The Lone Gunmen (TV Series 2001– ) Poster

(2001– )

User Reviews

Review this title
52 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
The Lone Gunmen were assassinated by the FOX network!
Catalyst-325 May 2001
The watchword of The X-Files may be "trust no one", but we can trust Vince Gilligan, John Shiban, and Frank Spotnitz to do right by that series, as well as this, its spinoff. I should have known better than to be skeptical of the team that brings out the best episodes of The X-Files. This show quickly put to rest my fears that it wouldn't work--it does, and in original and inventive ways.

(Contrary to popular belief, Chris Carter is NOT the only person who runs The X-Files or The Lone Gunmen, and certainly isn't the only genius behind either show's greatness!)

The pilot left something to be desired, and the first six episodes, while often better, were still trying to find the series' groove. Starting with "Planet of the Frohikes", though, the series experienced a renaissance, putting out fantastic episode after fantastic episode. I'm not ashamed to admit that I cried after "Tango de los Pistoleros" because it was so sad and sweet. "All About Yves", the season finale, also made me cry, but because I was laughing SO HARD. If you gave up after the pilot, believe me, you have missed a LOT.

The prospect of never getting a resolution to that cliffhanger sickens me. I will not settle for a resolution through The X-Files. For anyone else who is upset about the show's cancellation, please make sure you watch it if it gets reruns, and write to the FOX network and tell them that you want it back. This show is too wonderful to let go.
49 out of 56 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
A television tour-de-force, good characters
Monkasi11 May 2001
I thought that the 2000-2001 TV season would be a blah year for science fiction after watching the pilot of James Cameron's "Dark Angel." I now see the error of my ways thanks to the Johnny-come-lately superhit "The Lone Gunmen." If I had to sum this show up in a few words, they would be "a futuristic version of 'The A-Team.'" I say that not only because the series follows the extraordinary adventures of four men and one woman who drive around in a van, but also due to the artful mix of adventure, humor, and intrigue that one can look forward to every Friday night with this show. A lot of the pleasure of watching "The Lone Gunmen" derives from the entertaining chemistry among the five main characters (four journalists and a secret agent), all of whom have distinct personalities that transcend stereotype and reveal the best and worst of human nature.

Byers - The straight man. Psychologically, he's the least developed of the five. Cool and professional, he pretty much runs things in the Gunmen's underground newspaper office. Like Fox Mulder from "The X-Files" (the show from which this one was spun off), he wants the truth and nothing but. He's convinced that the U.S. government has countless skeletons in its closet, and he wants to see justice done on behalf of his fellow citizenry. All very admirable, but he doesn't exactly get a lot of yuks.

Frohike - My favorite character on the show. Short, balding, and homely, he nevertheless displays the most humanity of all of them. He's not perfect, and he's often the butt of jokes. Yet even as you laugh at him, you feel for him. He's always ready for action, but his courage is tempered by a somewhat painful realization of the fact that he's hardly flashy and dynamic. Perhaps it's this lack of cockiness that guides Frohike's moral compass; he never fails to help anyone in need. Funny, decent, and eternally sympathetic, Frohike truly is a nice guy who finishes last - but he'll always be first in my book.

Langley - The smarty-pants of the bunch. Nothing out of the ordinary can ever happen without Langley making some sardonic comment about it. With his greasy blond hair, elitist spectacles, and superciliously aquiline nose, Langley would be pretty hard to like if his withering remarks weren't so darn funny. I'd say that roughly 50 percent of the laughs on "The Lone Gunmen" come from Langley's bon mots.

Jimmy - All you really need to know about Jimmy Bond is that he was formerly the coach of a football team composed entirely of blind players. Jimmy is a robust idealist, his eyes so full of stars that one could almost call them galaxies. He can be mind-numbingly naive at times, but his sense of integrity never lets him rest when injustice is done. Don't be fooled by his valley-boy, surfer-dude inflection; Jimmy's more than just another dumb blond.

