Why Don’t You Come Out to the Delta Quadrant Sometime and See Me?

26 Sep

I’m always creepin’ ’round teh internetz looking for blogathons to join because, say it with me now, my blog is super lame.  Well, I was looking the other day, and came across one that seemed kind of promising, but then I couldn’t think of anything to write about because I was only half interested in the subject; however, it did lead me to a link to a different blogathon that held a tad more interest for me.  I started researching a little and realized I COULD POTENTIALLY WRITE ABOUT CLASSIC MOVIES AND/OR CAPTAIN JANEWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Word.

So, without further ado, below looms my entry for Angela and her HollywoodRevue’s Paramount Centennial Blogathon.

Here’s my train of thought (disclaimer:  history filtered through my brain):

Movie studios faced some tough times during the Depression.  They had all this sound they didn’t exactly know what to do with yet.  They had all these actors who were kinda broad and weird from silent movies.  They didn’t have a strict production code to keep them from a million extraneous scenes of Marlene Dietrich swimming naked in ponds or Barbara Stanwyck taking off her stockings.  And they were having trouble getting an audience because everybody was super poor.

So, in the early ’30s, Paramount looked to Broadway, found a gal with a hit show, and gave her a movie deal.  That movie?  She Done Him Wrong.  That gal?  Mae West.

Subsequently, Paramount’s financial troubles lessened.

Fast forward 60 years.

Everybody’s losing business to HBO and the like–the movie studios, the big 3 networks, your mom, everybody.  Paramount’s wanted to start up its own TV station for a long time, and finally, it’s the ’90s and Girl Power, and they decide to get the show on the road with UPN, starting this new network with a Star Trek with a lady captain. That Star Trek show?  Star Trek: Voyager.  That captain?  Captain Kathryn Janeway.

Subsequently, Paramount had its own TV network that did ok and also produced Moesha.

Now, one might not think it readily, but these two ladies–Mae West and Captain Janeway–have a little more in common than just being ladies of unmitigated sass who anchored Paramount at different times.  I know I didn’t think of it too readily, but then I really wanted to shoehorn both of them into the same post so I could fangirl about Janeway amid many glamorous pictures of both of them.

Now before you scoff too loud, I’ll concede that their dissimilarities abound.  I mean, Mae West is a blonde, and Janeway’s a redhead, after all.  Also, Mae West is a big sex symbol whereas Janeway is nobly celibate.  And, of course, Mae West hardly ever captains starships.

But, any doofus can look at both of them and see they’re not the same person.  So let’s squint a little bit harder and look at their top 5 similarities:

Honorable Mention:  Wooden Leading Men

How Mae Rocks It:  Mae West was pretty unconcerned about whether her leading men could say lines with any inflection; she was more concerned with attractiveness and picked the hunkiest hunks she could find to play opposite her seductress persona.

Before you say “But Cary Grant was a really good actor!” watch him in She Done Him Wrong, I’m No Angel, and Blonde Venus. He comes off as a slightly smarmy 2×4.

How Janeway Rocks It:  Chakotay’s so cute and sweet (he built her a bathtub!), but sometimes he’s boring and stilted.  Even Tom Paris, who’s supposed to be rather fly (ay oh!) can be lame.  But almost anybody looks lame next to Kate Mulgrew’s shenanigans.

Case in point: What even is this pose?

#5 The ’90s

How Mae Rocks It:  A good percentage of her movies take place during the 1890s, giving her ample opportunity for the most bizarre and gorgeous costumes.

Is that Arachnia, Queen of the Spider People?! Oh, false alarm, it’s Mae West in costume for an Asian (read: kinda racist) musical number in Klondike Annie.

How Janeway Rocks It:  While Janeway doesn’t actually travel back to the 1990s from the 24th century very often, evidence of Voyager’s ’90s-ness is almost painfully apparent at times.  As Grace would say, it’s like a fanny pack made into a show.

Wait? This show was made in the ’90s? I never would’ve guessed because those outfits are not ’90s at all!

#4 Experienced Ladies of a Certain Age

How Mae Rocks It:  Mae’s movies are all about how she can teach a young man a thing or two because she’s the sexiest lady in town, even at the age of mumble mumble.

How Janeway Rocks It:  It takes a few years to obtain a captaincy in Starfleet.  Also, Janeway had been a science officer before she was captain, and her healthy love of exploring and the way she works through problems with her bare hands show she’s got chops, even at the age of mumble mumble.

#3 Shameless Flirts

How Mae Rocks It:  Not sure I need any explanation here.  She remains queen of the double-entendre to this day.

