Intelligence FTW!

It’s no secret I’m a huge nerd. I’m a devout Trekkie, have Daleks in my kitchen, and a closet full of geeky costumes from conventions gone by. And I may or may not own a copy of the Klingon version of Hamlet.  (Keep reading! This isn’t a sci-fi post!) But there’s one thing I can’t stand, and that’s bad sci-fi – or ANY bad movies, or even TV shows. Like Star Wars.  Star Wars is full of aliens, robots and spaceships, all the elements that should make a geek’s dream come true.  So why can’t I stand it? Because it’s built for the mainstream.

We see it all around us: in music, it’s not intricate melodies, talented musicianship or well-written lyrics that are going to shoot you to international superstardom. Throw in a computer-generated beat, lyrics about promiscuity (or ones stolen from somebody else, originally written 20 years ago), a generic rapper and a pretty girl, and you’ll be guaranteed millions in sales, and played on radio stations and in clubs around the globe, sitting comfortably on wads of cash you made from the people who aren’t going to remember you this time next week.

It’s the same with movies – Star Wars is definitely on the top five list of highest-grossing movies of all time, and this week’s tops at the box office include something by the name of Furry Vengeance, full of bad writing, bad animation and animals defecating on people’s faces; The Backup Plan, a predictable romantic comedy short on, well, romance and comedy; and Nightmare on Elm Street, a recycled story with some updated effects, second hand material and cheap scare tactics that wouldn’t frighten my cat.

I like my entertainment to be clever, yet it seems that the mediocre continues to flourish and triumph.  Many sci-fi fans love both Trek and Wars, but I can’t class them in the same category.  Star Wars is an easy escapist fantasy that has nothing to do with actual science, and is undeserving of the sci-fi genrefication.  It was originally based on comic books, which are ultimately aimed at children, easy to digest, and requiring little in the brain department. It’s full of action, basic storylines, and good guys versus bad guys who swashbuckle their way through the galaxy blowing things up. Scare value is minimal, and is done in a family-friendly manner involving lots of heavy breathing and swishy black cloaks. In short: it’s fluff, just like the Hollywood blockbusters and hot-selling albums currently circulating amongst the masses.

I avoid horror movies, not because I’m a wuss (although that’s debatable), but because it all seems so futile. Costumes and special effects equate to smoke and mirrors, and often combine with poor writing, bad acting and some cheap thrills in the form of things jumping out of the dark, and I can’t really see the point. It’s completely far-fetched, and more than anything else, easy. As with so many things in life, many people gravitate toward things that don’t require as much effort.  With music, I’m devoted to talented musicians, masters of lyricism, and appreciators of the form. And, as you no doubt know by now, I appreciate what’s real.  They’re not on the Bestseller wall at HMV, nor are they on the weekly top 40. They’re not going to sell platinum records. But they’re going to ignite the senses and fill me with passion.  With blogs, I read the people who take the time to construct good pieces, full of interesting stories and a real sense of the person behind the screen, unafraid to wear their hopes and dreams, fears and victories, and hearts on their sleeves.

With movies and television, there’s no denying science fiction holds a very dear place in my heart. But as with any form of entertainment, it can be done sloppily, without thought to writing or storyline or ethics. Or it can be done brilliantly, scaring the audience with everyday situations, engaging them with witty dialogue, or provoking thought through morally ambiguous situations.

In the ‘60s, Doctor Who was the scariest thing on television. Aimed at both young and old, a child who could sit through an episode without retreating to the safety behind the sofa was the coolest kid in school. But with new generations come new expectations; what was scary fifty years ago isn’t going to hack it by today’s standards.  Today, I’m loving the shows and movies that provide genuine chills, not through CG monsters and fantasy, but through making the commonplace terrifying.  Watching the television when all of a sudden the TV host starts asking you if the life you’re living is even real. Every stone statue around the country actually a species of “Weeping Angels” ready to come after you and turn you to stone when nobody’s watching. Our irrational fear of the dark not irrational at all… The nature of human life, battling death (literally) and how one copes after death… Scientific – real, scientific genetic experiments going wrong, and the evolution of technology into holographic life forms and their “rights”, and government conspiracies, our defences failing and every child just… stopping… and being taken over. A parent’s worst nightmare.  (You can’t tell me that last clip isn’t terrifying!)

