Computers are Taking Over the World! Saturday, Jun 14 2008 

They have a plan!

This is a spoof of this.

(If you aren’t familiar with Battlestar Galactica, you might want to watch the second link first — both are very short, about one minute put together.)

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Galactica Reaches Earth Saturday, Jun 14 2008 

I have to begin again with the fact that I don’t find BG half as interesting as I used to. What anti-climaxes there were this week — they’ve put us through a whole season of “half the fleet are actually Cylons” (so I’m exaggerating, sue me) and then we don’t get to see any reactions (except Admiral Adama’s, and a very VERY brief initial one from Starbuck — she was married to one for Pete’s sake!). No questions about Callie, about the baby. And since when did D’anna become the Cylon leader? Ohhh, right, since she was played by the actor with the biggest name, Lucy Lawless. (Don’t get me wrong, I really like Lucy Lawless, I think she’s a great actress, and to “overcome” such an iconic role as Xena, I think she’s a fabulous actress. But that has nothing to do with storytelling.)

Starbuck went nuts almost and now it’s as if none of that ever happened. I was glad to see Gaeta back, and see at least a little of what he’s going through and at least a little reaction from the crew. (That guy’s a good actor too.) And did you see the little touch of the one Six to the back of Tygh’s arm? Still find that a little (a LOT) bizarre, but at least they’re acknowledging these things that’ve happened instead of entirely dropping them.

And one more anti-climactic thing. Reaching earth…with the Cylons. Why exactly are they even looking for Earth now? Wasn’t it a safe haven from the Cylons? What’s the point now? Couldn’t they just find any ol’ planet? (OK, apparently they aren’t a dime a dozen.) So apparently they just pressed a button and boom there they are over Earth. With the Cylons. Why don’t they just go back to their own planet (a lot of them were doing just fine there despite the radiation — the only real problem seemed to be the Cylons) and work on cleaning up the radiation or finding some portion of all those planets that isn’t radiated (after all there’s less than 40,000 of them left, and there are probably still stragglers back there).

Please understand I would never spend this much time criticizing if this show didn’t mean so much to me.

So, the only part of the episode that really intrigued me was the last few seconds. Woah! I thought maybe reaching Earth would be the series finale, but instead it’s the mid-season finale of the final season. Adama gets his fist-full of earth…and we see something that looks like a post-apocalyptic Earth. I’m intrigued! But is it our Earth (the real Earth)? Are there any humans on it? What’s the year?

So help me if this turns into some kind of preachy thing about global warming or something…! As long as it doesn’t go preachy on us…this could be a fun ride! Boy do I miss the early days though. Gonna have to back and watch the miniseries again soon. Boy do I wish at least one of my friends watched this show!

Battlestar Update Monday, May 12 2008 

I think it’s three episodes that have gone by since I last wrote anything about BG. The first two of those…I found them virtually boring. How disappointing. I wonder how other fans are feeling. Unfortunately none of my friends are BG fans! (Their loss, I suppose!) Anyway, just about the only good drama (for my taste) was seeing Tyrol (or Tirol, I never remember) going through his grief over Callie’s loss.

This week…it’s so hard to remember what happened! But I found it more entertaining than the last few episodes. Still, the thing that’s being pushed is “who’s the last Cylon” and I’m dreading it! I’m sure it’ll be something else that’ll be beyond the bounds of realism. Ah, but if I understood right, then they’re going to revive the Deanna (D’anna, however it’s spelled, Lucy Lawless’s character) model, and she can recognize the final Cylons. I think Sam looked distinctly uncomfortable about that! And, dumb as I think it is that Sam could be a Cylon in the first place (he was apparently famous, so I don’t see how there could possibly be multiple copies running around…and no one would notice that their neighbor looked exactly like the star whatever-player), this is drama anybody can relate to. Loving someone but knowing there is something about you, or something in your past, that you fear will be a red line for them, the “call-it-quits” line, even though you’re certain that this thing has nothing to do with who you really are (or perhaps a slightly less extreme parallel!). One of the books I’m sorta-kinda working on involves a character who has something in her past she’s afraid will make her unloveable…and of course these things always come out in the end. Good drama!

