The Netflix Files: March 16, 2011

“What used to be called ‘reruns’ on television is now called Netflix,” observed Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts in a recent interview. Especially in the case of serial dramas, where enjoyment relies on following multi-episode storylines religiously, Netflix has emerged as an infinitely valuable resource. All episodes of LOST, for instance, were made available on Watch Instantly before the premiere of the final season — and with no limitation on viewing hours, subscribers could binge-watch the entire series in preparation. Because as any LOST fan will tell you, a single missed episode can completely compromise one’s understanding of the series (except for the Nikki & Paolo episode, which you can totally skip). Even cancelled serial actioners with unresolved narratives, such as FlashForward, Heroes and Kidnapped, have been made increasingly available — the notion of engrossing oneself in a continually unfolding drama is an appealing one.

This week, we profile what may very well be the best serial action drama to ever grace television screens.

There are lot of pre-conceived notions about Battlestar Galactica, especially among those who are wary of science fiction elements in their entertainment. Yes, it aired on The Sci-Fi Channel. Yes, it’s Dwight Schrute’s favorite show. However, it’s way more accessible than Star Trek. There are no aliens, holograms or lightsabers. Just cyborgs. And if you can buy into that (it’s easier than LOST, we promise), Battlestar Galactica transcends its sci-fi genre, proving to be one of the best post-apocalyptic, politically-charged thrillers in recent history.   Continue Reading