"There's a perfectly rational reason for this pose, Mulder."
TV today too often relies on an overarching story. You can't wander in in the middle of a season and get the gist of characters, what makes them tick, and what the hell they're doing in any given episode. Granted, TV is made for mass consumption so it is not impossible to figure all of this out - it's just that much more of a pain in the ass. The X Files is "monster of the week." Every episode (at least in the first season) is self contained and that's a good thing.
Television has swung so far to the "really long movie" side of things that now it's time to find some sort of happy medium between "monster of the week" and "I missed episode 5 and now it's episode 6 and for some reason the protagonist is a fly." Maybe you're just watching the Fly.
A few TV shows that straddle the line: Justified, Burn Notice. Burn Notice is horrible. The main character looks like he super glues his upper lip to his front teeth. I can't take him seriously.
Jim Carey as the Mask.
Justified got away with having two seasons with the exact same story line but at least I could tune in at any point and say, "This show makes no fucking sense anyways."
The X Files was the best show of the 90s, hands down. It ranks up there with a bunch of shows I never watch that people tell me are great like the Twilight Zone, and Dr. Who. All the Dr. Who fans are about to shit a brick, I know.
Like Dr. Who, the X Files is endlessly rebootable. All the writers have to do is write two characters on opposite sides of a wall of sexual tension. The show writes itself from there.
Chris Carter is an alumni of California State University, Long Beach. So is Steve Martin. Stop saying my degree in history from that fine institution is worth nothing.