6.29.2009

Battlestar Galactica: We Give Up

The human condition is a wretched thing. We're "thrown toward death" (Heidegger), we're a "useless passion" (Sartre), "the kids all suck" (The Problematics.) Walter Benajmin's "angel of history" is blown forward by the wind of progress but faces backwards, witnessing the ever-growing carnage trailing behind it. "The fully enlightened Earth radiates disaster" (Horkheimer and Adorno.)

SO WHY DO PEOPLE MAKE SUCH DEPRESSING TV SHOWS?!

I'm serious! Battlestar Galactica started out strong, with great characters, fun sci-fi technology, Edward James Olmos being badass all the time. But it just kept getting more depressing. It wasn't enough that the Cylons had destroyed all but a fragment of humankind; what was left of humankind spent all of its time bickering! It was worse than it is on Lost!* We finally tapped out last night after making it most of the way through the first two episodes of the third season, at which point humanity lives in a prison camp on a bleak little planet, controlled by their Cylon guards and human collaborators. I'm not disputing that some of it amounted to a nice allegory about patterns of human behavior, nor that much of it (occuption, suicide bombings, atrocities in the name of higher principles) was topical considering this all aired during the worst of the W years. I'm just saying that you, the viewer, never get a break. No comic relief, no selfless characters, not even any cool sci-fi space ships blasting the bad guys! It made me long for Luke Skywalker to come swooping in and destroy the Cylon ships with force-guided photon torpedoes! In a word, real life is depressing enough. This is not the kind of thing we want to watch on our free time.

So we gave up on that shit and watched Waiting for Guffman again.

* Ok, so we're stuck on this creepy island and we're probably all going to die. Let's complain and squabble and try to one-up each other rather than working together.

3 comments:

hardcori said...

Dude, watch Buffy. It too gets sad at some times, but not THAT sad.

El Chupacabra said...

This is why I only watch Strawberry Shortcake and Alton Brown. There might be some other reason, but I forget off the top of my head.

Chrissy said...

Well played, sir. This is why I dont watch scary movies - life is already scary! Brutal murders actually happen in real life all the time and it isnt entertaining!

Anywho. You definitely made the right choice by switching over to Christopher Guest who is clearly doing humanity a favor every time he puts a movie out.