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I'm watching VOY right now, again, made it past Season 4 which is extra terrible due to them switching to UPN, I think.
These shows all suffer from Brannon and Braga pushing their personal egocentric bullshit into it.
Every Brannon and Braga Trek has the same bunch of episodes, which we tend to call Trope episodes, and some of them are, but a lot are specifically BnB ego episodes with the excuse of being Trope episodes.
I just got up, so I'll maybe come back later with episode examples of what I mean here. But needless to say I do a /wooo/ chant: GET YOUR SHIT IN, because these same themes are in these episodes, BnB writing themselves in and fellating their generation as all Baby Boomers MUST do.
One thing I've noticed this time is actually how much Neelix sucking is due to the fact that the entire premise of the show is Battlestar Galactica level grim, and yet, it was the 90s and you really didn't want to put off all the drunk and stoned trekkies by being too dark.
However, so many standard trek-defining themes are fucking bleak-- and Voyager has real problems with a kind of yoyo, they go TOO DARK and then have to pull way back or else it's hard to believe they don't all commit suicide.
Like, I got fucked up on DXM the other day, and it went through that last stretch of Season 4, and it's all super fucking dark shit presented poorly, like the Hunters episodes, where there's the total stupidity of having a race of predators be big bumbling idiots, but also they are gutting people and subjecting them to psychological terror and mind control and shit-- then they culminate this by the season opener of 5, where they are in The Void and they all fucking crack due to boredom, and I just started uncontrollably laughing and nearly passed out, because it was all so fucking absurd and ridiculous, especially considering that they should already be at this stage two years previous-- long boring space travel with no hope, broken up only by misery and loss, and new terrors.
But anyway, I got off track-- Neelix. In all of this, he's supposed to be a Lovable Tramp who fakes it til he makes it-- a survivor based on 1930s hobos, comical but will cut your throat if he needs to.
He's supposed to be endearing and charming so he can con you. Which the Nekrid Expanse episode highlights.
And they did SO MUCH to fix his bubbly stuffed animal character by showing that it's PTSD-induced. He survived fucking Hiroshima and being next-to-homeless in the most cutthroat part of the galaxy. So of course, he doesn't want to fucking talk about it or think about it or even spend one more minute of his life crying and hating.
Which, you know, is how people who survived WW2 are/were. I know my grandparents were all like that. Children in the depression, turned 18 just in time to fight Germans and Japs in the fucking mud, only to find mass graves and stuff.
Go home and act like it never happened, because no one at home understands, and life was hard enough before you left, and you just don't want it to have happened at all.
But see, if you do that on a show about never seeing your family again, and losing people and your soul along the way-- SO in that light, of COURSE an exec at the network is going to be like "Hey, Brannon, lighten this shit the fuck up, we're losing the stoned people" because it's the fucking 90s and people were happy and employed and life was pretty fucking decent for most people. A lot of optimism in people's lives. I know, I was poor as shit and even I had a Future with a Career and the Dream and all that shit.
They just went so fucking far with that show. It was a show with Bipolar. Either retard-cheerful or soul-crushingly bleak.
That Neelix Suicide show is more about Atheism than it is about survivor guilt, and they were doing a lot of that horror movie shit in DS9 at the time as well. Creepy fucking morbid shit. The Outer Limits heritage of trek, I think, and you can really alienate an audience with overbearingly creepy shit, out of fucking nowhere.
Honestly, I've done some drugs in my time, and have had some bad trips, but fucking hell, the shit these people deal with and it never phases them-- like those aliens who put everyone to sleep and terrify them in dreams until they eat their energy and they die as withered husks.
Organ Thieving convoys of Freddy Kruger monsters.
I mean, the one with the Scientists who invisibly torture and murder the crew for medical experimentation-- what the FUCK was that? How would you not, every day thereafter for the rest of your fucking days as Captain have every deck microscanned and fire at all the walls with phasers and strip everyone to their bare ass and cavity search them every single fucking day twice a day afer something like that happening?
If I had a bad dream like that I'd be fucked up for months, much less in real life.