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Old October 24 2013, 10:35 PM   #61
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Re: So what's with all the Archer hate?

Scott Bakula isn't a bad actor... after all, he had earned himself a Golden Globe for Best Actor win, two additional Golden Globe nominations as well as four Emmy nominations for his role in Quantum Leap. Recently, he was also nominated as Best Supporting Actor for his role in Steven Soderbergh's Behind the Candelabra.

But the writing and his characterization on ENT was just terrible. During the first two seasons he was mostly depicted as incompetent and imprudent. And for Season 3 he was suddenly retooled into a cross between George W. Bush and Jack Bauer.
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Old October 24 2013, 11:53 PM   #62
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Re: So what's with all the Archer hate?

Ensign_Redshirt wrote: View Post
Scott Bakula isn't a bad actor... after all, he had earned himself a Golden Globe for Best Actor win, two additional Golden Globe nominations as well as four Emmy nominations for his role in Quantum Leap. Recently, he was also nominated as Best Supporting Actor for his role in Steven Soderbergh's Behind the Candelabra.
Well I for one am not saying he is a "bad actor". He did fine in the roles you mention. He was just ill suited to play Archer. A better actor (in the role) might have overcome some of the weaker writing. As I have written, better acting overcomes bad writing all the time.

The problem was, Scott had to have good writing in order to shine as Archer and couldn't rise above when he didn't get it. The same writers who wrote Archer also wrote Trip and Phloxx (and everyone else). But we saw Trinneer and Billingsley defeat bad characterizations with their natural, relaxed, and charismatic performances.

This is the reason Scott had all those meetings with TPTB (think it was after season 2). Just because your character is written as a jackass does not mean the role cannot be payed in a way that causes the audience to like or respect the character despite it being obvious the character is a jackass. Scott couldn't do that with Archer.

BTW, I believe that both the Quantum Leap and Candelabra roles were right in Scott's wheelwell. When he is given the "perfect" role (for him), he does fine. But give him somthing that is a bit outside of his normal "shooting range", and he "bricks it" (to use some basketball analogies) -- Archer.
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Old October 25 2013, 02:30 AM   #63
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Re: So what's with all the Archer hate?

gblews wrote: View Post
The problem was, Scott had to have good writing in order to shine as Archer and couldn't rise above when he didn't get it. The same writers who wrote Archer also wrote Trip and Phloxx (and everyone else). But we saw Trinneer and Billingsley defeat bad characterizations with their natural, relaxed, and charismatic performances.
Neither Trip nor Phlox were mouthpieces the way that Archer was. They only needed to attend to their work and express their quirks. Archer was designed to be more than that, expressing the ambitions of humanity as well as the ideals that would emerge in TOS and the 24th century series.
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Old October 25 2013, 09:38 PM   #64
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Re: So what's with all the Archer hate?

Solbor's Blood wrote: View Post
gblews wrote: View Post
The problem was, Scott had to have good writing in order to shine as Archer and couldn't rise above when he didn't get it. The same writers who wrote Archer also wrote Trip and Phloxx (and everyone else). But we saw Trinneer and Billingsley defeat bad characterizations with their natural, relaxed, and charismatic performances.
Neither Trip nor Phlox were mouthpieces the way that Archer was. They only needed to attend to their work and express their quirks. Archer was designed to be more than that, expressing the ambitions of humanity as well as the ideals that would emerge in TOS and the 24th century series.
So your point is that it was easier to write Trip and Phlox than Archer and therfore the Trip and Phlox roles were easier to act? My position is that the two actors made their roles look easier because of their abilities to create an maintain their characters' credibility no matter the scene.

But with regard to Scott, I maintain that his inability to establish Archer's dignity and/or charm, both staples of Trek captains, is what sank Archer's popularity. And the often heard, "Archer was written inconsistently", that always gets brought up, to me, is a crock. It shouldn't matter to an actor if one week his character is angry and the next, he is as happy as a clam.

You play the part you're given to the best of your abilities. This is I'm sure what he did, it just wasn't enough.

