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Favorite TV series?

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Posts

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    BSG was a show in a sci-fi setting about alot of important ideas, including many that can only be explored in a speculative fiction setting.

    That's like, 100% pure sci-fi all the way.


    Unless you think sci-fi is about technobabble or something, which would fly in the face of tons of actual sci-fi.

  • DiannaoChongDiannaoChong Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    I get what you guys mean, but every macgufin that came up was seated in sci fi... the issues they dealt with in the first season (abortion when the human race is low on people) were driven from the fact they were in a sci fi setting. The interpersonal drama didnt turn into scifi until the end of the series where noone knew who to trust, and all kinds of crazy shit started going down.

    DiannaoChong on
    steam_sig.png
  • reVersereVerse Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    And yes, BSG was definitely Sci-fi in setting only, or at least largely so.

    How is that different from every other sci-fi show and movie?

  • AtomikaAtomika not a robot. does not eat bugs!Registered User regular
    BSG was a show predicated on cyborgs murdering 99% of humanity while the rest fled from them in a fleet of spaceships.



    If that's not sci-fi, I have no idea what is.

    DoodmannRedTideshryke
  • FallingmanFallingman Registered User regular
    What's the general consensus on Arrow?
    I watched the first few, and thought it was taking too long to get to the interesting stuff like the Island...

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    reVerse wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    And yes, BSG was definitely Sci-fi in setting only, or at least largely so.

    How is that different from every other sci-fi show and movie?

    I guess it's hard for me to describe what I mean, and I could be wrong. I feel like 90% of BSG's themes and stories could have been explored just as easily in a less "sci-fi" setting, with minimal changes. This is true of a lot of sci-fi, yes. Other sci-fi, less so. Obviously most sci-fi is allegorical to our current world, with a veneer of sci-fi spread over it...I guess I just felt like it was thinner with BSG somehow.

    To be clear, I didn't consider this a bad thing. Largely the opposite.

  • CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
    BSG (the reimagined one, anyway) was more sci-fi than a lot of Star Trek episodes. Half the drama was mundane interpersonal shit, but the other half of it was about the difficulty of surviving on a flotilla of damaged spacecraft with no access to a planet, the psychology of the Cyclons, their bizarre life cycle, people wondering whether they're actually Cylons (and what, if anything, it means to be biologically human), etc.

    The setting has nothing to do with it; the show would be sci-fi even without it.

  • AtomikaAtomika not a robot. does not eat bugs!Registered User regular
    BSG (the reimagined one, anyway) was more sci-fi than a lot of Star Trek episodes. Half the drama was mundane interpersonal shit, but the other half of it was about the difficulty of surviving on a flotilla of damaged spacecraft with no access to a planet, the psychology of the Cyclons, their bizarre life cycle, people wondering whether they're actually Cylons (and what, if anything, it means to be biologically human), etc.

    The setting has nothing to do with it; the show would be sci-fi even without it.

    Caprica was totally planet-bound and explored the same themes, and remained resolutely sci-fi.

  • Kipling217Kipling217 Registered User regular
    I have been a soreheaded occupant of a file drawer labeled 'science fiction' ever since [publishing Player Piano], and I would like out, particularly since so many serious critics regularly mistake the drawer for a urinal.
    —Kurt Vonnegut

    Science Fictions problem since day one that.

    Which is hilarious since a lot of the presentation of science in shows like CSI and NCIS has more in common with magic then real science.

    Communicating from the last of the Babylon Stations.
    Atomikamcdermottshryke
  • DissociaterDissociater Registered User regular
    BSG (the reimagined one, anyway) was more sci-fi than a lot of Star Trek episodes. Half the drama was mundane interpersonal shit, but the other half of it was about the difficulty of surviving on a flotilla of damaged spacecraft with no access to a planet, the psychology of the Cyclons, their bizarre life cycle, people wondering whether they're actually Cylons (and what, if anything, it means to be biologically human), etc.

    The setting has nothing to do with it; the show would be sci-fi even without it.

    I think my rambling point is that the themes of the show weren't sci-fi in nature except perhaps for the idea of overreliance on technology leading to humanity's downfall (the cylons in general). I like sci-fi settings as a plot device to have cool stuff happen like in Star Wars, and I also like sci-fi being used as a tool to explore human nature in juxtaposition as in some Trek Episodes. For example, the Trek Prime Directive of non-interference in cases where interference could help or even save a species, this helps us look at how far we should go to help others, and how do we decide if we're going too far. The sci-fi part of this (an alien species) is just a tool to examine that moral dilemma. The difficulty of surviving on a flotilla of damaged crafts doesn't need to be in spaceships and could as easily be done with regular ships, being hounded by another different civilization (it's basically The Warriors in space). Now granted I didn't finish the first season mostly because the stories themselves episode to episode just weren't that engaging beyond the neat special effects, so I'm willing to concede that maybe it gets a lot better.
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I watched most of season one of BSG and didn't much care for it. It really should have been right up my alley. I love Sci-fi, but I just didn't think the stories it was telling were really any good, it was kind of like sci-fi in setting only. Maybe that doesn't make sense, I'm sick and having a hard time organizing my thoughts today.

    Shows that I loved from beginning to end: The Shield and Rome are pretty much right at the top for me.
    I quite like Breaking bad, and liked the first three seasons of Dexter.
    The first three seasons of the Wire were so good, but the 4th season really lost me and I was just bored of it by the 5th and ended up not even finishing it.
    I really liked the first 2.5 seasons of Fringe. The last few seasons after that were good but not up to the same level.

    As for Comedies: The League, Curb your Enthusiasm, Venture Bros. and Metalocalypse.

    You don't watch Archer?

    You should watch Archer.

    And yes, BSG was definitely Sci-fi in setting only, or at least largely so. That, I think, helped with broader appeal.

    I haven't tried Archer yet but I've heard nothing but good things so I'll have to give it a shot some day.

    Also to add to my comedy list: Bob's Burgers and Ugly Americans.

    DanHibiki
  • chrisnlchrisnl Registered User regular
    I've always thought the best sci-fi explores humanity and its idiosyncrasies through the use of a different setting to bring the parts you want to explore to light better. Maybe I'm not explaining it well, but the sci-fi I enjoy the most explores what it means to be human or alien.

    steam_sig.png
  • DissociaterDissociater Registered User regular
    Yeah that's kind of what I mean. And I mean all sci-fi doesn't strictly HAVE to be that. Not all episodes of star trek did it, almost none of Star Wars did it. Firefly rarely did it. But these shows I guess offered something extra for me, either awesome characters, great acting, exciting action, etc. Not that BSG couldn't have any of that, it just didn't for me.

