If you can get Paramount TV, last night’s Strange New Worlds, was a hoot. Spock gets in an accident an becomes fully human. He learns the problems of the Vulcan philosophy, after hilarity has ensued.
We get Paramount, but we watch it when we’re both off work together, which is generally Sunday and Monday, sometimes Tuesday too.
- I watched about a third of this Spock-becomes-human episode, and quit in frustration and disappointment.
- This episode is more of a comedic parody of “Star Trek” than real “Star Trek.” It is like a Saturday Night Live sketch of “Star Trek.”
- I don’t watch “Star Trek” to see the functional equivalent of “Bing Bang Theory.”
- But I know that some people enjoy parodies of “Star Trek,” “Star Wars,” “Planet of the Apes,” etc. Many people love the Monty Python movies that gave a parody treatment to the King Arthur legend and the Jesus legend. End-of-the-world comedies have become pretty commonplace. I guess someone will eventually make a parody of the Holocaust and it will be a great hit. “The Producers” comes pretty close to that.
- Paramount owns “Star Trek” and can do with it what it wishes. Roddenberry was offered the chance to buy the rights to “Star Trek” in the 1970s, but he declined or was unable, so it belongs to the corporate philistines.
- But for me, the point of science fiction is to express, expose, explore, and grapple with the existenial issues of life and death, and to convey a sense of gravitas. The world is awash in sophomoric comedy and mindless or routine action and suspense movies and TV. Genuinely thoughful and profound science fiction is a rare gem, greatly to be treasured.
- Adam McKay’s “Don’t Look Up” portrayed brilliantly how right-leaning leaders and voters downplay and ignore existential threats to humanity, but then the movie ended with some wildly absurdist and comedic scenes, thereby conveying that worries about climate change are just a joke and conveying that we can all just go back to watching our football games and drinking our beer and relax. I was so disappointed with that movie.
- I do appreciate Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove,” but unlike nihiistic comedies, it’s mission was to alert and awaken Americans to the real plans that American military and political leaders in the 1950s and 1960s had regarding launching a first strike against the Soviet Union.
- But I have observed that some people do feel that comedy, at least smart comedy, even nihilistic comedy (e.g., some of Woody Allen’s movies), expresses the pinnacle of human wisdom and is the best guide to and model to optimal human living. I don’t feel that way. Many people love “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe,” but I hate it.
- But I can’t claim that my feeling on this matter is superior to the contrary feelings of others. To each their own. Birds of a feather flock together.