Saturday Geekery

Because October’s still insanely far away, let’s talk about Farscape. Jacob, who does the Television Without Pity recaps of Battlestar Galactica and therefore is my sexy boyfriend, and who I could read writing about cereal or cars, is doing Farscape now:

He’s like Zhaan that way: they spent hundreds of years in jail, and they both built these amazing castles in the clouds of how powerful and strong and special they were, how God had chosen just them above all others, and it is both their strength and their tragedy. What makes you awesome is always, always the same thing that makes you suck. What keeps you alive in extremity can also warp you so far past normal that you’ll never really be able to live regular life.

And then there’s this:

The ugliest lie anybody ever believed was that you helped yourself by helping other people; all that does is make you more secure in your bullshit because they’re worse off. That’s vampiric. You help yourself by helping your fucking self and leaving the pedestal out of it, and anybody who tells you different is selling you (and more importantly, herself) something. Out of the mouths of steroid-addicted, murderous, lizardy, monstrous beasts of war. As they say.

I’ve seen most of Seasons 1 & 2, parts of 3 and the miniseries which was the best thing ever (you big upright iguana). The first season didn’t really thrill me, but as with Firefly and Galactica what pulled me in and kept me watching was the way the show was about the family you make for yourself in a world that doesn’t make any sense, about the loyalties and obligations and tasks you assign to yourself because you want this to be the outline of your existence, the story of your life.

That determination in stories is what grabs me and moves me; the whole world is upside down, there are no rules, nobody cares who your daddy was or where you grew up, so what have you got left? What can you do with it? Bablyon 5 does this to me, too, in “Comes the Inquisitor”: Who are you? Not your name, not your parents, not what you do. But who are you? Strip that far down. Maybe that’s why these stories are always set in space. Gravity doesn’t work the same way, so you’d damn well better have something inside you that’s able to deal without the basics.