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Caprica Season 1, Episode 1: "Pilot" Review - Featured

First and foremost, CAPRICA IS NOT BSG. I realize that's a bit of a "duh" statement. But seriously. They are not the same show. At all. Stylistically, narratively, thematically, they are not even all that similar. Caprica is being advertised as a prequel to Battlestar Galactica , but that's only a marginal function. While there are obvious links to the original series (including a heavy emphasis on the Adama family roots which may or may not have been strictly necessary and which may or may not work well), this new show will follow a distinct and separate narrative path. It's not a "how we got here" story, it's a "here's another story that happened before that one" story. Which is nice, and will hopefully give the series enough room to grow. The series takes place fifty-eight years before The Fall and tracks the actions of two families, the Graystones and the Adamas. Dr. Graystone is a mild-looking scientist with somewhat terrifying manic tendencies and Mr. Adama (this is Bill's father, the oft-mentioned Joseph Adama) is a lawyer with sinister mob ties and, as I mentioned, some serious child-of-two-worlds ethnic guilt. These two men meet due to tragedy and the series will track their relationship to each other and the world(s) around them. Caprica's pilot does start the show off with explaining the origins of AI/Cylon technology, so the development of that will be an element of the show. But Caprica will NOT be about is the conflict of man vs. machine. The technology is an intrinsic part of this series' narrative but, unlike BSG, that isn't really what it's about. What Caprica IS about is fleshing out the world of the BSG universe before it was torn apart and showing how crushing The Fall eventually was. Creator Ronald D. Moore describes it as a family drama that just happens to take place in a science fiction setting. And it will also just happen to better explain the things that BSG never got around to fleshing out, i.e. the whole Twelve Colonies arrangement/government/whatever and the religion. So the major issues we can expect Caprica to address will be along the theological ponderance, social prejudice, we're-all-just-folk-or-are-we lines. What I gleaned from the pilot about the nature and style of the show is that Caprica will very likely be of the same incredible quality that Battlestar Galactica was. It clearly incorporates many of the aspects of BSG that made it such a strong show. In brief, * A score by Bear McCreary. I liked the BSG music better because it was bolder and that appeals more to my sound-aesthetic, but there is a soft elegance to the music in Caprica, and an easily recognizeable brilliance. * Painstaking aesthetic sensibility. Caprica is much more vibrant than post-apocalyptic BSG, but there is the same careful and extensive detail to the look of the environment, costumes, and cinematography. * The like-us-but-not-us balancing act of world-creation. One of my absolute favorite parts of BSG was the way that it was not exactly our universe, but it was close. Caprica actually takes this notion a bit further, because the world of the Twelve Colonies at this point in time is a peculiar blend of what would be considered modern and retro in our world. Their technology is more advanced, because it is a futuristic-type society. But there are also allusions to dial telephones and 1940s and '50s culture and fashion. Plus the mob-ties Adama subplot that reads more 1930s Chicago than anything else. * A cast chosen for talent rather than name/fame/notoriety. Maybe you'll vaguely recognize some of the stars, maybe not. Whether or not you've ever seen Eric Stoltz, Esai Morales, Alessandra Torresani, or anyone else is irrelevant in light of their ability, which is considerable. Also part of the cast: John Pyper-Ferguson. * Freaky rules. Admit it, there are times when BSG was just plain scary and out there. That carries over to Caprica, as evidenced by the human sacrifice scene at the beginning of the show. No, I'm not kidding. I am not entirely sold on the show after seeing the pilot. But since that was my reaction to the BSG pilot and since BSG is now one of my favorite television series of all time, I am more than willing to give it at least a few episodes before coming to a real verdict. There are some definite potential weaknesses. I'm finding the timeline a little ridiculous (it's 18 years before the Cylon war, and yet Dr. Graystone develops an apparently fully functional soldier Cylon in the pilot episode). The religious aspect of this 'verse is even more front-and-center than it was on BSG which worries me. And then there's just the little things that will probably never stop bugging me, like the fact that there's a locale called The V Club, or that the paper is octagonal even though that makes absolutely no sense in terms of mass production, or how the fighting Cylons still bear excessive and unfortunate resemblance to the Lego Bionicle toys of ten-ish years ago. But these are just pet peeves. If you are a Battlestar Galactica fan, I definitely recommend you keep up with Caprica. It holds promise. There is once again something to really look forward to in terms of sci-fi television. So say we all! (This review is also posted - uncut - on my blog at //meltedbrain.wordress.com .)

