My BSG review Reaction to the Reviewers

Rather than post a review, I’m just going to address some of the complaints that people have brought up with the show.

  • Robots are BAD. BSG warned us!
    Yeah… you’re missing the point, which is that the mistakes of the 12 colonies (in terms of letting our technology get ahead of society – our heads getting ahead of our hearts) are mistakes we’re making today. Yeah, the shots of robots as they exist today was heavy-handed, but how can you NOT see the comparisons? I thought the runway-walking robot was the most eerily reminiscent of the Cylon skin-jobs, and honestly if I’d worked on the show for this long, I’d see connections everywhere also.

    If you think the last four minutes of the show with the robot montage was heavy-handed and lame, then stop the frakking episode when Hera’s looking up into the sky right after Adama talks to Laura. *pats you onna head*

  • I’m pissed that Starbuck just disappeared.
    What, exactly, did you expect? We know she died on the Cylon Earth. We know she came back, sans resurrection. We know she’s not a cylon. We know that at the very least Cylons (and Baltar) can ‘project’, perceive, and share realistic imaginings, at least some of which originate from something outside themselves. What’s LEFT besides some kind of paranormal group perception of Starbuck’s spirit? Nothing, that’s what.  With all the other choices eliminated (albeit only because the fans guessed at them and thus eliminated them as options due to the creator’s pathological aversion to ever doing anything the viewers predicted), what we saw was the only option really left.

    And don’t tell me that Kara “should” have been the daughter of the missing 7th Cylon model, Daniel. Yeah, it would have been nice, but if she’s half-cylon, then Hera is no big deal, and the whole damned show is about Hera and the union of the two species, so that. isn’t. an. option.

  • I’m pissed Starbuck and Lee didn’t up together.
    How much would it have robbed Kara’s farewell to Sam if she’d then walked off into the sunset with Lee? Utterly. It was enough for me to see that Lee wanted it, and that Kara was Done. Completely. Done. Sam will see her on the other side, and he won’t have long to wait.
  • I’ll buy the Head Six and Gaius being angels, but I don’t love it.
    The problem with ALWAYS writing something that the fans don’t expect, EVERY TIME, and then having to EXPLAIN it later, is that sometimes you paint yourself into a corner and are left with only one explanation — the one no one really expected, because they didn’t really like it.

    With that said, one of the things Battlestar did in the final season is invent a new myth of the origin of humanity. That’s a huge, epic thing, and it behooves such a grand and spiritual topic to include… you know… spirits. Call it heavy-handed, or deus ex machina, but it’s a creation myth; such things don’t run toward the subtle.

