Battlestar Galatica – Show About the Universe Raises Questions on Earth

via NYT; Television by By GINIA BELLAFANTE on 3/20/09
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Earlier this week, in advance of the grandly anticipated conclusion of “Battlestar Galactica” on Friday, the United Nations convened a panel to discuss the show’s treatment of terrorism, human rights abuses and religious conflict.

Despite the obviousness of the public relations piggybacking, the United Nations occasion only further legitimized the political seriousness of a series that has explored the post-9/11 consciousness by examining the costs of wartime moral relativism. While a show like “Gossip Girl” might also be said to have ambitions — broadly, to address the injustices of class disparity, let’s say — it is unlikely that the name Blair Waldorf has ever come up at the coffee cart around which the Council of Economic Advisers gathers.

“Battlestar Galactica,” which during its four seasons has elevated the image of the otherwise campy and unambitious Sci Fi channel, has — like most science fiction — conducted an experiment in supposition. Ideas of faith, coexistence and democracy have been delivered with an air of intellectual rigor and a vagueness that has allowed the series to exist as a tabula rasa on which nearly any strain of speculative meaning might viably take shape.

The series began with the premise that the human race had been extinguished by a robot tribe, the Cylons, it had created to enslave. The Cylons, who devoutly follow a single god, have been understood, quite reasonably, as stand-ins for the robotic, prescriptive aspects of religious extremism; they are Islamic fundamentalists in one view, the politically aggressive factions of the Christian right in another. They are literally born and born again.

But toward the show’s finale, as the differences between the Cylons and the remaining humans began to dissolve, the opportunity for a more acutely contemporary symbolism emerged. It became easier to regard the series as an argument for the imperatives of shared interest in a post-racial world.

In another, if fringier, analysis, the show’s focus on the struggles of a contained brigade of human survivors in a post-apocalyptic galaxy is a loose parable for the events in the Book of Mormon: Gaius Baltar (James Callis), the venal scientist turned collaborator turned false prophet turned savior equated not with Jesus or a hundred televangelists but with Joseph Smith. (The original “Battlestar Galactica” of the late 1970s was created by a member of the Church of Latter-day Saints, lending the thesis a certain currency online.)

At the same time, it would hardly seem illogical to read the series, right now at least, as a housing-crisis metaphor: thousands of displaced people without a safety net in search of a home.

Since the revived “Battlestar Galactica” first made its appearance as a mini-series in 2003 it has been celebrated for its moral ambiguity, which seems empty praise, given how much bad television has been created in the name of a gray area and how little anything worthwhile is ever made without it.

But the series has been far more remarkable for the ways in which its characters’ principles and value systems have evolved. Most notable has been the change in Gaius, whose self-regarding penchant for expedience finally gives way to a moving and incalculably consequential display of rectitude in the final episode.

In the end, his self-serving rationalism comes to accommodate a genuine commitment to faith, one that seeks to resolve the show’s theological tensions, if not with the kind of pungence one might have hoped for. The humans have been worshiping multiple deities, but the longstanding battle between monotheism and polytheism is irrelevant, Gaius warns his adversary in philosophical summation.

“Whether we want to call that God or Gods or some sublime inspiration or a divine force that we can’t know or understand doesn’t matter,” he says. “God is a force of nature beyond good and evil.”

Atheism is the real enemy of mankind’s progress; salvation seems to lie in a vague belief in angels and higher powers, as if the series thought of itself as a promotional appendage of Alcoholics Anonymous.

I’m not sure that in the most fleeting sense, it hasn’t. The final three hours of the series devote considerable time flashing back to the lives of the survivors before the fall, who are all shown drinking to the point of physical and psychological compromise.

Though Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell) seems able to imbibe with a semblance of moderation, we encounter her, in prehistory, learning that her father and two sisters have been killed by a drunken driver on the way home from a baby shower she has given. The scene poignantly contextualizes the calm that Roslin has demonstrated with a mesmerizing consistency throughout her tenure as president of the remaining colony of humans: her own world already evaporated a long time ago.

