*Spoiler Warning for Battlestar Galactica (as if you haven’t watched the whole thing already) and elements of extreme violence.
One thing I love about remix is its ability to talk back to the media. Remixers can re-purpose footage from popular culture to tell a different story, to do an identity correction or to tell the creator of your favourite show what you really thought. “Tandemonium“, a vid created by Jarrow does just that. He is a fan of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica (BSG) television show which aired on the SyFy network and has made many BSG vids in the past, usually focusing on aspects he enjoyed. This time however Jarrow decided to create a portrait about Ron Moore (the series creator) in order to explore his dissatisfaction with some elements of the show, specifically the final season. To make his critical vid, Jarrow used television clips from BSG, behind the scenes footage and added quotes from Moore.
Sorry embed not working, watch the full-res vid here.
What is so unique about this particular vid is how it implicates the writers by pulling back the curtain and revealing the production side of the show, the side we aren’t supposed to think about as viewers. By using behind the scenes footage it specifically and intentionally dismantles the “suspension of disbelief” reminding us that this story is a construct, that the narrative could have been anything, and in this case, could have been something better.
It is easy to forget that there are people behind the scenes who write the stories, direct the scenes, chose certain costumes and lighting, cast specific actors and edit the footage in very deliberate ways. All of these are intentional decisions by the production team and are meant to remain hidden to us as the audience. When we are lost in a captivating story we take for granted the actual creation process. It is these elements that are revealed in Jarrow’s vid by overlaying quotes from Ron Moore on top of the BSG footage.
The words, “We’re doing the show just the way I want it” comes onto the screen and are followed by a montage of gratuitous violence and torture. Near the end of the video, almost as a revelation, we read, “When I started the project I had no particular ending in mind.” Those of us who actually watched BSG through to the bitter end will find that statement very telling, if not slightly offensive as the end of the show came with the death of nearly every central female character.
BSG was a hugely popular show with a strong community of fans and this vid is a portrayal of the widespread fan dissatisfaction. Jarrow’s vid shows us that being a fan is not just about unconditionally loving a TV show or movie. Being a fan is the ability to simultaneously enjoy a show, even love it, and be critical at the same time.
Anita Sarkeesian is a feminist media literacy advocate, pop culture critic and fair use proponent. She maintains an ongoing web series of video commentaries from a fangirl/feminist/anti-oppression perspective at her website www.FeministFrequency.com.