Rewatching The X-Files

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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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
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  3. 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.
  4. 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?

 

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Hell On Wheels Reading List

Thanks to Netflix, I am officially hooked on Hell On Wheels. This is unfortunate because last weekend was the season two finale and well, season three may not happen. Although, there are hints that there’s been plans for season three. But this still means months and months and months of waiting till there’s a new episode.

Set after the American Civil War, Hell On Wheels is about a revenge seeking cowboy named Cullen Bohannon who talks his way into a foreman position building the Central Pacific Railway. The real beauty of Hell on Wheels is the morally corrupt community of railway workers, whores and other hanger-ons.

Here’s a Hell On Wheels reading list to tie you over:

The Civil War: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

This one’s pretty obvious. But I have to admit that I’ve only seen the movie. Gone with the Wind is based in the same time period of Hell On Wheels and taught me more about American history than any textbook. There aren’t many cowboys in Gone with the Wind but Scarlett O’Hara is so badass, you won’t miss them.

The Hooker with a Heart of Gold: The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay

One of the best characters on the show is Eva who starts off as a whore with a good heart. With a tragic past and a crazy chin tattoo (product of being enslaved by Natives), Eva fearlessly sticks up for the aristocratic Lily Bell. Moth from The Virgin Cure escapes from a boss who tortures her and becomes a high class whore – whereby her virginity is up for bids. But Moth is such a beautiful, vulnerable character that you can’t help but route for her. Read review.

The Cynical Cowboy: The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt

Although Hell On Wheels doesn’t always have the best scripting, there are nuggets of gold.  Because cowboys rarely have anything to say but when they speak, they have to offer over simplified and brilliant insights. The Sisters Brothers features two brothers who are cowboy assassins. The brothers offer hilarious insight into some pretty tragic circumstances. Read review.

The Southern Charm: The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All by Allan Gurganus

Another book I haven’t read but have heard great things about. While I always knew the Confederates had lost the Civil War, it’s easy to forget that they also lost a way of life. The Oldest Confederate Widow gives an account for what the South lost and what it meant.

Oh and if the show doesn’t return for a third season, there’s also a never-ending list of Western Romances:

New Fall TV Shows

As much as I enjoyed watching all the weird Olympic sports, I was relieved to see it end. Because this means the return of good old scripted television sitcoms. Last year, I eagerly anticipated The Playboy Club (yes, really) and Pan Am only to be horribly disappointed. I got through half of an episode of both shows before flipping back to old favourites.

Here are some of the shows I’m stoked for this season. Fingers crossed that they’ll be way better than last year’s Pan Am.

The Mindy Project

Finally, Kelly Kapoor from The Office gets her own TV show. Mindy Kaling who stars in The Mindy Project is also a co-producer for her new show. She was also one of the producers for The Office. Those of us who sadly watched The Office implode after Steve Carrell left will likely turn to The Mindy Project for a fix of embarrassingly awkward comedy.

The Mindy Project is about a 30-something year old doctor named Mindy trying to find the love of her life. And I think Andy Bernard is one of the love interests?!?! Sounds hilarious already.

Airs on September 25, 2012, Tuesdays 9:30 p.m. ET, Citytv.

666 Park Avenue

I don’t know a whole lot about 666 Park Avenue but it looks like a couple moves into a swanky Manhattan condo only to discover it’s haunted. It probably won’t be too scary because it’s playing on prime time television. I think it’d be really awesome to see the supernatural coupled with a gorgeous cast, fabulous outfits and soap drama. It strangely reminds me of a more glamourous Charmed.

Airs on September 30, 2012, 10 p.m. ET, Citytv.

Elementary

How do you sex up an old stodgy classic like Sherlock Holmes? You add legs.

Sherlock is a recovering drug addict and Watson, played by Lucy Liu, is sent to be his keeper. I think we’ll all be counting the episodes till Watson sleeps with Sherlock. That weird tension alone may make the show worth watching.

I should mention that I was completely hooked on The Killing last year and I need a new crime drama to replace it. Something about The Killing just felt so fresh because it didn’t have all the slick American special effects we’re used to seeing from shows like CSI. The Killing was about good old detective work and hopefully Elementary will be too.

Airs on September 27, 2012, Thursdays 10 p.m. ET, GlobalTV.

Hotel Hell

Hotel Hell starring Gordon Ramsay has already began airing. While the show is nothing new, it will satisfy those of us who enjoying watching Ramsay yell at seemingly incompetent business owners. Instead of restaurants, Ramsay is hitting up family-run inns who are struggling to keep their business afloat. Ramsay yells at them, embarrasses them and gives them loads of free stuff to save their business. Oh and he manages to play family counsellor too.

The show is over dramatic to say the least but it feels so good when you want to turn off your brain.

Airs Mondays 8 p.m. ET, GlobalTV.

What shows are you looking forward to?

Buzz for It’s Your Money, Honey

A while back, I posted a review for It’s Your Money, Honey: A Girl’s Guide to Saving, Investing and Building Wealth at Every Age of Life Stage. I was happy to see that the authors, Laura McDonald and Susan Misner, were on the Marilyn Denis Show this week! They looked totally glam and dished out great financial advice for women — including ways to teach your kids about money. Check out the video.

I love the tip about buying one stock for kids in a company that they’d be interested in (i.e. Disney) so they can learn about the stock market. When I worked for the federal government, a few of my coworkers made it a tradition to buy Canadian Savings Bonds as very practical baby gifts!