Just Completed NuBattelstar Re-Watch

Discussion in 'Battlestar Galactica & Caprica' started by LOKAI of CHERON, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. LOKAI of CHERON

    LOKAI of CHERON Commodore Commodore

    I've just completed my second complete re-watch of Ron Moore's re-imagined Battlestar Galactica - mainlined the entire series in just over three weeks. I included all the extended episodes, webisodes and the specials - Razor and The Plan.

    I'm sad to say my initial appreciation and enthusiam for the show has been greatly reduced from my first viewing, which was over an extended period.

    There is still much I liked, the quality of the acting being foremost - truly excellent throughout. Also, the CG FX and production design are still quite convincing, and have largely held up pretty well for the most part. Bear McCreary's scoring is EXCEPTIONAL.

    However, there are a number of issues I now have with the show, which didn't seem to register or wrankle so much first time round.

    Firstly, to me, the entire run often comes across as an extended advertisement for religion/Christianity - and is about as subtle as the proverbial sledgehammer on many occasions. Personally, I just don't find this sort of thing particularly appealing in Science Fiction.

    My other major peeve is the thoroughly dislikable nature of nearly all the main characters. To me, most of them come across as bi-polar psychopaths - regularly flipping between lofty morals and, well, pretty ugly and reprehensible immorality - at the flick of a switch.

    The show is relentlessly depressing, disheartening and dismal - rarely did I end an episode with anything approaching an uplifting/upbeat feeling. I believe Ron Moore's basic premise for nuBSG was "dark and gritty" with no "forehead aliens" or space anomalies etc.

    But, you know what, I love my aliens and anomalies, I love my optimism and yes, I love my idealised "enlightened" Federation or whatever. Going back to Trek after this mini marathon felt absolutely fantastic, like coming up for air from all the perpetual gloom!

    Finally, the show's big culmination, I may have gotten this completely wrong, but essentially, "god did it" is my understanding - oh, and post crash Kara was a guiding angel? A massively disappointing conclusion to the show for me.
     
  2. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yet another person sees the light.

    New Galactica wasn't "dark and gritty". It desperately tried to be that while at the same time just as desperately tried NOT to be sci-fi, and SPECTACUARLY failed at both.

    What it is, is the longest commercial in creation for why the human race belongs on prozac.

    Also, Kara Thrace is the WORST character EVER created for ANY show. They should have killed her in a different way at the end of every episode.

    To the tune of The Benny Hill show.

    We must challenge assumptions, after all.....
     
  3. The Stig

    The Stig Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It takes an extremely shallow viewing to make that assumption. By the end of the series, the 'God' was shown to be more akin to an advanced form of life, performing a millennia-long experiment on human/Cylon life.

    So, they behaved as people. The characters on BSG were the strongest element of the series.

    The show was inherently optimistic. It showed a group of people who were tested and found the strength not to break. BSG was about maintaining optimism in the face of unspeakable and unrelenting horror.

    Then BSG was, most assuredly, not for you.

    The ending was foreshadowed as early as the miniseries and was completely in keeping with the mythology of the show. From the start, there was a third party manipulating characters and events and the finale lifted the curtain to show us who that third party was.

    As for Starbuck, she may have been the most compelling person on the show. Of all the changes that RDM made to the BSG formula when he remade the series, she was the best decision he ever made.
     
  4. LOKAI of CHERON

    LOKAI of CHERON Commodore Commodore

    Well, IMO, the overtly religious "vibe" and undertone of the series is fairly undeniable - and can easily be viewed as a rather obvious and blatant Christian parallel. Just because there's a throwaway line right at the end reference "it" not liking the god nomenclature doesn't change anything. Those of a religious bent watching may well find it "validating" in some way. I'm not saying that's necessarily a bad thing - it's just not for me.

    See, I've heard this line of defence before. Personally, I just don't buy it. I don't currently know, nor have I met, anybody who flip-flops between compassion and "PUT THEM OUT THE AIRLOCK" extremes from out of nowhere. Yes yes, I'm sure you could come up with "in show" justifications for each and every action, but again, I just don't buy it. The characters are often just plain hateful.

    That's purely an assumption on your part, and an incorrect one. I like many so called "dark and gritty" works - I just like them a little less forced and contrived - and not "dark" and sensational for the sake of it.
     
  5. Alex1939

    Alex1939 Captain Captain

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  6. LOKAI of CHERON

    LOKAI of CHERON Commodore Commodore

  7. The Stig

    The Stig Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, it's more about what's said than who said it. He really articulates how good BSG is.

    Also, he does know a thing or two about great character-based storytelling.
     
  8. sidious618

    sidious618 Admiral Admiral

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    I'm an atheist and did not feel like the show was pandering to Christians. Ron Moore himself has said he's not a believer so the idea that the show was trying to put out a Christian point of view doesn't really hold up, especially when you consider the "God" of the show isn't particularly moral.

    As for the likeability of the characters, I don't know what to tell you. I've never understood why people have to like the characters to enjoy a show. It's about whether they're engaging, not whether or not you'd want to hang out with them.
     
  9. The Stig

    The Stig Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    This show made me care about Tigh.

    Tigh!

    He's a weakling, a drunk and an out-and-out murderer. And I cried for him.

    If this show can't make you feel something, then you're broken inside.
     
  10. LOKAI of CHERON

    LOKAI of CHERON Commodore Commodore

    [LOL] Oh boy, I'm really not going to being making any new friends in this thread! But that video and JW's comments are still a whopping great "SO" for me? Honestly, I'm not trying to be deliberately contrary here, but Whedon is one of the most overrated writers/directors working in SF for me.

