So you know what I just watched?

Well, it says "X-Files" up there, so yeah, you probably do.

My fiancée is out of town and I am bacheloring it up. This is rather less exciting than it sounds; as it turns out most of my friends my age are busy raising kids and said they'd get back to me about going out for beers sometime.

So I've largely been sitting at home playing Nintendo and watching Netflix.

You know, Thursday.

Anyway. I watched X-Files pretty religiously from probably about '96 to '98. I missed most of the early stuff and most of the late stuff. I saw enough to know that when it was on it was on, and when it was off...it got pretty bad.

Tonight I fired up the pilot. And while a lot of shows don't quite click in the pilot, this is definitely one of the "on" episodes. Right out the gate, the show is smartly written, beautifully directed, and convincingly acted. (Yes, even Duchovny. Guy only ever plays one part, but that part is Fox Mulder.)

And they look so young.

There's an immediate charm to it -- and I think part of it is in the tiny budget. There's something that's always fascinated me about watching people try to make something on a shoestring -- Evil Dead, Doctor Who, MST3K (which, incidentally, is the show I stopped watching X-Files for; it was moved into the same Sunday night timeslot in its last season or two). Even terrible stuff -- like, say, most of the movies they actually showed on MST3K -- there's a charm to the trying, to the heart of it all. I said recently that I'd rather watch a cheap, terrible movie like Manos: Hands of Fate than an expensive, mediocre one like...well, anything by Michael Bay -- and I stand by that.

But X-Files, at its best, was something that did great with a tiny budget.

Indeed, I think it was the Emmys, the movie, the relocation to LA, that led to the show beginning to dip in quality.

But even then, even during the Doggett and Reyes era -- when it was on, it was on. (Hell, I may be the only guy who thought the '08 movie had some charm -- course, it helped that I looked at it as just another episode instead of an attempt at a triumphant return.)

Anyhow, the whole series is up on Netflix.

There are lots worse ways to spend an hour...

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