Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Battlestar Galactica [TV Series]

I decided to see what the fuss was all about. Turns out it was shaky-Ritalin filled camera work and relationships I do not believe for one minute. It is great visually, but I have little interest in having more flight school than the movie Top Gun, even a futuristic Top Gun. The actors and actresses seem to do well enough, but I only made it through this series alive because of: Doctor Baltar (when he's nuts), James Edward Olmos' intensity, the chief, Lt. Gata and the "freedom fighter/terrorist" (wish to see more of this guy's filmography). The only drama that has any remote interest for me is the Chief's drama. All the mentioned characters are the ones that consistently really give me any interest in the series and quite frankly don't get enough screen time. It's impossible for me to feel sympathy or empathy for the other characters in the least bit.

The people of earth have been scattered and brutally cut down in numbers. They are hunted and at war with cylons, "machines", who have a new tactic in infiltrating the last bits of the human race. The series tackles and tests most proven subjects on morals, human nature and then goes for the overly dramatic. Also right off the bat I have to say the robots dubbed "Raiders, Centurions and Cylons" are way too passive. If they were real machines they would be more efficient and would appear overly aggressive and much more decisive. Here they seem like poorly operated group of pirates/secret agents, Alias was better. The Matrix and Terminator franchise had a better interpretations of human and machine relationships.

Battlestar does well, but there are other things I'd rather watch on a regular basis. Great sets and costumes win me over some, so as far as funding and execution it is done well. If you liked LOST you'll probably like this as well. For me it tries too hard to surpass Star Trek with a more "soapy" twist. If I ever watch another bit of this current version of Battlestar it will be a remix of everything in my first paragraph. Frankly I liked Starship Troopers franchise better because they are enlisted high schoolers who fight giant alien bugs in outerspace, even the movies were better. This series by comparison is a dull dull ride unless drama is your bread and butter. Go watch Walking Dead or even Lost for more quality stimulation first.

Scripts seem written good enough, it's just the content rarely interests me. When characters are talking I'm listening and trying to care about the characters, but all I notice mostly are the really nice sets. CGI and special effects do really well in short bursts like in something Joss Whedon would do.

The writing occasionally shows strength, but short of human rights/freedoms/beliefs I have very little feelings for the characters or the storyline in general. I powered through because I was hoping to see more of my favorite characters which get way too little screen time. I also wish there was better chemistry between lead characters.

The few characters that stand out we do not get enough of. The chief was a really good character. Probably the most grounded and easiest to relate to. Very interested in seeing him in other movies and series. Baltar is hilarious, almost everytime someone mentions his name it is like someone getting hit in the face by a giant butt. His look of shock gets me every time, it's like he's high or something. Olmos's character, Adama, is basically Bruce Banner waiting to rage out minus the green monster. The man who plays the radical freedom fighter is almost like Magneto from the Marvel world, charismatic and extreme, but with slightly different motivations. Lt. Gata also has good episodes especially when he and said freedom fighter mix it up. All in all these are the only characters I look forward to seeing in other stuff outside this series.

I can't stomach hearing "frak" anymore. I'd prefer "fruk" or "frek" cause it would have been more interesting to watch. Also, "nuggets" and "Starbuck" just feel like forced advertisement if you're too familiar with your food and drink franchises. They should've gone with more unique vocabulary.

The only other things to look forward to, few and far between are the guest actors like Lucy Lawless, one of the actors from The Langoliers, one of the actors from ALIAS and an actor from Firefly (the latter two should have had more appearences).

Favorite episodes: Season 3 Episode 5, 14, 15 16

SCORE 8/10

Worth marathoning like Lost, but I have other series I approve of much much more for drama (see Being Human). Battlestar has a strong third season and episodes on human rights/freedoms gives this series the extra point. I give this series props for a better concolusion than Lost and treating its fans with a great finale. I almost wanted to drop this down another point because the lead actress is just plain unlikeable, but that feels like more of a preference. If you have shorter series or more pressing interests I'd pick a few or five episodes and decide to watch or not watch. I would just watch Baltar heavy episodes then the last few. So to sum up, shaky camera gave me motion sickness, unoriginal drama and that evil twin in your parent's soap operas is everywhere... Too few redeeming qualities include a nutty professor, two serious leaders (Olmos's epic facial hair plus that other guy) and spectacle ship fights in space.
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