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"I don't get it. What is it, avant-garde?"
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June 18 2006

Not since Buffy the Vampire Slayer has Matt Roush had to defend his love for a show simply due to its title, said the TV critic in talking about how he has to do the same thing for Battlestar Galactica.

Also in the column, someone writes to Matt that Hex "manages to successfully combine the witchcraft angle of Charmed with the sly humor (at least with one character) of Buffy."

I've seen a number of BG episodes, and i will never understand the fuss. They were alright at best, though it mostly bordered on quite dull.

I didn't see any of the miniseries, but i saw a couple of eps in S1 and the last 3 of S2. The thing that jumped out at me mostly was the bad score. It sounded like the same exact music over and over again. I don't think the show is horrible, but not this super-great show that people don't shut up about.

Oh, and in regards to the "frak" stuff, i HATE it. Everytime they said frak i was just about ready to turn it off and spare myself from more "go frak yourself, you frak face" or whatever nonsense they say. I know that Firefly had gorram (which i was also never that big a fan of) but they didn't use gorram nearly as often as BG used frak in the few eps that i saw.
I have thought about this and I think that Joss' fatal flaw is his inability to come up with good titles.

Buffy was, and still is, often dismissed as mindless fluff solely based on its title.

People often confused Angel with Touched by an Angel. A lot of people thought it was that kind of show. How wrong could you get?

When Universal was running the Serenity event on their premises before Serenity was released I went to guest relations to try to get information about it. The staff there knew nothing about it.
When the guy at the desk trying to find out googled it, we got information about adult diapers.
Xane - with regards to Serenity, it was Universal's role to try to educate people about Serenity. If you look back at some of the most successful movies and their titles, quite often movie titles are wacky.

I didn't mind the title of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Honestly, it kept the idiots away for me - if you can't get past a title, you probably aren't going to invest in a show. Possibly. Either that or he should have called it Killer Vampire Babe, or something.

Dhoffryn - when you look at 'gorram', and combine it with the chinese in Firefly (which is nearly all swearing), I'd wager Firefly has the higher alternative swear word ratio.

Reason 1 of 126 to love Battlestar: The 4 minute 'oner' shot introducing the inside of the ship in the miniseries.
Yes, but the chinese swearing on Firefly is an actual language. That's why it doesn't bother me, as they weren't making up words. Gorram was the only made up word and they said it every once in a while.
On BG they just say frak all the time and it's annoying. I have only seen maybe 4 or 5 eps of BG, are there any other languages or words on BG besides the frak?
I think we're all forgetting Smegma from Red dwarf.
Well, my dad was in the forces, and all I can say is they swear all the frakking time.
MY Joss inspired swear word is Bitka.
Am I the only one who is getting a little sick of seeing "Buffy" and "Hex" in the same sentence every other day?
They wish.
Erm, wasn't the title 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' kind of deliberately cheesy and tongue-in-cheek ? The whole idea was surely the linguistic equivalent of 'blonde girl goes into alley (then totally subverts the horror genre)' ?

As for Angel, well, that's who it was about. The tradition of naming TV shows after the title character stretches back years ('Ironside', 'Columbo', 'Callan', 'Quincy' etc. etc.). BTW, it always amused me that one of the original mission statements for Angel was 'Touched by an Equaliser' ;).

The more bothersome thing about the Roush article is the correspondant who was hassled because she liked science fiction and apparently sci-fi's not suitable for women. Jesus, do people really still hold attitudes like this ? Presumably her friends also frown on her reading anything apart from Mills and Boon or engaging in activities without the express purpose of netting a man and settling down. Hey, dark ages, (not so) nice to see you again.

Alternative swearwords can be distracting (e.g. sometimes in Farscape which had 'frell' for fuck much as BSG has 'frak') but I think if it's that big a problem then you're probably not sufficiently immersed in the show anyway which indicates deeper issues. BSG, like any other show, isn't going to appeal to everyone. Many people love it, many people don't. Simple as that.

