Posts Tagged ‘Battlestar Galactica’

The End of Time– Shades of Battlestar Stupidity

January 3, 2010

I guess it’s possible the Doctor Who Christmas and New Year’s specials don’t suck as much as I thought they did on the first go round. Well, to be fair, I actually liked where part one seemed to be going, and then part two was just horrible. So blah. Round two, part one:

James Bond is intoning things about the last days of planet earth. Evidently everyone is having bad dreams about the Master, and no one remembers but Donna’s grandfather, Wilf. I love Wilf! He’s in a church with a stained glass window rendering of the TARDIS, chatting with an old lady I didn’t take note of the first time around. But you, gentle readers, have the benefit of my 20/20 hindsight. This, my friends, is foreshadowing.

Doctor Douchebag lands on futuristic Ood planet to have a chat with Ood Sigma about his future death. Apparently he had sex with Queen Elizabeth I and is the sort of man who kisses and tells. Gross. There’s some annoying time banter here where Ood Sigma is mad at the Doctor for “delaying” and then tells him about all the crappy stuff happening on 20th century Earth which the Doctor has to “hurry” to stop. Um. What? This is a show about TIME TRAVEL. You should always be able to turn up on time, jeez louise. Also, the “it” that is returning is a problem the Doctor solves in like, ten minutes. So basically the Ood prophecy is a little underwhelming. It’s like the Opera House vision in BSG: really ladies of Galactica? You need years of prophetic dreams to tell you to pick up a toddler and carry her through a door away from gunfire? Isn’t that pretty fucking obvious? (I watched BSG in a glut over a couple months, I imagine it was less stupid when it was more spread out.) The comparison to BSG isn’t purely a product of my feverish imagination either. Ood Sigma is all “Events that have happened…. are happening now” which is the new “All this has happened before, all this will happen again.”

So there’s a fake-out where you think it’s the Master who has been resurrected via horacrux magic ring, and then this creepy father-daughter team want to round him up for their immortality machine, but they might as well be named Pa Plot Device and Ms. Plotdeviceovna.

Also contrived… President Obama is going to be giving a Christmas Day speech announcing how he’s going to save the world from the economy. This is just awkward in the way where you feel really uncomfortable watching something, even though you have nothing to do with it. First of all, Doctor Who doesn’t share our history. The American president (some white dude not named Bush) died in a previous episode, and they have different prime ministers. Even assuming Obama managed to be independently elected in this alternate ‘verse, the US president would never give a big speech about the economy on Christmas. Finally, it’s just sloppy semiotics. What is Doctor Who trying to say: beware of charismatic world leaders with easy fixes you idiotic Americans? I may have my differences with Obama, but I definitely don’t think he’s a genocidal ancient alien with an eerie fixation on ethnic cleansing and doomsday machines.

So anyway, Wilf finds the Doctor apparently “way too easily” although trust me, this comes to nothing. The Doctor tells Wilf about the prophecy of his death (he will knock four times) which is important, because Wilf is uncharacteristically stupid later in the episode. Whatever, the Doctor is afraid to die. I’d tell you to take note, but he will repeat it nine MILLION times before the episode is up. Church lady reappears to Wilf to say portentous things about old soldiers and how Wilf has never killed but must take up arms, and that he must tell the Doctor nothing. Again, this seemed really interesting at the time, but it came to nothing.

Anyway, through some stupid medical tech, the Master turns everyone on earth into himself. The two cactus aliens disguised as techs explain that it’s like the nanobots of The Empty Child, and will rewrite the DNA of the whole planet. So everyone but the doctor, Wilf (who is in a special box), Donna (who is part time-lord), and the aliens turns into the Master. Including Barack Obama, who has just begun his speech. The machine only affects humans because the Master “set the template for human.” Why is that even an option when 20th century humans don’t have inter-stellar travel? Whatever. Weirdly all the other Masters are happy to serve the “real” Master, because subservience is so in his character. So, in that annoying way where prophecies are always sort of lies (see: Death of Tyler, Rose) this is what Dalton meant about the end up planet Earth. He voiceovers about the return of the Timelords, and it is a SERIOUS say-it-don’t-spray-it/asked-for-the-news-not-the-weather moment.