This stuff’s way closer to home. What’s really scary these days isn’t in the form of something in another galaxy, or another big screen axe murder. It’s not 3D movies that make you jump out of your seats – a reflex to the unexpected, not a sincere sense of fear. The intelligent shows and movies build upon some of our most basic fears – what’s hiding in the dark? What if science doesn’t have all the answers? What if everything we know is a lie? It works because it’s not something that could end as the credits roll up the screen. It leaves us with a fear that’s genuinely real, and verges uncomfortably on the cusp of possibility.  The clever shows also provoke thoughts that continue long after the episode has finished, questioning religion, existentialism, morality, the nature of time, corruption, philosophy and redemption.

I’ll take science fiction and intelligent dramas over Hollywood blockbusters and soap operas any day, which leave me thoroughly more inspired, thrilled, scared and entertained. If I’m going to spend a couple of hours on the couch – well, I may as well give my brain a workout, right?

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85 comments

  1. I agree, I don’t like horror films either – especially having watched CSI and behind the scenes stuff – some of it is scary but when the girl runs up the stairs to hide in the closest I just want to tell her to get a life – why do they run upstairs to hide – she’s just ran past the front door – why not leave the house?

    The weeping Angels in Doctor Who are amazing creation – Stephen Moffat certainly rocks on that one lol. People over here keep complaining about how scary Doctor Who is now, and how kids can’t watch it any more – my friend’s 9yo son doesn’t like the angels but other than that he thinks this season has been the best. It’s certainly dominating conversation in our house atm.

    My cousin used to tell me that you had to be a Star Wars fan or a Star Trek fan – you couldn’t be both lol. I prefer Voyager, DS9 and TNG and the original 3 Star Wars films lol. The new-er Star Wars films were just a bit annoying.

    1. “when the girl runs up the stairs to hide in the closest I just want to tell her to get a life” – LOL!! I know, I’ve heard the comments about Stephen Moffat being “too scary”, but I think he’s doing fabulously at restoring Doctor Who to being what it originally was – thrilling. Don’t get me wrong, I ADORED the RTD seasons – but for different reasons. Moffat is combining imagination, brilliant writing and GENUINE scares, and I think it’s fantastic. And I think your cousin is right 🙂

      1. I agree I liked the RTD seasons but there is something about SM’s writing – you’re gripped and you don’t want to go and make a cuppa or anything for that space of time while Dr Who is on. How far is BBC America behind us? (or are the BBC keeping up?) Which episode was on most recent – that way I don’t reck it if we are in front lol.

        1. They are a week behind but I can watch online – just saw Vampires of Venice. Really looking forward to this week’s cause it seems to look like an old ST:V episode “Waking Moments” which was WONDERFUL

    2. I can’t get it to reply in the right place doh! I think all the parents who were complaining about the angels and scariness will be having a field day this weekend! Need to make sure I’m home lol

  2. I got out of watching the horror flicks many years ago. It seems like the makers just have to keep topping the “gore” factor and after a while it just becomes disturbing.

    I love Trek and for mindless entertainment, I do watch Star Wars with my kids, who love the series immensely. I’ve never been impressed by the scripting or acting of the series (too forced and unrealistic), but when I don’t want to spend much energy thinking too hard about a movie I’m watching after a long day at the office, Star Wars fits right into that category, LOL.

  3. There is so much mediocrity/poor quality out there in the mainstream. I so often notice this in movies, and I am very picky about which ones I’ll invest 2+ hours of my life watching. I’m regularly disappointed at entertainment aimed for the masses.