(Dhoffryn, yeah, they also use 'feldercarp'. I'm guessing this isn't going to do much to persuade you ;)

Meark, smegma isn't made up (though Red Dwarf popularised it as a swear word). It's a real (ly unpleasant) substance which we charmingly referred to as 'down under cheese' when I was at school for reasons i'm going to leave as an exercise for the reader ;).
I think we're all forgetting Smegma from Red dwarf.

Uh, smeg. The word they used was smeg. Smegma is something else entirely... although that might have been the basis for the word.

Frak works fine for me. Or frag, as on Babylon 5.

Much better than the "frell" of Farscape.

Anything is better than having a war show where nobody ever swears.
Anything is better than having a war show where nobody ever swears.

That's why we have the tried and tested 'god damn' ;)
Gorram is my favourite swear word of late (well, swear word that can be used in polite company) due the fact that no one other than Serenity/Firefly fans know what on earth I'm saying.

Frak annoys the living...frak out of me. However, I do adore BSG to the tips of it's sometimes cheesy little toes. Can't help it. Just do. Sometimes you gotta love cheese. I wear the cheese. The cheese does not wear me. *nods*
I ran into just this type of thing with my sister. When she was looking for dvds to borrow from me I suggest BSG and she replied that she had hated the original show and I had to tell her it was nothing like the original (which I also hated). As for woman who asked the question having friends hassle her because she likes sci-fi? Well, I've never come across anything like that and know many other females besides myself who absolutely love sci-fi.

D'Hoffryn, I don't know if it would make a difference or not but you said you never watched the pilot and have only seen a few shows. You really can't fully understand the plot and characters if you've missed out on so much and just tuned in for the end of the season. It would be like someone watching only a handful of Buffy episodes and seeing "Doublemeat Palace" and "Bad Eggs" only and then judging that the show isn't that good. And I do enjoy those episodes of Buffy but they certainly aren't ones that represent it in the best light, imo that is, but knowing and loving the characters makes it much more enjoyable. As for the music, well, we'll have to totally disagree on that. I find it absolutely wonderful and very moving.
yeah, they also use 'feldercarp'.

Not to be pedantic, but feldercarb was only used in the campy original series. As for being harassed for being a woman watching BSG, it's not any secret that most sci-fi shows skew incredibly male. This might be an instance of turning the actual demographics into an expectation that women not enjoy the show. My personal experience is receiving more flak for Farscape than BSG, though who knows why.

[ edited by clevermoniker on 2006-06-18 23:35 ]
I wouldn't expect someone only catching half a dozen episides of BSG, in non-sequential order, to grok the swear words used... but, consider: goddamnit has very little impact when you're in a polytheistic society. It's not our world, like Buffy or Stargate or even Star Trek - it's a society that split off during Greco-Roman times and has delineated from there. Different words for swearing is rather natural (as different cultures swear differently).

Ron Moore has a rather amusing anecdote about "frak" up on his blog, over at the SciFi channel's BSG website.


I admit I'm kinda baffled by the reader who wrote Matt, saying she has to defend her decision to watch SciFi - maybe she lives somewhere more... traditionally grounded? (Trying to be polite here.) I haven't had anyone do a doubletake about me being a fan of SciFi/fantasy in years. It was always more a surprise to people that I didn't watch Buffy or BSG or whathaveyou. (Yes, I'm always the latecomer...)


Edited to add: Oh yeah. It's the military. They have to swear, it's in the rulebook. ;)

[ edited by Loiosh on 2006-06-18 23:41 ]
Personally, I hear quite a bit of "frickin'" and "freakin'" in the military. The f-word prime is definitely not cool for all military environments. "Frak" doesn't bother me. Just be glad that the BSG characters don't speak in acronyms as much as real military.
clevermoniker, no problem, it's not pedantry to me, it's just right or wrong ;). Google does indeed return more hits with a 'b' than a 'p' so I sit corrected (though 'felgercarb' returned even more so not sure how reliable that test is). However, i'm pretty sure there's been at least one use of a non-'frak' swear word because I remember thinking 'That's different'. I could've sworn it was feldercarb (which is the only other one I can remember from the original show) but maybe it was just some derivative of frak (I know we've had 'mother-frakker' for instance). Pretty frustrating when you can remember your reaction to something but not the specific thing which caused it. Stupid brain ;).

