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Topic: STAR TREK: DISCOVERY - New TV Series Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Greg Kirkman
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Posted: 21 June 2018 at 10:33pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Everything has become so politicized in our culture now that if the same episode aired, there'd be loud screams of, "Yeah!  Sticking it to Trump!" from half the internet, and "What is this SJW agenda bullcrap ruining my Trek!?!?" from the other half.

I'm just kind of sick of the whole thing.  If somebody could set off an EMP and destroy social media, I think we'd all live happier and more productive lives.
+++++

Sounds about right. The extremes have ruined everything. The politicization of pop-entertainment has ruined one franchise after another. 

I’ve read about DISCOVERY’s subsequent episodes, and I just have no interest. Bad writing, bad science, retcons galore. And the producers hide behind their progressive ideology, although I don’t think they’ve gone quite as far with the “racist”/“sexist”/“manbabies” stuff as Lucasfilm has.

These things are no longer about storytelling. It’s a culture war, in which people who are not particularly creative have taken existing IPs and use them to preach. From what I’ve seen, fans’ and reviewers’ descriptions of DISCOVERY characters seem to boil down more to their surface characteristics more than their actual personalities and such (“Gay Doctor”, “Robot Head”, etc.). Doesn’t fill me with confidence about the quality of writing and characterization. I’m generalizing, of course, but that’s the vibe I get. The filmmakers cry “bigot” when legitimate criticisms of story and characters are raised by fans, and some fans go overboard in condemning and harassing filmmakers because they see agendas everywhere. The reality is probably closer to the middle. Some fans feel entitled to dictate where and how a franchise should go (they’re not), and some filmmakers feel like they can do whatever the heck they want with a property once they get the keys (Which is just bad business. Know your audience! Unhappy customers will stop paying!).

Vintage STAR TREK could be preachy, yes, but it was used to generate conversation, not tell people what and how to think. It was about getting people TO think. From what I’ve seen of DISCOVERY, I’ve not been impressed by its morality or intellectual content. 

I identify as neither Republican nor Democrat. I tend to be moderate, and just try and treat all people I meet fairly and compassionately unless I’m given good reason not to. I don’t have a dog in this culture war. The extremes on both sides greatly worry me. But, that all said, my Spider-sense has often tingled when seeing these brave, new iterations of beloved franchises. Too often, the people behind the scenes open their mouths and say things which have made me call into question their motives. Too often do they seem more concerned with patting themselves on the back for their progressive ideology rather than telling compelling stories and characters which resonate with the audience. And too often have they reacted badly to legitimate criticisms of stories and characters by hiding behind words like “bigot” and “alt-Right Nazi”. It’s all very tiresome and sad.

Social media is a blight, of course. My fascination with the creative process aside, I much prefer the days when art was just thrown out there in a vacuum, to be analyzed by the audience with little or no commentary from the creators. 

And, politics, aside, I simply have no interest in the show on a canon/storytelling level. I don’t have any interest in Spock’s until-now-unseen Mary-Sue sister, or any of the other weird and off-putting stuff I’ve read about. Spore-drives, f-bombs, and nostalgia-milking references to TOS simply hold no interest for me. It’s just the usual exploitation of familiar names and ideas to keep the fans interested. Which is why I’ve voted with my wallet, and don’t waste time and energy yelling at people online about it, aside from the occasional discussion here. And even that gets me all riled up and uneasy, which is not what I want.


I managed to survive my rewatch of ENTERPRISE without having a stroke from all of the continuity-havoc that show wreaked on TOS. I think I’d be best-served ignoring whatever TOS-exploiting surprises DISCOVERY has in store. Better ways to spend my time and energy. I’m not one of those people who will digest anything with the STAR TREK name on it because of mindless brand loyalty, or because my self-esteem is intrinsically tied together with what other people think of a franchise I’ve loved for my entire life. Because I love these things, I’m willing to let them go. I just regret the inevitable tarnishing of their legacies.

Fact of the matter is, I see properties I love dying all around me, and even discussing their problems is becoming...well...problematic, because all of the politics and whatnot end up getting dragged in. It’s no longer about storytelling and generating a spirit of fan community. It’s about politicization and taking sides, rather than finding common ground.


Whatever happened to the good old days of fans arguing simply because Spock uncharacteristicslly and casually told Droxine about Pon Farr...?
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 22 June 2018 at 12:42am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

If Star Trek had first come out today, I'm convinced Roddenberry would be dismissed as an SJW.

http://trekcomic.com/2016/11/24/gene-roddenberrys-1991-human ist-interview/


 QUOTE:
Alexander: Was there some pressure on you from the network to make Star Trek “white people in space”? 

