All things space-exploring shows

Author: Cogent_Cognizer ,

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  • Cogent_Cognizer
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    We can discuss all topics related to Star Trek, The Orville, and any and all space-exploring shows.
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    No spoilers in this comment, really, but for people who haven't seen episodes, if you talk specifics, it may be best to give a spoiler warning... that said... let's move on

    So, I will start this by saying that as a kid, I only ever watched TOS, TNG, and Enterprise. Sadly, my dad didn't expose me to other generations of Star Trek. So recently I started watching all series in order of release and, as I'm typing this, I'm watching DS9 Episode 2, so this is a new experience for me. I've heard LOTS of good things about DS9, almost everyone BUT my dad agrees it's the best generation of Star Trek, which is why I'm jokingly angry at him for not exposing me to it as a kid lol. For whatever reason, he said it was his least favorite Star Trek gen. 

    Anyways, I was also watching The Orville while going through TNG. I gotta say, I kind of appreciate the less-formal, more wacky/humorous take given in The Orville. However, Star Trek, I notice, presents philosophical questions much better. The Orville is more entertaining, so for entertainment, thus far, it ranks highest for me for this genre. TNG, so far, ranks highest for being thought-provoking, but already episode 1 of DS9 is competing with some of the top thought-provoking TNG episodes lol, given it pretty much puts a question to time and space, and I found myself, yet again, almost having a metaphysical crisis just from a freaking episode on a TV. It opened up really well that I am now captivated to the series just from the first episode. If DS9 continues like this, it will replace TNG for me for being philosophically thought-provocative. So yeah, that's the main difference between the appeals of those two series(Orville and Star Trek) in my opinion. Depending on whether you want more entertainment or having your mind blown, would determine which you prefer.

    Anyways, your guys' thoughts?

  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    --> @Cogent_Cognizer
    I'm watching DS9 Episode 2, so this is a new experience for me.

    Oh boy.

    Anyways, I was also watching The Orville while going through TNG. I gotta say, I kind of appreciate the less-formal, more wacky/humorous take given in The Orville.

    I love this about the Orville. On the surface it seems not to take itself seriously at all, and to be fair even when looking deeper into it the show clearly is less serious than any of the Star Trek shows.

    On the other hand a lot of the humor revolves around, I guess for lack of a better way to put it... aliens being alien. One of the funniest jokes in the show that I can think of off the top of my head (It has been a few months since I watched) was - briefly put to avoid spoilers - "The scene where Bortus first learns about Kermit". It is just a throwaway gag for the show but is part of an established theme that could be have deeper philosophical implications if you wish to think about it, that of how two completely different cultures would go about learning about each other when they have little to no frame of reference.

    This is something that the show hints at to various degrees throughout (it is a lot more blatant in episodes with the Krill for example) and I am sure you will notice it a lot more now that I have pointed it out if you haven't already. I think it appeals to a wider of spectrum of people in this way. If you just want a funny comedy with throwaway gags about a silly Kermit doll then this show has it. If you want something that does have some thinkers in it though, it has that too.
  • Cogent_Cognizer
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    --> @Discipulus_Didicit
    ...that of how two completely different cultures would go about learning about each other when they have little to no frame of reference... If you just want a funny comedy with throwaway gags about a silly Kermit doll then this show has it. If you want something that does have some thinkers in it though, it has that too.

    Yes, that theme seemed to have been explored throughout the entire show. I of course didn't mean to imply there weren't philosophical topics, of course though. Given the time travel stuff that happens with Kelly, well there's lots of philosophical questions there too. In that episode with the time capsule, it was interesting to view texting from a standpoint of centuries in the future where it may not even be a thing anymore, but is an integral part of our lives.

    The reason why I say Star Trek is better at making one think over it, is since it does take these questions more seriously rather than in a humorous light, that, in my opinion, is more thought provocative. The fact these philosophical questions are observed humorously is great and made me want to continually watch The Orville, don't get me wrong, but it made me personally more likely to brush aside these topics due to the levity. Way after the fact, as you said, I'm now considering them with more thought and realizing how much of a mind-blower they were. Star Trek, I'd say, makes you consider these questions while watching it. This is just me though, maybe you pondered over the philosophies in The Orville as they were being laid out, but I found I didn't until I analyzed the episode after the fact.

  • Cogent_Cognizer
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    Not sure if the above should be considered a spoiler. I didn't say anything one wouldn't otherwise know if they read the official summaries of the episode(I mean, you'll know Kelly gets stuck in this time travel stuff from a summary of that episode, so I don't think a spoiler warning is needed)
  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    Given the time travel stuff that happens with Kelly, well there's lots of philosophical questions there too.

    Oh don't even get me started. You do NOT want to hear my drunken rant about how sci-fi shows handle time travel terribly. I have given it to so many people so many times I practically have it memorized by now and almost everyone that hears it tells me they wish they hadn't.

    Way after the fact, as you said, I'm now considering them with more thought and realizing how much of a mind-blower they were. Star Trek, I'd say, makes you consider these questions while watching it.
    Okay, I will give my drunken rant about this. Here's the thing about Star Treks 'philosophical themes'... because they have a reputation to uphold from TOS (which is somewhere in my top two favorite Star Trek shows, not sure exactly where though) the writers seem to always feel pressured to make the audience think in some way about something. The end result quite often ends up being that instead of exploring a world which becomes the basis of exploring philosophical themes the various episodes instead end up exploring a philosophical theme which becomes the basis f the world for the duration of that episode. It often comes off as ham-fisted and unnatural.

    Well okay actually I don't feel like doing a full rant. Just that one thing. The rest of what I have to say on that topic would lead down a road that goes way off topic for the thread so I will leave it at that little pint-sized rant.

    maybe you pondered over the philosophies in The Orville as they were being laid out, but I found I didn't until I analyzed the episode after the fact. 
    No no no, I totally understand what you are saying and it was the same experience for me. I guess the difference is that I think it is better this way. Not that I dislike Star Trek, I actually do like it a lot, but... you know.
  • Cogent_Cognizer
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    Oh don't even get me started. You do NOT want to hear my drunken rant about how sci-fi shows handle time travel terribly. I have given it to so many people so many times I practically have it memorized by now and almost everyone that hears it tells me they wish they hadn't.


    Lol, yeah, I am not ever satisfied with how they get handled either. But I'm curious how you think it should be handled. I have patience for long rants, don't worry.

    The end result quite often ends up being that instead of exploring a world which becomes the basis of exploring philosophical themes the various episodes instead end up exploring a philosophical theme which becomes the basis f the world for the duration of that episode. It often comes off as ham-fisted and unnatural.
    Hmm, I see what you mean. I have to say I did end up skipping through many episodes due to it feeling forced. I might be biased due to that since I specifically watched episodes where it did seem more natural or the episodes were just interesting/entertaining(I don't foresee myself skipping any borg episodes, for example lol). So, yeah, if I'm being more honest with myself, I think I agree with you on that. I can't think of an instance in The Orville where it came off as unnatural. I think I'm just having cognitive dissonance in that I don't want to admit Star Trek may not be as good as I loved it as a child. You know, it's almost a family identity to me given the intergenerational passing down of start trek in my family lol.