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Subject: Battlestar Galactica - The Show rss

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Brian Drabek
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In anticipation of purchasing the boardgame I decided to get with the program and watch some of the Battlestar Galactica episodes so that I would know what was going on in the game. After watching the first disc (the miniseries) I was hooked. My gawd! What an amazing story! The acting is great, the drama and surprises are great. This show has it all: Action, love stories, humor, politics, drama, mystery, etc.

As I watched some episodes in the living room my wife would walk by every so often. I emphasized again and again to her how amazing the show was but she kept saying that it looked cheesy or something like that. After I started the 2nd season she owed me a big favor for something I did for her. I told her that I wanted to call in that favor and she was to try out the miniseries with me. On the first try she made it about 1/2 hour into the show and fell asleep! I was saddened as maybe this would be our next thing that we could share together as we have other shows and books in the past. The next morning she apologized and said that she was just exhausted after a long work week. She tried again that night and was astounded with it! She make comments like, "When can we rent the next one?" and "Don't tell anyone that I love...I mean, like it."

That was two weeks ago. Since that time we have caught up to where I was in season two and beyond. Almost every night she wants to watch more episodes and once we do start watching we find ourselves hours later finishing up that disc.

If you've heard about the game or have played it and not seen this show yet please do yourself a favor and rent the miniseries for BSG. You will be impressed.

Now to try to get my wife to try the game...
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Chuck Easterlin
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briand72us wrote:
Now to try to get my wife to try the game...

Sounds like something a Cylon would say.
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Brian Morris
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The series for me has always been an underachiever. Good but never as good as one hopes. It's like you start expecting it to take off but it always just falls a little short. To much of the show is spent with the characters brooding over their personal angst. Once they finish brooding alone in their quarters (lots of close ups showing their angst filled faces) they go over to another character to listen to them brood. Then they get into a nice shouting match so we can see them both dealing with their personal angst in an interactive way.
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Chuck Easterlin
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mrbeankc wrote:
blah blah blah...




Seriously, just enjoy it.
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Eric Jome
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mrbeankc wrote:
...dealing with their personal angst...


I hear ya.

When the miniseries and first few episodes aired, I was really into it... but I was expecting by this early indication this was going to be a serious science fiction show dealing with mega-issues like resources, warfare, politics, and morality.

Instead we ended up with a lot of emo hall squatters. And I gave up. Lately, for lack of anything else to watch (I can only do so many re-runs of Modern Marvels) I decided to watch the final episodes... now this is what I am talking about! It is strangely liberating to good writing to know your story is about to end. So, suddenly, you can do all kinds of cool, permanent, impressive things with the show - kill characters, reveal major information, have big twists - and not sweat it. If the show had been like this the whole time, I never would have left it.

Less mirror gazing while guzzling alcohol. More firefights.
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Matthew M
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Brian, my wife and I were in the same boat as you last summer. We're now just two episodes behind and will likely be caught up by the end of the week.

Absolutely agree that it's a quality show. You'll probably hear some people poo-poo some of the middle seasons. I didn't share their experience. Some things get more character driven, but I like character driven shows. I can actually handle complex human emotions while also enjoying action sequences. Go figure.

It probably also helped that we could watch them 3 episodes at a time, so where it may have been slow at times from a week-to-week basis, we never had to deal with that frustration.

Enjoy it! And then enjoy the game!

-MMM
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Chris R.
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briand72us wrote:
She tried again that night and was astounded with it!


Well, it is marketed as the butch version of a ladies soap opera.

Lt. Starbuck ... Lost In Castration

http://www.dirkbenedictcentral.com/home/articles-readarticle...

Stardoe?yuk

I can't wait until Dirk's A-Team is remade with Queen Latifah as Ms. T.

But perhaps Star Trek: The Next Generation seemed to lose all of its masculinity back when Tasha Yar was replaced with a simple Klingon.

Then again I probably wasn't really ready for that cat-suited "Derk of a different spelling" avatar a few weeks or months ago either.

James Cameron is a master of the Women's Studies feminist narration trick. I wonder if he had anything to do with the new Battlestar Galactica.

(No, Dirk. Women's Studies apparently doesn't mean what you think it does. I've made that mistake too.)

