Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Read Stuff, You Should

Happy Birthday to Tricia Helfer, 38. I'm almost done now with my second time through BSG, and I'm still totally impressed with her apparently underrated performance(s). My latest theory about the show is that it's not particularly well written (the dialogue, that is), but that it's hard to notice because the actors all go such wonderful jobs.

OK, good stuff:

1. Matt Glassman on the question of reform and political science.

2. New research by Jayme Neiman, reported by Seth Masket, says that legislators are more likely to answer constituent mail that appears professional. I agree with Seth: in my experience, it was the crazy ones that stood out. But that's why we have actual research.

3. Jonathan Chait is correct that Rick Santorum's success in the primaries had nothing to do with who he was, but Sarah Posner's farewell to Rick Santorum focuses on what he actually did bring to this cycle: a focus on reproductive issues.

4. The state of the Massachusetts Senate race, or at least what the polls are telling us, from Mark Blumenthal.

5. Budget and ACA: debunking the latest GOP talking point about "double counting." Lots of good posts; I'll go with Paul Van de Water's clear explanation, and Kevin Drum's more fun story.


  1. I was busy last weekend so I still have to watch the last few episodes of BSG. I think Helfer has been great, as has the entire rest of the cast. Assuming the finale doesn't completely blow it this will end up being one of my favorite shows of all time. I can't wait to watch it a second time.

  2. Yup -- between Seders, and Passover prep, and work, and other stuff, we've fallen behind the BBCA run; we have two episodes plus the finale. I'm sure you know that the finale...well, people have what I'd call severely mixed views on it. I mostly think it was excellent, although I have a few complaints (which I won't air here, at least now -- if anyone wants to get in on this, please include spoiler alerts).

    BTW -- I guess BBCA ran the extended version, which I haven't watched. If anyone has seen both the original broadcast version and the extended version, I'd appreciate any spoiler-free (please!) thoughts.

    Having now finished (and very much enjoyed) The Wire, I'm still okay with calling BSG probably the best-acted show ever.

  3. Loved BSG, but I felt the whole last season was overly drawn out, and the finale was, um, yeah...not a fan of that.

  4. Still don't understand the fanfare about BSG. Was it good Sci Fi? Yes, there were good concepts well executed. Was it well written? Absolutely not. The acting was quite good, but the story telling was extremely slow and drawn out. The episodic topics were generally heavy handed and obvious from the start (yawn!). The reliance on a sense of honor and authority in personal interactions with the 'leaders' had almost no basis in events in-show. Adama was not a smart or capable commander, just a commander. He never did anything that seemed particularly heroic that didn't feel like cardboard generic standard "heroism". He never really was a genuine person except for the later relationship with Roselyn which had a nice warmth to it.

    But hey, just my silly opinion.

  5. Watching BSG for the second run-through. 1st season is generally great, 2nd and 3rd are fantastic when they're multi-part episodes or talking about the continuing story while the one-off episodes are OK to skip (I've just watched Black Market which left a bitter taste) and the 4th really depends on whether you agree with the direction it takes.


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