Philosophical Writer’s Guide Preface …

One of the first things I talked about doing when I first started this blog was the “Philosophical Writer’s Guide”, where I would go through episodes of Space 1999 and the new Battlestar Galactica series and review/recap them in a similar vein to what SF Debris or the Agony Booth does, although with less pictures. I never really did get around to it except for having recapped “Breakaway”, the first Space 1999 episode. I want to restart this, and work my way through the new Battlestar Galactica, starting in the next couple of days. I also have a fanfic story in the works to accompany it.

So, here, let me start with a background of my experiences with the new Battlestar Galactica.

I really liked the original Battlestar Galactica series. It was, to my mind, a show that was mainly just plain fun, a show that you could just sit down and watch and you didn’t have to think a lot about, or even pay all that much attention to. And that wasn’t nostalgia, because a station here was showing old episodes and I enjoyed them. So the new series came in and hit one of my pet peeves while at the same time really solidifying it: the lack of TV that was just plain fun to watch.

The new series aimed at avoiding the “cheesiness” of the original, by being much more dark, realistic, and gritty. And a lot of people really loved the shift in tone. But it was a dramatic shift in tone from the original series, and one that I didn’t care much for. Sure, being more serious probably fits the initial set-up better, but it’s still a major shift. What didn’t help was that the new series went a bit overboard on the drama, falling into what I called “Boston Public Syndrome”, after the TV series “Boston Public”.

What happened with that series was it started out as a simple series about the trials and tribulations of a public high school in Boston, dealing with real dramatic issues. The problem was that as the seasons progressed, you couldn’t just re-run the same old problems, so it had to escalate the drama, dealing with worse cases to keep the dramatic feeling. At the end, the situations were so dramatic that they seemed contrived; you couldn’t believe that these could happen in real-life and that even if it did that anyone would want to stay anywhere near that school. Ultimately, the drama was piled on so high that it was no longer dramatic, but ridiculous.

For me, it felt like the new series hit that point in about 3 or 4 episodes. That’s never good.

So, originally, I stopped watching it part-way through the first season, because it was plagued, in my opinion, but too much drama and generally unlikeable characters. Playing the board game made me more interested in it, and I did manage to buy the DVDs on sale at one point, and enjoyed it enough to watch it again, which is fairly high praise from me. But there are enough flaws in it that it makes, for me, an interesting study and something to talk about, especially to talk about why it left me cold in the beginning and why I still like the stories that come out of the board game a lot more than what came out of the series.

So, I’m going to take the time to talk about it. I’ll start with the mini-series in the next couple of days.


One Response to “Philosophical Writer’s Guide Preface …”

  1. Battlestar Galactica: Miniseries. « The Verbose Stoic Says:

    […] here I finally sit down and start talking about the revamped Battlestar Galactica series. As I said in the preface, I was a big fan of the original series, and the revamped series was, of course, very little like […]

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