Jun 27

Virtuality & Caprica

I hear so many conflicting rumours about new shows that I don’t know what to believe.  Virtuality and Caprica are both pilots for sci-fi shows and I’ve heard they are/are not being picked up so often I just don’t know.  But I sure hope they both get greenlit because they’re both pretty good.  And they both deal with virtual reality.

Caprica is a prequel of Battlestar Gallactica but all it has in common with BSG is the Adama name and the cylons.  It’s set on a planet instead of in space and it’s about the beginnings of cylon autonomy.  The cool thing is that even if I’d never seen BSG I would have liked it.  It has a complete story all its own.  But it also makes a compelling origin story that is enriched by having a good groundwork in BSG lore.  It can’t help having a few cheesy elements because it is restricted by preexisting cylong modelling but I think the centurion over the topness is actually used effectively.  There’s a cool retro futuristic feel to everything that works for me.  I also liked the characters and actally cared about where they might end up.  So I’m gonna give this thing 4 niqueheads. 

I think my score for Virtuality is also 4 niqueheads but if I were to choose one series over the other I’d choose Virtuality.  It’s got some cool space scenes, cool ship scenes and kind of dorky virtual reality scenes that are the whole point and premise of the show.  Now don’t misunderstand, I don’t necessarily use the word “dorky” in a negative way.  Again, that’s part of the point.  And I’m on board.

Just as Caprica relies on the “rise of the machines” cliche, Virtuality uses a similar sci-fi staple, that of virtual reality: what’s real and what isn’t?  But just because a concept has been done doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done again.

I’m pretty picky about characterization and in the first half of Virtuality, there were a couple of characters I was iffy about but by the end I had gotten over my qualms and fully supported where they had taken each character, even though, again, there were a few cliches in place.  There are also a few things to be nitpicked but I was able to rationalize them without effort so as far as I’m concerned the writing held up.

Is it a sign of my desperation for more sci-fi that I’m so forgiving of all the cliches and nitpicks?  Or are these shows actually worthwhile?  Honestly I think it’s a bit of both.  But in a world where the Sarah Connor Chronicles just got cancelled, please TV gods, let these shows live on.



7 Comments so far

  1. kebes June 28th, 2009 3:42 pm

    Caprica was awesome, though I did have to rationalize my way through some bits.

    This is the first I’ve heard of Virtuality, though. I’ll have to check that out.

  2. kebes July 2nd, 2009 8:27 pm

    Virtuality was good. Yeah “what is real?” is a cliché, but they had a cool take on it. There were so many layers of “what is real?”, without it turning into an infinite-VR regress.

    And non-FTL engines? Nuclear no less? And proper rotational-gravity? Very nice!

    Too bad nothing will come of it.

  3. Nique July 2nd, 2009 8:45 pm

    Oh well. At least True Blood is back.

  4. kebes July 2nd, 2009 9:57 pm

    KC keeps claiming that True Blood is just a trashy teen drama (with vampires)… but I’m loving how they explore the implications of vamps being real (vampire law, anti-vamp religious group, new teenage vamp learning to deal with her new state, …).

  5. Nique July 2nd, 2009 10:03 pm

    KC needs to go back to the West Island where he belongs.

  6. Dean July 3rd, 2009 8:43 pm

    Virtuality was cancelled the day Ron named it “Virtuality.” I’m as sci-fi nerdy as anyone and almost didn’t watch it because the title made me roll my eyes so wide they hurt. Too bad too becuase to my surprise the show was great!

    But like all failed Fox sci-fi shows on Friday nights, nothing will ever survive until The Ghost Whisperer is cancelled. Which is truly astonishing becuase I can’t image a show being worse – yet it crushes everything in the ratings on Friday nights. Ugh. I hate people so much.

  7. Nique July 3rd, 2009 10:50 pm

    Fox thinks that sci-fi nerds stay home on Friday nights but in reality they are busy gaming or something. Only lonely cat ladies stay home on Friday nights, which explains the popularity of Ghost Whisperer.

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