Jay Lake: Writer

Contact Me Home
>

[culture] Now in Bakulavision, in which I try my hand at tv criticism

Yesterday in comments [info]ruralwriter asked me about my watching of Star Trek: Enterprise for the first time, given one of my passing remarks thereupon.

I’m watching Bakulavision for the first time, and I’m not finding it as flawed a show as you seemed to opine in a previous post. In part, I find my perspective is probably affected by the fact I tried to go back to watch TNG…and found it unwatchable. I’m curious what you might find problematic in Enterprise.

I’m not much of a television critic, as I haven’t watched broadcast or cable tv since 1994, and have only caught a few series on DVD or Netflix over the years since. (Specifically, the Battlestar Galactica reboot, Firefly, Futurama, part of Red Dwarf and most of Heroes. And now, Star Trek: Enterprise.) But as longtime readers of this blog will note with an absolute lack of suprise, I do has me some opinions. Here’s what I told in comments [info]ruralwriter, slightly edited for clarity.

Well, to be clear, I continue to be entertained by the show. I am still watching it, partway into Season 2 at this point.

However, the place where I really lost faith was the bit partway through Season 1 where Trip is on an alien ship repairing the hallucinogenic warp drive. (Episode 5, Unexpected.) They’re funny-forehead aliens, with a holodeck that recreates a homeworld scene of a boat on an ocean. Yet when the cute female engineer brings Tripp some food, she hands him something that looks like a bowl of jello shots and says, “This is as close as we could come to water.”

Really? Bipedal oxygen breathers with something very similar to a human metabolism from a world with horizon-spanning bodies of water and you don’t a) drink/metabolize water yourselves and b) with starship level technology can’t synthesize one of the simplest chemical compounds in the universe? That’s a seventh-grade Introductory Physical Science howler, apparently for the sake of a little throwaway alien mystique.

That’s when I decided the script writers were basically idiots, or at least were writing at an idiot level of comprehension.

Also, a number of the plots fail on the very simple point that they have a transporter aboard Enterprise. I realize the transporter is new and unproven and possibly unreliable, but it’s been used a few times, and been discussed at other points when not used for some technical reason like the target area being underground (Season 1, episode 6, Terra Nova). Yet the most recent episode I watched was the Season 2 ep where the captain and Reed go back for the lost communicator (Episode 8, The Communicator) and wind up being arrested and almost executed as spies. There’s a huge fooraw about getting down there in the Suliban cell ship, and cultural contamination, and big old shootout in the prison yard, when in fact all they had to do was use the transporter to pluck the prisoners out of their cell. It would have been a twelve-minute short film if the writers had bothered to remember the logic of their own setting.

So, yeah, written at a level of comprehension of both science and plot logic that pretty much fails for me.

So, do I expect too much from television? Like I said, the show continues to entertain me, but I have to turn off my intelligence insulter to watch it. What do you think?

Tags: , , ,

[cancer] Chemo session eight, day one

Slept through most of the infusion. At home I could feel the edge of nausea in the background, but it never quite caught up with me. Spent most of the afternoon watching Star Trek: Enterprise on Netflix streaming. I’m not surprised it didn’t last, given the quality of the script writing. Today, more Bakulavision as I lay low and quiet.

Tags: , , ,

| Newer Posts »