Monday, May 18, 2015

The X-Files...again!

Like many other Xphiles, I was ecstatic to hear the recent announcement by Fox, Chris Carter, and everyone else under the sun that the X-Files were going to come back for a limited 6-episode run. Along with this much-expected elation over the news, came a dose of stress. Stress, you say? Yes, stress. As an avid fan of the groundbreaking (a term I hate using because it has been seriously overused in the last few weeks regarding this show, but what better term is there?) program, a convention goer, an original shipper, a video game player, and a collector of all things X-file-ish; I was unduly stressed out by the need to re-watch all the episodes and both movies before the airing of the new show, which is now rumored to being in January 2016. Phew! At least a have a little time.
Why rewatch all 206 hours? Because I cannot not rewatch them. I need to remember how and where it all began. I need to put the puzzle pieces back on the table and try to arrange them in the correct manner. But, most of all, because I need to re-live it. 

This is not unusual behavior for me. Every time a new Harry Potter book came out, I diligently re-read each of its predecessors. (This was great fun, but it also means I've read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone far more than any of the other books. Hmmm...perhaps there might have been a better way.) Naturally, I took part in the Great Lost Rewatch of 2014 (Hahaha), as well. I would say that it's not uncommon for fans of the X-Files and of Lost to crossover...especially when the great Terry O'Quinn appeared in both!

However, my own neurosis aside, rewatching the X-Files for me, is so much more. As my sister recently reminded me, she was originally forced to watch it by me and my "dramatic friends." I can only assume she was talking about the amazing group of people with whom I went to college more than 20 years ago. 

I remember sitting in the second Brockport apartment that Lorie and I shared, watching the X-Files for the first time. Though I can't remember which episode it was, or whether we watched from the very beginning, I do remember it was the show that we all shared as we were beginning to graduate and go our separate ways. Our little family, for better or worse was breaking up.

The X-Files first aired in the fall of 1993 and I (along with several others from our department) graduated in the spring of 1994. The X-Files appeared grainy (a perfect addition to the already creepy theme) on our crappy non-cable-ready television. I don't remember specifics of this time together, only that it happened and that we shared it all together, me and my dramatic friends.

From there, I went on to the Goodspeed Opera House to work as an intern. Thank god, my boss, DF, also shared my passion for the X-Files, as did many of the other employees. Monday mornings before work and during breaks were often spent discussing the nuances of each episode (as we would later do with Lost). It was like nothing else on television. The X-Files either grossed us out, scared us to death, or left us scratching our heads weekly about the conspiracy plot line, the future of Mulder and Scully (thank god this was well before the advent of Brangelina and Bennifer...who knows what M and S would have been called!), or the latest scary monster!

After the Goodspeed, I lived in many different states and worked in several theaters, but the X-Files was always with me. To reference Lost, the X-Files was my constant, and so too were my "dramatic friends".  

Through my love for the X-Files, I made new friends, such as Josh and Lisa G. and I always had something to discuss with my high school friends: Joe and Brad!

And then there was the day that The Smoking Man came to Cornell (where I was working at the time) and took me up on my offer of coffee, donuts, and a tour of our theatre facilities. In all, I went on to meet Scully, Krycek, X, and the Lone Gunman, but sadly, never Mulder.

In any case, two decades have passed since I first watched the X-Files with my dramatic friends. In that time, I have lost all four grandparents, one cousin, and just last year, a very dear "dramatic" friend. Others have gotten married, had children, and almost all of us have left the theatre. With each and every episode I rewatch, I think about all that has changed in 20 years and all that has thankfully, stayed the same. Those dramatic friends with whom I watched the X-Files are still with me in one way or another and for that alone, it's worth the time to rewatch the show!

For obvious reasons, this blog post is dedicated to all my Brockport peeps, including my sister! I love you all, near and far!