Enterprise - shark jumping point

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Enterprise - shark jumping point

Post by GuppyShark » 2018-06-09 01:07am

I never grew up with Trek, so I decided to watch Trek in 'chronological' order: ENT, TOS, TNG, DS9/VOY.

People said ENT went downhill but I was wondering where the inflection point was.

S3E1 - Yeah, I think we found it. Ruin the theme song, and there's been racy T'Pol scenes before but this took the cake.

Is it all downhill from here?

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Re: Enterprise - shark jumping point

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-06-09 05:33am

3 and 4 are generally considered better than 1 & 2 afaik. Series 3 is an attempt at a more 'modern' show though. Grimdark post 9/11 serialised bollocks.
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Re: Enterprise - shark jumping point

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-06-09 07:25am

It's more of going uphill than jumping the shark. The show seemed to be hitting it's stride in season 4 right when it was cancelled.
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Re: Enterprise - shark jumping point

Post by Lord Revan » 2018-06-09 09:39am

Crazedwraith wrote:
2018-06-09 05:33am
3 and 4 are generally considered better than 1 & 2 afaik. Series 3 is an attempt at a more 'modern' show though. Grimdark post 9/11 serialised bollocks.
Problem with season 3 was that while a step in the right direction suffered from the a lot of the same issues season 1 and 2 suffered (like T'Pol being used more for fanservice then as an actual character and when used as character used very poorly). It's also probably why season 4 was "too little, too late", not that season 4 had those issues but season 3 having been unable to fully free itself from the shackles of season 1 & 2 maybe audiences vary to come back.
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Re: Enterprise - shark jumping point

Post by Gandalf » 2018-06-09 10:46am

I don't see how season three could be considered a step in the right direction. It was just Starship America going to Space Afghanistan.
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Re: Enterprise - shark jumping point

Post by FaxModem1 » 2018-06-09 11:54am

Gandalf wrote:
2018-06-09 10:46am
I don't see how season three could be considered a step in the right direction. It was just Starship America going to Space Afghanistan.
The characters evolved, became more like people, and faced consequences for their actions. That's leaps and bounds from what they were in season 1 and 2.
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Re: Enterprise - shark jumping point

Post by Formless » 2018-06-09 04:47pm

Its not so much that Enterprise jumped the shark as that Enterprise was the shark that the franchise sped towards. It was badly done right from the beginning, and it only got worse before it got marginally better, then cancelled by a network that was quite frankly smarter than the owners and producers of Star Trek at the time. Its no surprise that Paramount went to J.J. Abrhams to make the new movies, as not only did they know he could make a blockbuster, most importantly his name wasn't Rick Berman. Berman was the man who worked as Executive producer on both Voyager and DS9, and if the rest of the people working on DS9 are to be believed the only way they were able to get away with so much was because Berman was often too busy treating Voyager as his pet project to tell Michael Piller and, later, Ira Stevan Behr what they couldn't do. That's why Voyager is so bland: Rick Berman always liked to play it safe, and he wasn't particularly smart either. Especially when he was paired with Brennan Braga, who never worked on DS9, but co-produced Enterprise for its entire run.

Frankly, the franchise has been trying to recover from the damage Berman and Braga did with Enterprise ever since. Its no coincidence that people tend to think that the last couple seasons of the show felt so much more like traditional Trek: in 2004 the owners brought Manny Coto on board to try and fix the mess and bring the infamous duo back in line, but it was too little too late in the network's eyes. Still if you must know which episode of Enterprise was its specific shark jumping moment, a close examination of viewership says it was season 2, episode 5: "A Night in Sickbay". It got the most number of viewers in Enterprise's entire run, BUT starting from the next week's episode onward everything went downhill rapidly. The viewers left and they just kept leaving all season. By the end of the season, there were fewer people watching than when it started. That is the true measure of a shark jumping moment: when people come just to watch the car wreck, and then leave as fast as they came.

Of course, for the hard core Trekkie the creative shark jumping moment was probably "Dear Doctor" from the first season. The Prime Directive had been problematic before thanks to Voyager's treatment of it, but that episode just cemented that Berman and Braga had completely lost sight of what its original purpose was in both the narrative and in Trek's philosophy. I mean, has it even been mentioned once in J.J.'s Trek? I don't think so. And the one occasion I can think of where it was brought up in DISCO they actually called it General Order 1 AND had the characters dismiss that it was relevant in that instance (First Contact protocol took precedent instead), suggesting to me that the current writers want to avoid bringing to mind bad memories for the fans.
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Re: Enterprise - shark jumping point

Post by Crazedwraith » 2018-06-09 04:55pm

Prime Directive was referenced at the start of Star Trek Into Darkness, in a very post-TOS 'let them die' way. Kirk gets in trouble for stopping a super volcano killing a planet. It does show why though as the aliens now worship the Enterprise.
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Re: Enterprise - shark jumping point

Post by Lord Revan » 2018-06-09 05:45pm

FaxModem1 wrote:
2018-06-09 11:54am
Gandalf wrote:
2018-06-09 10:46am
I don't see how season three could be considered a step in the right direction. It was just Starship America going to Space Afghanistan.
The characters evolved, became more like people, and faced consequences for their actions. That's leaps and bounds from what they were in season 1 and 2.
Exactly. While season 3's storyline might not have been the best possible at least it had a proper storyline and the characters evolved with it. Season 1 and 2 pretty much hit reset button after every episode so the characters didn't really evolve so much as morph to suit the needs of each episode, so they didn't feel like actual people but stereotypes there to fill the needs of the story.

