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Samuel Walters
Wed, May 13, 2009, 4:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2

The problem with Lee's decision to abandon technology isn't necessarily in the concept, but in the execution -- as in, why wasn't there a more plausible and explicit build up to those sentiments in the series? (Yes, I get the whole deal of the Colonials being annihilated and hunted by their technology, but why weren't these sentiments given voice before Lee's sudden revelation?)

More importantly, however, when Lee says "technology" does he mean all tools, all science? If so, goodbye clubs, goodbye huts, goodbye domesticated animals, farming, and the like. Does Lee simply mean, "goodbye to anything electrical or nuclear powered"? Does he mean something else? He says no cities, but there can be small communities? How big is too big of a settlement? There's absolutely no mention of where Lee plans to draw the line on any of these issues beyond simply saying that they'll give the natives language. The line, as written, is simply too vague.

Clearly, from Baltar's words, farming will continue, so unless the Colonials plan to do all the planting and harvesting by hand, they will need *some* form of tools assist them. And they'll need some form of science to predict the best times to plant and harvest their crops, to irrigate the crops in times of drought, to determine the best times to go hunting and so forth.

Plus, if you plan on hunting, you'll also need tools, so what about blacksmiths? And tools lead to weapons -- whether its a gun or a scythe. That's the inherent paradox of technology (it is at once a method of production and at the same time method of destruction), one that was wholly ignored by Lee's decision.

If all of this works for some viewers (which, clearly it does) then that's cool. But no amount of "well, it worked for me" will provide a justification for the actions of the Colonials, Moore's decision to have the Colonials give up all technology to begin with, and his method of so suddenly and insufficiently portraying that decision on-screen.
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Samuel Walters
Sat, May 9, 2009, 11:08am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2

Maybe Moore & co. should go back and release a "Special Edition" of the Zodiac map room scene in which they use CGI to alter the constellations so as to avoid the inconsistency?

:-P
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Samuel Walters
Sat, Mar 28, 2009, 1:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2 (April Fools Version)

Samuel Walters - you have a point. Maybe that's what they were trying to indicate (as much as I disagree with it) - the "decadance" of pre-Fall Caprica, which could only be solved by abandoning technology.
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Samuel Walters
Sat, Mar 28, 2009, 1:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2 (April Fools Version)

I think the best way to look at the flashbacks -- Roslin's smoking, sleeping with a former student; death of her family by drunk driver; Tigh & Adama drunk at a strip club; Lee's and Kara's drunken near miss; Adama puking on himself; Baltar's rage against his father -- was, at least in part, to show the decadence of pre-Fall Caprica.

In and of itself, the "decadence" explanation is tenuous but otherwise, I really don't think those moments were revelatory enough about the characters themselves to really justify their presence in a finale.
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Samuel Walters
Tue, Mar 24, 2009, 5:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2 (April Fools Version)

trav⋅es⋅ty –noun
1. a literary or artistic burlesque of a serious work or subject, characterized by grotesque or ludicrous incongruity of style, treatment, or subject matter.
2. a literary or artistic composition so inferior in quality as to be merely a grotesque imitation of its model.
3. any grotesque or debased likeness or imitation: a travesty of justice.


Actually, it's not unrealistic for some viewers to see the finale as a "ludicrous incongruity of" what BSG was at the beginning. ;-)

Besides, just because I think BSG became a "grotesque imitation" of what it once was (through inconsistent characterizations, weak plotting, lazy deus ex machina explanations, etc.), that doesn't mean anyone has to conform to my perspective. But why not share that opinion since, by their nature, comment forms solicit opinions?

Personally, I don't see how an objective assessment of the finale can explain away all of the issues I see with it -- from Starbuck's nature to the lack of resolution between Adama and Tigh to the way that "God" was used to explain nearly every major plot mystery -- but that's entirely the prerogative of Jammer and those who loved the finale. I'll simply agree to disagree with those who see no (or almost no) faults with the episode.
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Samuel Walters
Mon, Mar 23, 2009, 7:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2 (April Fools Version)

Subtle? The cameo was many things, but I wouldn't call it subtle. ;-)

As for me, I thought this episode perfectly epitomizes the series -- regardless of how you view it.

