Posted by: GeekHiker | May 25, 2011

Reestablishing My Geek Cred

During the first four months of this year, I spent most of my time studying.  Hell, work and studying pretty much dominated most of my time.  As everyone well knows, I wasn’t exactly blogging much, either.

Still, one can’t work and study ALL the time.  Too brain-fried to even contemplate writing blog posts, I turned to television… and promptly found there to be nothing on.  Or at least nothing that both captivated my interest and provided for a consistent distraction as the studying process went on.

So I turned to Netflix.  Bingo!

Concurrently with my studies I ended up watching the entire series of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, including the first season which I had mostly missed.  Last night I arrived at the series finale, having rented the extended version on DVD.  It, and the series as a whole, was frakking fantastic.

I’d forgotten just what an amazing bit of storytelling it was, something which I knew as I watched it spread out over the years (I’d even blogged about it at the time), but gained a whole new appreciation for being able to watch it as a whole, complete work.  It did what few science fiction series truly manage to do: it never got bogged down in creating fantastic worlds or weird creatures or technology.  Its palette instead consisted of politics, religion, spirituality, friendship and love.  It did what the best stories do, no matter the backdrop: it was a lens through which to view ourselves and the times we live in.  Given that it aired during the early 2000’s, you can imagine the times it was commenting on.

Did it have its flaws, points where it lagged?  Sure, every series does.  But damn if it wasn’t good and challenging watching the whole way through.

So, yeah, if you haven’t seen it, do so.  Trust me.

As a side note, and especially appropriate considering he just celebrated his 70th birthday, was the use of Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” as part of the musical score.  Bear McCreary’s score for the whole series was amazing overall, mixing instruments and themes from multiple cultures in subtle and cool ways, but I hadn’t realized before just how much I enjoyed his arrangement of the song.  Even more, in the final season, McCreary layered the song into the score, playing it with everything from a simple piano motif to a full orchestra.  I can tell you the song plays a large role in the story itself, but to tell you more would spoil it for those who haven’t seen.

Sharing the song itself with all of you, though, won’t spoil a thing.  Hint: it’s especially good if you have the bass turned wayyy up.  🙂

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Responses

  1. yes, yes, yes.
    i had (very reluctantly) agreed to watch the first few episodes, and to my surprise i was hooked. and it’s exactly for the reasons that you mention – the “lens”, a commentary on humans and human nature. i fell in love with the incredible characters – so complex, so real. and in the last season, as the traces of sound started to form into a song each week, it was so eerie. and when the actual song was revealed, i was literally crying – it was so beautiful and powerful, and completely overwhelming.
    i’ve been wanting to re-watch the whole thing eventually. now if i could only get ron russo to watch but he never watches tv – i have to bribe him with snacks to watch the office (the other tv show that i love, though i haven’t seen the last two seasons). and he just calls me a space nerd 🙂

  2. Is it…..Star Trek?? (a la Penny).

  3. Yup, your geek cred’s intact all right… Just kidding. Sort of. 😉

    My old copywriter coworker and her husband loved that show. Not sure I’ll ever get around to watching it. Maybe if I can find time between HGTV and Foodnetwork shows on the Tivo.

  4. Blakspring – I’ll e-mail you a couple thoughts…

    Charmacc – No, definitely not like Star Trek. Star Trek was much more allegorical in its storytelling: the characters were more observers to events, and commented upon them. By and large, the primary characters in Star Trek were rather noble: sort of the high-water mark for human development. BSG’s characters, on the other hand, were more like us: flawed, making mistakes and mis-judgements. The best parts were when characters made decisions that you hated, even though you liked them. Neither approach is wrong, but that’s what made BSG a more interesting, emotional series.

    Mel Heth – I suggest streaming it online, though you might have to rent somethings (i.e. the miniseries which starts it, etc.). Look at the episode guide on Wikipedia for guidance. As a note: Olmos almost didn’t do the series, because he didn’t want to do any silly sci-fi thing. The fact that he did says much.

  5. Hmm For some reason i just can’t get into TV series like this – although I’ve made an exception for Bones, and Buffy! I just realised I didn’t watch any TV last month! What?! I am turning into a crazy person! I think it’s time for some Oprah.

  6. LeafProbably – Um… I don’t know if you’ve heard the news about Oprah, but…

  7. Your answer sounded exactly like Sheldon. Well played.

    I DO hope you know I was kidding.

  8. Late to the Geek Gathering 🙂 I don’t think you ever lost it (when?!)!

  9. Charmacc – LOL Well, I’ll take it as a compliment anyway!

    SkyBlueStateOfMind – Well, it’s always good to remind everyone, right? 😀


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