Category Archives: Movies/TV

BSG Reflections

I just finished re-watching the entire BSG series. My thinking was that maybe watching it a second time would give me a new appreciation for the ending, which I hated the first time around, given that I now had the opportunity to look for details I may have previously missed.

Well, that was a fit of optimism that didn’t pan out. But I think I know why I will never like the end of BSG. Warning, there are some mild spoilers ahead (but seriously it started 7 frakking years ago, just watch it already).

The finale has a lot of character-driven story that is very moving (for example, Laura, Helo et al, Apollo’s self-actualization, etc), but they failed by making the only plot a philosophical message. In doing that, they ensured that they would displease anyone who didn’t agree with their post-modern, anti-technology drivel. Almost the entire story arc before the last 2 minutes was fine (save the needless determinism and some minor points about how the humans arranged themselves at the end, but those are other cans of worms).

They could have gone with a neutral character-driven (like they intended – assuming they were telling the truth in their obnoxiously self-serving, navel gazing “Last Frakkin’ Special”) ending and probably not pissed anyone off. I mean, of course you can’t please everyone, but when you get preachy you’re taking a huge risk with a potentially lifelong loyal fan base. Though judging from that special, they practically thought they were as gods. Seriously. Watch it. It’s just ridiculous.

Holy shit, I just figured out the ending. The divine force controlling the universe is the writers!

Seriously though, the one thing that kills me every single time is Six saying the phrase “technology run amok” and then cut to that frakking montage. The writers don’t defend that position at all. They imply that technology is bad, that humans are inherently irresponsible, and that the cycle of destruction might begin again – oh but they’re hopeful that it won’t. Except that “hope” is just the writers going “See what we did there? If you do, then you won’t own robots or something, I guess.”

No, I lied. The other thing that kills me is the mitochondrial Eve pseudoscience they perplexingly tacked on with an almost throw-away line. A simple phone call to an evolutionary scientist may have resulted in a much more plausible way to quickly get across the same idea that the entire 4th season was already sledgehammering into our faces.

Well, there’s no sense whining about it now I suppose, it’s not like we go back and change it. Though perhaps a fan edit with the bullshit philosophy edited out would elicit some nerdy squees. I guess if I watch it again I’ll either stop at episode 11 or so (if I’m feeling bleak), or just don’t watch the last 2 minutes (if I’m feeling less bleak and able to ignore “all technology is bad” nonsense).

I only hope that one day science fiction and fantasy programming can break the cycle of sucky, preachy endings (sigh, Lost).

All of this has happened before, and will happen again…

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Two new shows to check out

Well, one is new-ish.

Most people probably have heard about this already, but just in case some people haven’t: Phil Plait’s show Bad Universe premiers this Sunday night on the Discovery Channel – check your TV listings for the time. Here’s a preview.

Another awesome show that I’ve started to watch this week is Huge, about a group of teenagers sent to “fat” camp. It’s on ABC Family so Canadians might have to get creative in finding the show, but it’s worth the effort. Great writing, great cast, great subject matter. They’re about 9 episodes into the season at this point.

I don’t want to get too much in detail so I can avoid spoilers, but I’ll just say that I’m very impressed so far with the fact that there is an entire show full of average sized-to-overweight people and they are treated with respect, having the exact same sorts of problems any teenager would have but that are usually represented by  Hannah Montana types. Often shows will have the one “fat kid” and they are oafish, silly, bullying, dumb, “funny to make up for the whole fat thing, cause otherwise who would like them”, etc. In a nutshell: they are caricatures. This show is not about that. It deals with significant emotional issues surrounding body image, pressure, sexuality, friendship, trust, and willpower. Definitely check it out.

Here’s the preview:

Here‘s a news interview with one of the cast (embedding disabled).

[Hat tip to overthinkingit.com for turning me on to the show in the first place. Link contains some spoilers.]

15 examples of why Voyager was worth watching

“Is Captain Janeway gonna have to choke a bitch?”

