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Old April 24 2010, 05:56 AM   #1
Warped9
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Giving it a try, when is it enough?

Over the years I've heard the same response (in varying degree) to criticism of any given series: if you just give it a chance you'll change your mind and start liking it.

But with any given series how much is a fair enough sample?

Case in point: I've seen easily at least a quarter or so of ENT over its four year run. And by this I mean entire episodes. In addition every now and then I've dropped in for five to ten minutes or so. And throughout all of that the series could never hold me. I tried, but it just wasn't working for me.

Now I've been criticized that I didn't give the series a fair chance. But, come on, a quarter of the series? A season's worth of materiel and that's still not giving the series a fair chance?

I'd say it's more than fair and far more than I usually give a series. Usually if a series doesn't grab me within the first half dozen episodes (if even that) I just bail and never look back. VOY lost me within the first four or five episodes. I love the first season of Earth Final Conflict, but after less than half of the second season I bailed. After a couple of episodes I never again looked at Andromeda or Firefly or nuBSG. Smallville is a show I wish I could like (and I do in some respects), but it always puts me to sleep with its soap opera aspects.

If you don't develop a taste for a particular food you are certainly not going to keep trying it just to keep spitting it out.

So how much is a reasonable sample before it's fair enough to see if you're wasting your time?
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Old April 24 2010, 06:22 AM   #2
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Re: Giving it a try, when is it enough?

Eh, I'd say a handful of episodes (maybe four or five) should be all it takes to figure out if the show is for you or not.

It bears mentioning, though, that some shows can take a while to find their footing... sometimes, it can take a dozen episodes, or sometimes it can take a season or two. I guess, if you're still somewhat curious about a show even if it didn't grab you at first, you could wait and see if there comes a point in its run where more people in the viewing community are saying, "Hey, it's a lot better than it used to be". Maybe then you could check out a few more (newer) episodes.

If you still don't like it, then, well, I'd say you gave it a fair shake.
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Old April 24 2010, 07:30 AM   #3
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Re: Giving it a try, when is it enough?

Ha, I have an old friend who would do that with me with anime series. "Dude, I've seen like eight episodes of Eureka Seven and it still sucks." "YOU HAVEN'T GIVEN IT A PROPER CHANCE!" Really, I think four hours of a show is a pretty generous chance. That said, you could just be getting the duds; statistically unlikely, but possible, although in this case it's probably just that you don't like Enterprise.

And, anyway, there's no duty to watch Enterprise. Unless it's part of an alternative sentencing arrangement.
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Old April 24 2010, 09:17 AM   #4
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Re: Giving it a try, when is it enough?

Everyone I know just loves Lost but it does nothing for me, and I really give Flash Forward a honest viewing, I have no idea where they're going, kind of surprised it's still on the air.

Between school and work and trying to have a life, I just don't have the time for a new show to grow on me. If I'm going to be watching it, it has to grab me really in two episodes.

Loved Eureka with in a few minutes.
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Old April 24 2010, 11:45 AM   #5
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Re: Giving it a try, when is it enough?

I was sold on Babylon 5 within three episodes. Mind you I came in midway of the first season after friends had recommended it.

If you've sampled a show throughout its run the odds are against you hitting nothing but dud episodes.

My general rule of thumb us that if it hasn't grabbed you with perhaps half a dozen episodes (at best) then it probably won't.

That said first season TNG turned me right off in the beginning. It was the occasional second and third season episode that piqued my interest to see more. But both ENT and VOY left a bad taste very early on and nothing was different whenever I tried again.
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Old April 24 2010, 01:37 PM   #6
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Re: Giving it a try, when is it enough?

I wouldn't check out full seasons to try to get a taste of a show before you decide if you want to stick with it, unless it's a show like "Firefly" that only lasted one season. This advice is especially valuable for Star Trek shows, because they tend to start off shaky (with the exception of the original series, which is firing on all cylinders VERY early in season 1!).

I know it took me a long time to decide to keep going with DS9 after I saw all of season 1. In retrospect, it was a huge mistake to watch that whole season in order. There were very long stretches of just despising one episode after another. Even the Niners' beloved "Duet" didn't impress me. The guest star was great, but I couldn't stand Kira, so she pretty much ruined that episode and many others for me, blinding me to the show's potential. "Dramatis Personae", "Captive Pursuit", and "Whispers" were really the only episodes memorable to me in a good way from start to finish, but that's three out of how many? Not a good average.

I was ready to become a full-fledged DS9 hater after the agony of most of season one's episodes and I didn't become a bonafide Niner until season three. Aside from a few shining spots (i.e. "Blood Oath"), I hated most of season 2 as well. Now DS9 is my favourite Star Trek series after TNG and the home of my favourite Star Trek character. I never would have reached that point if I'd decided whether or not I want to pursue seeing the whole series based on the first two seasons. And like many, I'm sure I never would have become a TNG fan if I'd watched every episode of the first two seasons chronologically before anything else.

