Defending Stargate Universe

I became a fan of Stargate SG1 in 2003 during it’s seventh season. Stargate opened my eyes to the endless wonders and possibilities science fiction has to offer. The very next year, Stargate Atlantis was aired and I was immediately hooked. The fact that SG1 aired for ten years and Atlantis for five is incredible. Earlier this year with the announcement that Atlantis had been cancelled, most fans were outraged and even became bitter toward the franchise itself. I first heard of Atlantis’ cancellation by reading it on Gateworld.net with the confirmation coming from Joe Mallozzi’s blog soon after, which I have been an avid reader of for over two years now. Joe gives us fans an inside look to the franchise that most shows don’t. We get behind-the-scenes pictures and videos, information on both Stargate and his dogs, A Weird Food Purchase of the Day every now and then, book reviews and even a Book of the Month Club, but most important for us fans is the ability to give Joe our views, opinions and ideas of where the shows’ story lines can go, whether he chooses to take them into consideration or not.

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Brad Wright and Robert Cooper, creators of Stargate: Universe.

The bitterness about Stargate Universe (SGU), the second spin-off series for the franchise, has been horrible. When the announcement came that it had been green-lit and would being airing in Atlantis’ Friday night spot in the Fall of 2009, there were fans who said they would not even give the show a chance because Atlantis was cancelled well before it should have been. I have to admit that I disagree. As much as I love Atlantis, I wasn’t seeing what more they could do with the Wraith. With a show that has a major story arc that lasts for most of its 20-something episodes, those story lines can only go so far. I wasn’t satisfied with getting rid of the Goa’uld (false Gods) in SG1 only to have them replaced with the Ori (again false Gods) but I still chose to watch the show. It was same with the Wraith on Atlantis. At one point during the show, I hoped that they would do something more with the Genii but they never did. I know that once the economy improves we will get more SG1 and Atlantis movies, which mean bigger storylines with more special effects due to having a higher budget. We won’t have to wait six months or more for a storyline to conclude.

I have stood by SGU from the moment it was announced. I have said time and time again that I support it because I have faith in Brad Wright and Robert C. Cooper and the rest of the writing staff, producers and actors. These men and women involved in these shows put their heart and soul into the shows only to receive both positive and negative criticism from fans. The stars of SGU have opened their lives to fans allowing us to interact with them via Twitter. You can get on and chat with Brian J. Smith (1st Lt. Matthew Scott), David Blue (Eli Wallace), Ming-Na (Camile Wray), Elyse Levesque (Chloe Armstrong), Lou Diamond Phillips (Col. David Telford), and Alaina Huffman (1st Lt. Tamera “TJ” Johnson). Expanding the SGU Twitter family is Brian J. Smith’s mom, Sherry Harris, whom I have become friends with. We also get the supporting cast of Josh Blacker, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, Jennifer Spence, Julia Benson, Peter Kelamis, Patrick Gilmore and Herbert Sommerfeld. From behind-the-scenes we have Carl Binder John G. Lenic, Martin Gero, Ivon Bartok and James “Bam Bam” Bamford. And those are the ones I follow. It’s a unique opportunity for us and one that I enjoy.

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Stargate: Universe

Three months before SGU was scheduled to air, they were given the opportunity to have a panel at Comic Con, the largest comic book and sci fi convention in the world, in July 2009. I stood in line for over three hours and was lucky enough to receive a seat in the second row. It was an opportunity for us fans to see the cast and get a closer look at an upcoming show. The trailer made the series look more like a movie than a television show. It explores a part of the franchise that we haven’t seen and the younger cast allows the show to be a little edgier than SG1 and Atlantis were. SGU is in no way shape or form SG1 or Atlantis as we have been told many times by Joe Mallozzi.

Now that October 2nd, 2009 has come and gone, the criticism from some so-called fans of the show is amazing. With the romantic relationship brewing between 1st Lt. Scott and Chloe, some fans are outraged, going as far to call Chloe a whore and Scott a man-whore in the comments section of Joe’s blog. I have gotten to the point where I no longer read the comments made by other fans because of the hostility towards the actors, staff and family members of everyone involved in SGU and even towards us fans who love the show. As Joe stated in his blog, the “sex scenes” so far have lasted about a minute total of the 270 minutes aired. They have been tastefully filmed and don’t show much. You hear the most criticism toward Chloe when the sex scene between Scott and Lt. James was more detailed, to put it one way. It has amazed me that the majority of the criticism is in fact focused at the sex in the show.

