Television rewind

Spencer Doar

Some television audiences right now are mired in turbulence, caught in a flux of dissatisfaction.  First, the fourth season of “Arrested Development” got a pretty universal ‘meh’ from critics, mired in inadequacy via comparisons to its earlier three seasons.  Then, “Game of Throne’s” so-called “Red Wedding” episode of the third season became television’s shot heard round the world (to mixed reception, “GoT” creator George R.R. Martin watches some reaction videos here).   

Why?  Shouldn’t we all be ecstatic that “Two and Half Men” and “Big Bang Theory” don’t have to be the norm?  That as an audience we’re getting something unique and unexpected that we need to adjust to?  That the world of entertainment doesn’t solely need to be clichéd rehashes of Disney tropes?  We should appreciate that.   (But “Arrested” did lose a little something and Netflix stock even dipped after the release.)

With that in mind, I’m reminded of two other amazingly written, intricate television series that deserve a (re)visit: “The X-Files” and “Twin Peaks,” both of which are streaming on Netflix and Hulu.  David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks,” a darkly amusing tale of lust, loss and secrets in a small Washington town, caught an early death and a cult following much like “Arrested Development.”  “The X-Files” rang in at nine seasons of paranormal tension, making it a less digestible morsel than the two, shorter seasons of “Twin Peaks.” The trick with “X-Files” is to watch the overarching alien mythology episodes (as opposed to the self-contained “Monster of the Week” episodes which make up the majority of the series).  Watching those select episodes pare the "The X-Files" into a miniseries pertaining to a deeply embedded government conspiracy.