We’re going to be doing something different this week, mainly because 1) I’m officially on vacation (whoo-hoo!) and 2) I haven’t been watching movies of late (but we’ll get back to that later this week).
As I’ve stated in other posts, I started watching “Battlestar Galactica” about five weeks ago. It has been one hell of a ride, and I can confirm that yes, this really, really is the best show on television. It’s not hype, it’s amazing. The “Battlestar” gang deserves every award made for TV (it won’t get them, but that’s beside the point).
But, I did not come here to praise “Battlestar Galactica,” or to bury it. Really, I’m writing about a larger issue; the value of speculation.
I have been living and breathing this show for five weeks, and it’s invaded my brain at every possible moment; I think about it, I write about it, it wakes me up from restless sleeps. I haven’t watched it, I’ve consumed it.
And hey, it hasn’t been a bad experience, although I do miss the sleep. But what hasn’t happened is much speculation.
I’ve been watching TV for coming on 20 years (!) now, and like most people, I’ve never liked commercials. I want to watch my shows with no breaks, dammit! Well, along comes DVDs, and I get my wish, for better or worse.
The better; a chance to watch shows, like “Battlestar Galactica,” that I missed in their original run; the chance to keep pristine copies of shows I love (no more snowy tapes for this woman); and the mega-ultra-super DVD invention, episode commentaries.
The worse; no commercial breaks. No hiatuses. No waiting.
Yeah, you heard me.
Sometimes it really does suck to get what you want. And on most shows on DVD, especially sitcoms, it doesn’t matter as much, so losing the breaks isn’t a total hang-up.
But with dramas, and more serial shows especially, the relentless pace of DVD robs the episode of its inherent drama, and the geek-outs of DVD viewing rob the show of its drama. No breaks, no chance for speculation, no wondering what will happen next. Why would you wonder when the next episode is a menu-click away? Why bother questioning when binge-watching and instant gratification are so much more satisfying? Why ask yourself what YOU thought about the episode, and where the series is headed, when the answers are already there?
Of course, as I wait until I can purchase the first half of season four, and then the long, seemingly endless stretch of time for “Battlestar Galactica” and “Lost” to return to the airwaves, I may change my mind again. But for now, I’m going to enjoy the wait, give my brain a rest, to sleep (hopefully), return to other interests and wonder where my newfound, beloved show will take me, where it will end, how I will feel saying goodbye.
And who that 12th Cylon is.