Contracting SyFyllis
March 16, 2009 4:33 PM   Subscribe

Sci Fi has a new name. Now it's SyFy. The Sci Fi Channel is distancing itself from its geek demographic by rebranding its network. The former SyFy Portal website (a nerd news outlet) has been rebranded "Airlock Alpha" after selling the name to an "undisclosed recipient".
posted by crossoverman (257 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thys new name ys a byt stupyd.
posted by tapeguy at 4:34 PM on March 16, 2009 [14 favorites]


Worst idea EVER. I know this is real, but it sounds like a poorly-conceived practical joke.

/parade-raining
posted by sarabeth at 4:36 PM on March 16, 2009


I don't really understand how they expect this to distance itself from their demographic. Except maybe through alienation.
posted by Lemurrhea at 4:37 PM on March 16, 2009 [15 favorites]


Yt ys solely forre Medievalle scyence fyctionne. Suche as Chaucer's Ye Canterburry Tayles YN SPAYCE!!
posted by yoink at 4:37 PM on March 16, 2009 [90 favorites]


On the other hand, alien nation was a pretty good show.
posted by Lemurrhea at 4:37 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Now it's SyFy. The Sci Fi Channel is distancing itself from its geek demographic by rebranding its network.

You're doing it wrong.
posted by dersins at 4:38 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


You know, unless they basically abandon their entire format and start showing episodes of Real World, sporting events, and the occasional Chick Flick, they're always going to be primarily appealing to the geek demographic.

Also, this won't work, because the non-geeks won't realize that they're spelling "syfy" wrong.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:38 PM on March 16, 2009


Or maybe SyFy will now be exclusively by and for womyn yn scynce fyctyon.
posted by sarabeth at 4:38 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


As far as I can see the name change brings themselves closer to their geek demographic, if anything.
posted by pombe at 4:38 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


From now on, I shall call this channel "Siffy".
posted by specialagentwebb at 4:38 PM on March 16, 2009 [12 favorites]


Given the way BSG's been going I thought they had already re-branded it... Si-Cry!!! I'm here all week, tell your friends...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:39 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's excyting and new!!
posted by various at 4:39 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


obligatory what

One negative repercussion of web culture is that names like "Wii" and "Twitter" and "Syfy" start to sound reasonable. I don't understand what in tarnation the internal marketing team was going for here. Is it supposed to rhyme with "hyphy"?
posted by arcanecrowbar at 4:40 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is how I imagine the meeting going down:
"Hey we need a non-generic name for branding to enforce copyright, googleability, and non-TV marketing"
...
"But we shouldn't completely throw our branding money away and create an entirely new name."
...
"How about a compromise! Let's just change Sci-Fi to be more 'text-y', it'll be gr8!"

*gag* Fuck it, no one needs that channel after Battlestar finishes anyway. I give it less than 1 year until we get a reality show.
posted by amuseDetachment at 4:40 PM on March 16, 2009


Ugh. This is disgusting. I remember when I was excited, years ago, that our cable company finally got Sci-Fi, so I could watch all the good shows.

Now, I kind of like to forget the channel exists, after ending Atlantis because it was "too expensive" to make.
posted by strixus at 4:41 PM on March 16, 2009


Finally, a station that will play music videos.
posted by Flunkie at 4:41 PM on March 16, 2009 [6 favorites]


Is it supposed to be pronounced 'see-fee' ? Otherwise I don't see the point, verbally it's still the same.
posted by mannequito at 4:41 PM on March 16, 2009


I give it less than 1 year until we get a reality show.

America's Next Top Comic Book Guy.
posted by dersins at 4:42 PM on March 16, 2009 [7 favorites]


It still won't change the crappy movies they put out.

Oh Noes! A giant snake! etc....

What garbage, they give science fiction bad name.

On the other hand, BSG and the like were good.
posted by dibblda at 4:43 PM on March 16, 2009


There used to be an ISP in Finland with the domain www.sci.fi. Which I thought was quite clever at the time.

Carry on.
posted by slimepuppy at 4:43 PM on March 16, 2009


Apryl Fools Dy is nyt hyre yt.
posted by cmgonzalez at 4:45 PM on March 16, 2009


Seriously? This isn't a joke?
posted by odinsdream at 4:45 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Eeew. All I can think is Syfy= Syphy = gee, where did this rash come from?
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 4:46 PM on March 16, 2009


Yeah, how about more than one show (BSG) worth watching on your network?
posted by orthogonality at 4:46 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


FAIL
posted by Arbac at 4:46 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


I can't be the only one who took one look at Dave Howe (see the second link) and thought, "There's a man who deserves a cockpunch."

And that was before I read that he was the president of the Network Soon To Be Formerly Known As SciFi.
posted by RakDaddy at 4:47 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Seriously? This isn't a joke?

What you need to do is follow their new tagline: Imagine Greater
posted by crossoverman at 4:47 PM on March 16, 2009


"If you ask people their default perceptions of Sci Fi, they list space, aliens and the future. That didn’t capture the full landscape of fantasy entertainment: the paranormal, the supernatural, action and adventure, superheroes."– Dave Howe distancing himself from having anything to do with space and spaceships again, which after all are a barrier to entry for some viewers.

Also: "Imagine Greater"?
posted by Artw at 4:48 PM on March 16, 2009


I still think they should have called it ΨΦ.
posted by Mwongozi at 4:48 PM on March 16, 2009 [62 favorites]


This is dumb as a bag of hammers. Way to ruin your brand. Besides, who cares if "Sci-Fi" is geeky. Geeks have a lot of money!
posted by brundlefly at 4:48 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Ugh. I guess they have to follow the profits, but they just moved away from the demographic that includes me.

I sadly wait for their programming to follow suit.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 4:48 PM on March 16, 2009


So, let me get this straight. To ditch the nerd image, they bought the name from a nerd news outlet?

Uh, yeah... sometimes truth is stranger than fyction.
posted by spiderskull at 4:49 PM on March 16, 2009


Also, what orthogonality said. I find it funny as hell that NBC is pushing Kings, when it would probably make for a pretty good entry into NSTBFKAS's lineup. But, no. Howe wants to push more Ghost Hunters and Chupasquitoconda and the watered-down Eureka (which I thought was fun and engaging and had enough narrative goods in its first season). Kings is probably going to get yanked from NBC, and Dave Howe will still not have received his cockpunch.
posted by RakDaddy at 4:49 PM on March 16, 2009


Still, the Battlestar Galactica conclusion is going to be 2 hours of awesome space fighting on top of a black hole! And not a bunch of crying, honest!
posted by Artw at 4:50 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


specialagentwebb, that's how I pronounce it, too. Except that's my pet name for syphilis, which will be confusing for those who follow my hip blog about STDs.

And now SyFy will have to compete with Sify.com (India news). Amusingly enough, even Entertainment Weekly was unimpressed, but had the following impressive challenge:
Let's take a pledge, PopWatchers, all of us together: Let's stop apologizing for sci-fi. Let's stop playing into the idea that sci-fi is fringe, or a guilty pleasure. Let's rightfully claim fantasy and superhero literature as part of the sci-fi family -- a family tree whose roots and branches are so intertwined that it's impossible to tell where one begins and another ends. We may not be able to agree on a strict definition of sci-fi or speculative fiction, but we can agree that while it may not be synonymous with fantasy or superhero stories, there's a lovely gray area where the genres overlap.
This, from the site that brings you news about Au Pair 3 and the reality show Tough Love.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:51 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Si-Cry!!!

All Craprica, all the time!
posted by Artw at 4:52 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Make that "hip blog about STDs and speculative fiction".
posted by filthy light thief at 4:52 PM on March 16, 2009


Ymagyn Grytyr? The Welsh are taking over!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:53 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


They sold their name? They're on that short, one way bobsled ride into the septic tank of history.
posted by jamjam at 4:53 PM on March 16, 2009



Whoever came up with this idea must be a bright.
posted by the bricabrac man at 4:54 PM on March 16, 2009


FAIL FYYL
posted by Artw at 4:54 PM on March 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


Is this "The Plan" we've been hearing so much about?
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:54 PM on March 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


They can call themselves Mrs. Falbo's Tiny Town for all I care. But if they get rid of ECW, someone's getting slammed through the Spanish announcer's table.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:54 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


So say wy all.
posted by cortex at 4:56 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think this probably has more to do with the fact that you can't really trademark 'scifi'.
posted by empath at 4:58 PM on March 16, 2009


Terrible decision. This reeks of an out-of-control marketing department.
posted by aerotive at 4:59 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I give it less than 1 year until we get a reality show.

*ahem*
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 5:00 PM on March 16, 2009


The Artist Formerly Known as Sci Fi
posted by Flunkie at 5:00 PM on March 16, 2009


Enough already! I hereb_ ban the letter _ from being used in this thread an_more!
posted by mannequito at 5:01 PM on March 16, 2009


"You are the weakest link...goodbye!" *AIRLOCKED*
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:02 PM on March 16, 2009


The sooner BBC America becomes the first-run venue for Who the better.
posted by Artw at 5:04 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Sy-ay-ay.

Or: sygh.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:05 PM on March 16, 2009


...not that we're getting any in the US for the next billion years in nerd time, anyway. I don't think there's ever been such a huge gap in shows-featuring-spaceships on TV before... maybe after the first run of Star Trek: TOS or something...

Oh, there's fucking Stargate I guess. Fuck that.
posted by Artw at 5:06 PM on March 16, 2009


"You are the weakest link...goodbye!" *AIRLOCKED*

Laura Roslin can host!
posted by crossoverman at 5:07 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:19 PM on March 16, 2009


Other examples of network decay.
posted by kurumi at 5:20 PM on March 16, 2009


MyFy.
posted by eyeballkid at 5:25 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


The Sci-Fi Channel has being going downhill since about 2000.

I can forgive their terrible, broken website, which receives the occasional patches of worthless Flash. The filler shows, like Manimal, have their place. Let's ignore the Parade of Giant Creatures (Mosquito, I'm looking at you) and disaster films (Magma), and instead focus on their core programming. Oh, wait, what core programming?

First, they got rid of Mystery Science Theater 3000. They were cheap and cancelled The Invisible Man in 2002, then crushed Farscape a season too early, and without much prior notice. Stargate: SG-1 was the least possible science fiction, scooping up tropes and regurgitating them in a tasteless mess without a speck of the cleverness of the original film.

They've completely drifted away into showing wrestling, of all things, and some spinoff of Law & Order. And for a reality show? Well, there was Mad Mad House in 2004. Sure, Dark Shadows is a little bit off for the demographic, and Tremors was nothing more than a dressed-up version of Dukes of Hazzard, but wrestling?

Chiller will be eating its lunch when it comes to horror, so they'll have even less "turf" remaining. The Sci-Fi Channel has been adrift for nearly a decade and will eventually die if it does not return to its core demographic.

