DonAithnen (donaithnen) wrote,
DonAithnen
donaithnen

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What do you mean BSG is almost over?

(minor spoilers about general plot outlines through the middle of season 3)

shelleycat and i got back into watching BSG again last weekend, went through three episodes in the middle of season 3 in one sitting. Before i got any further i suppose that i ought to clarify that i do still like the show, but that's not gonna stop me from talking about the problems it has :)

First of all, every episodes starts with the recap about how the cylons were created by humans, they rebelled, yada yada, and they have a plan!

No. No they don't. They haven't had anything resembling a plan since sometime in season 2 i think. At best they currently have a Xanatos Roulette going. But only if that includes running around like chickens with their heads chopped off whenever the invisible camera is watching them in order to give the viewers a false sense of security and thereby give the human fleet a false sense of security, thereby ensuring their downfall. Don't ask me how that's supposed to work, ask the cylons.

It's pretty clear the writers don't have plan anymore either. They seem to be resorting to the worst kind of one episode plot arcs. In season one they had a multi-episode arc describing how the supply of one particular resource became critically low, how they had to jump through hoops to find more of the resource, and then jump through more hoops to actually acquire the resource.

In season three they have a different resource problem. Both the problems leading up to the shortage and the discovery of the new supply are covered in the first two or three minutes of an episode. The rest of the episode is spent dealing with jumping through the hoops to acquire the resource. As far as we can tell they're now finished with that thread (we haven't actually watched the next episode yet.)

It's actually even dumber than that serious (spoilers for seasons 1 and 3):

****************SPOILERS****************

The first season they ran out of water. They were doing okay until one of their water tanks got sabotaged. Given the amount of time they spent developing that it was a perfectly acceptable problem. Then they had to find water, which took a long time, and the only source they found was being guarded by the cylons. (I think i'm remembering this all correctly.) Which probably makes perfect sense to anyone not very familiar with, er, stellar systemology? The solar system has water all over the place. There's water on multiple planets, there's water on multiple moons, there's water in the asteroid belt, there's water in comets. The fact that there's water on Mars is a big deal to us because _we_ can't teleport from one end of the system to the other in the blink of an eye. If the human fleet was looking for water here they'd have almost a half-dozen major sources and thousands of "minor" sources to pick between, and there's no really good reason given why the average stellar system would be any different. Sure we're working from a known sample size of one, but we already know of two other stellar systems in their universe that have lots of water available (the 12 colonies system and the original home planet system.) I would think it would require at least a bit of hand waving to explain the extreme scarcity of water elsewhere.

But then in season three they're suddenly out of food. Very suddenly. Very little has been said about food in particular up until now. Water yes, obviously. Supplies in general, yes. Food, no. I'd had vague jigglings in my mind about "why haven't they all starved to death yet?" but i just kinda accepted that was one of the gimmes. Except now it's suddenly no longer a gimme. The first few minutes of the episode are "our almost magical process of making food has gone unexpectedly and horribly wrong, and our process control is so bad that not only is all the new food poisonous, we mixed it in with all the supplied food and stirred vigorously before anyone noticed. We have one week left to live." You now have a couple seconds to go "WTF?" before being told that they've already found a new source, but it's hard to get to. WTF again!?! It took them forever to find water, something that should be absurdly common, but they can find food, which requires not only water but the development and evolution of life itself, at the drop of a hat?!?

****************End of serious spoilers****************

Also, they had a boxing episode. SRLSY. Listen all you writers for science fiction shows out there, never, _ever_ write an episode about boxing or any sport remotely like boxing. It never ends well. This one was probably better than the B5 boxing episode, but that's rather damning with faint praise. In this case they decided to retroactively create soap opera drama through the use of flashbacks to never before seen scenes which could then get resolved via boxing.

Speaking of that episode, anyone else who is still catching up on BSG through DVDs should learn from the mistakes of shelleycat and i. ALWAYS check the NEXT episode to make sure it's not a director's cut version (with 25 extra minutes of footage!) of the current episode that you're just about to start. We've been burned by that one at least twice already =P

Finally, at the beginning of every episode they show the number of survivors. It's something like 40,000. The number does change from episode to episode, but it doesn't seem like as much as it should. They have people dying and (and occasionally getting born) and sometimes they lose entire ships. In one of the episodes they lost at least two entire ships. I went and checked the numbers for the beginning of that episode and the next. Net change from losing two or more entire ships? 18 people =P It sure doesn't look like there are over 2000 ships in the fleet, and they sure acted like losing those ships was a much bigger deal than the loss of a dozen or so people =P
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