Hollywood’s attempt to reboot, re-shine and re-sell everything from the past made new episodes of “The X-Files” inevitable. The early ratings are strong, but some conservatives accuse the famously anti-authority series of falling into typical liberal cliches.
The criticism is misguided and only surface deep.
“The X Files” has returned to television in a post-9/11 world as the show it was always meant to be. It’s a series Ayn Rand could appreciate for its fight for truth in spite of growing authority.
The new “X-Files” now has the ammo to back up all those conspiracy theories. The debut episode, titled “My Struggle,” included references by Fox Mulder to a changed world where civil liberties are of little concern to the government.
“…they police us, spy on us and tell us it makes us safer. We’ve never been in more danger,” says David Duchovny’s Mulder. That’s a line that could have been directly pulled from Republican Sen. Rand Paul’s 2013 filibuster on drone activity against American citizens.
FAST FACT Chris Carter says Fox didn’t buy the first pitch for the show. The second, successful pitch featured a survey taken among scientists regarding how many believed in alien abductions.
The revival’s first episode also introduced a character named Tad O’Malley, played by “The Soup’s” Joel McHale. If one only watches the first 10 minutes of the debut they’d think creator Chris Carter is using O’Malley as a stereotypical, Second Amendment loving conservative. He’s an easy punching bag for his elite friends. Or is he?
O’Malley, a talking head very much modeled after Alex Jones and Glenn Beck, is revealed to be a fully fleshed-out character that becomes equals with both Mulder and Gillian Anderson’s Dana Scully. Mulder refers to O’Malley as a “godsend” by the episode’s end. He sees the value in O’Malley’s Breitbart-like citizen journalism.
The second episode, “Founders’ Mutation,” easily captures the original show’s libertarian streak. It delved into government secrecy and the sometimes overreaching arm of the Defense Department and the NSA. There’s even a friendly reference to Edward Snowden.
Carter isn’t using his show to wave the flag for the left … or the right.There’s still some contempt displayed for mainstream conservatism like Fox News and Bill O’Reilly (both name checked in negative ways).
In the ’90s, “The X Files” served as a weird procedural that contained two wonderful leads and a episodes containing monsters, the supernatural and alien conspiracy theories. It was all must-see TV, but it was all safe nonsense, too.
In 2016, Mulder doesn’t sound unhinged when he speaks about government conspiracies. Off screen, similar revelations are being brought to light by both bloggers and mainstream news outlets. “The X Files” has been reborn as the truth seeking, right-of-center series it is in its heart of hearts.
It’s definitely not a show a Donald Trump or George Bush supporters would enjoy. It’s for those who love the individual fighting authority in the name of truth and liberty. It could be an FBI agent solving the unexplainable, or a right-leaning culture warrior like O’Malley doing the same.
It fits in better with a culture where people on the left and right don’t trust government like they once did. To say its left leaning (so far) would be like saying Martin O’Malley has a shot at the presidency.
Tonight’s episode, titled ‘Mulder and Scully Meet the Were Monster,” sounds like a love letter to the show’s famous Monster of the Week storylines. If you’re sick of arguing the politics of Tad O’Malley and Carter then watch as Mulder and Scully put conspiracies aside to investigate a dead body attacked by what’s described as a classic “X Files” monster.
DID YOU KNOW: Chris Carter says the FBI was helpful “to a point” when he began researching the potential “X-Files” series and government investigations into the paranormal.