maura @ 9:33 pm
This past week was a pretty intense TV week for us. So intense that I need to blag about it!
Last weekend was the final episode of Battlestar Galactica. Overall it was a great show though of course there were weak points — last season, for example, and nearly every scene with Apollo (and his hair). But I was quite sad, somewhat unexpectedly so, after watching the last episode. When it was good, it was the best show on TV. Not a space show, not really, but a show about big meaty ethical issues that just happened to be set in space. And Starbuck was awesome.
The “angels” in the last ep were kind of weak, but I was glad that Helo didn’t die from that awful leg wound (I have a soft spot for Helo because he kind of looks like my brother). And the mitochondrial DNA bit at the end made my old archaeology self smile.
The other TV we’ve been obsessed with around here lately is Avatar: The Last Airbender, a cartoon/anime series that ran on Nickelodeon from 2005-2008 (I think). We started getting the disks from Netflix for Gus but by the end Jonathan and I were equally hooked. It’s just really frakking good.
It’s a fantasy martial artsy kind of premise: the world has 4 nations (earth, air, water and fire) and certain people called benders can control these elements. The Avatar can bend all elements and has traditionally kept balance in the world, but the old Avatar disappeared and the Fire Nation has been at war with everyone else since then. A bunch of kids (early teens) find the new Avatar, also a kid, and set out to defeat the Fire Lord and make things right. There’s action, adventure, friendship and well-drawn, beautiful animation (for a TV show, at least). Plus the girls kick at least as much ass as the boys (tho the Avatar is a boy).
And big meaty ethical issues are front + center. In one of my favorite episodes the kids go to a library (yay!) in which a spirit has amassed knowledge from all over the world. The spirit makes them promise that they won’t use the knowledge they gain to do harm to anyone, and they lie because they need to find the Fire Nation’s weakness. When the spirit finds out about the lie he’s furious and destroys the library, and the kids narrowly escape. Gus and I had a long conversation about the morality of war after that one.
A live-action Avatar movie is planned for sometime in the near future, though we may have to boycott it because all of the main characters have been cast with white actors. The cartoon is entirely made up of kids/adults of color. Hello, Hollywood, it’s 200-frakking-9, what is your damage?