Saturday, January 30, 2010

Caprica: Who in the what now?

The 2 hour pilot episode of Caprica (the Battlestar Galactica prequel) has been available on DVD for months. But I haven't watched it. Why? A whole host of reasons: laziness, a backed-up DVR, reliable sources told me it wasn't engaging, but mostly laziness. Now that the show has actually premiered I finally sat down and watched it. Here's the thing though.

I had no idea what was going on.

I mean, I knew what was happening on the screen, but I had no idea what was going on in the grand scheme of things. Our story takes places on Caprica almost 60 years before the destruction of the colonies by the cylons. Ok, got that. Apparently, Caprica is basically an orgy of excess, think of it as a futuristic Gomorrah. Teens like to escape into a virtual reality dance/sex/killing club, but some teens are using it as a base for their One True God group (since Caprica is a polytheist society). And one of the teens, Zoe, is planning on running away from her super rich parents (including her computer genius Dad).

But one of her friends decides to turn all terrorist and blow up the train they are on to get people to worship this one God? But Zoe created a virtual avatar of herself using some new tech crap so the avatar actually has all her memories? And her Dad finds out about it and gets obsessed with building a mechanical body for the avatar to download into? And that's how the cylons started?

Oooooh, now I get it.

But having to wait two hours to figure out what the point of the show was not a great way to start. Look, people know this is BSG prequel. But other than featuring Adama's Dad (and Adama himself as a kid), there didn't seem to be much of a connection. If it's an origin story, maybe they should have made that a little more clear up front. If I hadn't chatted with my friend Dave at work about the show and he clued me in to where it was headed, I can't guarantee I would have stayed watching.

Even though we're off to a slow start, I'll keep up with the show; I found the BSG miniseries to be unbelievably boring, and look how awesome that show turned out. So I'm not going to judge this one based off the first episode. But they need to step it up quick. Get the plot moving, give me a general idea of where it's heading, and try to be more up front about linking it to the previous series. Or they're going to lose me.

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