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After dating me for almost four years, Akemi finally decided it was time to take the plunge.  Yes, after all these years, she finally made the BIG commitment.  She actually started watching Stargate!

I gave her a choice between the three series – SG-1, Atlantis, and Universe .  She elected to go with the latter because, apparently, next to spiders and moldy cheese, crappy visual effects are one of her biggest fears.

So, over the last week or so, we watched the first ten episodes of Stargate: Universe.  I was surprised by some of her reactions, and not all that surprised by others.

What follows are her thoughts on the first half of SGU’s first season.

AIR I and II

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She found the opening two-parter very confusing with the jumping backwards and forwards in time and the various locations.  And then, when the stones were introduced… Ten episodes in, and she still couldn’t fully grasp the concept.  On the other hand, she did find the two episodes incredibly exciting and was very impressed with the show’s visual effects.  Curiously, she expressed the most admiration, not for a singular character, but for a piece of Ancient technology: the kino!  She likes “kino-chan’s” honeycomb style lens and desperately wants one.  She also found the fact that a character named Young is played by an older actor curious and amusing.

“First episode is most exciting for me.”

AIR III

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By the third episode, we start exploring the characters.  The ones who stood out to her in this outing were Rush, Greer, Eli – and, of course, the kino (which warrants a mention even though it isn’t actually a character).  Some of her thoughts:

On Rush: “I liked Scottish guy at first and very much liked his accent but chotto (kind of) getting kowaii (scary) now; becoming angry bird.”

On Greer: “I like his character actually.  Very tough.”

On Eli: “I like Eli because he’s cute.  Like bear.”

On the episode itself: I kinda liked it.  Episode made me thirsty.”

DARKNESS

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I was curious to see what she thought of this episode because of its, er, languorous pacing.  Well, not surprisingly, she wasn’t  huge fan.  She found the dialogue-heavy scenes difficult to follow, but had great respect for actress Jennifer Spence’s wordy/techy kino scene.

Akemi: “Who wrote such crazy sentences?  Who decides who says what?”

Me: “Well, she plays the part of a scientist so that’s the type of dialogue she has to learn for the role.”

Akemi: “So, just bad luck.”

Me: “Yes, bad luck she was cast as a scientist.”

Given that certain fans didn’t exactly warm to Chloe, I wondered what Akemi would think of the character.  Her take:

“I don’t like Chloe’s dress.  It looks like her father picked it.  I like her though.  She is beautiful.”

As for the episode itselfL:

“This episode I had a hard time understanding because a lot of talking instead of happening.”

LIGHT

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She got back on track with this episode, mainly owing to the stunning – the star sequence, yes, but also the scene in which Greer strips down in his quarters to await certain death.

WATER

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This episode caused her to reconsider the show, not because it was bad but because the suspense proved too unbearable.  Every time the swarm appeared, she was on the edge of her seat (or the bed in this case), asking a multitude of questions: “What is that bug by the way?  Where are they from?  Stalker?”  When I asked her why she could sit through American Horror Story without flinching yet practically crawl under the covers while watching this episode, she said: “I don’t believe in witch but unconsciously I’m afraid of aliens so chotto kowaii (kind of scary)”.

She did fear for Lieutenant Scott, stuck in that crevasse, commenting on the possibility and romantic ramifications of his death: “I though he gonna die.  Then, if he die, geek guy and beautiful girl be love-oo love-oo.”

As for the episode itself: “The episode was a little scary for me.  I can’t watch Stargate anymore.  One of the most scary episodes I’ve ever watched.”

EARTH

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Fortunately, by the next night, she had reconsidered and was eager to get back to it.  While this episode was certainly NOT scary, I was curious to see how she’d respond given how polarizing the episode had been among the fans.  The verdict?  “I liked this episode so much.  Very nice episode.  Not scary.”

When they first use the stones –

Akemi: “How many times can they use the stones?”

Joe: “As many times as they like.”

Akemi (critical): “So convenient.”

On Young having sex with his wife in Telford’s body: “WTF?!”

When Chloe complains about the fact that her best friend has slept with her boyfriend: “But she’s sleeping with Scott!”  Good point!

TIME

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Given her response to Water, I considered skipping this episode but she insisted on checking out.  And it turned out to be an excellent call because she absolutely LOVED it, declaring it her favorite episode of the show and instilling in her great respect for Rob Cooper (“Not just your friend and good at making pizza, but great director!”).  Not surprisingly, she found the time travel aspect a little confusing, and I talked her through it as best I could.  She was able to get on board thanks to her childhood viewing of the anime Doraemon about an alien cat-like creature that travels to the present from the future, armed with a host of far future tech like: “A door that when you open it and think of where you want to go, you are there.  A sort of hat that lets you fly.  A special pocket that you can put as much as you want inside, doesn’t matter the size.”

