Monday, February 22, 2010

Better Zoe?

Am I nuts, or is Alessandra Torresani (who plays Zoe on "Caprica") not that great an actor?  Yes, she's got a weird role to play on that show -- she's a teenage girl trapped in electronic format inside a giant robot, and she wants to stay hidden. So we get to see her as a girl, but others in the show see her as a machine.  But it just seems like this give her all sorts of opportunities to act with her face, and she doesn't rise to the occasion.  On the most recent episode, the sweet techno nerd was upgrading her breastplate, and commented, "Now that's a nice chest."  Not even a little eyebrow twitch from her.

Maybe I'm missing it.  After all, one of the things that distinguished "Galactica" was the creators' ability to extract rather good performances from actors not known for being good.  Think Richard Hatch.  So maybe Torresani really is doing what the director wants.  It just seems like it could be a lot more.


colin said...

FWIW, I just watched that episode and thought she gave an appropriate eyebrow raise. I was expecting a little something more, but I accepted it as authentic. I give the character leeway because she's not exactly a 16 year old girl.

Marc said...

She's playing a computer program, maybe that's part of it. And in unrelated, thread-hijacking Caprica commentary, not only do the cops use videotape for interviews, but the Caprica press use 1930s Speed Graphic-esque cameras with round flashbulbs and Super-Eight cameras, apparently, so I now think this is some sort of metaphor. Also Bike shops and classic motorcycle repair happen in old workshops, and people complain about a "maglev train" blowing up, but ride in a 1965 Lincoln as they do so. Which means something but I've no idea what.

Seth said...

Maybe you're right, CC, but I take issue with casting twenty-somethings as teenagers. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to get back to a classic "90210" featuring Dylan and Andrea.

Marc, the mixed technology thing is consistent with "Galactica." The ships could fly faster than light, but they communicated throughout the ship using WWII-style phones.

In particular with "Caprica," they seem to be creating some sort of mid-20th century aesthetic, possibly as a way of acknowledging that these events take place about sixty years before the events of "Galactica." So they drive old cars and Esai Morales wears a brimmed hat with his business suit. So just a few things -- virtual reality, interplanetary transportation, etc. -- are wildly advanced compared to Earth, but everything else is "Mad Men."

Marc said...

I'd like to take this one half-step further: on Galactica, they used old tech by choice, because the Cylons could defeat state-of-the-art tech. The Galactica had survived the initial surprise attack precisely because it was outmoded. Caprica is a little more subtle. It looks to me like fictional Caprica is a world that embraces tech in a more selective way that we do in the real world. It makes no sense to use a steam train, so they use a high-tech one. But there are a lot of arguments in favor of older cameras and even videotape over digital technology. In a show about the uneasy relationship to tech, I don't think this isn't mainly a question of the show wanting to look a certain way. I think they're saying -- though this may as well be my own preferences talking -- that adopting a technology simply because we can is the nut of the show's story, and on Caprica, some technologies have been rejected. Of course, I just spent an ungodly amount of money shipping 300lbs of LPs to Europe, so my opinion is more than marginal, it's actually insane.