Friday, March 5, 2010

Captain Complainy: The Future Begins With a Foregone Conclusion

All right, I've heard enough gushing about this and that and songs of praise for moldy old Hugos and crusty primitive CGI! It's time once again for hardcore, no-compromise hating from your old pal, Captain Complainy!
I tolerated Battleglum Galacticglum. I even liked it now and then. The thing is, I have very damn little choice when it comes to new TV SF. If I want TV SF, (AND BELIEVE ME, I REALLY, REALLY DO!) then I have to really get in there and scrape the bottom of the barrel to FIND me some TV SF. And, perhaps predictably, that's not what Caprica IS. SF, I mean. It IS on TV. I'll give it that.
Caprica is a prequel series to BSG in much the same way Dallas is a prequel to Space Precinct. That is to say, Dallas is set in the past.
Well, there IS a kid called Adama. Oh, boy, do I feel sorry for that guy. He could be the best actor in the world (he's not) and he's STILL gonna get a lot of whiny fanboys complaining about him. Me? Not so much. My problems with this show go far beyond one kid doing his best.
Minor problem 1: Prequels have worn out their welcome with me. When the show begins we already know: Cylons were created, Cylons were enslaved, Cylons revolted. So... what? Now you're going to SHOW me that? Week by week? For YEARS? Or will, somehow, hilarity ensue? OF COURSE NOT! I don't see any way this won't be misery heaped on misery. The pilot had a grieving father stick his dead daughter's ghost in a battlebot, for Hera's sake. Hilarity ensues?
Minor problem 2: Religious cults, racial predjudice, terrorism, narcissism, corruption- all very important topics. All very tired of them now.
Major problem 1: 1950's hats don't make it SF! Tatoos, drug dens, lawyers, thugs, corporate scumbags etc etc don't make it SF. What we have here, kids, is called a drama. Call a Tauron a Tauron. Also, I think the people looking for drama are going to be put off if you're occasionally cutting to some robot yanking its own arm out. So, way to alienate old and new audiences.
Major problem 2 and Deal Breaker: I have begun a project inspired by A.J.Jacobs' 'The Guinea Pig Diaries'. He called it UNI-TASKING: he tried not to multi-task for a month in the belief that it would make him (I think?) happier or more productive or some damn thing. Anyway, when I started uni-tasking (that is, WATCHING TV when I'm watching TV, rather than trying to read simultaneously or what have you) I discovered I am MUCH more bored than I thought I was. Smallville's latest attempt to be a PG rated Saw movie and Battlebland Galactistink (as I have just dubbed Caprica) are very likely to be my first casualties of this premise: if it cannot hold your whole attention, why give it ANY of your attention?

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