  4. Confession: I did not know that there was a klingon version of Hamlet. I’ve also never seen the orignial Star Trek series, but I did see Star Trek last year when it came out and totally loved it. i’ve watched a variety off beat scifi shows, and the one I really want to mention I can’t even think of the title right now which is really frustrating!

    lately i’ve been into superhero movies (both old & new) like IronMan, Superman, KickAss, etc. I blame the ex for my comic book fascination.

    1. I’m SO glad the ST movie last year was as good as it was! I watched all of TNG and Voyager but was always disappointed in most of the movies they made. So glad it’s finally awesome again on the big screen 🙂

      I still have to see Iron Man (both 1 & 2!)!

  5. I just watched the “Don’t Blink” clip, and got terrifying chills. That hasn’t happened to me in a long, long time. I’m afraid to even watch the kid one. Is that Dr. Who? Seriously? I may need to watch some of those. Wow.

  6. I totally agree with you on all of this (I never get to watching the new Dr.Who episodes but have been impressed so far). One thing I’d like to clear up though is Star Wars (the original movies) weren’t based on anything (no books or comics or whatever) it was an original screenplay. I agree that the New trilogy lost alot of the heart of the original but keep in mind the “A New Hope” was not considered mainstream by any means. George Lucas took a huge risk with that movie and was reminded by this every step of the way by everyone telling him his “fantasy kids movie would never make it.” Also for its time it didn’t use any CGI and all of the special effects to make the story believable were cutting edge pioneering with a shoestring budget. It wasn’t until Star Wars became so popular that Fox green-lit Empire and they then got a bigger budget etc. What he created was a vivid tapestry of a whole new world of science fiction that borrowed from fantasy, samurai, war-epics and western movies to appeal to all audiences. Some of the best science fiction writing I have ever read are the “expanded universe” novels of star wars that really push it to a new level. Unfortunately the taint of the “new trilogy” has stained Star Wars for alot of people and shown that Lucas is very imaginative he unfortunately is not a very good director or writer by any means and should leave the creativity to others. I agree with alot you say but I love my Star Wars.

    1. I read that Lucas wanted to make a Flash Gordon movie, and when he couldn’t, he borrowed ideas from it as well as old Japanese samurai movies (hence the lightsabers) – neither of which are rooted in science. I know it’s an extremely popular franchise – I just wish the intelligent programmes and movies did as well as the mainstream ones.

  7. Sorry, but I gotta disagree a bit. IMO, Star Trek is just as much developed for the mainstream. Particularly the TV series’ in the franchise. Especially the new movie where Paramount essentially ‘hit the reset’ button on everything in the Trekverse and ditched much of the sci-fi aspects in favour of protracted action sequences and shallow relationship humour.

    Emily Jane: “Star Wars is an easy escapist fantasy that has nothing to do with actual science, and is undeserving of the sci-fi genrefication”

    Neither should be expected to be based on actual science, hence, science fiction.

    Trek is just as much based on unproven/theoretical (and likely impossible) science as Star Wars. Time travel, traveling faster than light speed, worm holes, subspace communications/no time delay, Commander Data’s emotions, cloaking devices, etc. Heck, when a torpedo is fired or the warp drive engages, we hear it make a sound… sounds, of course, can not exist in the vacuum of space.

    I’m a fan of both Star Wars and Star Trek (except for Voyager, and the newest movie). Good entertainment, regardless if the science isn’t based on fact. But as I said, neither should be expected to be based on science fact, as they are science fiction.

    1. I think Star Trek is developed for the “thinking man” whereas Star Wars is developed to make money from the box office. It’s not developed for people who want to be challenged or to provoke questions about the future of technology or morality or anything of the sort.

