After seeing Breaking Bad kick some Emmy butt again, I was very happy for my second-favorite X-Files writer, Vince Gilligan, who has gone on to create a critically-acclaimed, fan-beloved TV show that I have never seen.
And then I thought: But what of my favorite X-Files writer, Darin Morgan?
Well, here’s what of him.
According to Wikipedia, Knower of All Things Editable by the Public, Darin Morgan was born in Syracuse, New York, and then immediately went to college. Actually, probably some stuff happened in between birth and college, but Wikipedia doesn’t want to bore you with that crap, so I guess I won’t either. Anyhow, at college (specifically, the film program at Loyola Marymount University), Morgan co-wrote a six-minute short film that led to a three-picture deal with TriStar. I basically copied and pasted that out of Wikipedia, if you were wondering. Also, oddly enough, there’s no mention of any TriStar films on his IMdb page or on Wikipedia, so I don’t know what happened there.
After writing a few screenplays that didn’t see the light of the big screen, a stroke of luck finally came to Darin Morgan, in the form of an invitation from his brother Glen (one-half of my third-favorite X-Files writing team of Morgan & Wong) to play a hideous mutated fluke monster on an episode of the X-Files that I only watched once because ewwww, hideous mutated fluke monster. Darin Morgan’s account of the experience leads me to believe that playing a hideous mutated fluke monster is worse than watching one onscreen, because he was stuck in that costume 20 hours a day during filming. Gross.
After his acting experience, Darin Morgan went on to write one of the best episodes of the X-Files ever: Humbug. He then wrote another of the best episodes of the X-Files ever, and also of TV ever, The Final Repose of Clyde Bruckman. All you young kids who have never watched the X-Files need to watch that episode right now, right away, because it is amazing.
He also wrote the very excellent War of the Coprophages, because “Cockroaches” is just too easy to spell, I guess, and then the hilarious and awesome and superb Jose Chung’s From Outer Space, which you also need to watch right now, right away, because Mulder shrieks like a girl.
He also wrote part of Quagmire, but wasn’t credited, except everybody knew the one part with the great dialogue was totally him, and then he disappeared from the X-Files forever. (Oh, except for playing a character in Small Potatoes, which I always forget, because Darin Morgan in person is less godlike than I imagine him to be.) Vince Gilligan showed up around that time to carry on the torch of awesomeness, but it wasn’t quite the same.
In the meantime, Darin Morgan was busy writing away for Millennium, which was scary and depressing and got cancelled before I could get past my fear of Lance Henriksen.
After the cancellation of Millennium, Morgan helped out on the Kolchak: The Night Stalker remake, which got cancelled almost as soon as it aired, and on Bionic Woman, which fell to the same fate.
But then — and I feel incredibly stupid for forgetting this, because I remember seeing his name in the credits and going “whooo! No wonder this show is awesome!” — Morgan worked as a consulting producer on Fringe.
But Fringe got cancelled too, because the TV gods hate nerds, so what’s Morgan been up to since then?
Well, he and brother Glen worked together on Tower Prep, a live-action drama for Cartoon Network, “The Network that’s Forgotten What Its Name Means.”
Since then … ummm, I don’t know. Modelling clothes for today’s modern hideous mutated fluke monster? Seriously, though, someone hire this guy to write things, right away, all the time, because he is the best.
So you’re a teenager and you suspect that you might be dating a monster from an episode of the X-Files. First off, I would like to congratulate you on your excellent — and retro! — taste in television. Secondly, I would like to assure you that you most certainly are dating an X-Files monster. The only thing is it’s hard to be sure which one. There were so many, after all, and in later seasons, they started getting repetitive. Also, I quit watching, so there will be no monsters from the Mulder-less episodes. In case you were wondering.
Anyway, here’s your handy Halloween ten-point guide to which X-Files Monster are you dating:
1. Might it be the Flukeman?
Ugh, you had better hope it’s not the Flukeman. But if you’re not sure, ask yourself these questions: Does my boyfriend look like a giant tapeworm? Does he live in the sewers? If the answer to either of these questions is “yes,” I would say you’re better off without him, especially if you had an affirmative response to the first question, because who dates a guy who looks like a giant tapeworm?
2. Maybe it’s Eugene Tooms, perhaps.
Oh, my, I should hope not. (Yes, I’m afraid that “hoping not” is how most of these entries are going to start out.) Sure, Eugene Tooms has the mutant ability of stretching random parts of his body like some kind of crazed Mr. Fantastic (OK, more crazed), but he mostly uses that ability to get into rooms and eat people’s livers. Which was probably not the first thought that entered your mind when I said that thing about “mutant stretching ability.” And I want you to know that’s all right.
