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December 17 2007

TV Without Pity compares "Razor" main character to Dawn. This is just a couple of lines. Jane Espenson was the co-executive producer on "Razor."

Jane: "So did you enjoy 'Razor,' the new Battlestar Galactica movie? It represents the last bit of Galactica in which I was not involved -- the last bit I can watch as a pure fan."
I still haven't watched Razor since I saw it in the extremely uncomfortable Auburn theater at the advanced screening. I was in so much pain I couldn't even tell if it was good or if it really sucked. Now I have no interest in watching it. Eh, I'll get to it eventually.

It's nice to see comments about Dawn not be negative about for once.

[ edited by Electric Spacegirl on 2007-12-18 00:28 ]
Really? Linking for 1 line in a 100 page TWOP recap? Slight exaggeration...

The problem with Razor? Narrative redundancy. Except for this character we'd never met and never really needed to meet, we knew all this stuff before.
we knew all this stuff before

Uh. All? Not so much.
I really enjoyed "Razor." I've been a big BSG fan. When I posted it, I didn't know Jane wasn't involved.
Jacob's recaps are awesome, although his Doctor Who recaps would often leave me (and, as the forums would seem to indicate, lots of others) in tears. And not just the ones you'd expect, like "Father's Day."

Jacob also wrote one of the essays in Serenity Found.
Is it weird that I enjoyed reading Jacob's recap much more than I enjoyed watching Razor? Not the first time that's happened with a BSG episode, either. Good lord but that man can write.
we knew all this stuff before

Uh. All? Not so much.

Yeah, the stuff with Starbuck was new and significant (moreso in the extended version). It's true though that most of the Caine/Pegasus stuff itself had already been mentioned.

Guess it's always going to be a problem with a flashback episode. We know who lives already (so we can also guess who dies) which makes suspense hard to muster. It becomes an exercise in cool moments (of which 'Razor' had several) and filling in some incidental blanks.
To be honest, I agree that most of the narrative was redundant, at least in the televised version. And I don't feel that the new information does much more to explain Cain's actions. The problem, too, is that it's not just that we know characters will live--we know that characters will come away pretty much unaffected from the experience.

Jacob is the man who did the Serenity recap, which was the first TWOP review I actually dug. (The Buffy ones are not so much from the handful that I've read, although I suppose I'm generalizing. It's a combination of disliking the uber-negative tone, and generally finding that the reviews didn't have much to say.) But Jacob does seem pretty damn insightful.
Yeah, nice recap. Insightful interpretations.

I liked Razor. Electric SpaceGirl I think you will find it worth watching.
Except for this character we'd never met and never really needed to meet, we knew all this stuff before.

Who's this "we" you're talking about? Yeah, we knew the broad outlines of the Pegasus story, so what? I liked seeing how the story played out on a different ship. How did Caine become a monster? The tie-in with the first hybrid gave us new information about the Cylons and where they are coming from.
And I may not have NEEDED to meet Kendra Shaw, but I loved meeting her and seeing her journey. Great character.

And can I say how much I loved that the story focused on women. It happened that I watched this right after the debate on the visual portrayal of women in the Angel comic, so it was on my mind, and the contrast couldn't have been plainer. Here we have women characters being treated as real beings, as individuals placed in an untenable situation and reacting as people, good or bad. Not portrayed as adolescent eye candy. This is a show that genuinely respects women.
"Razor" was really good, but it wasn't up to par for BSG. Like I said, it was still really good, and even subpar BSG is better than almost anything else on TV.
I loved Razor and think Jacob's BSG (and Serenity) recaps are approaching gibberish, so I guess I'm in the minority here.

I don't think Razor was redundant at all - it wasn't about having massive amounts of new information imparted to us, it was about watching things unfold to a desperate and terrible outcome, and I thought it did that beautifully.
I loved Razor and think Jacob's BSG (and Serenity) recaps are approaching gibberish, so I guess I'm in the minority here.