  • theSquidtheSquid Sydney, AustraliaRegistered User regular
    Fallingman wrote: »
    What's the general consensus on Arrow?
    I watched the first few, and thought it was taking too long to get to the interesting stuff like the Island...

    Not a lot of people are watching it. It's not particularly plot heavy at the moment because it's the first season and the cast and crew are feeling out their strengths and weaknesses. We will see what happens in the show defining second season.

    I for one am enjoying it though.

    Julius
  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    theSquid wrote: »
    Fallingman wrote: »
    What's the general consensus on Arrow?
    I watched the first few, and thought it was taking too long to get to the interesting stuff like the Island...

    Not a lot of people are watching it. It's not particularly plot heavy at the moment because it's the first season and the cast and crew are feeling out their strengths and weaknesses. We will see what happens in the show defining second season.

    I for one am enjoying it though.

    Same here.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    BSG (the reimagined one, anyway) was more sci-fi than a lot of Star Trek episodes. Half the drama was mundane interpersonal shit, but the other half of it was about the difficulty of surviving on a flotilla of damaged spacecraft with no access to a planet, the psychology of the Cyclons, their bizarre life cycle, people wondering whether they're actually Cylons (and what, if anything, it means to be biologically human), etc.

    The setting has nothing to do with it; the show would be sci-fi even without it.

    I think my rambling point is that the themes of the show weren't sci-fi in nature except perhaps for the idea of overreliance on technology leading to humanity's downfall (the cylons in general). I like sci-fi settings as a plot device to have cool stuff happen like in Star Wars, and I also like sci-fi being used as a tool to explore human nature in juxtaposition as in some Trek Episodes. For example, the Trek Prime Directive of non-interference in cases where interference could help or even save a species, this helps us look at how far we should go to help others, and how do we decide if we're going too far. The sci-fi part of this (an alien species) is just a tool to examine that moral dilemma. The difficulty of surviving on a flotilla of damaged crafts doesn't need to be in spaceships and could as easily be done with regular ships, being hounded by another different civilization (it's basically The Warriors in space). Now granted I didn't finish the first season mostly because the stories themselves episode to episode just weren't that engaging beyond the neat special effects, so I'm willing to concede that maybe it gets a lot better.

    Man, I have no idea what you are on, but there's no way the setup of this show works in a non-spec-fic construction.

    BSG is all about the sci-fi premise being used to look inward at humanity and moral conflicts. Partially it exists to put extreme pressure on the characters and see how they respond. And partially it's a way to examine larger issues, ones that can only be touched on in a spec-fic setting. One of the biggest themes in the show is the question of what are the responsibilities of those that play god.

    Though it can certainly feel less sci-fi to some, that seems only because it spends less time focusing on the why and the explanation of how x-tech works and the technobabble and all that, and more on examining how that technology shapes the world and the people in it. Firefly is a similar show in that respect.

  • KalTorakKalTorak Way up inside your butthole, Morty. WAAAAY up inside there.Registered User regular
    I've never watched BSG, but it seems to revolve around sentient robots that look human and that's a pretty rock-solid sci-fi ingredient, whether it's light sci-fi ("AAAHHH KILLER ROBOTS!") or heavy sci-fi ("how different am I really from this extremely erotic robot?").

  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    I figure this is the most appropriate thread to discuss it.

    A couple weeks ago I bought season 1 of Breaking Bad for my folks, since their TV exposure is piss-poor. At their request, they wanted season 2. And after that, season 3 and 4 (though they got all those with their own money).

    Anyway I finally sat down to watch it myself and this show is tremendous. Season 1 is a little all-over-the-place thematically and not the greatest thing, but everything after that really picks up. And I've gotta say, all the ads I've seen for the show don't sell it properly. Every commercial makes the show seem more fast-paced than it really is. It's super deliberate in its pacing and is kind of western (as in, old western films), in that violence coming into play are true "oh shit, it's going down" moments rather than just happening all the time and being the norm.

    Anyway, three episodes left to go in season 4.

    Centrism is just the cowardly way to be a bigot w/o being explicit about it.
    American politics isn't 4D chess, it's just if you give a shit about other people or not.
    Johnny ChopsockyCaveman Paws
  • DissociaterDissociater Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    BSG (the reimagined one, anyway) was more sci-fi than a lot of Star Trek episodes. Half the drama was mundane interpersonal shit, but the other half of it was about the difficulty of surviving on a flotilla of damaged spacecraft with no access to a planet, the psychology of the Cyclons, their bizarre life cycle, people wondering whether they're actually Cylons (and what, if anything, it means to be biologically human), etc.

    The setting has nothing to do with it; the show would be sci-fi even without it.

    I think my rambling point is that the themes of the show weren't sci-fi in nature except perhaps for the idea of overreliance on technology leading to humanity's downfall (the cylons in general). I like sci-fi settings as a plot device to have cool stuff happen like in Star Wars, and I also like sci-fi being used as a tool to explore human nature in juxtaposition as in some Trek Episodes. For example, the Trek Prime Directive of non-interference in cases where interference could help or even save a species, this helps us look at how far we should go to help others, and how do we decide if we're going too far. The sci-fi part of this (an alien species) is just a tool to examine that moral dilemma. The difficulty of surviving on a flotilla of damaged crafts doesn't need to be in spaceships and could as easily be done with regular ships, being hounded by another different civilization (it's basically The Warriors in space). Now granted I didn't finish the first season mostly because the stories themselves episode to episode just weren't that engaging beyond the neat special effects, so I'm willing to concede that maybe it gets a lot better.

    Man, I have no idea what you are on, but there's no way the setup of this show works in a non-spec-fic construction.

    BSG is all about the sci-fi premise being used to look inward at humanity and moral conflicts. Partially it exists to put extreme pressure on the characters and see how they respond. And partially it's a way to examine larger issues, ones that can only be touched on in a spec-fic setting. One of the biggest themes in the show is the question of what are the responsibilities of those that play god.

    Though it can certainly feel less sci-fi to some, that seems only because it spends less time focusing on the why and the explanation of how x-tech works and the technobabble and all that, and more on examining how that technology shapes the world and the people in it. Firefly is a similar show in that respect.

    Did you not read my post where I said I didn't finish the first season? Maybe it eventually becomes what you say it does, but when I was watching it there was episodes where they search for water, get suspicious of spies, deal with suicide bombers, deal with terrorists. Hell take a look at the season one summary on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battlestar_Galactica_(season_1). With the exception of maybe one episode (8), there are almost no episodes there that wouldn't have worked as well in a contemporary setting on a battleship stuck in enemy territory during a war. But way to get all defensive for no reason.

