Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Five-O Implies 60s Trek Was Biased Against Black Men



I'll admit that I'm not a huge fan of the new Hawaii Five-O. I'm old enough to remember the original and I really hate remakes. I only watch the new show online if I'm really bored. Or if James Marsters is a guest star. I was bored last night so I watched Monday's episode which was called Ne Me'e Laua Na Paio.

What's up with that anyway? Is there some secret place where you can find out what the titles mean? Does anybody have a link to a Hawaiian to English translator?

Anyway, back to my rant.

The main crime of this episode is the murder of a man in a superhero costume. Why oh why is Masi Oka playing another comic book nerd? Oops. Back to the story. Turns out “Spectacucon” is in town. Danny and Steve go to look for the victim's girlfriend.

There is no real reason for putting the victim in a superhero costume. No reason they have to go look for the girlfriend at the con. The sole purpose of the scene seems to be so Danny can ogle a girl and make stupid jokes – he says “What up Dog” to a furry in a dog suit. Grrrr.

Then comes the following conversation with a convention goer in a Starfleet uniform (above):

Danny: Ah, Captain Kirk, can we ask you a couple of questions? 
Trekkie: It's Commander Sisko.
Danny: Excuse me? 
Trekkie: I'm Commander Sisko from DS9. Ever see any brothers on the Enterprise? 
Danny: Uhura. 
Trekkie: She was a sister and she answered the phone. I'm a Commander.

I'm sorry but that crack about Uhura pisses me off. She was a black woman who was fourth in command. IN THE 60s. Props to Gene Roddenberry who fought to keep her on the bridge when the studio wanted her gone.

As someone WITH a communications degree, I'm going to say flat out that being head of communications on a ship involves a lot more than “answering the phone.”

And as for no black men on the Enterprise what about Geordie Laforge?

Grrrrr.

I do not believe that and real Trekkie would have make those comments.

I'm tired of TV shows plopping a convention in the middle of an episode for no reason other than to say, “Look at the freaks.” I'm especially tired of them taking shots at things they don't know anything about and getting it wrong.

I have a sense of humor about my fandoms. I love Big Bang Theory. I loved Galaxy Quest. I just think if you're going to disparage something you should disparage it for things that actually happen instead of spouting off the usual stereotypes.

/rant

So what do you think? Are comic book/sci-fi/fantasy fans being misrepresented? Is it funny when they are? Has any show gotten it right?

2 comments:

  1. You are correct in your rant sir. A real Trekkie, such as I am would have never made those comments...but when one is a day player actor of no real star power, one does not get to choose or even write the lines. As it were, I steered the dialog away from a "Chris Tucker" like read and tried to give it as much dignity as said lines permitted. The director and producers agreed and went with me instead of the other way.

    Concerning Geordie, it is confusing as I was wearing a uniform clearly in the STTNG era and yet the lines referenced the original Star Trek era. On top of that, the licensing of the uniform permitted less than 2 minutes screen time. So once again, I was not going to get that screen time to detangle it all for Star Trek fans.

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  2. First off, I want to make it clear that I don't hold any actor responsible for the words.

    I spoke with a friend who is more of a Trekkie than me and he mentioned that there was a black man on the bridge of the Enterprise in the first pilot. I seem to remember a black man being the creator of the super computer that was supposed to make Kirk obsolete. So there were black men on the Enterprise before Geordi.

    I'm just really tired of the "let's go poke at the nerds" answer when they can't come up with anything original. There was no reason to even mention Trek, cons or costumes. None of those things were essential to the plot.

    BTW I'm female. :-D

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