Thursday, March 26, 2009

Battlestar Galactica - angels and dei ex machina running amok

*** Warning: MAJOR spoilers ahead *** 
Though... not nearly as major and spoiling as the frakk..., no, screw this, FUCKING series finale.

This show is a perfect example of what happens when the writer-to-be is actually more of a salesman. The guy (one Ronald D. Moore) managed to make SciFi channel bite the bait and I have no doubt the treat lacked all the bullshit that started to pile in towards Season 2. However, a good sales pitch is not enough and sooner or later the channel execs want to see something for their money. The free lunch has been eaten and a script must be delivered - now. Hilarity ensues, as the guy has no idea what he's doing and can't write for shit, so he starts writing piecemeal and desperately trying to weave in something that will keep the audience hooked and tangling unimportant plot sublines to a ridiculous degree. Ultimately that results in blatant contradictions that can lead to a brain hemorrhage. Some of these are mercifully left unresolved (probably in the hope that no one will notice) or maybe just forgotten. However, the horrors lie in those addressed, because the bullshitometer scales get forced to tip. 

Examples? Be my guests. I don't have to go far to fetch an unresolved one - already in the second episode we have Boomer obeying her Cylon programming and sabotaging the water supply. So no, they are machines and they have no free will. Now compare to the last episodes - we are repeated ad nausea that they make their own choices and therefore are blah-blah masters of their own destiny. The conclusion? They may have or may not have free will, but that depends on the stage and severity of the writer's creative diarrhea. What about Kara 'Starfuck' Thrace unexplained resurrection? And no, I don't take the angel bullshit, because she in turn was seeing ghosts, angels or whatever (her piano-playing father), wasn't she supposed to recognize one of her own kind? Still, I will keep in mind that if an angel turns suddenly into (of all things) a pigeon, I can get rid of it by ousting it with a broomstick, that's good to know. What the fuck was all the music about and how did it end up on Hera's drawings (not even mentioning the bold assumption she managed by some coincidence to make them in scale with the note paper)? 

However bad the unresolved ones are, the resolved are much worse because of the means chosen. Yup, I'm talking about the Earth that was named Earth after Earth because Earth was devastated by a nuclear war so they had to settle on Earth instead. Half of the frayed plot ends were brushed under the carpet with divine intervention. Cancer coming or going, prophecies, temples, relics, cult followings - whatever we can't explain or find a plausible excuse for, gets attributed to a higher power. The whole mystic shit was a horrible hodge-podge of Roman, Greek and Jewish myths, and as it turns out, these civilizations have yet to appear, but hey, who will notice anyway? We are expected to be too busy sobbing during the series finale (which by the way instead of tying the loose ends has more sappy endings than the fucking 'Lord of the Rings'), not asking questions.

Under all the layers of pseudo-mystic shit and action sequences, 'Brainfart Galactica' is essentially a soap opera. It's been one ever since the only source of inspiration (the original script) was exhausted. The introduced resurrection of the cylons provided the writer with the Latest and Greatest in the soap opera techniques, leaving far behind outdated methods (still used in Latin America's TV series) as twin siblings or clones. It's like watching a giant breeding experiment that tries to cover all combinations between male, female, human and cylon. So most of the screentime is taken by cylons resurrecting and trying another match. Of course, the recurring faces of the regular models don't allow for too much recycling, so Ronald D. Moore gets a brilliant idea - why not hold several of the Cylons up his sleeve and use them as trump cards whenever his talentless writing sticks him into a dead end? It's a cheap trick, but it works - it dragged him through four seasons, the respective pay checks and landed him new deals. 

There's something terribly wrong with both an audience, that has its standards set so low as to admire this puddle of goo, and the TV executives, who give it a green light, while shows like 'Deadwood' or 'Firefly' get shelved in spite of being superior in every possible aspect. However, in the future I personally intend to avoid like fire anything written by this Moore person.
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1 comment:

  1. Folks, I know you are biased - but I am biased too - there is not MUCH to watch nowadays anyway. If you add the Sci-fi component to that lack of movies equation, the situation gets fracking desperate. Bad or not, I am going to praise every attempt in giving blood to the gender. Firefly was awesome but it is over and I am still from a generation, which demands at last relatively good star operas from time to time.Personally not happy with the last season(s)of BSG too, but at the same time I am not that disappointed. RIP, BSG, you have been entertaining me for a long time. Whoever never sinned, let throw the first stone. And mother, I asked you to stay at home.