Year in Review: Kendra's Top 5 Surprises & Disappointments of 2009 - Featured

Kendra's Top 5 Surprises House I was planning on being disappointed with House this fall since I thought the great Dr. House going to a mental hospital was a sure sign the show was destroyed. It was set up at the end of last season as if either House was insane and wouldn't be able to practice medicine anymore, or House had a chance of getting better as long as he got off the drugs, but then he'd be in so much pain he wouldn't be able to practice medicine. Yet somehow, it all worked out, though they rushed through House's institution stay in one long premiere episode. But besides that, I think the effect that character development for House has had on the show has actually made for one of the best seasons so far, leading me to be downright shocked House could not only pull off this craziness but make it great! Breaking Bad The big Breaking Bad health developments of this year, much like those of House, made me originally prepare myself for a big disappointment in yet another of my favorite shows. But then, pleasant and shocking surprise, Walt's cancer actually improving (when the show's tension was entirely based on him quickly dying and trying to provide for his family after his death with drug money), was not destroyed by his improved health. Instead, this bold plot twist ended up being one of the most fascinating plot developments I've ever seen on a show. Mad Men While Mad Men is always full of surprises, it pulled off one of the biggest and most exciting surprises of all with its huge and shocking Season 3 finale! While there have been huge changes on Mad Men over its few fantastic seasons, there were always a few solid points of the story we could count on: Don would be a big wig genius advertiser at a big company, and Don and Betty would stay together - miserable and forever cheating - but together. Then the Season 3 finale came along and turned all that on its head in one hour. Don and his fellow solid original crew started their own company out of a hotel room, and Don and Betty separated. While the blow of the business change was softened by the thrill of knowing we'll get to watch them build a booming company, but the blow of Don and Betty splitting up was harsh as we painfully watched them tell their kids as if we were ssitting right there with them breaking the kids' hearts. Vampire Diaries It was clear when The CW jumped on the vampire trend train with this new vampire show this year that it would be a hit with the CW teen audience, but I expected it to be a lot more cheesy (okay, to me that means more Twilight -like, sorry fans). But while I planned to watch it but not need to watch it, I found myself drawn in from week to week needing to see that Damon cause trouble and see just how disastrous his latest trouble had been! It still has that teen drama and vampire hype silliness to it now and then, but overall I've been surprised by how addictive this new show is, whether I want it to be or not! Make It or Break It This is another teen show I planned to watch but not love. Since I disliked ABC Family's recent new teen series, The Secret Life of The American Teenager because it was just too cheesy, lesson-focused, and bad acting-driven, I expected MIOBI to not be all that different. I was instead surprised to be immediately hooked! Beyond basic element of watching some great (half stunt) gymnastics, this show did a wonderful job of building a solid cast not only good at somewhat non-cheesily becoming friends, but good at creating some serious drama within the group in a way that continues to show those friendships growing and changing instead of just girls being bitchy to each other. It's hard to find a group that can portray such real emotions to close friendships and pull off the excitement of competition, and this cast definitely does it. Kendra's Top 5 Disappointments Trauma With all the epic promos and enormous hype for Trauma this fall, it was clear NBC was gunning for Trauma to be their next ER . But, just as I feared from watching all the promos and noted in my NBC Fall Preview , this show was far too focused on creating epic accident scenes, and not focused on creating strong and interesting characters. ER was all about the perfect mix of medical drama and personal drama for the doctors and nurses, and Trauma missed matching up on that mark by far. Cougar Town I was excited to watch Cougar Town this fall since it looked like a really fun new comedy, and not only was it great to get Courteney Cox Arquette back into comedy, but it seemed she was going to be the perfect actress to make Cougar Town cute and charming instead of the possible over-cheesiness a show with the premise of a 40-year-old woman back on the prowl had the potential to be. But alas, while Courteney Cox and the rest of the cast are pretty cute, the show overall is just plain not funny or clever. The characters and plotlines are all thinner than that white swimsuit Courteney's character wore to show off just how darn hilarious being a single, hot, yet awkwardly disastrous 40-year-old mom can be. Tragic. Gossip Girl Gossip Girl goes to college. If that doesn't sound like the title of a straight-to-DVD movie, I don't know what does. That sense of a hole-filled plot, poor quality storylines, and awful character development you get from a movie that didn't even deserve to hit the big screens is exactly what this season of Gossip Girl has been like. It's hard to make it work on a show when the characters have to move from all being at the same high school to going off to college, but it shouldn't have been so hard on Gossip Girl when they all could easily have gone to New York colleges and gotten together all the time. There was no need for all the extra complications they've created which have only become those thin and disconnected storylines we would hope to avoid on our favorite juicy teen drama. The Cleveland Show I was skeptical when Cleveland got a Family Guy spin-off since he's not the most thrilling of characters, but Cleveland not being an interesting character ended up being the least of our worries when it came to The Cleveland Show. As my fellow SideReel editor Dom says, Seth MacFarlane's American Dad! gets the second rate Family Guy jokes, then Cleveland Show gets the third rate FG jokes, but I wouldn't even give that many props to the Cleveland Show jokes. Sorry, Seth, this one needs to go. And yes, I know, it's been renewed for eternity, but I'll keep hoping there's some way this one can get nixed sooner rather than later. Battlestar Galactica For some, the BSG series finale was the TV letdown of the decade. Sound dramatic? I'd say not really as long as you keep the word 'TV' in front of 'letdown of the decade' there and recall that this was also one of the most epic shows of the decade, one of the most nail-biting and thrilling shows of this past year, and one of the weirdest show endings imaginable. Yes, we expected the characters wouldn't all live happily ever after on the BSG ship, but having them find Earth and it all to end in weird religious experiences, unnecessary and bizarre deaths, and then leaving us with the knowledge it was just all going to happen again? Well that's not just disappointing, that's exhausting and for some fans, as if the enter epic journey was entirely pointless.

