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turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


Baloogan posted:

make a B5 thread!

EX-GAIJIN AT LAST posted:

The really great things about B5 transcend the foibles of the era in which it was made. Not only that, I maintain you couldn't make a show like B5 today. Sure, you could make a show with good, well-written characters and even a coherent overarching plot. There may even be some shows like that, although the more or less single author's complete pre-planned five-year format may still be unique.

No, what I'm talking about is the spirit of the show. It took its time setting up all the pieces, which would get it slaughtered in today's market. And it intelligently and respectfully meandered around philosophy and religion without having an axe to grind.

It's like the wonder and heart of the ten best TOS episodes, a NASA library, The Lord of the Rings, and a classic Russian novel got mixed up together and made into a stage play that was filmed with a visual style inspired by the TOS movies.

There's my informative effortpost, now let's see if we can talk about anything more than whether or not season 1 is worth watching (it is).

How about this eulogy on Jerry Doyle from JMS. Choice quote: "There is a line in Babylon 5 where his character, Michael Garibaldi, suggests that the way to deal with crime is to go from electric chairs to electric bleachers. That line is quintessential Jerry Doyle. I say this with confidence because I overheard him saying it at lunch then stole it for the show."

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turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


You should've spoken up then, now we're stuck with this. You could always write up a big ol' effortpost and either pm me to insert it into the OP, or start your own thread and request this one get gassed, if you want, and if you think it's needed. I figured probably anyone posting in a B5 thread in 2016 is going to have seen it 8 times at this point so why bother with the intro. I just don't have it in me to do that anymore; you're lucky to get even a couple of paragraphs out of me.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


Forcing it into the mold of a modern show where it has to have its hook up front and throw everything at you at once just isn't going to let you appreciate it. Yes, season 1 is a slow simmer at first, and the acting is rough sometimes outside of the core characters (and admittedly, at first, sometimes only G'Kar and Londo carry it), and the CGI is primitive. But the characters are there, fully realized on day 1.

I've likened it before to a stage play. Especially on the DVDs and, Lord willing, eventually remastered for HD , you have to look past the plywood elevator walls and the CRT monitors. Or it's sort of like those magic eye illusions. "Listen to the music, not the song." - Kosh

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


Kibayasu posted:

Honestly I never really thought much of G'Kar's character until after the shift to political leader - which was, of course, the entire point - but when I first watched B5 seriously I distinctly remember wondering when this painfully bad pastiche of a character would vacate the series forever. Luckily he did, they just didn't change the actor, or the name of the character.


Well of course, the characters have arcs that really mean something and change them; I didn't mean to say anything other than that JMS had everybody exactly where they were supposed to be at the time. And Andreas Katsulas is always a joy to watch even before G'Kar breaks out of himself.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


We just watched The Gathering the other night. Aside from Takashima's unfortunate acting and Dr. Kyle's propensity for the thousand-yard stare (granted, he saw a Vorlon), it's fine.

Every time I watch B5 I like it more. Even the so-called bad parts. Once you cross the threshold and can see its flawed earnestness as a feature rather than a bug; as part of its charm, as the scrappy underdog much like many of the cast members - which was semi-purposeful as to the feel they were going for - it becomes amazing.

I'm not saying the bad parts are bad intentionally, but the struggle was real.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


Can we convince Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos to fund it?

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


That's the spirit. There's no fixing the minor character acting, but this is where a nice HD remaster would help the most. Musk and Bezos like space stuff, it'd be a perfect fit as a (comparatively) cheap vanity project for one of them.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


Unkempt posted:

I vaguely recall hearing they lost all the CGI models and whatnot so they'd have to make them all again from scratch. Shouldn't be too hard though and they probably would have had to do that anyway for HD.

That's why the sfx on the DVDs already look like crap - for all the effects shots they had to use the NTSC broadcast masters, which were 4:3 on video, and upscale/crop them to 16:9. The actual filmed portions are fine, but every single shot with any kind of effect would need the effect recreated from scratch and recomposited. And it probably has way more effects than TNG, which, as a more popular show already proved... unfulfilling from a monetary investment standpoint.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


What we need is about 110 fans like you. Some out there will be dedicated and talented enough to make really nice new models, and if we split the scene work up enough ways it wouldn't be such a behemoth project for one person.