Battlestar Cast on Letterman Monday, May 5 2008 

I hardly ever see the late night talk shows anymore, but was perusing “Major Tom” videos (see the next post!) of all things when I came across this. Is it just me or do some of the cast look pained? Do you think they were forced at gunpoint to do this? I got the biggest kick when I realized they were coming out in costume — at they were introduced in character. None of the lines were funny, in fact they seemed to all be saying the show was lame. (???) Maybe they weren’t told the lines in advance? The funniest line (not saying much) was when Underwear Model Gal (okay, that’s probably rude and judgemental…but I can’t remember here name! Oh, now I do, Tricia Hilfer or something similar) comes out in her trademark minimalist candy-apple red Six dress and says, well, you can click and find out. And Lee/Jamie Bamber’s Brit accent comes out! And just how much did they have to pay Lucy Lawless to be there, I wonder?

Alas, Callie Tuesday, Apr 22 2008 

I was partly right (Callie bit the dust) and partly wrong (it wasn’t her husband Tyrol accidentally killing her).

I guessed pretty early on that it would probably be Assistant Girl (let’s call her AG, I can never remember the character’s name) that killed Callie. And then as Callie was really losing it, I thought, well, maybe I’ve really been led astray here and Callie will actually kill Tyrol, and geez Louise, she surely came close!

And then it was, “Callie, don’t give that baby to AG. Don’t do, Callie. Don’t give her that baby.”

That was perhaps the most horrid death I’ve ever seen portrayed on TV. Not in its physical brutality, amount of torture, bloodshed, “creativity” (people — well, Cylons — have been sucked out airlocks before on BG!). The crime shows gleely pursue more and more disgusting things to portray in their attempts to outdo each other with horrid deaths. But Callie’s death was horrific without shedding a drop of blood (other than the blow to the head that initially knocked her to the ground). I still can’t even really let myself fully imagine what that would be like — to come to the realization that your baby has been taken from you by a Cylon (or super-bad guy whom no one else realizes is a super-bad guy, in non BG terms), immediately followed by the realization that within second you are going to be dead, with absolutely no hope that you will survive, you will never see your baby again, and you will go to your death unable to tell anyone that the person who has your baby is a Cylon (super-bad guy). If Callie had time to think about it, she might have thought too that she was going to her death as the only person on the ship who knew that there are murdering traitors on the ship who could cause the death of everyone else, and not even just her baby. But how horrid to see your baby through the glass and count the seconds…

I know, I know. Callie is a character, written by some dudes in Hollywood or Vancouver or whatever, brought to life by an actress who (presumably) is walking around today in perfect health. But for me at least, the ability to empathize with a character, to put myself in his/her shoes and imagine what would that be like is what makes TV/movies/books etc. worthwhile. And, now that I think about it, it’s probably a big part of why I don’t really get into the whole internal Cylon deal. Do Cylons think and feel the same way humans do? I don’t know. I can’t empathize with them. The ones who never knew they were Cylons and presumably do think and feel the same as humans, those I can empathize with a bit more. Imagine you found out you were a Cylon!

I can remember reading Dostoevsky’s Besy (The Demons, or The Possessed), and, when a particular character died and the man who loved her is so devastated, I was crying and asking God, “Why? Why?” (!!!) And then I remembered I was reading a book and should have asked Dostoevsky “Why? Why?”

But back to BG. I found the scenes with Starbuck painful. Not painful-good but painful-unpleasant. This is not the Starbuck I loved. But…maybe it could be OK. The rebel with/without a cause who finally pushes things so far people no longer thinks she’s cool…they just think she’s nuts. We’ll see.

And a compaint…the use of the ubiquitous BG “frak”. I am so sick of this word. In my view it has become nothing more than an excuse to basically use the “f” word constantly. It is now used in every place, every context, every collocation (phrase) that the “f” word is used in in English. Except that much “f” word would make it rated R. I try not to watch a lot of R-rated movies, but there’s no absolute moratorium on it for me. But I really, really get sick of hearing the “f” word over and over and over and over again as if it were about as common and necessary as the word “the.” And on BG, as in the scene between Starbuck and her (estranged?) husband, it’s gotten pretty close to that. Enough already. I don’t want to hear “frak” all day any more than I want to hear the vulgarity it’s oh-so-obviously substituting for.

