Friday, March 20, 2009

It Ends Tonight - SO SAY WE ALL

It Ends Tonight - SO SAY WE ALL

This is it. It ends tonight, it ends tonight....

Ok, ignore that All American Rejects song used in the promo of the show from two seasons back. It's actually the end tonight. After years of being one of best television shows on the air, Battlestar Galactica comes to an end. What a beautiful run this show has had.

As a helpful reminder, if you're setting your TiVo's and not watching it live, you'd want to make sure you set your recording devices an extra 11 minutes as it's going to be a 2 hour and 11 minute send of

So what's the big deal, a show on SciFi comes to an end. Isn't that the network that shows nothing but terribly bad C-rated movies and StarGate? BSG may be a SciFi show but it's in no way a nerdy show. I'd venture to say that anyone, nerd and jock alike, could fall in love with BSG if they gave it a couple of episodes. It really is very addicting.

It wasn't just a fantasy show. BSG touched on real world issues and current affair matters. Sure it was set on a battlestar that just escaped a very serious attack on the human race by cyborg robots that we created(?), but it touched on political issues and social commentary in a great way. Sometimes it was subtle and other times you were pretty much guessing that this was ripped from the headlines of whatever bone headed move Bush made. Either way, it was amazingly well written and had you wanting more when it ended each episode.

Edward James Adama kicking some major ass. SO SAY WE ALL!

This show also marked the turning point in acceptance of being a nerd. It wasn't socially wrong to like something that was based around space ships, robotic overlords or a bleak future. It was cool to like this show. It was cool to be a nerd. Something I don't think I ever really got used to. People would have friends over to watch the episodes.

Drinking games were created around the show. And for those of you at home planing to play a BSG drinking game, here's some basic rules you can work around.

-Anytime Adama does something badass, drink.

-Anytime a first-billed cast member dies, drink.

-Anytime a ship blows up, drink.

-If it's a capital ship, drink twice.

-At the end of the show, if you're not already passed out, realize that you have nothing more to live for in life and drink everything you have in the house. Wait for the sweet embrace of death.

BSG has come a long way. Hell, just in the show alone look at how much the ship has been through through the seasons.

And now when it faces what could be its final battle it looks like this:

That is one massive amount of FX improvements as well as a sign that Galactica is like a Honda. Make sure it has an oil change every couple thousand miles, some minor tune up's and it'll last years being treated like total crap.

You may be wondering what's the deal with Frak. It's the way they bypass saying FUCK in the show. It has caught on and it's something that is like a nerd's war cry. It's socially acceptable to say FRAK in public and in front of children. They'll most likely tell you which is their favorite character on the show. Most of all, you can say FRAK when you hear news about how this show is ending and how Scifi is.. um.. changing.

I guess the Scifi network is much the same like me. When we lose something we love we just need to find change for the sake of change. That's the only excuse I could come up with why SciFi is turning into SyFy

“What we love about this is we hopefully get the best of both worlds,” Mr. Howe said. “We’ll get the heritage and the track record of success, and we’ll build off of that to build a broader, more open and accessible and relatable and human-friendly brand.”

Sci Fi is coming off the best year in its history. In primetime it ranked 13th in total viewers among ad-supported cable networks in 2008. It’s a top-10 network in both adults 18 to 49 (up 4%) and adults 25 to 54 (up 6%).

During its fourth-quarter earnings call, parent General Electric said Sci Fi racked up a double-digit increase in operating earnings despite the beginnings of the recession.

Nevertheless, there was always a sneaking suspicion that the name was holding the network back.

Yes. Heaven forbid that you'll actually get your demographic when you're going to your advertisers. It'll be like Food Network changing their name to Fud Network so they'll appeal less to fatties.