*goes off to imagine an alternate history where the Sci-Fi Channel doesn't suck so bad*
posted by adipocere at 5:31 PM on March 16, 2009 [6 favorites]


Are they still going to produce truly awful movies starring Chakotay from Voyager?
posted by CKmtl at 5:33 PM on March 16, 2009


Do they wrestle in alien and spaceman costumes?
posted by grapefruitzzz at 5:36 PM on March 16, 2009


Is it pronounced see-fee?
posted by jester69 at 5:41 PM on March 16, 2009


I'm not one of those nerdy Trekkies who likes sci-fi.


I'm a cool Trekker who likes syfy.
posted by Zambrano at 5:43 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Sci Fi Channel is distancing itself from its geek demographic

FTFY.

That said, the new name is about a million times nerdier in the classic "tries to look cool; looks pathetic" way.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:44 PM on March 16, 2009


Ghost-ride the shitty, one-season original show.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:48 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Sci Fi Channel is distancing itself from its geek demographic.

That's always a good policy, distance yourself from most of your customers.

If you ask people their default perceptions of Sci Fi, they list space, aliens and the future. That didn’t capture the full landscape of fantasy entertainment: the paranormal, the supernatural, action and adventure, superheroes."

So call yourself the Sci Fi and Fantasy Channel. What do they think the default perceptions of SyFy are? I don't think of Science Fiction or Fantasy.

I think they hired these guys to run their advertising campaign.
posted by eye of newt at 5:50 PM on March 16, 2009


FTFY.

SYFY.
posted by eyeballkid at 5:56 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


The Sci Fi Channel is distancing itself from its geek demographic...

Sure, that makes perfect *record scraping sound*
posted by DU at 6:00 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ach, to syf! All I can say is they'd better not market their channel in Poland.
Noun
syf m.
1. dirt, filth, grime
2. (colloquial) pimple, spot
3. (colloquial, vulgar) syphilis

Nom. pl. is syfy

Also:
Galeria Polskiego Syfu or Gallery of Polish Fuck-ups.
posted by palancik at 6:12 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Will I be able to get this on Wy-Fy all over my house?
posted by lukemeister at 6:14 PM on March 16, 2009


Wait. I'd like to go back and re-examine the implicit claim that Stargate was an "clever film".
posted by DU at 6:14 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


“When we tested this new name, the thing that we got back from our 18-to-34 techno-savvy crowd, which is quite a lot of our audience, is actually this is how you’d text it,” Mr. Howe said. “It made us feel much cooler, much more cutting-edge, much more hip, which was kind of bang-on what we wanted to achieve communication-wise.”

kind of bang-on what we wanted to achieve communication-wise...I think we've found the source of the problem.
posted by eye of newt at 6:14 PM on March 16, 2009 [7 favorites]


I give it less than 1 year until we get a reality show.

*ahem*


Also, the current WCG Ultimate Gamer. Which totally lives up to its title.
posted by graventy at 6:18 PM on March 16, 2009


Don't have really much to add that hasn't already been said. Explain to me how a network whos day in and day out show roster consists of kitschy B-grade sci-fi themes like space monsters vs girls with bozongas, sea monsters vs girls with bozongas, space monsters in the sea vs girls with bozongas, land monsters with sea ships vs boys and girls with pectoral implants, etc ad infintium, all in the name of cheap ass sci fi, .. just... they're trying to distance from what, exactly? Oh yeah, and all the spooooooooooooky black and white ghost episodics.

And since it's vageuly tethered to the topic, fuck BSG. Frak it. Stack it. Shove it somewhere. The show ended on Earth. Friday's episode was a promo for the 'Caprica' series -- hey guys we can make Dallas again! -- nothing more.
posted by cavalier at 6:22 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


“When we tested this new name, the thing that we got back from our 18-to-34 techno-savvy crowd, which is quite a lot of our audience, is actually this is how you’d text it,” Mr. Howe said. “It made us feel much cooler, much more cutting-edge, much more hip, which was kind of bang-on what we wanted to achieve communication-wise.”

THAT's what they got back from the feedback? They didn't get anyone to say "It's a bastardization of the original name, and still sounds the same, so...it's still as nerdy as ever." Or even "Dude, I'm a lazy text-er, but scifi is ONE EXTRA LETTER."
posted by graventy at 6:22 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


They do show movies like I Am Omega Which looks like all kinds of awesome.

It has been rumored for a couple years that NBC Universal was looking to rebrand its property, but now it seems they have a name that works perfectly for it: Syfy.

Monday, NBCU is expected to announce the new name that will help the conglomerate have a brand name it can own (unlike "SciFi," which is considered too common of a term).

Yeah, because SciFi Channel really doesn't stand out.
posted by P.o.B. at 6:23 PM on March 16, 2009


Ach, to syf! All I can say is they'd better not market their channel in Poland.

Mr. Howe said the international Sci Fi channels will transition to the new name over the next six to 12 months.

I forgot to mention the source of my quotes.
posted by eye of newt at 6:23 PM on March 16, 2009


And since it's vaguely tethered to the topic, fuck BSG. Frak it. Stack it. Shove it somewhere. The show ended on Earth. Friday's episode was a promo for the 'Caprica' series -- hey guys we can make Dallas again! -- nothing more.

Every week the show impresses me by dipping further into awfulness. Flashbacks? Now? At the very end of the show you start giving us flashbacks? Fuck you, Ronald Moore.
posted by graventy at 6:24 PM on March 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


America's Next Top Comic Book Guy.

I would watch that show, buy the DVDs, and listen to the audio commentaries.
posted by the bricabrac man at 6:26 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


posted by aerotive Terrible decision. This reeks of an out-of-control marketing department.

No, it reeks of stupid, panicky board members who looked at their market share but didn't understand their brand or their audience, so they hired a big branding firm to give them a brand overhaul, a new name, and a new logo they didn't need. And, hey-presto, now they understand their brand even less, because they've just alienated their audience!

I've worked on several overhauls like this and one of the first things I told people was, "You've already got an incredibly strong brand with name recognition and we recommend you don't change any of that." But hey, kudos to Landor for taking P.T. Barnum's advice.
posted by mattdidthat at 6:27 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Jesus, these are marketing people. That's what they do for a living, but it will take any normal person precisely 3.2 seconds to look at that and think "siffy". And anyway, hasn't science fiction already tried to rebrand itself with "SF" and "speculative fiction"? Though that last one doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.
posted by zardoz at 6:27 PM on March 16, 2009


...much cooler, much more cutting-edge, much more hip...

There is not a chance in the world that any of their "18-to-34 techno-savvy crowd" used a single one of those words, unless they accompanied it by air-quotes.
posted by DU at 6:28 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


“When we tested this new name, the thing that we got back from our 18-to-34 techno-savvy crowd, which is quite a lot of our audience, is actually this is how you’d text it,” Mr. Howe said.

Or, you know, they could've checked their own forums and realized their fans were calling them "Skiffy" to prevent confusion b/t the channel and the genre.

I think I'm about to catch a case of SyFy-Less.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:29 PM on March 16, 2009


Oh Noes! A giant snake!

Ooo I saw that one!!!!! And that other one like it!!!! And that other one too!!!!

CyPhai

SighFigh

PsyFie

I just...
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 6:32 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is "Greater" supposed to be a noun or an adverb?
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 6:33 PM on March 16, 2009


blah blah blah American Television blah blah blah

sorry....

*ahem*

I don't have cable so whenever I stay in a hotel I flick through the cable channels, I can plot my ever sinking disappointment with the SciFi channel in discreet points... this just about flatlines the graph.
posted by edgeways at 6:34 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


I thought sci-fi geeks already hated the term "sci-fi" and preferred the way geekier "SF."
posted by queensissy at 6:37 PM on March 16, 2009


posted by Stylus Happenstance Is "Greater" supposed to be a noun or an adverb?

I was just wondering the same thing. I love the verb + adjective or verb + adverb slogan trick, though. How could we use that formula for MetaFilter?

MeFi: Masturbate Greater
MeFi: Micturate Freer
MeFi: Talk Better

posted by mattdidthat at 6:39 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Moar Betterer
posted by Artw at 6:43 PM on March 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


Huh. I call crap FySy.
posted by klangklangston at 6:50 PM on March 16, 2009


Why do all cable channels seem to devolve into bland sameness? They all seem to start out with a specific niche like "Learning" or "Art" or "Science Fiction" or "Music" and then slowly move away from there toward a mushy blend of re-runs and reality TV.
posted by octothorpe at 7:00 PM on March 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


SYFY makes me think of other acronyms I'd like to say to their board of directors. Like FY. And GFY.

So
Yeah
Fuck
You
posted by mattdidthat at 7:02 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


"We really do want to own the imagination space," Mr. Howe said.

This kind of corporate speak makes me want to get violent. 'Imagination space' sounds like something you do as part of a kindergarten class.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:07 PM on March 16, 2009


Wait... this isn't an Onion article? I swear when someone sent me this story earlier it had to be an Onion article... Fail
posted by MrBobaFett at 7:07 PM on March 16, 2009


"Why do all cable channels seem to devolve into bland sameness? They all seem to start out with a specific niche like 'Learning' or 'Art' or 'Science Fiction' or 'Music' and then slowly move away from there toward a mushy blend of re-runs and reality TV."

It's funny. Cable programming started down the road of the Long Tail years ago, with the promise of a future with a hugely diverse array of programming, and now they seem to want to kill it by running down the lowest common denominator. A lot of it has to do with media consolidation, honestly. There are far fewer media companies involved than it might seem. But the promise of video-on-demand is becoming reality now and will eventually eclipse these piped-in channels, so I have a feeling we'll be seeing a lot more of this on the pre-programmed channels, because it's cheap and easy.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:13 PM on March 16, 2009


Dudes and Dudettes, I live by Battlestar Galatica episodes. I am totally serious, since my book was finished, I have no other metric with wich to judge the passing of time other than the finale of BSG episodes. Seriously, it could be Wednesday now, I don't fucking care cause it's not Friday. Until I actually have to promote the book, I will live by the Sci-Fi, SyFy metric. And when it's over, I will go back to not caring with SyFy turns itself into a complete home shopping network for late night Klingons or Early Morning Martians.
posted by The Whelk at 7:15 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


SYFY makes me think of other acronyms I'd like to say to their board of directors. Like FY. And GFY.

So
Yeah
Fuck
You


Or, a more appropriate acronymn for the station and name change once BSG concludes and there is no reason to watch: So You Fucked Yourself.
posted by eyeballkid at 7:19 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


I've got your Airlock Alpha right here.
posted by mattdidthat at 7:34 PM on March 16, 2009


Just had an exchange on Twitter with someone who was wondering if this could be an epic April Fools-style marketing stunt. This Twitterer has the exact same real-life name as me, so I'm guessing she's absolutely correct.
posted by brundlefly at 7:42 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I can't believe people are passing up this gem in the TVWeekly article:

"But one key venture it won’t discuss is its work with Trion Worldwide to create content designed from the beginning to work on multiple platforms. Mr. Howe said the network is close to announcing a title and description of the project, which will launch as both a subscription-based, massively multiplayer online game and a television series.

