So I’ve been watching a LOT of Battlestar Galactica these days and i’ve reached one conclusion: the show has a ridiculous amount of filler episodes.
Filler episodes or “filler” as tv geeks will commonly tell you are episodes of a tv show that don’t advance the show’s plot line forward in any aspect, they usually deal with minor characters or story lines that have no effect on the main story arc of the show. I’m a huge anime fan and shows like Naruto or Bleach often have filler due to the fact that anime is an adaptation of manga, if the serie’s manga has stopped production the show’s writers must improvise story lines to keep the show moving.
Anime like Full Metal Alchemist was forced (like most anime out there) to keep going beyond their manga counterpart’s storyline and create stories of their own effectively destroying any chance of faithful manga adaptation, this show in particular ended and had another new incarnation titled Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood which adapted faithfully the manga.
Battlestar Galactica however is NOT anime. BSG was a legitimate tv show under a sic fi network with a budget and a writers room.
I was addicted to the show during season one, getting to know each plot line and character was a delight that kept me coming back for more everyday. But as season two stared to run it’s course I found myself identifying multiple episodes as “filler” and so watching new episodes of the show started to become a drag.
Since I’ve never [show] watched this before I can’t tell which episode is important and which is filler. I have to watch it and hope the information given to me in the episode will come in handy later in an actual episode that moves the arc forward.
In the anime world the existence of filler is connected to the manga, writers depend on it so they can adapt chapters of the comic book into the animation. So filler is understandable. On a live action tv show based on no nothing but scripts of the writers room it’s unacceptable.
BSG was of course a show made in 2004, back then television was still undermined by writing in films so the bar was low so to speak. My complaints for a tv show that ended years ago of course will be heard by long gone ears. My problem is with today’s tv shows.
I was watching an episode of The Carrie Diaries with my girlfriend and the story on this served to move the plot forward, stuff happened that changed the arc of the main character and the rest of the cast dramatically.
We googled the next episode’s promo and found out the next thing was a party themed episode where it looked like a minor character was the main attraction. My girlfriend was the one who called it and I of course smelled the good old stench of filler.
It was clear the next chapter of Carrie’s diary was gonna be pointless.
What’s the deal here? Shows like Breaking Bad have PROVEN that you in fact CAN have 5 seasons of pure story driven episodes without any need of filler. Not one single episode of Breaking Bad is useless or outside the framework of the show. Maybe MAYBE “Fly” but it’s excellent in it’s own right as a “bottle episode” which is an an entire different topic.
The Walking Dead, Mad Men and Game of Thrones are other great examples of well written episodes that move the plot forward.
The fact is lazy writers deliver due to stuff unknown to me scripts which have no effect on story at all from time to time and it pisses me off. I propose a disclaimer at the start of the show which let’s you know the episode is filler, if you as a viewer have a desperate need to watch the faces of the characters that week despite the lack of plot, be my guest but don’t let invested fans into that crap, let us skip it if you can.
Lazy writers, producers and show runners have no right to hold me hostage into an episode just because they had to shoot something that week. Making sure you have a story is your job not mine.