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D. Albert
Tue, Dec 2, 2014, 1:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: He That Believeth in Me

@Michael and Max

Thank you for your kind words.
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D. Albert
Fri, Jul 25, 2014, 9:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2

Jammer

I agree. The lack of planning cost the series dearly. Some stuff just doesn't add up. You mentioned the big two.

Some thoughts:

For me, Cavil's character arc flopped. He HATED humanity and thus himself. And Fate. And then, poof! He agrees to a a truce. And it was a truce, which is why he just blew his brains out when it broke apart. It just doesn't fit with his incredible bile.


At least the writers in part resolved the conflict between fate and free will in the character(s) of 8. Boomer and Athena show, as you point out, that Cylon biology/fate still depends on individual choice. I like that.
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D. Albert
Fri, Jul 25, 2014, 5:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Islanded in a Stream of Stars

I really like that Boomer is so messed up. It shows how human she is.
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D. Albert
Fri, Jul 25, 2014, 4:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Someone to Watch Over Me

"How much individuality does Athena lose by having copies out there who know her well enough to undermine her like this? It's disturbing."

I see it differently. Athena would never act like Boomer. That shows how individual they are. Free will, and all.

Are we any different? I think not.
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D. Albert
Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 11:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: The Oath

"It's been an honor serving with you, my friend."

And that says it all. Homo Sapien. Cylon. All too human.
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D. Albert
Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 10:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: A Disquiet Follows My Soul

Roslin has totally checked out. She should resign. And if the mutiny happens, it's Adama's fault. Discipline on the ship has broken down. Baltar's gone angry nihilist. Gaeta gone angry. Chief is lost.

Everyone is broken. Or angry. Or both.

Which is cool. Because that is exactly how they all should react.

So, yeah, good episode, despite all the flaws Jammer pointed out,
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D. Albert
Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 8:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Sometimes a Great Notion

Good review and comments.

I know attraction is personal, but I'll never understand why anyone would prefer Starbuck to Dee. Starbuck was a mess. Dee was sweet and a knock-out.
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D. Albert
Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 12:39am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: The Hub

Good review. Thanks.

Baltar's biggest sin,of course, is giving the nuke to Damaged 6. And there is no forgiveness for that.
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D. Albert
Wed, Jul 23, 2014, 11:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Sine Qua Non

Good episode and good review.

Lampkin: Maybe just another manipulation. Maybe all the cool cynicism just a cover for twisted guilt. Most likely a combo of both. The greatest cynics were once idealists, for if you cannot understand the subjective, you cannot never move beyond it to the objective.

Saul: Looks like the Final Five are very different than the other Cylons.
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D. Albert
Wed, Jul 23, 2014, 10:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Guess What's Coming to Dinner?

"If you are not riveted by BSG mythology by the end of this episode, then you likely never will be."

I'm not. But, interestingly, neither is Sharon. She's chosen her side: family.

And that I can respect.
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D. Albert
Wed, Jul 23, 2014, 9:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Faith

Jammer, et. al

No doubt that "Faith" tells a story combining religion and science fiction. I am not so sure it does it successfully. If we presume science fiction is based in the so-called materialist view of the universe, then faith by definition is a material phenomena -- that is, part of the mechanics of matter and energy. Thus, to allow faith (unreason) equal footing with science -- in its broadest sense -- intrudes on science fiction and thereby undermines it.

It is not just this episode. Its the whole story. Most simply put, the Plot Gods' reliance on Fate and Destiny takes BSG well outside of SciFi. BSG is not SciFi, and that is too bad.

Just imagine a BSG universe that had been better laid out. Imagine a cohesive plot that made sense, rather than relying on Fate and Destiny to force things along. In such a series, the characters struggle with meaning would be much more profound.

As it stands, its just kindergarten spiritualism. Expertly executed, but trite nonetheless.
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D. Albert
Wed, Jul 23, 2014, 8:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: The Road Less Traveled

Plot Gods indeed. It'd bad when character development becomes replaced with the demands of the Plot. All the more so when the plot is Destiny this and Fate that.