Imagine Nathan Fillion as Archer. He could have pulled off the boneheaded and undignified stuff Archer was asked to do in a way that would have left everyone still liking the character while acknowledging his shortcomings. This is where Scott failed.
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Old October 25 2013, 10:20 PM   #65
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Re: So what's with all the Archer hate?

gblews wrote: View Post
So your point is that it was easier to write Trip and Phlox than Archer and therfore the Trip and Phlox roles were easier to act? My position is that the two actors made their roles look easier because of their abilities to create an maintain their characters' credibility no matter the scene.
My position is that playing Trip required proving that the character loved catfish, his sister, warp engines, and upon occasion, T'Pol. Every now and then, he needed to nod along with the suspicion of Vulcans. Playing Archer required expressing the frustration of humanity, being doctrinaire, making speeches about policy and diplomacy, feeling inadequacy, striking a heroic pose, being angry that his agency is constantly usurped by people from the future, and do everything in a way that suggested some great future was ahead without sounding too much like Kirk or Picard. It's a complicated role that another actor may have proven better at, and I recognize that Bakula has his limits. However, Archer and Trip aren't comparable roles.
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Old October 26 2013, 06:09 AM   #66
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Re: So what's with all the Archer hate?

gblews wrote: View Post
Imagine Nathan Fillion as Archer. He could have pulled off the boneheaded and undignified stuff Archer was asked to do in a way that would have left everyone still liking the character while acknowledging his shortcomings. This is where Scott failed.
Fillion would've rocked the gazelle speech.
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Old October 26 2013, 06:11 AM   #67
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Re: So what's with all the Archer hate?

Fillion and Gazelle Speech = ADORABLE
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Old October 27 2013, 11:12 PM   #68
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Re: So what's with all the Archer hate?

Solbor's Blood wrote: View Post
gblews wrote: View Post
So your point is that it was easier to write Trip and Phlox than Archer and therfore the Trip and Phlox roles were easier to act? My position is that the two actors made their roles look easier because of their abilities to create an maintain their characters' credibility no matter the scene.
My position is that playing Trip required proving that the character loved catfish, his sister, warp engines, and upon occasion, T'Pol. Every now and then, he needed to nod along with the suspicion of Vulcans.
This kind of illustrates the point I've been making. Lets assume for the sake of this discussion that what you write above really is an accurate description of the Trip character. Connor Trinneer took this bare bones, simple character and using his natural charisma and other acting skills turned Trip into THE most popular and respected character on the show.

Scott, working with Archer, a character who by your assessment, is much more complex, succeeded in making him into one of the least respected and least liked Trek captain characters in all of Trek.

Unlike Trinneer (and Billinglea), who was handed a pile of sticks and used them to build a mansion, Scott was handed a similar pile of sticks and built a "stick" figure home which lacked depth and any symblance of mystery, or complexity.

Considering your description of Trip and what Trinneer did with the character, maybe Connor should have played Archer.
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Old October 27 2013, 11:15 PM   #69
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Re: So what's with all the Archer hate?

Bakula is completely lacking in subtlety. You never hear anything unspoken in his voice or see it in his face.
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Old October 27 2013, 11:22 PM   #70
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Re: So what's with all the Archer hate?

gblews wrote: View Post
This kind of illustrates the point I've been making. Lets assume for the sake of this discussion that what you write above really is an accurate description of the Trip character. Connor Trinneer took this bare bones, simple character and using his natural charisma and other acting skills turned Trip into THE most popular and respected character on the show.

Scott, working with Archer, a character who by your assessment, is much more complex, succeeded in making him into one of the least respected and least liked Trek captain characters in all of Trek.

Unlike Trinneer (and Billinglea), who was handed a pile of sticks and used them to build a mansion, Scott was handed a similar pile of sticks and built a "stick" figure home which lacked depth and any symblance of mystery, or complexity.

Considering your description of Trip and what Trinneer did with the character, maybe Connor should have played Archer.
I think it's the responsibility of the writers to write for the actors they have. They knew what they had, and Scott in his element is very good I think.

Like I said in my post earlier, Scott doesn't play mad or angry very well. So I think if you want them to excel you write to their strengths.
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Old October 28 2013, 01:23 AM   #71
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Re: So what's with all the Archer hate?

teacock wrote: View Post
Bakula is completely lacking in subtlety. You never hear anything unspoken in his voice or see it in his face.
Many people (including myself) think that Bakula's best Trek performance was as the mirror Archer, playing a character who was completely surface level and "lacking in subtlety." Bakula was perfect in that episode.

gblews wrote: View Post
... maybe Connor should have played Archer.
Better still, have the character of Trip be the Captain of the Enterprise from day one. Instead of Connor playing the part of Archer.


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Old October 28 2013, 01:33 PM   #72
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Re: So what's with all the Archer hate?

