Posts Tagged ‘battlestar galactica’

The Killing

I haven’t seen the original Danish series that AMC’s The Killing is based on but given the amount of buzz it got when it aired in the UK earlier this year I am guessing it’s better than the lackluster adaptation that just finished airing over here. I’m holding out ordering it from Amazon.co.uk in case Netflix gets the rights to stream it – which I think would be a REALLY good idea.

For a taut police drama there was a shocking lack of you know police work. The first few episodes built the tension and there were some nice twisty-turny bits but then it slowed down into a rainy kitchen sink drama about what a crap mother and finance Linden was and how shady her police partner Holder was acting. Ugh. The political sub-plot was far from gripping. Did we really care if the current mayor stopped the funding his rival candidate’s (Richmond) after school sports program? Er no.

Not even cameo appearances from Battlestar Galactica’s Leoben (Linden’s fiance who is waiting for her in Sonoma) and Helo (her errant ex-husband) could pep things up. Perhaps it was all the overcast skies and rain that brought the writers and cast down as it was set in Vancouver Seattle. My take away highlight from the entire series was that for one scene they filmed in the gorgeous house that the Graystone’s lived in in Caprica – I was holding out hope that I might see Serge.

The pace did finally pick up in the last episode but the ending was so awful – it was not a cliffhanger it was a cop out. I don’t care who killed Rosie Larsen or is setting up the politician. I’m done especially since AMC cancelled last summer’s Rubicon which had a much more engaging cast and complex plot I guess they decided to dumb things down this year.

Top Chef Masters: Season 3

I love Top Chef, and the past two seasons of Top Chef Masters have been pretty good too but this season lost it’s mojo. There was a lack of contestants with personality – they are all good people but there were no Jonathan Waxman like characters. A big deal was made of Curtis Stone taking over hosting duties from Kelly Choi but let’s be honest neither of them are in Padma’s league so it’s something of a moot point. The challenges were interesting enough but what I think really let the season down was the changes to the panel. Happy that Gael Greene was parked but dropping the scoring was a mistake. In previous Top Chef Masters seasons the panel had to give proper critiques and score the chefs’ efforts. Maybe it was the editing but it felt like there was less talk of the food and techniques. I think it might be time to retire this spin-off.

Treme

Oh god Treme was just too fraking slow,  jam packed with really annoying characters, and felt like a dull social studies lesson. Set in New Orleans post-Katrina it follows way too many people as they rebuild their lives. We made it through three episodes and then decided to quit before we slipped into a coma. Didn’t care about John Goodman’s angry English professor or his wife (the overly earnest lawyer using her car as a mobile filing cabinet) or their daughter whingeing about having to go to boarding school in Baton Rouge.  I do hope the lady who owns the bar gets her roof fixed but she should probably stop paying the errant roofer until he finishes the job, and her ex-husband is such an arse why are all these women lining up to make him their baby daddy? And don’t even get me started on the hipster musician with ironic facial hair who treats everyone with contempt because they do not truly appreciate NOLA culture, and music like he does. Arrgghhh.

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Between Alex starting a new job, and my inability to be on my feet for any length of time I think it’s safe to say that we’ll be having a pretty quiet summer. Netflix, TV and air conditioning will feature heavily (as will iced coffee, cake and swollen ankles) but given that once our little hybrid cylons arrive in October it’s probably good to cherish this time… of being able to watch TV uninterrupted.

Traditionally summer isn’t the greatest for new programming as the Networks shut-up shop but thanks to basic cable it doesn’t look too bad (even though there will be no Mad Men) and the shorter seasons makes for tighter plots (hurrah for no filler episodes) . A mix of returning favorites and some new shows, plus I have a sneaking suspicion we’ll end up working our way through some of our favorite box sets (e.g. From the Earth to the Moon, Band of Brothers, and The Pacific) will get us through till fall.

Covert Affairs (June 7th, USA) – A candy floss spy show with Piper Perabo as the naive rookie agent, and the criminally underused Anne Dudek as her homely sister. This is the second season and it’s not overly taxing though you can loose yourself trying to figure out how Perabo manages to run and fight in her super high heels (one for the Mythbuster team me thinks).

White Collar (June 7th, USA) – A Manhattan fairytale about an FBI agent and his ‘Catch Me If You Can’ “reformed” art thief side kick. Beautiful shots of NYC, charismatic leads but not enough con artist trade craft for me.

Outcasts (June 18th, BBC America) – I am somewhat on the fence about humans escaping Earth to resettle a new planet but it does have Jamie Bamber (BSG’s Apollo) so will have to give it a shot.

