Trek romances - the good, the bad, and the boring?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by DevilEyes, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Spock and Uhura in Trek XI are literally the first Trek couple that I think have a shot at not being boring/annoying/written at an obnoxiously juvenile level.
     
  2. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    :lol: Well, that is a bit harsh IMO, but Spock and Uhura are definitely my favorite Trek pairing. But I must say that I enjoyed their dynamic in their few scenes in TOS as well, so I was already prepared and wanting something like that to happen and felt it was "logical" ;) I thought the AU versions wee great together, but maybe STXI should have devoted a bit more screen-time to the relationship in order to explain the background properly - as it is, many people are still confused about it and some things are not quite clear. But this is just the first installment, I hope they handle it well in the sequels.

    I agree. I found myself wishing for Kes to dump Neelix and have something with the Doctor instead...although, that's not saying much, I always wished Kes would finally dump Neelix, for whatever reason (and since I am still watching early season 3, it and it's still not happened, it makes me feel so good to know that she eventually will. :bolian:) That relationship was completely unbelievable, I couldn't fathom what she saw in him, and he was even more annoying in his scenes with her than he was otherwise . We were just supposed to think that she loved him because... well, because we were told so, although I couldn't understand for the life of me why. She and The Doctor had a nice relationship - I am not saying that it had to be anything more than friendship, but if they wanted Kes to have a romance, it would have made much more sense than Neelix... (although that's not saying much, anything else would have been preferable to Kes/Neelix :rolleyes:).

    Another horrible one was Scotty/Uhura - it was introduced out of the blue, without any basis in anything that went before, was never developed or explained, and consisted of a couple of very weird scenes, and went nowhere. It seemed that someone came up with it only in order to give the two characters something to do in the movie.

    As I said, I never liked the 'disposable love interest of the week' routine, which made every romance in TOS ultimately predictable. Some of them made good episodic stories, though - like Kirk and Edith Keeler. However, most other Kirk's romances were either boring or far-fetched: Kirk and Rayna the android in "Requiem for Metuselah" was very unconvincing, and I had many problems with his relationship with Miramanee in "The Paradise Syndrome". Spock's brief romances in "This Side of Paradise" and "All Our Yesterdays" were very moving, but overall, none of the women he was paired up with in TOS was particularly interesting, except maybe the Romulan Commander from "The Enterprise Incident" (although I had some problems with the story, it has to be said that their scenes were one of the few Trek moments that I consider genuinely erotic).

    I'm not a big shipper of either Picard/Crusher or Riker/Troi, but both those pairings were good and made sense, apart from one thing: being dragged out ridiculously long. It felt like the writers just felt they needed to come up with reasons to keep them from getting together during the series' run, because they would not know how to handle a romance between the main characters on a day-to-day basis. However, S7 episode "Attached" changed my mind somewhat, as it was a very good, very touching examination of the Picard/Crusher relationship and the reasons they did not act out on their feelings. But, after picking it up in the series finale, it was weird and disappointing that the writers didn't follow it up at all in the movies ("continuity is for sissies"? :p:devil:), so it's good to know that the novels at least tried to remedy this. (I haven't read any of the TNG novels.)

    (I also think that the woman in "Lessons" made the other most believable love interest for Picard - sorry, I never really bought Vash/Picard - and I think it's not coincidental that she was similar to Crusher - when she appeared, I thought they picked an actress who looked like a dark-haired Gates McFadden.)

    Same thing with Riker/Troi - dragged out ridiculously, but "Second Chances" dealt with their relationship in a good way, in a sort of bizarre love triangle with Tom Riker, who was basically what Riker used to be years ago.

    It seems that opinions differ on Riker/Troi and Worf/Troi. I prefer Riker/Troi and never found the Worf/Troi romance that convincing, even though they were good as friends. Worf's romance that I liked best was with K'Ehleyr. Part of the reason is that she is one of my favorite females in Trek, ever, but also, Worf - generally not one of my favorite characters - is always at his most interesting when confronted with people who challenge him and his views. For the same reason, I also like Worf/Jadzia, which comes as close second to Worf/K'Ehleyr. K'Ehleyr and Jadzia were both strong women - who had both something very Klingon and something veru non-Klingon about them - who loved freedom, challenged Worf, and could drive him crazy because he felt he wasn't able to control them. (There was never any of that with Troi - so their relationship just was not exciting and lacked passion.) Worf/K'Ehleyr was more intense (and it was also probably the only time in Trek when Klingon mating ritual did not look silly), while Worf/Jadzia was more light-hearted, fun and stabile. Their differences made them fun to watch, but I don't see why some people think that Jadzia didn't respect Worf's values - Jadzia herself liked Klingon ways (she was far more accepting of them than K'Ehleyr, who rebelled against them), she was just not as narrow-minded as Worf.

