Of all the TV shows I’ve watched I’ve enjoyed two of them very much, above the others. They are the original Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation. The new film series can’t capture the magic of the show, and I don’t know why. In theatre, we often say that a good play–and there are all sorts of good plays–is one that ‘works’. I don’t know how to explain that, because sometimes strange things work and what should be ‘good’ things don’t. E.g. Cleopatra, starring Elizabeth Taylor should have worked and didn’t; Cloverfield, a lousy monster movie, shouldn’t have worked and did.
Star Trek, the original, may have worked because it was so optimistic at a time when we needed optimism, and the assurance that the world would still be here in 200 years. Star Trek TNG may have worked because it had so much to say about human relationships, and even facing our greatest fears with equanimity. The other incarnations blew: they just couldn’t rise to the chemistry and the molding of the characters. Nor has anything risen to their levels.
TV has, on occasion, some true winners. In the early fifties, Our Miss Brooks and I love Lucy were superior; in the 60’s ST, perhaps a few others; 70s All in the Family, Mary Tyler Moore and Bob Newhart; 80s Beauty and the Beast; and so on. Where am I wrong? Write and let me know.
Anyhow, these shows worked for me. They took me into something I felt, knew instinctively, or imagined. They expanded who I was.
A fine film did that for me today–Captain Philips. Go see it. Jeff