The X-Files in 2016: Episode 1

I’d heard the new X-Files was bad, but I didn’t expect the first episode to be borderline incompetent. The script is terrible, overflowing with unmotivated exposition vomit; the direction is at least as bad, tone-deaf and plodding. There’s the kernel of a decent idea there — the retcon of the original premise into its 21st century version, what we’re paranoid about now vs. what we were superstitious about then. But it’s buried under layers of somehow not knowing how to make television. I’m not sure I can sit through five more hours of this.

Luckily Gillian Anderson is still able to wring drama out of a few scenes (but not enough). And Mitch Pileggi nails his scene completely. What youth potion is that man drinking?

(Edited to add: I’ve now seen episodes 2 and 3 and am relieved that they’re much better, with the third one being clearly one of the best X-Files episodes ever made and single-handedly justifying the brief return. So that’s good.)