      Yes, both ST and SW are categorised as “Science Fiction” – but only Star Trek uses ideas from actual, plausible science, and is intellectually far superior. Sure, warp drive isn’t exactly a scientific possibility at this point, but travelling faster than the speed of light is theoretically possible, but as of right now, the amount of energy needed is the only roadblock. Shows like ST and Dr. Who explore the ideas of life elsewhere in the galaxy, which is an ongoing venture for scientific exploration. Things like matter transportation, though still far off, are being addressed in scientific experiments. And what about the LHC? The whole world was on the edge of its seat with the realistic possibility of black holes and other dimensions of space. My point was that though Star Trek and Star Wars are very much fictional, at least Trek draws ideas from many potentially scientifically plausible scenarios, tackles moral issues and inspires people to think. Star Wars is a mindless afternoon out at the cinema that has nothing at all to DO with science in the slightest.

      I like debates 🙂

      1. Cool.

        Maybe some of the difference you’re referring to between the two franchises regarding being based on reality or theoretical physics, is the nature of religious/spirituality.

        Star Wars has “The Force,” features a spiritual guide (Yoda), and one can get in-touch with such an unseen force. Belief in The Force and being able to ‘access’ it can make one holier, so to speak, and as such one then has supernatural abilities.

        Whereas Star Trek, or The United Federation of Planets to which all the series’ protagonists belong, is entirely atheistic. As the viewer will always identify/root for the protagonist in any work of fiction, we typically don’t associate Star Trek with such metaphysics, so contrast that to Star Wars where such spiritual powers is more of a focus.

      2. Forgot to mention in response to your reply re: black holes and the LHC/super colliding super conductor. While we cannot see black holes – that would be impossible – we actually can observe clear evidence of their existence. I’d say black holes are proven to exist than just a possibility. It is believed that there is a black hole at the centre of each galaxy. Stars in the centre of the Milky Way have been observed to ‘whip’ around a non-existent point. Hubble has also photographed gas in other galaxies being drawn in to the centre/black hole.

        If you’re interested…

        Hubblesite has an interesting section to explore:
        http://hubblesite.org/explore_astronomy/black_holes/home.html

        Some further, more geeky, reading:

        http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/1997/01/text/

        http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0810/0810.4674v1.pdf

        http://iopscience.iop.org/1538-4357/596/1/L27/pdf/1538-4357_596_1_L27.pdf

        You may also enjoy Stephen Hawking’s book, “A Brief History of Time.”

  8. I love Doctor Who, whenever I’m at my parents house and it’s on we all group together in front of the tv and it’s probably the only time there’s actually silence haha!

  9. I’m a geek myself, and a boring one too. I prefer “old” movies (like Dangerous Beauty, Schindler’s List, seriously). I call them “serious” films/movies. I can stand a 2-hour movie which is all conversations, waiting for some exciting twist or climax which most of the time I do not get. Haha! That is why I’d rather spend on an Iron Man or Shrek movie on the big screen, and at least get some entertainment. =)

    Btw, I really admire your writing. Keep it going!

  10. I have no problem with “comic book fluff” because it is entertaining, but I agree that the quality of things from Hollywood have seriously declined. There’s very little original. It’s all adaptations and remakes. I’m seriously sad that they’ve remade The Karate Kid. That’s classic 80s and now it’s being subjected to this current Hollywood remake trend.

    It seems that the BBC is one of the most original production houses out there anymore. I think that Doctor Who and Torchwood definitely play on very REAL psychological fears, and that’s why it’s so terrifying. I don’t like horror movies, either, but a good psychological thriller that really gets in your head, I like those. They’re a lot creepier – Seven, Silence of the Lambs, etc.

    I appreciate the current sci-fi(ish) and fantasy shows that deal with real, modern issues that other shows aren’t willing to deal with. The RDM re-imagining of Battlestar Galactica was an example of this. It dealt with social and political issues that other shows wouldn’t touch.

    I could keep going on and on, but perhaps I should save it for my own Emily Jane-inspired blog post. 🙂 See, being sick can be productive. When you can’t talk due to a sore throat, blog instead!

