Star Trek [TOS] is Cheesy!

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by Trekker4747, May 16, 2009.

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  1. I am not Spock

    I am not Spock Commodore Commodore

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    ^I love Shakespeare, and I love TOS. One of my favourite television programmes of all time. And I'm 26. I saw TOS at 5 years old, and fell in love.

    You need an open mind, and a love of theatrical dialogue to get past a lot of TOS's production values and 'cheesy' effects (they were actually some of the highest budget effects available at the time, weren't they?), if you're under 20, that is.

    I'm still struck at how ahead of the time the show was. The stories are miles ahead of a lot of TV shows these days.
     
  2. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    I was thinking about it a little bit and I suppose if you were to compare TV now to TV when I was growing up 30 years ago some things have obviously changed.

    One thing is that TV seems more homogenous, if you want to watch cartoons you watch Cartoon Network or Nick, you watch the History Channel and if you're lucky PBS for historical shows, you watch AMC or TCM for classic movies, TV Land for old TV shows and so on. When I was growing up there were only a handful of channels so they showed a more diverse lineup.

    The other thing is there is so much more content now. Why would anyone need to watch TOS, when there's TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT with a more modern bent. There's been 40 years of shows more modern than Trek to compete for airtime, not to mention all the alternative media. Again when I was growing up there'd be Our Gang/Little Rascals, Three Stooges, Bugs Bunny, I Love Lucy, King Kong, Godzilla etc etc being shown with all the other programming. There was just more exposure to stuff before our time.

    I think the two of these together may explain why with the new TV landscape just aren't as tolerant of older stuff.
     
  3. Basil

    Basil Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    "Cause most of the modern stuff sucks.
     
  4. Zeppster

    Zeppster Commodore Commodore

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    The more things change, the more they remain the same. TOS writing is so much better than most of the other shows and the shows have redeeming qualities. While I like some of the things in Trek since the mid 80s are forgettable.
     
  5. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    When I was younger and first getting into Star Trek (TNG) I found it hard to watch TOS reruns. Not only where the Saturday afternoon syndication runs inconvenient for me to watch but, sigh, I did have a hard time with the "dated" production values and cinematography techniques.

    I wish I could go back in time and smack myself.
     
  6. Dusty Ayres

    Dusty Ayres Commodore

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    Howzabout you go and smack some of the other people your age who also call TOS cheesy?
     
  7. Kirk1980

    Kirk1980 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think I'm about the youngest you can be and be exposed to Trek at a relatively young age (6 years old for me) and not find it dated/cheesy. I'm 29 and the mid-80's weren't exactly ground-breaking on TV for special effects.

    So when I saw TOS in pre-TNG era, I didn't think at all about the 60's era effects.

    Then again, 60's era shows were popular channel fillers in this area, at least....Monkees, I Dream of Jeannie, Bewitched, Hogan's Heroes, etc.
     
  8. Nerdius Maximus

    Nerdius Maximus Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I agree, this is a real thorn in my side. I can't stand how all of a sudden anything old is "cheesy" and needs to be improved upon. Sure, TOS had it's share of dumb moments, but chalk those up to bad writing on those particular eps. If you can't enjoy something because the visual effects aren't up to today's "standards" then you have no imagination whatsoever. On a related note, I can't stand it when I ask someone how a movie was, and they say "The special effects were really good!":rolleyes: Hey, that's great, but effects are icing on the cake.
     
  9. Penhall99

    Penhall99 Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Yeah, this is one of the reasons why I'm actually glad they did the remastered versions. With the updated optical effects and some of the goofs fixed (wire removal, etc), more people actually give this show a chance.

    I've always loved TOS. Even as a kid, I thought the vintage effects were pretty cool. I've always enjoyed the sets, costumes, props, music...Its just a fun and cool show.

    Its a TV classic that has endured for over 40 years.
     
  10. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    ^^ I disagree, I think the FX are just the surface of what people think about when dismissing the show as cheesy. I'd be shocked if the number of people actually converted to TOS by the remastering itself was significant.
     
  11. I am not Spock

    I am not Spock Commodore Commodore

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    26, loved TOS since the age of 5.;)
     
  12. I am not Spock

    I am not Spock Commodore Commodore

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    I like the so called 'cheesy' (high tech for the era) effects in TOS. You have no imagination if you cannot get past this, and see the show for its great stories.
     
