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Sleeper Agent
Wed, Apr 25, 2018, 11:20am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Chrysalis

The cringe factor in the Do-re-mi and imploding-universe scenes were well over 9000. This one barely makes it to 1 star.
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Timothy Metcalf
Wed, Apr 25, 2018, 11:03am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: In Theory

Regarding Data vs. the Doctor... Thinking back over TNG, i think The Measure of a Man is the only episode that really question's Data's right to existence and rights as an individual. The crew always treat him as an individual as deserving of rights as anyone. Outsiders sometimes question that, but never the people he considers friends. The Doctor, on the other hand, is constantly treated as an appliance. No one on the Enterprise would even consider comparing Data to a replicator like Janeway does the Doctor. The Doctor, unlike Data, has consistent trouble being respected as a unique individual. In part, this is because he's an EMH, and thus one of presumably hundreds of copies of a program. As we see in First Contact, EMH's are a standard feature on the latest generation of Starfleet ships, so it makes total sense that the crew would see him more as an appliance. After all, that's how Starfleet has treated "him." Data, on the other hand, is almost entirely unique. (The out of universe reason, of course, is that conflict within the crew was not allowed under Roddenbury.) While I really appreciate Data's journey towards personhood, I think that Voyager explores the oppression/dismissal of artificial lifeforms much more completely and poignantly with the Doctor.
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Dom
Wed, Apr 25, 2018, 11:00am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Chrome, I saw Sisko's reaction as more akin to an African American today taking issue with mainstream America's glorification of the Founding Fathers and not wanting to go visit Monticello or a Colonial times reenactment came like Jamestown. Sure, it happened a long time ago, but for some people the romanticizing of the past is an issue. Then again, different people are different - I'm sure there are many African Americans who do visit those places and take the history for what it is, good or bad.

I do have to agree with @Peter on Michael. I think the writers WANTED to have that type of culture clash, but just failed. Like in the premiere the idea of shooting on the Klingons first was supposed to show the different approaches of Starfleet and Vulcans, but I just didn't buy it, or at least Michael's version of it. I don't believe actually firing on - as opposed to shooting across the bow of - a Klingon ship would lead to diplomatic relations as opposed to a war. I don't believe for a second your average Vulcan would assault his/her captain and launch a mutiny.
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NoPoet
Wed, Apr 25, 2018, 10:06am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

Haven't seen this episode for a bit. However, to not help a people in need so that another people may (MAY) flourish is wrong and rather monstrous. I'm not sure how it could be defended. So the present status quo is worth less than Phlox's fortune telling?
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SouthofNorth
Wed, Apr 25, 2018, 9:08am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Coda

1 and half stars.

This one felt like it was hurriedly written in one draft with no edits as the writer put down the plot in a stream of consciousness ...

"okay, let's redo 'Cause and Effect', nah ... let's turn it into ... a remake of 'The Tholian Web', yeah that's the ticket ... nah ... that's too obvious ... let's instead make it a redo of 'Tapestry' but this time with an evil alien that wants to take over Janeway's soul ... errr ... no strike that ... life force .... no ... consciousness. Yeah! Oops ... I've just reached my word count limit for the script. Well, that's a wrap. Onto the next script."
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NoPoet
Wed, Apr 25, 2018, 5:56am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Transfigurations

An alien comes aboard who is NOT dodgy, untrustworthy, evil or dangerous. The only other Trek episode I can remember where this scenario happens is Voyager's "Bliss," with the awesome Captain Ahab type who helped Seven and Naomi to escape from the nebula-monster.
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Cody B
Wed, Apr 25, 2018, 2:34am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Family

What a great episode. After the drama of Best of Both Worlds we get this episode that slows everything down and tells us to appreciate the little things. I really liked Worf’s parents. What sweet people. We hear of all the problems and trying times that came with humans trying to raise their Klingon son but they only answer any hardship with unconditional love.
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Cody B
Wed, Apr 25, 2018, 2:27am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Best of Both Worlds, Part II

Sorry to say I found this episode to be quite overrated. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great episode but the way a lot of people were talking about it I was expecting something extraordinary. For those who havn’t seen this episode yet, don’t go into it with the expectations I had. Most likely you will see a fantastic episode, but not your favorite of the series.
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Andrew
Tue, Apr 24, 2018, 10:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Unforgettable

Kellin did look and even act quite a bit like departed/forgotten character Kes, not sure whether that was intentional but it probably was, that doesn't add or detract much.
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Andrew
Tue, Apr 24, 2018, 10:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Unforgettable

The first three-fourths or so were pretty dry and boring, with Chakotay coming off as way too Vulcan-level of reserve (OTOH, ironically, Tuvok making a joke was not great but pretty nice, at least trying), but the ending was quite strong, for as little interest in the relationship before (and as familiar as the type of story was) it was still effective to see Kellin so different and self-critical and not want to get close to Chakotay and for him to have to try to deal with that. It spoke interestingly to how, in general, are identities and actions can really depend on our memories and how without them the effects could be really different.

