Discussion in 'Stargate' started by Fruitcake, Aug 31, 2012.
Was it the one involving the priest? That made me hate the Scott character for a while.
I didn't like any of the flashbacks, the earth visits.. just show us their character in the drama. All it did was cut the tension of being trapped on a ship hurtling out of the galaxy. I could have done without any of the visits.
I loved SGU from the moment it started. It was a welcome departure from the nose dive SG-1 and Atlantis had taken in their final seasons. I welcomed the shift from less action packed episodes that drove SG-1, to more character driven plots. I also felt the pace was more than sufficient to move the story forward.
As far as the characters, I didn't go in trying to identify with any of them or felt any of them were so messed up that it was beyond belief they would be hired for their respective fields. I ended up liking many of them, mostly Rush, Eli, Volker, Brody, Greer and TJ. I also liked the larger main cast and the ever present supporting cast of characters.
It's really a shame that so many Stargate fans were turned off the series, for whatever reason. I think it had the potential to be the DS9 of the Stargate franchise.
The problem here is that you assume that TV hasn't changed in the 2-3 DECADES since those two shows started. You can't meander around for a season or 2 anymore and expect to survive on television any more.
Lost was able to meander around for six seasons and still didn't make any sense in the end.
No other Stargate show would had this discussion... it's over one year since it ended and three years since it started and still people all over the Internet argues over the plot and the characters.
Arguing doesn't mean greatness, LOL
Just ask the ENT forum.
I was thinking the same thing, it's been that way ever the since the series started, the other two series didn't generate anywhere close to the discussions that Universe has.
It made perfect sense if you were paying attention.
No it never.
Coming up with story material is one thing. Obviously, they came up with 20 hours' worth of story.
The hard part is turning those ideas into scripts. I've seen a pretty clear pattern where shows tend to be a lot better when they have short seasons (in the 13 episode range), and tend to take a drop in quality if they have to fill out ~20 episodes instead.
The most acclaimed shows on TV these days tend to have short seasons. I don't think that is a coincidence.
And this makes me wonder why writers don't plan that kind of stuff out. Instead of stretching a 13-episode story arc across 20 episodes, why not tell it in 13 and then come up with another story arc for the back half of the season? Treat the narrative like two separate seasons instead of one long season that you need to fill out.
Er, because you've just massively increased the writers' workload without any pay increase.
I think people forget that this is a job you get paid for, not something you are doing for fun. That's also why hardly anyone is planning out shows seasons in advance. JMS' Babylon 5 is notable for being the rare exception to that. But the vast, vast majority of shows are only planned out at a very skeletal level when they start, if at all. The showrunner might know how they want to end it, but may have no idea how to get from A to B.
When you begin, you also don't necessarily know if you are going to get 13 episodes, or 20, or 26. Hell, you might get canceled after two! It's very hard to plan in that kind of unpredictable environment. I try to be appreciative of the work that must go into that sort of adaptability.
Let none of that excuse the SGU writers, though. I would think they knew they were getting at least one 20-episode season, and they could've done a much better job, but this was also their first big foray into serialized storytelling, so they were bound to have some missteps. I think that was the real problem: taking people who'd spent over 10 years writing highly episodic, "fluffy" television, and putting them at the reins of a serialized drama. It could have worked, but the odds were against them.
I think it says something that some of the show's strongest episodes were ones involving SG-1 characters. The writers just never seemed very comfortable with their new cast, and liked to go back to the old one a bit too often.
If you don't know how many episodes you're getting, I can see planning an arc to be a problem. But if you know you're getting 20 episodes, how is it increasing anybody's workload? They're still writing the same number of episodes, just in a different way.
I'm not nitpicking SGU; I actually thought it was a great show, and I enjoyed the characters and stories for the most part. I'm just speaking in general. If you know you're being given a 20-episode season, and you want to have arc-based storytelling, make the most of those 20 episodes!
The complication that arises there, though, is, if you're a hit, The Network will force you to keep pumping out seasons. If you're a hit, it can be jsut as hard to negotiate ending after 5 seasons, as it for many many other shows to make it to 5 seasons.
So, if you have an Arc'ed Series, and know exactly how many episodes you need per season and how many seasons you need to tell it in (say 5 x 13 episodes), by the time S3 ends, you don't have much story left to tell, and if they want 3 more seasons, you are now stretching it out 50% longer than you intended.
It must be a real bear planning an arc, under these circumstances and "making every episode count". Additionally, you can't strip away all the "Character building" or "Slow Arc building" episodes, because those are needed in order to get the payoff on the "WHAM" episodes
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