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Podcast: Farscape and Kickstarter

Posted on 02 August 2012 by VinnieAve

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The End of Farscape Season 1

Posted on 07 July 2012 by VinnieAve

Vinnie's Take

Nerve: When we last left our crew Aeryn had been seriously wounded and we now find out this was a near fatal blow that sends our crew into the grips of the Peacekeepers. We get introduced to a creepy new villain, Scorpius. From what I’ve seen this is the kind of villain that I like, the cold, calculating type. We have some old characters come back in this one (Gilina mainly) to help out Crichton and Chiana. I don’t quite like the Crichton is so in love with Gilina when most of the season we’ve been having a buildup of the Crichton/Aeryn thing.

The Hidden Memory: We see the entire crew go out to try and save Crichton from the clutches of the Peacekeepers but really the best part of this episode is the interaction of Crais (who came back last episode but really I don’t quite remember what exactly happened in each so read this two as part of the same review). We also saw the expansion of Stark, who we thought has gone mad from torture in the previous episode but is in fact quite sane. I like the characters that were introduced here, they give some new momentum to the show, which had been losing steam. Also we get a new ship, Moya’s baby

Born to Be Wild: Well the show has gone back to its roots, hiding and running from Peacekeepers. This time we end up a planet full of plants. We meet two sentient life forms, a botanist and another who eats bones. The episode is a constant he said, she said until we get the truth and the bone-eater is released on a Peacekeeper ship.

Family Ties: FUCK YOU FOR NOT FOLLOWING UP ON THE BONE-EATER STORY! So she met Scorpius last episode and was never mentioned again. Rygel betrays the group which sets into motion the action of this episode, when Crais leaves the Peacekeepers and joins up with the team. Talyn (Moya’s baby) gets introduced to Crais who steals the ship at the end. There is a general feeling of dread in this episode, which makes me think that they didn’t expect a second season.

DM's POV:

Nerve: Where to start? We see some old faces again and John gets to do a “PeaceKeeper” accent again so right there I'm happy. And what makes this one of the best episodes of the season is that we get the villain we deserve, one Harvey S. Scorpius. Creepy, intelligent and ruthless means some good times ahead if you like drama. I love that we're pushing the John/Aeryn/Gilina love triangle hard because, let's face it, we can't have this dangling over our heads during the finale.

The Hidden Memory: I would say this is part 2 of Nerve except that this entire block of episodes seems like one giant season finale. Moya gets her baby and we have some real pull togetherness amongst the crew to ave John from the hands of Scorpius and Crais. I want to point out that this block of episodes hands down makes this season. Every one makes the rest of the season pale in comparison.

Born to be Wild: A brief interlude to ease us into the finale, Born to be Wild gives us some interesting time with the characters while still managing to maintain a good interest in the fallout from the last episode. Not my favorite episode but a solid interlude.

Family Ties: Ok one of my all time favorite episodes, I feel like this one pulls all of the character development into focus and allows a group of wanted fugitives to be a family. Sappy? Perhaps but no less true. The drama inherent in the episode along with the acting makes this and it's follow-up episode in Season two to be a fantastic couple hours of television. I find myself wondering if Vincenzo enjoyed this episode because if he didn't then I don't think this is the show for him.

Well that's it. I'll see you all for the wrap up!

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Being a Better Geek: Penultimate Farscape Season 1

Posted on 30 June 2012 by VinnieAve

Well a little but late and a slight bit short episode quality wise but still some strong showings I think.  Reading Vin’s reactions I see we are, as usual, in disagreement about some things.  I often wonder if forcing someone to watch stuff like we do takes away from the enjoyment at all or makes us more critical.  I suppose we will never know.  In any case, enjoy!

DM’s Take

A Human Reaction: I do like this episode but it can be difficult for me to watch.  To start, the big reveal is hinted at too strongly from the start.  It’s difficult to not know what’s going on the first time you see it let alone the 12th.  Well maybe not exactly what is going on but definitely the gist.  The episode also asks the question of would this happen to alien visitors.  I do not really know for sure but I suppose I give it even odds.  I think my favorite part of the episode has to be the scene where John tries to go into the ladies room.  Something about it always makes me crack up. At the end of the day, I think this is an interesting ponderance of an episode that has lasting ramifications throughout the series.

Through the Looking Glass: OK nothing much happens in this episode global plot wise and for once I really really love an episode with this aspect.  We get an episode where the writers are thinking outside the box in terms of science, which is very good.  There’s some issues with the Moya and the baby vs the crew which I think are probably warranted.  I do not know but something about this episode rings true with the characters, the action, and the story.  Oh and John saves everyone again.

A Bugs Life: It is not quite a filler episode but its close.  See we needed something that happened in this episode to happen but other than that, it is just somewhat blah.  That said I love it when John pops on the ole Peacekeeper accent for an episode.

Vincenzo’s Reaction

So we’re reaching the end of the season and the end of another Being a Better Geek project. So here we go:

A Human Reaction

I was hoping that at some point in the show that we would see what was going on back on Earth. This episode has Crichton return home in a nice dramatic moment with the characters losing a close friend. However, we he gets back he’s put in prison, there’s a neat little episode that tries to be a neat character study but fails a little bit throughout.

