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10 Reasons Why Battlestar Glactica Remains Bingeworthy On Fans’ Lists

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In 2003, when the Battlestar Galactica Miniseries aired for the first time, Walter White had yet to mix his first batch of meth, Don Draper hadn’t ruined any of his wives or childrens’ lives and Netflix didn’t have one original series to its name. Friends was still on the air! In other words, it was a different viewing landscape, with peak TV still on the horizon and (gasp) nothing to stream. And so almost 15 years and who knows how many excellent dramas and dramedys and anthology series later, the question is what does Battlestar still have to offer us? When it premiered, it seemed to be a show for nerds – the spaceships and robots and Syfy channel logo in the corner gave that away. And during the years it was on, nerds (or scifi aficionados, if you like) flocked to it. But these days the internet has made us all nerds – nerds who argue online about the Twin Peaks reboot and listen to all of Chris Harwick’s seven podcasts. So now that TV is so much better and we are too (obviously) the question is, do we still need Battlestar – is it still worth revisiting? My answer: Abso-fracking-lutely. And here’s why:

  1. It’s about politics

Recently a friend told me she was 10 minutes into a conversation with a random Lyft driver – they were casually chatting about the Senate’s use of the nuclear option and whether or not it was worth it to filibuster a super majority – when she realized how weird the whole thing would have sounded to her a few years ago. But not in 2017. Politics isn’t just what we’re talking about it, it’s what’s on our minds and what we’re spending our free time trying to change. Enter Battlestar Galactica, a show in which almost every episode there’s political scheming, power struggles and showdowns between rival factions. And the political world of Battlestar isn’t just the volleying of high-minded ideas. On the show there are real world consequences – often the loss of precious human life – that result from the words politicians say and the decisions they make.


2. It’s about A.I.

It’s not that our robot overlords are coming – they’re here you guys. If the dog in that gif could speak, he’d be saying “This is my new master.  Eff you Sylvia, and all those sweaters you made me wear.” So in an age when we should really start thinking about the range of ethical issues surrounding the advent of artificial intelligence (not to mention whether they’re on Tinder already), Battlestar can serve as a guide and a big red flag of what mostly NOT to do. You know, don’t get enslaved by the race of robots you engineer to be your servants, don’t get complacent when they leave behind the planet they’ve been fighting you over for years cause they’re probably just getting read to bomb the shit out of you, don’t insult them by calling them Toasters… just the basic stuff. The biggest takeaway from human/cylon dynamic on Battlestar is that if we create new technologies with forethought and caution, we might manage to avoid the total destruction of our race. Which brings me to..

  1. It’s about the end of the world 

While I understand that on a daily basis we have to act like it’s all good in the neighborhood, let’s just acknowledge here that at any given moment there’s a host of volatile factors that could come together to wipe us all off the face of the planet. There, I feel better, don’t you? But whether it’s a tweet fight between Donny and Kim Jong Un that does us in or you just happen to be one of the people the Rock doesn’t come to save in the event of a natural disaster, it really does feel like the apocalypse is especially nigh. And if you’ve watched even the first 20 minutes of Battlestar, that feeling will be familiar to you, because that’s how THE ENTIRE SERIES STARTS: worlds, not just one world, blown to smithereens, whole cities lost and centers of power reduced to rubble. And the 70+ episodes that follow are an in-depth examination into how we got to that point (possibly helpful) and how to carry on from there (most likely crucial).

  1. It’s about having empathy for the “other”

Some scifi shows give you baddies that look like day old meatloaf with arms, tell you they’re pure evil and let you cheer as the heroes exterminate them one by one until they’re entire race is extinct. It’s the easy path to a feeling of satisfaction and moral superiority. Battlestar Galactica, on the other hand, gives you a race of advanced AI that we are responsible for creating, puts human faces on them and presents them as both calculating purveyors of genocide and fervent believers looking for love and their place in the universe. You will find yourself siding with them against the awful humans, and against everything you thought possible. And once you have that moment where your favorite character from the past 10 episodes is revealed to be a cylon, you’ll realize you can’t even trust yourself to know who to hate – and that’s kind of the whole point.

