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Goodbye Battlestar Galactica. You'll be frakkin' missed.

Despite being critically acclaimed across the board, Battlestar Galactica never really got the solid numbers tuning in as it should have. Most award organizations, such as the Emmys, didn't know what to think of it other than through its shiny, super pretty special effects. It did win a Peabody, but Battlestar could never fully shake the preconceived notions and stereotypes of a "sci-fi" show. Even the Battlestar's host channel is caving in to the idea of science-fiction being too geeky by rebranding themselves in order to reach a larger, more mainstream audience. Goodbye Sci Fi Channel and say hello to the Sy Fy Channel. Amazing job. They've thoroughly convinced me their science-fiction shows are now science-fiction shows with hiptitude!

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What was great about Battlestar Galactica was the inherently subversive nature of the show. It embraced the science-fiction genre yet took it to new levels previously unseen in television. The show addressed issues that may have been too taboo at the time for "more real" TV dramas. The miniseries first aired in 2003 and its multiple plot lines overtly focused on war, humanity, and the powers of government in a time of grave crisis two years after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Bush administration's Patriot Act.

Whatever though. It's just fantasy, right?

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Watching the show, I was entertained by the archetypal stories of love, family, religion and government, the role of technology and the importance of community while simultaneously disturbed by how salient and real it all was despite the spaceships and robots. There was an essential humanity behind everything that happened on the show.

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This definitely applies to the way the main women characters on Battlestar Galactica were portrayed. The wallflower and tough chick are easy, generic and extreme character stereotypes to fall back on. Thankfully, the show did not follow that suit. All of the women were strong, to be sure, but fallible and susceptible to the same desires and motivations as anyone else.

Six
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Boomer
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Starbuck
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Laura Roslin
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All of the characters have gone through huge transformations and tests. If I had to choose my favorite character with said criteria in mind, it would most likely be President Laura Roslin. Mary McDonnell owned that role and she so beautifully portrayed Laura's struggle as president, balancing the secular nature of the government and military with her faith while battling a terminal illness, often making decisions that compromised certain parts of herself for the sake of preserving the human race.

Are there any Battlestar Galactica fans in the house? Will you be pining for the show come Fridays? Who were some of your favorite characters? What impact, if any, do you think the show has had or will have on future television programs?

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Comments

7 comments have been made. Post a comment.

I'm going to miss BSG so

I'm going to miss BSG so much. I will readily admit I was not satisfied with the finale, but the way women were represented on this show was amazing, along with everything else, and I will happily re-watch it for years to come. What a glorious moment in television history. My favorite character oscillated between Kara and Lee. I'm hoping it has quite a large impact on other shows - I generally consider this to be the last stronghold of quality television (though I have hope for Dollhouse). I hope it both encourages the cultivation of women characters who are defined by their characterization, not their status as women. I hope it encourages thought and discussion about what is human, what makes the world, the inevitability of repetitious history, and all the other philosophical questions that drove the show and made it one of the best programs on television.

Great show

I also loved Battlestar for how it provided really provocative commentary on current events and history, and how it pushed the sci-fi genre. I really hate simple good vs. evil stories, so it was refreshing to have a sci fi show where the "bad guys" were given the chance to speak for themselves and the lines between good and bad, and what's right or wrong, were constantly blurred -- esp in terms of the government. The women were three-dimensional characters who played truly pivotal roles in what happened, and I enjoyed watching all of them, especially Athena/Boomer. However, I must admit my favorite character was Gaius Balthar -- I love characters who keep me guessing. The interaction between him and Six was always entertaining.

I always end up finding out

I always end up finding out about great shows like this after they've been on a long time. Thankfully there's Netflix. I'll definitely be adding this to my queue.

Take note: Opinions expressed are those of their respective authors, not necessarily those of Bitch. Dig?

I too will miss BSG more

I too will miss BSG more than I can express. I was put in awe each week by its brilliance and how far it pushed the line of "acceptable". The show changed how I viewed the world and people in it. My favourite character was Laura - I just felt a kinship with her from the outgo. And there were times when I didnt want to like her and when I disagreed with her and when I wanted her to not do certain things. But her complexity made me love her. I also loved the Six. I was completely shocked by Tricia Helfer's ability to act - she blew me and all my preconcieved notions of her away. So I was hooked on Six (all of them). So complex. I loved all the characters on the show in some manner.

However I feel that Ellen Tigh should be included amongst the BSG Women of Awesome. Especially considering the last few episodes. She was a fantastically complex character.

I am looking forward to 10 years down the road, seeing what understanding and meaning people can read from this. My field of study is tv and I know when I watch BSG that there is so much going on. And I get most of it (I think lol). But I know that with the power of retrospect, we can truly start to understand something.

I was extreamly pleased with the finale. It was beautiful.

Wow, definitely..

I'm right there with everyone that's posted a comment to this entry already. BSG was a great, well-put together series. It had some great underlying meanings that worked wonderfully every week. The characters ruled.

Yeah, me too Teghan, I loved the finale. Honestly, I thought it was a solid way to go out.

- Julie, consultant for Government Grants

- Julie, consultant for Free Credit Report

Sob! Goodbye, Battlestar

Yes, when last Friday rolled around and I knew there would be no BSG that night, I felt really sad. I made myself better by posting at Confabulous.ca about something that I hoped I would see on future television programs: the fantastically queer tension between Starbuck and Lee. If at any point, either Kara or Lee had turned out to be queer, it would not really have been a huge shocker. So I loved that the two queerest straight characters on the show totally had this romantic dynamic between them. I can't recall ever having seen that before and I'd love to see it again in the future.

yes...but what about the finale?

I agree with everything everyone's said so far. I love me some Battlestar Galactica. But I've got to say I thought the finale undid/nullified so many of the really radical choices Ron Moore made throughout the show. I don't want to rant for too long but part of what made battlestar so wonderful were the strange assortment of meaningful relationships. By the end of the show the only relationships that survive, that matter, are heterosexual couples. what's with that? what about the profound friendship between adama and tigh just to give one example? Was anybody else profoundly disappointed by the weird conservative ideology embedded in the finale? If you want to read my long rant about it go to my blog

http://cleverkvetch.blogspot.com/