TL:DR, Season 3 was step in the right direction because they did something with the characters.
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Re: Enterprise - shark jumping point

Post by GuppyShark » 2018-06-10 04:02am

I thank you all for your opinions and input here. I will continue watching - I am glad my reaction to the Season 3 pilot isn't born out by the next few seasons.

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Re: Enterprise - shark jumping point

Post by Batman » 2018-06-10 05:21pm

Um-there ARE no next few seasons. The series was cancelled after season 4.
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Re: Enterprise - shark jumping point

Post by houser2112 » 2018-06-11 07:59am

I'm not a die-hard Trek fan, but I enjoy watching the TOS movies, and I've caught various episodes of various series. Enterprise is the only one I've watched beginning to end, and I don't think it deserves the bad rap it gets. It's certainly better than Voyager (there are no gems that I've seen to offset the stinkers), as I think most agree, and its low points (Night in Sickbay: that's the one that revolves around the dog, right?) are no worse than that of the other shows (like the TNG episode where Crusher falls in love with a candle). Season 1 and 2 hit the reset button after every episode, but so did the other series (especially the vaunted TOS and TNG), except maybe DS9 at points. The serial nature of seasons 3 and 4 were a good idea, as with the same in Discovery (even though the execution was sketchy at times). The Star Trek formula is stale.

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Re: Enterprise - shark jumping point

Post by Lord Revan » 2018-06-11 11:14am

houser2112 wrote:
2018-06-11 07:59am
I'm not a die-hard Trek fan, but I enjoy watching the TOS movies, and I've caught various episodes of various series. Enterprise is the only one I've watched beginning to end, and I don't think it deserves the bad rap it gets. It's certainly better than Voyager (there are no gems that I've seen to offset the stinkers), as I think most agree, and its low points (Night in Sickbay: that's the one that revolves around the dog, right?) are no worse than that of the other shows (like the TNG episode where Crusher falls in love with a candle). Season 1 and 2 hit the reset button after every episode, but so did the other series (especially the vaunted TOS and TNG), except maybe DS9 at points. The serial nature of seasons 3 and 4 were a good idea, as with the same in Discovery (even though the execution was sketchy at times). The Star Trek formula is stale.
the issue with VOY and ENT (at least the early seasons) was that they were a golden opportunity to evolve the Trek formula beyond what TNG (and lesser extent TOS) had set.

While the semi-constant resetting made a degree of sense in TOS and TNG (not mention story telling standards for scifi were different in the early late 60s and early 90s), since NCC-1701 (or NCC-1701-D) nevered seemed more then a few days travel from a friendly starbase where they could repair and resupply. While Voyager and NX-01 were suppose to be out of reach from any friendly support for all intents and purposes so copy pasting the TNG formula to there made less sense.
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Re: Enterprise - shark jumping point

Post by Formless » 2018-06-11 04:38pm

houser2112 wrote:
2018-06-11 07:59am
I'm not a die-hard Trek fan, but I enjoy watching the TOS movies, and I've caught various episodes of various series. Enterprise is the only one I've watched beginning to end, and I don't think it deserves the bad rap it gets. It's certainly better than Voyager (there are no gems that I've seen to offset the stinkers), as I think most agree, and its low points (Night in Sickbay: that's the one that revolves around the dog, right?) are no worse than that of the other shows (like the TNG episode where Crusher falls in love with a candle).
If only it just revolved around Archer's dog it would be merely bad like so many TNG and Voyager episodes, but it is so much worse than that. Its intended to be taken seriously (no, really, Brennan Braga has defended it in the past and indicated its supposed to be a drama), but then they basically turn it into a low brow comedy episode filled with sex jokes, bodily humor, slapstick, and even gross-out humor like Garbage Pale Kids. The dog being sick is just the excuse for setting up the rest of the story, and the thing that makes the sex jokes so unbearable is that they are supposed to be the dramatic part of the episode! The idea, according to Braga, is supposed to be that Archer is sexually frustrated from being in space for so long and being around T'Pol keeps triggering unintended Freudian slips (keep in mind that the pilot made it clear he is bigoted against Vulcans). Now, that already has problems, but the subplot with the dog undermines it completely and instead makes it look like a response to his anxiety, which is all kinds of fucked up. Especially when you realize that his dog is sick because he took it down to the planet with him, which also caused a diplomatic faux pa, which he blames on the natives rather than himself, which leads to the conclusion that Archer is to blame for every conflict in the story and every moment of cringe (except for Dr. Flox's own obsession with sex; that isn't isolated to this ep.). If you ever want to know why everyone hates Captain Archer, its because episodes like this made him out to be a complete fucktard in every sense of the word. No, TNG and Voyager had bad episodes, but to my knowledge none of their worst episodes entered the realms of character assassination the way "A Night in Sickbay" and, for similar reasons, "Dear Doctor" do. That's why ratings for the show plummeted immediately after the episode ran. In every show up until Discovery, the captain was presented as the protagonist and even the hero of the show, but Archer does everything he can to discredit his worthiness to his command. He isn't competent to run a fishing boat, let alone the flagship of humanity.

