Sunday night, something happened that I was anticipating: I fell in love with an old favorite all over again. That old favorite: The X-Files.
I was a serious, legitimate, grade A super fan of the show back in the day. I still have my action figures. I had the video game. I have a box of probably every book written about the series. The only things I failed to finish collecting were the DVD sets. I think I only have up through Season 6. (Though I clearly remember scoring the Season 4 DVDs four days early because the Wal-Mart in Bryan, TX stocked them early and I happened to go by there after classes at TAMU.)
My computer was all X-Files, with the theme song playing on boot-up, and error sounds being clips from the show, etc. I had pictures on the wall. I had an I Want To Believe poster. I rocked my baseball cap.
The X-Files took me down the path of web design, photo manipulation, video editing, and all sorts of geektastic things that have served me well through the years. It was more than a show for me, when you get down to it. But ultimately?
As the show returned on Sunday, two things came out loud and clear to me:
First, The X-Files wasn’t about the aliens for me. It was about the characters. Specifically, the characters of Mulder and Scully. They were the heart and soul of the show. Anyone who says it was the monsters or the mytharc missed the best part of the show, in my opinion. It was about these perfectly flawed characters that we all rooted for week in and week out.
When the series changed, and it introduced new leads, I was determined to keep an open mind. In hindsight, it was at that point that I quit truly caring about the show, but I was too stubborn to admit it. The series never should have continued without Mulder and Scully at the center of it, in my opinion.
I have never gone back and rewatched a single episode from seasons 8 and 9. Not even the ones that brought Mulder back near the end. My heart wasn’t in it as much any more… because the heart of the show didn’t seem to be in it anymore. As such, I was nervous going into this last weekend. Nervous I would be let down.
But Sunday, the heart was BACK. The Mulder and Scully dynamic brought that spark back for me that I missed so much. The spark that made me a fan way back in the day. As the episode ended I felt that old tingly feeling in the pit of my stomach… that feeling that only comes from a story you’ve become so invested in that they feel like old friends.
Instead of letting me down, with one episode it left me with that old excitement I had for the series I fell in love with. And that excitement continued through Monday’s second episode. I am already sad its only 4 episodes left. I’m definitely in the boat of the fans begging for more. I’m already not ready to let them go again…
Second, and more personally, this series became about the friendships I made within the fandom of the show. Friendships that are stronger today than they were 15 years ago. Friendships that have been through marriages, babies, heartache, loss, moves, and just about every thing that could be thrown our way.
It all started on a message board, and it migrated from listserve to Facebook group. It’s become real life. These women aren’t just a cryptic name on a message board any more. They’re women I text, have seen in person and who have stayed with me. We send each other Christmas cards, and are always there no matter how big or little the circumstance. I, quite frankly, can’t imagine my life without these “fellow Philes” who are fantastic women and amazing friends.
But, life gets busy and we find ourselves missing chances to chat, or we have to “check out” for awhile. But on Sunday? On Sunday without any prior planning, we found ourselves (MOST of us) in a Google Hangouts video chat watching the show together and dishing over it after. It was like we went back 15 years, only way more high tech.
I’m going to enjoy the next few weeks, taking in the fun of this old favorite on my TV screen with new episodes, dishing about every single nuance with the girls. It’s a bit surreal, but I’m loving every second of it.