Convince my roommate to watch BSG.
November 15, 2006 7:32 PM   Subscribe

How can I convince my roommate to watch Battlestar Galactica?

My roommate and I usually spend an hour a night working our way through a television show - previous shows include Arrested Development and The Sopranos. Recently, I agreed to watch the entirety of Entourage with him (ugh.) if he'd watch the miniseries and first episode of Battlestar Galactica.

We just finished the first episode, and he's still on the fence as to whether he wants to continue. One of his complaints was that it was too predictable. It was obvious that he was engaged and excited by what we've seen, but I think he's just trying to prevent himself from liking it too much, because of some strange prejudice against the show. Is there anything I can do to persuade him to keep going?
posted by nervestaple to Media & Arts (28 answers total)
Well, TIME magazine called it the best show of the year when it came out. And it only really gets good at the end of the first season...
posted by awesomebrad at 7:39 PM on November 15, 2006

If I couldn't convince him to watch it, I'd just conveniently watch it when he was bored. He might miss a few episodes, but it sounds like after a while he'd acquiesce and watch the show, eventually leading to more regular viewing once he gets into the plot, i.e., if is interesting.
posted by milarepa at 7:39 PM on November 15, 2006

My old roommates got me hooked on Gilmore Girls by watching it regularly. I would yell, ugh, these people are so stupid! Then, all of a sudden, I was watching it when they weren't home and telling them what happened. ::sigh:: Turn it on when he's home, and he'll get sucked in.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:43 PM on November 15, 2006 [1 favorite]

After months of raving about the show, I convinced my best friend to watch the miniseries, and we ended up watching the whole thing and starting on season one in one day. He is now a complete fan of the series and has watched everything available on DVD at least twice. In my experience, most people who give the miniseries a fair try end up liking the series (how can you not? It's so well-written, so well-acted and so cunning).

Lots of people are prejudiced against it for some reason, even though it truly is one of the consistently best shows on TV. That said, I'd make a deal with him: tell him he must honour his commitment to watch the miniseries first episode and then you should shut up about it. If you keep on at him he's unlikely to give it a fair shake simply out of resentment toward your bullying him, and truthfully, he doesn't have to like it, he can be wrong if he wants. The more you nag him about it, the less likely he is to be fair about it - it will either work for him or it won't, he owes you watching it, but he doesn't owe you liking it.
posted by biscotti at 7:45 PM on November 15, 2006

Tell him that the renege on-the-deal clause is a penalty shouting of a dinner at a restaurant of your choice. If he dishes out the dough to avoid watching it, then revert to Plan B, which is to watch it regardless, and do so when he is around. He'll get hooked.
posted by -harlequin- at 7:52 PM on November 15, 2006

I can't really get past the fact that they always say 'fracking.' Bugs the heck out of me. Could that be what bothers him?
posted by HighTechUnderpants at 7:53 PM on November 15, 2006

Is there something preventing you from watching it on your own? Would your own enjoyment be reduced by the lack of a viewing companion? If the answer to both these questions is "no," then don't bother trying to convince him. His loss.

Even when you kinda know what the plot is going to do, the show is anything but predictable in terms of how it makes you feel. The past few episodes have been very compelling.
posted by adamrice at 7:55 PM on November 15, 2006

I'm with your roommate. I watched the pilot and the first couple of episodes, and lost interest. And I'm a pretty serious sci-fi fan. That whole thing about the English guy talking to the semi-imaginary evil blonde sex robot pretty much defines what B-movies are made of.

and i miss boxey.
posted by bingo at 7:55 PM on November 15, 2006

Also, Entourage is pretty good.
posted by bingo at 7:56 PM on November 15, 2006

Also, with any television series, they ALL suck for the first few episodes, and IMO it usually takes a season of episodes just for the actors to learn and create their characters. He should expect that the early shows suck - they always do - and as such, so long as the show seems to have potential, he is displaying poor judgement by attempting to foretell the quality so early on.

Point out that he's being a chump, judging a book by its cover :)
posted by -harlequin- at 7:58 PM on November 15, 2006

Lots of people are prejudiced against it for some reason,
Maybe addressing this will help.
  1. The blonde hallucination is offensive and the guy hallucinating her is a moron.
  2. The motivations of the characters are a complete mystery
  3. The space camerawork is ripped off Firefly
  4. None of the acting is much good
  5. If a conversation goes on for more than two lines, it sucks
They're just my points, worst to least worst. Point one is probably a matter of personal taste, but point two might be able to be sorted out if someone who actually agrees with their actions could explain them.
posted by krisjohn at 8:03 PM on November 15, 2006 [1 favorite]

Seconding what krisjohn says and also adding that amongst people in my crowd admitting to watching "Battlestar Badactica" wilfully is tantamount to hiring a babysitter so you playing live-action role playing games in your basement or something... seriously, there is a stigma against that show whether you like it or not (just like many folks I know just don't get Prison Break -- how can a show about breaking out of prison go on for more than a season???). Basically, even people I know who like the show are hesitant to admit they watch it most of the time. It may be that your roomate feels this way and just doesn't want to offend you. He/she may be begging off to avoid a confrontation.
posted by sablazo at 8:11 PM on November 15, 2006

If your friend wasn't interested in it after seeing the pilot, he's past help. He's also nuts, since that pilot was the coolest goddamn thing ever.
posted by Hildago at 8:13 PM on November 15, 2006

Response by poster: I really don't think a debate over the merits of the show is helping answer the question at all.

