There are two songs in particular that I think are superior candidates for exactly this type of twisting of expectations. One is considered among the most romantic standards of all time, as well as the very model of slow-dance doo-wop song. The Flamingos recorded the ultimate version of “I Only Have Eyes For You.” I don’t know if it’s the bass line, those shoo-bop-shoo-bop or the incessantly repetitive tinkling of the same piano keys, but something about this song gives it an unsettling, almost macabre edge to it. There is a feeling to this song of something dark and dangerous beneath its lyrics of undying love.
Most X-Files fans know that agent Dana Scully and her father have a special relationship in which they called each other Ahab and Starbuck. In case you only know Starbuck as place at which to get ripped off for the same amount of coffee you could have gotten for less than half the price at the 7-Eleven, both those characters are central to Moby-Dick. Continuing the Moby-Dick allusion, Scully also adopts a dog named Queequeg, which is also the name of a harpooner in the novel.
I wish I could say more about Leonard from one of the absolute greatest X-Files episodes ever, Humbug. But to say much about this X-Files monster would be to give away too much.
Pay attention to that word-postmodern. Although there really isn’t that much postmodernity to this episode, it is no coincidence that the best X-Files are concerned with the reality of truth. The highlight for me is the two vastly different trips that Mulder takes to the local diner. I’m also strangely drawn to the quirky, bizarre, bird-like lady reporter. I always thought there was something there worth investigating.
Ribiso is actually the star of this story, but Jack Black makes a strong impression. The two play young best friends with Ribiso having great and scary powers to control electricity. The episode is titled “D.P.O.’ and it aired early in Season 3. Ribisi underplays and Jack Black overplays to create a dynamic duo of teenage angst that eventually goes all Carrie White.
That the X-Files went downhill following the departure of David Duchovny cannot be denied by…