    1. 😀 I can’t wait to read your post! Totally with you on the BBC front. They’ve really nailed it in basing their “horror” on real, psychological fears instead of monsters or things going bump in the night. (Although the Girl in the Fireplace is debatable :))

      I’ve heard lots of good things about Battlestar but would you believe I haven’t got into it yet? Once I get Sweet through Voyager (I’ve successfully converted a new Trekkie!) maybe that’ll be our new Friday night show 🙂

      Feel better soon!!

  11. I COMPLETELY AGREE! Making the common place terrifying is the hardest but best challenge. Steven Moffat has done that very well with the Weeping Angels. Seriously, I don’t like scary movies but holy crap, I love to be scared with Doctor Who. And the Weeping Angels TERRIFIES me!

    Also, HOLY SHIT! I knew you were a geek but no…I didn’t know you were this nerdy. You’re the the epitome of geeky awesome.

  12. Okay you need to direct me to a place where I can start a Doctor Who collection. I’ve heard (and read) wayyy too much and have never even seen one episode. :/

    Also, I need to say that I usually skip long blog posts. Yours are almost always long and I never skip even a paragraph. You make sense and have opinons without being arrogant and I think that that’s a hard thing to achieve sometimes. xx

    1. I will definitely have to get you into Dr. Who! Do you use torrents? If so let me know and I will point you in the right direction 🙂

      Thanks so much for your sweet words about my blogs. I know being wordy and writing posts that could probably be shorter is my weakness but I’m so thankful for you reading anyway! 🙂

  13. Hehehe, I definitely agree with you: smarter is better!! I love well written scripts and intriguing story lines too. (Although…I do have a special place in my heart for the first Star Wars trilogy, I loved it as a kid!) But I agree that Star Trek is much better written and they are completely different. HOWEVER all that being said, I am totally guilty of indulging in fluff from time to time, simply because it makes me FEEL good! 😀 I appreciate the intelligent plots, independent films/music above all, buuuuut there is just something about a delightfully predictable chick flick that makes me feel good and I can’t help but indulge from time to time. I am full on contradictions! Lol. But I guess that makes me…ME. 😀 Love this post!

    1. Aww, I should probably have mentioned I enjoy a bit of fluff now and then too. Stardust is my favourite movie – total fantasy, but who doesn’t like pirates in sky ships?? 🙂

      1. Lol no worries, I hope I didn’t come across as offended or anything! Hehehe. Ohhh I love Stardust, it’s a wonderful movie AND book! It’s definitely a fantasy and a “pretty” story for sure, but suuuch a dream. Love it!

  14. i would never have pegged you for a sci-fi lover! fabulous.

    i think you and my ex would have some great debates because his feelings are almost identical to yours. even though i’m not sure i agree with everything you posted i do understand why you feel that way. he absolutely hates mainstream hollywood generated anything. ANYTHING. and would mock me for it. this caused maaaany arguments.

    i digress. interesting post. loved it! xoxo

    1. Oh not ALL Hollywood is bad… just most of it lol 🙂 There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of a guilty indulgence every now and then. I just tend to gravitate away from the blatantly mindless — “The Hangover” being a prime example, I gave it a SHOT because of all the hype, but then at the end wanted my two hours back!! Glad you liked the post 🙂

  15. While I fear for your life in the way of Star Wars fanboy backlash (which hasn’t yet happened… we’re safe! for now…), I never really considered it sci-fi, either. It’s fantasy. Which works fine, in my eyes. It’s great fantasy, and a poor sci-fi.

    Science Fiction proper, from its early days in literature, was supposed to frame issues in the real world through the lens of a hypothetical situation to make us consider the issue at hand. It’s a controlled experiment in perspective, essentially. I think that’s why you like it — thinking is part of the point!

    And oh yeah, don’t get me started on Hollywood. I mean, I live right next to it. We call it Hollyweird for a reason.

