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September 10, 2003

ripped from the headlines: tits and explosions!

Posted by Mike on September 10, 2003 4:33 PM

Update: Having just finished the "Enterprise" season premier (entitled "The Xindi"), I have this to offer: It was much more darkly atmospheric than past seasons. One alien in particular was sort of cool. The two weak spots: Vulcan massage (an excuse to get T'Pol's top off for a moment), and Bakula's acting. We're supposed to buy him as a sort of Bushian "nice guy turned hard," and he just comes off sounding sort of shrill and pissy.

While we're on the subject of UPN season premiers, there's "Jake 2.0," which seems to boil down to "Spiderman" meets "Enemy of the State." Eh. Angel will be displacing it come October 1.

Now back to the original kvetch:

I bought a Salon subscription a few months ago. I found myself reading the site every few days, so I plunked down some money (and got a few free subscriptions to dead-tree magazines in the process). In the interest of full disclosure, here's the post you can cite to call me a hypocrite: "De-subscribed by Salon and Living With It"

But as much as I'm enjoying the site now for what I paid ("Less than the cost of your daily cup of coffee! "), I still get a little squirmy over some of the content. I have a sense that there are some smart people there who haven't learned how to accept their own sweet tooth, and would be embarrassed to say things like "I rented season four of 'Babylon 5' and stayed in front of the t.v. for two straight days watching all 22 episodes." Their embarassment shows up in the form of breezy articles announcing that they did just that and are plainly not embarassed because a.) they are telling you they are not and b.) 'Babylon 5' is the most important         to come along since        .

Whatever. I felt less guilty about an eight hour "Buffy" marathon armed with a copy of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Philosophy" ("Faith is the embodiment of Nietzschean Ethics!"), so if a Salon writer wants to give a pass to whatever pop culture flotsam washes up in her living room on the grounds that it's the most important exploration of the painful demands of a collectivist ideology since the final scene of "In Dubious Battle," she can have a field day.

Sometimes, though, I think they're being played, as with today's sneak preview of the new season of "Star Trek: Enterprise":

" Like 'Deep Space Nine,' 'Enterprise' entices us into caring about its characters, then forces you to watch them doing the dirty work of the state-security apparatus. In the season premiere, we see Archer bribing a sleazy mining official for an interview with his Xindi employee. Far from home and out of its depth, the crew is bound to experience some blowback, as it indeed does here. I want to see more of this. I want to see 'Enterprise' compensate for drawing the analogy between 9/11 and this ahistorical, unpreventable alien massacre. 'Enterprise' can redeem itself by emphasizing that our incidents and relationships with other races have ramifications, that there are other fish in the pond."

Sure thing. Then there's the "Enterprise" team's lead actor and executive producer in a slightly less gussied up presentation for "Entertainment Weekly":

''[the show's] more about action,'' says [actor Scott] Bakula. ''If we have to blow something up, we blow it up.''


"A different kind of action will occur between Vulcan hottie T'Pol (Jolene Blalock) and all-American engineer Trip (Connor Trinneer), who's mourning his sister's murder by the Xindi. 'She's gonna start using Vulcan techniques to help him get through this,' says executive producer Brannon Braga, 'some of which involve very intimate massage.' Va-va-va-voom!"

I think we're in for another season of T'Pol writhing around in decon gel and the Vulcan equivalent of a teddy (that'd be gray underpants and a clingy undershirt) while the writers punt on the other 35 minutes of the episode with a lot of ass-kickin' . . . er . . . "doing the dirty work of the state-security apparatus."