I just finished my first rewatch of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in over a decade. Prior to that initial full rewatch 10 years ago, I hadn’t watched more than about 40% of the series when it aired. It was a highly serialized / mythology based series that was hitting stride while I was in college and playing sports, so I just couldn’t keep up. Ironically, there is a segment in the documentary that this post is about that addresses the concerns around serialization and it’s potential to lose fans. But, I digress... Anyway, to cap off my rewatch, I watched the “What We Left Behind” documentary, which I thought was excellent and very entertaining. What an amazing group of creative people who worked on this show. The love and passion for the work and for each other was so obvious. The thing that struck me squarely, however, was the opening 10 min or so, where various cast and crew read harshly written criticism from fans about how the show is “not Star Trek” and “not Gene’s Vision” and all the other tiresome, mundane bullshit we’ve all been hearing since 1979 over and over again about anything new the franchise dares try. What struck me most was not how repetitive and banal fandom complaints seem to me these days, but how this genuinely hurt the actors and writers involved in making the show. I was embarrassed and ashamed just watching it. It raises a question about whether or not anyone, in their passion and emotion in negatively reacting to a franchise product, has ever gone back and looked at their behavior through the lens of an actor or a writer who might be reading their criticism and felt guilty or ashamed. I’m sure everyone feels justified in writing their harsh comments because they feel like these creators and artists have somehow personally hurt them (I’ve seen some extremely impressive rationalizing to justify asshole fandom behavior through the years), but I wonder how a fan base who prides themselves on being enlightened, intelligent and mature really feels when they look at some of the things they’ve written about actors/writers/producers and having an awareness that these people see these comments and are actually personally affected by them. I myself felt ashamed and embarrassed...and I’m not even someone who has written a ton of negativity through the years. I usually reserve that for Star Trek : Insurrection and certain minor elements of TNG and VOY...but for the most part I simply don’t comment on things I don’t lIke...and yet I STILL felt shitty. Not trying to guilt anyone...just genuinely curious. It’s Thanksgiving in America, and among other more major things I am grateful for, I am thankful we’ve had a successful and varied franchise upheld by the hard work, love and passion of many highly creative people for well over 5 decades.