Ryan Britt, writing at Inverse, puts his finger on something that had been needling the back of my mind in watching the recent rise of science fiction television shows and movies.
On the one hand, we nerdfolk kind of enjoy watching our preferred genre of entertainment get blockbuster-level production values and be given serious thought. But on the other hand, as Britt notes, there seems to be a common theme running through much of the latest output -- a kind of technophobia, which you might think would be counter-productive in an arena that often relies on pretty advanced technology to set its stages and scenes.
It's not that I oppose the worldview that suggests we be a lot more careful with technology than we are. Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death may have been written about television and such, way back in 1985, but I firmly believe it has just as much to say about the internet and the modern obsession with staring into small screens. But when every series or movie carries that idea as its philosophical center, then not only does it start to make things boring, it sabotages the vehicle by which that philosophy hopes to enter the cultural conversation.
Britt's short piece made me think of a problem I ran into a few weeks ago while looking for a movie or something to download to my iPad for some treadmill watching. I was in the mood for something sci-fi, but once I waded past the endless sea of Syfy Network zombie/monster crap, I was left with a lot of eeeevil technology parables. "Can't there be one new thing with great starships spanning the galaxy and searching out its mysteries?" I asked myself.
Seems like I may not be the only one wondering.