Eve - This shadowy operative looks and dresses like a grown-up version of Jessica Alba's character from "Angel," and has much of her attitude to boot. Though a casual acquaintance of The Lone Gunmen, Eve is ultimately a tough loner whose penchant for amorality is backed up by a British accent that fairly drips with condescension. Not somebody you'd want to cross, she is. And yet, like all of us, deep down inside all she probably really wants is a few friends. She does manage to help the Gunmen out of many a scrape, and there have been hints that her relationship with Jimmy is not as platonic as it first appears; stay tuned.

Five personalities, all of them strikingly different. Yet when they get together, magic inevitably accompanies the fireworks. It's brilliant ensemble playing like this that puts "The Lone Gunmen" a few notches above the other run-of-the-mill sci-fi shows. On second thought, maybe it's unfair to call it a sci-fi show. I enjoy it simply because it's a humorous, thought-provoking exploration of human nature.
27 out of 32 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Cancelled... dammit!
motor8921 July 2002
Amusing, enjoyable, interesting and doesn't insult the intelligence of the viewer? That makes it basically deadmeat as far as US TV executives are concerned. It's really depressing sometimes. We've finally got this ace show in the UK, and I come to IMDB to find out that it's been cancelled.

The Lone Gunmen is a spin-off from the X-Files - but don't let that put you off. This isn't the same kind of po-faced, labyrinthine nonsense that plagues the later years of the parent show. It's fun... and it's about a bunch of people who are individually very good at one thing, suck at everything else. Put them together as a group, and they somehow bungle their way through with amusing results.

It's class, and it's got characters you can identify with and like despite their flaws.
37 out of 48 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Why?
TheUnholyArmpit22 July 2002
Why was this show canceled? WHY????????

The core of the show was a few blokes, and a woman bodge their way through a different story every week, and despite themselves solve the story.

Nothing to mentally strenuous, but still entertaining. Its hard to combine action, comedy and a plot, but the creators of TLG have managed it. And even better than that not gone the teen/buffy route either.

But I go back to my first line... Why was it canceled? Its wasnt low quality, it was well written, shot, etc, etc, just like its stable mate The X-Files.

Please someone pick the franchise up!!!!!!
24 out of 35 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
This Is One Cool Show !
Thor200012 May 2001
This series is everything that the X-Files used to to be: fast, clever, brash and intelligent, but now they've added one more: funny! I love this show with its eccentric characters, intelligent stories and far-out adventures as it takes us into and tries to prove conspiracies and shadow governments. Almost believable in it's execution, the show deserves to be call a "break-out hit," and a worthy occupant in the vacuum left on Friday in the absence of "Freaky Links" and the new "Dark Shadows." If only "Scariest Places On Earth" ran one hour later, then I wouldn't have to tape and watch one or the other.
14 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Not That Bad - Better than Freaky Links
rich031819 March 2001
This show isn't as bad as some here believe it is. I think they were expecting more X Files or something. Yes, some of the jokes are bad, but some are pretty good, and I assume those who don't get them just don't understand the humor. I like the ideas for the plots, especially the episode about the water powered car. Poeple don't often think of the consequences of their actions, even if their actions are well-intended.

As for the idiot who complained about the grammatical issues with the name of the show, it's called a play on words. Yes, there's three guys. But, they're more or less working alone, so it's a lone group. If you don't get the title, no wonder you don't like the show. You probably don't understand the subtle humor.
10 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Surprisingly Good
Skyway Cowboy20 January 2002
The Lone Gunmen were such minor characters in the X-Files I wasn't sure if they'd make for good subjects of a TV show. I was wrong (sort of). The show turned out to be much better than could have been expected.

The producers did have the savvy to add a couple of additional characters which strengthened the basic structure of the show. Without Jimmy Bond and Yves Adele Harlow, I think the show would have gotten bogged down with the quirkiness of the trio. In addition, the new characters brought in some fresh blood, which pumped some life into the premise.

Jimmy Bond was a cartoonish, Dudley-Do-Rightish character, but somehow the actor managed to pull it off so that Jimmy was increasingly interesting, and started to have some depth to him.

