Does It Get Better???

Discussion in 'Voyager' started by AdmiralScreed, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. You_Will_Fail

    You_Will_Fail Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    A lot of people are like that, it certainly explains CBS's popularity!
     
  2. AdmiralScreed

    AdmiralScreed Captain Captain

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    I think people are taking my comment about filler waaay out of proportion. While I do love episodes that have consequences and develop the characters, I have no problems with filler episodes as long as they are really well written. Times's Arrow, Frame of Mind, and The Survivors from TNG are all filler episodes, but I still really like them because they are great and interesting stories with good guest stars, interesting plots, and they make good use of the main cast.
    Remember made very good use of B'ellana, but the guest characters weren't particularly original, and the plot was only semi-interesting. Those are the main reasons I gave this episode a 5 out of 10. Being filler was probably my most minor criticism.
     
  3. exodus

    exodus Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Too bad you weren't here last year, we had a great discussion about "Remember" and the Holocaust. Very profound.
     
  4. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    An individual's life is not structured at all. It is usually an act of imagination to superimpose a narrative on it. It is in fact such a truism that most people will stenuously deny that there are any patterns or narratives in social life, i.e, history!

    Life usually does seem like of collection of incidents that are immmediately forgotten and without after-effects. Usually it is only the passage of time that leaves the marks of change. Genuinely life-changing events are those which cause a change in how daily life goes about, such as marriage, parenthood, to a lesser degree things like major illnesses or new jobs. People who like to spend a great deal of time discussing their personal history are well known to us in daily life however. They are usually avoided as being extremely boring.

    So far as Voyager is concerned, note first how irrelevant most of these life changing events are to the characters in a show with Voyager's premise. In any event, despite the lack of emo about personal life, characters like Torres, Paris, the Doctor, Neelix, even a minor character like Kim just didn't act the same way at the end as at the beginning. It was in fact the characters who underwent the most drastic changes whose changes were the least plausible, namely, Kes and Seven of Nine. :)

    I wonder if what's going on with such an objection, that has so little rational basis, isn't trying to express something deeper, which is that some viewers want the show to be about the emotional lives of the characters, to present the so rarely found in real life narratives about emotional growth, neatly dramatized and self referential, which is to say, self absorbed. The unspoken hope, even to oneself, is for a character who can vicariously live out the daydreams. The constant recurrence of tacit or explicit references and comparisons to DS9 happens because DS9 ended up committed to that kind of character "development." The number of characters on DS9 who ended up being exemplars in one way or another of Freud's "family romance," is a good example.

    By and large, Voyager was about what happened to ordinary people, or even about somebody else, not what about what extraordinary people did in a grand adventure. Yes, technically, just getting home would be a grand adventure, but the people never really seemed to be satisfyingly special.

    No, the show never really gets any better. Even Seven of Nine gets cut down to size in the end.
     
  5. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    I'm reading two contradictory arguments here. Are you saying that life isn't structured at all? Or, are you stating that people aren't willing to admit that structure (i.e. history) exists?

    If you say so.

    You skip Chatokay, Tuvok, and Janeway -- I assume because those characters are pretty static for seven years. You'll have to make the argument that Kim undergoes much change. Despite an episode like "The Disease" he's almost always the wet behind the ears ensign that he starts out as in "Caretaker." The Doctor, of course, underwent a lot of growth and change in seven years. It's no surprise that he's the series' standout character.

    If Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was committed to wish fulfillment, then Sisko joining the prophets, Bashir being genetically enhanced, and Odo leading his species would simply have been played as "awesome!" moments. Instead, we get Sisko being forced to leave his young family, Bashir's abilities being an embarrassing secret, and Odo having to part with his partner, Kira.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
  6. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The contradiction is in many people's minds. Historical trends and forces actually do make a narrative, if precisely what or even how many it is is very much a matter of debate. Nonetheless, oddly enough, people who will more or less insist that things just happen on a big scale will nevertheless force their own lives into a narrative. Since there isn't really a dividing line between personal life and "history," i.e., what happens to society at large, there are in fact larger narratives that include the personal. However, very, very, very little drama or literature is interested in realistically depicting people in context. Even though in the end that is the only "realism" that there truly is.