  1. It’s the ultimate binge

If you have the willpower to start Battlestar Galactica and not be immediately sucked into binging the entire series, well that’s how we know you’re a cyclon. When I saw the Portlandia sketch that showcased how a mild-mannered couple might have their lives hijacked by an addiction to the series, it was all too real. “You’d know who’d never call? Starbuck!” is something I swear I said to my husband during our great Battlestar binge of 2013. And notice that Carrie and Fred are putting physical discs in an actual DVD player. Weird, right? It’s notable that people were binging Battlestar when it still took that much effort to watch one episode after another. Before it was socially acceptable to watch entire seasons of shows in one couch-sitting, people binged Battlestar because it was too good not to.

  1. It’s a pop culture touchstone

In addition to its appearance in that brilliant episode of Portlandia – and in case you haven’t seen it all, that sketch goes on for several parts and features some really special guests – Battlestar has made its mark on the pop culture landscape far and wide. We all know it’s one of Dwight Schrutes favorite things (only bears and beets are better) and the show is regularly referenced on The Big Bang Theory (Katee Sackhoff even stops by for a visit). Basically other shows know they can mention Battlestar as a short-hand for hardcore nerdom. Current shows like Humans, The Expanse and The 100 owe a lot to the new ground it broke as a serious drama with a science fiction setting. It’s featured on myriad “Top Television” lists and has been highly praised by other genre masters like Stephen King and Joss Whedon. In a way, BSG laid the foundation for how we would come to relate to TV and movies in the decades ahead (binging them, rewatching them, obsessively discussing them, ending relationships over them) – don’t show up to a pop culture fight without it in your arsenal.

  1. Its got strong female characters
    The fact that one of the best characters in BSG – the reckless, charming fighter pilot with the call sign Starbuck – was written for the reboot as a female (after having been played by a man in the original series from the 70s) says a lot about the show’s embrace of a feminist perspective. It’s take is far from perfect, and critics have rightly pointed out its failings when it comes to gender equity, the most glaring of which is probably the hypersexualization of many of the female leads. But for me the saving grace is the depth it imbues in all its characters, male and female. Yes, some of the women are sexy and sexual, but they are never just that. They are also intelligent and/or naive, scheming and/or brave. They are competent at their jobs, but fallible as people, and never presented as less than the equally flawed male characters. And I know if Kara Thrace and Lara Rosalind become role models for the next generation of young women looking to become warriors and world leaders, I’m certainly ok with that.

    1. Its got a big reveal

    I have a TV related theory that ever since the awful ending of Lost crushed our belief that a show can be built around a satisfying twist, our collective consciousness just hasn’t recovered. So we salve our wounds with shocking deaths on Game of Thrones (which have become less shocking since some people won’t stay dead..) and even ruin decent twists by way of the internet (ahem, Westworld) before the showrunners get a chance to go “ta-da”. That’s why it’s such a thrill to see the identity of the 12 cylon models (and especially of the final five) unveiled over the course of the entire Battlestar series. Some of the reveals are more rewarding (and make more sense) than others, but they all pay off. And as a bonus, the shocking mystery of “who’s a cylon” that drives so much of the show is something you can threaten to spoil for all your friends who aren’t watching it as fast as you.

    1. There’s a really fun board game based on the show.

    I own it (and one of the expansion packs) and you’re all welcome to come over any time to play. Seriously, one of the best way to spend 5 hours of your life at a time.

    1. It’s about what make us human

    Riddle me this – what other TELEVISION SHOW has had its cast visit the actual IRL United Nation to talk about human rights issues? None that I know, though I really didn’t research it that hard. But I know that the cast of Battlestar did do that and that Edward James Olmos gave a speech about how we are all members of one human race and led the entire auditorium in a chant of “So Say We All,” and no, you’re crying just thinking about it. The ultimate reason this show is now and always will be relevant is that it does not just pay lip-service to some high-minded ideals, it does the work of character and plot development to force its viewers to consider the questions that are the essence of our humanity. The very first line spoken in the show is Number Six leaning over to ask a human: “Are you alive?” And Battlestar Galactica answers, yes, we are and here’s how we prove it – here’s what we are living for. So the justification for our very existence serves as the stakes for this, one of the best shows ever created.

