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15 March 2009 @ 08:05 pm
Battlestar Galactica  
This post is about the spoilers for the Battlestar Galactica finale that Katee Sackhoff leaked in Portland. If you do not want to be spoiled for the finale PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT READ THIS POST.

For anyone who does not know, Katee Sackhoff spilled the beans about Kara/Lee versus Kara/Sam in the finale. You can see what hear said here. Basically she talks a lot about Michael Trucco's accident and how they did not know if he would walk again and how what she and his other friends were feeling for him influenced the scenes they were shooting and led to greater emotional intensity between Kara and Sam. While there are lots of interpretations of her words flying around, I personally take from her words:
1. The writers had planned a Lee/Kara relationship ending (note her 'the writers had a Starbuck and Apollo relationship that was going somewhere').
2. Instead we are going to see her end up with Sam.

If you are hanging on to hope despite this, more power to you, but really I don't want to hear about it. For me, this is the final straw and I don't think there's any point in me holding out hope--it would only hurt me more to be let down again.

The crux of it for me is that the writers did not have a clear enough vision of Kara's endpoint as a character. If they did, they would never have wasted time like this vacillating between Lee and Sam and ultimately deciding who she ends up with based on real life context (however tragic). This is a failure of authorship. Yes, Kara is more than who she's with in a relationship sense--the writers could have decided she was going to end up alone--but if so, then why play the relationship stuff (BOTH relationships) so heavily in the build up to the finale?

Also, if this is so, it doesn't just show that Kara's end was malleable and unfixed, it shows that Lee's was as well. Lee even more than Kara has been defined by the Lee/Kara relationship. Gaius even commented on it in this week's episode! 'Why does everything have to come back to your feelings for Kara Thrace?' Well, if it does then Lee is SCREWED, isn't he? Yet apparently not originally... INCIDENTALLY SCREWED. Wow, writers. Wow.

What I keep thinking is that TPTB are going to live to regret this. In fandom, sure, there are lots of Kara/Sam shippers, but in the casual viewing audience? Hardly ANYONE thinks Kara/Sam is the big epic OTP of the series. Even if they don't actively ship them, the casual viewer thinks Kara/Lee is the main romance. BECAUSE IT WAS. If they'd really wanted to write K/S then they should have started writing it much more clearly (without alterna!ship angst!) from a lot earlier in order to sway the audience in that directioon.

This is the final straw in a series of failures of storytelling and authorship that I have seen in Battlestar Galactica over the last season and a half. I'm not going to go into those here. If you don't share my opinion, that's fine, but I believe that the final arcs have been very badly told indeed, that the writers have handled viewer expectations very badly, and that the series has all the subtlety of a sledgehammer these days.

I don't blame Katee for influencing the writers--we have no idea how much she actually openly asked for the ending to be changed. Regardless, it comes down to the writers, and Ron most of all. If he was influenced into changing the ending of the series because of Michael's accident then that tells me all I need to know about him as an author. I'm sorry. Your creative vision should be independent of real life events. A serious creator respects the internal truth, the integrity of their story. They control the start and middle in such a way as to build to a specific end for all their major characters. I don't think RDM knows the first thing about integrity in storytelling.

Other people have discussed why the ending on the show is redundant. What I like best about peri_peteia's Kara/Lee shipper manifesto is that it includes the statement 'I do not respect BSG as a narrative in any way at all'. Nor should we, imo, since it is probably the best example of a failed narrative I've ever seen on television.

And I watch SMALLVILLE and have seen the episode REQUIEM. <<--do not underestimate these words!

BSG is 'spectacular' and 'epic', yes, in the SPECTACULAR EPIC FAIL sense. It started with such a clear vision and it's quite obvious that this just gave way to RDM's need for shock and novelty, indulging personal whims and playing around with ideas in a messy and ultimately not very satisfying manner.

TPTB claimed to have a clear endpoint for the show in mind. Er... really? did that include spending the first hour of the final three in flashbacks? Don't get me wrong, I loved the flashbacks--infinitely more entertaining than the rest of Season 4 (I particularly loved the Gaius material!)--but it doesn't seem like this endpoint needs a lot of screentime, does it?

