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Robert
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 2:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

Interesting analogy. I've been called sexist for disliking Janeway (I actually LOVE early Janeway, but strongly dislike where they took the character) and have never understood the sexism charge (especially since Kira is my favorite Trek character and Jadzia/B'Elanna rank so highly on my list). But maybe it's just because there's only one Captain jellybean and if I don't like the way it tastes it implies more than it's worth.
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Quarkissnyder
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 1:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Favor the Bold

This was another very good episode. The Quark stuff was the best. So many episodes pull him back into comic relief, but his character is so much more than that.

Quibbles: I find it unbelievable that the holding cell wasn't bugged.

What bothered me about Leeta's whining was not so much the whining itself, although that was bad. It was that it showed that Rom has grown beyond her. He is fighting for the greater good. She can't see that far.

I did not feel that Sisko's speech about Bajor was earned. He hasn't spent that much time there. When he is there he is worshipped as the Emissary, which is not a fun way to live. Also, his description about how beautiful it is -- it's a whole planet. I assume it has pretty nature in some places, as he described. Don't most planets?

Getting the message to Sisko seemed too easy. Why can Morn get to a place where he can carry a message? If he can do it, why can't others?

The interplay between Weyoun and the female founder was great: "Of course you didn't. You are what you are." Weyoun's simultaneous acceptance and resentment of that statement was perfect.

The female founder's comment to Odo that only solids need to worry about meetings made no sense. You don't get to control one quadrant and wage a winning war against another without going to meetings.

With respect to Kira beating up Demar: I guess I can kind of see it as she had the element of surprise. But it's still highly unlikely.
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tara
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 12:29pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

Okay, it's all good. I appreciate the conversation.

Del-Duio, my mother and I argued about Jellico when we saw the episode together in reruns. I liked him from moment one and thought he was a strong, take-charge guy perfectly within his rights, and that Riker/crew needed to quit whining and obey and do their jobs. My mother thought he was a bad leader for throwing the crew into chaos and putting everyone on edge. It's an interesting debate. Shelby was the same kind of character: you could make a case for admiring her or criticizing her.

***

Observation:

Since there are so few feisty female leaders in TV/movies - and those that exist sometimes get shot down for sexist reasons (too ambitious! not pretty enough! sleeps around!) - I'm always inclined to defend the few we have.

When you talk about a male character, it's like describing a jellybean that you ate from a massive barrel of hundreds of thousands of Male Character Jellybeans that come in every color and flavor. If you say "I hate that bitter-lemon kind with the pink dots and the bumpy exterior", it's understood that you're not condemning the whole barrel.

But over in the Jellybean Barrel of Female Characters, there's like, three hundred jellybeans - and two hundred ninety seven of them are Sweet Vanilla Flavor. So if you criticize the rare Hot Cinnamon or Bitter Chocolate or Stinging Citrus, it always sounds like you're saying, 'Ugh, I can't stand a female who isn't Sweet Vanilla.'

As the jellybean barrel of female characters gets more flavors in it - which it is, slowly - this problem shrinks away.

Same, incidentally, for female politicians. The more there are, the more they can be and will be judged/treated/insulted/accepted on the same basis as the rest of the good and bad apples, and the less they'll be propped up or torn down for sex-based reasons.

We can hope.
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Robert
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 11:16am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

To prove your point picking through a random season's important guest stars though....

Season 2
1. The titular child is a boy
2. Nagilum presents as male to me, though gender is probably irrelevant
3. Moriarty
4. Okona
5. Riva
6. Ira Graves (like you, I'm not going to count his assistant as a shining example of a female guest star)
7. Many guest stars, but Riker's main Klingon adversary and the Benzite are male
8. JAG Louvois - I, like Chrome, would count her. She presents as an equal to Picard. And the "villian" of the piece is a male cybernetics expert.

But that means it took me 8 episodes to find ONE decent female guest star. And in that same time I arguable found 8 or 9 males ones.

Us saying - "Hey, you missed one we liked!" is hardly an attempt to disprove your overall point. And the fact is that you were talking about your experiences and who you related to. You may not have related to Louvois... and that's totally fine. Some people were just chiming in with their own experiences/impressions.
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Robert
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 11:02am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

@Tara - I actually don't think anybody is disagreeing, but I'm not sure they nit-picking either. Me saying "What about Shelby?" isn't quite the same as saying "What about that female Klingon that Riker serves with." Shelby is, to me, top 5 in like "all of Star Trek" for single episode guest stars as far as memorability goes. She made her mark. That's all! I think other people are just offering up some of their own favorites to spark discussion. I don't think anybody is disagreeing with your post though.

And you did answer the Shelby question, which I missed. You are correct that she isn't the focus of the episode... more like the second half of the B plot (the A plot being the Borg of course and the B plot being Riker's career). I actually didn't see her as an Ambitious/Castrating Bitch... her qualities are quite similar to what we know of young Riker/Picard. People who want to be in the top of Starfleet are ambitious. The fact that sometimes what comes off on men as assertive comes off on women as "bossy" is ridiculous, and I always felt that Riker taking her that way and Picard setting him straight was actually really feminist and really positive.

PICARD: Good. You've covered all the bases. What's your impression of Shelby?
RIKER: She knows her stuff.
PICARD: She has your full confidence?
RIKER: Well, I think she needs supervision. She takes the initiative a little too easily. Sometimes with risks.
PICARD: Sounds a little like a young lieutenant commander I once recruited as a first officer.

...

RIKER: The Captain says Shelby reminds him of the way I used to be. And he's right. She comes in here full of drive and ambition. Impatient, taking risks. I look at her and I wonder whatever happened to those things in me? I liked those things about me. I've lost something.
TROI: You mean you're older, more experienced. A little more seasoned.
RIKER: Seasoned. That's a horrible thing to say to a man.

