Battlestar Galactica

… the third run-through.

My husband is, amazingly enough, an even bigger fan of BSG than I am (even though he hates Felix, which is SO WRONG). He had been pushing for a re-watch since the start of last year, and I kept claiming that it was TOO SOON – and it really was. I eventually gave in around… October maybe? Something like that. And last night we watched the last three episodes. And we are done. Again.

It’s not an easy show to watch, even when you’ve seen all four seasons more than once in the past and you KNOW what’s coming up. In fact, for a show with as much emotional manipulation and as many highs and lows as BSG, knowing what’s coming up may actually make it more excruciating to watch. And even though I remembered most of the beats, I still refused to watch that spoiler bit at the start of every episode – partly from habit, and partly from a desire to have at least a few surprises.

… Of course, there were fewer surprises for me than might have been, because not only have I seen it all before, I’ve also been following The Mary Sue as an SF-fan watches and reviews each episode for the first time. Which has given me some new insights, as well as a new appreciation of some aspects. Like Gaeta. And Tigh. Tigh’s giggle is one of the best parts of the whole show.

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There are a lot of best parts, actually. I adore Starbuck in all her screwed-up-ness; one of my favourite scenes is just her standing with her thumbs in belt loops, with one eyebrow saying “bring it.” I also love Roslin. Well, I don’t love her, a lot of the time; but I do appreciate just how imagescomplicated and complex and light/dark she is as a character. I think she’s far more rounded and intriguing than Bill Adama – and Starbuck is way more interesting than Lee. Just saying. (Also, how similar is she to the original Starbuck?? Very clever.) I even – gasp – appreciated Baltar more this time around. He is truly fascinating, and through all his reinventions he was totally believable. Also, the hair.

Of course, there are bits that I don’t like. Last time we did a watch-through I remember reading somewhere about how many girls die. And I did a count-back last night, and… well, ALL of the girls die. Like, actually all of the female characters. Dead. The only females alive at the end are two who have already died (oops, spoilers! They’re cylons!). Literally NO other women that the show has focussed on get to live. That… is crap. Utter, utter bollocks. And makes me very sad about this show that otherwise counts as some of the greatest tv ever.

Will I watch BSG again? … I dunno. It sure won’t be this year. I am definitely over it for now. In 18 months? Well… maybe. The cool thing about this show is that it looks like it should age well. I’m sure people said that of the original Star Trek, too, but hear me out. It doesn’t rely on a lot of fancy SFX. The Galactica is meant to look beat up and old – because it is. I don’t think there are too many social assumptions implicit (as opposed to explicit and explored) that will make it cringeworthy – although hey, I’m living in it and part of the dominant culture, so maybe I’m totally wrong there (yes there could and should have been more non-white characters, but racism – or colony-ism in this context – IS dealt with, if briefly). So it may well be that I watch it again. But not any time soon, dear, so don’t ask for another twelve months.

2 responses

  1. Interesting. I only watched the first miniseries.

    I found that although I respected the new Battlestar Galactica, the grimdark was not for me. It was a good show, but not one that I liked.

    1. Interesting – and interesting to call it grimdark. I am not a fan of grimdark usually, and I’m not certain that this qualifies… but I’m not sure how to quantify grimdark anyway. I think the line between respecting and liking is very fair for a show like this.

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