Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Final 10

On January 16th, Battlestar Galactica will return for its final ten episodes ever. On March 20th, it will bow out gracefully, on its own terms which is what every great show hopes for. As of Friday, it has been 217 days since the last new episode. Somehow, through all of that, I have been able to remain spoiler free. Rumor has it we're supposed to find out who the 12th and final cylon is extremely early in the ten episodes but that's all I know. Apparently, someone leaked the information of who that final cylon is and I have to say: Shame on the people who can't wait through (at most) 10 episodes to find out something we've been waiting to know for what feels like forever. I've been guilty of the occasional spoiler, and I do know the saying about casting stones. At this point though, googling who the final cylon is will feel like cheating. It's one of the only times I can remember that I've been so adamant about staying spoiler free. (The only other show I'm like this with is LOST; it's so much fun to speculate theories and then slowly figure out which ones are right and which are wrong.)

But enough about how I feel regarding spoilers. No one came here for that; no...I have a confession to make. A confession, then a list of the 10 episodes you have to watch between now and Friday. My confession is this: Any time I tell people that I watch BSG or that I'm a fan, I preface with: "I know it's sci-fi but..."
Why, my dear readers, would I ever feel like I have to defend such an amazing television show? It might stem from how I originally felt about the show before I'd ever watched an episode: that sci-fi immediately equaled geeks who'd previously been Star Trek fanatics and a love for all things Star Wars. I definitely don't fit into that mold. I only know enough about Star Trek to recognize important moments in television history (the first interracial kiss on screen!) and Star Wars...well, that's right over my head. But with Battlestar Galactica, I strongly feel that if people would just give it a chance, they'd realize it was so much more than sci-fi. It's life and death and war and love. It's an amazing allegory for the state of the world and before people judge it, they should see an episode. Unfortunately, there is a bias against sci-fi, not just among my peers, but on the award show front as well - but that's a whole other post.
And now, the 10 episodes you have to watch before the Friday!
33 - This is the episode that I use to hook people on the show. It has worked 9 times out of 10. The only reason I make it a must see is because it not only gives you a good feel for what happens on the show without having to make a newbie sit through the two hour mini-series, it also gives you the raw emotion and downright amazing acting from all of the characters. To get back into the feel of Galactica, and to get your adrenaline pumping, watch this episode.
Resistance - Everything seems to be going to hell in a hand basket after Adama's been shot and is in extremely critical condition. We also get a number on how many cylons are in the fleet - eight. This episode also served as the introduction of Anders. Get ready to bump that number up to nine.
Home Part 2 - For the first (but not the last) time, Adama goes to get his woman off of a planet. After recovering from his gunshot wound, he heads down to Kobol to tell Laura that he's sorry for throwing her in jail. And he also tries to choke Sharon to death since that was the Cylon model that tried to kill him. The map to Earth is also revealed, in a scene that still gives me goosebumbs.
Resurrection Ship Part 2 - After the Pegasus, another battlestar, was found with the tough as nails Admiral Cain in charge, Adama and crew slowly realized that Cain was a killer. Hell bent on revenge against the cylons, she doesn't give two cents about the survival of the human race. Laura tells Bill that he has to assassinate Cain, while Cain comes up with a similar plan to assassinate Bill. Neither plan is carried out, and the cylon Cain's crew had been torturing eventually shoots and kills the Admiral. Laura and Bill finally kiss after she promotes him to the Admiral position. (Literally?)
Exodus Part 2 - For the second time on the show, Adama is going to get his woman. Okay, so he's going back for the rest of humanity too, but the rescue scene from New Caprica ranks as one of the best scenes in this show. Back story: Under the reign of President Baltar, a planet is found and humanity attempts to colonize. A year later the cylons find them and the planet turns into one big detention camp. The reuniting of the fleet is touching, though I still feel a little let down that there was no reunion scene between Adama and Roslin.
Unfinished Business - Nothing really happened plot wise; instead we go back to that time on New Caprica before the cylons came back. Adama with his pornstache got high with Laura as they cuddled under the stars, Lee and Kara slept together and screamed their love to the world, then Kara went off and married Anders. What the frak? All of this shown to us in flashback as everyone releases some tension in the boxing ring of Galactica.
Taking a Break From all Your Worries - Or, The Episode Where Laura Lost Her Mind on Gaius Baltar. Fed up with the man on a human level, she threatens to airlock him, then with the help of Cottle and Adama, attempts torture to get the information she's wanting regarding his part in the destruction of the Colonies. When all is said and done, as Laura lays in the Admiral's quarters, they decide that ultimately, they have to give the man a fair trial for crimes committed against humanity.
Crossroads Part 2 - Gaius gets a trial and is eventually found not guilty. Not innocent though, mind you. Starbuck was dead and now she's alive again, Laura's cancer is back, and Tigh, Tory, Chief and Anders are all revealed to be Cylons.
(This is where it gets kind of hard. I know that there were some amazing moments in the first part of season 4, but this is a top 10 list. And yes, I totally picked one of these because of my complete love of Adama and Laura.)
The Hub - Laura and Gaius plus some crew members are stuck on a cylon base star after the Hybrid jumps away from Galactica. Laura and Gaius try to get the Hybrid to stop jumping in a rare comedic display. When Gaius is hurt, he finally admits to Laura that he helped the Cylons in the initial attack on the Colonies and she almost lets him die. That is until, through a series of internal dialogues she realizes that she just can't let the man die. She also realizes that she loves Adama, and when he goes to get his woman (for the third time on this show!) she finally tells him so. 'Shippers everywhere rejoice. (But can we get a kiss?)
Revelations - Years of searching for Earth has come down to this: Caprica Six is pregnant and Tigh is the baby daddy. When Adama finds out that his best friend for decades is a Toaster, there is emotional fall out. Lee has been President due to Laura's absence and nearly airlocks Tigh, Anders and Chief, until Starbuck saves the day with the coordinates to Earth. The cylons and humans make a shaky agreement not to kill one another anymore and there is much rejoicing as they all head down to the planet that is to be their salvation...

