I watch a lot of Star Trek

by Elana Roth Parker in ,


This is a stupid statement. Either you're thinking, "Of course you watch a lot of Star Trek. Look at you." Or, "Why on earth would you admit that?" 

In either case, I have actually been watching a lot of Star Trek lately. I have had an on-again/off-again relationship with Star Trek since I was a kid. It's my dad's fault. We used to watch returns of the original series together and make nachos. And when The Next Generation was announced, I was about 8 years old, and I remember being upset that the captain was going to be bald. This was apparently heresy in my 8-year-old brain. 

In middle school I went from casual consumer to hardcore fanatic. As any uber-awkward pre-teen with zero social skills to speak of does, I sank into that fandom in order to give my little life some meaning. This was an oversight. I didn't know the first think about talking to boys, but dammit, I could know that show inside and out. And know it I did.

My sister and I, and our two best friends, went as Star Trek characters for at least one Halloween. There were latex Klingon foreheads, plastic phasers, and pin-on communicators involved. I started taping episodes to keep i a collection. There are still heaps of VHS tapes in my mom's basement with an unknown quantity of episodes all labeled either "TNG" or "DS9" and title. I actually knew them all by title. I still might.

In high school though, I buried this love. You couldn't talk about that for obvious reasons. No one should ever know about that one Star Trek convention, or the fact that you may have had (and worn) a Bajoran earring. It's probably good that I abandoned some of these habits. But still.

By college I had found a few kindred spirits (we watched Voyager till the bitter end, though I had weirdly given up on DS9 at some point), but it was still largely a hidden facet of Elana. But Enterprise sucked, and the movies got worse, and the love-affair was put to rest until some time later.

And that time is now, thanks to 3AM airings of TNG on the CW, and the magic that is the DVR. At any given point in time I have a nice stockpile of episodes to watch when everything else on TV sucks. Which is often. And I turn to them more and more because...well, they're just that good. Plus I get to appreciate old things with new eyes. Or older eyes. I never realized how inconsistent some rules of the universe are, or how hilarious some of the early writing was, or how often the show let Patrick Stewart break out of the Jean-Luc Picard severity and do some hilarious acting. 

So yes, I watch a lot of Star Trek. Even more enjoyable than getting to hang out with old characters I love and privately enjoying my own nerdy tendencies, is that this time around I'm just admitting to the habit. And something tells me I'll actually make a few new friends out of it this time around.