     

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Scrubs Reunion: The Band Gets Back Together

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Fans of the beloved medical comedy series Scrubs were recently treated to a thrilling surprise when John C. McGinley, who portrayed the iconic Dr. Perry Cox, dropped a photo on Twitter hinting at a potential reunion project. The image, showing McGinley alongside his former co-stars, sparked a wave of excitement and speculation among fans who have been longing for more adventures with the beloved Sacred Heart Hospital staff.

While details about the reunion project are still scarce, the mere possibility of seeing the gang back together again has sent waves of nostalgia through fans who fondly remember the show’s original run from 2001 to 2010. Scrubs was not just a sitcom; it was a heartfelt exploration of friendship, love, and the chaotic world of medicine, all wrapped up in a quirky and often hilarious package.

At the heart of the show was the bromance between JD (played by Zach Braff) and Turk (played by Donald Faison), whose antics and deep bond served as the emotional anchor for the series. Their dynamic, along with the sage wisdom (and relentless sarcasm) of Dr. Cox, provided viewers with memorable moments that have stood the test of time.

As we eagerly await more news about the Scrubs reunion project, one thing is for sure: it’s time to dust off those old DVDs, rewatch our favorite episodes, and get ready to welcome back our favorite gang of doctors, nurses, and janitors for what promises to be a memorable reunion.

But Scrubs was more than just its main characters. The supporting cast, including the eccentric Janitor (played by Neil Flynn), the neurotic Elliot (played by Sarah Chalke), and the wise-cracking nurse Carla (played by Judy Reyes), each brought their own unique flavor to the show, creating a rich tapestry of characters that fans grew to love.

While the photo shared by McGinley has fueled speculation about what the reunion project might entail, whether it’s a one-off special, a new season, or something else entirely, one thing is certain: fans are eagerly awaiting any opportunity to dive back into the world of Sacred Heart Hospital.

In an age where reboots and revivals are commonplace, Scrubs stands out as a series that has the potential to recapture the magic that made it a fan favorite in the first place. With its blend of humor, heart, and unforgettable characters, a reunion project has the opportunity to not only satisfy longtime fans but also introduce a new generation to the joys of life at Sacred Heart.

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WonderCon 2024:Day One

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Dune Part Two: The Lisan Al Gaib comes for you!

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Welcome back to our struggle for control of the known universe already in progress, the continuation of the journey of Paul Atreides from exile to Emperor, Dune Part Two

So when we last left our intrepid if dubious heroes, House Atreides had been betrayed and virtually destroyed, by a combination of House Harkonnens surprise attacks and the added treachery of Emperor Shaddam and his Sardaukar. Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet), the last surviving heir (so far) of House Atreides and his mother Jessica, have taken refuge on the desert planet of Arrakis amongst the indigenous Fremen, and as far as most are aware, the other remnants of House Atreides are dead as well. And here is where we catch up with everyone, as the struggle for Atreides emergence and dominance begins in earnest! 

The Emperor’s daughter Princess Irulan (Florence Pugh) is known for her many skills, but her copious note-taking and writings on the large events shaping her world come to the forefront as she takes counsel with her father amidst games of chance on their homeworld. Her life is one of luxury and privilege but alas, Irulan is a trained Bene Gesserit and is well aware that in all likelihood, she will be used as a pawn in the marriage games empires have to go through. Bet she never imagined it could be to a House everyone swore had been utterly destroyed. 

Meanwhile, on Arrakis, Paul is trying to integrate himself into the Fremen way of life, which is admittedly far different from the life he led back on the Atreides homeworld of Caladan. (If nothing else, Caladan has vast oceans.) The Fremen are fiercely independent, gloriously strong fighters, survivors who dare to ride and revere the giant sandworms that inhabit their planet that they call Shai-Hulud, and rightfully distrustful of outsiders. After all, the previous stewardship of Arrakis belonged to House Harkonnen, known for their cruelty and glee at hunting Fremen and torturing their victims, sometimes for weeks at a time. But Paul won his and Jessicas way into the Fremen by fair combat against Jamis, and if nothing else, the Fremen are firm in their beliefs of the old ways. 

