Bye Bye BSG || Flight of the Conchords Finale

For many the love affair with Sci-Fi’s (arguably) best drama BATTLESTAR GALACTICA has spanned years. For me, it’s been all of 3 months. My man was persistent prior to last December that I would enjoy the series but the netflix rental of the 1st disc of the 1st series sat untouched for a couple weeks before we finally threw it in the Xbox and pressed play. I can’t give the exact moment that I fell head over heels in love with the show but I remember marathon watching the 1st disc which contained the full original mini-series. And voraciously wanting more.

We ended up buying the entire 1st season and borrowing the others from a friend. I was watching upwards of 4 episodes per day. I was certain that Lieutenant Gaeda was a cylon. We affectionately nicknamed the XO “Colonel Tigh One On” due to his drinking habits. I both loved and loathed Gaius Baltar and mocked Lee “Apollo” Adama when he packed on the pounds. Even though my relationship with BSG was shorter than most people I do feel that it was more intense at times. I went through a major crash course in anticipation of watching the final episodes in “real time.” I was only 1 week behind when I finally caught up.

The series was great because while the story was science fiction in nature, the drama was the real driving force in the show. Character relations were key; the underlying aspect of “is he a cylon” kept the viewer keen on clues and verbal or physical tells. I think this alone produced a more adept fan than your normal show would render. BSG spawned it’s own frakin’ language too which would immediately gain acceptance in fellow BSG company…so say we all! I don’t think I could personally side with the humanoids or the cylons because they were both fallible. When the final cylon was revealed I was let-down mostly because it was my least favorite character (and I wanted it to be Gaeda!!) but also because it was the beginning of the end of a well-written, well executed, exciting and interesting series. And it was consistently so.

But when the end arrived and all truths were revealed the feeling of being let-down did not subside. I was not blown away nor happy with the resolution of the remaining characters…I even felt anger about certain things. I have some MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD if you haven’t seen the end. But if you haven’t seen it yet, either you’re not a fan or a very lazy one!

++ Starbuck’s end was a major disappointment. The idea of nothing being explained does leave an awful lot to interpretation but it also screams “cop-out” to me. In some cases, especially when the character herself is questioning her existence, then a resolution is preferable. A disappearance almost literally in front of Apollo’s eyes just confused me – was she ever really real? I’ve heard talk of Starbuck’s father being a secret cylon – but where does this idea come from?

++ Colonel Tigh and Admiral Adama never say goodbye to each other. Their dynamic in the show was one of the most captivating and for that reason they deserved to have a final farewell.

++ I did enjoy the idea that cylon/humanoids are the fathers and mothers of the present earth inhabitants. “The Chief” Gaelin is hinted at heading towards Ireland (A true “Man of Gael” huh?) gives an extra treat to the audience.

++Great dramas do not always end joyfully, they often they end in tragedy with a multitude of death. I'm thinking of things like Romeo and Juliet or MacBeth here kittlings, I'm thinking of tales that resonate for ages on end. The BSG series ending crashes smack dab in the center of pandering to the audience; backpedaling from drama into a form of escapism that happily "tighs" up the plot lines at what felt like a breakneck pace. It lacks all the punch and promise of that very brilliant opening mini-series where the very existence of the humanity was counted down every episode and every death brought us one step closer to these characters and ourselves. Instead of making one final stand for human and cylon kind, we are told to believe that this small, closely woven space family just disbands-- walking to the far corners of our globe... and even evaporates into thin air? I may be be just a writing machine, but I choose to believe that our BSG heroes didn't abandon the fight, but clearly their creators did.

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA began as a cheesy sci-fi series in the late 70’s that inexplicably used inferior technology and had an abundance of clunky metal robots. The new BSG transformed the idea of inferior technology into a positive (robots can’t control analog!) and disguised the enemy as ourselves. Add in a perfect cast and you have possibly the best series to hit TV in the last 10 years. And it was on the Sci-Fi channel of all places! Good on ya Sci-Fi and BSG…and fare thee well!
It should be noted another series came to an end this past weekend with HBO’s folk comedy FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS. A slightly shorter season than the prior, this time around it was a slow burn into brilliance. A similar ending takes Bret, Jemaine and manager Murray back to their home country of New Zealand. While I felt the songs took a back seat this season I seemed to enjoy each episode more than the last. For FotC withdrawal, I highly recommend the BBC RADIO SERIES that aired before the HBO series but is basically the same plot line with a few differences in names, characters and situations. A great addition to any Ipod!


Ze Wretched Return || Mary Watches the Watchmen || BSG Anticipation!

Welcome back Kittlings – it’s glad to have you join me as I re-embark on my written journey through pop culture that I like to call NO REST FOR THE WRETCHED…
And oh…the places I’ve seen!

