A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show deals with a vast conspiracy of lies and cover-ups and alludes to the real-life corruptibility of government. Scully and Mulder often break the law to get the information they're looking for. However, the partners treat each other with care and kindness even if they often disagree.
Positive Role Models
Mulder and Scully have a relationship of equals, devoid of traditional male dominance. They are also very loyal to each other. Scully's approach is more intellectual, while Mulder believes in conspiracies and the supernatural. The two are in pursuit of justice but occasionally go against the law when they believe they're right. They demonstrate curiosity, communication, and teamwork.
Violence & Scariness
Most episodes have scary elements, some with gruesome creatures and behavior. Some episodes include strong violence, including stabbings, gunfights, and physical violence -- some very graphic.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some sexual tension between main characters, and some episodes deal with sexuality on a variety of levels (an alien shape-shifts from male to female after having sex, for example) while others don't address it at all. Rare allusions to unusual sexual practices, such as inbreeding.
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Mild profanity, such as "damn," "hell," and "ass."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A recurring bad guy smokes cigarettes constantly.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The X-Files is a dark sci-fi drama that can be very scary at times, sometimes depicting monsters, deformed humans, disturbing scenarios, and violent acts. The show's mythology centers on government conspiracy, cover-ups, and the possibility of alien abductions. Younger viewers may be frightened by the possibility of abduction and scared by the often-graphic images of slimy creatures and the constant, tension-building entrances into dark holes, pits, and sewers.
Is It Any Good?
Both creepy and intriguing, this series was hugely popular during its nine-year run on Fox in the 1990s and early 2000s (at the time of review it airs in syndication and is available on DVD). Teens who like sci-fi or horror will enjoy The X-Files for its complexity and rich character development. Parents may want to preview episodes for appropriateness for younger or more sensitive teens, since some shows are scarier than others. Viewers jumping into the middle of a season may be confused by the episodes dealing with detailed backstories.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.