Tuesday, March 24, 2009

No Frakkin’ Way!

© 2009 Leighann Lord

Being a standup comic has its disadvantages. One of them is that I work weekends. I was acutely aware of this last Friday when the final episode of Battlestar Galactica (BSG) aired. Thanks to my Dad, my own living breathing TiVo, I have the two-hour finale on tape but I haven’t watched it yet. I’m not sure I can. I have a hard time letting go of TV shows that I love. To be honest I’m still in mourning over Buffy the Vampire Slayer (BtVS).

I was a fan of the original Battlestar Galactica. Don’t judge me. I was young and impressionable. At the time it seemed a lot better than Space 1999. This is back when Boomer was Black, Cylons were metal heads and Guyus Baltar was no quasi demigod chick magnet. "Launch Colonial Viper One!"

I didn’t get into the new Battlestar right away. I was interested but skeptical when I heard that a revamped version of the series was airing on the Sci Fi Channel. Could they really do it justice? Sure the special effects would be awesome, but what current cutie would they get to play Starbuck?

I tried not to prejudge too harshly, learning my lesson with BtVS. As a fan of the movie, I thought a TV version of Buffy would be pure blasphemy. I tuned in to watch – full of mock and derision, ready to hate it – and got hooked. No one cried harder than I (and Spike) when Buffy died at the end of season five. I hung on through season six and seven as the Scooby Gang fought The Big Bad (and horrible story lines). But unlike Evil Willow I was never "Bored now." Through it all "I think I was in heaven."

So I reserved judgement on BSG until I could watch a few episodes, but the Sci Fi Channel didn’t make that easy. It seemed in the early days the show had no set schedule. I never knew when it was on and neither did Papa TiVo. So I let it go. Besides, I was busy watching my favorite episodes of BtVS on DVD.

Whenever the topic of BSG came up with fellow sci fi fans they’d say, "You’re not watching ‘Battle Star Galactica’?"; their faces a mixture of shock, disappointment and incredulity. I started feeling like I was missing something. I acquired season one on DVD and with no commercial interruption became immediately enthralled. I plowed through seasons two and three, watched season four in real time and waited impatiently for season five.

This incarnation of Battlestar Galactica was less about special effects and more about the human condition. Driven to near extinction, how do you rebuild a civilization? The Cylon threat often took a back seat to the all too real and raw emotions, pettiness and politics. It was riveting. And now it’s over; well, only if I watch the final episode.

The jury is still out on that. I’ve watched a lot of final episodes and been plenty disappointed. The only thing worse then the final episode of BtVS was the finale of Angel. I remember staring at the TV screen hoping I’d just been punked. I waited patiently for Ashton Kutcher to crawl out from under my couch. I checked the closets and bathroom, but alas no Ashton. It is for this reason that I can’t bring myself to watch David Boreanaz in Bones. Hurt me once, David; hurt me once.

Many series don’t even get a last show. They just fall off the schedule never to be seen again like 4400, Joan of Arcadia and Firefly. Some say the latter was a deserved fall from a nonexistent grace. While I’ll concede it may not have been Joss Whedon’s best work I enjoyed this series very much on DVD. The movie, Serendipity, is one of my favorites.

There have also been series finales that I’ve flatly refused to watch. I’ve never seen the last episode of Mash. I just couldn’t do it. I know they all went home. I just don’t have enough Kleenex to watch it. Eventually my curiosity will get the better of me and before the week is out I’m sure I’ll be curled up on the couch watching the last episode of BSG. I have tons of questions and want to know how it all turns out. Does humanity survive and find a home? Does Hera bring the Cylons and human’s together? What’s up with Starbuck?

The bigger question for me is what will take Battlestar Galactica’s place? A costume and a green screen do not a sci-fi show make. Space 1999 anyone? No frakking way!

Thank you for reading Leighann Lord's Comic Perspective

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