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Battlestar Galactica: A love-hate relationship

Battlestar Galactica was always a special show for me.
It is probably the only show that was both on my Top 5 list, and whatever you call the worst show list.

I was there, in front of my TV screen, when the mini-series that launched it all was shown on Sci-Fi.
December 8th, 2003.

Out of all the shows on my Top 5 list, it is the only one I had the opportunity to basically see “live” on TV given my travels to the U.S.A., or rather it is the only premiere out of all the shows I saw “live”.
During the same season, the Angel series finale was to be shown as well.

Interesting how those two epis are in my mind amongst the best of their shows.

Anyway, when I’m talking about my “Top 5 list”, it is not of the best shows on TV, it is rather the five shows that had the most profound impact on me (as a person and/or a writer).
That is why I don’t have a “favorite show” or whatever.
Like for any art form, I believe the experience surrounding the actual piece shouldn’t be forgotten in the equation.
How you experience something is as important (if not more perhaps) as the thing you are experiencing.
Add that to your own involvement in the piece, and you’ve got yourself an adequate albeit subjective way to classify art.

I don’t deny that Mad Men, The Wire, or, hell, even The Sopranos may be amongst the best shows ever, but they are not really on my list.
What is on my list of my Top 5 shows might shock you.

But I digress.
Back to BSG.

I very early on started to love the show.
If I had to name one show at the time that had my full attention, it was this one.
Buffy and Angel were basically over with, Six Feet Under also had passed.

BSG had mythology I could sink my teeth into.
The first two seasons were great.
The Peabody they got was really in my mind for all the episodes during these seasons (save for Black Market).
I was floored by the season two cliffhanger, albeit afraid of how they would handle the time-jump, especially given how other shows continued with such a shift.

All in all, everything seemed great.

Then Season 3 happened, and the curtain dropped.

When a show you are passionate about for 2-3 years rips out of under your feet its whole mythology and voids the 2 seasons you spent on it…

Just looking back at who could and could not be a Cylon pre-Season 3 is pretty evident to how far they nullified their own mythos.

“The Cylon Plan” just disappeared as soon as they realised it wasn’t coherent at all.
I find it quite funny that they are trying to retcon the first two seasons and adding Season 3/4-mytho to it thanks to a special 2-hour TV Movie comically named The Plan.

Needless to say, but I’ll say it anyways, the word “betrayal” came to mind several times.
Yes, some shows can make you feel as strongly as that. I’m sure you have your own.

So, yeah, Ronald D. Moore having bashed the show to death due to poor planning and mythology, coupled with somewhat atrocious episodes throughout the two last seasons, lead me to loathe Battlestar Galactica.
I really did not understand all the praise it kept getting, even after it was painfully obvious how far away it had gone since its first couple of seasons.

The show had ended up for me at the polar opposite of where it had once started not too long ago.

But now we come to last night’s episode.
The final one, the end of a journey.

Series finales are always important and defining.
They always in my mind make or break a show (unless it is an unwitting series finale).
They will also often be amongst my favorite episodes of a show.

The Angel series finale is one of the finest hours of television I have ever seen.
The same goes for the Six Feet Under finale. Who didn’t cry during the end with that montage sequence on Sia’s Breathe Me?

So, sure enough, the Battlestar Galactica series finale had a huge load to bear on its (frail) shoulders.
I won’t comment on the first hour of the episode, which was basically the culmination of two seasons worth of craziness.
I also won’t go into the actual “answers” or resolutions to certain mysteries that, as expected, were ridiculous and frankly pointless.

The last 30 minutes, however, were simply astonishing.
Bear McCreary, as always, delivered sublime music.
The acting, as always, was great.

The conclusion to the various characters arc did somewhat deliver.
I even admit, the end had at various times some personal resonance.

The show had come full circle.

And just like that, Battlestar Galactica was back on my Top 5 list.
I came to accept the show for what it really is, and over-looked the ridiculousness of its 2-season mythology.

“All that has happened before will happen again”, they say.
Sure enough, what happened before, what happened during the first two seasons, happened again during those last 30 minutes of the show.
And, at the end of the day, and at the end of the page, that’s all that matters: We have to care.

And I did.
I cared.

Farewell Battlestar Galactica.

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