And now: A live toot of Sliders 1x02, Pilot Part 2 (the only part with the commie stuff).
Wow, three minutes in and already we've entered Strawman territory with the Lenin statue in Golden Gate Park replacing one of Lincoln. Firstly Lincoln's objectively the best president the US has had so I doubt anyone would replace a statue of him with anyone. But why Lenin? Was Daniel DeLeon too obscure for the writers to look up? Or did they need to hammer in the point that this is commie world ASAP?
Wade then, obviously confused by all this, tries to clarify and because apparently failing to answer an operator's question within 5 seconds about your phone bill, you are magically guilty of some crime worthy of dispatching the police to your location immediately. Da f@ck is this sh!t?!? I must have missed the part in USSR history where you got arrested for improper phone booth usage. Also how did she not notice the big f@ck off red sign with the hammer and sickle-esque symbol on the way in???
After this nonsense we see Rembrandt (the token black guy) in a taxi driven by the most stereotypical Russian in the history of TV, also can anyone explain how someone can mispronounce "Pavel" as "Pay-vill", how does that happen?
Anyway the taxi driver freaks out when he sees that Rembrandt (I'll call him Remmy from now on cause I've got a 500 character limit in my instance) is paying him with a US dollar bill (which is illegal obvs, and a sign that you're a fascist in ITTL).
Also you're obligated to salute whenever the USSR anthem plays on the radio because of course.
And we then see the most fascist-looking communist politician (down to a red armband because the writer thinks fascism and communism is the same thing obvs) giving the most fascist-sounding speech ever delivered by someone claiming to be on the political left. And he's flanked by two soldiers because of course he is.
Meanwhile Remmy gets arrested when the taxi guy drives him to a roadblock.
Also I don't speak Russian but I'm about 70% sure the taxi guy is speaking absolute nonsense.
So Remmy gets arrested and the rest of the Sliders find themselves in the middle of a goddamn warzone if the gunfire and flaming cars are any indication. So the revolution happened long enough ago for Lenin statues to appear everywhere and new currency to be re-issued, but not long enough ago for the new regime to stop executing people in the streets. When did this sh!t happen? Answer me please Tracy.
Okay, here's the thing, I'm willing to buy military presence in the streets if there's still counter-revolutionary unrest in the area (and as we later learn, there is). What I am less willing to buy is that the regime would just randomly kidnap people in in the middle of the street, in plain view of everyone without so much as charging them with anything. There a totalitarian regime and then there's just plain old moronic and counterproductive, cartoonishly evil nonsense like this.
After that scene, Professor Arturo (played by Gimli) goes to get a snack (his stomach has no political preferences, as we are told) and we're treated to the worst-looking dollar in history. I can't even tell who's supposed to be the bald dude on it but I guess Lenin cause it looks more like Lenin than Eugene V. Debs, the only other guy I can think that a commie America would put on the dollar bill. And also because I refuse to believe the writers know who Eugene V. Debs is.
After the worst Dollar ever, we see Remmy getting grilled in a darkly lit room out of Blade Runner by a shady guy in a trench coat. It turned out Remmy died in this world (in the "Detroit Uprising, 12 years ago") so the commie narcs think he's an impostor. He fails to explain that he's from another world and, after recognizing shady guy as an accidents lawyer from his world, gets transferred over to the People's Court (Commie Judge Judy), who promptly give him 15 years in the "Alaskan gulag" 🤦♂️
Meanwhile the rest of the Sliders arrive at resistance central because they accidentally gave the correct password to the undercover (as a hot dog guy) resistance guy so that he could take them there. It's there that they learn that Arturo's double is a prison warden (and Arturo is British so does that mean that Britain fell to Communism before the US in this TL?), they watch Remmy's Judge Judy episode and, look I don't know how to explain what I'm about to tell you so I'll just type it in full.
These are the lyrics to an actual rap song in this universe:
"Comrade, comrade get on down.
