Tasha Yar Presents: "Making Good Career Decisions"

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Picard Maneuver, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. DGCatAniSiri

    DGCatAniSiri Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I do think that Denise made a hasty decision to leave, but I can also understand why. The writers had no idea how to write ANY of the female characters, and were still struggling with it in season seven. But throw in a female character in what was traditionally a male role while also trying to have it played as 'this is an everyday kind of thing, it's not questioned' and the writers of the time were probably trying to figure 'how do we have an episode about Tasha that doesn't focus on a woman trying to do a man's job and doesn't come across as sexist?' Like I said, they had enough trouble with the female characters in the more maternal roles, that doesn't speak as well to writing a female character in a 'protector' oriented role. Denise probably figured that it wasn't going to get any better and, rather than just become scenery, she asked out.

    And on top of the above, and as a warning, this is where I start ranting, there was the 'our characters DON'T' clause put in by Roddenberry that I've harped on a couple of times. Tasha's background was richer than all of the other Enterprise crews combined and could have been a goldmine... Except Gene Roddenberry said that 'humans no longer do X, these characters can't do Y,' etc. Symbiosis, for example, could have been a powerful Tasha episode where she comes face to face with her own prior use of drugs while on her homeworld, but because these characters were supposed to be 'perfect,' apparently, pre-Starfleet Tasha was supposed to be a paragon of virtue who, despite having nothing, wanting everything, fighting for her very survival, never turned to drugs. Her infamous 'drugs are bad, m'kay?' speech to Wesley has a subtext that she once was an addict, but because these characters had to be 'perfect,' she couldn't come out and say it. It's that clause, that 'make the characters perfect' requirement that was put into place, that seriously hurt Tasha as a character because they couldn't dig into her background too seriously without violating it.

    Looking back on it now, sure, we can come up with a million different ways to have taken the character. But hindsight is 20/20. Now, there are a ton of various 'action female' characters to draw from who could be an inspiration into how to write a Tasha Yar character. These characters did not exist twenty years ago.
     
  2. billcosby

    billcosby Commodore Commodore

    This thread is terrific.

    Denise Crosby made irrational decisions.

    The writing from the first season.... wow. I'm surprised the entire crew of the Enterprise - D didn't quit. Those that stuck around made great progress, especially Troi, Geordi, Worf.

    That comparison pic of Roseanne's Becky is fuct! It's messing with my mind in a way that a rip in space/time would. I hope I don't wake up tomorrow as my own daughter.
     
  3. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    First Viv was better, and so was first Darren. Second Darren was too smarmy.

    You know, the female Romulans of TNG onward were pretty much anti-sexy. :(

    I can't really fault Denise for her decision to leave, given how things were. However, I can kinda fault her for trying to claw her way back into the show at every turn after her career didnt go well and TNG became successful.
     
  4. Seven of Five

    Seven of Five Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I know! She lives off the success of the show that got better in later seasons, despite her leaving in the first season.
     
  5. CaptainStoner

    CaptainStoner Knuckle-dragging TNZ Denizen Admiral

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    Although she did not become an A-list film star, the overall popular myth that she did nothing since TNG, and lives off the franchise, falls apart if one looks at her actual film career, especially in comparison to the other TNG cast members who have about as many, even less, credits than she does.
    But it is a lot funnier to think of this person who left what was to become a hit show, and never worked again.
     
  6. billcosby

    billcosby Commodore Commodore

    She made a lot of guest appearances. I was rewatching Dexter and forgot she was in the first episode (or one of the first few?)... in a rather signifignant role. She was in a short lived drama set in the Florida keys.... I think it was called "Key West." A lawyer in Jackie Brown... That's all I can come up with from the top of my head. Anyway, she pops up everywhere.
     
  7. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't mean to diss her. It's just odd that she left, and then it was like she realized she'd made this huge mistake and came running back.
     
  8. Alrik

    Alrik Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Alrik is on A deck chair, somewhere....
    *cough* Donatra *cough*

    ;) :p :lol:
     
  9. Marten

    Marten Captain Captain

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    She made a little role in Mad Men last year.
     
  10. billcosby

    billcosby Commodore Commodore

    The stablemaster. You're right, I forgot about that!
     
  11. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Keep in mind, too, that at the time everyone was being told that TNG was not going to last. The actors were signed to 5-year contracts because that is a standard in television, but were all told "don't worry, this thing won't make it past the first year." And, at the stage in the game they were when Crosby left, I can understand why she might have thought that.

    Plus, as others have pointed out, the writing for her character -was- terrible. She had great potential, but it was never used. When she was used, it was written so badly it was painful, especially the dialogue she was given.

    So, yeah, in retrospect it was a bad move for her to leave. And if I were a struggling actor, I'd probably hang on to a steady series gig as long as I could unless there was a -real- good reason to leave. But that's just me. Other actors feel differently. Her character was being badly written and underused, and everyone thought the show wasn't going to last. I can't really blame her for her decision.
     
  12. billcosby

    billcosby Commodore Commodore

    Can't see why she couldn't have waited out the 3 more episodes to finish the season, though. The Neutral Zone wasn't much of a cliffhanger.
     
  13. Praetor

    Praetor Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Damn. Even I can't deny how hot Dina Meyer is.
     
  14. milo bloom

    milo bloom Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Longtime fan of Yar, always thought her leaving was a bad idea. I've wondered if they couldn't have made an effort to bring her back to the main timeline when they were trying to get a new semi-permanent bridge officer in the later seasons and Michelle Forbes wouldn't commit to Ro.

    Was always impressed they made sure to get her back for All Good Things...


    ETA: If TNG ever gets an Abrams style reboot years down the road, I hope they give the Yar character a much better showing. Though of course she'll probably end up like Gary Mitchell did in the new movie.
     
  15. billcosby

    billcosby Commodore Commodore

    Agreed, I read somewhere Denise had her hair grown out shoulder length and they'd made a wig for her that looked hideous, so she decided to chop it off so that she wouldn't look horrible forever in syndication!

    That's a very interesting idea... and I do subscribe to the theory that TNG will eventually get rebooted in our lifetime.
     
  16. Doug Otte

    Doug Otte Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    "...like Gary Mitchell did in the new movie..." - do you mean "nonexistent"? I don't remember GM being even mentioned in the Nu movie.

    Doug
     
  17. tharpdevenport

    tharpdevenport Admiral Admiral

    Yeah, that last part worked out real well. :lol:


    I can't name another TV character, with some thought, that died, but still kept coming back.
     
  18. Nick086

    Nick086 Captain Captain

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    They needed good writers in the first season. I didn't like her character's background. From what I could remember she was raised somewhere where rape gangs and crime ran amoke on some planet. If only the writers in the series could at least given her character a decent personal background and bio.
     
  19. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Are you sure about that? When her character was brought back, it was in the third season, and Roddenberry, though not running the day-to-day operations, was still very much involved in reviewing the scripts and giving his approval. I base that on the fact that Michael Piller did not join the staff until the third season, but talks about the conversations he had with Roddenberry where Roddenberry was unhappy with a particular script and they had to rewrite it.
     
  20. Unicron

    Unicron Continuity Spackle Moderator

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    It was a failed Federation colony. I didn't mind the unpleasant background so much as (and my memory could be shaky) there never really being a good explanation for why the Feds didn't make a better effort to restore order.