So that’s part one!


Planned or Unplanned

December 16, 2009

So I was talking the other day with a friend about tv series, and how sometimes it annoys me when there are dead end plots that go nowhere. Specifically I was thinking about Melrose and when Laura Leighton was on 90210 for like, six episodes or something, and then her character just disappeared. Or that one weird episode of 7th Heaven in which a crooked contractor feigns injury while renovating the garage apartment to rip off the Camdens and Annie is all “I will fight you on this!” and then nothing was ever mentioned again. Clearly plots they threw at the wall that didn’t stick.

These always annoy me, despite the fact that in real life events happen that don’t necessarily lead anywhere all the time. Then again, if I wanted real life I wouldn’t need a tv at all.

Initially I floated Lost as a show with a plan before I realized it too is littered with lost (heh) plots, like Libby and Ana Lucia or, more gallingly (since AL & L were apparently let go because of bad behavior filing in Hawaii) Shannon and Boone. Why were they even there? It really puts a damper in my faith that Lost has an overarching plan, in spite of its assurances.

I have similar issues with BSG. Don’t tell me “They have a plan” unless they have a plan.

At the end of the day, the only shows I can think of that seem airtight to me are Veronica Mars and some anime series (which are, presumably, planned out in the manga?), though I’m always ready to hear more.

I haven’t finished the Sopranos yet, but it seems to be a pretty tight show thus far (midway through S5) and possibly Big Love, although it’s hard to tell with series that are ongoing.

What now, was the Cylon plan?

November 22, 2009

I just watched “The Plan” the BSG extra movie that purported to tell us what the Cylon plan was. Except two hours later I’m as baffled as ever and continue to regard the Cylons as mind-blowingly incompetent.

Oh I get that they were tripped up by love which ruined their initial plot, except… what WAS that, exactly? Crazy Cavil wanted the final five to detach from humanity by watching them die, but he couldn’t wait one more day for the Battlestar to be retired? He, for some reason needed to place the five with humanity in order to… what? Strengthen their connection that he wanted to break?

It was somewhat enjoyable to see familiar events from the Cylon side, but I expected a lot more from something called The Plan.

Parallel Histories

October 24, 2009

So I’ve been watching FlashForward, a show you might enjoy if you like Lost, but almost certainly won’t enjoy if you don’t, as it seems to be cobbled together out of similar concepts (the flashes, interconnectedness, predestination vs. free will) and many of the same actors. I like Lost, so I enjoy it.

In this week’s episode we had scenes with the President and Congress. The President is some old white dude, who, apparently, is in his second term, so reality on this show diverges from our own at least by 2004, we don’t know yet if he’s a Democrat or a Republican. 9/11 is referenced, so that has definitely happened too. Oddly, though, in playful lovers banter the two lesbian characters joke around a threesome with Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton in space.

So apparently in the most recent election, Palin ran, not as this guy’s running mate. So he’s probably a Democrat. Did he run against Clinton in the primary?

I’m intrigued by Senator Clemente, who we are supposed to perceive as a bad guy, since she’s opposed to our established good guys. I think she’s a fictional stand-in for Clinton actually (which makes it weirder that they talk about Clinton’s actual existence. It’s a bit like in Jacqueline Susann’s book Dolores, which is thinly veiled novelization of Jackie Kennedy’s life (so thin as to barely be a veil) when they reference her new lover as being “as rich as Aristotle Onassis,” a) we get the point, and b) you already have an Aristotle Onassis in the book!). Clemente is a powerful lady Senator who believes she had had a good shot at the presidency if it weren’t for something the bureau chief did. He’s pretty disrespectful to her, actually, calling her by her first name (he says “Joyce,” but her name plate said “Jane.” Significant? Or mistake?) when she asks to be addressed as Senator, and snidely noting that he doubted she’d have a second term. (Implying perhaps that she ran in ’04?)

By the end of the episode she’s become Vice President, and she reveals that in her FF she was the President, following in the grand tradition of female Presidents on tv (cf Laura Roslin) that they only become president by succession, not by election.