3. It could be Lanny. Or Leonard.
You should hope not, right? Lanny and Leonard are conjoined twins in that really great episode that Darrin Morgan wrote: “Humbug.” Think Total Recall, and you’ve got the idea. (What? Yes, all my references are at least a couple of decades old. What of it?) Anyway, if dating mutated conjoined twins wasn’t horrific enough for you, the smaller one can detach from his brother and goes on a murderous rampage. It’s not like he’s killing people on purpose, since he’s only trying to find a better host to conjoin with, but he’s no less fatal.
4. “Virgil Incanto might be my boyfriend,” you say.
Yes, you had best hope you’re not seeing Virgil Incanto, also known as the “fat-sucking vampire.” Really, I think that’s all that needs to be said.
5. Or maybe it’s Robert Patrick Modell.
Also known as “Pusher.” Not for his penchant of pushing people after waiting in line for a while, but for his psychic ability to control their minds. You know, like Firestarter’s dad or Jesse Custer. (Whoo! Check out the dated references on those guys!) Anyway, you should certainly hope you’re not dating “Pusher,” because how would you even know?
6. Possibly it’s Leonard Morris Betts.
It’s Cancer Man! No, the other one! This gentleman monster, like many a movie monster before him, cannot be killed. Unlike many a movie monster before him, it’s because he’s one giant ball of cancer. Also, he has to eat cancer. Also, he does get killed by Scully, so there’s that.
7. Edward H. “Eddie” Van Blundt Jr. could be the one!
Of all the X-Files monsters you could be dating, this fellow is the most likely, because he can mutate himself to look like anyone, although usually Darin Morgan. But possibly anyone.
8. “The Great Mutato” would be an awful name for my boyfriend to have, you think.
A veritable Frankenstein’s monster, which is what this post would’ve been about if I could’ve thought of more than two questions (maybe some other time, faithful readers. Maybe some other time), the Great Mutato lives in a small town and is pretty hideous. Also, he likes Cher. *shudder* Oh, and your dates would consist of him drugging you and having his way with you while you’re unconcious. Fun times!
9. You could be dating the Invisible Men!
Does it seem like your boyfriend never shows up for your dates? Do your friends complain about the creepy pair of floating red eyes that always seem to accompany you? Then you could be dating one of the invisible men that for some reason had something to do with the Fountain of Youth, because that episode was really stretching there.
10. Or maybe it’s Wayne Weinsider.
Well, this one doesn’t seem so bad, because Wayne Weinsider is really Bruce Campbell. Also a demon. Who just really wants to have a normal human baby, dammit. Awwww, he seems sweet.
Q. Didja hear there’s yet another Final Destination movie opening this weekend?
A. Please tell me that Glen Morgan and James Wong have nothing to do with these things anymore.
Huzzah! It’s a battle of sexy fictional FBI ladies!
On the one hand, we’ve got the leggy Olivia Dunham of the Fringe unit.
On the other hand, we’ve got the petite Dana Scully of the X designated cases.
Our hands are so lucky!
But as lovely and talented and smart and athletic as these ladies are, one is surely superior to the other, right?
So which one is it?
Physicality. Olivia Dunham is an elegant blonde with a fondness for black undergarments. Dana Scully is a tiny little redhead who wears heels a lot. I’m not sure we ever saw her panties. Winner? I apologize to the classically beautiful Anna Torv, but my loyalties lie with Gillian Anderson. She’s just one fine lady. Dayummm.
Has a hotter partner? Oh, god, don’t make me choose! On the one hand, we’ve got Olivia Dunham’s team of Charlie Francis (cute, but not my type) (also: dead now), Walter Bishop (adorable, but a bit craggy), Astrid Farnsworth (sooooo pretty, and I covet her hair) and Peter Bishop, who is by far the hottest of the group and thus the one we will be counting as her hot partner.
On the other hand, we’ve got Fox Mulder.
Boy, are our hands … wait, does this joke seem familiar to anybody else? Anyway, Joshua Jackson and David Duchovny are both fine specimens of the male human being, and I’m not sure I could ever say one is hotter than the other. I’d say we’re going with Olivia, because Astrid tips the scales in her direction, but that wouldn’t be fair to Scully, because she only ever had a team of one other person. Winner? It’s a tie.
Is also a medical doctor? By gum, George, Scully is also a medical doctor. That woman was always doing autopsies and taking people’s pulses with her thumb (… why would she do that? Is it because the actress isn’t a medical doctor?) and other medical-type things. Olivia Dunham is not also a medical doctor, but she did used to be in the marines. But not as a medical doctor. I enjoy typing the words “medical doctor.” Winner? Scully.
Has psychic powers? Scully might’ve gotten psychic powers in those episodes of the X-Files after I quit watching because the show started to suck, but those don’t count. But Olivia has had psychic powers all along, even if they come and go and she’s not always that good at using them. Winner? Olivia Dunham.
