The best new sci-fi show in… forever

I really hate new TV shows. I have such a hard time getting interested in the characters and the plotline, I dislike watching awkward moments (I call them "Judy Blumes") and I'm easily bored by formula (did you hear the one about the Law & Order episode where two [children/men/women] are walking down the [street/hallway/alley] talking about something inane and they [turn the corner/look over a wall/drop something and go to retrieve it a little further off] and find a dead body?).

That being said, I have recently fallen hook, line and sinker for the new Battlestar Galactica remake. Sci-fi shows like Enterprise are dull in comparison. Even my beloved ST:TNG can't hold a candle to BG. I spent most of the lunch hour today raving to some coworkers about how it had everything for some people and something for everybody: great graphics, complex characters who you think you understand but they can still surprise you, believable romances, mystery, intrigue, humor, sarcasm, wit and a fascinating storyline with a lot of opportunity for growth. I haven't had a crush on a show like this since I first saw Futurama many years ago; I'm very jealous of the folks in the UK who got to watch episode #12 today (where they discover Kobol... to which one of my coworkers said "What's next, Pascal?").

I'm aware of the controversy over the changes in the story, perhaps the most significant being that *gasp* Starbuck is a chick! I personally think she's a great character and have enjoyed her role tremendously. But being aware of the uproar, it was with some interest that I noticed the user ratings for BG on IMDB, where you can see some (not unsurprising) demographic patterns:

Votes Average
Males  1282  7.1
Females  102  7.5
Aged under 18  20  8.3
Males under 18  13  8.3
Females under 18  4  9.0
Aged 18-29  468  7.5
Males aged 18-29  420  7.5
Females aged 18-29  36  7.1
Aged 30-44  772  7.1
Males aged 30-44  703  7.1
Females aged 30-44  43  7.7
Aged 45+  131  6.3
Males aged 45+  111  6.2
Females aged 45+  16  7.9
Top 1000 voters  46  6.0
US users  759  7.0
Non-US users  626  7.3
All votes  1831  7.1

The first thing that jumped out at me was that almost two-thirds of the respondents rated it 8 or higher, better than even fantastic movies like Ocean's 11. Then I noticed that women on average rated it higher than men (except for 18-29... and I have no theory as to why.), with the 45+ crowd having a significant difference in women's votes compared to men's - a real shocker there I'm sure. Of course, the sample size in all those cases is smaller than in others, but I see it as a reasonable validation of my take that the show has something for everyone.

The second interesting part is the stepping of the overall rating based on age. 45+ rated it 6.3, 30-44 7.1, 18-29 7.5, and the small segment of under 18 year olds rated it as high as 8.3. The obvious interpretation is that the older you are, the more likely you were to have watched the original, and as a result, the more likely you are to consider the remake a mockery instead of a tribute. Since I'd never seen the original, I had no baggage. This is similar to what happened when I was a kid and started watching ST:TNG without having been a fan of TOS.

Anyway, this is just a push to go out and start Tivoing it, find someone who saved the miniseries and episodes thus far, and get yourself hooked, if you're any kind of geek at all, you won't regret it.

Perhaps the best part of all is that the creator of the series has a blog where in the first post he talked about one of the issues that I'd been wondering about myself, asking the great question: "If you only had 33 minutes before the next time you could die, what would you do?". It even has a feed.

Comments (10)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Land of the Lemmings, v2 » Battlestar Galactica

  2. sara ford says:

    I could stop watching every other show I follow on TV (all 2 of them) just to watch BG. The difference for me is how BG captures moral dilemmas. I find myself gasping left and right, “OMG, that’s horrible, but then again, they have no choice.” Unlike other Sci-Fi shows where the world could potentially end (like SG-SG1 or Enterprise), in this show, you feel like humanity will end – it’s a matter of how long they can hold out. Also, my husband is former Air Force, so it adds another layer of complexity for us.

    I was talking with someone in the male 45+ category the other day who mentioned how awful the pilot show was and how he hoped the show would get better. Having never seen the originals, I don’t have anything to compare it to. So, I think your assessment of why that category of viewers voted significantly lower is on the mark.

  3. KC Lemson says:

    I am with you on that one! Although after watching the miniseries, my gut reaction was great show… really effin depressing. The choices they had to make, eesh.

  4. Larry Osterman says:

    I was blown away by the pilot/miniseries the other day, but I’ve managed to miss all the airings since then (no MCE, no Tivo), and no TV time regardless.

  5. Drazen Dotlic says:

    I am old enough to remember the original series (even though I was just a kid at the time) and still I find the new series better in so many ways it’s not funny.

    Just to be sure my comparison is right, recently (just before new series started airing here in Europe) I downloaded season 1 of original series from P2P networks and watched it again. It’s naive, simple, space-opera cheap material compared to the new one.

    BG is _the only_ worthy Sci-Fi on any network in the last decade or so…

  6. Kaisa M. Lindahl says:

    We picked up some episodes of this. And like you, we (techie boyfriend and me) were hooked. Watched both miniseries episodes in one go. That’s 3 hours of Galactica… And we wanted more.

    I like it a lot. There are quite a lot of kick ass women on the show, which is good. I never saw the original show, so I didn’t know Starbuck ever was a man. But she’s awsome. She’s my fave character!

    And the ethical aspects. They have to make rather nasty and difficult decisions in almost every episode, and I’m impressed with what they have the characters do. They’re not making the standard American Hero-choices, that’s for sure.

    Looking forward to the last 3 episodes. Then what? Will there be a new season? I surely hope so!

  7. Kelly D. Jones says:

    I remember watching the reruns as a kid (I turned 30 this past year) and I like the new ones even better. I also liked TOS, which I saw as reruns of course. The new BG feels like a more grown up version of the old one.

  8. Scott says:

    Just saw Episode 12, "Last Gleaming of Kobol, Part I," in Europe today.

    This is the best sci-fi program, over a season, at least, that I’ve ever seen.

    All the loose treads from the mini and the first few episodes are coming together. Episodes 4, 10, and 12 have been standouts. Only one more to go this season. 🙁

    Americans better watch this, and get it renewed.

  9. Russ says:

    I watched the original when I was a kid, loved it, and was a bit skeptical when I heard of the remake. Then, out of curiosity, I saw the miniseries and… WOW!

    It’s one of the few shows I now watch regularly, and I don’t have cable! I have to go over to a friend’s to watch it.

  10. HankLavendar says:

    President Darth Vader?

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