    1. “It’s supposed to frame issues in the real world through the lens of a hypothetical situation to make us consider the issue at hand.” PERFECT. Which is why it’s so annoying that Star Wars gets brushed into the “science fiction” genre – it’s a total contradiction!

      And LOL on the fanboys… we are safe… for now!! 🙂

  16. Most horror films haven’t been scary since the days of Alfred Hitchcock (he didn’t need special effects to scare people!), and the sci-fi I actually love dates back to the Twilight Zone. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

    I’m ok with Star Wars. I see some originality in it, but it doesn’t float my boat.

    This is why it’s refreshing when a good, witty, original movie comes along. Have you seen (500) Days of Summer yet? You need to if you’re desiring a breath of fresh air.

    1. Exactly!! Hollywood is relying all too often on special effects to “scare” people – the good ones don’t need any; they just make you imagine things and leave you terrified they could actually happen 🙂

      I have seen 500 DoS – it is refreshing to see a “romantic comedy” that isn’t full of fluff!

  17. Hey Emily!

    Well, I’m one of those people who likes Star Wars, and isn’t really interested in Star Trek. So I suppose I have to defend it a bit. First off, you’re right, SW isn’t sci-fi- its moreso sci-fi fantasy. Yeah, you could argue that fantasy is easy because it doesn’t have to obey rules of physics, and I will admit that Star Wars isn’t exactly the smartest dialog in the world, but Star Wars was groundbreaking for its time. Art does not necessarily have to be limited to plot (although, I admit, I don’t mind entertainment that is mindless.) Star Wars developed new filming techniques, fascinating new lifeforms and visions of space, and gave new meaning to musical scores. In fact, when you think about it, Star Wars was the ORIGINAL blockbuster. It was just a new genre of movie making. Take a look at Avatar as another example. Did you watch it? Did you like it? Well, that was about the most cookie-cutter story you could have asked for. Yet it almost won an academy award…?

    Is Star Trek all intelligent, science-based quality filmmaking? Probably not. I think the reason I didn’t get into it is because the trekkies are just so intense- I mean, the conventions, costumes, the fierce debates about Star Trek vs Star Wars. I felt like it was really the trekkies that were escaping into their own ‘easy’ fantasy world. There are SW people who are the same, but the mainstreamness means its more palatable…

    By the way, if you want a smart show, with all the things you mentioned in your blog, you should watch Lost.

    1. I knew you would have something to say (Nico!! Help!! lol) 🙂 I will definitely have to get into Lost – I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about it. And who says there’s anything wrong with being intense, conventions, costumes, or fierce debates about Star Trek vs Star Wars….” *Loses all her readers* LOL I think we’re just using intensity to make up for comparably less popularity 🙂

  18. I agree with so very much in your post: Star Trek >>> Star Wars x infinity; Dr. Who = genius levels of fabulous etc.

    Yet.

    I need my brain to switch-off sometimes, to sit around in my underwear in this too-hot heat and watch stupid, mindless films about stupid, mindless, cut-out characters- if only so I can rip them to shreds for their utter mediocrity. If only because it’s like ice-cream for my brain: a welcome, usually bad for me treat.

    In other slightly interesting and slightly-related news; one of my closest friends wrote a research paper for our M.A. degree on Star Trek. It was fantastic- she was invited to attend a conference and present on the idea of utopia that she explored within the paper. I’d be glad to pass it on if you’d like a read. 😉

    x

    1. “Ice cream for my brain” is a PERFECT analogy for fluff. I indulge once in a while. Case in point: sitting here watching the finale of America’s Next Top Model. 🙂 But for the most part, I like entertainment to… have a point? More than making money and switching off people’s brains for 2 hours? 🙂

      I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to read your friend’s paper!! How amazing is that?!

