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.

Fox

Fox

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Bro and Tell

BFFs And Night Court For Sports

Bromance and Comeuppance On Two New Comedy Crib Series

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“Silicon Valley meets Girls meets black male educators with lots of unrealized potential.”

That’s how Carl Foreman Jr. and Anthony Gaskins categorize their new series Frank and Lamar which joins Joe Schiappa’s Sport Court in the latest wave of new series available now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. To better acquaint you with the newbies, we went right to the creators for their candid POVs. And they did not disappoint. Here are snippets of their interviews:

Frank and Lamar

via GIPHY

IFC: How would you describe Frank and Lamar to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Carl: Best bros from college live and work together teaching at a fancy Manhattan private school, valiantly trying to transition into a more mature phase of personal and professional life while clinging to their boyish ways.

IFC: And to a friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Carl: The same way, slightly less coherent.

Anthony: I’d probably speak about it with much louder volume, due to the bar which would probably be playing the new Kendrick Lamar album. I might also include additional jokes about Carl, or unrelated political tangents.

Carl: He really delights in randomly slandering me for no reason. I get him back though. Our rapport on the page, screen, and in real life, comes out of a lot of that back and forth.

IFC: In what way is Frank and Lamar a poignant series for this moment in time?
Carl: It tells a story I feel most people aren’t familiar with, having young black males teach in a very affluent white world, while never making it expressly about that either. Then in tackling their personal lives, we see these three-dimensional guys navigate a pivotal moment in time from a perspective I feel mainstream audiences tend not to see portrayed.

Anthony: I feel like Frank and Lamar continues to push the envelope within the genre by presenting interesting and non stereotypical content about people of color. The fact that this show brought together so many talented creative people, from the cast and crew to the producers, who believe in the project, makes the work that much more intentional and truthful. I also think it’s pretty incredible that we got to employ many of our friends!

Sport Court

Sport Court gavel

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Joe: SPORT COURT follows Judge David Linda, a circuit court judge assigned to handle an ad hoc courtroom put together to prosecute rowdy fan behavior in the basement of the Hartford Ultradome. Think an updated Night Court.

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Joe: Remember when you put those firecrackers down that guy’s pants at the baseball game? It’s about a judge who works in a court in the stadium that puts you in jail right then and there. I know, you actually did spend the night in jail, but imagine you went to court right that second and didn’t have to get your brother to take off work from GameStop to take you to your hearing.

IFC: Is there a method to your madness when coming up with sports fan faux pas?
Joe: I just think of the worst things that would ruin a sporting event for everyone. Peeing in the slushy machine in open view of a crowd seemed like a good one.

IFC: Honestly now, how many of the fan transgressions are things you’ve done or thought about doing?
Joe: I’ve thought about ripping out a whole row of chairs at a theater or stadium, so I would have my own private space. I like to think of that really whenever I have to sit crammed next to lots of people. Imagine the leg room!

Check out the full seasons of Frank and Lamar and Sport Court now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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