped multiple times.

New information, and a woman ("The Americans'" Annet Mahendru) who might be the victim of alien abduction, put Mulder and Scully back on the hunt, and prompt him to question what he believes, egged on by their one-time boss, Skinner (Mitch Pileggi). The press notes say some episodes will be self-contained, but it's hard to imagine the intrepid duo will have much time for such larks, given the high stakes laid out in this opening installment, and frankly, a fully serialized are would make more sense. …

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