IMO, Jacob goes in and out of communication range and coherence. I empathize, for some reason. I didn't think his recap of Razor was particularly cogent, but still enjoyed reading it. As for those who didn't enjoy the same narrative from a different perspective - really? They can take my money for the rest of my life just making movies of the same events from different angles, if Razor's an example.
Razor may not have been BSG's finest moment, but as has been pointed out, the worst of BSG is better than most anything else on TV.
I personally loath and detest TVWP, IMO it exists only so the reviewers can read their own words, which are generally a total waste of time for anyone else to read.
All they seem to care about is stroking their own egos, out-snarking each other and generating fan wars. I've read much better, more insightful reviews on a number of fan sites.
I normally agree with you, Shey, about most of the Television Without Pity recaps, but at least Jacob isn't trying to outsnark anyone; basically he is writing what he thinks the writers are doing, and the hidden meanings that he thinks the show is trying to convey.

As far as his reviews in general, I've only read a few, but I like them--it's not so much that he's always coherent, or even that he always writes well, but I think he always has interesting things to say, whether or not I agree. And he comes out with gems. Some sections from his Serenity recap (apologies for language):
And this is the point of the show, and the film: petty criminals or not, the men and women of Serenity, of all the worlds outside the Core Planets, are people, not extremes, not symbols, and they have to live somewhere on that spectrum [from the control of the Alliance to the chaos of the Reavers], which means they're fucked either way.

There's a cruelty that pertains to this, because Mathias can't be expected to understand or approach this situation from the Operative's highly-developed code of bushido or whatever, because of the sword slowly sliding through his guts and stuff, but it's essential to the Operative that he maintain his point of view regardless of what happens next. Compare the Mayor on Buffy, his often-hilarious obsession with etiquette and germophobia -- everybody builds these walls so they can live, but only heroes can see over them.

Mal, stricken, steps aside to let Simon investigate her. Outside, Jayne submits that if she "goes woolly again, we're gonna have to put a bullet to her." Split-screen Mal and River, both speaking the line: "It's crossed my mind." There's a significance to the Watcher/Slayer relationship here that brings the Gollum stuff back in, which is basically that she serves as an anima projection that carries the shadow. I promise that I won't bring up the Jung stuff after this, but it's another angle on the central conflict of the movie, which is that the violence of Mal's anger at the shackles of the Alliance is expressed wildly through the outward violence she implies, the "meddling" that she, and her brother Reavers, embody. Like Giles, he exists at cross-purposes to the prosperous governing body, the wizards, who only want to send her out like Ariel, lion of God, to do their bidding -- but he doesn't agree with that either. So what do you do with a tool you're bound to protect, if you can't use it the way you're supposed to? From the First Slayer on, it's the girl -- the super-powered girl -- that carries the demon, so that the Watcher doesn't have to. But if she becomes a danger to the society she exists to create/patrol, where does that leave the Watcher? He can't kill her -- she's part of his soul. She's the psyche, the butterfly. This is a story about how they're inextricably bound, and about how Mal has to protect her, without controlling her. To hold the butterfly in his hand without crushing it. Not because he hates the Alliance, but because he loves her. If he can make that work, he'll know salvation, but if he ever figures out that balance within himself, he will know grace.

Gibberish? Maybe, but it certainly makes me think. If he could not only have these ideas but follow them through coherently, it'd be perfect.

[ edited by WilliamTheB on 2007-12-19 12:20 ]
OK, WilliamTheB, Jacob gets exempted from my general TVWP loathing. Those are some very interesting quotes.
I think Jacob has a wee bit of the poet in him, which sometimes trumps coherence. Always some interesting insights though.

(and among other things, I liked his comment
Adama tells him it's a search and rescue, but as far as getting into a firefight, he should use his judgment: "This is your command." Adama jumps back and forth across that line so many times in this story, it's unbelievable. Or, I mean, it would be, except this is Adama we're talking about. I'm sure it all makes sense to him.

cos that's exactly what I was thinking when I watched it. It's all "Belay that order" until the really tough call then suddenly it's "Hey, son, it's totally your command, i'm just here for the snacks and to watch those cool doors open and close" ;).
All I want to know is...when is Season 3 coming out on DVD? After that, I'll watch Razor.
It's already out in the UK madmolly, don't you guys have it yet ?

(there's also a S1-3 box set which is - comparatively - great value)
Nope, Saje, we've yet to see S3 hit disc over here. It's not even listed on Video ETA, and there's no release date on its Amazon page.
The reason for delay for S3 appears to be to let it act as a tie in to airing of S4. There was an article on that quotes the guys over at TheDigitalBits on this issue.

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