Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Caprica, Just a Frakkin' Excuse

I watched the original Battlestar Galactica back when Starbuck was a guy who smoked cigars.  I was loyal through Galactica 1980 whose only possible redeeming quality was flying motorcycles.   And I watched the most recent incarnation on SyFy and was left confused, sad, and a bit unfulfilled by the ending.  So, of course, I am currently watching Caprica.  It's still early, but so far the story is interesting and the characters are intriquing.  Everyone is fighting personal demons so there is plenty of emotional turmoil.  There's also a house robot/butler/security guard that is very cool.  My problem is that it doesn't feel like this show really needs to be set in the Battlestar Galactica universe, which makes me wonder...is this just an excuse to say frak?

Frak first appeared in the original series as frack but was changed so it could officially be a four letter word.  It's fantastic because you can say it and you're swearing without really swearing.  It rolls right off the tongue just like what you can't say and although most people will look at you funny and think they didn't quite hear you, those in the know will smile and nod.  Say it, and you feel like you've gotten away with something that only you and your fellow geeks understand.  (Face it, if you've ever used frak, even once, you are a geek.)

There have been plenty of scifi swear words that have made their way into the geek lexicon over the years.  Frell (Farscape) was a pretty good one and you'll still hear it at least a dozen times at your average con.  And Gorram (Firefly) is still uttered by Browncoats everywhere.  But as those shows fade into the past, so do their swears.  Since Caprica feels like it could easily be on any generic planet of the future with any old bunch of humans, I am left with one answer as to why it's set in the Battlestar Galactica universe.  It's all just a big frakkin' excuse to keep the coolest scifi swear ever from fading into oblivion.  You got a frakkin' problem with that?

9 comments:

  1. Ah, good old Red Dwarf...

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  2. Love this post! Goodness knows there have been worse reasons for decisions in scifi shows. As a fan, I'll happily accept frak as an excuse to keep BSG-esque programming on my television.

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  3. I think the Black Library books in the Gaunt's Ghost series use Frak as a swear word too.

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  4. I completely agree sultryminxzoe, that any excuse to keep BSG shows on the air is a good one. Although none of them have the One True Starbuck anymore which makes me sad.

    Does Gaunt's Ghost really use frak, Rick? I have read those and I don't even remember that, but it's been awhile. Time for a re-read!

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  5. I totally see your point, but I also think that they were looking for a way to tell the backstory (in this "reimagined" BSG world) of how the Cylons were created, and why they rebelled. That's really interesting to me - and they fact that they made Greystone's character sort of Frankenstein-eqsue is fun, too. The copious use of "frak" is just a fringe benefit!

    Oh, and Katee Sackhoff could kick Dirk Benedict's feathered-hairdo-sporting butt any day! Girl Starbuck forever!! ;-)

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  6. What? What? What? Wait a minute...I know you! You're John from the "Game On with Cody and That Guy Who Obviously Doesn't Know What He's Talking About" Podcast. Dirk Benedict could take out Katee and his hair would look damn good doing it!

    I do like the backstory on Caprica, I'd just like to see it be a little more BSG-ish and a little less evening soap-ish. It does seem like it'll go more that direction as the show progresses, but now I've read it's ratings have been tanking, so maybe we'll never know.

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  7. Gaunt's Ghosts use "Feth" rather than "Frak". Is it actually a rule in sci-fi that you have to have a made up swear word in order to get past the censors? "Drokk" and "Grudd" spring to mind.

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  8. It must be one of those unwritten rules that we all just live by anyway!

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