by The Deity
Have you seen Stargate SG-1?
If you saw it in the nineties and early-aughts, you’re okay. You have nothing to worry about.
But if you’re like me, you started watching Stargate SG-1 a couple weeks ago. Through the haze of insurrections and promises of a vaccine, your index finger reached out and clicked on the faces of Richard Dean Anderson, Christopher Judge, Amanda Tapping, and Michael Shanks. You saw the Stargate movie years ago in your parent’s basement when it was on TV, which your mom referred to as the “boob tube.” Those were the days of commercial breaks, and you likely missed key plot points because you were in the bathroom or grabbed a snack. As you click on this shiny new icon, you don’t care that you can’t remember the movie. You have been doing the exact same thing for nine months: click, watch, repeat. What do you have to lose?
Like, a lot.
I realized as I reached the third season opener that something terrible is about to happen to me. I am writing to you now because I’m not sure if I can stop myself, but perhaps I can stop You. Oh, You, dear reader! Listen carefully to my warnings: I am on the precipice of disproving Zeno’s paradox. Do not follow me down this path.
I knew something was wrong when I recognized Scully’s dad in the pilot episode. Yes, Agent Scully from the X-Files. X-Files was one of my early endeavors when I still thought I could one day escape this digital prison. Scully is not in SG-1, nor is Gillian Anderson. Damn, I would totally watch that show though.
Forgive me the digression, but Gillian Anderson is such a good actress. Have you seen The Fall? The most recent season of The Crown? She is brilliant in Sex Education and Hannibal. Don’t get me started on her Masterpiece Theater appearances. Is she British? I don’t know and, frankly, I don’t care.
I digressed, but I also illustrated the problem. I have seen all of Gillian Anderson’s talented performances. When I was done, I had to move on to something new. Period Pieces. Sci-Fi. Gritty, crime drama. Funny, crime drama. Conflicted Leading Man Drama. Conflicted Leading Lady Drama. Sitcoms. Fantasy. Jesus Christ, all of Twin Peaks.
At some point, you know you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel. You’re flipping between Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, CBS All Access, HBO Max, Peacock, Disney+ in search of the ONE THING YOU HAVEN’T SEEN YET! And it’s been there all along. Listed under “Recommended” and “We Think You Will Like…” are the beautiful faces of Amanda Tapping, Richard Dean Anderson, Christopher Judge, and Michael Shanks.
At first, nothing seems wrong. Is the show captivating? Kinda. But I’m on my phone for most of it, so I only have a cursory understanding of any given episode’s plot. As I scroll through harrowing images and articles on news apps that make me want to scream into the abyss, I wonder if the writers of SG-1 were inspired by the Trill on Star Trek, especially the character of Jadzia Dax on Deep Space-9.
(Hot Take: 1. TNG; 2. DS-9; 3. Voyager; 4. Discovery; 5. Picard; 6. OS; 7. Enterprise. Fight me.)
But then I became aware of the inevitable moment when the credits of the tenth season finale will roll. And what will I be left with? The Ark of Truth? Continuum? Atlantis? Stargate: Universe? And then what?
That’s right. Achilles passes the hare.
So please, I plead with YOU. Rewatch Queer Eye and The Last Kingdom. Give The Americans the attention it deserves. Beg Issa Rae for more content. If you’re desperate, read a book. Do not make watching all available television the achievement of your quarantine.
If you must watch Stargate SG-1 because you have NO OTHER OPTIONS, I will say this…
Michael Shanks. What a treat.