Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Brief thought on Star Trek

I've been watching the original Star Trek programs, which CBS has put on their website. It's interesting to watch how Roddenberry's original vision, in which he had a strong woman as the ship's first officer, became warped, as it were, into what we actually saw on the show, with women seldom portrayed as much more than eye candy, wearing those go-go dancer outfits with their asses hanging out of them:

Nowadays, of course, such a thing wouldn't happen -- we still like our eye candy, but we also have women who are capable of doing something more than looking good and then looking for a man to protect them. But back then, I assume it was done because A) everyone knew women shouldn't lead -- it just felt wrong; and B) the studio people didn't think the concept would sell without a lot of T&A.

Anyway, these shows are pretty interesting. You had blacks and Hispanics playing prominent roles, relevant, cutting edge social commentary at a time of polarization, generally good stories (some of them are even brilliant), appealing characters, and solid acting (In my view Nimoy's superb turn as Spock nullifies Shatner's frequent hamminess as Kirk, plus Shatner does bring charisma to the role). I wonder if there's any TV show out there now that's as courageous, or if the reality TV craze, and generally slovenly state of our culture, have driven the entire medium down to the level of those Star Trek go-go girl outfits.