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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Would the three of you please kick my ass?"
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May 20 2008

Jewel Staite becomes full-time cast member of Stargate: Atlantis. "Staite described Keller as growing more comfortable with her place in Atlantis this season. "She steps up to the plate a little bit more," Staite said. "She's becoming more courageous.""

Is Stargate: Atlantis a good show?
Jewel was announced as being a full time cast member a few months ago, but I sure am looking forward to being able to watch the new season, I think her character has a lot of potential and it will be interesting to see where they take her.

Yup, I think Atlantis is a good show - you might want to catch up on the series before jumping in at season 5 though.
I also enjoy it though it should be said, it's full-on sci-fi and especially if you're coming to it without seeing previous years it might feel very "plotty" (some of the season 5 characters were also on 'Stargate: SG1' so for long time fans there's about 11 years of history and in-references to add to the character stuff).

Course, if you like "proper" sci-fi and Jewel (*holds up hand*) then it's cask matured win ;).

(I say "proper" because often the plot resolutions are based on the science in the episode and it heavily features the "scientist as hero" aspect of what you might call "old fashioned" sci-fi. Not in a lecturey way, just much more so than in e.g. 'Firefly' where the "sci" part of the sci-fi usually took a distant back seat. Both approaches have strengths and weaknesses, personally I like 'em both, mileage varies ;)
I think Atlantis is far better than SG-1 though, more character arc and development in Atlantis. I haven't followed SG-1 much, but I tend to get bored by episodes there. I haven't seen all of Atlantis, I started watching from mid season 4, and it works fine I think. It was actually Jewel's inclusion as recurring character that got me hooked.
This is good timing. After my latest run-through of Buffy, I decided to hit up SG: Atlantis. I just finished season 4 a couple days ago.

It's definately good, but not great. It doesn't have the multi-layered character develop than Whedon fans are probably used to. There were a lot of stand alone episodes, and sometimes felt very sterile. Character development is minimal (although there was a lot more of it in season 3 and 4). It's definately more Star Trek like than anything.

I think what hooked me was that I enjoyed the character of the chief scientist (Rodney McKay) and the head military guy (Colonel Shepherd). It won't be a series I rewatch over and over like Buffy/Angel/Firefly, but I'll probably continue with season 5 when it airs.
If the Whedonverse were meat and potatoes, the Gateverse would be nachos: a little cheesey, but with enough meat to keep you interested if you're not looking for a main dish. Sometimes you can even get addicted to the bits of spicy humor since it relies on the humor and the chemistry of its actors to keep the franchise going. Two friends recently started watching and both became obsessed with it, but I also know many people who think its the worst SF on TV.

Of course, I'm the person who's watched every single episode of both SG-1 and Atlantis so I'm a little biased. Nowhere near as good as the best of the Whedonverse, but occasionally there is an episode that comes close, which is why I keep watching.
Atlantis is fun Friday night viewing. And the boys are very very pretty.
Yep, me too cabri ;).

Like any other stand-alone heavy, syndication friendly TV show SG1 (and to a slightly lesser extent Atlantis) is a bit thin on character stuff but it is there, you just have to look a bit harder (which is where you gain by having seen them all). And don't expect the doom-laden sturm und drang of the Whedonverse, both shows wear their apocalypses very lightly (while still sometimes tackling surprisingly weighty subjects, real "meaning of life stuff" ;) - they're fun TV shows that don't so much slouch towards Bethlehem as jauntily saunter with a cheeky wink and a song in their heart ;).

(I also think, possibly apart from 'The X-Files', that SG1 did "funny episodes" better than just about any other genre show)
"I think what hooked me was that I enjoyed the character of the chief scientist (Rodney McKay)..."

David Hewlett is one of my favorite actors. Seen him in Cube, Nothing, A Dog's Breakfast, etc. Best part of the show.

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