1st off, the anthology that I have been putting all my free time and effort into has finally come to fruition. SECRET PROJECT is now in the submission stage after making its debut at the NEW YORK COMIC CON this past February. A 72 page black and white anthology, SECRET PROJECT features work from fresh talent and established creators alike. With comics crafted by Jeffery C. Burandt, Ronald Salas, Thommy Melanson, Pat Loika, Will Swyer, Ziggy Blumenthal, Neil Vokes, Donal Delay, Sam Little, ZeeS, M. Sean McManus, Brian Quinn, Mary E. Brickthrower, Jeff Brown, Rob Reilly, Michael Woods, David Miller, and Tommie Kelly; SECRET PROJECT provides a vision of comics future stars. Art lovers will go gaga for the pin-ups by Dave Johnson, Taki Soma, John Broglia, Ernie Stiner and Tim Daniel while the cover by Michael Avon Oeming will blow them away. If you or someone you know might be interested in assisting us in the publishing process, please contact me!

Secondly, the east coast said goodbye to the wonderful couple of Taki Soma and Mike Oeming. As they were fellow residents of my quant New Jersey town it was especially hard to say farewell to such awesome neighbors. But the west coast seems to be taking good care of them as they’ve recently tied the knot AND saw their new project RAPTURE get some much-deserved attention. You can check it out for yourself here =====> MySpace Dark Horse Presents: Rapture!

Spring has sprung and so has the urge to bathe the interwebz with my keen observations on the stuff in pop culture that a geek like me digs! So let’s get started shall we?

THE WATCHMEN – of course I have to mention this. After all it’s only THE MOST IMPORTANT COMIC OF ALL TIME EVER!!!! That’s what mainstream media wants you to believe and in some aspects that’s surely true. It helped to define “Superhero” and “Graphic Novel” for a lot of people in addition to just being a great story. This film has been much anticipated. I inadvertently avoided the 1st weekend crowds thanks to my best friend Loretta who visited Filthadelphia from Tampa opening weekend. Mr. McManus and I got Imax tickets for the following weekend and I was a bit surprised at how thinned the crowd was, although we did catch a matinee. I have to believe that the majority of people that check out my column already know the story of THE WATCHMEN like the back of their hand; I actually attempted to re-read the book the day we saw the movie but only made it about half-way through with an hour to spare and ended up skipping over the rest. Here’s a really quick synopsis: It’s 1985, superheroes are outlawed except those sanctioned by the government to virtually police the world. The Cold War is still imminent however and amidst this international terror is a “costume killer” who is slowly picking off the most famous super-people. Will nuclear disaster become a reality? Will the killer be caught? Find out all this and more in Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons groundbreaking graphic novel turned to Zack Snyder’s blockbuster film!!!

What I liked: Rohrshach – I’m pretty amazed with this one as he never really appealed to me in the book. I felt his character really come to life and flesh out in the movie. Former child star Haley is simply amazing in his role. The colors are also eerily accurate to the bright brights and dark darks of the GN. Sometimes the music choices were obnoxious but Tears for Fears “Everybody wants to Rule the World” (in muzak!) and Jimi Hendrix’ “All Along the Watchtower” (despite it’s heavy use in Battlestar Galactica) were classic tunes that worked amazingly well. Dr. Manhattan, my favorite GN character, remained so in the film. He looked as impressive as you can only imagine a blue glowing naked super-hero to look in real life. Billy Crudup voiced the character in such a way as to both soothe and frustrate depending on the scene. And while my fanboy brethren may have taken offense to the change of what I like to call the “Main Ending” in the movie, I happened to really enjoy it. It is reminiscent of another recent comic book related film that was actually so darn good it earned an Oscar for one actor’s particular performance. I speak to thee of THE DARK KNIGHT, where in the end the hero must take the fall for the greater good. I felt this ending applied well to THE WATCHMEN, elevated it to a more mature story.

What I didn’t like: I felt it was a little long but that was going to happen no matter what (Snyder was trying to please the fanboy brethren as much as he could; I did find that his ability to take out unneeded scenes was pretty spot-on). Speaking of Snyder, his sped-up, slowed-down MUCH USED technique for capturing action is so OVER! I’m seriously done with it. I was bored with it within the first 20 minutes of 300, having to endure yet another film with his “signature” action capture is torture at this point. Ozymandias’ very fake hair was distracting to the nth degree. For a movie that had countless money to spend on special effects I feel they could’ve done better in hairpieces for the dramatic actors. You can see I’m kinda grasping at straws. The truth is I liked most of this movie but the only other thing I can negatively comment on is the size of Dr. Manhattan’s junk! I’m totally serious! It was not accurate to the graphic novel and way more distracting than any wig! I know they had to show him naked, that’s not my issue. That junk was borderline porn star…just sayin’.

While next week I plan to regale all of you with my BATTLESTAR GALACTICA tales of the series, the end, and what it all means in the grand scheme of things I must remind you all that the series finale is coming on this Friday at 9pm – a 2 hour special to end this epic sci-fi drama. What’s your opinion? Can this season still shock and satisfy with only a measly 2 hours left? I feel that I really want my socks knocked off and I am weary that this will happen. But I hold fast that my little faith will be wrong and next week I will be waxing poetic on the BEST SCI-FI (Dramatic?) SERIES EVER!+++++++++++++++++++
~Till Next Time Kittlings.