Through the Looking Glass

This was a pretty standard action episode that doesn’t quite stand out from the rest of the series or in any way overall. The ship gets split into four universes and in each they have to do the same thing to get out of this mess. There is also something with aliens in there, this is was in pretty forgettable.

A Bug’s Life

I’m sure you’ve all seen John Carpenter’s The Thing, right. Well take that movie and remove any audience uncertainty from the story, that’s this episode in a nutshell. We had some Peacekeepers come back and not really be interesting, they were the roughnecks of the Peacekeepers, something we’ve seen before in other things

 

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Being a Better Geek: Farscape Episodes 13-15

Posted on 23 June 2012 by VinnieAve

Vin’s Take

Rhapsody in Blue

This episode had some nice visuals. I liked the way that they portrayed the union of two beings. It was nice to see them delve a little into everyone’s past (mostly Zhann and Crichton). We get to really start to understand what Zhaan did to get herself in prison. It was interesting to get a little background into her priesthood. Not exactly a great story however.

Jeremiah Crichton

There are two things that are notable about this episode. First it clearly establishes that the cast is one solid team now, not just a bunch of people thrown together. The rest of this episode is crap. Utter crap with some of the silliest outfits we’ve seen in a show that I am pretty sure is built out of silly outfits. Beyond just silly costumes we had a pretty overly obvious stab at religion from the writers. This is common ground for sci-fi and I don’t usually mind it but it was pretty ham-fisted.

Durka Returns

This is the first episode that is a real follow-up to another. A while ago we had Rygel confront his past, well now that corpse that he confronted wasn’t actually the corpse of the person he thought and now he’s back. Not the best. Although it looks like we are geting a new character out of this one so that might keep the story from getting to much in a rut, I hope this works out in the last stretch of the season. This rounded out a pretty average week overall.

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Farscape Week 3 Episodes 7-9

Posted on 09 June 2012 by VinnieAve

Some interesting episodes from our quest into Farscape this week.  Hopefully you are following at home and have some interesting comments to offer as well.

Vincenzo’s Take

I, E.T.

Every so often we are reminded that Crichton is a total geek. This is episode does a good job of that. Moya lands on a planet with people who haven’t yet discovered space flight and haven’t met another species just yet (like earth). Crichton meets these people who look oddly like humans (this is pointed out, not me complaining). This was a fun one for me because it poked fun at things like aliens looking human even though they evolved on another planet.

That Old Black Magic

So it seems there is magic in this universe as well as super science (this always confuses me), Zhaan’s abilities are magic, not a biologic power, and they can be used for healing or harming. This all comes up because an evil wizard captures Crichton and then summons Crais to have them fight in a maze, this is starting to sound like a Star Trek: TOS episode. In this we get some backstory on Crais, another one where we build on the characters and it’s not just an adventure. This show has promise.

DNA Mad Science

This is was kind of wacky, mainly for the odd use of the word DNA, just to mean genetic info, if all those species had DNA I was be highly surprised. Beyond that this was pretty cool because usually the characters have a universal goal but now they’ve been pitted against each other, at first it’s D’argo, Rygel, and Zhaan taking off Pilot’s arm (which he only seems to passive aggressively mention to them). After this the other three are pitted against each other. There’s also a weird bat creature but that story isn’t nearly as important or interesting

 

Dm’s Take

I, E.T. : OK this was a nice one to have John realize how far he has really traveled. Would it have done well as the second episode as originally intended? I am not sure about that.  However, as I said it does well to really push some of John’s issues that he may be glossing over due to the extraordinariness of his experiences.

That Old Black Magic: I adore this episode.  Zhaan has some incredible character development (not to mention a great flirty scene) and we have some good old-fashioned action.  The episode pace keeps moving well and that helps a great deal.  On top of that, we get to see Crais again (who also has some intriguing character development…hey wait, isn’t he supposed to be a mindless villain?!), helping us not to forget that he is our Captain Ahab.

DNA Mad Scientist: I am really not a fan of this episode.  It has some character development and does put you in touch with the foreignness of alien psychology but because of this, the characters seem at points to act out of character.  I am intrigued that this is the first but definitely not the last point in the series that indicates DNA carries with it some form of genetic knowledge.  hmmmm

 

That’s it for this week folks.  See you next week same space time same space channel….(also lets hear it for Vincenzo who presented to a full panel room this weekend at AnimeNext.  Hip hip hooray!)

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Be a Better Geek: Farscape Season 1 E4-E6

Posted on 01 June 2012 by DM

DM’s Take

Throne For a Loss: This seems a fairly average episode for the first season. Definitely not my favorite by any means. I’m not a fan of the constant bickering that carries through most of the first season. It comes on strong and keeps hammering at you. As such this is an episode that I was glad to get past.