I don't think I'll watch the finale. And I'm not saying this in a flounce-y melodramatic way. I just really don't need to, y'know? My BSG, my pilots, my Lee, my Kara, they existed earlier... they will always exist in my heart. Frak the finale!
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chani86 on March 15th, 2009 11:50 am (UTC)
You probably know I'm in complete agreement, but I do feel the need to vent apparently, sorry that it became so long, feel free to skip it if you've had enough of this BS:

I can honestly say I have never been so upset about any other TV show, it's ridiculous and I thought they couldn't do that to me anymore.

People are rationalising it that the writers/producers saw that they could get something extra out of MT and KS performances because of their friendship and that's why they went in that direction. But that doesn't make it any better, if this wouldn't have been the final season, okay, but they this was going to be the end, they should have had their priorities sorted. Sometimes you have to pass an opportunity up to keep with the overall goal and integrity of what you're doing! And to be honest they didn't exactly blow my mind in those scenes, was it really worth it? worth 4 episodes?

The crux of it for me is that the writers did not have a clear enough vision of Kara's endpoint as a character. If they did, they would never have wasted time like this vacillating between Lee and Sam and ultimately deciding who she ends up with based on real life context (however tragic). This is a failure of authorship

I'm pretty sure they didn't have any vision of anyone's endpoint as a character, they might have had a thought on how to end the show plot wise and struggled with filling in the middle part. The whole seesaw of Kara's love life is seriously the most dreary thing to watch and eats away at both romantic stories.RDM reminds me of someone who has written the first and last page of a novel, thinking he was a genius for crafting that. But these are the easier parts, the intensity and appeal is helped along by the newness or respectively the nostalgia of the approaching end. There is nw way the finale can redeem the show no matter how "profound and surprising" it is. It's like a novel with a good, solid start and a remotely poetic last line but pages full of disjointed sentences and a few smilies drawn in between, you can't call that literature!

I wish Katee had never let that slip and we would have never known about an alternative to this season's mess, but on the other hand it does explain a lot of things. The disjointed storylines, the build up to nothing, the absence of storyline consistency. I'm still dumbstruck at the thought that the writers seem to have forgotten everything about story construction, drametic effects, how you use already established stories and character points and build up on them. But then I remind myself that these are the same writers that thought suggesting the lack of love could kill a baby, was a good, edgy idea (instead aof an appallingly stupid one). I jsut wish RDM would overcome his own ego for one second, read a good book with well developed characters and realise he screwed up on various levels!

K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: books are lovebop_radar on March 16th, 2009 04:51 am (UTC)
feel free to skip it if you've had enough of this BS:
Hee! Nah, I enjoy your snark. ;)

o be honest they didn't exactly blow my mind in those scenes, was it really worth it?
*lol* It's have to be bloody mindblowing TV to justify it, imo. And it really wasn't THAT great. I wouldn't even say it was the strongest material we've seen on BSG!

.RDM reminds me of someone who has written the first and last page of a novel, thinking he was a genius for crafting that
Hee! Seriously. I'm an editor and I am just constantly ITCHING to edit the fuck out of him. He needs to be sat down and told some very basic home truths about writing and storytelling. Like 'if something is going to be significant later in the story, introduce it earlier on so it doesn't look like it comes out of your ass nowhere' and 'don't expect your audience to accept all leaps in logic on goodwill alone'.

pages full of disjointed sentences and a few smilies drawn in between, you can't call that literature!
HEE! I think the middle's more like some really purple prose and a handwritten note from the author in the margin saying 'wasn't this bit AWESOME!?!!?!'

the writers seem to have forgotten everything about story construction, drametic effects, how you use already established stories and character points and build up on them
Yes, yes they have. I'm so chuffed someone else is noticing this and it's not just me, I just needed to chorus my agreement. ;)
chani86 on March 15th, 2009 11:51 am (UTC)
What I keep thinking is that TPTB are going to live to regret this.

I don't know if they will, it's the end of the show anyway and noone expects Caprica to have big ratings. But yes I agree a lot more people seem to come out of the closet and admit to be upset about it even in fandom, the regular viewer, idk, there are not that many left and I just can't imagine them to have high expectations after all the jumbled mess of the last eps. I find it amusing how especially David Eick always says about the ratings that the name of the show harmed it, like that explains why the ratings dropped continuously, liek all of the sudden after season two people went: "wait what's this called? I'm outraged and shall stop watching" yeah good logic there!