Harlow, played by Zuleikha Robinson, gave the show some needed class and mystery. She also happens to have been one of the most stunningly beautiful women I've ever seen on TV, and one of the most exotic. Robinson gave Harlow a dry wit and subtle mannerisms that both contrasted with and played off the almost clownish humor of the other characters. Robinson needs more work in film or TV.

The main trio are solid actors, and their characters were interesting. The plots were odd, often humorous, and generally very interesting. The soundtrack to the show was very distinct; I liked the theme, and the way the theme worked its way into the incidental music of the show. Plus, there was some great use of current music, like that of Fatboy Slim.

Overall, this show had a lot of potential, but probably failed to attract viewers due to its offbeat characters. I felt this was a strength of the show, and provided some much-needed variety to network TV. I wish it had lasted at least a full season; the handful of episodes that were made will hopefully crop up somewhere - the Sci-Fi Channel, perhaps? - so that they can be taped.
11 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
GREAT SHOW! Sad ending...
feilertsen29 November 2002
I've just been watching through all the episodes of The Lone Gunmen series, and I LOVED IT!! It's a kind of a mentally twisted version of the x-files. Many of the plots are similar, but these guys are crazy!.. To bad it had to end after so few episodes. And the true Lone Gunmen finale which was an X-Files episode in season 9 was a terribly sad ending for these great guys...
7 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
A Mixed Bag
hillari27 March 2001
The Lone Gunmen were basically comic relief on "The X-Files". This show is proof that a little is usually just enough. This show doesn't know if it wants to be goofy or serious, and doesn't do well enough at either. Maybe Mr. Carter would have been better off turning the three conspiracy experts' exploits into a graphic novel, than into a weekly TV series.
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
This is a truly great show!!
Primate8419 July 2001
I've thoroughly enjoyed watching the Lone Gunmen ever since its pilot episode first aired a few months ago. Each episode is witty, original, and very, very funny! I also like its cool opening theme song. I'd say that my two favorite characters on the show are Langly and the naive but good-natured Jimmy Bond. Jimmy is a hilarious character who is dim without being too annoying, and I am deeply surprised that Stephen Snedden wasn't nominated for an Emmy for his performance. If Fox continues the show next fall (which I hope and pray that they will), I think that they ought to do more about Jimmy's relationship with the lovely yet mysterious Yves Adele Harlow(Eve). The final scene of the episode "El Tango De Los Pistoleros" shows you what I'm talking about, as does the cliffhanger season finale, which also shows that Jimmy's not as much of an idiot as most people thought. However, Jimmmy is only one of the many fine characters on this series. Byers, Langly, Frohike and Yves are also complex, interesting characters with their own unique personalities, and all succeed perfectly in this show. If the Fox executives decide for some unknown reason not to continue this great show, I hope that they will at least do two things: 1. Provide a conclusion for the season finale. 2. Put the series on video, so that all may enjoy it.
10 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Mostly Poor
thebigeasy540_22 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
The Lone Gunmen had the potential as a x-files spin off to be very good indeed.However this didn't come to fruition.Don't get me wrong.Some of the episodes were quite credible.The main problem is most of the story lines fall flat on their faces.The idea of a blind American football team?C'mon give us viewers some creditI know it's a dramatic approach away from the x-files and supposed to be light hearted but still.The idea of the show is the transplantation of the popular Lone Gunmen trio Frohike,Langly and Byers from the x-files to their own spin off show and see what the characters are really like in their own wacky environment.No doubt everyone wanted it to work,but it didn't.The highlights however are limited to the appearances of guest stars and fellow x-filers Mitch Pileggi and David Duchovny.These appearances breathed much needed life into the show.On the whole though it suffered from lazy writing and highly questionable humour.This is reflected in it's one series life
6 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Who was really behind the 911 attack?
The pilot episode of The Lone Gunmen is about a US government conspiracy to create a new type of war in order to be able to fuel arms manufacturing. What did they intend to do? Have a passenger plane crash into the World Trade Center. The theory was that no matter what, there would always be some group ready to take responsibility. The pilot was aired March 4, 2001, six months before the Twin Towers were struck by two passenger planes. Quite a coincidence...or not. How do we know what we read in the papers about who was behind the attack was true? How do we know that the "Arab" terrorists weren't terminally ill Americans, whose families were guaranteed to be taken care of forever if the men gave up their lives a little early? Trust no one.
7 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Heroes of the UnCommon/ Common Man !!!
fshep-116 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The Lone Gunmen, castoffs in a society which doesn't tolerate people outside of the circle, was one of those unique , and interesting shows, which are hard or nearly impossible to duplicate.

