So we’ve been working our way through the first three seasons of Battlestar Gallactica on DVD. We had planned to record the new episodes when they started so that we could move seamlessly into season four, but alas, I think we’ve already missed one. Of course, with technology the way it is, we might be able to catch it online.
A few years ago, I remember seeing a commercial here and there for the show. Never caught my interest. And frankly, the snippets of dialog totally turned me off. Because there was this one made up word used over and over again to get around the fact that you can’t drop a real f-bomb on television. I rolled my eyes, and I figured that this was just another one of those nerd shows and it probably isn’t very good if swearing (or blatant substitution for swearing) is the only way to make a point.
But it is a good show. Yeah, sure, it’s a total nerd show, no question. But it’s good. And I’m enjoying it. But I still roll my eyes to myself every time they use the f-word. Frak. Frakking, frakker, frakked. Doesn’t matter the context really, though my eye rolls become more exaggerated with the noun and verb (“mother-frakker” or “he totally frakked her”) forms than with the adjective, adverb or just plain expletive usage (“frak this,” “it’s all frakked up”). Though even the lesser eye-roll inducing usages are still noticeable enough that I have to make a concerted effort to ignore them and just follow the story already.
Maybe it’s just me. But as a word nerd, this just strikes me as a cop out. There have been plenty of times in my own writing where I have forgone the use of a four-letter word in favor of something that turned out to be even more powerful. Sure, I’ve utilized the cursing here and there, but the words do tend to lose some of their steam after you hear them over and over again. Even the f-word (the real one).
Now, James brought it to my attention that since the show has a military majority as far as the characters go, the consistent and excessive use of any type of curse word is actually quite realistic. And I get that. I totally do. But this frak word? Well, I guess because it’s not really a cuss word but a stand-in, it just sounds sillier and sillier the more dramatically and intensely it is invoked. Why not just stick to the swears you can actually say on television? There really aren’t too many that are off the table anymore.
I’m just saying.