Incidentally, if you want to know what a good Voyager episode looks like, there are a few I can recommend such as "The Thaw", "Living Witness", and "Timeless" which all demonstrate what Voyager could be when given a good writer or director (such as LeVar Burton in the case of Timeless). Even Braga managed to turn out some good scripts; his problem is he needs a good writing partner and then he can actually accentuate what the other writer does well, but partner him with an idiot like Rick Berman and you get "Threshold".
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Re: Enterprise - shark jumping point

Post by GuppyShark » 2018-06-11 05:42pm

Batman wrote:
2018-06-10 05:21pm
Um-there ARE no next few seasons. The series was cancelled after season 4.
The seasons I'm referring to are 3 & 4, which I have only just begun to watch.

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Re: Enterprise - shark jumping point

Post by Batman » 2018-06-11 05:54pm

Well if you're aware of that, groovy. 'Next few seasons' sounded like you were expecting the series to be longer.
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Re: Enterprise - shark jumping point

Post by Master Six » 2018-06-11 10:17pm

Formless wrote:
2018-06-11 04:38pm
...Archer is sexually frustrated from being in space for so long and being around T'Pol keeps triggering unintended Freudian slips (keep in mind that the pilot made it clear he is bigoted against Vulcans).
Not having seen the show (I've been putting it off), hot is hot. You can despise a person and still want to have sex with them. Besides, doesm't this take place about 1.5 seasons in? He hasn't progressed from hatred to grudging tolerance by then?
Incidentally, if you want to know what a good Voyager episode looks like, there are a few I can recommend such as "The Thaw", "Living Witness", and "Timeless" which all demonstrate what Voyager could be when given a good writer or director (such as LeVar Burton in the case of Timeless).
Voyager's greatest failure was having so much potential, episode and show-wise, and wasting it. The best episodes, like the ones you mentioned, belonged in a much better show, one that used the setting and characters (not to mention the actors) for all they were worth. "Scorpion" and "Year of Hell" could have been developed into an amazing season or two that stood toe to toe with what DS9 was doing.
Even Braga managed to turn out some good scripts; his problem is he needs a good writing partner and then he can actually accentuate what the other writer does well, but partner him with an idiot like Rick Berman and you get "Threshold".
I don't know what happened with Braga. He's a great idea man, but he needs someone who can fill in the gaps and reel him in. Maybe he blew his best ideas early on ("Cause and Effect" and "Frame of Mind" are two of my favorite TNG episodes), and he just isn't the kind of guy who can run point on an entire show.
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Re: Enterprise - shark jumping point

Post by Lord Revan » 2018-06-12 09:46am

Master Six wrote:
2018-06-11 10:17pm
Formless wrote:
2018-06-11 04:38pm
...Archer is sexually frustrated from being in space for so long and being around T'Pol keeps triggering unintended Freudian slips (keep in mind that the pilot made it clear he is bigoted against Vulcans).
Not having seen the show (I've been putting it off), hot is hot. You can despise a person and still want to have sex with them. Besides, doesm't this take place about 1.5 seasons in? He hasn't progressed from hatred to grudging tolerance by then?
short anwser:not really
Longer answer:Thing to remember about character development and consistency in Season 1 & 2 of ENT is that that there's practically none of it. Characters morph from one thing into a another dependent on the needs of the story regardless of any character consistency. So Archer can go from having grudging tolerance or even grudging respect for the Vulcans in one episode to being physically unable to constantly insult and belittle the vulcans and in that order too.

what little consistent characteristics the characters had was essentially paper thin stereotype. T'Pol, Hoshi, Travis got the worst of it, whose consistent characteristics for season 1 and 2 were essentially, "pair of tits who is also a condensending ahole", "back-up pair of tits who is scared of everything" and "must constantly remind people he has been in space before".

While neither Jolene Blalock nor Linda Park were exactly unattactive when ENT was made, their attractiveness was pretty much their whole character for the first 2 seasons.

Even Braga managed to turn out some good scripts; his problem is he needs a good writing partner and then he can actually accentuate what the other writer does well, but partner him with an idiot like Rick Berman and you get "Threshold".
I don't know what happened with Braga. He's a great idea man, but he needs someone who can fill in the gaps and reel him in. Maybe he blew his best ideas early on ("Cause and Effect" and "Frame of Mind" are two of my favorite TNG episodes), and he just isn't the kind of guy who can run point on an entire show.
Braga was at his best in stories where reality "was out for lunch" as those stories naturally counteracted his weaknesses (aka not being able to remain consistent). Also he wasn't half bad if there was someone to keep him consistent. So essentially it's not that he got worse as time went on but rather with ENT (and possibly VOY) there was no-one able to compensate for his weak points as a writer so those came much more apparent.
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