So much for diversity!

Characters created by Glen Morgan and James Wong , Richard "Ringo" Langly (Dean Haglund) Computer Geek Extraordinaire , Melvin Frohike (Tom Braidwood) Electronics Wizard , and J. F. Byers (BruceHarwood) Humanitarian and Seeker of the Truth, team up to form one of the oddest combinations of all time . Added to the Team were Jimmy "James" Bond(Stephen Snedden), and their adversarial counterpart Yves Adel Harlowe, it spells Lee Harvey Oswald(Zuleika Robinson), Zuleikha means " Beautiful One " in Farsi,(Persian) . I guess the TRUE irony is that you CANNOT find the Actors Names ON or IN the DVD box it comes in!!! WOW! What a Snub !!! Thanks Fox, what Class!

The Simpsons is on for over 15 years, but they cancel this program ?

Go Figure ! This was the only show which Predicted the Possibility of an Attack on America and they get rewarded by Cancellation !

They didn't inspire evil, but tried to prevent it .

INCREDIBLE!

These actors WERE real heroes for their Visionary thinking, and always taking on More than the average Joe . The only real enemies they had were ones that were afraid of people who ask TOUGH questions .

Pilot Episode deals with the disappearance of Byers' father and the possibility of a terrorist attack .

Also introduces Zuleikha Robinson, TV will not be the same .

Episode #1 introduces Jimmy "James" Bond, created for comic relief and to provide a "Bond", sorry for the pun, to play against the trio and the audience.

Episode #2 puts Frohike in Leiderhosen, which I find HILARIOUS,I guess you have to have a European background to really" GET" the joke , as they try to reunite a long lost son with his mother .

Episode # 3 has the Trio searching for a vehicle that runs on H2O, a personal favorite .

Episode # 4 finds the Team babysitting , while trying to find the killer of a political campaign employee .

Episode # 5 attempts to solve a man's claim to a house, in a community where no one seems to know him.

Episode # 6 has The Lone Gunmenmatching wits with a Super-Intelligent Chimp, this is AAA Material and a Classic !!! Yes, it wins the Homer Simpson Award for people who enjoy chimps with High I.Q.'s.

Episode # 7 finds Byers and Jimmy in prison , attempting to find the truth behind a murder , this show actually crosses the border into Drama, but finds it's way back in the second half . Interesting, but tough to watch .

Episode # 8 the Boys are on the track of a poacher of Grizzlies, but find themselves in over their head .

Episode # 9 Tango Los Pistoleros is a Classic , with Yves and the Team in Miami, on the trail of Government Secrets . A Personal Favorite !!!

Episode # 10 finds A D Skinner,from the X-Files, in the middle of a who dun-nit, as the chief suspect !!! Mitch Peliggi finally gets to showcase his acting ability in a Tour DE Force performance .

Episode # 11 Cap'n Toby , Langly's childhood TV idol, under arrest for espionage !!! For those who like Tom Poston, this one is for you .

Episode # 12 "All About Yves", Morris Fletcher teams with the Gunmen, in order to retrieve a stolen computer disc, taken by Yves. Episode is one-dimensional and except for a great opening, dull .

