3.03.2012

Watching: Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica was on my must-watch list since the final season lighted up SyFy like a Christmas tree back in 2008-2009. For some reason, I kept putting off watching it. I should have known it was a sign.

Seventy five episodes. I'm sad to say that I'll never get the time I spent watching the show this past week, back. Ever.

Initially I enjoyed the crescendo, the interesting dynamics between leadership and civilians, and the jacked up way they were portraying the military. Lots of dualism, religious fanaticism, and skill vs. luck. Many characters weren't being explored sufficiently to get buy in, meanwhile others had a big spotlight for teacher's pet. Then I started noticing mentions to current culture and turns of phrase, which took my suspension of disbelief and threw it out the window even further.

What really riled me up was the illogical way the cylons behaved. You'd think they would have wiped each other out well before that Six blew up the space station at the beginning of the first episode. Why do they argue so much? They had WAY enough time to figure out a plan and stick to it. Too much cylon libbing on the plan all the way into the last season.

Here's a short list of my rants:
How is it possible that a world of machines led by the "pretty ones?" Machines should know better. And how is it that one cylon (Cavil) gets to make all the decisions for everyone? Including the model that carries the creator's memories? How can dead people rematerialize with their ship then vanish into thin air? And how on earth does the admiral gain so much weight over the three years when they're on tight rations! Look at that beer belly my gods. Why do we care how Starbuck and Adamo Jr met until the last season? Tell us sooner!

I began to really like the Sharon model, then realized I liked that character because it was the only one that had multidimensionality: Boomer and Tyrol, Boomer shooting Adamo, Athena the captive, Athena the wife, Boomer the antihero, et al. Most lead characters were only being explored more in-depth -- or gave you the impression they were -- in an episode or two if doing so helped progress the plot device du jour in some way. Basically it was a game of pawns. Not terribly interesting when it's so obvious.

It was terribly ironic to have Gaius Balthar become the comedic relief after being the lead antihero, and a sadistic narcisist one at that. I seriously wanted something terrible to happen to him, and he gets off scot-free in the end. Not very satisfying. I would have loved to have seen more about the cylon human experiments than what they showed in that quick episode with Adamo Sr. at the end of the first war. That could have really gone somewhere. Anywhere.

There were some entertaining bits, but I somehow feel like it was a too long series that could have benefited from tighter storylines and plot devices. You either have the civilians be useful collateral or you get rid of them without a a second thought -- you shouldn't really dillydally and go from one and the other interchangeably. Either we, the audience, care about them or we don't.

The acting was fine on pretty much all accounts, kudos to a varied cast, particularly some people I'd never seen before. It was fun seeing Dean Stockwell be naughty but he also got cynic and old in the end. Then the entire place turned into a natives documentary in tall grass...and then Times Square. *rolls eyes* I think I was so excited the show was finally over that I liked the last two episodes too much.