I’m not sure what it is, but my reaction to the final 10 episodes of Battlestar Galactica getting started is falling into the category of “Good, let’s get this over with.” Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed the series overall (otherwise I wouldn’t do goofy stuff like this little animation you see running here), and I think it’s a show with great value now and in the future; I forget which magazine it was that nominated Galactica over 24 as the show with the most insightful artistic peek into the national mindset of the Bush (Jr.) years, but I believe that’s a really fair assessment.
Could it be that, as ready as I am to kiss off the Bush years, I’m also ready to see the back of a show that’s epitomized them pretty well?
The funny thing is, my feelings about Lost starting up again are a bit more upbeat, and yet at the same time, there’s still a little bit of “let’s get this over with” there too. Despite its utter lack of spacecraft and robot assassins, Lost strikes me as the more fantastical show; it’s just more “out there,” and – perhaps more importantly – it’s fairly apolitical. The same goes for Doctor Who and its spinoffs; compared to Galactica or even Lost, keeping track of the continuity and backstory of Who is a nearly epic task, but even the newer, more emotionally-involved Doctor Who isn’t quite as taxing as Galactica. I’d cite Babylon 5 as the most direct antecedent of Galactica, and as dark as it went, it still had more of a sense of fun. Galactica has done an outstanding job of laying out its sociopolitical background and developing its cast of characters, leaving us thinking about the disturbing lack of easy answers, and keeping our eyes busy with its visual effects (and Tricia Helfer, who’s kind of a visual effect herself). But for the past couple of seasons, I guess it’s been nagging at me – the question of how entertaining the new Galactica has been. Last night’s beginning of the sprint down the home stretch, which included most of our heroes coming off the rails and descending into an alcoholic stupor or just plain suicide, hammered that question home. Throught-provoking? No question of it. But has it wound up too dark for its own good?
Maybe right now, we need a little bit of escapism. Or maybe I do. Given how I’ve grown to feel about Galactica, the further thought has occurred that I may not be up for Caprica. Let’s see how the new season of Lost – and the gaping lack of Doctor Who and related shows – hit me this year.