    KalTorak wrote: »
    I've never watched BSG, but it seems to revolve around sentient robots that look human and that's a pretty rock-solid sci-fi ingredient, whether it's light sci-fi ("AAAHHH KILLER ROBOTS!") or heavy sci-fi ("how different am I really from this extremely erotic robot?").

    Ya the setting is obviously super sci-fi. And I actually really liked the setting. I was a fan of the original series as cheesy as it was. There just wasn't much else to keep me interested to get past the boring first season. I actively disliked most of the characters so that was a huge turn off if the individual episodes weren't very interesting.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    shryke wrote: »
    BSG (the reimagined one, anyway) was more sci-fi than a lot of Star Trek episodes. Half the drama was mundane interpersonal shit, but the other half of it was about the difficulty of surviving on a flotilla of damaged spacecraft with no access to a planet, the psychology of the Cyclons, their bizarre life cycle, people wondering whether they're actually Cylons (and what, if anything, it means to be biologically human), etc.

    The setting has nothing to do with it; the show would be sci-fi even without it.

    I think my rambling point is that the themes of the show weren't sci-fi in nature except perhaps for the idea of overreliance on technology leading to humanity's downfall (the cylons in general). I like sci-fi settings as a plot device to have cool stuff happen like in Star Wars, and I also like sci-fi being used as a tool to explore human nature in juxtaposition as in some Trek Episodes. For example, the Trek Prime Directive of non-interference in cases where interference could help or even save a species, this helps us look at how far we should go to help others, and how do we decide if we're going too far. The sci-fi part of this (an alien species) is just a tool to examine that moral dilemma. The difficulty of surviving on a flotilla of damaged crafts doesn't need to be in spaceships and could as easily be done with regular ships, being hounded by another different civilization (it's basically The Warriors in space). Now granted I didn't finish the first season mostly because the stories themselves episode to episode just weren't that engaging beyond the neat special effects, so I'm willing to concede that maybe it gets a lot better.

    Man, I have no idea what you are on, but there's no way the setup of this show works in a non-spec-fic construction.

    BSG is all about the sci-fi premise being used to look inward at humanity and moral conflicts. Partially it exists to put extreme pressure on the characters and see how they respond. And partially it's a way to examine larger issues, ones that can only be touched on in a spec-fic setting. One of the biggest themes in the show is the question of what are the responsibilities of those that play god.

    Though it can certainly feel less sci-fi to some, that seems only because it spends less time focusing on the why and the explanation of how x-tech works and the technobabble and all that, and more on examining how that technology shapes the world and the people in it. Firefly is a similar show in that respect.

    Did you not read my post where I said I didn't finish the first season? Maybe it eventually becomes what you say it does, but when I was watching it there was episodes where they search for water, get suspicious of spies, deal with suicide bombers, deal with terrorists. Hell take a look at the season one summary on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battlestar_Galactica_(season_1). With the exception of maybe one episode (8), there are almost no episodes there that wouldn't have worked as well in a contemporary setting on a battleship stuck in enemy territory during a war. But way to get all defensive for no reason.

    No, this is justcrazy talk. Even the episodes you've already seen depend on the premise. I don't even get how you think "battleship stuck behind enemy lines" even works for any of these scripts. Even for the basic plot, the changes would have to be drastic as to be a different episode. And then there's all the things the premise brings to the table. Just the tension and desperation alone doesn't work without the idea that they are, literally, the last of the human race. They aren't a ship of people left adrift, they are a civilization left adrift. And entire species.

    And the themes I mention show up in like the first hour. Adama's speech at the decommissioning is like the thesis statement of the series in many ways.

    Like, I don't care if you like it or not, but the idea that it's not sci-fi or doesn't lean heavily on it's premise of "species on the edge of extinction" and "uprising by the very beings they created" is ludicrous.


    PS - The speech in question:
    Adama:
    The Cylon War is long over, yet we must not forget the reasons why so many sacrificed so much in the cause of freedom. The cost of wearing the uniform can be high, but... [very long pause] ... sometimes it's too high. You know, when we fought the Cylons, we did it to save ourselves from extinction. But we never answered the question "Why?" Why are we as a people worth saving? We still commit murder because of greed and spite, jealousy, and we still visit all of our sins upon our children. We refuse to accept the responsibility for anything that we've done, like we did with the Cylons. We decided to play God, create life. And when that life turned against us, we comforted ourselves in the knowledge that it really wasn't our fault, not really. You cannot play God then wash your hands of the things that you've created. Sooner or later, the day comes when you can't hide from the things that you've done anymore.

    This is a set of ideas that can really only be explored in speculative-fiction.

    shryke on
  • EgosEgos Registered User regular
    Did you not read my post where I said I didn't finish the first season? Maybe it eventually becomes what you say it does, but when I was watching it there was episodes where they search for water, get suspicious of spies, deal with suicide bombers, deal with terrorists. Hell take a look at the season one summary on wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battlestar_Galactica_(season_1). With the exception of maybe one episode (8), there are almost no episodes there that wouldn't have worked as well in a contemporary setting on a battleship stuck in enemy territory during a war. But way to get all defensive for no reason.

    It does. You could perhaps make an argument for filler episodes, but who gives a fuck about filler episodes?

  • SarcasmoBlasterSarcasmoBlaster Registered User regular
    Man, BSG was such a good series. It did trail off and get pretty bad towards the end, but when it was good, boy was it good. Just go back and watch the first episode again if you need confirmation. I mean, holy shit.

  • DissociaterDissociater Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    shryke wrote: »


    PS - The speech in question:
    Adama:
    The Cylon War is long over, yet we must not forget the reasons why so many sacrificed so much in the cause of freedom. The cost of wearing the uniform can be high, but... [very long pause] ... sometimes it's too high. You know, when we fought the Cylons, we did it to save ourselves from extinction. But we never answered the question "Why?" Why are we as a people worth saving? We still commit murder because of greed and spite, jealousy, and we still visit all of our sins upon our children. We refuse to accept the responsibility for anything that we've done, like we did with the Cylons. We decided to play God, create life. And when that life turned against us, we comforted ourselves in the knowledge that it really wasn't our fault, not really. You cannot play God then wash your hands of the things that you've created. Sooner or later, the day comes when you can't hide from the things that you've done anymore.

    This is a set of ideas that can really only be explored in speculative-fiction.

