This is the story of the panel the could have been… but it was not. It was nothing more than disrespect. A slap to the face of fans that still after 10 years (eons in television history) were still lovers of the show they followed for so long. Not always do you find that one thing that even eight years on still bothers you in ways this one does for me. Maybe it has to do with not being at live events for over a year and wanting to get back out there bringing these things to mind. Maybe I needed to write this as a "cautionary tale" before conventions open again for panelists to keep in mind before they sign up. But regardless of the reasons? The year? 2013. The panel? The X-Files at NYCC. The guests? David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson.
Now that we got the set up we can proceed with the roast. Growing up my best friend was obsessed with Agent Fox Mulder. I remember always wondering who that was until the day she introduced me to her beloved the first time I went to her house after school. The day after they aired a new episode, she would come to school and dish out all the spoilers to my ever-listening ears. She would watch it religiously and if there was no electricity she would go to her neighbor's home to not miss it- as millions did over the years. Now, I do not know much about conditions behind the scenes, but I do know about fan love and their loyalty once you become the one thing they turn to when life falls apart around them.
That said, flash forward to 2013 and I am excitedly texting my friend about how I was about to see her "husbando" in person at NYCC. She made me promise to take detailed notes and take pictures. However, what an underwhelming panel it was. It felt like you had to walk around eggshells with Duchovny and Anderson to make sure not to trigger their trauma about the long years they spent filming the show. I am not sure if it was in the spirit of being funny-slash-sarcastic, but it really did feel like two politicians trying to avoid answering questions. I looked for it on YouTube and it felt the same rewatching it years after. Even the host felt a little out of sorts at moments, as if they were not expecting these sorts of answers. Duchovny and Anderson just looked uncomfortable on stage.
It was as if the two stars knew they had to be there to talk and reminisce about The X-Files, but were not in a mood to speak about it. Yet at the same time, they did not want to discuss much of anything at all. So you can understand why that would make for a very fine needle to thread to make the panel worthwhile. As a fan, it was nice to see them. However, also as a fan, it was a little bit disappointing to sit through that panel. It was also incredibly fun to see them return to The X-Files just a few years after that. Funny how things work… I wonder when the next decade reunion happens if it will be a bit different or the same cycle. Granted, I know it must be "ugh"-inducing to be asked the same questions over and over to the point you need to step away from the franchise for a while, but there is nothing that is more of a turn-off when people are coming across like they're doing the audience (and the fans) a favor.