Originally Published in 2015
I almost lost my shit when I saw a scene from the new X-Files show in which Community alum Joel McHale was depicted as an Alex Jones-style online conspiracy reporter—and declared that 9/11 was a “false flag.”
The slickly-produced series preview, The X-Files Re-Opened, specifically cites 9/11 as the event that essentially “killed” the X-Files franchise and encouraged the public to put their full faith in the government. Further, it goes on to claim that since the show went off the air, many of the claims by conspiracy theorists have seemed to be been proven to be true.
Going in with that mindset, it’s no wonder that McHale’s character, Tad O’Malley—who is specifically referred to as a “conservative” talk show host—seems to be styled as a type of anti-hero on the show. (Though for all we know, there could be a twist where he’s working for the government spreading disinformation or whatever…I mean, this is the X-Files. “Trust no one.”)
As McHale describes the character, a very important point is made:
“He is very conservative. But his ideas about conspiracy theories match up exactly with Fox Mulder’s.”
Seen in this sense, O’Malley represents the “bridge” between the conspiracy/alien fads of the 1990s (which both were inspired by, and promoted with, X-Files) and the far more right-wing flavor of it in a post-9/11 world.
One has to wonder what audience the new X-Files is reaching for, here. In the mass media, conspiracy theorists and UFOologists are not only regularly ridiculed, but often branded to be “politically incorrect.” On the other hand, the public seems to be turning to “fringe” sources for their “news” more than ever before.
Will this new series connect with the public? Will topics such as the Roswell crash (which seems to be a large component of the plot, with the elaborate special effects to back it up) and “lizard men” click in 2016? Or will the entire venture be seen as some quaint, possibly corny throwback to the Nineties?
One thing is for sure: McHale’s Alex Jonesesque Tad O’Malley is definitely Chris Carter’s investment in the present and future X-Files franchise.
You can watch the The X-Files Re-Opened below: