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!
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?
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.
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.
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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