You know Hollywood could try writing something new every so often just for their own amusement instead of simply trying to ruin my childhood memories. Hmm, I wonder if George Lucas was involved in the Battlestar Galactica remake...

Frack and felgercarb, I'm still confused at Glorfindel's "Dude looks like a lady" revelation and the need to rewrite Tolkien's work from a few years ago.

Oh, well. I guess you can't please everybody...
 
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John So-And-So
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As the show goes on, they lose focus and forget who their characters are. Current episodes are a bumbling mess.

But I agree, the first two seasons were tremendous television.
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Remember that when anyone opines about TV, Film, Books or Games they tend to leave out their life's story. That being said, opinion is worthless. You know what you like. Enjoy that.
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Matthew M
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CapAp wrote:
As the show goes on, they lose focus and forget who their characters are. Current episodes are a bumbling mess.


Having watched all episodes but two over the course of six months, I really disagree. They've done a good job and having characters that aren't static and actually develop in believable ways.

If going through repeated variations of hell during however many years of story time doesn't change at least some characters in substantial ways then I'd be pretty upset.

-MMM
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Brian Morris
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Octavian wrote:
Having watched all episodes but two over the course of six months, I really disagree. They've done a good job and having characters that aren't static and actually develop in believable ways.

If going through repeated variations of hell during however many years of story time doesn't change at least some characters in substantial ways then I'd be pretty upset.

-MMM


I like character development and I'm glad that they make that effort. The problem is that's 90% of the show. I think they try so hard to give the characters personal depth that they simply forget to often to have them do anything.
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I blazed through almost the entire series, up through 4.0, by watching them in marathon sessions. Whatever weak episodes you come across are quickly overtaken by the next episode so that is by far the best way to watch it.

Season three gets a lot of complaints. I ended up watching the whole season over about a thirty hour stretch of time, just taking a few breaks and because of that I hardly noticed the issues being raised.

With 4.5 I've been watching them week by week and it's both painful having to wait for the next installment and it allows you to pick and dwell on the value of a particular episode. 4.5 is a bit of a mess, with some strong episodes and some which are pretty frustrating. Only three left to go and hopefully there will be enough mindfracks crammed into them to give a great sendoff to the series.

It is unfortunate that the series got cut short. Seeing 4.5 try and cram and wrap things up makes it obvious that another season was really needed to dramatically play out a lot of the story lines.

Once you are caught up through at least 4.0 then I suggests checking out Galactica Science for a lot of interesting commentary by a guy who's looking at things in the context of the "naturalistic" sci-fi approach of the show's creators.
 
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John So-And-So
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Octavian wrote:
Having watched all episodes but two over the course of six months, I really disagree. They've done a good job and having characters that aren't static and actually develop in believable ways.

If going through repeated variations of hell during however many years of story time doesn't change at least some characters in substantial ways then I'd be pretty upset.

-MMM


We certainly do disagree if you think the characters have developed believably. On what planet does Gada's plotline make any sense? And wearing a suit doesn't "develop" Apollo's character into a senator. He's just Apollo in a suit.

I certainly don't want to rain on anyone's parade - if you still like the show then I'm glad you're enjoying it. I just feel like I got robbed after being a really loyal fan for 2-3 years.
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John O'Haver PhoDOGrapher
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I watched the mini-series for the first time just last night. I'm putting the rest of it in my Netflix queue.
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briand72us wrote:
This show has it all: Action, love stories, humor, politics, drama, mystery, etc.


Humour? Only very, very ocasionally.
I like the show okay (though I'm glad its almost over) but humour is the one thing it needs a little more of.
 
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Isaac Citrom
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Yeah, I too was hooked in the beginning and I too lost interest pretty quickly. There is an undercurrent of, "we're not geeks and this is not a geek show--we're not Star Trek. The show and its producers definitely have a psychological complex going and it comes across loud and clear in the show.

As such, the show goes out of its way, as has been said, with the emo angsty hyperintrospection at the expense of story telling. If the writing were any good, the characters would naturally develop like in any good fiction without having to force it and wallpaper the walls with it. The criticisms are not about not liking character development, rather having it force fed to you in an amateurish and sort of manipulative way. Again, it's that we're not geeks complex in play. Get over it, realize that you're making a SF show, comment on the future, and make it fun and interesting.

