Monday, March 13, 2006

Battlestar Galactica/Desparate Housewives

These shows are not normally tied together, but they are more alike then one might think.

Outside of the general settings, space vs. the suburbs, the shows enjoy two of the most complicated plots on television today. This penchant for juggling 18 plot lines was exhibited in the season finale of Battlestar on Friday night and the return episode of Housewives on Sunday.

Battlestar pulled one of its time shift tricks to launch the series one year into the future from where we were the previous week and placed almost all of the main characters into entirely new situations. For example the fleet has decided to stop fleeing from the Cylons and settle on a barealy habitable planet. It appeared that most of the people, including the military, have moved off their comfy starships to take up residence in several thousand tents. Where did the tents came from was not explained, but their settlement looked like a Pakistani refugee camp. Anytime you give up a berth in a centally heated starship to huddle around a makeshift camp fire in a 55-gallon drum you have made the wrong decision.

But that is just me, I like my creature comforts.

Also, Starbuck is no longer a swashbuckling fighter pilot, but a wife trying to take care of a sick husband, the drunken crazed first officer Colonel Tighe has left is post and moved with his prissy, high maintenance wife to the aforementioned tent city and finally the former president of the Colonies lost the election and is now a school teacher while the Colonies are run by a sex-crazed Baltar. (Perhaps he was using Bill Clinton as a role model?)

While I'm not sure any of this makes any sense when placed into the general course of the show, it made for a decent episode. If you have a few days to wade through all the posts on the Battlestar bulletin board you will hear a couple of hundred different opinions on the show. Reading these posts makes me feel a lot better about myself because I can say, "at least I'm not that crazy."

Housewives had almost as many bizarre plot twists. I must admit that while I watch the show I am not as up on certain aspects of it, like the characters names for instance. But just take my word for it, the show bounces around like a ping pong ball and you never know what will happen from week to week.

That is what makes good TV great. It's like Jazz, the writers are constantly improvising. The old Hill Street Blues and St. Elsewhere were developed the same way. My guess is The Sopranos is similar, but I don't have HBO so I really cannot say.

And now for my tangent......

Enjoying these shows to the point of where I can't wait until the next episode makes me hate reality TV all the more. It represents to polar opposite of what makes for great viewing. Despite the "reality" tag most shows are heavily contrived, use wannabe actors instead of real people and are all based around the same idea, humiliating people for entertainment.

So let's hope Battlestar and Desparate Housewives have a good long run.


At 12:03 PM, Anonymous tara said...

Wow, cannot believe that you rate Desperate Housewives on the same enjoyment level as Battlestar Galactica. We have 2 stored up on Tivo that we can watch tonight since I now know how you truly feel.


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