A writer has been assigned to the project. The idea is to have the show completely synchronized so that when events happen in the show, they are reflected in the game, and vice versa."

Game changing based on an ongoing TV-series? Could be cool.

TV-series having to be re-written based on the actions of griefers and goons run wild? Totally fucking awesome.
posted by Saxon Kane at 7:43 PM on March 16, 2009 [6 favorites]


This reminds me of that season where the bad guys on Buffy were the three nerds. I remember scratching my head, thinking, "why on earth do they want to make the type of folks who watch (and love) this show into the bad guys?" I mean, to me the attraction in the first couple of seasons of Buffy involved the fact that the nerdy misfits of school were the ones saving the fucking world night after night.

Now, apparently, a whole network has decided that is the way to go. Instead of distancing themselves from the "geek" demographic, they should be embracing it. There is huge opportunity to not only run good scifi programing, but also real science programs about things like the LHC or Kepler or the Square Kilometer Array. That would be a better reality show than anything else.

And don't even get me started on the "owning the imagination space" bullshit. This soulless decision already shows me that they don't have a fucking clue about imagination in the first place - they are just a bunch of vacant suits who don't understand the property they have and how to use it.

The saddest thing is that another whole bunch of people will watch this network and come to some sad conclusions about what SF is and isn't.
posted by never used baby shoes at 7:56 PM on March 16, 2009 [6 favorites]


Every week the show impresses me by dipping further into awfulness. Flashbacks? Now? At the very end of the show you start giving us flashbacks? Fuck you, Ronald Moore.

Let me guess - you watch BSG for the space ships blowing up?

I see no finer dramatic reason for flashing back to the beginning of these people's stories than the fact we are coming to the end. Just to see how they lived their lives before The Fall is fascinating to me. Even the melodrama of Roslin losing her whole family tells me how she was able to cope with ascending to the Presidency in the mini-series. Or seeing where Baltar has come from cements the fact he has always been selfish, even in regards to his own father.

The contrast between the colours of Caprica and the greys of Galactica made the episode visually interesting (much like the season three episode "Unfinished Business" - what? Flashbacks to New Caprica were cool!), reminded us of the kind of society they had lived in and - in some ways - showed how these insignificant people rose to be the most important people in what was left of the human race.

I expect and want more of these flashbacks in the final episode. For what else dramatically represents the key theme of the series "this has all happened before and will happen again" than a cyclical narrative where we end at the beginning?
posted by crossoverman at 7:58 PM on March 16, 2009 [8 favorites]


This reminds me of that season where the bad guys on Buffy were the three nerds. I remember scratching my head, thinking, "why on earth do they want to make the type of folks who watch (and love) this show into the bad guys?" I mean, to me the attraction in the first couple of seasons of Buffy involved the fact that the nerdy misfits of school were the ones saving the fucking world night after night.

Um, because there's a HUGE difference between Xander - nerd boy who has trouble talking to girls he crushes on - and Warren/Jonathon/Andrew - a triumvirate of sociopaths.
posted by crossoverman at 8:04 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I can't be the only one who took one look at Dave Howe (see the second link) and thought, "There's a man who deserves a cockpunch."

Motion seconded. All in favor?

“When we tested this new name, the thing that we got back from our 18-to-34 techno-savvy crowd, which is quite a lot of our audience, is actually this is how you’d text it,” Mr. Howe said. “It made us feel much cooler, much more cutting-edge, much more hip, which was kind of bang-on what we wanted to achieve communication-wise.”

I have to assume they pulled their entire focus group from Something Awful, and the goons were just fucking with them. Because otherwise there's no way that is true.
posted by Caduceus at 8:08 PM on March 16, 2009


This seems to be part of the process of the mainstream co-opting the term "geek" and the trappings associated with it. Actual geeky people are not hip or cool enough for "modern geekiness", and so are not only ostracized but pushed away from things they previously held as their own. All with the goal of marketing pre-packaged "geek" cred to the average consumer.
posted by nightchrome at 8:08 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Of course they want to distance themselves from SciFi...it costs money to make science fiction movies. Soaps on the other hand...
posted by JaredSeth at 8:13 PM on March 16, 2009


Do they really have wrestling? For real?
posted by grouse at 8:22 PM on March 16, 2009


Let me guess - you watch BSG for the space ships blowing up?

Let me guess - you think you're smarter than everyone else?

The problem with the last episode wasn't the flashbacks or the melodrama, it was that it was all BORING and came off as filler. It reminded me of crap episodes like "Scar" and "Unfinished Business" that have little to do with the larger narrative and try to pad out the story with badly written (and often badly acted) "human drama." BSG works as a conspiracy story, as a mystery, as a (sometimes ham-handed) political/social drama & what-if story, as dark sci-fi adventure, as a dystopian future. When it tries to go into straight-up drama and human interest story, it falls somewhere between a Lifetime Movie with integrity and a shitty soap opera.
posted by Saxon Kane at 8:24 PM on March 16, 2009 [7 favorites]


Let me guess - you watch BSG for the space ships blowing up?

Fuck yes.
posted by Artw at 8:28 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


And what Saxon Kane said.
posted by Artw at 8:30 PM on March 16, 2009


It reminded me of crap episodes like "Scar" and "Unfinished Business" that have little to do with the larger narrative and try to pad out the story with badly written (and often badly acted) "human drama."

Except much of my interest in the series stems from its character-driven stories, so I don't think those episode do "have little to do with the larger narrative" because they inform us of where these characters are at and what they are feeling - something that is almost always forgotten, downplayed or missing in science fiction television.

Now it's pretty difficult to critique this most recent episode because it's the first hour of a three-hour finale. So while I liked the flashbacks, if they do amount to filler in the end, I'll cop to that. BUT I suspect they will have some thematic resonance, if not actually tell us something we weren't aware of before.

I tend to think that the flashbacks are leading us toward how these characters were fated to be at the right place at the right time and perhaps why - for some of these people - the Fall of the Twelve Colonies were actually a good thing. Good, of course, being relative. If that's the case, I don't think it is filler.
posted by crossoverman at 8:35 PM on March 16, 2009


My first reaction to last week's flashbacks was essentially the same,"Flashbacks?! At this stage?!" However, I quickly came over to crossoverman's perspective. We're saying goodbye in one way (series ending), if not another way (everyone dies in the finale), and its entirely appropriate to leap back to the beginning of who these characters were before the cylons nuked humanity back to a testing sample.

It has all happened before, it will happen again, and last week's episode was supposed to take us back to the beginning and to prepare us for the end.


p.s. People can love the show for any darn reason they want. There is no appropriate way to watch or enjoy the show. The fact that it appeals in so many different ways to so many different people is one reason it rockeths.
posted by Atreides at 8:44 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Laura Roslin is tragic! Starbuck is nutty/boring! Baltar is rude to his dad!
posted by Artw at 8:49 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I liked the scenes with Baltar's pop. I hope I'm that salty when I get old.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:54 PM on March 16, 2009


Boggles the mind. I remember being excited when I saw a notice for an entire channel devoted to SF (even though it used the annoying 'sci-fi' moniker). Despite the occasional small gem, it usually just made me sad, I mean couldn't you just tell that 'Mansquito' was not even be up to bad camp?)

I guess there's no way to explain to the 'executives' that smart writing and a few small effects could build a base (Twilight Zone??) that could be self supporting for years.

Now if someone were to start a true SF channel with 'content' of little interest to the core ghost-hunter-wrestling-scare-tactics demographic, syfy would sue like an evil demon.
posted by sammyo at 8:55 PM on March 16, 2009


I'm guessing that there just aren't that many Jasper Fforde fans here, as otherwise I wouldn't be the first to see this as a basic case of the myspeling vyrus. Wi nede tu baumb thi SyFy heddqwaurturs wythe dyckshunairees sune, beefour yt gets woorsh.
posted by Hactar at 8:56 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


At least this will finally silence the pre-Cambrian paleo-geeks who insisted on pronouncing it "skiffy".
posted by ShawnStruck at 8:59 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


And since it's vaguely tethered to the topic, fuck BSG...

I'm looking forward to next week's episode, which is basically just an endless tracking shot of Admiral Adama staggering around his quarters, drinking bourbon and grimacing and crying and breaking all the mirrors, and then, right at the end, a flashback...to when he still had some booze left!

Seriously though there's so much hooch on that ship. More like Battleshtar *hic*lactica amirite?
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:15 PM on March 16, 2009 [7 favorites]


You'll never go broke betting on stupidity.

Lots of companies will, though.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:17 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Mr. Howe said the network is close to announcing a title and description of the project, which will launch as both a subscription-based, massively multiplayer online game and a television series.

Stupid from the get-go. A niche channel with a barely loyal user base is starting up a new online venture and thinks the best way to go is charging a subscription fee to join? Bet they change that before launch. You want bodies in there at the start, which means the main online portion should be free.
posted by mediareport at 9:22 PM on March 16, 2009


I don't have a problem with character-driven stories, but frankly, and I may get airlocked for saying this, most of the actors on BSG just aren't that good, so episodes where their personal bullshit gets front and center is tedious at best. An entire episode of Kara pissing and moaning about her life? Boooooring. A bunch of boxing matches wherein we learn that Kara and Lee, aw shucks, really do love each other and Adama gives another "get tough" speech to his crew? Boooooooooring. An episode of Lee boning some random hooker who materialized out of no where? Booooooring. Now, an episode where Roslin has to choose between 1) her 100% certain belief that settling on New Caprica is a dangerous move that will endanger humanity and that she must do anything to stop it and 2) her belief in representative democracy and respecting the will of the people -- that's character-driven and it fits the character's stories within the larger issue of the entire show by telling a story about how people deal with an unthinkable crisis.

And to be fair to crossoverman, I also think I am smarter than everyone else.
posted by Saxon Kane at 9:23 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


(and by the way, awesome post title)
posted by Saxon Kane at 9:24 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, re: Battlestar Galactica.

One of the most tiresome and annoying tropes on the internet is the got-in-before-the-backlash mentality. There is never a shortage and always a surplus of geeks who are keen to poo-poo everything out of the gate ('Oh, I know she's a supermodel, it's just that my standards are higher. She has man-hands.'), but there is a loud and persistent cadre as well who are seemingly terrified of the possibility of going on record actually liking something after it has been pronounced as having jumped the shark into worst.x.evar territory by their peers.

So this autocatalyzing feedback loops starts up, where increasingly shrill and vituperous complaints about whatever was wildly popular 5 minutes earlier (or 5 people earlier) ratchet into overdrive, with dorito-strewn neckbeards rushing in in wobbly phalanxes to declare how they started disliking it way before anybody else did. It's an outgrowth of the reign of the Important Internet Opinion, of course, and probably unavoidable. But it never, ever ends.

