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Old November 29 2012, 03:32 AM   #16
1001001
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Re: Why is humor lacking in so much modern sci-fi?

This is a great thread idea, but it's not TOS specific.

Moving to Science Fiction/Fantasy.

Woosh!

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Old November 29 2012, 03:46 AM   #17
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Re: Why is humor lacking in so much modern sci-fi?

I do not understand the logic of the original post. Why must EVERY scifi show or product have humor? Does one expect copious quantities of humor on The Shield, The Wire, The Walking Dead or any other drama out there? What I have a huge problem with is this idea that its a problem when a scifi show actually takes itself seriously and does not veer off into the realm of the goofy. BSG is a prime example. Its a show about the end of the world and humans being hunted to virtual extinction. The original series barely took that premise seriously and had them stopping at a casino shortly after the bulk of mankind had been exterminated. The new series does not make that mistake. Its suitably apocalyptic...as the basic premise demands.

As for Star Trek, there is no way you can say that DS9 and Voyager did not have humor (voyager not always intentionally). From Take me out to the Holosuite to Bride of Chaotica, there was plenty of humor in both shows.
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Old November 29 2012, 04:33 AM   #18
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Re: Why is humor lacking in so much modern sci-fi?

BoredShipCapt'n wrote: View Post
I thought this might deserve its own discussion.

Timewalker wrote: View Post
Kamdan wrote: View Post
Has there ever been a detailed analysis of what was added to the novelized versions of the animated series of Star Trek? I haven't gotten the chance to read them and I would love to hear how the stories were expanded upon, since the show was only a half an hour.
They're a lot better than some of the TOS novels, many of the TNG novels, and they have something that the vast majority of other Star Trek novels lack - humor.

Why does it seem that much of post-1980's sci-fi is so bleak and humorless? I ask this as a ST:TOS fan. You could see the beginnings of this trend in ST:TNG with the characters taking themselves oh-so-seriously, but at least there was the occasional glint of humor or an appearance from Q to deflate their pomposity.

Compare the new Battlestar Galactica with the original. I can enjoy something that is "dark," but there's no need to be humorless. Doctor Who has its dark and serious moments, but it's equally funny. Firefly certainly got dark, but the humor was there too. Why is it missing in some other shows?

Are we seeing the work of former fanboys who were a bit too obsessed as adolescents, cringed at every comical robot or cute Ewok, and grimly vowed that if they ever made sci-fi, things would be different? Could they never lighten up?

I guess humorless sci-fi must appeal to some people, but I'm not one who would keep coming back for that. "Realism" is just fine, even "grittiness" (whatever that really is), but with no levity it's not even realistic because humor is part of human nature.
Yea, I fully enjoyed NuBSG, but, that is a reason I'm in no hurry to rewatch it. Charlie Jade went far darker/longer with Rena's Arc (Amongst others) then some of NuBSG's darkest moments, but, you Had 01 Boxer adding humor, so although intense, didn't linger and fester.

Torchwood: Children Of The Earth, also is pretty humorless. It was an awesomely intense week when it first aired. With Much of ScFi, I would watch a 5 hour story over a day or two, but Children of Earth, I don't think I could watch more than an episode a day on a rewatch, and likely would spread some of it out even more.

But, there's been lots that has Humor...Stargate (SG1 and Atlantis), DS9, Farscape, Babylon 5, Fire Fly, Andromeda, most of the current SyFy shows... I think Falling Skies has kept a good balance of Humor, Terra Nova kept a good bit of humor. Even The Walking Dead has it's one liners and it has gone pretty dark.

But, yea, I agree, if you go overboard on the "Realism" and "Grittiness" to where you actively prevent all humor or fun or hope for seasons at a time it becomes very heavy. I think this does become unrealistic, because even in War, soldiers play soccer, throw frisbees, play cards at times.

That heaviness decreases my rewatch Drive. I'm working up to giving SGU another chance (I did really enjoy the last half Season, and most of the first half season 2 as well)
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Old November 29 2012, 04:41 AM   #19
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Re: Why is humor lacking in so much modern sci-fi?

Sindatur wrote: View Post
That heaviness decreases my rewatch Drive.
Yep. I feel like I have to prepare myself if I'm going to do a BSG rewatch. Gird stuff.
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Old November 29 2012, 07:32 AM   #20
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Re: Why is humor lacking in so much modern sci-fi?

I don't think it's that sci-fi now-a-days is humorless, I think it's more that there is less sic-fi show in general around.
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Old November 29 2012, 05:50 PM   #21
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Re: Why is humor lacking in so much modern sci-fi?

KingDaniel wrote: View Post
Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis were often very funny.
"You go, Yu."

"I hope you enjoy the shot...of my ass."

"Man, you guys are a loong way from Oakland."

Eureka, W13, Farscape, Sanctuary, Dr. Who, Firefly, Misfits-the list goes on of scifi with humor. Not all of it is funny-but a lot of shows incorporated humor in their delivery.
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Old November 29 2012, 06:05 PM   #22
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Re: Why is humor lacking in so much modern sci-fi?

