I threatened in an earlier post to blog more about Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I just re-watched the Battlestar Galactica mini-series yesterday, and it has me thinking more and more about BtVS and some of the things the two shows share.
I like a lot of things about BtVS. I think the writing is superb, and the exact right actors were cast in the show. I like the fight scenes just because it's fun to watch a tiny blond chick kick ass. In Galactica, I like the writing as well (though not "superb"), I love the actors as well, and think the whole idea of "so say we all" pretty much explains the entire show.
If I had to pick one thing that I liked the best about both series, it would be the notion of "hero". I think that Joss Whedon believes that humanity is beautiful -- absolutely flawed, but beautiful. We are all a little like Buffy. She wants desperately to be a normal girl -- she dreams of the perfect prom, becoming a cheerleader, being able to buy great shoes, and darn near every other heteronormative fantasy that you could name. In the end, though, she always chooses the right course even if her path takes a few iffy turns. She always sacrifices her own happiness for the (for lack of a better term) greater good.
The characters on Galactica also pull through in the end, and generally do the right thing. The Galactica world is dark and gritty, and the characters on the show have a lot on their shoulders. Remember, there are less than 50,000 people left so the survival of the species is literally up to them. They continue to fight and to struggle, even though giving up would be a lot easier.
I love the idea that we all have the capacity choose duty over our own personal desires. I keep asking myself why I all of the sudden love SciFi. I think this is it. I think that deep down I am a humanist, and I think that I'm just beginning to figure out what that means for me. SciFi is a great place to explore how humanism is articulated. It is a place where the shit can hit the fan, and we can see what a hero really looks like. As Bill Adama says in Galactica: "it's not enough just to live. We need something to live for."