Some BSG thoughts…
[EDIT: no spoilers past this episode please, we’re watching this for the first time…]
Ok, nearing the final lap of BSG (just watched “Escape Velocity” from Season 4), and I feel I have to ask: what the %%% happened to women on this show?
(cut because of spoilers)
At the moment, you seem to have a pick between a dying tyrannical leader (Laura Roslin), a stereotypical, amoral femme fatale (Tory), a totally unsympathetic one who turns on everyone and wants to have sex with her husband, but not the marriage (Starbuck), and a bunch of totally amoral Cylons (the Boomer turning against her own model, the totally fanatic Eights and Sixes on board the battleships who refuse to accept the result of a vote that goes against them).
Oh, and a set of wide-eyed religious fanatics portrayed in the worst way possible (Gaius’ church).
Every other woman seems to be either dead or completely gone from the show (Dualla, Sharon/Athena, Cally, Kat, Ellen Tigh), or to be designed to have a bit part (Racetrack).
The Six in Galactica’s brig is probably the only one with decent redeeming features (and she’s a Cylon).
So, obviously, you don’t get to be a woman AND to have anything remotely ressembling the moral high ground on this show. (I’ll not even get into the Cain/Kendra Shaw thing, which does a heck of a good job of implying that women are just bad at military command).
[yes, I’m feeling crabby because they killed off Cally, but not only]
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I thought the writers/producers really dropped the ball on a lot of stuff in season 4 and I totally agree with you about the female characters. But I’m not going to say anything else for spoiler reasons!
I have to agree with what you’re saying. The show set a high bar for it’s female characters and then let that priority fall by the wayside. There must have been so much pressure to wrap things up cleanly that they couldn’t adhere to the tremendous storytelling and character development they had in the first two seasons. My point has always been that the show-runner is not a closer. On the contrary, he’s a guy that just feeds the monster and keeps the network and the sponsors happy, week in and week out. To get the thing to actually finish, he had to go outside his comfort zone. Instead of causing something wonderful to happen, it may have caused some compromise.
I can’t wait for your observations on the conclusion!
Ha, glad I’m not the only one 🙂 Thanks for chiming in!
I suspected the time pressure might be the reason why it went so bad in the Fourth Season. Although to be honest, I didn’t think the show’s bar was that high when it came to female characters: I really *hated* that every female Cylon who showed up looked like a model fresh out of a fashion magazine, and the other females weren’t much better. (the only non-pretty one was Ellen Tigh, and I was really hard-pressed to find her any redeeming features until season 3).
I liked that BSC wasn’t afraid to engage a number of icky themes (terrorism vs freedom fighting, the need/self-justification of torture and whether it’s a good thing, race issues as personified by the Cylons). But my feeling about what I’ve seen so far is that its female characters were only good in comparison with the appalling standards for female characters on SF series…