I know I’m probably going to get made fun of, but I don’t care. I liked Star Trek: Voyager completely sans irony. It’s nowhere near my favorite of all the Star Treks — that honour is reserved for TNG — and had its faults, but Voyager definitely also had some shining moments.

I know you’ve never seen this on the net before, it’s totally an original idea that I came up with a few years ago after one particularly creative day of doing nothing interesting: I present my top 15 Voyager episodes. [A Top 15 list?! That’s 5 more than 10! I’ve changed the face of the internet!] More…

New Moon Review part 2

I wrote part 1 of this yesterday, you should read that first. Let’s jump right in shall we? More…

New Moon review

So to continue my trend of Twilight-induced self-torture, I watched the movie New Moon. I wrote this months ago when I saw the movie , but I just didn’t have time to thoroughly shorten my notes into a coherent blog post. In “honour” of Eclipse coming out next week (I think), I figure now’s a good time to stop being lazy.

A few notes: There will be massive spoilers because I have tried my hardest to put things into appropriate context. That being said, there may still be a few details that lose salience if you haven’t seen the movie. So if you must see the movie, I highly recommend rifftrax. Then come back and read. If you don’t care, read on. More…

Movie Writer/Director Whitewashes Rape

The Runaways is a movie about the life of Joan Jett and her band. Apparently movie bosses felt that telling the real story would make one of the characters lose her innocence – because she was raped.

Cherie Curry’s teenage rape ordeal was axed from the storyline of the new The Runaways biopic – because writer/director Floria Sigismondi didn’t want the Cherry Bomb singer to lose her innocence at the beginning of the movie. Currie, who is portrayed by Dakota Fanning in the new film, admits there was a sexual assault that inspired her whole look, but Sigismondi didn’t want to dwell on an incident before the rocker formed the band with Joan Jett.

She didn’t want to “dwell” on a significant event in this woman’s life that was part of making her the person she is. Ok…

The rock star reveals, “There were particular reasons why I cut my hair into a (David) Bowie haircut. That was because when my twin sister’s boyfriend found out I was a virgin, he decided to take my virginity at force. I cut my hair kind of in retaliation of that. But the filmmakers felt that I would be losing my innocence too early in the film.”

Seems like a pretty significant and horrifying event for a person to live through. Now she has to live through it being erased, with the implication that her rape was not important to the story of the movie and might be too much of a downer.

Currie admits it’s one of the only things about the new biopic she takes issue with: “I thought, ‘Why is she (Dakota Fanning’s Currie) just cutting her hair?’ It didn’t make sense going from this surfer girl to this tough chick without an explanation.”

No, it doesn’t make sense. If only she’d been raped at a more convenient point in the time line.

Grey’s Anatomy made more honest

Patient: Um, what are you guys talking about? Don’t you care about my extremely unique situation?

Doctor: We were unprofessionally having a private conversation about our personal lives in front of a patient. Please stop eavesdropping.

Patient: Ok well I have feelings about my disease/injury/surgery that ironically reflect the situation that you’re dealing with in your personal life, so can I soliloquize for 5 minutes like I have my own writer while you have a personal revelation about your own situation? I think it might help.

Doctor: Sure, just wait one minute for my partner here to say something that galls me so much that I am too utterly speechless to immediately respond so that I can listen to you and think about it until I ambush them later with my own emotionally-laden soliloquy.

Patient: Ok well we might want to do this soon, because depending on if this episode (of our lives) is going for a “depressing” or “uplifting” feel, I may die in the OR or miraculously survive, respectively. I don’t like my chances, since you are both the doctor that ironically sees something of yourself in my situation and is my surgeon – that tragedy just writes itself.

Doctor: Well I did have myself scheduled to fight over who gets to do this other surgery and then get yelled at for being insensitive, but I guess I can push that to lunch. Then I’ll still have time for inappropriate make-up sex in the on-call room before my shift ends. Alright, let’s do this.

Doctor: [Beeper goes off.] Well glad we had that talk, but it’s time for my story to intersect with that of another doctor in a way that’s completely separate yet eerily parallel, so a general theme can be commented upon when this is all over.