Archive for the ‘scifi’ Category

I watched all of this miniseries in the past two days. Please don’t judge me. The combination of Lucy Lawless and Jaime Murray was more than I could resist. (Ohhh and what a combination…) And it was actually kind of perfect for my cold-muddled brain.

And it may well be that I am biased, but I found this prequel series to be less terrible than the original Spartacus. They were, at least, somewhat less in love with their blood-spray effect, or else finally learned to use it in moderation.

I don’t have a lot to say about the plot or the acting (both were fine), but I did want to talk a little about the world-building. There was a variety of things on that front that I found intriguing.

On the one hand, this is a cable show, and it had the requisite gratuitous and excessive nudity, sexuality, vugarity and violence. On the other hand though, all of those things contributed toward constructing a society with radically different social mores and taboos than ours. Once it got past the shock value, it felt true in a way that the one episode of Spartacus I managed to sit through, with its endless slow motion sprays of blood, never did.

And it’s possible that the thing that felt most true about it, was that not once did any of the characters notice it, or wink at it, or reference it, or judge it. This was their world. And I was very much impressed by that acceptance.

I credit the writers for this. Particularly in the way they treated slavery. That, too, was a fact of life. And the slaves were able to take pride in their accomplishments and in the house that they served. But never once was it glorified. All the horrors of that position, that institution were shown in stark clarity. But that was the amazing thing. It was shown, not told. Never once did anyone whinge about their lack of freedom. There were no endless speeches about “one day I will be free.” And yet, as a viewer, you were always, always aware of the situation.

I just found it interesting to be shown: this is what life is like in the culture we’re depicting. (Never having studied the classics, I couldn’t tell you if it’s actually representative of life in the Roman Empire.) And to be shown this with absolutely no modern judgements imposed upon it. This is a rare thing, and I appreciated it a great deal.


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One day I will finally write the post about my huge honking love affair with Farscape. I love (still) that show far more than it probably deserved, for a variety of reasons.

One of those reasons, I have to say, is the awesomeness that is Claudia Black. And, out of nowhere, she turned up on NCIS this week! (Yes, I’m still watching; no, I’m not liking it.) My friends were an enormous disappointment when it came to squee-ing with me over this, so I throw myself on the mercy of the internet. (Spoilers for this week’s NCIS and season 2 of Farscape below…) (more…)

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So very wrong…

A friend of mine sent me the following picture from failblog.org:

I’m not sure whose idea this was, but it is very, very wrong. Although, it does perfectly encompass my reaction to the Always slogan “have a happy period”… Chk-chk-BOOM!

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I finished season 2 over the weekend (and yes, I went out in the snowstorm to rent season 3). There were a series of ‘meh’ episodes in the middle of the season. A notable exception was GROPOS, which I still love. It’s another of those good stand-alone episodes; fun, good pace, and excellent day players. Dodger in particular was an excellent character, and I was very pleased when she came back for a visit in season 5. (more…)

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Once again, I’ve watched the first dozen episodes, and Babylon 5 season 2 is actually better than season 1. Do you have any idea how loathe I am to admit that after all my ranting? Although, to be fair, the season didn’t start out that way. Three of the first four episodes were just painful. Jammed full of Sheridan, who was at his most cringe-inducing goofiness. Trying, in the space of three episodes, to give him the exact same backstory that Sinclair had. Except, you know, different. (more…)

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I went to see Avatar with my brother and my parents today, and as we were walking out of the theatre, the guy in front of us said, “Well… it was good until Celine Dion started singing.” Which is funny because it’s always, always true. Although I do actually agree with the first part of the sentence, too. It was good. Not great, but good. (more…)

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Once upon a time, and it must be about sixteen years ago, now, Babylon Squared was the episode that got me hooked on Babylon 5. I saw it and was so confused I remember rushing home from somewhere to catch its second airing later in the week, convinced I had missed something. I had been watching, sort of on and off, from the beginning, but Babylon Squared was the episode that really caught my attention.

Having just rewatched it, I can see why I loved it so much way back when. (more…)

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