Okay, so I’m like five years late to the party, but the new Battlestar Galactica series is so good. It’s not all cheesy like the original Battlestar Galactica or limp sci-fi cornball cheesiness like the Star Trek The Next Generation, which I thought was pretty grossly barf-tastic compared with the at least palatable/charming cheese of the original Star Trek series of the 1960s or whenever it was made.
Why did it look like they were in the plush interior of a Mercedes on the bridge of the Enterprise in the Next Generation? Why did everyone wear cheesy spandex pants? Why were the characters so uninteresting? Why was everything so comfortable and boring looking all the time? Data? The guy with the visor? The weird psychologist lady or whatever? Picard? Why was there no drama or interesting characters? Everyone was on like Prozac or something. Barf!!!
So, as further reference, they finally figured out in the latest Star Trek movie that yeah, the Captain should be a bad ass, people should be able to punch people every once in awhile if the situation warrants it, there should be Vulcans and not dumb boring robots like Data, people should be daring and interesting and the plots should be dramatic and there should be something at stake, such as the lives of interesting characters, not just people sitting around talking all the time in a plush spaceship that looks like a Mercedes interior, wearing ugly spandex like in Star Trek The Next Generation–gag, boring!!!
As even further reference, I think the first two Star Wars movies plus Blade Runner are sort of the gold standard for sci-fi, for example with Blade Runner being gritty and realistic and having these amazing themes and ideas and cinematography and character and plot development, and Empire Strikes back being gritty and realistic for outer space sci-fi, dramatic, and pulling no punches–yeah, they’re on the snow planet Hoth cutting open Tauntauns, a big ice monster clocks Luke in the face, Han Solo kisses Leia, C3PO gets dissassembled, Lando betrays Han, Han gets carbon frozen, Darth Vader throws Luke through a window, Luke gets his arm cut off, Luke is like screw you Vader and jumps down an endless pit and dangles upside on an antenna down out the bottom of Cloud City, etc etc etc.
WTF that’s all in one dramatic, exciting, well-written, beautifully conceived and produced movie? Compare that to Star Trek Next Generation garbage and even the cheesiness of Return of the Jedi. The new Battlestar Galactica is the closest I’ve seen to achieving the non-cheesy greatness of the first two Star Wars movies and Blade Runner.
The new Battlestar Galactica is very well written and plot driven, has very great character development, great casting, and has very few cheesy SF cliches. It’s much more Philip K Dick-ian in its treatment of philosophical questions about the meaning of humanity and even subjects like religion than any other sci-fi I’ve seen outside of Blade Runner.
So, I think it ties or even exceeds The Wire for the title of best TV show ever. Well, Dark Shadows went on for ever and was very good despite some low points, so maybe it’s a three-way tie, just for Dark Shadows’ ability to create continuing suspense and interesting plots for so long, teetering for so long on the edge between genius and campy lunacy with genius winning out 3/5s of the time. So yeah, the new Battlestar Galactica rules, and is not just for “sci-fi” fans by any means.
Here’s another interesting comparison of Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek that I just saw autogenerated as possibly related to this post by WordPress
This video comparing Star Wars and the new Star Trek movie is also pretty funny–there were so many ripoffs from Star Wars in that new Star Trek movie (especially the scene where they award the medals etc)