The single television situation (and timing constraints) have led us to the one-show-a-night plan - I can't watch something by myself. If I'm watching it, he's watching it, and vice versa.

Also, I'm not trying to force my roommate to do something he doesn't like. It was extremely obvious that he was enjoying the show (asking questions, tensing up at the tense moments, wide-eyed excitement at the battle scenes, speculation on plot points and philosophy), but for some reason he seems to have a mental block against enjoying the show too much, or wanting to watch more. I'm simply trying to figure out a strategy to help him get past it.

I'm not trying to manipulate him. If it turns out he really doesn't like it or want to watch it at all, I have no problem watching something else. I just hate to see such a good show not be given a fair shake.
posted by nervestaple at 8:27 PM on November 15, 2006

That whole thing about the English guy talking to the semi-imaginary evil blonde sex robot pretty much defines what B-movies are made of.

The blonde hallucination is offensive and the guy hallucinating her is a moron.

Are. You. People. Out. Of. Your. F'n. Minds?
posted by frogan at 9:05 PM on November 15, 2006

Get over it?
posted by evil holiday magic at 9:05 PM on November 15, 2006

Best answer: As a sci-fi show with an enthusiastic fan base, perhaps your roommate lumps Battlestar Galactica with a show like Star Trek. There's a stigma attached to that sort of sci-fi fandom. You can emphasize that the show also has a mainstream audience. For example, Time magazine rates it favorably, or mention about common friends who watch the show.
posted by alex3005 at 9:29 PM on November 15, 2006

Reassure your roomie that the likes of Bowlcut & Aibo 1.0 never darken any airlock in the new version.
posted by rob511 at 10:05 PM on November 15, 2006

3. The space camerawork is ripped off Firefly

Zoic Studios is behind the CG for both Firefly and BSG.

But back to the question at hand:

One of my friends has a bit of bias against science-fiction media in general. So, we now have a weekly viewing get-together at my place where we share beer, wine and snacks and watch one episode a week. Mind you, we've only just begun with the first season, but we're determined to make it a regular social thing and she seems to be getting into it.

Bring some more friends (it may help if they are already fans or enjoy science fiction) to watch it with you and your roommate and make it a fun, boozy social event. Good luck!
posted by shoseph at 10:51 PM on November 15, 2006

I almost forgot to mention this: Don't read the comment section of my friend's blog post. TOTAL SPOILERS IN THERE.
posted by shoseph at 10:55 PM on November 15, 2006

Tell him to focus on the plot. The plot is great. Or: watch Firefly instead.

THANK YOU krisjohn. All I hear are OTT exhalations of the show's greatness. I have so many problems with it … you nailed the motivation issue, too. The characters seem to be acting in each scene as if it were divorced from the rest of the show.
posted by wemayfreeze at 11:16 PM on November 15, 2006

Response by poster: UPDATE: I just showed him the second episode and he's flat-out refused to watch any more. Oh, well!

I may try showing episodes while he's around, but I think it's a lost cause. Thanks for your help, everyone.
posted by nervestaple at 11:41 PM on November 15, 2006

It took me about four or five episodes to get into it, I only did because I'd already downloaded the lot. Now I love it. The start of the third season is very good.

Motivations: Wat? Humans can be inconsistent about what they want and how they go about getting it? Surely some mistake
posted by bonaldi at 4:50 AM on November 16, 2006

The best way to do it, if you have an honest roommate, is to hold some show that he wants to watch hostage to BSG -- that you won't agree to watch the next season of the Sopranos or whatever it is that he's drooling over until you're through the first season of BSG. This might be some show that you actually enjoy. Or, shit, refuse to watch some show that he wants to see just to get back at him and make it plain that you're just getting back at him -- whatever he wants to watch will be way too predictable, and suffer from whatever other complaints he levied against BSG.

Seems like it would be easier to just abandon Show Hour and take turns night by night -- you get the tv one night, he gets it the next.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:04 AM on November 16, 2006

Is there anything I can do to persuade him to keep going?

Don't assume that you must be right and he just needs to be shown the error of his ways. Maybe your roommate is right. In that case, persuade him to keep going by thinking of some way to make it worth his throwing away an hour life every week. Try giving him a massage while he watches it. I'd watch almost anything for an hour's massage. Battlestar Galactica? Nanny and the Professor? My Mother the Car? Whatever. Just get started on my lower back... aw, yeahhhh... right there... could you pass the peeled grapes?
posted by pracowity at 5:29 AM on November 16, 2006

3. The space camerawork is ripped off Firefly

Zoic Studios is behind the CG for both Firefly and BSG.

And as a tribute to Firefly, in one of the scenes in the mini-series where the future president is discussing her health condition with her doctor, Serenity is briefly visible flying in the background.
posted by Atreides at 6:11 AM on November 16, 2006 [1 favorite]

Well, if you get another chance, show him "Pegasus." (The last episode in the "Season 2.0" DVD release, IIRC.) Don't worry about showing the episodes in order initially--nearly any series takes some time to find its footing, and showing someone the first few episodes in order is often not the optimal way to get that person hooked on the show.

I didn't watch the new BSG when it first came out, because I had never watched the old show. But I kept hearing good things about it, and one Friday finally sat down to watch an episode. That episode was "Pegasus" and I was instantly hooked. It's one of the best in the series.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:55 AM on November 16, 2006

The pilot is basically there to bring people who never saw the original up to speed. I only saw the pilot but got into it much more than the original series which I watched religiously. You need to be into that genre to get a lot out of it or at least be willing to give it a try on its own merits.
posted by JJ86 at 11:37 AM on November 16, 2006

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