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'Mulder, have you noticed that we're on television?': 'X-Cops', style and innovation


'X-Cops' innovates on The X-Files formula through stylistic variation and disruption of standard narration, as previous episodes had done. This paper argues that this under-discussed episode also highlights key concerns of the series, mixing scientific rationality with tabloidism, and interrogating the concepts of 'truth' and 'reality' by combining The X-Files' usual style with COPS' reality television format. Reality television, in content and form, raises many questions about how 'truth' or 'reality' is framed and conveyed, and how we respond to it. Furthermore, mixing a 'quality' television drama with lowbrow infotainment challenges viewers to reflect on value judgements about types of television and types of knowledge.

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