Monday, July 17, 2006

Weekend of Sloth II

The first Weekend of Sloth was such a huge hit that I decided to try a sequel this weekend. Alas, while still quite successful, it wasn't quite as good as the first Weekend of Sloth. The first had three whole days of doing nothing, whereas the follow-up only had two. Not to mention the fact that some actual work was done this past weekend. Dishes had to be cleaned, the apartment tidied and laundry done. Not to mention for reason yet determined the cable TV went out and as of this typing has not returned.

Still, it was successful enough that I strongly suspect the trilogy of Sloth will completed this coming weekend. However, there are indications that the audience is getting a bit restless of Sloth and this weekend may even be less successful and in all likelihood the final one.

With the cable out, I decided to make this a Babylon 5 marathon weekend as well. As I'm sure I've said before Babylon 5 is one of my favourite shows. While I've had all the episodes for awhile, I've never sat down and watched them all in a short period of time before.

Does it make a difference? Well, other than the joy of not having to wait weeks or months for new episodes, as I had to when the show was airing, or the months between DVD releases, there is the pleasure of being able to watch the story arc and see the momentum build and ebb over the course of the seasons in a few days.

There are some things that stand out, though...

1. The computer special effects have really not aged well. The show is 10 years ago and it looks like it. Funny, Deep Space Nine was on at the same time with many of the same themes. But that show's special effects hold up much better.
2. Season one remains terrible. There are maybe six good episodes in the whole season. I appreciate that many of the episodes had to set up things - both large and small - that would be developed later. But you really wish it could be better. It's a bit of a miracle the show made it out of the first season. It's also hard to recommend to people when you have to be constantly telling them, while they watch the first season "really, it gets much better than this."
3. I'm only half way through season three, but it really is the best of the seasons so far. The first was terrible, the second really good, but it was still laying foundations. The third is where everything came together. The writing was top notch and the actors finally looked comfortable.
4. Not that there was anything terrible with seasons four and five, but they just weren't as good. Four was clearly rushed as the producers feared the show was going to be cancelled at the end of the season and they wanted to get everything tied up. Five was too much filler. They tied up a lot of the plot points in four, which meant they had about half a season of filler with a telepath crisis.

I honestly don't know how many people will like this show, but I still consider it one of the finest sci-fi shows on TV. I suspect people who like the current Battlestar Galactica might like it. I'm hoping to get the rest of the shows watched before heading to San Francisco, but we shall see.


colette said...

The sequel is rarely better than the original.

(Someone had to say it.)

You mean to tell me that you went an entire week (or more) without washing dishes!? Or laundry? Good God, I feel faint.

Jason said...

I tried watching the Crusade box set I picked up a while back at the same time I was watching season one of Battlestar. Crusade I found was really campy at times and forced. The effects did not hold up. I willing to be Battlestar will hold up as it's more of a drama that just happens to be a sci fi show.

towniebastard said...

Colette, I was the dishes several times a week. However, I don't see the need to do laundry that often. I don't dirty up that much clothing. I sit in an office all day.

And Jason, I think most people will agree Crusade was a failure. But B5 has its eerie moments of foreshadowing. A president under pressure from scandal and corruption uses patroitism and the threat of an outside "alien" group to crack down on dissident at home. Those who speak out are traitors and unpatriotic. "We must support the president" is said more than once during the show.

It's actually one of the points of the show I've been most struck by while rewatching it.