I started to love science fiction in the 1970s, which was pretty much the high-water mark for sci-fi campiness. We had the original Battlestar Galactica, the Buck Rodgers series, and innumerable imitators. They featured slapstick, Hooters-girl outfits, and variety-show sensibilities. By contrast, I think most modern sci-fi is characterized by a more noir sensibility. Certainly the modern Battlestar Galactica is dark and gritty in a way that makes the old series look entirely frivolous.
But the price of decent scifi is vigilance. In that spirit, enjoy i09's 21 Ways To Eradicate Campiness From Science Fiction. I agree with all of it. I'd add this, which is related to their observations about costume — both modern, good sci-fi and campy sci-fi address sex, like most adult genres. But campy sci-fi has a pronounced adolescent approach to sex — it's all hyuck-hyuck and nervous and leering. Modern noirish sci-fi is much more matter-of-fact.
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