Thanks to Netflix, binge re-watching old TV shows are a cinch! Forget your friends and family because in the next 12 (36, 48, 72) hours, you’ll be completely immersed in the world of 1990’s alien conspiracies.
I decided to rewatch The X-Files because I was SO scared of this show when I was a kid that the theme song still gives me the heeby jeebies. Now that I’m older (and wiser, I hope), I realize that some episodes aren’t scary at all and some are downright ridiculous.
For example, episode 14 in season 1 features sexy, murderous Amish aliens who can change genders. Crop circle ensues.
But I do have a newfound appreciation for this show. Here’s why:
X-Files was scary before TV was scary. It’s pretty remarkable to think that The X-Files was a precursor to other creepy, spine-tingling tv shows that left you hanging after every episode – like Walking Dead and Lost. And they did it with some pretty primitive special effects.
It took the Twin Peaks formula and made it better. It was ahead of the times but it also took a tried and tested formula of suspense + camp – and made it more interesting and binge-watchable. David Duchovny now available not in drag.
It didn’t shy away from science. The X-Files showed off 90’s computers in all its glory – green and black screens and all. Scully was often in the autopsy room talking into a recorder CSI-styles. There was no dumbing it down for audiences. Mulder and Scully weren’t afraid to be smarter than you.
Skeptic Scully and Spooky Mulder have chemistry. This was lost on me as a kid but now I see that these two fell in love at first sight of UFO. I want to believe.
But then again, I was seven years old when the show started, so what do I know?
A few years ago, I blogged about how Chris Tsiolka’s The Slap wasn’t smut after reading a bunch of Amazon reviews calling it smutty. Well, they made a TV show about it and it’s even better than the book. It feels so good when they get a book right on screen.
I binge watched the Aussie miniseries on Netflix over Easter weekend. It was amazing. The show tones down much of the violence, sex and swearing so it can play on prime time. The characters are still hard to love but thanks to some great casting and scripting, they’re incredibly real.
I took a hiatus from reading for fun. It didn’t feel right so I’m glad that’s over. I was studying for this finance test and just couldn’t commit what little free time I had to finishing a novel. I’d look at all the amazing books I had on my shelf and feel a little guilty for neglecting them. And they’d stare back and tempt me. Little bastards.
The first one I picked up again was Tom Perrotta’s The Leftovers. I’ve seen this book before but never picked it up because the cover looked boring. Yep, I judged a book by its’ cover. But now that it’s an HBO show, it has newer, dark cover art and I wanted to check it out:
I’m really glad I did because The Leftovers is an amazing read. In the not so distant future, a whopping two per cent of the world’s population disappears. One minute they’re sitting there and the next, POOF, they’re gone. The rest of the world goes into a mourning and most people think it’s something like The Rapture. But there doesn’t seem to be anything special about the people who are “chosen”. Some of them seemed like a**holes. But then what does that mean for those of us left behind?
People try to find meaning in non-conventional ways. They’re joining weird cults, leaving their families and painfully trying to let go of the people who have disappeared. They stop buying all sorts of garbage and going to yoga (Perrotta hates yoga).
Perrotta’s characters are believable, relateable and so very broken. I couldn’t put this one down. The ending won’t satisfy most readers but only adds to the uneasiness of the story.
A lot of my friends stopped watching Homeland in the beginning of season three because it was getting a little ridiculous. Carrie was running loose all over the place and then she was stuck in a mental hospital. And there were all these boring scenes of Saul talking to suits. Brody’s dreaded teenage daughter Dana also came back. It seemed like a season doomed to fail.
But I kept watching and at some point — perhaps five episodes in, Homeland started getting good again. Saul reveals why he’s been so mean to Carrie. Brody comes back and Carrie finally had her raison d’etre again. And the finale, oh the finale.
I’ve been calling for Brody’s death for a long time. I even posted several Tweets proclaiming “BRODY MUST DIE”. Everyone knows that wishing for something on Twitter means it will come true.
The fact is, Homeland started off as an awesome spy show. I was intrigued by the surveillance cameras, the undercover assets, the internal CIA politicking. But then Carrie fell for Brody and it became all about them sucking each other’s faces off.
I don’t care how great of an actor Damian Lewis is and the fact that he won an Emmy. He only won that Emmy because Homeland was an awesome show. And that’s why he had to go.
Let’s hope Homeland gets back into spy business in season four — and that the romance between Carrie and Quinn never takes over the plot. For a killer good analysis of the finale read Ding, Dong, the Snitch is Dead from In These Times.