Remember The X-Files show? Me too. It was a great show. That is, until it got popular.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for a quality product to get some respect. But in this case, attention The X-Files got was the death blow and the birth of “The X-Files Effect”
The X-Files followed a typical rise to the top:
Small, targeted product ( Sci-Fi / Conspiracy ) – Check.
Sexy stars, targeted at audience – Check.
Reckless, brash TV network willing to push the limits – Check.
The enabled to show to gain a cult-like following among it’s small target audience. But a funny thing happened circa 1994-1995: The X-Files went big. Real big. Suddenly aliens and government agencies were everywhere and the public was clamoring for more. Unfortunately, the producers of The X-Files gave it to them.
In a blantent attempt at gaining more popularity with the mainstream, the people behind the show decided to cash in and take the easy way out and take everything to 11 ( that’s for you Jones ).
If one alien is good, 5 must be five times as good. If one twist is good, 4 must be four times as good.
True to form, the public loved it and the die-hard fans hated it. But, the fate of The X-Files would become the fate of every passing infatuation that the public has: getting old.
Not soon after the X-Files hit it big, it became passe with the public. It would soon become the but of jokes. The shows ratings diminished, the public fans left the show and the die-hard fans hated the shows new public appeal image. The show limped along for a season or two, even trying to swap in & out major characters. But in the end, The X-Files died a slow death, eventually being canceled.
Thus, “The X-Files Effect” was born. Simply stated, “The X-Files” effect is when anything ( TV show, movie, book, web site, etc.. ) becomes so enamored with the idea of public acceptance that it tweaks it’s winning formula to the extreme max in order to please the masses. When the masses find a new popular fad, it’s left broken and beaten by the side of the road. A mangled representation of what is once was.
“The X-Files Effect” can be seen in several areas, mostly notably TV & Movies. It’s especially apparent in TV, where you can monitor the decent over a longer period of time:
Bad Boys 2 – Take funny buddy / sexy buddy action film and triple it.
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy – If 5 funny, gay guys are funny, then 5 funny gay guys given large doses of estrogen must be gold!
The Sopranos – Italian mob show that increases the body count as the show progresses. Loses it’s identity in a sea of blood.
Eminem – Ok, we get it. Bad mother…. Poeple don’t understand the white rapper…. You love your daughter…..Bad marriage……zzzzzzz…..
I will keep posting evidence of the “The X-Files Effect” as I see fit…. Stay tuned…