DS9 Rewatch, mid-season 2
I’ve just finished “Rivals,” which probably is my favorite so far of an otherwise dragging season, and I’m struck how out of step I am with most of the show’s writers and producers (whose opinions are available on Memory Alpha). The lighthearted episodes, or episodes where Sisko is getting his Mack on, seem to be uniformly derided, whereas po-faced efforts at Ethical Dilemmas (“Cardassians” and “Necessary Evil”, and “Duets” from season 1) have nary a bad word spoken against them. I’m the exact opposite, though, where the serious episodes grapple with serious issues in an ultimately pat and moralistic way that ignores a lot of real-world complications. (“Duets” in particular strikes me as a revenge fantasy, with emphasis on the fantasy.)
Instead, the more ridiculous episodes (against my better judgment I’m enjoying the Ferengi installments) have generally been more fun, and “Rivals” especially — Bashir’s racquetball onesie summarizes the campness that’s inherent to some of these concepts. I also really enjoy when Avery Brooks or Nana Visitor get to chew the scenery like the ravenously starved theater veterans that they were (and all of the Cardassians — how I light up when I get to hear Garak or Dukat monologuing!). Of course, knowing where this show ends up, and how much the darkness thrilled me the first time, I’m surprised by how much I look forward to the camp elements.
On the other hand, I also love the choice to make Sisko a parent — he’s the only captain to have a child (unless Archer has a family, I never bothered with Enterprise) — and the amount of unabashed affection that the Commander (no Defiant commission yet!) showers on Jake.