some Monday links and TV
August 17, 2015
My event at the Tattered Cover two weeks ago was recorded, and you can now listen to the podcast!
And here’s a new Holy Taco Church newsletter!
Current TV watching: I’ve started re-watching Babylon 5 all the way through. I’ll take as long as I need. I’m only up to season 1 ep. 6, but I am reminded how much I really really like this show. This is my third time through, I think. I also think that criticisms of the show — bad acting, bad writing, bad production values, etc. — are off base. These aspects of the show aren’t any worse than the average episode of 90’s Star Trek, and criticisms of it ignore the incredibly ambitious thematic and narrative scope of the show. Having seen the whole thing through once, it’s very cool to see the seeds planted early on. Earlier than you might remember. Ep. 1.06 might be our first glimpse of a Shadow vessel, though we won’t know what they are for another season yet. Ep. 1.05 features a side plot where the various alien races give presentations on their dominant religion, and in the middle of the Minbari ceremony Delenn gives this very significant look to Commander Sinclair — and that won’t pay off for a couple more seasons.
Also in that episode, right at the end, Sinclair present the dominant Earth/Human religion — no one knows what he’s going to do, he hasn’t told anyone about the presentation he’s worked up. Well, this is what he does: he has gathered together representatives from every different religion he could and introduces them to the alien ambassadors one by one. And the line of representatives stretches out, dozens and dozens of them. It’s so earnest and endearing, it’s just great.
Complain about the production values of the show all you want, but that one scene of Sinclair presenting Earth religions in all their astonishing diversity is as great — and more deftly presented — a celebration of human diversity and ingenuity and value as Kirk or Picard ever gave a speech about.