If you noticed some longer delays between posts last year, a part of that blame can be comfortably placed on The X-Files.Yes, that sci-fi, paranormal, both serious and humorous, brilliant crime-mystery-conspiracy-thriller television show that threw off so-called ‘normative’ gender roles and inspired a cult following after first airing in 1993.
While I haven’t been investigating unexplained phenomena and secret government plans myself, I have found myself thrown into a deep investigation of The X-Files. That is, I’ve made it a priority to watch every episode before January 24th.
An ambitious goal? Maybe.
But the truth is out there, readers, and I want to believe.(And if I’ve become quickly invested in the show and it’s leading characters since, so be it.)
Like Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Full House, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and various other franchises now getting reboots, you may have heard that The X-Files will be returning for at least one mini-season. I’d heard good things here and there about the show before, but seeing this announcement last year (and a slice of the general fandom meltdown thereafter – thanks Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny Twitter convos) finally piqued my curiosity enough to start watching.
Best. Decision. Ever.
I’m sorry now that I missed the prime X-Files fan time back in the 90s and into the 00s, though it seems fortuitous that it should make its way back onto the scene when I’m at an age to fully appreciate the show. Now I’m determined to be caught up and a part of the shared experience of the revival.
You know I’m all about that zeitgeist.
Alight, so I began watching back in May and it’s been a lot like reading a great book series. It drew me in quickly and I wanted to know more and more about Mulder, Scully, and their never dull world, but at the same time I wanted to pace myself. The closer I came to being caught up, the more I didn’t want it to end.
As of today I’m seven seasons down, two seasons and a movie to go. And T-minus 7 days until premier day. Like it or not, I do believe some intense binging may now be in order. (Update: Success!)
The problem with being born a generation too late…
Being born a generation after a great pop-cultural phenomenon can leave you with the feeling of ‘fan isolation’. You’re isolated from the existing fanbase and content as you catch up, because, well…
Now I love the Internet as much as the next geek, but if you’re a stickler for spoilers like me, then being on it when delving into a new fandom can feel like playing Minesweeper with 100 squares and 99 mines.
Resisting all temptation to read fanfiction, look at fanart, fanvids, and basically search anything related to the topic as you get sucked into it can be a real problem. Then you’re isolated from the excitement factor, because the original hype came and went and you’re just playing catch up. And come on, we’re geeks!
Our enthusiasm for the things that interest us can boarder on the obsessive (in a good way), and while you want to share the greatness of this thing you’ve just stumbled upon because the excitement is bubbling up and threatening to explode, it feels like you’re the only person to which this thing is front and center right at that moment. You want to be part of the fandom, but again, spoilers, and you’re not quite sure where you fit into this group that’s already been connecting for years.
Internet, I have a proposition for you…
Let’s create a fandom hub that’s geared toward new fans. Let it be a microcosm of the original (a sub-hub within a hub), a place for new fans to mingle as the original fans once did – to predict, to express feels without danger of spoilers, and once caught up, to integrate into the existing hub.
Because yeah, being a new fan in a pre-existing fandom can be hard. Fanzines are out of print and not online (Star Wars, I’m looking at you – thank goodness for The Gossamer Project in this case) you missed the original forums, theories, golden eras of heightened cultural awareness (references, merch, etc. etc.), and all of that. That’s not to say older fandoms can’t be and aren’t going strong, or be very welcoming of new fans – they are! But as a new fan you’ve missed out on that first wave of excitement and you know it.
Ok, fan-remorse aside, the real point of this post is this:
As I’ve been getting caught up and ready to be a part of the fanfare this time around, my status as a #NewXPhile in self-imposed fan isolation has manifested itself in silly ideas that become sillier drawings. I give you, the ‘X-Files Doodles’!
Moving forward you’ll have to excuse my newfound enthusiasm for the show with more ‘X-Files Doodles’ updates. I apologize in advance to any non x-philes because unless you’ve seen the show, I’m sure they will make little sense. Enjoy!
Thanks for reading, cheers! Until then…