Friday Forum: Love Ya, Jamie, But You're Not Always Easy to Watch - Jamie Bamber News
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Friday Forum: Love Ya, Jamie, But You're Not Always Easy to Watch
We all enjoy watching Jamie on screen. He's given some great performances and helped to create memorable scenes. But, like all actors, he has moments he'd like to forget.....and some we would like to as well. So, the topic for this week is what are some moments you avoid rewatching and why? Do you think he made the wrong acting choice? Do you feel the director steered him wrong? Is the material to blame?

As much as I love Battlestar Galactica and Lee Adama, the series (and character) had it's share of rough patches. It's been several years, but people are still debating whether or not 'Black Market' is the Worst Episode Ever. While I do feel it's not one of the easier episodes to sit through, there is only one Lee scene that ever made me cringe and it wasn't in 'Black Market'.



Taking a Break From All Your Worries: The Drunk Walk


The third screencap may be my favorite. Even the extra feels she must look away!

I have a lot of issues with the episode, and a few with Lee's characterization in it, but it's not until Lee is wandering Galactica's corridors drunk, bumping into people and crawling around on the ground looking for his wedding ring in utter desperation that I have to cover my eyes or hit fast-forward on the remote. Watching characters I love humiliate themselves is problematic for me. But I also found it hard ro believe Lee would put himself in a position in which those who serve under him would see see him that way. And I also don't think Jamie plays a very convincing drunk.

Another scene I can't bring to watch again is in The Scarlet Pimpernel. I've watched Jamie die on film, a lot. I'm highly amused that, given the high body count in the production, he survived Band of Brothers. Most of his deaths I can (somewhat) easily watch. But his execution in The Scarlet Pimpernel felt like a punch to the gut. As a huge fan of the 1982 version of the story, in which Lord Tony Dewhurst lived, I was shocked when Jamie's Tony was shot in the head. Up until the trigger was pulled I was sure he was going to be saved! Fortunately, the adaptation also made Jamie/Tony's role rather small and I've not been moved since my first viewing to pop the DVD in the player.


So what performances, episodes or scenes do you avoid? And be honest. No one is perfect. ;)

Screencaps from black-celebration.net and frak-that.com.

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(Deleted comment)
asta77 From: asta77 Date: June 12th, 2010 03:38 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I must admit, I have not read the novel, but I was under the impression that the 1982 film version stuck fairly close to it. I mean, film adaptations always change some things, occasionally for the better, but the 1999 version was wildly different and none of the changes were improvements. And Elizabeth McGovern as Marguerite???

And poor Tony goes from losing his virginity to three women to getting shot in the head. What a day!
scifishipper From: scifishipper Date: June 12th, 2010 12:49 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Yes, that scene is very cringe-worthy. I think Jamie has great acting chops, but that scene just didn't play true for me. Too much drunken angst. He's wonderful with understatement, subtlety and nuance - the big in-your-face emotional displays don't seem to work as well.

*squishes his cutie-pie self*

Edited at 2010-06-12 12:49 am (UTC)
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: June 12th, 2010 02:57 am (UTC) (Link Me)
the big in-your-face emotional displays don't seem to work as well.

Oh, I don't know, he pretty much nailed the witness stand monologue to the hull, I thought. ;) Some, certainly... but not all.
scifishipper From: scifishipper Date: June 12th, 2010 03:24 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Yes, that's an excellent scene, but also played a little tighter than the ring scene, which I think works better for him. I think the Ring scene and the scene from Home where he's holding a gun to Boomer's head are a bit weak for me. They feel a bit forced. Otherwise, as I said, he's got amazing acting chops. I adore him. <3<3

zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: June 12th, 2010 03:28 am (UTC) (Link Me)
the scene from Home where he's holding a gun to Boomer's head are a bit weak for me.

If you mean the gritting-teeth trembling-triggerfinger shot, then I agree. ;) I adore the "Rrrruh?! AW HALE NAW!" ragey, slo-mo charge look on his face right before that, though. Mixed bag for me. LOL
scifishipper From: scifishipper Date: June 12th, 2010 03:47 am (UTC) (Link Me)
If you mean the gritting-teeth trembling-triggerfinger shot