    That's fair but none of that was actually explored in subsequent episodes in the first season. It was just filler episode after filler episode until I gave up. One speech in one episode doesn't explain away the fact that the following episodes didn't actually go anywhere with that idea before I lost interest. It's easy to say 'the show's about examining the human condition and the morality of playing god, and what it is that makes us humans and makes them robots' but if the actual episodes don't actively explore that, it's just window dressing. The one side story I enjoyed was with the Cylons that didn't know they were Cylons, blurring the line between humanity and robots, but such a huge amount of the show was starbuck posturing and trying to act tough, some snoozefest power-battle involving interplay between the military and civilians, and basic 'how do we survive out here' stories. You're talking about the overarching theme of the whole show. I'm talking about 60 minutes of storytelling being not interesting sci-fi stories.

    And as I already mentioned, that's fine, but the show had little else to offer me to keep me interested before I stopped watching.
    Egos wrote: »

    It does. You could perhaps make an argument for filler episodes, but who gives a fuck about filler episodes?

    Oh I totally concede that I probably didn't give the show a fair shake before giving up. I watched some 8 or 10 episodes or so, and it was directly after watching The Shield and Rome which was so well done that it made BSG look awful by comparison.

    Dissociater on
    Geth
  • HenroidHenroid Radio Demon Internet HellRegistered User regular
    Just finished season 4 of Breaking Bad. Ending spoilers, well, sorta:
    I'm glad it ended in a way that doesn't leave me needing to see season 5 due to a cliff hanger, like how season 3 ended.

    Centrism is just the cowardly way to be a bigot w/o being explicit about it.
    American politics isn't 4D chess, it's just if you give a shit about other people or not.
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    PS - The speech in question:
    Adama:
    The Cylon War is long over, yet we must not forget the reasons why so many sacrificed so much in the cause of freedom. The cost of wearing the uniform can be high, but... [very long pause] ... sometimes it's too high. You know, when we fought the Cylons, we did it to save ourselves from extinction. But we never answered the question "Why?" Why are we as a people worth saving? We still commit murder because of greed and spite, jealousy, and we still visit all of our sins upon our children. We refuse to accept the responsibility for anything that we've done, like we did with the Cylons. We decided to play God, create life. And when that life turned against us, we comforted ourselves in the knowledge that it really wasn't our fault, not really. You cannot play God then wash your hands of the things that you've created. Sooner or later, the day comes when you can't hide from the things that you've done anymore.

    This is a set of ideas that can really only be explored in speculative-fiction.

    That's fair but none of that was actually explored in subsequent episodes in the first season. It was just filler episode after filler episode until I gave up. One speech in one episode doesn't explain away the fact that the following episodes didn't actually go anywhere with that idea before I lost interest. It's easy to say 'the show's about examining the human condition and the morality of playing god, and what it is that makes us humans and makes them robots' but if the actual episodes don't actively explore that, it's just window dressing. The one side story I enjoyed was with the Cylons that didn't know they were Cylons, blurring the line between humanity and robots, but such a huge amount of the show was starbuck posturing and trying to act tough, some snoozefest power-battle involving interplay between the military and civilians, and basic 'how do we survive out here' stories. You're talking about the overarching theme of the whole show. I'm talking about 60 minutes of storytelling being not interesting sci-fi stories.

    And as I already mentioned, that's fine, but the show had little else to offer me to keep me interested before I stopped watching.

    They aren't filler. They are directly dealing with the premise of the series (the last of humanity on the run from murderous AI robots of their own creation), fleshing out characters and generally pushing forward the development of the series overall plot. I frankly, don't even know what show you are watching from your description.

    But really, it just appears you just didn't want to engage with it. When you are saying "the show doesn't explore it's premise and ideas" and then say "it's just filler that was some snoozefest power-battle involving interplay between the military and civilians, and basic 'how do we survive out here' stories" you just look dishonest. The power-play between the military and the government? The desperate search for basic resources? These are a part of parcel of the premise of the series. They are part of what it's about. They are all actively exploring the idea of humanity on the brink of extinction and what we do there. You seem to have missed that the important ideas in that speech aren't just about playing God and the responsibilities there of, but about the question "Why are we as a people worth saving?".

    When you say they aren't sci-fi stories, you just appear to have a very limited view of what sci-fi is.


    And, of course, it's also does fantastic character work while doing all this.

  • DissociaterDissociater Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    PS - The speech in question:
    Adama:
    The Cylon War is long over, yet we must not forget the reasons why so many sacrificed so much in the cause of freedom. The cost of wearing the uniform can be high, but... [very long pause] ... sometimes it's too high. You know, when we fought the Cylons, we did it to save ourselves from extinction. But we never answered the question "Why?" Why are we as a people worth saving? We still commit murder because of greed and spite, jealousy, and we still visit all of our sins upon our children. We refuse to accept the responsibility for anything that we've done, like we did with the Cylons. We decided to play God, create life. And when that life turned against us, we comforted ourselves in the knowledge that it really wasn't our fault, not really. You cannot play God then wash your hands of the things that you've created. Sooner or later, the day comes when you can't hide from the things that you've done anymore.

    This is a set of ideas that can really only be explored in speculative-fiction.

    That's fair but none of that was actually explored in subsequent episodes in the first season. It was just filler episode after filler episode until I gave up. One speech in one episode doesn't explain away the fact that the following episodes didn't actually go anywhere with that idea before I lost interest. It's easy to say 'the show's about examining the human condition and the morality of playing god, and what it is that makes us humans and makes them robots' but if the actual episodes don't actively explore that, it's just window dressing. The one side story I enjoyed was with the Cylons that didn't know they were Cylons, blurring the line between humanity and robots, but such a huge amount of the show was starbuck posturing and trying to act tough, some snoozefest power-battle involving interplay between the military and civilians, and basic 'how do we survive out here' stories. You're talking about the overarching theme of the whole show. I'm talking about 60 minutes of storytelling being not interesting sci-fi stories.

    And as I already mentioned, that's fine, but the show had little else to offer me to keep me interested before I stopped watching.

    They aren't filler. They are directly dealing with the premise of the series (the last of humanity on the run from murderous AI robots of their own creation), fleshing out characters and generally pushing forward the development of the series overall plot. I frankly, don't even know what show you are watching from your description.

    But really, it just appears you just didn't want to engage with it. When you are saying "the show doesn't explore it's premise and ideas" and then say "it's just filler that was some snoozefest power-battle involving interplay between the military and civilians, and basic 'how do we survive out here' stories" you just look dishonest. The power-play between the military and the government? The desperate search for basic resources? These are a part of parcel of the premise of the series. They are part of what it's about. They are all actively exploring the idea of humanity on the brink of extinction and what we do there. You seem to have missed that the important ideas in that speech aren't just about playing God and the responsibilities there of, but about the question "Why are we as a people worth saving?".

