Sunday, May 10, 2009

Star Trek!

I just got back from watching Star Trek, and it was awesome! Even if you're not a Trekkie, go see it. I took my sister to it, and although I have force-fed a lot of Star Trek over the years to her, she's not even close to being a Trekkie, and she really liked it as well. Aside from a few quibbles (like the George Lucas-esque small, cutesy alien that accompanies Scotty - think Phantom Menace *shudders in revulsion*), it was a fantastic movie. And they totally nailed the characters.

And I'm so, so glad. Because after the last TNG movie, Nemesis, and that absolute travesty of a TV series, Enterprise, the Trek franchise really needed to pull one out. So congrats to J.J. Abrams, you did a fabulous job.

And since we're on the subject of previous Trek incarnations, because of the movie coming out, there's been a lot of Trek talk on Space channel which I have been watching on and off. They showed all the previous movies, and had various discussion panels and documentaries, etc. And they were being quite critical of the previous TV shows, and not just Enterprise, but there were a few shots directed at DS9 and Voyager, mostly based on the fact that they began losing ratings with those series. But I have to defend those two shows.

Personally, I think Deep Space Nine is the best Star Trek series ever made. It was so well-written. I can't even think of another TV show that had such good writing. It was a huge cast, there were about 10 main characters to keep track of, not to mention many recurring guest stars, but the writers managed to keep all the characters engaged in the series, growing and changing. The characters, all of them, evolved over the series in many respects, and there was also a wonderful balance of character-driven and plot-driven episodes, (most episodes were a good mixture of both). And the series managed to have small story arcs, but also one, main, overarching story arc that continued throughout the series. There were elements in the last episode that had their roots way back in the first season. It was so amazing. I've often wondered if they planned it all from the beginning the way the series so neatly came full circle.

On to Voyager, which I will admit, is not even half as good as DS9. But it was still a good show. Good characters, good plotlines (mostly), and although the final episode felt a little tacked on (like they finally realized in the last episode they had to get them home in a hurry, cuz you couldn't end the series with them still lost in space... Geez, they had a whole season to do something about it) it was still good TV. I'd put Voyager only slightly lower quality than TNG.

But, I have to say, any criticism directed at Enterprise is wholly deserved. What a terrible series. And it has absolutely everything to do with the writing. From the beginning they struggled. It was like they didn't know where they wanted it to go, or what kind of series they wanted it to be. Unlike DS9, which as I mentioned found the perfect balance of plot and character, Enterprise teetered between two extremes. There were episodes that were all plot, nothing but explosions and phaser fights, alternated with episodes that focused on one or two characters, where nothing really interesting happened at all, except some awkward scenes where you were supposed to get to know the characters. It was like they just couldn't combine the two. And the plotlines were hit and miss. It was only in Enterprise's last season that they Finally got some good plotlines going, where they finally used the time period in Trek history to their advantage. But then the show got cancelled, and they ended it with THE WORST SERIES FINALE EVER. I won't go into detail here, but that season finale so traumatized me that I can't even watch reruns of Enterprise anymore. All I can say is, shame on those writers, whoever they were. You suck.

So, once again, I am so happy that the new Trek movie rocks. I'm going to see it again, hopefully with my Dad who is part of the reason that I am a Trekkie today. I remember going to see Star Trek 6 with him in the theatre when I was 11.

Ooh yeah, and my sister thinks the actor who played Kirk was really hot, but I personally liked Spock the best. They're all really fantastic.

1 comment:

Ash said...

Just saw it last night - love, love, love!