    If you really think Kim acted the same at the end as at the beginning, you're just not seeing what's there. It's easier to miss since Kim was a minor character. A Vulcan changing is pretty much rewriting the concept. Chakotay had no real function after the electronic religion was dropped, and essentially became a minor character too. Expecting the captain to share an emotional life, given the hierarchical nature to Starfleet the show premised, is ludicrous. Janeway's role was fixed and that fixed what we saw. It wasn't as exciting as Sisko's character gyrations but much more realistic. Which is pretty much the real animus against Voyager, I think.

    As for DS9's commitment to wish fulfilment somehow implying happiness, one of the most common fantasies is the suffering hero.
     
  7. exodus

    exodus Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Remember Picard in "Captain's Holiday"?
    He was going to go out of his way to have a bad time on Riza.
    On Voyager, they were arguing over holodeck time.
    They welcomed the idea of having time off.
     
  8. CaptainMatt

    CaptainMatt Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Picard is a unique exception to the rule, if you are really going to compare him to the Voyager crew liking their time off.
     
  9. tighr

    tighr Commodore Commodore

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    Captains get an exception. They're not allowed to have fun. Janeway did those creepy Victorian holodeck programs where she was a headmistress, and [EDIT: excised because I forgot what thread I was in] in Spirit Folk, so I don't trust her idea of a good time.

    Sisko, on the other hand, was always going to baseball games. He wins the fun Captain award.
     
  10. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    So...what's there, exactly?

    Based on what? Spock underwent a pretty dramatic change in the movies -- and I'm not talking about his (temporary) death.

    The fact that the character has one distinguishing characteristic doesn't speak well to his development.

    Sisko had his relationship with his son, which was richer than any relationship Janeway had, but that dynamic was obviously not possible on Star Trek: Voyager. Of course, Sisko also had an interesting relationship with his first officer, and had Dax as a best friend. On Star Trek: Voyager, Janeway's relationship with her first officer whittled away to nothing by the fourth season, and her relationship with Tuvok could only be developed when the writers let Tim Russ be on screen -- something that didn't happen nearly as often as it should.
     
  11. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    I thought it was realistc with out being creepy when sometimes Avery would kiss Cirroc on the cheek, forehead or top of his head during their father son chats... Did Brock do the same with Avery?

    Jake went from dip shit kid, novelist, Dabo girl whoring, to a war reporter behind enemy lines matching wits against space Colonel Klink as a master spy to... Did anyone think he was moving in on Cassidy a little too quickly after his patre bought the farm?

    The moral of Nightingale, a seventh season episode, was "Thank god I'm still a dipshit kid, I'll grow up later."
     
  12. exodus

    exodus Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It's pretty self absorbed to purposely be rude to others just because you don't wanna have a good time. It's kinda hypocritical to call out Q for his behavior and then show bad manners himself.
     
  13. AdmiralScreed

    AdmiralScreed Captain Captain

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    Future's End: Part one was less interesting because it was mostly just exposition, setting up the plot by sending Voyager back in time, showing us the 1990's, introducing the guest stars, etc. Things picked up quite a bit in part two after the plot got rolling. Overall, I liked the villain and the girl (I can't remember their names), and it was fun to see the crew of Voyager interacting with ordinary people in the 1990's.
    Part 1: 6/10
    Part 2: 8/10
     
  14. You_Will_Fail

    You_Will_Fail Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I didn't like "Future's End" nor do I think it made any sense whatsoever.
    So in Star Trek, all futuristic technology came from someone finding a crashed spaceship? So basically the universe they live in really IS totally different from us?
    It raised too many questions and it was all very tedious for me.
    I think I probably dislike it even more than "Past Tense". Preachy "wins" over nonsensical.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  15. AdmiralScreed

