Comments Show – Episode 2: What Are Little Girls Made Of?

People seemed pretty into the last comments show, so we\’re at it again. This week we talk about Kirk-Fu, genetic manipulation and how much we love people saying nice stuff about us!

20 thoughts on “Comments Show – Episode 2: What Are Little Girls Made Of?”

  1. Thanks for your thoughtful response. This is long, so don’t feel you have to address it on the next comments show. I agree, race and gender issues are certainly going to come up, and in some episodes, they ARE going to be the most noticeable thing.

    It’s interesting the ways our perspectives differ. Rachel being a woman and a furriner and both of you being much younger, you will see things this older fellow will not, and vice versa.
    I saw TOS in reruns in the deep South only a couple of years after it came out and it really was groundbreaking. The media environment was very different then. The network needed to please a mostly white audience, more of whom lived in rural areas than now. The rule at the time was “don’t rock the boat, don’t bring up controversy, don’t offend John and Jane Main Street or Reverend Smith”. Roddenberry had to address these issues carefully. Even then, a “certain” crossed line resulted in some stations refusing to air the episode. I don’t judge the show by today’s walking-on-eggshells standards of progressiveness, but by how far it deviated from the norms of the time when doing that was tricky.
    On Spock vs McCoy, I think it’s a generational thing. This kind of verbal sparring between men from different backgrounds was common back then, especially in a military context. Soldiers and sailors had plenty of politically incorrect nicknames for each other (Bluesman, Stretch, Snowman, Cowboy, Hillbilly) and made fun of each other constantly. I think it was was a way of saying “we’re so close we can say this”. Whether it was well-presented in the TOS scripts is debatable, but it was well understood at the time.
    Looking back on my own reactions, I always felt that Spock threw his share of barbs back at humans, and McCoy in particular. Wait for “I, Mudd”. Later it’s obvious they have gained a deep respect and admiration for one another (yay character development!) But there is an episode that hints that Spock did sometimes get annoyed about it…oooh, the anticipation!

    Anyway, can’t wait for more!

  2. I can’t get enough of the show! Even the Comments on the Comments Show is solid GOLD! It is very interesting seeing the show being broken down from societies current perspective. While it was a ground breaking show of the time, it is dated. Rules and guidelines of the time would not fair well today. Unless of course you set it in that period. Probably why “Mad Men” was a huge hit.

    I become a fan of the show when it was first Syndicated and got to see a bunch of the props during an early 1990 Smithsonian exhibit. Actually got to sit in the Original Captains chair. What a super geek moment that was.

    Keep up the great work.

    PS Love the Quiet and Bold show as well…

  3. Whilst all of Kirk’s fight scenes are entertaining, you may have to wait a while for some of the rarer moves to come up. The Human Bowling Ball is in Season 2’s “The Apple” – I think the Wall of Kirk comes up more often, but there is definitely a fine example in the first season to look forward to (in “Tomorrow is Yesterday”).

  4. Absolutely love this podcast and you two! This is the review I left for you at iTunes but I have no idea if it ever got thru (there were difficulties), so here it is for you here.

    Highly enjoyable ear candy brought to you by the podcast universe’s answer to Jonathan and Jennifer Hart. Chris has a smooth and professional speaking voice that highlights his joy of all things Trek. Rachel as the wide eyed innocent provides interesting and often comical insights as only a new viewer and inductee to the original series of Star Trek could (free of preconceived notions). Plus her English accent is sexy! They display a familiarity and closeness in verse very similar to what Robert Wagner and Stephanie Powers displayed on Hart to Hart as Jonathan and Jennifer Hart. This is a very fun (and romantic?) podcast!

    And to rate your podcast under your rating system. Content/concept – new and fresh- 10! Sexiness – there is a diffinately a whole undercurrent of sexy vibe going on here (Hart to Hart closeness) – 9! Entertainment value – I can’t get enough of this – 10!

    I think the constant barbs to Spock has several layers.
    1. Spock is half Vulcan/half Human and I believe his human crewmates rather enjoy Spock more the few times they see his humanity emerge. I think they poke the Vulcan a lot as a way of connecting to him on a human level.
    2. Many people confuse the concept of Vulcans don’t display emotions with Vulcans don’t have emotions. Vulcans have emotions and when let out of the bottle they display them with little or no restraints. As a species survival tactic they have taught themselves to suppress all displays of emotions and as such for a Vulcan to publicly show emotions is considered vulgar and dishonorable to other Vulcans. Humans on the other hand display their emotions all the time and might find it hard to relate or trust someone who never shows an inkling about how they truely feel about something. It’s hard to read a computer feelings.
    3. When the series aired the accepted comedy of the day was often insult based. Even when no offense was actually meant it was tradional to use racial/religious/nationalities difference to express universal humor such as ‘a blank, a blank, and a blank go into a bar. While the show was set in the future not even The Great Bird himself had predicted political correctness.
    4. Military or locker room humor still exists today. A band of brothers style of talk dominates most organizations were a group of people work so closely and depend so much on teamwork. Good natured but often non-pc ribbing and such goes on under the blanket of we’re so close I can say this or I’m bored watch me poke Johnny with a stick. It was the normal humor of the time for many organizations and still is today.

