Sunday, October 08, 2006
I Heart Battlestar Galactica
I'm about to reveal my sci-fi nerd fangirl self. You've been warned.
The new season of Battlestar started Friday and I am a very happy girl. Hell, I'm all tingly down to my toenails. If you haven't watched this show, you should. Now. Today. Get the discs from NetFlix, download it on iTunes, something. This show is awesome. Watch it even if you don't like Sci-Fi. You don't have to, it's that good.
Judging from Friday night, this season is going to be the most unabashedly political so far. In the season opener they tackled living in an occupied land, suicide bombings, terrorism -- from both sides, "detention" chambers, forced motherhood, insurgency -- hell, they even had the fracking president yelling "No one was tortured!"
I love this show. Seriously.
First, women are equal in this universe. I've never once heard anyone on the show utter "Well, she can't do that. She's a woman." The former president is female, women occupy positions of power in both the Human and Cylon forces, the humans worship the Greek pantheon, complete with all the goddesses. Women are free agents, in charge of their own destinies for good or bad.
Second, it's complex. You're never really sure just who the good guys are or who the bad guys are. Sure, some people seem good -- but would a truely good person try to rig an election and subvert the will of the people? People are flawed, they can be manipulated by their desires. Is Baltar good or evil? Is he a human or a fracking Cylon? Who knows? (I'm hoping the writers do!)
They're not afraid to tackles hard issues. This ain't Star Trek, people. They did an episode last season on abortion that was just....well. When you've only got 50,000 humans left in the entire universe, is increasing the population more important than personal freedom? Is it for the greater good to coerce women into motherhood?
That theme got revisited this season when it was revealed that one of our main characters has a child she didn't know about. A not entirely human child, at that. On a lesser show, I'd be afraid that meant this character (who totally, completely kicks ass) was about to be rewritten as a simpering "oh my baby!' waste of airspace. But I don't worry so much on BG, because that's the last likely place they'll be going.
The show also isn't afraid to tackle themes of redemption -- and have the characters actually have to work for it. Someone who was your enemy, can they ever really become your friend? Can a mother ever really get over the loss of a child? When she finds out the child was stolen from her by the people who now want her help, what's she going to do? (Hell, I know what I'd do, and it wouldn't be pretty.) Actions have consequences here -- even if it takes a few years for them to show up.
So, watch this show. SciFi channel, Friday nights. You'll be glad you did.