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Andy
9 February 2005, 01:09 AM

1

Vigilanty is the word you’re thinking of.

I’m not sure if bland is what I would call it. Stargate SG-1 relies on the characters to carry the show with their interactions and quirks but doesn’t let the characters get out of control, like on Friends or Ally McBaal. The characters held up the show during the first few seasons. Carter is a weak point but it not all her fault. She is given most of the crap plots and is forced to play the straight character while the others goof off. She only looks bad in comparison. Just be thankful she’s no Jonas. You’d be ecstatic to get Sam on Atlantis. That show’s failing because they’re all such hopeless characters.

The ‘blandness’, as you put it, is in my opinion what allowed it to get to nine seasons. Can you see Alias making it to nine seasons? At the rate they use up plot twists and evil organisation names, I can’t see it lasting more than one more season. Stargate has solid storylines and likeable characters making it easy to watch. The lack of romantic tension is refreshing. Still it does have some crap episodes but they’re not altogether in one season unlike other shows.

The reset button was unfortunate. I wanted to see an ongoing story about Teal’c in the real world.

And finally before this turns into a review itself, many of the real world episodes look like they’re trying to save money by staying on Earth and not using any outdoor scenes or special effects. Sometimes this can pay off just as no Jack can result in Fragile Balance. Sometimes.

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Tom
9 February 2005, 07:09 AM

2

You’re right about the characters carrying the show, but I suppose that’s where my blandness claim comes from. Sam of course is ultra-bland, but even the others occasionally suffer from being a bit… dull compared to characters on Farscape, Firefly, Angel, etc.

Daniel sometimes gets to be fun and noble and academic and cool (especially cool in ‘Prometheus Unbound’), but just as often just seems to be wandering around aimlessly. Teal’c often slides into the quiet alien stereotype, though he’s fantastic when written well. Jack walks a fine line too, though his one-liners are usually excellent.

My feeling is that the writers say “Right, this is a Daniel/Sam/Teal’c/Jack episode. Let’s focus on him/her and yeah, basic dialogue for the rest of them.” It’s rare that I watch an episode of Stargate where they’ve managed to give everyone something good (character-wise) to do. Character developments only happen in character-devoted episodes, and often are ignored afterwards.

So bland, not perhaps the right word. But if things start taking the turn for the crazy as seen in ‘Prometheus Unbound’, then perhaps there’s hope for a more dynamic show after all.

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Shannon
9 February 2005, 07:32 AM

3

But Prometheus Unbound was just silly! I mean yes, yay Claudia Black and all, and it will be interesting when she and Ben Browder have scenes together next season but.. it was just silly! In the same way the episode in Season 7 that had Sam all alone on an empty Prometheus was also silly. Extreme on the money/cast/set saving scale and relatively pointless.

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Jack
9 February 2005, 07:54 AM

4

Some American murder shows use their characters merely as vehicles to drive a story about other people. It must suck - not only do you not get any character based scenes ever, the main plot isn’t even about you.

People love these shows. I don’t know why. But that is what they watch the show for.

I don’t think generally people want science fiction to be some big character drama. In the way Andy finds the lack of romantic tension refreshing, I find the lack of any type of prolonged tension amongst the group refreshing. I used to watch Angel every week mostly just because I wanted certain characters to finally reconcile and not stuff it up. Damn it was draining to watch sometimes. I don’t have to worry about it with this show. I watch Stargate for the plotting elements, and a bunch of stable characters being thrown into ridiculous situations and doing cool stuff (like Daniel is Reckoning Pt 2, Andy. Damn he is cool sometimes).

A show can’t expected to be everything.

Of course you aren’t saying that, and I’m not saying you are. If you do want character plots however - have a look at the first few seasons when they flesh out the characters back stories. I remember the episodes concerning Jack’s ex-wife and his son being really good.

It’s not so much a new thing, obviously they just ran out of ideas for what to do with them.

P.S I also watch Stargate in the hope we will get a Daniel - Anubis confrontation. One day I’m sure.

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Jack
9 February 2005, 08:00 AM

5

I wrote the above post after Andy’s one. Remind me to click refresh in my browser more often and not have coffees in the middle.

Tom - in Firely and Farscape the characters are just thrown together on a ship. It’s where they live. It’s almost too easy to have interesting character interaction.

On Stargate, the show is set where they work, and they are all highly paid professionals. It’s not an excuse, but you could argue in that respect Stargate is hamstrung by it’s setting.

The base is also extremely isolated, so any episode focussing on a personal life of a character would probably have to be away from the stargate, which I think is a difficult direction for the show to take. People wouldn’t like it.

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Tom
9 February 2005, 10:01 AM

6

Shannon: You say ‘silly’ like it’s a bad thing. I’ve never had so much fun watching Stargate. I enjoyed it far more than any of the previous comedy episodes. You can’t compare it to that Sam one, where nothing happened. Heaps happened in ‘Prometheus Unbound’.

Jackson: I see your point about the refreshingness of little inter-character tension. Though personally I like just a smattering of it more than none. While it may be draining, it makes me desperate to see the next episode all the time. I’m enjoying Stargate, but I’m rarely desperate to see the next episode.

Well, I wasn’t until you mentioned Daniel being cool in ‘Reckoning’. Now I’ll have to watch them all really quickly.

By this stage, I agree, they’re highly paid professionals in a sturdy organisation. No show is forced to stay in the one setting though. Frankly, after 8 years, I reckon any show should consider shaking something up completely if possible. It doesn’t look like they want to do that, which is a shame, as I really enjoy that kind of topsy-turvy change. Others don’t, though.