  19. I feel a bit at a loss here because I’m a girl who likes the fluff. SORRY! I just use movies/TV/books as an escape and sometimes that fluff just makes me happy and takes me away from the real world. I’ve never gotten into sci-fi really. (Well, aside from The Big Bang Theory, haha.)

    I like all your opinions and agree with a lot of them. Many chick flicks lately have gotten SO predictable and a little boring. But I still love them! 😉

  20. The realistic is so much more terrifying than “horror films” anyway. Did you ever watch the TV show X-files? Yes, it was a bit fantastical, but it was INTRIGUING and mysterious. I miss that show everyday!

    1. Oh I did! I remember it starting when I was too young to watch it (although that, to my ten year old self was very much debatable!) but catching up like crazy afterwards. Great show – I think Torchwood is almost an equivalent in terms of subject matter? But with explosions 🙂

  21. em where did you get that star trek tshirt??? it’s awesome! love how you are always challenging yourself and seeking what’s true and intelligent. you don’t see ppl standing up for the smart over the popular very often but you do it all the time and you do it brilliantly. keep rocking =)

    1. I got it on CafePress.com! you can get ANYTHING on there – they have lots of good ones on ThinkGeek.com but unfortunately most are for men 😦 Story of my life lol!!

      Thanks for your sweet comment 🙂 ❤

  22. Kudos for saying “Star Wars” has nothing to do with science!!! I always thought about that, but couldn’t really say it out loud, I guess.

    When I was a kid (7 yrs.), I was only allowed to see Star Trek (the TNG series of course). It was my first love I guess. Last year, I watched all the episodes again. I believe, Star Trek not only has science based stuff, but also, there are other lessons like honesty, gender equality and other morale stuff. I feel lucky, that I (we) got to see TV shows like this.

    Today’s generation, not so lucky I guess. All they have is reality shows and other crappy violence series. I admit, I do watch some of the violence series like Law and Order and CSI (better than reality show, eh?), the fact that there’s not much good stuff out there totally makes me sad. Even the Sci-Fi channel is bad!!

    Anyways, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Totally loved it!!

    1. You’re right – you have to wonder about today’s generation and what they’re going to grow up with. My love of ST was also rooted in TNG because it was on at dinner time and we always watched it as a family while eating our tea. When I have kids one day I’m definitely going to raise them on Star Trek and Doctor Who, even if it is only on DVD 🙂

  23. I totally love this. I love when someone comes out to let us know about the geeky inner self. I’m pretty sure we all have that geeky part of us but some people seem to not want to let it out!

    Kudos for you, this was lots of fun to read!

  24. Hollywood has really sold us short. Originality has been thrown out the window, and replaced by sequels, prequels, and unnecessary remakes. It’s not entirely the fault of Hollywood, because for whatever reason the garbage they keep pushing out to us, continues to sell.

    In essence I think we have sold ourselves short.

  25. Great post – I am a sucker for the creepy, surreal, psychological horror/sci-fi movie, but they are so few and far between. I 100% agree that people want something easy, and I fall victim to that too. Very rarely am I able to sit in a dark room watching a movie or show and doing nothing else…. I’m usually blogging, cleaning, painting my nails, or talking to someone online. So naturally I put on the Devil Wears Prada.

  26. I’m a fan of both Star Wars and Star Trek, and would never put them in the same genre. I don’t believe George Lucas ever conceived Star Wars as science fiction at all, more a space fantasy, akin to Dune. He wanted to recreate the popcorn serials of his youth, which is a part of the fabric of classic cinema. Lucas tackled science fiction with THX 1138, which was also far more thought provoking.

    Cinema’s first function is to entertain, and by that token, Star Wars was extremely successful. And without its financial success, there would never have been any Star Trek movies, and following that, new Star Trek shows. I agree with you that smart is ultimately better, but to disregard anything that is not smart, groundbreaking, or ponderous is to disregard film’s primary purpose. And don’t forget that it’s the big, dumb, blockbusters that generate the money that makes the smaller, smarter movies possible.

