Mira Furlan has a very different style and background from Andy, both in acting as well as in geography. Ergo, it makes sense how there can be so varied an opinion on her actiing abilities.
Personally, I don't feel it comes down to different acting styles. I'm fine with that. I just don't feel she can act worth a dime. Granted, that's my personal judgement, and I'm by no means an expert.
I was always interested in the character of Delenn, for example, but it was a constant battle for me. Having to take her seriously meant filtering out big parts of Furlan's performance which I just found absolutely cringe worthy a lot of the time.
The interesting thing for me is that I CAN actually enjoy watching people who aren't what I consider good or great actors and enjoy myself anyway. Arnold is a great example of this, but he's got such good screen presence that I get a lot of fun out of his movies.
Furlan IMHO just doesn't have that. She basically lacks the skill AND the presence to pull off the Delenn part sufficiently.
I think it's to the show's credit that it works (for me) anyway. Delenn is well defined as a character. There's many different sides to her, and she has some darker qualites about her that I really like.
If people enjoy Furlan's performance, that's great. But personally, I don't see how one can even begin to compare her with the likes of Robinson or others. But then, such is life that we don't always understand the people around us
Mr Light wrote:
One larger problem though, which was systemic of the entire series, was how the villains failed to be characterized as individuals and rather as vague ideological forces. We never had a Shadow as a character, for example, just Morden.
That's a quibble I have with the show myself. It doesn't bother me as much today but I remember it really stood out to me during the original run.
One of the things I remember (and I know this is venturing into dangerous territoriy
) is that I found the Dominion threat on DS9 to be a lot more menacing for that reason precisely.
On B5, you'd have these spider-like Shadow ships appear, blast everything to bits and disappear. That's frightening on a rational level but not so much on an emotional one, I find.
On DS9, on the other hand, you were constantly confronted with the face of the enemy. The combination of cruelty, ruthlessness, intelligence, and charm that characterizes one Gul Dukat is IMHO a lot more menacing.
I think you can see this phenomenon if you watch the news. It's the close-up and personal tragedies that really move us, not the broad, sweeping disasters, I think.
I suspect this is true of just about any well-loved series that still brings in new fans. You get to watch the reactions unfold, some similar to your own original reactions ... and some new. Plus, it's a good incentive to brush up on what you may have forgotten or at least let dim.
I've also found that it's a reminder to keep an open mind to new shows. Sometimes you'll see somebody react very negatively to a show, and you remember how negative you were before you really gave it a chance yourself.