wisteria (wisteria_) wrote,

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"So, do I have to smack you in the mouth, Lieutenant?"

First, nzlaura reminded me that Crowded House is on tour! Atlanta friends: anyone want to join me for their September 12th show at the Tabernacle? I've listened to enough concert bootlegs to know that they're an amazing live band. :)

Second, my internal clock is so far out-of-whack that I'm beginning to wonder if I'm even capable of sleep. It's not an entirely horrible thing -- at least I don't have to worry about work, and I don't yet feel the physical effects -- but it's still annoying. One reason I can't sleep is that all morning a crew has been painting the apartment above mine. I'm pretty sure they're using some fancy painting equipment up there, but it really, really sounds like squeaking headboards, if you know what I mean. At least this means Upstairs Neighbor ("I love to party when I'm not stomping around above your head") has apparently moved out.

Third, the NY Times has a long article on Pushing Daisies, only three months before it premieres. I kinda love the last two lines, and very interesting that ABC says it was looking for "material reminiscent of the French film Amélie". That said, I'm nervous about this one. I'm starting to feel like it's the kind of show I'll want to love and will be hugely popular with all my friends... but I just won't connect with it. Hopefully I'm wrong.

Fourth, I'd really appreciate you returning my pics galleries, LJ. Thanks!

Fifth, the TWOP boards recently started a massive BSG rewatch that'll continue through the S4 premiere in January. (Yeah, I know btlstr_hiatusca is doing the same thing, but I'm not a member.) I've really enjoyed reading the posts about the miniseries, but I haven't jumped in because I'm a hardcore lurker on forums. So, I thought I'd type up my very, very long reactions and post 'em here! No spoilers past the end of S1.

The Miniseries

First, I should give my own fandom backstory! The nutshell version: I'm not into sci-fi at all, but I TiVo'ed "Act of Contrition" after hearing much of my flist rave about how great the series was, and I found myself enjoying it much more than expected. And since AoC was my first episode, is it any wonder that I became a hardcore Kara fan? ;) My first post about the show is a bit silly, but I got a kick out of rereading my second post after watching YCGHA. After that episode, I think I downloaded the rest of S1, which was available online since it aired in the UK a few months earlier. I remember calling my sister, who told me I should really watch the Miniseries ASAP, since it answered some of the question I had – such as, "What's up with the Cylons?" That said, I didn't actually get into the series in a fandom-ish way until the start of S2. It came along at the perfect mid-summer time, and I got sucked in completely. Yay!

And now, on to the Miniseries....

The opening is really effective, especially the spaced-out (literally and chronologically) backstory cards. The entire first twenty minutes are great for setting up the atmosphere on the ship -- a bit lazy, unfocused, one big family -- and the characters themselves. We see each of their signature traits in their first scenes, but without being too obvious about it.

Kara's the first person we see! Yay! (Okay, except for the poor about-to-die Colonial delegate.) She is so damn hot in the triad scene. The cigar, the drinking. Mmm, yeah. And then that shot of her walking away with the low-slung pants. ;)

When they give Adama the photo, he laughs and says, "Mark II. I haven't seen one of these in about twenty years." Uh, what about the ones in the gift shop area?

In the Riverwalk, that is so obviously not a real baby! Also, Six's clothes are just so very dreadful throughout.

How serious was Caprica!Six's "Do you love me?" I suspect she meant it, and she grins as a defensive measure.

Oh, Lee. You're such a jackass! I love the scene in the ready room, when he sounds so very enthusiastic about flying his father's viper, and Helo and Boomer just turn around and look at him with expression of, "Can you believe this guy?"

The brig scene is such fun, despite the angst. When I watched this the other night, I said aloud, "He's going to fall so deeply in love with her." Yes, I have my silly-shippy moments.

Jamie does a good job with the jackass thing. We want to smack him around for being such a prick, but he really softens (while also gets harder) throughout the mini.

Adama's speech still doesn't work for me, though it does work very well on a narrative/thematic level. I suppose I just don't like how heavy-handed it feels. This time I noticed the cut-away to Kara when he says, "We comfort ourselves by saying that it's not our fault, not really."

Dee: "An entire battlestar lost power just before they came into contact with the enemy. They said it was like they'd just flipped a switch." Hmm. Where have I heard that before? (Psst... Crossroads II...)

When she first learns of the attacks, the pilot is falling apart, whereas Roslin steps up and takes charge. And that also sets up one of the overall themes in season one. Soon after that scene, Adama tells Tigh, "You're either the XO or you're not," with such a sense of rising to the occasion.

As Roslin and Lee sit there, talking about the line of succession and realizing she's now president, they already have a comfort level much deeper than it should be at that point. A big part of that is Lee's respect for her, but it's also almost a convergence of like minds.

