selenak: (bodyguard - Sabine)
[personal profile] selenak
Specifically, wrong in the choice of "Best of B5" episodes on their list. Which is here.

Look, I know such lists are completely subjective. And as someone who loves the first season, too, I’m always glad to see it defended. But some of the other season picks and more importantly episodes NOT chosen are frankly baffling. Geometry of Shadows in season 2, but not The Coming of Shadows, THE pivotal episode of the season (and the one which won the Hugo)? (And why, because of the stupid, stupid technomages. (Insert my usual “hate them, hate Galen most of all” rant here.) Even leaving aside my Londo and G’Kar bias, any “best of B5” list which does not have The Coming of Shadows on it is just wrong. And Great Maker, why no In the Shadow of Z’ha’dum, aka the one which first fleshes out Sheridan as a character, one of the few where he’s depicted as wrong by the narrative in how he acts?

As for season 3, are you kidding me, Voices of Authority? Because of the lame “Sheridan has to fence off sexual advances?” subplot? Instead of such episodes as Dust to Dust (superb and important in all its storylines – G’Kar hits rock bottom and has an epiphany here, and it’s the first Bester episode that breaks with the “Bester comes to the Station, is foiled in evil plan” formula and uses him as a wild card instead)?

Season 4: No argument about Into the Fire, but at the very least one more of the six episodes early on that conclude the Shadow War - my choice would be either Falling Towards Apotheosis (for the intense Londo and G’Kar on Centauri Prime scenes and Sheridan moving against Kosh II on the station) or The Long Night (VIIIIIIIIIIRRRRRR! Seriously, though, one of the best Centauri episodes ever).

As for the second half of the season, while Between the Darkness and the Light and Endgame are good episodes to wrap up the Earth Civil War storyline, I’d go with Face of the Enemy above either, for the way it brings the Telepath storyline to a head, answers the season long “what happened to Mr. Garibaldi?” question and delivers arguably Jerry Doyle’s best performance on the show, and in an entirely silent (for him) sequence, too. (Oh, yeah, and something important happens to Sheridan, too, she says evilly.) Lastly, why none of the Minbari episodes? I’d pick Moments of Transition for the powerful ending of the Minbari Civil War and Neroon’s story, plus that one also has the great Bester and Lyta subplot.

Season 5: No, no, no. You do not pick only Objects at Rest and Sleeping in Light. I mean, again, Sleeping in Light is a given, but Objects at Rest isn’t even that good, it’s merely okay; the Lennier stuff is done clumsily. Whereas The Fall of Centauri Prime is painful perfection, and again, any “Best of B5” list which doesn’t have it on it is just plain wrong. And you could do worse than list Day of the Dead (aka the Neil Gaiman one, for my money the best non-JMS written one of the show, though I also have a huge soft spot for season 2’s Soul Mates because of Timov), which manages to be funny and poignant at the same time, brings back the past and also fleshes out a character in the present (Lochley). Also, I’d include The Corps is Mother, The Corps is Father as the one episode which successfully attempts to depict station events from an antagonist pov; the s2 journalist episode tried this but suffers from “but how can you be mean to Delenn?” syndrome, and of course the s3 journalist episode has them as evil propagandists.

Date: 14 May 2016 11:29 (UTC)
andraste: Reflections. (G'Kar and Londo)
From: [personal profile] andraste
Unsurprisingly, I am in complete agreement - any list that doesn't include The Coming of Shadows and The Fall of Centauri Prime is JUST WRONG. Hell, it doesn't even include Z'ha'dum, which I thought was widely acknowledged as one of the greatest season-ending cliffhangers in anything, ever! ("Jump! Jump now!" has to be up there with Picard being revealed as Locutus.)

People who disregard The Fall of Centauri Prime - or everything in Season Five apart from Sleeping In Light annoy me the most, because what show were they watching?! It took five years to get to this! It contains the Best Scene Ever On Television!

Date: 14 May 2016 12:44 (UTC)
percysowner: (Default)
From: [personal profile] percysowner
I agree with your picks and I'd add The Long Twilight Struggle. The shot of Londo watching the bombing of the Narn planet using weapons that had been banned is one I will never forget. He finally was realizing that he had lost his soul while winning his desire to beat the Narn.

