What I was (poorly) referring to is the kind of brutal, frankly sickening deaths producers seem to assume that audiences squeal with glee over.
We know TPTB casually killed off six billion Vulcans for the fun shock value, being crush to death in a collapsing planet sounds "messy." To many people in Trek fandom Vulcan is a second home world.
And how many people died horribly in San Fransisco when a starship sickled down their buildings like so much harvested wheat? An impressive special effect, but it did little to advance the plot.
Khan's stated target was Starfleet, but it appeared that he actually plowed into the civilian portion of the city.
More fun that way huh.