Monday , March 4 2024
The return of television leaves me in the doldrums (and not in the cool Phantom Tollbooth style).

Shooting for the Battlestar

Maybe it's me, I don't know.

Last week I said that it felt like the return of NBC's Thursday night lineup was unimpressive. I felt the exact same way about the return of Desperate Housewives last night. Frankly, until the characters mentioned that there had been a tornado, I completely forgot. Carlos being blind felt like old news. Lynette's search for God after recovering from cancer seemed equally tired.

I don't know, I was so enthralled with the idea of the return of television following the writers' strike and now that stuff is back, I'm impressed by, at best, half of it. The television I'm most happy with isn't the stuff I was looking forward to when the television season began last fall, it's the stuff that was scheduled to start at a later date on cable (Battlestar Galactica, Monk, Psych, etc.) or the random stuff that I didn't know I wanted to watch that I found along the way (Top Gear).

Please, if you disagree with me, stand up and yell. If you were overjoyed with the return of Desperate Housewives last night, shout. If you watched the episode on the edge of your seat, simply too excited to contain yourself, I want to hear about it. I just can't fathom that anyone felt that way.

Yes, Desperate Housewives was the top rated show last night, it beat out everything else. But, if you watched, did you watch out of force of habit or because you were in love with it coming back?

Now, Battlestar Galactica — that I watched this weekend because I was incredibly excited that it was on. Sure, I can accept that I may be placed somewhere in or adjacent to the "nerd" category because I'm excited for the final season of Battlestar Galactica, but that's a cross I'm completely willing to bear.

For a moment, just a moment, let's ignore the fact that the series takes place in the distant future and that there are robots that look like humans who want to destroy humanity and are willing to go to almost any length to wipe out the last remnants of their sworn enemy. The show is totally relatable. The situations and problems the characters deal with (save the near-extinction of the human race due to robots attacking it) are the sorts of things we, in our society, face all the time.

The series is about the search for home, the search for meaning, and the desire to find happiness and family. It projects problems that we deal with through this future-lens, but the problems are never so distorted that we can't see ourselves mirrored in the issues. Battlestar Galactica is one of those science fiction programs that does a brilliant job of creating a future that seems incredibly far off and yet speaks to our present problems.

And that is far more special, and far more fascinating, than whether Carlos Solis will ever get his eyesight back and if Gaby will leave him if he stays blind.

About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.

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