Battlestar Galactica

I'm not much of a TV watcher, but I do have a DVR and can thus watch pretty much anything if I want to. It's just that most of it seems like a waste of time compared to other idle pursuits. I've not watched any show regularly since I got done going through "Angel" (after Buffy, after Farscape). So that's where I'm from when I say:

This new Battlestar Galactica is good.

That's all you really need to know. Go watch now, me like.

But for those who want a reason... well... I am reminded of the time I got hooked on Farscape. I'm flipping channels, as it happens, midway during the first season. Good looking folks in scifi setting, OK. John (human) and Aeryn (alien) are talking as they're doing other stuff:

John: I am never going to get used to walking around inside a living ship.
Aeryn: You have nothing similar in your culture?
John: Well, Jonah and the whale, but no contemporary parallels. Except maybe the horse and rider.
Aeryn: Rider? The horse is a beast of burden?
John: Yeah. Not as large or sophisticated as Moya here, but kinda similar. Loyal and intelligent.
Aeryn: That you capture and make work for you.
John: Yeah, but we love them, too.
Aeryn: You love what you enslave?
John: We don't enslave them, all right? We ... Fine, we enslave them.

Now, that's sharp writing. The rest of the ep was hard to follow, but this one bit of writing interested me enough that I watched a "Farscape marathon", and that hooked me for good. And FS really was good for the first season, and much of the second, and flashes thereafter.

For BSG, I liked the miniseries enough to set it up to record. I missed "33". I watched "Water" and liked it, but I was not compelled. Then I get to this sequence in "Act of Contrition" that I just adored.

The President is talking to a doctor; she's got breast cancer. He asks her why she didn't get an examination over the last five years - I'm getting preachy modern health-fascism vibes here, yuck - then she comes back with that's not your business. Woohoo! Then he lights up a cigarette. !!! On a TV show made in the last ten-twenty years, and scifi no less, a cigarette! She looks at this somewhat aghast, and asks "do you mind", and he says, "yes I do mind" and keeps right on smoking! National TV! Then they talk about possible treatment, clearly not with a very good prognosis. She wants to explore "alternate treatments", his take (not knowing she has a good reason for this), is "oh you're one of those people". He suggests, "prayer", she says "funny", all very fast. Then they discuss a technobabbled alternate therapy - 'marsala root' or whatever. He agrees to try to help her. He snubs his cigarette and starts to leave, but then tells her with great sympathy: "seriously: you should consider prayer". We get an ambiguous reaction shot from her and end of scene.

Wow. Politically incorrect in three different ways, but very real, and nothing like I'd expect to see on TV, scifi or not.