Get that grain right into town
Serve the state and feed the people
Because the individual is evil"
Those four bars, repeated ad nauseaum, over the dorkiest beat possible and with the most stilted flow possible is somehow a Rap Song in any universe. This is the sort of sh!t a Reds-verse comedian/rapper from UASR would rap as a joke about the FBU.
And the video's just as cringey:
Not even Wade can comprehend the sheer stupidity of the Comrade Rap, so they change the channel to a PBS telethon where the regime make thinly veiled threats to the public if they don't pledge their support to the PBS. By the way did I mentioned that the episode writer Tracy Tormé is a Libertarian? And that he's also responsible for the creation of Lwaxanna Troi over on Star Trek: The Next Generation?
Yeah, feel free to hate on him now, I sure do after re-watching this episode with commie eyes.
So anyway, we learn that Wade's double is a ranking resistance officer (because random 20 year olds make the best (counter-)revolutionaries) and that she's coincidentally locked in the same prison as Remmy. So Quinn (the main character guy played by the guy from Joe's Apartment and Kangaroo Jack) comes up with a plan to disguise Arturo as his double and have him help the resistance break into the prison and free all the fascists from jail along with Remmy and alt-Wade.
We also find out that the reason why the US became a communist nation is because the Domino theory, that was used to justify the Korean and Vietnam wars, was totally correct and that all it would've taken for the commies to win the cold war was to win the Korean War because that's how it works. Don't forget that the writer's a libertarian.
Anyway, prison break time, and I gotta admit that it's a pretty decent action scene to cap off the episode's climax. We get 'splosions, gun fights and...
...Quinn pistol-whipping commies because he's too gosh-darn moral to actually kill people.
But let's back it up for a second. Arturo sneaks the resistance peeps into the prison despite resistance from the shittest Russian accented-soldier ever and while Arturo makes a decent effort to impersonate his double (and passes the handprint scan) he ends up overdoing it so Russian-accent gets suspicious and calls Alt-Turo so the alarms start sounding and the action scene beings.
In the gunfight, alt-Wade gets shot, we get the drama of Quinn mistaking her for his world's Wade before he's reunited with prime-Wade. Remmy sings Amazing Grace over the corpses of fallen fascists, Quinn and Arturo fix the timer (the thing that will send them home) and the four get chased by the Commie Neighborhood Watch back to Golden Gate Park, where they activate the timer and get back home.
Okay not really (it's yet another parallel world), otherwise there wouldn't be a show.
@thejovian Krushchev? He looks too much like a potato to be Lenin imo
@robotcarsley Makes no sense either way.
@thejovian I'm not getting the impression that making sense was on the task list. The only five minutes of this show I remember watching they were in "scientists are the biggest stars of pop culture" world, where basketball involved continuously reciting memorized digits of pi while dribbling
@robotcarsley That was actually one of the better thought out episodes of the series, believe it or not. Wait till I get to the "The American Revolution failed so there are no democracies anywhere." episode.
@thejovian hahaha oh no (to both halves)
Because no one else in any part of human civilization ever came up with the idea of democracy.
All those other groups centuries or millennia before the American Revolution were simply channeling the overwhelming thought power of a bunch of rich New England dudes as it overflowed through time and space via Thomas Jefferson's spacecock.
@thejovian @firstname.lastname@example.org wat
Bumping this for years brb
@thejovian I like how cold war/red scare propaganda can never tell the difference between communism and extreme expansionist Russian nationalism. Like, the only alternative to capitalism is communism, and communism is just inherently Russian. Remember when Marx wrote Capital, but nobody he showed it to could read it cause it was all in Russian for some reason?
@thejovian so are they freeing the fascists to be bullet sponges for them, or because "these lads did nothing wrong"
@robotcarsley The episode doesn't actually portray them as fascists as much as generic all-American, ethnically diverse freedom fighters. The main characters really had no horse in this race and really didn't care either way about who came out on top in this universe as long as all four of them got back home in the end.
But let's be real, they're probably fascists given some clues about the nature of the US communist revolution.
well, that is what we usually sing in Russia, didn't you know?
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