The series writers lack of planning really injures both the plot and the characters.

What could have been a great show has become overrun with boring New Age metaphysical boringness. I wrote before, the Spirit Quest should have been planed out. It was not. And it shows.

I'd like to see more Zarek, more Baltar machinations, more SciFi.
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D. Albert
Wed, Jul 23, 2014, 6:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Escape Velocity

Baltar speech makes sense. He is an entirely selfish SOB whose incredible guilt for his role in the genocide, and all that follows, weighs on his conscience -- which he has. And that is key, I think, about making sense of his speech.

Unlike Tory, Baltar is no psychopath. Baltar takes Tory's psychopath maxim of perfection and turns it into absolution, which is what he seeks. He twists the humanist ethic Love They Neighbor into Love Thyself. Because that is what he does.

The Ayn Rand meets the Buddha. What a shit!
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D. Albert
Wed, Jul 23, 2014, 5:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: The Ties That Bind

Great post and comments. My take;

Tory: Tory is not acting out a program. Just like Saul and Tyro, aren't. They are individuals. They have no program. Saul is a loyal soldier. Tory is opportunistic, amoral and murdering was done in "self-defense." Learning she is a Cylon, just allowed her to fully express her sociopath nature. And it was done in "self-defense."

Cally: Cally was alway a place-holder more than a character. If anything, she was the victim of poor paling on the writers part. Think about it: Hera is the Special One, right? Well, Hera ain't so special if Nik is around. So, I guess Nik's gotta bit it too.

Nice Destiny they got going there....

Civil War: First, AWESOME! Second, how dumb is Six? If you're gonna play power politics, you got to think. Totally walked right into it.
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D. Albert
Wed, Jul 23, 2014, 4:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Six of One

And speaking of SciFi: Cylon Civil War! YES!!!!!!!

This is the kind of thing that goes heart of science fiction: how technology affects us, and how placing humans in the alternative universe of advanced tech allows us to understand what it means to be human. SciFi is all about exploring what it means to be human.

Cylons are not human; but they are. We -- homo sapiens and Cylon -- are tool using biological machines. We can even interbreed in BSG. The exploration of their humanity is, IMO, the most interesting and appealing part of the show. And this episode finally brought all that out. By raising the morality of the humanoid Cylon enslavement of the more machine Centurions and Raiders. And the civil war, Totally awesome!!
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D. Albert
Wed, Jul 23, 2014, 4:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Six of One

"I particularly appreciated the irony in Adama, the atheist, finding that he suddenly must reevaluate his position on miracles."

Perhaps. It depends on what you mean by miracles. They can either be 1) events which are caused by the supernatural, or 2)
material phenomena not explainable by our science. If the latter, then the science just needs to get better. "Any significantly advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic..."

So, Starbuck's return could be a miracle under either of these understandings. I'm guessing, it is the former. Which is a bummer, because that ain't SciFi. (Yes, my recurring gripe about what I think this series has become)
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D. Albert
Wed, Jul 23, 2014, 3:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S3: Maelstrom

Or one more possiblity:

Destiny/God made her an Angel. Boring.

If she is an Angel (remember, Angels are not necessarily good, they are agents of God) , then what does her character arc mean? Nothing. Because character arcs are all about the way the Greeks taught us how to tell a story. And the greeks railed against the deus machina.

With good reason. If she is an Angel, or whatever, then who cares about Apollo and her Love Z?! I, along with many here, got tired of that, and now it doesn't really matter at all.

The writers are being vary lazy.

Gawd, this show is taking a turn for the worse.
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D. Albert
Wed, Jul 23, 2014, 3:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: He That Believeth in Me

This is my first time watching the series, and I dislike the the lazy way in which the writers use Fate, Destiny, God, to patch up plot holes and poor planing in story line. I also dislike how the SciFi has degenerated into Space Opera and Space Fantasy.

The story is on the verge of becoming a cheap melodrama/spirit quest set in space. If it wanted to be Space Opera, fine. But instead of really delving into its own mythos, it just superficially exploits and banally borrows from various religious traditions. I'm see a very bad New Age bag of nonsense.