Yeah, there is considerable hypocrisy in Kellin formerly being a tracer, that felt so unaddressed that it almost felt addressed-that she did feel a lot of conflict about whether she should leave, if doing so was right, but her love for Chakotay overcame her initially wanting to/thinking she had to go back. But there should have been more dealing with possible regret.

Not sure why Janeway didn't have regret about having helped return a "fugitive" although that term implies the other had committed a genuine crime or was somehow actively harming Voyager so wasn't just a refugee.
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SouthofNorth
Tue, Apr 24, 2018, 4:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Fair Trade

3 and 1/2 stars. An excellent episode. And highlights an important principle: good drama involves placing your characters in positions where they have to make a DECISION and it's best if that decision is a difficult one that goes against their beliefs or nature. Episodes like "In the Pale Moonlight" and "City on the Edge of Forever" are great because of the challenges they present for their characters.

On the other hand, an episode in which the only question is "Will Voyager survive?" or "Will Janeway die?" are of limited value if that is the only thing going on. We know that Voyager will not be destroyed and we know that Janeway will not die, so don't waste our time. If that is all you have to say, don't waste our time.

Fast Forward Rating: Let it play and be ready to rewind the closing the scene between Janeway and Neelix.
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Chrome
Tue, Apr 24, 2018, 3:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Peter G.

Michael may well not be a spokesperson for Vulcan ideals as such like Spock, but her being raised on Vulcan and having trouble with human concepts like love was something often brought up in the show. And it was indeed Michael initiating a Vulcan method of relations with the Klingons that brought about the war. So she's definitely not the typical human, or at least she doesn't act as the other human officers on the show do. We can expect that her conflict with human values isn't over and her Vulcan heritage will continue to be a source of friction and diversity on the show.
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Peter G.
Tue, Apr 24, 2018, 2:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@ Chrome,

"Kira definitely had some interesting beliefs that diverged from a typical Federation POV, but by the same token, there's was a stark contrast between Michael's Vulcan values and Federation values, which initiated a huge conflict in the pilot. "

Michael has Vulcan values? That might have actually been interesting. ENT , for example, had a heavy focus on the divergence between (then) Vulcan values and those of humans. I don't particularly see Michael as being a spokeperson for any set of values other than her own. That's fine, but she hardly represents a contrast between one culture and another. She seems more to adrift and to just do whatever she feels like at the time that's expedient. Maybe that could be called "Alternate Universe values", which could also have been interesting if the AU had been used as anything other than a cartoon horror-show. So no, I can't see Michael as being a representative of Vulcans; certainly not how she's portrayed on the show. If she were she'd be making them look pretty bad!
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Chrome
Tue, Apr 24, 2018, 2:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Dom

There's separate issues being discussed here and it doesn't sound like everyone is on the same page. Wolfstar started his comment by talking about whites and homosexuals, so it sounded to me like the conversation was about diversity of the actors, rather than the alien diversity of the characters within the show.

Kira definitely had some interesting beliefs that diverged from a typical Federation POV, but by the same token, there's was a stark contrast between Michael's Vulcan values and Federation values, which initiated a huge conflict in the pilot.

--------

I've talked about "Badda Bing, Badda Bang" ad nauseum over in that comment section, and I'm glad it struct a chord with you. Jammer's review was less favorable and I think there's a sizable portion in that section (myself included) who think Sisko was acting out of character. If Trek is supposed to be post-racial tension on Earth, as even DS9 had told us in "Past Tense", it seems weird that Sisko would have a chip on his shoulder about something that happened 400 years prior on Earth. As a commenter from that section put it, it would be like a Protestant Christian today refusing to attend a Renaissance Faire because it was set in England during a time when Queen Mary was executing non-Catholics.

Anyway, the whole scene doesn't seem very well thought out in terms of integrating a serious discussion about racism in a comedy episode, but that might be due to Brooks requesting the scene be added after the script was written.
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SouthofNorth
Tue, Apr 24, 2018, 1:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Alter Ego

If Neelix is Voyager's Jar-Jar Binks, then Harry is Voyager's Wesley Crusher. The 3/4ths of this episode was darn-near unwatchable. Do the writers understand nothing about these characters? We've already seen that Kim has a hot girlfriend back on Earth that he's living with, so why is he acting like a 14-year boy who just fell in love for the first time? It was all sophomoric and completely insulting.

The last five minutes of the episode were very nice and almost redeemed the nonsense the preceded it.

Rating: 2 stars
Fast Forward Rating: Fast foward through the first 40 minutes and then enjoy the last five.
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Dom
Tue, Apr 24, 2018, 12:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Chrome, I'm sorry my analysis doesn't meet your high standards, lol

I didn't say the DSC characters were just tokens (other posters might have), but rather that their diversity feels superficial at this point. As I said above, it's for the most part diversity in gender, race, and sexual orientation rather than diversity in worldview and cultures. There's still time for the show to improve, but even in Season 1 DS9 was airing episodes in which Kira's beliefs clearly went against Federation values.

