Lately I have been watching a lot of Star Trek. After watching all of The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, andVoyager, I began going through the entire franchise, in chronological order. (Except for the movies. Darn you, Netflix, for not having them all.) Right now I am in season 2 of Voyager, which I am watching simultaneously with Deep Space Ninein their approximate orders by air-date. For the record, most of my hours watching the show were while staying up late because of a baby, or in the background while doing something mundane, or just an episode here or there to unwind. I am a binge-watcher, but not a “in my mom’s basement” binge-watcher!
During my recent chronological experience, I realized not just how much I love Star Trek, but also how much I hate some of the show’s elements at times! So… here is my top 5 list of things I hate in Star Trek:
- Kes. I despise Kes and everything that comes with her, more than anything else in Star Trek! Neelix’s idiodic jealosy is bad enough, but everything about her screams “plot-driven character development.” There is nothing about her that is worthwhile that is not there just because it was necessary for an episode’s plot.
- Holodeck Episodes, for being not just overdone, but under-thought. I understand that the writers recognized it was a gold mine of ideas, and I even forgive them for it… but they went way overboard. I can’t count the number of times I have wanted to scream at a Starfleet engineer for being too stupid to have the power system of the Holodeck be self-contained to a single power cord that could just be pulled in the case of a malfunction. Program won’t close and you have crewmen stuck inside? Pull the plug. Hologram trying to take over the Enterprise? Pull the plug. But that would have made too many boring episodes not work…. Caveat: I can’t remember the name of the episode, but the one involving a hologram within a hologram… that one was an exception to my loathing of this plot device.
- Spiritual episodes (Chakotay, Klingons, a few of the Prophets’ episodes), for being boring and for running against Roddenberry’s rule. I am an extremely religious man, and while I admittedly have mixed feelings about Roddenberry’s firm rule of “NO RELIGION” in his shows (both a blessing and a curse depending on the writers’ own views), it irritates me to no end that his rule was ignored, but only so long as it suited a “minority” religion, or when it made for a boring episode. My biggest beef is Chakotay. Besides being rather boring, these episodes are a prime example of when “tolerance” gets annoying. The very idea of the episodes reeks of “We don’t care about your ‘mainstream’ religion, so here, we’ll focus on this one instead.” This violates Roddenberry’s rule, and much worse, is hypocritical of its own philosophy. As for the Klingons and Prophets, those just tend to be boring, especially when the episode is dealing with religion, not using the religion to spur along the plot. Episodes about the Emissary or about the Klingon Afterlife are not the same as episodes about an anthropological view of how Bajorans view aliens, or of Klingon politics.
- Benjamin Sisko. Granted, when he shaved his head, he proved himself right, claiming that he felt like a new actor. But especially the first two seasons, and pretty much any moment in the series when he was forced to act incredibly happy or angry, I have wanted to scream “You had countless actors to choose from, and you chosehim?” Avery Brooks has his moments, but his emotions are so fake that I do not understand why he was allowed to be the lead of an A-list show, when he woudl be more appropriate for a casual role in a Lifetime movie.
- Wesley Crusher. How could I make a list like this without including Wesley? Really… does this one require an explanation? To be fair, _________ is a great actor. I love his self-depreciating comments on Wesley, and his subsequent roles after appearing in Star Trek are wonderful. Wesley, however, is a victim of poor writing, and maybe some poor directing as well.
Bonus #6: She-who-should-not-be-named, who took Dr. Crusher’s place for a season.
To be clear, I love Star Trek… but these are just some pet peeves of mine that I wanted to get off my mind! In the interest of showing an alternate side of myself, here is, with minimal explanation, my top 5:
- BIG space battles. (Usually in DS9, but the tail end of one is seen in First Contact, and there are a couple in Voyager) What’s not to like?
- The Borg!
- Worf, especially after he got a pony tail.
- Picard’s interaction with children, or being ordered to take a vacation.
- The Doctor!