Roslin’s relationship with the fleet’s military leader, Adama (Edward James Olmos), one built on respect and shared sorrows and a profound inclination to give care, has provided one of the sublime, bittersweet pleasures of the final season. There has been no better or quieter rendering of love in midlife on television. “Battlestar Galactica” has upheld certain liberal pieties without the utmost subtlety. (Why should we abstain from waging biological warfare on annihilators? Because then it makes us no better than our enemies.) But it has drawn the need for, and the sustenance of, emotional connection with a nuanced and deeply felt authenticity.

“Battlestar Galactica” has aspired during its reign more toward the science fiction of Ursula K. Le Guin than toward the science fiction of “Stargate Atlantis”: the show’s taste for gender neutrality seems plucked from her 1969 novel, “The Left Hand of Darkness.”

But the show could not break with the genre’s tradition of hokey, hopeful earnestness. Landing finally on a pastoral facsimile of Earth, the human-Cylon partnership vows to start anew with pledges not to let science outpace soulfulness. One hundred fifty thousand years later, a city of neon stands on the green terrain — as well as the assumption that we won’t make all of the same mistakes over again.

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Battlestar Galactica – O M Frakking G

Yeah. Holy balls. So Ellen’s murder on New Caprica lead to a resurrection that only Cavil knew about. He kept her locked up for a year and a half, with only himself and Boomer for company, and they discussed everything: where the skinjobs came from, why Cavil’s such a dick, why there’s no Number Seven, and who invented the One True God. Once this story — modeled on Sartre’s eponymous play, naturally — catches up to us, Cavil decides to vivisect Ellen so that he can rebuild the Resurrection Hub; Boomer finally pulls her shit together, realizes Cavil is creepy and awful, and escapes with Ellen, returning her to the Fleet in a Colonial Raptor. (Where Galen is. Wifeless. And still adorable. And a Cylon. And OMG.)

The damage to Galactica is way worse than we ever thought: tiny hairline fractures through every single bulkhead and beam. Chief offers to apply Cylon tech — a biological agent that will bond with the metal and strengthen it as it matures — but Adama is not interested in desecrating her broken-ass bones that much. Then he gets super duper drunk and realizes that having his ship come apart around him would be way worse, so he says yes: Galactica herself will become the ultimate jury-rigged cybrid. The best part about this sequence is when Chief says he can fix the old girl, but Bill better forget about jumping her again anytime soon. Laura’s not gonna like that!

What she does like is Lee, and the idea of having no Quorum at all, because the whole concept is dumb at this point. She says she’ll stay in office for the time being, but he’ll be the puppetmaster, and can invent whatever system of democracy he feels like. I agree in theory, because that’s exactly what they should do, but it’s the kind of thing you don’t want Playa Palacios finding out about. You know?

Caprica’s son kicks for the first time, and she and babydaddy Saul are way too happy about it. On any other show, you’d think that this was because Ellen is coming back, and their love is a forever love, and hot blonde catfight, and Caprica has to be a single mom, and she and Gaius can be mommies together. But because it’s this show, it seems way more likely somebody’s going to come along and kill the shit out of that baby, and then Caprica Six is going to destroy them into particles.

Meanwhile, that bullet in Sam’s head is pressing on his Earthly memories — and causing him to quote entire passages from Paradise Lost, naturally — and he remembers everything about the Final Five, where they came from, where they met, and why Cavil’s such a dick.* He fills in the blanks for the Dylan Four, while getting hit with harder and harder seizures, until Kara finally wigs out and — against Sam’s screaming wishes — lets my buddy and Resident Expert John Hodgman operate on his sexy brain. So of course, because Kara actually had a rational thought and tried to do save her husband’s life, Sam is now in a braindead coma and can’t answer any more questions at all. And boy, the Q&A of this episode is intense. Normally this is where the recaplet would end, but instead the explanation part is longer than the actual account of what happened, is how intensely explainy this was.