Also, good to hear from a few people that the 'no girls' attitude is dying out and that this fan's experience seems to be a bizarre throwback. Maybe she just needs better mates.
Reason 1 of 126 to love Battlestar: The 4 minute 'oner' shot introducing the inside of the ship in the miniseries.


Reason 2 of 126 to love Battlestar: Starbuck as a cigar-chomping, ass kicking, smart aleck, "frak" saying GIRL who still puts on a dress and makeup for a special occasion, and looks entirely feminine.

Buffy's title never bothered me -- yes it got strange looks, yes people mocked it and me, but I didn't want those kinds of people watching my favorite show anyways, so it works out for me.

Angel was a bit more vague, yes, but as long as it was clear that it was a spinoff of Buffy, there was no problem.

BSG is a phenomenal show, and I have never needed to defend the title -- okay, maybe a few times, but it just sounds so cool that the only trouble you have is convincing people that there are other things that happen besides war and military.
I think the negative connotations from the original show have more to do with Battlestar Galactica and lack of recognition than the show's name. I think Matt is clutching at straws with this one.
Browncoat, I believe that's exactly why Joss said that he had chosen it as a title, because the people who couldn't look past it were the ones he didn't want watching it anyway.

I definitely admit to thinking it was a silly name when they were advertising "the new series on the WB" but I quickly got over it when I saw the pilot.

Also, good to hear from a few people that the 'no girls' attitude is dying out and that this fan's experience seems to be a bizarre throwback. Maybe she just needs better mates.


Definiately. If fairness, the 'no girls' attitude extends beyond sci-fi - you find it in many genre circles. Shows like Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Alias helped change that, along with Doctor Who which squarely pegged itself as an 'everybody invited' show last year (one of the title characters is a chav girl, hello).
"D'Hoffryn, I don't know if it would make a difference or not but you said you never watched the pilot and have only seen a few shows. You really can't fully understand the plot and characters if you've missed out on so much and just tuned in for the end of the season. It would be like someone watching only a handful of Buffy episodes and seeing "Doublemeat Palace" and "Bad Eggs" only and then judging that the show isn't that good. And I do enjoy those episodes of Buffy but they certainly aren't ones that represent it in the best light, imo that is, but knowing and loving the characters makes it much more enjoyable. As for the music, well, we'll have to totally disagree on that. I find it absolutely wonderful and very moving."

Except i didn't watch the "Bad Eggs" level episodes, at least, not according to the person who tried to get me to watch it. I don't remember which episodes i watched in S1, but i know that i watched the last 3 of S2. I also know more than enough info about the show to not be lost on the plot or characters. I was given a detailed history before i was started on the last 3 of S2, so as not to be lost.

I don't see any reason why i wouldn't be able to watch the last 3 eps of S2 (which were "great", according to every BG fan i spoke with) and like the show so much that i want to catch up, as i know tons of now BtVS fans who didn't watch from the beginning. They saw the end of S2 and started from there, or they saw "The Body" and started from there, etc.

One other thing i don't care for is the lack of humor in the show. I'm not saying it has to be drop dead hilarious, but i generally don't care for shows that are deathly serious all the time (i like characters who have a sense of humor...and don't ever say frak, ever).

Also, in reply to that whole "i'd rater have made up curses than none at all" comment, i couldn't disagree more. I would rather the writers just have people who don't curse than make up some horrible frak, smag, or whatever.
Actually, I thought BSG was fairly humorless also -- until I watched the episode where Starbuck and Helo are on Caprica, and the Cylon Sharon has stolen Starbuck's ship....and Starbuck runs out and goes "bitch stole my ride!" Everyone who watched that episode with me just burst out laughing. It's all in the delivery.

