#198 — Improv Dramedy

68 Comments on #198 — Improv Dramedy

Well, that took a while, but here we are! Hi again!

I’ve been missing Worf, even though I don’t really have a specific spot in the game for him at the moment, so when I sat down with my wife to watch Dramatis Personae we both were kind of like Oh, Hmm, Klingons! and the skeleton of this strip immediately wrote itself with that opening ship-blowin’-up sequence. I even masked up a new screenshot of him, for that “The Klingon ship explodes…” panel.

But this episode! Telepathic matrix thing takes over the command staff and makes ’em act out some old weird tragedy, right? Yeah? I may or may not do anything else with the episode, depending on whether a solid set of jokes come to me to pair up with the narrative ideas that came to mind, but boy oh gosh as an actual episode of television it was not great. One of those ideas that maybe worked better on paper than it did on the screen; I enjoyed watching the cast do silly hammy shit and it’s interesting to see glimmers here of the alternate characterizations we get in the eventual mirror universe episodes, but all in all I found myself kind of wincing my way through it.

Also, Odo, the hardboiled space constable detective, has a really terrible habit of gawking openly at people he’s suspicious of. Takes him until the third act to even try to be meaningfully sly about the whole thing; up until then he might as well be shouting I THINK YOU’RE ACTING SUSPICIOUSLY at anyone about whom he’s developing what we are I think meant to assume is quiet suspicion.

Like a pulp noir novel that opens with “I was working overtime on a bottle of rye when she walked in, all legs and trouble. I shouted ‘YOU HAVE VERY LONG LEGS AND ARE TROUBLING’ at her.” C’mon.

Also, while the show’s plot was probably just ‘casting’ Dax and Bashir as in-character-in-the-telepathic-matrix as a distractible daydreamer and an opportunistic, ambitious courtier, respectively, I prefer to think that they were both misbehaving because of incompatible brain chemistry; Dax’s hybrid Trill brain got her stuck in a ruminative fugue state rather than playing her part, and Bashir’s (spoiler alert for later seasons!) genetically engineered brain performs off-spec, either because of the actual genetic tampering or because of the underlying originally-kind-of-a-dumb-kid hardware.

Also also, Odo gets rid of the telepathic matrix by opening the airlock door while they’re all in the room, instead of just saying, hey, let’s all run outside this room real quick and I’ll blow the airlock? What? YOU’VE ALREADY ESTABLISHED THAT THE MATRIX THING IS TRAPPED IN A STASIS FIELDY WHATEVER THE HECK, MAN.

In summary, I am a fan of Star Trek.

Unrelated! My band is riiiiiiight at the tail end of a preorder/fundraising campaign for our new album. If you’re interested in getting yourself a copy of the new album on vinyl, you can snag a copy including shipping in the US for $18! What a deal! You can also just chuck a couple bucks at us for support if you feel like it. Album will come out for free on mp3 as well, no record player required if that’s not your bag.

We’re about 90% to our goal with all of two days left, so if you’re inclined, hop to it! Thanks, it means a lot.

Also unrelated! I am attending the XOXO Conference in Portland this weekend; if you happen to be attending as well, feel free to drop me a line and maybe we can meet up at some point and exchange high fives or Spock gang signs or whatever.

Uptime notes! Obviously there’s been a lull in new strips lately, but beyond that I also want to acknowledge the literal site down-time recently; I’ve been having trouble with pharma hacker bullshittery at exactly a moment when I wasn’t in a place to keep fighting off the shitweeds every couple days. Hopefully I have some of that hammered down now, but it’s possible things will continue to be bumpy, so bear with me while I figure out what’s what.

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