When the nuke heads to Colonial One, you know it won't explode because it's Apollo, and they're not going to kill him off. It works because of the emotional beats.

Funny to see them getting so nervous over an FTL jump, given how common they've become.

The montage combining Kara's prayer for Lee, the funeral preparations, and the Ragnar jump is really lovely, especially since montages are so overused on TV that they've become a cliché. The music makes it all perfect.

Billy picking up on her cancer diagnosis feels a bit too convenient. Again, it's another shortcut to set up characterization arcs and relationships, but I just can't buy that he'd figure it out so easily.

Whether or not it was intentional, the reunion scene between Starbuck and Apollo is very sexually - and romantically - charged. I never had one first, clear moment when I decided to pair them. I just knew from the start that they were The Couple, however distanced and platonic they appeared to be right then. And I should clarify that: not that *I* was necessarily going to 'ship them, but rather that I could tell the series was setting them up as such.

The various Cylon fake-outs (mainly Leoben and Doral) shouldn't work because they get repetitive, and we're so used to that type of foolery: people unfairly accused of misdeeds are almost always innocent. Plus, correctly exposing both men seems like a stretch. That's why they do work so well. Leoben's a bit of a gimme because he's meant to show Adama that Cylons look like humans now. No matter Baltar's justification, Doral's airlocking is his way of covering his ass. They're what makes the final reveal so surprising. That said, I don't like the last shot of Sharon. Again, it's narrative shorthand, but the whole thing is so damn cheesy, from the identical models walking in together, to Sharon doing the "Ha-ha! Fooled ya!" dance, and that horrible, "By your command." Ah, well. I'll let it slide just because it's such a great gotcha for the audience.

Oh, and I love the bit of humor as the editors immediately cut from Baltar telling Six, "Nobody suspects the Cylons look like us," to Tigh saying, "The Cylons look like us now." In fact, I was struck by the little bits of humor throughout the miniseries. Can't remember specific examples, but it's a huge contrast to how dark the show quickly became.

Elosha's speech about Earth just sounds hokey, but then I suppose that's in-character for a priest. ;) I don't mind the slow-claps or Adama's speech, because they both work on an emotional level after all that darkness. They're great catharsis at the end of a challenging and surprisingly excellent miniseries!

1.01 – "33"

All the fan and critical buzz is right: this really is the perfect episode, starting with that gorgeous opening shot of the clock.

Hearing the original militaristic music in the credits is rather disconcerting now. I like the vocal version better, but I think perhaps that's because I'm so used to it.

Jamie rocks the scruffy look so, SO well. Let's just say that Kara's sleepless look is, uh, "realistic". Out of all the characters, I think she fares worst, poor thing.

When I watched S1 the first time, I mentally tuned out during the Caprica scenes. Even now I can appreciate them, but I don't particularly like them. That's probably another reason why Sharon/Helo bore me.

The stims scene is still all kinds of awesome. I love how Lee looks so uncomfortable as Kara badgers him, and how he really comes across as a nice guy who's out of his element – in the sense that being the hardass, uncaring CAG is something he's never done before, not that he's inadequate for the position. Saying he wants to be everyone's best friend is probably an overstatement on Kara's part, but she does establish there how Lee genuinely cares for people as people, not just as pilots. Another thing I love about the scene is how, if memory serves, the laughter was improvised by the actors, akin to the scenes that usually end up on a blooper reel. I'm glad the director kept it in, because it's one of those small details that really establish their characters and their relationship.

For the longest time, I kept getting tripped up by trying to phonetically spell Dr. Amarak's name.

All the stims snark makes me laugh, because I've been gleefully stimulated for years. Yup, I have Adult ADD and have been taking Adderall for a while. I just tracked down an old, very long post I wrote about it. Some of you might find it interesting. :)

The Olympic Carrier mystery is very well done, given that none of the answers really work, yet they all make so much sense. I've always been fascinated by how BSG handles the concept of The Greater Good in so many different ways. Do you sacrifice one to save the many? Can you take away rights if it's for a higher benefit?

Many people have talked about Lee's emotional distress at shooting down the Olympic Carrier, so I won't go into that. I've also seen some frustration that Kara's reaction is glossed over; while I'm proudly a hardcore Kara fan, I don't mind the depiction here. Yes, she's following orders, but she does express anger and reservations, and it's not much of a stretch to assume she also feels distressed. We definitely see echoes of that in "Resurrection Ship II". Ultimately, though, this arc was Lee's, and I think they showed his emotions and reactions very well.

I know the scene with Billy and the whiteboard is meant to give both Roslin and the viewers some hope, but it still feels a bit contrived to me. Perhaps I'm just too cynical!

... and there it is, just as long-winded as usual. ;) Now I think I'll go curl up in bed and make another valiant attempt to sleep. Wish me luck!
Tags: bsg - meta, crowded house, insomnia, tv - pushing daisies

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