I understand why creators and writers make up swear words...in all realism, when something so shocking happens that you want to say the F word, but you can't because it's a tv show, expressing emotion through some other similarly defined word can be just as impacting. I mean, "darn!" just doesn't carry as much weight.

[ edited by Browncoat on 2006-06-19 01:36 ]
in all realism, when something so shocking happens that you want to say the F word, but you can't because it's a tv show

Only in America, baby. :o)
Oh. Wow. I can't believe I just saw the word 'smegma' in a Whedonesque thread...

As far as BSG humor...I can't think of a funnier lines than the ones delivered by Dean Stockwell, but that could also be because I finally finished season 2 and it's fresher in my head. They felt very Buffy-esque.

Oh, and of course, bumbling Baltar is always funny. And I can't be the only one that notices he does the same kind of 'exercises' as Spike does!
As a female who has always loved S-F, I've never gotten any funny looks and I would be very surpised if the audience still skewed largely male.
(That is mostly male. I have no opinion on the largeness or otherwise of the male viewers)(Which is not as dirty as it sounds) Ok, I'm stopping now.
On the flip side, most of the girls I've met have been largely outside scifi -- they tend to be more of the Gilmore Girls, One Tree Hill, The O.C. types, only I express shame and apologies in placing the brilliant Gilmore Girls in the same genre as One Tree Hill and The O.C. Forgive me, television gods. I don't know what I was thinking.

A lot of men I've met also have found it surprising and very different that I enjoy scifi as much as I do. They don't seem to have met many women who enjoy scifi.
I thought Tigh Me Up, Tigh Me Down was pretty funny - particularly the "family dinner" scene. "You thought THAT WOMAN was a CYLON?" Of course, I could probably watch Roslin and Adama read the phonebook for an hour and be thrilled. What can I saw. I'm a shameless fangirl.

I've never gotten trouble for watching BSG or Buffy or the like, but I'll admit to sometimes downplaying how much I know about them or any on-line involvement. And the two or three Star Trek novels I own remain under my bed at all times. :-)
Ohhhh I forgot that episode! Oh that was absolutely hilarious. Poor Apollo. He was just so uncomfortable! I was giggling madly to myself.

I have a shelf full of Star Trek novels. Of course the bookshelf is behind an armchair that is stacked with yet more books. Mostly scifi.
I've never gotten trouble for watching BSG or Buffy or the like, but I'll admit to sometimes downplaying how much I know about them or any on-line involvement.

I think, sadly, many of us have to do that in 'normy' society. I still get funny looks and occasional comments on my Spike calendars I keep at work, and I've been sufficiently shamed into not putting tv stuff on my computer background at work anymore. And I got the polite, but awkward smile from my sister when she saw my Buffy bumper sticker. I know I shouldn't care, but I really hate having attention directed at me, especially in a derisive type way. So I avoid it for the most part.

Which is why I can't freakin' wait for Comicon. I can geek out to my heart's content! And I hope they have another BSG panel, because that really turned me on to the show before I had any idea what it was about. Now I know who the actors are, so it would mean even more to me!
Just to return briefly to Xane's comment above - in the roundtable commentary on the extra Chosen Collection disc, Joss says that Buffy the Vampire Slayer was chosen very specifically: "Buffy" denotes humor, "Vampire" - horror, and "Slayer" - action. The title immediately lets the viewer know what s/he is in for. When JW got wind that some execs had been slyly marketing it as "Slayer," he got a mite pissed off - the full title was non-negotiable. (In any case, I'm not sure we can consider the titles a "fatal flaw," given the rather large success of both BtVS and Angel.)
Course, you can always go the use of "ruttin" and "humped" in Firefly for a way of saying the same thing as f*^%$d...Just noticed it for the first time there..and I love gorramit and gorram as curses when the need arises for one...try to stay away from frak and frell at all times, dunno why, might be cause I am a total FF fan....
"Ruttin'" is an actual curse word, though I'm not sure how widely used it is now, except in a scientific sense when referring to animals copulating. "Humped" I was cool with as well. "Gorram/gorramit" got on my nerves a bit every now and then, but I'm kinda fond of it in some scenes, depending on the delivery. 500 years in the future, it's not hard to imagine it as an evolution of "Goddamn/Goddamnit". Maybe there's a Chinese word that sounded similar and factored into it as well. None of the terms used in Firefly really had me raising an eyebrow.

