For a TV series based on a concept with a very improbable mass appeal, what then is the secret of the success of The X-Files?
By: Ringo Bones
First released to an unsuspecting American public during the time when the Clinton Administration era economic prosperity finally trickled down to working-class America, it seems that it is very improbable that a TV series like The X-Files managed to gain not only critical acclaim but mass appeal as well. With a concept that – at the time of first release – seems to cater to a very tiny group of “conspiracy nuts” I often wondered; what really is the secret of The X-Files’ runaway success?
Maybe kids during those days had nothing else to latch on to after Kurt Cobain “permanently” quit Nirvana and most of them are not “adventurous” enough to riffle through the bins of independent record stores to discover the punk band Lunachicks - which makes it quite a probable reason the success of The X-Files after deciding that their lives back then are a lot more interesting than Friends or Melrose Place.
Maybe Chris Carter jumped the gun in proving that government conspiracies are a matter of fact. After all, The X-Files was already gaining mass appeal when everyone witnessed the US Government’s “less than truthful” investigation of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing of April 19, 1995 and the “conspiracy laden” TWA Flight 800 crash investigation. Even Sam Cohen – inventor of the Neutron Bomb – concludes that Timothy McVeigh’s truckload of ammonium nitrate won’t do that kind of damage to the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.
Maybe it was Chris Carter’s decision to portray the two FBI agents Fox Mülder and Dana Scully in a non-threatening platonic romance. Which is kind of weird really, when the two characters still haven’t “hopped into the sack yet” well into the TV series’ fourth season. Given that FBI agent Fox Mülder is an unabashed porno enthusiast. Surprisingly, this is the very reason why the women fan-base that I know of fell in love with The X-Files. Who am I to argue?