May 23, 2002
I like geeks. They’re smart, they’re passionate, they know how to focus and get things done. Last night, I got to join Mr. Karen at what I jokingly called GeekFest 2002, more conventionally known as an Enterprise season one finale viewing party. This was hosted by a coworker of Mr. Karen, a home theater geek who’s converted half of his basement into a viewing experience, complete with real theater seats mounted on risers and a fully-stocked candy counter. It’s a beautiful thing. Since our previous visit, for the Enterprise series premiere viewing party, he’d gotten a new projector with even more features, none of which I was knowledgeable enough to fully appreciate, but I could tell how cool they were by how proud Projection Guy was when he showed them to us.
The evening’s entertainment started with several short Star Trek parodies. Parodies are always more enjoyable when you’re familiar with what’s being spoofed, and this audience was (though none of them were wearing Star Fleet uniforms, so it wasn’t a true hardcore Trekker gathering). I don’t know the episode names from the original series they way a lot of the guys seemed to, but I’ve probably seen most of the shows in all of the series, so I got a lot of the jokes. I particularly liked the scene where the faux-Captain Kirk’s opening soliloquy (come on, say it with me: Space, the final frontier…) was interrupted by the faux-Uhura saying “We don’t need any of your crazy beat poetry now; we’ve got a situation here”. Crazy beat poetry—hah.
After the parodies had warmed us up, the season finale came on. Eh. I was not bowled over. I never got into the story. I didn’t share the characters’ grief over their mission being cancelled; I was all too aware that their mission would continue— after all, there’s next season to think about. No mission would mean the first Ally McBeal-esque Star Trek series, and none of us wants to see that. I really disengaged when the time travel guy showed up. I hate time travel plots. Hate them. For me, they’re the futuristic equivalent of a dream sequence, something the writers resort to when they’ve run out of good ideas. I did think it was pretty funny when Archer said something like “don’t tell me these last 10 months have been a dream” when he found himself back in his pre-launch bachelor pad; I took that as the writers saying to me “hey, this plot could be worse”. It could be that I hate time travel plots not only because they’re an easy excuse for wacky hijinks but because I don’t have the mental capacity to follow the logic behind them, but I’m not going to entertain that bad-for-the-self-esteem thought.
So now the Enterprise crew is cliffhung for the summer, with T’Pol in charge of the ship (hmm, think there’ll be friction?) and Archer gazing out over the ruined 31st-century landscape, stranded in a future where the time travel infrastructure has been destroyed. It’ll all work out somehow, I’m sure. I think I can continue with my life in the meantime.
During the post-finale cool down period, we watched some Star Trek bloopers from the earlier series. Fun, and I got to see Q. I like Q. I liked plots with wacky hijinks caused by Q. Time travel, bad. Omnipotent superbeings, no problem. Yes, I am inconsistent. That’s what makes life interesting.