How Janeway Rocks It:  She’s all up in everybody’s grill, she can’t keep her hands to herself, and she totally pretends to be a hooker once to get some people out of an alien jail.  She also SO ABLY uses her feminine wiles to save her ship when this alien thinks he can seduce Janeway into doing what he wants, but little does he know: No one can out-seduce Janeway.

She also makes this face when she goes in for a hypospray.

#2 Hands on Hips

Both ladies love their silly, sassy poses.  Maybe it’s because they’re both stage actresses, or maybe it’s because they’re both too sassy for their own good, or maybe it’s because they’re both weight-flux girls who learned how to stand to look good during their chubby periods.

Regardless, I’ve made an infographic for this one, and I’d also like to direct you to check out this video.

 #1 Distinctive Voices

How Mae Rocks It:  Even if a person has never seen a Mae West movie, he or she knows the “come up and see me sometime” line and has some vague idea of the cadence and intonation with which it should be said.  Although I’ll admit, sometimes my Mae West impression turns into Howard Cossell.

How Janeway Rocks It:  Sometimes Janeway sounds as if she’s still half drunk from last night on the holodeck and she smoked a half dozen cigarettes before shift.  Sometimes she sounds crisp and commanding but still the cigarette thing.  Sometimes she whispers during a fight (see the altercation between her and Seven of Nine in “Hope and Fear”).  But it’s all so totally recognizable.

And I’ll admit, sometimes my Janeway impression turns into Mae West.

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12 Responses to “Why Don’t You Come Out to the Delta Quadrant Sometime and See Me?”

  1. Angela 27 September 2012 at 12:25 AM #

    I love this! Such a clever way to connect some of Paramount’s 1930s movies to one of Paramount’s television shows from the 1990s. I can’t say that I ever saw the connection between these two ladies before, but it’s definitely something I’ll have in my head from now on. Thank you so much for participating in the blogathon!

    • TheBestofAlexandra 27 September 2012 at 9:11 PM #

      Thanks! And thanks for hosting! I look forward to other blogathons…

  2. Rich 27 September 2012 at 1:50 PM #

    From one Trekkie to another, I admire your creative choice in linking two such prominent women! When Voyager first began, I distinctly remember thinking that Mulgrew and Jennifer Lien should switch voices. I’ve grown to appreciate Janeway’s voice, but I always preferred that of Kes, myself.

    • TheBestofAlexandra 27 September 2012 at 9:16 PM #

      Thanks! Also, I’m picking up what you’re putting down: Kes’s voice is pretty amazing/sultry.
      A tenuously related anecdote: My church does a Christmas cantata every year, and last year the lady on the recording doing the narration sounded very Mulgrew-ish. I alluded to this when I asked my choir director whether he’d like me to emulate the Janeway-ness when I did the narration for our performance. He did not find the humor in it, but the piano player snickered.

  3. lassothemovies 27 September 2012 at 7:01 PM #

    I have never seen anything Star Trek, but I found your post to be downright hysterical. I especially enjoyed the hands on hips pictures. Thanks for a wonderful and thought provoking post.

    • TheBestofAlexandra 27 September 2012 at 9:18 PM #

      I’m glad you enjoyed it, and I’m especially glad that infographic went over well, because more than half of the time I was working on this, I was actually accidentally getting distracted while finding pictures for that. 🙂

  4. Le 27 September 2012 at 9:49 PM #

    Wow, this was amzing and very interesting! I don’t usually compare classic film actors / characters with modern one, but this one was a great idea. I loved all the pictures of hands on hips. I do this sitting, too.
    Don’t forget to read my contribution to the blogathon! 🙂
    Greetings!
    Le (Critica Retro)

    • TheBestofAlexandra 3 October 2012 at 5:11 PM #

      Thanks, Le. And very subtle plug… 😉 I’ll be sure to check it out!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Paramount Centennial Blogathon: Day 1 | The Hollywood Revue - 27 September 2012

    […] What do Mae West and Captain Kathryn Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager have in common?  Alexandra from The Best of Alexandra sees five similarities between these two ladies. […]

  2. Cryptoquote Spoiler – 10/28/12 « Unclerave's Wordy Weblog - 28 October 2012

    […] Why Don’t You Come Out to the Delta Quadrant Sometime and See Me? (thebestofalexandra.wordpress.com) […]

  3. Commander Chakotay « Earthpages.ca - 17 November 2012

    […] Why Don’t You Come Out to the Delta Quadrant Sometime and See Me? (thebestofalexandra.wordpress.com) […]

  4. Why Fans of Classic Movies Should Like Star Trek: Voyager | I Started Late and Forgot the Dog. - 11 May 2013

    […] aired on regular old TV instead of HBO and because we have a lady captain who is so stagy and sassy, we get cleanness, and a little bit of sassy dirtiness once in a […]

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