Bad News for Battlestar’s Callie? Wednesday, Apr 16 2008 

I read in the TV Guide description of this week’s BG episode that a “beloved” or somesuch character would die. Based on what I saw from the previews at the end of last week’s episode, I’m thinking it’s probably Callie. Here’s my prediction on how this will go down.

Callie overhears her husband saying he’s a Cylon (this is strongly implied in the preview — either that or they did some creative editing to make it look like that’s what will happen). Callie freaks out. Callie and Tyrol fight. He accidentally kills her (people on TV accidentally kill each other all the time, so this is not so unusual). He freaks out, wondering, was it really an accident…or was it Cylon programming?

I’ll also take this opportunity to say I like the Callie character. She said in an earlier episode she’d joined the military to pay for college, I think. She never wanted to fight in a war, much less fight for her very existence, for the remainder of her days. Does that really humanize her or what? As much as I love Star Trek: The Next Generation (no question, my favorite show when it was on, starting in season two and lasting through “All Good Things”), this type of detail in BG is what, frankly, makes ST:TNG look silly in a lot of ways. Come on, kids taking calculus at age 7 or something? Give me a break, advanced technology doesn’t make you smarter or speed up your physical/mental development. And every single person on the ship is “the best there is”? And Riker turns down like 3 commands to stay on Enterprise? (OK, that’s a different story, born out of the desire to keep Jonathan Frakes on the show, with which I fully concur!) The ST:TNG atmosphere grew out of Gene Roddenberry’s (ridiculously) optimistic view of humanity. Everyone’s the best! There’s no crime! There’s no money — we just all work 18-hour shifts every day because we’re such good, moral people! (Woah….wait, doesn’t that sound like communism? Well, Roddenberry was an atheist and his politics were pretty far to the left as I understand….)

But I digress. I like Callie because she’s just like the small-town boy or girl who can’t afford college but isn’t poor enough to qualify for lots of financial aid, so she enlists, loving her country and willing to do her duty but never really expecting she’d actually have to go to war. I can relate to her in a way I could never relate to a Riker or a Geordie LaForge or a Data. (Well, that last one was kind of obvious.)

Battlestar’s Final Season, Ep 2 Sunday, Apr 13 2008 

Starbuck’s kinda going nuts. Still don’t know what to think of this. Lots of mythology, a very weird scene between Adama and Laura Roslin. Baltar and the president’s assistant who’s a Cylon in a scene that was risque-er than necessary. A send-off for Lee that was supposed to be emotional but I felt no emotion about it. And chaos among the Cylons — apparently they couldn’t afford to get Lucy Lawless on (or she was unavailable)…but who’s the other identified Cylon that wasn’t there…? Or was it just her? I’m not sure what to think about that storyline either. Ultimately I don’t really find the Cylons all that interesting. To be more precise, I find them interesting when viewed through the prism of the humans…but not so much when viewed from within. Hmmmm…

So altogether, I guess I was disappointed with the episode, but I was still pretty much riveted and dismayed when the end came. I’ve gotta go back and watch the miniseries, and the first few episodes especially of the regular TV show. Good stuff. Remember the one where they’re constantly jumping and everyone’s completely on edge? Remember the horrid decisions they were faced with, such as when one ship lagged behind and they didn’t feel they could trust it? I think they abandoned it, or maybe destroyed it. But what if there was nothing bad going on…? They have left hundreds or thousands of their own people to their deaths. But if they’d trusted them and been betrayed, it could have meant the end of the last traces of humanity. And even later, when President Roslin outlaws abortion, not out of a religious belief or a belief that life begins at conception, but because their numbers have dwindled so that if they don’t have babies and keep every single one of them, they basically risk going extinct.

But, it looks like next week Callie finds out her husband is a Cylon. (My hope that this is all a big scam is fading fast. But I’m still kind of in denial.)

Battlestar’s Final Season Up and Running Wednesday, Apr 9 2008 

So, it’s started! I (almost) always get so into these episodes that when it’s over I’m always stunned. “What??!! It’s over??!! It can’t be over!!”

I also tend to be unable to remember something I’ve watched only once.

So…why did I start this blog entry? OK, let me think.

