I'm just watching DS9 for the first time, and I think the way Keiko was handled on the show is one of its poorest aspects.
If she is the wife of a regular, why isn't she also a regular? Why is botany so unneeded on a space station? She couldn't work in a food producing garden or open a plant shop in the Promenade? Buy, sell, and trade food and ornamental plants between quadrants? Regularly travel to Bajor to work with new food supply for them or go the gamma quadrant for new botanicals? What about the usual science fiction cliche but possible spins on alien and plant life going awry?
It seems like there was plenty of opportunity for Keiko to be a real fully embodied character on the show beyond being a wife and mother. She seems bitchy or that these are her only basic roles in life because we only see her sporadically in these elements as needed. We never get a chance to see the real character, unlike what seemed to have been done in less time on TNG. When we do see her, it is bitch and drama issues and pain time for O'Brien, simply because it is almost as if they have to justify a dramatic need for Keiko to be there. But my goodness, isn't there a need for husband's wife to always be there?
It just seems like the writers were stuck with her and would rather not have her there. And therein that leads to another problem, trying to strengthen Bashir via O'Brien when he should also have been further established on his own merits. You have too many underdeveloped people to start DS9, and yeah the bitchy and ho hum can certainly make you tune out. I don't know if I like Keiko or not, simply because it is as if the writers have already made that decision for me.
In some ways, I even feel Jadzia Dax is the same. Could she have been a recurring character only showing up when Trill interests were needed? When Sisko has a dilemma and needs a chat with the old man? Again, I think they tried to strengthen that character by marrying her to Worf, and it really kind of damaged Worf. Early on, Dax doesn't have much to do beyond being a talking head at the science station or later making jokes while piloting the Defiant. Otherwise, her spotlight episodes are mostly Trill centric. Are we really judging a main character solely by her race and identifying her character by the complex designs of her species? Hello. I know she is a fan favorite, but does anyone else find the treatment of Dax just as iffy as the need to bitch once a year treatment of Keiko?
This show bugs the heck out of me in the way the regulars and recurring players are developed in such disproportion. I mean, doesn't Garak appear in more episodes than Jake? I feel like Sisko, Kira, Odo, O'Brien, and Quark should have been in the opening credits with everyone else listed thereafter if they are in the episode, like in the old days. Or maybe just list everybody with Starring, Co-Starring, Also Starring, with one and last special. Then the character toss around wouldn't seem so out of whack.
Anyhoo must read up and catch up with the rest of the topics now.