Thursday, October 21, 2010

Remember When SG-1 did that Spoof Episode: SGU Season 1 Retrospective (Also: Guess Who Won The Hugo)

First of all, the Hugo awards have come and gone and I never said anything so: congratuations on getting two "Best Graphic Story" Hugos in two years, Girl Genius!  Keep up the amazing work!  I sadly was unable to complete the Captain Britain and MI13 post before the winners were announced, and should apparently never mention what I'm planning on writing a post about in advance because it never happens.  I am still going to write the point, but don't expect it soon.

Anyway, I've been wanting to compare Stargate Universe with the Stargate SG-1 episode "200" since the series premier, so I figured I may as well do this before I catch up on season two, which just recently started.  "200" the two hundreth episode of Stargate SG-1 spoofs many different science-fiction cliches, tropes, and trends, and I shall be going through the episode looking for ones that have been used in season 1 of SGU, and some SG-1 and Atlantis as well (not all of those, though. that would make this way too long).  This will be done completely from memory, so if I miss any, feel free to post a comment.

WARNING: There will be spoilers and I shall be poking gentle fun at series that I love.  People who that everything seriously all the time be warned!

Let us begin!

  • Recap of previous episodes: Every episode of SGU starts with a recap.  Every.  Single.  One.
  • Hi!  We're one of the Great Races!  Here, let us help you and -- *explosion*: Hasn't happened in SGU yet, but Atlantis totally did this when some Ancients return to Atlantis, fix some systems, and are wiped out in the beginning of the next episode.  SG-1 also killed off a Great Race as a plot device at the beginning of Endless (after this episode), exploding planet and all.
  • Just throw up the title and get on with it: SGU.  This post was inspired by me laughing at the lack of of strong opening sequence every episode.
  • This is Science Fiction, not Horror: SGU.  More specifically the episode "Time," but there are horror elements in some other episodes as well.
  • How am I supposed to do this when my lead's backed out: SGU never did this, but SG-1 has done everything suggested at this point. For two different characters.
  • Body swapping: SGU.  Who needs cell-phones when you can call home with alien body-switching rocks?  Oh, and it happens in SG-1 occasionally, too.
  • "That was close", or not showing the escape: SGU, episode "Sabotage".  How did Eli, Chloe, and Lt. Cardboard Scott get the Stargate to link with the ship, again?  Weren't they stranded at the end of the last episode?
  • Technobabble: You mean there are shows that don't have it?
  • The Wizard of Oz: Isn't this basically the plot of SGU?
  • I can sing: Not yet, but can't you imagine an SGU musical episode?  Yeah.  I thought so.
  • Hang a lantern on it: SGU. I'm pretty sure they lampshade how the stranded team suddenly isn;t stranded anymore in "Sabotage."
  • That's Star Trek: SGU. (So they're stuck on a ship far, far from earth's corner of the galaxy, visiting new planets and meeting new aliens while trying to find their way home?  And they can call earth despite the distance?  No, that doesn't sound familiar at all.Atlantis, too , to a lesser extent.
  • Younger, edgier version of the team: SGU; it was intentionally made to be edgier (or at least darker and grittier) than SG-1 and Atlantis and to appeal to younger audiences.  Let's take a look:
    • Young O'Neil/ Mitchell and Young Teal'c: Lt. Cardboard Scott; he's leader-ish and he likes the ladies.
    • Young O'Neil/ Mitchell's girlfriend (is that supposed to be Sam?  Really?): Chloe? Maybe?
    • Wonderbread (Young Daniel): Eli.  So very, very Eli.
    • "I'm tired of being treated like some object to be worshiped": Didn't Chloe kind of make this speech about her friends back home?  You know, about not being appreciated for who she is?
    • "I'm pregnant": TJ (SGU).  Also, Vala (SG-1) and Teyla (Atlantis).  At least two of the three times it was because of the actors' real-life pregnancies.
  • Gilligan's Island: The plots of SGU and Atlantis: a mix-matched group of people get stuck together for way longer than they planned.  Wacky hi-jinks ensues.
  • If you're gonna rip something off, think of something a little more obscure: Eli's "origin story" in SGU.  (The Last Starfighter?  What Last Starfighter?  I've never heard of any Last Starfighter.)
  • They're classified: By the time SGU rolls around, why do they even bother classifying anything?  Half the countries civilians know about the Stargate program by then, anyway...
  • Puppets!  No.
  • "Maybe, just maybe" = true: Happens all the time in SG-1, and sometimes in Atlantis.  SGU hates optimism, so it doesn't do this so much.
  • "I feel so stupid": SGU.  Mathboy makes everyone feel stupid.  Even the super-geniuses. (So do Sam and McKay in SG-1 and Atlantis, but that's to be expected.  No body suspects Eli... and then he solves what Sam and McKay could not.)
  • Bald, mysterious warrior type with lots of muscles: Teal'c in SG-1, Greer in SGU, and Ronon in Atlantis (as long as you ignore the "bald" bit)
  • "It'll be in the commercial" super special guest appearance: Michael Shanks in SGU's "Human."
  • Teal'c PI: all three series are spin-offs of a movie (or the spin-off), just like Teal'c PI would be a spin off of SG-1, so... Also, there should be an SGU spin-off about Eli's alter-ego Mathboy, helping people solve super-difficult math problems.  He could wear a costume and everything.
  • An Air Force general with enormous responsibilities: ...and yet he still has time to pop by Eli's place to congratulate him for beating a computer game in the SGU pilot episode.  Because he's O'Neil.  He can do that.
  • "You need closure": everyone in SGU needs closure about something...
  • It'd be the perfect ending. After that, anything else would seem pointless: SG-1 violates this twice.  SGU also almost has a happy ending filled with laughter and contentment in "Light"... and then they have one more scene.
  • Everyone loves a wedding: SG-1 has one or two and I think Atlantis might also have one, but weddings are too optimistic for SGU.
  • "We don't take ourselves too seriously": SG-1 and Atlantis.  Thus the existence of this episode.  SGU... well, the sheer amount of stuff from this episode that appears in SGU makes me wonder...
  • A boys' club: SG-1, at least at the start, but by SGU the genders a pretty balanced.
  • "I don't think they know what they want to do with my character": any of these shows not give this sense at some point? (What do you mean archaeologists and astrophysicists don't usually deliver babies?  They're doctors, aren't they?)
Thus concludes our SGU retrospective through the lens of "200."  Feel free to leave a comment telling me what my memory forgot to catch!

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