Wednesday, October 6, 2010

From the Audience

The other day  my computer had a pretty thorough meltdown. It pitched a little fit and shut off and refused to find Windows when I turned it back on. That's happened before, and if I hit Ctrl+Alt+Delete enough times the little bastard usually decides that it's not worth the effort to keep my operating system from me and goes and retrieves Windows from... I don't know, time-out perhaps.

This time, though it didn't work. So I took my laptop to my resident computer guy (that would be Dad. Dude used to contract at Intel, so he gets all the computer-related bitching withing a mile radius), and he did some surgery and concluded that something on the motherboard had melted. Fortunately my hard-drive is just fine, so all of my writing and reviews and stock pictures and slides aren't lost they're just inaccessible. Until someone around here (four other computers in the house, surely someone is willing to let me tear apart their tower to replace their hard-drive with mine for long enough to retrieve a couple of massive folders. Surely) lends me (Dad) their tower for a bit.

So my review schedule is shelved for now. I'm trying to do what I can on the computer in the living room, but unless I revert to nocturnalism (which is looking better and better by the hour), I have to share it. I'm going to try to get White Collar out on time, but no guarantees.

Incidently, White Collar is terrible. More on that on Sunday (I hope), but yeah. Not great.

Seems to be a thing with these shows that could have been. Burn Notice could have been a modern day MacGyver, but is instead James Bond as done by Micheal Bay with worse writing. Heroes, could have been a fresh take on superheroes, but instead was just slow and painful. Stargate could have been an intense, psychology driven survival drama, but instead is shameless cashing in.

Speaking of Stargate, now that I'm a bit calmer, here's the comment I got on... whenever the hell that was. I'm going to outline my response paragraph by paragraph, rather than taking the whole thing on at once. And here we go.

Problems with your review are manifold, and almost all come down to your own unwillingness to watch the intervening series'. Now, you can critique the "big issues" exactly as you did without issue, as the ones you mentioned are all related to the mechanics of the show, for the record we disagree about the characters. However, your "quibbles" section is full of things which are either down to your own inadequacy(really, you can't keep track of nine characters?) or your own lack of knowledge about the franchise, but I'm in a nice mood so I'll help you out.

Points for the condescending tone. Also, the word manifold means "many and varied". You've got half of that down pat, but your complaints with me seem to all be "ignorance", which really isn't very varied. And why the hell are you telling me that you disagree about the characters in the same paragraph as you calling me "inadequate." Insults and legitimate opinions should never go together. And you can take your "nice mood" and shove it where-- oh, look another paragraph.

1. You can't apply Newtonian physics to a damn wormhole. In normal circumstances, a person entering a Stargate will exit with the same direction and velocity. However, while within the wormhole itself, a person is simply energy and an encoded data stream, so in the event other factors influence the gate at either end, or the wormhole itself, they can be literally thrown out of the exit aperture as a safety measure. For the record, this has been observed in each of the ten seasons of SG1, as well as the 5 seasons of Atlantis, and the TV movies.

Now, I'm not a physicist, but why can't you apply Newtonian physics to wormholes? Oh, right, wormholes are unproven. Still, that doesn't mean that you can abandon physics just because half the situation is hypothetical. And further, Meta is Bad, remember? Dude, I don't care if there was an ad in the paper explaining the physics of this show, if there's a logical discrepinsy that isn't covered in the show, it could light itself on fire and tango in my front yard and I still wouldn't care.

2. FTL is explained in the series as one of several standard sci-fi variations based on vague real science hypotheses. Hyperspace is the most common, in the case of the Destiny, it would be appear to be some variation on the Alcubierre drive.

Meta is Bad.

3. Your argument about the ship's longevity is entirely dependent on knowledge of what materials were used in its construction, which we as viewers do not have. Considering the knowledge we have from earlier series'(which you couldn't be arsed to watch), Ancient technology is extremely advanced, one would assume their materials sciences would be as well.

Meta is Bad.

4. Your complaint about the Ancients is, once again, down to your own lack of knowledge rather than a flaw in the program(seriously, you couldn't even waste ten minutes reading the Stargate entry on wikipedia?); Stargate uses the "humanity was seeded by aliens" trope, those aliens being the Ancients who built Destiny. The entire five-season run of the Atlantis series was based on this very premise.

Boy are you proving my point. New audience remember? Not everyone who watches Universe is going to have watched fifteen previous seasons of material! It must be accessible to everyone, elsewise someone is falling down on the job.

