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The New Battlestar Galactica

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I watched the mini-series last year when it came out and was a little annoyed at the overt sexuality in the first 15 minutes. I love my porn, but not with my sci-fi. Anyway, I sort of enjoyed it. It was better than OK, but didn't blow me away. Well the new series is now out and the blogosphere is abuzz with some people's takes on it.

Llama Butchers

Everything that made the old series worth watching has been completely junked. What's left isn't worth the price of the electricity to keep the tee-vee running. And they can't even keep the goddam camera still.

Do they realize how sick-making that is?

I agree, the "handheld camera" thing they try doesn't work for me that much. It is too obvious, they need a better computer algorithm than they are using because it is noticeably "not right".

Shape of Days (who has much, much more! Including some critics reviews)

I've written about "Galactica" before, in glowing terms. I'm continually amazed by the quality of this show. It's not just good genre television, or good television in general. It's just plain good fiction, period. The characters are nuanced and complex. The plots are filled with twists and reversals, but not so many that the audience loses all emotional engagement. There are mysteries aplenty, but there's steak to go with the sizzle. (I'm looking at you, "Lost.") All in all, the storytelling is just top-notch.
I wouldn't go that far. I'll analyze the characters below. How dare you diss Lost. You Bastard!

Uncle Sam's Cabin poses the question

If you've only got 50,000 max people left propagation of the species would have to be one of your top priorities. Would you continue to risk potential mothers in such high risk positions as fighter pilots? Will the show address this aspect of the predicament?
Great point! I didn't even think about that. They seem to be losing people hand over fist in the new show and they've got potential "knockupable" women out there in harms way. Sexist as it may be, only 50,000 left is a small number when it comes down to a species floating in space with nowhere to land and populate without being wiped out and casualties on a daily basis.

Darleen's Place (who has a good set of comments going on at her entry)

Jeff and I share one of the points of weepiness he talks about ... where Dee is walking down the corridor where survivors have set up impromptu shrines with pictures of lost loved ones, candles, etc., the poignant, desperate hope and sorrow in just that shot was almost too much. My husband Eric and I looked at each other, eyes overflowing and said to each other almost simultaneously "9/11".
Oh please Darleen like you didn't see that coming from 10 miles away. "We don't take pictures yet, you'll need to put it on the wall". I instantly thought "ahh a 9/11 wall is coming I'll bet" and there it was. I didn't get teary eyed at any part of the story. I actually was a little offended at the wall as it was a cheap ploy trying to play on our emotions.

Your summary is great though! I can tell you liked it a bit more than me, but reading your post I can see why.

Now for my take on it. Starting with the characters.

The President character turns me off. I can't get over thinking Tatonka every time I see her (see Dances With Wolves) she just seems wrong in the part. I can't explain it, she just doesn't have an air of having worked for the President.

Adama's statement "As of this moment, we are at war!" seemed too canned and cheesy and at times something seems off about him in the part.

The XO is the most believable, with myself having been in the Navy. He reminds me of my XO. He is a minor character though.

boomer_sm.jpg Boomer, who is neither black nor male, fascinates me. Her character is great and with the first two episodes she is right out there in the middle of the whole story and plays her character excellently. I have a thing for Asian women though, so I'm probably biased.

The Starbuck character -- who has also switched sexes -- doesn't seem to fit at times. She's a tough tomboy type, but I think they overdo it at times, but so far I've tried to ignore these traits.

Apollo is a goof, 'nuf said.

The Baltar character is one of my favorites. Although the hot and sexy chick that resides in his head is nice eye candy she's just a distraction from the story in my opinion. More Baltar, less sexy chick dammit! Put her in some other part of the story and let Baltar argue with himself more like Gollum in lord of the rings. That was excellent the way they did that.

As for the story... *Spoilers below if you haven't seen the first two episodes*

"33" was a pretty good episode. I liked the story initially, but it was a little too predictable. The poker game thing is stupid, they need to ditch it and have something else going on. Maybe they can have that sports game they played in the original Battlestar Galactica. It was sort of like a lame one-on-one basketball game with putting a ball through some hole while you wear glittery clothes. OK, maybe not, but they need to find something else.

I like the fact they didn't stop from blowing up the carrier when they saw it as a threat, although they did hesitate, that added a little to the story.

The God thing the sexy chick keeps blathering on about with Baltar is annoying. I don't know what else to say.

I like the Boomer story-line, it adds that mystery to the story. Her boyfriend though is just stupid, they should replace him with me.

The second episode "Water" was much better than "33", IMHO. I liked the amnesia, bombing aspect. I also like the fact that these writers don't pull any punches on killing people and blowing up stuff. Too many shows are too careful and create a fake reality in situations and nobody dies.

As for the Cyclons themselves, they're not too bad, there's not enough of their side of the story yet and we rarely see them. In the original series they'd show both sides and how they were plotting. There's none of that so far in the series. They should have also continued on the roman centurion angle a little more in their look. The original Cyclons were like robotic Roman Centurions in look, especially the helmet. It would have been nice if they continued it and just made it a slicker version. They seem kind of flimsy in the waist.

