DID YOU READ

5 Modern Mysteries the New X-Files Could Tackle

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This week, after months of rumors, the return of the ’90s cult series The X-Files was officially confirmed and, like Mulder, we want to believe. Creator Chris Carter and leads David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are poised to come back for the six-part run and hopefully with them the scores of unforgettable characters like Smoking Man, Frohike, and Doggett. (Okay, maybe not Doggett.)

But airing over 20 years ago, plots to early episodes have begun to show their age. In fact, writer William Gibson recently confessed on Twitter that Carter rejected an episode he pitched because it involved a “haunted website” and Carter feared the audience wouldn’t understand what a website is.

Obviously, our resurrected Mulder and Scully will be investigating a far different world than the one in the mid-’90s, and that would call for a more modern collection of mysteries to explore. And in case the writing staff has a little trouble coming up with unexplained phenomena, we’d like to offer a few suggestions.

So blow the dust off that 20-year-old X-Files spec script and change all the Area 51 references to one of the following:

5. What (or who) is behind the Siberian Sinkholes?

North of the Arctic circle in the remote Siberian peninsula of Yamal, a crater roughly 100-feet wide and 115-feet deep appeared after an explosion last summer. Since then, two other massive sinkholes surfaced in northern Russia. Experts have posited everything from shale gas explosions to meteorite strikes as the cause, but nothing’s been confirmed. In that case, may we suggest Yeti meth labs?

Screen capture: YouTube/TomoNews UA

Screen capture: YouTube/TomoNews UA


4. What caused the Norwegian Spiral?

In 2009, Norway was treated to an extraordinary light show when a dazzling spiral appeared in the night sky like a vortex into another dimension. Appearing for 2-3 minutes, the startling spectacle spawned dozens of theories even after Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed it was due to a failed missile test. But as thrilling as that explanation still is, we’re sure Chris Carter and the X-Files braintrust could come up with something much more interesting like a surface-to-air death ray or wormhole generator.

YouTube/Mike Stratton

YouTube/Mike Stratton


3. Who (or what) concocted the Cicada 3301 puzzles?

Between 2012 and 2014, each time on January 5th, a series of complex and elaborate puzzles appeared in countries around the world and were attributed to the shadowy organization known only as Cicada 3301. Accompanied by a Banksy-esque cicada logo, the nearly unsolvable puzzles were claimed to be a recruitment vehicle for “intelligent individuals” and contained elements from cryptography, mathematics, literature, and philosophy. Even now, the identity of Cicada 3301 remains unknown, with suspects ranging from the CIA to MI6, but perhaps it’s just an alien defense force seeking our world’s best minds à la The Last Starfighter.


2. What’s Bloop?

If there’s anything that would make X-Files fans lose their minds, it’s if the Cthulhu mythos was introduced to its universe — and an ultra-low-frequency deepwater sound known as Bloop would be the perfect conduit. Recorded in 1997 by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Bloop originated in the south Pacific Ocean and was audible for over 3,100 miles. While it resembled the sound of a living creature, it was much, much louder. It’s since been attributed to a large underwater icequake, but a Lovecraftian elder god would make for a far more interesting story arc.


1. Are the Lone Gunmen somehow connected to the 9/11 attacks?

To call it an “eerie coincidence” would be putting it mildly: In March 2001, the pilot episode of The X-Files spin-off The Lone Gunmen aired and revolved around government agents orchestrating a plot to hijack a plane and fly it into the World Trade Center — six months before the real-life attacks. An unsettling coincidence to be sure, but the goals and methods in the episode mirror modern-day “Inside Job” conspiracy theories almost exactly. The plucky trio managed to thwart the attack in their world, but maybe an exploration into a parallel “What If” scenario could create a very resonate storyline in our post-9/11 reality.

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Fox

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Car Notes

Portlandia Keeps Road Rage In Park

Get a lesson in parking etiquette on a new Portlandia.

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It’s the most American form of cause and effect: Park like a monster, receive a passive-aggressive note.

car notes note

This unofficial rule of the road is critical to keeping the great big wheel of car-related Karma in balance. And naturally, Portlandia’s Kath and Dave have elevated it to an awkward, awkward art form in Car Notes, the Portlandia web series presented by Subaru.