Is fighting to save the universe? Though Scully doesn’t realize it at first, a large number of the X cases are part of a larger conspiracy to destroy the world! Or prepare it for an alien invasion. Or something. Look, they really didn’t explain it that thoroughly until the show started to suck. Though Olivia Dunham didn’t realize it at first, a large number of the Fringe cases are part of a larger Pattern that was completely dropped as a plot point after the first season, but are all somehow the result of Walter Bishop … who might have caused the eventual destruction of the universe! Winner? Olivia Dunham, because I said “fighting to save the universe,” not “fighting to save the world.”
Has better fashion sense? Due to her participation in the Cortexiphan trials as a young child, Olivia Dunham likes to blend in through the prodigous use of greys and blacks in her wardrobe. Possibly navy on occasion, but only if she’s feeling especially kicky. Scully, as a medical doctor and an FBI agent, also wears a lot of dark-colored suits. But sometimes she wears skirts. Winner? Scully, for showing off those gams. (Gams are legs, right? I don’t speak 1940s so good.)
Faces an eviler old man? You know who’s a pretty evil old man? The Cigarette Smoking Man is a pretty evil old man. You know who else is a pretty evil old man? Walternate. But you know who wins? Olivia, because she’s got two Walter Bishops to deal with.
Hooks up with her sexy partner? Oh, my, yes, these ladies are no fools. They both hooked up with their sexy partners like mad. Winner? Everybody wins, especially the ‘shippers.
Fights aliens? Scully fights aliens.
Fights her alternate universe self? Olivia Dunham fights her alternate universe self, and steals her boyfriend back from the hussy.
Has a better opening theme for their science fiction show? The X-Files theme is a classic, what with that spooky music and all. But you know what Fringe has got? Fringe has got a retro theme for that episode that was set in the ’80s. I love that theme. Winner? Olivia Dunham.
Overall winner? In a big fat surprise to me, who was secretly rooting for the beautiful Dana Scully, Olivia Dunham takes home the prize, probably because her show hasn’t started to suck yet.
If there’s one thing I hate, it’s a demonic possession story. (Why do I keep introducing things like that? There’s obviously a lot more than one thing I hate.) Anyway, one of the many, many, many things I hate is a demonic possession story. Why is that, you wonder? Well, this one’s not just due to my anti-social nature. It’s because demonic possession stories are really, really scary and they make me cry.
They’re worse than slasher films. They’re worse than ghost movies. They’re worse than vampire movies, back when vampire movies were scary and not love stories. (When was that? The 1920s?)
They are really, really scary and I hate them.
Which brings me to The Rite. Of course they film it only in darkly lit rooms and put Anthony Hopkins in it, because why not make it scarier, you know? And then they put creepy makeup on the possessed chick and toss her out in the street, why not.
Not that it doesn’t have its share of ridiculousness, like Priest Supermodel’s awful hair.
Or Anthony Hopkins being all, “Ooooh, my hand is shaking, which only happens in cases of demonic possession and never to old people because Parkinson’s or essential tremor, eeek, I’m afraid.”
And it’s not exactly breaking new ground, which is fine with me. You’ve seen one exorcism movie, you’ve avoided seeing them all. That’s my motto.
So, I know I’m always going on about pretty men, but there’s a whole plethora of awesome television ladies that I consider my best television girlfriends FOREVAH!
Why? Well, because I don’t particularly have any real friends, that’s why.
Anyway, here’s a list. (*sob*)
1. Sarah from Chuck. She’s so pretty. She kicks so much ass. She makes me want to join the CIA and save the world too. Also, she gets to hang out with Chuck and Casey, which would be fun. Not that I’m considering just spending time with her to get their numbers or something.
2. Tricia Helfer from anything she’s been in. (Except Two and a Half Men, because does she really need the paycheck that badly?!) From her awe-inspiring turn as Six on Battlestar Galactica to her guest spot on Burn Notice to that one episode of Chuck she was on, Tricia Helfer is gorgeous, ass-kicking and seems like she would be really fun to take out for margaritas. Please hang out with me, Tricia Helfer! We could be such great friends!
3. Jillian from The Biggest Loser. I’m not a big reality TV show fan, but my mother always sucks me into the Loser drama. Also, Jillian is soooo cool, the way she’s mean to all those fatties! Beat me like you beat the fatties, Jillian! I deserve it!
4. Parker from Leverage. Parker is a pretty blonde thief who is crazy. I would totally pull off a daring daylight heist with her (yes, I am totally all about daring daylight heists at this juncture in time). If she thinks I’d screw it up for her, I would be willing to treat her to some ice cream instead. Call me, Parker!
