Direct Beam Comms #12
The X-Files mini-series ended its run last week and I’d rank this first season of new shows or 10th season of the classic ones, however you define it, as being more successful than not. What seemed to not work this time around were connected episodes related to The X-Files conspiracy while what did work were all of the other “monster of the week” episodes that were somewhat interconnected but all had self-contained stories. I’m not sure why the two conspiracy episodes didn’t connect with me this time around? Perhaps what scared us so much back in the ‘90s and early ‘00s like governmental programs to create alien viruses and media control seem quaint in a time of wars and real government media control and overall uncertainty.
That being said, with the new “monster of the week” episodes The X-Files operates like the old Twilight Zone used to where ideas that would be too controversial to be tackled head on instead were approached in the guise of sci-fi and horror slightly hiding the theme in the gauss of reptile scales or mutant telekinetic kids.
I’ve noticed that a lot of shows that take place at some point in the past have debuted. I kind’a wonder if this is because of the old adage that in uncertain times we tend to look to the past for comfort or if it’s simply because with bigger TV budgets and computer effects that can believably turn, say, 2016 Los Angeles into 1940s New York.
Here’s a listing of current TV series that take place sometime in the past, and this does’t take into account time travel shows like Legends of Tomorrow or 12 Monkeys that take place in the past and future too:
- 11.22.63 (HULU): Early 1960s US but mostly Texas.
- Agent Carter (ABC): Late 1940s New York and Los Angeles.
- American Crime Story (FX): 1994 & ’95 Los Angeles.
- The Americans (FX): Early 1980s Washington DC & northeast US.
- Fargo (FX): Most recently the late 1970s northern US.
- Better Call Saul (AMC): 2002 New Mexico.
- Fresh Off the Boat (ABC): 1995 Orlando.
- The Goldbergs (ABC): 1980s Philadelphia.
- Halt and Catch Fire (AMC): Early 1980s Texas.
- The Knick (Cinemax): Early 1900s New York.
- Manhattan (WGN): 1944 & ’45 New Mexico.
- The Man in the High Castle (Amazon): Alternate Reality early 1960s US.
- Salem (WGN): 1600s Massachusetts.
- Vinyl (HBO): 1973 New York.
It took me a while to see this one, and really the only reason I went was because a friend and his son were going and I got an invite, but I was pleasantly surprised as to just how much I liked Deadpool. It’s not like I hadn’t heard it was good; most of the reviews I read were glowing and all of my friends who’d already saw it loved it. But I’ve never been a big fan of star Ryan Reynolds or co-star T. J. Miller so I really wasn’t too excited about spending $10 to see Deadpool.
That being said, Wade Wilson/Deadpool was the role that Reynolds was born to play. All his acting tendencies that can make him so annoying and hard to watch in other roles actually work for the Deadpool character here. It’s like all the training he got playing the annoying guy in Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place and annoying Hal Jordan in Green Lantern … really the annoying guy in just about everything he’s ever played actually works well here in a movie about a superhero that’s supposed to be annoying.
I was surprised too just how strong the supporting characters in Deadpool were. Special mention goes to B or C list X-Men at best Negasonic Teenage Warhead (Brianna Hildebrand) and Colossus. While Colossus has gotten a bit of screen time in the past he’s never been as integral, or as on-screen as long, as he is here as a character realized through CGI. And Negasonic, a character who I had only been dimly aware of before, shows that there’s really no need to call on the same roster of X-Men over and over again — Cyclops, Jean Grey, Wolverine… — when there’s literally hundreds of other interesting characters in the X-Men universe to choose from in future stories.
And Deadpool is funny in all the right/wrong ways too. It’s almost as much a comedy as it is a superhero action movie. My question with superhero movies moving forward is if all the other traditional superhero movies that come after Deadpool will look old and stodgy in comparison? B+