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Janiel Miller
Wed, Sep 6, 2017, 2:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S1: Phage

@artymiss

I think you're right that it's because of the standalone eps. Any of them could have been put in a TNG season seamlessly. The idea of two feuding crews getting stranded together in the Delta quadrant should be blooming with fantastic plots. Instead it's like they said, "Okay, we've set the stage, that's done. Now lets film all the episodes that got rejected for TNG and DS9." So sad. There could have been FABulous conflict between the crew and Janeway, and the crews themselves as they all adjusted to working together, and instead it was like, "Oh. Janeway stranded us out here. Together. Dang. What's for lunch?" Also, Chakotay was wasted, and that was sad because he was cool. The music even feels dated to me!

Oh well. I will enjoy Doc and some of the other character interactions. :)
I enjoyed Enterprise the first time I watched it (probably mostly because of Phlox and the ever fabulous Jeffrey Combs.) Wonder how I will feel about it now...
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Janiel Miller
Thu, Mar 23, 2017, 11:58am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Man of the People

@Andy in VA - Yes! Spot on. And don't forget the undercurrent of non-stop victimization by Will Riker, in the form of "Oh, well, Imzadi will always be there for me when I get tired of sleeping around, but she'd better not get serious with anyone! " Geeze Loueeeeze. The writing for Deanna Troi drove me nuts.

What I think happened is the writers never thought beyond Sirtis' Wonder Bra and her empathic abilities. She had no other traits beyond those, so when they wrote for her it seemed all they could think of were tropes centered on her beauty and her empathy. And even then, they only used her empathic abilities when it was a convenient plot device. If they needed her to not notice someone "hiding something" or being nervous or dishonest, she either wasn't physically present, or simply didn't say anything -- like in "Starship MIne," where she floats around the reception not noticing any strange emotions in the men who would take them hostage.

Siritis was great in "Face of the Enemy," and had other little shining moments that proved she could have been an actual addition to the crew and plot lines if more thought and effort had been put into writing and directing her. They knew how to write powerful women. They did it all the time. Maybe they wanted some contrast between her and the other strong women on the ship (Guinan, and Crusher--who only marginally succeeded at portraying strength and intelligence), but didn't have any idea how to do it. Or maybe she just got hired for her wonderbra.
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Janiel Miller
Wed, Mar 15, 2017, 12:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Man of the People

Also, I want to add that these days one of my favorite things to do is to watch the extras and background personnel. Bwaaaahahahahaha! They never react to anything, and when they do it's often hilariously maladroit. It's as if they are in a completely different show, bless their uniformed hearts. Like a ship full of Data's, but with their personality chips removed.

I also love to watch the actors flopping around in completely different directions and frequencies whenever the Enterprise is rattled by some external force. Picard is always nearly falling out of his chair, while Geordi stands at a console in the background swaying gently. Dude would be scrambling for footing or eating the deck if the ship were shuddering the way Patrick Stewart's body indicates. Heh!
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Janiel Miller
Wed, Mar 15, 2017, 11:57am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Man of the People

I'm not a Star Trek expert by any means--though I've always loved watching it--and this is the first time I've ever commented on a Jammer board, or any Trek board. But I just want to stick up for Marina Sirtis. I have to say l am sorry for her. I read somewhere that Troi's character was originally to be some funky four-breasted hermaphrodite, or something (which idea was thankfully talked down. Good grief.) But it seems that once they humanized her, her purpose was still to be little more than on-board cleavage--so why write anything real for her? Much like what they did with T'Pol and Seven of Nine. The difference being that at least Seven as a Borg ex-pat was a cool enough concept to engender a lot of creative writing possibilities, so she had some good episodes. Poor Troi spent three and a half seasons being nothing more than a pretty potted palm on the Bridge. And when they seem to have realized that she needed to have an actual personality with actual depth they hadn't invested enough int the character to know how to accomplish that. So we got a sudden introduction to Troi's chocolate obsession, in season 4 I think it was. And finally the occasional glimpse into her doing her actual job. It felt like a slight attempt to focus on Marina's strengths as an actress instead of trying to shoe-horn her into whatever plot point they needed her to fill, which often included emotional scenes that were not her forte.

Sirtis was great in the latter part of the series at the counseling scenes, showing warmth and humor, and being a calm presence. The writers and directors should have let Sirtis play to her strengths, and given her character more depth in those areas. It would also have been nice, since she was a bridge officer and there for many of the Meet-the-Alien-of-the-Week moments, to have had her trained in strategy. An empathic strategist might have actually been useful the the captain, and would have provided the character with a brain (*gasp*) that the writers could have written toward.

There were several hilarious moments in this episode for me, but I tend to like the things about Sirtis that I mentioned above, so I didn't mind watching her. Also enjoyed Riker, and the Janeway scene.

I don't want to say I have love/hate relationship with all of the Star Trek shows, because it's more of a love/beat-my-head-against-a-wall relationship owing to so much cognitive dissonance in the writing of characters and cultures, as well as so many lost opportunities. But Trek knew how to cast (with some exceptions) actors who got into my heart and who I wanted to watch each week, no matter how absurd the situations and dialogue those actors were saddled with. And the whole concept was frankly cool, and nicely realized for television at the time. So huzzah for Star Trek, goofy writing, grating acting, and wrong-headedness aside. Hope we always have a bit of the Trek universe to watch!
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