Friday, February 13, 2004


(/rant mode on. you've been forewarned.)

This week's Star Trek: Enterprise episode took my newfound faith in the series from "Fair" to "Very Very Poor." This episode, "Harbinger," was a pandering, meandering, mess, chock full of T&A, Melrose Space love triangles, and random and inexplicable violence. Not the cool shooting lasers at each other violence, no: fisticuffs. Throwing each other onto the floor amidst some fake-blood splattering.

The two previous episodes were fun, energetic, and interesting. From an old friend coming in to help stop a test-firing of the badass Xindi WMD, then a Mission Impossible style episode-length rouse. And then this. This pointless "day-in-the-life" episode. See, the show doesn't do character development on a regular basis so they have to devote a whole hour to the weakest form of character development i've ever seen. This guy is (maybe) sleeping with this girl, this other girl is jealous. These two guys are rivals who end up fighting for no discernable reason. Oh, and there's a badguy alien around, phasing between dimensions, causing trouble (as badguy aliens are oft to do.)

What hurts me the most about this is farce of a series is that it's called Star Trek, but is not in any way connected Star Trek I grew up on. Most people dismiss the franchise as "childish" and "geeky" and they're not wrong, but it's also a thoroughly optimistic show that attempted to balance dystopian ideals with good ole fashioned action and adventure. Not an easy task, for sure. Trek writers of the past painted in broad strokes, using massive metaphors to critique our own culture. Politics and diplomacy were the first line of defense against enemies. Humans had explored an entire galaxy and were only getting stronger, smarter. Even Deep Space Nine, my favorite Trek, which took the franchise to war for the first time did so under the mantra of "survival of the species." And in between the episodes were fleets met in space, the characters fought their own demons and ethical questions. Not a perfect show by any means, but it strived to be more than it was. It was idealistic. It was Star Trek.

Meanwhile, this new series promoted last night's episode with a titillating teaser that promised to reveal T'Pol's ass for the first time. How exciting. But. In a hilarious turn of the events, the recent Janet Jackson breast scandal forced UPN (proactively) to cut the shot early, so that viewers in Canada got to see the whole ass, while us fragile, conservative, Americans had to deal with just a half-ass. And, of course, the next day, in Trek fan circles all across the Internet, the main topic of conversation: T'pol's ass.

This is not my Trek. This is not a show about humanity striving to better than it is. To quote MAD Magazine, this is "Star Drek."

(/rant over. sorry.)

Album of the Day: Air - Talkie Walkie

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