Tonight's SGU is being heralded as a cast favorite. Ironically, it's the episode where everyone on Destiny dies, which should make some Gater-haters happy. Still, we think there's a lot good in this series; it just needs a few tweaks.
The Watcher, a long time Stargate critic, had a run in with the Gate just this week. After criticizing the show she received a message in her comments section from the show's producer Brad Wright. The response is well worth a read. On top of that SGU writer Joseph Mallozzi took to his blog telling various trolls and SGU haters to back off, well technically, he called them idiots. And let's not forget when everyone called the new gate sexist.
So can the series still pull out from under all of this drama? We actually think so, if the show starts giving the fans what they want. So we rounded up a few hopeful ideas for how SGU could win back all the haters.
What We Want More Of
Colonel Everett Young
Louis Ferreira is the glue that is holding the Destiny, and this show, together. In these last few episodes, Young has become a much larger part of the story without revealing much, if anything, about his past. And yet I'm riveted. This character and actor haven't had a misstep yet. It's an absolute delight unraveling the secrets behind this character. Even when he's a bit gruff, Young has a reassuring and realistic manner that sets the crew at ease by merely saying, "I've done this 12 times, no big deal" mention. No need for the wink and nod routine, he sets the standards merely by being himself.
Plus, he can really pull off that something-is-boiling-underneath, tortured soul look — without being as cheesy as how I just described it. As opposed to Rush's character, who just screams, rants, and raves to a point where I don't really care what he's hiding. Rush's a petty little jerk who reminds me more of the Nick Burns IT guy than a tortured genius. Even when he's quiet he's just trying too hard to be a "frustrated dick." We know Robert Carlyle is a great actor, I'm just hoping they give him more to work with and soon. Because right now his mystery and ambiguous morals are lost in his Nick Burns antics.
Meanwhile, Young cheated on his wife and I still wish him obscene amounts of happiness. Either give us more Young, or invest in the other characters the way you have invested in Young.
What's Ming-Na's character's name? Seriously, what is it? I forget almost every time, because she has had absolutely no screen time or character development in this series. Apparently, because she's a hard ass and works for a company, that makes her important. Same goes for TJ. Sure it seems that she and Young had a thing going on at one time, but that's all I can tell you about her, besides the fact that she can keep a cool head under pressure.
Critics have been accusing SGU of being sexist for weeks now, and when the only female character with a large speaking role is sleeping with one male character and making out with another male character while crying and drunk, well... let's just say it's been a losing battle thus far. Let's hope tonight's episode changes all that, please? More women. I think I may like T.J., so write her into the story. Let me like T.J. please! Oh, and Ming-Na's character is named Camile Wray, by the way.
While we're asking for more from our characters, whatever happened to all the flashbacks from the beginning of this series? I'd even take another super-religious flashback priest in the desert heat stroke flashback. Whatever, as long as it meant getting to know these people better. So how about it? More flashbacks please? You don't have to reveal all the secrets but maybe just a taste so we care when Greer continually acts like a psycho. Give us a reason behind it something not just a big "well he's damaged" stamp and expect us to just deal with it because he gets naked when he thinks it's death time. Even a blurry quickie jump similar to Eli's Mom vision helps. Something please.
David Blue has been saddled with the amazingly huge task of bringing humor to this otherwise dark show. He's just about the only person who does anything light, and sadly it's usually incredibly forced. But that's his character, a socially awkward, but lovable dude. It's okay when his jokes come out forced, because that's what his humor was set up to do: act like a defense mechanism for the character.
So when you see Eli Wallace showing real emotion, it's hard not to get choked up. Even when they paint him as the panting, lovesick nerd, which they love to do, he cuts through his own BS with one killer knowing glance. This is why he actually works as a socially awkward sometimes funny, sometimes beating the joke to death character. But it get's muddled when SGU asks too much of Eli. It's near next to impossible to be funny, awkwardly funny, diffuse the moment funny and defense mechanism funny at the same time, and all alone. He needs some help here.
The show really needs a bit more unforced humor. This crew must lighten up somehow; that way, we won't be expecting everything Eli says to be funny. If we lighten his humor load, we could view him as a fully formed character with flaws, and not just the character who's supposed to make you laugh, because no one else is. Stargate writers are funny, we know this, so blend the darkness and the humor they way we know you can, and promised you would.
