Vic Fontaine

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by hux, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    I had no problems with Vic Fontaine per se, and Paper Moon was a big payoff for the casino narrative. However, the fact that it was a holodeck fantasy was unnerving. Even from the 1990s, it seemed like a dated premise, an idealized vision of an era that was just the veneer that covered corruption.

    On the other hand, the casino was a symptom of the problem of much of Star Trek: the unwillingness to make downtime interesting, particularly to inject some romance. DS9 needed a nightclub where people could dress up, not a holographic program where they could play at being glamorous. Instead, social life on DS9 is little better than a futuristic mall: you hang out at the food court and shop at the boutiques. And the Starfleet people are so stolid: unless they are in costume for the purpose of the holodeck, they are always in uniform.
     
  2. Fruitcake

    Fruitcake Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I hated Vic the first time I watched DS9, utterly cringe worthy.

    Like most things I ended up just fine and kind of fond of him after a few more rewatches.

    I agree with 3rd Nacelle though, show us a huge nostalgia for something NOT US. Another planet or a time in our future. So much potential there.

    I guess the funny thing to me is I couldn't give a rats about Sinatra and Vegas and that era and I can't fathom why it would be interesting to people on DS9. Surely there were glory days as Earth rebuilt itself post first contact, and glory days when humans colonized Mars and settled on other worlds that people could be nostalgic over. A MARS NIGHTCLUB! It's not that hard to be really really sci fi and cool with a fictional nostalgic time.
     
  3. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    I will give the '50s Vegas theme some credit: TNG could be very dismissive of popular culture. I could be personally involving, like Dixon Hill, but lacking popular appeal. And Riker played the mustiest, most passionless Jazz, almost bereft of any awareness of the history of the genre.. At least Vic's was something that all the characters could share and relate to in their own way. Too bad the writers didn't have the courage to also use Vic's as a stage for similar efforts of other cultures (even other human cultures).
     
  4. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    As a matter of fact, Vic's was 1960s Vegas themed, not 1950s. He said more than once it was set in 1962.
     
  5. dub

    dub Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Why? Because the audience was in on the joke. It was a fun way for some of the characters to be fish out of water types while at the same time the audience is familiar or at least somewhat familiar (and in some cases, directly familiar) with the culture/music/character types shown.

    How would an entire senior staff of a 24th century space station become so interested in this program?

    • Step 1 - Bashir annoys everybody to death until they check it out.
    • Step 2 - Odo voluntarily accesses the Vic program and spends a lot of time in the holosuite. Odo.
    • Step 3 - After some time in the holosuite, Odo scores Kira. Odo!
    • Step 4 - Everybody wants to check out this holosuite program!
    • Step 5 - Like teacake, some of them are annoyed at first but eventually it grows on them. ;)


    Plus, those episodes were just a lot of fun and they were able to do some nice things with the characters. As for me, I loved Vic's character from the beginning, but it doesn't hurt that I actually enjoy that style of music from time to time anyway. I found him and the setting to be charming additions to the show. Now if they had a Kesha type as a recurring character, I'm sure I would have a different opinion.

    My only problem with Vic is he highlighted one of the weaknesses of the newest main character - Ezri. They brought in Ezri and gave her the title of station counselor. I think they gave her one episode where she was playing the counselor role with Garak, but I don't remember much after that aside from a mention here or there. Vic actually became the station's counselor (he wasn't given that title, but that's what he became). He really became the station's counselor starting with "His Way," and then when he became a recurring character, that really became his function through the end of the series. And I loved it! It was certainly unique and worked well for a short run (season and a half). Much better than a Troi-like character for this setting. I think it worked well for wartime. But then Ezri was just there, sometimes pushing buttons on the Defiant and being more of a Jadzia type, and sometimes she was "just there." That bothered me a little. But there was so much going on by the end of season 7, I didn't let it ruin the show for me.
     
  6. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    That was a typo. But for the sake of argument, 1962 was little different from 1959 Las Vegas, and the Strip wasn't undergoing the rapid cultural and social transformation of, say, the East Village or the Castro.
     
  7. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    I think it would have been funny if the Vic program wasn't so historically accurate. If there had been some anachronisms, say, cell phones or laptops in the bar area. Afterall, as far as Bashir and the others are concerned, the 1960s and the 1990s are the same era. This Felix guy must be a history buff as well as a top-notch holoprogrammer.
     
  8. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

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    Plus using a Holodeck for something as boring as Vic is a waste. When holodecks can have you doing zero g space dives or running a Christina Hendricks/Tina Fey massage program, why would you use it to listen to some annoying old crooner?
     
  9. Pavonis

    Pavonis Commodore Commodore

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    Why use a holodeck for zero-g anything? You can just go outside to do that. Or just turn off the gravity in the gym or your quarters.

