Does Gravity Matter?

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#1
One of the most amazing, recurring disputes in online forums this summer (and this has been going on for years, really) is the conflict between hardcore science fiction fans, on the one side, and folks who enjoy seeing character dramas that just happen to be set in space, or in some futuristic or fantastical locale, on the other side. The recent contexts for the dispute include the rebranding of Syfy (and on the evident and stated overall direction for the channel), and the introduction of some new genre series that don't fixate on the scientific plausibility (such as Warehouse 13 and Defying Gravity).

I often refer to this as a religious dispute. I say this because it does have all the trappings of religion: The foundation on which some of the forceful assertions of dogma are made require subscription to a set of beliefs and values -- essentially, the criticisms are expected to be taken on faith, while those who don't agree with the criticisms are seemingly considered faithless. Some of the fire-and-brimstone adherents go so far as to imply that their take on the genre in some way deserves a venue -- that their faith perhaps entitles them to have their interests satisfied(?).

As you can tell, I have a biased perspective in this religious dispute. I feel that television entertainment need not comply with any delineated dogma regarding a genre. It needs only stay within the bounds of what is culturally-acceptable programming (i.e., no porn on public airwaves, etc.), and after that, I say give the people what they want, i.e., whatever earns the best ratings in the prime demographics, without treating any specific aspects of the entertainment as sacred cows (for example, in the case of this genre, complying with a "scientifically plausible" ethic), unless those aspects, themselves, directly contribute to significantly larger audiences. (I suspect the opposite is actually the case: That fixating on the scientific reality of what is supposed to be an expression of escapism turns off more people than it turns on.)

I would post a poll ("hardcore" versus "just wanna have fun"), but I find online polls relatively pointless. Just by being here, we've self-selected, to some extent, and by opening up specific threads, we've yet-even-further self-selected. Each bit of self-selection introduces at least an order of magnitude of bias into the result of the poll. And besides, we have objective data on which to base a sound understanding of the reality: Ratings show which kinds of programs more people enjoy. There were several more-hardcore science fiction shows introduced on Sci Fi over the past few years (Charlie Jade, for example), each of which utterly tanked, while some fluffier shows that they introduced during these same few years (Eureka, for example) had done well, or at least significantly better.

I'm not really interested, quite frankly, in yet another rehashing of the dispute between hardcore and just-for-fun, in the realm of genre programming. That's been done and overdone. (However, since I've put my two cents in, in that regard, surely folks who agree or disagree with me should feel free to voice their perspectives, of course.) What I'm really interested in is a discussion about Why? -- why be dogmatic? Why not enjoy, instead of working so hard to not enjoy? Is it that people cannot control what they will allow themselves to be entertained by or not entertained by? Also: Is the religion real? or is it just a passion play trying to evoke movement in a specific direction, while undercover the evangelists of the religion actually do enjoy the less dogmatic programming to a great extent?

Essentially, I'm wondering why reasonable people work so hard to be unhappy, and foster unhappiness in others, with what is offered, given that other reasonable people do find what is offered to be fulfilling.
 

O-O

DTVUSA Member
#2
It's something that occurs in everyday life too. hehe, I like the references to dogma and religion because it really is true when I see fanboys or hardcore "worshippers" of ANY type of media. Ever try to talk to a true Star Wars fan about Starwars I - III?
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#3
It's something that occurs in everyday life too.
Hehe... I was going to say that, but resisted. :) I do think that the answer to my question as it pertains to hardcore science fiction probably applies to any hardcore dogmatic perspective.
:bolt:​
 

Jason Fritz

Administrator
Staff member
#4
Why not enjoy, instead of working so hard to not enjoy? Is it that people cannot control what they will allow themselves to be entertained by or not entertained by? Also: Is the religion real? or is it just a passion play trying to evoke movement in a specific direction, while undercover the evangelists of the religion actually do enjoy the less dogmatic programming to a great extent?

Essentially, I'm wondering why reasonable people work so hard to be unhappy, and foster unhappiness in others, with what is offered, given that other reasonable people do find what is offered to be fulfilling.
Solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris... translated: "It is a comfort to the unfortunate to have had companions in woe"

And ironically, as you've stated, most "evangelists" watch and possibly enjoy programming less suited to their conformist ways. That's not to say I haven't participated in such behavior. I've complained about over-the-top reality TV programming taking over the TV industry on this forum, yet it's all I've watched this week so far.

I agree with O-O too, emotional contagion happens everyday; it's an unexplained phenomena of human nature.
 

EscapeVelocity

Moderator, , Webmaster of EV's Antenna Blog
#6
Im a big science fiction fan.

However, I dont have the Sci Fi Channel, but that would be one of the primary channels I would want if I got cable or satellite.

Have they changed or something?

I can deal with space soap opera, but only if it has an overarching plot.

I recently saw the first episode of Defying Gravity and it was very offputting. Its like they took General Hospital and grafted that show onto NASA. Good Lord!

Star Trek TNG was good because they did character development and sometimes got a bit soap opera-ry, but they also covered socio-political issues, and interesting scientific and philosophical paradoxes, in the end Star Trek TNG was about humanity. And even if they had a show you didnt like, it was a whole nother adventure next week.
 

Piggie

Super Moderator
#8
As long as wall street controls the country, they can't do anything else.

If it increases their viewers, more power to them.

I spend last night listening to radio after NBC comedy reruns were over and enjoyed it.
 
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