Site ColumnsBy Michelle
February 18, 2005 - 5:44 PM
This week I had to ask myself: When did Valentine's Day turn into Halloween? I got an inkling of what was to come when my younger son informed me that, in addition to cards, he would need to be giving out chocolate, so we got some little bags as well as the traditional folded cardboard school Valentines and dutifully addressed them to every child in the class, plus the teachers. He came home with a bag bigger than the one from the school Halloween party, decorated in hearts and filled with everything from boxes of Sponge Bob chocolate hearts to colored pencils, a gift from a student whose parents apparently (and intelligently) concluded that the kids didn't need any more sugar than they were already getting in the class party.
My kids went to nursery school in our synagogue, so they celebrated neither Halloween (a nominally pagan holiday) nor St. Valentine's Day (a nominally Catholic holiday) for their first several years. They were very excited upon entering public school to have class holidays for these parties, plus St. Patrick's Day and the Chinese New Year, and I can't say I blame them: we always celebrated them when I was in elementary school as secular American holidays, an excuse to dress up in costume or in green or exchange cards. But Halloween has become big business in the US, catching up on Christmas in terms of dollars spent, and Valentine's Day shows every sign of following.
My husband and I had a low-key celebration on a day traditionally reserved for sweethearts: since we knew that going out to dinner would be impossible even if we could afford it, which we can't, given our plans to go to England next month, we went out for Indian buffet for lunch instead, and exchanged gifts that cost less than $10 (including of course the ubiquitous boxes of chocolate). Our kids spent more money than we did and came home with far more loot. I'm not sure whether they are absorbing messages about the connection between romance, dating and money, but they get enough messages about love and sex being commodities from television. I think I miss the days of the cardboard cards with personal messages.
Trek BBS Today
Below are some of the topics currently being discussed at the Trek BBS:
More topics can be found at the Trek BBS!
Trek Two Years Ago
These were some of the major news items from February 2003:
- TV Guide Looks At Franchise's Futuree
TV Guide examined the state of the Star Trek franchise, with executive producer Brannon Braga saying "We're bummed" about the mediocre ratings for Enterprise's sophomore season. But UPN entertainment president Dawn Ostroff assured the magazine that the series was not going away: "Hit shows often take years."
- Berman Talks 'Enterprise' Ratings
Despite a decline of about 70% in viewers since Enterprise's first episode, Trek franchise senior exec Rick Berman insisted that the numbers were not a cause for concern:
People say the ratings have dipped...but you have to remember that any television series in its first season receives a ridiculous amount of promotion — magazine covers, television stories, Entertainment Weekly covers, TV Guide covers... so there's always a big spike of ratings in the beginning and they drop off. That's historical for every series we've done, including The Next Generation. There are hundreds of stations that are available to people now — there used to be only three...if you look at the ratings since the first season of Voyager, which was seven years ago, general ratings of the broadcast networks have fallen by 35 per cent, so if we fall 35 per cent, we're in keeping with the other networks.
- 'Nemesis' DVD Details Released
Paramount Home Entertainment announced that the DVD release of Star Trek Nemesis would allow fans to view removed footage - seven deleted scenes - in addition to commentary by the director about his choices.
More news can be found in the archives.
Below are the results of the most recent TrekToday poll:
Please vote in our new poll after you have seen "Affliction" and rate the episode!
It's a busy week for Star Trek celebrations! Today is the birthday of Michelle Forbes, who played Ro Laren on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Monday the 21st is a triple-header: Gary Lockwood, the original series' Gary Mitchell; Kelsey Grammer, Next Gen's Morgan Bateson; and Martha Hackett, Star Trek: Voyager's Seska. Tuesday, February 22nd is the birthday of Seven of Nine, aka Jeri Ryan of Voyager, and Wednesday, the 23rd, is the birthday of Majel Barrett Roddenberry, who has been Nurse Chapel, Lieutenant M'Ress, Lwaxana Troi and the voice of various electronic devices among her roles.
Today's Television Listings
Tonight at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, UPN will show a new Star Trek: Enterprise episode, "Affliction". Here's the official synopsis of the episode:
While Enterprise visits Earth for the launch of Columbia, Phlox is kidnapped and forced to help the Klingons deal with a grave threat toward their species.