The following writeup contains a few spoilers.
All right. The pilot episode was on just last night, so I feel compelled to give my take on it, which is quite contrary to Grum's. I honestly think that The Lone Gunmen is going to take off and be a hit; however, the show will have a major hurdle to get past, namely the Friday night time slot. This problem is not an intrinsic flaw of the show, so it has yet to be revealed if that will cause ratings to spiral downard enough to justify cancellation. Anyhow, on to the actual episode.
The first five minutes of the show were a mix of actual comedy and a rather boring rehash; the Mission Impossible ceiling rig just doesn't do it any more. However, when mention of the Octium IV came about, I couldn't help but grin; the real life parallels were just too evident. Of course, there was the man-kiss, the viking shootout, the inept assassin, and a myriad of other humorous events, ranging from marginally funny to downright hilarious (I can't get those damn charging vikings out of my head!). Almost all of the comedy was appropriate and seemed to fit properly, more specifically, the goofy and uncanny cracking abilities of the trio (come on, you know you at least chuckled when the plane's flight controls were highjacked from the ground).
Now we come to the part were I really disagree with Grum. I didn't see the drama that was supposedly taking place during the show. I thought it was quite obvious from the start that Byers' father wasn't really dead, and that the fed was going to betray them; the plane scene was intentionally melodramatic. In short, The Lone Gunmen stuck to the successful formula of acting seriously, but not actually being serious; this has always worked in their supporting roles on the X-Files.
The Lone Gunmen does not replace the X-Files; in fact, they will still be making their (un)usual appearances for the show. I'm all for The Lone Gunmen because the time has come for a comedy that isn't wrapped into a family-style sitcom, a comedy that can appeal to the inner geek within us all. Sure, the show will probably have its dramatic moments, but I doubt that they will ever overshadow what The Lone Gunmen is really all about: three dorky guys who keep trying to find the truth and bring it to the people of the world.
After a few comments from Grum, I feel like I need to expound upon my previous ramblings. There was drama within the episode, but I am a long-time fan of the X-Files, so it didn't affect me, especially knowing that this was the first episode. I knew that they weren't going to kill Byers in the plane scene because it's far too early in the series, and due to the fact that almost all important X-Files characters have more lives than a truckload of kittens, I had this feeling that they weren't going to wax his old man. I just disregarded these minor inconveniences as growing pains; again, I don't expect The Lone Gunmen to live up to the dramatic level of the X-Files, so I guess I wasn't waiting for a suspenseful first episode. I think that the series will take a similar path as the X-Files by starting out with less forced character development and more theme development. Establishing a general tone for the series allows the writers to concentrate more on characters and plot twists.
Maybe I'm just hoping that it will succeed too much; I don't know. Seeing as the X-Files is slowly but surely degrading, I guess I want to envision The Lone Gunmen as the next great show by Chris Carter. It's really too early to tell, but I still hope that they can pull it off.