BSG, Archetypes and the Tiny Towel

So last night we watched Battlestar Galactica, ate Godiva chocolate and had a few drinks together. This is the equivalent to a wild night for us, LOL. Thank you to a dear friend who sent the chocolate as a congratulations for my Spice sale! I’m a lucky woman in my friends!

Anyway, watching a show that’s as good at integrating meta and micro storylines as BSG makes me think on the “big themes” in our mytho-religious cultural consciousness (and yes, I went to a liberal arts college) – heroism, individuality, love, war, hate, belief, etc.

Here you’ve got Starbuck – Kara Thrace
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And I love Kara. Or the Kara of the last few seasons and even the beginning of this one. This Kara is a mess, but she’s strong and loyal and courageous and she does not give up. She’s totally flawed and pushes away the people who can help her overcome those flaws but she’s also someone you can count on in a fight. I hate what they’ve done to her in the last three or four episodes. Gone is her strength. She’s suddenly a drunken whiner who shits on the people she loves. I am hoping last night’s episode is the first step in taking her back to the Kara she was when she retrieved the arrow.

And then just to give your eyes a treat, there’s Kara’s husband Anders

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Lookit him. Mrwoow! He was in the resistance on New caprica, fought and fought to find Kara, who’d been taken. But then he sort of gave up on her when they got back and she went all nuts. Hello, does no one think to say, “wow, you want to talk about being kidnapped and mindfucked by the cylons for four months?” They all just sort of what, expect her to deal with that without help? If you love her Anders, fight for her like you did when you didn’t even know she was alive!

And then there’s Lee Apollo. Lee of the very tiny towel and the washboard abs.
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I lurve to look at him, oh yes I do. But frankly, I’m not so impressed with his character. He did sort of redeem himself when he showed up to help his dad save the folks on New Caprica but he’s a bit of a whiner. I mean, does he think having a parent more interested in everything else but him or favoring one child or whatever, is unusual? It’s not, especially on TV or in books. The flashbacks on last night’s show did redeem him a bit though.

Anyway, the core of BSG are big archetypes – the hero (the tortured hero -Kara going to Caprica to get that arrow, defying orders to do it, risking her life. Kara going to blow up the resurrection ship, etc); the conscience (Rosslyn); the father (Adama and last night really underlined that when he stepped away from friend mode and fully embraced dad mode again); the multi faceted villain (oh Gaius! Oh Six! The cylons are the finest example of enemy in the mirror I’ve seen in a very long time); salt of the earth – Chief; uncertain hero/timebomb – Boomer/Athena.

In a sense, everything is derivative. But it’s what you do with these foundational archetypes that sets your book/movie/television show apart from the rest.

One comment to “BSG, Archetypes and the Tiny Towel”

  1. Loribelle Hunt
    December 3rd, 2006 at 5:51 pm · Link

    This is one of the best shows in years. I love BSG (and Jericho oddly enough, can’t believe I got hooked on it!). I’m also hoping this week’s show was a beginning of the return to the old Kara. You’d expect her to be fucked up after captivity, but the fact NO ONE tried to help after that just makes her more sympathetic imo (not to mention real;y ticks me off lol). Apollo and Anders are nice to look out, but I’ve been very disappointed in them the last few episodes. I think I’m just watching it to see what Kara does these days lol.