Tuesday, October 11, 2011

ten-forward

I'm watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, on netflix streaming.  



It is an idealistic show.  The mission of the crew is to explore the universe, doing charitable missions.  I feel like modern shows center around much less noble themes, like scheming housewives, or voting off one group member per week, or competing to eat the most disgusting items.

The sets are impeccably clean, with bright lighting.  Patrick Stewart is trained as a classical Shakespearean actor.

Which modern show is closest to these idealistic tones?

11 comments:

Jeremy said...

Eureka maybe. The tone is almost always upbeat and characters are pretty black and white.

I enjoy recognizable bad guys and nonsensical techno-jargon that ultimately ends up saving the day.

Greg said...

You seem to be only comparing Star Trek to reality TV shows and painting the reality shows with the brush of 'modern shows'.

I do think you have a point that modern shows tend to be much, much darker. I also think that some of the modern dark shows can be good drama. Check out 'The Shield' and 'Breaking Bad'. Both are on netflix, but probably not on streaming.

Greg said...

The most modern show I can think of that has the idealism you describe is 'The West Wing', but it is not that modern.

Anonymous said...

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

Mandarin said...

Sad to say, most of today's shows are much "darker". A lot of it it's a backlash against the over idealistic future depicted in Star Trek..
You should check out Babylon 5, definitely darker, but very well done (if you overlook the outdated CGI graphics)...

Andrew Sherman said...

Doctor Who

Angela said...

I love Eureka, as well as Babylon 5. Science fiction has always been a great avenue to explore where we want to end up in the future (or how we may shoot ourselves in the foot). But for a modern show that showcases idealism, I think Leverage would be a better match.

Sriram Krishnan said...

That was actually one of the criticisms of Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek universe - that it was too idealistic (that's what he wanted). DS9 was the first show to take darker tones (Roddenberry didnt even allow main character conflict in TNG) and Ron Moore extended that style into BSG.

I actually miss the idealism and the hope. A similar contrast is in Superman and Batman. Superman Returns was criticized for not being 'dark enough' and the new Superman movie is supposed to be darker. But that's why I liked Superman - the almost naive hope and the idealism.

ArC said...

Parks and Recreation is a current sitcom that's very positive. (If you only caught the first couple of episodes of the first season, let me assure you it got way better and way funnier starting with the second season.)

Ro Laren said...

es, but didn't it feel like in ST:TNG that Anglo-American values (primarily liberal values) were triumphant in the universe? The only ideological diversity you see was with antagonistic alien races. Along those lines, every planet was pretty much monocultural. I am a big fan, but in many ways it was a future of limited imagination.

dannyman said...

I suspect the optimists have been moving on to more gratifying media, and the dwindling audience that remains to watch commercial television is more and more the pool of folks who can't be bothered to seek out new life and new civilizations.

So, they're quietly slipping into one of those dying, unsustainable dystopian tragedies that are so often used as a plot device for star Trek episodes.