Idol Chatter

Unlike my Idol Chatter compadre Donna Freitas, I was not so excited to see what “Caprica” would bring. Having felt let down by the “Battlestar Galactica” finale, I just couldn’t muster much enthusiasm for the ‘BSG‘ prequel, but dutifully watched the pilot only to have the rather playground-like phrase “Craprica” swirl about in my head.
As Donna so correctly noted, Battlestar was an engrossing character-driven drama set against a backdrop of “religious themes of polytheism vs. monotheism, and of course, science, technology, and the repercussions of human hubris.”
But “Caprica” seemed bloated, even for its two hours. With so many characters, so much backdrop–teenage terrorists to your left, virtual hedonist sex clubs with human sacrifice to your right, military industrial complex technology down the middle–it was hard to know where to look. The pilot suffered from the Las Vegas syndrome: if everything is bright and shiny, then nothing is bright and shiny. Poshly populated, it lacked the delicious spartan tension that really fueled BSG.

Scarcity was a powerful theme in BSG, resonating with viewers living amidst real-life economic collapse, surrounded by buzzwords such as “sustainable” and “peak oil.” Without that sort of all-pervading, intensely focused pressure to survive, the engine of suspense, could “Caprica” move audiences in the same way?
After watching episode two, I’m still leaning toward no.
Although there were many fine performances–Paula Malcomson’s as Amanda Graystone was particularly powerful–I still found my attentions wandering save for the scenes with Zoe Cylon. Like Donna, I hope, and suspect, that this will become the heart of the show, as I think a kind of “Buffy the Cylon” may give the writers real focus and the audience the juicy drama they are expecting from the BSG team. It’s an unforgiving job to build up to a known ending, especially the end of humanity, but in this way the writers have more of a duty to create a compelling, suspenseful, surprising storyline.
I’m willing to keep tuning in on Fridays nights, but I’m afraid that, like the Star Wars prequels, “Caprica” may not do its sequel justice.

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