Katee herself feels quite disconnected from the fans, otherwise she wouldn't have said what she did, just like that, she probably focuses on herself, not that it matters, she's not the one telling the story.

About the flashbacks, I can't even enjoy them, because it's just yanking our chain. no storyline purpose whatsoever. All the quotes I've read from RDM just goes to show that he separates characters from plot, like they're two unconnected aspects of the show, he says so himself, so I guess it's no wonder he couldn't hold up the whole narrative, in conclusion a failure of storytelling, I completely agree.
Apparenty I could rant on forever so I'll just stop now.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee thinking hmmbop_radar on March 16th, 2009 04:55 am (UTC)
Mmm, I guess I am naive but I sort of want to believe that RDM will look back on BSG later in life and think 'we could have ended that better' (regardless of ratings--I didn't mean they'd regret it in ratings terms as they have a guaranteed audience for the finale). But then that would require RDM reading those good books you mentioned and learning a thing or two about storytelling...

I was kind of pleased I did manage to enjoy the flashbacks (mostly: I squirmed at the gender stereotyping of Kara and Laura) despite the surrounding nonsense.

he separates characters from plot, like they're two unconnected aspects of the show,
And therein lies the problem. I think his days on DS9 probably did him no good there.
(no subject) - chani86 on March 16th, 2009 11:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on March 15th, 2009 12:50 pm (UTC)
"how what she and his other friends were feeling for him influenced the scenes they were shooting and led to greater emotional intensity between Kara and Sam."

Too bad this didn't really translate on screen. KS and MT still have all the spark of wet cardboard, comatose or not.

Too little, too late.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kara/Lee lolbop_radar on March 16th, 2009 04:56 am (UTC)
:) Thanks for dropping in, anon! I agree.
Raprap541 on March 15th, 2009 02:26 pm (UTC)
Honestly -not a Kara/Lee Shipper at all and if Katie thinks she and Trucco had sparks.... I do lose a little respect for her as an actress if she thinks that was chemistry. She had chemistry with Lee and Leoben....
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee frak betide!bop_radar on March 16th, 2009 04:57 am (UTC)
She did. I'm so not a Kara/Leoben shipper (despite vidding them once) but those two definitely had more chemistry for me than Kara/Sam.
Call Me OneTrackcallmeonetrack on March 15th, 2009 02:47 pm (UTC)
My BSG, my pilots, my Lee, my Kara, they existed earlier... they will always exist in my heart.

Yes. This.

Also, at this point, I'm feeling very zen (or numb) because we're so close. I'm very...curious...just to see how it all plays out from a story standpoint.

I do hope someone asks RDM after it's all over if it's true that they changed an original K/L ending to a K/S one because of real-life events. (I hesitate to believe Katee can affect these things as much as she thinks she does.)
Raprap541 on March 15th, 2009 03:14 pm (UTC)
I honestly think that Dirk Benedict had a point when he called her an empty headed little girl sometimes. Don't get me wrong - Katee is super gracious to fans and thats always nice, but sometimes she seems a lot less clever than her character, lets say.
(no subject) - bop_radar on March 16th, 2009 04:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on March 16th, 2009 04:57 am (UTC) (Expand)
ez_as_piez_as_pi on March 15th, 2009 03:22 pm (UTC)
Someone I know that hung out on the SciFI okay thread (where MrsRon did), said that she worked in the past with Trucco, and just adores him. And the PC guy/neurosurgeon is a friend of the Moores.....

Seems like a bad way to run a show.... along with the 'this seemed like a cool thing' comment on podcasts... cause then you have to dig yourself out of that really cool.... plot hole LOL

I'm gonna wait to see what happens next week. I have five shippers coming in from across the US to hang out with me for a few days. Katee does say some cracky things... it's her right, and she was never required to be a shipper, so *shrugs*...we'll see...

K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Kara/Lee plottingbop_radar on March 16th, 2009 05:01 am (UTC)
Oh interesting background on the Trucco-Moore connection. I totally agree it's a very bad way to run a show (or write a story).

