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Old June 28 2012, 02:37 PM   #1
Mage
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Why were the writers so inconsistent while writing Neelix?

In non-Neelix episodes, we here some 'friendly' banter about how Neelix is annoying, his cooking isn't so great, and that gets on peoples nerves.

When we get a Neelix episode, he's the crew favorite little buddy, everybody get's along with him, his cooking is pretty damned good and people couldn't imaging a life without him.

Now, the friendly banter I get up to a point. Amongst friends, we sometimes bash eachother a little. But some of the things said behind his back were pretty harsh.

So why the heck this inconsistency towards Neelix?
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Old June 28 2012, 02:41 PM   #2
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Re: Why were the writers so inconsistent while writing Neelix?

Some would argue that VOY was one of the weaker Trek shows when it came to continuity in general.
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Old June 28 2012, 03:42 PM   #3
Christopher
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Re: Why were the writers so inconsistent while writing Neelix?

Mage wrote: View Post
In non-Neelix episodes, we here some 'friendly' banter about how Neelix is annoying, his cooking isn't so great, and that gets on peoples nerves.

When we get a Neelix episode, he's the crew favorite little buddy, everybody get's along with him, his cooking is pretty damned good and people couldn't imaging a life without him.

Now, the friendly banter I get up to a point. Amongst friends, we sometimes bash eachother a little. But some of the things said behind his back were pretty harsh.

So why the heck this inconsistency towards Neelix?
I didn't see any inconsistency. In real life, sometimes we feel differently toward people than at others. Under normal circumstances, we might focus on the petty annoyances a colleague causes us, but when we see them in a crisis, either suffering from one or rising to the occasion and helping us through one, we see them in a different light.

And I really don't remember anyone saying anything really harsh about Neelix behind his back. That's not the kind of show it was. Most of the crew wasn't that petty. The Doctor, Tuvok, and maybe Seven were harshest on Neelix, but they weren't the most polite people around as a rule.

What's cool about Neelix is what a complicated character he was. He'd been through a wealth of horror and tragedy in his life, lost his family and his home, seen his people enslaved, done things he was ashamed of. As a result, he was insecure, unsure of his self-worth, afraid of being abandoned or rejected. So his cheerful, clownish attitude was a defense mechanism, a desperate attempt to endear himself to people and make himself useful to them so they wouldn't abandon him. He was intensely loyal and determined to be of help to his loved ones because he valued their friendship so deeply, and that was a fine trait, but he was so neurotic about it that he overdid it and could be annoyingly overenthusiastic and screw things up from trying too hard. So he was a man of contradictions, and so others' reactions to him could be ambivalent. He was really one of the most fascinatingly flawed and poignant characters on the show.
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Old June 28 2012, 03:47 PM   #4
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Re: Why were the writers so inconsistent while writing Neelix?

Wet fur.

When he stinks, he gets the stink eye.

He's not always wet though.

Oh.

And everyone wanted to shag his girlfriend.

So they had to be super-nice to his face, and super bitter behind his back.
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Old June 28 2012, 04:19 PM   #5
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Re: Why were the writers so inconsistent while writing Neelix?

I didn't notice the cooking thing, so much as bad in non-Neelix episodes, and great in Neelix episodes, it seemed to me, it was not appreciated (IE: spoken of as Bad) at first (perhaps the crew wasn't accustomed to his style of cooking, spices etc, or perhaps he became more acclimated to what they would appreciate) and improved as the show went along.

So, yea, I think either he adjusted his cooking to their pallets or their pallets adjusted to the tastes of his style
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Old June 28 2012, 04:31 PM   #6
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Re: Why were the writers so inconsistent while writing Neelix?

In the pilot it was worse, because there he came off as cunning and competent perfectly willing to use people to get what he wanted and stuff. He ever show that level of competence after that?
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Old June 28 2012, 04:31 PM   #7
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Re: Why were the writers so inconsistent while writing Neelix?

