Thursday, March 27, 2008

Signs of the Seasons

It's becoming obvious that you can tell what season it is by how many trips I make to Home Depot in a month. I'm pretty sure that pattern analysis would indicate that I make very few trips during Winter months, an enormous surge in Spring, then tapering off through Summer into Fall.

It must be Spring.

I made another trip last night to get some more composter materials to finish the production run. And we need a new hose. We hooked the old one up on Saturday to water the strawberry transplants and found out we've sprung a serious leak.

So I found myself driving home last night in a rainstorm, watching the lightning illuminate the western half of the sky, and listening to NPR, who was doing a show with the soundtrack to the new Battlestar Galactica series and the composer's explanations of why he used the instrumentation he did (taiko drums and ancient instruments as much as possible). I've never seen the new series. I find myself wanting to.

It was a somewhat surreal moment, and I felt strangely alive.


Annette said...

We've been watching the new series. We're on Season 2 right now. We like it. It's certainly different from the old series. I remember really liking the old series at the time, but when I tried to watch it again a few months ago, I just couldn't get into it at all.

In the new series, Starbuck's a woman, the Cylons have really changed, and Adama has no daughter.

Thom said...

Dan likes it, too, so I may have to watch it someday when I can get it on DVD. Of course I also have to watch Firefly, as well.

I had no intention of watching it when I first heard about it. I read some of the PR stuff the producers wrote about it being reworked for a more grown-up world and thought it at best condescending, and at worst a code-phrase for "more politically correct".

That's evidently not the case, so I may have to adjust my thinking. It wouldn't be the first Sci-Fi series I was wrong about. I ditched DS-9 right before it started to get good.

Dan said...

Yes, I really like the new BSG, although I resisted it for a long time, too. It is much gritty-er, darker and realistic. THinking back on the old one, it seems a little disingenuous that they just got kicked off their worlds, so they go gambling at another planet on the way. "Starbuck! You've just had your family and city/planet destroyed. What are you going to do next!? I'm going to Disneyland!"

They have done a really good job with the storyline. Lots of twists and turns.

Ron said...

I watched the first two seasons last spring, and while I started out liking it, I eventually decided I didn't want to see more. I won't try to spoil too much, but:

Good points:
The ships are awesome. The Galactica really has the feel of not only a spacegoing aircraft carrier, but a retro one at that. This ship was designed to be too primitive for the Cylons to hack it, and so it's a very functional slab of steel rather than a silicon wonder like you see in Star Trek. The fighters are a lot the same in that they seem to obey the laws of physics more, and while attrition does cut down on the number of those beautiful old Mark II Vipers, it's a major geek-out to see them again.

The characters have more depth, and get treated realistically. The new interpretation of Cylons is interesting, though a tad 'yikes' at times.

The Bad Points:
Every character in this show is put under extreme amounts of pressure, and it almost Never Lets Up. Yes, they're in a survival situation, but even when the Cylons take a day off it's still "Ohmigosh DRAMA!" after "Ohmigosh DRAMA!". I suppose it's somewhat realistic, but it makes for a frustrating television show when everyone slowly becomes the worst version of themselves. I even found myself wanting to smack Adama at times, in spite of absolutely loving E.J. Olmos's interpretation of him.

Also, their version of Baltar makes me cringe a little. It's an interesting interpretation on the surface, but in practice the whole "woman inside his head" thing gets old in a hurry. (Although the brief bit they did with the "Baltar inside the woman's head", that was a delightful difference) Throw in the quasi-religious visions he keeps having and his erratic flaky/sinister behavior, and I find myself thinking that the only reason no one's thrown him out an airlock (even without knowing what's going on inside his head) is that everyone's too busy freaking out from their own stuff.

I guess my complaint about this series is essentially that the drama build and build and builds without any relief of tension that I've ever seen.