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Mattt
9 February 2005, 01:31 PM

7

i agree with shannon. Prometheus Unbound was silly. in the way it felt very contrite.
And i think people like those criminal/mystery shows because theres no character development. if you miss an ep. you miss anything important. each show is Completely contained, abosolutly no spill over from one ep. to the other and the networks can also put them on in any order they like.
Oh, one more point, in the TV show about us i woould have to say that we have less character development than we used to. the first few seasons were so indepth. these days its all a bit samey. not that im blaming the writers, its just what happens when everybody knows each other. this point isnt fleshed out properly but im sure you smart cookies in tv land understand what i mean. so no deliberate misinterpreting.

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Tom
9 February 2005, 01:47 PM

8

Good point about the no development shows. As people grow up and get busier I suppose it’s harder to keep track. Although in the future I predict TV that works more like bittorrent…

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Jack
9 February 2005, 02:29 PM

9

What are you talking about Matt? Of course we should blame the stupid writers?

Any other TV show would have at least one of us lose our memory by now. That would have kept things interesting. I vote you should, and maybe whoever did it gets you to try and kill us and then we make you remember by showing you something like a dice, or a 40k model or something.

It isn’t up to us of course is it?

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Shannon
9 February 2005, 07:07 PM

10

Oh my freaking god! THREADS!! THREADS!!! EVERYBODY GO WATCH THREADS RIGHT BLOODY NOW!!! You too Tom, I don’t care if you are skipping ahead ITS WORTH IT!!

I… I.. I…

I dont even know where to begin.

But I won’t spoil.

Hurry up and watch it people!!

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Shannon
9 February 2005, 07:11 PM

11

As for your writers, I say you hire new staff. They could give Andy to accomplish this year, and let Matt breeze through his third year maths subjects. I don’t really know what they could do for jack. Maybe they could get you a really cool ibook. Just depends how much to promise to pay them I guess. That is actually where you are going wrong, in my opinion. You haven’t been paying your writers enough these last two seasons or so, and they are getting lax.

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Shannon
9 February 2005, 07:14 PM

12

Oh blast it I made it go over the page. The important comment is back there on page 1.

Now, can I talk about Threads yet??

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Jack
9 February 2005, 07:53 PM

13

You should at least see reckoning first, since it you know, kind of follows on.

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Tom
9 February 2005, 09:20 PM

14

Will people please, if they do talk of Stargate episodes, warn me of spoilers as I’m only up to “Good to be the King”.

Our writers have been moving slower, but then it’s possible they decided to have more than one year in a season. That’d explain the lower density of incident.

I still reckon this year might turn out to be interesting.

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hayko
9 February 2005, 11:57 PM

15

I can’t believe there really was a decent commentary on the episode, well at least until someone mentioned “threads”… ;)

This year dows show a few interesting episodes. Even Atlantis has managed to come up with some nice twists, nothing compared to that SG1 one, though.

My vote goes for silly, too, on Prometheus Unbound. I did like her character, but the wrapping was silly. For crying out loud, at least give us something. A ton of naquada, or contact to a new race, or a really cool fight where Prometheus doesn’t get smashed within twenty seconds. But no, lose everything is the concept.

Question, can a show survive if it leaves out any conspiracy (eg NID, Trust, etc) completely? Personally, I dislike those episodes. Always so boring to find out it’s just humans who are annoying again.

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Tom
10 February 2005, 05:04 AM

16

I don’t get your problem with “PU”, Hayko. Why were you expecting/needing those things you list?

The conspiracy things are kind of dull in Stargate, I agree. I liked them in things like The X-Files, but the Stargate conspiracy people just aren’t as threatening as the Cigarette Smoking Man.

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Shannon
10 February 2005, 06:05 AM

17

Hayko the conspiracies are necessary because those cheaply made episodes leaves money left in the pile to make cooler episodes where things blow up and such.

I won’t talk about Threads here, Tom, don’t worry. I realise that would just be silly, and mean. But its intersting. And something happens that… not talking about it

Even if you’re writers have gone with the old ‘not a year to a season’ trick (not forgetting that they skip the whole summer too - so you are wondering aimless currently until, what, the start of March? I think thats when the writers return) they haven’t come up with very many plot turns recently. That whole bit in Canada was great, lots of new material, but they must have blown their budget way out with the location shooting (and the set for that kitchy diner! nothing like that exists in real life) because since then it has slowed down somewhat.

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Shannon
10 February 2005, 06:08 AM

18

I just made one of my very own pet peeve typos. There are several errors but prizes for the one that makes me feel like the biggest dope. I was wondering… cough edit function cough

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Andy
10 February 2005, 12:18 PM

19

your not you’re
interesting not intersting
it’s not its
wandering not wondering
that’s not thats
several capital letters and full stops

Next up I’ll correct Matt’s post.

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Andy
10 February 2005, 12:32 PM

20

Hayko’s comment about PU was that there should have been some trace of the episode after it ended. They didn’t have to reset the situation completely.

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Shannon
10 February 2005, 04:19 PM

21

The fact that I look at the keyboard rather than the screen when I type and that I dont read over before I impatiently hit this post button does make them an adventure to decipher for others, I can imagine. I’m really only expecting Hayko to read my comments anyway, having not met me he hasn’t yet learnt the delicate art of ignoring me in full

ps punctaution is for losers

yeah

word.

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Tom
15 February 2005, 11:11 AM

22

Hayko’s now in the country, and thus can learn the delicate art of ignoring you in full whenever you like!

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