Saturday, February 18, 2006

Frakking snow

Well hidy ho, little buckaroos. I don't really want to be here right now. I want to be out with my little dog, practicing our agility contacts. But there is what they call a "wintry mix" falling from the sky right now, and one thing I've learned from living here for five years is that the very word "weather" can cause traffic to come to a halt for five hours or more. I'm afraid that if I venture forth I will not make it back home. I should be cleaning my house right now, but instead I'm going to write about Battlestar Galactica.

I mentioned previously that there seems to be a bit of shark-jumping going on. Some of my discontent has to do with what just seems to be cheating by the writers, i.e., plot developments are handled in a way that's hokey and unbelieveable even by sci-fi standards. (Warning: spoilerage for Season 2, part 2 coming up.) I mentioned before that the decision to have a cylon rather than Bill Adama (via Starbuck) kill Admiral Cain seemed like such a cop-out. But it was more than that: I found it really hard to believe that on a bustling military ship someone who just escaped from the brig could walk through the hallways with a gun, let herself into the Admiral's password-protected quarters, shoot her and then get off the ship undetected. Do cylons have super powers beyond great strength and edurance and the ability to "download" their memories to other cylons? If so, please inform us before you expect such extreme suspension of disbelief.

The other hokey crap that really bugged me was the hybrid-cylon-baby-blood-cures-cancer-in-seconds bit. I know, it's sci-fi, and weird things happen in sci-fi, so why not have the hybrid blood cure cancer? Because it's too much, too cut-and-dried, too convenient and too much of a cheap trick to pull in what is supposed to be (an had been up until recently) an intelligent television progrm. It just seemed so ... Lost In Space or Land of the Lost. You know, hokey.

Another complaint is that, lately, instead of getting a tension-filled action-drama with characters who act and talk the way real people might in such a situation (the situation being that the remnants of humanity are on the run from insurgent robots who have just destroyed 12 planets), we're presented with "A Very Special Battlestar Galactica," in which some character or another grapples with his or her inner demons. Bleah. It was the same kind of shit that drove me away from E.R.--we'd have an episode in which Dr. Broodypants must embark on a cross-country journey to come to terms with some bullshit from his past that is eating him alive and turning him into a grouchy asshole no one can stand to be around. Never mind that we, the viewers, have also reached the point where we can't stand to be around Dr. Broodypants either and what we really want to see is a blood-spurting accident victim being wheeled down a corridor on a gurney whilst scrub-clad emergency room denizens yell things like "I need a CBC and a gastric lavage, stat!"

Take episode 2.14, "Black Market," for example: here we find Captain Lee Adama in the boudoir of a woman we've never seen before, trying to ingratiate himself with her little daughter by giving her a very scary looking dolly (apparently non-scary dollies are being rationed and are hard to come by). Surprise, surprise, the woman is a prostitute. But he tries to take care of her and, when the shit hits the fan, save her from her sordid life because ... no, not because he's just a nice guy, but because back before the world was blown to bits he loved a woman who was going to have his baby. But he got scared and pushed her away and then ... well she was pretty much blown to bits along with the majority of humanity and now he can never say he's sorry. But he can soothe his conscience by saving this prostitute and her little girl from the evil black marketeers ... except the prostitute tells him she doesn't want his savin', which is quite convenient because now the writers don't have to deal with her in future episodes ...

Anywho, GACK! I did not start watching this program to see some character go all Captain Broodypants and deal with his demons! I also didn't start watching to see little soap-operaesque love triangles, which is what I got in episode 2.16, "Sacrifice." Not to mention that the episode featured smart characters doing really stupid things that weren't believable because the characters were way too smart to have actually done such stupid things ... but the plot revolved around them doing the stupid things, resulting in the death of one of my favorite characters, Billy.

Goddamn, they frakking killed Billy! Shit. I hope he's a cylon so he can come back and kick Lee Adama's ass.

At any rate, Mr. Pants and I just watched last night's episode (which we got from iTunes) and it was somewhat better than the previous five in that this episode actually featured battlestars and other spacecraft as more than just background sets for love triangles and brooding characters. They actually shot at some cylons! So I'll keep watching ... the way I kept watching E.R. for several seasons beyond when I should have stopped, thinking every week "Maybe this episode will be about the emergency room ..."

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