I don't remember "frag" being used in Babylon 5, but I haven't watched any more of it since last fall and JMS' dialogue isn't always what I enjoy about that show anyway since it's not his strong suit every time.

Yet to see BSG and Farscape, so no reactions to "frak" and "frell" until I hear 'em/see 'em used on screen. "Frell" sounds a bit weak for swearing though, "frak's a bit harder and seems like it'd work better as a substitute for fuck.
Rogue Slayer, I wish I was going to ComicCon. But I am going to one of the Serenity screenings so I suppose that will have to suffice!
D'hoffryn, I guess I can't convince you to give it another shot. I still think watching the last few shows really can't give you a picture of what it's all about without really knowing who the characters are but it just doesn't sound like the show for you.

There is a lot of humor, as the posts above me have pointed out but, again, some of the funny comes from really knowing the characters. And I have shows like that too where people will tell me it's great but I just can't get into it.

Did want to add some of my own favorite funny momments on BSG to the other comments. I loved the episode where Six is trying to set up Gauis and he's in the bathroom stall next to Lt. Gaeta trying to find out how the investigation's going and he ambushed the guy while he's on the toilet. Both stall doors are closed but they kept showing close-ups of their eyes through the slot in the doors. Gauis then casually asks him "So, how's it going over there?" referring to the investigation but it sounds like he's asking him how his BM is going! There's a long pause while they show Gaeta's stunned reaction and then Gauis' reaction when he realizes how that came out. Then later when he's yelling at the flesh and bone six he yells out "No more Mr. Nice Gauis!". Yup, definitely a lot of humor!
Kris, I distincly remember Sheridan using the word/phrase "Abso-fraggin-lutely" at least once. Other uses of the word frag on B5 don't come as quickly or clearly to mind.
I get funny looks and outright aghast looks for my love of sci-fi and fantasy on a regular basis from family, co-workers and friends. Some of you must live in much more agreeable worlds than me.
I absolutely refuse to hide my love of anything that I consider to be worth my time. As far as I'm concerned I'm a pretty good judge of what is quality entertainment and if something looks good to me then I'll stand by it, no matter what the less educated may think. I've had numerous conversations over the years with friends and family who don't understand how a thirty year old, pretty decent looking guy with a hot girlfriend, good social life and successful business could possibly have an interest in anything as 'nerdy' and 'geeky' as science fiction or fantasy television shows.

My answer? I tell them to sit and watch an episode or two of Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, Lost or other series of that kind of quality and then come back to me and tell me how I could possibly NOT be interested in that kind of thing. That is usually enough to shut anyone up.

The truth is that these kind of series will always suffer the stigma of being too science fiction or fantasy based, simply because that is exactly what they are. The trick is to make people realise that whilst it is absolutely true that nerds watch these shows, not everyone watching them also happen to be a nerd. I won't deny that there are a small, all too vocal, minority of science fiction fans that take things way too far and make us all look like obsessive, anal geeks living in our parents basement and sleeping in our Starfleet uniforms (y'know, just in case the Klingons attack unexpectedly) but I'll be damned if I'm going to let a stereotype stop me from watching the best shows that television has to offer and I'm not going to be ashamed about doing so.
The charge of humourlessness seems a little surprising to me. I frequently found Gaius Baltar hilarious, and in S1 Starbuck, Tighe, and Billy also had their share of comical moments. My impression of S1 was that there was quite a lot of gallows humour in the heat of battle and so on- eg 33: "this patrol is one hundred per cent stimulated!" But I think I need to watch the DVDs again about another three times, just to make sure.
Deadwood now- there's a show which lacks humour... (she says, rambling off the topic...)
Deadwood now- there's a show which lacks humour...