This was the NEVER FINISHED , supposedly "To Be Continued " episode that completely leaves the viewer in LIMBO . "Jump the Shark", an X-Files program from their last season, ATTEMPTS to end the story line of the last episode from "The Lone Gunmen" series, but COMPLETELY misses the mark, by Eliminating the Gunmen in some ham-handed mishmash, throwing in the towel for a total lack commitment to the fans and ACTORS who enjoyed this Series . The term "Jump The Shark " is an industry inside joke, that means a TV show has reached a point of obsolescence, and needs to be dumped, so when the title was added to the final episode, you get a feel of what they are really trying to say . Dump this Turkey in the nearest trash bin !!! The Greatest complement I give "Jump The Shark" is of its' testament to the stupidity of Man to eats it's young .

So enjoy the pilot and 11 episodes, only watch the 12th one and "Jump The Shark", if you want to be disappointed with intelligent programming for adults who enjoy some fantasy. Mark Snow was really coming into his own with the Music that was taking the Gunmen into a higher level of programming . Too bad for us and him. Get the DVD, nice extras....

Whatever .......
5 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
So long, fellas!
Hercule_Poirot8 September 2003
I have to say I never really liked them in X-Files, but they are so much better in this one, i was hooked after the first minute of the first episode. It seems that lately every show i like gets cancelled. WHy? Why? Why? This show was so smart and funny, unlike most of it out there. It's interesting how Mitch Pileggi showed more of his acting talent in a single episode of Gunmen than in whole i-don't-know-how-many seasons of X-Files. Michael McKean who, by the way is single handedly responsible for the best x-files episode EVER, was briliant as usual. By some miracle 'Lone Gunmen' was shown here only a month or two after it premiered in U.S. and i never understood why, until i found out it was cancelled, which probably made it a lot cheaper. What a shame! If the characters looked like the people from Baywatch, i'm 100% sure producers would give them at least one yaer more hoping it becomes a hit. It was a perfect counterpart to X- Files because of the fact that it dealed with pretty much the same stuff, only in completely opposite direction - as less serious as possible. Watch this everytime you get a chance!!!
5 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Unwatchable Disappointment
ChineseBoxer7 March 2001
As a fan of the X-Files for several years, I was very excited about the premiere of this show. However, ten minutes into the first episode, I found it to be nearly unwatchable. What had made the Lone Gunmen so great in the X-Files is that they were a bunch of goofy guys in a totally bleak setting. They were foils, used to lighten the tension. However, in this show there is no darkness to contrast with the sophomoric humor presented here. Most of the jokes are bad puns and physical sight gags that anyone over the age of twelve will see right through, which makes viewing this show an exercise in pain-tolerance. We may just have to face the fact that Chris Carter has run his course in television, producing this and a tragically forgettable season of the X-Files in the same year.
5 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Brilliant Spin-Off of The Voice of the Uncommon/Common Man ???
cshep5 May 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Maybe 13 is a Lucky number , but it is NOT acceptable for the Fans of this Beloved series, that stressed Intelligence over Violence, Compassion over Hate, and Love over Vulgarity, in my opinion , these are the Strengths of "The Lone Gunmen", and maybe it will return....?

Maybe , these are not forgotten values, that play across humanity, and not for just the few. When Chris Carter and the Gang developed these characters by Glen Morgan and James Wong, maybe they were tapping into the subconscious, about the way they felt the world could or should be ?

Question everything ? Question Authority ? Sounds good to me !!!

Beyers(Bruce Harwood),Langly(Dean Haglund), and Frohicke(Tom Braidwood) ,all computer or electronics Wizards, form the perfect trio of misfits, that aside from some windmills, try to uncover the truth, not just their truth ! In 13 sculpted episodes, we live their adventures into the world of spies,dirty politicos,aliens, and elaborate schemes that do not fit conventional wisdom !!!

Publishing an underground paper ,"The Lone Gunman", Frohicke, Beyers, and Langley go out into the world to make it a better place for humanity , by confronting the unusual , and uncovering the unknown !!!