    When you say they aren't sci-fi stories, you just appear to have a very limited view of what sci-fi is.


    And, of course, it's also does fantastic character work while doing all this.

    See, you're still missing my point and my disinterest. The specific individual episodes did not require a sci-fi setting to tell their 60 minute story arc (again with the exception of one or two episodes). The power-play, and search for basic resources aren't specific stories that REQUIRE a science fiction setting in order to care about the outcome. They are stories that have been told over and over and over again in other non-science fiction settings. The episodes you call 'character fleshing' is fine, but I already pointed out that they failed in MY view to make me care about these characters, so they did nothing for my from that point of view.

    To use a simple example I'll point to characters or episodes of Star Trek TNG which I'm sure we're all familiar with. Star Trek, as a whole, has an overarching Sci-Fi theme of Humanity interacting with species so alien that they put our own humanity in contrast (among other things). But there are also individual stand alone sci-fi stories WITHIN that setting (along with many that aren't!). Episodes dealing with characters like Q show how humans can try and retain their morality, and integrity in the face of omnipotence. Some episodes deal with the Borg as sympathetic characters, there are episodes where the crew of the enterprise decide not to simply kill them like locust because, for all the evil they've done on some level they're still perhaps worth saving demonstrating the humanity of the crew. The setting for BSG was adequately sci-fi, the overall theme may have been as well. But those themes were never specifically explored in individual 60 minutes of story telling. I could forgive that if the stories were otherwise exciting or engaging of action packed.

    While this guy (http://voices.yahoo.com/bsg-vs-battlestar-galactica-went-wrong-the-5795934.html?cat=2) has a hell of a lot more vitriol towards the series than I can (I merely thought it was boring and didn't do much to engage me), he touches on a lot of the same things that I have.

    Dissociater on
    Geth
  • EgosEgos Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    Man, BSG was such a good series. It did trail off and get pretty bad towards the end, but when it was good, boy was it good. Just go back and watch the first episode again if you need confirmation. I mean, holy shit.

    I tend to agree. Like Lost it's one of those shows where I wish we got a nice smaller package with an end game or something resembling a end game planned/in-sight from the beginning instead of a behemoth. Of course that isn't how the industry works. Granted as a result we did get some interesting ideas/concepts explored as well as some goofy characters+filler episodes. And in my opinion both Lost and BSG had very weak last seasons. That aside Baltar/James Callis is great and really kept me watching BSG.


    Answering the OP - spoilered for length
    Shows I'm Currently Watching
    Regular Show - liked previous seasons more but still am liking it despite the addition of a new character
    Adventure Time - really like still
    Supernatural- kinda meh but am still watching
    Walking Dead- love/hate relationship
    Dexter- I wouldn't call this quality tv but it has its moments
    Game of Thrones- I really like this one despite not having read the books. Suspect I wouldn't as much if I had based on what I've heard.
    Veep- Like this a lot , but it's only been on one season.
    Bob's Burgers- enjoying this for light fare
    Parks & Recreations- watch it when I can. I miss a few episodes here and there though
    Portlandia- I'm not really sure how I feel about this. It's kinda likable but not laugh out loud funny...or rarely is.
    Futurama- watch it when I can


    Intent to Watch/Starting to Watch/Need to Watch More of
    HomeLand- watched the first season..I didn't like it as much as other people. Watched the first episode of the second season. Tivo'd parts of the rest
    TrueBlood- watching it on netflix
    MadMen - want to watch but haven't got around to it
    Community- Ditto
    Avatar and Korra- I've watched a dozen or so Avatar episodes but have never finished the series so yeah I need to get on that. I own the series 1 dvd set. :| One problem is I basically know what happens
    Downtown Abbey- intend to watch
    The I.T. Crowd - have watched a few seasons but still need to watch some more. The last season was pretty great.
    Twin Peaks- I never finished the last half of the second season :( Other than that I thought it was an amazing series.
    Archer- I've watched the first 2 or so seasons, but never got around to Tivoing more. Despite liking it.
    Tudors- Watched the first season. Enjoyed Sam Neill's performance. Season 2 definitely looks worth watching.
    Robin Hood - mainly interested because of Richard Armitage. Sadly I've been spoiled.
    Sherlock Holmes - heard this was good along with Abbey and MadMen. Granted I've been aware of MadMen for some time...
    Arrow- has me curious but not sure if I'll get around to it.
    The Following- someone I wouldn't think would like this liked it. So now I'm curious about it. Especially since I thought it would be bad.
    American Horror Story- probably the least likely one I'll watch but still semi-curious
    Doctor Who- I saw a few of the Tenant episodes and enjoyed them thoroughly. Not so much the case for the Eccleston ones.

    Past Favorites/Didn't Hate
    Black Adder- mainly the first season
    Lost- definitely not the second season. First was great. I feel like 3rd ,4th or 5th or some combo of those were pretty good as well.
    BSG- liked a lot of it, hated the parts that were obviously made up on the fly and the parts that were filler.
    Deadwood- thought it was pretty great for the most part. Though I have to say I liked the first two seasons more than the last.
    The Wire- another that I consider very high quality. Although the last two seasons aren't my favorite I understand the purpose they served.
    Simpsons- basically it died for me when they stopped making new characters for guest stars to play as and had them appear as themselves. Conan era was good.
    Misfits- pretty decent but I got kinda bored with it around the 3rd season
    Justice League- one of my favorite animated series
    Batman: TAS - though I consider this better at its peak
    South Park- found this amusing as a kid and still do on occasion despite my best intentions.
    Lexx - kind of a strange one. Definitely not quality tv , but I liked it.
    Breaking Bad- is pretty much consistently good
    Whitest Kids You Know- Some Skits are Great while Others are Just Godawful. So yeah...
    Space Ghost: Coast to Coast- yup
    Flight of the Conchords - found it consistently enjoyable. sadly I didn't watch it when it was on.
    Family Guy- Oddly I liked it when it first aired on Fox. Not so much now... (10 year age difference or so might explain it)
    Nip/Tuck- Though the first season was decent. It just got silly afterwards and I stopped watching.
    Venture Bros- I really loved the first season and enjoyed the second quite a bit but it kinda lost me after that. Believe this is heresy. Watched the recent Halloween special and it really did nothing for me.

