Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sundays through the Stargate - The Beginning

My introduction to Stargate SG1 was quite late and almost never happened at all.  I developed a guilty pleasure type relationship with one of SG1's offshoots Stargate Atlantis.  I recognized that Atlantis was not terribly complex, or overly endowed with brilliant acting and had some issues gelling BUT it was so much fun and the characters, while shallow, were fun to hang around with.  Somehow, while lurking around discussion forums for the show I got the impression that SG1 was not nearly so fun and the characters sounded like mary sues and prigs compared to the Atlantis crew.  An alien named Teal'C who carried some kind of snake like creature around in a pouch in his belly?!  I added it to my to watch list but was convinced it wouldn't give me the same happy feelings as Atlantis and wasn't in any hurry.

This is where you say..."What were you thinking?  What were these forums you were reading?  Was there some drinking involved with your television watching decision making?", because like most shows the original incarnation, SG1, is ten times more awesome than any of its off shoots.  Not that SG1 is thought-provoking intellectual television at its cleverest but it easily became one of my favorite science fiction TV shows.

So what do I love about it?

1) The shows unique combination of Myth/Archeology, Science and Science Fiction.   The premise is unique, full of story possibilities, and ensures that the show is not JUST action/adventure.

2) For the majority of the run of the show it's got some great bad guys.  The Goa'uld aren't necessarily that scary but they are fun and campy and good evil nemeses.  The Replicators which show up a little later are actually pretty scary and daunting and at times even creepy.

3) The Humor/Richard Dean Anderson.  These two are combined because RDA really brings the humor and defines the show's tone which is pure fun. Who knew he was such a comedic genius.  It's sci-fi that doesn't take itself too seriously which I adore.  He manages to do this while also being very believable as a colonel in the Air Force.  He is the heart of the show, no doubt about it and he is awesome.  He also constituted my first May/December crush because Hubba Hubba, I don't care if you are old enough to be my dad, RDA. 

4) The Team:  SG1 consisting of Jack O'Neill, Samantha Carter, Daniel Jackson, and Teal'c has the perfect dynamic.  Jack is the veteran bad ass military colonel and a perfectly honed smart ass, Carter is the super intelligent scientist who is also a military officer, Daniel Jackson is the somewhat flighty but brilliant archeologist who keeps everyone honest, and Teal'c is the muscle who often serves as the straight man.  They bond, work together and clash in completely believable ways and their relationships with each other are complex and fun to dissect. Speaking of which...

5) Sam and Jack.  The show has one of my most favorite 'ships in all the known universe between Jack O'Neill and Samantha Carter.  They are kept apart and indeed from even showing their feelings by military regulations but ever so occasionally their longing for one another makes a brief and sigh-worthy appearance.  It is a fantastic ship to dissect but it is also one of the most frustratingly managed.  But more (much more, I'm afraid) about that later.

6) Samantha Carter.  She's one of my favorite female characters ever.  The Stargate franchise as a whole isn't particularly "feminist" (there are buxom, skimpily clad lady aliens galore) but Sam is an amazing role model and character.  She is a super intelligent scientist in the military.  She's strong, independent and really beautiful but it is rarely if ever about that.  She is worth watching the show for.

Those are probably my top favorite things but there are a few things that I DON'T love about it:

1) The Jaffa and their storylines.  I like Teal'C all right - he plays a key role in the team and in the show and I kind of love Bra'tac but I find most of the Jaffa storylines and the episodes that focus on Teal'c pretty dull.  It doesn't help that the Jaffa's and particularly Teal'c's gender politics is questionable at best and downright despicable at worst.

2) Sha're and Daniel.  Apparently I don't like things with inappropriate apostrophes.  This storyline kind of went nowhere and whenever there were a VERY few and far between episodes with Sha're on it, Daniel acted like a complete ass.  He would go months and months chipper as a lark until a "Sha're" episode came along and all the sudden he was deep in the despair-of-lost-wife-who-was- given-to-me-against-her-will-though-it's-okay-because-we-totally- grew-to-love-each-other-totally.   I know it would have been just as annoying if he had moped around constantly for 3 seasons but really they should have just killed her straight off and Daniel should have joined the Stargate program so he could exact his revenge and because IT IS TOTALLY HIS DREAM JOB!

3) That once again, the totally dreamy and charismatic actor who was the heart of the show and who I had a crush on and who was involved in a completely unclear ship with one of my favorite lady characters leaves the program before it is over.  Richard Dean Anderson who was one of the producers for the show darn it, gets bored and leaves after season 8.  He makes a few token appearances after but really he's gone never to be mentioned again.  Seriously I know it's ridiculous to get mad at actors for wanting to, you know, live their own damn lives but I can't help it. He apparently left to spend more time with his young daughter. Despicable. I AM JUST KIDDING.  STOP LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT. Maybe instead I should be mad that the show runners didn't see the writing on the wall and just wrap that puppy up when Anderson left. 

So with that laid out I think I'm ready to dive into some season by season posts.  My intention is to post every Sunday about each successive season, with the exception perhaps of season's 9 and 10 which I have yet to be able to get through.  I'll talk about the overall season arc and about certain individual episodes that I feel like talking about because I think they are important or they are favorites.  There will likely be a LOT of Sam/Jack 'ship analysis because I love that shit. Sorry! 

Let the inter-gate travel begin!

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