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...into Farscape

I was sucked into the wormhole about a week ago and have completed my journey through the strange universe of season 1. There's much to tell. It's not all pretty, but it has a happy ending. No, not that kind (well maybe that kind if you throw in an extra $100).



Had I not been told how good the show is as you get further in, I think I would have turned it off about 20 minutes into the first episode. It was Krofft Super Show cheesy to point that I was expecting ElectraWoman to yell "Frank! Frank! We need more power!", or Dr. Shrinker to show up with his shrinking machine (come to think of it, that sort of does happen in "Bone to be Wild"). I had a hard time with Zhaan's blue skin, D'Argo's tentacle head and funky nose (God, that awful nose), turtle-ish Pilot and muppet Rygel. They were all too colorful, too bright and strange and I couldn't see myself getting involved in these characters. The set was too big and open, too golden-cheerful for a spaceship. The floor looked too much like a soundstage, the set pieces and props too minimal, too cheap, too recognizable. Ick. Ack.


Then there was the opening story arc of "I will stop at nothing to avenge my brother's obviously accidental death!" You've got to be kidding me. What the hell were all these people raving about? And what was I going to do with all these episodes I'd downloaded? Might as well give it a go, I guess. Maybe it actually does get better.


Well it does. It did. It got a lot better. And Farscape managed to pull me in, despite my early resistance. First it was Aeryn. She was awesome from the start and probably the only reason that I kept watching beyond the first episode. And no, it's not just because of those giant boots or the kick-ass wardrobe, or the guns she slings, the punches she can throw, the way she tries to take charge, or the way it all contrasts to her carefully guarded vulnerabilities. And it's not just the way she pretends Crichton is beneath her (or the way she says "Crichton") even while she semi-flirts with him. It's all of that and more. Her character started strong and has only gotten better (thanks in part to Pilot's DNA). Aeryn Sun just has this commanding presence that you can't deny. And so it was initially through her interactions with the other characters that I came to know and care about them all.


I kind of liked Zhaan early on, but now she's waning. She's become a bit one-note tiresome (although it was rather interesting to find out she's a plant). I think she's best when she's cooking up some strange concoctions/potions/poisons/explosives and she wears me down when she's all "look at me I'm so spiritual, oh the struggle, so spiritual, I was once horrible, now so spiritual... and strangely sexual." You get the idea. She's soothed me with that soothing voice one too many times and I just don't feel like being soothingly soothed anymore. If she could channel in some of this it might help (yeah I was excited to see she played that cool chick from Road Warrior).


D'Argo's nose is still a very big problem. I have, however, learned to see beyond it (perhaps Zhaan soothed it out of the forefront of my mind) and his ridiculous sword-gun and quilted red robe. And even though I was kind of not so caught up in his "I want to see my son again one day" drama at the time, I found that knowing his backstory actually helped bring the character to life for me going forward. I think I might even rub his blood clear if he were bleeding in my living room (probably be better for the rug anwyay). And I love his relationships with the other characters: the back and forth friendship with John, his warrior comaraderie with Aeryn and whatever it is he has sort-of-but-not-quite going on with Zhaan.


I took an instant liking to Chiana when she arrived, with her desaturated color, cat-like movements and untrustworthy ways. She's the perfect foil for Rygel, a character that's grown on me a lot over the course of a season. He was once just an annoying muppet who rivaled D'Argo's nose for the thing that could most interfere with my ability to take the show seriously. But now? I love him and all his Dominar smugness and quotable smart-assness. I really don't even think of him as a puppet anymore. He's fully fleshed out and as much a character as anyone else.


Oh John Crichton, where do I begin? He's our guide at the beginning and he wasn't a guide I wanted to follow. Partly it was because I saw him the way everyone else on Moya saw him and partly it was because I just didn't believe him as an astronaut. He was too vacant. I still hate all his "humorous" earthly references and his dumb nicknames for everyone, but he's starting to come into focus. I'll put it this way: he's better now and it has a lot to do with black shirts. It's a journey and I get that. He had to start somewhere and he's going somewhere. But it's about frelling time he made some progress.


