Saturday, March 28, 2009

BSG: S4, Lost and BSG, and centurions


So, after having watched Razor (which was as dark as this show has ever been: not bad, but DAMN that was dark!) I'm now going at the opening of S4. And may I say that I think the first two eps were some of the best from this show EVER. Fantastic acting: better than usual from everyone, including Apollo! And everyone looks better even: better makeup, better hair, better f/x, better all around. What is it? Less mascara? Less pancake makeup? Less lipstick? It's something, and it's an improvement.

Ep 3, when Tory kills Callee, had me twisted up because it was back to child endangerment, and they really dragged those scenes out, but in the end I guess something had to give. Not liking cylon-Tory much though...

The whole storyline with the centurions and raiders being able to think for themselves is really intriguing me. I've wondered about their abilities for some time, and now I want to know more! Hopefully all the 6s were not blasted to bits by Cavill! My favourite scene in all 3 eps was the one with Sam, in his viper, unable to shoot and then seeing the raider turn over to face him... and then the red eye scan and then... all the cylons withdraw. Just like that. Awesome.

And Baltar, seeing himself? That was some high comedy right there. Baltar may be my favourite character on the whole show. Infuriating at times but dammit, he is funny. He is the one character on the show that has a little spark of fun, mischief... and it's so nice to see it there in the gloom and darkness.

Seriously, people, if you ever wondered why BSG never hit it big, this is why: it is dark, cruel and harsh. Humanity all but wiped out, on the run from an overpowering force, riven apart by interior struggles and prejudices... Violence committed against cylons and humans. People going insane, struggling to survive, torture, rape, death, murder, unfaithfulness, treason... I mean yikes, this place they call space is deep and dark and cold. Baltar is the one character allowed some levity and some jokes, and there's an occasional joke between other characters, but in essence this show is very, very, very much about death, the meaning of life, existence and death and pain and enduring. Not the make of a massively popular show. Still a very good show, just not ever going to be a massive hit.

But.

No matter how many issues I have with this show I will say this: it has some of the best female characters ever on TV. Unique, strong, complex and motivated not just by love, lust or children (as on many other shows: I'm looking at you Lost!) but by larger issues. Laura Roslin, Cain, the 6s, Sharon/Athena, D'Anna, and yes, yes Starbuck are all phenomenal characters. My favourite is Roslin though. Here are women who are allowed to be funny, cruel, despondent, afraid, brave, strong, weak... a full range of emotions without their actions being tied to a male character. They are driving forces in their own right with their own plans and destinies and frakked up minds.

If I could somehow combine the character-writing genius of BSG with the mythos/storyline of Lost, I think that would be a hell of a show. Because while Lost seems not to know what to do with female characters, BSG at times has seemed not to know what to do with its own mythos. S4 is looking fantastic so far though: I can't wait to see where it goes!

Screencaps thanks to galacticabbs.com.

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