Monday, February 06, 2006

Oh, Frack.

It seems everybody and their mothers have been telling me I should be watching "Battlestar Galactica." I get anonymous emails telling me to watch it. Strangers on the street have stopped me and told me to watch it. So, fine. I decided to watch it.

I had never bothered with it because I'm just not that big a fan of sci-fi space stories. I was scarred for life having to sit through episode after episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" because my boyfriend at the time was hot for Counselor Troi. I never watched the original "Battlestar" as a kid because it depressed me. I was a huge "Star Wars" fan, and watching "Battlestar Galactica" was just a constant reminder that it WASN'T "Star Wars," and that "Star Wars" wasn't going to be on TV for many, many years. (Home video wasn't an option back then. I'm old.)

But I figured I'd better take a look at this new incarnation before I get so far behind that I'd never have the time to catch-up. I got the three-hour miniseries from Netflix and watched it in one sitting.

And I liked it.


I didn't fall head-over-heels for it like I have for other shows, like "Lost" for instance. But I instantly liked it a lot more than "Firefly." I like the end-of-the-world(s) scenario, and the bleakness of that. I like the female President thing. I like how they have to resort to really old (from the 1970s!) technology. Ultimately, I want to see how things turn out. I want to know if Earth really is a myth. I want to know if Boomer finds out who she really is. I want to know why the Cylons hate the humans so much. (There can't be a war just based on hatred, can there? Most wars happen because one side wants what the other side has. Do the Cylons want more planets or something?) And finally, I want to know why none of their paper has corners. I'm hooked. My only misgiving is that most of the raves I've read concentrate on how the show is really a drama that happens to be set in space, but so far I'm not that impressed by any of the acting on the show (aside from Mary McDonnel). I hope the rest of the actors can handle heavy personal drama.

So, once I finished the miniseries, I wanted to see the beginning of season 1. Unfortunately, the first disc has a long wait on Netflix, and my local video store didn't have it. iTunes to the rescue! Thanks to a generous gift certificate from Chuck, I was able to download the first four episodes of season 1, guilt-free. I watched the first episode on my iBook, and while it's not ideal (I think the DVDs are letterboxed, but the iTune download isn't. And I also have to watch it pretty small, or else the resolution turns to crap) it's fine for a few episodes--the rest of the discs on Netflix don't have a wait. And most importantly, if I end up having to commute to my new job on the train or a bus, I can spend that time watching the other episodes on my computer. Sweet!

Speaking of which, today's my first day, so posting will be at a minimum. As in, this is most likely it for the rest of the day!


rachael said...

first day, woo! i want to hear how it goes...i start my new one on the 21st.

Chuck said...

It is really good; I especially like all the ways they make reference to the original without it being cheesy and without just making fun of it. The only reason I can't get more into it is that it's just too dark and bleak.

Mary McDonnell is the best actress they have, even though her half-smile wince thing gets old pretty quick. But I think it's more plot-driven than performance-driven. I think what most people mean when they say it's a drama set in space is that the show never has gratuitous effects shots or space battles or entire episodes set around some weird sci-fi premise, like "Star Trek." Whenever they have a battle or some new technology, it only matters in as much as it matters to the plot and the people involved.

And they've got really, really good cliff-hangers. I'm not even all that into the show, but I still want to see what happens next. But mostly I just keep hoping that they kill off Apollo, because I really, really hate him.

Anonymous said...

Watch out with Netflix numbering/labeling of Battlestar Galactica. We ordered Season One Disc One, our queue said we had S1D1, but the envelope label and DVD clearly said S1D2. We reported as mislabeled, tried again: ditto. Requested S1D2 to see if they were swapped, but though the Queue said we had S1D2, the label and DVD said we had S1D3. Who knows where S1D1 is. My Netflix hub is san Jose. I'm sure I'll like the series, if I can ever get it. First bad Netflix experience. Good luck, be brave.

VeloDiablo said...

Your posting reminds me that I came across a Battlestar Galactica message board where someone asked:

"If the Cylons are so technically advanced, why do they use ladders to get to their ships?"

If you find out, let me know.

welcome to your new job.

Rain said...

Hey anonymous--

I just got my Netflix Battlestar disc, and I see the issue. The sleeve says "Season 1: Disc 3 (Disc 2 of Season 1 content)." If you pop the disc in a player, you'll find that the episodes on the disc are, in fact, what they should be. I think it has something to do with the first season set including the pilot minseries, which is disc one. The first four episodes of the REAL season one are disc two, and the next four are disc three, etc. So, tecnically, while it is disc three, it is in fact the second disc of content for the first season, as is written on the sleeve.

*Phew* that's a needlessly long explanantion for something that it seems Netflix should just correct with better wording on the sleeves...

Anonymous said...

Grr, do I feel stupid. I should have read the damn fine print and not trusted the boyfriend either. Thanks for helping, I can't belive I complained. And Netflix knows my real name, so my stupidity is even more embarassing. I still have disc 2 (one) and disc three (two) from [ahem] copying, so at least I don't have to re-order. You're my hero.