Farscape is very character driven and that's what I dig about it. That's also why I am no longer distracted by weird noses (ok, maybe a little) and sets that looked so ludicrous to me at the start. It's about this oddball group forced, through various circumstance, to live together, work together, trust one another and find commonality in order to survive and maybe one day make their ways home. And it's a good mix. I am, however, wondering how many more times the Moya crew can get suckered by evil-doers, crazies, viruses and the like that just need to come aboard to make some repairs. But I suppose if they never let anyone dock, we wouldn't have Chiana now. So as long as these characters continue to keep me intrigued, I'm all in.


My least favorite episode so far is the second one from season 2, "Vitas Mortis" (which is where I left off). The next time I have insomnia, I think I'll put that on. My favorite is probably a toss up between "A Human Reaction" and "Nerve"/"Hidden Memory". Episodes have definitely trended better towards the latter part of the season 1. After cruising through 15 episodes this past weekend, I may take a few days off, but I'll be diving back into season 2 soon. Because despite its early flaws, I'm enjoying Farscape quite a bit now and am looking forward to more. I might even say I'm hooked.


And I seriously gotta get me a pair of those kick-ass Aeryn Sun boots. And some DRDs.




Comments

( 15 comments — Add a comment )
(Deleted comment)
roxybisquaint
Apr. 15th, 2008 06:40 pm (UTC)
Yeah it really did make a difference."Character development through wardrobe" is right. It kind of hit me in the face when I saw him in black and I was like hey, now that's not so bad. And he started getting a tiny bit edgier. At least I know I'm not crazy for thinking it. Or at least not the only one.
miniglik
Apr. 15th, 2008 06:50 pm (UTC)
If I remember correctly, they said in the commentaries that they actually referred to the crazier episodes in the beginning as "black tee episodes."

And his wardrobe is definitely indicative of his character development. As he loses bits of the jumpsuit he gets less and less naive.

It may not just be that he looks better in black.

There is that too, however.

And roxybisquaint has just gotten to the blessed leather pant era.
(Deleted comment)
miniglik
Apr. 15th, 2008 06:57 pm (UTC)
I am, however, wondering just how many times the Moya crew can get suckered by evil-doers, crazies, viruses and the like that just need to come aboard to make some repairs. But I suppose if they never let anyone dock, we wouldn't have Chiana now.

If I remember correctly, it stops happening that way. They do bring people onboard that cause problems, but usually more out of desperation or necessity. But the story gets much more arc-driven after the first season. Don't get me wrong, the first season has a lot of big character arcs. But the plot arc is pretty simple. However, after Scorpius, wormholes, etc -- it's a lot more complicated than some arrogant nut wanting to exact a silly revenge plot as the driving force of an Adventure Town type story.

Oh, also, Crichton's hair only stays as an atrocious spike for a couple more episodes.

I look forward to what you think of "Crackers Don't Matter" and "The Way We Weren't" (IMO, the two most important episodes to set up the end of season two and most of season three to be as awesome as they are).

spectralbovine
Apr. 15th, 2008 08:35 pm (UTC)
Really? That's interesting. I shall have to ponder. Or you can just explain it to me later. Yeah, let's go with that instead.
roxybisquaint
Apr. 16th, 2008 12:36 am (UTC)
Very glad to hear all of that. I'm really enjoying the show, but still waiting for the magic that will make me a crazed fan. Although, when I started writing about season 1, I had no idea I actually had that much to say about the characters. Maybe it's already gotten into more than I even realized.

And also, I did think I noticed some product in Crichton's hair in some later photos.
spectralbovine
Apr. 15th, 2008 08:34 pm (UTC)
Then there was the opening story arc of "I will stop at nothing to avenge my brother's obviously accidental death!" You've got to be kidding me.
RIGHT?? Oh, Crais.

(or the way she says "Crichton")
She does have a way of saying it.

I found that knowing his backstory actually helped bring the character to life for me going forward.
Yeah, I wasn't a D'Argo fan at first either, but the backstory helped me understand him better.

I love him and all his Dominar smugness and quotable smart-ass lines. I really don't even think of him as a puppet anymore. He's fully fleshed out and as much a character as anyone else.
Ha. There we differ, as I always hated Rygel except for the occasional moments. I agree that he can be entertaining at times, but...haaaate.

