It’s never before been so hard to pick the 10 best shows of the year, as streaming services deliver strong short series on a regular basis, and cable and network TV have mostly kept pace with the quality. Some staple entries have dropped out of my top 10 not because they got worse but simply because they were supplanted. Here are 10 shows worthy of special mention even in this age of Peak TV.
ndsu spectrum: tv review
Sundays at 8 will never be the same …
By JOHN HANSEN
Jan. 25, 2002
For the last few months, there’s been a lot of talk about how “The X-Files” (8 p.m. Sundays on Fox) has become so much worse now that David Duchovny — and his alter-ego Fox Mulder — have left the show. A lot of the criticism is from people who are no longer watching the show.
ndsu spectrum: tv Review
Patrick has saved ‘The X-Files,’ now Duchovny will spice it up
By JOHN HANSEN
Feb. 23, 2001
With his gruff voice, his business-like approach to solving cases and his willingness to at least be open-minded towards paranormal explanations, Agent John Doggett (Robert Patrick) has made “The X-Files” seem like a brand-new show in its eighth season.
ndsu spectrum: TV Review
‘Lone Gunmen’ finds its niche in comedy
By JOHN HANSEN
May 5, 2001
At first, “The Lone Gunmen” didn’t seem like an obvious choice for a spinoff series. After all, while Byers (Bruce Harwood), Frohike (Tom Braidwood) and Langly (Dean Haglund) provided quirky comic relief in many “X-Files” mythology episodes, their cult following was based more on the fact that they made geekdom cool than on the characters themselves. Even after seven-and-a-half seasons, we knew almost nothing about these guys’ backgrounds.
“The X-Files” Season 7 (1999-2000, Fox), episodes 1-7 – “The X-Files” has recovered a bit after a sluggish start to its seventh, and probably last, season. Chris Carter’s brainchild has earned its place as a cultural icon, featuring great chemistry between FBI agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dan Scully (Gillian Anderson).
Here are 10 TV shows and movies I have high hopes for in the new year:
“The X-Files” (TV show, 8 p.m. Eastern Wednesdays, starting Wednesday, Fox) – OK, so I’m not as big on the mythology episodes lately (Haven’t we seen it all before?), but I do love me some Monster of the Weeks. And I won’t say no to an occasional Darin Morgan comedy hour either. With 10 episodes this time around (compared to six in 2016), there’s bound to be a good variety.
Today, it’s impossible to talk about “Kolchak: The Night Stalker” (1974-75, following TV movies in 1972 and 1973) without talking about “The X-Files” (1993-present). While this annoys some “Kolchak” fans, they have to admit that “The X-Files” has helped keep the “Kolchak” cult afloat – indeed, “The X-Files” is mentioned in the first sentence on the back of the “Kolchak” DVD collection.
These were my 10 favorite shows of 2016:
1. “Atlanta” (Season 1, FX) – Donald Glover’s brainchild is a crazy mix of “Curb Your Enthusiasm”-esque wry observations (Earn’s inability to order a kids’ meal), envelope-pushing storytelling choices (the pundit roundtable parody) and outright horrific violence (Earn witnesses a murder, then moves on like it’s just another day in the ATL). It comes together as an on-point – albeit still crazy — portrait of being a dead-broke young adult on the backstreets of a collapsing American city.
I’ll take my fix of new “X-Files” material where I can get it, but it’s irritating that in IDW’s third volume of “X-Files” short stories, “Secret Agendas,” Jonathan Maberry and his team (if there is one) still make too many errors. The line-editing gaffes, such as “peak” instead of “peek,” aren’t as numerous as in the first volume, but the number of continuity errors is inexcusable.
It was great to have “The X-Files” back with the six-episode miniseries earlier this year on Fox, and now it’s available on DVD, and you get a lot of nice bonus features (including commentaries on three episodes) for your $14. I prefer the small-screen method of reviving the show, rather than the big screen, as it allows different types of “X-Files” stories to be told for about the same time and cost commitment as a movie.