Monday, February 19, 2007

Gave BSG another shot... meh

So a few months back I caved into peer pressure and finally made myself watch the new Sci-Fi rendition of Battlestar Galactica. I watched the recap and started watching with the premier of season 3.

I had very little nice to say about it, and stopped recording it after four episodes But I was then told by a few different sources that season three started off bad, and was not indicative of the rest of the show. So I tried again and rented the pilot.

Sorry. It's still a weak show. It's better than a lot of trash, but there is nothing exciting that makes me look forward to the next episode here.

Now I have learned to acknowledge that all entertainment is subjective. I live in a world where Firefly fans are legion, people actually consider Stargate SG-1 to be quality entertainment, and some philistines say with a straight face that the Star Wars prequels were well written. I acknowledge it, but fail to understand it.

The look of the series is gorgeous. I love the technology, not too flashy and just futuristic enough to be science fiction. The series portrays a very realistic vision of human life in space. The ship's mechanics are just as vital to the cast as anyone else, not just thrown in for background color. Touches like that ground the series in a way that makes me relate to it more than Star Trek normally can.

But the tone of the show creates a cynical, dare I say ugly, view of human existence. Adama's "We bought this on ourselves" speech seems to reflect a common theme in the show. Much of the drama loses its impact because its mired in so much moral ambiguity. The only time I really cheered was when Starbuck stood up to the X.O. of the ship at the end. I was relieved to know that we were NOT supposed to like this inept jackass, and yet confused as to why he was respected by anyone at all in the first place.

Speaking of losing impact... the space battles are ridiculously boring. They look pretty and realistic, but there's nothing to engage you in the scene. Maybe a friend of mine was right. Maybe I was spoiled by Lucas. Maybe I shouldn't expect all space battles to be exciting and fast paced. But then again maybe that's not so much to ask from a space BATTLE scene.

Oh, and this version of Baltar is just the sorriest excuse for a "villain" in cinematic history. He's too pathetic to boo, but too spineless and selfish to feel sorry for.

I took the rest of the series out of my rental queue. One guy told me that the pilot sucked and that the weekly series itself was better. But I have my doubts that these thematic elements that make the story so hard to enjoy only appeared in the pilot and the beginning of season 3.