Thursday, May 26, 2011

BSG: Burnout

Just like Starbuck near the end of season three, I am absolutely burnt out on this show, and I still have a season to go.

To me, this show is nothing short of a master's class is television -- more so than Lost, more so than anything Mr. Whedon has done or will ever do. There has, to me, never been a show with so many characters with whom I feel desperately connected to. Through their experiences of loss and regret, through their times of adulation, love, ecstasy, I feel it right there with them. I believe that, of course, there is a significant amount of acting talent (and production, and everyone else), but I always take these interactions straight back to the writers of the show. It's definitely a bias, and I realize that, but without the amazing story arcs that fuse the audience to these character's psyches, you wouldn't have the same show that you have. Instead, you would have a normal, run-of-the-mill sci-fi program. The show transcends that -- not in a bad way, not that there is anything less exciting about transcending the genre, nor am I insinuating that genre shows are somehow inferior. What I am saying is that this is a show, based on space marines and starfighter pilots that asks and attempts to answer metaphysical questions. It isn't about the special effects -- it's about the people.

I could honestly go on for days. Days and days and days about this show. Anyone who will listen, I will laude and sing its praises. It deserves them all. Not only for the end product, but for all the incredible work that went into this experience that I am consuming a few years later than I would have liked to. But I am beginning to feel burnt out on it. Why is this happening?

I equate this to reading a very long, very good novel. It's spectacular. You can't get enough. And then, all of the sudden, you've had enough. It's like a punch in the gut while you sit there, looking at the words on the page, and you think I just don't care anymore. Or maybe it's not that. Maybe it's not that you don't care, but rather you simply can't care. A part of the experience has grown uneventful. Maybe you reach a lull (and in a 600-1000 page book is expected to have some digressionary longueur and metaphysical meandering) or a close inspection of a charcter or plotline you find very boring, tired, dull. "Okay," you think, "I get it. Why are you spending twenty pages/twenty minutes belaboring a beleagured point?"

It's important to the story. You secretly know that. You don't want to think that what you're reading is important, because you honestly want to skip over -- go to the next episode or chapter -- to forget this crap and move on, but you can't. Or at least I can't. Things need an order to them. I picked this up from my mother, and it has continued for as long as I can remember. Things with story arcs must be started from the beginning and end where they end, following every step along the way.

I am a believer in the narrative structure -- that sometimes, you have to read the uneventful stuff to make the eventful stuff cooler, more colorful. So, I humbly tread on, grumbling and delaying some base need to find joy on every page. I read pages and watch episodes in which I can clearly see the dominoes being lined up so that they may be knocked down, but that does not equate to excitement. It is just somewhat boring.

So that's where I am at now with BSG. I know that when I get past this one episode, everything will be honky-dorey, but I seem unable to watch this episode in one sitting. Instead, I am forcing myself to watch a few minutes here, and a few minutes there. Just trying to reach the end credits.

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