  • I never wanted BSG to end in OUR world.
    Then you haven’t been paying attention, because the writers have said for TWO YEARS that the fleet would reach Earth. Suck it up.
  • They couldn’t even kill off the ship in a satisfactory way.
    A) The fleet wanted a fresh start. B) They wanted to leave no trace to find later. Sun-diving is the only viable solution. Also, Galactica sailing into the heart of our Sun is, in my opinion, one of the finest sendoffs such a storied ship could ever have; like a viking warrior being sent to out to sea on a burning funeral barge.
  • Cavil’s death was useless. Cavil did the math. The fleet has Hera + one of the Final Five just died = the Cylons are never going to get Resurrection. Also, reproduction is right out because a) the three remaining ‘enemy’ models are pretty much incable of love and b) they’re all guys.  They’re dead; Cavil’s just the first one to realize it.
  • Too unbelievable to me how everyone so easily disavows technology once they find Earth.
    How about you get hunted across 100,000 light years of space by your own technological creations and then see if you wouldn’t rather go back to farming in a small agrarian village on a simple, untainted world. Pretty believable to me.
  • It pissed me off that they abandoned the Daniel storyline; Model #7.
    Yeah, okay, I’ll give you that one — that was something I would have liked to see them explore and do something with. Having it not be Kara’s dad was – I understand why they didn’t, as I said, but you know… don’t mention him if you’re not doing something with him.
  • NOBODY died, except for those already dying a couple bad guys.
    You didn’t get enough death over the last five years? Really? After De and the Mutiny? Really?
  • Adama never wants to see his son again? After all that, he’ll just leave Lee?
    Again, yeah… you got me there. That was kinda… yeah. Then again, Lee wants to explore, and Bill wants to build his cabin and be with the memory of his wife-that-wasn’t. Not like they’d see each other much anyway. Still, to really be circle-of-life-y, it should have been Lee leaving the Old Man.
  • Everything is just… God’s plan?
    I’ve always liked the more realistic, gritty side of BSG, not so much the mystical stuff. I can buy that objection, but the fact of the matter is, LONG before the end of the show we’ve had prophecies coming true, and mystic clues providing a path, and visions shared between multiple people — I mean, everyone LOVES that the vision of the Opera House finally came true… how the hell is that going to happen without some kind of supernatural element? The ‘divine influence’ thing wasn’t the huge leap that everyone makes it out to be. It simply wasn’t. Sometimes Astronomically Impossible things happen – and as Baltar says in the final episode: “Why not call it God or Gods or Divince Influence Beyond Our Understanding?” Sure. Okay. Good enough for me.
  • We saw what happened to the characters, but it felt like nothing was left to ponder about their personal journeys.
    Umm. That’s cuz the journey was over. They’re done. Duh.
  • I can’t believe Baltar and Six got away with being (wholly or partly, knowingly or unknowingly) responsible for genocide on Old Caprica.
    Yeah… our last administration just got away with eight years of war crimes — the president? Not only scot-free, but with a seven million dollar book deal out of it. Almost all those largely responsible for the current financial crisis will likely end up on well-appointed private islands when it’s all said and done. Baltar retires to farming. How is that unrealistic? Don’t talk to me about ‘what the story requires’; art imitates life, and in THIS life, leaders responsible for bad things usually do not come to bad ends. Besides, punishing Baltar wasn’t the point of the story.

    The fact of the matter is, the Fleet DID recriminations and trials already. It didn’t work, and the reason it didn’t was this: by the end of the journey, everyone had done horrible things. Everyone. There is no one left but Hera who could – in clear conscience – cast the first stone at ANYONE else.

    When the crew was spying on the natives of Earth, and Adama was joking with Baltar, there was a sense of relief, you know? “Thank god I don’t have to give a frak what you’ve done in the past, anymore. It’s done. We’re all going to go our seperate ways. It’s done. We’re done. No more stress. No more pain. It’s done.”

    Clean slate.

    Garden of Eden.

In the end, the show was what it was: a piece of artistic creation by someone who is not me. As such, there is no way it would scratch every single itch I had, or do everything as I would have done. That’s what art is: one person’s expression, take it or leave it. Nine tenths of the time, the art of Battlestar’s story was entirely worth taking it for what it was.

To all those people nerd-raging about how Ron Moore betrayed you or “Ron Moore is dead to me”, get a grip; you just got five years of great story and enjoyment out of someone else’s work. You didn’t even pay for it; it was free. And don’t talk to me about the time invested in viewing; compared to the time involved in creation, multiplied hundreds of times over for each of the people involved in the show, the time you spent with your ass on a couch hooting and hollering and teaching yourself to say ‘frak’ instead of ‘fuck’ is utterly insignificant.

The crew and cast took a five-year-long present and gift-wrapped with a big bow on top, and people are bitching that they would have wrapped it up differently?


Get out there and create something; something even half so vast and complex, then bring it to a close.

It’s your frakking turn.

17 Replies to “My BSG review Reaction to the Reviewers”

  1. People were really nerd raging about these things? I had some “meh”reactions to some of their choices, but nerd rage? Really? For me it’s still the best show of the last several years.

  2. I didn’t watch the show: too painful. But I wanted to find out what the ending was, because, if it was all that and a bag of chips, it would have been the only thing that made the show worth going back to watch.

    Here’s the deal. You can argue me until you’re blue in the face. But when the end of BSG was mocked almost thirty years ago, and it’s still the best thing the writers can come up with, that’s just lame.

