Picard Season Three hit the fan service HARD. I absolutely loved it.
The final season of Star Trek Picard is winning very good reviews from fans and critics.
Of course, in some corners there is criticism of fan service, nostalgia and ‘member berries’ being the driving force behind the season, and the only reason for the goodwill.
I've never liked the criticism of “fan service” to put down a story or piece of media. I understand the critique- it's the idea that the story/movie/show/whatever isn't actually good at all, and is just held together by fans remembering the old version of the thing. It takes the fans back to something they enjoyed previously, and makes them happy.
There's nothing wrong with giving fans what they want - and in these years of sequels, adaptations and reboots, that's supposed to be the whole point: it's something with a built-in audience appeal so it's a safer investment and has a better chance to make a profit.
The criticism is when the ‘member berries’ are all the new thing has going for it, and that it has less merit, or maybe is deceptive in some way (though the ‘bait and switch’ or deception thing might be a bit different. We'll leave that for another time).
I can FEEL the difference, but only for my own subjective self. A sequel that uses images, settings, music, bits of dialogue or actors from a previous version but leaves me feeling hollow - that's member berries, or empty nostalgia. If I get a rush of enjoyment from seeing those familiar things, it suggests there's something underneath it - that the world is understood by the writers. That the returning characters are understood. That I'm seeing the same world (with some variation) and maybe the same characters (with some changes), but it feels true to the old version. Even if things have changed.
Star Trek Picard Season Three did the job for me! Because the characters seemed like themselves (even if they'd changed quite a bit in the 20-something years since they'd appeared last. There was an understanding of these people and where they came from.
I'm not sure if I've really got a handle on the difference between “bad” nostalgia and ‘member berries’, and legitimate fan service. I guess I just know the difference in my gut.
What are your thoughts on servicing fans and 'membering berries?
Have a good one!
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Banes at 12:00AM, April 27, 2023
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