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“My Struggle” to watch the X-Files miniseries

There is a group of two. A pair who search for the truth. A pair who assert that the truth is out there, and who fight against the shadow government who would seek it to hide it at the expense of everyone but themselves. This pair is the X-Files: they investigate the paranormal, the occult and unexplained, and these faithful two are Special Agents Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) and Fox Mulder (David Duchovny).

The bleary-eyed youth who fondly heard tales of Mulder and Scully fighting the good fight to bring the truth to the unwitting populace, will look on in terror as this first episode of the miniseries – “My Struggle” – unfolds. “Are these geezers Scully and Mulder?” they will ask in shock, as they watch two performers who would be better served for drinking sweet tea on their porch and yelling at kids to get off their lawn than they are to act.

This anecdote could be called hyperbolic, ridiculous even, but the point is still salient. The first episode of “The X-Files” reboot was terribly disappointing. The episode picks up with Scully and Mulder having gone their separate ways after the events of the film “The X-Files: I Want to Believe.” Scully has become a full-time medical doctor, and Mulder has become a full time bum, but they are called back into duty by the emergence of another extraterrestrial conspiracy.

The plot is unimportant, to be honest. The episode falls into the trap of having Mulder scream about “the truth” and how “everything they’ve been told so far is a lie.” There has been enough of this. “The X-Files” can never fulfill its themes and ideas without taking away any sort of satisfying ending, because that is what the conspiracy is, a trip that ends with no closure and nothing solved.

Not to mention that “The X-Files” is a big part of what created the whole government conspiracy genre. Since then, we’ve had films like “The Incredible Hulk” and “The Bourne” trilogy, and TV shows like “Heroes” and “The Event,” which focus intently on conspiracy and the government as villains. The student has become the master in a sense, and “The X-Files” returned to a scene that it created, but was nowhere near as developed as its successors.

The acting in general is poor and the script is even worse. An alien abduction victim reacts to her own murder/abduction with detached annoyance as opposed to mortal terror. The characters speak with self importance as opposed to gravity, a huge departure from the engagement provided by the original seven seasons of the series.

The title is ultimately fitting, but not in the way the writers intended. It should be called “Your Struggle,” as in, the struggle that you, the viewer, will have while watching this episode. Just power through it to get the backstory that you need in order to get to the better episodes promised, but not yet delivered on, by the miniseries.