Tuesday, 23 February 2016

You should never go back

Image from Wikipedia
Generally speaking, I find the motto 'never go back once you've moved on' a helpful one. Although I've broken it pretty regularly, I usually find I shouldn't have attended that school reunion or whatever. However, it's a lesson that TV and filmmakers rarely consider, as I've been discovering with the new X-Files.

I was looking forward to the rebooted series after a 15 year break. The timing could not have been better. We got through the last DVD of the complete box set the same week the first episode arrived on a UK channel. And it's okay. But there's something rather upsetting about it.

It's not just that David Duchovny looks really worldworn and tired. Or that Gillian Anderson looks emaciated and zoned out compared to her far better recent UK TV appearances. It just seems far too much like 'more of the same.' I wanted to wait until episode 3 to give a verdict, as it was written by the man who wrote my favourite episode ever, the season 3 'Jose Chung's "From Outer Space"', which is hilarious and mind-bogglingly twisted. Admittedly episode 3 did have some fun moments, notably Scully telling Mulder, as he played with his smartphone, that he ought to stay away from the internet. And it had a very neat twist in the plot, which I won't reveal. But both the script and the acting was like seeing someone who once was on top of their game going through the motions.

For years, I hoped that they would make a new series of my favourite TV show ever, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But now I realise that it would be a mistake. The world moves on. So do stories and actors. I'll probably stick with X-Files for this season. But it's a bit like watching Bruce Forsyth in the latter years of Strictly. It's with as much a sense of sadness as pleasant familiarity.

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