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Thursday, May 21, 2009

To jump FTL or not

There's a line in The Matrix Reloaded between the Oracle and Neo: "[Y]ou've already made the choice. Now you have to understand it." In my case, I'm attempting to understand why I keep thinking (and then debunking) why I should buy the entire re-imagined Battlestar Galactica box set on Blu-Ray when it comes out at the end of July. Yes, these sorts of things do rattle in my mind, along with plenty of other things that have nothing to do with DVDs, books, and bands.

Reasons not to buy:
--It's pricey: $244 for the whole thing. Even though I'm not planning any major purchases or even a vacation this year, I can handle this. But, to no surprise to those that know me, I overthink a lot when it comes to money. (Combine that statement with pretty much everything else in my life.)
--Overall, I dig the show, but there are a number of episodes (and moments in a number of more episodes) where I just groan. Whether it's an issue of spotting which major event from history is being homaged or if it's a lot of military macho attitude or jargon, I can't say that's the stuff that really affects me in a deep way. I'm just not really into politics or history.
--Even though I can handle watching the Saw movies and The Silence of the Lambs, I'm not a huge fan of watching the scenes where major surgery is being performed. People who have seen the show know what I'm talking about, but in case you haven't, there's open-chest surgery, intense cancer treatment, and a leg amputation for starters.
--While the box set's listing is for the "entire series," it's technically not true: a one-off entitled The Plan is set to come out this fall on SciFi Channel. Covering events not shown in the show but alluded to in episodes, The Plan will be a lot like the Razor one-off. Maybe there might be a double-dip re-release that adds The Plan to the "Complete Series"?

Reasons to buy:
--Even though I will always hold Star Wars in the highest regard for sci-fi, BSG is probably one of the best sci-fi TV series I've ever seen. The writing, acting, and directing are all top-notch, and are worth watching over and over again. And Ronald D. Moore's commentary tracks are great as well.
--The entire Season 4.5 will come out the same day as the Complete Series set. Due to the lack of (legal) availability of Season 4.5's episodes on the Internet, I missed a couple of episodes between 4.0's cliffhanger ending and the final four episodes. So I have yet to see the coup that ends up killing a lot of people, and the crucial backstory episode of the Final Five Cylons, "No Exit." (I read detailed plot descriptions of them before I watched the final four episodes, but I'd like to actually see the episodes.)
--Once you find out who four of the Final Five Cylons are, all of the previous episodes have different meanings and more depth. So there's a big reason to rewatch the entire series and have different interpretations.
--The series does not end on a cheat or a whimper. No screen-to-black. No "it was all a dream." No huge cliffhanger. Just a very satisfying conclusion. Plus, while there are a number of episodes that are very stand-alone and predictable, there are a number of other ones that throw out the rulebook (in a good way) of making an effective episode. ("Unfinished Business" is a great example of this.)
--And with the price, we're talking four entire seasons, along with the original pilot/miniseries and Razor, loaded with engaging extras like commentary tracks and behind-the-scenes stuff that goes beyond fluffy EPK stuff.
--It's Blu-Ray, damn it! The best visual quality there is, until the next one comes along and we all have to rebuy everything.

So those are factors I'm all considering. And yes, I actually spend a lot of time thinking about all this stuff when usually a simple yes or no would suffice. But I can't look at life like that.

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