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TV

X-Files, The (Fox 1993-2002, David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson)

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Although the FBI denies their existence, it has long been rumored that the Bureau had a name for cases which, due to the involvement of unexplainable phenomena, could not be solved. Until a lucky break or reasonable explanation came around, those cases were filed away under the letter “X.”

In 1992, television writer Chris Carter, sensing a renewed curiosity in paranormal entertainment, used the legendary FBI paranormal investigation department as a springboard for a new television series called The X Files. Carter combined his obsession for conspiracy with his love of the cult favorite 1970’s series Kolchak: The Night Stalker in making his long-running series. Unlike Kolchak, however, The X Files exploded out of its initial “cult” status to become a runaway hit for the Fox network.

Carter, banking on his audience’s obsession for unsolvable mysteries and complex conspiracies, immediately teased viewers in the opening sequence of every show with one of two enigmatic taglines, “The Truth Is Out There,” and “Trust No One.” Both phrases quickly became show mantras.

The pilot for The X Files did what a good pilot should, setting the tone for what would be the rest of the show. Agent Dana Scully, a young FBI agent forensics specialist and super-cynic, was assigned to work with maverick agent Fox Mulder (nicknamed “Spooky” by his colleagues) on a series of unsolvable cases. To Mulder, Scully was an interloper, sent by the forces-that-be to debunk his work. Scully, though she maintained she was there to add an element of scientific legitimacy to Mulder’s investigations, was really there to perform the exact function that Mulder had feared. The FBI hierarchy, afraid of what Mulder might discover, sent Scully in to keep watch over and wreak havoc on the investigations of Mulder. Slowly but surely, however, Scully was won over by Mulder, due to episode after episode of evidence that suggested the paranormal did in fact exist and that Mulder might not be crazy after all.

Also learned in the pilot episode was the force that drove Mulder to the FBI in the first place. Believing his sister to have been abducted by aliens, Mulder was obsessed with finding her, and had to investigate the paranormal to achieve that goal. A man on a mission.

Standing in the path of Mulder’s quest was the ever-present Cigarette-Smoking Man (a.k.a. Cancer Man), aptly named for the ubiquitous presence of cigarettes in his possession. Cigarette-Smoking Man’s pan-optic surveillance of Mulder’s activities gave him dominion over every investigation. If Mulder got too close to discovering something that made his bosses feel uncomfortable, Cigarette-Smoking Man simply pulled the rug out from under him.

Mulder and Scully made nice foils for each other, a right-brain and left-brain combination of personalities that made them perfectly complementary, and it wasn’t long before the characters developed a deep friendship (and a subtle romantic tension). But the agenting duo wasn’t completely alone in conspiracy-land. They had occasional help from their irritatingly ineffectual supervisor, Skinner, and were always able to garner obscure information from a trio of high-tech computer geeks known as The Lone Gunmen. Never the kind of gents that would be particularly busy with dates or any other sort of common social activity, the Gunmen seemed to be available day or night, ready to go with conspiracy info. In the early going, Mulder also got tantalizing insider info from a mysterious figure whom he aptly (and amusingly) nicknamed “Deep Throat.”

The first season had a very similar flavor to Kolchak, moving from episode to episode with little in the way of common story threads connecting them. In “Jersey Devil,” Mulder and Scully investigated a half-man/half-beast that had a taste for gnawing on human flesh. They went after werewolves, spooky preachers, teenagers gone haywire, chupachabras, modern-day vampires and dudes what had a taste for human livers (sans favre beans). Entertaining though these episodes were, Carter quickly discovered that establishing bigger and bigger conspiracies that ran from episode to episode, month to month, year to year, even the entire length of the series—this was the irresistible bait that would keep audiences coming back for more.

By the second and third seasons, most episodes contained threads that were all connected to a common web of conspiracy. Men in Black, the “greys” (a cute name for aliens), genetic experiments, a new breed of supermen gone wild—everything seemed to be pieces of a large mosaic mystery that would eventually reveal itself in its entirety. Though these long-running story arcs made The X-Files a success, they may have also fueled critics of the show that complain that the truth is out there, but where?? As a result of this multi-year tease, The X-Files has come down with a case of the Gilligan’s Island Syndrome—if Mulder and Scully ever finally got to the bottom of it all (i.e. get off the island), the series would be over.

After six seasons (and one X-Files movie) of shocks, enigmas and conspiracies, star David Duchovny (Mulder) decided to leave his The X-Files role. In the fall of 2000, Mulder was abducted himself, and though he would make occasional appearances in the episodes to come, Gillian Anderson’s Scully needed a new partner. Robert Patrick, of Terminator 2 fame, stepped into Spooky’s shoes as Special Agent John Dogget, now partly consumed with the search for Mulder.

The X-Files

The 2016 Revival.

There was a surprise 6 part revival of the series by Fox in 2016. It generated huge interest and hype but sadly failed to live up to expectations. Another short run series is planned for 2017.