Date: 14 May 2016 14:23 (UTC)
muccamukk: Text: Did I mention that my nose was on fire? That I have 15 wild badgers living in my trousers? (B5: Nose on Fire)
From: [personal profile] muccamukk
Man. I just don't have the same taste as this guy. Just to take season one, he picked the pedantic "Deathwalker" (defensible only for the Talia subplot) and the unbearably self-righteous "Believers" over the key Sinclair episode "And the Sky was Full of Stars" which really showed off O'Hare, or, my personal favourite "By Any Means Necessary," OR either of the D.C. Fontana episodes (granted, "War Prayer" wasn't amazing, but "Legacies" set up a lot of the Minbari plots, and introduced Naroon.) The last four episodes can stay, at least.

I'm kind of afraid to look at the other seasons, especially if he left out those season five episodes. Who the hell leaves off "Night of the Dead"?

Date: 14 May 2016 14:39 (UTC)
percysowner: (Default)
From: [personal profile] percysowner
I will say that Believers becomes a lot more interesting when you realize that it completely foreshadows the return of Anna Sinclair. It is virtually the same situation. They are the same physical person. They show no sign of injury or of physical tampering. They have all of their memories. They say they are who they always were and that they haven't changed. In Believers we are supposed to believe that the parents religious teaching were wrong and the kid is the same. With Anna we KNOW that she isn't the same that she has lost her soul. The parallels are fascinating to me.

Date: 14 May 2016 14:44 (UTC)
muccamukk: Jeff and Delenn sitting quietly together, background of starcharts. (B5: Constellations)
From: [personal profile] muccamukk
Oh wow. I totally hadn't thought of that. It's still not David Gerrard's best work though.

Date: 14 May 2016 16:25 (UTC)
saturnofthemoon: (B5 - G'kar & Londo forgiveness)
From: [personal profile] saturnofthemoon
I'm detecting a distinct lack of Londo and G'kar in this list.

Date: 14 May 2016 19:21 (UTC)
aris_tgd: Starship and quote: "'Tis not too late to seek a newer world." (newer world)
From: [personal profile] aris_tgd
... Wow, I think I'm going to skip that list. I sometimes leave off episodes that I think are fantastic in order to get people on board with the show (my abridged 8-episode Season 1 pack doesn't have By Any Means Necessary, despite it being possibly my favorite S1 standalone episode) but... yeow. And totally agreed with [personal profile] andraste on people who ignore Season 5, or just watch SiL, which is a Season 4 episode. (Thematically, structurally, in terms of its lighting and camera work... once I showed a friend B5 for the first time and we watched SiL just after Deconstruction of Falling Stars and before Season 5, and it worked fine.)

My theory is that people who don't like Season 5 are completely forgetting that there's still show happening after Phoenix Rising. It's like people are so hypnotized by the telepath plot and Byron's weird massive character inconsistencies that they forget there's a whole other ten episodes in the season, and that's not counting stuff like The Very Long Night of Londo Mollari and Day of the Dead. Yes, we have seven or so telepath-heavy episodes and most of them just kinda lay there. Yes, we have Learning Curve, which is my absolute least favorite episode of Babylon 5 ever. Yes, we have View from the Gallery (which I like but I know is a bit of love-it-or-hate-it.) But as soon as Phoenix Rising is done, the rest of the season is pretty darn stellar.

(... Objects at Rest's bad choices about Lennier aside.)'

I... may have some opinions about this show? Oh, show.

Date: 3 Jun 2016 18:58 (UTC)
kangeiko: (londo/g'kar)
From: [personal profile] kangeiko
I was so angry about this list that I had to write my own. (Starting with S1 only, because I'm in a different timezone and it's the middle of the night but I just saw this and oh, OH, I share your rage.)

Date: 7 Jun 2016 11:57 (UTC)
kangeiko: (londo/g'kar)
From: [personal profile] kangeiko
:) thank you! Honestly, I'm writing these thinking "but surely everyone must agree, how can you not think these are the best??" That may be my natural love for Londo & G'Kar coming through, though...

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