5. Scully from the X-Files. Petite, redheaded, brave, smart, gorgeous. I had a girl-crush on Scully before the word girl-crush existed. I’m too cowardly to fight monsters, but I would be totally willing to listen to her phone calls bitching about that damn Fox Mulder dragging her into another mess.
6. Chloe from Smallville. Smallville is a mess. A real tragedy of a show. Not because it’s meant to be a tragedy, but because it could be so much more. That said, there’s one thing worth watching it for, and that’s Chloe Sullivan, who recently gave up on journalism because the Smallvile writers hate her. You can do better, Allison Mack! I love you!
7. Crush from American Gladiators. She has the. Coolest. Hair. Love the corset-style costume! Also, she’s called Crush because she can crush you like the grape you are. Squish! That’s you! Squish! Not me, though, ’cause we’re friends.
8. Lisa Cuddy from House. Oh, Cuddy. You put up with House’s shenanigans like such a trooper! Also, you have a great body and you’re beautiful. Can you give me beauty tips? We could talk about Hugh Laurie together. It would be awesome.
9. “Hot Lips” Houlihan. Squee! That’s what I said when my girl Margaret and Hawkeye Pierce kissed for, like, 10 minutes in the last episode of M*A*S*H. It was the culmination of many childhood dreams for me. Margaret, call me. We’ll go out for some beers.
10. Veronica Mars from Veronica Mars. A scrappy little blonde detective who solved her best friend’s murder, all while being socially isolated at school. The episode where she stood up for a bullied girl by snarking at her own bullies made me realize: the writers of this episode either know the coolest teenagers ever or they totally don’t know any teenagers at all. In any case, I was smitten. Too bad she’s already got the best BFF already: Wallace. That’s okay, though. I am willing to take sloppy best friend seconds.
When I’m picking out a “Movie I’m not Seeing this Weekend,” I usually do a little research. Very little. I watch a 30-second to 2.5-minute trailer and pre-judge away! Sometimes, however, I get lucky, and the fourth (or so) movie in a series comes out, and I don’t even have to waste that much of my life watching the trailer because we already saw the trailer the first three times and why is there even a Final Destination franchise?
Created by James Wong and Glen Morgan, the series seems designed only to make people forget about their good work on X-Files episodes and also to prove that you can’t avoid death, which we know, because, hi! Mortality! I can only assume Glen is jealous of his more talented brother, Darin, aka “The Flukeman.” I don’t know why I assume that, I only know that I am jealous of the man for writing the four best X-Files episodes ever, and you know his brother would have to be too, right?
In conclusion, death takes us all (and sometimes in 3-D!). In further conclusion, if you want to see attractive teens bite it, you might as well watch that Rob Zombie Halloween II remake, even though I don’t know why you would want to do that either.
Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, someone decided to let David Lynch have his own television series. That’s crazy! Anyhow, the protaganist of the series was an offbeat FBI agent known as Coop. He had a full name, but no one called him that, because why would you when you can call someone Coop?
Coop stands tall as one of the best TV characters ever, in any galaxy.
But is he a better FBI agent than the X-Files’ Fox Mulder?
Winner? Fox Mulder. Sure, there was something a little bit sexy about our boy Coop, and he had a head of hair to die for, but I’m sure we all remember that infamous red Speedo scene in the X-files, right? Fox Mulder has a rockin’ body.
Winner? Fox Mulder. Look, I’m sorry, Coop, but Mulder solved an average of one case an episode, for about 20 cases each season and with five good seasons (I know there were more than five seasons. We’re counting good seasons) under his belt, that’s one hundred cases. What did you do? Found out “who killed Laura Palmer?” Well, bully for you, Coop, but Mulder probably could’ve done it AND not ended up trapped in some horrible alternate dimension. Just sayin’.
Winner? Coop, all the way. Mulder, despite his “I believe” mantra, really needed facts to solve his cases. Coop, on the other hand, had visions of a backwards-talking, dancing dwarf and was possibly not certifiably insane.
Winner? Tie. Mulder had Scully, but Coop had the mysterious “Diane.” It might have just been the name of his tape recorder, but you know what? I’m calling Diane his partner anyway.
Winner? Coop. Sure, he ended up in some horrible alternate dimension, but Mulder just starred in some crappy movie that no one wanted to see. Also, I think Coop saved some chick’s soul or something. Mulder just met some aliens.
Fox Mulder is an awful name. Horrible, horrible, horrible. You know the poor thing was bullied as a child. His classmates couldn’t have known then he would grow up to become an alien-obssessed crime-solving hottie! But Coop’s first name is Dale. The winner? Fox Mulder.
Mulder, by a very sensual nose.
Also, there’s this photo, that made everyone a little bit bi-curious: