Thursday, October 22

Hey.

SmartPop, the pop culture nonfic imprint of my friends at BenBella Books, has started posting selected essays online, one of which is mine, on BS:G:

The Gods Suck

It's worth nothing that I wrote that somewhere around the end of Season Three, so I literally had no clue how many sharks that show was going to jump before it finally wrapped.

Frankly, I think if they stuck with what I thought they were gonna do, it would have worked out better for everyone concerned. But that's pretty much how I feel about everything. Nobody should be allowed to do TV SF unless they check with me first.

Well, okay, not the folks at Stargate: Universe, which has been damn good so far. But everybody else. Except for Warehouse 13, which is fantasy anyway. And Supernatural . . . still fantasy . . . and Reaper . . .

All right, fine. No one has to check with me. Though Whedon should probably have run Dollhouse past me first.  Nobody bats a thousand, y'know?

By the way, the essay's is only gonna be up for a day or two, so if you miss it, you'll have to pay for the damned thing.

19 comments:

Rob Locke said...

I'm glad you're posting (somewhat) regularly again. I wasn't aware of any of the essays you wrote other than your involvement in StarWars on trial.

Chris said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks Joss was having an off day with Dollhouse. Mind you, I'll be watching it for as long as they keep Eliza Dushku running around in tight tops, 'cos I'm just that kind of jerk.

Chris said...

p.s. I still disagree with you on BS:G losing it. We'll have to fight about that one some day... preferably waiting until you're too old to kick my ass.

Thought you'd be a big fan of the Campbellian nods, and journey as the spiritual goal.

Chris said...

Just read the essay. Beautiful. I see you and Riddick concur on Gods:

“I absolutely believe in God. And I hate the fucker.”

(I think I just mentally compared Riddick and Caine for the first time, which was an interesting moment.)

Guy said...

BSG lost their damn minds in the last season. And then they went so insane they came out the other side during the last episode. There was no possible way they could reconcile what they did with anything approaching common sense.

The sad thing is the worst things happened to the best people in that series. Apollo, Tyrol, Helo, Athena, Dee, Billy, they all get the short end of the sticks.

Andy Butula said...

Damn, Cavil kinda threw you for a loop huh?

Or rather, the series did. Season four was atrocious.

Jello said...

It's still an interesting article, despite how some of the commentary (esp. on Cavil) is dated. I disagree with you on the role of the pagan gods and the function of oracular wisdom: you took issue with them not giving the humans the full scoop or forewarning them--well, it's because these gods don't reveal morality as such, but they try to encourage people getting to the proper sort of behavior on their own. It's something I like to observe in my work in the classics: the Greco-Roman gods, despite being jerks themselves (mostly), like to inculcate Aristotelian virtue ethics in humanity and swift punishment follows if this does not happen. Determing whether the punishment is of divine or human agency is half the fun (or someone could well argue that it doesn't even matter either way).

NSB said...

As I've said elsewhere, I'm not much of a fan of Dushku to begin with, but I think they'd've been wiser to cast her maybe in Ballard's role (which would have had the added benefit of having the star be a protagonist the audience could latch onto), with an unknown (with a little less personality and a little more range) playing Echo.

Andrew Timson said...

I'm not sure if the essay has sold me on the BSG book or not. But you did just sell me on the Halo one you contributed to, darn you. ;)

Guy said...

If you want what BSG tried to do at the end right, I'd recommend reading Monstrous Regiment by Terry Pratchett.

If you don't like Dollhouse (I couldn't stand it, personally), I'd also recommend Joss Whedan's run on X-Men. Some of the best X-men characterizations and stories in, well, the last 47 years.

I'm torn whether or not I'll get The Plan at the end of this month. I mean on one end, it'll probably suck, but on the other it'll still be great to get to live in the BSG universe for a while again.

Do you consider SF to really be different from fantasy? Everything from War of the Worlds to Star Wars relies heavily on things that have absolutely no scientific truth to them, and everything from John Carter of Mars and the Lensmen and Star Trek to...Star Wars...blends fantasy and magic and quantumbabble.

That's one thing I thought when reading Heroes Die, and especially BoT, was that there was an acceptance that fantasy included both swords and sorcery as well as flying cars and interdimensional travel.

Andrew Timson said...

I'm torn whether or not I'll get The Plan at the end of this month. I mean on one end, it'll probably suck, but on the other it'll still be great to get to live in the BSG universe for a while again.

If you like Dean Stockwell, you probably won't be disappointed. It's not a brilliant retcon of the opening narration, but I enjoyed spending more time with Cavil. (And some of the other characters, but especially him, when it seemed like he got short shift in season 4.)

Joe said...

In fairness to both your analysis and the final season of Battlestar, I recall the first half of season 4 having more than a couple of powerful diatribes against God/gods before it goes whole hog on the Asshole Athiest Antagonist thing.

Also I can hear a thousand angry nerds writing smart pop to complain you said Sharon was Number Four.

Chris said...

Crikey - I'm really in the minority when I think that BS:G was fairly consistent in its neutral (and somewhat accurate) portrayal of gods/God across the series.

MWS said...

Also I can hear a thousand angry nerds writing smart pop to complain you said Sharon was Number Four.

As opposed to the plotline, which was clearly Number Two.

Actually, there were a couple of errors made in the print-to-PDF transition. I suppose I should go over it detail.

Shane said...

You're not alone, Chris. I loved the hell out of season 4 too. The only thing I wasn't really in love with was Baltar's sudden and out-of-left-wing role change, and I think that it was a bit more overt with all the metaphysical stuff going on, especially at the end of the last episode where it seemed kind of like an infodump wrapup, but I thought that some of the most emotionally charged and powerful moments came out of season 4. Season 4 was probably my least favorite of them all, but I've never seen a TV series be so consistently kickass for so long.

NSB said...

I'm still at the mid-Season 2 cliffhanger! I need to catch up one of these years. . .

Andy Butula said...

One thing I've been thinking about since the Skinjob Cylons back story was revealed is that, well, they were never enslaved. They have no legitimate beef with humanity. Not only were they were created well after the Cylon war, they also enslaved the Toasters far more effectively than the humans ever did.

I was really hoping for a scene where someone tried to relate to a Centurion. BSG rarely did light comedy though.

Mike D. said...

Of course everyone has to be a critic. I feel that if people were not that they were not living up to their own expectations of their failures....Then again that sounds critical...

bluegrassgreendude said...

One show they got right (IMHO) was the Dresden Files. Promptly canceled. Was it not mainstream and kitschy enough for 'em?