Not that that applies to anyone in this thread, of course. Just a general observation.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:27 PM on March 16, 2009 [14 favorites]


...most of the actors on BSG just aren't that good...

No, but they aren't bad, and Edward James Olmos (I heard Danny Trejo called Edward James Almost the other day, and chucked) can crush walnuts with his fist and is truly magnificent, and the same goes for Michael Hogan, Mary McDonnell and James Callis.

(Also, instead of this Caprica malarkey, it should have been a different flashback series: The Spacefaring Adventures Of Adama & Tigh.)
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:37 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Olmos and Callis are, by far, the best actors of the bunch, but Adama seems to have 2 speeds: tough guy military man, and sentimental sweetheart. Mary McDonnell? eh... I don't know. The moment when she shouted "I am coming for all of you!" to the rebels was pretty comically bad. I think Sackhoff is pretty weak, and Hogan isn't that great, IMO. But yes, none of them are terrible actors, but most of them can't pull of serious drama, and Ron Moore can't really write it either.
posted by Saxon Kane at 9:46 PM on March 16, 2009


Im not defending this move, but man, they need to do something. Sci-fi is one of the worst stations on cable and I love science fiction. Theyve been hurting for a long time and a couple of years ago they decided to spend their money on "kitsch" b-movies. What? You cant just make a b-movie, it needs to emerge from the mind of a nutball director who thinks he's a genius. Hiring Bruce Campbell doesnt sell the idea, it just makes it look more bankrupt.

I remember being excited to finally get this channel way back when and it was genuinely fun. It was on half the day and Comedy Central was on during the other half. It seemed to only consist of anime and MST3K, which suited me just fine. Where is the anime now? Why arent they importing this stuff in? Where is the comedy? Or anything of value? There was this great public access show in Chicago where two guys just review comics. Man, pick that shit up and run it. Do something outside the box. Its amazing how much Comedy Central has blossomed as sci-fi has wilted.

I partly blame the fans. Sci-fi is a ghetto. It always has been. Shit like Lexx or Atlantis gets a crazed following, but its still shit. Sci-fi thought they could just slime their way to mediocrity and expect to be profitable. What nerds latch on to seems pretty arbitrary to me.

I sympathize a little with sci-fi. It turns out its very difficult to make a good sci-fi tv show. The rubber masks and space opera hysterics make for poor watching. Not to mention there are so many stations out there now, do we really need a faux sci-fi channel that refuses to take any risks? I dont know what the solution is but adding paranormal programing to a network with the word science in its name is just insulting. Why cant James Randi get a show on there? Why arent Penn and Teller on there instead of HBO?

I just hope it folds. Its insulting to those who really like sci-fi. Id rather see a good sci-fi show on HBO or elsewhere occasionally instead of having this channel that churns out crap 24/7. I predict it will eventually merge with Spike so they can air those awful b-movies by branding them as "cool toughguy shit." Their "dumb it down" attitude fits in perfectly there.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:03 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


You cant just make a b-movie, it needs to emerge from the mind of a nutball director who thinks he's a genius.

Nthed to the million.

(though I did like the Abominable Snowman thing they did)
posted by Artw at 10:07 PM on March 16, 2009


Ron Moore not being able to write isn't a great revelation - he's more an ideas man, the go-to guy for plot points and story arcs. And I still dig Hogan, he's very space-Eastwood.

Also, this is just scary: chin, chang.
posted by turgid dahlia at 10:13 PM on March 16, 2009


This has got to be the dumbest thing I have read this month. Scyfy? Really? Good grief. I can't decide if I should warn my husband in advance or wait until the first time he's watching after they make the change, just to see his reaction. I'm imagining he's going to be rolling on the floor laughing and rolling his eyes, just as I did when I read this. It might even be a good Kodack (or YouTube) moment.

If they have been trying to distance themselves from SciFi (and apparently their demographic) since the 90's, well they have been very successful. I used to turn that channel on as soon as I got home, and it was almost the only channel ever watched in my house. That is no longer the case. My husband and I watch TV news in the evenings now, because it's more entertaining (and even sometimes more fantastical). They really, really lost us when they started with the wrestling. Oh yes, how very SciFi of them to have wrestling.

And on BSG: They won us over at first. We adjusted to the obnoxious liberties they took with the old characters and story, and for a while, we enjoyed it. Then we started to hate it more and more every week. Now we are looking forward to the series finale this week, so we can finally see what stupid way they intend to end it all.

It's been painful to watch, and we have to force ourselves to keep watching it to see how the story ends. Why? There has been absolutely no joy, no happiness, no pleasant moments in so long, I can't remember the last time there was one. No weddings and happy marriages. No babies born and loved and welcomed by everyone. No parties. No gambling on the casino ship or down time just having fun. No fun or happiness at all. Nothing but the wailing and gnashing of teeth all the damn time. Would it have killed them to write in just a little joy and happiness? Just a smidgen of a bit?

I text message all the time. I would never in a million years spell "SciFi" as "ScyFy" while texting. Of course, I am also obviously not a part of the demographic of wrestling-loving, giant-snake-and-wasp watching people they now want to attract.
posted by Orb at 10:34 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


stavros: So this autocatalyzing feedback loops starts up, where increasingly shrill and vituperous complaints about whatever was wildly popular 5 minutes earlier (or 5 people earlier) ratchet into overdrive, with dorito-strewn neckbeards rushing in in wobbly phalanxes to declare how they started disliking it way before anybody else did. It's an outgrowth of the reign of the Important Internet Opinion, of course, and probably unavoidable. But it never, ever ends.

All this has happened before....
posted by tzikeh at 10:38 PM on March 16, 2009



This reminds me of that season where the bad guys on Buffy were the three nerds. I remember scratching my head, thinking, "why on earth do they want to make the type of folks who watch (and love) this show into the bad guys?" I mean, to me the attraction in the first couple of seasons of Buffy involved the fact that the nerdy misfits of school were the ones saving the fucking world night after night.


Wasn't that the whole "downsides of nerdom" thing they tried to push? Like how the Joanathan episode is some weird rebuke of fanfiction? Or just a funny idea they had? But still kinda mean? It's a big Pandora's box they opened and they didn't deal with it well.

If this is the total geekout thead, and I hope it is, can I say that I like the idea of starting the BSG finale at the beginning, complete with filling out flashbacks and funerary devices. At this point, does it matter who wins? Or how? It's gonna go all Hamlet on us. I really want to see the ending, so rare in a TV show when they know THIS is the last episode, season whatever (The barok confusion of the last season of Angel was due to being cut out halfway through and being told it was the end, so they put in a .. ..dragon...and an ending that is kinda good on paper but made me going wha?)


So this is IT, the ending, and they get to end it on their own terms. Good for them. But I'm more than a little, more than I should, sad I don't get too see Mary McDonnell and Edward James Olmos make stupid goggly faces at each other or see Jamie Callis weasel out of something or Tricia doing that amazing "am I a devil or angel" thing. or Grace Park show us, silently, how Boomer walks vs. how Athena walks. I'm not going to get anymore in two weeks. It's kinda sad and kinda cool that they shut stopped it. End of line.

New command.
posted by The Whelk at 10:42 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


I want a science fiction show that is about some schlub who works in environmental. He spends his days monitoring atmosphere-scrubbing tanks of algae and his nights in his quarters, reading technical manuals about navigational equipment he'll never see and thinking wistfully of the cute girl in engineering who came into his monitoring station once two months ago to adjust some valves on the tank intake.

Basically I want The Office (UK version, please) in space. It would be relatively cheap. They would have to play it straight, though, because trying to make something like that funny would involve a lot of painful 'falling into the algae tank' jokes.

There would be no aliens. There would be no giant space amoebas. Just people, in space, being people.

Feel free to use this idea, television executives! I would be the only one to watch, but I would be super-faithful!
posted by winna at 10:44 PM on March 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


It was called 'Red Dwarf'.

IIRC they tried to make an American version but it was too horrible to live.
posted by Artw at 10:46 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


In the same vein as winna's comment, I'd love to see a live action Planetes. Garbage collectors in space. Collecting garbage, and stuff.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:48 PM on March 16, 2009


There has been absolutely no joy, no happiness, no pleasant moments in so long, I can't remember the last time there was one.

Funny. The unrelenting grimness is one of the things that makes me love BSG. I'd much rather watch Callie get spaced and watch Dee blow her brains out and watch Gaeta get executed and watch that XXXXX people slowly decreasing every episode than watch a damn wedding.

I can get happy weddings and parties and oodles of pleasant moments on, I don't know, every other fucking show that has ever aired on television. I go to Galactica for something else.

I'm hoping that something good happens Friday, and not just "everybody dies well." At this point I can feel like some good outcome was at least earned.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:52 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


That's rytardyd. This is why marketing people should be slapped daily whether they deserve it or not (and they always deserve it).
posted by w0mbat at 10:53 PM on March 16, 2009


Red Dwarf was much further out there than I'm thinking, though. It was fantastic in both senses of the word. I can only imagine the horror that would be a US version of it.

I'd also watch a live action garbage collectors in space show. That would be at least two viewers.
posted by winna at 10:58 PM on March 16, 2009


They should have used the mutiny to wrap it all up. Have Adama killed, use that as a catalyst to split the fleet into civil war. The mutinous half jump away only to find themselves in the midst of the pursuing Cylon fleet under Cavil. They are summarily annihilated. In an effort to bring them to justice, after much haranguing and handwringing, Galactica and the rest of the fleet ( under martial law and Tigh's command ) jump after them, thus setting the stage for a toe to toe, Rocky vs. Apollo Creed knock down drag out fight wherein EVERYONE dies. Civilian ships used as kamikazes, nukes, the whole shebang.

Instead I'll be drinking and cursing at whatever scraps Moore and co. toss us on Friday.
posted by zap rowsdower at 11:04 PM on March 16, 2009


Also, I just fired up the latest BSG podcast and as I saw the filename realized that this latest time that Adama and Roslin spark up the Space Dope together was indeed episode 420.

That is amusing.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:04 PM on March 16, 2009


Sci-Fi could return to its roots. Or alternatively, some other channel could start doing more programming that would appeal to SF fans. Shows could be done on the cheap, with clever writing instead of special effects. The Red Dwarf/Planetes-like series sounds like a good idea. Maybe they could do some rubber monster adventure show like an American Doctor Who. Documentaries on cool science stuff would be good too. (There's lots of research out there that's so incredible it sounds like science fiction anyway.) Up here in Canada we used to have a low budget show called Prisoners of Gravity that would work very well for the geek demographic: it had a crazy MST-like host who interviewed SF novelists. Do low budget stuff like that, along with reruns of popular old shows. It could work anytime.

But that kind of programming isn't being done because its appeal would always be limited to a single demographic, and the mantra these days is that every network and channel must grab ever viewer it can. Higher and higher ratings, all the time. It's this philosophy of endless growth that leads to the decay mentioned upthread.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:13 PM on March 16, 2009


One of the most tiresome and annoying tropes on the internet is the got-in-before-the-backlash mentality.

