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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Star Trek TV Series > The Next Generation

The Next Generation All Good Things come to an end...but not here.

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Old March 8 2014, 02:39 PM   #16
Jeyl
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Re: TNG & The Women

Ever since doing the TNG Episode of the Week (Oh, dear. I'm late for "The Loss"!), I found it surprising how much TNG not only played it safe with it's casting by casting the Captain as male, the first officer as male, the android as male, the klingon as male, the engineer as male and even the kid as male. The doctor and the technically other doctor are really the only female characters who have any staying power, and that power is mostly dedicated to telling the male characters what's going on.

Tasha Yar as a character had a lot of potential towards being an interesting character with a job involving a lot of responsibility but also having a dark history herself. After all, she came from a world where humans are the total exact opposite of what Picard proclaims humanity to be. But instead, every writer puts Tasha in a position of "Idiot Ball" receiver.
TASHA: Will we make a fight of it, Captain? If we can at least damage their ship we'll have a chance-
PICARD: Lieutenant, are you recommending we fight a life form that can do all those things? I'd like to hear your advice.
TASHA: I spoke before I thought, sir.
That's from the first episode of TNG. The head of security on the Federation flagship just apologized to the captain for being incompetent. This is one of those unfortunate writing styles where in order to make your lead character look good, you have to make every other character act grossly incompetent. And it doesn't get any better.

In "Hide and Q", despite being the character who has had star fleet training that is second to none, the writers write her out as a damsel in distress before the action even starts with Q stating that if anything goes wrong, she'll die. Scenes that follow on the bridge with her and Picard does even further damage to her character since Yar acts totally lost and sad.

But oh, that's not even covering my favorite part of treating Yar like an idiot. In the following episode "Haven", a ship carrying a plague that is headed for a populated planet is not responding to hails nor changing it's course. When the ship is about to enter transporter range, this happens.
TASHA: I'm certain I could disable their ship with a phaser burst, Captain.
PICARD: And then, Lieutenant?
And then... they won't be able to infect the planet. Of course Tasha doesn't give Picard any reason because once again, Picard must come out looking awesome and clever at everyone's expense by ordering a tractor beam on the ship.

And despite all the attempts to bring Tasha Yar and Denise Crosby back in a more positive light, the show still manages to crush whatever good things that were done with her character. Instead of dying a hero's death at the end of Yesterday's Enterprise, she was instead captured by the Romulans, got impregnated by one of them and gave birth to Sela, a character that the show will completely forget by her third official appearance. Totally worth it.
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Old March 8 2014, 02:42 PM   #17
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Re: TNG & The Women

Guys. Hang on a minute.

This is a TBBS thread titled "TNG & The Women" and no one has yelled THE WOMEN!!!!!11 yet?
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Old March 8 2014, 02:56 PM   #18
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Re: TNG & The Women

SPCTRE wrote: View Post
Guys. Hang on a minute.

This is a TBBS thread titled "TNG & The Women" and no one has yelled THE WOMEN!!!!!11 yet?
It's the first thing I did in my mind when I read the thread title, actually!
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Old March 8 2014, 06:40 PM   #19
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Re: TNG & The Women

This thread and Sonya Gomez FTW.
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Old March 8 2014, 07:36 PM   #20
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Re: TNG & The Women

They could have done a lot better. Yar could have been like Ro from the start and I think Denise Crosby would have stuck around. Troi could have been used more like Picard's diplomatic aide although i think if she had been a projecting telepath with very limited receptive abilities she would have had more room to grow as a character. Crusher was fine, Pulaski I enjoyed immensely but they did try a bit too hard to make her McCoy - even so, I still prefer her McCoy to Trip Tucker's.

Brooke Bundy could have been interesting if they had been able to keep her as chief engineer in season one and had not made her look quite so stupid next to Data and Wesley. Lefler would have made another really good semi-regular as would Selar, if she'd been something with more scope than a medical doctor. Even Ensign Rager could have been given more to do if Lanei Chapman's performance in Space Above & Beyond was anything to go by.

I agree with the comments about all the characters being made to look stupid so Picard looked awesome. He often asked Troi for advice and never once followed it.

Trek generally has the odd individual female character who is really cool but overall its performance as far as women's roles goes is quite poor.
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Old March 8 2014, 07:47 PM   #21
Armored Saint
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Re: TNG & The Women

Jeyl wrote: View Post
And despite all the attempts to bring Tasha Yar and Denise Crosby back in a more positive light, the show still manages to crush whatever good things that were done with her character. Instead of dying a hero's death at the end of Yesterday's Enterprise, she was instead captured by the Romulans, got impregnated by one of them and gave birth to Sela, a character that the show will completely forget by her third official appearance. Totally worth it.
She had a cruel fate, but at least her final death by trying to escape with her daughter is absolutely in character. I like Sela and I thing she could have been used in movies, but her disappearance is a typical problem with MALE AND FEMALE characters of TNG.
WillsBabe wrote: View Post
I was 21 when TNG came out and I was encouraged to see women in responsible roles. It's easy now to dismiss Crusher as being "the mother" and being in what some people call a "stereotypical caring role" but it didn't seem like that to me at the time. Similarly with Yar. It was good to see a woman in the role of head of security. It felt empowering. I think a lot of people who weren't there at the time don't appreciate that the roles that the women of TNG had seemed forward thinking at that time. Even now I look at the show and don't really get the criticism.
I think a part of the problem is people don't realise that TNG is an old show. It ended exactly twenty years ago. The perceptions have continued to evolve. In 2014, medicine and psychology are usual profession for women, it’s no more a fresh way to show empowered women on scree. What was the general situation of female characters in American movies and tv-shows between 1987 or 1994?
Troi was a character at maximum level of feminity, but I don't think it would have been more interesting for audience to only have tomboys as female officers. At least, she also had the excuse of having been raised by a quite conservative aristocratic alien mother.
I like Pulaski, but she was definitely too much based on Bones. Perhaps the writers would have given her more originality if she had remained longer on the show. At least, her attitude clashed with the other main characters. She also clashed with her personal background: she wasn’t a widow, she wasn’t had a painful divorce (at least a difference with Bones), she didn’t sacrifice her love life to have a career, she was many time divorced and happy with that.
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Old March 8 2014, 10:18 PM   #22
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Re: TNG & The Women

