Recently, I have had my geek status called into question. At the same time, my husband and I ran out of shows to watch on DVD. Seeing an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone and geekify my life while providing evening entertainment, I took suggestions on what we should watch next. As I am very cheap, the only actual criteria was that the show be available as a free loan from my library. Therefore, no Dr. Who for me. We started out with Firefly/Serenity, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Battlestar Galactica. And here’s what I thought. If you’ve never seen these shows before, there may be some spoilers. I did include links in case there is someone more out of the loop than I am.
Can’t talk about it. Still crying in my heart a little. Okay, more than a little. And I am so late discovering this one that I will never have a Malcolm Reynolds action figure to put under my pillow. I cannot believe that this show was taken off the air but Dancing With the Stars is still around. There is little hope for this world.
What I could do without: the naughty bits. They add nothing to the show and prevent me from sharing it with my kids.
Another creation by Joss Whedon, which was why we decided to check it out.
Premise: Ridiculous. A teenager worrying about pimples, dating and killing vampires.
Will we watch again? You’d better believe it. The preposterous nature is what sells it. And we’ve only seen episode 1, Season 1. As the cast gels, I would imagine the acting gets better.
Battlestar Galactica: Okay, this may the point where someone revokes my probationary geek card. And tears it into tiny pieces. And poops on it.
I didn’t like it. I wanted to like it. Didn’t like it. I never got the opportunity to watch as a kid. It tended to come on at the same time my family was getting churched up. I was intrigued by the awesome toys, and I was curious about the show, but the rare Sunday evenings when I was home, I had missed so much that it made no sense. I was hoping that catching the new series would somehow make up for what I missed as a kid. And maybe that’s too much burden for one television show to bear.
There were a few things I did like. The acting was really good for a bunch of B-or-lower list actors shooting together for what I am assuming was the first time. We watched the miniseries, not the actual series, so it is a reasonable assumption that this one was shot and aired first. Am I right?
The visual effects were great. I have no idea what was green screen and what was actual set. The show definitely looked big-budget without being over-the-top.
The villain was real. He was not 100% evil with no heart. He was a greedy, cowardly genius who made a big, fat, stupid mistake. He could be anybody. He possesses those traits buried in all of us that will one day lead to our downfall.
And here’s what I didn’t like. It was slow. Slow to get to any real action, slow to ask the questions that were already in my head. If they can’t address the obvious, there is no way they can survive. I have no interest in devoting my time to a hopeless mission.
Here’s what they’re going to have to do something with if I’m going to continue watching.
Perpetuation of the species: Having been involved with a zoo for 10 years, I know a little about the Species Survival Plan. 50,000 humans is a pretty decent-sized gene-pool to work with. But they’re going to have to get on it, so to speak. There’s no time for people to develop actual relationships. They’re just going to have to knock ’em up. Soon.
Immediate survival needs: At one point, they ran out of ammunition and had to go get more. Um, hello? What might you need more than bullets? Maybe some food? Water? Even Serenity ran out of air once. It is science fiction. I am totally willing to suspend some reality to get these needs met. Anything short of Reavers sending fruit baskets works in my book. But they have to address it. Mention that you’re recycling pee or are farming water on a distant planet with two suns, but acknowledge the problem.
Perpetuation of Knowledge: They’re going to have to set up some kind of trade schools. They’re going to need people who can make clothes, build ship components, repair computers, and good Lord, they’re going to need doctors.
Government: They can’t have an Executive Officer and a President and leave it at that. Recipe for disaster. Although continual clashes between the two might make for riveting television, it makes no actual sense to have no backup plan.
Get rid of the bowl cut: The kid can stay, but do him a favor and give him a real haircut. It was bizarre in 1978, and it’s completely unacceptable now. If that is how they treat their kids, they don’t deserve to survive.
Will I watch again? Yes. Conditionally. The only episode on Season 1/Disc 1 is the miniseries. I’ll get on the list for disc 2 and see what happens.
What other recommendations do you have? I’d prefer shows that are clean with minimal use of potty-mouth if possible.