    Egos on
  • DissociaterDissociater Registered User regular
    Egos wrote: »
    Man, BSG was such a good series. It did trail off and get pretty bad towards the end, but when it was good, boy was it good. Just go back and watch the first episode again if you need confirmation. I mean, holy shit.

    I tend to agree. Like Lost it's one of those shows where I wish we got a nice smaller package with an end game or something resembling a end game planned/in-sight from the beginning instead of a behemoth. Of course that isn't how the industry works. Granted as a result we did get some interesting ideas/concepts explored as well as some goofy characters+filler episodes. And in my opinion both Lost and BSG had very weak last seasons. That aside Baltar/James Callis is great and really kept me watching BSG.

    Same thing kind of happened with Fringe.

    I wanted to try watching Lost because I've heard early on it is really good. But the negativity I hear about the final season discourages me :(

  • DeadfallDeadfall Registered User regular
    After stopping after the 2nd season, I recently got back into Burn Notice. I really like that show.

    BFzWh4r.png
    xbl - HowYouGetAnts
    steam - WeAreAllGeth
    www.hoptonogood.com - Beer/Adventure/Life
  • EgosEgos Registered User regular
    Deadfall wrote: »
    After stopping after the 2nd season, I recently got back into Burn Notice. I really like that show.

    Curious did

    Obvious Burn Notice Spoilers
    the addition of Jessie , I think that is the new dude's name, help spice things up? It seemed like whenever Mike discovered something new , the writers found way to make sure the status quo remained the same.

    Mike:
    "Hey you're the guy who burned me!"
    Mysterious yet Meek Looking Dude: "You don't understand, Mike. This whole thing is bigger than all of us!"
    *Whoops Sniper Shot*
    *Mysterious Dude Drops to Ground *

  • Page-Page- Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    Been watching Legit. It's about half way between Louie and It's Always Sunny, with a dash of Curb Your Enthusiasm, in tone and content. Fun stuff.

    Page- on
    Competitive Gaming and Writing Blog Updated in October: "Song (and Story) of the Day"
    Anyone want to beta read a paranormal mystery novella? Here's your chance.
    stream
  • DeadfallDeadfall Registered User regular
    Egos wrote: »
    Deadfall wrote: »
    After stopping after the 2nd season, I recently got back into Burn Notice. I really like that show.

    Curious did

    Obvious Burn Notice Spoilers
    the addition of Jessie , I think that is the new dude's name, help spice things up? It seemed like whenever Mike discovered something new , the writers found way to make sure the status quo remained the same.

    Mike:
    "Hey you're the guy who burned me!"
    Mysterious yet Meek Looking Dude: "You don't understand, Mike. This whole thing is bigger than all of us!"
    *Whoops Sniper Shot*
    *Mysterious Dude Drops to Ground *
    I literally just got to Jesse. But yeah, it's pretty much that with every episode. And I love it.

    BFzWh4r.png
    xbl - HowYouGetAnts
    steam - WeAreAllGeth
    www.hoptonogood.com - Beer/Adventure/Life
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    shryke wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    PS - The speech in question:
    Adama:
    The Cylon War is long over, yet we must not forget the reasons why so many sacrificed so much in the cause of freedom. The cost of wearing the uniform can be high, but... [very long pause] ... sometimes it's too high. You know, when we fought the Cylons, we did it to save ourselves from extinction. But we never answered the question "Why?" Why are we as a people worth saving? We still commit murder because of greed and spite, jealousy, and we still visit all of our sins upon our children. We refuse to accept the responsibility for anything that we've done, like we did with the Cylons. We decided to play God, create life. And when that life turned against us, we comforted ourselves in the knowledge that it really wasn't our fault, not really. You cannot play God then wash your hands of the things that you've created. Sooner or later, the day comes when you can't hide from the things that you've done anymore.

    This is a set of ideas that can really only be explored in speculative-fiction.

    That's fair but none of that was actually explored in subsequent episodes in the first season. It was just filler episode after filler episode until I gave up. One speech in one episode doesn't explain away the fact that the following episodes didn't actually go anywhere with that idea before I lost interest. It's easy to say 'the show's about examining the human condition and the morality of playing god, and what it is that makes us humans and makes them robots' but if the actual episodes don't actively explore that, it's just window dressing. The one side story I enjoyed was with the Cylons that didn't know they were Cylons, blurring the line between humanity and robots, but such a huge amount of the show was starbuck posturing and trying to act tough, some snoozefest power-battle involving interplay between the military and civilians, and basic 'how do we survive out here' stories. You're talking about the overarching theme of the whole show. I'm talking about 60 minutes of storytelling being not interesting sci-fi stories.

    And as I already mentioned, that's fine, but the show had little else to offer me to keep me interested before I stopped watching.

    They aren't filler. They are directly dealing with the premise of the series (the last of humanity on the run from murderous AI robots of their own creation), fleshing out characters and generally pushing forward the development of the series overall plot. I frankly, don't even know what show you are watching from your description.

    But really, it just appears you just didn't want to engage with it. When you are saying "the show doesn't explore it's premise and ideas" and then say "it's just filler that was some snoozefest power-battle involving interplay between the military and civilians, and basic 'how do we survive out here' stories" you just look dishonest. The power-play between the military and the government? The desperate search for basic resources? These are a part of parcel of the premise of the series. They are part of what it's about. They are all actively exploring the idea of humanity on the brink of extinction and what we do there. You seem to have missed that the important ideas in that speech aren't just about playing God and the responsibilities there of, but about the question "Why are we as a people worth saving?".

    When you say they aren't sci-fi stories, you just appear to have a very limited view of what sci-fi is.


    And, of course, it's also does fantastic character work while doing all this.

    See, you're still missing my point and my disinterest. The specific individual episodes did not require a sci-fi setting to tell their 60 minute story arc (again with the exception of one or two episodes). The power-play, and search for basic resources aren't specific stories that REQUIRE a science fiction setting in order to care about the outcome. They are stories that have been told over and over and over again in other non-science fiction settings. The episodes you call 'character fleshing' is fine, but I already pointed out that they failed in MY view to make me care about these characters, so they did nothing for my from that point of view.

    You keep saying this, but any alternative non-spec-fic scenario you've given so far is completely unable to fit the plots of BSG in without massive reworking of the basic premise of the story. Only in the very broadest, most meaningless of terms do these episodes not depend on the setting. And by those terms, most of sci-fi doesn't depend on it's setting either.

