I know, I know – that question alone is enough to get me hate mail for the rest of my life, but I think it warrants some investigation. First off, if you don’t know what “jump the shark” mean, click the link. Okay, now that they are back, lets look at the beginning of season 3.
One of the things I absolutely love about Battlestar Galactica is that it has a history of turning all convention on its ear. The bad guys are slaves, the slaves are trying to kill their former masters, both are doing things in the name of religion, heck, even the fixing of an election is rationalized as a good thing. It is all very confusing, but probably one of the reasons that BG won a Peabody Award. We are talking the award presented for outstanding achievement in broadcasting… this is not a People’s Choice or some teen goofballs award. It is not a feel-good industry pat on the back… it is one of the most prestigious awards given and usually reserved for documentaries – not entertainment.
That said, there are some things about the two-hour season premiere that call the future of BG into question. While the story of resistance fighters struggling against an oppressive force has a long history in television and movies, I think this one too closely parallels current events. The dialogue is purposely bringing to mind the Palestinian/Isreali conflict as well as the Iraqi “freedom fighters,” dead set on disrupting their evil American (Cylon) overlords. In addition, they draw comparisons to a corrupt puppet government being manipulated by the Cylons. It is all a bit too “current events” for me.
It seems as though the writers are trying to turn the show into a political statement. Just as David Chase found a social conscious, and thus ruined, the Sopranos, it seems the creators of BG are in danger of doing the same. So what’s the verdict? Has the shark tank been wheeled in and have we just witnessed a Cylon flying over on a motorcycle? The jury is still out.
As long as the storylines remain compelling, the characters remain complex, and the social agendas remain convuluded and confusing, I will be a loyal viewer. Who am I kidding? As long as Sharon “Boomer” Valerii (above pic)is around…. I’m there dude. But this warning to producers David Eick and Ronald D. Moore, “Be careful… now is not the time to send moral messages. Now is the time to continue to create the best scifi series in history.”