1. Parallel structure is a privilege, not a right. No, but I mean it: if you try to start out, bam, with parallel structure, and you haven't earned your reader/viewer's investment in the characters or the plot or something, it is a cheap parlor trick. I'm looking at you, The Closer and The Shield. If you want your parallels to work, there has to be some chance that they will not run parallel. In fact, it's best if they don't in every single particular. Go watch The Wire again if you want to see how to do this. By the time you say, "Hey, self! This character's arc is really paralleling this other character's arc!" you have already invested in the whole thing, and it's an enhancement of a story you're already interested in hearing told. It has to be the enhancement. It can't be the only thing.
2. Brenda Lee Johnson (of The Closer) annoys the living daylights out of me, and Jennifer Jarreau (of Criminal Minds) is my sole identification character in all the shows I've watched recently. (Or...possibly ever. Hmm. We will have to think on this.) And yet they are both women who are frequently underestimated by the people around them. I think the major difference for me is that J. J. does not play dumb to lead people on. She sometimes uses their stupid assumptions against them, but if they don't come in with stupid assumptions, she doesn't supply them. Also, when J.J.'s in a relationship, she and the fella don't have to supply the same stuff, but she pulls her own weight. I have very little patience for the Ditzy Southern Belle routine.
3. When I try a bunch of new things to see if they'll do for workout fodder DVDs, I end up remembering that I don't like TV categorically, the way I like SF novels. I like some TV shows, and I don't dislike TV categorically. But with Criminal Minds and Numb3rs and Bones and Eureka on my list of current shows, I can mistake myself for liking TV. Not really.
4. Through the entire run of Battlestar Galactica, one of the things that drove me most nuts was the complete lack of respect for other people's skills. And the ending is just the culmination of that: of course Athena and Helo will teach Hera to plant and to hunt! Where did they learn to plant and to hunt? Of course farming and hunting are not skills to be learned, not like flying spaceships! Any fule kno how to do them! And midwifery and herbalism and weaving and tanning and everything, everything: it's all "creature comforts," or else it's all to be taken for granted. People on this show wore glasses--how many of you can accuately measure a change in eyeglass prescription necessary--using only flint knives and bearskins--and then grind a lens to meet that prescription--and then construct frames to hold those lenses? People on this show smoked like proverbial chimneys. Even if it we take the "it only looks and acts like tobacco, it's not tobacco really, and it's not physically addictive" position--which would have to be pulled out of a convenient orifice--how much fun do you expect it will be when people who have lost their entire civilization also lose all of the social habits they've had to get through it? But we are giving up on cities, because the best way to make sure we grow a new culture without the mistakes of the old culture is to completely obliterate any notion of what those mistakes were. Trainwreck start to finish, uff da. Well, that's why we watched it.