Battlestar Galactica: The Plan Review - Featured

Battlestar Galactica: The Plan is a direct-to-DVD film for Battlestar Galactica that promises to answer one of the more obvious questions from the series run: what exactly was this "plan" that the Cylons had, as referenced endlessly in the first couple seasons? Fans have been waiting a long time for this particular story, as told from the perspective of the Cylons. But as the old saying going: while all answers are replies, not all replies are answers. So it is with "The Plan". After the second season episode"Downloaded", which represented the beginning of the philosophical changes within the Cylon that would ultimately lead to their civil war, I noted in my review that it was fundamentally flawed. Caprica Six and Boomer had come to an epiphany that the original Cylon "plan" was wrong, and that they had to find a new path for their people. The problem was simply this: without a solid understanding of what the original Cylon direction was, any such epiphany carried little weight. Context is king. The context was confusing because the actions of the Cylons were often contradictory. The overwhelming suggestion was that the Cylons wanted to wipe out the human race once and for all. However, they never seemed to take the necessary steps to achieve that goal after the initial annihilation was completed. The survivors were hunted down, both on Caprica and the Colonial fleet, but there was never the kind of relentlessness that could (and, story-wise, should) have led to a Cylon victory. More to the point, the various hints from Head-Six and others, right down to Starbuck's experience at the Farm, made it seem very possible that the Cylons wanted to cut the human population to a small but manageable size to eliminate a threat, while keeping enough alive to conduct the breeding experiments. After all, the Cylons conducted their experiment between Helo and Sharon/Athena over the course of the entire first season. The inability of the Cylons to reproduce was a vital concern. That dichotomy was never explained, even though the creation of Hera was always treated as an important plot point for the series. And all those hints over the course of the series that the Humans and Cylons could only survive together eventually paid off. That being the case, the Cylon "plan" didn't seem to make a whole lot of sense, even if it was only valid up until the point that the plan changed in "Downloaded". So this particular film needed to address that issue. If the goal was to explain the Cylon "plan" and fill those plot holes with reasonable explanations, then the story would have to delve into the motivations of the Cylon leadership structure prior to the attack on the Colonies and make sense of the actions that took place afterward. Not so much what happened on Galactica alone, but rather, the various activities seen on Caprica: the Helo/Sharon experiment, the Farm, and so forth. In that regard,"The Plan" is a spectacular failure. It completely ignores the many inconsistencies within the Cylon agenda as it was depicted, and instead tries to simplify the Cylon"plan" and align it with the genocidal verve of the Cavil models. Some minor complications are added to the equation, but on the whole, most of the elements of the story were items that needed little or no explanation. According to this story, the Cylon "plan" all evolved out of Cavil's desire to punish his parents, the Final Five. He sent the Final Five to live among the Colonies to see how humanity's sins justified the judgment of their creations. He believed that the Cylons were meant to finish the war that the Final Five had brought to an abrupt halt without mercy. As far as he was concerned, he expected the Final Five to be resurrected among their "children", ready to acknowledge that they were wrong. But that was already clear from the fourth season of the series itself. It didn't need to be explained. What needed to be explained was the divergence from Cavil's perspective. Surely there were many more copies of Cavil back with the Cylon fleet and Occupation forces after the attack. Why not focus on the debates between those versions of Cavil and the models that wanted to experiment with the survivors to foster reproduction? That would have allowed the writers to reconcile the various Cylon activities that didn't fit the "destroy all humans" mold. Instead, we got a story that served to connect the dots. All of the Cylon activities in the first season on Galactica were revealed to be the product of one Cavil's orchestrations behind the scenes, culminating in his conversation with Chief Tyrol at the end of the second season. While it does make all of those seemingly disparate acts more substantial, it also doesn't change very much. After all, the end conclusion is that the other models, even with Cavil's urging, couldn't follow their orders because, like the Final Five, they came to love humanity. Cavil didn't understand the powerful nature of love, because it was something he associated with humans, and therefore something he sought to reject. It makes sense, given what we know happened and what we know of Cavil. But that only makes the error in focus more obvious. Cavil's lack of understanding of love, and the difference between Cavil and the other models, would have fed beautifully into debates within the leadership of the Occupation. The models that oversaw the Helo/Sharon experiment could have justified their activities in spite of Cavil, thus placing that subplot within a clearer context. The writers had the perfect means of making that happen. The Cavil that wound up with Anders and his resistance group could have been in regular contact with the Cylon Occupation forces. In fact, it's hinted that the Cavil on Caprica is in contact with them. So why not shift more of the focus on Cavil's debates, especially when Caprica-Cavil ultimately decides that the plan to exterminate humanity was flawed? For that matter, it's never entirely clear why or how Caprica-Cavil changes his mind; he just seems to do so in order to align with what was seen in "Lay Down Your Burdens". I will give the writers and Olmos credit for taking what could have been a glorified clip show and weaving it into a suitable story. Like Razor before it, it manages to tell a side-story without too many contradictions to the original material. The approach is confident, the effects are spectacular, and most of the new footage matches the original footage very well. But Razor promised to tell the story of Pegasus and did so. "The Plan" tells a good story with a near-perfect lead in Dean Stockwell's dual-Cavil performance, but it makes a point to dance around its stated purpose. So the bottom line is that "The Plan" doesn't actually address the elements that it should, and instead seems to justify the improvisational nature of the series (and therefore, the apparent discontinuities) by pointing out that the Cavil on Galactica was forced to improvise. In other words, the point of "The Plan" is there was no plan. That makes the title about as misleading as it gets.