Or rather, the elder Fremen are, most particularly the famed Fedaykin fighter and Naib (leader) of Sietch Tabr Stilgar (Javier Bardem) is adamant in his unshakable belief that Paul is the foretold Lisan Al Gaib, the Voice from the Outer World, that will lead the Fremen to peace and paradise. Stilgar’s steadfast belief in Paul’s potential only grows, and he manages with just that to convince a great many of the other Fremen elders. The younger generation of Fremen however, of which Paul’s beloved Chani (Zendaya) is a part, generally scoff at the legends of otherworldly prophets and Arrakis as a fabled green, wet heaven. In the beginning, Paul himself swears he doesn’t want to be the Messiah, only a Fremen fighter amongst the rest of them, hundreds of years of the Missionaria Protectiva, the Bene Gesserit practice of spreading useful religious propaganda as seeds on various planets, is working double-time against him. It doesn’t help that Paul’s mother Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) is expounding on that myth as much as she possibly can. 

And why would she do that? Survival yes, but also, Jessica is a thoroughly trained Bene Gesserit and knows of plans within plans within plans. Jessica also has many secrets of her own, and one very important one happens to be that she’s pregnant with Paul’s sister. The Bene Gesserit bodily control may be something out of legend, but even Jessica, possibly Reverend Mother Mohiam’s best and most fractious student, will have trouble with the trial the Fremen are insisting she go through to become truly one of them. The Reverend Mother equivalent of Sietch Tabr, known as their Sayyadina, is old and dying, and the Fremen have to have a Reverend Mother. Jessica tells Paul this much and explains that each culture is different in their trial to become a Reverend Mother, so she honestly doesn’t know what to expect. The reality happens to be worse than she could’ve imagined – Jessica must drink the Water of Life, a deadly poison that comes from Shai-Hulud (sort of), and come out the other side of it. And Jessica manages to do it, barely, with almost all of the consequences going to the poor fetus in her womb, the girl that will grow to become Alia Atreides, an insane legend in her own right. But for now, the unnamed fetus is awake and aware and full of the memories of generations of Bene Gesserit women that came before her – before she was even born

Paul participates in razzia raids amongst the Fremen as they work to take out the spice mining operations of the Harkonnens, immerses himself in the vastly different desert culture of his chosen people, and perhaps most importantly, his romance with his beloved Chani only grows stronger. After declaring his desire to join the fierce fighter elites amongst the Fremen known as Fedaykin, Paul is told by Stilgar that he must summon and ride one of the giant sandworms, the embodiment of Shai-Hulud where the Fremen get their terrible tooth Crysknives from. And after much sendup, in a glorious scene of blinding sand and huge monstrous killer worm-riding, Paul is triumphant and riding atop the sacred creature, his Maker hooks set properly to control the great beast, waving at great distance to his fellow Fremen as Chani looks on in bemusement. 

But that’s all external, and inside Paul is beginning to become divided on what he wants to do. As Jessica pushes the Protectiva hard amongst the women and priestesses of the Fremen, she is also pushing her son to become much larger than he ever wanted to be, if nothing else a conqueror can take revenge for the destruction of House Atreides and the death of her beloved Duke Leto. Paul may have earned his place amongst the Fremen and been given new names – Usul, meaning the strength of the base of the pillar, as his private name within the Sietch; and Muad’Dib, from the small mouse survivor of the desert, well versed in desert ways, called ‘Instructor-of-Boys’ in Fremen legend, as his open-use name – but now everyone wants Paul to be something greater, and potentially more destructive, than what he currently is. It only gets worse when Paul begins to suffer prophetic dreams, and visions when he’s awake, prodding him further to his destiny as an epic conqueror of worlds. Nothing can be done for it, Paul convinces himself that he must take the Water of Life himself, to awaken the sleeping prophet inside himself, and allow him to hopefully See a path through the future. 

