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Battlestar: The Occupation/Precipice Diaries

Pages from the diaries of:

EX-COLONEL SAUL TIGHE

Dear Diary,

Ouch. Ow. Ow. Ow. How long have I been in here? What? Really? That long? Ellen’s doing what?! Well really, the only solution is to blow ourselves up. And by ourselves I mean yourselves. I’ve only got one eye now so I get to sit out.

CAPTAIN KARL “HELO” AGATHON

Dear Diary,

Yup. I’m still here. And I’m still married to a Cylon. And you know what? I’m kinda enjoying it right now. So go away.

EX. LIEUTENANT FELIX GAETA

Dear Diary,

I’m in a pickle. Baltar keeps signing his name to things. Whatever they put in front of him. Granted, a lot of them are cheese acquisition forms. Those cylons love their cheese. But sometimes they’ll slip in an execution order…or 200…and then it gets less cool. Because no one knows it’s me flipping that dog’s bowl over. And when this is all over I don’t want to end up on a meat hook. Yes, a pickle indeed.

EX. LIEUTENANT TUCKER “DUCK” CLELLAN

Dear Diary,

You might want to step back a bit. No. Further than that.

SAMUEL ANDERS

Dear Diary,

Caught sight of myself in the mirror today. Yowza. Still got it.

EX-PRESIDENT LAURA ROSLIN

Dear Diary,

I told you so! I did! I so did! I told you so I told you so!!! Okay, I just had to get that out of my system. Oh well. I’m a teacher. Let’s make this a learning experience. The moral of the story: no matter how shitty things get, they can always get shitter. Oh, hang on, the truck to take me out to the mass grave is here. Gotta go get shot. Later!

COMMANDER LEE ADAMA

Dear Diary,

Stupid Kara. Stupid stupid going to the planet with stupid Anders Kara. Stupid dead Kara. I’m so not going back for you. Nope. So not. Cause I’m married now. To…uhhhh…umm…one second I know this one…oh yeah, Dee! And she’s…there. Yeah anyway Kara I don’t need you anymore. I need noodles. Lots of noodles. And to yell at my dad…..and just maybe….directions to the gym. NOT that that means I want to go back or anything. It’s just…certain people…certain Kara people…can’t see me fat. And it’s hard to hold a pen in my fat sausage fingers.

EX-CAPTAIN KARA “STARBUCK” THRACE

Dear Diary,

Killed Leoben today. He’ll be back in a couple hours though. Wow this is repetitive. He just cannot get it through his thick head that I am NOT destined to fall in love with him. But you know what does get through his thick head? Chopsticks. I’m not allowed to have those anymore. In fact, I’m not allowed to have knives or forks or chair legs or window panes or shoelaces or stairs or rugs or paper or….oooh! Here comes Leoben! I just found something better to do with this pen. Later!

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Captain Planet

That’s right, children. It’s time to talk about our favorite planet-saving mulleted early 90’s superhero:

CAPTAIN PLANET

and his ring-bearing friends, one from each continent (left to right):

MATI (South America) with the power of HEART (which equals Doctor-Doolittle-eque powers)

GI (Asia) with the power of WATER (ie. control over wet things)

KWAME (Africa) with the power of EARTH (ie. control over seismic activity and ground related things)

WHEELER (North America) with the power of FIRE (ie. his ring is like a flamethrower)

LINKA (Europe) with the power of WIND (ie. can move more air than a normal person)

and JED (Oceania) with the power of INVISIBILITY (ie. his continent wasn’t important enough to warrant a Planeteer)

And when they combine their powers, they create:

CAPTAIN PLANET Captain Planet has all of their powers, plus he’s blue!

I guess individually the Planeteers were so dumb that if they tried to combine their strengths by working together they’d end up blowing in an army of dirty, flaming gerbils:

…to spit the bad guys into submission.

Anyway, say what you want about its cheesiness, but you have to admit it was way ahead of its time! The government is only now starting to push people toward being environmentally friendly.

But we, the planeteer generation say: way ahead of you! We knew the power was ours long ago. Now if you’ll excuse us, we have to go trim our green mulletts.

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The Butchering of Star Trek: Enterprise

This past week I’ve been going over everything I’ve ever written trying to figure out what to send to the film school people. In the process, I dug up some stuff I wrote a few days after watching the last episode of Star Trek: Enterprise and thought I’d share it.


Here’s a picture of the cast to break up what would otherwise be a big block of text

The show was cancelled unexpectedly close to the end of the fourth season, forcing the show’s crew into a mad scramble to end the series coherently. The last episode was written by the series creators, Rick Berman and Brannon Braga.

The episode was called “These Are the Voyages” and fans seem to be split into two camps regarding it: those who outright loathe it and those who love it. There’s very little in between.

As you can see from the title of the post, I fell into the first group. I was so disappointed in it that I actually posted on the message boards from the show – the first time I ever did that for any show. Until then I had avoided it because real fans can get kind of scary.

Anyway, if you liked the show at all, here’s what I thought was so bad about the final episode:

Read More

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The Return of Michael Vaughn

Hah! I knew it! I knew he wasn’t really dead!

How did I know this, you ask? Because no one’s ever REALLY dead on Alias. Sydney’s dad shot Sydney’s mom in the face and she’s still alive because he apparently shot her “double”.

That’s the beauty of a show like this. It’s Star Trek-esque in the fact that no technology is impossible, so there’s nothing you can do for sympathy ratings that you can’t un-do later to advance the plot.

So you just knew that when Vaughn got shot in “Prophet Five”…


(well, machine-gunned would be more accurate)

…that there was going to be some crazy medical miracle cure for forty-bullets-in-the-chest (despite the fact that if you shoot the average bad guy once in the stomach he dies immediately.