    Sisko and Kassidy was all right. DS9 showed some maturity by allowing the captain to have a regular long-term relationship, which seemed unimaginable for Kirk or Picard. It wasn't something that made me incredibly excited, but it made sense, was convincing and well done. I also found their goodbye scene quite touching.

    I didn't know Kira/Odo was so widely hated. I do agree that there were plausibility issues, as there always are when one person has an unrequited love for the other and the other sees them just as a friend for years, even after learning of their feelings - and then suddenly changes their mind, so the couple could conveniently be brought together. I agree that the way they got them together in "His Way" was not completely convincing. But I still liked the relationship, because they were both interesting characters who had a deep connection for a long time, but at the same time it was the most unusual interspecies pairing in Star Trek: most of the other interspecies relationships were between members of humanoid species, who only differed from each other by a few bumps or scales, or cultural and religious differences. Changelings, however, are truly 'alien' in many ways and fundamentally different from humanoids, which made for an interesting exploration of whether love can overcome real differences. While "His Way" was not all that convincing, I thought that Kira/Odo was well developed afterwards, because the show faced the issues rather than trying to pretend they did not exist, and in the end did not make them live happily ever after. I especially liked "Chimera" and their goodbye in "What You Leave Behind".

    And, you know, Kira/Odo might not have been perfect, but it was infinitely preferable to the alternative of Kira/Shakaar (or another Shakaar). That was like the very definition of dull, and it did not have anything to contribute to Kira's development as a character. Neither did Odo's earlier long pining over Kira: that was great for the character of Odo, but it had nothing to say about Kira, she was just an object of his unrequited love.

    With the Vedeks? Was there some secret Kira/Winn hookup I was unaware of? :p :lol: Kira was involved with just one Vedek, Bareil; and with Mirror Bareil, who was not a Vedek, but a thief and conman. You're probably referring to Shakaar, who had nothing to do with religion - he was the former Resistance leader (leader of Kira's cell) and later the Prime Minister of Bajor. Neither of the relationships was too exciting, but I certainly preferred Bareil to Shakaar. But I don't see why you'd think they were about 'lust'. She had a lot in common with both men and probably admired them, Shakaar had been a friend of hers for a long time, and it's not like it ever looked like one of those relationships where they were going to rip their clothes off because they couldn't keep their hands off each other. :rommie: Which all goes back to it being dull, I guess. Kira/Bareil was much better though, for the following reasons: 1) It was still quite early in the series and it was the first time we saw Kira become romantically interested in anyone - up to that point, she was only a fighter, not a lover; it was the first time we saw her relax and start to heal, 2) she really seemed to love him, and 3) it ended early and tragically. If it had continued, it would've probably become quite dull, but it never really had the time to - first there was the angst over whether he had been a traitor, combined with Winn's machinations and the entire Kai election business ("The Collaborator") and then he died tragically in "Life Support".

    Kira/Shakaar, on the other hand, was just a plot device to make Odo suffer. The show was never really invested in the relationship, it was never developed, mostly happened off-screen, and we never even saw it from Kira's POV, just from Odo's. It was as if Kira had become a supporting character in a love triangle that was all about Odo. Shakaar was an obvious and safe choice (Bajoran, long time friend, they had fought together in the Resistance) but he and Kira had no chemistry, and it was just a generic, dull relationship that the writers seemed to throw there before they figure out what they really wanted to do with Kira's love life. It wasn't a surprise that it eventually fizzled out with a whimper, instead of a bang, and they went back to being friends. (And all that, off-screen.)