Stargate Universe - Premiere & Comparisons to Battlestar Galactica

I've always been a reluctant sci fi geek. When I try a show I embrace it and geek out all the way, however I'm generally reluctant to try new shows that have a very hard line sci fi look and feel without a specific recommendation. Since Battlestar Galactica took its final bow I've been itching for a new sci-fi show to fill the empty spot on Friday nights. Many reviews claimed that this new Stargate resembles BSG in with heavy militaristic themes and darker content. This comparison was so prevalent that the creators of the show addressed this in an interview with INNERspace ( Spacecast.ca ). I'm not familiar with the previous Stargate franchise and that put me at a serious disadvantage. There was no point at which I was able to grasp a comfortable understanding of the rules that governed the SGUverse. It was either not explained or so quickly skimmed over certain key points that I'm still scratching my head over. - What exactly is a Stargate; is it the wormhole or the ship itself? - Who are the "ancients" and what is their significance or relation to the contemporary society? More importantly, who are these people, and why should I care? Maybe I'm being too harsh, but none of the characters really appealed to me as relatable. Even Eli Wallace ( David Blue ) seemed difficult to really grasp as the everyman. For me there was a sincere lack of the sense of urgency despite the dire circumstances the people on the ship were facing. We saw little consequences of the events that catapulted the ship carrying military and civilians into the depths of space. I didn't believe in the desperation, and disconnectedness (communication stones anyone?). Everyone and everything was just a little too polished to seem real. Perhaps in the SGUverse everyone's hair stays neat and clothes clean regardless of the situation. I prefer my sci fi dirtier and grittier, I wasn't surprised, but felt a bit cheated by the reviews that promised a semblance to BSG, which didn't deliver. I definitely think my feelings toward this show were partially mired by this expectation. But more importantly I felt there wasn't enough room for a new viewer such as myself to enter into this world in the premiere and probably wont be returning to the show in the near future. Do you think that as a new viewer there should be more exposition defining the rules in a series premiere? Will this series suffer or gain from the constant comparisons to Battlestar Galactica? Or as the series chugs along maybe the comparisons will taper off.

so it goes

really good ending to a really great show. i'm glad they let it go before it got stale, unlike say the simpsons.

Battlestar Galactica vs Cylons - Featured

Battlestar Galactica Season 4.5 comes to DVD & Blu-ray July 28th! In the final action-packed episodes of this truly epic sci-fi series, the members of the Battlestar Galactica are pitted in their final battle with the Cylons. Can humans and Cylons live in peace and harmony? Must one race destroy the other for any hope of a future? After many shocking Cylon revelations, the ominous and all-important Final Five must be revealed to all, and the thrilling conclusion must be made. These revelations and the drawn-out ultimate human-Cylon battles bring plenty more twists, turns, betrayals, tragic deaths, and moments to remember. The nail-biting final episodes also bring out the overall themes of the series including man vs. himself and the dangerous possibilities for man's technological advances, plus the end-all-be-all issue of one group's god(s) versus another's. If you're a diehard BSG fan or are watching it for the first time, 4.5 contains the most must-have, intense, and fascinating episodes of the series. Discover or re-discover the truth about Earth, the 13th colony, what the Cylons truly want, and if humans can possibly defeat their created "monsters" to re-gain their power and learn from their mistakes.

