We think this TV show stands out for:
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What 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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
THE X-FILES features Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) as FBI agents charged with investigating cases that involve the paranormal. Along with dark, often-scary episodes about specific creatures or unexplained events, the show revolves around a mythology of government conspiracies and cover-ups related to extraterrestrials. Mulder is deeply suspicious of the government and believes fervently in the existence of extraterrestrials, due to the fact that he remembers his sister being abducted by aliens when he was a child. Scully, a trained medical doctor, starts out as a skeptic assigned to the X-Files to debunk Mulder's unpopular theories, but she eventually comes to believe in the paranormal.
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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Mulder and Scully's partnership on The X-Files. Why do they make such a good team? What does each bring to their relationship?
Families can also discuss their beliefs about aliens. Is there life on other planets? If so, what form do you think it might take? Have humans already had contact with alien beings? Are aliens to be feared or sought out? What types of paranormal or spiritual situations do your family members believe in (such as ESP, psychics, or faith healing)?
Find more TV shows that help kids build character.
For kids who love science fiction
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.