I've seen the look before . . . glazed eyes and a look away, a brief nod, and then a change of subject. This is the usual reaction when someone asks me what my favorite show is and I respond with an enthusiastic "Battlestar Galactica!!!" I can tell from their response that they are thinking "NERD!"
Battlestar Galactica is more than a geek fest - it is quite simply, the best show on television. With fantastic writing, directing, and acting, the show covers today's current troubled times better than any other show I've seen. It is because of it being science fiction - they are able to cover topics that other shows on network television would not be able to touch with a ten foot pole.
For those who don't know, Battlestar Galactica tells the story of a "rag tag" fleet of human survivors fleeing the destruction of their twelve planets or colonies of Kobel by the Cylons. Cylons are robots that were created by the humans at some point in the past, rebelled, and after a war were at a truce with the humans. Unbeknowst to the humans, they evolved during this truce and twelve of the models are now in humanoid form (five of the models are unknown to use at this point). The humans are fleeing from the Cylons and trying to find the thirteenth colony, the "mythical" planet of earth.
Battlestar Galactica is not a "typical" science fiction show, if indeed there is a typical. It does not center on an "alien of the week" plot. It is a character driven show that as Ben says is typified by "shades of grey." If you are looking to say the humans are all good, and the cylons are all bad, you won't find it on this version of Battlestar Galactica. The humans have their many points of evil or troubled times; prisoner torture scandels, rigged elections, suicide bombers, etc., while many of the cylons are sympathetic characters; one has married a human and has a baby; another is trying to find god and the meaning of the life; another was a victim of torture, etc. The show is also a serial with a running plot line. This makes it a bit harder to get involved with, but it is worth the effort!
Ben and I love it, and one great thing about it is it's consistancy at remaining a great show. While other shows that have been on for the same length of time (Lost, Desperate Housewives) have faltered in their storytelling, Battlestar has remained a powerhouse in riviting tales and relevancy to today's world.
As for those skeptics who refuse to watch the show, I had almost the same reaction myself when first learning about Battlestar coming back as a miniseries. Ben kept trying to get me to watch it, and I kept putting it off. Memories of the 1970's cheesy show (I did like it as a kid) did not have me too enthused about a new version. Once I watched the mini-series - I was hooked and really excited about the new series on the sci-fi station that it spawned.
There are two kinds of skeptics I run into. One won't give the show a chance purely based on the title and the fact that it's science fiction. Throw down your snobbery I say! You will never grow in this life if you base everything on what you "think" it's going to be about without actually watching something and forming your own opinion. The second kind of skeptic, that includes my own father, is the skeptic who is a science fiction fan, but loved the 1970's version and can not deal with the fact that certain changes have been made for the new version. "Starbuck is a woman!" they cry. Get over it!! This is a whole new show are really quite good. If you love the 1970's version, there is no reason why you can't love this as its own new separate show.
If you have never seen the show before, I heartily recommend that you give it a chance and check it out this Sunday on the Scifi station (10/9 central). If you don't have cable, you can download episodes to watch at http://www.scifi.com/battlestar/ or for purchase at itunes.
Also of interest, Time Magazine named Battlestar Galactica the best show of 2005. The article and link are below.
"Most of you probably think this entry has got to be a joke. The rest of you have actually watched the show. Adapted from a cheesy '70s Star Wars clone of the same name, Galactica (returning in January) is a ripping sci-fi allegory of the war on terror, complete with religious fundamentalists (here, genocidal robots called Cylons), sleeper cells, civil-liberties crackdowns and even a prisoner-torture scandal. The basic-cable budget sometimes shows in the production, but the writing and performances are first-class, especially Edward James Olmos as the noble but authoritarian commander in charge of saving the last remnants of humanity. Laugh if you want, but this story of enemies within is dead serious, and seriously good."