I don’t think it’s any secret that I love science fiction. Well, some of it. I also love TV shows that are already done airing so I don’t have to wait forever to find out what happens next.
Because it fits in both of these categories, I am testing out “Battlestar Galactica” and HOLY CRAP it is melting my brain out of my ears.
In the first episode, 99.9% of the human race is killed by some robots the dumb humans invented. You would think that that level of massacre would numb the viewer to future tension regarding the remainder of the humans living and dying.
When I was little, I was flipping out about some TV show (let’s say Murder She Wrote) and whether the main character was going to live. My mom said, “Dana, calm down, the main character is going to live, because they are the main character and otherwise there wouldn’t be a show for next week.” And, lo and behold, the star survived; my mind was blown. MY MOM WAS A PSYCHIC GENIUS.
I have since become a bit more savvy about TV Tropes, which is why I respect shows that break these up. For example, I heard once that Dr. Who had the highest body count of any show on TV at one point, which is counter-intuitive, because it is often a fun family-ish show to watch. But every now and then, oopsie, we lose a world or an entire species, main character, etc. No one is safe.
However, with these shows, I find that I am always ready for everyone on the screen to die horribly and it makes it all a little easier to not take too seriously.
But, eh, Battlestar Galactica, I’m not sure I’m tough enough for it. It’s incredibly well written and acted, but it seems like the point of each episode is to make you jump out of your skin with anxiety. It wallows in moral ambiguity — what is the right thing for the characters to do? I DON’T KNOW! Which is kind of brilliant and terrible all at once. Matt isn’t even watching it with me, but I mentioned a few plot points and he has been contemplating the potential moral repercussions of robot sentience at dinner the last two evenings.
But I’m starting to feel it’s a little too much like real life, which you, know, I always say, if I want to be depressed and anxious, I’ll just read the news.