    I’m also a Doctor Who fan, and agree that Moffat’s done wonders with the new series. I was about ready to give up on RTD. Talk about bad science fiction, poorly executed. And David Tennant just got on my nerves. I grew up with Tom Baker (on TV, not personally, of course) and he was always a tough act to follow. I actually think Matt Smith is doing a good job of coming close.

    As for horror movies, I think you’ve been watching the wrong ones. Horror is one of my favourite genres, and one of the hardest to get right. There are a lot of bad horror movies out there, to be sure, but there are also some brilliant ones. Steven Moffat is clearly a fan of the genre. Check out my blog for some examples, if you’re interested.

    http://richardsblah.wordpress.com/2010/04/21/in-defence-of-horror/

    1. Thank you! I kind of felt that way too – a mixture of disappointment and pride; I remember when Mumford and Sons were an unknown and I was ecstatic to hear these songs because they were so CLEVER and DIFFERENT and CAPTIVATING (no pun intended lol)… I even flew across the country to see them play a little club. Then they went international – which was fantastic, and kind of restored my faith in humanity a little… but it was kind of bittersweet. I totally know what you mean!

  27. Hey Emily Jane, your post made me laugh, daleks in the kitchen quick quick call the doctor lol. Great post I will be coming back to read more your writing still is fabulous, you could teach me a thing or two. Sally 🙂

  28. I’ll start off by saying I’ve never watched Star Trek, and honestly have no intentions of starting. I grew up watching Star Wars though.

    I think that genres are vague and vary – what one person considers to be sci fi, another will not. To me, both ST and SW fall into this category. They deal with technology that doesn’t exist in this day and age.

    As for the Hollywood fluff, it’s meant to appeal to the masses. If they were only to make the “intelligent” movies/shows, the industry would not survive. They would alienate too many people. Any movie has the ability to make you question – it’s all in how you approach it. In today’s society people want escape – not be forced to think.

    It really does come down to personal preference. I don’t particularly enjoy “sci fi” and I tend to view “fantasy” as more plausible in many circumstances. Obviously, this affects my opinions (at least based on how you presented it). To each her own! 🙂

  29. you’re such an intriguing lady! what a great post. i must say i especially agree with you on avoiding horror films… they’re just alllll the same, no matter the plot. i sit there thinking… should i be laughing at a ‘horror’ film? hmm. lol. oh, and i love your new ‘about me’ photo! beautiful ❤

  30. I’m with you on liking things that make you think vs. empty things- but soooometimes i need to not think which is where The Hills comes in 🙂 i plead guilty.

  31. I must admit I do like cheesy TV shows and movies as well as intelligent ones. I love going to the movies and I love a whole range of different types of movies, chick flicks, rom coms, thrillers, some action movies, dramas. The only thing I don’t like at all are horror movies. And really stupid comedies. And the same goes for books I read. I love a well-written book but I also love chick lit… it really depends on whether I want to just lay back and enjoy and unwind, or whether I want a movie/TV show/book to make me think. It depends on my mood and on how busy my life is.

  32. I love how much you love sci-fi and are not afraid to tell the world about your passion! My oldest brother loves sci-fi and would probably be over the moon if I got into it! Hearing you talk about it does make me want to check it out, I must say. 🙂

  33. Hi Em,

    You are right, Star Wars is not “Hard Sci-Fi”. It is “space opera”! Big difference between the two. Though I like both, and love a great Hard Sci-Fi as a rule, but also love the original three Star Wars. You need to take them in context. They were produced at a time when you could find no Sci-Fi on the big screen that had decent effects, and as a result over the years made it possible for other Sci-Fi to be able to be produced on the big screen. Without the success of Star Wars the likelihood would have been a continuance of cheaply made, bad special effects movies with alien creatures in rubber suits; though there is a place for that too, for you fans of the old Dr. Who 🙂

    All the best,
    Kay

  34. Pingback: The X-Effect |

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