If you’ve somehow missed the memo about Car Notes until now, you can catch up on every installment online, on the IFC app, and on demand. You can even have a little taste right here:

If your interest is piqued – great news for you! A special Car Notes sketch makes an appearance in the latest episode of Portlandia, and you can catch up on it now right here.

Watch all-new Portlandia Thursdays at 10P on IFC.

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Naked and Hungry

Two New Ways to Threeway

IFC's Comedy Crib gets sensual in time for Valentine's Day.

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This week, two scandalous new digital series debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib.
Ménage à Trois invites people to participate in a real-life couple’s fantasy boudoir. And The Filling is Mutual follows two saucy chefs who invite comedians to make food inspired by their routines. Each show crosses some major boundaries in sexy and/or delicious ways, and each are impossible to describe in detail without arousing some awkward physical cravings. Which is why it’s best to hear it directly from the minds behind the madness…

Ménage à Trois

According to Diana Kolsky and Murf Meyer, the two extremely versatile constants in the ever-shifting à trois, “MàT is a sensually psychedelic late night variety show exploring matters of hearts, parts and every goddamn thing in between…PS, any nudes will be 100% tasteful.”

This sexy brainchild includes sketches, music, and props that would put Pee-wee’s Playhouse to shame. But how could this fantastical new twist on the vanilla-sex variety show format have come to be?

“We met in a UCB improv class taught by Chris Gethard. It was clear that we both humped to the beat of our own drum; our souls and tongues intermingled at the bar after class, so we dove in head first.”

Sign me up, but promise to go slow. This tricycle is going to need training wheels.

The Filling is Mutual

Comedians Jen Saunderson and Jenny Zigrino became best friends after meeting in the restroom at the Gotham Comedy Club, which explains their super-comfortable dynamic when cooking with their favorite comedians. “We talk about comedy, sex, menses, the obnoxiousness of Christina Aguilera all while eating food that most would push off their New Year’s resolution.”

The hook of cooking food based off of comedy routines is so perfect and so personal. It made us wonder about what dishes Jen & Jenny would pair with some big name comedy staples, like…

Bill Murray?
“Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to… Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to avoid doing any kind of silly Groundhog Day reference.” 

Bridget Everett?
“Cream Balls… Sea Salt encrusted Chocolate Ganache Covered Ice Cream Ball that melt cream when you bite into them.” 

Nick Kroll & John Mulaney? 
“I’d make George and Gil black and white cookies from scratch and just as we open the oven to put the cookie in we’d prank ’em with an obnoxious amount of tuna!!!”

Carrie Brownstein & Fred Armisen? 
“Definitely a raw cacao “safe word” brownie. Cacao!”

Just perfect.

See both new series in their entirety on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Dark Arts

Foot Fetish Jesus And Other Nightmares

Meet the minds behind Comedy Crib's latest series, Quirks and The Mirror.

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The Mirror and Quirks are really, really strange. Deeply disturbing yet hauntingly beautiful. But you really don’t need to read a synopsis of either of the aforementioned shows to understand the exact variety of nightmare-bonkers comedy these shows deliver — that’s why the good lord made links. Instead, take a peek behind the curtain and meet the creators.

Quirks

Let’s start with Kevin Tosi. Kevin does the whole show by himself. That doesn’t mean he’s a loner — Kevin has a day job with actual humans. But that day job is copywriting. So it’s only natural that his suppressed demons would manifest themselves in biting cartoon form, including “Foot Fetish Jesus”, in ways that somehow speak to all of us. If only all copywriters channeled their inner f*ckedupness into such…expressive art.

The Mirror

Onward to the folks at Wham City Comedy.

These guys aren’t your typical comedy collective in that their work is way more left-field and even elevated than your standard digital short. More funny weird than funny ha-ha. They’ve done collaborations with musicians like Beach House, Dan Deacon & Wye Oak, television networks (obviously), and others. Yeah they get paid, but their motivation feels deeper. Darker. Most of them are video artists, and that explains a lot.

See more of The Mirror and Quirks on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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