Keep a guideline of sticking pretty much to the same look and exact duration of a shot so it stays unified. It's the ultimate goon project and I'm SURE it will succeed.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


I knew this was going to happen to this thread. Anyway we've made it through the first six episodes of season 1, last night with Mind War, and there hasn't been a stinker yet. I know a lot of people dislike Soul Hunter and Infection, but the worst you can say about them is they're episodic, which is par for the course as the world building of season 1 prior to the meat of the show's arc. And Bester is already so good. I really buy Sinclair and Catherine as well. I mean it's all low budget and has a severely dated '90s aesthetic, but in that context, even at its worst it's perfectly serviceable.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


VolticSurge posted:

So,as someone who has just started to rewatch the show,any episodes you'd suggest I avoid? It's been a while,I'm a bit rusty

I always recommend watching them all, especially if it's been a while. If you haven't got time to spend watching bad B5 then you don't have time to spend watching good B5, because the bad stuff is almost always not that bad, and intermixed with some good stuff. There's always something in even the worst episodes that either redeems it right then and there, or pays off later.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


Welcome, glad to have a new watchthrough, always good for discussion. You'll probably pass my wife and myself shortly as we are not that fast to get through shows, but I have seen it about a half dozen times and she's seen it once.

When we finished she immediately wanted to start again, because she wasn't as keen on season 1 and wanted to see it with fresh eyes knowing what happens later. It really does improve immensely on a rewatch, but that first time leads to some great payoff later on, so stick with it.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


Crusade probably would've been more worth it much like B5 season 1: only in context of what was to come. Imagine (the first half of) B5 season 1 without anything else that followed, and worse music.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


Waffles Inc. posted:

The folks in the thread telling you not to skip anything are overreaching a bit. Season 1 is incredibly rough and there are some absolute dumpster-fire episodes.

We're not telling him that because we think it's objectively good (although I'd argue at worst it's a product of its time, especially in the way of obvious exposition like this example - a weird bridge between vastly differing eras of television).

We're telling him to watch it all so he can form his own opinions and not just parrot what the goon consensus already says. Who in the hell would want that, this thread would be pointless. This way he'll be able to articulate his impressions rather than relying blindly on ours, and maybe we'll learn a thing or two we hadn't considered before.

If you don't agree then I'd argue you either don't like B5, or at best like it for the wrong reasons.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

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WarLocke posted:

Hey, guy(s) watching the show for the first time: Don't count out Vir. He gets one of the most excellent scenes in the show later on.

(Specifically, his answer when Morden asks him The Question, and the fallow-up later on)

Also the show gets about 200% better when Sheridan shows up. I always felt that Sinclair was a block of wood.

... drat, now I want to watch this show again.

Haven't you ever watched something at the behest of another who's so enthusiastic about it they're like, "oh, this is a good part, just wait till you see what happens." I get that you're a fan and want to share it, and that is fine, but in my opinion it's better to let people take it in organically rather than drawing attention to things they "should" be paying attention to. The show is well enough made that they won't miss the important ones, and a lot of the subtle ones are what makes rewatching such a rewarding experience. Let's not rob people of that.

I'm not saying don't talk about it or even that this should necessarily be a spoiler-free zone. Just try to talk more about what they've seen than what they're going to see.

turn left hillary!! noo fucked around with this message at Sep 8, 2016 around 02:44

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

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EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


Data Graham posted:

Heh, so in the cold open of "The War Prayer", are Delenn and the poet lady hitting on each other? "Can I walk you to your quarters?" "Nah, I think we both have to be up early tomorrow"

It's possible given the intent for another pair of characters later, but I doubt it in Delenn's case. Not everything is sexual.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


We just watched "And the Sky Full of Stars" tonight. The Battle of the Line is such a great story, absolutely stuffed with pathos. It's like, we're going to lose, but we're going to fight anyway because gently caress you, that's why.

That's why I can't even recommend skipping the pilot, because of Sinclair's monologue about it at the end where he throws away his medal. The mystery of the Minbari surrender when they had Earth in their sights and about to pull the trigger, is strewn throughout season 1 and I can't imagine that being so uninteresting as to make a complete watchthrough that bad.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


Oh, was it that early? It's been a month or more since we watched the pilot. Even though I've seen the entire show probably 6 times, I still remember things mostly in broad strokes; the details like that get a little fuzzy very quickly.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


Data Graham posted:

They sure do like their scenery-chewing British-accented one-off antagonists on this show, I gotta say I loved the ersatz Malcolm McDowell guy's line about "they fixed you some milk and cookies"

I thought of him more as a poor man's Julian Glover.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


JMS has a weird relationship with religion. He describes himself as an atheist but is fascinated by faith, and while he thinks God doesn't exist, he wishes he did. He was also caught up in a cultish sect of Christians for some time (prior to the show) so he has some understanding on both sides of the fence, as it were, and while some of the more egregious examples like unthinking dogmatists understandably get his goat, he's pretty respectful of most other points of view.

