In my fanatical compulsion to own the entire nerd media canon, I have become something of a completist. Which means that I bought all seven seasons of "The West Wing" on DVD even though, well, the last two seasons weren't so great. And I bought all seven seasons of Buffy even though, well, the last two seasons weren't so great. And, in case the Vegas odds makers are reading this, I'll confess right here and now that I'll likely figure out a way to sell enough plasma to buy this behemoth:
It's "The X-Files" in its entirety -- all nine seasons plus the "Fight the Future" movie plus nine hours of commentary and extras -- all in one neatly boxed DVD set, complete with a giant scary eye on the side of it. It clocks in at $329.98, which is roughly 36 bucks a season -- pretty much a bargain, especially since Fox was selling seasons one through nine for roughly $80 to $90 each up until a couple years ago. (Which is why I never did buy them originally.)
So why would I cough up more than 300 bucks for 61 DVDs of X-Files goodness, especially when the last two seasons maybe weren't so great? Well, for one thing, because it means 201 hours of looking at this:
But more importantly, it'll be fun to go back and watch this series evolve from a little-known cult show about a fanatic who believed in aliens and his straight-laced partner who did not into a show that became a cultural phenomenon that didn't quite know what to do with itself at the end. Even though, in my opinion, the mythology shows wore out their welcome somewhere around season four, there were so many bright, brilliant moments in "The X-Files'" run that none of that really mattered.
And here's why: because it was the first show since "The Twilight Zone" to take its intention to scare the bejeezus out of its viewers seriously. We had episodes like "Squeeze" and "Tooms" about a killer who awoke every few decades to eat human livers. We had "Irresistible" about a serial killing fetishist -- an episode I'm not too ashamed to admit had me sleeping with the lights on for a night or two. That was before I lost a few more nights' sleep with "Home," with its inbred killers and their limbless mom.
At the same time, though, this show could make you laugh -- with circus freaks in "Humbug," babies with tails in "Small Potatoes," a single-minded prognosticator in "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose," Charles Nelson Reilly in "Jose Chung's from Outer Space," and Luke Wilson's buck teeth meeting "Rashomon" in "Bad Blood." In the end, "The X-Files" tried myriad things -- and miraculously succeeded nine times out of ten. Not a bad ratio at all.
Okay, I've got to go hold a bake sale or something. I've got $329.98 to earn.