Lazy writers?

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

  1. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Walrus Premium Member

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    I think that "company" was working on a totally different level than TNG. And shows like Hill Street Blues and St Elsewhere were playing at that level and breaking new ground before a second of TNG had aired.
     
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  2. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Walrus Premium Member

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    I think something might have been lost in the translation.
     
  3. Salinga

    Salinga Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    *yawn* The usual strategy of painting the exception as the rule to discredit a whole topic. That is almost borderline "whataboutism".

    There is a reason why it always stood out when TNG went against the Roddenberry-Box: Because it was an exception, and it always was an exception for a reason.

    That's also why many critics dont see DIS as Star Trek (see the IMDB comments), because that show took what was the exception before in trek and made it the rule.
     
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  4. JesterFace

    JesterFace Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Again...

    I suck?
     
  5. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think Crusher bore something of a grudge against him after that and Riker very much did after Worf's request of him in "Ethics".

    Three or four (edit: or five) episodes of pretty-strong personal conflict in seven years (Picard and his brother, Riker and his father, Riker and Shelby) isn't either frequent or careless breaking of internal rules and I think the rareness of conflict in general makes those conflict more interesting.

    Those were episodes that, while overall good, were kind of weakened by forced conflict. I think most viewers agree that they made Riker look badly by making him seem unreasonable. It is kind of lazy writing for tension and conflict to lead to the higher-ranked person just relieving the other of duties and confine him to quarters (although even that was more interesting from that sort of thing being so rare). OTOH I thought Jellico's relationships with LaForge and Troi were well-done, clearly tension and some dislike but without making anyone look bad or be the wrong one or unprofessionally unable to work to together.

    The standard crew were friends but didn't always agree. Regardless, the Borg and Q (I think both created Roddenberry) are also pretty popular because they dismiss, strongly oppose and provide challenges to the ideals (without demolishing them). I think part of why "Yesterday's Enterpise" is so popular is that alt-Picard, Garrett and Yar believed so much that the other version of events was worth restoring.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017
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  6. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Walrus Premium Member

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    If they're anything like youtube comments, I'd rather not.
     
  7. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Of course, the Roddenberry Box didn't even exist at all in TOS, and that show had it all. Internal conflict, characters arguing, imperfect humanity, the works. Coincidentally, this is the most popular Trek and is still remembered fondly fifty years later. That show did just fine without a box telling the writers that writing drama into the episode is lazy.
     
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  8. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Commodore

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    Episodes like Icarus Factor, Yesterday's Enterprise, etc, were made during the reign of King Roddenbox. They weren't going "against his vision" by showing a more militaristic Starfleet. It was an alternate timeline, history had been changed, and for the worse. The goal was to fix it. Guinan says "This is wrong. It's all wrong"

    Looking at the TNG bible, you can get an idea of the reasoning behind what people refer to as "no conflict with each other." The Enterprise D is supposed to be the best ship, and hardest to get a posting on. Only the best of the best get to work there. They are professionals, adults, and competent(and mature).

    It's actually more realistic. In the real military, people don't always act mature, but they don't have vendettas with each other, or act back bitey and angsty toward each other. They treat each other with respect. It's one of the most positive, team oriented work environments I can think of, and this is a natural result of the structure.

    Conflict between crewmembers should be subtle. Too many TV shows force conflict between the characters, that to me, feels like middle school quarrels. They did this on Enterprise a lot, and it often made me feel like these people are immature.
    -LT. Reed looks really immature how he handles Major Hayes. No full LT 30 year old should act like that.
    -All of the Vulcans in the 3 part Kir shara story act like angry, immature teenagers. Talking through gritted teeth, frequent outbursts.
    -Riker looks really immature in Chain of Command. I hate it how he treats Jellico when the latter asks him to pilot the shuttle. Awful..
    -B'lanna when she punches LT. Carey
    There are other examples.

    Conflict that works better:
    -Picard/Riker/and Admiral Pressman
    -Picard/O'Brien/and Captain Maxwell in "The wounded"
    -Roe and O'Brien and Troi in "Disaster."
    -Picard has disagreements with his boss, Admiral Nechayev, but he is still respectful to her and obeys her commands. He even tries to befriend her with canapes.
    These conflicts serve the story more naturally, and manage to not damage the characters involved by immature depictions.

    Also, and this is not at all directed at the OP. It always irks me when writers on these shows are referred to as "lazy." Unless someone has worked under those constraints of a 26 episode per season sci if show, whether they may or may not have been "lazy," they should be given the benefit of the doubt.
     
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  9. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    No? You do realize that whole thing on BSG where they started having boxing matches between the crew because they were getting that pissed off at each other is something that is actually done on bases and ships in the real military?
     
  10. jaime

    jaime Commodore Commodore

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    I never said it was first. And TNG was a family show, with kids expected in the audience. So again, by its standards...
     
  11. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Walrus Premium Member

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    First? It's wasn't even playing the same game as some it's predecessors or contemporaries.
    Family show? Was that what it was pitched as? No wonder it played it safe. In fact I think being syndicated was probably a hindrance. Network shows were actually taking more chances.
     
  12. jaime

    jaime Commodore Commodore

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    It was aimed at Family audiences...older children, teens, adults (Hence characters like Wesley.) watching together. It was first run syndication...my understanding is that was pretty rare for drama to do that. Does something need to be on the edge to be good? Does it need to be all risks all the time? Probably not frankly.
     
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  13. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's still remembered, at least a bit more so than TNG, I don't know that it's clearly the most popular. General audiences would think the shows were all pretty similar other than the original having more dated effects, maybe a more colorful look and being a bit goofier in tone.
     
  14. Prax

    Prax Rear Admiral Commodore

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    They have boxing matches because they're mad at each other? Does the same go for basketball, football, and baseball? Military bases have those, too.

    Did TOS have more conflict than TNG? I'm not so sure. The conflict all came from one person, the ever testy McCoy, and it could be just as forced as Enterprise. A prime example is The Tholian Web
     
  15. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    All the Trek films before and during it were rated PG or lower (although TWoK might have been PG-13 if that was around then), it makes sense (plus yeah having Wesley) that a contemporary television series would be (and be perceived as) similarly generally appropriate for all audiences.
     
  16. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk The Walrus Premium Member

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    Star Trek's rep as a "ground breaking" TV show preceded it. So yeah, I was expecting more than playing it safe. Being a syndicated show meant they could take more chances not less. No network censors and such.
    There were two other syndicated dramas that started around the same time: Friday the 13th and Sea Hunt. I recall the former, but not the latter.
     
  17. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Pocket Books has confirmed that TOS novels are the best selling of all Trek novels, at least.
    Yes, actually. The boxing matches are intended so that two people who have grudges against each other can go in the ring and settle their differences by beating each other in a manner which won't get them reprimanded.
     
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  18. jaime

    jaime Commodore Commodore

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    The most popular on Netflix seems to be Voyager, with the Borg episodes across that and TNG taking the lions share.
     
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  19. jaime

    jaime Commodore Commodore

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    The TOS books are the only ones anything like their progenitor. I suspect that helps.
     
  20. Salinga

    Salinga Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Quite frankly: When I see how viciously the producers and the writers (see the book "The next 25 Years"), the fans (see this forum, Reddit) shit on TNG with a passion, I am extremely surprised, that this show got made after all. And how it was this phenomenon with around 10 million viewers every week. Because the published opinion about this show is pretty much: "TNG is a boring shit show, and no one wanted to produce it and write for it, because its premise was bad drama, and view it on TV, because its characters were boring, arrogant and not relatable".

    I find this pretty hilarious. :)
     
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