In other words, if you're willing to concede the flaws of the series, you're more likely to see the flaws in this episode. If you're forgiving of the flaws (or do not see any real flaws) in the series, then you're more likely to laud the episode itself.

Personally, I tend to view BSG has having become riddled with critical errors, thus I see the episode as highly flawed.
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Samuel Walters
Fri, Mar 20, 2009, 3:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 1

I agree that BSG likes to concentrate on character moments, but from my perspective it seems that all too often character actions are shoehorned into the needs of the plot, rather than letting the characters "grow" the plot through their natural and consistent choices.

Which makes me wonder: Why do those of you who claim to look for stories about "character" enjoy BSG so much when (at least in my opinion) the characters themselves are inconsistently portrayed?

Do those of you who continue to laud the series not see any inconsistencies? If not, how do you explain the wild range of melodramatic actions from these characters? If you do see inconsistencies, do they fit into some "acceptable range" of inconsistency (if so, where would you draw the line at character inconsistency -- for instance, what *couldn't* Admiral Adama do, given what we know of his character)? Or do you simply ignore the previous episodes, and focus solely on the one at hand? Is there some other rationale I haven't thought of?

I ask because I really do want to know. I've been following this series from the beginning, loved the mini-series and much of seasons 1 & 2, but found season 3 & 4 severely lacking -- mainly because of character. So I am genuinely intrigued by those who tout "character" as a BSG strength when I see it as such a glaring weakness.
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Samuel Walters
Sun, Mar 15, 2009, 8:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Islanded in a Stream of Stars

Of course, the counter argument to all of this is, perhaps, the George Lucas Syndrome. When Lucas had constraints and was forced to (at least a little) compromise in his Original Trilogy, the creative tension created something spectacular. It can be argued that the "creative freedom" he enjoyed on the Prequels led to a less focused, more sloppy result.

I have to wonder what BSG would have been like had someone been there to effectively "edit" what Moore & co. were coming up with -- particularly through season 3 & 4. Perhaps some creative tension would have gone a long way toward making BSG much more focused and consistent (particularly with the characters).

This is, of course, purely speculative (and in a large part subjective) ... but with the end so close, it makes for an interesting train of thought ...
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Samuel Walters
Sun, Feb 22, 2009, 6:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Blood on the Scales

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, of course, and the idea of "great acting" is in large part subjective, but I would argue that a broad-brush statement like "the acting on this series is among the best in TV history" is just a wee bit of hyperbole. There are some really solid moments, no argument there, but, objectively, I think you're over reaching with the whole "best in TV history" perspective -- particularly if you take into account how poor some of the performances have been.
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Samuel Walters
Thu, Feb 19, 2009, 7:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Blood on the Scales

I think that those who would have liked this story arc to contain more episodes might be losing the forest in the trees -- so-to-speak. I agree that a longer arc would have allowed for the Mutiny to unfold at a more plausible pace, but I'm not convinced that doing so would have had any tangible benefit for the series (I'm still not certain that the mutiny plot really advanced the series, not without us seeing explicit consequences for everyone involved, not just Zarek and Gaeta).

To put it another way, the series needed to move on from the Mutiny Plot -- even if it was at the expense of that plot to begin with. In that sense, there needed to be a "neat and tidy" resolution to the Mutiny itself and it had to happen quickly so that the series could get on to the more important matters: What happens now that characters have made their choices and definitively picked a side in a life-or-death crisis? If we don't get that, then it won't matter how many episodes it took to resolve the mutiny -- it'd still be just as pointless.
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Samuel Walters
Sun, Jan 25, 2009, 8:51am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: The Face of the Enemy

I disagree with the notion that the format itself is an inherent detriment. Rather, it was the story that BSG tried to tell through the webisode format that was the real problem.

The murder-mystery story was riddled with plotholes (such as neither the mechanic nor the Eight noticing that the rubber grip was missing -- are they *both* that stupid?). And while the New Caprica flashbacks were interesting, they broke up the already fragmented story resulting in a much more awkward pace.

Incidentally, if you're looking for the right way to tell a story in 10 webisodes, visit afterworld.tv and watch the NYC story arc. It's ten episodes long, fits into a larger story, and is much, much better than Face of the Enemy.
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