Paramount apparently still doesn't get it...

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by IRW Bloodwing, Apr 2, 2023.

  1. Rahul

    Rahul Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    To be fair the TNG writers hated pretty much all of the TNG writing rules - "no interpersonal conflict", "no references to TOS", "no military rituals", "no drug addictions", "no psychological trauma", "no prejudices on earth", "no money/fame", and so on.

    But they made for a better show.
    Because all these tropes would lead to the highest amount of drama/conflict. But they are also the most obvious choices to create such drama. Avoiding them made TNG "less" dramatic every week (which is the opposite a writer wants). But it also gave the show & the setting a clear, utopian identity.
    And that modern Trek leans so hard into exactly these tropes is IMO one reason why it feels so generic, and fails to have a clear identity with mainstream audiences.
     
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  2. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Which is hilarious given what happened in TNG and later shows:
    O'Brien-psychological trauma and racism.
    Picard-psychological trauma.
    Barclay-hologram addiction.

    Etc.

    Even when people put forward these rules they still are only occasionally followed.

    TOS showed people in the future as people. I never understood the pushback against that in TNG of "let's not be human any more."
     
  3. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk A Spock and a smile Premium Member

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    This is Star Trek fandom. Every data point is of equal value.
     
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  4. Ray Hardgrit

    Ray Hardgrit Commodore Commodore

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    This is so true. Modern Trek often makes me roll my eyes, because it goes straight for the kinds of obvious trite drama that TNG tried to avoid. I'm not saying that the TNG approach was flawless, obvious trite drama is often more exciting than sitting around a conference table discussing technobabble in a calm and dignified way, but the Berman era's pretentiousness did cause it to take the road less travelled and try to have something to say along the way.

    O'Brien's racism was dealt with in a very TNG way, with him trying to figure it out and push back against it. Barclay's holodeck addiction ep was about the crew working to better include someone who didn't fit in. They weren't about mining drama out of problems as much as they were showing people working through them.
     
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  5. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Which I'm all for but let's not sit there and say that TNG elevated itself above this "trite drama" when it literally did that drama! It's a double standard that I get so freaking tired of in Star Trek.

    *mimes an imaginary stack* this category is far superior to this other *mimes to his left* other category that is completely nebulous and arbitrary in the standard held!

    Berman era Trek would sometimes feel very foreign in terms of how it looked at humanity. It looked down on humanity in some ways, or looked down on people who were disturbed by emotions, or motivated by fear. It rings hollow to me now because it stands so far outside what I would reasonably expect from human beings.

    Studying history brings me closer to a TOS way a thinking that we can choose our reaction, rather than look down upon those instincts. And it's telling that the show that is very often lauded (at least around here) is DS9 and it was not about those rules.

    Note: I am not saying that Star Trek should be just like every other drama. I believe strongly in the power of choice. But telling me TNG was the only way for Trek to stand out and current Trek just doesn't do it? Hard pass, thanks.
     
  6. Ray Hardgrit

    Ray Hardgrit Commodore Commodore

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    That's the thing, I think DS9 worked under similar limitations and TOS too. I'm thinking of things like how they wouldn't let Harlan Ellison have one of the Enterprise crew be a drug dealer.

    And I'm not saying modern Trek is bad or that it breaks Roddenberry's rules all the time, in fact Discovery got very TNG in its fourth season. But there are times where I really wish there was someone there to hold writers back from having too much fun on series like Picard, because they feel like an adaptation of a Star Trek comic book sometimes. It's like I'm watching Star Trek: Titans instead of Star Trek: Titan, it's just a bit too trashy.

    (Note: I'm a comic book fan, I'm not looking down on comic books. Though I am maybe looking down on Titans.)
     
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  7. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I just don't see it the same way. But, you do you since clearly it works for you.
     
  8. Farscape One

    Farscape One Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Regarding your spoiler, I hadn't thought of that, but it could certainly be a trigger for that behavior.
     
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  9. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Gotta disagree. You can't explore "the human adventure" by declaring by fiat that your characters have "evolved" beyond the flaws and frailties of actual flesh-and-blood mortals. At the risk of getting all English-litty, drama is about the human heart in conflict with itself (and others) and that applies whether your setting is ancient Rome, the Great Depression, the Wild West, modern times, or the Final Frontier.

    In TNG's defense, it did gradually become less aggressively "utopian" after the first few seasons, eventually gifting us with powerful, dramatic episodes like "The Wounded" and "The Drumhead," where people struggled to find the right path, even when their guts were twisting them apart.