    Holosuites are primarily used for "pleasure programs", as far as Quark is concerned, so I'm sure there are plenty of massage programs in his library. But even the internet is used for more than porn, so why should the holosuites be so limited?
     
  10. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    It's too bad Vic wasn't patterned after Robert Palmer or David Byrne or Peter Gabriel. But no, they had to do Sinatra.
     
  11. dub

    dub Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Who wants to see Nog getting massaged by Tina Fey? Ew. And space dives in a television series wouldn't be all that fun to watch for more than about 30 seconds. Although I wouldn't be surprised to see a 15-minute space dive sequence in the next JJ film. Talk about mind-numbing.
     
  12. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm shocked at the lack of love for Vic !
     
  13. LobsterAfternoon

    LobsterAfternoon Commander Red Shirt

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    The examples I gave were just what I'd be into. But I think we can agree that in an fictional environment where you can change reality to suit your whims, there's better stuff to do than listen to some assface like Fontaine sing.
     
  14. Captain Kathryn

    Captain Kathryn Commodore Commodore

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    Ok...which was overused more in the final season--- Vic or the Alamo? :D

    I personally don't think Vic was overused since he wasn't introduced until really, really late in the show's run. Also it says on IMDB he was only in 8 episodes. Not so much, I think, compared to some other recurring DS9 characters.
     
  15. TheRoyalFamily

    TheRoyalFamily Commodore Commodore

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    I don't like the idea of Vic, but I do like the character, mostly: he was kinda a Marty Stu. I do think there was way too much emphasis on him, when they had Ezri to get caught up with as well.

    And who else thinks Sisko was secretly going in there, getting singing lessons from Vic? It seemed really random that Vic just invited him to sing that one time, and that he knew the song.
     
  16. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Being a Texan, I adored the Alamo references in season 7. I never thought it was over used and the scenes were more about Bashir and O'brien bonding than actually -what- they were doing. I love how they were arguing about Davy Crockett's demise, and Worf just intercedes with a Klingon anecdote completely relevant to the Kor episode it was in. But yes, I'm not the most objective person there. :)
     
  17. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Commodore Commodore

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    I rewatched Badda Bing, Badda Bang, and although I am still not entirely sold on Vic, I can make peace with the character's purpose. Functionally, I still think it was a poor replacement for the nightclub that the station needed. However, Vic's is about as close to watching TV that would ever occur in the 24th century (except Tom Paris literally watching old TV shows). TNG went to such an extreme to make holographic programs seem less like entertainment: they were interactive; they involved the creative input of the players; they referenced literature and historical events; and they involved real physical activity. The holodeck seemed like an extension of the "bettering oneself" paradigm that supposedly informed work. Vic's had its interactive elements, but the program was more clearly downtime: a relaxation, a diversion. People dressed up, but they always came as themselves. The attachment the characters had for Vic seems more like how the audience feels about TV characters.

    So, I can live with Vic. I could have done with something else, but his character was not the worst filler.
     
  18. Maj. Kira Nerys

    Maj. Kira Nerys Ensign Red Shirt

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    I don't like the character as such. He has that continuously smiling attitude that annoys me very much, but in a way he grows at you and after I had seen some more episodes with him I really began to like them.
    So once you get used to him and his attitude, he is not bad and the way he got Nog back on his feet gave the character some - if not that much - more depth, so I think he's alright.

    About the setting and the obsession with the program. I know people who spend a lot of their time reenacting historic battles or something like that, so why not? And it works as a distraction from the war.

    And about popular culture. There's that bajoran musician coming to the station once, the Ferengi have already been mentioned and I probably find some more examples.
     
  19. Data's Cat

    Data's Cat Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I like Vic!

    I got the same impression. :guffaw:

    How do you know there aren't groups of people who aren't nostalgic about 22nd-century Betazed, or 19th-century Romulus? And there probably will be people in the 24th century who are interested in the 20th century culture.

    There are all sorts of re-enactment groups. And even hundreds of years ago there were themed costume balls where everyone would dress up like ancient Romans or something.

    There was a HUGE craze for all things ancient Egypt in the late 19th century.

    Plenty of people are interested in history, and there always will be an interest.

    Everyone has their own tastes. I love the Rat Pack! I like Frankie so much that I bought an Mp3 album at Amazon called: Nothing But The Best [The Frank Sinatra Collection] so I can listen to his music anytime I like. :luvlove:
     
  20. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I loved the concept of an Ocean's 11 type scenario, I'm just disapointed they had to use Vic to do it with. Quark vs Brunt with the DS9 crew backing him in a heist scenario like that would be much more fulfilling.