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Old September 14 2012, 01:52 AM   #68
stj
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Re: My rambling thoughts on BSG after a full series run-through

Deckerd wrote: View Post
I always thought Roslin's habit of ordering cylons to be chucked out of airlocks was one of the worst things about her character. Her vindictiveness showed up quite regularly. I don't know whether she was supposed to be the one who made the hard decisions but I reckon if you sentence someone to death, you should be the one who presses the button.
In addition to Hollywood's usual problems with writing a female character, writing a female character in authority was always going to be really weird for the new BSG, given Moore's obsession with Voyager. I think it was inevitable that Roslyn would be redeemed by love...for the Hero Adama.

sonak wrote: View Post
1. The story was what kept me interested, because the characters did not. I have seldom encountered a TV show with so many unlikeable characters....

2. Starbuck....The idea that someone like her would last five minutes in any organization that is even remotely military in style is laughable. What's worse is the obvious love that the writers had for her, so she was so often front and center.

3.... Dark and gritty is one thing, revelling in misery as you beat the audience over the head with how sober and serious you are is another....

4. The unrealism of a "realistic" show. So RM set out to make BSG realistic sci-fi. Well, the way characters acted in a supposed military setting undermined that. Characters routinely turning guns on one another, and then the next week it's forgotten. Fights breaking out all the time. I found the actions of the various characters to routinely come out of left field.

5. It's a different show by late season 3....

6....By the end of the series, I really couldn't stand Adama or Roslyn....

7. Cylons-so... by the end of the series, what's the difference between a Cylon skin-job and a Human?...

8. The story-as I wrote, the story kept me coming back. It was clever the way they kept bringing up mysteries to solve to bring you in-where is Earth? Who are the Final Five? Who is the Final Cylon, etc. Even when I dislike or was neutral about the characters, I thought the overall story was good. Until...


9. The resolution....

10. Lack of re-watchability factor. The lack of humor, unlikeable characters, intense serialization of storylines, and the nature of the series relying so much on "mysteries" means that it doesn't have a high rewatchability factor to me. The storylines were very good, and it kept me interested, but I would never buy this series in any format, because once you've seen how the mythology and story does(and doesn't) resolve, there's not a lot of enjoyment to get over it.
Very good post. Despite (or is that because of?) it honesty, it makes a more convincing explanation of what some people like about the new BSG, despite it's many writing flaws. Some comments follow.

1. The new BSG was recast as a 9/11 story. This led to one terrific episode, 33, but the equation of 9/11 with the near annihilation of humanity led the storyline right into the septic tank as far as I was concerned. But I have to say that the characters don't have to be likable, they just have to be touch something in us. Maybe, like Walter White on Breaking Bad, we only need to realize that we too could break.

2. Yes indeed, Starbuck was ludicrous. There is a general point here, which is that wishfulfillment characters are for lots of us less interesting than characters who actually interact with the others (instead of just playing out fantasy script,) who have genuine motivations that spring from inner needs engaging with their environment.

3. There is a certain question of taste here. Some people like wallowing in suffering hero fantasies, others don't. It is especially annoying to have people insist that when we see people going about their regular day jobs they've had for months we are seeing true torment.

4. Very true. As a supposed exercise in realism, the new BSG was a spectacular failure.

5. As some have noted above, there were hints of the religious themes from the beginning. They were however introduced as the beliefs of certain characters. By season three, the series held these beliefs. This really is a huge difference. The show didn't critically treat any of its religious themes. I know many people prefer religion, even fictional religion, not be viewed critically, but I think it is appallingly dishonest writing.

6. I have to repeat, it's not a matter of "standing" Adama or Roslyn, it's first of all believing in Adama or Roslyn. I could believe in neither. It's also a question of relevance. Adama's unbelief should have been shattered and his subsequent quest for the truth should have been part of his character. Most of us can find interest in someone's pursuit of religious answers (given the assumption that religion is real,) regardless of whether we like Adama. Similarly, Roslyn's prophetic visions should have dominated her life, given her situation, but, no, they just come and go as plot requires. Yet we should be interested in a ruler who guides policy at God's whim, regardless of whether we like Roslyn.

7. The difference between Cylons and humans is race and religion. Cylon race and religion is worthy of instant extermination by God's own hand. This kind of thinking is why I find the series not just another badly written TV show but actively offensive.

8. If you're not offended by the underlying premises in our real world context, the mysteries were dangled cunningly enough.

9. Unlike life, in mysteries the point is not the journey, it's what you find there, which is to say, the answers.

10. This is why most serialized shows do worse in repeats, so it's not unique to new BSG. The Soap Channel proves that some people do like to repeat serials but its ratings also prove this is a minority taste.
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