Aided by newcomers Jimmy Bond (Stephen Snedden) and the Lovely, Yves Adele Harlow(Zuleikha Robinson), Zuleikha means "Beautiful One", go figure, they add the combo of comic relief and direction , which creates depth and more story line !

If Mulder can come back from the dead, why NOT "The Lone Gunmen", someone ought to buy the rights, and show 20th Century Fox, that there IS a market out there gents, a GLOBAL Market !!!

Look at "Aquamarine", duh ???

"Jump The Shark" does NOT clean up the story line, and leaves the viewer unsatisfied, and left with the crappy line thought "Life is Not Fair", BULLSH....T!!!

Morris Fletcher makes a joke out of the Lone Gunmen, some ending....

Contrary to some popular belief, these characters are NOT the 3 Stooges with keyboards !!!

Actually, it betrays the philosophy of the creators who opt out for the cop-out ending, not the will of the people, but Hey, it is ONLY "Tee-Vee" ... Anyway, for the faithful, do not give up the Good Fight, miracles do happen,and maybe , they will make a movie to at least give the Actors and Fans a just Victory !!! Stay Tuned True Believers !!!

A Great Cast, and Creative ,Talented Producers !!!

Mark Snow should have received an Emmy Nomination and an Emmy for his input in the Music Dept. which was Fantastic !!!

Terrific Production Values !!!

A TV Show for the Ages, better than the X-Files, subjective !!!

I'd buy the show , but I don't think I have that much pull with Hollywood, which only sees dollars, not Sense.....

But , we have 9 Seasons of " CHARMED " on DVD that will play FOREVER ! WOW , Now that's Quality Viewing !!!

Where are you Max Shulman when I need you....

One word to remember, "SKEEZAXE".....
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
This is a crime!
Rob_Taylor5 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Not the show, but the fact that it had a run of only thirteen episodes.

How can it not succeed? It has everything a comic show should have - likable characters, ridiculous scenarios, great writing. That it was cancelled just shows that the TV companies know squat about the programs they peddle.

As for the show, if you have watched the X-Files then you likely have already met most of the cast, since the Lone Gunmen were regulars there. Helping Mulder and Scully was only the start of their adventures, as this series shows but, due to short-sightedness by the networks, their work was to be of a brief duration.

A shame, because there were a lot of threads left hanging in the X-Files that could have been picked up by these boys. As it is, the thirteen episodes are all good and just leave you wanting more.

Rather spookily, the series' first episode features a plot not too dissimilar to the tragic events of Sep 11th in NYC. That the show aired 6 months before those events occurred is even more unnerving.

The rest of the series features lots of gags and tom-foolery and is a joy to watch. Many events current to the time are touched upon in an amusing way. The "Octium" microprocessor episode is a clear nod to the Pentium serial number debacle.

Whatever you think of the X-Files, though, this show was nowhere near as intense. It was just light-hearted fun, not meant to be taken too seriously.

A shame that more wasn't made of the series, but thank Fox for that (and I don't mean Mulder). Fox, the original "kill the good-shows network". Perhaps Fox would do well to remember a certain other show that was cancelled before they reach for the rubber stamp. A show called Star Trek....

May the Gunmen ride once again.
4 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Great spin-off from "The X-Files"!
RunningFromSatan24 March 2001
I have to admit, I didn't have very positive expectations with the LGM, the 3 characters everyone knows from "TXF", going on their own for some odd reason, but after I saw the first few episodes, I am definitely a bigger LGM fan than I was when they appeared on "TXF". This is a great comedy/drama/action series that I think will go on because of its support from philes, and may even attract a few non-philes. I especially think that the episode aired this Friday (3/23) was hilarious -- yeah, I know I am a sucker for sight-gags, bathroom humor, and the like, but hey, I'm 15 and that's just me. I also like the addition of new characters, like Zuleikha Robinson as Yves Adele Harlow (a tasty treat, mmm-wah) and Stephen Snedden as Jimmy Bond, the LGM tag-along. CC did a great job making Byers, Frohike, and Langly shine in the spotlight in their own series because they did such a good job with LGM episodes on "TXF". If "TXF" is cancelled, "LGM" will most definitely uphold a room temperature, albeit tasty, piece of the "phile pie".
5 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
It rocks
richanderson14 May 2006
The Lone Gunmen was a great fun spin-off of that science fiction series that was rather popular in the 1990s. My favourite of the three main characters is Frohike, as he is the most amusing/tragic/interesting of the three.