    To use a simple example I'll point to characters or episodes of Star Trek TNG which I'm sure we're all familiar with. Star Trek, as a whole, has an overarching Sci-Fi theme of Humanity interacting with species so alien that they put our own humanity in contrast (among other things). But there are also individual stand alone sci-fi stories WITHIN that setting (along with many that aren't!). Episodes dealing with characters like Q show how humans can try and retain their morality, and integrity in the face of omnipotence. Some episodes deal with the Borg as sympathetic characters, there are episodes where the crew of the enterprise decide not to simply kill them like locust because, for all the evil they've done on some level they're still perhaps worth saving demonstrating the humanity of the crew. The setting for BSG was adequately sci-fi, the overall theme may have been as well. But those themes were never specifically explored in individual 60 minutes of story telling. I could forgive that if the stories were otherwise exciting or engaging of action packed.

    Star Trek has tons of epides that are as sci-fi as anything in BSG. They are often it's better episodes. RDM, the head writer, was after all a Star Trek writer. It's funny you bring up Star Trek since many of it's best episodes are about the human condition or the like, just examined through a cursory sci-fi lens.

    Look, you keep saying it's about the sci-fi part, but the only thing coming through clear here is you apparently didn't like the characters or the plots. Which ... I don't know what to tell you. I guess it's not for you or something. To say the show wasn't exicting or engaging is, imo, crazy but whatever you can have your own opinion. Some people like Two and a Half Men or the original cheeseball BSG for some reason. To say it's not sci-fi is ludicrous though.

    While this guy (http://voices.yahoo.com/bsg-vs-battlestar-galactica-went-wrong-the-5795934.html?cat=2) has a hell of a lot more vitriol towards the series than I can (I merely thought it was boring and didn't do much to engage me), he touches on a lot of the same things that I have.

    That guy is utterly full of shit. He's one of the whingers you occasionally saw around who's real issue was it was a reboot of the series. He seems to be expecting a cheesy-ball shoot-em-up action adventure romp or something instead of a serious drama. Maybe you were expecting the same. I don't know what to tell you.

    shryke on
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    All great, but, I dunno, they didn't hook me enough? Or maybe Battlestar Galactica abused me such that I can never commit to a long series again. Battlestar Galactica is the worst television show ever.

    You can't be devoted to battlestar gallactica because its a long series(4 seasons long over 5 years?), but you are devoted to the venture brothers which is still going, and has 4 seasons over 10 years(to the date, on saturday).

    No no, I was devoted to BSG. I loved it, really enjoyed it. And then the last season... really just the last few episodes...

    It's like being in a loving relationship for many years and then finding out that your spouse has been cheating on you the whole time. Or having just finished a delicious burger, being told that it's made of ground human fetus. All the goodness is just obliterated by how awful that final revelation is.

    I hate BSG.

    Hate. It.

    But Venture Brothers is fucking great!

    2ezikn6.jpg
  • AtomikaAtomika not a robot. does not eat bugs!Registered User regular
    edited February 2013
    I wouldn't say BSG got "really bad" at the end, I would just say that it had trouble sticking the landing, though it did try nobly. It had a lot of plates spinning going into that final season, and many of the show's best episodes came from that year.

    The great thing about the show is that from Day 1 it was intended to be a experiment in didactics vs. dialectics, and created its narrative and characters around those questions wholly. Sure, it had plenty of pew!pew!robots! and sexiness, but the show had a thesis and was ABOUT something. Too few shows can say that. It's mandate wasn't to thrill you with gunfights or titillate you with viscera, every episode of the show was trying to make you learn something about yourself and your own humanity, and question beliefs you may of not even known you held. Especially that third season, oh my god: enjoy spending an entire season thinking about abortion, rape, terrorism, causality, and the inherent problems of mixing the religious with the political. As a much more eloquent person than I once posited, BSG weekly taught the lesson that "You have to burn off the parts of you that don't work. It's painful, and it should be. You don't forget where those scars came from." Those parts may be your personal philosophies, or your religious views, or your relationships, or even other people themselves.

    And much more so than Lindelhof and Abrams did with LOST, BSG actually tried to give you a semblance of an answer when it prodded at the big mysteries of life and existentialism.

    Atomika on
  • GreasyKidsStuffGreasyKidsStuff MOMMM! ROAST BEEF WANTS TO KISS GIRLS ON THE TITTIES!Registered User regular
    So my girlfriend and I have been watching Firefly for the past couple weeks, and we finished the TV series two days ago. Still need to watch Serenity so spoiler anything if you discuss it, but I gotta say that was a great use of my time! I can see why Whedon was picked to handle The Avengers; he handles ensemble casts exceptionally well, infusing the plot with heart, humour, high stakes when they're needed, and some great action. We both enjoyed all of it.

    The obvious issue that really isn't the show's fault at all is how none of it really goes anywhere, with all the episodes being largely independent save for a few threads that kiiiiiiiiiind of develop over time, eg., River's condition and character romances. Of course, you can't blame the show for this! Cancelled after 11 episodes is bullshit! Obviously there was no way to wrap up the loose ends.

    And so, I fully expect to have most of these things addressed when we watch Serenity. I've heard it's pretty good so I have high hopes.

  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    The show worked reasonably well on smaller arcs, but the show was pimping a series-long arc that turned out to be mostly incoherent "this looks/sounds cool, let's use it" at the end, which suggests that they were doing that from the start.

    2ezikn6.jpg
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    The show worked reasonably well on smaller arcs, but the show was pimping a series-long arc that turned out to be mostly incoherent "this looks/sounds cool, let's use it" at the end, which suggests that they were doing that from the start.

    Like Lost, BSG was doing fine as long as they only had to set up mysteries and such. Though BSG did it better in that there's obviously some overall ideas about where it's going, since for the first few seasons, it's pretty darn coherent.

    The problem, or it seems to me, was RDM. From some of his interviews and commentaries he seems big on "I just had this crazy idea, let's work it in to the plot!". No discipline was the issues imo. They kept rewriting and rewriting the ending to arcs and such so that setup in previous episodes goes nowhere because it leads to a story arc they later abandoned. That and the whole "Final Five" thing that was obviously an ass pull from the start to overcome casting issues related to the end of S2 and the show kinda went off rails in S3 and never quite recovers.

    The character arcs still all work beautifully and the show does a decent job of pulling it together in the end, but it doesn't really come together as a whole work across 4 seasons as well as it should. Certainly pulled together better then Lost ever did though.

    Egosfrandelgearslip
  • EgosEgos Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    . Certainly pulled together better then Lost ever did though.

    The thing that was especially disappointing with Lost for me was in the second to last season was the writers made it seem like the show was going to go in a potentially exciting direction but then ,in the last season, it turned the exact opposite way. Some people liked this. It annoyed the fuck out of me.

