I’m a sometimes lurker on The Trek BBS, and this thread inspired me to finally sign up for an account.
Hi kirk5555, I hope I don’t come off as creepy given that this is my first post, and I promise I’m not trying to tell you that your opinions are wrong or force you to change your mind. Farscape happens to be my very favorite series, so forgive me if I sound a little too passionate here.
I’m glad you’re enjoying the show, but it doesn’t sound like you’re on the same wavelength in terms of sensibilities. Case in point: you pretty much hated “Crackers Don’t Matter.” Now, of course no single episode of any series is universally liked by every fan, but the general consensus is that CDM pretty much is
Farscape in microcosm. It’s hilarious, dark, campy, cracked out, and it takes a cliche TV sci-fi trope--in this case, crew goes space crazy--and executes it in a way that pushes way past anything you’re likely to see on Star Trek (the twist on “Humans Are Superior!,” D’Argo sadistically pinning Rygel down to stuff him full of crackers, John responding “I like the sound of that” when Head!Scorpius suggests keeping Chiana alive in order to rape her later, etc.) Underneath the comedy, there’s a very real sense that it doesn’t take much to push these people to the point of seriously hurting each other.
It’s not my absolute favorite episode, but I’ve probably seen it more times than any other, as it’s the one I’ll usually pop in if I’m in the mood for some Farscape but I’m not up to rewatching the whole series or even a particular arc.
As for Chiana, well, personally I liked her well enough my first time through but didn’t give her much thought, and it wasn’t until further watches that I really came to appreciate the character. Your hatred is obviously just one of those gut reactions that can’t be altered, so I won’t even try to debate it, though I’d like to offer an alternate point of view. While I’d very much disagree that Chiana is totally useless, in the context of this particular show I don’t see it as a bad thing at all that she’s often more trouble than she’s worth. This isn’t the Enterprise D supposedly staffed with only the best of the best; we’re dealing with a random, frequently incompetent group of desperate fugitives who often have no idea what the hell they’re doing--and that’s a big part of the fun! Chiana screws up, she behaves selfishly, she sometimes makes things worse, and she annoys the others, too. Early on, at least, they like her just enough
not to toss her off Moya at the earliest opportunity. Still, even where you’re at she’s started to display some real growth. She made up for indirectly getting Aeryn stabbed by going to the Gammak base, she helped deliver Talyn, and twice she’s risked her own welfare for Zhaan’s sake. There’s an arc here, though it’s certainly your right to have no interest in it.
Finally, as to “Won’t Get Fooled Again” again versus “A Human Reaction,” you may very well end up hating both, but they are extremely different episodes unless you see basic plot similarities as the only and final word in fiction. In terms of tone and style, they could hardly be further apart, and though they do share some thematic concerns, the series is in no way content to just repeat itself. “A Human Reaction” is important in terms of character development (which it sounds like you mostly skipped through) and later plot complications, but “Won’t Get Fooled Again” is absolutely quintessential Farscape, running on all cylinders.