Then Twin Peaks was cancelled and I continued looking for another show that would capture my attention like that. Really, I’m looking for Twin Peaks in every show I watch. I rarely find it, and when I do, one of two things happens: the show loses it’s edge, as in Lost, or it gets cancelled, as in Carnivale.
For awhile, Lost was my new Twin Peaks, until it began to suffer from Hit Syndrome, and ABC did what networks do: destroyed the show in an attempt to make it bigger. Hopefully, the addition of Brian K. Vaughn to the writing staff will pull Lost out of the pit of Carkoon in which it’s being digested.
Battlestar Galactica did not have a promising start with the mini-series, but immediately became awesome as a series and stayed awesome for the entire first season and part of the second season. While BSG didn’t have the the creepiness or the mystery of Twin Peaks, it certainly had everything else: complex characters, compelling storylines, action, and plenty of “Holy Crap!��? moments.
The middle of season two brought the dysfunctional Battlestar Pegasus and the despotic Admiral Cain, who wreaked havoc on what seemed like the cuddly, lovable Galacticites. There was genuine tension; I didn’t know who was going to live, who was going to get a rape interrogation, or who was going to leave the fleet. From a viewer’s perspective, the rest of the season was looking quite rosy. But, with guns. And genocide.
And then. . . there were flashbacks. I hate flashbacks! They’re such a lazy method of exposition!
BSG just got boring after the Admiral Cain arc. It became a drama with fractured relationships and damaged people. . . in space; a show that had more in common with The Young and The Restless than anything remotely bad ass. The creative team gave BSG the Lost treatment: episodes focused on a particular character’s demons, and aside from the occasional Cylon attack, nothing really happened. We saw Starbuck’s drinking problem, a black market, Cylon sympathizers, an abortion debate and a presidential debate. Suddenly, watching BSG was just as fun as watching CNN.
Like Lost, BSG meandered until the season finale, when some serious stuff finally started to go down. Laura Roslin, a woman I wouldn’t mind seeing as president, tried to steal her election. The Cloud Nine luxury liner was nuked, taking several other ships with it. Baltar became president. Gadzooks! It’s one year later! The Cylons are coming! The Adamas bolt! Egads! Sacre bleu!
Season three did start off really well, and has had a few standout episodes, including an unexpected tearjerker. However, for the most part, I’m feeling left empty by BSG these days. It’s the same feeling as going out with the same guy over and over again because on an intellectual level, he has the qualities that should make me happy. There’s some core. . . something. . . that’s missing. It’s a Swiss Roll without the creamy white filling. A skinny, decaf capp, no whip. A sugar-free apple pie with a side of low-carb beer.
I’m not sure what the programming move means for BSG. On the one hand, the execs may think it has a broad enough audience that it can survive the move. On the other, there isn’t much in the way of competition Sunday nights at 10 Eastern/9 Central. It’s not like its going up against 24 or Gray’s Anatomy.
Although BSG has gone the way of Lost in some aspects, the show continues to maintain its integrity and has avoided becoming a parody of itself. The only thing that can be done at this point is to stick with it. Even the boring episodes have moments that are intriguing enough to keep me tuning every week. I just really, really hope it can capture me again.