Thursday, May 31, 2012

BSG, A Concluding Review

Like my brother, I'm a Procrastacritic.  Hey, it is fun.  Today's special:  Battlestar Galactica, and how it ended.  (Pretty much spoiler-free I'd say, in case there's actually anyone is left who hasn't seen it ...)

I did finally finish the reboot of Battlestar Galactica.  A lot of people seemed to reject the way it ended, but I have to confess I don't understand what there might have been to protest.

BSG is addictive TV, and I found it maddening and compelling at the same time.  Sexist, racist, frankly disturbing in a WIDE array of its philosophical particulars - some of these things were actually improving by the end of the series, and some of the really intriguing possibilities were coming into focus.

Certainly this shouldn't be the basis of protest ...  Please?  Please.

As to the plot ...

The ultimate conclusion seemed to me the only possible choice the series could have made and actually COME to a "conclusion" by any definition I understand the term.  I had expected exactly the denouement they provided before I ever even watched the show.  So, if the way they did that was the matter of protest ... I'd simply be bewildered.  Maybe the "it's been done before" was too much for some ... but I'm not convinced that makes the choice incorrect.

What were people hoping for instead?

The only available alternatives would absolutely have necessitated further wars for our crew.  With no end to hostilities:  there can be no conclusion, no ending.  And this series was promising an ENDING from its first seconds onscreen.  This was all but a money shot - and, regardless of The Onion's hilarious (NSFW) take, those are not exactly, ahm, trick endings.  Er.

Maybe only the very final epilogue was a problem.  Eh, I don't really see why.

My only issue with the series' wind-up was the pointlessness of the hyper-drama regarding Thrace, but overall I had never been quite as in love with Starbuck as a character as it was plain I was meant to be.  I didn't dislike her, not one bit - loved the casting of a woman (one of few who didn't as much suffer the "Wimmin = dirty old sex = EVIL" formulation pretty much ALL the rest of the female characters, except for the president [*old* women are not allowed to be sexual], were saddled with in this series).  But I found her "chemistry" with Appollo to be incredibly tedious, not to say outright forced-pointlessness, the entire way along after the first fifteen second burst of, "Oh - they're turning homoerotic buddy-characters on their heads - hah" amusement.  That fifteen second amusement was insufficient justification for imprisoning two lead characters (not actually quite as interesting as ... almost any of the other characters, at that - their being pretty is also insufficient for me) in a completely unnecessary, trope-bound arc of urge-and-resistance.  Meh.

My guess is that this disinterest in the hot twenty-something blonde supposedly at the heart of this series was NOT shared by those who howled in anger at the series' finale.


Bill, the Wildcat said...

Diane, like you, I was late to the party with BSG, and I also thought the ending they chose made perfect sense. I even got a kick out of the inclusion of Jimi Hendrix in there.

I suspect some were irritated by the non-explanation for Kara being alive at all for the final season given what happened to her. Even that didn't bother me. I never got the impression there was anything promised in terms of an explanation. They very much embraced the notion of God having a hand in things with this show, so to me, it worked.

DLM said...

Hi, Bill!

I actually got a response to my review on one of the fora where I post - apparently, the general objection was to (a) the deus ex machina (which I don't understand, given that "deus" is pretty liberally present throughout the whole show) and (b) <> the whole "and then they came to Earth and were Adam and Eve" is against some sort of sci-fi rule. Thing is, BSG is so heavily larded with the Ancient Aliens hint-ery ... I mean, what else could they have done? Bring them down any later in civilization and: no option but war, sorry. BSG is *dependent* upon the idea that "end" equals *peace* as far as I can tell. So what other option was there?

Plus, as I say, the entire series, and even the original one (of which, admittedly, I still haven't seen the ending - if I saw it in the 70s I've certainly forgotten), are predicated on the admittedly unoriginal premise which finally played out.

Gripping as the show was, I guess I had enough problems with it philosophically I remained aloof enough to say "so WHAT" about the ending. We got the money shot. It's over. The final scene was unnecessary, but not bad. Moving on ...

I've watched a very little bit of Caprica now. This one is bugging me for its really creepy sexualization of a 16-year-old (I don't care that she's a virtual person, putting a naked teenager out as your major publicity shot for a show is gross) and the remarkably outdated ethnic stereotyping. I don't care that the ethnicity is imaginary, I can spot a "Dago" smear when I see one. Sheesh.