Okay, I have to get something off my chest.

I get it.

The new Battlestar Galactica is a good show. Fine. A great show. Okay. The best goddamned television you’ve ever seen. Great. It’s the television equivalent of Ulysses (okay, so no one’s made that claim).

You got the DVDs for Christmas. You don’t want to hear spoilers on the new show. You’re wondering who’s going to get shot in the next episode and who’s pulling the trigger. Great. Is Starbuck a Cylon? I don’t know, because I haven’t watched the show yet.

At my office, a show like Battlestar Galactica is almost required viewing, but somehow I just never started watching it. Recently it seems my entire social world, from my office to my online friends, have become obsessed with this show. The peer pressure to watch it is intense. I’ve been forced to Netflix the DVDs so I can participate in 80% of the conversations at work.

My girlfriend went to Caltech, and she told me how annoyed she got when her fellow students found out she hadn’t read Lord of the Rings (and didn’t really want to). In their shock and horror they would demand that she read them, which only made her less inclined to do so. When she told me about that, I didn’t really understand. Now I think I do.

Ordinarily I might have been all over a show like BG, though to be fair I, like many people, passed over the opening miniseries due to the reputation of the original show. Now I’m way behind and feeling rather ambivalent about catching up. I haven’t really been into science fiction in any degree since I was in elementary school; I’ve become more of a fantasy/horror guy. And I really want to get through Buffy and Angel, too.

But when it gets to the point where I have to put my headphones on when the talk at work turns to Battlestar Galactica, and when my friend Scott who finds fault with all creative media makes the redundantly hyperbolic statement that he “loves the hell out of the new show – a lot,” I must reluctantly bow my head and say that, this time, peer pressure has won.

I’ve got to be careful, though. I can already feel myself growing the sort of bizarre anti-populist ire I felt toward The Matrix–disliking it just because it was so popular, though the fact that it sucked and starred Keanu Reeves were important reasons too (there was an element of the emperor-has-no-clothes phenomenon in there). From everything I’ve heard and read, quality isn’t an issue with BG, but I still am not looking forward to hours and hours of catching up.

Part of it is the nature of the medium, though. I’ve never been that big on television. Watching television takes up a lot of time, time that could be used to write one’s novel or otherwise stimulate one’s brain cells. I’m sure the fans of BG would go into a lengthy argument about how watching this show is stimulating &c. &c.

I’m just saying, for me, watching this show is like committing to seventy dates with the same person before even meeting them.


Another update–just to reassure my two or three readers who aren’t friends or relatives that I’m alive.

The writing is still in flux. I’m becoming a bit concerned–my mind flip-flops on what to do for my thesis project about every twenty minutes, and I’m going through my annual “Is this really what I want to do with my life?” crisis. As you can see, it’s got me writing personal blather here on the blog instead of staid updates on my craft.

I caught the new episode of The Family Guy last night. After some of the rather tame jokes in the ads, I’d been worried that the new episodes would be less edgy (due to Fox’s discomfort with creator Seth MacFarlane’s envelope-pushing). I was wrong–the show is as sharp as ever.

The same can’t be said for The Simpsons. Watching Family Guy after not one, but two new Simpsons episodes made me realize how I’m beginning to lose interest in the latter. It’s been on too long now. It’s still funny, but…

And then there’s American Dad, a new cartoon from Family Guy‘s Seth MacFarlane. I think MacFarlane conceived the show as a way to parody the current conservative political climate in America, but I’m not sure the concept is that funny. But more importantly, American Dad just wasn’t interesting enough. Family Guy survives its standard sitcom plots through its cutaways and asides. American Dad–or the first episode, at least–plays like a regular live action sitcom (much like The Simpsons in its first seasons).

It was a pretty noticeable contrast in the living room; I chuckled at The Simpsons, laughed my ass off through Family Guy, then sat in stony silence for most of American Dad.

If I had to guess, I think Dad will make it through one season, whereas Family Guy has a chance at not being cancelled (again). And to be fair, Dad might improve–the first episode of FG wasn’t nearly as good as the one last night.

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