That's the thing about BSG, it had backlash during the mini-series! RDM got death threats from classic series fans! And while most of us were won over, there were still some hardcore Classic Galactica fans that called the new show Galactica-In-Name-Only and were adamant that Ron Moore had ruined their childhood.

By the time they faded away, the backlash started from the new series fans yelling "it's too bleak, stop making it so bleak, oh my god - bleak!" *blows brains out*

And on that topic, I agree with ROU_Xenophobe - I go to BSG for its unrelenting bleakness. And I'm expecting that not everyone will die in the finale, most will and the rest of the fleet will keep limping along, the Cylon base star to protect them. With Baltar in command, probably.
posted by crossoverman at 11:18 PM on March 16, 2009


techno-savvy crowd == owns an XBox 360
posted by Tenuki at 11:18 PM on March 16, 2009


Well I'm hoping everyone dies on BSG on Friday. Every last one of them. I am so sick of watching their unending sadness and inner turmoil. They all need to be put out of their misery ASAP.
posted by Orb at 11:24 PM on March 16, 2009


Ok, I've only seen season one of BSG (hoping to see more), and I basically made this joke a few days ago in the "Peanuts" thread, but it seems to me this show is ripe for a crossover with "Funky Winkerbean."
posted by brundlefly at 11:30 PM on March 16, 2009


(Also, instead of this Caprica malarkey, it should have been a different flashback series: The Spacefaring Adventures Of Adama & Tigh.)

Or they could use the Colonial Fleet as a setting for a remake of Grave of the Fireflies.
posted by Tenuki at 11:38 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Um, because there's a HUGE difference between Xander - nerd boy who has trouble talking to girls he crushes on - and Warren/Jonathon/Andrew - a triumvirate of sociopaths.


NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERDS!
posted by Lord_Pall at 11:44 PM on March 16, 2009


It has been duly pointed out that while my earlier post might be syntactically correct, the phonetic pronunciation is in fact, quite incorrect.

Rather than writing the standard 1980's era colloquialism for ridicule of the intelligentsia, I have inadvertently written something else, ostensibly devoid of humour and good-natured tone.

"NEEEEEEEEEEEEERDS!" is in fact phonetically more similar to "Near", or in the simplest phonetic pronunciation, "neerds". This long E sound is not only calamitously wrong, it discordantly grates on the ear and should be avoided in polite company.

In fact, I should have extended and repeated the R sound and foreshortened the E sound. The proper spelling should have been "NERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRDS!".

Although there is nothing I can say or do to make up for this grievous error, or to undo the damage I might have done to the modern sensibilities of this establishment, I sincerely apologize for this mistake. The fault is mine, and I shall endeavor to prevent this sort of mistake in the future.
posted by Lord_Pall at 11:58 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


I had initially heard that the final episode of BSG would be a three-hour episode, and the three hours broadcast under the same episode title; so perhaps the most recent episode was intended to be seen as the first of the three hours in one showing, and so its pace reflects that.

I'm happy with the show. I've enjoyed it up to this point, even what others dismiss as filler episodes, so I'm not inclined to worry how they'll carry off the ending.
posted by troybob at 12:23 AM on March 17, 2009


Lord_Pall: In fact, I should have extended and repeated the R sound and foreshortened the E sound. The proper spelling should have been "NERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRDS!".

I do hope you meant to write "NYRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRDS!" given the subject of the post.
posted by moonbiter at 12:34 AM on March 17, 2009


So, have the "Meh Fee" pronouncers among the group also been pronouncing the name of the TV network as "Sigh Fee"?
posted by emelenjr at 12:34 AM on March 17, 2009


Hello! Spoiler alerts! Some of us are watching BSG on Hulu, peoples! Okay, well, I mostly closed my eyes and didn't catch anything too bad I suppose.

I would like to live in a world where branding experts and marketeers were the first ones jettisoned from a wobbling economy. Hell, at least telephone sanitizers actually accomplish something with their day.
posted by Skwirl at 1:20 AM on March 17, 2009


Lexx may be shit, but it was rather entertaining shit. I was always ashamed to be a gay man watching something targeted at boys either physically or emotionally 14 years old, but then they had that Brigadoon episode. I could easily forgive someone 4 years of shit for that one episode.
posted by crataegus at 3:11 AM on March 17, 2009


I'm hoping BSG finishes with the ship snapping in half and falling into the black hole along with everything else. Except for Baltar, floating in space in a suit with only knowledge he's destroyed the whole human race, and ghost Caprica Six for company. Yeah, fuck weddings.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:28 AM on March 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


that should be 'space suit' but actually just a suit would be even better...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:29 AM on March 17, 2009


Oh and of course 'Syfy' is just the beginning of a bit of clever marketing for thier big budget adaptation of Feersum Endjinn...? Right?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:30 AM on March 17, 2009


(Also, instead of this Caprica malarkey, it should have been a different flashback series: The Spacefaring Adventures Of Adama & Tigh.)

Yeah, but then we would have had to put up with hairpieces and porn mustaches.

I love Michael Hogan's one-eye acting, but Edward James Olmos' pron stach work leaves a lot to be desired.
posted by crossoverman at 4:31 AM on March 17, 2009


Basically I want The Office (UK version, please) in space.

Boldly Going Nowhere, from the creators of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:31 AM on March 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Funny. The unrelenting grimness is one of the things that makes me love BSG.

God I so disagree with you. I tried watching some of it, early episodes too, but it sucked the life out of me in a way I hadn't experienced since I lived with an Energy-Absorbing Dog.
posted by JHarris at 4:36 AM on March 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I would like to live in a world where branding experts and marketeers were the first ones jettisoned from a wobbling economy. Hell, at least telephone sanitizers actually accomplish something with their day.

The SYFY Channel: Television for the 'B' Ark.
posted by JHarris at 4:38 AM on March 17, 2009 [6 favorites]


It's just a television channel. Who cares if it's all wrestling and killer dormouse films? If the channel had ever shown anything remotely as good as what's going on in SF literature I might actually care.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 4:58 AM on March 17, 2009


Basically I want The Office (UK version, please) in space.

Hyperdrive
... not terribly good, despite having Nick Frost AND The Actor Kevin Eldon
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:19 AM on March 17, 2009


SciFi goes "SyFy."
Nostalgia-based TVLand and Nick at Nite start showing movies like Revenge of the Nerds on Saturday primetime.
Cartoon Network shows live-action.
Comedy Central's biggest draws are news shows.
The Learning Channel becomes the cable equivalent of the circus sideshow, letting viewers gaze on midgets, amputees, fat ladies, and incredibly fertile families.
And let us not even start on the so-called "American Movie Classics" channel.

Somewhere along the line, execs and programmers lost the concept that cable channels devoted to a topic should actually show programming of that topic. Soon, all channels will lose their niche and show pretty much the same stuff, and the heat death of basic cable will be achieved. What a glorious day for entertainment that will be.
posted by Spatch at 5:58 AM on March 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


Nostalgia-based TVLand and Nick at Nite start showing movies like Revenge of the Nerds on Saturday primetime.

How is Revenge of the Nerds not a nostalgia based movie?
posted by solipsophistocracy at 6:08 AM on March 17, 2009


Hyperdrive... not terribly good, despite having Nick Frost AND The Actor Kevin Eldon

This is true, it is very average. However, one line does stick in my head:

"They are wearing tops and no bottoms, that's ruder than nothing at all!"

Which probably says more about me than Hyperdrive's ability to amuse.
posted by asok at 6:23 AM on March 17, 2009


Nostalgia-based TVLand and Nick at Nite start showing movies blah blah blah

See also MTV.

Basic cable channels have consistently sucked for exactly the same amount of time as their more specialized offshoots have been around. This is not a coincidence.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:30 AM on March 17, 2009


the new logo is amazing in its blandness
posted by mikepop at 6:39 AM on March 17, 2009


I can get happy weddings and parties and oodles of pleasant moments on, I don't know, every other fucking show that has ever aired on television. I go to Galactica for something else.

Agree totally. I can accept that audiences require 99.7 percent of what's on TV to be Everybody Loves Raymond; I don't understand why they are so bitter that the other 0.3% is not.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:41 AM on March 17, 2009


octothorpe: "Why do all cable channels seem to devolve into bland sameness? They all seem to start out with a specific niche like "Learning" or "Art" or "Science Fiction" or "Music" and then slowly move away from there toward a mushy blend of re-runs and reality TV."

Greed, mostly. Nobody wants to run a niche channel; they all seemingly want to shoot for the center of the bell curve and own it. Hence a network like Sci-Fi, which could have existed quite happily in perpetuity (at least until cable TV dies and gets replaced by something else), serving a small number of dedicated fans, sells itself out and becomes Yet Another Bland Mainstream Network.

The ironic part is that there's only room for so many Bland Mainstream Networks, so rather than staying in a safe niche market, Sci-Fi (or SyFy or whateverthefuck they're calling it) has now entered into the ring with FX and all the other mainstream-oriented cable channels. Where they will in all probability get creamed.

You can see — or at least used to see — the same pattern in music. It's like the regional band that changes it sound to appeal to the record company execs in the hope of getting a national contract, and in doing so destroys whatever made them interesting in the first place. Sure, some people achieve success this way, but a greater number fail; the only reason to pursue it is because you can't be happy with anything but total domination over everyone else.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:23 AM on March 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I altered the logo a bit
posted by mikepop at 8:01 AM on March 17, 2009


Um, because there's a HUGE difference between Xander - nerd boy who has trouble talking to girls he crushes on - and Warren/Jonathon/Andrew - a triumvirate of sociopaths.

Well, it was more than just Xander - Willow started the show as a huge nerd, for all of her later hot witchy goodness. Buffy herself never really fit in. And I don't recall the triumvirate in quite this way - it seems to my memory that only one of them seemed really driven to do bad, while the other two were quite content dreaming of world domination and exchanging jokes. It seems to me that most of the time we spent with the triumvirate was on their nerdiness and making Star Trek jokes, not on their evil.

Anyways, the show is in the grave and I haven't been paying attention to the comic books. How's Dollhouse doing?
posted by never used baby shoes at 8:15 AM on March 17, 2009


It’s a kind of an Indiana Jones meets ‘Moonlighting’ meets ‘The X-Files,’

Wasn't the X-Files already Indiana Jones meets Moonlighting?
posted by ook at 8:29 AM on March 17, 2009


Up here in Canada we used to have a low budget show called Prisoners of Gravity that would work very well for the geek demographic: it had a crazy MST-like host who interviewed SF novelists.

