Monday, March 19, 2007

Battlesuck Galactica

I love Battlestar Galactica, but it's seriously beginning to piss me off. This week's episode featured Baltar, one of television's most interesting and complicated villains, on trial for... what? Well, we don't really know exactly, but he is the villain of the show. So he's busted. Put him on trial!

I watch a fair bit of crime drama on the tele. Take Law & Order, for example. They've got one thing they do, week in and week out: every single episode follows the exact same formula. But they do it so well that I still enjoy the show.

In contrast, BSG's courtroom drama was very, very weak. The prosecutor's opening statements were dreadful, and her first two witnesses had no bearing on the case. To make matters worse, the characters who could actually provide some damning testimony against Baltar don't seem to figure at all in the prosecution's strategy. Yet the writers had the nerve to have the prosecutor arrogantly scold the president for asking her to charge Baltar with crimes she cannot prove. Missy, you're not gonna prove anything with your evidence and your witness list. Call Jack McCoy, stat!

The main complaint I have, though, is Lee Adama. The dynamic between Lee and his father Bill (and between Lee and his wife, for that matter) has become absurd. How many life-changing reconciliations and conflicts can a father and son have? A husband and wife? How many times can one character quit the service? Please. Lee's character is completely undefined; he has become merely a plot device. One of my longest-standing peeves about television is writers who change characters for no other reason than to sow discord. I've stopped watching several shows because of this.

About the only thing that will have me watching next week's season finale is the Radio, an innocuous device that seems to be affecting some of the characters in strange ways. This mildly stirred my interest. There is a lot of talk among the lads about what happened to Starbuck, one of the characters who apparently died a few episodes back. But whether they bring her back or not, they still can't fix how broken Lee Adama's character is, nor how boring the cylons have become, nor how much potential they have squandered with this season's storylines. I'm skeptical that the show can redeem itself.

A friend of mine and I were musing about the now three-season-long story arc after Sunday's episode. The program's ominous warning "And They Have a Plan" over the opening credits seems more and more like "We're Making This Up As We Go Along."


Wintercrow said...

I may not have a plan (or a clue), but I have a theory!

****SPOILERS AHEAD - beware****

Everyone was SO out of character (with the exception of One-eye Tigue, who is perpetually drunk)that can only mean one thing.... mind control! The radio/static/voice of the ship that ol' One Eye is hearing is a Cylon tactic to get BSG crew to implode or at least distract them from the impending attack. When the buzz goes away, everyone will return to normal, Lee and Daddy will make up, complete with reinstatement of rank, and One Eye will still be drunk.

About the trial itself: if I'm the prosecutor, what better way to lead off then to put someone who is impared on the stand. Assuming that he was a witness for the prosecution, couldn't you wait until he sobered up before you put him on the stand? And even straight, what can he add to the mix? That life kinda sucked during the occupation? I think that's a given. Get Gaetta up there, put Caprica-6 up there, or best yet, get Boomer up there! You think that she might have any thoughts on Baltar's role in it all? Any first hand info there, do you suppose?

Love the defense attorney, though. Can't wait to find out more about him.

Pretty lame episode on the whole, but still so much better than anything else going. To paraphrase, BSG is like a box of chocolates. Mostly sweet, but every once in a while you get a dog turd.

Knight of Nothing said...

Your theory is interesting... we'll see what happens next week.

The defense attorney is great, I'll give you that! And the show is still pretty good, no question.

My impression is that the writers have lost their way. They have two-plus seasons of great drama under their belt, but they've never really defined Lee Adama.

Apollo is a key character who binds the major storylines and characters together (Starbuck, the President, Bill Adama, Helo/Athena, Baltar). Draining him of interest and motivation and sacrificing his integrity in order to advance the plot really bums me out.

One of my buddies has labeled it the X-Files syndrome: like Chris Carter, the writers of BSG have written a gigantic check that they can't cash. I hope for all our sakes that he's wrong.

Knight of Nothing said...

Oh, and regarding Tigh, Gaeta, Caprica-6, and Boomer/Athena. Yes, my point exactly. Jack McCoy wouldn't have wasted our time with such weak witnesses as Tigh and President Roslin. And where are all the documents left over from Baltar's administration? There is a this thing in courtroom drama, it's called "evidence."

Hell, Zarek might be able to do some investigation in the seedier, more remote parts of the fleet.


GeistX said...

I sense dream sequence ala 'Dallas' coming on...

Or else we've been 'Chris Cartered'.