Hit or Miss: 'The X-Files' Season 11
What’s it about?: Yes, the iconic series from the 90s has returned to television for an 11th season. Were you surprised? If by chance you caught the season 10 finale a couple of years ago, it’s understandable if you did not, there was a bit of an unresolved cliff-hanger involving an alien invasion, along with some kind of mass virus infecting the human race. Overall, audiences can likely expect more of the same; a few shockingly bad episodes meant to continue the series' mythology mixed in with some decently good to possibly great standalone episodes featuring Mulder and Scully solving various paranormal or science fiction related mysteries. Here’s hoping it’s more of the later.
Why it might be good: Let’s not forget, “The X-Files” arguably remains one of the most memorable and influential series in television history. What made the show succeed for many years was a combination of two things; the chemistry between its leads (Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny) and the malleability of its stories. That malleability is precisely why many of the series best episodes are its standalone one. “The X-Files” could theoretically be anything from week to week; some episodes’ thrillers, others horror, and a few (which are my personal favorite) hilarious comedy. These standalone episodes also opened the doors for a plethora of great TV writers, the most famous of which being “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan. Sadly, Gilligan is busy with “Better Call Saul” and not returning to the series; however, you can expect fan favorite Darin Morgan to be behind at least one episode. Morgan is best known around “X-Files” circles for writing some of the series most unique and idiosyncratic episodes. His episode “Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster” was easily the one great episode from the first revival season a few years back and considering he’s returning for one episode this season, it’s likely audiences will get at least one entertaining dive back into the spirit of the original run.
Why it could be bad?: Oh boy, where to begin here. Probably the best place to start is with season ten, which was intended to be the the series' big revival after almost 15 years off the air. As mentioned before, season ten had one great episode, the rest were ether just okay or downright terrible. Most of us can agree that there was very little need to “The X-Files” to return to television; however, if such events are to occur, it’s probably best the series throws in the bag with its overarching mythology. "The X-Files" was always at its best when doing standalone, monster of the week, episodes. Where the series began to faulter was with the episodes focusing on an overarching storyline of Mulder and Scully exposing a government cover-up of alien contact. As the series progressed, this storyline became more and more convoluted and ridiculous. Clearly, this is the aspect of the show that creator Chris Carter has yet to put away. Few viewers, outside of the most devout fan-base, understand how this mythology has progressed. Carter would be better off simply tossing it aside as letting the series function as adventures between its two charismatic leads.
Hit or Miss: In all hopes, we will get at least a couple great “X-Files” episodes in this latest batch. The series seems to have lost track slightly of any need or desire on the part of the audience for its continuation. Plus, seeing how the last season ended, we can expect Carter to dive back in to his overarching story of government conspiracy and alien invasion that has been the series crutch for many years. If you’re by chance interested in seeing what “The X-Files” has to offer, look up a list of the series’ best episodes, they’re everywhere online. For this new batch, I’m giving it a pass.