Status Quo complaints everywhere

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by JesterFace, Jun 29, 2020.

  1. JesterFace

    JesterFace Commodore Commodore

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    So many people talk about TNG and "back to status quo".

    Do you have a problem with status quo? I don't.

    If the show is fine as it is, why change too much? There are small changes along the way in TNG but it worked well as it was. TNG was a working format, why mess with it?

    After season 5 something weird might have been okay? I do admit that the last few seasons didn't feel as solid as the the ones before them. But does that mean changing everything around could have improved them? TNG took things one episode at a time and I prefer it that way, even if there are things going on in the background but not mentioned in every episode.
     
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  2. Ar-Pharazon

    Ar-Pharazon Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    Like how everything was kinda same-y? The show got a little boring the last couple seasons because they did nothing different.

    I posted a thread about how they considered replacing Wil Riker with Tom Riker, which would have been a bit of a shakeup, despite keeping the same actor. It would have given the show a new dynamic and probably some good conflict between characters.

    Tom would have been bitter, while the others would have resented him for surviving while "their" Riker didn't.

    Other than Wesley leaving in S4 and Ro coming in then out, then in then going Maquis, there was very little change of any kind.
     
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  3. ALF

    ALF Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Thread title got me by the Buzz Lightyear memes.

    Conflict between characters wasn't a priority in TNG insofar as the series regulars were concerned. I always felt this was by design - more importantly it created the need for that conflict in DS9 and VOY.

    My understanding is that the creation of the character of Ro Laren was the writers' reaction to fans/critics observations that the crew was too friendly and more conflict onboard the Enterprise-D might be good to explore. Change is good for shaking things up if stale, and keeping things fresh if already fresh. But agreed that I wan't pining for any retooling of the show in the later seasons, minor or major.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
  4. Makarov

    Makarov Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Some events would be better with more impact, like Picard should have had one eye and one arm after BOBW. And he should flip out whenever a room has 5 lights for the rest of the series.

    But I'm not sure I'd want Riker to leave. The poker scene in all good things doesnt work if it's a bunch of new characters because they change things.
     
  5. shivkala

    shivkala Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    It's something all episodic shows have to face, since the intent is to stay as similar as possible, while allowing for some character growth. Attempts at changing the status quo are usually seen as the show "jumping the shark" and are rarely well-received. Many shows don't last long past that point. Very few of us point to the show becoming stale as a reason and instead point to that "jump the shark" moment, not realizing it's an effect of a show that's declining, instead of the cause of it.

    I think this is a reason why we're seeing so many shows break away from the 20+ episodes per year season, favoring a 10-13 episode season. Shows that aren't on basic cable (or in syndication) also break away from a set yearly schedule. As a kid I knew a TV show would premiere in September and run through May, with breaks for holidays, mostly. Those breaks and of course the June-August break would be for re-runs, with a few summer shows, but not many.

    As we move further and further into the streaming model, this is becoming the exception rather than the rule. While there are problems inherent with the current models, it does allow for a more focused approach and less burnout, both in terms of the show itself and its audience.

    But audiences are fickle, change a show too much, and we get upset. Keep it too similar and we get bored. There's a "Goldilocks Zone" in between, but it's very hard to reach.
     
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  6. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Same-y due to running out of things to do with the then-status quo or because the previous format had been worn out so badly they had to fling stuff at the wall to see what stuck to it? "The Big Bang Theory" had 3 if not 4 seasons of largely the same format before it started doing format shake-ups.

    TNG had what could be seen as being up to six formats due to a disparate feel between them:

    * early season 1
    * late season 1
    * season 2 (which does build on late-season 1)
    * season 3-4 (which does build on mid-season 2 onward and is arguably the longest natural flowing streak)
    * season 5-6 (the biggest format change of the bunch, and latter-season 4 does start to show a possible winding down)
    * season 7 (which blends in a bit of season 2 but enough that it doesn't feel like a completely worn out extension of seasons 5-6)

    Until season 5, these tweaks worked in favor of the show. And to be fair, season 5 feels more original and to an extent still works in favor of the show (despite all the variables and changes) - season 7 is where the petering out and rehash really start to settle in, even if not consistently so.

    TNG also had quite a few shake-ups during its run, and it's amazing how the show got to where it was by season 3. Those coming in knew what worked and what didn't and didn't throw out the baby with the bathwater.

