Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Big O

Pardon my rambling...

Finally watched the last of it this morning. What a cool show. It's been a few years since I last saw it so some of the details were fuzzy and on more then a few occasions I caught myself wondering if I had seen the particular episode I was watching. But it was still pretty good watching. I think I finally get the ending. Basically riffing on simulated or artificial reality. Roger Smith was an android or clone much like the rest of the populace who, the reason none of them have memories of the past prior to 40 years prior, was because none of them existed 40 years prior. The only real human was Gordon Rosewater and, maybe, Angel. Roger and Alex Rosewater were based on men who had lived up until forty years prior but were all killed in an alien or foreign invasion using the giant robots like the Big O piloted by Roger. Gordon Rosewater starts cloning or making simulations of people using leftover technology remaining from the war but screws up the first batch of his "tomatoes" as he calls them. I'm kind of confused on some points, if he starts off with advanced robotics and ends up with giant computer simulations and holograms as the final visuals imply or what. I assumed this would have been clarified in a third season had it happened. But if everything was strictly holographic, why even include the Bigs in the program? Ah, doesn't matter. Still a cool show. The character relations are nicely done, especially Roger and Dorothy's semi-romance. The action is pretty well done with some very cool looking mechas. Plus, ya know, it's all done to look like the 90s Batman animated series. Always cool shit. Overall, I'd say this series rates about 75 to 80%. There's some dumb shit, like the introduction of Instro (and then not so much the introduction but the fight afterwards), the fact that the ending is a bit too ambiguous (though it is basically tracking alongside The Matrix thematically)...the one episode that plays out as a parody of old 70s and 80s giant robot shows was funny as shit but out of place in the more serious second season.

But really, the appeal of the show is the characters and the relationship between Roger and Dorothy. Dorothy is Dorothy throughout the entire series. She's a relatively emotionless android but her affect on Roger is apparent. He's an arrogant prick at the start, an arrogant prick at the end, but an arrogant prick who's suddenly grounded. At the start of the series he's a guy who does jobs, doesn't seem particularly connected to anything. Dorothy comes along and basically screws up his rigid rituals and Roger is now suddenly.....what, committed? Dorothy hires him with no way of paying for his services and ends up working them off as Roger's maid. She never stops being Roger's maid. But it's clear that the relationship is deeper then that. On the verge of a romantic moment between Roger and Angel he hesitates. Hey, come on, Angel is a hot piece of ass, what the fuck? Tap that ass, you stupid bastard! Alas, the depths of the relationship between Roger and Dorothy are not plumbed further as the series concludes with episode 26 and plans for a third season are canceled due to low ratings and DVD sales. Suck!

And other characters kick some ass. Norman can do no fucking wrong. It's like he's the bad ass behind the man. Seriously, everyone should have a manservant is awesome as Norman. The villains are cool shit too. Motivations are a little scant, but at least Schwartzwald is a proper philosophical psycho bastard. A former reporter who goes looking for the truth and goes nuts, tears shit up and kills himself. Yeah, he was sorely missed. Alan Gabriel was the replacement psycho, but as visually kick ass as he was, the character lacked the depth. Jason Beck was a cool sleaze, kind of like Roger but without the genteel manners. Cool goatee too.

Like I said, about 80% rating on this one with good rewatchability value. Recommended.


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