Thursday, August 30, 2007

If I Ruled the Networks...

Just having a bit of a "if I ruled the world" moment right now. I'll list a few examples of bad or mediocre shows, and some small details I think would have helped them out. Maybe not turn it around, but it would have been nice. Whatever. Follow up with your own examples in the comments. Please, no "I'd never make the show" things unless you're talking about The Matrix sequels.

Star Trek: Voyager: Slowly kill the pristine nature of the ship. Without Starfleet repair docks, the crew should have made finicky replacements from Delta Quadrant spare parts. Have them restock some of the crew with curious/adventurous locals. Not just Neelix and Kes. Having a holographic doctor may be spiffy, but you'd think they'd at least supplement him with an alien doctor or two who'd study up on Alpha Quadrant physiology to eventually replace him. Not Tom Paris.

The Big O, Season 2: Kill all the bright colors. Kill the Gainax Ending. Dump Big O's transforming arm cannons. It won my heart with clumsy, oversized fisticuffs. Not exactly a small change on the ending, but pleh.

A number of Gundam series: Dump the super-prototype angle. Give the heroes standard mechs with some customization, or at least new models that only have marginally better combat capability compared to the local Zaku. I know the toymakers like to have a half dozen or so flashy, spikey new models to make with each new incarnation, but come on. If you must insist on several new models, have them each fill different combat roles (but be wary of making an Aquaman), rather than just being bigger and badder than everything else. What should matter is skill, teamwork, and planning.

That's all for the time being. Feel free to list your own suggestions for series that could use touch-ups like that.

19 comments:

Wikinite said...

Stargate SG-1: Nix the entire replicator plot. The killer/unstoppable lego motiff was about the lamest thing they could of come up with. That and the inability of the Asgard to make a shotgun.

stogoe said...

Re: Voyager: I liked the Doctor, and with a replicator they can just about replace everything on board with a shiny new one whenever they want.

Re: SG-1: Eh. The replicators were entertaining at points, and besides, there had to be a reason that the Asgard couldn't come into our galaxy and press the 'Win' button.

But while we're on SG-1, they could axe the two seasons dealing with the Ori. And why did SG-1 decide to become the Farscape Pensioner's Home? When two of the main characters come straight from a sci-fi show with puppets, I'm concerned.

maybecca said...

Voyager: What's that? The holodeck exploded? Someone forgot to backup any data which may have been used to repair or replace it? Oh my. What a terrible, terrible shame.

Wikinite said...

Re: SG-1: Eh. The replicators were entertaining at points, and besides, there had to be a reason that the Asgard couldn't come into our galaxy and press the 'Win' button.

Thats the point though. There was no reason the Asgard couldn't employ kinetic weapons, nukes, or even good ol'dynamite. There is no internally consistent reason that they couldn't fight the replicators.

Bronze Dog said...

Didn't watch any Stargate except for the original movie way back when, so I can't comment other than guessing those replicators were immune to energy weapons and such.

Kind of annoys me in Star Trek when they get into a dampening field of phasers-don't-work. You'd think that they'd figure out to wield tommyguns and mek'leths against the Borg, too.

Wikinite said...

the replicators we bascially the lego version of the borg. Their learning capability in regards to technology is similar to the aliens in Mote in God's Eye. They basically have the ability to instantly understand, utilize, and improve upon any technology they encounter.

Joshua said...

Your suggestion for Gundam sounds suspiciously like Macross/Robotech. Which I think is why I love the latter but have always been basically indifferent to the former.

As for the Matrix sequels, I wouldn't have undone them, I just would have put somebody other than the Wachowskis in charge. The Animatrix showed pretty clearly that there was still room to take the universe in some very interesting directions, but the direction the Wachowski sequels ended up taking were, in my opinion, the least interesting.

Even if they did want to focus the sequels on Neo, which I personally wouldn't have done, they could have taken some cues from the better Superman stories. Supposedly, the One was going to be able to reshape the Matrix. In the sequel films, that translated to him being slightly stronger than most of the other people. Big frickin' deal. If you want to create a god-like character that can reshape his world at will, having him actually do it. And then explore the consequences of that decision. Or at least explore his reasons for not doing it. Like I said, there's very good precedent for that with Superman stories in comics.

