Friday, October 13, 2006

The Best Show on Television

I've always been a geek film lover; Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, etc. Movies and television shows that take us somewhere else, different worlds, strange beings, I love it all.

I've never been a huge fan of "real" drama. Shows like ER, Law and Order or movies like Million Dollar Baby, are expertly written and produced, but often so grim and depressing as to be classified as something else besides entertainment. I go for the sizzle, the fun, in movies and tv. I want to enjoy myself when I devote two hours of my time to sitting on my butt.

Which is why I am at a loss to explain why I love, love, LOVE the television series Battlestar Galactica. Oh sure, I can hear you saying, another Sci-Fi series, another goofy show with plastic sets and latex covered actors. Wrong. BSG is a gritty, dark, drama of the highest order; on par with the likes of The Shield, The Sopranos, or any other grim top quality show you can think of.

This is not phasers and photons, this is bullets and knives. You may remember the cheesy show in the late 70's, about a handful of apocalypse survivors on the run from metallic monsters called the cylons; well this version of the show has the same premise, only told without the wacky aliens, cheesy production values and wooden scripts. Imagine the hardest hitting drama you've seen, acted out in space - with intense emotions, unflinching violence and very adult situations; and you have the new Battlestar Galactica.

As I've said, the show is by no means fun, but I still love it. It is strictly for grown ups only, with intense developments on a weekly basis that have included graphic murder, intense agony and even a rape scene (my absolute least favorite thing in movies) as well as frequent f-words. Okay, so that word is "frak" a substitute for our favorite expletive, but you get the idea - this show pulls very few punches in delivering the drama.

And yet, maybe it is because there are so many cool things in this world; spaceships and explosions, different worlds and fantastic imagery, that I put up with, and even find myself enjoying all the angst. I also think that the rich tapestry of very real, though very flawed, characters, elevates this show way above standard fare.

Above all, as depressing as the show seems to be, it still has that faint glimmer of hope laced throughout. That search for a new home is ever present in the day to day calamities of these people's lives - and you can see it in their faces. There is a better place for us somewhere, and we are all on this journey together through hell to get there.

Do yourself a favor; rent the first disc of the first season of this show on DVD, and watch the first episode for fifteen minutes. If you are not absolutely hooked and sold, I would be absolutely shocked.

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