PK Tech Girl: What do you know?! There are sane Peacekeepers out there. We get some character development with Rygel and Aeryn and a little romance as well (not between Rygel and Aeryn). My little space adventuring party works as a team here and that is pretty cool. Plus upgrades for Moya.

Thank God It’s Friday Again: This is a first (at least in Netflix viewing order), we get a somewhat humorous episode. As much as Farscape ever gets at least. D’Argo has left the ship in a rage and gone to a local planet to become a beatnik. Worse, the beatnikitude seems to be catching. John as always gets into some hijinks in an effort to save everyone and Aeryn gets to continue to break out of her role as a warrior. This is a great example of what makes Farscape great.

Vinnie’s Take

Throne For a Loss:

If someone asked me what was the most generic thing in American sci-fi this episode would be the go to piece. We have a major character kidnapped, there’s a cursed weapon. It’s got nothing original, it feels like a bland adventure, nothing stand-out happened.

PK Tech Girl: I was not thrilled by this one, it wasn’t bad but really the best part of this one was Rygel, it was good to see him severely humbled due to his past. This is the first time I can say this show had promise.

Thank God It’s Friday Again: This was sadly the best of the bunch, even though it was the moral episode. We have a group of people who are traditional agrarian and a group of outsiders come in and command them to plant this drug, that makes everything seem pleasant. It’s not bad, not great it seems like a decent but not standout episode of other better sci-fi shows.

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Be a Better Geek: Farscape Season 1 E1-3

Posted on 24 May 2012 by DM

It came as something of a shock that we would be doing Farscape for this segment of Be a Better Geek. Frankly I hadn’t considered it. At all. It was a given in my mind that a geek of Vincenzo’s calibre had seen the show that redefined space operas for me. Obviously he has not and so we take you down the rabbits hole that is the Farscape Universe. Like many series, Farscape has a weak first season. That said, it is well worth watching. I bid you to settle in and discover, along with John Crichton, the wonders of the universe.

 

Premiere

I love this episode because with little background it dumps you into an unknown world moving at a dizzying pace..the viewer, much like John, is left to try and pick up the pieces of what’s going on. The effects are fantastic for a lower budget show and the cast is superb…except for Captain Aha…..ahem Crais.

Exodus From Genesis

Here we find John still on the biomechanoid Moya with little idea of how things work in the universe and feeling like the rest of the crew finds him to be an idiot at best. Queue a John takes charge episode (actually most of them are like that when it comes down to it). Character development is rampant in this episode as we find out more about D’Argo’s biases and Peacekeeper ways. This is the first episode where you see that glimmer of understanding that what you are actually watching is a space rpg with a new party.

Back and Back and Back to the Future

Three cheers for scifi tropes! After an accident John begins seeing the future and must navigate these visions in order to save everything. Netflix does us no good service by placing this episode in the third slot as opposed to the fifth where it should be. In an episode where you can play with killing characters and causing all sorts of emotional mischief we just don’t have enough attachment yet. I think this episode could have waited even a bit past five to the point where we have a bit deeper of a connection to the crew of Moya. Oh and the Aeryn vs Matala combat scene has got to be the worst thing on record. What is that martial art called? Get as much of your body exposed as possible fu?

Premier

This is the beginning of yet another Sci-fi series. I think that the worst part of this being a better geek think is sitting though a first episode every few weeks. This one has a fun premise. Earth scientist John Crichton is testing a personally space shuttle is the near past of earth. Clearly not the present day since that is mighty past-tech. He is hurled into another part of the universe where Moya (a living ship) is part of a prisoner escape. Among this group of escapees is a warrior, an anarchist/priest, a betrayed royal, and some sort of space turtle. Due to an accidental collision when being flung out of a worm-hole our main character becomes the sworn enemy of the villain.
This show seems pretty generic for now. What makes it stand out is its visual style and use of one of my favorite things in the world, practical effects. I haven’t ever watched this show before but it is super-recognizable due to its use of Muppets for a few of the characters and the make-up. This allows a more striking visual than most sci-fi shows out there.  Sadly, there is also a lot of cg in this show which do not age nearly as well as the puppets and make-up.

Exodus from Genesis

This wasn’t that strong. There was a bit of a cool idea. There was a good use of the time, if not it might have gone a little fast, trying to get a lot done in the time. So we have an invasion of space cockroaches that need a certain environment that is not good for some members of the crew. It wasn’t particularly strong but it wasn’t particularly bad. I’m enjoying some stuff but not really loving it. We had some use of the characters bodies. Given that this is the Netflix order, this might not have been the best second episode. It seems like we already know the characters a little better and it might have been better a little later in the season after getting some more character interaction.

Back and Back and Back to the Future

So I’m a sucker for working with time travel. This episode was enjoyable to me. There are two guests in this week’s episode visiting Moya. It kind of reminds me of one of my favorite books, Slaughterhouse 5. I like the time can change. Again, these episodes are not that strong but still enjoyable. There is a difference between good which anyone can enjoy and decent that I can enjoy if its hits some of the right bottoms, this hits some of my buttons. These are probably about the same quality as Buffy but Sci-fi adventure> teen horror/comedy.

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