The problem with that plan, is that Bene Gesserit are almost exclusively all women, and only they are supposed to know how to transmute poisons internally, along with all sorts of other “witchcraft”. But Jessica has been training Paul in forbidden Bene Gesserit ways all his life, and as much as Paul might rail and even quail against it, there is no denying his incoming destiny, crushing any resistance he may have with all the force of a giant sandworm hunting a spice blow. And even when Paul has finally given in and taken the cursed substance almost mockingly called the Water of Life, it falls to another strong and prophetic in her right female in his life, his beloved Chani, to save him from himself. But even Chani can’t stop Paul’s destructive destiny as the conqueror of the known worlds, guilty of slaying millions upon millions of people in his quest for vengeance, thinly disguised as peace. 

Over on the Harkonnen homeworld of Geidi Prime, “Beast” Rabban (Dave Bautista) is disgusted and enraged at the continuing Fremen raids against the Harkonnens on Arrakis, and terrified of what his uncle the notoriously cruel Baron Harkonnen (Stellan Skarsgard), will do to him in response. The Baron’s nephew Feyd-Rautha (Austin Butler), heir apparent or na-Baron to House Harkonnen, demonstrates his blood-inborn savagery in a slaughter of the remnants of House Atreides gladiator-style, as his birthday celebration. Pleased with the spectacle, the Baron commands Feyd-Rautha to take control of the fight against this Fremen rebel known as Muad’dib, as Rabban is proving himself more and more useless. And any tool or toy that the Baron finds broken or unusable, is destroyed before being discarded. 

As the legend of Muad’dib grows off Arrakis and circulates among the Imperial worlds, the Emperor grinds his teeth in frustration and the Bene Gesserit, led by Reverend Mother Mohiam (Charlotte Rampling) as the Emperor’s Truthsayer, begin pushing forward their plots and machinations. Lady Margot Fenring (Lea Seydoux), a criminally underused character in this respect, demonstrates her willingness to be a pawn in Bene Gesserit machinations, but never forget, strong Bene Gesserit women have been breaking their own rules for generations. Just look at what Jessica did. 

As the raids and rebellion on Arrakis continue, both the Emperor and the Baron become more and more desperate, sending in mercenaries and smugglers in the hopes they might have more luck. And aboard one of those smuggler’s vessels happens to be an old hand at being a smuggler himself, the warrior troubadour with the scarred face given him by “Beast” Rabban himself, Gurney Halleck (Josh Brolin). Reunited with his beloved Duke’s only son, Gurney finds himself swept up in the legend of Muad’dib in the making along with everyone else, though at least from Gurney’s point of view, Paul is using the messianic angle to take revenge for House Atreides. 

Finally, in an act of what could be considered the ultimate in arrogance, Emperor Shaddam Corrino himself comes to Arrakis, along with Princess Irulan and many others of his Court, the Baron, and Feyd-Rautha in tow as well, to crush this upstart Muad’dib and his Fremen warriors. Sadly for all that the powerhouse actor Christopher Walken plays him, Emperor Shaddam Corrino is shown as a doddering old man, cowed in the face of Muad’dib’s overwhelming vitality and growing-ever-stronger legend. And there is where we will end the review, for the final confrontation between all key players in the Known Universe is full of spoilers and derivations from the original opus of Frank Herbert’s novel Dune

For those of you who stuck around long enough to get to the end, after all, Dune Part Two is almost three hours long itself, if you are fans of the original novel and the zany Lynchian masterpiece that was the first Dune film, you may be disappointed or even angered at the changes made to the story for the climactic end scenes. Director Villenuve has an eye for making grand epic scenes like Paul’s sandworm ride but can be a bit scattered when it comes to piecing the story together with all the key players needing to be involved in a way that can be understood by any layman. Dune in any form is a rich, vast universe of storytelling, and even an almost three-hour-long sequel simply can’t cover every last bit that’s in the novels. But if nothing else, the film is an overwhelming feast for the eyes and should bring a whole new legion of fans to the many worlds contained within Dune

If you want to dive further into the Dune-iverse, do yourself a favor and read the Dune prequel books written by Herbert Jr. and Kevin J. Anderson. Until then, dive into the sands of Arrakis along with Shai-Hulud and scream vengeance to the skies with Paul Muad’dib Atreides in Dune Part Two, in theaters now! 

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