I Really Need TiVo
First, a disclaimer: I am not a fan-boy. I may have mild fan-boy tendencies, but I'm not completely lost to the real world. My skin has not turned a sickly pale green from lack of sunlight and overexposure to video monitors. I don't know how may episodes there are of the original Star Trek. I've never seen the show Farscape and don't really know for sure what it's about. The idea of talking to a real girl ("real" as in not someone I talk to in a chatroom while hidden safely behind a keyboard) does not make me nauseous. If you asked me where the nearest comic book store is, I couldn't tell you.
But all that being said, I like Battlestar Galactica. Not the cheesy, kid-friendly late 70's Lorne Greene series, but the SciFi Channel's new, completely renovated version of it that airs at the worst possible time imaginable for anyone who has a life that revolves around more than, ahem, watching TV and blogging; 10 p.m. on Friday nights.
The only thing saved from the old disco-era series are names of some characters and places, and the show's basic premise--i.e. the Galactica is the last remaining warship from a spacefareing human civilization that was essentially wiped out by a machine race called the Cylons. Galactica leads a refugee fleet of ships full of a handful of surviving humans trying to escape the Cylons and looking for what is to them a semi-mythical planet called Earth. After that point similarities to the old show end completely. Okay, so maybe I'm more of a fan-boy than I want to admit; it's still a really great show.
The intricate plotlines of the new show are far to complicated for me to even attempt to summarize here. Suffice it to say that the focus of the new show, like all good science fiction, is not the space battles and the special effects that will inevitably look very dated in a few years, but rather on deeper, universal issues: Religion, politics, society and the human condition, to name just a few. The new BSG addresses these issues in a way that is very enjoyable to watch, and it pays it's audience the ultimate compliment of assuming that we are smart enough to get it without them having to ham-fist it to us (at least not most of the time).
The only problem is that Melissa not only doesn't watch the show, she actively dislikes it. Her problem is not so much BSG in particular, but science fiction in general. She just can't get past the trappings of the genre, what with the space ships and robots and death-rays and such. I suppose I can't really blame her for this--not being able to get over the total detachment from reality is the same problem that I have with Musicals. But unfortunately my devotion to this particular show is starting to cause something of a minor controversy, especially because it tends to impose itself on the little time we actually get to spend together, and on Friday night of all times.
Is the show unrealistic and outrageously implausible in many respects? Sure it is, but to paraphrase Roger Ebert, disliking a show like this because in some respects it's silly and unbelievable is sort of like getting mad at your dog because he can't understand calculus. It may deal with weighty issues, but in the end it really is just escapist fantasy, just like all entertainment programming on TV. I'm OK with that--in fact, that's what I like most about it.
If the gauntlet is thrown down and I'm forced to chose between the show and my girlfriend, I'm sure Melissa knows that she's going to win. This is not because I am whipped, but simply a reflection of the fact that a real live girl is better than any TV show (and in the end it is just a TV show) in the world any day of the week and twice on Sundays. Still, I'm hoping to have my cake and eat it too, at least through the end of the show's second season.
UPDATE: I just reread this post, which I wrote yesterday, and I realized that I misspelled "Galactica" the whole way through. Told you I wasn't a fan-boy.