Another aspect that I really dislike is the Hollywood shallowness of the show. If I hear "character driven" one more time I'll puke. There was a chance here, with the amount of cash in play, to make a really revolutionary SF TV show. Instead, BSG is a flimsy SF veneer over the aircraft carrier show. Careful on your landing now, you can't just stop and float in space, ya'know.

Didn't you know, in the future they clip the corners from all paper. I know that because that's a science-fictiony thing. I'm just using that as an example such that all that corner clipping nonsense comes from some Hollywood type having seen a computer printout from 1975 where the fanfold paper from printers had their corners clipped to facilitate separating the pages. Oh my God!

And, here we go again. We must use wired telephones because Norton anti-virus is beyond the scope of humans who invented artificial intelligence. I'm not speaking of geeky hyperanalysis if the science in the show. I'm saying the show would have been better served by hiring a futurist as a consultant instead of a third fashion designer.

Take the film The Minoroty Report as an example. There can be compelling "character driven" story telling while understanding that you have chosen SF as a literary basis and worked it. I find that people respond well to a good vision of the future and find it interesting. You don't have to be a geek.

Having said that, there are certainly positive aspects to the show. I love everything about Baltar and the stories around him. There are other stuff. I just don't agree that this show is anything to pee my pants over.


By the way, how 'bout the trailers for the new Star Trek film. I've been hoping for years that a new and contemporary generation of story tellers would take over the mythos and make it their own. I'm curious as to how they will handle it. The underlying premise of the Federation and deep space exploration is compelling and fun. I just hope that it receives a more realistic treatment than before. If that technology and the nature of life in the galaxy was dropped in our laps today, I'd find fun to watch a vision of how and what we would do.
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joebelanger wrote:
briand72us wrote:
Now to try to get my wife to try the game...

Sounds like something a Cylon would say.


Sounds like something a Cylon would say to divert attention that he is actually a Cylon.

Cylon.
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Brian Bankler
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As I (just) wrote in my blog --

Watching this parallels living it: a joyless journey led by those making it up as they go along in the hopes that the rest of the survivors don't notice. I apologize to everyone I introduced this to ...

My other thought is that starting with a piece of crap made this show (which is competently made) seem excellent. Just something to consider.
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The show certainly ends up somewhere different from what the initial season or so portends. I'm not convinced that the resolution that's playing out now is significantly prefigured by what happens early on. I mean, the seed ideas are there, but it seems hard for me to believe that some of this was even a glimmer in Season 1. I'm not sure how cohesive any of this would seem had I watched it in one stretch; sounds like others found it to be, so I could be wrong. Seems like a lot of things have hurt this show, including SciFi's schedule shuffling, the long breaks between "chunks," the split-season DVDs for Seasons 2 and 4, the writers strike, an over-large cast, network interference, declining ratings, etc.

Add that to the fact that TV is just a horrible medium for art.

Still and all, when it's good, as it's been more often than not for me, it's very, very good, even sublime.
 
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Hate to tell everyone this, but every story line is "made up" on the spot. It's called fiction.

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I watched it as a marathon to get caught up. I didn't notice the alleged "huge dip in quality" that everyone goes on about. Of course, I didn't suffer through programming breaks or long stretches between shows or anything like that, either.

It's a great show, I've enjoyed the ride.


Gaeta's story totally makes sense, by the way. I mean, without spoilers, I'm pretty sure he had a right to act the way he did, given the circumstances all the way back to the beginning of Season 3.

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franklincobb wrote:
IGaeta's story totally makes sense, by the way.


Friends told me that the Razor storyline that is available online helps you understand his motivations. I ain't seen it, but that's what I heard.
 
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isaacc wrote:
Yeah, I too was hooked in the beginning and I too lost interest pretty quickly. There is an undercurrent of, "we're not geeks and this is not a geek show--we're not Star Trek. The show and its producers definitely have a psychological complex going and it comes across loud and clear in the show.