Any channel that simply brought back PoG would have me half-way to a subscription on that basis alone, even if only for the early Moore, Gaiman, and Barker interviews.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:57 AM on March 17, 2009


= Indiana Jones m Moonlighting m X-Files

= Indiana Jones m Moonlighting m (Indiana Jones m Moonlighting)

= Indiana Jones2 m (Indiana Jones + Moonlighting) m Moonlighting2
posted by JHarris at 9:00 AM on March 17, 2009


Wait, I think I got my pseudo-math wrong.
posted by JHarris at 9:00 AM on March 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Agree totally. I can accept that audiences require 99.7 percent of what's on TV to be Everybody Loves Raymond; I don't understand why they are so bitter that the other 0.3% is not.

There could possibly be a middle ground between ANGST ANGST ANGST and People Are Vaguely Lovable To A Laugh Track.
posted by JHarris at 9:03 AM on March 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Any channel that simply brought back PoG would have me half-way to a subscription on that basis alone, even if only for the early Moore, Gaiman, and Barker interviews.

This I must see. To the YouTubes!
posted by Artw at 9:04 AM on March 17, 2009


The logo looks, squinty eyes a bit, to me as Sukc... ie and anagram FCUK style as Suck. How appropiate...

a triumvirate of sociopaths.

I always thought, given them being pseudo-nerds/audience identifying figures, they got punished rather harshly too... especially compared to other big bads. Didn't one of them get skinned alive?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:10 AM on March 17, 2009


Anyways, the show is in the grave and I haven't been paying attention to the comic books. How's Dollhouse doing?

Pay attention to the comics -- they're good; Dollhouse isn't.
posted by Amanojaku at 9:16 AM on March 17, 2009


It'll pick up! It'll pick up!

(TBH that's pretty much what I'm saying about comics at the moment as well, with notable exceptions like the Hellboy/BRPD stuff and whatever Brubaker and Philips happen to be up to)
posted by Artw at 9:19 AM on March 17, 2009


SyFy? Whi?
posted by papercake at 9:25 AM on March 17, 2009


Circa Y2K, when I was in college, the administration announced that changes would be made to the on-campus cable service. New channels would be added, but several would be lost, including TNN, BET and Sci Fi.

An outcry arose from the student body. We didn't want to lose our favorite channels. A campus meeting was called to discuss the issue, and it was a strange confederacy of students who appeared to raise their objections. Meat-head frat boys who didn't want to lose their professional wrestling stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Afrocentric hip-hop fans, who in turn stood alongside the nerds and geeks, who came in their legions with their calculator watches and unflattering glasses to save their beloved Sci Fi.

Faced with such opposition, the administration had no choice but to relent. The announced changes were canceled, and the cable lineup remained the same. The students dispersed in victory, and triumphant chants of "Status quo! Status quo!" echoed in the night air.

I was there that night, among the nerds. I spoke out for Sci Fi.

I would not have done the same for SyFy.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:25 AM on March 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


It just goes to show, you can't be too careful.
posted by greekphilosophy at 9:46 AM on March 17, 2009


There could possibly be a middle ground between ANGST ANGST ANGST and People Are Vaguely Lovable To A Laugh Track.

There could be People Are Vaguely Lovable Till The Great Old Ones Awake.
I would watch that.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:59 AM on March 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


It just goes to show, you can't be too careful.

No. We are not going to do this.
posted by ook at 11:29 AM on March 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Sorry ook, that wasn't what I came here to post. It was the ongoing and oh-so-tired "omg bsg = downfall of sci fi AND western civilization" that made me do it.

What I really wanted to say, was:

"This is what happens when people who name their children Kandyce and Madycyn are promoted."
posted by greekphilosophy at 11:34 AM on March 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


IT JUST TO SHOW YOU CAN'T BE TOO CAREFUL OR ELSE IT JUST GOES TO SHOW THE HOSE AGAIN.
posted by cortex at 11:36 AM on March 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sooooo ....anyone up for some unalloyed BSG Speculation?
posted by The Whelk at 11:51 AM on March 17, 2009


There could possibly be a middle ground between ANGST ANGST ANGST and People Are Vaguely Lovable To A Laugh Track.

There is. Please use up some of the 99.7% to show this.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:57 AM on March 17, 2009


Eeew. All I can think is Syfy= Syphy = gee, where did this rash come from?

Apparently, other people had the same thought. The Urban Dictionary's syphy entry went up the day of the announcement. The first two definitions refered to syphilis.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:02 PM on March 17, 2009


Up here in Canada we used to have a low budget show called Prisoners of Gravity that would work very well for the geek demographic: it had a crazy MST-like host who interviewed SF novelists.

Prisoners of Gravity was five kinds of awesome -- the Alan Moore show was fantastic -- and I am with Durn Bronzefist in that I would be ready to get cable TV again if someone brought it back. But let 's not pretend that the conceit is real -- the interviews were done by -- so far as I know -- many off-camera people over many years; Rick Green asked questions and his responses were their prerecorded answers, often from years earlier. It was a great show, but it was not precisely interviews.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:04 PM on March 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I just can't wait til I can stop hearing about BG. My girlfriend is like, "You don't have to watch it." And I'm like: "You don't understand. There are nerds. On the internet!"

And is it Battle Star, or Battlestar? Because if you're calling it BSG, that's Battle Star Galactica. I know we all love our TLAs, but WTF. STFU.

(lol)
posted by Eideteker at 12:59 PM on March 17, 2009


Check out Joe Mallozzi's blog for March 16th. (He was formerly a producer for Stargate Atlantis) Thank god some people at SciFi are making fun of this idiocy.
posted by Mouse Army at 1:00 PM on March 17, 2009


I know we all love our TLAs, but WTF. STFU.

TLAs provide a much richer and hence less ambiguous namespace than the T'LA versions.

posted by cortex at 1:29 PM on March 17, 2009


Sooooo ....anyone up for some unalloyed BSG Speculation?

They are all going to die. Failing that, some will live and drift endlessly through space never finding a home, ending the "this has happened before/will happen again" by... all dying.

If Ron Moore gives me a happy ending, it just won't be the same show I've been assaulted by and kept coming back to over and over again. Because I love it and I know it doesn't mean to hurt me, but sometimes I deserve these beatings I get from it. They are for my own good. I love you Battlestar Galactica. Don't you leave me!
posted by crossoverman at 1:34 PM on March 17, 2009


How's Dollhouse doing?

Ohhh, it's not so good, actually.

Supposedly this next episode is the one where Joss breaks free of his chains and makes the best! episodes! ever! I am dubious about this. If Dollhouse makes it through an entire season I'll be astonished.
posted by winna at 1:42 PM on March 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


There could be People Are Vaguely Lovable Till The Great Old Ones Awake.
I would watch that.


That's one of those things that sounds good in principle, but here's what you get:

First, you get N episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond or Family Ties or something like that. Everyone is vaguely lovable, maybe at worst there's a Very Special Episode about lying or smoking dope.

Then, you get one or a few REALLY KICK ASS EPISODES!!!!! where the Great Old Ones awake, humans combat them, humans lose, and madness grips the world.

But after that, you just get an endless series of episodes like this:

----------------------------------------------
RAYMOND: Gibber! Gibber gibber. Gibber gibber gibber, gibber.
DEBRA* (annoyed): GIBBER! GIBBER GIBBER GIBBER! GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIBBER!
RAYMOND: GIBBER? Gibber! *laugh gibbers*

ROBERT enters

ROBERT: Gibber!

DEBRA and RAYMOND kill ROBERT.

---CUT TO R'LYEH---

GREAT CTHULHU eats some people.
----------------------------------------------
I don't think I could watch more than one season of that.

*Is knowing her name something you'd have to actually watch the show to do? Because I had to imdb the show to learn it.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:47 PM on March 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I love you Battlestar Galactica. Don't you leave me!

"Oh, that? I ran into a door. It's funny, I'm so clumsy! Just like Battlestar says I am. It was my fault, really! I'm not good enough for a show like Battlestar"

I had a half-formed idea that they were going to do some time-dilation stuff with the naked singularity. The Battlestar Crew ends up fighting Cavil and the Colony but ends up like a thousand fucking years in the future by the end of it (to them, it's only been a few days) Cue titles: A Thousand Years Later. We scan over to the planet the rest of the Fleet found and colonized. We see a city, a city with a very ..familiar skyline. A six walks through a crowd of people in modern dress. She looks up at the sky and smiles.

Then everything blows up.

alternate ending, the Battlestar crashes into the Capitol Building. I mean, c'mon, how can you resist?
posted by The Whelk at 2:25 PM on March 17, 2009


Whelk: That seems fairly ballsy, but it would take maybe forty-five seconds for the nerdosphere to call foul. This is more than slightly reminiscent of the plot of a DS9 episode from the fifth season, when Ron Moore was the supervising producer.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:08 PM on March 17, 2009


WRYYYYYYYYYYYYY
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:27 PM on March 17, 2009


And is it Battle Star, or Battlestar? Because if you're calling it BSG, that's Battle Star Galactica...

It's Battlestar, but in the show they have "Battlestar Groups", which gets truncated to BSG, and it shows up right there on the crest. The Galactica belongs to Battlestar Group 75, or BSG-75, and the Pegasus belongs to BSG-62. I know this because I have a Battlestar Pegasus keychain. Anyway, that's why it gets called BSG and not BG, which one would pronounce "bug".

Haven't felt the loving touch of a woman for so, so long...
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:34 PM on March 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


They crash on past earth but lincolns statue is a monkey!
posted by Artw at 3:50 PM on March 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Cue titles: A Thousand Years Later.

I've been fixated on this idea myself for a while - that perhaps some of the regular characters do get a "happy" ending by destroying Cavil and perhaps settling, I dunno, on Kobol. But that we also flash forward to the future to see that the cycle has begun again, because if I'm sure of anything with this show, I have to believe RDM thinks human nature doesn't change - even if they can stop the cycle of violence in the short term.

I hope it doesn't have anything to do with the singularity and we just jump ahead, rather than the Galactica be thrown into the future. Although I suppose it allows for flash forwards just out of drama's sake.
posted by crossoverman at 4:34 PM on March 17, 2009


I have never watched DS9 with any kind of regularity so I missed that. Hmm, interesting.

Having the crew kill Cavil and the Colony, blowing p Galatica in the process, all having "good deaths" while the rest of the fleet goes and founds a new colony is the having your cake and eating it too ending ..which I think we're deserved by now (Fuck the haters, I liked Buffy's ending only for the last shot of Buffy smiling and crying into the sun. She's *free* Almost all her problems where about being The Only Girl In All The World, now she's not no more).

But the black hole allows for time-warping, which can fit in nicely with established themes of mysticism and miracles and repetition. It seems odd to mention, out-loud, that it's a naked singularity, meaning unheard of and miraculous, without that being a point. It's pretty big gun on the wall. Made even bigger cause they haven't done a lot of traditional SF tropes like black holes and time travel, so it fucking stands out (unlike say, ST: TNG, where people went back in time every other weekend).

