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When Did Sexual Harassment Cease Being Used As Comedy? Further Musings on Deep Space Nine - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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May 3rd, 2015

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02:18 am - When Did Sexual Harassment Cease Being Used As Comedy? Further Musings on Deep Space Nine
We're continuing to watch Deep Space Nine, amidst also watching Arrow, Agents of SHIELD, Elementary, and Orphan Black.

At this point, we're still watching Season 3, and it's both highly variable in quality and also at an oddly transitional point in TV. The events like the first contact with the Dominion or Keiko O'Brien working on Bajor are a permanent changes, but the showrunners clearly either aren't interested in having a continuous rather than an episodic show or they aren't all that clear how to manage this. This is most obvious in terms of character arcs – Dax falls madly in love in Meridian (an astonishingly terrible episode, the A plot was a bad and utterly lifeless Brigadoon rip off, and the B plot was filled with humorous sexual harassment with a side-order of transmisogyny). Then, in the next episode, Dax is entirely mourning her lost in time love, and all of the characters are like this.

I never noticed this sort of thing at the time, because all TV was like that, but after close to 20 years of long-form storytelling TV, seeing this is jarring and feels cheap and ill done especially since there's some level of continuity going on. In any case, there are episodes like Defiant that are quite good, but as a whole it feels unconnected compared to modern TV (or at least modern TV that I'm willing to watch) largely because it is, and I find modern TV overall more interesting, complex, and worth watching.

Also, as with the title of the post – this season is doing better than Season 1 so far, but sexual harassment was clearly something regarded as considerably less serious and at least potentially funny in mass media back then, the lack of this sort of thing today is definitely a noticeable step forward.

On Sunday afternoon I'm going to see Age of Ultron, which I've heard is fun, but also considerably less good than Captain America 2, I guess I'll see.

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[User Picture]
Date:May 3rd, 2015 08:34 pm (UTC)
I think you mean that Dax is entirely DONE mourning her lost love - or some such word like that. If she'd spent the next episode in mourning, the show would've made more sense.

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