forestofglory: Blue butterflies in front of pale white people with long flowing hair (blue magic)
R and I finished watching Star Trek: The Next Generation last night. We've been doing a good parts version where we skipped the worst episodes. It been a fun thing to watch together and talk about. I mentioned in my TV Wrap Up that I hadn't written much about it since season 4 and I think the main reason for that is that I don't really have anything new to say. I still wish this show did better by it's female characters, I still love the arts and crafts bits (in season 7 we got to see a bit of Kilgon Opera which was great), I still hate the prime directive, I still like that the show is optimistic mostly. Anyways the final episode gave us Future!Cambridge and Future!Data with a houseful of cats which I very much enjoyed. Data's idea of how a professor should dress also amuses me.

I think next we are going to watch a non-Trek show but eventually we plan to watch Voyager. The new season of Discovery has started airing but our plan is to wait until the whole season is out and watch it all then.
forestofglory: (ship)
R and I recently finished watching season four of Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG). When we started watching TNG the plan was to watch the highlights but we quickly changed to just skipping the worst episodes. I have lots thoughts about season four but they aren’t really a proper review or essay -- I lack a thesis statement. So I’m just going to write up bunch of bullet points and share my thoughts that way.

Read more... )
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
This post is going to discuss representation of marginalized people in Star Trek: Discovery. You can read my thoughts on themes and continuity in the show here.

Star Trek has generally tried to push the envelope in terms of who gets to be on screen and has had some successes and some failures at this. It was groundbreaking for The Original Series (TOS) to even have a black woman on the bridge even though by today’s standards the show is not very diverse. Watching Next Generation today I’m constantly frustrated by the female characters and how they don’t get to do anything, but I get the impression it was about average for its time. In Deep Space 9 (DS9) we got to see a black man as captain (and a father), and the show featured some wonderful female characters. However, DS9 also featured some very problematic Jewish-coded characters. Voyager gave us our first Trek show with a female captain but also featured a very poorly done Native American character. Enterprise’s main crew seems to be about as diverse as TOS’s, but--given that there are are about 35 years between the shows--that’s not what I’d consider progressive. Discovery, too, has some big successes and some big failures in terms of representation. Its biggest problem is that it shows us glimpses of much more than it delivered on several counts.

”spoilers” )
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
I recently finished watching Star Trek:Discovery, and I wanted to reflect on the series here. This post is going to talk about the series over all and how it fits in with other Trek. Then in a follow up post I’m going to talk about representation of marginalized people on Discovery. (I started out writing one long post but it was too disorganized and needed to be split up.) Since I last wrote about Star Trek R and I have finished watching original series (TOS) highlights and watched most of the first three seasons of Next Generation (TNG), skipping the really bad episodes (e.g. most of season one). At the end of season 3 of TNG we took a break to watch Discovery. I’m becoming a bit obsessed with all things Star Trek. I’ve been enjoying pondering questions like “what would one wager in post scarcity society?” and coming up with Watsonian solutions to Doylist problems.*

Before I get into spoilery bits, I want to say that I liked Discovery and that it did contain thematic elements that are important to making it feel like Star Trek to me. However, it did lack a lot of the quiet character moments that I enjoy in other Star Trek shows. I really wanted to be able to see Discovery as something that stood on its own, but the show was keen to remind me about how it linked to the franchise.

spoilers )

*In the Sherlock Holmes stories Watson is the 1st person narrator and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is author. So a Watsonian approach uses only in universe stuff, whereas a Doylist approach acknowledges that the story is work of fiction created
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
Recently, I’ve been watching some episodes of Star Trek the Original Series (TOS). After slowly working our way through Deep Space 9 (DS9) over the course of five or so years R and I finally finished a few months ago, so we were looking for something else to watch. The overlap in our tastes is somewhat small, which can make it tricky to pick something.

Around the time we finished DS9, Strange Horizons published an essay titled Kirk Drift which talked about how perceptions of TOS were based on exaggerated ideas, and reading that made me want to see TOS series for myself. It’s a series that I’d always been aware of (my mother was fan – she got her first color TV to watch Star Trek re-runs on) but had never seen. I was content to learn about via pop culture before reading “Kirk Drift."

Still, I wasn’t quite willing to watch the whole thing, so I asked R to help me pick 15 or so episodes to watch. I really wanted to see “The Trouble with Tribbles” and “Spock’s Brain” (I know it’s widely regarded as terrible but my mother loves it). On the other hand, I refuse to watch “City on the Edge of Forever” because I hate Harlan Ellison; he’s a bad person, and I’ve never liked anything of his that I read. Other than that, R mostly picked episodes based on what he thinks is good or historically important or just something I’d like.

Read more... )

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