...and it's a total nuclear wasteland. Frak.
What happens next?! Who is the 12th Cylon?! What happened to Earth?! Questions will be answered as we watch our show take its final curtain call starting this Friday, January 16th at 10/9 central. I leave you all with this quote about the upcoming episodes:
"I'm resigned to the fact that the final Cylon will be controversial. Some people will love the choice, some will really hate it. And I can live with that. But the revelation itself doesn't answer every question. The viewers still won't know what the Final Five's relationship is to the other Cylons or to the mythology of the show." - Ron Moore in the January 12-25 issue of TV Guide.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Being in the business of TV (okay wanting to be in the business of TV.), I felt that I should bring you all the Golden Globe and Screen Actor’s Guild nominations as well as my predictions. And as usual (since 2004) here is my rant at both panels: You suck for not including Battlestar Galactica, Edward James Olmos, or Mary McDonnell in any way, shape, or form.

That rant gets shorter each year but I suppose there’s no accounting for taste, right? Enough about my personal bias, here are your nominations, and my predictions are in bold. Also, I only care about TV related categories, so nothing else has been included.

The Screen Actor’s Guild Awards

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series

Boston Legal (ABC)
House (FOX)
Mad Men (AMC)
The Closer (TNT)

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series

30 Rock (NBC)
Desperate Housewives (ABC)
Entourage (HBO)
The Office (NBC)
Weeds (Showtime)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series

Michael C. Hall – Dexter Morgan; Dexter (SHOWTIME)
Jon Hamm – Don Draper; Mad Men (AMC)
Hugh Laurie – House; House (FOX)
William Shatner – Denny Crane; Boston Legal (ABC)
James Spader – Alan Shore; Boston Legal (ABC)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series