    To clarify my position, I did not state "you have to like characters to enjoy a show", merely that the NuBSG characters were particularly dislikeable, psychopathic and often heinous.

    I regularly found their behaviours and actions to be totally implausible, with completely unrealistic motivations. The ridiculous and continuous "flip-flopping" between extremes was particularly grating for me.

    All this served to "disengage" me from the both the characters and the show.
     
  11. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If it makes you feel better, you just made a friend. My opinion on this more or less matches yours.:bolian:
     
  12. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The first 2 seasons are genuinely excellent, as is the New Caprica arc in Season 3.

    After that? Rambling monkey jibberish leading up to a deus ex machina "God did it!" ending that has killed the show's reputation. I'll always treasure the first 2 seasons though. I just don't think that the show ending with a message that supports blind faith in an almighty plan, and hatred of technology, is particularly appropriate. Bit mental, really.
     
  13. LOKAI of CHERON

    LOKAI of CHERON Commodore Commodore

    THANX! :techman:
    Yep, that was the proverbial final straw for me. I don't want to get too over critical, but an accurate single word summation of my reaction to the ending would simply be: PATHETIC.
     
  14. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In the original miniseries, Tricia Helfer exercises supernatural powers to murder a baby, for some unknown reason, an a dense crowd, yet get away with it. I suppose you could thus argue that showing us a Satanic monotheist slaying innocent religous pluralists (like US,) was foreshadowing the hand of God annihilating the anti-polytheists (which if we care to think about it very much means anti-Trinitarians.) In that sense I suppose that we could agree that a heavy-handed and bigoted religous theme was there from the very beginning.

    But why then did the series go out of its way to also foreshadow an ostensisbly "rational" science-fictional alternative? In particular, the series absolutely insisted on the denial of a soul to the Cylons. Their immortality was based on the transmission of memories. Of course, the series also insisted that Cylons were indistinguishable from human beings (Baltar's detector was left ambiguous by the end.) This means that the show insisted that Cylons sent data without a transmitter! Such nonsense is perfectly acceptable to incompetents who have no sense of style in fictional science. The important point is that the show relied to the end on simultaneously foreshadowing a totally "rational", i.e., nonsupernatural universe.

    Unfortunately, it is unlikely that anything, not even the finale, with bring down the internet shibboleths about the 9/11 BattleStar Galactica.
     
  15. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't mind works of art being pro-Christian, pro-monotheism or pro-religion. I'm a fan of the Narnia stories.

    I just thought the execution was incredibly lazy and a cop-out. They play up this mystery of how Starbuck has come back to life for ages, then she just vanishes in to thin air with no explanation. Mysterious, huh?

    Nah. Just a loada bollocks. Nice to see a couple of people trying to defend it though.
     
  16. LOKAI of CHERON

    LOKAI of CHERON Commodore Commodore

    Wow, the only inference I drew from that scene, particularly at that very early, embryonic stage of the show, was "evil cylon" snaps baby's neck - with, presumably, genectically enhanced cylon strength.

    I'm probably being really thick, and not picking up on subtle clues, but how the heck do you interpret that action as a power of the supernatural? I guess it may not have been a neck snapping, and if not, I've definitely got it completely wrong?
     
  17. Starfury

    Starfury Commander Red Shirt

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    To be honest, I never quite got the "god did it" argument. What exactly did he do? There were two angels - Head Six an Head Baltar. They tried to prepare Six and Baltar for parenthood (Hera), a storyline that was ultimately droped in the last minute, because the actors of Helo and Sharon did not want to see their characters die. That's a bit lame, but I can live with it.

    And there were the coordinates to earth which led to a very cool scene.

    And, oh yeah, the asteroid that hit Racetracks raptor at the right moment. Okay, that's... over the top, but not that big deal.

    The characters still had free will. It's not as if the face of a white-bearded man appeared in the CIC and said: "This Battlestar of yours, could it carry my wisdom beyond the barrier?" :p
     
  18. Nagisa Furukawa

    Nagisa Furukawa Commander Red Shirt

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    That's a pretty big example of "God did it!" The whole series has been about the search for Earth and when they finally did, it was by coordinates magically given to someone earlier in life. Starbuck may have typed in the notes, but the clear implication of the episode is that was God's doing and all the suffering and pain that happened was so he could get them to this point where they could find our Earth and he could repeat the cycle of suffering all over again.

    The central dilemma of the series was solved by... God. "God did it!" is an entirely fair accusation to make about finale.
     
  19. The Stig

    The Stig Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Sure, but who cares?

    In a finale where Roslin and Adama share a poignant and heartbreaking final moment, who seriously gives a toss about the machinations of the plot? BSG always subordinated plot consistency for character development and that mindset served it quite well.

    In any event, the show remains one of the best of the last decade and probably the best scifi to grace the small screen. Its reputation is quite secure.
     
  20. Starfury

    Starfury Commander Red Shirt

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    Fair enough. Still, I don't think it's a big deal. If they had shot the scene a little different with Starbuck randomly typing in a few coordinates, getting just lucky, it would not have changed a thing.

    They found Kobol... by accident. They found New Caprica... by accident. Most of the characters propably think, that they found earth by accident as well.

    I'm an atheist myself and usually, I can't stand the elements of Gods or something in tv shows (Lost, I'm looking at you), but I think the writers of NBSG handled it really well. It was mostly subtle. The Starbuck-Angel thing is hard to swallow, but it doesnt ruin the show for me.
     

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