The X-Files’ Success Essay

The X-Files is a movie known all over the world. Its nine-season run has achieved millions of appreciates and cause the emergence of hundreds of websites with information about it. The success of The X-Files is beyond the duration of the series and the finance. Why is it so popular? What are the reasons for such great success? Of course, The X-Files is a well-made movie with a mysterious plot and original twists but it’s only one of the components of its popularity. The movie touches very disturbing issues for American population ”“ government and authority.

The main heroes, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, FBI agents, investigate cases with creatures of supernatural power.

That may be different monsters, mutant killers, supernatural chiefs and others whose existence is usually hidden by the government. The heroes must fight not only against monsters but also against governmental conspiracy. The show is popular among people of all ages, the audience is different even polar. It can be explained by the involvement of the audience in everyday relations with government and authority. Acute problems in the society are brilliantly depicted in the show and the viewers are mediators of their solving. The supernatural elements always attract people and such wonderful mixture of supernatural and real in one show achieves much success. Absorbing plot, lively, attractive heroes, mysterious atmosphere, conspiratorial force ”“ and as a result million of views watch the show every week. Close connection with actual social problems and their solution even if in the supernatural way brings The X-Files wide popularity.

The show presents the new vision of science fiction genre, the heroes in the show act as not stereotypical heroes of this genre. Folkloric sources are involved and the plot is connected with the authorities of the country. All these characteristics guarantee the show’s popularity among great masses of population. (Lavery, Cartwright, 1996).

The combination of exigencies and constraints in The X-Files show gives an example of traditional conspiracy rhetoric. The show introduces the protagonists of typical tricksters. “Traditional concepts of “good” and “evil” are rendered more ambiguous, making the major characters representing those states more accessible for viewers who likewise negotiate such conflicts in their lives” (Dorsey, 2002).  

The attention and interest of the audience can be achieved only following the next way: the show must take place in universe that is familiar to the audience and the heroes must resemble the typical protagonists giving the audience the possibility to identify with them. The X-Files show follows these two principles and that’s why is able to engage audience interests. Here the so-called contemporary conspiracy myth takes place. Together with this myth the show must contain elements of traditional conspiracy rhetoric. These two universes, mythical and traditional, co-exist and depict secret organization that has practically unlimited power. The protagonists try to keep in secret their relations with aliens and they are united by the common aim.

The traditional conspiracy rhetoric assumes that all the action occurs around the network of conspiratorial force and the show follows this tradition. The government supports the conspiratorial force: “the government knows about it”, an ex-FBI agent who claims to have been abducted by aliens tells Mulder, “there’re even in on it sometimes ”“ right there in the room when they come. They work together with a secret corporation” (Carter, 1994a).

Exigencies, imperfections of the world, in the show are represented by social vices of authorities that support the evil. The government being in cooperation with demonical forces and keeping the existence of this force in secret presents imperfect world full of false and vices. In this situation Fox Mulder and Dana Scully must fight with supernatural monsters and at the same time break governmental resistance on their way. The struggle between the two FBI agents and the authorities is difficult and unequal, as government have the power and so the advantage, but the agents are matches. The second characteristic of the traditional conspiracy rhetoric in the show is the existence of cabals within cabals. In one fragment Sculls insists that the government can’t corporate with the conspiratorial force.

The political bureaucracy is so awful that it can’t even control a deficit but one of Mulder’s friends answers that there is a dark network, a so-called government within government, which controls their every step. Mulder adds that “inside the intelligence community”¦ so-called black organizations, groups within groups conducting covert activities unknown at the highest levels of power” (Carter, 1994b).

These examples are sharp moments, so-called constraints when the imperfection of the governmental world is especially evident. Particular events, relations or reasons modify the exigencies in the show. That are constrains that attract our attention to the vices of the society and make us analyze the situation.

Further it’s necessary to analyze Mulder’s behavior because being a positive character we can characterize his actions as unlawful. In “fallen Angel” Mulder doesn’t subject to his superiors inquiring into the military operation that deals with the recovery of the pilot of a downed UFO. Mulder is charging according to the federal law, he doesn’t feel guilty, he tells the FBI committee: “How can I disprove lies stamped with an official seal”¦? You can deny all the things I’ve seen, all the things I’ve discovered, but not for much longer. Because too many others know what’s happening out there and no one, no government agency, has juriadiction over the truth” (Gansa & Gordon, 1993).

This passionate speech before the authority is very significant, even illegal actions can be justified if the law doesn’t serve the truth and the people.

There are a lot of reasons, which make these TV serious so popular among different types of the audience in different countries of the world. The X-Files is so well-directed that millions of people watch it again and again. The charm of the show is in the novelty in genre, in presentation of the main characters from the new point of view. The struggle between good and evil, between real and supernatural attracts great audience. Exigencies in the show are presented by the imperfection of the governmental world, two FBI agents try to resist, the authorities that get in touch with the aliens and hide this fact. There are a lot of sharp moments that heat the atmosphere.

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