Thursday, October 25, 2007

"Make it blow"

I started renting Star Trek: The Next Generation recently, starting right at the beginning. Season 1, of course.

My God. Is it fucking awful.

The plots are dopey and unsophisticated; enemies are one-dimensional and would tip over in a stiff wind. The sycophancy of the characters towards Captain Picard is nauseating; the way they all brown-nose him, you would think the guy shits oxygen and there's no other source for lightyears. The level of exposition is oppressive; they leave nothing to the imagination and even the "hints" they drop land like skydiving elephants... of typical 'use' in this regard is Data, who has an encyclopedic knowledge of everything, except the obvious (as Tom Baker's Doctor Who once snarled to his sidekick K-9 in a famous outtake, "Yeah, you never know the fucking answer when it's important.").

But the acting... ohhhh, the fucking, pompous, wooden, over-the-top, acting. I can't believe after all these years it's still Bill Shatner who carries this albatross around his neck. Go back and watch the first season of ST:TNG and then send Bill a nice card apologizing. Kirk on his broadest day had nothing on these hams, believe me. Every scene has someone you just want to smack.

The strange thing is, I remember the show kindly. And I've seen enough of the later episodes lately to know that the style calmed down and the acting improved. Mind you, they had more than twice as long as ST:TOS to get their act together. So I'm going to keep going with the series and wait for it to start hitting the groove. But honestly, watching this shit again for the first time in about 20 years, I remember now why I hated the show when it debuted, and I'm amazed it got past its second season. Had it carried any other name, you would have heard the flush long before that.

P.S. I like Wil Wheaton (have you ever been to his blog? It's hilarious, irreverent, and down-to-earth); I first saw him in Stand By Me, and I always felt bad for him that he got saddled with a no-win roll like Wesley Crusher. Time hasn't improved the character's standing, I'm afraid; I hated him then, and I hate him now. Was "know-it-all kid" ever a popular role, in either fiction or real life? "Wesley, you need to know more about starships... come over here, have a look at the airlock..."


Polt said...

Okay, this brings out the trek geek in me. Yes, season 1 bites. And season 2, just so you know, is even worse! Season 3 is an improvement, and they hit thier stride with the Borg cliffhanger that ends season 3.

I really love TNG (not including season 2). I still watch it in reruns on tv, if I find one.

Just dont judge the whole series by the first two seasons. :)


loneprimate said...

Maybe I'll just go cancel the balance of anything before season three on my account at Zip. :)