LIFE

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She greatly enjoyed Earth.  Would she enjoy this similarly themed episode in which we explore the lives-left-behind of a couple of other characters.  In a word: no.

Her take: “I feel like I am watching a different show.   Affair.  Not affair.  Like Real Housewives.  Chotto ralakkuchan (kind of relaxed).  I don’t like when the kino doesn’t show up very often.”

JUSTICE

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And, finally, we capped off the first half of the show’s first season with this shipboard court thriller.  It made her nostalgic for Time.  She bumped on Eli, casually searching Young’s quarter, suddenly keying on the vent of all places.  She not only couldn’t understand the details of the court scenes but questioned why a court had to be assembled at all given the lack of evidence.

A few other thoughts:

“Nice to see Patrick (Gilmore).”

“Why commander left that science guy on the planet?  They need him, no?”

Agree with Akemi’s takes?  Disagree?  I found it very interesting to revisit these episodes after a few years and was surprised by my own responses.  Two of the biggest: Justice was an episode I really liked back in the day but after a repeat viewing with some distance, not so much at all.  On the other hand, Time was an episode I absolutely loved when I first watched it three years ago and loved even more on the rematch.  Just brilliant.

And there you have it: Stargate Universe 1.0!  The Japanese Girlfriend Edition.    Stay tuned for Stargate Universe 1.5!  The Japanese Girlfriend Edition!  Coming in January of 2014!

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gforce
gforce

“On Young having sex with his wife in Telford’s body: “WTF?!””

Indeed.

I have to agree with Akemi’s comments about the stones being too convenient. I thought at the time that the stones made things a little to easy to communicate back with Earth and right off the bat. I do understand the desire to open the world of the show up to include more than just the ship, but at times thought that the sense of isolation and being “lost” would be better served if it were at least more difficult to get in touch with Earth, for example if the stones were just a lot less reliable.

I remember actually liking “Earth” and “Life” about equally, but they were definitely more character driven episodes, at least in my memory. I’m going to have to get out the DVD’s and rewatch – it’s been a while!

Akemi should at least watch the last two seasons of SG1, since so much of SGU’s background is in those seasons (stones, Lucian Allliance). Those seasons are kind of able to stand alone as well, so she could get that primer without having to go through all 10 years. Plus, the VFX was great by then!

baterista9
baterista9

May I tweet the link to a few cast members?

Gilder Anne McCarroll baterista9@aol.com San Antonio, TX, USA Sent from my iPhone

>

Randomness
Randomness

@Why commander left that science guy on the planet? They need him, no

Wasn’t this conclusively explained by the end of the season even? Rush and Youngs relationship was greatly emphasized and their mutual dislike for each other took precedent at times. Rush was never Mr Popular aboard Destiny, not only for his attitude, but because he stranded everyone on Destiny to begin with lol.

Randomness
Randomness

Oh my bad Joe, I didn’t read the only 10 episodes part. Sorry smile

Tammy Dixon
Tammy Dixon

I just want to state that I love Akemi! Her impressions were spot on. Makes me want to watch a SGU marathon again. Did so last year and enjoyed it.

Jovanna
Jovanna

Funny Akemi. So asian. My dad had similar views, but then he only watched some of SGU out of loyalty to the franchise. He didn’t like SGU as much as SG1 and SGA.

James

I remember the presence of communications stones drove me crazy 4 years ago when I saw “Air”. Yes, the tech had been set up in late SG-1 (and reintroduced in Atlantis’ closing episodes), and yes it allowed for character crossovers…

…but it was too easy.

Ponytail
Ponytail

I totally agree with Akemi, especially the part about Robert C. Cooper… “her great respect for Rob Cooper (“Not just your friend and good at making pizza, but great director!”).” Some of his SGA episodes (Sateda, Runner, Vegas) gave him a special place in my heart. He is an awesome writer, producer, director. There appears to be nothing he can’t do and do it very well. I am in awe of him.

shaneac1
shaneac1

I’m watching season one as well on netflix right now tonight’s episodes going to be air 3 some part of me wonders if Destiny is still out there traveling from galaxy to galaxy maybe one day we will all get closure.

Kathode
Kathode

Time was my favourite episode. I apologize: I didn’t care much for SGU, and I stopped watching after 1.0 and didn’t return after the hiatus between 1.0 and 1.5. (I despise long hiatuses.) But I did like Time quite a bit. Mostly because I got to see a lot of characters I hated bite it. But also because I really liked the clever time twist.

Tammy Dixon
Tammy Dixon

I read my hubby what your mom thinks about Skype Apparently, she doesn’t like Skype because it makes people’s heads too big and grotesque. He had a little chuckle over it because he can imagine my mom (or his mom) saying the same thing. Hubby suggested a smart phone because everything looks smaller on a smart phone screen. I’m not sure your mom would like a smart phone but I thought I would pass that along as a suggestion.

