Monday, August 28, 2006


Ok, I'm a big dork... I am a BattleStar Galactica addict. It's a really nerdy, but really good show. I've been catching up with the rest of season 2.5 in preparation for season 3.0 which is coming out in October.

However, I am starting to have some serious reservations about the show. Well, it's not so much reservations about the show, but reservations about american-style television shows, as compared to Brittish television shows.

See, television shows in the states go on and on and on, milking every possible plot line until everyone's f-ing sick of it, at which, they have a big finale and sell the commemerative DVD box sets.

In this regard, I feel brittish television shows are superior. In my (very limited) experience, the show runs for no more than two seasons. They tell the damn story, or explore the damn characters, situations, or issues which are necessary or interesting. Once they've told it, they end the damn thing.

Case in point: The Office. The character of David Brent only has about 2 seasons worth of material in him. Any longer than that, he's just going to start getting really repetitive, unbelievable, and SAD! There were several interesting side plots, but none of them ever really hijacked the main premise of the show. Now, I really shouldn't talk about the american version of the Office b/c I haven't really been keeping up with it, but I can't help it. This is a perfect example of what's wrong with it. It seems to me that NBC is making the Jim/Pam love interest the main point of the show, which was never the case in the brittish version. Yes, we were all interested in the love side-story, but that's what it was, a side story! I'll bet they did some testing with representative audiences and found out that they could get the most people to watch if they made it into a Ross/Rachel type thing. F-ing capitalism should never be used to make artistic decisions.

A small disclaimer for the previous paragraph: I have only seen one DVD of the american Office, so I could just be taking things out of context.

Anyway, back to Battlestar: The story has completely morphed from the original premise. According to Mike, the main creative-force behind BSG has a 5-season roadmap for the story, but I'm having my doubts. They kept a character alive in a completely contrived way when it was obvious (to me, at least) they should have killed him/her. We'll see how it turns out when the third season begins, but my initial reaction to this was they were just trying to prolong the series to milk more cash out of the series before they cancel it.

Another Brittish TV show which I think did it just right. Fawlty Towers. Hi-lar-i-ous. John Cleese is maddeningly funny as a neurotic hotel owner. They only made 12 episodes. When I tell people this, they ask why they canceled it so fast. The thing is, if they'd made any more episodes, the jokes would have stopped being funny. There's only so many time Basil can chase Manuel into the kitchen with a stool and have it be funny.

I guess I favor the short-story version of television shows. Use all the words you need to tell your story, and not a word more.

Bah Humbug.


Jill said...

I agree that the British Office is better than the American version, and I share your love of Fawlty Towers.

Re BSG. Have you seen the second installment on the web where they are arguing about whether to hide weapons in the Temple? They're all out there in the desert.

It seems to me that besides having an engaging story, BSG is relevant, as good mythology always is.

And, if it turns out that BSG becomes lame, then, you know, I'll be fracked off.

Twentysomething said...

The way you describe this battle star...whatever, sounds like soap operas. When I was a hermit this summer and had no cable I had a choice between soaps or jerry springer in the mornings. All summer they drag out the same "who-cares" story. I caught up with them on labor day and All My Children were still trying to find who killed Greg Madden, who died in June. Blah.

And yes, even though I am in love with Steve Carrell in all his hairiness, the boss on the office is way more funny/annoying.

I also remember "Faulty Towers". You left that dvd to my house the summer after freshman yr and I watched it all that weekend. Funny funny.

PS, am anxiously awaiting the return of your normal hair. :-p