Of course, I've been wildly wrong in the past. I have no idea what's going to happen (For everyone who listened to the latest podcast: WTF RDM? You cannot seriously say these things are not related. You better be bluffin.) but, hey, that's what makes it exciting! I haven't watched a series like this, cliffhangers and all, in real time in a long time. I am the Ur-DVD watcher who waits 4 years before seeing anything ..so it's a very odd and Christmas-eve kinda feeling. Of course, the lesson of Christmas Eve is that Christmas Day is always a let-down, but that's not the point. The point is the excitement itself, and I haven't been excited about ..a fucking TV show with people doing made-up things and pretending to be other people, for a while. This is all making me feel like I'm 12 again, and now that I've shot up a few inches and cleared that acne and can legally drink, it's not a bad feeling.

Of course, I still want Lee to end up President and Kara head of the military ..before she dies in some horrible way that Dooms People. Baltar will change, but only at the last fucking second, when he has no other option, and Mom and Dead Are Gonna Die.
posted by The Whelk at 5:26 PM on March 17, 2009


Supposedly this next episode is the one where Joss breaks free of his chains and makes the best! episodes! ever! I am dubious about this. If Dollhouse makes it through an entire season I'll be astonished.

I'll be more astonished if it really does become this great show, because...like...how could that ever happen? Does it just become a completely different show? Maybe Echo becomes a cop or something and they just lose track of her, or -- wait! the other characters decide the best way to keep track of her is to wipe their OWN personalities and ALSO become completely different characters integrated into the SAME SETTING! -- and then it's a cop show? Or a medical show? Just...not...this show, but something good, and it just goes on from there? Like some Brand New Day thing? Because the only actual problem with the show is what it's actually about; I'd like to see a show with this cast and this writing staff, provided that they had something good to work with.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:49 PM on March 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


All Craprica, all the time!

I prefer the typo from the Times article:

[BSG] has inspired a spin-off, “Capricia,” to begin on Syfy in 2010.

This has to be intentional, doesn't it? I can't imagine a better one-letter send-up of the shaggy-dog-style storytelling on the last few seasons of Galactica. "Capricia Super Omnia" should be the writing staff's official motto.
posted by RogerB at 6:03 PM on March 17, 2009


A bad show written by Joss Whedon? What a shocker.


/ducks
posted by Saxon Kane at 6:06 PM on March 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Haven't they learned that one can make lots and lots of cold hard cash by marketing to geeks?
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 6:21 PM on March 17, 2009


I'll be more astonished if it really does become this great show, because...like...how could that ever happen? Does it just become a completely different show?

kittensforbreakfast sums up what is wrong with Dollhouse better than anyone else could!
posted by winna at 7:41 PM on March 17, 2009


I'll be more astonished if it really does become this great show, because...like...how could that ever happen? Does it just become a completely different show?

I admit, the only reason I'm watching Dollhouse is because it's on right before BSG, and that entire time I'm going "remember Angel's shitty first season!" but yah ...I really don't see how the concept can be a series. A movie? Yes. A Graphic novel? Yes. A one-off in a bigger show? yes. Hell, it could be almost anything other than a weekly show with the way it's been set-up. The nature of the premise makes it hard to be a TV show (cause we can't connect to the main character, cause she doesn't have one, cause that's the point) and the episodes we've seen have been ....less than good.
posted by The Whelk at 7:46 PM on March 17, 2009


Haven't they learned that one can make lots and lots of cold hard cash by marketing to geeks?

Lots of disposable income combined with fetishistic attachment to things, hell yes geeks are good marketing good. Try being gay and geeky, it's like being in the crosshairs of a very stupid Marketing Bot.

So why didn't they peruse that? It would have been so easy to throw on some old episodes of Stark Trek and the Outer Limits, show a couple of movies ...helll bring back old actors to talk about them endlessly. Value-Added content and all that. A SF&F&whatever channel seems like a no-brainer, there are thousands of hours of stuff to show and most very cheap. Even Dark Shadows has a cult following and that's HOURS of cheap footage. Hell, MST3K could have gone on indefinitely with it's budget and support ..and if you bought all the rights could could fucking show the movies, unbot-ed, at 3am and get a good rep as a weirdo network ..like Cartoon network did with Adult Swim. Original shows could be done cheaply, even a half-dour discussion with SF&F*whatever writers and artists would draw a bigger audience and be cheaper than whatever B movie they produced.

Fucking hell, show the JETSONS. on Saturday Morning. Followed by Land Of the Lost. You'll hit a thousand markets at once.

I seem to remember some clever, spunky, Sci-Fi promos and ads in the mid 90s. All very bright and retro and funny, very ..well, very Adult Swim. I remember loving the hell out of them. If they kept that I up, I would probably have paid more attention to the network rather than forgetting it existed after MST3K was cancelled and they fucked for Farscape.

Seriously, even the fucking LOGO network knows to show Hedwig And The Angry Inch every once in a while, and that network is so bad it makes my teeth hurt and my skin age. You got to know your niche.
posted by The Whelk at 7:56 PM on March 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Sci Fi was dead to me the moment they canceled FarScape.

But ScyFy? That's just lulzy right there. Idiots.
posted by Talanvor at 8:20 PM on March 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Weird Syence @ Brand New.
posted by crossoverman at 9:08 PM on March 17, 2009


Carlyle Reveals Why This Is The Darkest Stargate
posted by homunculus at 10:03 PM on March 17, 2009


Carlyle Reveals Why This Is The Darkest Stargate

So it's Stargate: Galactica?
posted by crossoverman at 10:24 PM on March 17, 2009


"and if you bought all the rights could could fucking show the movies, unbot-ed, at 3am and get a good rep as a weirdo network"

I don't know why someone doesn't take on the late night movie host role, like Elvira did. It's so cheap for the network, because the whole idea is you show b-movies, and if you get a good enough host you create a cult following. I miss MST3K, but making it work season after season is not all that easy after a long haul. But I'm not sure why they don't re-run the series occasionally. Still, the drive-in theater is a no-brainer.

I'd love to see a better channel, but I'm weary of television serial drama in colorful jumpsuits. Sci-fi is a lot more fun and interesting than that. Almost never watch the channel anymore. The name change doesn't give me much hope. Sounds like the media driods are fully in control.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:40 PM on March 17, 2009


I don't know why someone doesn't take on the late night movie host role, like Elvira did.

I often wonder this. It's a cheap, fun format. Get some b-movie name to ham it up for 20 minutes on a crappy set and you have television gold! Is Clint Howard doing anything?
posted by brundlefly at 12:11 AM on March 18, 2009


Clint Howard is going to be in the next blockbuster (tie-in movie) from The Asylum, Giant Lizard (who in no way resembles any copyrighted Daikaiju) Teabags Tacoma. We can't take him away from such masterpieces just to host a late night movie showcase.
posted by crataegus at 1:06 AM on March 18, 2009


Bruce Campbell would be a natural.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:31 AM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Talanvor - Absolutely! Any network that's gonna pick Stargate with MacGuyver over the relentlessly badass Farscape makes highly suspect creative decisions.

Such as "SyFy." So, a new name for a channel I've not watched since 2004.
posted by EatTheWeak at 3:44 AM on March 18, 2009


Oh, and Lexx! ... oh, those were the days ...

If I wanted Sci-Fi channel to cancel a show, all I had to do was love it.
posted by EatTheWeak at 3:46 AM on March 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Out of 200 comments, I think empath was the only one to look at the trademark angle.
From /.:
Actually, the problem is that no one could sue *anyone* over the name "Sci-Fi."
Network president Dave Howe explains the name change as a necessity to attract a broader audience. "We love being sci fi⦠But we're more than just space and aliens and the future â" the three things most people think of when they think of 'sci fi.' What this does is hopefully gives us the best of both worlds. You keep the heritage, but also open up to a broader range of content."

The Sci Fi Channel also ran into problems with trademarking the Sci Fi brand!

"We're going to have upwards of 50 Sci Fi Channels in various territories and yet you cannot trademark 'Sci Fi' anywhere in the world," explained Howe. "A new logo design would not solve that particular challenge. We needed a brand name that was own-able, portable and extendable."
Given the choice between bastardizing their existing name to be "the same" and yet trademarkable or having to rebrand the output of a 50+ network of stations, I'll say they made the right call.
This seems to me like the ultimate reason. I mean, if you were going to text it, you'd send "SF", right?

Meanwhile, has anyone been to syfy.com? Since the graphic will soon dissipate:
Syfy is SciFi Channel's new brand identity

Brand evolution reflective of broader range of imagination-based entertainment

creates ownable and extendable brand name for the future

Imagine Greater
to become new tagline.
All of that shit is [sic], including the fragmentary english and lack of punctuation.
posted by Eideteker at 6:47 AM on March 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I dont see why they cant trademark "The Sci-Fi Channel." In fact Im pretty sure they do. I dont see why they need the generic 'sci-fi' in there.

This is like American Movies Classic changing its named to Amyerican Moovies Clazzyc.
posted by damn dirty ape at 6:56 AM on March 18, 2009


Bruce Campbell would be a natural.

As much as I love him, Campbell is almost too legitimate these days. Hell, he was the "Not My Job" guest on "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" a few weeks back! Besides, he's always played the goofy, square-jawed hero type. This type of show needs goofy creepiness. A vampire or mad scientist or something. How about Jeffrey Combs?

Or, we could go in a completely new direction. Think outside the (oak, corpse-filled) box, as it were. The host could be a straight-laced, evangelical teenager -- future Promise Keeper -- who is continually shocked and disgusted (yet subconsciously excited) by the immoral horror movies he's forced to watch.
posted by brundlefly at 7:49 AM on March 18, 2009


Idle-Process Morning Shower Thought: The Hybrids would be a good way to tie everything up.

We know they can project like Cylons and we know they have some capacity for telepathy between themselves. They've been around in some form since the First War and their ...unique outlook on reality and time may cause them to try to "fix" the Human-Cylon relationship via the various visions and HeadWhoms. I don't think they're even aware they're doing it, or just don't make distinctions between other people's minds and their own (or a ship). I guess the real question is, are they Gods or Oracles? Will HybridAnders try to save his wife in some werid Hybrid-y way?

And I still hold onto the end that the "Bring the Human Race To It's end" means the end of Homo Sapiens as an unblended species.
posted by The Whelk at 9:41 AM on March 18, 2009


Also, the Centurions are so gonna turn on Cavil and end up bringing the Models and the Humans together. I will bet cash money.
posted by The Whelk at 9:44 AM on March 18, 2009


I don't know why someone doesn't take on the late night movie host role, like Elvira did.

It would be too smart a move for people who are thinking hard for ways to make their channel dumber.
posted by JHarris at 12:40 PM on March 18, 2009


Stop it Whelk, you're giving me too many cool ideas~! When I see none of them Friday, I'll be even more disappointed!
posted by cavalier at 1:20 PM on March 18, 2009


It would be too smart a move for people who are thinking hard for ways to make their channel dumber.

