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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

A proud fan’s defense of Battlestar Galactica: The most unappreciated show on television

< show. This show been called the best show on television by Time, has won a Peabody award for excellence in TV broadcasting. Its premise: a society is devastated and transformed by a catastrophic surprise attack. The enemy looks like us, lives in our very midst. Sounds great, you say. 24, you say. Band of Brothers, perhaps? No. Better. For now this show will go by the acronym BSG. For those who know or suspect what I’m talking about, bear with me.

I use BSG until know because if you knew what it stood for, you might have stopped reading by now.

The shame of BSG is somewhat less prevalent at Carleton, but go out into the wider world and announce your undying love for BSG and people give you weird looks and a stifled laugh. By dint of the show’s name, people don’t give it a fair shake. Friends, you nod, pretending to understand, but I can see the mirthful twinkle in your eyes. To be sure, I was one of you, once. What would people have thought? Was I weird? A search of Carleton Facebook reveals far more BSG fans among Carleton alums than current students. It can’t be that alums just have better taste (there are more Wire fans still at Carleton). It appears that, once out of school, people feel more comfortable publicly displaying support for such a titled show.

Enough, we proud fans say. Time to proclaim our love. This show is tackling the tough topics at a time when other TV seems content to break up marriages and hide behind ever-more-implausible detective shows. Its third season was devoted to exploring the mind and psyche of a good-guys resistance that uses suicide bombing as a political tool. We root for the insurgency, despite the clear fact that resistance is useless. Ultimately, though, the show helps us understand the mind of the collaborators and asks if that resistance wasted lives for a pointless cause.

Ronald Moore, BSG’s creater, acknowledges all this, “People who would watch Nip/Tuck, The Shield — that’s our audience. But the minute you say Battlestar Galactica, you can see the lights go off in their eyes.” That’s the kind of gritty, awesome show that Galactica is. Humanity, living on twelve planets, has been attacked by the Cylons, robots that rebelled forty years ago against their human masters. It follows the population of the Battlestar Galactica, the last remaining human spaceship, as they hunt for the fabled Earth.

Battlestar Galactica. Let the nerdiness roll off your tongue. I also don’t shower. What, you can smell my braces? Well, so can I! Listen to my nasal rasp and strange emphasis (Battlestar Galactica). I say frak instead of f— (potayto potahto). I keep one eye to the sky, just in case the Cylons attack in their Basestars. And I know who the Fifth is.
Now in its fourth and final season, Battlestar Galactica airs every Friday on, yes, the Sci-Fi channel. You can, perhaps, find earlier seasons online, though not, sadly, at the libe.

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