Roddenberry: Yes, there was, but not terrible pressure. Comments like, “C’mon, you’re certainly not going to have blacks and whites working together “. That sort of thing. I said that if we don’t have blacks and whites working together by the time our civilization catches up to the time frame the series were set in, there won’t be any people. I guess my argument was so sensible it stopped even the zealots. In the first show, my wife, Majel Barrett, was cast as the second-in-command of the Enterprise. The network killed that. The network brass of the time could not handle a woman being second-in-command of a spaceship. In those days, it was such a monstrous thought to so many people, I realized that I had to get rid of her character or else I wouldn’t get my series on the air. In the years since I have concentrated on reality and equality and we’ve managed to get that message out.



Edited by Michael Roberts on 22 June 2018 at 12:50am
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 25 June 2018 at 8:21pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

<Are you upset that Discovery has a more diverse cast of characters because it does not track with Star Trek canon (in terms of human diversity as depicted on screen)? Or are you upset that it depicts our inevitably more diverse future and think it shouldn’t?>

Nope, and nope.   

I would rather good stories be told with interesting characters I care about, regardless of their diversity.   By all means have a diverse cast -- it wouldn't be STAR TREK if otherwise.   However, the diversity in DISCOVERY is an artificial product of a writer's room committee more interested in ticking all the right boxes than telling anything resembling a story worthy of the name STAR TREK.   It's just relationship drama with phasers and space ships and unrecognizable Klingons.  Soap opera schlock with the surface trappings of Sci-fi, all bloated and decompressed so nothing really happens or progresses narrative-wise.  But it's all excusable as long as everyone is represented so no one feels left out or left behind.

The social media ramblings of the actors and crew involved kind of sickens me and leaves the impression they don't think their work stands well enough on it's own merits -- and that they don't trust the intelligence of their audience.

STAR TREK is poised to burn itself out.  Again.   Harder and faster than it did fifteen years ago.   

That's what saddens me.   I pine for a STAR TREK that is both entertaining and challenges my perceptions of the world.   A STAR TREK that makes me think.   The current incarnation is none of these things.      

<Seems to me we would like more good stories, more drama on the screen and less drama in the writers’ room, and less of these dodgy “deliberate design choices” from the producers (as well as less of the dodgy BS (if not outright lies) about those same ‘design choices’ as well. Hope we can all at last agree on that.>

Definitely.     


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Victor Perez
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Posted: 26 June 2018 at 3:50am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

<<I managed to survive my rewatch of ENTERPRISE without having a stroke from all of the continuity-havoc that show wreaked on TOS.>>

That’s hysterical. I wonder how that show would have turned out if social media/general cultural stress levels were as riled up as they are today?
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Victor Perez
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Posted: 26 June 2018 at 4:13am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

<<The social media ramblings of the actors and crew involved kind of sickens me and leaves the impression they don't think their work stands well enough on it's own merits -- and that they don't trust the intelligence of their audience.>>

This is interesting but I am not sure I understand what you mean (ironically I haven’t seen any social media from the actors and crew and I guess you haven’t seen the show, or the whole series).

I can only give you a sample size of five people who loved this show. My best friend and Star Trek buddy from 7th grade onward who owned the concordance and technical manual and went with me to conventions when we were both too young to be doing that by ourselves. My dad who was born in 1938 and who started me on Star Trek when I was a baby. My other best friend since 9th grade whose nickname is Scotty and whose mom just baked him a birthday cake in the shape of a shuttlecraft for his birthday. My good friend from college who is a life-long fan.  And me, whose first spoken phrase was “where no man’s gone before” (thanks to the aforementioned dad!). Two of these people held their noses and voted for Trump (with one of them being slightly to the right of the WSJ editorial page), three of them held their noses and voted for Hillary.  We all loved Discovery and found it fun, entertaining and thought provoking. None of us liked it until episode 3. Probably the only other thing we all have in common is that we don’t do social media (unless me doing this somehow counts). Maybe that means something, I don’t know. But I thought I would throw it out there. 


Edited by Victor Perez on 26 June 2018 at 4:14am
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 26 June 2018 at 7:21pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

...and I guess you haven’t seen the show, or the whole series.

Why would you guess that?
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 14 July 2018 at 12:10pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

So, we're getting a Saurian this season.


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