EXACTLY! Your comment totally cracked me up!! And, I agree, the slo-mo was FANTASTIC.
asta77 From: asta77 Date: June 12th, 2010 03:55 am (UTC) (Link Me)
But the courtroom scene called for a big emotional moment. It wasn't just Lee letting go of all the shame and guilt he had carried around for years, he was forcing a lot of other people to take a look at themselves. He was speaking for humanity. That was about catharsis as well as justice. But Lee has always keep his personal life private. How long were his feelings for Kara a secret? Maybe his falling down drunk and weeping in the halls was to show how bad a place he was in and how he no longer had the will to keep up a facade, but I just couldn't fathom him putting himself in a position to lose the respect of his peers and subordinates like that.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: June 12th, 2010 03:59 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Yeah, I get the difference between the context of the two scenes; I think we were speaking toward Jamie's success at conveying those moments vs. the justification for having them. ;)
asta77 From: asta77 Date: June 12th, 2010 03:45 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I agree. He's great with the understated moments. I think back to his reaction to finding out Laura had cancer or seeing Kara return from the dead. And I think the ring scene called understated, but EJO, who directed, has a tendency to push the actors to be showier. Let's face it, by season 4, Eddie was doing quite a bit of scenery chewing.
scifishipper From: scifishipper Date: June 12th, 2010 03:49 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Is a shame because the Ring scene could have really showed us why leaving Dee was so hard for him. Watching that scene, however, was like seeing a different person making the decision. I am not an expert, but the direction was def off for that ep.

Strangely, hasn't Jamie said that Taking a Break is his favorite ep? Am I mis-remembering?
asta77 From: asta77 Date: June 12th, 2010 03:59 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I think he may have at one point. Keep in mind, he and Eddie are very close. But he now seems to mention several Season 4 episodes as favorites.

I felt staring at the ring in the bar was enough to convey what he was feeling. The corridor scene was pushing it too far.
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: June 12th, 2010 04:00 am (UTC) (Link Me)
But he now seems to mention several Season 4 episodes as favorites.

And "33"; he and everyone else in the roundtable podcast get fairly drooly over "33." (Not without merit ;) )
scifishipper From: scifishipper Date: June 12th, 2010 04:04 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Yes, I agree. I think losing the ring was TOTALLY over the top. I liked him in the bar staring at the ring. It was a very hard decision for him, but falling down on the floor drunk in front of the crew? Seems way too OOC for me.

Alas, however, that is what we have. *sighs*

(that icon is very nice. did you make? can i snerch?)

Edited at 2010-06-12 04:05 am (UTC)
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: June 12th, 2010 04:21 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I do think there are some moments in TABFAYW that *are* subtle and effective, though; teary and sniffly, maybe, but the scene where Lee makes his case for forgiveness, for example. Both Jamie and Kandyse pitched that scene right on target, IMO.

Slightly OT: Which episode was it with the deleted scene between Caprica Six and Roslin in the brig? I LOVE that scene, should have been in the ep. If it wasn't TABFAYW, it was close to it.
scifishipper From: scifishipper Date: June 12th, 2010 04:28 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Yes, the scene with Dee is very touching (even if it kills the K/L shipper in me). Kandyse's acting is lovely there.

I'm moronic when it comes to naming eps, so I'm no help. :D
mzcalypso From: mzcalypso Date: June 12th, 2010 01:26 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I hated the way BSG didn't know what to do with Lee Adama. Granted, Jamie's protean enough to fold himself into whatever origami figure Ron Moore wanted from one week to the next, but I thought they just took story ideas and shoved him into any random plot situation that wouldn't work for the other characters. I finally just stopped watching after awhile.

And that Pimpernel... I'm sorry, trying to make it Dark and Serious kind of missed the point, and killing off two of the SP's band of merry men in the first story was a clue that it wasn't going to get any better. But... There are at least two fanfics that resurrected Tony, one het and one slash.
asta77 From: asta77 Date: June 12th, 2010 04:03 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Do you still have links to the fics? I'm curious as to how people tried to clean up the mess the filmmakers created. I never watched the other films in the series. I hear James Callis also died in the one he starred in. :p
zefire2 From: zefire2 Date: June 12th, 2010 02:25 am (UTC) (Link Me)
It was agonizingly painful but I have to admit 1)I can absolutely see Lee drinking to the degree of stupid over cheating (by way of mostly-clothed-makeouts) with Kara and being married to Dee, 2) that this much of a messy and bad drunk could be plausible for him, and 3) that we were probably supposed to feel the cringe inducing pain.
Not that I would touch that ep again with a ten foot pole. RDM utterly wasted an excellent actor. I hope Jamie is being appreciated better back in the UK.
(Deleted comment)
zefire2 From: zefire2 Date: June 12th, 2010 03:42 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Maybe not utterly, but RDM didn't use him much in S4 and Lee's character was derailed a lot. I think Jamie did a great job with what he had, but I really think that what they gave him near the end wasn't as good as it ought to have been. I really do think his talents were underserved by what he had to work with as the show progressed.

