Sunday, October 22, 2006

Nostaligia Trip

Main Entry: nos•tal•gia
Pronunciation: nä-'stal-j&, n&- also no-, nO-; n&-'stäl-
Function: noun
Etymology: New Latin, from Greek nostos return home + New Latin -algia; akin to Greek neisthai to return, Old English genesan to survive, Sanskrit nasate he approaches
1 : the state of being homesick : HOMESICKNESS
2 : a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition; also : something that evokes nostalgia
- nos•tal•gic /-jik/ adjective or noun
- nos•tal•gi•cal•ly /-ji-k(&-)lE/ adverb
- nos•tal•gist /-jist/ noun
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary



Currently I find myself in wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition, namely October 2, 2006. That was the day I published In Defense of the Best Show on Television, about my favorite show Battlestar Galactica.

Four episodes in to season 3 I find myself shrieking to the writer’s of Battlestar Galactica like George Jetson trapped upon the perpetual sidewalk from Hell to please, for the love of the Lords of Kobol, would you stop this crazy thing? It’s still my favorite show, and I believe the bones of the best show on television are still there, but, keee-rike guys. Every hour of the show this season has managed to end like a bad magic trick. The magician grabs the table cloth, yanks, and all the dishes go flying everywhere. You think, Holy Zues, how will they fix that unholy mess, and then the next hour begins at a brand new table, dishes and candelabras magically restored to wholeness.

Don’t worry. I’ll be using lots of wretched metaphors in this article today. One thing I’m perpetually reminded of watching BG this season is what I like to call Aaron Sorkin Syndrome, or ASS. This is the practice of casually discarding seemingly vital plot or character points in the service of the next seemingly vital plot or character point. The country is thrown into turmoil and Bartlett hands the reigns of the government over to Walter Sobchak because Zoe Bartlett has been kidnapped by unidentified but probably shifty and foreign A-Rab terrorists? Oops, here she is in this abandoned trailer park off the Leesville Highway. A-rab terrorists or sorority hazing gone awry? Will we ever learn? Why NO, because it’s on to the next season.

The BG writers have been showing us an awful lot of ASS this season, so much that I barely know where to begin. If the Cylon skin jobs are trying to create a utopian human-ville, why don’t they plant some flowers, give them all stackable washer/dryer units, or, you know, something? Conversely, if they’re not trying to create hu-topia, why don’t they just kill them all? Yeah, I get that they’re arguing amongst themselves, but there’s a really quick solution to the argument. An anti-human skin job can just nuke the lot of them…end argument.

200 people dragged off to be executed Russian pogrom style…here comes an army of tin cans over the horizon, an army which can apparently be easily taken out by two sharpshooters on a ridge? If the detainees have that kind of firepower at their disposal, why don’t they use it? Tin cans drag Laura Roslin off, but then apparently don’t notice that she’s come back into the city. That’s Kara’s baby? How old is she? Three? Is that right? Adama’s going to create a distraction while the people are evacuated to the same spaceship impound lot…that’s not going to be a traffic jam…and where the hell are the tin cans with guns trying to stop them? Gaius is trying to stop Xena from setting off a nuke. Why? All the people are gone. What does it matter if she nukes the place? I’m just so FRAKKING CONFUSED.

They managed to answer one of these puzzlements on Friday’s episode, the question about Kara’s child, and quite cleverly too. But this is the problem with ASS. You don’t know which puzzling things to invest yourself in answering, and which are going to be magically erased by next episode. Admittedly, they gave us one hell of a season ender last year, and they certainly cannot be accused of giving us a boring season this year.  The action is gripping.  The acting is fine.  The drama is delightfully melo.  (Kara eats steak covered in the blood of the skin job she just murdered...SNAP I love this show.  Ty poisons his treasonous tramp of a wife...SNAP again I say...with tears and everthing...DAMN you guys are good.) 

I’m just asking, please guys, now that everyone is back on their ships could we please have a little more of those tight wonderful suspenseful storylines of yore, and a little less ASS?

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