“The name Sci Fi has been associated with geeks and dysfunctional, antisocial boys in their basements with video games and stuff like that, as opposed to the general public and the female audience in particular,” said TV historian Tim Brooks, who helped launch Sci Fi Channel when he worked at USA Network.
Ouch... well FuuuuuuuuuUUuUUUuck YOU, NBC/Universal! I'm glad I'm working for your competitor. They embrace minorities. Animation, a miniority in the scheme of prime time television gets a whole Sunday night to claim Animation Domination.
By changing the name to Syfy, which remains phonetically identical,
Sorry no, that's "siffy" or "S-yiffy." I'm not sure which is worse, but neither one sounds like sci-fi. This just goes to prove that the English language is a terrible thing. Too many different meanings for the same letter. It just looks wrong no matter what way you try to justify it. It is just too short of a name for the sound it makes, and it has no vowels. The new name is stupid, but the channel abandoned the pretense of showing all or even mostly sci-fi literally years ago.

As for the last episode of BSG. I'm pretty sure that it will have a lot of shocking surprises. A lot of answers are expected and well, it's really going to be something to watch those final two hours of television. But not everyone is pleased with BSG. There's those, like this women, who think that BSG is sending a wrong image. If there's a stranger way to end this blog about BSG ending, I think this is the best possible way to end it.

BSG - TV shows need a feminist critic like a fish needs a bicycle.
Chauvinist Pigs in SpaceWhy Battlestar Galactica is not so frakking feminist after all.
By Juliet LapidosUpdated Thursday, March 5, 2009, at 1:22 PM ET

Note: This article contains spoilers through the current episode of Battlestar Galactica.

The best fighter pilot in the 1970s television series Battlestar Galactica is a cigar-smoking womanizer. The best fighter pilot in the current television series Battlestar Galactica is a cigar-smoking woman. This sex change, according to the actor who played the original character, Starbuck, is proof of an insidious feminist agenda: "There was a time—I know I was there—when men were men, women were women," Dirk Benedict wrote in the May 2004 issue of the magazine Dreamwatch. "But 40 years of feminism have taken their toll. The war against masculinity has been won." Is Benedict right? Is Battlestar—now in its final season—the televised culmination of the feminist movement?

The conventional wisdom on Battlestar is that the show takes a strong stand against misogyny. Last April, Elle called Battlestar "the most feminist show on TV." In January, Wired ran a lengthy blog post praising Battlestar for conjuring "a gender-blind universe." And in Cylons in America, a scholarly collection of essays about Battlestar, one writer argues that in "this new world, the clear-cut boundaries between women and men have become murky—women have more power and command more respect than they used to, the men seemingly less."

Granted, Battlestar's women are a far cry from the leg-exposed lady officers of Star Trek or the bust-exposed Deanna Troi from Stark Trek: The Next Generation. There is a female president, Laura Roslin; numerous women in the military, including Adm. Helena Cain and the aforementioned Starbuck; as well as female freedom fighters. Men and women spar, sometimes physically—not in a domestic-abuse sort of way, but as two equals releasing aggression—and they share the burden of childrearing. The Cylons, a race of humanoid robots, revere female "hybrids" who function something like high priestesses. Yet beneath these attention-grabbing markers of gender parity, there's plenty to make a feminist squirm.

Perhaps because science fiction has historically appealed to men who don't leave home much, the genre has often used alien mores and alien technology to rationalize pornographic depictions of near-naked women. (Think Jabba the Hutt forcing Princess Leia to wear that ridiculous gold bikini in Return of the Jedi.) Battlestar is no exception. When Cylons die, their memories download into an identical-looking body on a resurrection ship. This process, almost without exception, happens off-screen for the male Cylons, but when a fembot dies she flies through a vaguely fallopian-looking tube then wakes up nude in a vat of goo.* Overtly, these are birth scenes. But they are hypersexualized—with lingering thigh-shots and orgasmic-sounding gasping. Cylon ringleader Ellen Tigh's resurrection in this season's "No Exit" is among the most egregious: Covered in gelatinous lubricant, she writhes and moans. On realizing that a Peeping Tom robot has been observing the whole process, she gets a creepily post-coital look on her face.