As such, the show goes out of its way, as has been said, with the emo angsty hyperintrospection at the expense of story telling. If the writing were any good, the characters would naturally develop like in any good fiction without having to force it and wallpaper the walls with it. The criticisms are not about not liking character development, rather having it force fed to you in an amateurish and sort of manipulative way. Again, it's that we're not geeks complex in play. Get over it, realize that you're making a SF show, comment on the future, and make it fun and interesting.


I don't see it as a heavy-handed attempt to separate from SF geekiness, but to infuse SF with real characters. Too often SF uses characters as a tool to communicate science concepts and future state hypothesis without any connection to their actual reactions to them. The character's stories end up being shallow and their actual emotional makeup 2-dimensional. I think the writers of BSG, though not perfect, have done a good job mixing in more of the character angle so that you have a fuller story. What keeps classic SF and the awesomely great stories that are contained therein inaccessible to people is not that they are geeky, but that they are 100% geeky and create no connection with the readers/viewers own experiences and emotions. The truth of the matter is that TV is TV and even if you are of the geeky persuasion, you have to accept some level of "soapiness" for a show to last. The viewers who can appreciate hard SF for what it is are too few to support a long term series. I think it's more about accessibility and personally the writing of the show is good enough to let the excessiveness of some of it flow under the bridge..



isaacc wrote:
Instead, BSG is a flimsy SF veneer over the aircraft carrier show. Careful on your landing now, you can't just stop and float in space, ya'know.


I don't agree. They have shown Raptors and other ships making slow landings that don't need the deck. The deck is for rapid Viper retrieval for jumps. At first I had a hard time swallowing that they could just jump within minutes of impending doom, but then I realized that is what that the whole landing bay is for, The vipers zoom in at speed and then the ship can just jump. All the non-jumping landings throughout the series is usually training or ships that are damaged and without much control.

isaacc wrote:
Didn't you know, in the future they clip the corners from all paper. I know that because that's a science-fictiony thing. I'm just using that as an example such that all that corner clipping nonsense comes from some Hollywood type having seen a computer printout from 1975 where the fanfold paper from printers had their corners clipped to facilitate separating the pages. Oh my God!


Any Wargamer worth his salt will tell you exactly why clipped corners are a superior way of handling paper and why it's obvious that in the future that all paper products will be this way.

isaacc wrote:
And, here we go again. We must use wired telephones because Norton anti-virus is beyond the scope of humans who invented artificial intelligence. I'm not speaking of geeky hyperanalysis if the science in the show. I'm saying the show would have been better served by hiring a futurist as a consultant instead of a third fashion designer.


They thought they did have counter measures, but obviously sentient machines are going to have the advantage when writing code, especially when those machines were born of the same code writers they seek to subvert. A simple case of the student surpassing the master. Add in the fact that physical security was compromised and actual code was manually introduced and counter-measures disabled, well it's pretty easy to suspend disbelief. One more thing, the human race at that point would be wary towards AI and would not use it for defense. But the Cylon's are free to develop intelligent AI virii that can adapt and defeat conventional counter-measures with ease.

isaacc wrote:
Take the film The Minoroty Report as an example. There can be compelling "character driven" story telling while understanding that you have chosen SF as a literary basis and worked it. I find that people respond well to a good vision of the future and find it interesting. You don't have to be a geek.


I agree, but a movie tells a story in a short period of time and your pain threshold for human angst, emotion and dynamics isn't reached as fast. In a 5 year long series, some people are going to get sick of certain love triangles before others, they are going to get sick of watching someone's alcoholism, they are going to get sick of prejudices, quirks and irrationality. Unfortunately, all those things are still important for those character's interactions with the story line. So, some people will thrive on the human factor longer and some will tire of it. I admit, sometimes I'm sick of the banality of human experience and roll my eyes at the corniness of TV in general. In fact, I don't read much contemporary fiction for that very reason. So much of it is simply exploring human interaction which I have little interest in. But, throw it into an awesome setting with some some mind-expanding concepts and I can tolerate it for a surprisingly long time.
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cosine wrote:
franklincobb wrote:
IGaeta's story totally makes sense, by the way.


Friends told me that the Razor storyline that is available online helps you understand his motivations. I ain't seen it, but that's what I heard.


I heard there is also stuff in the webisodes that flesh out his motivations a bit also, but I haven't taken the time to watch them yet.
 
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