I still hate all his "humorous" earthly references and his dumb nicknames for everyone, but he's starting to come into focus.
Hee. I love earthly references! And I think every show needs a character who gives everyone dumb nicknames.

It's a journey and I get that. He had to start somewhere and he's going somewhere. But it's about frelling time he made some progress.
Ha! You're even frelling now! And, yes, he makes progress. So much progress. You have no idea.

My least favorite episode so far is the second one from season 2, "Vitas Mortis" (which is where I left off).
Yeah, that's a sucky episode.

For comparison, here's my S1 reaction. And if you click on my "farscape" tag, you can see my posts for each season, once you get through them! I'm glad the show won you over. You're in for one hell of a ride.
roxybisquaint
Apr. 15th, 2008 11:41 pm (UTC)
Thoroughly enjoyed your S1 reaction post. (I commented over there).
miniglik
Apr. 20th, 2008 04:04 am (UTC)
Duuuuuude.

Need feedback on your current viewing.
roxybisquaint
Apr. 20th, 2008 08:00 pm (UTC)
We watched up through 2.09 "Out of Their Minds" last night. That was totally fun with all the body switcheroo goings on. D'Argo was especially hilarious as Chiana. I'm definitely liking season 2 more than season 1. I'll have more to say later in the week when I finish up some work that keeps distracting me from all my fun.

Hey we've go some confusion over which episode is actually next. Our episode files (which are supposedly from a DVD rip) have "Look at the Princess" parts 1-3 next, then "My Three Crichtons". But seems like everywhere I find episode lists online, "My Three Crichtons" comes before "Look at the Princess". Any insight?
miniglik
Apr. 20th, 2008 08:12 pm (UTC)
I actually can't remember (and my DVDs are loaned out).

I don't know that it matters, My Three Crichtons is very stand alon. I'll let you know I find out.

But, when you get to Liars, Guns, and Money Trilogy the DVD order IS wrong. (Die, Me Dichotomy is 2.22 and not 2.19.)

roxybisquaint
Apr. 20th, 2008 08:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I'll make a note of that.
theonlycbc
Apr. 26th, 2008 03:25 pm (UTC)
Wow look at all of the Farscape fans come out of hiding to find your post. Its amazing and it should be a sign of loyalty that Farscape fans, after years of the shows end are still out there and focused. Boom Studions have just purchased the rights to continue the series in comic book form which is great news. I'm happy to see any loved show to continue in any form.

http://sixtysecondreview.blogspot.com/2008/04/news-farscape-reborn-as-comic-book.html

Enjoy Farscape make sure you watch Farscape the peacekeeper wars at the end of your journey.
roxybisquaint
Apr. 26th, 2008 05:25 pm (UTC)
Enjoy Farscape make sure you watch Farscape the peacekeeper wars at the end of your journey.

Already got it ready and waiting. And thanks for the news link :)
( 15 comments — Add a comment )

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Roxy Bisquaint

Roxy Bisquaint...

Is self-indulgent. Over thinks everything. Tweets too much. Looks really good in these jeans. Wants to eat butterscotch. Makes herself laugh. Obsesses about aging. Does some crunches. Lives with two ghosts. Procrastinates daily. Measures once, cuts twice. Hates Foo Fighters. Drinks lots of coffee (keep it coming). Puts spiders outside. Brings balance to the force. Draws a perfect curve. Enjoys dark chocolate. Bangs on the drums. Always gets in the slow line. Orders from a menu. Hopes to be reincarnated. Speaks fluent Sarah Connor. Cooks tasty crack theory. Loves a good storm. Dances like a dork. Picks some locks. Tips well. Refuses to share the popcorn. Dreams about the future. Ignores the clock. Sings off key. Has a superpower. Shoots the paper bad guys. Needs some eyeliner. Goes to bed at dawn. Can't resist good smut. Quotes movie lines. Eats whipped yogurt. Lets the story tell itself. Maintains a rich fantasy life. Knows all the mysteries of the gods and of the universe.

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