Sounds like watching with other shippers will be good fun! If the worst comes to the worst at least you'll have a support group right there. ;)

Katee has a right to her own opinion, of course, but I'm not really sure she had a right to spoil everyone--didn't she sign a confidentiality agreement?
(no subject) - ez_as_pi on March 16th, 2009 12:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on March 17th, 2009 02:08 am (UTC) (Expand)
fruitsome: l_meh leegrapefruitzzz on March 15th, 2009 03:29 pm (UTC)
How sad ia it that I'm four episodes behind and I still clicked on this? (My brother sent me a text yesterday saying "Law & Order had a busy shooting schedule". He knows my tastes.

I used to hold out hope that Lee was important but they were hiding him in plain sight, but they just can't use him. I don't get it.

I also don't get why the series went downhill so quickly. I was ok with all the S3 stuff, even the fat suit (sort of), but almost nothing in S4 has gripped me at all. I'm going to have a lot of spare icons spaces soon...
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee not drunkbop_radar on March 16th, 2009 05:03 am (UTC)
Oh dear! Sorry you are spoiled but better to know? There has been very little Lee. :( BUT! We did get SUPER AWESOME CUTE BABY!LEE in flashback this week. :D :D You would like! As well as a cool Gaius-Lee scene in the regular timeline. It was the best ep for Lee for ages. (Pity they waited until the finale to use him again!)

I will keep my Lee icons (he rises above the rest of the muck in BSG for me *G*) but I may ditch the rest. Sigh.
(no subject) - grapefruitzzz on March 17th, 2009 01:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on March 17th, 2009 02:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
is that how they do it in the pros?: *gen - a big fuck youantismiles on March 15th, 2009 04:08 pm (UTC)
Yes. This. All of it.

I am still in the *rage* step, and I don't know if I'll ever move on to acceptance or numbness. I don't know if I can watch past Kara/Lee scenes, knowing that they won't be together because the writers failed to allow the integrity of the show to be independent of RL. They have lost any respect I've ever had for them.

Also, my opinion of Katee has lowered drastically. Not because her worth is determined by who Kara ends up with, but because 1) she revealed this information in a PUBLIC place (in front of fans!) BEFORE THE FRAKKING EPISODE, and 2) she let personal feelings get in the way of the telling of a story. I'm angry with myself for believing this show could ever give me anything and for sticking around when I should have just abandoned the frakking thing.

And yes, what I'm most pissed about is that Lee is going to get screwed over because of this. He's always getting shortchanged by the writers. They never know what to do with him, so they throw in random OOC moments (Black Market, anyone?) or they change characters' storylines at the expense of Lee's. And that just infuriates me.

Frak, they should've just killed Lee off after the trial. Maybe had that guy he punched actually have a gun and then BAM. It would've been so much better. The angst levels would be ridiculous. The last time Adama spoke to him, Adama belittled Lee. It would've been interesting to see the fallout from that had Lee died before they could make up. (Because you know we would've gotten those scenes, what with how the writers are obsessed with showing Adama in ever scene possible.) And then Starbuck would come back just hours later and find out that Lee's dead, and then there would be guilt and angst and Starbuck being screwed over. (Which is what she deserves, after this season. My love for her is completely gone.)

I'm going to pretend that the show ended in mid-S3. They got to the algae planet but the food wasn't able to be processed, and almost everyone died from starvation or committed suicide to avoid that. And then the supernova happened and all evidence of humanity was wiped out.

And Baltar found the real Earth using Hera and the Cylons continued their wretched existence there until their pathetic Civil War happened and they wiped themselves out.

And then the universe's only humans were the people left on the colonies, like the resistances that were probably present on colonies OTHER THAN CAPRICA. It always bugs me that the writers never thought to add something about how people in the Fleet are pissed that Caprica got a rescue mission, but none of the other colonies did. Wasted opportunity. Again.
chani86 on March 15th, 2009 04:31 pm (UTC)
They got to the algae planet but the food wasn't able to be processed, and almost everyone died from starvation or committed suicide to avoid that. And then the supernova happened and all evidence of humanity was wiped out.

this is actually less depressing then the Ron's ending to me!

And then the universe's only humans were the people left on the colonies, like the resistances that were probably present on colonies OTHER THAN CAPRICA.

I said the exact same thing to a friend a when we watched that plotline, it's a pretty logical conclusion that there are other survivors on other planets but they aren't worth saving 'cause Starbuck's bf isn't one of them! My friend pointed out that Caprica is like the "America" planet and it's common knowledge that in the future any significant event always happens in America and that's where all the saviours of the universe come from! :D but yay for Ron's brilliant cultural and political insights!

