Tuesday, September 29, 2015

To watch or remember, that is the question...

Continuing my thoughts from yesterday, when I write a review, it's not on an episode I've just watched.  If anything, a fresh viewing can have a distorting effect.  If you have a good memory, an episode falls into all the right contexts, and that's what I want my focus to be, the context.

I take for granted that if you're watching Star Trek at all, and if you care what I think, you're not a hate-watcher.  I don't like hate-watchers.  I mean, I've been that kind of viewer myself.  Not of Star Trek.  But other things.  It's just not fun.  So I've tried to not express hate-watching thoughts.  I don't see the point.

If you're watching Star Trek, chances are you know what other fans think about the franchise.  You know what's popular and what isn't.  The distinction I try to make is, just because something is popular, or isn't, doesn't mean it's good (or not).  Granted, I tend to make that distinction change course with episodes that aren't.  If it's popular, there's probably a good reason.  Star Trek fans, especially with the older shows, are good for acknowledging what needs acknowledging, what's generally good in the franchise.

The problem is, the newer material usually gets left behind.  That's where I see my greatest contribution to the discussion.  Since every Star Trek episode at this point is at least a decade old (Enterprise ended in 2005), that's a lot of material an existing fan has to consider.  Watching an episode all over again, whether previously loved or otherwise, opens room for a new evaluation.  That's what I'm trying to do, but I'm also attempting to see what has truly stood the test of time.  Which means, for all the older fans who lived for years with episodes that have long been considered classics, it's time to admit new ones into the fold.  Star Trek fans can be surprisingly reluctant to do so.  Over time, as the franchise grew less and less popular, it grew virtually impossible.

And so, it's no longer about popularity, but rather quality, about adding something of genuine value.  Sometimes, again, all this can be one and the same.  But sometimes it just isn't.  For someone watching, piecemeal, the franchise whether for the first or a multiple time, they get caught up, in the same way fans did when these episodes originally aired.  They lose perspective.  When you have a franchise with hundreds of episodes, it becomes a dialogue.  One experience resonates with another, across series, across decades.

What else is there to say?  Watch Star Trek however you like, but a broad appreciation is what you're after, hopefully I can help.

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