China is Shooting Down Satellites and You Still Won't Watch Battlestar Galactica

The best show on television, Battlestar Galactica, is back on the Sci Fi channel tonight - after being off for months - and you still won't watch it, because it's called Battlestar Galactica and it's on the Sci Fi channel.

I know, it's a ridiculous name. But you're only hurting yourself. We went through this same thing with the Dixie Chicks. You were open to "roots music" but not (god help us) "Dixie" (for chrissakes) "Chicks." It was all in the name. They might as well have been the Segregation Forever Singers or Ted Nugent and the Hee Haw Honeys. So you missed out. And that meant you wasted a lot of time with Allison Moorer and the "O Brother Where Art Thou" soundtrack and who's sorry now?

Snob. I don't know why I even talk to y'all.

Forget supporting Natalie Maines' politics. Listen to her sing. This is going to sound a little elitist, but if you can sing like that, you're allowed to do anything you want.

Where was I?

Oh, right. Battlestar Galactica and the Chinese.

The first step to enjoying science fiction is - well, the first step is getting used to the worst writing on earth -- but the second step to enjoying science fiction is getting past the titles.

And it's worth doing. Because we're living in a science fiction world.

We should have seen China's anti-satellite program coming, but the only venue where it was being discussed was You Only Live Twice.

There was this boring movie where this sonorous blowhard said the ice caps were melting, but it was called Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, so no one paid any attention.

What if a cowardly dickweed with a messiah complex got to be President and started World War Three? Don't say The Dead Zone didn't warn you.

In On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Q is experimenting with radioactive lint. Now spies are running around London, killing each other with teeny tiny polonium specks.

I could go on, but I'm late for the convention and my mom's still sewing my costume.

And this isn't about me, anyway. This is about you. Snooty.

Battlestar Galactica is the best show on television, but you're not watching it just because it has robots in it. Yet you'll still watch Desperate Housewives. Like Nicollette Sheridan isn't more machine than man.

You owe it to yourself to get past the spaceships and the cyborgs. And not just because Battlestar Galactica deals intelligently with Big Issues. (I never quite understood that as an endorsement of something dull, anyway. It's like saying eat this poison, there's vitamins in it.)

We've tried that. We've tried telling you how intense it is, and how good the writing is, and how it's full of complex, flawed characters doing touching, unexpected, hard, heroic things. We've tried telling you it's all a metaphor for the war, and religious extremism, and civil rights and stuff. But it's not working. Battlestar Galactica's ratings seem to slide the more good press it gets.

It won a Peabody Award, and all that did was make you think it wasn't just nerdy, it was dull, too.

You've got to get past that. And here's the real reason you owe it to yourself it to at least try Battlestar Galactica: For the pure pleasure in watching certain actors act.

You like Mary McDonnell, right? Passion Fish... come on... you like Mary McDonnell. And Dean Stockwell... Paris, Texas... you like Dean Stockwell. Edward James Olmos? Obviously a lunatic. But Stand and Deliver? You wouldn't even be a liberal at all if you didn't like Stand and Deliver... so admit it... you like Edward James Olmos...

Amanda Plummer? She's only shown up once, fleetingly. But if there's one rule I live my life by, it's you've got to be on constant guard for Amanda Plummer.

(Or is it constant guard against Amanda Plummer? Either way.)

Jamie Bamber and James Callis. (Okay, yes, they do play characters named Captain Apollo and Dr. Gaius Baltar. Grow up.) But they're also both graduates of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. And I know LAMDA impresses you because you rubbed my nose in it that night the new Beaujolais came out, and I got it mixed up with RADA. Oh, I guess you really got me that time. And what if I did call Peter Brook Peter Hall? I was confused by how boring your Allison Moorer music was.

Try Battlestar Galactica for the acting. You'll stay for the story and everything else. And if there's some character you don't like, don't worry. They'll kill them.

If you still can't handle watching a show set on a spaceship, try this: Pretend it's a David Lynch movie, and they've really all had head injuries in a car accident, and they're only imagining they're on a spaceship.

You'll thank me later.

At the convention.