5. Stores of food? Seriously? You missed the part of the show which explained the concept of Destiny entirely then, you know, where the Ancients would 'gate into the ship with all the necessary supplies to set themselves up. Including food.

Yeah, that was a dumb complaint... but then it was also part of a list of other spectacularly petty gripes that weren't picked on by Fanboy Prime over here.

6. I'm going in order along with the video, so this is really a repeat, but: Alcubierre drives circumvent special relativity.

Meta is Bad. Also bad, is justification from other shows. The premise is universal, but everything else is, and should stay, compartmentalized.

7. While I agree with you that cutting the "stargate trip" CGI was a bad thing, the irony is this was done by the producers in order to please viewers such as yourself - non-fans who don't have the patience or inclination to understand the lore.

Oh, Gods, a cogent statement! Cutting the trip was a good idea, but they didn't cut it out every time, so it looks sloppy.

8. You're even going to get on top of the episodic cliffhangers? Really? I'm not trying to come off as offensive, but have you watched any sci-fi dramas before? It's pretty much an integral part of the format.

Dude, what kind of a sci-fi fan are you if you make a blanket statement that precludes the greatest sci-fi drama of all time: Babylon 5? And yeah, I was offended.

9. And the time travel. I had a suspicion you would have a crack at that episode after the first minute of your video. Again, watch the preceding series'.

"Everything else is, and should stay, compartmentalized." Just... stop talking. You're done. Just... no. Oh, shit, there's more.

I know I'm coming off as a dick, but SG:U gets a lot of crap, and I really rather enjoy it. Most the points people make I can agree to disagree, but fully half your review is predicated on problems which aren't really problems if you've watched the previous shows, or can muster the energy to type "Stargate" into Wikipedia.

Aaaand we're back to the condescension. Okay, being a fan does not, not, make you entitled. It just doesn't. Further, after watching seventeen hours of show, writing nineteen hundred words, making a hundred seventy six slides, and recording ten minutes of audio (heavily cut down), no I didn't "have the energy" to do some arbitrary research on something only tangentally related to the review! Maybe, SG: U gets a lot of crap because it's not a good show. Just a suggestion.

Would you review Return of the King without having seen Fellowship and Two Towers? If you did, would you base that review in large part on quibbles which would be solved by seeing them?

That's not even a relevant analogy. Apples and oranges there, bud. Or rather, books and television. Different mediums, is my point, and you can't make the standards there linear enough to cross-review.

I know I spoke at length on this last time, but I've since done some stewing, and what is the internet for if not spewing my opinions?

Ooh! Ooh! Also! This... guy on That Guy With the Glasses is featuring part of my Eastwick video in his Forum Feature segment. I'll put up a link here as soon as I have it. Let's just say that if he pans me unfairly I'm'a review his stuff and see what he makes of it.

In other, other news (This one's getting a tad long, so I'll keep it short), I saw Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-Long Blog the other day, and I would love, love, to review it. Sadly, it's technically outside of my purview, being an internet series, not a television series. So I'm'a leave this one up to ya'll. Review Dr. Horrible, yay or nay?

1 comment:

  1. Well since you are looking for comments from completely unknown strangers, here goes.

    I'd say try not to limit yourself. Besides which, it's your work so you can do what you please. But yeah, I see that you are trying to fill a niche that no one is really covering at the Escapist right now. And it is a welcome addition, since I'm a big fan of series TV and that content is missing from most anywhere right now, except straight media entertainment sites.

    I'd say you should expand your range of possible targets to be any episodic series, since web content is a slowly growing format now. Surprisingly though, I've found a lot of people on the site to not really be that aware of web series, so you may actually be bringing reviews of relatively unknown content.

    I don't know how much that factors into your selection process, but you critiqued Eastwick, which I had not heard of and was not even given a full series, so that is probably not a problem.

    If you are looking for a couple decent web series I find "The Guild" to be quite good, and "The Legend of Neil" to be a wicked little take on an old favourite (yes, neighbour, that is the Canadian spelling).

    If you are trying to hunt down a good procedural show, try NCIS (not the LA series, the original). You may take a dislike to the genius team members who have access to magic databases, but the characters and relationships are so very good, and the writing is excellent.

    Sorry for the wall of text, but I wrote this whole thing mainly to say: Babylon 5, the greatest sci-fi drama of all time? You, Ma'am, are my new personal hero. And though its not really a skill or anything you have control over, kudos on that gorgeous voice. Good luck with the computer.