Viewer Beware, You’re In For A Scare

Back when I was a kid, Goosebumps was all the rage. Everyone read the books, owned the books, and loved the books. R.L. Stine helped make reading cool, which despite his stories being cheesy or very kids oriented was still a good thing: anything that gets kids to read should be encouraged. In fact some of his tales had twists that M. Night Shyamalan wishes he could come up with. So I was happy that Netflix Instant Viewing now has the rights to the show, which channeled the books pretty well, as all four seasons have been released so far. But hey its a start and I plan to go through the show as much as possible. I started last night with the pilot, titled The Girl Who Cried Monster.

Really its merely a solid episode, yet I still enjoyed it anyways. I vaguely remember reading the book, and it has a trademark Stine twist that made me smile a bit. The creature effects are rather decent for a kids TV show that aired on Saturday mornings, and the main protagonist starts off with their narration, which was part of Stine’s books. I do plan on continuing to watch the show, and go through the rest of the series. Which I will share here as a side project to my Horrorfest, as its fitting to view a horror oriented show while also watching horror movies.

I Want To Believe

I love The X-Files. Its one of my all time favorite shows, and the cast for it rules. Mulder and Scully are one of the best duos in the history of TV, and they have great chemistry with one another. I love their poor long suffering boss AD Skinner, and the Cigarette Smoking Man is a Top 10 TV villain as far as I’m concerned. My favorite episode is hard to pin down, although for now I’d go with “Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man” from Season 4. I love how every episode opens with something creepy, or freaky, or completely ridiculous that makes you think “Whoa. Sweet.” Sure there were sci-fi and horror shows before The X-Files, but I really think that The X-Files changed the genre forever with its mix of science and odd plausibility that was tangible and almost real.

Naturally the show has what most shows have: an overreaching arc and stand alone episodes. The alien conspiracy forms the basis for the show’s arc, and its fascinating how complex and interesting that arc really gets. That arc results in some of the some of the best episodes during its run, although there have been plenty of great stand alone ones too. “Home” is a particularly great and terrifying stand alone episode, among others just like it. “Two Fathers” is a fantastic arc episode that showcases properly what the show is truly capable of. The bond that Mulder and Scully also have is something that runs through the entire show, and of course they have a slowly growing attraction to each other that the The X-Files strung a long a bit just because its more fun to watch them flirt at times and gives the viewers something extra to look forward to each week.

Everyone forgets the show’s great use of humor, too, as displayed in the hilarious classics “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose” and “Jose Chung’s ‘From Outer Space'” in Season 3. Despite the fact that the last couple of seasons were not very good, with the show jumping the shark and having a mediocre mess of a series finale, The X-Files is still a great TV show. Not to mention being one of the handful of shows I’ve ever watched that made me regret not having seen it all the way through from the beginning on TV, and also being one that I’ve binged on heavily via Netflix Instant Viewing. “The Truth is Out There,” indeed.

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