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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Holiday Extra Special

Make The Holidays ’80s Again

Enjoy the holiday cheer Wednesday December 21 at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Whatever happened to the kind of crazy-yet-cozy holiday specials that blanketed the early winter airwaves of the 1980s? Unceremoniously killed by infectious ’90s jadedness? Slow fade out at the hands of early-onset millennial ennui? Whatever the reason, nixing the tradition was a huge mistake.

A huge mistake that we’re about to fix.

Announcing IFC’s Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special, starring Tony Hale. It’s a celeb-studded extravaganza in the glorious tradition of yesteryear featuring Bridget Everett, Jo Firestone, Nick Thune, Jen Kirkman, house band The Dap-Kings, and many more. And it’s at Joe’s Pub, everyone’s favorite home away from home in the Big Apple.

The yuletide cheer explodes Wednesday December 21 at 10P. But if you were born after 1989 and have no idea what void this spectacular special is going to fill, sample from this vintage selection of holiday hits:

Andy Williams and The NBC Kids Search For Santa

The quintessential holiday special. Get snuggly and turn off your brain. You won’t need it.

A Muppet Family Christmas

The Fraggles. The Muppets. The Sesame Street gang. Fate. The Jim Henson multiverse merges in this warm and fuzzy Holiday gathering.

Julie Andrews: The Sound Of Christmas

To this day a foolproof antidote to holiday cynicism. It’s cheesy, but a good cheese. In this case an Alpine Gruyère.

Star Wars Holiday Special

Okay, busted. This one was released in 1978. Still totally ’80s though. And yes that’s Bea Arthur.

Pee Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special

Pass the eggnog, and make sure it’s loaded. This special is everything you’d expect it to be and much, much more.

Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special premieres Wednesday December 21 at 10P on IFC.

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It Ain't Over Yet

A Guide to Coping with the End of Comedy Bang! Bang!

Watch the final episodes tonight at 11 and 11:30P on IFC.

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After five seasons and 110 halved-hour episodes, Scott Aukerman’s hipster comedy opus, Comedy Bang! Bang!, has come to an end. Fridays at 11 and 11:30P will never be the same. We know it can be hard for fans to adjust after the series finale of their favorite TV show. That’s why we’ve prepared this step-by-step guide to managing your grief.

Step One: Cry it out

It’s just natural. We’re sad too.
Scott crying GIF

Step Two: Read the CB!B! IMDB Trivia Page

The show is over and it feels like you’ve lost a friend. But how well did you really know this friend? Head over to Comedy Bang! Bang!’s IMDB page to find out some things you may not have known…like that it’s “based on a Civil War battle of the same name” or that “Reggie Watts was actually born with the name Theodore Leopold The Third.”

Step Three: Listen to the podcast

One fascinating piece of CB!B! trivia that you might not learn from IMDB is that there’s a podcast that shares the same name as the TV show. It’s even hosted by Scott Aukerman! It’s not exactly like watching the TV show on a Friday night, but that’s only because each episode is released Monday morning. If you close your eyes, the podcast is just like watching the show with your eyes closed!

Step Four: Watch brand new CB!B! clips?!

The best way to cope with the end of Comedy Bang! Bang! is to completely ignore that it’s over — because it’s not. In an unprecedented move, IFC is opening up the bonus CB!B! content vault. There are four brand new, never-before-seen sketches featuring Scott Aukerman, Kid Cudi, and “Weird Al” Yankovic ready for you to view on the IFC App. There’s also one right here, below this paragraph! Watch all four b-b-bonus clips and feel better.

Binge the entire final season, plus exclusive sketches, right now on the IFC app.

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Everybody Sweats Now

The Four-Day Sweatsgiving Weekend On IFC

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This long holiday weekend is your time to gobble gobble gobble and give heartfelt thanks—thanks for the comfort and forgiveness of sweatpants. Because when it comes right down to it, there’s nothing more wholesome and American than stuffing yourself stupid and spending endless hours in front of the TV in your softest of softests.

So get the sweats, grab the remote and join IFC for four perfect days of entertainment.

sweatsgiving
It all starts with a 24-hour T-day marathon of Rocky Horror Picture Show, then continues Friday with an all-day binge of Stan Against Evil.

By Saturday, the couch will have molded to your shape. Which is good, because you’ll be nestled in for back-to-back Die Hard and Lethal Weapon.

Finally, come Sunday it’s time to put the sweat back in your sweatpants with The Shining, The Exorcist, The Chronicles of Riddick, Terminator 2, and Blade: Trinity. They totally count as cardio.

As if you need more convincing, here’s Martha Wash and the IFC&C Music Factory to hammer the point home.

The Sweatsgiving Weekend starts Thursday on IFC

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