Why was Enterprise received so poorly?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Enterprise' started by dcm, Jun 30, 2023.

  1. Sci

    Sci Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And that hypothetical counter-argument would have been both racist and false, since there had already been plenty of successful television programs starring people of color before 2001. Hell, DS9 had a more diverse cast than ENT, and DS9 got better ratings than ENT.
     
  2. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    It's not my argument, it's how the past worked, and yes it's racist.

    You're seriously going to argue that Sanford and Son or in Living Colour or Living Single or Martin or Grand Crew had diverse casts?
     
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  3. Dukhat

    Dukhat Admiral Admiral

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    And therein lies the inherent flaw of the 'prequel': The fanbase is going to have their own preconceived notion of what the prequel is going to be about, and it will never live up to what they formed in their minds. Plus, a prequel made 30+ years after the fact will be unduly influenced by everything that came after what you're making a prequel to. That's why ENT resembled TNG/VOY far more than TOS.
     
  4. Sci

    Sci Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I understand you were presenting a counterfactual scenario, not advocating for it. But yes, it was racist. And we should recognize that same racism as having been at work in real life in the casting decisions Berman & Braga made with ENT's principal roles.

    What I actually said was "there had already been plenty of successful television programs starring people of color before 2001," which is not the same thing as arguing that any one of those programs was themselves diverse. (But, of course, those programs were not supposed to be about the future of humanity as a whole the way Star Trek: Enterprise was.)

    But even then, there had been successful television dramas with more diverse casts than Star Trek: Enterprise. Shows like NYPD Blue and Homicide: Life on the Street were more diverse than Star Trek: Enterprise. Hell, fucking Walker, Texas Ranger was more diverse than Star Trek: Enterprise.
     
  5. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm watching Fraiser right now.

    Completely white cast.

    Half of them were were straightwashed.

    John Mahoney's straight character makes a few homophobic remarks over the course of the series, which I suppose where seen as teachable moments.
     
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  6. ussrowe

    ussrowe Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

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    They took the cast of The Original Series and said "We'll make Spock female and we'll swap the races of Uhura and Sulu so she's Asian and he's now Black. And we're done"
     
  7. Dukhat

    Dukhat Admiral Admiral

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    Don't forget "we'll take McCoy and make him the engineer, and take Scotty and make him the security chief. And we'll just have some weird alien for the doctor."
     
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  8. FredH

    FredH Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    While Enterprise was not without its flaws, the main reason it was received poorly is that by that time, much of fandom had trained itself to accept that “if Berman & Braga do it, it sucks” — mainly because of a lot of weak writing on Voyager (and discounting some good writing there too; depended on the episode). I guarantee you that in the early 2000s, any new Trek would have been received the same way, regardless of its quality or lack thereof.

    In other words, by that time people expected new Trek to suck. If you expect something to suck, more often than not, it will, for you, because the weak points are what you’re looking for. And that’s what happened, and what necessitated the franchise taking a break for some years. They needed time for people to stop “already knowing” what to expect.
     
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  9. Richard S. Ta

    Richard S. Ta Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think many have got the wrong end of the stick when they attribute the failure of ENT to fandom walking away.

    The hardcore fandom makes up a small minority of the audience. It's the larger, general audience that walked away. Fandom could have abandoned the show entirely, but if ENT had held on to the general audience, it could have run for 7 seasons.
     
  10. suarezguy

    suarezguy Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The general audience did indeed walk away but pretty much just after the first 6-10 episodes, thought it was too much like the other shows and/or it just didn't make them care, it would be hard for any show to keep onto them, they just watched the pilot and first 2-4 episodes and maybe a few more expecting something really great and/or non-sci-fi-y.

    I remember ironically some fans disliked that the TNG characters were too much not like the originals, then disliked when the new doctor was very McCoy-ish, and then most remaining/hardcore fans did seem to eventually like that engineer Trip was pretty McCoy-ish.

    The writers should have at least known that Neelix was disliked and a similarly weird alien doctor, for this before-original series prequel which presumably would be really human-focused, should like the original have at most only 1 alien in the main cast, would also be pretty disliked.
     
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  11. Dukhat

    Dukhat Admiral Admiral

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    And again, that's why you don't make a prequel. A prequel only caters to the hardcore fans. But UPN wanted to have their cake and eat it too. That's why they advertised the show as 'not your father's Star Trek,' and 'the first Trek show that both fans and non-fans can watch,' or some similar bullshit. That wasn't remotely what happened. The hardcore fanbase lost interest, and any casual fans the show might have attracted (which, in my opinion, was probably a very small amount) were not enough to keep the show alive. So they backpedaled, added 'Star Trek' to the title, and went all out with the TOS fanwank for the last season, realizing that unless you're making a big-budget film with a hugely popular cast and actors like what JJ Abrams did, you ain't catering to casual fans.

    The only saving grace was that John Billingsley was a better actor than Ethan Phillips.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2023
  12. Dee1891

    Dee1891 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't think so. I think both Phillips and Billingsley are first-rate actors. I certainly had no problems with their Trek characters. But I simply prefer watching "Voyager" over "Enterprise".
     
  13. Dukhat

    Dukhat Admiral Admiral

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    I’ll agree that their acting skills are a matter of opinion. But unlike Phillips, Billingsley was able to hone his character into more than just the ‘weird alien crewmember’ trope.
     