Well, I don't know...if you're gonna show something like Bloodrayne 2 anyway (and they are...yes...yes, they are), introducing an element of self-conscious irony is about as close to injecting class as you're really gonna get. Plus? Latter-day Elvira? Oh. I'd watch it.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:57 PM on March 18, 2009


Also, the Centurions are so gonna turn on Cavil and end up bringing the Models and the Humans together. I will bet cash money.

I'd forgotten about the Centurions, but this seems very likely yes.
posted by crossoverman at 4:41 PM on March 18, 2009


More like サイファイ, am I right?
posted by sonic meat machine at 5:08 PM on March 18, 2009


Battlestar Galactica - Better than The Wire?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:38 AM on March 19, 2009


Battlestar Finale to run 2 hours, 11 minutes.
posted by crossoverman at 1:15 PM on March 19, 2009


Battlestar Galactica - Better than The Wire?

No.
Not even close.
Not in a million fucking years.
Never, never, never, never, no.
Nor is it "as trippy, mystical and deliciously baffling as Twin Peaks" or anywhere close to "one of the most sophisticated, compelling and original shows that's ever been made."

It's relatively smart mainstream TV. Better than average, but not in any way groundbreaking or brilliant. It has a fairly compelling storyline, decent acting, and a few "big ideas" that it explores in a relatively superficial manner. Sorry folks, it's fine, but not great. And I say this as someone who owns all the DVDs. Really, what reviews like this show is that the rest of TV is really, really shitty.
posted by Saxon Kane at 1:34 PM on March 19, 2009


I've only seen 1.5 seasons of the Wire. I've seen all but 99% of BSG (100% after this Friday). Is BSG better? I dunno, but I can wager that at least at times, it's just as good as the stuff I've seen of the Wire. I don't think you can call BSG "mainstream" tv. NBC try to push it, albeit on Saturdays, on the main network and it failed to pick up folks. It'd probably make for an awesome idea to begin airing the entire series all over again on some weeknight on NBC just to snare in all the hype with it's finale occurring. Despite it's failure to attract an audience on NBC, it simply explored areas that relatively few tv shows or films dared to venture. If it had been on HBO, I'd suspect it would be considered greater, if only for the HBO shine, and for the fact that it would have been forced to be more compact and not be weakened by fulfilling a full network demand of more than 20 plus episodes.
posted by Atreides at 2:48 PM on March 19, 2009


I've only seen one season of The Wire and it was close to perfect. But I'd certainly stand the first season (including the mini-series) of BSG next to it as another example of a perfect season of television. BSG has had missteps, but I think that's been a handful of episodes out of the 75 that have aired. There's been times the show looked like it was going off the rails, but usually found its way out of the corner it painted itself in.

But no way is it as "deliciously baffling" as Twin Peaks. That said, it never tried to be that. I don't think any series has ever tried being that.

It might well be the best science fiction television drama ever, though. As much as I loved Babylon 5 and Deep Space Nine, there's just something about the way BSG tackled its stories and handled its characters that those shows didn't quite manage.
posted by crossoverman at 3:05 PM on March 19, 2009


It's certainly done very well as a ludicrous claims magnet.
posted by Artw at 3:15 PM on March 19, 2009 [3 favorites]


It might well be the best science fiction television drama ever, though. As much as I loved Babylon 5 and Deep Space Nine, there's just something about the way BSG tackled its stories and handled its characters that those shows didn't quite manage.

I think it's possibly the only SF/fantasy show ever to air that used (quality) non-SF/fantasy shows as its storytelling model. As opposed to, like, retreading "Star Trek" or something. To be really honest, as much as I love BSG, I can't really stack it up against something like "The Sopranos" or "Six Feet Under" and claim that it's better, because it's not, but at its very best it's about as good, and more importantly it's about as good in the same way. Too often genre stuff is acknowledged as worthwhile with the mealymouthed "for what it is, I mean" qualifier; and -- again, to be really honest -- that qualifier usually fits. But BSG really works when it works, and in those episodes is only a show about robots and shit the same way "The Sopranos" is a gangster story, which is to say: Yeah, it is, but that's the least relevant thing there is to say about it, and if that's all you're getting out of it, the problem's you, not the show. Sadly, BSG is not always that good -- a lot of the third season is clunky as hell, and while I've enjoyed this last season, I think it's suffering from trying to compress about fifty episodes of stuff into like ten hours (an issue compounded by some time management issues on the part of the writers) -- but it is on balance.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:37 PM on March 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'll give it this - It's fucking amazing that Sci Fi put together something that good, with that much impact, and kept it going for as long as they did despite the odd wibblyness. Good on 'em. Doubt it will be repeated.
posted by Artw at 11:00 PM on March 19, 2009


Artw, your comment is pretty much on the spot and it wasn't for want of "Sy Fy" for trying. One of the issues that gave BSG some trouble was that the Execs wanted the show to be more episodic and less serial. They were afraid new viewers would be intimidated by an on going storyline and turn away when not understanding what's going on. It was never a very good fit for the show and resulted in weaker episodes.
posted by Atreides at 5:19 AM on March 20, 2009


io9 summary of all the random crap the BSG finale will have to deal with (or handily forget)
posted by Artw at 11:51 AM on March 20, 2009


io9 summary of all the random crap the BSG finale will have to deal with (or handily forget)

I think some of them are stretching it a bit... I don't expect them to answer 'is there a god?'. And the 'plan'... no, I think well see a squardren of muffits come flying out of the black hole before we get an answer to that one. But I'll be well hacked off if we don't get a proper answer to Baltar's ghost six or especially Kara's dead duplicate.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:17 PM on March 20, 2009


I wonder if we need some kind of moratorium on discussing tonight’s show until all the people watching on DVRs/in the UK/via piracy catch up. Or possibly I should just avoid the internet.
posted by Artw at 1:23 PM on March 20, 2009


Or possibly I should just avoid the internet.

Well, that's my plan
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:36 PM on March 20, 2009


YOU HAVE A PLAN.
posted by Artw at 2:13 PM on March 20, 2009


Well, Fuck you too, RDM.
posted by The Whelk at 8:35 PM on March 20, 2009


Unplug! Unplug! Initiate blackout!
posted by Artw at 8:39 PM on March 20, 2009


I liked it a lot.
posted by octothorpe at 8:51 PM on March 20, 2009


Huh. So it was Professor Plum in the conservatory with a raptor, after all.



Good stuff.
posted by Atreides at 9:44 PM on March 20, 2009


So, what was Starbuck, some sort of physical manifestation of the god/gods?

Jesus Christ, Ronald Moore kept rubbing our faces in his 'genius' all episode. OMG the opera scene was a premonition! *yawn*

Caprica looks to be another Episode 1 style debacle. Look! E-Paper! Everyone has it!
posted by graventy at 9:48 PM on March 20, 2009


Does this mean I was wrong about John Hodgman being Daniel?
posted by homunculus at 11:37 PM on March 20, 2009


(HUGE SPOILERS)



Yeah, that was awesome. The robot montage was stupid, but that was awesome. I know that some of you probably disagree with my assessment. And, well, you can suck it. Because that was great.

Except for the one thing you all really, really hated a lot. Which, actually, I can deal with. And you know that thing I mean.

I don't think they needed to elaborate on the nature of the unknowable, etc., at all -- I like that the show has a mystical element, if for no better reason than it contrasts neatly against the sci fi stuff. I did not, and do not, want that element explained away. My problem with Starbuck-is-an-angel is not that I'm some twitchy Dawkinsite who can't handle the idea of god(s) or whatever, but that I'm pretty sure the conversation in the writers' room probably was all sorta like:

"Well, shit. We still haven't explained what the fuck is up with Starbuck. I mean, she had this shiny new ship and all..."

"Dude, that was YOUR IDEA. You were like, 'It's so awesome! The shiny new ship! WHERE DID IT COME FROM.' And THEN you were all like, '...We'll figure that out later.'"

"Yeah. ...Yeah, I know."

"So here we are at later."

"Yeah."

"Uh..."

"Dude, what the fuck. Is she a cylon? We're setting it up so she's like this cylon half-breed, right? So she...resurrects. And her, um. Her ship. It also resurrects. ...Uh..."

"Yeah, that makes no fucking sense, actually."

"The ship is a cylon raider, and it resurrects."

"Fuck."

"Okay, so -- okay, so, fuck it, she's an angel. ...The ship's an angel, too."

"Angel ship."

"Yeah, fuck it. Hey, can we put a titty bar in the episode, too? I told this girl at the titty bar she could be in it."

"Yeah, fuck yeah, whatever. ....Which girl?"
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:23 AM on March 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


The bit where Tie shot Adama was awesome! Oh hang on that's Blake's Seven... Nom it was when Adama sits down to play poker... not that's Trek... No, when he give this great speech how the universe is great playground with planets were the skies burn and the sleep... no that's Who.

No of course! It's where they end up on on primitive Earth and start civilization again with the locals... oh no, not that's Hitchhiker isn't it. Silly me.

No, the best bit was... err... what a minute... it'll come...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:57 PM on March 21, 2009


SCI FI president Dave Howe answers your Syfy questions
posted by Artw at 3:28 PM on March 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


My problem with Starbuck-is-an-angel is not that I'm some twitchy Dawkinsite who can't handle the idea of god(s) or whatever

Yeah, it's not like they didn't, you know, FORESHADOW THIS with the references to Aurora - the goddess of light - in the third season episode where Kara dies. Or have Leoben tell her she was an angel. Or, you know, have Baltar tells us there were angels amongst them.

Look, I had problems with the finale - the heavy-handed coda for one thing - but the nature of Kara was not one of problems.

The three hour finale was slightly indulgent but I liked what the show had to say about everything that came before - that some things aren't knowable and that science and religion are things people have faith in and sometimes both can lead people to doing the right thing.

Also, with that ending, it makes the entire series a creation myth - which is frankly fascinating as the conclusion to a SF series. Not that aliens as builders of Earth is original, but that we took four years to get there is pretty impressive.
posted by crossoverman at 4:18 AM on March 22, 2009


Re:end

Handwaving like a motherfucker it is then.
posted by Artw at 3:32 PM on March 22, 2009


Yeah, it's not like they didn't, you know, FORESHADOW THIS with the references to Aurora - the goddess of light - in the third season episode where Kara dies. Or have Leoben tell her she was an angel. Or, you know, have Baltar tells us there were angels amongst them.

They did, and I think Kara = ANGEL would've been just fine and not at all seemed like Kara = A WIZARD DID IT if we had not gone through an entire season that implied heavily that if we were patient and watched it all the way to the end we would find that a wizard had in fact not done it at all.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:50 PM on March 22, 2009


It always was going to be A WIZARD DID IT. They pretty plainly laid it out. We were kidding ourselves to beleive otherwise.
posted by Artw at 4:02 PM on March 22, 2009


Anyhow, anyone who wants to continue watching the channel after that is welcome to it. Unsubscribe!

*Aware that literally unsubscribing is not possible, but taking it off the cable box favourites list.
posted by Artw at 4:38 PM on March 22, 2009


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