I think the best approach is to find out which episodes are generally considered the best among fans and check those out before you decide whether or not you want to give up on a show. It certainly helped me make up my mind about DS9 to watch "Trials and Tribble-ations" and "In the Pale Moonlight" long before I'd arrived at their seasons chronologically. After how impressed I was with those episodes, I thought I can endure just about any crap DS9 could throw at me if the reward is sometimes getting to see episodes as strong as those.

Last edited by Too Much Fun; April 24 2010 at 02:29 PM.
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Old April 24 2010, 02:13 PM   #7
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Re: Giving it a try, when is it enough?

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Over the years I've heard the same response (in varying degree) to criticism of any given series: if you just give it a chance you'll change your mind and start liking it.

But with any given series how much is a fair enough sample?

Case in point: I've seen easily at least a quarter or so of ENT over its four year run. And by this I mean entire episodes. In addition every now and then I've dropped in for five to ten minutes or so. And throughout all of that the series could never hold me. I tried, but it just wasn't working for me.

Now I've been criticized that I didn't give the series a fair chance. But, come on, a quarter of the series? A season's worth of materiel and that's still not giving the series a fair chance?
If I had judged TNG on the basis of its first season, I would have decided that it was absolute crap.

I'd say you would have to see at least some of the episodes/seasons that are considered great by most of the fans of that show, and/or critics. For instance, I understand that the first 2 seasons of 24 are supposed to be good; I've seen them and I hated them, so I think I can safely say that I hate that show.
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Old April 24 2010, 02:18 PM   #8
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Re: Giving it a try, when is it enough?

^^ Did you even read the post or subsequent ones?

Yes, I bailed on first season TNG then came back after catching some second and third season episodes. Then I drifted away during the fifth season.

But with ENT I didn't base my opinion on just the first season. I said I've seen a season's worth of episodes over the show's four year run.
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Old April 24 2010, 02:22 PM   #9
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Re: Giving it a try, when is it enough?

Warped9 wrote: View Post
^^ Did you even read the post or subsequent ones?

Yes, I bailed on first season TNG then came back after catching some second and third season episodes. Then I drifted away during the fifth season.

But with ENT I didn't base my opinion on just the first season. I said I've seen a season's worth of episodes over the show's four year run.
It depends on which episodes you've seen. Like every Trek show, it has crap episodes in every season, though there are much fewer of those in season 3 and 4.
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Old April 24 2010, 02:27 PM   #10
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Re: Giving it a try, when is it enough?

^^ And seriously what are the odds that everything I'd seen was a dud episode? Doesn't wash.

For example I saw the Mirror episodes which so many raved about. I also saw some of the Vulcan and Andor episodes. Yeesh!
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Old April 24 2010, 03:04 PM   #11
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Re: Giving it a try, when is it enough?

What always killed me is when someone tried to encourage me to watch Voyager or Enterprise by saying "A Trek series takes a couple of seasons to find it's footing - keep with it!" And a heartbeat later says something like "Buffy? Ugh! I couldn't get thru one episode of that turkey!"

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Old April 24 2010, 03:18 PM   #12
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Re: Giving it a try, when is it enough?

Forbin wrote: View Post
What always killed me is when someone tried to encourage me to watch Voyager or Enterprise by saying "A Trek series takes a couple of seasons to find it's footing - keep with it!" And a heartbeat later says something like "Buffy? Ugh! I couldn't get thru one episode of that turkey!"

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Old April 24 2010, 04:28 PM   #13
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Re: Giving it a try, when is it enough?

It really depends what you're looking for.

Star Trek (1966-1969) is big, bang space adventure. While, Modern Trek (1987-2005), its siblings are much more in the vein of sci-fi drama. At times it seems like the only thing the two have in common are the Star Trek name.

So anyone who is in love with one may have a hard time finding the other one entertaining. Part of this is from people going into it thinking Star Trek is Star Trek, when that definitely isn't the case.
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Old April 24 2010, 04:32 PM   #14
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Re: Giving it a try, when is it enough?

I always think if you're not getting into something after 2 or 3 episodes why are you putting yourself through the entire thing? I definitely feel like the writers lose track of what they're doing occassionally for entire seasons sometimes.
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Old April 24 2010, 04:32 PM   #15
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Re: Giving it a try, when is it enough?

Warped9
It's safe to say you don't like Enterprise.

As for the rest - did you start this thread just to bash Ent/Voy? Or do you have other questions?
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