Falling Skies (June 19th, TNT) – Humans vs. aliens with Dr. Carter. Again will give it a shot but sadly Spielberg’s association does not guarantee that it will be entertaining especially after his awkward MTV Movie Awards appearance to push Super 8.

Burn Notice (June 23rd, USA) – Everybody’s favorite yogurt consuming burnt spy is back. The plots can get silly but it’s hard to tire of glamorous Miami, explosions and Bruce Campbell.

Leverage (June 26th, TNT) – The fourth season of the adventures of a band of merry con artists. This does have enough trade craft but I felt like the series has lost it’s way from the first season (I think Nate’s ex-wife needs to reappear and more Mark Sheppard).

Royal Pains (June 29th, USA) – This is probably as close as I’ll ever get to bespoke medical care and holidaying in the Hamptons. It’s patient of the week formula mixed with medical MacGyver high-jinx make it an enjoyable frappucino.

Torchwood (July 8th, Starz) – (Captain) Jack is back! Am so wary of the Americanization of Torchwood but given how hit and miss the BBC series was this could be the adrenaline injection needed but then again it could be a right mess.

Alphas (July 11th, Syfy) – Okay so I am still pissed at Syfy for canceling Caprica AND Stargate: Universe, and I ignored their version of Being Human on point of it being non-original programing but I’m curious about Alphas. Could it be a better version of Heroes? I’ll give it an episode or two.

Eureka (July 11th, Syfy) – I love Eureka so much that I am willing to re-locate there to sling coffee at Cafe Diem, and they’ve probably got the best public schools in the US. I know it’s formulaic with the geniuses causing a different world ending disaster every week and normal old Jack having to come to the rescue but it’s just so much good hearted fun.

Haven (July 15th, Syfy) – I haven’t read the Stephen King novella from which Haven is based so I don’t know how faithful it is or where the story is going but the twist at the end of last season was intriguing enough to have me tuning in this summer.

Zen (July 17th, PBS) – Sadly the BBC canceled this Italian detective series after one season but I still think it’s worth watching if only for the excessive consumption of espresso.

Before I launch into my sci-fi analogy (and it’s a good one) some housekeeping… I’m back from London and therefore done with exams and my degree (go me!) but I’m rocking a hideous case of jet lag and exam fatigue that I cannot shake. It’s been a week since I returned and I can’t stop waking up at 5am thinking that I have to go cram Aeschylus or Pliny’s letters. I guess the programming is going to take a while to shake, and it probably doesn’t help that my sinuses are horribly congested thanks to seasonal allergies. So when I wake up at 4 or 5am I start sneezing I can’t get back to sleep. Ugh.

Right, Deanna Troi. Deanna is obviously everyone’s favorite empath who managed to blag her way onto a position on the bridge of the Enterprise, and then exercised squatters’ rights.  Sadly, I have not developed empathic powers and blagged my way into a job with NASA, nor have I discovered the joy of big hair or outfits comprised of shiny Lycra and court shoes.

There is an episode in the second season of TNG where Deanna is impregnated by a mysterious alien entity and she goes through an accelerated pregnancy well that’s me but minus the alien involvement.

Yup, I’m pregnant. But not just pregnant pregnant but PREGNANT PREGNANT; I’m incubating twins so I really am going through the whole rapid expansion. Seriously, it’s insane and I feel like I’m in a sci-fi episode but in a good way rather than a creepy Splice way. I’m only 16 weeks yet I look like I am +20. It makes total sense given that the internal real estate has to expand to house two growing entities. I am just going with it,  accepting that I can only wear pants or skirts with elasticated waist bands and that I have to take it super easy. It would appear that the second trimester surge of energy only lasted 3 weeks for me but it got me through my revision and exams so I can’t complain.

It has been a long journey to get to this point, and I’ve been under the only functioning (self-imposed) super injunction so it’s going to be nice to be able to blog about this, and now I’m done with my degree I actually have the capacity to blog about a lot of other things as well (for instance my alternative ending to Battlestar Galactica) so it going to be a fun summer.

Ho-ho-ho

  • The Good Wife is ridiculously addictive
  • Countdown to the holidays is underway
  • Yoga at dawn
  • I can now spell misanthrope, and if NBC hadn’t have canceled Life I wouldn’t be able to see Damian Lewis

Ba-humbug

  • Not being able to spend Alex’s b’day with him
  • Golden Globes once again ignore Battlestar Galactica, Chuck, Life and all the cool shows I love
  • I need to refrain from moasting
  • Still have lots of things to mail for Christmas

Stargate Universe is SyFy’s latest offering in the Stargate franchise,  it is a blend of Star Trek: Voyager, Battlestar Galactica & Lost in Space. The drama is centered around a group of refuges from the ill named Icarus project who find themselves stranded on a spaceship built by the Ancients. The group ended up on the spaceship ‘Destiny’ because they were fleeing an attack which may or may not have been triggered by them trying to switch on the Icarus project stargate in the first place, and when they did manage to boot up the stargate they ended up there. One of their many problems is that the Ancient’s ship is so ancient that it is not functioning properly, they can’t figure out how to get life support working and they are many light years away from Earth. But, if they only have a day of air left then that last point is moot.

