Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My daughter, the toaster

Wow, my Phantom Menace post has generated 21 comments so far.  That's a record for this blog.  Probably reveals a good deal about the nature of my readership.

At any rate, while we're on the subject of prequels that purport to show the origins of great cinematic badasses, I'm pleased to report that Caprica does it right.  The first three episodes, which take place about six decades before the Galactica series starts, have chronicled the creation of the first Cylons on Caprica. Don't read on if you don't want to know...

Well, I won't say too much, except to note that it was a stroke of brilliance that the creation of the Cylons, which will eventually lead to the near-annihilation of humanity, began with an act of love -- a grieving father trying to resurrect his daughter.  Yes, it's also an act of profound hubris, making the punishment somewhat justified, but given Graystone's talents and resources, would any of us not follow in his path under the same circumstances?

Also, good choice to cast Esai Morales as Bill Adama's father.  (Weren't Morales and Edward James Olmos brothers in Mi Familia?)  The show's handling of ethnicity is quite interesting, with the Taurons (the Adamas' ethnic group) functioning as a kind of Arab/Latino blend.  Caprica, with its advanced technologies and beautiful cities, is clearly meant to represent the U.S., while immigrants from other worlds live in modestly-assimilated enclaves and complain about discriminatory treatment by the Caprican government.

The show's discussion of religion and terrorism is great.  The pilot begins with a terrorist act committed by a group of secret monotheists -- a precursor of the religion the Cylons will follow decades later.  Caprica and Galactica remain probably the most mature and thoughtful fictional treatments of 9/11 that television has seen.

It's not totally obvious where the plot is going at this point, but it appears that deep inside every Cylon beats the heart of a brilliant but bratty teenage girl, which makes all kinds of sense.


marc said...

I'm annoyed Graystone's sports team is called the Bucs. The only other team we know about is the Seabucks, where Anders will star, and for which Adama was a fan. Which probably makes sense, his dad would have hated that team. Are all cylon-linked teams called the Bucs? Did Starbuck cheer for the Bucs? Also why do they have crazy brain VR but use videotape to record police interrogations? Also I hope Landry kicks the winning field goal.

Anonymous said...

You've made a mondegreen.

Anders will play for the Caprica Buccaneers, or C-Bucs. The other team we know about is the Picon Panthers, of which Bill Adama was a fan.

They have crazy brain VR but use videotape to record interrogations because.... uh... when you see something like that, a wizard did it.

Seth Masket said...

The C-Bucs thing makes sense. Or maybe they just pull an Accenture thing and alter their name to distract from their association with the Graystones.

I can't see the Lions beating the Panthers, but maybe Cylon Zoe will shoot off JD's throwing arm.

marc said...

[palm slaps forehead]

Anonymous said...

The worst part is that now I wonder whether that other team are the Pee Panthers.

Seth Masket said...

Dayum, Marc. Nice call.