Sunday, May 18, 2008
Battlestar Galactica: BSG and me
Frak, frak, frak, motherfrakker, clusterfrak, frakker, frakked up, frak me, frakkin' A, fraktard--lately I find myself employing the word and its derivatives at the most inopportune times. There's a certain ambiguity about the expression, which combines the childish glee of saying a bad word, with a sneaking suspicion of massive un-coolness on the level of somebody's middle-aged midwestern aunt saying "Oh, for cry out."
My husband and I finally succumbed to the a) the plastic fantastic life: traveling to beautiful exotic places, interacting with beautiful, important people, in the course of carrying out beautiful, important work, ahem...b) taking a break from running around with the kids for our nightly Netflix date (don't call us after 9) of seasons-old programming from our new favorite, newly discovered TV series, recommended by friends: BSG (Battlestar Galactica)
My French-born husband wants to know if "House" could be a cult classic. I try to explain that "House" could not be considered a "cult classic." It is too consistently good and too many mainstream people like it.
Battlestar Galactica is a cult classic: being a B or B+ series, that has not (and never will be) discovered by the masses, about which one can feel a certain sense of superiority for overcoming all of its short-comings in return for rare nuggets of superior and transcendent drama, not to mention the satisfaction of belonging to a geeky subculture where you can impress your friends with the correct usage of all the series-specific jargon. Kind of like being in the Open Source Java community of yesteryear.
I have this obsession with BSG, in spite, or because of...
1)Tier two script writing--all those non-story arc episodes you have to "power through"--we're in the doldrums of it right now--"The tylium refinery labor dispute episode"--what the frak? Hello, if I'm watching sci-fi, it's to see the last battle that will determine the fate of the human race and hot Cylon sex, not because I'm interested in the working conditions of the underclass laboring in the tylium refinery.
2)Wooden acting--per "Entertainment Weekly," which I catch up on in my weekly appointment for allergy shots: half the fun is to see if any of the actors can break out of their one trademark facial expression.
3)Egregious use of genre cliche: "The One, whose destiny it is to save the human race;" a "tough, but damaged" central character--this role mostly monopolized by Starbuck; "Oh my God the machines have infiltrated our central defense system and are going to set off a nuclear catastrophe that will end the human race;" "the machines now look like us now;" the guessing game of who's the Cylon," and the old stand-by of "will they ever act on their latent attraction to each other and actually get it on"(Apollo/Starbuck, twilight romance of Admiral Adama, President Roslin)--the latter usually works best with female audience by exploiting their latent romantic tendencies. Granted, these are all staples of tier-one drama, as well. There are only so many story lines out there, the difference is in the writing and the acting.
4) HD would be
a) Bad, according to Nathalie, 'cause there's already too many disturbing close-ups on Admiral Adama's acne-pitted face. Come on, he should at least be earning enough per episode for some laser or collagen improvement.
b) Good, according to Marc and Andy O.--for highlighting more naked Boomer/Athena/Number6 scenes. Here is an actual conversation between Marc and Andy O. "AndyO: I swear she was naked... Marc:was not... AndyO: yes, she was... Marc: you mean she was naked under her military uniform...(they settle the score by going back and actually watching actual BSG episode in slow mo with poorly lit, multiple naked Boomers)...Marc: ok, you're right on that one! but, seriously, man! from a time investment standpoint for actual skin, you might want to consider porn, I recommend Natasha Nice these days.
5)In the sack/most frakkable?
He says: Starbuck, ok but not so much, too metro-butch (the feminine equivalent of metro-sexual). D'Anna? nah, all the sex appeal of a cold cucumber sandwich. Number Six, mos def'. He's ready to upgrade to his pneumatically-enhanced Cylon wife right now, oh wait, she winds up displaying all the annoying pyscho-bitchy qualities of a real wife. The Baltar projection episodes with Number Six are definitely tier-one, by far the best thing in the series. Hands-down, hottie, according to both of them: Athena/Boomer. Marc also likes Dualla.
She says: Gaius Baltar. Need I say more? As the picaresque, scheming, self-absorbed, disgraced, and utterly craven computer geek, he is by far the most interesting character in the series. Lee Adama and Helo? Nah, too bland.
6) Insiders only:
Deep thought a) If Rickard Oberg had based his alternative reality on BSG, who would be a Cylon, what kind? No spoilers please, we haven't watched all the episodes yet.
Deep thought b) Selling out (Gaius Baltar in BSG), Apache/recent licensing issues/MSFT as seen by Andy O. "You know you're getting older when you can accept selling out, as long as it's a greedy sell-out, for something that actually was worth it. What's pathetic is selling-out and being cheap..."