After dating me for almost four years, Akemi finally decided it was time to take the plunge. Yes, after all these years, she finally made the BIG commitment. She actually started watching Stargate!
I gave her a choice between the three series – SG-1, Atlantis, and Universe . She elected to go with the latter because, apparently, next to spiders and moldy cheese, crappy visual effects are one of her biggest fears.
So, over the last week or so, we watched the first ten episodes of Stargate: Universe. I was surprised by some of her reactions, and not all that surprised by others.
What follows are her thoughts on the first half of SGU’s first season.
AIR I and II
She found the opening two-parter very confusing with the jumping backwards and forwards in time and the various locations. And then, when the stones were introduced… Ten episodes in, and she still couldn’t fully grasp the concept. On the other hand, she did find the two episodes incredibly exciting and was very impressed with the show’s visual effects. Curiously, she expressed the most admiration, not for a singular character, but for a piece of Ancient technology: the kino! She likes “kino-chan’s” honeycomb style lens and desperately wants one. She also found the fact that a character named Young is played by an older actor curious and amusing.
“First episode is most exciting for me.”
By the third episode, we start exploring the characters. The ones who stood out to her in this outing were Rush, Greer, Eli – and, of course, the kino (which warrants a mention even though it isn’t actually a character). Some of her thoughts:
On Rush: “I liked Scottish guy at first and very much liked his accent but chotto (kind of) getting kowaii (scary) now; becoming angry bird.”
On Greer: “I like his character actually. Very tough.”
On Eli: “I like Eli because he’s cute. Like bear.”
On the episode itself: I kinda liked it. Episode made me thirsty.”
I was curious to see what she thought of this episode because of its, er, languorous pacing. Well, not surprisingly, she wasn’t huge fan. She found the dialogue-heavy scenes difficult to follow, but had great respect for actress Jennifer Spence’s wordy/techy kino scene.
Akemi: “Who wrote such crazy sentences? Who decides who says what?”
Me: “Well, she plays the part of a scientist so that’s the type of dialogue she has to learn for the role.”
Akemi: “So, just bad luck.”
Me: “Yes, bad luck she was cast as a scientist.”
Given that certain fans didn’t exactly warm to Chloe, I wondered what Akemi would think of the character. Her take:
“I don’t like Chloe’s dress. It looks like her father picked it. I like her though. She is beautiful.”
As for the episode itselfL:
“This episode I had a hard time understanding because a lot of talking instead of happening.”
She got back on track with this episode, mainly owing to the stunning – the star sequence, yes, but also the scene in which Greer strips down in his quarters to await certain death.
This episode caused her to reconsider the show, not because it was bad but because the suspense proved too unbearable. Every time the swarm appeared, she was on the edge of her seat (or the bed in this case), asking a multitude of questions: “What is that bug by the way? Where are they from? Stalker?” When I asked her why she could sit through American Horror Story without flinching yet practically crawl under the covers while watching this episode, she said: “I don’t believe in witch but unconsciously I’m afraid of aliens so chotto kowaii (kind of scary)”.
She did fear for Lieutenant Scott, stuck in that crevasse, commenting on the possibility and romantic ramifications of his death: “I though he gonna die. Then, if he die, geek guy and beautiful girl be love-oo love-oo.”
As for the episode itself: “The episode was a little scary for me. I can’t watch Stargate anymore. One of the most scary episodes I’ve ever watched.”
Fortunately, by the next night, she had reconsidered and was eager to get back to it. While this episode was certainly NOT scary, I was curious to see how she’d respond given how polarizing the episode had been among the fans. The verdict? “I liked this episode so much. Very nice episode. Not scary.”
When they first use the stones -
Akemi: “How many times can they use the stones?”
Joe: “As many times as they like.”
Akemi (critical): “So convenient.”
On Young having sex with his wife in Telford’s body: “WTF?!”
When Chloe complains about the fact that her best friend has slept with her boyfriend: “But she’s sleeping with Scott!” Good point!
Given her response to Water, I considered skipping this episode but she insisted on checking out. And it turned out to be an excellent call because she absolutely LOVED it, declaring it her favorite episode of the show and instilling in her great respect for Rob Cooper (“Not just your friend and good at making pizza, but great director!”). Not surprisingly, she found the time travel aspect a little confusing, and I talked her through it as best I could. She was able to get on board thanks to her childhood viewing of the anime Doraemon about an alien cat-like creature that travels to the present from the future, armed with a host of far future tech like: “A door that when you open it and think of where you want to go, you are there. A sort of hat that lets you fly. A special pocket that you can put as much as you want inside, doesn’t matter the size.”
She greatly enjoyed Earth. Would she enjoy this similarly themed episode in which we explore the lives-left-behind of a couple of other characters. In a word: no.
Her take: “I feel like I am watching a different show. Affair. Not affair. Like Real Housewives. Chotto ralakkuchan (kind of relaxed). I don’t like when the kino doesn’t show up very often.”
And, finally, we capped off the first half of the show’s first season with this shipboard court thriller. It made her nostalgic for Time. She bumped on Eli, casually searching Young’s quarter, suddenly keying on the vent of all places. She not only couldn’t understand the details of the court scenes but questioned why a court had to be assembled at all given the lack of evidence.
A few other thoughts:
“Nice to see Patrick (Gilmore).”
“Why commander left that science guy on the planet? They need him, no?”
Agree with Akemi’s takes? Disagree? I found it very interesting to revisit these episodes after a few years and was surprised by my own responses. Two of the biggest: Justice was an episode I really liked back in the day but after a repeat viewing with some distance, not so much at all. On the other hand, Time was an episode I absolutely loved when I first watched it three years ago and loved even more on the rematch. Just brilliant.
And there you have it: Stargate Universe 1.0! The Japanese Girlfriend Edition. Stay tuned for Stargate Universe 1.5! The Japanese Girlfriend Edition! Coming in January of 2014!