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Capitulation

*sigh*

Peer pressure remains a powerful tool, even in adulthood. :)

Ferret's into Stargate: SG-1, my husband's into it, and one of my best friends is into it. Every time I'd tried to watch it, I couldn't see the attraction. It mostly seemed like a slightly less adequate version of Star Trek: TNG. Go to new world, chat/fight/sleep with new people, occasionally run into master baddies. Lather, rinse; repeat.

My dear spouse just had a birthday, and I got him the boxed set of the Stargate SG-1 first season on DVD. We've been watching a few episodes a day, and are near the beginning of the fourth disc.

Well, it's still pretty ST-like, but what makes a refreshing difference is the story arc. Putting some of the episodes in context makes the "civilization of the week" aspect a different ball of wax. Rather than being disparate entities, like an M-class world here and a Bajoran homeworld there, there's a common thread uniting them. Each one is a piece of the puzzle, and a potential part of the solution. I did find it amusing that Armin Shimerman, aka Quark the Ferengi, aka Principal Snyder in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, was in an early episode. I have no idea if he'll be a recurring character.

It's no Babylon 5, but then, few things are. I know, I know, ST was pioneering in a lot of ways and is important because of that. It also has some very good, meaningful episodes and Patrick Stewart's talent is no small asset . . . however, B5 was so much richer in so many ways. I don't think we've had another series recently that's yet come close to the sophisticated layering and high-quality writing present there. I mean, Neil Gaiman bothered to write an episode of B5. It's like my exceedingly wise mother says: there's chicken salad, and there's chicken you-know-what, and B5 ain't chicken you-know-what.

SG-1 does descend into hokum at times, at least in the first season. Maybe it will get better, but "Cold Lazarus" . . . ennh. Mix one part ST:TNG's "The Inner Light," one part crystalline entity and stir vigorously with SG-1 team. ("The Inner Light" was actually quite a good episode, and won a Hugo, I believe, so there are worse things for one to rip off, but still.)

However, I really like this overarching "four great races/ancients" thread that seems to be emerging. Not quite the Vorlons and the Shadows, but so far none but the Goa'uld seem to interfere and meddle in human affairs. Then again, the rest of the races might be more subtle, like the Vorlons. We'll see. I'm engaged enough to continue watching the DVDs from the first season, at least.

Maybe the same thing will happen for Freaky if he gets to see BTVS from the beginning. :)

Comments

pointedview
Aug. 8th, 2001 11:18 pm (UTC)
Wait for the B5 DVDs. Watch them in order, preferably with someone who knows the series by heart sitting next to you who is willing to answer your questions. If you do not have such a person nearby, e-mail me and I'll be glad to assist you. :) If you watch the whole series, you will likely be astounded at the fact that JMS foreshadows and sets things up so far in advance . . . I mean stuff that happens late in the series.

If I can't get you to watch that, then for grits' sakes, please watch Twin Peaks. Series first, then Fire Walk With Me. NOT the reverse: that's important. You should be able to rent at your local vid store, most likely. Or wait a couple of months and you can probably buy the taped boxed set for a song as many fans will be replacing their taped version with the upcoming DVDs. You can watch TP without too significant a loss of time if you end up not liking it, as it only lasted two seasons, cursed be ABC's name. You can spiral into that show so deeply . . . symbolism, reference, mystery . . . one of the most artistically significant and influential television shows of its decade. People have written term papers on it. I've got one on my hard drive somewhere - I'll send it to you after you've seen the show, if you're interested.

Buffy, schmuffy - and you know I like the show. It's delicious, clever, witty candy, but candy nevertheless. You're more than ready for more nutritious mental fare. ;)

Yes, I know I sound pompous and arrogant - I apologize, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. :) It's just that I have a sense of how bright you are, and I think you would really enjoy peeling the layers of these two shows. Sorry if I'm being pushy. ;)
twr
Aug. 9th, 2001 09:43 am (UTC)
Sheesh, you'd think I didn't already watch Twin Peaks when I was in junior high school and it was on!

I've also seen Fire Walk With Me. Granted, it's been a while and I could stand a refresher, but still -- you act as if I'm a heathen who didn't want to watch either one!

As for B5 -- I dunno, that whole "space vampire (complete with bad accent)" guy and other cheesiness I saw when I first tried to watch it really removed any inclination I may have had to watch more of it. I tried to watch several episodes, I really did -- but ugh, they were just awful.

SG-1, however, I used to watch because I had Showtime during its first season. I liked it a lot, but haven't really seen it much since then.

By the way, Farscape is now available on DVD. . . I'm not sure how many episodes, just that I've seen a few from the first season.
pointedview
Aug. 9th, 2001 11:21 am (UTC)
"you act as if I'm a heathen who didn't want to watch either one!"

Look, you defended Florindo's sweet grits idea, sweetie. I mean, I adore you and all, but that's a pretty heathenish idea. It will take time to recover from that one. ;)

I tried to watch several episodes, I really did

First season is admittedly rough, but that's not uncommon in ensemble productions. It takes time for everything to jell. Like a good stew, it takes time for the disparate components to meld. :)

As for Farscape I know . . . *groan* Hubby wants to buy. I don't know where we're going to put all these DVDs, because we're surely getting B5 when it is available as well as TP. :/ We might get Buffy at some point . . . . that's five television series right there, some with over five seasons. *sigh*
twr
Aug. 9th, 2001 01:42 pm (UTC)
Florindo told me last night that DVDExpress.com is having a 50% off sale. . .

And I do believe we discussed Twin Peaks -- not really in depth, but I am fairly certain we talked about it. I think it all started with someone else bringing up the episode of the Simpsons in which Lisa has the backwards talking dream.
pointedview
Aug. 10th, 2001 12:44 am (UTC)
Wait, wait . . . when you said that, it started coming back to me. I do vaguely remember something like that. Which means I owe you an apology. ;)

I'll head over to DVDExpress, but we hardly need any more temptation: we picked up Ultraviolet and Men in Black tonight, as both were reasonably priced at Best Buy. They put some effort into the extras for MiB: we watched it tonight. Will let you know about UV.

Thanks for the tip on the sale, though. Please, always tell me about sales on DVDs or computer games. :)

As a completely random side note, I have a shopping mission at DragonCon this year: I'm really hoping that one of the dealers will be selling one of the little tree spirit dolls from Princess Mononoke. I thought the movie was decent, not stellar, but liked the cute little tree spirits very much.
twr
Aug. 10th, 2001 06:31 am (UTC)
*Ahem*

Saying you owe someone an appology isn't quite the same as appologizing to them.

;)
pointedview
Aug. 11th, 2001 01:11 am (UTC)
I apologize sincerely, wholeheartedly, and wish a thousand blessings upon you including the true way of grits. :)

There. :D

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