I’ve tried to think my way around it, tried to put it in cleaner content, tried to wash it down, but the simple and undeniable fact is, if you seriously dislike the first two seasons of the original 1966 to 1969 TV show of Star Trek I can only figure it is because the show is too smart for you.
To be clear I’m not saying that you have to love every episode of the original series, that you have to love everything in the entire franchise, or even that you have love it. I’m just saying that if you watch an episode or three with an open mind you will have no choice but to admit that the show is a artistic and social technical feat, and a truly entertaining viewing experience.
Shatner and Nimoy’s performances have been lampooned, harpooned, and trampooned and it is easy to see why. These two public figures have sometimes managed great works that are hard to read execpt as self–parody. However, watch these old episodes with an open mind and you’ll see some fantastic performances. Somehow Nimoy infuses Spock’s being with logic, rigidity and a little super-dry humor. Shatner’s Kirk is so expressive, passionate and layered that it hurts, and lastly if you don’t like DeForest Kelly I seriously wonder if you know what acting is.
All that sweet, sweet acting candy acting is backed up by some of the smartest, most thoughtful, most culturally relevantscripts ever created for TV. Rodenberry and his writers explored war, racism, sex, technology, friendship, and ambition with care and flexibility and subtlety a lot of today’s writers would kill to find. It is Hollywood, so I am seriously worried that someone is going to kill one of Star Trek’s aging writers to try and steal their mojo. Don’t do it, random writer, just go back to penning another episode of Arrow.
If you can’t get behind all of that, you should at least be able to get behind TV’s first interracial kiss. Seriously Star Trek’s production team braved blackouts across the south, threats of actual violence, and threats of cancellation. That is real bravery far in excess of anything shown on camera.
There is comedy here too. Find me a silly bromance, or buddy comedy or ensemble sitcom that isn’t cribbing, to some degree, from the Spock-McCoy-Kirk one liners at the end of the episodes and I’ll give you a quarter.
This isn’t a comic book post, so I’m gonna curtail my rant a little, and just say that there is likely a 5000 word essay brewing somewhere in my brain about how stupid you are for disliking the acting on this show.
So? You still don’t like Star Trek? I think you just don’t get it. You are either too dumb, or too closed minded to truly appriciate one of the most important works of art in The American Century.