Why is humor lacking in so much modern sci-fi?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by BoredShipCapt'n, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. Mistral

    Mistral Vice Admiral Admiral

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    "You go, Yu."

    "I hope you enjoy the shot...of my ass."

    "Man, you guys are a loong way from Oakland."

    Eureka, W13, Farscape, Sanctuary, Dr. Who, Firefly, Misfits-the list goes on of scifi with humor. Not all of it is funny-but a lot of shows incorporated humor in their delivery.
     
  2. Relayer1

    Relayer1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A lot of sci-fi used to have a rather superficial or even stupid - look at say Buck Rogers, and there was quite a lot of crap like that in the 70's and 80's. Even more serious shows were rather cheesy. Cartoons always had the damned cute animal or funny robot. Those of us old enough to remember those days reacted against them. Never again !

    That's not to say humour hasn't its place - as said earlier, the X Files and Stargate handled it quite well. It's just that the humour shouldn't be aimed at 6 year olds...
     
  3. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Basically this, and that's not even counting Firefly. At most I think you could say that post-1980s there are more examples of sci-fi TV that took itself more seriously - shows that could and did have humour, but treated their sci-fi trappings as seriously or almost as seriously as non-genre dramas took theirs. So camp of the kind that say Lost in Space engaged in has been less common.

    Re: Charlie Jade, Sindatur
    One of the very first lines of dialogue spoken in Charlie Jade is a joke about ball-size. I think one can rest their case there.
     
  4. Gaith

    Gaith Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I don't know what the OP is talking about either. Today's biggest sci-fi franchise, the Bayformers movies, are just filled with levity.
     
  5. Temis the Vorta

    Temis the Vorta Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, I don't see evidence that the proportion of humor vs no-humor shows for sci fi is any different than other genres, like cop or doctor shows.
     
  6. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Not to mention "stopping at casino planets". Which is a complaint I will never understand.
     
  7. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

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    Of course one thing to consider about the original BSG is that in hindsight, it is possible all those human colonies they came across are lifeless world, well deviod of human life. After all If I were the cylons I would exterminate these primative human worlds lest they reach a level at which they could pose a thread.
     
  8. Morpheus 02

    Morpheus 02 Commodore Commodore

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    Just becaquse a movie is a joke, doesn't mean it's filled with levity:rommie:

    I think some shows, like nu-BSG ... they just FEEL humorless.or pace of it, makes it seem like there isn't any. Certainly in my life, i feel like most people do make jokes. Some more than others, but it seems like everyone makes a joke at least once in a while.

    Serious shows, like The Walking Dead, seem to put out their humor at appropriate times, or jokes that make sense with the characters (like racist ones with Darryl & Merle).

    But if the characters don't seem to laugh/make jokes once in a while, it seems unnatutral and people notice their absence. Kinda like the seemingly lack of toilets on the Enterprise.
     
  9. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    Okay, I have to ask: can anyone cite an example of this pervasive new trend in humorless sf besides BSG and its spinoffs? Or are we extrapolating an entire trend from one high-profile example?
     
  10. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Outside of the two episodes written by Darin Morgan, Millennium was pretty bleak. Of course, it was mostly a crime series, but there were some fantasy elements.

    Your point is well taken, though; these programs are outliers, not the norm.

    I haven't seen it, but isn't The Invaders pretty humorless?
     
  11. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    But Millennium went off the air thirteen years ago, so it's probably not all that representative of "modern sci-fi." :)
     
  12. M'rk son of Mogh

    M'rk son of Mogh Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Most things Walter says in "Fringe" make me die of laughter.

    There's comedy in modern sci-fi.
     
  13. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    (RE: Greg Cox)

    I think it fits the OP's request for post-1980 television programs, but you're right, it's a little old to be considered "contemporary."
     
  14. Newspaper Taxi

    Newspaper Taxi Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    FUTURAMA: Attempting humor since 1999 (R)
     
  15. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Admiral

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    Heck, at this point even BSG dates back to the previous century! :)
     
  16. Morpheus 02

    Morpheus 02 Commodore Commodore

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    Part of it is a perception problem -- that it FEELS like there's less humor. And again, we're not saying everything has to be like Eureka or some of Stargate-SG1's funniest.

    But like i said, opportunities, where it should fit in seem to have been lost. Stargate Universe & Enterprise seemed to have less humor than their predecessors.

    Touch (on the edge of the genre) is still a good show (IMHO), but more serious than others (i felt like Heroes & even 24 had more humor scattered throughout than Touch).

    I haven't followed some of the other genre shows (like Once Upon a Time, Grimm, the vampire shows), so someone can let me know what they think of those...
     
  17. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    I remember the original thinking behind having humour so prominent in SG-1 was because much of sci-fi was so humourless and took itself too seriously. And then Stargate eventually goes down this path anyway with SGU.

    Ironically, though it's often called the darkest Trek series, DS9 probably had some of the funniest jokes in the entire Trek franchise.
     
  18. Kegg

    Kegg Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I only barely remember that episode of the original BSG, but mostly it was just really, really cheesy and stupid. It's an excellent example though of camp, which is the sort of humour largely eschewed by modern genre TV.

    The remake tried to really go through the wringer of looking at how genocide of the human race would affect the handful of survivors, while the original show's characters were frankly a little too chipper about the whole thing. One could argue that the new series went too far in the other direction, but hey, balance, where does one find it.

    Branching out to other genre shows eh? In that case:

    Game of Thrones has humour, otherwise known as the vast majority of Peter Dinklage's dialogue (and no wonder he's a fan favourite and also the guy who brought home an Emmy).

    American Horror Story is unintentionally hilarious all the time, and it has some intentional jokes too. Although it's always hard to tell how much of that show is in on its own joke - it's certainly a good modern example of camp, if a dark, twisted and hyperbolic sort.

    Walking Dead... humour is sporadic at best. It's considerably less funny than that other post-apocalpytic TV series with a Bear McCreary score, largely because the writing feels so much more pedestrian (or undercooked) and it lacks anything quite as amusing as Baltar. There are definitely some actual jokes in there somewhere, but besides Daryl treating a feral creature as dinner none come to mind.
     
  19. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The BSG quote is mine, but the one about Grimm is not. Although for the record, I haven't seen those shows listed in that quote either.

    As to your comments on the original BSG, why do you guys cling to the false claim that that series was campy? It was not. Just because you don't like it, doesn't make it so. It just means that you don't like it.
     
  20. Starbreaker

    Starbreaker Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    There's humor in a lot of sci-fi shows. There's just that fine line between comic relief and camp that keeps a show from being dismissed as 'silly'.