It’s fraught and tense, plus there is a devious scientist (Hamish Macbeth himself Robert Carlyle) who is harboring many secrets and may have done this all on purpose. The opening sequences of the refuges being flung through the Stargate reminded me of the brutality of Battlestar Galactica episode ’33’ though it didn’t quite keep up the intensity through out. Overall I quite liked it, though I do realize that I am easy to please, and we’ll see how it develops over the next few weeks.

Not quite as exciting as Battlestar Galactica: The Plan which is released in a little under a month (yippee) but I am going to make libations to the gods for a productive weekend. The weekend kicked off with sushi at Blue Ribbon and then finishing the latest Alexander McCall Smith novel ‘The Lost Art of Gratitude” so that must mean that I’ll get through my back log of school work. Though how I can have a back log before the seminar time table is published is beyond me but there you go.

So my plan for the weekend:

  • Read chapter 9 in my Pompeii source book on excavation reports
  • Prep for Pompeii seminar on modern excavations at Pompeii & Herculaneum
  • Re-read, and make notes on The Persians and The Suppliants
  • One-pager on The Persians, and Suppliants

On top of this I have other errands to run like buying belly of pork so I can make a stew, tidying the apartment so I can think straight and going shoe shopping with Alex. Because a new project means new shoes. Okay it doesn’t mean that but his old ones are leaking and the rainy season is upon us.

Alex and I are off for our anniversary dinner tonight, and it got me thinking about one of the fundamental building blocks of our relationship – a mutual appreciation of science fiction. Star Wars, The X-Files and Star Trek were the ground zero from which our relationship was built. Our early years together were a high point in sci-fi. The X-Files had not yet started to disappoint, Star Trek franchises and films were being churned out at an alarming rate (and the days of the dude in the skirt on TNG were behind us), Star Wars was being re-released in cinemas and rumors of Episodes I-III were rampant, and then there was The Matrix. Oh my word The Matrix rocked our worlds. We consumed EVERYTHING apart from Babylon Five.

As our relationship evolved so has our tastes in sci-fi. In a post-Enterprise world quality beats quantity, and we like our sci-fi dark. Instead of the cheerfulness of TNG crew in their pristine ship we have the beaten and broken Battlestar Galactica (it’s tragedy in its purest form and the Greeks would have loved it).

So this is it, the major sci-fi tv series and films we’ve watched over the last fourteen years (vaguely chronologically):

  • Original StarWars trilogy  (VHS vanilla versions before Lucas started fiddling with them)
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (seasons 1-7 on VHS)
  • Star Trek: Voyager (seasons 1-6 on VHS)
  • The X-Files (season 1-9 combo of TV, VHS & DVD)
  • Star Trek: Generations (DVD)
  • Star Trek: First Contact (theatrical, VHS & DVD)
  • Special Edition of the original StarWars trilogy (theatrical, & VHS)
  • Star Trek: Insurrection (theatrical)
  • The X-Files: Fight The Future (theatrical, VHS & DVD)
  • Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
  • The Matrix (theatrical & DVD)
  • The Terminator & Terminator 2: Judgement Day (re-watched on DVD -before we saw 3)
  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (theatrical)
  • Star Trek: Enterprise (seasons 1-4 on TV)
  • Star Trek: Nemesis (theatrical)
  • Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones (theatrical & DVD)
  • The Matrix:  Reloaded (theatrical & DVD)
  • The Matrix: Revolutions (theatrical & DVD)
  • 2004 re-release of original StarWars trilogy (DVD)
  • Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith (theatrical & DVD)
  • Battlestar Galactica (mini-series, seasons 1-4 on a combo of TV & DVD)
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation (re-watched seasons 1-5 on DVD)
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (season 1 & 2 on TV)
  • The X-Files: I Want To Believe (theatrical)
  • Dollhouse (season 1 & 2 on TV)
  • Fringe (season 1 & 2 on TV)
  • Star Trek (theatrical re-boot of franchise)
  • Terminator Salvation (theatrical)
  • Caprica (pilot on DVD)
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (re-watching season 1 on DVD)

This list is not exhaustive, it misses the shows that we don’t watch together (I haven’t managed to convert Alex to Supernatural yet) and I am sure I’ve missed lots of films that aren’t part of franchises but you get the message. It’s a marriage made in nerdiness.