Friday, August 19, 2016

The Cardassian Vole Awards - Star Trek's Low Moments

Here on the Random Boat of Randomness, I try to look at the good stuff. Even when I talk about something that isn’t really good, there’s usually something in there that’s okay. Heck, I was able to find something good in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 and that mostly sucked. I even said the DVD would make a nice coaster. So, that’s where I’m going with the Vole Awards. For those who don’t know, voles are annoying ugly creatures from Cardassia that know how to muck up your standard space station. Gul Dukat must have left some over there when the Federation came to take over Terok Nor.

The things I’ll be looking at today are some of my least favorite aspects of the franchise. You’ll notice I didn’t say “worst” here. While some of these things are definitely bad, you may be able to find some good in them. There are things on here that I kind of like but they have aspects that I’m not really fond of. So, what will get a nice vole to put on their shelf at night? Find out below.

Least Favorite Crew – Star Trek: Enterprise
This was a pretty tough choice. See, I like all of the crews. All of them have something that is good in them.  Still, a couple crews do fall short in things like likability and development. Sometimes, it’s also how they’re written in most episodes. I actually switched back and forth between this and Voyager whose crew I’m also not a big fan of. Ultimately, it came down to seeing who I really liked and Enterprise came on the short list.

Don’t worry, Enterprise fans, there are things I like about the crew especially when it comes to characters like Trip, Malcolm, and a couple of others.  I think the fact that it took a long while for me to like them is a factor. I really didn't get to rooting for them until Season 3. Even then, this crew doesn’t really interest me all that much. They're not the worst crew, but they're not that great either. 

Least Favorite Ship – USS Enterprise (Kelvin Universe)
When it comes to the main ships of the franchise, I have to say that I wasn’t a big fan of the new Enterprise for the reboot series aka “The Kelvin Universe.” I can’t really put my foot on it. I think it mostly has to do with the design of the exterior. It’s got the big nacelles and that kind of puts me off. The interior is okay but it looks so bright. I’ve heard it get compared to an Apple store and I can see that. It definitely has hints of 2001: A Space Odyssey with that interior. Even though its design isn’t that great, it does well in battle…well, sort of. It does go the way of the dodo in Star Trek Beyond.

Least Favorite Captain – Johnathan Archer
Yeah, you knew this was coming. Archer was far from the best captains of the franchise. I know he’s supposed to be the first captain ever, but he still made some dumb mistakes during his time to me. I know the writing, which wasn’t the best at times, didn’t help his cause. I can’t really blame the actor, Scott Bakula, since I felt he did a good job with what he was given. I like the dude everywhere else. He did begin to come of his own at the end of Season 2. He was definitely pretty cool in the later seasons. Still, I have to throw this vole at him. I'd throw it at Janeway but the later seasons of Voyager put a stop to that.

Least Favorite First Season – Star Trek: TNG
This was another tough choice. As I’ve said before, the non-TOS shows had some tough beginnings. I feel like DS9’s and Voyager’s first seasons were weak but okay. Enterprise was alright but pretty bland in its beginning. Then that leaves TNG which wins this round. TNG was derided for having a pretty poor season. I’ve watched some of those episodes recently and they aren’t very good. The writing wasn’t really good, the messages were weird, the acting was sometimes poor, and the characters weren’t that interesting. I will say there were times where the season did shine but there weren’t many moments unfortunately. Luckily, the show did improve in later years.

Least Favorite Character – Ensign Harry Kim
I’m sure that Garrett Wang is a nice guy, so I’m not ragging on him. Harry Kim was really bland on Star Trek Voyager. All of the other shows had that one character who was just there and didn’t bring anything good, but Harry Kim beats them all out. Yes, I liked him less than Neelix who actually had some positive points to him. The same goes for Wesley Crusher who really wasn’t that bad… after you got past Season 1 of TNG anyway. It seemed like everyone got something to do on that show except Kim. He was almost killed off in the Fourth Season but they removed Kes who was a little more interesting than him. It’s not that I hate character and I even think he has a couple of bright spots. Unfortunately, he never really did it for me in those seven years of Voyager.

Least Favorite Father – Lt. Commander Worf
Man, I hate to say this. While Worf was a cool character, he wasn’t that great of a father. Who knows how many times Alexander was stuck with his grandparents. He didn’t even grow up to be a cool Klingon like his father or mother! I will say that Worf did have a tough job since he was a single father and on a starship. It looked like he did try to do stuff with his son. Other examples of not-so-good fathers include Commander Riker’s dad, Gul Dukat, and Captain Kirk. Yeah, Captain Kirk wasn’t a great father either. He had to be weak somewhere…

Least Favorite Mother – Laxanna Troi
Who else did you expect to be here? Laxanna Troi is probably one of the more insufferable characters on TNG. Whenever she shows up, I’ve actually skipped the episode on my re-watches. As for her mother skills, they were alright. I wouldn’t say she was bad but wasn’t a good person to be around. She could be a pushover with everyone though especially with Counselor Troi. One positive for her is that Majel Barrett-Roddenberry did play the character well. She made Laxanna so over-the-top you couldn’t help but like her a little bit… maybe about 10% anyway.

Least Favorite Uniforms – Almost all the ones from Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Those uniforms for the first Star Trek movie were not good. I think we now know how bad fashion gets after TOS. They looked uncomfortably tight and the colors just didn’t work. Gray, white, and tan never look good on anyone wearing those types of clothes. It definitely dates the movie and makes you wonder if they're going to Studio 54 after their mission. One also wonders why Sulu was wearing his karate gi on the bridge towards the beginning. The only one whose uniform kind of worked for me was Kirk’s first uniform we see him wearing in the movie. Spock's black suit looked fine too. I also liked that they had multiple uniforms to wear on the bridge. It just sucks that they didn’t look good.

Least Favorite Alien Species – The Kazon
The Kazon were Voyager’s first enemy. The area of space where they started their journey back to Earth was in Kazon territory. They felt like homages/ripoffs to the Klingons. Unlike the Klingons, who were cool, the Kazon were far from cool. It seems like the only reason they were a threat to Voyager was because of Seska, a former Maquis/Cardassian-in-disguise, who left Voyager. I can really only think of a couple of episodes where the Kazon were actually interesting. They were so lackluster the Borg didn’t even want them! The second choice would actually have to go to the Vulcans pre-Enterprise Season 4. Those were some unlikable bozos, weren’t they?

Least Favorite Main Theme Song – Star: Trek Enterprise’s “Faith of the Heart”
If anything deserves the “worst” title, it’s this unholy piece of crap. I personally think UPN used this song in order to drive home the fact that Trek needed to go away. Considering how weak those early seasons were, they may have not been the only ones. What makes it worse is that the intro itself is actually pretty good. It shows all of the progress that humanity made from the smallest of boats to Zephram Cochran’s Phoenix gaining warp speed. It’s kind of inspirational in that aspect. The song kills it though and makes you want to either skip it or mute it.

Well, that does it for this post. If there is an aspect of Trek you don't like, let me know. I have a few more posts (probably three) on the way. Until then, Peace and God Bless.

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