I’ve been decompressing with Season 3 of Battle Star Galactica and it’s amazing to watch this stuff. The first season was engaging in a way that few other shows have managed to transcend. The longer you watch the series though, the more cliche it becomes. I am now a firm believer in shows being writing from beginning to end before the show takes on a life of it’s own.
I love character development, I love a plot that engages and makes you think, but as far as I’m concerned you become disengaged as soon as you realize that someone is not doing it for the love of the story. Once they cross the line it’s just funny in an abstract way to watch. You observe the plot devices, cinemaphotography, dialogue, and especially editing, to understand what the director and writer are thinking. At that point it become entirely ridiculous to someone like me to watch the show for anything other then amusement, which tends to lessen my engagement in the show.
I didn’t watch the show on television in the first place, so it was on my own terms, but I realize I might be slightly unique in dissecting any movie or show on first viewing. I’ve now become a nerd of film and realize that it’s not socially normal. Yet I occasionally ask myself what does it take to continually engage the leading edge of television/film making? I know film, because I watch it and understand how it works. I have friends who inadvertently taught me the fundamentals of filmmaking and I now only suspend my disbelief in really qualify films. I know I’m not unique, but I know also that I’m annoying.
I am definitely the person you don’t want behind you and or in front of you in the movie if it’s bad.
As for BSG, I respect Ronald Moore. No quite as much as I respect Joss Whedon for Firefly, but he’s at least putting risk back into television. BSG never constantly pushed the characters, plot line, and unified both in the way that Joss does, but he does keep even someone analytical like me happy and waiting for the next punch. I watch it now because it’s more interesting then virtually anything and at least tries to engage modern situations in fiction. I can’t say the same for the reality TV shows nor the other syndicated shows on the market.
If I am the future of the market, then television–and it’s minions–has a long way to go.