    AdmiralScreed Captain Captain

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    I don't disagree with you about it being nonsensical, but it was still very fun and exciting. The Doctor's scenes in Part 2 were hilarious! But I can understand if you don't like it. It's not one of the better made episodes, but I must say that it is a lot more enjoyable than it has any right to be.
    And how is Past Tense too preachy? It has a good message, and all around it is an extremely fine episode (one of my favorites of DS9's entire run). It's dark, emotional, features some great guest stars, and it's a great time travel story. I thought Sisko was absolutely great in this episode; it was definitely one of Brooks better performances from the earlier seasons. On my scale I would probably rate the entire two part episode a 9 or a 10. I know we're in a Voyager thread, but I would still like to hear why you dislike it.
     
  16. You_Will_Fail

    You_Will_Fail Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    "Past Tense" was incredibly preachy. The high point of the episode's preachiness is where Bashir goes "how did we ever let it get this bad?". I almost expected him to stare into the camera and shed a single tear or something. Oh and Siddig's acting was beyond atrocious in that episode, it made my skin crawl. The message wasn't subtle, it was just so blatant and heavy handed.
    Some of it was OK. I enjoyed some of it, I'd probably give it a 5 or 6 overall.
     
  17. AdmiralScreed

    AdmiralScreed Captain Captain

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    To each his/her own. I personally think that Past Tense is extremely underrated. It's among my favorite 5 or 10 episodes of the series.
     
  18. You_Will_Fail

    You_Will_Fail Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I also hated "Far Beyond the Stars" too, another super-preachy episode. I just hate being preached to like I'm some kind of racist or snob.
    Past Tense was basically shouting "How could you live in your society and be happy with it!???" for 90 minutes.
    "Far Beyond the Stars" shouted [​IMG] at me for 45 minutes and I'm just like "Uh ok, I know racism is bad, I don't condone it in any way. Can I leave class early please?"
     
  19. AdmiralScreed

    AdmiralScreed Captain Captain

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    I completely agree with you on Far Beyond the Stars. How many times did the writers need to shove their message about racism down our throats? After five minutes of it I grew really tired of this episode. Frankly, I don't understand why so many people praise it and call it one of the best DS9 episodes ever.
     
  20. stj

    stj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Being a minor character, most of the time an Ayala with a few lines of dialogue, Kim was just there. But if you bother to watch everyone on screen, admittedly hard to do with just one viewing, Kim just doesn't act the same. The primary characteristics imputed to Kim in later seasons are a mild hypochondria and a mild resentment at not being promoted. Actually, Kim is also supposed to be both brilliant and a complete fuckup, but not in a comic Rodney McKay way. If Kim was really a main character this would have been a major problem in the show characterization.

    These things are not green, wet behind the ears or naive. They are not suitable fodder for vicarious identification either, which may be why people don't see the difference. Not suitable for vicarious fantasy fulfilment at beginning=not suitable for vicarious fantasy fulfilment at end. No change, no "character development."

    The moral of Nightingale was really, "the network suits are micromanaging us to death." That's the only excuse for an idiot plot, which only "works" because Janeway, Chakotay, Tuvok never even think of looking into the rescued aliens' story. This is one of the late appearances of "Borg and proud" Seven to hammer the point in.

    As for Chakotay, Beltran seems not to have wanted to do much besides his player persona, which by the way he does very well. Voyager's setup and the rather discreet attitutde towards sexuality in later Treks meant there wasn't any fallback for him. Again, if you try to watch everyone on screen, when other dialogue and action is taking place, Beltran doesn't usually react if he doesn't have lines or action himself. People love to bash Wang's acting, but he usually acted like he was in the scene, even without lines or action. But then, most people talk about "wooden" performances, and to my eyes Wang wasn't that either. I almost never see criticism of Wang as hammy.
     

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