And lo and behold! Michael Vaughn wakes up post forty-bullet-in-the-chest surgery (ABC missed a golden opportunity for a crossover with Grey’s Anatomy on that one) only to die mysteriously a few minutes later. They didn’t even TRY to make us believe it by having him die while Syd was there. Instead, they wait till she’s in the hall and (presumably) perform the ol’ switcheroo.

They dragged the charade out for thirteen episodes until finally revealing in “I See Dead People” that Vaughn is now a mountain man in Tibet. I can’t wait to hear the excuse he gives Sydney for letting her think he was dead for months and leaving her-oh-so-pregnant self sans protection when the evil Prophet 5 wanted her for…whatever it was they wanted her for.

Buy the Final Season of Alias

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Battlestar Galactica – In Five Minutes or Less

If you want to start watching Battlestar Galactica (it sounds cool, so why wouldn’t you?) here’s what you need to do:

1) Realize that there are two Battlestar Galacticas – a 70s version and a 2000s version. The 70s version is probably not the one you’re looking for unless you have a soft spot for cheesy old garbage like the Original Star Trek.
How to Tell Them Apart: Watch it for three and a half seconds.

2) Don’t just turn on the TV when it’s on. There’s a lot going on in a big continuous arc and you might get hopelessly confused – especially if the episode is from the middle of the second season. You might cry and then never watch it again. This would be bad.

3) And especially don’t listen to your TV-watching companion who says they only have one name like “Starbuck” or “Apollo” and the bad robots (Cylons) are big chromey roboty things. Because then you’ll really be f***ed – those things were only true in the cheesy 80s version.

4) Read this guide.

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Why Movies Are Better Than TV

I think I might be a bad browncoat, but before I tell you why, let’s get one thing straight: I love the ‘verse. So don’t freak out, but I think I hate TV.


devil box o’ torture

And I’m therefore kinda sorta glad that Firefly was canceled and turned into a movie instead. (But I wouldn’t be glad if it was cancelled and there was no movie)

Why am I glad? Because I love movies. I like movie stories about a thousand times better than dragged out one-hour-a-week-supposing-its-not-a-repeat storytelling by multiple writers (each with different takes on what bits are important) where the characters lives are divided into little chunks that half the time aren’t even related to each other and they have to keep coming up with stupid reasons why it’s taken two seasons to get two characters together only to have one die or something so that the other can remain miserable. I hate it.

Know how I figured this out? I looked at the shows I regularly watch on TV, and the ones I refuse to by gut instinct. I watch: CSI, CSI: NY, NCIS, Without A Trace, Criminal Minds, Ghost Whisperer, Numb3rs, Survivor, the Daily Show, SNL and whenever I can catch a new one, the Fairly Odd Parents. Nothing else. I follow my gut and refuse such things as Lost, Desperate Housewives, etc.


Hi, we have no real lives for you to get frustrated with

So let’s break it down:
Survivor – reality show, no real direction of story
CSI et all – crime shows with weekly self-contained stories
FOP – cartoon with no episode arcs
and funny daily/weekly sketch comedy
In other words, I’ve completely rebelled against the kind of TV show that Firefly was.

Now, when the X-Files, Buffy and Angel were on, I watched them, got completely sucked in, and was kind of glad when they were over because it felt like it’d been dragged out too long. Also, the story had gone places I really didn’t like. (Though I admit Dogget and Reyes did grow on me)


Yeah, yeah, you guys were ok

However, with movies, it’s one sweeping story, written by one person with one vision with character and story development that proceed in linear fashion instead of in fits and starts. If you don’t like where the story goes, you reject the whole movie and you don’t end up with those ambivalent feelings towards it. AND you get the whole story at once rather than being feed tantalizing snippets on a weekly basis.

To illustrate, I’ll take the example I’ve been thinking of:

Simon and Kaylee in Firefly and Serenity


Simon and Kaylee enjoying a laugh before one of them screws up the relationship for the thousandth time

In Firefly, Kaylee (Jewel Staite) and Simon (Sean Maher) had obvious chemistry, but despite repeated attempts to get together never managed it before the end of the series. Either Simon would say something that Kaylee could interpret in the worst possible way, or one of them would get distracted and/or lack the guts to say/do something. This was cute for a few episodes, but after a while it started to get repetitive and a little irritating. No doubt if the show had kept on they would have dragged it out for the whole season (at least).
Total filibustering time: about 15 hours, and still no result

In Serenity, they had obvious chemistry, it stewed, they were oblivious, and they GOT OVER IT and got together by the end of the movie.
Total filibustering time: about 2 hours, with positive result

The funny thing is, despite all my bitching, I really do love Firefly. The stand-alone parts of the episodes were brilliant and funny and touching and I love all the characters. Though, I suspect I might have come to love it (the STORY not the characters) slightly less had it dragged on. And I know I’d go insane between episodes.

Therefore, in my opinion, although we would have gotten MORE story from a long-running TV show, I think we got a BETTER story from the movie.

To sum up:



Great


Greatest Thing Ever in the World

There are a number of potential explanations for why I think this way:

1) I have no patience, therefore cannot sit through slow story development on TV

Attention Span =

2) I watched the movie before the TV show, so I look at the TV show as kind of an extra prequel story.

3) I loved Enterprise and then came “These are the Voyages” and it destroyed all of my faith in TV. It was so bad I re-wrote it to ease the pain. And I’m still bitter.


I loved you, then your awesome world was butchered by your own creaters’ delusions of being able to write

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