While in Boston my friend Mike extolled the qualities of the Star Trek show Deep Space 9, and offered to lend me all seven seasons on DVD if I were interested. Sufficiently moved by his opinion, I brought the collection back to New York, and have already watched the first five episodes or so.

And… it’s fun. First seasons are always a little rough; actors are still growing comfortable with their characters, plots are a little hyped up and dramatic to draw crowds and ensure future seasons wherein characters can be developed, and as such I’m feeling very lenient and patient with the show. Not that it requires much forgiveness; the characters are fun, the dynamic interesting, and there’s plenty of potential for it to continue to develop along intriguing lines.

However, it’s no Firefly. The acting is at times hilariously over the top or outright hammy, and the actual backdrop and setting never convinces me that I’m watching events unfold within a space station. I think it’s the lighting–everything is plainly lit and robbed of nuance. As such I’m always aware of watching a show unfold, entertained to be sure, but never subsumed as I was with Joss Whedon’s production.

Also, a key difference is that while the characters on Firefly seemed fully fleshed out and complex from the get go, with richly developed back stories I was waiting expectantly to be revealed, the characters on Deep Space 9 seem relatively shallow but ripe for further complexity down the road. It’s as if their histories are blank, or sketched in but quickly, with the hope that they’ll be imbued with complexity at a later date.

But still! It’s fun, and I like Star Trek with all its tropes and conventions, and Lieutenant Dax is stunningly beautiful and Quork the Ferengi bartender and black market criminal is great. I think Quork (Quark?) is my favorite thus far.