I immediately disliked Neelix as he was rather obviously Voyagers 'cute animal / funny robot' (putting it in cartoon terms) and I always hated those.

It's testament to Ethan Phillips as an actor and some (and it could be said to be unusual for Voyager) sympathetic writing that I grew to like the character as it went along.

I think his colleagues were similarly conflicted - sometimes annoyed but becoming fond of him.
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Old June 28 2012, 06:37 PM   #8
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Re: Why were the writers so inconsistent while writing Neelix?

Anwar wrote: View Post
In the pilot it was worse, because there he came off as cunning and competent perfectly willing to use people to get what he wanted and stuff. He ever show that level of competence after that?
He had a lot of useful skills that he demonstrated or developed over the course of the series, including engineering knowhow and diplomacy (remember, Janeway appointed him Voyager's official ambassador). He was a good father figure to Naomi. He applied himself diligently to tactical training and could handle himself in a fight. And he did a pretty good job as morale officer a lot of the time. And he did seem to be a skilled cook; it's just that the types of cuisine he was trained to prepare were aimed at a rather different palate than the Starfleet crew had (which kinda reflects poorly on Starfleet; you'd think they'd be more accustomed to exotic cuisine). In most respects, he was good at what he did, he just did it in a way that differed from Starfleet norms. The one thing he was ever really portrayed as less than competent with was relationships. Well, that and self-esteem, but those were related problems.
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Old June 28 2012, 07:38 PM   #9
propita
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Re: Why were the writers so inconsistent while writing Neelix?

There was a lot on the show in general that could've strengthened the characters, but the studio/network/whomever didn't want it.

How about, Neelix and Chakotay have a lot in common, and opposites? Both lost their families and planets in wars, but where one took his shame and became a loner, the other took his sorrow and fought.

Neelix is underrated because of the writing...or directing...or orders from above. But definitely NOT for the fantastic acting of Phillips.
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Old June 29 2012, 01:09 AM   #10
Timewalker
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Re: Why were the writers so inconsistent while writing Neelix?

LEOLA. ROOT. STEW.
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Old June 29 2012, 01:34 AM   #11
Guy Gardener
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Re: Why were the writers so inconsistent while writing Neelix?

I wonder if Chell continued to obsess on leola roots in Admiral Janeways Timeline for the final 14 years home?
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Old June 29 2012, 01:44 AM   #12
R. Star
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Re: Why were the writers so inconsistent while writing Neelix?

Mage wrote: View Post
In non-Neelix episodes, we here some 'friendly' banter about how Neelix is annoying, his cooking isn't so great, and that gets on peoples nerves.

When we get a Neelix episode, he's the crew favorite little buddy, everybody get's along with him, his cooking is pretty damned good and people couldn't imaging a life without him.

Now, the friendly banter I get up to a point. Amongst friends, we sometimes bash eachother a little. But some of the things said behind his back were pretty harsh.

So why the heck this inconsistency towards Neelix?
This is a symptom of the overall lack of continuity and consistency that plagued the show.
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Old June 29 2012, 07:37 AM   #13
teacake
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Re: Why were the writers so inconsistent while writing Neelix?

He got less annoying because he learned to fit in and his cooking improved because he learned to cook. It's called character development.

Guy Gardener wrote: View Post

And everyone wanted to shag his girlfriend.
Not me.
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Old June 29 2012, 09:02 AM   #14
Guy Gardener
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Re: Why were the writers so inconsistent while writing Neelix?

It's a meme indicted by human beings.

When you want to take something but you can't, like a mate or a car, you should not act suspicious if acquiring this item is problematic because that will make it even more problematic, but later in privacy there's a mass of bitter venting about your impotence.

Seriously, you can't tell me that every women you have ever wanted has always been completely available, and it hasn't hurt that you're too decent to do something about it.

That is, if you are too decent to do something about it.
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Old June 29 2012, 09:10 AM   #15
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Re: Why were the writers so inconsistent while writing Neelix?

It's always about taking and cars with you isn't it.
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