Does anyone else dislike Keiko O'brien?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Deep Space Nine' started by Gul Bones, May 23, 2012.

  1. KB24

    KB24 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    May 31, 2002
    NJ, USA
    I'm just watching DS9 for the first time, and I think the way Keiko was handled on the show is one of its poorest aspects.

    If she is the wife of a regular, why isn't she also a regular? Why is botany so unneeded on a space station? She couldn't work in a food producing garden or open a plant shop in the Promenade? Buy, sell, and trade food and ornamental plants between quadrants? Regularly travel to Bajor to work with new food supply for them or go the gamma quadrant for new botanicals? What about the usual science fiction cliche but possible spins on alien and plant life going awry?

    It seems like there was plenty of opportunity for Keiko to be a real fully embodied character on the show beyond being a wife and mother. She seems bitchy or that these are her only basic roles in life because we only see her sporadically in these elements as needed. We never get a chance to see the real character, unlike what seemed to have been done in less time on TNG. When we do see her, it is bitch and drama issues and pain time for O'Brien, simply because it is almost as if they have to justify a dramatic need for Keiko to be there. But my goodness, isn't there a need for husband's wife to always be there?

    It just seems like the writers were stuck with her and would rather not have her there. And therein that leads to another problem, trying to strengthen Bashir via O'Brien when he should also have been further established on his own merits. You have too many underdeveloped people to start DS9, and yeah the bitchy and ho hum can certainly make you tune out. I don't know if I like Keiko or not, simply because it is as if the writers have already made that decision for me.

    In some ways, I even feel Jadzia Dax is the same. Could she have been a recurring character only showing up when Trill interests were needed? When Sisko has a dilemma and needs a chat with the old man? Again, I think they tried to strengthen that character by marrying her to Worf, and it really kind of damaged Worf. Early on, Dax doesn't have much to do beyond being a talking head at the science station or later making jokes while piloting the Defiant. Otherwise, her spotlight episodes are mostly Trill centric. Are we really judging a main character solely by her race and identifying her character by the complex designs of her species? Hello. I know she is a fan favorite, but does anyone else find the treatment of Dax just as iffy as the need to bitch once a year treatment of Keiko?

    This show bugs the heck out of me in the way the regulars and recurring players are developed in such disproportion. I mean, doesn't Garak appear in more episodes than Jake? I feel like Sisko, Kira, Odo, O'Brien, and Quark should have been in the opening credits with everyone else listed thereafter if they are in the episode, like in the old days. Or maybe just list everybody with Starring, Co-Starring, Also Starring, with one and last special. Then the character toss around wouldn't seem so out of whack.

    Anyhoo must read up and catch up with the rest of the topics now. :)
  2. naverhtrad

    naverhtrad Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    May 31, 2012
    To be fair to the creators and writers of DS9, they did have Keiko doing these things, but I take your point - it is almost always offscreen. And it's a job that should be much more important than is made out to be on DS9. I realise that comparing SFnal television like DS9 with hard SFnal novels is ridiculously unfair, but to use an example from the Miles Vorkosigan saga, hydroponics is considered a vital system on space stations, both for oxygen and as a primary component of the station's economics: in Falling Free, IIRC, the quaddie Silver (one of the main characters and one of the ringleaders of the bloodless quaddie revolt against their megacorporate overlords) is primarily a hydroponics worker.

    I'm in partial agreement with you here. Until the last season, anyhow - I think, to their credit, they did a good deal more with Ezri than they did with Jadzia Dax.

    That said, I think the Dax/Worf arc (even if it made the both of them kind of annoying) does make a certain amount of sense, given Curzon's and Jadzia's interest in affaires Klingon. Actually, IIRC, it was kind of accidental, from the writers' point of view, and the accidental arcs are often better than the ones which are deliberately contrived.
  3. jmiller

    jmiller Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jan 19, 2013
    Charleston, SC
    I just don't see why they couldn't have made her nice on occasion. She truly acts like she hates the chief, hates DS9, hates Starfleet, and couldn't care less about anything but plants and/or teaching Jake. Except, we don't really know if she likes teaching, because she really doesn't say she does or not, it's usually the chief heresaying it.
  4. Ryva Brall

    Ryva Brall Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 13, 2013
    Empok Nor
    I don't know if it's just me, but I can recall many occasions when Keiko was nice. She was extremely supportive to Miles after his twenty-year "imprisonment", and when he was taken to Cardassia to be put on trial. And even if she may have felt a little jealous that Miles spent so much time with Julian, she never tried to get in the way of their friendship. She even arranged for them to hang out together, when it was obvious that they were both down in the dumps. Never once did I get the impression that she "hated" Miles.