(this is a *bit* tinged by my remaining bitterness about the end of the show)

YMMV :)

zefire2 From: zefire2 Date: June 12th, 2010 03:50 am (UTC) (Link Me)
some odd LJ thing, this was in response to the post that has shifted down one.

Just to be clear, I would happily pay money to watch Bamber's worst acting day so long as it did not prompt BSG-painful-flashbacks. :) And not just because he is cute. (really the worst ones I can think of were still really good)
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: June 12th, 2010 03:33 am (UTC) (Link Me)
That's a little black and white, no? I mean, don't get me wrong, I've got gripes, too. Some missed opportunites with Lee's character, perhaps, but his corner of the big canvas of BSG has its highlights. I kind of have a hard time looking at eps like "Bastille Day," "Crossroads Pt. 2" and "Revelations" and saying he was utterly wasted. But that's just me. ;)
zefire2 From: zefire2 Date: June 12th, 2010 03:52 am (UTC) (Link Me)
... okay, not sure what happened, my reply is off the post above. :)
callmeonetrack From: callmeonetrack Date: June 12th, 2010 03:00 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I'm cheating because I never actually saw Daniel Deronda, but after seeing this pic last week...I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have been able to watch it:



That scene from TABFYW is my least favorite Jamie scene too. Such a precursor to the elder Adama sobbing and drooling and rolling in paint in s4. No surprise since EJO directed I guess. Subtlety is NOT his middle name.
scifishipper From: scifishipper Date: June 12th, 2010 03:08 am (UTC) (Link Me)
*runs to find bleach*
asta77 From: asta77 Date: June 12th, 2010 04:09 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I've seen Daniel Deronda. I'm looking forward to recapping that just so I can mock the hair! OK, and Hugh Dancy is also pretty. ;) I recall bursting out laughing when Jamie first appeared on screen. That photo does not do his look justice!

It's funny, Lee's wandering around drunk, collapsing against a wall, weeping and drooling all over himself is, in hindsight, a clear preview of Adama's behavior in Season 4. I guess Eddie thought his direction was so masterful he decided to try it on himself. :p
callmeonetrack From: callmeonetrack Date: June 12th, 2010 04:20 am (UTC) (Link Me)
I could just picture EJO yelling "BIGGER. I WANT IT BIGGER! WE NEED TO FEEL YOUR PAIN SON!!" after every take.

(er...bigger like Jamie's forehead in that DD shot? WTF? That's worse than Fat!Apollo. Srsly.)
zegeekgirl From: zegeekgirl Date: June 12th, 2010 03:13 am (UTC) (Link Me)
It's probably a lazy answer, but it's the truth: Pulse 2, in its entirety. Owing to oh, so many reasons: impenetrable script, haphazard direction, the pervasive, distracting and ridiculous green screen cinematography, and so on and so on. Admittedly, though, Jamie's not entirely without fault either, though I'd stop short of saying he's outright bad in it - he's trying, he's just not trying very hard. There are a couple of moments where he's firing on all cylinders, but most of the time it feels he's on autopilot. Granted, autopilot where he looks like THIS:



*bites fist* So it could be worse. ;) Still, the ratio of cringe to UNF is at least seven or eight to one.

Surprisingly, though it may be cringey I don't have much of a problem with the drunk walk in hindsight, only because I think Lee's hitting bottom contributes in part to his later willingness to push buttons, strike out on his own and make the key decisions that lead him into Baltar's trial and into the decision to make a career change, all important developments. The BSG moments that make me cringe are usually more fleeting, like the occasional "get the marbles out of your mouth, son" moments where he struggles with the accent. (And they are pretty rare, understand that - 99% of the time the accent is either airtight or pretty effing close to it. Once in a while, though... when he's trying to get the quorum to simmer down before Zarek strolls in at the top of "The Oath" for example. I'm not sure what happened there, but something's gone wonky. XD D'aww, s'okay, JB, everyone has an off day...)

OT: Apropos of nothing, but it's the open thread, so here's the result of me screwing around doing my Photoshop practice. O HAI, glow filter:

scifishipper From: scifishipper Date: June 12th, 2010 03:27 am (UTC) (Link Me)
Okay, so, yeah, GORGEOUS! He can phone it in for all I care. So beautiful! ;P
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