Unspeakable wrote: View Post
gblews wrote: View Post
... maybe Connor should have played Archer.
Better still, have the character of Trip be the Captain of the Enterprise from day one. Instead of Connor playing the part of Archer.
I'm all for that, as long as he was written in his underwear as much as he was as Chief Engineer
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Old October 28 2013, 01:39 PM   #73
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Re: So what's with all the Archer hate?

Yanks wrote: View Post
gblews wrote: View Post
This kind of illustrates the point I've been making. Lets assume for the sake of this discussion that what you write above really is an accurate description of the Trip character. Connor Trinneer took this bare bones, simple character and using his natural charisma and other acting skills turned Trip into THE most popular and respected character on the show.

Scott, working with Archer, a character who by your assessment, is much more complex, succeeded in making him into one of the least respected and least liked Trek captain characters in all of Trek.

Unlike Trinneer (and Billinglea), who was handed a pile of sticks and used them to build a mansion, Scott was handed a similar pile of sticks and built a "stick" figure home which lacked depth and any symblance of mystery, or complexity.

Considering your description of Trip and what Trinneer did with the character, maybe Connor should have played Archer.
I think it's the responsibility of the writers to write for the actors they have. They knew what they had, and Scott in his element is very good I think.

Like I said in my post earlier, Scott doesn't play mad or angry very well. So I think if you want them to excel you write to their strengths.
Having a character that lacked the complex backstory and purpose of Archer did not put Trinneer into a disadventageous situation. It helps an actor to have the room to put their own input into the character, to actually contribute to the process of characterization, as well as to let the character grow organically as stories evolve. That's not to say that Trip was uninteresting, but he had space to evolve and be himself. Too much was predetermined about Archer, and worse, he never was allowed to just be himself. He had to represent 100 years of disappointments that were not his own.

Now, we've seen Bakula succeed in a roll in which he had much more leeway. On Quantum Leap, his character was forced to adapt to new situations and new personalities. He kept his moral core, but Beckett was never completely himself. That situation is much more analogous to Trip than to Archer. On the other hand, I've never seen Trinneer take on a roll as complex as Archer.

Like Yanks writes, there are some things that Bakula doesn't do well. Archer was indignant a lot of the time. Bakula doesn't do self-centered very well--no one will mistaken him with Tom Cruise--so often he appeared petty. However, it also made no sense that this would be the constant attitude of the character. It took two and a half seasons for the writers to realize that he needs to go with the flow more? Moreover, he was often required to represent values that were yet to take shape. The core of his being was to help the Valakians: he should have opposed Phlox more directly. He shouldn't have been prefiguring the Prime Directive. Little things like that would have given Archer more of his own personality rather than being a symbolic representation of the Star Trek future.
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Old October 28 2013, 04:04 PM   #74
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Re: So what's with all the Archer hate?

Unspeakable wrote: View Post
gblews wrote: View Post
... maybe Connor should have played Archer.
Better still, have the character of Trip be the Captain of the Enterprise from day one. Instead of Connor playing the part of Archer.
No.

No.

Umm.....No.

HELL NO!!!

And, just in case I wasn't clear......No.
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Old October 28 2013, 04:35 PM   #75
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Re: So what's with all the Archer hate?

TheGoodStuff wrote: View Post
The one true problem with Archer, is the writing. Far too often he is written in an overly simplistic way. He doesn't seem 'new' to space as was intended....he seems new to command, strategy and basic diplomacy.
This. A huge problem of ENT was that they wanted to trade on humanity's naivete and Sensawunda at this point in Trek "history"... but had no clear idea of how to do that or what the lines should be. I think this ultimately is why ENT's human characters feel much more tepid and uninteresting than they needed to feel (it's not just a problem with Archer, there was a tentativeness and confusion in writing all of them).

Take, for example, my personal #1 worst episode in the franchise, A Night in Sickbay. This trainwreck of an episode is 45mins of character assassination. Archer is depicted as an unstable, unreliable, irrational idiot. It severely damages the character in my eyes.
Yep. And ENT was plagued by a lot of that (although "A Night in Sickbay" was probably the most extreme example).

There were a lot of nice ideas behind ENT, as there were initially behind VOY. Unfortunately it's the execution that really makes or breaks a show. Some believe that great actors can rise above badly-written material; I don't think that's as easy to do as is popularly imagined. It's far easier for bad writing and conception to drag down what would otherwise be fine performances.

(Same goes for some of the Janeway criticism, I think. Yes, some of it is just sexism, and yes, obviously the character is conceived to be a competent manager put in an impossible corner and forced to Make the Tough Decisions. But if the writing doesn't really sell the circumstances or the decisions, there's only so much the actors can do.)
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