Battlestar Galactica: Season 4 Post-Mortem

Looking back on the fourth and final season of "Battlestar Galactica" is difficult, thanks to the bizarre decision to split the season over such a long period of time. It almost feels as if the fourth season was actually two shorter seasons (which, supposedly, was one way the SciFi Channel wanted to market it). Even so, the season works best when viewed as a whole. After Starbuck's return and the revelation that she had come from Earth, the fourth season was obviously going to be all about the final push. Thankfully, the writers didn't make it a simple situation. Not everyone trusted Kara and her semi-crazy mission from "God" (quite literally, as it turned out), and that led to a lot of the tension in the second half of the season. There was also the emergence of Baltar's little cult as a power to be reckoned with, a story direction that seemed to be going nowhere until it gained momentum later in the season. It's hard to remember that the unveiling of the Final Five only took place in the third season finale, and much of the first half of the fourth season was devoted to Tigh, Tyrol, Tory, and Sam and their process of dealing with their true nature. In the background, there was also the Cylon Civil War, which ultimately led to the situation that allowed the Colonials to survive. All things considered, the first half of the season was more about the truth behind the Cylons than the Colonials themselves. Even with all the dramatic twists and turns, the season seemed to be struggling to hit all cylinders until the mid-season cliffhanger and its resolution. The revelations about "Earth", the truth about the Final Five and Kara Thrace, and the effect on the fleet provide the impetus for some stunning storytelling. The mutiny on the Galactica was a high point for the season and the series as a whole. The season never quite hit those highs again, even as the writers drove towards the series' finish line. The final several episodes were devoted to either exposition regarding the Cylon backstory (more of which will come with "The Plan") or pulling together the various character threads to bring them towards conclusion. Ron Moore never hid the fact that "Battlestar Galactica" has always been a product of improvisation. The third season is proof enough of that; the entire second half of the season was derailed when the writers realized that their original ideas weren't panning out, and they had to adjust on the fly. What makes Moore a great showrunner is his ability to pull together a writers' room with the ability to make the pieces fit, even when they were never intended to do so. Moore chose to make the end of the season and series more about the characters than the plot, which is perfectly fitting, when the tone of the series as a whole is taken into consideration. This decision was largely controversial because of how the plot was then resolved. Most of the mysteries were attributed to a higher power, ostensibly the Cylon "God". This led many to believe that Moore and his writers took the easy way out, rather than making an effort to resolve the dangling plot threads rationally. However, I take a different view. From the beginning of the series, there was a strong spiritual presence, from the constant talk of the Lords of Kobol and "God" to endless prophecies and visions. All of that has to come from somewhere, and the only difference is that the identity of this particular higher power is kept anonymous. Pointing to an entity or a "Ship of Lights" is just more tidy; conceptually, it's the same. The fourth and final season of "Battlestar Galactica" earned a Critical Myth rating of 8.1, which is a full half-point improvement over the third season, and comparable with the second season. It also bring the series as a whole to a solid 8.0, which is well above average. Considering the critical acclaim, excellent acting, and inspired creativity, calling it "above average" seems a bit of an un

