An epiphany in the midst of all this STAR TREK hate I have and lemmings insisting it's the greatest thing since Jesus did the Sermon on the Mount...
actually, it's more related to the popularity of the work of J.J. Abrams, whose work I've been less and less enamored with as it grows to public popularity. I think the key to that popularity is down to one word: DOUCHEBAG.
Abram's first major work is the screenplay for TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS, an alleged comedy with Jim Belushi as a douchebag who steals the Filofax of another douchebag played by Charles Grodin, and assumes his identity. Hijinks abound.
His next script is for a Mike Nichols film starring Harrison Ford (!) called REGARDING HENRY. The story of a major douchebag who gets shot in the head and learns not to be a douchebag anymore -- it sucked. Badly.
FOREVER YOUNG - Mel Gibson as a douchebag who participates in an experiment and is frozen until he's unfrozen by a couple of kids; GONE FISHIN', another alleged comedy with Joe Pesci and Danny Glover (hot off the LETHAL WEAPON films) as two douchebag friends from the city who take a fishing trip.
This culminates into being co-writer for ARMAGEDDON, where the entire world is saved by douchebag Bruce Willis and his douchebag crew of roughnecks.
Then Abrams jumps to television. He creates FELICITY, about a female douchebag who gradually learns she's not entitled to anything, with a whole bevy of douchebag friends; and ALIAS, a riff off of the spy craze of the 60's where master spy Jennifer Garner learns that instead of being a U.S. spy, she's a spy for a douchebag agency, and she learns that her family, friends and co-workers are douchebags fighting other douchebags - that fucks with her head! Monster success for both shows, which leads to his touch with LOST, a show full of douchebags attempting to find out... well, who knows what. With LOST, not only are the characters all douchebags, the show itself does douchy things to its audience, who of course, just LOVE it.
Abrams works with master douchebag Tom Cruise on MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 3 and not even the presence of Philip Seymour Hoffman can overcome the douchiness; the new show FRINGE is basically X-FILES with douchebags... and now Abrams brings the douchy touch to STAR TREK, where almost everyone is a douchebag - even Old Spock.
In the midst of all this douchiness, WHY does it work is the question? Why is it so popular?
Because the audience is mainly douchebags. Sad to say.