It's come to my attention that there may be some confusion out there as to my feelings about the show. So, just for the record, ENT is a crappy television show. Why? Here's my Top Ten List: 10. It Makes Me Feel Guilty Watching Smallville. This Year with WB moving "Smallville" opposite ENT it's not much of a contest for me. "Smallville" is much more consistant and entertaining. I'll catch ENT on its Saturday re-run, if at all. And it makes me feel guilty. Not about my Mod duties, but because over the years I've gotten so much enjoyment out of Trek. Particularly the TOS films and TNG series. I feel like I owe the franchize something. Consciously, I understand that it's the other way around and tptb owe me something for expecting me to be loyal. But there's still an irrational part of my heart that will feel guilty on Wednesday nights when I'm actually enjoying what I'm watching rather than sitting through ENT. 9. The Premise. BOTF (Birth of the Federation) was the Series V concept I lobbied hardest against. Hell, a Starfleet Academy series about a bunch of 90210 rejects sounds more interesting than this. We know that the Fed will be formed. We know that the Vulcans will ally with the humans and become logical and not as paranoid of mind melds. We know all this. There's no real suspense to anything that happens. The Temporal Cold War was inserted methinks to cast some doubt as to the outcome of the series because it supposedly raises the possibility that history won't turn out the way we've learned it. But it's not a real possibility. I'm not saying that it's not theoretically possible to set ENT on an alternate timeline from the rest of the Trek Continuity Universe, I'm just saying that Berman and Braga lack the balls to actually do that. And so they try to have they play-it-safe BOTF cake and eat it too. Why did we get a BOTF series? Because tptb were under the mistaken impression that by setting the show in this era they could recapture the magic of TOS. TOS's magic had to do with chemistry and daring writing and a truly ground breaking fun spirit. Things that tptb have time and time again demonstrated no talent at recreating. It's not about the time setting boys, it's about your crappy writing. 8. The fact that after they picked this crappy premise, they refuse to even exploit it. WTF is up with that? We have a perfect opportunity to do the kind of morally ambiguous political episodes that DS9 was great at. Looking at the workings of the Vulcan gov't and the Earth gov't and the Andorians and how they relate to each other and how the Fed will eventually be formed. But that's not what we're getting. We're getting planet-of-the-week episodes that have nothing to do with the BOTF concept. Almost all of them, you can change the names, and do it in a TNG setting. What's the point? And season 3 with the pre-occupation with the Xindi looks no better. But more on that later. 7. Listening to Berman and Braga Bullshit. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!! I swear I'm going to start tearing my hair out if I have to listen to them try to spin the disaster that is this show into something positive. It's not that they're idiots, because I know these are smart guys. It's not that they're untalented because back during TNG Braga had some great writing credits and Berman did a terrific job behind the scenes. But obviously, they're not capable of recapturing their former glory. I don't know if its the Paramount suits, or that they're just tired, or if Brannon just can't get his mind off of Jeri's body (not that I can blame him), but whatever it is the work is suffering. It's been suffering since the dawn of the VOY era and it's only been getting worse. Listening to them try to cover up their lack of ideas by saying they're going to sex up the series is just so frustrating. And the whole "spasms of exctasy" comment will haunt Braga for years to come. 6. The poor acting. What happened to Scott Bakula? I had real hope when he was named to the cast. With a few notable exceptions he's mostly dialed it in. His take on Archer is simplistic and two dimensional. Granted, he's not given much to work with, and maybe this is the best anyone can do with it. But still. As for Blalock, I just don't like her character or the choices she makes. She's a pretty face. But she's annoying as all hell and I've yet to really feel like actually rooting for her character in two whole years. For one of the principle heroes of the series that's not a good sign. Not all the actors are bad, Park and Keating and Billingsly have been diamonds in the rough. But they're criminally underused. 5. The Obsessions with Cheap Stunts and Sex. And this relates to my B&B ranting, but if there was actually a worthy product under there, then we wouldn't need to sex anything up with pointless and gratiutous decon scenes. And ridiculous stunt episodes like meeting the Ferengi or the Borg, but more on them later. 4. The Lack of Good Character Development. Season 3 might turn it around with the expected darkening of Archer and Trip's characters and the possible romance between Trip and T'Pol. But I've had my hopes up before. And I will wait to be convinced. Thus far we know very little more about our characters and what makes them tick than we did at the beginning of the series. The stories are not character driven by and large, I mean how many hostage/escape-from-prison episodes can you do? And Hoshi and Mayweather still feel like occasional contributors. 3. The Overall Lack of Originality. The BOTF concept itself evidences B&B's inability to truly come up with an original idea of their own. But once they committed to doing a pre-TOS series, they still wanted to pull in the Borg and the Ferengi and all that 24th Century crap. Now you can make good arguments for and against whether showing these species was technically a continuity violation. For me it's beside the point, because once we're there we've already lost the battle. If B&B need these cheap excuses for ideas in order to make their show float, why put it in the 22nd Century in the first place? And why insult our intellignec by putting those shows out there? Yeah, it's nice they can demonstrate how clever they are by writing around continuity errors, but what I want to see is originality, not the continuous recycling of ideas. I got more than enough ferengi in DS9 and more than enough borg in VOY. Why the hell did we need more? Are there no other stories to tell? And if not, why are we even here? 2. The Death of the Franchise. This becomes more and more of a possibility with the same lack of luster in the film series that's being exhibited in the tv show. As costs rise for ENT production (sallary and other expenses necessarily goes up as the years pass) the likelihood of cancellation grow higher. Once Paramount has got its magic 100 episodes (in year 4 or 5) when the sydnication comes into play, I will not be surprised if ENT gets the ax. The ratings are awful. The critical response is worse. If ENT goes out before finishing 7 years it'll be perceived as going out with a wimper. The Trek films can't go on with TNG and there's no other feasible vehicle. And I doubt Paramount will want to invest the money in a series VI unless there's a compelling business reason to expect some success. A business is in business to make money, not lose it. And without a film or television franchise out there, Trek will eventually shrink. Fewer fiction novels. Fewer video games. And eventually the whole market will be in collectables at conventions. I see a very sad day coming. Brought closer and closer by ENT's current course. And my #1 Reason for Hating Enterprise: The Effect it has on this Forum and the BBS. I love the BBS. It's why I'm an Admin. I've made friends here and had a lot of fun. To give back to that is why I agreed to be a Mod and then an Admin. But neither of those volunteer activities are as fun as they used to be. Why? Berman and Braga and their handling of ENT. By assaulting Trek fandom with ENT they divide us and discourage us and that has a negative impact on all the forums here, and really, all Sci-Fi fans everywhere. And by providing such a crappy product, they force us in this forum to go over and over their piece of crap. There's lots of smart people in this forum. Lots of people of good character. But you can't make a Filet Minot out of rotting beef chuck. No matter how smart and dedicated our members are, ENT is simply not capable of inspiring (on a consistent basis) the type of interesting and compelling and fun discussion that our members deserve. It's like letting a bunch of Shakespeare scholars loose on Roger Coreman movies. For a while they can stretch and have good discussions, but after awhile the material simply won't support intelligent discussion. And so we're left with a forum divided, a public disgruntled, and a bad situation for everybody. And there's nothing we can do about it.