PopLit, PopCult and The X-Files: A Critical Exploration
For six acclaimed seasons, FBI paranormal detectives Mulder and Scully have been chasing monsters and little green men and exposing government conspiracies, while espousing the mantras "trust no one" and "the truth is out there." This work takes a close look at the popular television series and shows how its style, character and narrative structure have continued to tease and please a wide viewing audience every week for six years. The first section examines the text of the series and the progression of its mythic story arc. This part also looks at the show's use of expressionistic techniques in both its visual and sound effects; the related tropes of self-reflexive humor, irony and the grotesque; and its ability to give the audience an occasional strong sensory jolt. The second section explores the context that has given rise to The X-Files phenomenon in the 1990s. The show's gothic horror tradition is established, and its contribution to the Zeitgeist of the 90s is also acknowledged.
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