Lazy writers?

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by JesterFace, Oct 29, 2017.

  1. Samuel

    Samuel Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Part of it wasn't just Gene Roddenberry's dictates. Part of it were the crew and cast dynamics that evolved in the first season of TNG.

    I've read that as conceived the relationship between Picard and Riker was supposed to be one like "big brother/little brother" which naturally had room for disagreement and mild conflict.

    But Stewart and Frakes deliberately chose to play the relationship as "father/son" which of course made Riker far more deferential to Picard. Like wise everyone else in the cast and crew, due to Stewarts age and experience treated the character of Picard as a father figure which cut down significantly on the opportunities for even mild conflict.
     
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  2. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    What are you saying, people can't be in conflict with their fathers? I strongly disagree.
     
  3. jaime

    jaime Vice Admiral Admiral

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    So does my son.

    ...
    But he’s small, so the main conflict is bed time and not wiping his mouth on his shirt.
     
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  4. Samuel

    Samuel Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    They can but such conflicts I feel tend to be more serious than the "big brother/little brother" dynamic which means writers would shy away from them even more strongly.
     
  5. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    In Star Trek, people being estranged from their fathers is practically mandatory: See Spock, Riker, Garak, Bashir, B'Elanna, Paris, maybe Janeway, too?

    I swear, the Siskos are the only non-dysfunctional family in Starfleet. :)
     
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  6. jaime

    jaime Vice Admiral Admiral

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    The Siskos....and Tom and Bells and Miral and...whatever the new one is called. But they did pretend to be dysfunctional I suppose.
    Oh..and Harry Kim, but he’s so whitebread I am surprised he didn’t get sliced in at least one reset button episode.
     
  7. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk Garth of Algar Premium Member

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    Nah, those would never work.
     
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  8. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Overbearing, philandering fathers, who force you to make them scrambled eggs, and cheat to beat you at anbo-jitsu...
     
  9. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    Fathers who make you play anbo-jitsu in the first place...or even watch anbo-jitsu...! :crazy:
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  10. Tosk

    Tosk Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Everyone forgets the O'Briens. ;)
     
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  11. jaime

    jaime Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I just didn’t want to raise the complaints about Keiko that usually follow. And she’s non-Starfleet (though like her husband is unlucky, due to to her tendency to apparently being a comfy home for alien possession.)
    But yeah, they are pretty good too. :)
     
  12. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    After 20 years, Keiko has just started to grow on me.
     
  13. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I have hope for the Rikers.
     
  14. STR

    STR Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah...people come down on different sides of the Miles-Keiko fights, but those fights seem normal and they deal with them as a lot of people would. Their relationship isn't perfect but I think "non-dysfunctional" would apply.

    Even though there was that time they lost their daughter, thought she was dead, found her in the past but 20 years older and feral, had a week's worth of drama with that only to have her die upon sending back the unaged daughter.

    That should have messed everyone up for a while.

    Related note: we all agree Worf is just about the worst father, yes? I swear he actually loathed, if not hated, Alexander. It's like he enjoyed abandoning the kid so much he'd bring him back aboard just to ditch him again.

    Trois...
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
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  15. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    I liked Gene's idea that humans would more fully settle their emotional differences and get along with near-zero conflict. At least in theory. For the sake of compelling drama and situations, a ship full of people who act like they're all on a cocktail of Zoloft and Prozac is going to get boring very quickly.

    A quick backstory: "A Taste of Armageddon" has Kirk saying "We have a history of barbarism, but we don't have to be today." (Delivered with eloquence by the same Shatner who'd tell fans 20 years later to get a life with equal fervor, LOL!)

    80 years later, a span of four generations - depending on how you define a generation in terms of years and if a generation is a set period of years - we see the culmination of that. Humans are now more like Vulcans for the most part, though Geordi would build large scale model ships for Moriarty to wreck and AI would learn how to paint, with everyone frothing over that instead of finding spirit in what their fellow biological beings (no longer do).

    I appreciate what TNG was trying to do, but TOS - in regards to Kirk's own lamentation - is better. Even if TNG outdid TOS in other areas of narrative.