Yes, I mentioned one example of Sisko invoking his African American heritage. There are others on the show, from the African artwork he keeps in his office to FBtS. However, as much as I like FBtS, it is pretty uncontroversial and frankly a bit pedantic as far as stories exploring racism. Even in the 90s, I suspect most people watching Trek would have condemned systemic racism, sympathized with Benny, and been shocked by the extent of police brutality. It's a great hour of television, but it doesn't tell me anything I didn't know about racism or diversity even when I first saw it in the 1990s. It's a very comfortable critique of racism in our "distant" past. (then again, with the rise of Trump, maybe a significant number of Americans think that's how things should be)

I referenced “Badda Bing, Badda Bang" for a reason. Even though it's not a focus of the episode, Sisko's reaction to the racial politics of late 50s/early 60s Vegas is more challenging for modern audiences. The critique isn't just "cops beating up innocent black people is bad" (a la FBtS). Rather, it pushes people to question if we can ever separate our understanding of the past - and pop culture made in the past - without thinking about race. The casino holodeck program itself didn't appear to have any overt racial/racist elements. To many (white) viewers probably seemed like a fairly standard and innocent - if glorified - depiction of Vegas. Sisko's reminder of the racial dynamics is much more uncomfortable because many viewers had watched and enjoyed movies from that era like Oceans 11 without thinking about how they (sometimes deliberately) ignore race. Sisko's beliefs and heritage made him see the situation in a completely different light. I'm sure the episode could have done more with that idea, but I actually think it's all the more effective as a short intrusion into an otherwise lighthearted episode.
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Del_Duio
Tue, Apr 24, 2018, 10:24am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Spirit Folk

@James04:

What did you think of the Chaotica holodeck episodes?
That sounds like it'd be right up your alley.
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Stephen
Tue, Apr 24, 2018, 8:24am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Fair Trade

"You've been on this ship for two years. I think by now you'd have learned that the first duty of any Starfleet officer is the truth. You violated that duty, Neelix—and there will be consequences."

Although Neelix isn't a Starfleet officer and Janeway herself has said that she can't expect Starfleet behavior from people who never went to the academy. ("Learning Curve")
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TB
Tue, Apr 24, 2018, 8:03am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Despite Yourself

I was very surprised by Culber's death. Even though the Discovery producers have made it clear they're not afraid to kill off main characters this was tasha yar level senseless. It's a shame, he was the most likeable of the main crew and we hardly got any exploration of his character.

This is my first post on Discovery but I am thoroughly enjoying it so far. With a few obvious issues that Jammer's mentioned here and in previous reviews:
- The spore drive is stupid (I've no issue with point to point travel, but this set up is way too far fetched)
- Continuity

It's a shame they didn't set it after Voyager, it would have given them a lot more freedom and they don't even make any use of TOS era stuff anyway so I don't see the point in the self-imposed restriction from the time period.
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Yanks
Tue, Apr 24, 2018, 6:35am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Nothing Human

Eskimo,

Perspective? How does a dead person view perspective?

Essssh....

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Dan Bolger
Tue, Apr 24, 2018, 5:19am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Gamesters of Triskelion

An absolute load of old nonsense. Possibly the worst season 2 episode. Nuff said.
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wolfstar
Tue, Apr 24, 2018, 4:37am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Spirit Folk

Star Trek isn't just sci-fi though, that's its strength - it can be (and has been) a morality play, courtroom drama, screwball comedy, psychological horror, study of religion, murder mystery, comedy of manners, naval thriller, study of loss etc. Star Trek is a conceptual category, not a genre - you can take any genre of narrative and do it in the Trek universe. Something that Discovery, the JJ Abrams films and to a certain extent Enterprise all forgot/failed to realise. Certainly the films reduce Trek to "space adventure", which was never Trek's USP.

This episode sucks though.
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Ari Paul
Tue, Apr 24, 2018, 2:25am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

DS9 is such a great show. Nana Visitor as Kira is the best part--she holds it all together. It should have been bigger than TNG culturally, but it wan't... Wanna know why??

Because of all the ugly aliens as lead characters. It's a truism that TV audiences only want to watch good looking people. Even though the most compelling characters on DS9 are so rich and vibrant and wonderful, they're mostly ugly aliens (Quark, Odo, Garak, Worf, Nog, Rom).

Ugly people suck...
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Ari Paul
Tue, Apr 24, 2018, 2:17am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Skin of Evil

I'm rooting for Armus.
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Ari Paul
Tue, Apr 24, 2018, 2:13am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Face of the Enemy

Solid episode. The only little thing that bothered me was that the actor who played the defector had saggy man-boobs that showed through the sweater. man-boobs kinda bother me.

other than that, it was great!
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