Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The eXercise Files: Season 1, Pilot

I have struggled with maintaining an active enough lifestyle to balance out my diet since high school.  In high school, we were required to take some sort of exercise-requiring class every semester.  I made it onto the cross country skiing team in junior year, by nature of showing up and buying the necessary equipment, but mostly I took classes like Archery, Conditioning, Ultimate Frisbee, and Introduction to the Outdoors.  Looking back, it seems like I was training for the Hunger Games.

I like the freedom that biking allows me, I can bike to Mount Vernon from my apartment with only about 100-150 yards of street biking.  I can bike up to see my brother and his family in posh Bethesda.  DC has a few neighborhoods with decent access to bike paths, and I'm lucky to live in one.  I also like the freedom to eat whatever I damn please and douse it in butter that being fit allows me.  That may not be completely medically accurate, but it is close enough for horseshoes and heart attacks.

During the winter, biking is horrible so I set up my bike on an old stationary setup my dad gave me.  Staring at a wall while biking gets pretty old pretty fast, but with modern technology I can watch just about anything I want with my unlimited data cellular plan.  I bent a metal hanger into a cradle for my phone, and I can bike until I can't anymore.  I have a few goals for this fitness adventure: I want to watch the X-Files from start to finish because I missed a lot of episodes over the years and this is better than just sitting on my ass watching...hundreds? of hours of phelevision,* I want to be ripped again like I was when I was on the cross country skiing team and like when I had to chop wood for four hours a day to heat my house, I want to fit into the suits my father gave me that he had tailored for himself in Romania when he was in his mid to late forties, and I want to be able to ride RAGBRAI without collapsing at the end of every day's ride.

That's the background on what I'm hoping I'll have the endurance to complete as a series on exercising and science fiction.

After watching season 4 of Continuum, most of The Clone Wars, some of Lost Girl, and a couple movies, I decided that The X-Files would be my next exercise show.  While discussing the new X-Files with my ladyfriend, I realized that I couldn't remember much of The Conspiracy, or anything about the seasons involving their kid.  Mostly because I kinda stopped watching in the second half of college.  I don't think I could be more primed to watch this show with the new series, and the amount of X-Com: Enemy Within (Long War) that I've been playing over the last week or so.

Pilot: On Monday, I watched the Pilot while pedaling away, and I was struck by a couple things: they look so young, and you can do a lot with a dessicated ape corpse.  I remember watching this show in high school, and I only remember two impressions: redheads would forever be on my mind, and you can be pretty scary/creepy if you stand around frowning at people without saying anything.  Clearly, the plot was not necessarily what kept me watching, but the combination of these two might lead you to think that I was a pretty creepy kid.  You might not be wrong, I always a bit of an odd little rock.

Knowing now what I know of Scully and Mulder's characters, it was almost comforting to see that they were pretty exactly that way from the beginning. Some pilots are still working out how things are going to work in the show, but Scully and Mulder, and even the plot, were pretty much exactly the same as they were when they showed up in the first episode of the resurrected series, skeptic and believer with all of their evidence on fire.  The Conspiracy gets off to a slow burn of a start, but it is the right kind of start, the Smoking Man is mysterious, and the Pentagon Vault is also mysterious.  JJ Abrams could learn a lot about setting up a story from Chris Carter. 

Biggest question: Why the hell did they back down when the Sheriff threatened them off the crime scene?  As I understood it, the FBI had jurisdiction and he had a gruff voice, they should have forced him off.

Favorite scene: the autopsy of the dessicated ape corpse.  Why? Scully gets tired of Mulder's blatant unprofessionalism, she's curious and proceeding scientifically, and he's acting like a sugar-high kid.  I suspect this is a recurring dynamic.

How does it fit in with the new series: the pilot does not contradict the new series at all, the identities and motives of the abductors remain unknown.  I have developed a convoluted explanation for how the revelations of the new series fits in with the old series, but I will refrain from discussing that until after this season of the new series has finished airing.

Scully's suit: Grey plaid is not a good look for her.

Mulder's hair: Almost sported a pompadour in one scene, skirting the edge of acceptability for a representative of the FBI, agent.

Final thoughts: So when are they restarting Space: Above and Beyond?

* That's mine, I made it up just now and you have to credit me when you use it.


Anonymous said...

I kinda enjoyed that. Actually,I enjoyed it very much. And it's even better hearing the words in the author's voice in my head. Well done.

Looking forward to the next episode, which I think I'll read while on the treadmill. Maybe we will all get in better shape. I think that could happen. I want to believe.

Pinko Punko said...

S:A and B was so excellent. I have not found it to be streaming anywhere.

Chuckles said...

I have been looking for S:A and D off and on for a while now, and I wasn't even able to find a torrent of it. The Collector's Edition is supposedly worth it, but is Region 2 only. So that's...something.

Space Rangers and Star Hunter are also available on Amazon, but...they weren't so good.

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