And yes, what I'm most pissed about is that Lee is going to get screwed over because of this. He's always getting shortchanged by the writers.

Word! and from what we've heard now about the writers personal relationships and preference playing a big role it's fairly obvious that they don't respect Jamie either.
I mean come on, it's not that hard to come up with ideas of what they could do with Lee, they didn't put any effort in it! It goes with my impression of RDM not really wanting anybody to doubt or disagree too much with him!
(no subject) - antismiles on March 15th, 2009 04:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - chani86 on March 15th, 2009 05:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rap541 on March 15th, 2009 06:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - chani86 on March 15th, 2009 09:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on March 16th, 2009 05:13 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on March 16th, 2009 05:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
the whole slip shod shebang: I don't love you like I loved you yesterethrosdemon on March 15th, 2009 04:11 pm (UTC)
I haven't watched this week's episode yet, but I would assume the flashbacks are to set up the spin off.

I'm not fannish about BSG, so I'm not really invested in it at all, for all the reasons you've stated here. I totally agree with your remarks pretty much across the board. What's always struck me about the show is the weird slavish fanbase who seemed to believe all the malarky about narrative planning that I never saw in the actual show. I just DO NOT BELIEVE that they had this planned out, or if they DID? They're horrible storytellers. I don't understand why the creative team get what amounts to a scifi ghetto pass from the audience.
Raprap541 on March 15th, 2009 06:52 pm (UTC)
Because season one was very good.

And because fans who kiss ass get treats. No the story was NOT planned out and RDM started admitting it in season three and not only are there fans who still believe the origanal party line of "we had it all planned" but there are also fans who get snitty if you note that there was an origanal party line. Now apparently, pointing out that lie is wrong since RDM has admitted to not planning it out.
(no subject) - ingridmatthews on March 15th, 2009 11:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on March 16th, 2009 04:39 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on March 16th, 2009 04:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
thrace_adama: Kara razor battlefieldthrace_adama on March 15th, 2009 07:02 pm (UTC)
Hey, girl. You know I am trying to hang on and just see what happens, but yeah, this is just so disappointing if true. I don't really even know what else to say--that RDM would ignore 3.5 seasons (because NO ONE saw that K/S interaction on the Demetrius as romantic that I know of) and suddenly make K/S the OTP is disgusting. That Michael Trucco's character got more screentime than JB's (a LEAD character) because of something that happened in RL (and I agree, it was horrible and thank goodness he's okay) is WRONG. Lee deserves more, Kara/Lee deserves more, the FANS deserve more than to be yanked around like this.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Lee armsbop_radar on March 16th, 2009 04:38 am (UTC)
That Michael Trucco's character got more screentime than JB's (a LEAD character) because of something that happened in RL (and I agree, it was horrible and thank goodness he's okay) is WRONG.
Yes, regardless of what happens in the finale I think it is a mistake to have given so much screentime to Trucco just because he was unwell. And from a purely dramatic standpoint, dude-in-goobath is not all that compelling viewing. ;)
(Anonymous) on March 22nd, 2009 09:50 pm (UTC)
It seems like you are all mainly mad because Lee and Kara didn't get to be together. I've been sucked into TV relationships like that (with Joey and Pacey, embarrassingly). I think it really warps your idea of what is good and bad storytelling though. I never got into the Lee/Kara thing, and I loved season 4.5 of Galactica. 3 was pretty weak. 4.0 was getting better, but 1,2 and 4.5 are very strong.... provided you weren't mainly focused on it as a Lee/Kara story.
K, Bop or Boppy--take your pick!: Adama hugbop_radar on March 22nd, 2009 10:11 pm (UTC)
Oh how brave of you to be anonymous!

*THIS* post is mainly about the failure of followthrough on the Lee/Kara relationship, however BSG had disappointed me on a number of substantial grounds (gender politics, the implausability of a Cylon-human alliance, the hideous LITERAL religosity, etc) long before that. It was more a case of the ship being the one last thing I might possibly get out of the show even though it had become a shitfest.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) on March 23rd, 2009 06:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bop_radar on March 23rd, 2009 09:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)