The Corner

More Pop Culture Catch-Up: BSG (Spoilers)

Yes, I have been watching. I’m about one episode behind. But I must say, and I think I’ve got a lot of readers on my side, I just don’t care as much about the show anymore. I think the producers and writers made an enormous mistake when they decided that they wanted to be “ripped from the headlines” rather than stick to what seemed to be a well-conceived, and preconceived, storyline. Instead of the sort of literary arc that made shows like Deadwood and the Wire such a joy to watch, BSG opted to be timely and in so doing became an inconsistent mess. Cylon motivation is incomprehensible at this point. Ditto their theology, philosophy and even biology.

For example, it drives me crazy that after years in pitched battle with the Cylons, the human race simply takes it as a given that it’s impossible to tell a Cylon from a human, even under a microscope. Baltar said he couldn’t create a test to tell the difference a few years ago and everyone is fine with that? Come on! Here’s an idea, sit all the men in front of a stripper and wait and see if their spines glow (Remember how a glowing spine was a sign of randiness?). Also, if the hidden four (of the Final Five) are Cylons after  all, whatever happened to the whole bit about how Cylons don’t age?  Saul Tigh and Adama have been each other’s wingmen for forty years, presumably someone would have noticed how old he looked for a 20-something fighter jock.

I could go on, believe me. (Oh and readers who complain that expecting plausibility from a sci-fi show will find no sympathy from me. In fact, the kind of plausibility I’m talking about matters more in sci-fi than any other genre).

I like twists and turns as much as the next guy, but they need to make sense with what came before. Swerving plotlines are awesome when they work. Plotlines that look like a bowl of spaghetti are a bore. The show’s non-concern with internal consistency has given it a soap opera feel, where every new episode induces a whiplashed “huh?” 

I’ll keep watching out of loyalty and a desire to see the whole thing through. But it’s become a real disappointment.  


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