The best part of a Gate series is putting the crew on a strange planet and watching what happens. Thankfully, I think tonight will welcome back this tradition. Sure, it's been fun seeing pairs here and there on the snow planet and desert planet, but I want to see the team flee for their lives from native beasts or angry hostiles. It's more interesting than "What has Destiny run out of this week?" Still, I think we'll be seeing a lot more of this in the future.
What We Want Less Of
The Slow Burn
It's high time some secrets were spilled. I think we all realize that survival is the first priority on Destiny, and watching humans freak out about a lack of air, water, or power is interesting, but only if I'm emotionally connected to the characters who could die. And they already killed off Shooter, so the only characters we're really invested in right now are Eli, Scott, the Senator's Daughter, and Young. I'd like to get to know the rest of the crew, so the next time there's a lottery for who gets to live and who has to stay and die, I'll be worried.
Destiny Taking The Wheel
The ship is jumping all over the universe, and there's nothing the crew can do to stop it. That should be all the work a mechanical being should have to do. But every time there's a problem or an issue, it seems like the ship figures out the solution. Meanwhile, every time the humans interfere with Destiny... disaster strikes. It would be nice to see the humans figure something out on their own for once.
Show me the scenes where the other female cast members were subjected to this "yowzer" camera angle and I will take it all back. But as far as I can tell this little move was character-... nay, actress-specific. And not only did it cause internet outrage, it was disappointing. You have to treat each character equally, or else you're just undoing all the hard work this actress is trying to accomplish fleshing out a minor character. Just two episodes ago, Lt. Vanessa James was given a chance to show a little depth while battling with possible jealousy over her past broom closet fling, Scott. I wonder how many people were actually thinking about what James was going through as opposed to, "When is she going to take off that itchy jacket?"
She's gorgeous, that's for sure. But displaying this character in a different light than the other women sets her apart, in a bad way. And no, I'm not suggesting SGU institute a mandatory chest angle for each female (or male) character; to the contrary, they should do away with the image entirely. And hopefully that's that case, as "Darkness" was the last time I've seen the terrible boob lens. Perhaps this was just a fluke angle, but I highly doubt it. Still, if it's gone forever, great. Hopefully with one more episode, we can all put the Boobgate conundrum to bed and get to know more about this character.
I can't believe I'm saying this but, I could do with a lot less sex in this show. Much of the bumpin' and grindin' just feels like sex for sex's sake — especially with the Senator's daughter and Scott.
I get it: sex sells, and sideways naked shots of young people in front of a yellow window look pretty, but what's the point? I just can't see or feel the importance of this action. It just seems like, "We can have sex now on this Stargate, so we did." Especially when it's paired next to a Richard Dean Anderson scene with him being, well, his old adorable self, it's jarring and serves no purpose.
I honestly have no idea why these two kids are sleeping together. Is it a "We're young and wild" thing? A High Fidelity "put cigarettes out on me or sleep with me" emotion? Are they using each other, in love, in lust? All I we know is that Chloe feels "closer to Scott than anyone she's ever felt closer to ever," or something terrible like that. It's annoying, and they are annoying together whenever they start making out in a hallway like high school kids. "Hey remember when your dad died over there? We should make out." Same goes for the broom closet sex. What was the point of having it if James was only going to be jealous of Scott's new Saturday night lady for five seconds?
It's one thing to pull a gimmick like a mid-sex ancient stone partner switcheroo, which they did with Young and Colonel David Telford in "Earth." It may have been an exceedingly lame gimmick, but at least it meant something. There was build up for Young's character, and even the switch means something — well we hope so, or else would Telford show up at Young's wife's house at the end of the episode? Either way, I'm intrigued and entertained, but all this bland other sex should stop. It's ruining the good sex.
Just a few among many suggestions we've heard. Basically this show needs more time to build up these characters. I want to like every single Destiny crew member, I honestly do. It's just been a lot of watching with very little connection thus far. And while I'm happy everyone got water a few weeks ago, I'd really rather connect with another character the way I have with Young. Let's hope tonight's episode takes some of these caricatures and flesh them out into characters.
Here's the preview and a clip for tonight's episode, it kind of reminds me of old Gates, what with them shooting in the woods and all, so far so good.