Byers is the most restrained and paradoxically the most passionate, but his finest hours were in the X-Files episodes involving him and the blonde woman whose name escapes me at this moment - the actress was Signy Coleman - ah yes...Suzanne Modeski? Another X-Files link I Recommend you take up is Millennium - be warned, a lot darker than the X-Files, its nearest relations are the ones involving Donnie Pfaster, and Lance Henriksen is not a happy man - but if dark psychological drama is your bag, check it out.
4 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
The quirky, very, very funny id of the X-Files - spoiler at bottom
vfrickey12 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of the few television series that I, my wife and our teenage kids could (and did) enjoy thoroughly. Why? The same reason the X-Files succeeded as long as it did - quirkiness and straining at the envelope of what is possible in television screenplays. Lone Gunmen was a "spin-off" of the X-Files, with three of the more popular recurring characters (Mulder's informal posse of off-the-books technicians) as protagonists. And what worked as comic relief in the X-Files mostly worked as stand-alone comedy in Lone Gunmen.

And like most successful cult television shows, it may be funny when it doesn't intend to be (it's difficult to tell when they're really moralizing and when they're supposed to be funny sometimes) - but the gags generally work. There are always sneaking puns and jokes thrown in for those of us who stayed awake in college (such as calling the eeeevil Army biological lab in the X-Files "Fort Marlene", an obvious reference to the real-life Ft. Detrick, formerly the center of the Army's biological warfare program). Of course, to "get" that joke you have to either be a serious movie buff or old enough to remember that there once was a Madonna-figure named Marlene Dietrich (her last name is pronounced "Detrick").

Having to write around Jimmy Bond, though, was the equivalent of giving Lone Gunmen a frontal lobotomy. It really detracted from the show's potential humor - specifically, it replaced much of the dark comedy created by the three central characters in the "X-Files" with pratfalls and cheap laughs. Toward the end of the show, the plots began clogging up with schmaltz.

The insertion of James "Jimmy" Bond was completely unnecessary to the series and highly undesirable. Perhaps the producers and writers didn't think that the audience would appreciate a series which turned exclusively on dark comedy. The early cancellation of "Wolf Lake" on two different networks seems to confirm that judgment, but now X-Files and Lone Gunmen veteran Vince Gilligan is doing just fine working the dark comedy vein with "Breaking Bad," which is uncontaminated by Jimmy Bond-ism in any way, shape or form.

Yves Adele Harlow was also unnecessary but not as destructive to the edgy/quirky humor of the series as Bond was (besides, she's hot). One could also argue that Yves replaced Fox Mulder as the "non-goofy" grown-up foil to the original Lone Gunmen. (Later, Mulder shows up for a very short cameo in the last episode of "Lone Gunmen," but never really figures in the series.)

Is this a show with profound intellectual insights? Not hardly. Even when they appear to really try for a moral, the screenwriters get laughs.

I wish, really, really wish that

(a) the show was still on the air (the X-Files, Malcolm in the freaking Middle and the Simpsons are in re-runs - why not the Lone Gunmen? - at least they're available on DVD....) and

(b) SPOILER WARNING SPOILER WARNING SPOILER WARNING I wish that they hadn't killed the characters Langley, Frohike and Byers off in one of the last episodes of the X-Files ("Jump the Shark"). THAT was uncalled for. They could just as easily have left them alive.

(Another unanswered question - why would a grown woman would KEEP a name that is an anagram for "Lee Harvey Oswald?")

Why the severe reaction?

