Does The X-Files still hold up? Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the show

The X-Files premiered on September 10, 1993. 30 years have passed but fans from all over the world still widely discuss the show. The biggest praise for the show, and the biggest recommendation is the fact that new generations still want to take that extraordinary trip with Scully and Mulder.

What is The X-Files about?

The show fallows a story of Agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson). Those two FBI aganets investigate mysterious and unexplained events that often relate to paranormal phenomena, conspiracy theories and UFOs. Agent Mulder is extremely sure that there is an extraterrestrial life and that those creatures are with us on Earth. He wants to uncover the truth behind the government’s back. On the other hand, Agent Scully, who is a doctor and a scientist, tends to approach every mystery case with skepticism. She always tries to find a logical explanation for the unfolding events. Many times, Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi), who is their superior, helps them with uncovering the truth. Although initially, the agent duo didn’t get along with their boss, over time he proved his loyalty. The main antagonist, the enigmatic agent known as the Smoking Man, can’t be overlooked. He earned this nickname because of the cigarettes he’s always seen with. The man goes to great lengths to thwart the agents’ efforts and prevent them from getting to the truth.

I cannot say when I started my journey into The X-Files world because I remember trying to watch it with my father, back when I was a little kid. Do not get me wrong, he did not know that I am hiding behind barely opened doors just to see what happens. Of course, it did not take long for him to notice me and cut me off from the show. I revisited the show years later, when I was a young adult and I totally fell in love with it. It was as good as everyone said. It only took one episode to get me hooked. So to shortly answer the question in this article – hell yeah! the show still holds up!

What made The X-Files so good?

There are number of reasons that made this show so successful and entertaining to watch. Let’s dig into them.

  1. Innovative Storytelling – mixing “Monster of the Week” cases with government conspiracies and extraterrestrial life while keeping viewers on the edge of the seat, never knowing what will happen at the end plus constantly progressing the main story is one of the biggest reasons behind shows’ success.
  2. Scully and Mulder’s Chemistry – the dynamic duo was electric. Their personalities were totally different with one being the believer and the other the sceptic. It makes it even more impressing due to the fact that Duchovny and Anderson hated each other during the production – but that feud is long gone.
  3. Supporting Characters – characters like Walter Skinner and the enigmatic Smoking Man added depth and complexity to the series, making it more than just a procedural drama.
  4. Atmosphere – creators did an excellent job by keeping a consistently eerie and suspenseful atmosphere. Its dark, moody cinematography, combined with Mark Snow’s haunting music, established an unmistakable tone.
  5. High-Quality Production – everything was on the high level – the special effects still hold up (some more than others), the directing and the consistent quality throughout the seasons.
  6. Cultural Impact – everyone heard phrases like “The truth is out there” and “I want to believe”. Those became a part of the pop culture.
  7. Longevity – throughout the seasons, The X-Files evolved. It evolved even after shows end with movies that we could watch in the cinemas.
  8. Fan Engagement – show had dedicated fans while it aired and it still has them 30 years after – many will argue that now, the fanbase is even bigger than during the original run.

In essence, “The X-Files” was a perfect storm of creative storytelling, compelling characters, and cultural timing. It wasn’t just a show about aliens and government conspiracies; it was a commentary on trust, belief, and the search for truth in a complex world.

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