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Friday, March 20, 2009

BSG Brilliance

The last season redeemed the last couple in my view and the finale was equal to the art promised in the best moments of the series.

It is a commonplace to say that the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica has changed science fiction forever. Of course this is not at all true, any more than entertainment in any other genre has been changed forever by the various "best shows on television" that happened to be playing out through the creative citation of their idioms at various moments in the past. As if there could never be another "Two and a Half Men" after "Seinfeld." No, it'll still be all "Two and a Half Men" all the way down.

The fact is that BSG was a better show than most of its fans deserved, which is a wonderful thing, but for the most part fans will still get the shows that we do deserve instead, which is exactly to be expected.

As evidence in a nutshell of the reasons why BSG won't change science fiction forever note all the would-be tough guys and cynics whining tonight that the last half hour of the show has "destroyed the whole series" for them and spouting comparable idiocies about all the loose-end tying and emotional resolutions that drove the final narrative beats of the show. Moore and Eick disdained the scorched earth payoff (well, except in the literal sense) that their fandom probably felt they wanted and opted to connect up the narrative instead to themes and forms that have informed the entire series and thereby made a pitch for BSG as a work that solicits judgment as a whole and for future generations. Who can say if they swung it or not, but the aesthetics were the right ones, the ambitious ones.

The final tableau (setting aside the tease of a two-hour ep., "The Plan," coming in the fall, which, one hopes, will be as good as the Cylon-vantaged "Downloaded" managed to be way back when) of Moore and Eick who say "Hey Man" and "Peace" and then get run over by a BSG fanboy in a pickup who sputters, "Frakin' Hippies," makes it quite clear that they know the score, if you ask me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Come on Dale, no one comes to a Skynard concert to hear what he thinks about sitcoms. Play Freebird! -- bash the transhumanists!