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The Be All and End All of Fandom

Years ago, a very prominent Stargate fanfiction writer used the title of this entry to describe The X-Files fandom, and I couldn't agree with her more. Yes, it's true that I have more friends from Stargate and Firefly changed my life in many, many ways (gods, how many of you do I know purely from that one little show that could?), but when it comes to truly changing everything, only one show gets the crown: The X-Files.

Granted, a lot of that has to do with simple timing, but it's true. The X-Files was the first show to have a serious internet fandom, and that made fandom accessible to the masses. No longer was fanfiction printed in 'zines and distributed to a small group of people. Anyone, anywhere, could read it, and things just went from there.

I remember printing out fanfiction from the one computer I knew of with an internet connection and reading it voraciously in college. I printed out covers of magazines and taped them to my wall. And most of all, I printed out lists of episode titles so I knew I wouldn't miss any in my VHS recordings of them. Finally, I chatted with other XF fans (XPhiles came later) on websites with amazing names like "The David Duchovny Estrogen Brigade" and "The Church of the Enigmatic Saint Scully."

Ah, good times.

But times long since past, it seemed. For as much as I love The X-Files, lets face it: they stayed too long at the party. The last two to three seasons can be painful to watch (though Doggett and Reyes were not the problem, and a few episodes are stellar), and the ill-advised 2008 movie is downright awful, minus one scene that doesn't do enough to save the movie from itself.

So I was always okay with no more Files.

In fact, just a few months ago, I was talking to lemonpiefirefly and she mentioned those persistent rumors of an X-Files sequel. My response?

"They did make an X-Files sequel. It's called Fringe, and it's fucking awesome."

I stand by that.

And yet, and I can't help but be curious and even, dare I say it, a bit excited by the fact that we're getting six more episodes of The X-Files after all.

Why?

Well, because as the end of the day, taj_mahal07 had it right when she said:

"Even if it ain't all grand, I owe that fandom so much."

Indeed. Sure, I loved Trek and spent hours on the phone dissecting every episode of TNG with my best Trekkie friend. And Star Wars is my geek origin story, but TXF changed the world for me. No longer was my geek talk limited to a handful of people I knew "in real life" who were into the same things. The show was big enough that it went mainstream (A) and (B) the internet put all us geeks in contact with one another, and therein was the beginning of fandom as we know it now. In fact, I'd go so far as to say The X-Files was the start of the current "geeks are awesome" mentality we see in pop culture. Because once we all knew we were not only not alone, but legion, well...there you go.

Would this have happened eventually without TXF? Yes. Undoubtedly. But the fact that an epic genre show happened to debut just as folks were starting to get this magical thing called the internet in their homes was a perfect storm of wonderful that cannot ever be duplicated, and we geeks should be grateful for it.

So, yes, I'll be there for this next installment of The X-Files. Like when I locked my door and turned off the ringer on my phone and unplugged my answering machine every Sunday night back in the day, I'll be there. I owe TXF too much not to be.

Not to mention, they're doing this the way I always said I would have. A miniseries. Six episodes is perfect. Now, ditch the conspiracy and the aliens, give us some monsters of the week, and sprinkle in a healthy dose of snark, and you'll be on to something, Chris.

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