Greg, it might be possible for someone to write a more off-base, one-sided account of the two Galacticas than the blog you reference, but it would take serious effort. At this point, I don't know if you can unplug from the outrage and counter-outrage involved and just enjoy Ron Moore's reboot for what it has to offer, but it remains worth the attempt, should you choose to make it.
|Posted: 19 September 2018 at 2:57pm | IP Logged | 3
I agree that there was manipulation of fan expectations in making Starbuck female and Boomer Asian (and also female.) Public perception was apparently a factor in not making the new Colonel Tigh black, since the writers intended to make that character seriously flawed and alcoholic.
However, to mis-characterize those decisions as solely manipulative and made in favor of some conspiratorial agenda is warped. Starbuck's a woman because we hadn't seen a cigar-smoking loose cannon female lead on television yet, and it was sexually provocative to tease the possibility of her and Apollo as a couple. Did it tweak the noses of the original fans to do so? Undoubtedly, but they hardly comprised the majority of the audience.
Over in the "Shazam" thread I mention that the new guard at DC may have changed the character's name in part to razz the fans who've stuck around too long (like myself,) and I believe they did, but even in that case those fans are not the primary audience. Offending them gets you some controversy and press, but to say that is the only reason to do so is absurd. "Shazam" is still a name that sells comics, whether it is rightly or wrongly associated with the main character. Going with it as the new name for the hero was the path of least resistance. Bugging fans who'd be upset about such a thing (as I am) is just a bonus and an exceedingly minor one at that.
Starbuck's a woman in the new show because she's hot and viewers hadn't seen a drunken, card-table kicking character like that before. Boomer's female so she can stir the cauldron of sexual tension as well. Could they have promoted Athena to fighter pilot instead and had her be the one having sex with the crew chief? Maybe, but again, confounding expectations is a creative choice and not solely a political one. There was going to be a Boomer somewhere on the show. There was also going to be someone having sex with Tyrol. Why not square that circle and combine the two? To thwart some hated political agenda which was in its nascent form when the show was being created? To stand tall by the fundamental ethic of fidelity to source material?
No one does that. At all. Anywhere*. No one sets out to do this new thing exactly like the original thing, with no changes because, damn it, change is wrong and bad, and "we want no credit for any contribution we might have, but elected not to make." Only twice in recent memory can I recall any significant attempt at such a goal; One was Sin City, which referred back to the original comic as storyboards. The results were pretty good since the comic was conceived as an exercise in cinema on paper to begin with. The other was the shot-for-shot remake of Psycho (which did go ahead and hold frame to include a butt shot the original cut) The results were not so good.
Other than those two (out of how many adaptations in the past thirty years?), no one came to Hollywood to be a stenographer. Even those who made those two films didn't stick with the imitation game and continue to define their careers by carefully coloring inside the lines. Ron Moore and company looked at the material they had and tried to make it as relevant and edgy as they could. The central theme they conceived was the question of whether or not humanity deserved to survive the Cylon attack, and they explored the question in an often brutal and ugly fashion. Terrorism, suicide bombings, genocide, murder, lying, torture, and political corruption are not Social Justice issues. They're actual issues. The writer of that blog apparently cannot see beyond his exceedingly narrow P.O.V. to discern them as such.
Women on the new Galactica were not Mary Sues. Minorities were not righteously held above criticism (although they did veer sharply in that direction initially by changing Tigh.) Stories were not sanitized so that only the designated targets of social criticism suffered while all others were praised and empowered. The new Galactica told an ugly, harsh, and often surprising story of humanity doing its level best to outrun a murderous force looking to end its existence. That it managed humor and insight at the same time was one of its biggest surprises.
And yes, they did run out of ideas, and the conclusion of the series was either disappointing or claw-your-own-face-off-god-awful depending upon your level of investment, but not for any reason having to do with Social Justice. They made themselves a comfy rabbit hole with their notion of a "Final Five" and buried themselves inside it, taking the show down with them. Hard.
Speaking of rabbit holes, the fellow writing that blog has gotten far too deeply into his own angry theories to speak rationally on this topic. Any point he may have once had in opposing Political Correctness is now lost in his rhetoric, media conspiracies, and bile. His agenda seems far more reactionary and nonsensical than any his despised SJW conspiracies may have conjured.
I'd recommend giving the new Galactica series a try, Greg. The first mini-series is short, so your investment does not have to be great. Try to relax past the SJW sturm-und-drang and allow the show to define itself, rather than imposing viewpoints over the top of it. It might surprise you.
* Statistically speaking. Those vanishingly small few who might attempt to do so pose no numerical threat to the rest of the world. Fortunately.
Edited by Brian Hague on 19 September 2018 at 3:16pm