Thursday, May 14, 2009

Star Trek?

People keep asking me if I have seen the new Star Trek movie.

The answer is No.

I really, honestly, and truly am over it. It is like 'kicking' World of Warcraft. Once you are out - you are all the way out.

I do not see why we need a new Captain Kirk. The old one was fine - and he's dead. Leave him alone.

I truly love the original series. It is insanely great because it is so awful. They accomplished so much with nothing at all but good writing. The acting was bad, the sets were bad, the props were bad and the costumes were a joke - but it inspired generations. Period.

I thought the idea of the Next Generation was a lot better than what the reality of it turned out to be. The problem is that is was successful and that gave them a shooting license to make more. Everything since then has been an exponential curve of crap, with each release getting worse and worse.

I never made it through all of the Deep Sleep 9 episodes. So maybe that is where they lost me. The whole idea of the aliens mapping to racial stereotypes** was taken to a whole new level.

Voyager was a train wreck. They never took on any character of their own and they ended up neutering the Borg in their final episode so - oops they wrote the entire franchise into a corner.

'Enterprise' - I think I might have seen 4 or 5 episodes all the way through. It was just utterly unwatchable and completely formulaic. And why would you try to make a show set earlier in time where everything looks far more futuristic?

The movies are a whole other thing. Sure they figure into the growth of the franchise as well as it's death. But Hollywood has it's own logic and stories that you can get away with on television don't fly on film. As such - the fact that scripts were subjected to the rules of reductionism and the abrasion of focus groups more and more over time is quite obvious.

That the first one got made at all was amazing. It was awful and it was a glimpse into the future of just how bland and banal the Trek franchise might turn out. But it also made money.

So when reality kicked in and they made Wrath of Khan - it was the game changer. Big Money, Big Success, Big Bummer at the end.... that turned into a cliffhanger? Whaaaa? The Search for Spock was the Search for More Money. They were firmly set on that course of the exponential crap curve.

Everything has been an effort to cash-in since then. First Contact was almost good in spite of itself, but it too was guilty of retcon-ing the Borg, the inventor of the Warp Drive, and the worst Star Trek sin since abusing tachyons...

Why does every Star Trek story need some kind of stupid time travel plot?

1. It's a Warp Drive - if you go faster than light - you create paradoxes naturally, right?
Except of course that they never once seemed to mention this.

2. Because technology has gotten better in real life - and it makes the 'future' look ridiculous.

3. Because when you write about the future for 30 years, you end up writing yourself into a corner an awful lot

4. Because staff writers are lazy and can't be bothered even reading the material that their franchise license is based on

5. Because having to watch every Star Trek thing ever made back to back is a full time job that takes a few months - and having bothered to do so is not a job requirement for a staff writer.

6. Because sets are expensive and it is always good for a cheap laugh to have people from the future set in "today" and watch the canned hilarity ensue...

**- Klingon=Russia, Vulcan=Japan, Romulus=China, Bajor=Israel, Cardassia=Germany, bla bla bla, don't remember, don't care...

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