Battlestar Galactica

So I started watching this show because of the offically licensed board game.  I don’t know if there are many weirder reasons for starting to watch a television show.  Really, I finally made the plunge on this show because of my friends Joe and Jill loaning me the first season on DVD.  I originally missed the boat on this series thanks to some bad advice.   The internet buzz that I got from Stargate Universe was that it was ‘just like Battlestar Galactica’.   Stargate Universe was an awful, awful show so I merrily avoided Battlestar Galactica.

Now that I have seen the first season, I’m not exactly floored but it is a great show.  I was wrong to dismiss it out of hand without giving it a shot.  My big worry was that the show would have been spoiled for me already since I was so late to the party.  I have not experienced that yet.  The only thing I remembered hearing from the before times were the characters’ names but those are 35 years old now.

The show’s tone is very dark.  These are people living on the brink of annihilation and surviving hand to mouth especially in the first few episodes.   This mood radiates out to the set design and lighting design.  Combined with the show lacking much of a sense of humor, I could not watch too many episodes in a row.   Still, the characters are likeable and I found myself really cheering them on.

So I would recommend this series heartily.  Now below this point are some specific complaints and praise that will spoil the hell out of the show.  You have been warned.

Alright, let’s get right into it.  I hate everything to do with Space Jesus and the God Squad.  Do not misunderstand me.  I love mythology and on many occasions I have submerged myself in the ancient tales of Gods and other beings of unfathomable power.  What I don’t like is people making decisions grounded only in faith with no evidence.  At the end of the first season Starbuck potentially throws away her military career because of some prophecy and some coincidences.  President Roslin descends from being a rational person to believing she is receiving holy visions.  Both of these pissed me off somewhat as they were likeable characters.

Edward James Olmos owns the show and everybody else often feels like they are miles behind him in acting skill.   Still, his interaction with the rest of the characters drives a lot of the show.  His alternating conflict and collaboration with his son Lee is great.  The personal history between the Admiral, Lee and Starbuck is heartbreaking.

The mystery of who and who is not a Cylon is intriguing.  I wish they didn’t spoil so many of them in the miniseries and early episodes though.  It definitely was interesting to watch Boomer cope with discovering that she is a  Cylon.  Completely heartbreaking.

I actively fast-forwarded through the parts with Dr. Baltar talking to his imaginary friend.  I learned to do this as they did nothing to move the plot forward and just served to annoy me.  Dr. Baltar’s character could have been so much better.  He did not need long conversations with what is either the personification of his guilt or a microchip implanted in his brain.  His immense guilt and paranoia could have just as easily been captured by private expressions or audio journal entries.  I didn’t need some smirking blonde saying “That was us. ” whenever something bad happened as if I couldn’t have figured that out on my own.  When he’s in a scene without her, then he’s great.

As I said, the show is mostly great.  There are just a few things that annoy me.  I expect to get over them and get back to watching the show eventually.  We shall see.

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