    And I forgot to mention, season 4 also adds in its share of callbacks and rehashes (Minuet, Yar ,etc) - as well as sewing seeds for future seasons and spinoffs (Cardassians, which come close to feeling like the TV trope "Cousin Oliver syndrome" but doesn't quite meet it - thankfully. :D )

    Yup and totally agreed, Picard's egg whisk attachment and laser cat toy headgear could if not should have been permanent. That way, Stewart and Dorn could sit next to each other for one and a half hours each day and share stories about having all the make-up and costuming put on. :biggrin:
     
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  7. Tim Thomason

    Tim Thomason Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, I don't get it. Guy gets stabbed in the heart during a barfight, and has to live at least 70 more years with some metal junk in his chest prone to failing and (nearly) killing him all the time, but then he gets his arm lopped off and it's no big deal, Crusher fixed it over the weekend.
     
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  8. valkyrie013

    valkyrie013 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Well for me status quo is the reset at the end of each episode to a point. There wasn't much character development in that.. They were all the same characters as they were in season 1.. Pretty much..
     
  9. daveyjones

    daveyjones Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    it really depends on what you fancy. some people really enjoy consistency more than variety, finding it comforting rather than dull.
     
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  10. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I have no major issues with the status quo being reinstated for the next episode, the E-D was operating in a time of relative peace, often within and sometimes on the fringes of Federation space so was always close to repair and resupply facilities.

    There are a few instances when I wish a story thread had been carried forward, more for a little character growth than anything else--the ones that immediately springs to mind is La Forge's recovery from being abducted and brainwashed by the Romulans, as well as Picard dealing with his torture at the hands of Madred.
     
  11. amp

    amp Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I don't mind the status quo on TNG. Stand-alone episodes made sense for a show that was a follow-on to TOS. It also premiered at a time when few shows had arcs (excepting the night-time soaps like Dynasty or Dallas and the occasional oddball like Hill Street Blues).

    It was really Voyager which should have avoided hitting the reset button so much since the show's very premise calls for an ongoing narrative.
     
  12. saladdays

    saladdays Captain Captain

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    Agree. For one, I would have liked to see some battle damage or fixes or improvements to the ship, kind of similar (but perhaps to a lesser extent) to how they did it in the Year of Hell episodes. Very few things were noticeably changed over time.
     
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  13. Tim Thomason

    Tim Thomason Commodore Commodore

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    They really dropped the ball on Voyager. The Maquis should never have provisionally joined Starfleet. Let them be their own thing, learn to live and work together, and grow as a unit celebrating the diversity of those involved. DS9 did a good show of a joint organization (Starfleet-Bajoran Militia) and multiple non-Starfleet characters. The later incorporation of Seven of Nine in the crew (and the simultaneous incorporations of Neelix and Kes) was how they should've treated all Maquis crew. Chakotay can be first officer, B'Elanna can be chief engineer, even Paris can be flight controller. But they didn't need rank pips and a snazzy gray collar to take these roles.
     
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  14. saladdays

    saladdays Captain Captain

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    Thinking about it, the whole uniform and rank pips and etc. things could have made for an interesting episode or two where differences between and opinions of the crews could have been explored much better.
     
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  15. M'rk son of Mogh

    M'rk son of Mogh Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I would argue the opposite. Yes, it wasn't a dramatic and unrealistic night and day change, but there was absolutely growth and change from Farpoint to All Good Things. Picard especially became pretty darned likable as opposed to the stern, child-hating grumpier (mostly) old man he started out as. Geordi, meanwhile, pretty much went in the opposite direction.

    The nature of the series allowed for a status quo by episode's end quite naturally and we mustn't confuse the idea of serialization (what people rally against when talking of status quo, really) with continuity, of which TNG had in spades. Sure there could have been more, but for a lot of us, I think this adds to how rewatchable the show is compared to something more serialized.

    Plus I think there's a nice comfort to an episode ending with "and they lived happily ever after... until next week."
     
  16. Unimatrix Q

    Unimatrix Q Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    What do you mean by that? Unlike Picard, Geordie actually didn't change very much for most of the show imo.
     
  17. Tenacity

    Tenacity Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Geordie starts out a enthusiastic twenty something, very youthful in his demeaner. Lots of energy.

    By the end of the series he is quieter, serious and mature.
     
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  18. Xhiandra

    Xhiandra Commander Red Shirt

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    Well, I wasn't too fond of them re-recording "In the Army Now" as military propaganda, when it was originally an anti-military song.
    (I know the proceeds went to charity, but still)
     
  19. M'rk son of Mogh

    M'rk son of Mogh Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    He was a sarcastic, always had a quip at hand, energetic, just different. Once he became management, he, well... did what many people in management do. Became boring (mostly joking, but a little not. He definitely matured).

    Yup, you beat me to it.
     
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  20. Unimatrix Q

    Unimatrix Q Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yes. But these character developments only happed until Season 4 and 5 . And after that he stayed pretty much the same, while Picard's character development happened throughout the entire show.