Saturday, January 31, 2009
The best show in TV: Battlestar Galactica
Battlestar Galactica is the best show in TV right now. Period.
Wait a second. Sit down. It is not my geek side taking over the good taste and snobbery circuits of my brain, clouding my good judgment at the sight of awesome spaceships and Tricia Helfer. When I say that a show is really that good I mean it; spaceships and murderous sexy robots that like to have hot robot sex with humans aside, Galactica (2K version) it is a fantastic show.
The show shares basically two things with its 1970s predecessor: the premise (last vestiges of the human race on the run after almost completely annihilated by Cylons) and some of the character names. Besides that, it is a completely different show; dark, brooding, gritty, intense and just plain awesome.
It is one of those rare cases that you see a show begin with a good idea and push it way beyond you could ever imagine; Galactica has seen episodes dealing with patriotism, balancing freedom and security, faith, torture, treason, politics, duty, trade unions, trust, friendship, love and pretty much anything you can imagine. The characters in Galactica are not "good" or "bad" they are real, frail, weak human beings / awesomely hot robots trying to cope with unthinkable horrors and very hard choices, and trying to do their best when dealing with them. Treason, failure, fear, heroism, fanaticism, anger, faith is not just a matter of doing the right thing or failing; what is a right and what is wrong is sometimes very hard to say.
I don't want to spoil any plotlines (see bellow), but when a trial against a major character had me seriously having doubts and making me reconsider what treason is and what it means you know a show is into something.
It is actually pretty unbelievable that a show this good has been so ignored come award season. As usual, pointy headed critics are too serious and deep to even come to consider a SciFi / genre show for anything besides visual effects (see also: The Dark Knight Returns, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), something that seriously drives me nuts.
Believe me, I know a good show when I see it. I workship all the right altars. I am one of the cool kids. And Galactica is up there with the Sopranos, the Wire, Mad Men, the West Wing and whatever high brown show of your choice in terms of sheer awesome.