A lot of sci-fi used to have a rather superficial or even stupid - look at say Buck Rogers, and there was quite a lot of crap like that in the 70's and 80's. Even more serious shows were rather cheesy. Cartoons always had the damned cute animal or funny robot. Those of us old enough to remember those days reacted against them. Never again !

That's not to say humour hasn't its place - as said earlier, the X Files and Stargate handled it quite well. It's just that the humour shouldn't be aimed at 6 year olds...
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Old November 29 2012, 07:18 PM   #23
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Re: Why is humor lacking in so much modern sci-fi?

Harvey wrote: View Post
Battlestar Galactica is the exception here, not the rule (and even it had more humor than its reputation for bleakness). I don't think the charge that sf in the 1990s and 2000 has much merit.

Consider Stargate SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis, Farscape, Futurama, Red Dwarf, etc. Even The X-Files, for all its conspiracies, tragedy, and dark cinematography had plenty of humor, featuring comedic characters like the Lone Gunmen on a regular basis and frequently producing entirely comedic hours.
Basically this, and that's not even counting Firefly. At most I think you could say that post-1980s there are more examples of sci-fi TV that took itself more seriously - shows that could and did have humour, but treated their sci-fi trappings as seriously or almost as seriously as non-genre dramas took theirs. So camp of the kind that say Lost in Space engaged in has been less common.

Re: Charlie Jade, Sindatur
One of the very first lines of dialogue spoken in Charlie Jade is a joke about ball-size. I think one can rest their case there.
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Old November 29 2012, 07:44 PM   #24
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Re: Why is humor lacking in so much modern sci-fi?

I don't know what the OP is talking about either. Today's biggest sci-fi franchise, the Bayformers movies, are just filled with levity.
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Old November 29 2012, 08:20 PM   #25
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Re: Why is humor lacking in so much modern sci-fi?

Harvey wrote: View Post
Battlestar Galactica is the exception here, not the rule (and even it had more humor than its reputation for bleakness). I don't think the charge that sf in the 1990s and 2000 has much merit.

Consider Stargate SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis, Farscape, Futurama, Red Dwarf, etc. Even The X-Files, for all its conspiracies, tragedy, and dark cinematography had plenty of humor, featuring comedic characters like the Lone Gunmen on a regular basis and frequently producing entirely comedic hours.
Yeah, I don't see evidence that the proportion of humor vs no-humor shows for sci fi is any different than other genres, like cop or doctor shows.
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Old November 29 2012, 10:23 PM   #26
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Re: Why is humor lacking in so much modern sci-fi?

Sindatur wrote: View Post


But, yeah, I agree, if you go overboard on the "Realism" and "Grittiness" to where you actively prevent all humor or fun or hope for seasons at a time it becomes very heavy. I think this does become unrealistic, because even in War, soldiers play soccer, throw frisbees, play cards at times.
Not to mention "stopping at casino planets". Which is a complaint I will never understand.
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Old November 29 2012, 10:30 PM   #27
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Re: Why is humor lacking in so much modern sci-fi?

Of course one thing to consider about the original BSG is that in hindsight, it is possible all those human colonies they came across are lifeless world, well deviod of human life. After all If I were the cylons I would exterminate these primative human worlds lest they reach a level at which they could pose a thread.
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Old December 1 2012, 06:22 PM   #28
Morpheus 02
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Re: Why is humor lacking in so much modern sci-fi?

Gaith wrote: View Post
I don't know what the OP is talking about either. Today's biggest sci-fi franchise, the Bayformers movies, are just filled with levity.
Just becaquse a movie is a joke, doesn't mean it's filled with levity

I think some shows, like nu-BSG ... they just FEEL humorless.or pace of it, makes it seem like there isn't any. Certainly in my life, i feel like most people do make jokes. Some more than others, but it seems like everyone makes a joke at least once in a while.

Serious shows, like The Walking Dead, seem to put out their humor at appropriate times, or jokes that make sense with the characters (like racist ones with Darryl & Merle).

But if the characters don't seem to laugh/make jokes once in a while, it seems unnatutral and people notice their absence. Kinda like the seemingly lack of toilets on the Enterprise.
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Old December 1 2012, 08:07 PM   #29
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Re: Why is humor lacking in so much modern sci-fi?

Okay, I have to ask: can anyone cite an example of this pervasive new trend in humorless sf besides BSG and its spinoffs? Or are we extrapolating an entire trend from one high-profile example?
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Old December 1 2012, 08:37 PM   #30
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Re: Why is humor lacking in so much modern sci-fi?

Outside of the two episodes written by Darin Morgan, Millennium was pretty bleak. Of course, it was mostly a crime series, but there were some fantasy elements.

Your point is well taken, though; these programs are outliers, not the norm.

I haven't seen it, but isn't The Invaders pretty humorless?
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