  3. That’s the second time someone mentions Hitchhikers to me… I don’t get the reference, but that’s probably because I haven’t read the book in a very long time.

    Also, I didn’t watch the old BSG, and I don’t really care what the viewers in the 70s thought of it. In my opinion, the ending worked. Every single element worked.

  4. Robots are BAD. BSG warned us! Of course not. Robots are an extension of ourselves. That’s what the show is telling us. If we are bad (flawed, prone to self-destruction), robots will reflect and/or enable that.

    I’m pissed that Starbuck just disappeared. I’m not pissed, I just think it’s poorly plotted, all your observations notwithstanding. Because there is no *meaning* to Starbuck coming back (and not just being a vision, but actually *doing things* like piloting BSG to Earth). It’s all just metaphysical masturbation.

    I’ll buy the Head Six and Gaius being angels, but I don’t love it. That actualy doesn’t bother me. The “this has all happened before” multi-millennnial message bothers me.

    I never wanted BSG to end in OUR world. What bothers me more is that their appearance in our world is, Smithsonian Magazine article aside, utterly drop-in-the-genetic-bucket meaningless.

    They couldn’t even kill off the ship in a satisfactory way I simply don’t buy that everyone’s willing to become a back-to-nature hunter-gathererer. Yeah, living on a ship stinks. So does dying of malaria.

    Cavil’s death was useless Really, didn’t play into things. Perhaps because we’ve seen too many Cylon deaths (though this one is, ostensibly, permanent).

    Too unbelievable to me how everyone so easily disavows technology once they find Earth. Actually, upon consideration, it’s completely believable. For six months. Then everyone curses Adama for destroying the fleet and its technology, and he becomes the basis for “Adam” myths of being tossed out of the Garden of Eden.

    It pissed me off that they abandoned the Daniel storyline; Model #7. Okay, I admit, this particular story line completely failed to lodge itself in my memory.

    NOBODY died, except for those already dying a couple bad guys. it’s okay. They all die of old age. And disease. And malnutrition. And predators. And all the things that, well, a civilized society can actually do a lot to avoid. Feh.

    Adama never wants to see his son again? After all that, he’ll just leave Lee? Actually, yes. Sadly, pathetically, Bill Adama is a broken man at the end of the series, crippled by the death of his ship and his love, and so letting the civilization of the Colonies (and, incidentally, his son) die while he sits on a hilltop and gets eaten by a lion.

    Everything is just… God’s plan? Actually, this was kind of cool, insofar as God’s plan is wildly disparately interpreted by everyone. The mixture of bloody gusty realism with ooky-spooky visions and metaphysics in the series didn’t bother me all that much. But, to be fair, that may be me.

    We saw what happened to the characters, but it felt like nothing was left to ponder about their personal journeys. Um, yeah, what Doyce says.

    I can’t believe Baltar and Six got away with being (wholly or partly, knowingly or unknowingly) responsible for genocide on Old Caprica. Shit happens. And, honestly, in the crucible of crisis, people get away with it. Baltar getting away with what he’s done (or let be done) has been utterly plausible every step of the way. And that’s why people believe in karma and post-life divine retribution, because reality shows that people do, in fact, get away with all sorts of awful decision in their lives.

    I will echo what Doyce says (in far less poetic terms): I don’t care for how the story ended, but I don’t feel any Great Personal Betrayal or Aesthetic Abomination in what was done. It is what it is. It’s not what I would have done — but, by God, it is in as many aspects far better than I would have done as far worse.

    And, to be brutally honest, it is far better than the original BSG — and multiple orders of magnitude better than the original sequel’s “Here’s what happens when they reach Earth.”

    It may not be what I would have chosen, but I can appreciate it nonethelesss.

    1. Dave, your idea in which everyone embraces the idea of leaving tech behind, and then a year later they all regret it and blame Adama, and “Adama” becomes “Adam”? I kind of love that.

      1. Yeah, but it feels too much like a Serlingesque plot-twisty Twilight Zone ep. At least, I’m pretty sure there are a couple that aren’t too far from that.

