Sunday, March 12, 2006

Lay Down Your Burdens

So I'm a huge fan of the new version of Battlestar Galactica. It's like an HBO show, but in space. I saw the second season finale, in which the producers take an enormous risk at the end by (SPOILERS) moving the series ahead in time by one year, and rebooting everything; relationships, the setting, even hair-do's (big no-no). I'm of two minds on it. I think the folks over at Coalescent say it best. BSG has been burning through its limitless story possibilites all year.

It started with the Pegasus arc. Honestly, the two ships coming to blows and the internal struggle between Adama and Cain should have played out over several episodes. Instead, she's dead in a couple, and so are two other would be commanders of that ship. And last night, Ron Moore, who's been a hero of mine since The Next Generation, runs through an entire season in a half hour. A half hour tacked on to the regular runtime. I applaud the risk taking. It sets BSG apart. But why the rush? And at the expense of so many characters and relationships. Callie's pregnant? What? What came of the budding relationship between Adama and Roslin? They had a perfectly fine cliffhanger with Baltar becoming President. I worry for the show's long term viability. One of the joys of a show like this is the slow accumulation of mythology. BSG seems intent on outrunning this. True, it's behaved as if genre trappings were just that. Burdens. The Sopranos has a mythology. So does Deadwood and any other quality show you can name. I say slow it down.

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