Posts Tagged ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’

4 Great Shows with Awful First Seasons – Friday Four

FerengiWith Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s second season almost half over, I think it’s safe to say that the show has now reached quality-TV levels, becoming a show that’s thoroughly entertaining on its own, and not just as an adjunct to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Defiance, too, proved its worth in its second season and earning the right to a third. But I think most fans would be willing to admit that these two shows had some pretty significant problems when they started, with SHIELD having insignificant, family-friendly standalone episodes and lifeless, peppy characters, and Defiance trying too hard to emulate premium HBO shows like Game of Thrones while centering on a group of people who were almost the polar opposite of SHIELD‘s: selfish, petty and often times cruel. It’s basically the opposite problem of those shows that ruin it all in the ending, but this trip-up is a far more common one. And that’s why it’s so difficult to watch these one-season shows (like Charlie Jade) fail to move on. Usually, it takes time for a TV show to find itself, but often times they don’t get the chance. Just look at these, 4 shows with downright terrible first seasons, and imagine the awesomeness we’d have missed out on if they hadn’t been given a chance.

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Franchise Potential: What has it, What Doesn’t

Voy IntroMedia franchises are a ubiquitous thing these days. It’s rare to see a Hollywood blockbuster that isn’t part of an established franchise already, and even then a lot of them are transformed into franchises after their success (see Pacific Rim for an example of that). But there’s a big problem in that kind of a thought process, and it’s that not everything that’s successful is well-suited for transformation into a full-fledged franchise. Here, we’re going to look at a few examples of shows and films that evolved into franchises and try to look at why some succeeded and others failed. What better way to start off than by continuing the comparisons of Star Trek versus Battlestar Galactica?

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4 Episodes The Creators Hated – Friday Four

Threshold 1Putting on a TV show is a lot of work. They have to get together as many as 26 episodes, and have them written, filmed, and edited by the time that they’re scheduled to air. There’s no flexibility here. Movie dates get moved back sometimes, but this almost never happens with television (upcoming Syfy miniseries Ascension is a rare example, having been moved back from November to December). What all this really means is that, well, they just don’t have time to make sure every script is perfect before sending it out. Sometimes, the writers just have to accept the fact that this episode is going to be crap and there’s nothing to be done about that. Other times, no one realized how bad this would be on screen until it was already too late, and they can’t just throw the footage away. Everyone just has to make it as best they can and deal with it.

That’s how we ended up with these, four episodes so bad that the creators are more than willing to admit that they screwed up. So let’s honor their honesty by taking a look at what made these episodes worth rejecting.

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The Fall of Star Trek and the Space Opera’s Demise

Enterprise Damagetwo weeks ago, when exploring the idea of the “anti-Trek,” I mentioned that I feel the lack of space-based TV shows in recent years can be attributed to the reimagined Battlestar Galactica. But the truth is, of course, not so simple, and the path to BSG has its roots in reality. We can point it down almost to the day: September 11, 2001.

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Crossovers and Verisimilitude in the Shared Universe

Ent-D at DS9When you have a shared universe, one of the biggest benefits is the crossover–bringing characters from one show within the property over to another show. Agents of SHIELD is starting off its second season tomorrow with a crossover of sorts, featuring flashbacks with Agent Peggy Carter before her own spinoff starts early next year. While this situation is a little different, as both Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter are spinning off from the same parent property, they still have enough in common to enjoy the benefits of a crossover. And with that in mind, I thought it would be a good time to examine the crossover and how it helps with the cohesiveness and plausibility of a shared universe. Read more

The Shared Universe and Film Tie-ins

The BusAgents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was heralded upon its arrival as something revolutionary. A television series, set in the same universe as films, affected by the fallout of each one as they were released while allowing viewers to keep an eye on this world in the interim. It’s something not too different from how Defiance‘s MMORPG connection was described. And, much like with Defiance, it’s something that actually has been seen before, although few people tend to think of it in the same way. This time, however, it’s a much better known property: Star Trek. You see, when The Next Generation started in the 1980s, the feature films with the TOS crew were still being produced. Let’s take a look at some of the significant differences between the approaches of these two series and how the concept of a shared universe has evolved.

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Jean-Luc Picard: Hardboiled Hero?

Picard costumed Watching Star Trek TNG as a kid, one of the things that I always wondered about was why an upstanding, philosophical guy like Picard would ever want to run around in the 1940s noir-style world of Dixon Hill in his free time. It just didn’t seem like the kind of thing that would appeal to him, and yet it’s one of the few moments in the entire series where we see Picard earnestly having fun. But now, having read some of the most famous books of that time, I think I understand why.

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