“The Truth Is Out There” – Tagline.

production details
USA / Fox – Ten Thirteen / x50 minute episodes / 10 September 1993 – 2002

Creator and Executive Producer: Chris Carter / Music: Mark Snow

cast
David Duchovny as Fox Mulder
Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully
Robert Patrick as Agent John Doggett
Annabeth Gish as Agent Monica Reyes
Mitch Pileggi as Assistant Director Walter Skinner
Bruce Harwood as John Byers
Dean Haglund as Richard Langly
Tom Braidwood as Melvin Frohike
Bernie Coulson as Kenneth Soona
Mimi Rogers as Agent Diana Fowley
James Pickens, Jr. as Assistant Director Kersh
Charles Cioffi as Section Chief Scott Blevins

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TV

Christmas Princess (UP 2017, Nicole Munoz, Zak Santiago)

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Christmas Princess Nicole Munoz

Christmas Princess is the true story of Donaly Marquez who, through a childhood of neglect and abuse, achieved her dream of becoming a rose bowl princess. An inspirational story of resilience, strength and finding a family to call your own.

cast
Nicole Muñoz as Donaly Marquez
Rosa Blasi as Sara
Zak Santiago as Ignacio Marquez
Olivia Steele Falconer as Emily Marquez
Jaedon Siewert as Abraham Marquez
Lina Renna as Young Donaly
Paloma Kwiatkowski as Chloe
Ty Wood as Trent
Pendo Muema as Monique
Kalyn Miles as Maria
Kaaren de Zilva as Roberta
Garfield Wilson as Dr. Miller
Clay St. Thomas as Judge #1
Patti Allan as Judge #2
Natalie von Rotsburg as Judge #3

crew details
Director: Allan Harmon
Writer: Tracy Andreen

production details
Country: Canada
Network and Production Companies: UP
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: Sunday 10 December 2017

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TV

Christmas Reunion, A (Lifetime 2015, Catherine Hicks, Denise Richards)

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A Christmas Reunion Lifetime

In A Christmas Reunion a Madison Avenue executive, Amy, discovers an unusual Christmas surprise when she inherits her Aunt’s hometown bakery. The real surprise comes when she learns the other half of the bakery was left to her long-ago boyfriend, Jack.

Unresolved personal issues resurface between them, as the exes return home to co-manage the store, along with its traditional holiday cookie bake-off.

cast
Denise Richards as Amy Stone
Patrick Muldoon as Jack Evans
Jake Busey as Dylan Carruthers
Catherine Hicks as Aunt Linda
Parker Stevenson as Don Dupree
Patricia De Leon as Janette Crowder
Jon Briddell as Luke Crowder
Robert R. Shafer as Frank O’Brien
Anna Barnholtz as Chloe
John Colton as Steve Evans
Sandra Evans as Shari
Brody Fitzgerald as Young Jack Evans
Michael Gaglio as Earl Pratt, Sr.
Gib Gerard as Earl Pratt, Jr.
Joyce Greenleaf as Helen

crew details
Director: Sean Olson
Writers: Margaret Base, Mary Glenn, Sam Irvin, Sean Olson, Peter Sullivan, Michael Varrat

production details
Country: USA
Network and Production Companies: Lifetime – Hybrid
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From: 13 December 2015

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TV

Final Vision (ID 2017, Scott Foley, Dave Annable)

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Final Vision ID

Final Vision is a twisted psychological thriller and a true-crime drama based on the longest running criminal case in U.S. history. It’s the story of Jeffrey MacDonald (Foley), a handsome, Ivy League-educated U.S. Army Green Beret doctor, who was convicted of brutally murdering his pregnant wife and two young daughters in the middle of the night.

Told through the eyes of best-selling author Joe McGinniss (Annable), who was approached by MacDonald to write a book about his personal nightmare as he was about to go to trial.

cast
Scott Foley as Jeffrey MacDonald
Dave Annable as Joe McGinniss
John Doman as Bernie Segal
Lochlyn Munro as Wade Smith
Jessica Harmon as Colette MacDonald
Caroline Aaron as Leslie Sterling
Primo Allon as MP Sergeant
Julia Maren Baker as Kimberly MacDonald
Julia Benson as Nancy McGinniss
Baylee Breen-Wood as Kristen MacDonald
April Cameron as Nurse at St. Mary’s
Aaron Craven as James Blackburn
Bruce Dawson as Doctor
Parveen Dosanjh as Woman at Party
Lane Edwards as Brian Murtagh

crew details
Writer: Denis O’Neill
Director:  Nicholas McCarthy
Executive Producers: Angela Bromstad, Christine Connor, Linda Berman S

production details
Country:  USA
Network and Production Companies: ID – Lincoln Square Productions
Duration: 1×120 minute episode
Aired From:  Sunday 10 December 2017

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