Sean Berry's Thoughts on The Human Mind, Behavior, Movies, Video Games, Television, Technology, Internet, Culture, and Everything Else In Between


Classic Debates: The Best Star Trek Series?

Posted by sean berry on October 2, 2010 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (4)

If a person says they love Star Trek, they are apt to be labeled a Trekkie, which carries with it a lot of negative connotations.  Now while I love most the series and most the movies, I don’t speak Klingon, have never worn a Star Fleet uniform, nor do I have a tricorder or phaser—but for the record, if those last two items existed, I would want them.  I don’t wish to discuss the movies or novels, but rather, the five television series and their particular impact on me.  I will discuss them in the order of least favorite to favorite, but I want to note that all these series were good for their particular time period. 


The original Star Trek was ground breaking and really made William Shatner’s career, but it also inspired some pretty good movies too.  While the effects are pretty dated at this point, they did the best they could with what they had at the time.  There is a charming campiness to the show and Shatner, as a captain, gives you the image of the alpha male whizzing through space, making his mark, kicking some ass, and getting the girl, no matter what shade of fluorescent color.  There were a lot of different themes though and a cast of unforgettable characters to boot, so although it’s my least favorite, so to speak, it’s still an awesome series in its own right.


Star Trek: Enterprise was the only series to be cancelled before it was finished, but I just think it just wasn’t the right time to release the series so soon after Star Trek Voyager.  The franchise went from being in regions of space way far from home to a prequel of how it all began, which was its downfall, but at the same time, it’s essence and strength.    I did not like it at first and did not even want to give it a shot, especially after the lame intro song, which not to sound whiny, but I particularly enjoyed the instrumental numbers in all the other series.  The acting was good in this series and there were some great storylines, but even with the gorgeous Vulcan hottie T’Pol, the series couldn’t stay afloat. 


Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was unique in that most the series took place on a space station, but if you realize that this show came out while Star Trek The Next Generation was still airing, it makes a lot more sense for it to be drastically different in some areas.  Though they do have access to a space ship and do use it on the show sometimes, it is for the most part, a show that deals with things on the space station or people trying to blow the damn thing up.  This show had longer story threads then some of the other series and definitely had more combat then anything else in the franchise.  I really find this show and Enterprise to be near equals, but because this show wasn’t canceled did I feel it warranted a better judgment.  The series definitely got a nice boost when Worf from Star Trek TNG came onto the show, I mean, how can you go wrong with Worf?


Star Trek Voyager was not appealing to me when it first came out; I wasn’t sure what to think of it and it was only through circumstance that I came to watch it.  I had lived in a house with no cable and the only thing my antennae picked up was UPN, which at the time happened to show Voyager.  It grew on me quickly and I was glad I got the chance to experience it.  Voyager was more of a run and gun type of show as compared to the diplomacy often displayed in TNG.  There was a much larger sense of urgency in all their missions as they were always on their own out in the unknown realms of space.  This really opened up an opportunity to create a plethora of new allies and enemies, as well as galactic phenomenon.  Let’s not forget about the delicious, Borg honey momma we know as 7 of 9, my, oh my, how that show picked up when she joined the cast.  The series had one hell of a finale too and I also liked how the whole show in itself was a story, being the concept was that they ended up in an uncharted quadrant of space trying to get back home.  


Star Trek: The Next Generation was for me the cream of the crop of all the series.  The stories were great and the characters were second to none.  I will admit that the series took a few seasons to get to its polished state, but its well worth the wait.  I think the mixture of the different types of characters really gave this show it’s personal feel—you had an ultradisciplined and refined captain with a by the book and sometimes playboy wannabe second in command, an empathic counselor, a Klingon at tactical, a one of a kind android as Lieutenant commander, and a blind man with a state of the art visor maintaining the engines.  This show was always an idealized vision of exploration, as the crew was always concerned with doing what was right and making those hard decisions, even if sometimes it meant disobeying the prime directive (which is not to interfere with the affairs of other worlds basically). This show was as much about human nature as it was with unknown phenomenon and intergalactic confrontation. It did it all and it did it well and for me it is the most memorable.


