I'm a science fiction nerd. I love the stuff. Can't get enough of it. One of my favorite shows is the SciFi channel's Battlestar Galactica. Two seasons ago, it was my number one favorite show. However, as an observant MySpacer might have noticed, it's not listed in my TV favorites on my front page.
That's because, dear reader, Season Two was a disappointment. The season itself was adequate, with about a 50:50 ratio of good and bad episodes. The kicker, though, was the absolutely horrifyingly horrible season finale. In it, one of the cardinal rules of good television writing (and good writing altogether) was broken: following a nice set up, the show jumped "one year later" in order to shock us... to "grab our attention" for more, as it were.
Well, that it did. Shock us, anyway. What the flying fuck were the writers thinking?
Now, as I recall the horrible Season 3 premiere, I'm left with all of the silly questions the writers no doubt intended for me to have, such as:
"What happened in that lost year?"
"Why are the Cylons on New Caprica anyway?"
"What's going on back on old Caprica?"
To make matters worse, the writers decided to put another four month gap of between between the Season 2 finale and the Season 3 premiere, which essentially left us with 16 months of "what the fuck?"
The error of this, quite obviously, lies in characterization. Suddenly, because we are expected to acknowledge that 16 months of change just occured, characters are acting what seems to be "out of character." Starbuck, in what was the single most stupid subplot of the premiere, is now acting like a mother to her supposed half-Cylon child. Lee Adama, in what was another stupid subplot, is now grotesquely fat. Yes, it served up one good line of dialogue from Edward James Olmos, but otherwise seemed unnecessary. I could go on, but I won't spoil anything for those few Battlestar Galactica viewers that haven't seen it yet.
Another problem exhibited by the premiere is the rather glaring shift from being politically ambiguous to being clearly anti-George Bush. I understand that being relevant is an important aspect of art, but the show was much more relevant when both sides could be interpreted. Once, a couple of seasons ago, the creators and writers of Battlestar Galactica claimed that the Cylon similarities to radical Islam were "coincidental." As of the Season 3 premiere, despite the attribution of terrorist aspects to both the humans and the Cylons, this is obviously no longer the case.
As the season progresses, I'm hoping that the writers return to the original point of the show: a long lost colony on its way to find Earth. This was hinted at in the premiere, but it's been hinted at for three seasons now, and we're not getting very far. Unfortunately, I'm afraid that we're going to be subjected to another cardinal sin of writing, the flashback. Only one show I can think of does flashbacks well, it's called Lost. With Battlestar Galactica, I fear that the flashback will be used for what bad writers always use flashbacks for: to fix continuity errors and to avoid revealing lack of skill in writing "real time" plot and character development.
I'm not even going to mention that Mars is a Roman god. And yet the humans in the show were quite obviously intended to have worshipped the Greek pantheon.
* This is the first part of what will hopefully be a nine-part entry in the River of Mnemosyne challenge that's happening over at The ...
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