I got lucky and found “The Double Comfort Safari Club” in Mp3 form from the library. It’s a good book!

Carl Binder
Carl Binder

That was awesome!

gforce
gforce

Yo, Carl!!

Mike from Canada
Mike from Canada

I don’t agree about the stones. They were well documented in the other series. Obviously if your going on a one way trip, your going to want to take them.
I think, personally, they didn’t use them for what they should have used them for. They should have been used to bring in trainers. The best in their field to train everyone who didn’t already have a specialty. Fighting, combat, surgery.

If you really want to treat Akemi to bad special effects, get her a copy of The Green Slime. I watched this when I was about 6 at the theater and it almost scared the water out of me. Now I can see it’s the most absurd poorly executed special effects I’ve seen.

skua

Im with Akemi stones are a Deus ex machina. I wait to see the second part of season with your scripts. lol
And lads be careful with the beans this christmas:

PBMom

I need to comment later. I have a lot to say about these since this is the first time we’re actually discussing it in retrospect on the blog. I have to run out to pet sit in about 30 minutes and I think it will take me longer than 30 minutes to comment.

Michael
Michael

Your girlfriend is super cool.

dasndanger
dasndanger

1. “WTF?” – Totally.

2. Greer? – Totally agree.

3. Akemi? – Totally a big chicken. smile

(However, I do totally agree with her on the spider issue…)

das

gforce
gforce

Oh, Mike- I think we need to do the Green Slime in the Cookie Monster reviews. That looks ripe for the picking (on).

Mike from Canada
Mike from Canada

Gforce: It could be fun. I’m game! And as a plus for Cookie, it doesn’t have Bruce Willis in it.

pg15

Woah woah woah wait a minute Joe. Let’s get this right here.

Doraemon is a robot cat that was sent from the future back to the present to help a boy named Nobita navigate the hardships of young adult life in Japan with the aid of his “4D pouch”, which has essentially infinite space and contains many gadgets from the future. He was sent back by Nobita’s descendent, whose life is pretty terrible because of Nobita’s incompetence all those many years (and generations) ago. Think of it like Terminators, but without the killings and the nuclear war. The typical short story would usually involve Nobita getting beaten up by the local bully, or being too lazy to do his homework, or getting jealous of his rich friend, or figuring out a way to woo his female friend, and asking Doraemon to help him by ways of a fancy future gadget, which he would promptly use and then abuse, and maybe learn a lesson or two. There are also longer stories that involve the whole team of friends (Doraemon, Nobita, the bully, the rich kid, and the girl) going on some huge adventure, like to the bottom of the sea, or outer space, or a world of animals, or Africa.

I read the whole comic collection (or as much as I can get my hands on) when I was a kid and I loved it. It’s actually very well written. You should track some of it down and give it a whirl!

*Returns to lurkdom*

PBMom

WOOO-HOOOO PG15 is back. Paging Dr. Peter….. Paging Dr. Peter.

Mike A.
Mike A.

I’ve been away for a while due to the holidays and other various reasons, but now that I’m back at work and things are very slow right now, you’ll be seeing a smattering of posts from me on probably more than a couple of your blogs since the time I left.

I have to agree on SGU’s “Time”. Still probably my favorite episode of the series. I have to ask(maybe I already have before, I don’t remember)….

When you watch a finished episode(as it was aired) of a show you’ve worked on, does being the writer/director/showrunner/EP(or whatever your role on a particular episode might have been) “taint’ your viewing experience somehow? Are you able to watch your show with the same kind of objectivity we do? Logic would dictate no because you already know what’s going to happen. But you’re a smart guy and a definite fan of not only the craft, but the story as well who truly appreciates others’ work when it’s well done. So, that tells me yes. I just think it’d be challenging to watch something you were there for the making of and enjoy it to the same level as a regular viewer. Or, is the finished product(after VFX, sound, editing) far enough removed from what was shot(the first hand/personal experience) that making that psychological distinction is a little easier?

Kind of a lengthy/wordy question, but you get what I mean right? wink

-Mike A.

Mark Brown
Mark Brown

Dear Joseph Mallozzi,

I am a long time Stargate fan.

Why not ask Net Flicks if they want to continue Star Gate Universe? With many television type series winding up for NetFlicks, they need new T.V type series and Netflicks wants shows not wrestling like Sci Fi. The bonus with Net Flicks is that a time schedule does not matter as it is on demand. SGU will get the chance to stand on its own for ratings with no interfearence. I will watch as will many others because if SGU goes onto Net Flicks, SGU fans can watch other movies etc as well. I am also born in Montreal in 1965 except on August 10, so we have something in common as well as interest in Star Gate. I hope you read this and make the call to Net Flicks. If anyone else here knows the contact email for Joseph Mallozzi please make this suggestion to him. The worst that can happene is that Net Flicks would say no, but I have the feeling it would be a yes.

Thanks Mark