  • DissociaterDissociater Registered User regular
    shryke wrote: »
    Look, you keep saying it's about the sci-fi part, but the only thing coming through clear here is you apparently didn't like the characters or the plots.
    .

    See, I feel like you have a thing you want me to be saying, so you're just arguing it and not bothering to actually read what I AM saying. I said many times that I don't like the characters or the plots. Straight out and specifically so I don't know why you bring it up. I said that I can look past the sci-fi stories not being good/great if the plot or characters are otherwise engaging (which they weren't). What I AM saying is that I can also appreciate an episode of a TV show, with characters who might not be great, or well acted can still be entertaining if the story itself is very very good. I find Sci-fi stories, when they're very good, to be very entertaining. I did not find the sci-fi stories, as told in 60 minutes to be very good. Barring that, I didn't find the non-sci-fi stories to be very good. To take a simple example, pick any episode from the first season, let's take episode three, and remove the sci-fi/technobabble references or replace them with mundane things. If the plot still makes sense without sci-fi elements it's not a science fiction story, it's a story in a science fiction setting.

    From the Wiki summary:
    After a source of water is located on a nearby moon island, Apollo suggests the use of the 1,000 prisoners aboard the Astral Queen to extract it, but President Roslin does not want to institute slave labor, and instead believes that the prisoners should have the choice to work in exchange for "points" towards early freedom. She assembles a delegation consisting of Apollo, her personal aide Billy Keikeya, Petty Officer Anastasia Dualla, and Specialist Cally.

    Commander Adama is opposed to the idea of granting early freedom to prisoners, especially since he is at odds with Apollo's newly appointed role as Roslin's "special advisor", which he sees as a conflict of interest. Regardless, the delegation heads to the Astral Queen and Apollo presents the proposal. The prisoners, acting in solidarity as a union, decline to respond. The prisoners' de facto leader Tom Zarek, a political radical and terrorist from Sagittaron, steps forward to discuss the matter with Apollo.

    Meanwhile, on Caprica, Helo and Caprica-Boomer continue their trek through a ruined city as they are observed and analysed from a rooftop by a pair of human Cylon models; Number Six, and Number Five. The two of them comment approvingly on the acting skill of the human-cylonSpy Boomer.

    On the Galactica, Commander Adama asks Dr. Baltar for a progress report on the development of the Cylonlie Detector. In his head, Number Sixa halucination intimidates Baltar into asking for a nuclear warheadmcguffin, claiming he needs materials from it to build the detector. While speaking, Baltar realises that this is in fact a valid route to building a detector. Adama reluctantly allows it.

    Back on the Astral Queen, Zarek refuses Apollo's offer. Instead, he and his men manage to escape confinement and capture the delegation as hostages. He then demands Roslin's immediate resignation as President, believing that her government does not represent the people. He calls for free elections among the human survivors and limited autonomy for the prisoners.

    Refusing to give in to Zarek's demands, Adama sends Starbuck to lead a squad of marines to infiltrate the Astral Queen and kill Zarek if he doesn't release the hostages. Apollo realizes that this is exactly what Zarek wants: a bloodbath that will lead to the collapse of Roslin's government. However, Apollo stops the assault and forces a compromise with Zarek. He proposes to hold elections within a year in return for the prisoners' cooperation in retrieving the water. Roslin and Adama object to the decision until Apollo points out that Roslin is just serving out the last few months of President Adar's term which will be up within a year anyway. Commander Adama expresses discontent with his son's decision, as well as the allegiance it declares, but Roslin takes Apollo into her inner circle by informing him of her cancer.

    Now that doesn't mean the show is objectively bad WITHOUT the sci-fi story going on. But as I said before, many times, I personally didn't care for the other elements of the show. I thought the characters were weak, the writing was horrible (I couldn't roll my eyes hard enough at the words 'frak' and 'nuggets') and the pacing was way too slow for what was supposed to be a military science fiction show.

    In my view there are three scenarios where Sci-Fi works the best: Where it's necessary to tell the story, where it's better for the story, and where it's just more fun and exciting. A good example of the first is Gattaca, this was about both playing god and showing that human willpower and determination can beat science and genetic perfection, that there's still something to be said for the human element. It doesn't work in the mundane setting. An example of the second is Stranger in a Strange Land, some themes are about culture shock, holding up prejudice to the spotlight and also that a human is the product of his upbringing not of his racial or ethnic heritage, this could work in the mundane world but a science fiction setting jacks up the contrast. An example of the final one is star wars, where it's just a story about a farmer who gets a sword, becomes a knight and saves the world. It's just more fun with lasers, explosions, lightsabers, etc. Episode three of BSG spoilered above doesn't fit any of these three headings. It didn't need to be in sci-fi or work best in sci-fi. It certainly wasn't more exciting to be in sci-fi. If you were to just sit down, without watching any other episode of BSG and watch that episode, you wouldn't know it was science fiction if they didn't show space shots or a moon.

    Now frankly, I don't care if you agree or not. But for my money when viewing these episodes I lost interest because the stories they were telling, episode to episode (I was watching off the DVDs), weren't thought provoking, exciting, original, etc. And they weren't saved by other non-story related elements. It would have been easy as pie for there to be an episode where they capture a cylon and spend the hour determining if it would be right to torture it for information, this story would ONLY work in the sci-fi setting because the question would be 'is it right to torture a machine'. Is it 'alive' in the traditional sense?. I don't know if they eventually did this, but like I said, I didn't give the show a fair shake before giving up, so maybe it gets better?

  • DissociaterDissociater Registered User regular
    So my girlfriend and I have been watching Firefly for the past couple weeks, and we finished the TV series two days ago. Still need to watch Serenity so spoiler anything if you discuss it, but I gotta say that was a great use of my time! I can see why Whedon was picked to handle The Avengers; he handles ensemble casts exceptionally well, infusing the plot with heart, humour, high stakes when they're needed, and some great action. We both enjoyed all of it.

    The obvious issue that really isn't the show's fault at all is how none of it really goes anywhere, with all the episodes being largely independent save for a few threads that kiiiiiiiiiind of develop over time, eg., River's condition and character romances. Of course, you can't blame the show for this! Cancelled after 11 episodes is bullshit! Obviously there was no way to wrap up the loose ends.

    And so, I fully expect to have most of these things addressed when we watch Serenity. I've heard it's pretty good so I have high hopes.

    I went into firefly expecting to hate it (after how hyped up it was) and ended up loving it as well :D

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