I’m skeptical not only about the existence of UFOs and so-called paranormal activity but also about entertainment that dramatizes this stuff: hooey about hooey. Nonetheless, I’m hooked on The X-Files (Fox, Fridays, 9-10 p.m.), a series about two fictional FBI agents (David Duchovny, from Kalifornia, and Gillian Anderson) who investigate fact-based, but nonetheless wacko, unearthliness every week.

The X-Files is the most paranoid, subversive show on TV right now. This creation of executive producer Chris Carter posits that we are constantly being visited by aliens, and that the government is aware of this but doesn’t want us to know about it. Our FBI agent heroes don’t think this is right—rebel government employees!—and so, when a spaceship zooms across Idaho, or a half- man, half-beast creature starts tearing the livers out of innocent Baltimoreans, these agents scurry to track down some approximation of the truth and bring it to public attention. There’s marvelous tension between Anderson—who is dubious about these events—and Duchovny, who has the haunted, imploring look of a true believer. Filled with florid dialogue (”You’ve seen things that weren’t meant to be seen!”) and not-bad special effects, X-Files is a hoot about hooey. B+

Episode Recaps

The X-Files
  • TV Show
  • 11
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