Later on, not really a spoiler, Dr. Franklin describes his religious views as "Foundationist" which is basically a searcher who tries to find the truth in all religions. I don't remember if he says it but it strikes me that this is probably the closest to JMS's philosophy.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

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EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


Data Graham posted:

"Believers": drat, someone's reeeeeally got a mad-on for Christian Scientists :iamafag:

We just made it to Believers tonight. It's an uncomfortable episode because to us the parents are obviously superstitious and wrong, but dig a little deeper and it's not that simple. Is there no principle you would rather die than violate? If the mere continuation of your own life is not your highest value (and it shouldn't be), then what is, and where do you draw the line? In that way you can sympathize with the kid and his parents and it becomes a lot more troubling than it already is, because it's easy to see the unexamined dogma in others, but not ourselves.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


While on the one hand, abstractly, I understand that, on the other hand, viscerally, I'm a sucker for "Humans: gently caress yeah!"

And on the gripping hand, without going into details, what she's saying isn't actually as weird as it sounds to you at first, but you'll have to wait a while for me to explain that.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


MrL_JaKiri posted:

The first half isn't actually so bad if you can get over Byron being too good at being the annoying cult leader

I was surprised on my most recent watchthrough - it'd been several years since the previous time, and details get fuzzy. All the internet bitching about Byron is really overblown; whether you like him or not is up to you, I guess, but he's really not even in it all that much. There are several episodes he doesn't even appear in, IIRC, and he's only featured heavily toward the middle of the season.

You won't get anything like S5 in any other show. If B5 had ended after the climax of S4 (like any other show would), it would've still been a great show, don't get me wrong, but S5 adds a rich texture to it that enhances the rest of the show, and gives a lot of closure to the characters. It doesn't just go "happily ever after." It gives you the sense that what they did had meaning, even though no victories are final, and there are more stories that go on afterward. So, Payndz, if you don't consider that "essential" then I don't know what to tell you.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


MrL_JaKiri posted:

Although I disagree to some extent, The Wire has a lot of that.

Well I was being hyperbolic, although I haven't seen that. But that's considered among the cream of the crop for TV, so really it adds to my point.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

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EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


Paradoxish posted:

Here's a confession, then: I love Babylon 5, but I don't think I've ever seen more than one or two episodes of the fifth season. The fourth season just feels so... final. It's hard for me to convince myself that it's worth watching anything after that.

Someone convince me I'm wrong.

EX-GAIJIN AT LAST posted:

You won't get anything like S5 in any other show. If B5 had ended after the climax of S4 (like any other show would), it would've still been a great show, don't get me wrong, but S5 adds a rich texture to it that enhances the rest of the show, and gives a lot of closure to the characters. It doesn't just go "happily ever after." It gives you the sense that what they did had meaning, even though no victories are final, and there are more stories that go on afterward. So, Payndz, if you don't consider that "essential" then I don't know what to tell you.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

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EX-GAIJIN AT LAST



In the commentary JMS said he inquired at the FCC the exact limit for something to be considered (illegal?) subliminal messaging and got as close to it as possible.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


I think somewhere around the first quarter of S2 is when everything finally gels and it really starts rocketing up quickly. If you'll pardon the mixed metaphors.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

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EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


Every so often B5 takes a random page out of Douglas Adams' arsenal, and Swedish meatballs is one of those times. It happens just often enough that it isn't obnoxious, although I would love to hear Londo or G'Kar narrating the bit that in the beginning, God created the universe, and that this is widely regarded as a mistake and has made a lot of people very angry.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


Count me in.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


lol you guys, you probably actually don't want to know.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


mojo1701a posted:

Oh Jesus gently caress. Really? Wow.

Still waiting for some context on this one.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


Garibaldi also has issues of his own at this point iirc.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


Please tell me Elon Musk is in your circle of friends so we can finally get the drat remaster after he loves it and shovels 100 million to WB or whoever.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


Data Graham posted:

First episode of S5, when the message comes in that's all "Good morning Mr. President, you are a dead man", I wanted him to just, like, take a sip of coffee and go "Next message"

I like it.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

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We made it to The Coming of Shadows the other night. If there's any specific point at which you can say everything finally gels and B5 becomes a legitimately great TV show, that's the one I think.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

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EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


My 15- and 13-year-old daughters are taking more of an interest in B5 this time through; part of the reason my wife wanted to do the rewatch so soon is because she knew they would.

The older one is admiring Lennier's dedication to Delenn. I can't wait.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

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EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


Probably should bump this so it doesn't get archived. We're still plugging along; just past the halfway point in season 3 at Ship of Tears.

Every time we see the opening theme I still think, "this will never get old."

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

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EX-GAIJIN AT LAST



Might as well be Martian law in B5, the way they get beat down by Earth.

turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


We just finished season 3. I've seen the Corbomite Maneuver, the Picard Maneuver, and the Adama Maneuver.

None of them can hold a candle to the Sheridan Maneuver.

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turn left hillary!! noo
Feb 12, 2002

Komrade Hitlerstalin
EX-GAIJIN AT LAST


We just had to buy a new season 2 because of some scratched discs, but they're only like $18 on Amazon.

Maybe if we buy enough of them we'll get interest from WB for a remaster... right guys? Right?

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