It’s absurd to me that even when a writer can imagine a world where the whole planet blacks out at the same time for mysterious reasons, these same writers can’t imagine the US electing a woman president. I feel like, it’s “funny” because it’s true.

Normal Panties! On a hot chick! On TV!

August 8, 2009

Accompanied by a serious continuity error. I feel a bit pervacious since I’ve now viewed this scene several times to make sure of what I was seeing.

I speak of Starbuck’s failed seduction of Lee Adama on Battlestar Galactica in season 2 episode 15.

They start making out, both in full clothes. Shoes are lost and (off camera) Starbuck’s shirt comes off. She is wearing a black sports bra and is down to her underwear in the next shot. Lee is down to his boxer briefs. (Good choice!) He pulls down her FULL panties! They are like totally not sexy and not a thong, but something you would expect a soldier to be wearing under her uniform when she’s just on her business not expecting to bone at any time. Lee lowers her onto a table, and then has second thoughts and pulls back.

In the next shot, they are both topless (still a bra on Starbuck thank the gods of Kobol and non gratuity) but now they are both wearing pants!

The Battlestar has magical pants apparating and disapparating powers!

I actually sincerely do love that Starbuck isn’t wearing like, a lacy thong, which is something I would totally expect on most tv, which seems to assume that women exist in a constant state of sexual preparedness, which translates into real women feeling pressured to maintain the same. And then they are judged for it. (See: innumerable blog posts I don’t care to link to about how you can tell a woman is a slut if she’s shaved and it’s your first time or if she’s going commando. Then see: innumerable blog posts about how “unhygienic” an unshaven woman is or how off putting it is when a woman is wearing underwear with all thought to function and not to form. Truly, The Patriarchy, how is a woman supposed to win? Oh wait. She’s not.)

At the same time, it’s undeniable that Starbuck is attractive and desirable, but it’s also delightful because there are as many ways that she subverts the ideal (strong, muscled, hard drinking, non baby wanting*) as she upholds it (white, blonde, fairly spare in terms of body fat, heterosexual).

Despite the continuity errors, I declare a win!

*Friend of the boozetube Vyeto has noted that Starbuck may not be entirely anti-baby due to events on New Caprica. My defense is that I haven’t gotten there yet. But I will report back when I do!

Keeping up with the Televisional Joneses

May 2, 2009

A couple weeks ago a good friend of The Booze Tube shared the list he had made up to remind himself what shows to watch throughout the week. Like me, this friend tends to watch tv the day after it airs, so, in a semblance of order, for me, that’s….

Monday: Huh, nothing.

Tuesday: One Tree Hill, Gossip Girl, How I Met Your Mother, Greek, and Chuck

Wednesday: Huh, nothing.

Thursday: Lost.

Friday: Holy Cats! The Office, Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, and Ugly Betty.

Saturday: Dollhouse.

Shows that aren’t in season right now, but of which I am a religious follower: Secret Life of the American Teenager, Big Love, Mad Men, True Blood.

And that’s not to mention whole seasons of shows I’m just catching on DVD.  90210 (classic, not the current waste of prime time space), Melrose Place, Smallville, Flight of the Conchords, Arrested Development, and Battlestar Galactica.

Writing all that out makes me feel funny, like when Lynette lined up all of Bree Van de Kamp’s wine bottles on the porch with a note that said: “Still think you don’t have a problem?”*

But hey, when I’m a top tv blogger no one will question me! Or when I get my dream job of pairing foods with tv shows. 90s nighttime soaps go great with cheese, I mean, obviously.

*Though from what I remember, there were only like, 12 wine bottles. I guess I’d need to know the time span, because if that’s per day, then yeah, Bree totally had a problem, but if that’s over like, two weeks and she’s just lazy about recycling, then I think that’s a lot more borderline.  Incidentally, remember how Bree confesses in some later season that she sometimes fantasizes about opening the Chardonnay she knows is chilling in the fridge? What kind of assholes is she living with that keep wine in the fridge of a recovering alcoholic?