OK. Everybody’s suspicious of Starbuck. They have to be. She’s even suspicious of herself. I’m still not cool with the whole everybody-and-his-brother-is-a-Cylon development. Please, please, Ron Moore, make it all be a big trick. I miss the “old” Starbuck. Though I definitely didn’t approve of her behavior (promiscuity, heavy drinking), it made her a complex and intriguing character, and I’d say her “naughtiness” was not portrayed as the best and coolest way to act. You knew that there was self-loathing under the self-destructive behavior, and we later found out why. I’m not sure what to make of this new direction — Starbuck as some kind of prophet or something. Again, not so down with the whole heavy-duty mythology thing either. Liked the small Starbuck/Gaeta scene. That guy can act. He had a miniscule role in the miniseries but really stood out. Hope he gets his own show sometime, or a movie career.

Never took to Lee aka Apollo. Still haven’t. The only thing I ever liked about him was the Apollo/Starbuck angle. I like all the other characters (though Baltar gets on my nerves at times and I could do without the closing-in-on-R “love scenes” with him and his imaginary Cylon gal-pal Six). I just find Lee…I don’t know, bland. You know, I never really thought about it before now, but there are a LOT of characters on this show! I think half of them weren’t even really in this episode.

Ah, yes, so Baltar and his cult worshipers also had a big role in the ep. Weird. And more mythology. Blah. But the guy playing Baltar is also a darn good actor, so at least there’s Baltar’s funny reactions to the wackiness around him to make it a bit more endurable.

Two more days until we find out if Starbuck really does try to assassinate Pres. Roslin!

And lo and behold, I just found a button that lets me type in color! Yeah!

Why Blogging Anew Today? Saturday, Mar 29 2008 

Because I’m so excited that Battlestar Galactica’s about to start up again!

I love-love-love this show, one of my very few remaining “appointment viewing” shows these days. And, actually, I haven’t loved it as much the last season or so, I guess, too much of the weird-o mythology stuff. The 2003 miniseries and Season1 was some of the most gripping TV drama I’ve ever seen. BG, for my taste anyway, is at its best when dealing with how these flawed, very human characters themselves deal with all the tragedy and trauma around them…not when having drug-induced visions or finding Athena’s (or whoever’s) arrow, etc. I am glued to the TV when it’s about people pressed in at every side and forced to make difficult decisions…the Cylons are interesting but I find the human characters much more engaging.

And, wow, the closer of the last season…like…a year ago already???!!!, season…3.46 or something like that probably…wow. Tori, Tyrol, Anders, Tigh, all Cylons?

Huh?

What?

I hope this is some kind of hoax, because it really sucks the believability right out of the show if this is really true. If there are only 12 models of Cylons, and presumably (?) there was no way to predict which ship/s might survive the initial devastating attack, how is at all possible that BG could be so thoroughly penetrated? Dontcha think somone would have noticed if the same 8 or 10 people were on every ship in the fleet? Not to mention the age issue brought up in someone else’s blog I saw — Col. Tigh served with Adama way back when, before there were human-model Cylons. So…how could he be a Cylon? Lest you say that maybe this has been a big part of a plan, and BG was supposed to survive all along, well, besides making most everything that’s happened on the series pretty much from day 1 essentially pointless (I guess if they’d really run out of water the Cylons would’ve had to secretly ship them some…?), recall also that the other Cylons didn’t know these guys were Cylons either, and were in positions to kill them (and nearly did in some cases) at various points in the series. I don’t see how it’s possible that there could’ve been any grand plan in getting Anders on the ship; that one was pretty darn fluky (and out of Cylon control).

Another problem with this is the issue of the babies on the show. So we know Hera is half-Cylon…and what a big hoopla there’s been over that. This would make Tyrol and Callie’s baby half-Cylon too. But there was no bizarre-o imagery of Six and Baltar and theaters and baby cribs involving that baby. Or could it have been that baby…?

This is the murky road I don’t like going down. Or could it be this, or could it be that? X-Files (one of my fave shows) went too far down that path, so that eventually I completely lost track of where the mythology stood. (Wait, was it really aliens kidnapping people, or evil government agents, or evil businessmen, or evil tobacco companies…?) At the point where I get too confused to follow what’s going on I also pretty much stop caring.

So…if this were all some kind of hoax, something done to these people while they were on New Caprica, that could be pretty cool. One week until we find out…potentially…yeah, probably not.