Saturday, October 07, 2006

Oh yeah! -- "Battlestar"-style

Subject: TV
Ah, the return of "Battlestar Galactica"! Having hung on to the cliffhanger for months now, it's great to finally be back in the thick of it.

It's actually not an entirely profound intellectual exercise, for certain. I mean, yeah, it's totally turning certain current-events-inspired scenarious upside-down and drawing you into them as sympathizers. Not a difficult or deep thing to do, but maybe it's a little gutsy. There's a bit of complaining that it's "never been this blatantly political" -- my response is, have you actually been watching the same show?? It's been political since the beginning! But instead of preaching, it just simply puts a human face on it, and goes beyond the rhetoric into the red meat of the thing.

It's all very simple. Very straightforward. And that's what's so subversive about it. It has very little of the "designed by committee" stink on it, that it's free to assemble all the usual cliches, fling them at you with razor-sharp precision, and still come away with the feeling that you've actually shared the experience... or at least went along for the ride.

This is really the one show of it's type that I don't mind not watching in crappy standard-def NTSC -- soon enough the Hi-Def Dolby-surround versions will show up on UniversalHD, but I want to see what happens now! It's that enjoyable.

In other TV-watchin', "Heroes" seems to be just the opposite. Very, very, very much steeped in "designed by committee" stink. Like the attempt at something quirky as done by a team of marketroids who market-tested what quirky means to average mallrat teenagers. I'll give it a little more of a chance to see if it's just early-episode stiffness or whatnot, but I figure I'll drop it before too long.

It also is the lead-in for "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip", which I'm still following a lot more closely. Though despite Sorkin's talents, I'm thinking it has a touch of early-episode stiffness as well. Of course, it's a show about the "designed by committee" stink, so it's kind of hard to tell where the fictional committee ends and the real committee begins. And while it's blatantly trying to call on stereotypes and cliches and upend them, it seems to be doing that in a rather stereotypical and cliche fashion. If you watch it, you can probably tell what I mean.

The only thing I wish the show would do is to have actually funny comedy sketch snippets, instead of the accurate-though-awful mimicry of the typical "Saturday Night Live" fare. *sigh*

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