Wednesday, October 20, 2010

When You're Good at Something, You Crash a Lot

It's a big internet, so it's good to have a niche. I'd go with grass, but there's not a lot of grass in the refugee fleet.

The other thing I like to think about is skills. TV actually doesn't do a lot with skills --except for all those cooking and making-stuff-out-of-junk shows. Which, who knows, might be filling a vacuum. The only exception (besides the one I'm going to rant about)  is doctors, who are always awesomely excellent. That's how you can tell that they aren't real people, at least until the script monkeys put the "real" back in the mix by adding an addiction and maybe a failed relationship or two.

Usually, the only skills that come into prominence involve killing people with lots of kinematic camera work, and the people who do that stuff are pretty messed up, like Starbuck and maybe that Sayid Jarrah. There seems to be a lot of skill keeping the Colonial Fleet going (the Lost guys seem to be mainly working on their tans), but the only guy with skills who gets a named role on BSG is the Chief, and he doesn't even get a commission, so he can sleep with his girlfriend, who gets to be an officer because she flies a space-plane. Badly. Even before everybody got all sleep deprived from all that Cylon raiding. Oh well, if they can just get away, he'll get to the carrot called Earth and he can marry his space babe and they can live in an awesome house in Kits. The carrot's hanging right there in front of them. How long could it take?

Fortunately, it's possible to fly a kind of spaceplane that isn't about killing people --or Cylons. Directly. And it turns out that besides Burke-Her-Ship-Boomer, there's one Raptor crewperson who is good at it. It's just that he's down on radiated Caprica, following, but oh-so-carefully not chasing Grace Park/not-Boomer's tail around. (Good plan, Lieutenant Doright! Frustration and mooning over the unobtainable is good for the soul, and makes for long blog posts. And that's a good thing, right?)

But Lost, that's another matter. You know who would come in handy on a deserted tropical island? An expert fisherman who can catch eatin' fish out of the surf pounding the castaways' open beach. (It's a lot harder than it looks. Can't they find a cove or something?) Too bad that there isn't some expert Korean fisherman aboard the plane. But what are the odds? Someone with that skillset is looked down on in Korean society, and no way would he have the cash to afford to be on a Sydney-Los Angeles flight.

Only, look. That stick-to-himself, unpleasant Korean guy? He has those skills. It turns out that he is the son of a fisherman, and that nevertheless he got to marry the boss' daughter. How the heck did that happen? Not on the basis of his awesome fishing skills, that's for sure. As it turns out, he got an entry level role in Dad's organisation as an enforcer. (Why, of course the big Korean businessman is a gangster. And he plays Starcraft in his spare time, and eats kimchee. He's probably a whiz at tae kwon do, too.) Sigh. It turns out that Jin is good at something useful. Beating people up.

Way to miss a teachable moment, script monkeys.

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