    (On a related note - I find it fascinating that Kira/Dukat was apparently seriously considered at some point, considering how completely outrageous it would have been for a Star Trek show, even one that was 'darker' and 'grittier'. It is really a testament to the chemistry of the actors/characters, and quite telling of the relative lack of chemistry of some of the more acceptable pairings on the show.)

    Ezri/Bashir were well-matched - in the way that Jadzia and Bashir never were (it's good that the show never got those two together, it really wouldn't have been believable to have Jadzia change her feelings about him, or lack thereof). The only problem was that there was just 1 season to develop them, and was obvious that the writers were rushing to get them together, so they could wrap it all up. It was as if they felt it was high time to give Bashir some happiness, after had been torturing him with bad luck in love for too long. At first his ineptitude with women was funny, but as Bashir changed as a character, by season 7 his romantic disappointments had become really sad (most notably in "Chrysalis" - BTW, I don't know why people hate that episode). That made it a bit predictable that they'd get him with Ezri so at least someone would have a happy ending.

    Maybe I need to re-watch the episodes, but I have to say that I never noticed Keiko's alleged abusiveness to Miles. :confused:

    The writers really dropped the ball with Garak/Bashir - they had the opportunity to portray a bisexual character who would not have been defined by his sexuality, in a way that would not have seemed forced and contrived. I know they said they never intended for Garak to be bisexual or gay, but the actor played him as bisexual and interested in Bashir - what was the problem with picking up on that? The writers apparently also never originally intended for Odo to be in love with Kira - it was only incorporated in the show because of the way Rene Auberjonois was playing it.

    (Yes, Mirror Garak was hinted at being bi - but that does not count, since it's the MU...)

    Nana Visitor said after "Crossover" that she didn't think of The Intendant as bisexual, and that her crush on PU Kira was a result of her total narcissism. But the subsequent MU episodes dropped the ball on that by having The Intendant sleep with women like Mirror Ezri and making Mirror Ezri and Mirror Leeta lesbian. So all of a sudden you have all those good heterosexual people, and their evil counterparts who are bi or gay. :rolleyes: Not that the writers ever intended it to be understood that way. They just wanted to titillate the viewers with some girl on girl action, and they weren't really thinking. :vulcan:
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
  3. Rush Limborg

    Rush Limborg Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Exactly--which is why I never really got Ezri's line, "If Worf hadn't come along, it would've been you." My best guess is, she was reading too much into his feelings for Jadzia, or something. Of course, he looks upset at this line....

    Yeah. I wish we could've seen more of them together (other than the books), but... "There just wasn't enough time, Michael...not enough time...."
     
  4. Too Much Fun

    Too Much Fun Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, like I said all of Kira's men were just so bland to me...couldn't remember any of their names and positions and didn't care. And I forgot, I loved the Crusher and Picard thing. Call me a 'shipper' if you wish, but I was just bummed out that they never 'pulled the trigger' on that and followed up on it in the movies like they did with Riker and Troi.

    On the other hand, it was disappointing how little Insurrection and Nemesis contributed to that romance's story by giving it precious few memorable moments/developments. "Attached" was amazing. Set things up wonderfully and they never followed up on it (I don't count the alternate reality tease of "All Good Things"). :(
     
  5. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I have long had an aversion to fanfiction in general, not just Trek, due to the amount of bad fanfiction, Porn Without Plot, random pairings and general nonsense. But occasionally I've read some really quality stuff, and recently I've found that there is more good fanfiction out there than I thought, with faithful characterization and believable plots. Some of it is better than many of the actual episodes (while there are some episodes and parts of, or entire movies, that feel like bad fanfiction). I usually went by descriptions, avoiding stupid premises, and I've rarely been wrong, but it's easier when you can go by recommendations, follow certain authors and use forums like this one to find the good stuff. The thing that put me off the fanfiction world for so long were, in particular, the ridiculous pairings, particularly (but not limited to) slash. There are some things that make sense, more or less, if these "ships" were featured in or hinted at in the show, or could perhaps be construed that way, whether you agree with it or not - and then there's completely random nonsense, the kind of thing that makes you go "WTF?" - you know, characters that barely or never had scenes together, things like that. For so many people, fanfiction is just a means to write porn about people they find hot.