    Plus she was a wonderful mother. I can't say I agree with all the Keiko-hate going on here.
  5. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Gray Owl Wizard Premium Member

    Jan 2, 2011
    Sacramento, CA
    Yea, Keiko's problem as a character was that she was "O'Brien's Wfe" and they really didn't know what else to do with her, so they resorted to her complaining all the time for drama.
  6. DonIago

    DonIago Vice Admiral Admiral

    Mar 22, 2001
    Burlington, VT, USA
    Under the circumstances, at least her complaining "all" of the time (which isn't even really the case) is more interesting than her being Mary Sunshine all the time. That would have been unrealistic and nauseating.
  7. Use of Time

    Use of Time Commodore Commodore

    Jul 25, 2012
    Va. Beach, VA
    I always thought her character was more believable and down to Earth. She is actually a pretty good representation of the "military spouse."
  8. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 22, 2009
    Great Britain
    She's a complete pain but in an entirely believable way.
  9. Takeru

    Takeru Space Police Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    Germany, EU, Earth
    I liked Keiko and I understood her complaining most of the time, I just wish they had used her more when she was happy, it seemed like she was only showing up when Miles was imprisoned or tortured or when it was time for occasional Miles deals with his wife being unhappy episode.
  10. Worf'sParmach

    Worf'sParmach Commander Red Shirt

    Oct 13, 2011
    Plano, TX
    I've never understood all the Keiko hate around here. I think she's fine. Not one of my favorites, but I don't have any problems with her.
  11. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    May 10, 2005
    The visitor's bullpen
    And now I'd like to hook up with some brain bleach. :barf:
  12. R. Star

    R. Star Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 15, 2012
    Yeah, Dukat really took one for the evil team there. ;)
  13. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

    Nov 20, 2012
    I disagree completely there, I don't think teaching science that contradicts religious beliefs is in any way disrespectful to religious people. Keiko's attitude in that episode was 'Teach science in school, religion in Sunday School', which is really the only attitude toward education you can have in a pluralistic community.

    Keiko never once told a Bajoran 'Believing they are Gods is stupid'. She simply taught the scientific perspective on the wormhole, and left the religious perspective to religious people.

    I liked Keiko in general but I agree she didn't come off well in the 'Relationship trouble' episodes. But I don't interpret it as being a 'bitch' at all, I see it as just being strongly opinionated and having a strong sense of self, which are two qualities which are considered positive qualities in men but are labeled 'bitchy' when they appear in women.
  14. Odo

    Odo Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Jun 8, 2011
    Agreed and agreed. It's probably already been mentioned, but I think we should remember that she sacrificed her career to come to DS9 in the first place for Miles' job. It was a pretty realistic depiction of marriage, IMO, from what we saw.

    And yeah, sometimes I just try and forget that Dukat and Winn hooked up. I think that's what happens in the seventh circle of Hell or something. *Shudders*
  15. Thestral

    Thestral Vice Admiral Admiral

    Apr 9, 2009
    Thestral - Carmichael Industries
    Everything about this post is Absolutely Right.
  16. Worf'sParmach

    Worf'sParmach Commander Red Shirt

    Oct 13, 2011
    Plano, TX

  17. heavy lids

    heavy lids Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 29, 2013
    Never liked Keiko. Either the character is boring or Rosalind Chao is just a bad actress. Or both.
  18. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

    Nov 22, 2012
    Melakon's grave
    I sometimes think Keiko wasn't always well written. Chao's been in the business since she was about 13, and been in some high profile series (with multiple appearances) and films, so I doubt the "bad actress" classification.

    The topic might even suggest an ethnic bias.
  19. dub

    dub Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Sep 13, 2012
    Location? What is this?
    ...or, is it possible that most of her dialogue was written by male(s) from a male's perspective? I don't know about you but I always found myself rooting for Miles in those situations, and I'm pretty sure the writers arranged it that way. In episodes where she appeared, Keiko was often the antagonist to Miles in the B or C story. I'm sure most of it had to do with the fact that Miles was a "main" character, but I wouldn't be surprised if male bias was part of it as well. I'm sure the writers being mostly guys brought their marriage experiences to the table when writing these episodes. Of course if you're rooting for Miles, you're going to be annoyed by Keiko. Having said that, I didn't dislike Keiko. I found the introduction of these sorts of real problems (and joys) that everyday people and couples can relate to refreshing for Star Trek. Perhaps humanity has evolved in the 24th century, but men and women still don't understand each other!