  13. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    In fairness all of us respond to things on a visual level. The trick is being able to assess something fairly and be able to look beyond perceived shortcomings.

    I don't think you can fairly assess TOS without appreciating the context of when it was made. Yes, it's not as polished and detailed as today, but that doesn't mean that's how it was perceived then and that it was deliberately substandard.

    This is a mistake I think a lot of folks make, and largely unintentionally. I can look at the 1933 King Kong and make many of the same comments. But when I appreciate what they were able to do with what they had at the time then I immediately see it in a wholly different light.
     
  14. M

    M Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I agree. I don't think there are too many people who became fans, because of the updated effects. You can hear people dismiss TOS as cheesy all the time on this board, not only because of the effects, but because of the acting and music. Which, personally, I never really understood. I love these aspects of TOS.
     
  15. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    ^^ Odd, because I find a lot of the writing in acting in contemporary Trek far more cheesy than most of anything TOS did.
     
  16. M

    M Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No offense, Warped9, but since I see you doing that all the time I have to ask: Why do you take every opportunity to say something negative about the other Trek series? Even when they're not even the subject of the discussion. I can see how it might be appropriate to bring them up in this discussion, but I've seen you slam the other series in many other threads. It's as if you can only express your love for The Original Series by stating how much you hate everything that came after it? It's as if The Original Series is only so good to you, because all the other Trek series are shit. Seems odd and unnecessary to me, since there are many fans of the other series around here and most of the time it comes across as an attack.

    Again, this is not supposed to be offensive. I know your opinion and you're entitled to express it whenever you want. It's just something I always wondered about. This is just an honest inquiry. :)
     
  17. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    ^^ Call it a reflex action. :lol:

    It mostly because when I hear the "cheesy" adjective thrown around I often see it from fans of the later shows. If they're going to throw mud, well...
     
  18. Myasishchev

    Myasishchev Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    And unrealistic dialogue!

    I can effortlessly forgive TOS for its sets and effects--and the costumes, particularly the uniforms, or at least the men's are imo actually much better looking than TNG's pyjamas.

    At the same time, TOS doesn't take its own drama seriously half the time, and indulges in pure cheese. Why portray realistic or even plausible reactions to things like your chief engineering possessed by Jack the Ripper and forced to kill young women, or the extinction of an entire solar system by your "son, the doctor", when you can undermine an otherwise gripping dramas for nothing more than a cheap laugh?

    I could see that putting someone off the show.
     
  19. Doomsday

    Doomsday Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    The "cheesy" criticism has always irked me. I also get really frustrated when I even read professional reviewers/columnists who dismiss TOS with its "cardboard sets" and "ships on strings".

    TOS represented state of the art "technique" for set design and optical effects. The only difference between a TOS visual and, say, a visual from "2001" is not the technique but the amount of time and money they could spend.

    TOS FX were mostly wooden models in on some kind of stand, in front of blue-screen, with backgrounds optically matted in. Exotic backgrounds were beautiful matte paintings, and sets were primarily painted plywood over 2X4 frames, with electrical wiring to make it look "powered".

    All the big budget SF movies of from the 50s all the way to the 80s used this exact same technology(admittedly, SW bumped it up a notch with computerized motion control, but that didn't happen until 10 years after TOS).

    Again, the only difference was time and money. If the TOS producers could have spent the money, and had the time, TOS FX would have looked as good as 2001.

    There was no cardboard, no ships on fishing wire, etc etc.

    The visual aesthetic represented an artistic choice by the various filmakers involved, informed by the styles of the times.

    It's interesting, that 20 years after TNG, they are often criticized for being bland.

    I guess it's all a matter of opinion. I just wish so called "professionals" were careful enough to do the research before they make such statements in columns and reviews, that might actually affect someone's choice who hasn't seen for themself yet.

    Sorry for the rant, this one just gets under my skin....
     
  20. Cakes488

    Cakes488 Commodore Commodore

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    There's only one thing that made me cringe with TOS...as a kid and now as an "adult"...just one ....and that was the damn puppet strings in Catspaw...other than that I never noticed anything adverse about TOS....until I signed into the TrekBBS that is....:lol:
     
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