  5. Side note: the effect of the new layout to the comments on individual pages is really beautifully demonstrated on this page. I love it.

    1. Except now I have to scroll up and down the whole comment string to see which things have been replied to. Oh, wait, that’s a problem with threaded comments. The layout is pretty cool, though if you get a large number of comments (post something about US Bank some time), it’s going to scroll down for miles.

  6. Two more points about the colonists being willing to abandon their tech to roam the wilderness on the new Earth.

    1. The people of the 12 colonies have a cultural history of settling on new worlds and making the settlement work. It’s only been 2 thousand years since they settled on the 12 colonies – most of their religious texts are actually just the writings of the people doing the settlement of the colonies. Their whole religion is basically one that demonstrates the ability to settle on a harsh new world.

    In a way, doing so on Earth would be getting closer to the holiness of scripture. Something.

    2. Abandoning medicine. As they cover in Season Three, there are several movements within the fleet – and one entire colony (the Sagittarans) – whose belief systems don’t allow the use of modern medicine. There’s apparently scriptural support for it. That right there is a large group of people who don’t care about leaving antibiotics behind.

    So it’s not as unbelievable as that.

    I, personally, completely side with Dave’s idea on this — it was a gut-decision they probably regretted later, and that regret became the recrimination and woe inherent in Garden of Eden creation myths. That’s MUCH more interesting to me.

    Honestly, as they HAVE culture and language and what have you – essentially filling a void on the planet – I find the idea of the Colonies and Cylons being the seed of many of Earth’s stories, religions, and myths far more interesting (and believable) than Hera having any significant impact on the gene pool, where the colonial /cylon contributions are a drop in a vast pool.

    1. The most plausible observations I’ve read on this is that, frankly, without a significant industrial base, all that high-tech hoo-hah wouldn’t have lasted that long. They were barely able to make it work on New Caprica, and the fleet was in a lot better shape back then.

      That said, drifting apart to the four winds still just doesn’t feel realistic to me. Unless they are all just so mentally and emotionally broken that they really don’t want their civilization to continue except as myths across the eons.

      Still bugs me, and bugs me more than the Time Square scene (which was was forgivably goofy).

      Remind me again why they shot all their ships into the sun?

  7. “…but it’s a creation myth; such things don’t run toward the subtle.”

    I LOVE that line! =)

    I’d also note that there was a LOT of material down on the planet already. I’d guess they ditched a LOT of stuff, but not all. Those little hubs of advanced knowledge giving rise to legends of places like Atlantis, Lemuria, Mu, etc.

      1. Agreed. I’m just not exactly sure how it wouldn’t have felt forced. But a lot less of the stuff on the planet would have helped create less WTF reactions.

  8. Okay, you watched me watch the whole thing… so you know I was a true Starbuck fan… my gut reaction was NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO how could she leave Lee. But five minutes before that I couldn’t figure out why she would leave Sam.

    I am sad that Lee never got his Kara. Of course I am. I’m a girly girl who needs the love story to come to a fantastic close.

    That being said: Here’s my take on the end… Kara was like the Christ figure, right? She was the daughter of the guy who composed the music… that makes him the one true “god.” Her resurrection was kind of the same as the whole Jesus resurrection thing… and I know she and Sam were the real meant to be. Not Lee and Kara… I like that Starbuck was SO important. I needed her to be MORE than just a cylon… I needed her to be the thing.

    And, I need her to come back… hehe with Sam… awwww come on BSG! Whaddaya say!

    1. I really love the connection to draw to Kara’s dad being the one who wrote the music, so that he’s basically the ‘god’ energy out there. That’s really astute.

      For me, Helo and Sharon were ‘the couple’. I know where you’re coming from with your Starbuck fixation, and it’s well-founded, but for me, Helo was the guy – the lone voice in the wilderness, as the Old Man called him once — the one guy always doing the right thing, no matter what. So on the romance side of things, I suppose my guy came out better than yours. :)

Comments are closed.