In college, I was a member of what was essentially the robotics club at Louisiana Tech (actually, the "robotics and drinking club" - our motto was "Imbibo Ergo Sum," a variation on a famous quote from Descartes which testified to the importance of beer to our deliberations) and we were the real-life equivalent of the Lone Gunmen, weird computer hardware, choices of apparel and everything.

Even our unofficial side projects (some of us, including yours truly, once built a linear particle accelerator from scratch - you can't get Heathkits for stuff like that - that fit inside a trash can to turn clear topaz a nice, profitable shade of blue) would have been right at home in a Lone Gunmen episode - right next to "Bessie," the Lone Gunmen's home-made MRI scanner.

Watching the Lone Gunmen was like going back to Critical Mass during its heyday, every week, without the tuition and classwork. I miss that show a lot.
4 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Fairly slickly produced, but a bit too campy/sloppy in story & direction (for my tastes)
rzajac26 May 2013
An interesting example of a TV series that fails on a number of counts.

It tries to hit all the notes, and subsequently sounds like wind chimes in a gale. It tries to be funny, campy, dramatic, sexy. In the end, I sort of see it as a TV snack that strains to be seen as "smart". The problem is that it's not really that smart; the stories are larded with disconnected bits of sloppily presented sci-tech stuff, straight from the kitchen sink and loosely anchored. One gets the feeling that the producers figured that if they bound the loose bits together with a pudding of over-the-top characterization, the mess would hold together. Well, it doesn't.

Hey! Vince Gilligan is the "Breaking Bad" guy, right? A good way to highlight the shortcomings of Gunmen is to compare it against BB. Breaking Bad does it right: Tho occasionally marred by over-the-top direction, BB is anchored by an abiding interest in keeping it real, warm, human... plausible. Would it even be possible to tell a story of storybook geek/misfits teaming up to crack conspiracies, while "keeping it real"? Interesting question. At any rate, Gunmen feels like a puerile geek fantasy, in the sense of being rather cheap, in the sense in which Breaking Bad is *not* cheap.

That the Pilot neatly foreshadowed 9/11 *is* kinda spooky: I'll give 'em that.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Why was it cancelled?
TheNorris30 September 2002
Why was it cancelled? It was beginning to take shape and was cut down before it could get better. The humour was a big part of the storyline, why else would there be a character called Jimmy (James) Bond?

It was not perfect however, the tango episode fell flat on its face but was still watchable.

Fun. So when is it going to be released on DVD?
4 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
The Dead Gunmen
frankie90221 April 2002
I hate how the writers of the X-Files killed off the Lone Gunmen. Completely killing any chance of this series to pick-up anywhere. I almost cried watching this episode of the x-files. Why couldn't they just forget about them in the next and last 4 episodes. I really liked "The Lone Gunmen" and I really wanted the series to pick-up. But sadly the writers of the X-Files made a very bad decision.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Sadly canceled
Roddy-1530 November 2002
What was going through the minds of the people who canceled this show? Probably a conspiracy perpetrated by people who are plotting to destroy television by allowing bad shows like Off Centre to stay and getting rid of good ones like ¨Dead Last¨, ¨Maybe it´s me¨ and ¨Night Visions¨.

The Lone Gunmen was funny, the characters were great, the action was good. After watching the first season, I became convinced that the show would last for as long as the X-files has. Sadly it is gone.
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Just what I expected...
Willow19218 March 2001
Me, being a die hard X-Files junkie, just had to watch this show. I never expected this series to be good. The commercials turned me off from the start. The pilot was horrible. I watched about 10 minutes and wanted to change the channel...something I would never do during an X-Files episode. But, I ruffed it out, just praying that the show would get better later into the episode. To my disappointment, it didn't. I have never really thought that the Lone Gunmen were that funny to begin with, let alone funny enough to have their own series. Chris Carter is definitely running out of material. The show must be doing well though, because they are going to show it on Fridays when The X-Files comes back. If you want the best of Byers, Frohike, and Langly, watch them on The X-Files reruns.
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed