30 November 2011

The Place: Babylon-5

When it was first on television, Sir John and I watched B-5 regularly, and soon started taping episodes if we couldn't watch them live. We loved that show. Several years ago, he gave me Season 2 on DVD. We were on vacation at the time of the gift, and although we watched a few of its episodes then, once we were home again we lapsed. For the last couple of years, there's always been so much on the DVR that we rarely watch anything on DVD.

But over the Thanksgiving break, we broke out B-5 and have been galloping through that second season (I'm hoping to get more for Christmas this year). It's a great show. Watching a lot of episodes all at once makes clear how carefully planned it all was, and how significant clues were planted early on. You forget that kind of thing when you see one episode a week.

I'm loving it, but there's one thing about the show that's really making me crazy, and that's how . . . chick-flick-ish it is. I can't think of any better term for it. The human characters are always going on about their feeeeeelings. Every episode, someone says some variation of "Do you want to talk about it?" ("I'm here if you want to talk about it. If you want to talk, I'll listen. How do you feel about that?") Tough guys always have a marshmallow interior and have to reveal their vulnerabilities. Dysfunctional family situations can be fixed if a victim of bullying will just tell the bully s/he loves him. People in dysfunctional relationships of any kind regret not telling the other person they loved them before it was too late.

Well, I'm not that much of a chick. I'd like the humans to shut up and kick some alien ass. Or at least conspire and back-stab and mutter about dark political plots, or even dark mystical forebodings, the way G'Kar does. The "aliens" (except for Delenn) are way better about getting on with things instead of emoting.

Maybe it was a nineties thing. Maybe the writers read too many self-help books. Maybe it was an attempt to get female audiences into sci-fi series. Whatever. This female was begging Steven Franklin to grow a pair and tell his dad to fuck off instead of longing for his approval. Acting like a victim is the perfect way to get a bully to keep bullying you. With some people, using your words just doesn't work.

I guess there's a reason sci-fi and fantasy are shelved together.


clio's disciple said...

Heh. G'Kar might have been my favorite character on that show. I had some issues with the last season or two, but I liked season 2 fairly well.

Anonymous said...

This comic is about Battlestar Galactica, but it may still apply:


(This one is about babylon 5... http://www.sheldoncomics.com/archive/081119.html )