X-Files Reboot Ticks Off Top Critics

TV2’s anticipated premiere of The X-Files may wind up being the first big bomb of 2016 if early trade paper reviews can be believed.

“In messy, tedious form, the revered sci-fi series starring David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson limps back for a limited run,” carps The Hollywood Reporter’s Tim Goodman.

He dubbed the premiere “a very underwhelming hour that will force even diehard fans (and yes, I was one of them) to consider whether pushing onward is really worth the time” and argues the combination of half-hearted performances and overheated soliloquies “sucks the life out of this whole enterprise”.

THR holds out hope the remaining five episodes will reinvigorate the characters and the concept (and the actors).

“But maybe sometimes its better to leave things alone, to let them be about their time and place. Unearthing them for further exploration just proves you can’t go back again, you can’t recreate the original magic — and you run the risk of raising the question of whether things were so magical in the first place.”

Variety’s take is similarly bleak. “Brilliantly promoted for months, this six-episode reunion is virtually assured of attracting a sizable audience, at least initially,” Brian Lowry, who also penned two authorised X-Files companions, writes.

“But based on the premiere, the harsh truth in here is that it’s as if creator Chris Carter and his collaborators have forgotten what people liked about the show …

“There’s a palatable feeling that everyone is just going through the motions, despite the durability of the show’s central conceit about distrusting authority and the prospect of shadowy conspiracies reaching into the highest levels of government and business.

“In fact, Duchovny is saddled with a speech detailing the extrapolated depths of those tentacles — one that might be the longest single piece of conspiratorial exposition put on film since the closing summation in JFK.

“Throughout the premiere, it’s simply hard to escape the prevailing malaise of this being a deal-driven exercise, a chance to cash in on the name recognition of the title in a format that mitigated the time commitment for all concerned.”

If these veteran and astute critics are accurate in their assessments, then don’t be surprised if TV2 flips the series to 9.30 Thursdays after its 8.30 premiere on January 28.

Personally, I’m surprised the network didn’t go with 9.30 Wednesday, off the back of a comedy block that includes new episodes of The Big Bang Theory.

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2 Responses to “X-Files Reboot Ticks Off Top Critics”

  1. Do you know when Rush Hour will start on air in NZ and the same with The Catch?

  2. Not before the end of March. The Catch premieres in the US on March 24 and Rush Hour on March 31. Both could be on air quickly here as they’re prominent attractions in TVNZ’s new-season publicity.

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