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A New Year always sets off a litany of predictions, most of which aren't worth the paper on which they're written. Suffice to say, 2019 will be a year of gains and losses, victories and defeats, happiness and sadness; just like every year.

S.E. Cupp, a conservative political commentator and writer, wrote an opinion piece wherein she confessed to really enjoying television reality shows. This admission lowered my respect for her entertainment choices somewhat, but to each their own, I guess. My preferences for "Good TV" lean toward that which keeps me up at night pondering the unanswered questions and meanings of outcomes produced from the dark corners of a writer's mind. Examples of mind-blowing series finales include Mad Men, Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, Justified, MASH, and, my all-time favorite, Battlestar Galactica; the 2004--2009 remake, not the cheesy 1970s original. A great series deserves a great finale, but opinions do differ on whether the endings were satisfying.

I first watched Battlestar Galactica, aka "BSG," in 2011, two years after the series originally ended. This was a good thing because waiting a whole week between episodes would have driven me nuts. Thank goodness for Netflix and Amazon Prime. I binge-watched all 76 episodes in about two weeks. The finale was, for me, emotional, inspiring and poignant. Internet debates abound as to the meaning of certain dialog, character fates, much of it on a metaphysical level. I won't spoil it by going into detail. Suffice to say, my mind could not let it go for weeks. I recently watched the final six episodes again (seems my regular shows are on hiatus for the holidays) and was again entranced by the questions of species origin, human conflict, relativity, and divine beings. What are the true origins of humanity? Is our fate determined at the outset, so we make the same mistakes? Or does the universe keep repeating itself until we get it right? Is our present universe just one rendition of countless others that have been and will come again?

Trying to explain the emotional impact of BSG's final episode is lost on those who have not watched the entire series. I know, I know, it's not "real," it came from the imaginings of writers, it's a work of fiction, get a grip, etc. The best writing, whether in print or as basis for visual media, should elicit a visceral response. The sophomoric pablum that passes for "entertainment" these days hardly qualifies on that point. Edward James Olmos, Katee Sackhoff, Lucy Lawless and Grace Park make up part of the all-star cast in BSG. It also amplified the careers of several other actors in the series. Many consider the series the best space opera ever created. If you are looking for a thoughtful, though dark, series that will test the expanses of your mind, I could not recommend a better show.

So say we all.

-- Devin Houston is the president/CEO of Houston Enzymes. Send comments or questions to devin.houston@gmail.com. The opinions expressed are those of the author.

Editorial on 01/02/2019

Print Headline: Beginnings and endings

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