    Which might be why I adore DS9 - the characters are like "TOS on steroids". I'd make an allusion to a galactic-scale comparison to TOS except, as far as corny jokes go, that one could provide enough main ingredient filler for 42 factories' worth of sugar frosted cereal...

    DS9 also had an array of narrative freedoms you couldn't begin to see during TOS, like characters such as regarding backstories and narrative for Ben, Eddington, Kira, Bashier, Dax, Odo, Garak, Worf, or anyone else - and DS9 is all the richer because of it The closest parallel might be "Blake's 7", a motley crew of disparate individuals in an uneasy alliance but for radically different underlying reasons. When people say DS9 is the closest Trek to TOS, they're right. Not because the wormhole leads to another wild west with the station being the wagon train, no, DS9 takes the premise and runs with it. How it works in tandem with TNG's shiny happy people motif is a miracle in of itself, but it all gels wonderfully.

    Though TOS did have stories like "The Immunity Syndrome", melding high concept sci-fi with some interesting philosophy and relativity (e.g. big amoeba is a virus and humankind is engaging in space travel to cure the galaxy of what could be quite the big terminal disease), along with the requisite Spock/McCoy bickering that has a proto-DS9 feel to it in some ways.

    TNG did try to bring in conflict - Maddox vs Data, Riker vs Shelby, Geordi vs Data (at least the occasional bit in season 2), Dr Pulaski (THE most underrated character ever), Ensign Ro (she hit it off with Guinan off the bat and they made a wonderful double-act)...

    But lazy? IMHO, naah, not when Gene had a newer vision for Trek to show his belief of humankind's evolution. (So if you find a Star Trek fan who's also a fan of the new wave music band Devo, do make friends with them! :D )
     
  16. Xhiandra

    Xhiandra Captain Captain

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    So did they in TNG, they just did it in a more professional manner. Your suggestion was overruled by the captain? Move on, don't throw a tantrum.

    But didn't most of those happen in TNG? The "no conflict" part is about the childish stuff.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
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  17. STR

    STR Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I dunno. Seems like Stewart/Frakes played it more like boss/subordinate. Not even mentor/mentee and definitely not anything familial. It was all arms length, if you will. And that wasn't just those two. Most of the cast acted like coworkers and the production and direction encouraged that. The parties looked and *felt* like stiff, half assed office parties where you'd get reprimanded in the morning for getting a little drunk.

    Data + Geordie seemed like friends, Riker + Troi were believable as exes, and Stewart and McFadden acted like they were friends with benefits. Other than that, work buddies, the whole lot of them.

    Alternatively, don't ask permission for something you known would be shot down, murder Duras and deal with the disapproval after you get yours.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  18. flandry84

    flandry84 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    The denial of the blood transfusion is the first thing I think about when I think of Worf.
    I totally detest and revile him as a character.
    I cannot see how moral people like Picard,Riker and Crusher can stand to be in the same room as this repellent ass-hat.
     
  19. Mattadd

    Mattadd Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Well he did die. And actually permanently die too, just got replaced with an alternate universe Kim for the rest of the series.
     
  20. Salinga

    Salinga Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I agree: The argument "main characters need to have conflict" is pretty much an excuse for lazy writing (and thus: easy paycheck). I go with Michael Piller, who defended the so called "Roddenberry Box", because it forced the writers to go the extra mile and NOT use the usual tools to create conflict in a fictional show, but have to create a different way to create conflict.

    And those consumers, who want to have permanent conflict within the main characters pretty much dont want to be challenged by stories which just dont use this device. Fun fact: There are not also lazy writers, but also lazy viewers.

    The "Roddenberry Box" is the main reason I became a Star Trek fan with TNG, because it made the show totally different to anything else that was on TV (and actually still is very unique in this way, since all other spin offs tried to steer away from that and thus became more like the usual TV shows).

    The storytelling of TNG is unique. There is nothing before and after that TV show, that tells stories like that (and with "Discovery", it is officially killed under the Trek brand and thus I dont call myself a Trek fan anymore, but a TNG-only fan).

    TNG had balls, and I respect that as a viewer. I hear the writers and producers complain, but for me they are just all on the Wah-wah-train, complaining they had to work harder to come up with a story for TNG. And that I don't respect.