A conversation I had recently reminded me of something that always used to bug me when I was a Stargate fan: several of the producers frequently go out of their way to flatter Amanda Tapping (Sam Carter) whether she’s present for the commentary or not. They’re always on about how smart she is, because she actually understands the lines they write for her about bizarre physics theories. How beautiful her “big doe eyes” are. How luminescent the above-mentioned eyes are. How beautiful she is. What a gifted actress she is. How amazing she is, that she can deliver all this technobabble they saddle her with (ETA: which is amazing, but the fact that they dump it on her because the guys won’t do it speaks volumes about that). And they deliver these comments almost verbatim, over and over – like they’re working off a script Sci-Fi or MGM gave them. Which, I suspect, is the case.
It comes across as condescending, especially as they never say similar things about Michael Shanks, who a damn fine job playing an equally intelligent character, and looks equally good on screen. Why do they make such a point of it with Tapping, while letting Shanks’ abilities and looks speak for themselves?
I suspect they’re overcompensating. Maybe Sci-Fi or MGM was anxious to convince people they like women, even as they weakened Tapping’s character due to a collective lack of interest in anything but her love life. So much easier to sprinkle flattery throughout the afterthought commentaries than it is to, you know, write Sam a good story.