I think I'll enjoy the show and will continue watching it. My pet peeves with it are the space battles are too tame and not involved enough. They don't have them in dogfights where they are bailing each other out. The other major peeve is that laser gun sidearm they have. On the planet he shoots a Cyclon in the head and it looks like he's using some kind of lame pellet gun.

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Posted by Digger on January 17, 2005 02:20 AM (Permalink)

» Absinthe & Cookies (a bit bitter, a bit sweet) linked with Other Galactica Thoughts

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I guess I'm not as demanding about what I want out of the show. There's not enough that I don't like to make me stop watching. Certainly not after only two episodes. Thanks for the link.

Posted by: Samantha on January 17, 2005 10:31 AM

Sure I saw the wall coming...but it still had an impact and not necessarily because of 9/11 though that was the first thing we thought of.

I'm sure there's areas around where you live where tragedy happens and impromptu shrines go up. Sometimes its a horrible traffic accident or an awful murder. Suddenly, you drive by the area and there are pics with candles and flowers.

They always squeeze my heart.

I'm fascinated by President Roslin (Mary McDonnell) because I keep seeing flashes of where the story may take the character (and McDonnell is an accomplished actor who can pull it off)... a rather minor governmental official who finds herself thrust into a position she never contemplated pursuing and handed a responsibility of trying to shepherd the survival of humanity while she knows she herself is doomed. She's alternately tired, confused, steely, insightful, cold and emotional (she throttled showing any emotion when she heard of the first birth in the fleet).

If BSG is less episodal tv, where everything has to be status quo at the end of 60 minutes, but more Babylon 5 or Hill Street Blues, with season long story arcs then, IMHO, the characters will grow and change. That's what I'm seeing hints of and that promises that rather vanilla 'silver spoon' characters like Lee/Apollo are going to grow and change.

Posted by: Darleen on January 17, 2005 03:59 PM

Samantha, I agree, we all have our tastes. I don't wish failure on the show at all, I hope it becomes great.

I agree, it's definitely not a Star Trek "wrap it up in 60 minutes" deal. One similarity to Star Trek:TNG that it does have is that the first season wasn't crisp and clean either and the actors didn't fully fall into their characters until about season 2 midway through.

As for the impromptu shrines, yes they are heartwrenching in real life, but I just couldn't feel emotional for something blatant and within the first 5 minutes of episode one of a TV show.

All the things you said about the President character are absolutely true, she seems exhausted. At the same time there was a little glimmer of her trying to fit into the position by "learning how to be more political" (or fake as I call it).

Thanks for the comments and I look forward to debating episode 3 and the myriad of topics we normally discuss.

Posted by: Digger on January 17, 2005 11:28 PM

Regarding your "knockupable" women comment--there's more to be said for childrearing than childbearing. Yeah, they need to worry about making babies, but they also need to worry about how they are raised.

I think Starbuck would make a pretty good baby, but can you imagine her raising a kid?

Posted by: Lornkanaga on January 18, 2005 08:40 AM

I've found the series excellent so far except for the Baltar character and the hideous Starbuck. The gender bending doesn't work, a successful fighter jock would be the world's most unattractive woman in terms of personal characteristics-who'd date the Great Santini in high heels?

I'd also like to see a little bit more about why there is a war. I really thought the second episode titled water brought interesting issues up. How do you feed 50,000 people in space? Something I'm sure the writers will gloss over quickly.

Posted by: TJ Jackson on January 18, 2005 09:29 PM

Hehe, everyone hates Starbuck. She just doesn't seem tough to me and it's like a childish act of toughness. She's probably the worst of the characters imho.

As for Baltar, I don't think it's poor acting, I think it's poor execution in how the director's are portraying his "evil side". If it was more "smooth" in his deviousness it would be much more enjoyable.

TJ Jackson: as far as showing a little more about the war are you saying they should implement flashback scenes or something? I think they skipped over the whole war thing because that was covered in the original series.

Lornkanaga: As far as "knockupable", I meant still able to have children. I would think that in a situation like that things would revert back more towards a community similar to small town america during the pioneer days. With a group nanny type thing allowing women to do other things than just child rearing ALL the time. I'm thinking with those losses though it would be almost mandated that all fertile women bear as many children as possible.

Posted by: Digger on January 19, 2005 12:07 AM

I'm thinking with those losses though it would be almost mandated that all fertile women bear as many children as possible.

That's what I was thinking as well.

Posted by: Samantha on January 21, 2005 02:25 PM

The other major peeve is that laser gun sidearm they have. On the planet he shoots a Cyclon in the head and it looks like he's using some kind of lame pellet gun.

It's a pistol. It shoots bullets, it's not an energy weapon.

Posted by: Chris mankey on January 9, 2006 11:47 PM

imi place f mult sa am prieteni staini si sa putem conversa si colabora pentru ceva constructiv

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