March 8, 2005

The Three B's of Mediocrity

I am talking, of course, about John Byrne, Brannon Braaga, and Rick Berman. According to rumor, Byrne's Doom Patrol series, as well as Braaga & Berman's final Enterprise episode (and series finale), will all be extremely creative endings.

Actually, I lie - rumor has it they are all utilizing the same "it-was-all-a-dream" cliche that didn't work the first time it was used. It has the slight whiff of desperation, of a writer's inability to acknowledge that, for some reason, their creative vision did not come to fruition. Even the new Doctor Who series, while being a different version than the original run, acknowledges its past but is not a slave to it.

(And just an aside - thanks so much to whoever leaked the first episode. Now, we have to deal with whiny fanboys who will complain that it just isn't like classic Who. Thanks so smegging much)

On the other hand, though, both Byrne's Doom Patrol and Enterprise were revisionings and reboots that were, at best, unneccesary. Even though his defense was essentially, "Dan DiDio made me do it", Byrne's series started lame and gradually declined. (When you end up paging through the comic in the store and putting it back on the shelf, that is not a good sign). It does a great disservice to the original series, and given some of the nods to past stories, many DC writers opted to ignore it.

Enterprise, on the other hand, seemed to hit the fanboy sweet spots this season with blatant nods to Trek's past. However, in order to get there, viewers were forced to wade through Trek-by-the-numbers writing, forced characterizations, and obvious signs that the series was created only to help merchandising, and that now, every toy and collectible contract has been fulfilled.

But ultimately, these endings (if rumors are to be believed) are a slap in the face to fans everywhere. In essense, "You essentially wasted your time and money on this, because they were for nothing. Since we couldn't think of a great way to end these stories, we decided to just retcon them into being someone else's fantasy."

So Mr. Byrne, Mr. Braaga, Mr. Berman, here is a humble suggestion - please gladly refund people's money. They should be able to return their books, and you gladly give your money back. For every hour spent before the screen, fans should get a small but reasonable reimbursement. At the very least, have the dignity to respect those who enjoy your works, because quite frankly, the way you are choosing to end them is insulting, degrading, and all-out disrespectful.

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