Two words. Calamity. Jane.

(not that she's only funny or the only character who can be funny but, when she's not making me want to give her a hug and protect her from the world, she's often making me laugh)

BSG does have funny bits (as i've said before 'No more Mr Nice Gaius' is one of my contenders for line of the show so far) but, for me, not enough of them. There's some gallows humour but given how often they're on or near the gallows not enough. It's a minor complaint though about a show I think is absolutely fantastic in pretty much every other way.
I think it's tough to be all fun and games in war and survival, but the bits of humor are what get the characters through, so that makes it slightly more realistic.
"Ruttin'" is an actual curse word


Kris - Rutting is a word, but its not considered a curse. It tends to be used (as you mentioned) in scientific and conservation related conversation.

There is no way I would ever have recommended that anyone watch the last 3 eps of S2 of BSG (even with a full plot rundown) without having seen everything leading up to it. No matter how well they explained it to you, it will lose its punch, its visceral...ity? Did I make up a word? Its a hell of a rollercoaster ride if you've seen the whole thing. Complaining about the use of the word frak while giving gorram and others a pass sounds a lot like "I'll excuse it for shows I love, but no one else can do it" :)

Its a show that needs to be watched in order and actively. Its certainly grim and spends less time in humour territory, and its certainly not everyone's cup of tea/coffee/frak-juice (eww), but then what is?

P.S. - I don't think Matt's completely grasping at straws, but he is playing it up some. While I know people who've avoided it due to the name, I know more who've avoided due to association with 70's BSG. Still chuckle re: the writers' reaction to the G.I.N.O. stuff...
Joss likes ironic titles. I like ironic titles. Hence, I like Joss's titles.

I never assumed that Joss was trying to alienate people with his titles; just attract people who would be most likely to understand his writing.

I have not seen BSG, but IMO there is a difference between creating a whole language system in a show that includes curses that are not used in our society, and substituting one or two words for commonly used similar words in current use. I thought gorram worked because it was part of a whole.

(I think "rutting" is used in a cursing way, just not in the US. ...at least that is my recollection from "My Fair Lady" among others, unless they made them up. ;-) )

When it comes to Science Fiction being just for males, the entertainment industry is obviously sure that is the case. Of course the more they assume that and make it a point to do everything to make it seem like males between 8 and 16 are the only ones who could possibly want to see something, the more they will have their wishes fulfilled. (Yes, I am still annoyed at the way Serenity was marketed.) Among friends and family however, I think it depends on who your friends are and what they expect from a female. People who like Science Fiction may not think a female liking it is strange at all. People who stereotype it as a genre for losers may be surprised if one of their friends, male or female, enjoys it.
Seems to me that all the people I know face-to-face who are Whedonverse fans are other women. Except the boyfriend and I converted him. There's whole circle of Whedon fans where I work, as I discovered simply by mentioning it out loud when I started getting hooked myself. Yeah, the Buffy title sometimes gets a disbelieving snort when I mention it the first time but people usually listen when I talk about how really good the show is. I can always make the point that Shakespeare wrote about ghosts, witches, fairies and spirits. If the supernatural was good enough for him, it's adult enough for me.
I had to watch the first several eps of BSG a few times in a row in order to "get it" because I missed the miniseries. Had I missed any or watched them out of order, I doubt I would have ever gotten into it as much as I did. It could use a little more humor, I agree -- so happy to hear Jane Espenson will be writing an episode! It's not at all without humor, however. There are just long stretches in between humorous moments.