The most retrograde character is Cally, an air-maintenance specialist on the flight deck. For years, she's harbored a girlish crush on her boss, Chief Tyrol, to no avail, until, at last, a breakthrough happens thanks to a broken jaw: Cally wakes Tyrol up from a nightmare and in a fit of angry confusion, he beats her to a pulp. Remorseful, he visits her in the hospital, and shortly thereafter, they marry. This sends the implicit message that the way to a man's heart is through his fist—a heartily un-feminist concept—but the strange circumstances surrounding Cally's marriage are less offensive than her death scene. On realizing that Tyrol is a Cylon, Cally tries to kill herself along with her child. Then another Cylon comes along, saves the baby, and tosses Cally out of an airlock. Presumably the writing staff is trying to grapple with postpartum depression—Tyrol doesn't help enough with the baby, pushing Cally over the edge. Yet they do so in a melodramatic, and ultimately nonsensical, fashion. Here we have a society that permits divorce and seems to have plentiful free day care, and yet an otherwise functioning member of that society acts like a Victorian hysteric. The take-away is not that Cally has been driven to desperation by a sexist social order but that she can't contain her feminine irrationality.

Cally's death is an example of a worrisome trend: The main female characters are all dying, dead, or not human. Ellen, Sharon, D'Anna, and Tory Foster—all strong female characters, have all turned out to be Cylons, and Starbuck was recently revealed as a half-Cylon hybrid. Adm. Cain, for a time the highest ranking officer in the military, was assassinated; Cally was murdered; Dee, Capt. Lee Adama's neglected wife, committed suicide; and Starbuck's rival, Capt. Louanne Katraine, pretty much did, too—she sacrificed herself while guiding civilian ships through a dangerous star cluster. The president, perhaps the most-talked-about example of Battlestar's great female leads, is dying of breast cancer. In isolation, none of these cases has much significance. But taken together they suggest a troubling, if unintentional message: Women—the human ones, anyway—just can't hack it when the going gets rough.

By contrast, the male characters on the show not only have a better chance of survival; they're also more likely to improve their quality of life through friendship. Adm. Adama and Col. Saul Tigh have an intensely loyal, decadeslong relationship; so intense, in fact, that a favorite fan-boy pastime involves splicing together the pair's intimate moments and putting them on YouTube. (See "Brokeback Galactica," for example.) Battlestar does pass the so-called Bechdel test: At least two female characters talk to each other about something besides men—a very low feminist bar. But the Adama-Tigh bromance has no female equivalent, and more often than not, the women bicker among themselves, forming unhealthy rivalries rather than supportive partnerships.

Even more insidious than the lack of female friendships are the casual threats of rape made throughout the series. In Season 2, a "Cylon interrogator" attempts to violate Sharon, a Cylon pilot and the only East Asian on the show, but her husband Helo intervenes in the nick of time. In this season's "The Oath," Helo fights with a mutineer—"Frak you," he says (that's Battlestar's four-letter-word variant), and the mutineer responds, "Sorry, I'm saving myself for your … wife." He means it. Rape is a trope on the show: Starbuck finds herself in a bizarre insemination farm on the Cylon-occupied planet Caprica, and Adm. Cain orders some cronies to rape and torture a Cylon in "Razor." Naturally the show doesn't condone rape, but it's discomfiting that the writers drop sexual violence into the script so often without comment. If nothing else, this pervasive threat—directed only at women—negates the idea that Battlestar conjures a gender-blind universe.

My hunch is that the gender inequities on Battlestar are unintentional; the writers don't sit around inventing new, technologically advanced ways to denigrate women. Yet because the writing staff lives on Planet Earth in 2009, not on Capricia in the distant future, chauvinism creeps onto the show. There is something toxic in those vats of resurrecting goo, and even aggressive fighter pilots are not immune to it. So Dirk Benedict can rest assured: Men are still men, and women are still women.

Correction, March 5, 2008: This article originally stated that the resurrection process happens off-screen for the male Cylons, without exception. Actually, Cavil, a male Cylon, resurrects in the episode "The Ties That Bind." (Return to the corrected sentence.)
I've attached the author's picture

and now I will quote Rush Limbaugh
"Feminism was established to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream."

Yes.. that was someone's rantings over this series. If it could get some angry feminist on the internet to write that much, perhaps it's a sign that this is a series worth watching. If someone is able to get it so totally wrong and still watching, perhaps you could give it a shot and see how so totally right this show actually is.

Good Frakin Bye, BSG. You've been one hell of a show.


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