  6. And finally KIRK-FU!

    The show was originally pitched and sold as Wagon Train to the Stars. Wagon Train was a popular western of the day wherein a large wagon train of settlers moved west across the US. Each week a new story was told about the people in the wagon train and the people they encountered on the way. Gunfights, fistfights, runaway wagons and romantical encounters filled the airwaves each episode. The concept of peaceful coexistence and higher values of humanity rarely (if ever) were examined as they were in Star Trek. The network wanted and demanded more “cowboy action”. Why so much talking when they can just punch and shoot each other? And how do you make cowboy stage punches look futuristic? Solution = Make any action on the show much more ACTION-Y-ER! Hence, the exaggerated fight moves and unnecessary combat rolls we lovingly call KIRK-FU!

  7. I know Chris is well placed to address Singularity issues so, where these crop in the episodes, up it would be great to hear more from him addressing these themes.
    It’s always a pleasure to hear Rachel’s input, especially her contributions on ethics.

    The combination of both your distinctive specialisms and shared banter are making this double-header a brilliant podcast.

    My wife, Holly and I both love the show, please keep at it!

    Also- can’t wait for the next Quiet & Bold episode!

  8. THE COLOR OF SPOCK – You’ve commented on Spock’s odd color in various episodes (not that he’s green, but rather the off tones or bad makeup). When the show first started no one in the color labs that developed the dailies knew that Spock was supposed to be green by choice. When Roddenberry would get the film back he would often get notes from the lab tech saying they tried to correct the green as best they could to look pink and perhaps the the production team needed to check the lighting rigging because there was always one actor that looked green.
    It took several episodes before Spock’s color began to look the same from show to show.

  9. Obviously you guys are living out a fantasy of many male Star Trek fans – having someone who loves *them* also at least try to love one of the many “things” they also care about. I know lots of couples who both love Star Trek, but here I think the show stands as a proxy for all the varied monomaniacal interests of the self-identifying nerd. (Or should I say anorak? Is nerd the right word across the pond? I dunno. I only heard anorak via Ready Player One – another nostalgia fest for nerds of a certain age.)

    Rachel’s delightfully fresh take on the show does highlight one interesting aspect which I think Chris has hinted at as well – our love of the show isn’t just a love for the episodes. It’s also a love for the amazing way we felt as kids when we saw the show as compared to other fare at the time. When you recently went through a litany of other things popular on TV at the time of the original airings (and even the early syndication) this show sticks out as pretty revolutionary. Not just a sci-fi show, it was INTRODUCING these ideas to young people not yet versed in the literature. It was a portal – perhaps a muti-colored time-traveling gateway of a portal – into a new world of the imagination, one that spurred one to imagine what would be possible if mankind could put aside the petty differences of our baser instincts and strive to reach the stars.

    Well, that’s my take on it anyway. Also, it was great to hear Rachel name-check James Randi. I’m a cap-S Skeptic myself and won’t plug my own show here but I like to use monsters as my gateway to introduce people into critical thinking. What you’re doing here is wonderful and I hope you’re able to continue – and that hopefully you’ll have strengthened Rachel’s appreciation of the show sufficiently that some day she’ll be able to endure a certain episode involving brain theft without thinking too poorly of the overall show.

    Keep up the good work – I know how hard it is to put out creative stuff like this especially with the excellent production values.

  10. I’ve just discovered the podcast and have binged on the episodes. I’ve been a fan of the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast from the beginning but have to say that Rachel adds an element which makes this podcast wonderfully unique and enjoyable. It is even more fun to listen to since my 27-year-old daughter and I’ve been watching the original together recently.

    I came here to mention what Theron and Lumrunner have gone into — joking with Spock about his differences didn’t come off as racist in those long ago days when the series first aired. My entire family loved the show and watched it devotedly and never got that feeling at all. We took it as good natured joshing among friends. And as the other commenters mentioned, Spock begins taking his own shots back at them soon enough. To continually call the comments racist is to read current feelings into a past which wouldn’t have felt that way. They didn’t think of Spock in terms of race anyway — they had Sulu, Uhura, Chekov (later), and many others to show their diversity and acceptance. For Uhura to be an officer on the bridge was unheard of and something that my mother in particular commented on with great approval. Spock was an alien and that was something apart from what we’d think of as race these days. At least to the average viewer. 🙂

    Again, love the show!

  11. Greetings Rachel and Chris,

    This podcast is a real delight! It sounds like you’re having such a good time! A joy to listen to.

    A few times now, you’ve talked about Uhura, and her role on the enterprise. Perhaps you’ve heard of this before, but her role is a part of a movement that would eventually be called Afro-futurism.

    Here’s some cool videos that walk you through a great over-view and gives examples of what Afro-futurism is. The second video is devoted solely to Nichelle Nicole’s role as Uhura with a surprising quote from Dr. Martin Luther King. Check it out…

  12. So glad someone found this interview. That’s exactly the way I remember feeling about it…a black person competently doing an important technical job without comment or special notice. It really stood out in the days when blacks on tv were either in the background or touted as a “credit to our race” if in a position of knowledge or technical skill.

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