Bronze Dog said...

Joshua, keep your eyes open for my future self popping in with a time machine.

stogoe said...

Joshua, I think the biggest problem with the Matrix sequels was they were blindsided with the popularity of the first and rushed through the sequels. I think they could have been much better if someone, anyone, had said 'wait a minute, slow down, let's take some time and hammer out something worthwhile before we film anything'. But I guess that's true of most crap.

Re: Replicators(SG-1), they had to be vulnerable to Tauri technology and the Asgard couldn't have thought of it so that the Team could fight them and win.

Also, if you had a nice fancy machine gun to kill someone with, would you ever in a million years think that scratching them with your fingernails would work better? That's the Asgard mindset, regressed hundreds of thousands of years of technological advancements.

BD, SG-1 the series never took itself too seriously, and it's as technobabbly as Trek, but the actors endeared me to it, and the theme of 'Gods are false and oppressive' didn't hurt, either.

Wikinite said...

I agree that the Asgard would not have intially thought of using Tauri-style weapons. My suspension of disbelief failed in accepting that the Asgard could not create similar weapons. (an Asgard gauss mini-gun would have been bad-ass).

Tom Foss said...

A friend of mine has a theory about the Matrix trilogy. He suggests that one of the Wachowski brothers is really into the philosophy, and the other is really good at the action/adventure stuff. The two collaborated more or less equally on the first film, but then split up the writing on the sequels.

I haven't seen the third one, and don't have any particular desire to, but it would make sense given the other two films.

Heathen Dan said...

The last 5-10 minutes of Akira must change!

Paul said...

Earth2:Best! First! Ten minutes of a television show! Evar! After that, meh. Should have hired some writers.

Rule number one - don't tell your audience who the bad guy is if the characters haven't figured it out yet. First, it kills any chance you have of building suspense. Second, it makes the audience think your main characters are dumb. "No, don't follow him into that cave, he's the bad guy... Oh, what an idiot!"

Anonymous said...

I would have liked it if Voyager didn't just leave civilizations to just deal with their own issues, at least the ones that were asking for help. For example, the "phage". What a let down that was. Abandon them and find out later that George Castanza cured it as a footnote.

Instead, leave each sector by solving the problems and having allies they can actually use in the future. Imagine if they actually did solve the clan wars with the Kazon. Basically my idea would be a reconfigured Voyager at the end with a diverse crew culled from that sector and all sorts of entire cultures as allies ready and willing to join the Federation the moment Voyager gets back. Further, get back in season 5 instead of 7, and go onwards with Voyager working with these new groups to assimilate them into the Federation, with various changes made to policy and the Federation having access to new transwarp and all that stuff. Basically end the series with major changes to the entire mythos. THAT would have been interesting.

Dunc said...

And why did SG-1 decide to become the Farscape Pensioner's Home? When two of the main characters come straight from a sci-fi show with puppets, I'm concerned.

Hey! Lay off Farscape - it was way better than SG-1 ever was. SG-1 pinched Ben and Claudia in a lame attempt to scoop up frustrated 'scapers. It nearly worked too - I think they're great together, but not great enough to make watching SG-1 worthwhile.

And what's the big deal with puppets? They acted better than a lot of CG creations I've seen.

So, if I ruled the networks? Simple - finish Farscape properly, preferably without killing off D'Argo. Shame it's too late for that... Oh, and give Anthony Simcoe a proper job!

King Aardvark said...

The big thing for Voyager for me would be to not have Mrs. Columbo as the captain. Yikes.

Laser Potato said...

I'd restore ALL the closing credit logos on every single show in syndication and any generic logo-plastering over the original credits will be punishable by DEATH.

Laser Potato said...

Also, I'd go back in time and stop the Great Britsh Television Wipes Of Doom from happening.

Akusai said...

How about we get rid of those damned station insignias that overlay the show I'm trying to watch? And then they turn into a giant, obnoxious ad for some shitty program I have no interest in with full sound and everything, sometimes blocking a quarter of the screen or more.

I know this isn't specifically show-related, but if I ruled the networks, I'd do it.