Parents are complaining that Stargate is no longer a family-oriented show. When was it ever a family-oriented show? There is a reason why it airs at 9pm in the US and 10pm in Canada. I don’t have kids but I personally feel that a parent should have the guts to tell their children they cannot watch it because there might be something inappropriate in it. Just about every seems to own a DVR/TIVO these days and there’s always Hulu, iTunes and Fancast. We were warned by the production staff that this was going to be a lot different than the Stargate we’re used to. Don’t complain to the staff because YOU allowed your child(ren) to watch something inappropriate. There are more graphic sex scenes on other shows that air earlier in the day than SGU.

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Ming Na, Brian J. Smith and Elyse Levesque of Stargate: Universe on the big screen.

The thing that hurts me the most as a fan, is the negativity towards Brian J. Smith, Elyse Levesque and Sherry Harris. As of today, Brian has put Twitter on hold. Because of certain fans, those of us that support the show, lost contact with an AMAZING actor. As Sherry put on Twitter, “How many people do any of you know that actually got into and graduated from Juilliard? My guess, ZERO.” I know some people don’t like Brian or Elyse’s character, but that doesn’t give you the right to wish bad things to the actors themselves or their families or flat out hold them responsible for the creative side of the show. They saw something in the roles otherwise they wouldn‘t taken them. We’re not going to get the entire background of any of the nine major character in the matter of a few episodes. You have to give the show a chance. It’s hurt me as a fan to know that people are being so negative and some are even being two-faced. I generated a rant towards one person on Joe’s blog the other day when she wrote, “Perhaps to you it is enough to see them have sex, but for y’all to claim this is a relationship driven show and then not DEVELOP the relationship… just jump to sex… well, again, get a woman writer. I know you are tired of hearing it. Better yet, get a Jewish woman writer. But you know I love you.” And then when Joe gave us his opinions on the various complaints by fans, that same woman goes on to say, “Whatever my complaints, you have a spectacular group of talent on that show. They step up to the plate, they work every line given. The complexity of this shows’ characters is great and for those so shallow as to call even a character a vile name just because they have sex…well, like you said they need help they won’t be able to get on a forum.

Do I think SGU is perfect or you all walk on water? Nah. But you are great. And when I am whining about the women’s roles, I try to make sure I add in how much you hit the mark otherwise.” Maybe I read it wrong, but that’s not what you said two days earlier. I don’t see what having a woman writer on the show would change and the religion of that woman is moot and shouldn’t matter.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that people don’t have the right to their opinions or even the right to post it, but as Brian had said a few times on Twitter, “Think before you Tweet.” Fans really need to think before they post a comment as well. Think of how it would affect you if the roles were reversed. I was always taught to put yourself in another’s shoes before you say something negative towards that person. I was teased so unmercifully in school to the point where I threatened suicide from the ages of 10 to 15. I know what it’s like to be on the end of horrible criticism. I hate that bullshit is being said to the actors and their families.

If you want to see Brian J. Smith in something great, see Hate Crime. It’s a powerful movie and one I enjoyed immensely. Brian took on a role that most actors would find difficult and, in my opinion, proved himself as a wonderful actor.

I’m sorry to Joe for having all of this put you in a weird situation, but I know you’ll decide the best action to take as far as the comments section of your blog. I will continue to support everyone there at Bridge Studios.

To everyone involved with SGU, I just want to thank you for giving us a show that I personally enjoy.

To all the “fans” leaving the horrible comments, either say something that is constructive or shut the fuck up. You are putting a bad name to all of us who love the show. If you hate the show so much why are you still watching it? And what makes you think that calling characters whores are gonna change anything? The people behind the franchise already know the powerful voice of the fans – can we say Dr. Beckett?

To Sherry Harris and Brian J. Smith, just so you know, I love both of you with all my heart and will continue to support you and comfort you when the negativity has gotten you down. Brian, I hope that you will return to Twitter soon. I’m sorry, as a fan, that it has taken such a toll on you and your family but I also understand that you need a break. I know how much hard work you have put into Scott and he is becoming one of my favorite characters (and I’m not just saying that). I cannot wait to see what SGU has to offer us and let’s get it a People’s Choice Award to prove to all the SGU Haters out there that this show DESERVES to be on the air.

To all the SGU Haters out there that might stumble upon this rant, I only have five words for you – Fuck you and go away!!!!

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