It could have dealt with the spirit quest in a much deeper and more appreciative manner, and actually learned something about the way the Ancient Greeks and Romans viewed their gods, how that view conflicted with their reason, and how it was eventually challenged by an alien monotheistic religion. It could have expanded on those themes and applied them to the advanced technological civilization of the Battle Star Universe. It could have had mystery cults as well. It could have really created an interesting, engaging, well though out spiritual/political universe. But instead it just slapped whatever Fate card was needed to move the plot -- such as it is -- forward. It relies on the viewers accepting Mystery -- but that is NOT what SciFi is about!



-- Learn

This overuse and reliance on deus machina




Not that
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D. Albert
Mon, Jul 21, 2014, 11:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S3: Maelstrom

Very good acting, particularly by Sackhoff.

This is my first time watching the series. Three possibilities:

1. She is dead. If Starbucks is dead, then her "special destiny" was suicide after a life fighting depression. Not particularly interesting, IMO, but as a study in self-destuction. Which, I suppose, should be part of this universe. Still, sadly, I must agree the fleet is better off without her. The series certainly is better off without the chaotic Starbuck generated Love Z... It would have been much more satifying to see he get her act together along the lines the XO. Don't tell me his life was a bowl of cherries, and he manages to get his act together.

2. She survived. Well, there are no weird aliens in the series, per Olmos demand, so only the Cylons could save her. Which makes little sense.

3. She is one of the Five. Which means, well, whatever that means.

3.5 Stars
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D. Albert
Mon, Jul 21, 2014, 10:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S3: Dirty Hands

Adama is no dictator. He shares power with the Pres. Adama has complete military authority; the Pres has civilian authority.

So, the question is whether Adama went overboard by threatening Cally. Maybe. For the reasons many here have made. On the other hand, Chief's mistake was to "unionize" the flight deck crew. That violates the chain of command. Ooops. I am all in favor of unions, and this episode does a good job of showing why. But the military is NOT a civil society. The chain of command can only be bucked when an immoral order is given.





3.5 stars
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D. Albert
Mon, Jul 21, 2014, 9:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S3: Unfinished Business

Apollo loves the wrong woman. Dope.
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D. Albert
Mon, Jul 21, 2014, 9:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S3: A Day in the Life

Yeah, this episode could have been done better in all the ways discussed. According to Wikipedia

"Edward James Olmos submitted this episode for consideration in the category of "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series" on his behalf for the 2007 Emmy Awards."

Perhaps Olmos's desire to get an Emmy made what could have been better what it was...
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D. Albert
Mon, Jul 21, 2014, 8:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S3: The Woman King

As a secular Jew, I found this episode particularly well-crafted, and executed.

We need not know the specifics of why Saggitarions are despised. Our world gives us examples enough: Jews are despised for being stinky Jews; Romani for being thieving Romani; in Japan, barakumin suffer the same. Christian Scientists are despised for not believing in medicine. I am sure you can think of any number of examples.

The writers cleverly exploit our very human prejudice that many -- including myself -- have towards insular religious communities, and how that prejudice allows and even condones persecution.

The episode really shines, IMO, with the expression of this hateful prejudice in the bar scene. Characters who we know as decent people who strive to do the right thing reveal the insidiousness of this kind of bigotry. Tyrol and Dualla's were treated particularly deftly.
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D. Albert
Mon, Jul 21, 2014, 7:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S3: Taking a Break from All Your Worries

Great comments.

Re: Balter taking a bullet: Ain't gonna happen. Balter is about Balter and only Balter. He's an entirely self-centered SOB. And yet, (And I'm guessing here) he will be redeemed somehow. By saving humanity...?

RE: the Love Z. BORING

I don't care about any of them, except Dualla, who is a decent person. I like SciFi, and every moment spent on soap is one less spent on Scifi. But, I guess, enough Fan Boys and Fan Girls need the soap, so there you go.
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