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Thursday, April 03, 2008

BSG's Back!

[via io9]

BSG resumes this Friday after a long deep breath, and enclothe captures the nutty enthusiasm of the moment for me quite nicely.

I re-watched Season Three of BSG the moment my box-set arrived at my doorstep, as I've done with each of the prior seasons as well the last few years. This time, I'll admit, I did so with a little less initial enthusiasm, even some trepidation, since I had experienced Season Three as something of a let-down. The "Razor" supplement this fall renewed my appetite a bit for more BSG, but I still remembered how much of Season Three felt incongruously petty and weirdly predictable.

Incredibly, however, I found in re-watching the material in a condensed span (I watched the whole thing over the weekend) that the pacing really made more sense taken in more continuously than episodically, the narrative and thematic inter-connections became much more moving, things that initially felt a bit obvious revealed subtleties I had missed.

It bears mentioning, too, that the special effects in Season Three were consistently gorgeous, sometimes jaw-dropping in their novelty and sweep, woven indispensably into the aesthetics of the show, really contributing to the world of BSG rather than being, I don't know, tacked on as a little razzamatazz to keep the bulletheads tuned in between the emotional character driven bits or what have you.

Saul Tigh remains the unexpected standout figure for the whole Season for me, an unbelievably fully realized and tragic character at this point. I was really surprised to find the Starbuck arc emotionally moving where it had felt just annoying when stretched out over months… compressed now into a few hours the visceral horror of the Leoben scenes in the early Caprica occupation episodes is still resonating when he reappears in "Maelstrom" to make what felt like a rather predictable pseudo-cliffhanger work on its own terms in an emotionally shattering way, a richly novelistic narrative arc in retrospect. I still cannot for the life of me understand the brief flirtation with Lee in a fat suit (which seemed as much a thematic misfire as an aesthetic one), but I was pleased to find Apollo's centrality in the Baltar trial actually worked for me this time around, re-inserted the endlessly ambivalent Lee into the heart of the BSG universe in a way that seems never to have happened in any kind of convincing or sustainable way from the pilot miniseries right up the present.

"The Woman King" now seems to me the only completely dispensable episode in the bunch (a miss comparable to "Black Market" from Season Two). I can't wait for the show to get back underway. It's nice to feel like a fan again.

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