Trust the Gene Genie

Thursday, June 21, 2007


It's seems like it's been months since I've talked anything pop culture. It's like my family and life are important to me or something. Anyway, let's shake things up and talk about my latest entertainment-based obsession, shall we?

Battlestar Galactica.

Now, just wait. Before you stop reading and say, "What the crap is wrong with Rob?", let me correct that by informing you the proper way to express that sentiment is, "What the frak is wrong with Rob?" Much better.

Seriously though, give me three sentences to make a case for the show. Then you can move on to better blogs and such. First and, most importantly, it's not campy. Second, it looks slick and the writing is top shelf. Third, it's got plenty of action -- smart action.

Now, if you're still here, allow me to elaborate a little. If you remember the first BSG, with Lorne Greene and Face from "The A-Team," you know that the original show's stock and trade was camp. I mean, they all wore capes and the whole show was lit like a disco. It was pretty bad. And the last time I watched the first BSG was when it originally aired on TV, which means I was five at the time. If it didn't impress me then I can't see it doing anything for me now.

Which is one of the reasons I had no interest in seeing the update. I never thought the show was worth updating. And even if it was, I didn't see how it could be good. Look at all the bad sci-fi that's aired on television lately. You've got a thousand iterations of Stargate (someone explain that to me?) and Star Trek started it's nose dive right after Next Generation went off the air, leaving a dozen crappily written, acted and designed Star Trek knock-offs.

But a friend, who had turned me onto "Firefly" told me to check it out. I'm a sucker for good sci-fi and that's the main reason I don't watch sci-fi on television. It's never any good. But "Firefly" was. So, after mulling it over for a year or so, Becky and decided to throw them on the Netflix queue.

I was immediately surprised. Not only were the production values amazingly high -- we're talking near-motion picture quality -- the writing was phenomenal. The special effects, especially the dog fights out in space, are really well done. The cast is fun and I feel like the acting has gotten better as they've grown into their roles.

For me, though, the most enjoyable aspect of the show is the action, of which there's a fair bit, and the allusions to present-day American society. There's plenty of subtle and not-so-subtle references to the war on terror and and our own xenophobia as a country. And, as should be the case with good sci-fi, it's never heavy-handed or accusatory. It's simply there, giving you a new prism with which to analyze our current political climate. And did I mention the action was really good?

So there ya go. If you're looking for something new and different, check it out. You can thank me later.

And as a special treat for hanging with me through this interminable rant on televised science fiction, I'll leave with a stiff shot of "Arrested Development." It's Friday, you need the laugh. The following short video is a compilation of the chicken dance. Just click on it, I promise you'll laugh.


diana said...

LOL! Frakin' hilarious Rob! How did you find that gem of a clip? I'm going to replay it as I clean the bathrooms...that'll keep me happy.
You realize that Kristin is a BSG junky? I'm not sure if I should take either one of you seriously. But maybe I will. I, unlike you, loved the I'm not sure that it could get better for me. Tell me, do the bad guys eyes go "wawaa...wawaa"? or was that to campy for this show? 'cause that would Freak me out!

Stephanie B said...

Trav loves BSG. He got hooked when he was in Iraq, he bought the first season. I must admit its pretty good. We watched it on Sci-Fi channel until recently when they switched it to Sunday nights. I think Trav is secretly crying inside.

The Sab said...

Dude, I watched this show, every episode from all three seasons, straight through a couple weeks back. Seriously, above and beyond the best show on TV.

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