    But, even still, there's a reason why DS9 was a much-needed corrective, taking us back to the more warts-and-all humanity of TOS.

    IMO.
     
  10. Ovation

    Ovation Admiral Admiral

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    x100:techman:
     
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  11. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    But we did have a crew member, Ben Finney, fake his death to frame Kirk and try to ruin his career. And we had one of the designers of the Enterprise, Laurence Marvick, attempt murder due to a bad case of unrequited love. Society had progressed, humanity had not in fact destroyed itself, and had instead made it to the stars, but people were still people, struggling to balance conflicting emotions and motives. Literally, in the case of "The Enemy Within" -- the whole point of which is that our more primitive impulses are an essential part of us, not something we can or should "evolve" beyond. They couldn't just kick the "Evil Kirk" out the airlock, wipe their hands and say "good riddance," and proceed as though Kirk was still a complete human being.

    Heck, that's the kind of denial that destroyed the Krell in STAR TREK's grandfather and inspiration, the original FORBIDDEN PLANET. If you pretend you've evolved beyond the monsters from the Id, they'll come back to bite you eventually.

    I guess what some might see as "trite" or "obvious," I see as universal and relatable.

    As the song says, "the fundamental things apply . . . as time goes by."
     
  12. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Honestly, I never got why a drug dealer on the ship was such a controversy. Even TOS had renegade Captains and Admirals but a Lieutenant dealing drugs is The Line Which Shall Not Be Crossed?
     
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  13. Nerys Myk

    Nerys Myk A Spock and a smile Premium Member

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    It was the 60s
     
  14. Finn

    Finn Bad Batch of TrekBBS Admiral

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    It's not that they "don't get it"

    They don't give a shit. They think enough fans will watch no matter what.
     
  15. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Drugs are bad.

    Thus far that has been demonstrated.

    It's just business.
     
  16. Citiprime

    Citiprime Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It would imply some things that would strongly conflict with the sort of utopia Roddenberry envisioned in ways that I think the occasional power-hungry admiral doesn't. It also undercuts the message at the heart of Edith Keeler's speech in the soup kitchen. That one day the destiny of exploring the galaxy will fill humanity with "hope and a common future" that'll be the days worth living for, not getting high from whatever dime bag that Ensign Petey was selling on Deck 2.

    Beyond that, we're told Earth is a place where there is no poverty, no crime, and no inequality (although, I know people are gonna argue this is more of a TNG thing than a TOS thing). But if we accept the vision of Star Trek that Roddenberry intended, why would someone deal drugs in a society with no money? If there are drug dealers on Federation starships, it implies there's still disparities and indicates there are still huge cracks in human society where people either feel the need to sell drugs to get ahead, or to use them to cope.
     
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  17. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    A vineyard though...whole different ball of wax.
     
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  18. Farscape One

    Farscape One Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You mean barrel of grapes, right? :lol::biggrin:
     
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  19. Turd Ferguson

    Turd Ferguson Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It would get old super quick if the show had 26 episodes a season, but if you did two to three episode arcs for a ten episode season, it'd be interesting to see his reactions to things some of our past lead characters find mundane. A giant space vortex appears along with a comatose version of yourself? I'd be flipping the fuck out, I don't care how much training I'd had :lol:

    It'd be cool seeing a character that isn't used to dealing with the weird shit space can throw at you dealing with it
     
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  20. Rahul

    Rahul Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I understand your point. But I have to disagree. For me it boils down to this:

    • TNG shows future humans
    • PIC shows present day Americans on spaceships

    Now I have a small culture shock with both of these. But I can see why American audiences & writers can identify more with the latter.

    I never believed in Roddenberry's "evolved" humans. I DO however believe that people growing up in a post-scarcity, post -healthcare-issues society will be more gentle, rational people.

    Now both approaches are valid. I LOVE nuBattlestar Galactica & the alien franchise, both pinnacles of the "flawed humans in space" approach.
    But for me, the Roddenberry-ian humans are as much a part of Star Trek as beaming and phasers.

    That also applies to TOS btw (which feels "more" human because the characters smile & joke a lot more - but it's actually quite amazing how similar TOS is to TNG in regard of "more enlightened" humans). Even DS9 "rebels" against this approach, but it's still there. For me the shift appeared on ENT - and all modern Trek since then.