After I finished rewatching The West Wing I decided to rewatch Battlestar Galactica. I’d been itching to rewatch it, and my roommate has the entire series (just to be clear, we’re talking the EJO reboot, not the original), so it seemed the perfect arrangement. Season 1 was just as good as I remember, but I’m currently stalled in the middle of Season 2. It’s not that it isn’t good—it’s still damn fine television. But it’s a very different experience than rewatching The West Wing and it’s very different than watching this show for the first time.
I think it comes down to knowing the ending. In the case of West Wing, knowing where it’s going makes some of the rough spots easier to cope with. I know CJ and Danny wind up together where they belong, so I can live through Fishboy’s absences and CJ wasting her time with Charlie Banks (OLTL ref!) and having one night stands in Dayton. I can stomach Donna’s stream of Republican boyfriends and Josh fooling around with Amy, because I know they end up together. I know Santos wins and the Bartletts work out their problems. I know, even when the show reaches its low points, that there is still hope.
BSG, as good as it is, doesn’t leave me with all that much hope. I watch the adorableness that is Dee and Billy, knowing she’ll throw him over for a pretentious jack ass with Daddy issues who doesn’t even have a debate team ring. And then they’re both going to end up dead. Encountering the Kara-Anders-Dee-Lee quad, which I was so sure at the time was just going to be a means to force Kara and Lee to admit their feelings for one another, is so much worse now. I know it’s going to drag on till the bitter end. Lee and Kara are never going to get married and have ten thousand babies that need lots of therapy. She’s going to go *poof* because the writers could not ever figure out how to write that girl happy. (Yes, a lot of it comes down to shippery stuff. Don’t judge!) I know Momma Roslin’s miraculous healing is only temporary. I know that all that time I kept demanding they give Gaeta a storyline finally pays off—in the most painful possible way. I know that the “secret of the opera house” is a giant disappointment.
Don’t get me wrong, I love this show. Always will. But I didn’t love the ending. I’m not saying it wasn’t well written or acted or directed or edited or anything. But it’s not the happy little Christmas present the ending of The West Wing was. And no, things don’t all need to have happy endings. I even love a depressing ending from time to time. But they aren’t *fun*.
And consequently, even though I enjoy rewatching it, it’s exhausting. And not in a good way.