A show that changed American entertainment turned 50 this week. I’m a Trekkie (but not episode title remembering rabid). My vacation is attending a Trek Con in the Summer. But I came to my fandom later in life. I didn’t grow up with the original series, and I was in college for Next Gen. One of my college best friends was a Patrick Stewart fan and introduced our little band of misfits to Next Gen in 92. It soon became our weekend plans (we weren’t the “go out to a frat” type)… late dinner and Next Gen followed by DS9. We each had our favorite character (I’m a Data girl!). It drew me in so much that my 21st birthday was a Next Gen costumed murder mystery party… which my friends hired a videographer to make a short movie out of. I still pull out that old VHS every so often to relive those happy times.
Star Trek was my happiness drug then. I went to a school I didn’t fit into (SOML- not fitting in), but I found this little merry band who also didn’t fit in, who had similar values, who loved each other because of our weirdness. And nothing made me happier than those Saturday night ST viewing parties. I kept watching DS9 for a year after leaving school (2nd season)… but then life in a big city caught up to me, and I again found my misfittedness. It wouldn’t be until my son found a fondness for TOS about 5 years ago that I remembered the shear utter joy that Rodenberry’s universe brought me in my last year of college.
Rodenberry’s universe is what we need now in 2016-HOPE. With all the hate being spewed on TV, online, and in our own presidential election, I can’t help but think of the hope in humanity that Rodenberry brought to TV 50 years ago. I can’t think of the acceptance of differences the show embraced. I can’t help but think we haven’t advanced as far as we could have in those 50 years. I also can’t help but think of the 20 year old nerd struggling to find people that would accept her for not being tall, blonde, thin, rich, and into beauty products and fashion. I can’t help but think that this show from 50 years ago makes me so happy again, and I can feel open enough about my nerdiness to share that with my husband and son… and now you.