Fun video Friday: B5 and alien confusion

Friday, June 1, 2012

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Babylon 5 is one of my favorite shows. I've got all 5 seasons on DVD plus the pilot episode and In the Beginning (tv movie). I don't have a few of the other movies yet, but they're on the list to pick up.

One of the many reasons I find this show so amazing is in how aliens might get confused when trying to use another race's idioms. Personally, I think I think this particular one is funnier by being wrong than what Londo intended to say. Remember when writing mixed race cultures that you think how races can muddle things up even when they have an excellent grasp of each other's language.

Getting things mixed up allows for moments of humor even in characters who are usually very serious.  You don't have to give these sorts of lines only to the characters intended to be there for comedic relief. Londo himself is more of a tragic character considering his personal arc over the 5-year storyline. That's actually what makes the punchline in the first clip even funnier. He's so serious about it, and neither he nor his aide Vir realize the mistake they've made.

In the second clip, Londo is studying an Earth children's song, trying to make sense of it. Again, he's very serious and frustrated, and no humans are present to make fun of him for it. The only others in the scene are two Minbari: Delenn and Draal, and neither of them know the song either.


Anonymous said...

Awesome, I want to watch it again so badly, but Fred said he is not ready for it. :(


Jaleh D said...

Well then, after we get moved and set up again, you can come visit, and we'll do a B5 marathon over a series of weekends. :D Thanks for stopping by, Becki! We miss you guys.

Donna Hole said...

I think I remember both those. I like the technique of pleasing (humoring) the target audience rather the involved characters. Very good examples.


Brad said...

You know already that I'm a fan of this show, as well.
As much as I loved the grand story-arc and the epic quality that the series took on, it's moments like these that made this show a favorite. "Throw-away" moments that don't really contribute to the main story are what make the characters more real to me. I care about them and what happens to them because of moments like these, and that's what makes a story good.
For me, at least.

Indigo Roth said...

Hi Jaleh, Indigo here. I've been advised for years to watch B5, but for some reason I never have; I'm a huge SF fan, but somehow it passed me by. Anyway, thanks for sharing these two clips, Mr. Strajynzsky nailed it. Indigo

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