Monday, January 15, 2018

Jennifer Lien: What Happened?

Jennifer Lien

I was just listening to one of the most recent Trek About Podcast. They were discussing the departure of Kes (Jennifer Lien). What is sad about her departure is that she clearly enjoyed playing the character of Kes.
From Memory Alpha, ((In A Vision of the Future - Star Trek: VoyagerStephen Edward Poe states that in 1997, when producers were ironing out the details of the introduction of Seven of Nine, they had already lined up Garrett Wang (Harry Kim) to take the bullet and leave in order to free up enough budget for a new main actor. Then that year, Wang was chosen by People Magazine as one of the "50 Most Beautiful People in the World." Suddenly Wang was in, and Lien was out. ))

This was the story that saved Wang's role on the show.
As the Trek About guys have said, she was basically fired for not “being sexy enough”. Wang gave UPN and producers some much-needed press, and the studio wanted a “sexy” show for UPN. Wang and Ryan provided that for them. Wang was almost out the door by the end of the third season. Many of the producers didn't like some of the stories about him that came out about his night-life. He was also vocal about some of the writing.
Lien's departure (IE firing) created a rift between the writing staff and some of the cast members because they were a close cast up to that point. When Jeri Ryan was brought in, it created a major feud between Kate Mulgrew and Ryan. I believe the family atmosphere between the cast was ruined at that point.
From Memory Alpha, ((Following the production of the first four Season 4 installments, Mulgrew commented that the loss of Lien "was a great sorrow to me on many levels, foremost among them being the fracturing of an ensemble cast that was extremely special to me." Moments later, Mulgrew remarked, "At the moment, it's hurtful and difficult to adjust to. I cared a lot about Jennifer, and I think everybody else did too, and as clich├ęd as it may sound, we were very much like a family. So the loss of that girl has been heartfelt, keenly felt, by all of us [....] This is a sorrow for me [....] Her loss shook me up. It really shook me up." ))
Good or bad, Lien's departure was a turning point for the show. While the writing got better, I did stop watching the show toward the end of season 6, the show became less fun for the cast to work on set. Because 7 of 9 worked, the show didn't bother to grow further as TNG and DS9 did. You got boobs on the screen, don't change it. Some of the members today still have bad memories of the feud between Kate and Jeri.
Plus, it didn't help matters that the lead producer (Braga) of the show was banging Seven of Nine behind the scenes. (Trust me, I hate Braga.)
Lien would go on to show up in some movies and even had a role on the Men in Black cartoon series. I remember hearing her low distinct voice. She would be on that show for three seasons and depart there too. (What is with her and being on a show for three seasons?)
Things did not go well for her after her American History X appearance. She moved to Tennessee and sort of disappeared. She ended up getting arrested three times. I reported on one of her arrests, but I had no idea she had two others. One of them happened recently as of 2015.
Her last arrest and report were nuts.
From Variety, ((A neighbor of Lien’s made a complaint to police after Lien began a tirade due to a crying child, and during her tirade, exposed her breasts and buttocks. The neighbor stated that she had three children in the yard while this was happening. ))
She then proceeded to threaten the police officers with harm (and death). After her first arrest, I was hoping she was going to mellow out. At a certain point, she became more known for her arrests than her acting. She would also get arrested two more times for DUI's in two different places as of 2016-17).

I believe something snapped after she was let go of VOY. When something defines you for so long, it has an impact on your mind. You tend to lose it a bit. I had to go through something similar. It kind of breaks you and you wonder if you were good enough.
What would have happened if she would have stayed on VOY? I do believe the show would have been more pleasant experience for the crew and cast instead of the problems it had between (4-7)

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