Friday, September 2, 2011

Classics: SG1 6:8 - The Other Guys

Overall Rating: 8.5 + 1.0 for being side-splittingly funny = 9.5

This one is a SCREAM!  A fluff piece to be sure, but an absolute RIOT - y'know why?  Because Gate writers love their fans.

Plot Synopsis:

The unorthodox (and enjoyable) plot summary can be read here, courtesy, as always, of the Stargate Wiki.

The Skinny:

There is almost no instance where a "Mary Sue/Marty Stu" character - defined as a character inserted into a story to directly represent the author or the author's audience with no attempt to conceal the purpose of that character - results in a good story.  Generally, such things end with very difficult to accept characters, plots and even dialogue and are filled with flowery praise for the inserted self.  And generally, this really REALLY annoys the reader/viewer.  "The Other Guys" is the ONE brand of story that can sometimes work.  And it only works when the insertions are done to praise the audience at the expense of the writer.  Wormhole Xtreme was humor at the expense of the genre (doing to sci fi what needs to be done, as Matt Groening famously said of Futurama) and it worked...but this is humor at the direct expense of the show and its' creators.

The entire episode is filled with this delightful mockery of the usual memes of an action Gate episode and the inserted characters (who are very much like the typical Stargate viewer, myself included...and very much like the writers too, I suspect, which is why they were so well written) bungled their way through the tropes in such a haphazard, incompetent way that it could only have ended in victory, because anything else would have been pointless!  The basic plot of this episode is: SG-1 is so remarkable in deed that the only way it could be true is if even a bungling geek like the viewer could stumble his way through those deeds and come out victorious!  The producers frequently make fun of the fact that the Jaffa are the worst shots in the universe, that the least impressive people tend to be first primes to the most impressive Goa'uld, that half of the great accomplishments on SG-1's resume are literally impossible without luck so good it can only be divine, and that the science in Gate their commentary tracks for other episodes.  This episode, they do it in the script!  Face it folks...when was the last time you watched a science fiction story that successfully incorporated sweeping action and prat falls / clumsy bafoonery / nerdy wet dreams into a great experience for the viewer?  Not even the often intentionally corny Dr. Who can claim to have done it this well.

Writing: 10.0

Take it from me...this script is perfect the way it is.  It does the job beautifully.

Acting: 9.5

Patrick McKenna (Felger) and John Billingsley (Coombs) are funnier than Abbott and Costello here...I can't remember the last time Stargate had such good guest stars.

Message: 6.0

If you wanted to be generous, you might talk about how this episode reminds us that stories are supposed to be fun and limitless (the writer can do whatever he wants)...but let's not kid ourselves...this is pure fluff and I LOVE IT!

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