    But since I'm stilla relative novice who has only just scrapped the surface of the fanfic world, could someone more versed in it tell me what are, from what they know, the most popular fanfic pairings for every Trek series (apart from Kirk/Spock slash, everyone knows about that)?
     
  6. Tribble

    Tribble Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Personally, I find the occasional gem pretty much worth the effort skimming through bad or mediocre fic, after some time you get better at sensing which stories you might like. And luckily stories are always categorised by pairing, so it's easy to ignore pairings that don't appeal to you.

    In TNG, I think Picard/Crusher and Riker/Troi are the most popular pairings, and in VOY I always thought Janeway/Chakoty to be popular, but don't take my word for it.
     
  7. Pemmer Harge

    Pemmer Harge Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I agree with this. They had good chemistry and there was potential for interesting plot lines.
     
  8. Commander Rabbit

    Commander Rabbit Commander

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    Good pair! Also, Odo and Kira. And Tripp and T'Pol.
     
  9. Myasishchev

    Myasishchev Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Other than Sisko and Yates, I (sadly) agree.

    My favorite Trek relationship was probably Bashir and Sarina Douglas, but that's far from immune from your criticism--it's just that he was supposed to be operating at an obnoxiously juvenile level. However, this is first time they actually followed through on the consequences of Bashir (or anyone) perpetually acting like an idiot man-child when it came to girls.

    Odo and Kira gets an honorable mention, as it was done really well exactly twice, in "Chimera" and in "What You Leave Behind," but most of the rest of it was tweener-level interpersonal communication.

    I did like the relationship in "The Outcast," but although Riker's behavior (fight the power, etc.) is pretty noble and believable, the concomitant declarations of love come off as childish and weird.

    Riker's gotta quit putting his junk into the back of Data's head, too. That would be so off-putting in real life.
     
  10. kes7

    kes7 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    WHAT? :wtf: :lol:

    I'm totally confused -- I'm clearly missing something here ...
     
  11. Agenda

    Agenda Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I think the greatest unrealized relationship was Spock/Uhura (TOS). They really had great chemistry in the scenes they did have.
     
  12. Agenda

    Agenda Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    When he would stand right behind him all the time while Data was at the helm. Pretty hilarious.
     
  13. Anwar

    Anwar Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Didn't Spiner actually complain about that once? Man has remarkable willpower not to...
     
  14. Tulaberry whine

    Tulaberry whine Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I'll never understand the criticisms of the relationship between Keiko and O'Brien, I thought it was really lovely and one of the most honest ones on Trek. Yes, she often teased him; find me a married couple who don't playfully tease each other. I certainly don't think she treated him with disrespect.

    As pointed out elsewhere, Keiko sacrificed A LOT for O'Brien, and from virtually the first episode of DS9 it was apparent she had probably sacrificed too much. As a character who found herself without much direction in life, the ability to pursue her interests or an occupation, Keiko was pretty unique in the Trek universe in those early episodes of DS9. She was depressed and frustrated at times - who can blame her really.

    Meanwhile, in later years while Keiko was at home raising children or off trying to keep her career afloat (she was a scientist prior to coming to DS9 afterall), O'Brien was more often than not behaving like a fratboy. I think Keiko doesn't get the credit she deserves for putting up with behaviour most women would nip in the bud before the wedding. For the most part she put up with an awful lot of shenanigans from a married man of two toddlers, yet she gets labelled an intolerable shrew?
     
  15. kes7

    kes7 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's been a while since I watched TNG. I'll have to dig out a few episodes and look for that. Funny ...
     
  16. DevilEyes

    DevilEyes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I totally agree.

    They could have had the Spock/Uhura dynamic in addition to the Kirk/Spock and Spock/McCoy dynamic.
     
  17. Sector 7

    Sector 7 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I could not have said it better myself. Perhaps one day a realistic gay Trek character will become a reality. Mostly the "romances" were more like sexual interludes on Trek. Making out has replaced making love on television and in the movies. Sadly it is much the same in real life.
    Janeway/Chakotay and Keiko/O'Brien are the exceptions, IMO.
     
  18. seigezunt

    seigezunt Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Kirk/Spock.
     
  19. Agenda

    Agenda Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Gay people is where Trek failed. It's a damn shame.
     
  20. RogueFive

    RogueFive Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Whaddya mean? There are no gay people in Star... Oh, wait...