Click above to download the grinding halt of our journey into one of the most celebrated sci-fi television shows of all time. But don’t despair, if you want more take a listen to our BSG: Razor special with Ro Karen of Starbase 66 from back in May of 2010. (NOTE: The Razor Special isn’t currently available… soon, soon… er, promise).
People often ask us when we’re going to do a BSG episode, forgetting that we did about a dozen. When we tell them about our Project GalacTALKa segments, instead of seeking them out they ask us when we’re going to put out a compilation of all our BSG bits. Well, since Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome recently hit the YouTubes, we figured this is as good a time as any.
So here is part 1 of 3 of our journey into one of the most celebrated sci-fi televisions shows of all time.
Beans has no shame.
This is episode 80 in which we talk about pets. Or , to be a little more accurate, we talk insufferably about our own pets. We don’t actually talk about Pikachu much so don’t expect Pokemon talk.
I used to want a Bengal cat until I found out they’re more than a pretty face. They’re batshit crazy and will destroy your house if you don’t keep them entertained. This, of course, completely negates the whole point of owning a cat. The reason people own cats over something absurd like a Jack Russell terrier (or the even more neurotic Border Collie) is that they’re supposed to be less, not more, work than a two-year old human.
But also, why settle for a reasonably conventional pet when instead you could isntead go for the gusto and have something awesome like a Russian Fishing Cat. I imagine living with one is the Russian roulette of pet ownership. Only I think a better way to go out is with a bullet to the brain instead of having your face eaten off in the bathtub.
That’s a disturbing enough image, but it doesn’t compare to the freaky world of purebred dogs.
And even more disturbing…
Well, we finally got around to watching Disc 2 of Season 4.5. It sure starts off with a bang. I won’t spoiler it here, but whoa! The first two episodes are the best BSG in a long time. Actually, we don’t even spoiler (too) much in our discussion because we’re far too busy being bad at Cylon math. (There are, of course, spoliers as usual though).
Reality TV is a pretty surreal thing. People are drawn to it because, as is the draw with all mythology, they feel their lives are being illuminated by the stories being told. The insidious thing about reality TV is they’re mythologies people actually believe are representations of real life. But these slices of life are actually highly edited and staged distortions of already contrived and manipulated situations.
Theoretically, a reality TV show is the ideal format for sociological documentary film-making. I’ve never seen a single one that legitimately falls under that category. Even beyond the set-up of competition-based shows like America’s Next Top Model being absurd, the fact people are on reality TV shows specifically to become famous distorts their behaviour into broad parodies of human nature.
Which is, of course, exactly why people love them. It’s the spiritual equivalent of a McDonald‘s cheeseburger.
Last week we embarrassed ourselves by not recognizing Michelle “Ro Laren” Forbes as Admiral “Mole Sauce” Cain. In our defence though, the below image shows how 20 years, a facelift and lack of prosthetic make-up can disguise a person’s identity.
Okay. She’s entirely recognizable. We suck. Completely. And maybe she didn’t have a facelift.
Also sucking is most of Season 2.5. Some of the worst television we’ve ever seen (including reality TV and the first two seasons of TNG) can be found in this season. “Black Market” and “Scar” are inexcusable examples of missed potential and outside-of-canon continuity mistakes. We still have faith things get better with Season 3. This show is all about having faith.
I’ve kept this from Mandi to some extent, but there was a time when I truly loved anime. Like an ex you deeply regret, and therefore deny the existence of, my youthful foray into the world of anime as a source deep shame. I think back on those days and feel what I imagine is the same shame one would feel at the remembrance of a night spent in a dive hotel with a coked-out hooker.
And to be honest, I only ever dipped my toe into the murky anime pond. It started in childhood with Robotech (back when anime was Japanimation), but I lost interest soon after Ghost in the Shell, a movie I wore-out my VHS copy of, was released.
A few years later, I had a roommate who tried to get me to watch his stack of Macross tapes, but I just couldn’t do it. Anything even remotely akin to Transformers turns me completely off. That writes-off the whole mech-warrior (or as I call it meh-warrior) sub-genre.
So what is the hurdle? There’s a lot that’s great about anime. It’s often grittier than conventional animation. Until The Matrix, it was the only place cyberpunk had been done well on film at all. Anime is stylish and fast-paced. It’s usually sci-fi or fantasy with lasers and magic and sexy genetically enhanced ladies.
Anime films also seem to aim to deal with deeper themes than your average shoot-em-up sci-fi. But they often fail in this goal. And I think this is partly where the hurdle lays for me now. They’re philosophical, sure, but in a sophomoric, juvenile way. Anime might be a great way to expose existential and metaphysical themes to a younger audience, but as an adult they now seem terribly trite. And character development is generally the worst you’ll find outside of Episode I.
Not to mention tentacle rape. WTF?
Of course, there is one anime director whose work we adore. Hayao Miyazaki‘s films spellbind us.
Even Tim Burton doesn’t blend surreal, horrific imagery with a whimsical sense of magical wonder with such alacrity. I’m not sure I’ve seen a movie which so unexpectedly blew my mind as Spirited Away or if there’s ever been such a truly effed up movie as My Neighbor Totoro to give me warm fuzzies. In fact, Miyazaki movies might be the only films to awaken that sleeping sentimental giant within me at all these days.
Also in this episode, we unveil the first installment of a short series of Battlestar Galactica chatter called Project GalacTALKa. Each week, we’ll talk about our impressions of this celebrated sci-fi television show as we watch it for the first time. Discussion will be entirely spoilerific, for those who have watched the entire series (or have seen it up to the same point we have). We give you this fair warning as we’ve remained relatively spoiler-free and wish to remain so. Basically we’re having our ambrosia and drinking it too.