With that said, where do we go from here?  My friend suggested they do another series in the era of the DS9, TNG, and Voyager, but from a writer’s stand point, I think it’s just lazy.  I would like to see them take it ahead a few years of what we already know and that way the audience comes into a world they think they know but that has been drastically changed.  You could also have flash backs to other series that would set up current events in the new show, giving some of the old shows exposure while continuing forward. This is space we’re dealing with here, so in a sense anything is literally possible, which is why I love science fiction.  All in all, every show had its own little something that people fell in love with or remember fondly, but whether or not any one agrees with my list, doesn’t take away from the fact that what I have written has no doubt made you remember which series you liked and why and with that comes the remembrance of some classic science fiction.


Lost reviews "Across the Sea"

Posted by sean berry on May 15, 2010 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (0)

With only one episode left before the seriesfinale, some people felt “Across the Sea” told a story that was seeminglyunnecessary and wasted time that could have been spent other on othercharacters.  I say that's bullshit.  There would be no Lost withoutJacob and The Man in Black, or MIB as I will refer to him from now on.  Wehad to wait five seasons before we even got to see what Jacob and the MIB evenlooked like, but they were responsible for all that happened in the show thewhole time, so to say their origin was a waste of time is being a little toocritical.  The episode was certainly a mind fuck in a sense, because wegot to see how Jacob was sort of a blind follower of his crazy step motherwhile his brother, MIB, was more the rebel, but for obvious reasons.  Imean, how would you react if you saw a dead woman who claimed to be your momthat told you she was killed by who you thought your mom was already...well,you'd probably react like the man in black. 

Which brings another huge question into the light, who really is this womanwho killed Jacob and his brother’s mother?  I’m thinking she is a witch ofsome sort or some kind of spiritual being because she supposedly makes it sothat the brothers can’t hurt each other or kill each other, but this fact iskind of loose because they can obviously beat the shit out of each other, wellactually, it's Jacob who beats his brother’s ass a couple times in the episodeand the MIB doesn't look so immortal after wards.  I mean really, if theycan't kill each other, then wouldn't wailing on him eventually cause him todie?   Never mind that though, back to my other point, this womancertainly has some kind of power because she is the only one who can find thetunnel of light on the island and the fact that she has managed to live thereby herself uninterrupted all that time leaves one to believe this bitch don’tfuck around.  We get further proof towards the end of the episode when shewinds up killing all the “Bad” people with whom the MIB was working together withto get off the island.  I’m also fascinated with how she thanks the MIBfor killing her at the end, which leads me to believe she had held thatposition for a long time.  What a shitty job that has to be, no pay, nopositive recognition, just protect some place that normal people can’t find anyway?

  This episode really confused me about Jacob’s true intentions becausehe obviously didn’t want the job and yet he took it and when his brother toldhim the truth about his mother’s death, he confirmed it and yet still followedhis step mother’s wishes.  It really made him out to be quite the littlebitch and a vindictive one at that, because after he finds his brother haskilled his step mom, he throws him into the tunnel of light, having no idea ofwhat nightmare he has unleashed.  I guess it’s at this point, that the MIBtruly becomes the evil entity we know now, because he no longer has a body ofhis own and thus must resort to inhabiting whatever dead body he can, whichobviously explains for all the ghosts we saw in seasons past.  Thequestion that now really lingers is what is the light?  How good can it beif when you go inside it you come out a flying snake-like plume of electricalblack smoke?

  I am excited about the next couple episodes but I am also a littleconcerned about how it will end.  The beauty of a show like Lost is thatevery episode answers a question and asks yet another, but when it comes to anend, that chain of events will cease.  I think maybe I’m a little put offthat the two god-like creatures in the story are just basically bickeringbrothers and the one we thought was a saint turned out to be a momma’sboy.  Not that it isn’t good to be good to your mother, but when she’s acrazy witch who beat your real mother to death with a rock after you were born,I think it’s time to put some emotional distance between the two of you. All in all, even if the finale winds up sucking, it still won’t take away fromthe fact that the rest of the show has been pretty fucking cool, there was alwaysa lot going on, a lot you couldn’t figure out without the story tellersthemselves revealing it, and plenty of those, “Holy Shit!” or “What the Fuck?!”moments.