Friday, September 28, 2012

Support Just For The Sake of It?

I was watching Star Trek (original series) the other day on Amazon Prime and remembered a conversation I had with one of my friends.  Both of us grew up as Star Trek fans and would faithfully watch the episodes as they were aired on television.  Both of us enjoyed the original series and The Next Generation but as every new series was added, our opinions became drastically different about the state of Star Trek on television. 
I was - and still am - a fan of TOS and TNG.  I hold those two series as canon and TV Star Trek ends there for me.  My friend liked and watched all of the series from TOS, TNG, DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise.  I do admit to watching a few episodes of each of the additional series but they just were not for me.  We were discussing our differences when he stated that "with so little science fiction on television, it is our duty to watch and support it all so the networks will give more shows a chance." 
What do you think?  
I think it is a flawed argument.  Ratings are determined by the Nielsen viewing participants, right?  I have never participated in that but isn't that right?  Does anybody know?
I also think that if you support "bad" shows and the networks find relevance from those numbers then all that does is encourage more "bad" shows.
Does anybody else have any thoughts on this?  It does not have to be just Star Trek but any show you want to discuss.  Think of the difference between Battlestar Galactica and Galactica 1980 or something similar...      


  1. I have to agree with you here, Charlie; If you support crap, you should expect nothing but crap in return.

    I've never been one to support someone or something on principle. Even my favorites get dropped to the wayside when whatever it was that got me to like them in the first place is trampled upon.

    Using your Trek example, I really liked the original series. As a kid, not much topped it. But I found The Next Generation to be too... sterile, I guess. Each following show just seemed to amplify that sterility to the point where I barely watched DS9 and never watched Voyager and Enterprise.

    As much as I loved Star Trek, I couldn't justify watching stuff I disliked on the pretense I was 'supporting Star Trek as a whole'.

    Excellent post; thought provoking.

    1. I hear you, Eric. Your comment rings true.

      I completely agree with your thoughts on Trek. The original is by far the best to me. I watched TNG but I also found it to be too sterile and too safe. The last two TNG movies were terrible. I liked First Contact but I think the best TNG movie was Generations. Give me James T. Kirk and his go for it all command style any day.

      When you take a look at DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise the flaws are much more glaring and serious. I tried them all but I just could not get into any of them.

      What did you think of the recent reboot movie?

  2. I suppose it depends on what you mean by support. If what you mean is to watch it, then unless you are a Nielsen family, then it doesn't matter. So, if you do not like a show, do not watch it. If you are, then how I see it is put it on the sci-fi show and if you do not like it, get up and do something else. At least the ratings will be recorded. However, it should only be that you realize that it is a quality show, it is just that you do not like it. For example, I did not like the BSG reboot. But, if I had a box I would have had it think I watched it.

    With that said, there is something about personal integrity. When FarScape was canceled, I stopped watching the Sci-Fi channel for 3 years. I only started watching it again because my wife wanted to watch Eureka.

    As for Star Trek, I think I am usually the odd person out. I liked the original series and DS9. I grew up watched TNG, but I think by the time I was out of college, I couldn't stand to watch it. The acting is worse than the original series. I found it overly simplistic that tried to pretend it was dealing with weighty philosophical issues, but their treatments of the topic were suitable for a Sesame Street audience, not anyone over the age of 10. Voyager is the only worse Star Trek series and I find them both to be some of the worst TV ever produced. Should someone that surrenders ever be permitted to Captain a star ship?

    DS9, on the other hand, I did not like when I was younger. When I started watching it after a couple of years, I found it to be great. I think it did a much better job at world building and creating interesting characters.

    As for the reboot movies, I won't watch them. There is only one Captain Kirk and he has traveled back in time to help me same money and hotels and flights.

    1. Good points all around, Darius. Yeah, what I was referring to was the Nielsen ratings. I agree with your statement about the quality of the shows.

      Indeed, there is only ONE Captain Kirk!

  3. Great comment on Big Bill Shatner's ability to save you money.

    I'm not too sure how I feel about the reboot. The movie was okay, but the time stream slight-of-hand bugged me. If Hollywood is going to reboot a series for cheap cash, just do it. Don't play the *wink, wink* carny card.

    "This isn't the real Captain Kirk. It's an alternate version!"

    And, really... In a heretical slap to every Star Trek fan's face, I always thought Capt. Pike was much cooler than Kirk. Everything beyond that rather brilliant pilot episode has been an alternate universe to me.

    Spock with Pike was a nervous flake.
    Pike's #1 was Nurse Chapel. Her name? #1. Come on!

    1. Yeah, Bill is GREAT!

      I thought the casting in the reboot was great. I could easily see a new TV series with that cast being well received. I do understand about the carny card you mention, though.

      That's not a heretical slap to this Star Trek fan's face. In a perfect world, the series would have lasted 5 to 7 years with the Captain's chair split between Pike and Kirk. Maybe Pike would be there for a season or two and then Kirk would take over over maybe Pike could have his entire 5 year run and the final few episodes could be the beginning of Kirk's run? Man, I could go for that! Hell, while we are at it, the Paramount Network would have launched in 1980 with Star Trek Phase II and we would avoid that TNG nonsense in this imaginary timeline.

      I agree. Spock was a little off in that original pilot with Pike.

    2. Bryan Fuller wanted to do a sort of reboot of the series. What he wanted to do was create a unique crew, but set it during the time of the original series. I think it was going to be in that alternate timeline though.

      Anyway, talked to a Star Trek director at a con awhile back. He said that Paramount said no. Basically there were 3 options. If the move did great, then they would stick with movies. If it did good, then they would do a TV show, and if it did poorly then Paramount would do nothing with Star Trek ever again.

      So right now they are in movie mode. I think the plan is to do about 3 movies or so. Once things start slowing down, they are expected to stop making movies. They will then revisit other projects in a few years. In other words, unless something changes, it will be about a decade before there is a new Star Trek TV show.

      Oh well, I am just waiting for the FarScape webseries to ever get made.