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Old November 4th 09, 04:08   #11
KoshFan
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Re: S1: Overwrought?

The big criticism of O'Hare that my buddies and I had was that he's almost always smiling faintly...
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Old November 4th 09, 04:13   #12
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Re: S1: Overwrought?

That was part of his character. Sinclair was Zen, and Sheridan was a jock.
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Old November 4th 09, 12:43   #13
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Re: S1: Overwrought?

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By realistic approach I think he meant the "let's let the actors talk like regular people talk" approach you have today. The first very bad example that pops to my mind is Gilmore Girls (yeah yeah), in which those 2 girls keep talking and talking as if the text itself is meaningless and the only things that matters is what stands behind what they're saying. I don't like that approach to writing (nor do I find it to be ANYTHING like real life), and I definitely don't think it fits in quality TV such as B5.
It's one of the golden rules of fiction writing: what is "great" in real life (read: purely authentic) often translates like shit to the page or to the screen.

Example: When was the last time you watched a good show that included this kind of dialogue:

"So, uh, like, hi."
"Hey, uhh umm, what's up?"
"Uhh, not much, er, at least, er, uh, I dunno."
"Yeah, like, I was, you know, like at school."
"Yeah! School. Yeah!"
"And, uh, fuck that teacher. Bitch."

This could be a real conversation.
....between teenagers, but not between most of the characters on "Babylon 5." Heh, I was just envisioning Sinclair and Londo having that conversation. Seriously, a lot of the people on "Babylon 5" are ambassadors, professional diplomats, soldiers and other business professionals who are certainly not teenagers. They're polished, used to debating and are more likely to come out with thoughts that make their point rather than rambling through idle conversation. I think they usually spoke realistically as their adult characters.
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Old November 4th 09, 13:10   #14
Infested Londo
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Re: S1: Overwrought?

Ugh, when "threading", there comes a time when responding to each and every thing written at you requires you to practically write a goddamn article in return... Since I don't have the time, I'm just gonna generally say I agree with some things written above and don't agree with others.

In regards to what KoshN Said: Well, "real" ambassadors usually don't try to kill each other on a crazed rampage while on drugs, nor do they turn into cocoons or sword-fight an old friend of theirs to the death, so... I don't agree about their language being another part of "the way real ambassadors are". Londo, Gkar, Delenn... They're not real-life ambassadors.

Having said that, I do agree with what someone here said, about life in 2258 possibly being SO different than ours, that those kind of things could make sense for their time; Then again, you could question that by pointing out the fact their behavior doesn't look "futuristic", but the other way around: They sometimes seem out of the dark ages - very traditional, ceremonial, almost tribal and primal. To me, those two do not contradict each other, but represent how JMS views the future: A return to origins and a rekindling of innocence.

Also, I used to hate O'Hare's acting, until I realized: It's not his acting that's weird, it's SINCLAIR that's weird. Sinclair is a weird person. He IS zen, but he's zen in a weird way because he doesn't even understand why he's Zen. He's a person inside of a person, and that messes him up in a not-so-determine way. The brilliance about his character is that it is a WEIRD character. Not "mysterious-weird" like Galen, not "crazy-funny-weird" like Zathras, but just... Real life "can't-put-my-finger-on-what's-weird-about-him-weird".
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Old November 4th 09, 18:02   #15
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Re: S1: Overwrought?

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Seriously, a lot of the people on "Babylon 5" are ambassadors, professional diplomats, soldiers and other business professionals who are certainly not teenagers. They're polished, used to debating and are more likely to come out with thoughts that make their point rather than rambling through idle conversation.
"Fasten/zip" notwithstanding?

*grin*
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Old November 4th 09, 19:38   #16
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Re: S1: Overwrought?

I find that there are a fair amount of moments where it feels that the actors are talking to you, not to the ones they're supposedly having a dialogue with - like when Garibaldi gives Ivanova the "right, you're new here" speech.

It felt so awkward that it just jumps at you. The feeling of it being a clumsy info-bit for the audience is enhanced greatly by how Garibaldi is positioned - I'm not exactly sure if it was that he almost watched at the camera at some point of the conversation, but there certainly was a great deal of that typical monologueism that usually kicks in when the actors are painstakingly aware of the camera and they're giving a more theatric performance - ever seen Walter Koenig in Moontrap?

I have hard time encouraging people to see B5, even when I quite clearly say that nothing comes even close.
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Old November 4th 09, 20:09   #17
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Re: S1: Overwrought?

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Originally Posted by KoshN View Post
Seriously, a lot of the people on "Babylon 5" are ambassadors, professional diplomats, soldiers and other business professionals who are certainly not teenagers. They're polished, used to debating and are more likely to come out with thoughts that make their point rather than rambling through idle conversation.
"Fasten/zip" notwithstanding?

*grin*
Garibaldi brings that out in people.

ps. "I'm not having this conversation."
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Max Eilerson: "The story of my life. I finally find a city like this, intact, deserted for ten thousand years. Probably contains hundreds of patents that I could exploit and I'm going to die. I can appreciate dramatic irony as much as the next person, but this is pushing it a bit."

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Old November 4th 09, 20:10   #18
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Re: S1: Overwrought?

Hmm, personally I felt that little "you're new here" speech was actually rather deftly done. Exposition is always really, really tricky, and "Midnight on the Firing Line" had to do it by the bucketful, and on the whole it came out pretty well.

But then, I'm easily pleased.
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Old November 5th 09, 12:11   #19
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Re: S1: Overwrought?

Yeah, considering how much stuff they throw at you, they came out good. At least I liked every single character right off the bat.

That happens... never?

Well, I instantly liked X-Files' characters too... and Alias seemed to hit it straight on with its cast.

And of course Smallville!

Anyways and regardless, the first season is my favourite in the sense that "it's just starting" and the episodes are more or less one-shot material.

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Old November 11th 09, 18:29   #20
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Re: S1: Overwrought?

What the hell does overwrought even mean?

Sure not all of my friends, even the sci-fi types, got into B5, so what? Folks, it's just TV, it's not important. We all have different ways of killing time and brain cells with audio/visual entertainment.

And as much as I adore B5, if I were to care about how others don't appreciate cool entertainment things as much as I do, a TV show would be low on the list. Things like that record where Louis Armstrong plays songs by W.C. Handy and Bill Hicks would be way ahead.

My guess is there are two stylistic elements that might make B5 jarring to current, especially younger, audiences:

1. Most popular entertainment now is done in the visual and pacing style of movies. Close-ups, dynamic camera work, "natural" dialogue. B5, however, is more theatrical. It uses stage dynamics, so you get a lot of speechifying, flat and static placement of people and objects. On Lost or Battlestar Galactica, the camera moves to the person. On B5, the person walks into the camera's view, for example.

2. Older cast of characters. Everything is youth-oriented. Teenage space aliens, high-school vampires and their slayers, etc. B5 has people regretting things from decades ago and worrying about their legacy, and forgetting how to dance, etc.

Of course, I actually like that stuff.
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