Not-So-Spiffy Skiffy

Ore : 9:38 AM

Stargate SG-1: So even though they've begin to wind down, creatively, the writers and producers began last season a daring new dramatic conceit with the introduction of the Ori. Now, the "big bad" (such a Buffy rip-off, even if Buffy was itself a mish-mash of rip-offs applied with panache) is a brutal, oppressive religious order that brooks no questioning or dissent, and requires absolute blind faith. Could be exciting stuff -- certainly more interesting than past villains. And thank goodness it seems to have flown over the heads of Dobson, Robertson, and their flying monkeys, as tantalizing as visions of knuckledragging god botherers burning piles of Stargate DVDs might be...

Unfortunately, the substructure of the show, severely corroded by age and use, is ill-suited to properly support this new development; time has not been kind to SG-1. What may have seemed innovative or quirky five years ago is stale now. Every episode is a rehash of better episodes that came before (not to mention better shows). Every script is drowning in in-jokes. And the restructured crew is about as exciting as porridge. Ben Browder in particular seems to be telegraphing in his performance as a muted version of his character from Farscape, and he just started. Last week's episode's subplot, in which his friend died, was already pointless, but was rendered even more so by Browder's inability so far to make us give two shits about the character of Colonel Mitchell. And Amanda Tapping looks positively bored. It's time to haul SG-1 to the pound and put it to sleep.

One more thing: Although I'm tickled pink by the arrival of the Ori, and I hate to get all MichaelMedvedJonahGoldberg, "this show's pickin' on me" on alls y'alls, do they have to be so polesmokin' gay? For reals now, what kind of religious order wears vestments designed by Bob Mackey, hmmm?

Half-breed, she's no good they warned...

Stargate Atlantis: In other news, SG-1's goofy, slightly demented (and not in a good way) little sister continues to forge ahead on borrowed legitimacy, hobbled creativity-wise by its own conventions and the conventions of its predecessor. Now that they have (at least, it is to be hoped) gotten through their lower budget fan-service episodes (if they ever make me sit through an hour of sharing a cramped pod with McKay, I will never watch this show again), perhaps they can get back to the heart-pumping, action-filled, danger-packed prospect of fighting the Wraith (more potentially exciting bad guys ill-served by the very show that introduced them), but I'm not holding my breath.

The problem again is the cloth from which the show is cut: it is constrained by the long-established traditions of the Stargate universe, which closes a great number of dramatic doors. Moreover, the characters aren't so much drawn as punched crudely out of cardboard, and the actors play them as such, from Joe Flanagan's hammy, paint-by-numbers smart-ass, to Rachel Luttrell's hot-yet-awkward, "I do not understand, what are these 'contractions' of which you speak, hyoo-mahn?" alien chick.

The levels of quality in camp are as follows, in descending order: Low-brow, high-brow, and middle-brow. Atlantis is of the last, and as such, deserves a very short run on the screen, and then to be forgotten.

Tonight, it's all about tha Battlestar Galactica. And stay tuned here for my deconstruction of Jonah's foam-flecked rantings as he rings his bell and waves his picket sign at the Corner of Goebbels and Riefenstahl. Let's hope he doesn't disappoint.

posted by teh l4m3 at 9:38 AM | Permalink |

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Comments for Not-So-Spiffy Skiffy
you are a goooaahhhooold

dontEATnachos was saying that he is pretty much over BSG. I missed last weeks. Was it that bad? I was wondering when they would get to the food issue, but at the same time, that level of detail might be killing the drama. Rather like the old WWII board games as compared to Medal of Honor and such. There is a fine balance between detail/reality and entertainment/fiction. I still feel they are walking that line very well, but if they start bitching about only having AE305 transistors and they need Beta Model DE409s, I am checking out.

Who am I kidding? I will be watching that show until they start making with the constant fan service that is SG1 and SGA. And I'll still watch it then, I just own't tell anyone.

i don't watch any of this shite, but would watch bsg if i had caught the show from the beginning.

having said that, didn't you give up on stargate earlier?

blog ho: Yes, yes I am.

chuckles: Yes, last week's was a bit boring -- more of an establishing atmosphere/yet more history episode. But I'm still compelled to watch it.

Pop: I mostly have, although I keep it on in the background while I'm cooking or washing dishes or cleaning or whatever. But that may soon end.

This will be my last Stargate post.




dude, bill duke, they killed off bill duke like it was nothin!

is william b. davis still on stargate, or did they kill him off too?

just wait till dr. who, when j.g. gets to capt. jack and the slitheen's "massive weapons of destruction".

So I finally downloaded this episode of BSG and I was impressed with why (as I see it) they killed the black market honcho/jeffe. This may be ridiculously obvious and a shallow observation, but the difference between Apollo since the accident and pegasus incident is becoming apparent. Starbuck and Apollo are switching roles.

xlsjboxz: Stan Lee's exclamation over the gaming console.

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