Sally Field – Nora Walker; Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
Mariska Hargitay – Olivia Benson; Law & Order: SVU (NBC)
Holly Hunter – Grace Hanadarko; Saving Grace (TNT)
Elisabeth Moss – Peggy Olson; Mad Men (AMC)
Kyra Sedgwick – Brenda Johnson; The Closer (TNT)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series

Alec Baldwin – Jack Donaghy; 30 Rock (NBC)
Steve Carell – Michael Scott; The Office (NBC)
David Duchovny – Hank Moody; Californication (Showtime)
Jeremy Piven – Ari Gold; Entourage (HBO)
Tony Shalhoub – Adrian Monk; Monk (USA)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series

Christina Applegate – Samantha Newly; Samantha Who? (ABC)
America Ferrera – Betty Suarez; Ugly Betty (ABC)
Tina Fey – Liz Lemon; 30 Rock (NBC)
Mary-Louise Parker – Nancy Botwin; Weeds (Showtime)
Tracey Ullman – Various Characters; Tracey Ullman’s State of the Union (Showtime)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

Ralph Fiennes – Bernard Lafferty; Bernard and Doris (HBO)
Paul Giamatti – John Adams; John Adams (HBO)
Kevin Spacey – Ron Klain; Recount (HBO)
Kiefer Sutherland – Jack Bauer; 24 (FOX)
Tom Wilkinson – Benjamin Franklin; John Adams (HBO)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

Laura Dern – Katherine Harris; Recount (HBO)
Laura Linney – Abigail Adams; John Adams (HBO)
Shirley MacLaine – Coco Chanel; Coco Chanel (LIFETIME)
Phylicia Rashad – Lena Younger; A Raisin in the Sun (LIFETIME)
Susan Sarandon – Doris Duke; Bernard and Doris (HBO)

The Golden Globe Awards

Best Television Series - Drama

House (FOX)
In Treatment (HBO)
Mad Men (AMC)
True Blood (HBO)

Best Television Series – Comedy or Musical

30 Rock (NBC)
Californication (SHOWTIME)
Entourage (HBO)
The Office (NBC)
Weeds (Showtime)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama

Sally Field – Brothers & Sisters
Mariska Hargitay – Law & Order: SVU
January Jones – Mad Men
Anna Paquin - True Blood
Kyra Sedgwick – The Closer

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama

Gabriel Byrne – In Treatment
Michael C. Hall – Dexter
Jon Hamm – Mad Men
Hugh Laurie – House
Jonathan Rhys Meyers – The Tudors

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical

Christina Applegate – Samantha Who?
America Ferrera – Ugly Betty
Tina Fey – 30 Rock
Debra Messing – The Starter Wife
Mary-Louise Parker – Weeds

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical

Alec Baldwin – 30 Rock
Steve Carell – The Office
Kevin Connolly – Entourage
David Duchovny – Californication
Tony Shalhoub – Monk

Best Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television

A Raisin in the Sun (ABC)
Bernard and Doris (HBO)
Cranford (PBS)
John Adams (HBO)
Recount (HBO)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Miniseries or Motion Picture made for Television

Judi Dench – Cranford
Catherine Keener – An American Crime
Laura Linney – John Adams
Shirley MacLaine – Coco Chanel
Susan Sarandon – Bernard and Doris

Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture made for Television

Ralph Fiennes – Bernard and Doris
Paul Giamatti – John Adams
Kevin Spacey – Recount
Kiefer Sutherland – 24: Redemption
Tom Wilkinson – Recount

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture made for Television

Eileen Atkins – Cranford
Laura Dern – Recount
Melissa George – In Treatment
Rachel Griffiths – Brothers & Sisters
Dianne Wiest – In Treatment

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries, or Motion Picture made for Television

Neil Patrick Harris – How I Met Your Mother
Denis Leary – Recount
Jeremy Piven – Entourage
Blair Underwood – In Treatment
Tom Wilkinson – John Adams

There's an obvious bias here towards 30 Rock and Mad Men; feel free to let me know what your pick are!