Sunday, March 25, 2007


Just watched the series finale of Rome and the season closer (2nd half of a two-partner) of Battlestar Gallactica, and the common feeling to both is that times are changing. Big change.

The HBO series has been two extremely fast-moving seasons of reimagined history, and it sent me both back to Wikipedia repeatedly to see what, I guess, really happened, and back into my child brain when I actually thought about how things were, what it must have been to live at this time or that place. I'm guessing not quite as designed as the Rome world. I wonder if the players were more brutal in their everyday lives, their mores. I imagine they all spoke Latin.

I enjoyed the show but they did the right thing since it was reportedly too expensive to renew, and gave a lot of closure at the end. Best of us, they made it clear they knew who was the true hero of the series.

Battlestar is just such an anomaly, a full-season show (at least 20 episodes, like the old days) without any bad episodes. There may be some that one constituency likes better than some others, but the story is sprawling enough without ever really letting up the tension for very long. And the last five minutes of the season finale flipped the whole show around four different ways including two huge ones -- the Final Five (okay, 4/5 but Baltar obviously a leading candidate for #5) and the Road to Earth.

I don't know if the goal is to keep the show going forever, or if an HBO-type series end date is planned. The world of the show is somewhat enclosed compared with, say, the Star Trek universe where literally anything can happen and has. Battlestar's strength is its focus on the war between the Cylons and this pack of last known human beings in the universe, on a high-speed chase to find the Earth home of mythology. So both of the twists make it seem like you could climax the series over a reasonably generous final two seasons.

In two weeks the final season of The Sopranos begins, a 10-episode closer. It'll be interesting to see how they handle it, and I can't wait to have that cast in my living room again. But most of all, it'll be the end of the big one, the one that really ignited this new era of franker dramatic television.

Most of all, it'll be change. More plotlines that have run their course. And maybe that's the zeitgeist right now; a need for renewal, a thirst for new direction.

Something in the air......?

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