Battlestar Galactica reimagined

Battlestar Galactica is without a doubt the greatest scifi drama ever in tv history when baird created the tv i hope that battlestar is where he imagined the quality of human drama and emotion portrayed on his invention would progress to With the wonderful character development and underlying story progression battlestar captures the true nature of choice consequence and religion yet shows the moral ambiguity that becomes apparent when their own survival is at risk the leaders of the fleet lose their idealism and become more circumspect in order to make tough decisions they deem necessary I would like to make special mention of the performances by mary mcdonnell and edward james olmos in portraying admiral adama and resident roslin their delivery of complex emotional lines is as real as fake can be.Gace park is magnificent The end of the series has only one significant problem the lack of an adequate resolution for starbuck which infuriates me the unanswered questions about her disapearance and origin leaves me with a sense of disapointment in ronald moore and d eck Thankyou and SO SAY WE ALL!

BSG music

The music was frakkin' awesome through out the finale of Battlestar Galactica does anyone know what some of the songs names were?

The Mystery of Starbuck

The previews for the Battlestar Galactica promised that everything would be revealed. Apparently everything didn't include anything about Kara Thrace. One of the biggest mysteries going into the finale was about Starbuck. At the end of season 3, she died and miraculously returned, having been to Earth. Then she found her Viper and her own body dead on Earth, prompting the famous question What am I? Then we learned that as a child, her absentee father taught her to play All Along the Watchtower on the piano. After the finale, we still don't know any more about these mysteries than we did before. Whether you liked the ending of Battlestar Galactica or not, it's undeniable that Starbuck's conclusion left a lot of questions unanswered. As if not answering any of those questions wasn't bad enough, the finale added one more level of mystery when Starbuck seemingly vanished into thin air while talking to Lee in her final scene. The popular theory among fans to explain all of this is that Starbuck was an angel. Finding a factual basis for this theory within the context of the show is nearly impossible, though the sudden disappearance, her dead body, and the prominence of God and religion in the finale would certainly lend some credibility to this idea. My problem with the angel theory is that, neat as it is, it doesn't explain anything. Let's assume that Starbuck is an angel, or that she became one after crashed and died on the fake Earth. That would mean that she was an angel for all of season 4, and that in the world of Battlestar Galactica, angels are corporeal and don't know they're angels. This doesn't quite fit with the angels we know of on Battlestar Galactica, namely Head Six and Head Baltar. The series finale did reveal that they were angels helping to guide Baltar and Caprica Six to their destinies. For the most part, these angels only revealed themselves to one person, though in the finale they both appeared to both Baltar and Caprica Six. However, those angels were not representations of dead people, nor were they corporeal, nor were they unaware of their angel status. If Starbuck really is an angel as some fans seem to believe, what kind of angel is she? To Read More Click Here .