I'm a 30ish blonde female who teaches at a state university in the US. I even wear make-up... and I LOVE scifi!
I think "rutting" is used in a cursing way, just not in the US. ...at least that is my recollection from "My Fair Lady" among others, unless they made them up. ;-)


Not any time recently, and it was certainly a milder emphatic expletive (if you could call it an expletive even, which I would not). Its more polite than dropping the f-bomb :)
Joss says that Buffy the Vampire Slayer was chosen very specifically: "Buffy" denotes humor, "Vampire" - horror, and "Slayer" - action. The title immediately lets the viewer know what s/he is in for.

I know all the reasons for the name, and now it seems perfectly apt to me and I love it. But I also know many many people (including myself) who were initially turned off by the name or use it to dismiss the show. I remember how much fun I made of my then-boyfriend the first time I discovered him watching it - being pop-culture and TV-illiterate I'd never heard of the show or read anything about it, so my reaction was entirely due to the name, which sounded silly and teeny-bopperish to me. BtVS did achieve success, at least at a cult level, but I always wonder how many mainstream people who might have loved the show never gave it a chance because of the name.

As for Deadwood lacking in humor... ?!?! have you seen more than a few episodes, Gemini Webster? We were just talking over on the dot-org site how absolutely hysterical it can be at times. Despite the darkness and violence and profanity, it's got so many fabulous lines that are delightful in their ridiculous absurdity. I die laughing at so much of what EB says, and Jane, and Dan, and at many of Al's lines - some intended to be humorous, some just deliciously wry and sarcastic. Or his exchanges with Wu. Maybe I just have a twisted sense of humor, but I think it's a very humorous show (in addition, of course, to many other things). My favorite line from last night came from Adams: "If he was trailing water we might get took for ducklings."

Can't comment on BSG, but I just put the miniseries at the top of my Netflix list. So hopefully I'll have an opinion soon - i keep hearing such great things about it!
acp speaks the truth when she points to the oodles of humor in Deadwood. When I watch Deadwood, I spend much of my time giggling darkly at Milch et al.'s wonderfully written and awesomely delivered utterances by Calamity Jane, E.B., Al Swearengen, Dan Dority, Trixie, etc. It is a dark-themed show, but has the kind of wild, dark humor to match that I love. I cannot say the same for BSG, although I get why people find the good Doctor funny. I'm not a huge fan of BSG, though, and I've given it a very fair shot. I do think it's a better show than most on TV, but nowhere near approaching the Whedonverse or Deadwood/The Wire. To each their own. That said, I am very glad that a sci-fi show like BSG is getting such great critical attention. That is very pleasing to me....

Oh, and I'm female and I don't give a hang if I get funny looks when I mention my love for the Whedonverse. I didn't used to be this way but now I honestly don't have patience for people who refuse to open their minds to the possibility that something with a silly title or something that is not "reality-based" can be excellent. I used to have such prejudices so perhaps I have even less patience with them now that I've gotten over myself. I'm particularly impatient with those who think that if you're female, you should only love earnest, home-and-hearth-oriented "realistic" fiction or conversely, chick lit.

[ edited by phlebotinin on 2006-06-19 21:29 ]
We all proudly wear our "Joss Whedon is my Master Now" shirts, whether physically or in our minds.
The word "frak" itself doesn't bother me too much. But when they say things like "frakking frak frak frak frak" repeatedly, it drives me up a wall. A few other things about the show annoy me as well, but I still think it's a great show.

The first time I saw a commercial for Buffy, I thought the show was about a guy. I don't know why. But I watched anyway.
A vampire slaying guy named Buffy? Now that could have been interesting in a whole different way. ;-)
I always wonder how many mainstream people who might have loved the show never gave it a chance because of the name


Fair point, acp, but I've always been happy that BtVS never achieved true "mainstream" status. I don't think I'd cling to it with such devotion if it had. And we still got seven seasons of beautiful television. I just don't see how a more mainstream audience would have been possible without diluting or altering the things I loved about the show - its intelligence, wit, and occasional darkness.