If I actually have this straight: Thirteen Tribes set out from Kobol, and the Thirteenth (Cylons) settled on Earth, where they stopped resurrecting and had babies instead. They created robots, I think, who went crazy on them and threw them a big old war just like ours did. Luckily, a group of five scientist-types were able to rediscover resurrection technology, and download themselves into new bodies at the moment of their holocaust. (After being warned by mysterious and invisible Sexy Chip People, no less.) Tory and Galen were the hot young couple, Saul and Ellen were the hot old couple, and Sam was apparently like what if Bob Dylan hung out with Watson and Crick. So they took a sublight voyage backwards along Athena’s Arrow, to find the other Tribes and tell them in no uncertain terms, Do Not Fuck With Robots.

Sadly, the robots did not go unfucked with. The F5 got here too late, but forged the Armistice out of promises to help the Centurions create skinjobs. This they did: eight humanoid models, to further the toasters’ goal of becoming more like their creators (as seen in the whole Hybrid lineage). Yes, I did say eight models. For a total of thirteen, at the fulcrum point of which is Seven, a model named Daniel that never made it off the production floor (except for the one that knocked up Socrata Thrace, I will bet you one trillion dollars) because Cavil, the firstborn son, was jealous of him in an insane Biblical grabbing-the-foot kinda way. Then he murdered and boxed the F5, and released them every few years into the population until the holocaust was ready to go. Which is where we came in.

The reason that Cavil is such a dick, though, is because he resents the Five, particularly Ellen, for creating him in such an old, creepy body. They seem to agree that the F5 made the human bodies and weird hormonal imbalances we’ve grown to love in the Significant Seven because the One True God would approve of that — but then also, the OTG seems to have been invented by the Centurions in the first place, which makes no sense. Even Chief finds that weird, so I’m sure there’s more to it. (Like, maybe a whole series coming to your screen fairly soon, with a writing staff including but not limited to Jane, the wonderful fellow who wrote this episode, and Michael Taylor.) So Brother John Cavil gives a fairly moving and convincing speech for why he’s so pissed off, and you finally get Cavil: he’s basically like Pinocchio going, “Really? Lederhosen? Fuckin’ forever?” Only instead of singing a little song about it and kicking Ellen in her shapely Gepetto shins, he knowingly and nastily:

Destroyed utterly the life and civilizations on twelve planets, burnt the knowledge of their creators out of his brothers and sisters, killed Daniel and boxed Three, wiped and boxed the Final Five just to make sure they ended up in the holocaust, had a day-long conversation with Chief about how he wasn’t a Cylon even though he totally was, tried his best to kill off the idea of God(s) Himself(s), plucked out his father’s eyeball, and fucked his own mother while she was in mortal mode on New Caprica. Moral of story? You Never Fuck With Pinocchio. Welcome to the last act of the last season of the very best TV show of all time, and here’s your Dramamine.

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ANDREW CHRISTIAN ON THE JANICE DICKINSON SHOW

ANDREW CHRISTIAN ON THE JANICE DICKINSON SHOW

via Ohlala Mag by Steph & Alek on 1/3/08

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Our buddies at Andrew Christian have casted their latest models at the Janice Dickinson Model Agency in Hollywood. Today we give you the video of the show but also some behind the scenes and some images from the new campaign via Andrew Christian Official Site. Merci qui !!?

As you will see in the video, it takes some help for a last minute butt-shave 😉

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The good thing about working in Los Angeles is that between your time in front of the camera you can relax by the pool. Still those models have to learn … no tan lines in the modeling industry … get naked boys!!!!!

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OHLALA THE TUDORS2

via Ohlala Mag by Steph & Alek on 12/30/07

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The Tudors will be back on March 30 … I know it seems like so far away, but here is the first look at the poster for the second season. Jonathan Rhys Meyers as King Henry with Natalie Dormer as Anne Boleyn. source

+ JRM is Henry VIII
+ Henry Cavill Naked in The Tudors
+ The Tudors by Francois Rousseau