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  14. Ragitsu

    Ragitsu Commodore Commodore

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    So...no one told you life was gonna be this way?
     
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  15. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    "clap clap"
     
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  16. Anna Yolei

    Anna Yolei Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Coincidentally, I'm sure the TCW was a studio mandated specifically to keep a foot in the door for such a thing but I'm glad they didn't. Even aside from my personally being all TNG'd out after this last season of PIC, audiences at the time were tired of the tonal similarities and callbacks to that show. What reason does a TOS prequel need with having episodes about the Ferengi and Borg except for it's two main writers refusing to do homework?

    Came here to say this. No one in the industry has had a bad word to say about Scott Bakula in his entire four decade career but we can't ignore that at the time we got big, TV was not casting Black leads in anything but the few Black-led TV shows in the 80s and early 90s, most of which were sitcoms. I genuinely can't remember any major black led dramas growing up....closest I can think of are the Winters clan on The Young and the Restless, and anyone familiar with Victoria Roswell can tell you she & the other black actors went through hell and back for the stories they did get (usually airing on one day a week that CBS internally called Winters Wednesday :rolleyes: )

    If there was no other sci-fi actor of color with Bakula's fanbase, that was entirely the fault of the studios for not considering those actors.
     
  17. Anna Yolei

    Anna Yolei Vice Admiral Admiral

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    For the record, I've been co-signing with every post of yours in this thread but I gotta say for the record that I can name no fewer than five posters who started watching specifically bc they were Bakula fans.

    Coincidentally, most of them became Tucker fangirls who were the biggest critics of Archer as a character :lol: funny how that goes haha

    Putting aside the diversity bit, the biggest problem I found with Archer was his absolute petulance. I understand TIIC were trying to make him be less polished than the previous captains who had more experience with diplomacy but that has nothing to do with the disrespect towards T'Pol for being Vulcan, for example.

    Now that's a name I've not heard in a long time....:lol:
    You're not wrong, since that attitude is absolutely present amongst people determined to blame everything they hate about Modern Trek regardless of his level of direct involvement (which IIRC is nowhere near the input Rick Berman had, where he was sitting in on the post filming aditing, as Anthony Montgomery once recalled).

    Still, while many of the posters here were fairly new to the franchise, many of them noticed the huge change in writing during S4 when Manny Coto was brought on (may his memory be a blessing). Even though I was not overly invested in the TOS fanservice bits, I did appreciate the attempts at better character writing for my faves. We didn't see T'Pol get objectified once, which was a huge W.

    JB definitely brought a gravitas that wasn't always there in the writing but TBH I wouldn't sleep on Ethan Phillips either. Once his character got decoupled from Kes (which should've happened no later than the third episode, seriously who told TIIC to make fetch happen with this?!) and Neelix got episodes that weren't about him going full Jonah Hill--to horribly carbon date this post for some archiver reading this in 2043 or whatever--he could work his acting chops. "Jetrel" was a banger, as was "Riddles" and that one with him grappling that their probably isn't an afterlife like he was told.

    Plus, I can't hate too much on any actor that has to put on that amount of makeup three to five days a week, which often took as long to put on as it did to film the specific scenes.
    I dunno that I fully agree with this TBH. Granted, this show was my intro to Trek and while I admit I was unique among millennial Trek fans, I wasn't alone. Like I said in the previous post, there were dozens of us newbies posting up a storm here and forgiving of the things long time fans considered earth shattering deal breakers, like the design of the NX-01 itself, which was easily the stupidest wank I've ever seen outta the fanbase before that Boimler gag from Lower Decks broke the brains of people who never blinked when T'Pol got half naked every third episode. :lol:

    You know what changed my mind on this? Surprisingly, Star Wars. I will go to my grave hating all three prequels but there's a whole generation of kids where this was their intro to SW. They're old enough to read about the hate EP II in particular received...and they don't care. They got into other SW media eventually.

    Hell, we got an entire new Trek series airing right now where the fate of the main character is known to the audience and even said main character itself, but it's also been one of the easiest entry points to the franchise since...

    ...well, ENT honestly.
     
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  18. Richard S. Ta

    Richard S. Ta Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Four claps. Get it right. Shame on you, Guy! I've lost all respect etc.
     
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  19. dcm

    dcm Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    @Sci
    You seem to be specifically upset that a portion of a show's cast belongs to a certain group. And yes there is active discrimination going on against members of that group(At least the poorer more disenfranchised members of said group). You know why I dropped creative writing? Because very early on, I was made aware that there were no opportunities for people with my immutable characteristics in the industry. It did not matter how good I was. What mattered was that, I am; Straight, White and Male.

    I wish people you, ran hollywood. People who prefer talent and skill, over all other factors. Then, maybe we'd get some good trek written/performed/directed for and by mentally cognizant adults.

    Anyway back on topic.

    I just watched a few random ENT episodes, And I cant really see why people hated the show so much. I'm not that into trek canon and lore, apart from the basics. So, all the canon violations don't really bother me that much. Which leads me to wonder, if the latest SNW time travel episode, was just an attempt by the writers; to excuse away any inaccuracies in the trek timeline.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2023
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  20. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Latino means Native American (Native South American?) + Spanish.

    (Hispanic means that someone speaks Spanish, but you probably know that. Brazilians speak Portuguese, so they are Latino but not Hispanic.)

    How "white" are Spaniards?

    As white as some one from Ireland apparently.

    So Latinos are White.