Looking back: sci-fi madness

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Another season come and gone, and it’s time to take a look at some of the peaks and valleys of this memorable year for television.  Let’s see how three of my favorite sci-fi series fared after the jump.

Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica

This wonderful sci-fi series finished its run spectacularly.  The actors, who always stun, were sterling beyond anything they had accomplished before, with Mary McDonnell finishing as MVP.  The writing was fantastic – despite serving as the climax to this magnificent work, the final eleven episodes wisely made room for more character-focused moments along with the pulse-pounding action, even in the jaw-dropping three-part finale, written by executive producer Ron Moore.  The final moments of the series cast all that came before in a new light, and wrapped a pristine bow on what will decades later be known as one of the greatest TV series ever made.  A phenomenal job all around.

9.2/10

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Lost

This was the penultimate season of Lost, and it celebrated by having pretty much its best year yet.  After stumbling a bit (or more, depending on who you talk to) in seasons two and three, Lost rebounded in a big way last year, the creators having announced plans to end the show after three more seasons of sixteen episodes.  The show became more focused, and for once it was hard to imagine that the creators didn’t have an overall plan for the series.  This season did the impossible by improving on last year’s comeback season, introducing the conceit of time travel to this universe, in the process confusing a lot of people and losing a few million viewers.  I can see why people were confused, but if you managed to keep up (using external sources to refresh your memory was highly suggested), it proved to be the most thrilling show on TV.  As people went back-and-forth through time, left and returned to the island, died and came back to life (or not, as the season finale hinted), a brilliant master plan unfolded before our eyes, promising that the show was building up to an incredible finish and would be just as incredible getting there.

9.4/10

Dollhouse

Dollhouse

I wrote extensively about Dollhouse back in April, but I’ll summarize my thoughts (which haven’t really changed) before I discuss some newer Dollhouse-relevant information.  Basically, the show’s premise isn’t terrific, and the standalone episodes don’t really work.  However, the mythology-focused episodes, which were the majority of the last half of the season (as opposed to the first half, which were almost entirely standalone episodes), are terrific.  The series miraculously got renewed, becoming possibly the lowest-rated primetime series for a major network to renew in the history of television.  The new season will have a lower budget, but it looks like Whedon and company will be able to make the transition transparent, while also focusing much more on the mythology rather than individual engagements.

7.9/10

Come back Friday for a look back at Chuck, Scrubs, and two other shows.

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