I like good science-fiction.
Which is why a few years ago, I was about to give up on science-fiction in television. Star Trek: Enterprise was one of the last nails in the proverbial coffin, but my disenchantment probably began much earlier, with Star Trek: The Next Generation, describing a seriously damaged “Utopian” future in which the flagship of the United Federation of Planets is so screwed up, they need a psychiatrist on the bridge.
But then came shows the “re-imagined” Battlestar Galactica. Or Farscape. Or Lexx. Or Charlie Jade. Or even the awkwardly titled Total Recall 2070. Uniquely well done science fiction, which made television enjoyable again.
And then there was the Stargate franchise. I heard about the original movie, but never saw it. I only began watching Stargate SG-1 when it was into its sixth season. But, it didn’t take long to get hooked. Finally, science-fiction in which the protagonists are likable, intelligent professionals who act like rational human beings, not like messed up, spoiled brats. Stargate Atlantis, while less successful, continued in that tradition.
Now we have Stargate Universe. I’m still trying to like it, and it has its good moments. Few and far between, unfortunately. Meanwhile, we see messed up people engaged in gratuitous sex scenes, including sex while occupying someone else’s body. Yes. They’re billions of light years from the Earth, using unimaginably advanced alien technology to temporarily swap bodies with a terrestrial volunteer, to enjoy a few minutes with their friends and family back home… and then they promptly abuse the “loaner” body by getting drunk, engaging in sex (with partners who apparently don’t seem to mind that their loved ones look, smell, and sound like complete strangers) and even getting into fights, all with the tacit approval of the United States Air Force, which arranges these body-swapping visits.
Give me a break. I used to enjoy Stargate because, despite its flaws and sometimes (?) questionable science, it was fundamentally an intelligent show written for intelligent people. I’m still trying to find that spark of intelligence in Stargate Universe, but I may have to give up hope soon. At least I’ll be watching a little less television and have more time to do useful things.