OTOH, Deadwood is an incredibly funny show. BSG - eh, not so much for me. I don't find Baltar particularly funny; in fact, he's the only character who consistently irritates me (more than he's supposed to, I mean).
True enough, SNT in fact, even as I was writing that, I started to put that it was a matter of debate whether reaching more of an audience would be a good thing. I look at what happens when a show achieves "Lost"-level popularity, for instance, and it seems like there's so much more pressure from networks execs and producers to keep the show appealing to those same quantities something which is rarely good for any show's intelligence, humor, daring, or quirkiness.
I suppose my only quibble with the name isn't so much the fact that it kept BtVS from a achieving a larger, more mainstream audience, but from the fact that I've seen it become so many times the biggest stumbling block or point of resistance among people who I know really would appreciate it just as it is. I know they should get over it, but I think in an era when there's so much available on TV (and so many people I know are actively trying to limit what they watch to only the real quality) I can understand why some people might allow something as silly as a name keep them from devoting enough time to a show to be captivated.
Their loss, I suppose...
Battlestar Galactica is the best show currently on TV. It certainly isn't lighthearted, but I wouldn't say it's "humorless" either. It's a very dark show, but they manage to inject moents of levity where they can.

I'm currently watching Deadwood (half-way through season 2) and it's also fantastic. And there's a ton of humor in it that I see. Al is one of the best, most complex characters on TV, and he's often hysterically funny, in his vile, horrible way.
I love Deadwood and BSG -- my current favorites, along with Veronica Mars -- and think both have plenty of hi-larious scenes and lines. I mean, given that the former is about a town on the edge of anarchy and the latter is about a people who were nearly exterminated. It's all about context. Not much goofiness to be found, but lots of sly lines and absurd juxtapositions which draw laughs from me. Of course, it takes a strong stomach for violence, despair and profanity to get there sometimes.

The problem with jumping into both shows in the middle is the same as for any arc-heavy show: Even knowing the basic outlines of the plot and characters, there are many subtle nods to things done and said that will be missed, and for their missing detract from a fuller appreciation. I was lucky enough to see "Pine Barrens" as my first Sopranos episode, which did not depend much on arc and which drew me immediately into the show. With Buffy, it wasn't until I went back and saw them from the beginning that I really appreciated it. Deadwood and BSG are even more arc-heavy than Buffy, I think, and really resist a viewer leaping in midstream. That also impairs newbies from appreciating some of the humor, which is very character-based in both shows.
Just wanted to chime in on this and admit that I once succumbed to the same prejudice against shows with wacky names, and so I didn't discover Buffy until mid season 2. But all it took to make me see the light was watching Surprise and Innocense.

I can still remember sitting there with my jaw open, watching Buffy kick Angel in the crotch, thinking: 'Oh, this isn't like other tv shows - this is something special'. I'm currently experiencing the same thing with BSG. After catching various bits and pieces of episodes over the past 2 seasons, but never tuning in for it, I've now gone back to the beginning, and I think it's safe to say I'm officially hooked.

I've yet to see the miniseries, it's coming in the post and I cant wait!!! But the first few episodes, and later ones I've also seen, have already proved to me that this show is another one of those special ones.

As for the whole 'frakking' issue, it did bother me at first, but I quickly got over it. For me, as with the language of Firefly, once I'm immersed in the world, I find it easier to accept it's idiosyncrasies. And I also think Baltar is frakking hi-larious whenever he has to 'multitask' as Six put it.

Oh and how could anyone not find Deadwood funny? My most recent example being in 3.1 when Trixie comes back from speaking with Adams and yells at Starr, to which he replies "I don't know, you said you were going to piss." That show constantly cracks me up, despite the darkness.

[ edited by werealljustfloating on 2006-06-21 02:32 ]

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