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Just saw last nights Battlestar Galactica.

Holy frak that was good.

If you have not seen it yet due to DVRing or watching online, do. It was really first season level good.


Feb. 1st, 2009 07:00 pm (UTC)
...which I'm not looking for in my science fiction. I want stories about "people", I read Grisham or whoever the latest top 10 writer at Borders is.
Feb. 1st, 2009 07:32 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I get that you want escapist fantasy. I tend to find that kind of storytelling to be a lot weaker, but I get it all the same.
Feb. 1st, 2009 09:55 pm (UTC)
"Escapist" seems a bit condescending. I'd prefer "aspirational". I like heroes that I can live up to, not ones that are no better than me.

And I'd suggest that every classic of sci fi or fantasy you can name falls under the "escapist" label, since BSG falls so very far into the "grim n' gritty" model. Is Lord of the Rings "escapist"? In what manner is its storytelling weaker than BSG?
Feb. 1st, 2009 10:26 pm (UTC)
I don't actually think Lord of the Rings is very good fiction, so your line of argument might already be on a weak footing with me. :)
Feb. 2nd, 2009 04:48 am (UTC)
Let me be clear. I don't say I can't enjoy escapist stories and yes Lord of the Rings is escapist. They can be very enjoyable. Nothing wrong with that.

I find your notion of if you want to read about people you read grisham, who honestly also pop fiction.

Science fiction is star trek but it also the genre that brought us Fahrenheit 451. I do not limit my enjoyment to only the subjects I am comfortable with. I find a hero who is ordinary far more fascinating than the superhuman acts of the more popcorn scifi. Ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances is always powerful to me. People breaking down is more interesting than a person who never does.

I want stories from time to time that challenge me. I want stories that occasionally make me uncomfortable. You watch Shindler's List knowing you will see the squalor of humanity but you will watch it anyway.

Now am I saying BSG is in the same league as Schindler's List? No of course not, but what really caught me early on is it starts in a dark place and ask's a question about what people will do to survive. There are stories of people becoming broken in that and there are stories of people rising to the level of any hero you can name.

I still love my Star Trek and Bab 5. I just take issue with the notion this is not a genre for showing real people and real issues. In someways it is the perfect genre for it.
Feb. 2nd, 2009 12:35 pm (UTC)
Yeah, but who watches Schindler's List more than once? Or watches Schindler's List: The Series, thirteen episodes of misery for a year?

Schindler's List is that sort of art that you walk past once, nod, and then set aside - a better version of this crop of Oscar nominees. (Who's looking forward to watching "The Reader"?)

It's definitely not the sort of art I want in my living room, let alone show to my kid some day. Ditto BSG.
Feb. 2nd, 2009 12:53 pm (UTC)
Ah I guess that is the difference I guess. If there was a show produced that was equal to the art and writing of Schindler's list then I would watch. In the end stories of misery are also stories about hope.

If there is no hope at all, if all there is suffering with no humanity demonstrating it's good as well as it's ill, well that is probably a horror film. I am not a big fan of the torture porn that is in most horror films of late.

I am looking forward to The Reader by the way?

The other end I should point out and have not up till this point. BSG also has it's moments of bad ass. It is a war ship in space. there is certainly more going on than just the people suffering. There are gunfights and Dog fights to thrill the adrenaline junkie in there as well.
Feb. 2nd, 2009 01:03 pm (UTC)
Maybe. But I never saw anything even remotely funny in any of the episodes I saw, and that's telling for me. Shakespere stuck a clown into Macbeth. I just can't take hours and hours of misery without leavening it a little bit. BSG is just too thick, heavy, and bitter for me to swallow.

And I just don't see the hope in BSG. Some Very Serious Discussions about torture and jihad, but I was tired of those when I saw them argued - badly - in 24. (I wonder what BSG would have looked like if it was made during the Obama administration? Do you think that the twelve planets might have tried to do something more to reach out to the Cylons other than leave some lonely guy in a desk to take messages? Hope and Change don't seem to be in the BSG vocabulary.)

It makes perfect sense, to me, that Earth would be a wasteland when they found it in BSG. Of course the hope at the end of the rainbow is in ruins. This show doesn't have any other theme in its vocabulary.



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