^ I would have liked Pulaski a lot more if she hadn't treated Data like shit.
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Old March 9 2014, 04:42 AM   #23
The Old Mixer
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Re: TNG & The Women

WillsBabe wrote: View Post
SPCTRE wrote: View Post
Guys. Hang on a minute.

This is a TBBS thread titled "TNG & The Women" and no one has yelled THE WOMEN!!!!!11 yet?
It's the first thing I did in my mind when I read the thread title, actually!
Well, my intended joke is a little late, but....

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Old March 10 2014, 12:10 AM   #24
2takesfrakes
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Re: TNG & The Women

Spock's utter and complete panic when he realises that "The Women!!!" are gone ... is palpable. Not having women around is enough to drive even a Vulcan to an emotional scene that would bring The House down! It can't be overstated how absolutely essential they are ... so, there goes your proof!
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Old March 10 2014, 02:23 AM   #25
Whoa Nellie
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Re: TNG & The Women

WillsBabe wrote: View Post
SPCTRE wrote: View Post
Guys. Hang on a minute.

This is a TBBS thread titled "TNG & The Women" and no one has yelled THE WOMEN!!!!!11 yet?
It's the first thing I did in my mind when I read the thread title, actually!
It was the first thing to come to my mind as well. The second thing was I could hear Picard intoning along with Riker in the turbolift while he talked about Risa during 'Captain's Holiday' saying "the women."

Warmest Wishes,
Whoa Nellie
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Old March 11 2014, 12:22 AM   #26
GalaxyX
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Re: TNG & The Women

Firstly, I would say that there is a strong sense of male dominance (I'm male myself by the way) in most of TNG. Especially the early seasons. Even Tasha Yar, the supposed to be "strong" female character is actually not so strong. I cite the episode Hide & Q as an example. Weeping to Picard after she was put in a penalty box by Q. I seriously doubt a male character would be written to do the same, but because she's female, she has to be soft. Thus, she weeps like a baby.
Why is crying supposed to be "soft and weak?". I don't think it makes Tasha, as a female character, "weak". Rather, it makes her human.

I would have absolutely no problem seeing a male character cry. In fact, hasn't Picard wept several times during the show, and in the movies? Would you say he's any less "male"? Patrick Stewart is probably the embodiment of "maleness" on TNG, IMO.
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Old March 11 2014, 12:27 AM   #27
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Re: TNG & The Women

mr.peany wrote: View Post
Must be watching a different series to me. A lot of the Crusher centric episodes showed her to be someone who was strong minded and someone who was unafraid of standing up for what she believed in. In fact, against the rest of the cast, she was probably the most likely to voice her opinion and go against the Captain. Her role in the movies was no more an ornament than the other regulars aside from Picard and Data. Worf, LaForge and Riker all got the short stick in the movies and they weren't female.
Fucking hell yes!!!

That is all.
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Old March 11 2014, 02:16 AM   #28
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Re: TNG & The Women

GalaxyX wrote: View Post
Firstly, I would say that there is a strong sense of male dominance (I'm male myself by the way) in most of TNG. Especially the early seasons. Even Tasha Yar, the supposed to be "strong" female character is actually not so strong. I cite the episode Hide & Q as an example. Weeping to Picard after she was put in a penalty box by Q. I seriously doubt a male character would be written to do the same, but because she's female, she has to be soft. Thus, she weeps like a baby.
Why is crying supposed to be "soft and weak?". I don't think it makes Tasha, as a female character, "weak". Rather, it makes her human.

I would have absolutely no problem seeing a male character cry. In fact, hasn't Picard wept several times during the show, and in the movies? Would you say he's any less "male"? Patrick Stewart is probably the embodiment of "maleness" on TNG, IMO.
It's not the act, it's the context of the act. Regardless, that scene was narmy as all hell.
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Old March 11 2014, 05:30 PM   #29
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Re: TNG & The Women

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
^ I would have liked Pulaski a lot more if she hadn't treated Data like shit.
She didn't have the same attitude toward Data during the whole season, she accepted him later. I think Pulaski was pretty good in Elementary, Dear Data justly because she had a different attitude than other characters: more gutsy, less smarmy.

And what's wrong to have flawed main characters instead of only having outsider like Maddox?
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Old March 12 2014, 07:09 AM   #30
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Re: TNG & The Women

It's not the act, it's the context of the act. Regardless, that scene was narmy as all hell.
Hmm, a woman that's already traumatized by practically her whole youth of feeling helpless, is forced to live a moment where she again feels helpless to stop something horrible to happen to her. Crying was perfectly fitting in my opinion, and Picard's consolation was the icing on the cake. The only thing I hated was Tasha's come on at the end (what were they thinking?)

Other than that, I thought it was a great scene that showed Tasha was human, and in no way, shape or form did it detract from the fact that she was a tough, strong woman.
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