...

RIKER: And you have a lot to learn, Commander.
SHELBY: Yes, sir.
RIKER: Almost as much as I had to learn when I came aboard as Captain Picard's first officer. A fact he reminded me of when I commented on what a pain in the neck you are.

As somebody that hates the whole "women are bossy/men are leaders" thing... I just always loved the way Riker comes around to her. But back to your point... Shelby was there to a) provide Borg exposition and b) serve Riker's career story. So while I personally found her an awesome kickass female XO... she was not the focus of a story on her own. She's there to teach Riker a lesson. You are right.

Ro, on the other hand, is her own story entirely. And in a lot of ways Vash is too (despite the romantic pairing with the Captain). Although since you mentioned the female pilots from First Duty I will say that Sito Jaxa, who ends up in Lower Decks, is also an awesome female character IMHO. Shame they often needed to make women alien to make them really strong (Kira/Ro/Sito/Dax/K'Ehleyr).
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Jason R.
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 10:34am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

Sorry just to clarify the 50/50 ratio was at a single convention.
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Jason R.
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 10:28am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

Tara I was actually looking through Google to see if I could locate a stat detailing the ratio of male to female Trek fans and I had alot of trouble finding one. One article did mention a 50/50 ratio a while back, which I find amazing.
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Chrome
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 9:56am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

@Peter G.

In that sense, it's a shame Denise Crosby didn't stay around past the first season. If viewers can look back at the early seasons of TNG and pass over Yar, it looks like an important role the producers intended to include is lacking.
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Peter G.
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 9:44am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

More to the point about whether there are other good female guest stars, it's pretty clear to me that Vash stands apart from the others if for no other reason that she can stand up to Picard as an equal, which practically no other person in the entire series can claim to do. She not only stars in an adventure episode, but in a capacity where she's the one calling the shots. Her not being in Starfleet emphasizes this all the more, since she also stands out as not having to conform to Federation law (something restricting the comportment of most other guest stars).

For me, personally, when inspecting how good a role is for an actress, I tend to think of it in terms of how much there is to chew on in the role. Vash was definitely a prime vehicle for an actress, and on these grounds I would put Lal in this group, as that was an excellent role to portray (whether or not she 'counts' as a child). But yeah, there aren't too many roles like this in TNG, where a guest actress gets to play a kick-ass part that's central to the episode.
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William B
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 9:43am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

I'm sorry to have obscured your point.
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William B
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 9:30am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

@Tara, I was worried I would come across as nitpicking and point-missing. I tried to indicate that I agree with you overall on the dearth of female guest stars. I also missed that you said that you weren't including children -- which is obviously my fault. I *agree* with the point of your post, and I should have said that. I am normally worrier, obviously, but am on my tablet and took some shortcuts. I just thought, having missed your statement that you weren't including children, that Lal was a major character -- as much so as, for example, The Dauphin, or Janice Manheim. I agree that she doesn't model an independent woman, and that she doesn't fit with Vash, K'Ehleyr and Ro. Unlike The Dauphin and Janice, say, I think she's a great character -- so I wanted to bring her up, to "defend" Lal herself as a character of value, even if her value is very different than that of Vash, K'Ehleyr and Ro. I shouldn't have butted in though and I agree wholeheartedly with your point.
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Chrome
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 9:28am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

Tara, I'm not disagreeing with your point, I'm just suggesting that you left out one of the best characters of the first season. And no, a Judge Advocate General is not comparable to a holo-bimbo.
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Del_Duio
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 9:27am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

I had the same reaction to Shelby as I did to Capt. Jelico in Chain of Command:

You hate them at first because they bust in a disrupt the nice little thing TNG has going on, but in the end you see them as not be quite so bad and learn to appreciate them.
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tara
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 9:22am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

okay, Chrome? Guys?

Once again: this is nitpicking. "What about Minuet? What about that female Klingon that Riker serves with,the one who's sexually aggressive? What about those female cadets who fly alongside Wesley in "First Duty"?

If you still don't want to understand my POV, I suspect it's deliberate. If you still don't understand why I loved Captain's Holiday, I'm gonna let it lie. No biggie. I just thought I'd open a few eyes to another perspective... one that's otherwise lacking on this site.

Best wishes.
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Robert
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 9:18am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

I would agree with most of the posts on this topic. The dearth of female action stars is notable for sure. But I'd also call for the inclusion of Shelby. She felt like a proto-Ro/Kira sort of character. They made much of her being a female Riker. I often wonder what would have happened had they left Riker's promotion and given him a big send-off with his own ship in 4x03 (leaving their fates up in the air during "Family") and left Shelby as Picard's XO.

As much as I like Riker, the thought is appealing.
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tara
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 9:17am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

To clarify - in making my list, i only glanced through the episodes as far as "Captain's Holiday". I can't remember when Shelby came into the picture - as I remember it was later than that. Maybe BOBW?

I didn't think of Guinan because she never had an episode of her own in those first two and half seasons. I liked her and Shelby both.

With Shelby I got the feeling we were supposed to dislike her as either a Ambitious/Castrating Bitch (like Nurse Ratchet or Cersei) or an Obnoxious Female Know-It-All, (like early Hermione Granger and Margaret from Dennis the Menace). Those are both common tropes in which the uppity female is portrayed unsympathetically for her crime of seeking to get ahead of males. Usually she's hated both in-universe and out, and is set up to be defeated, humiliated, or softened into submissive niceness and sidekickery by the end.

But the real reason Shelby didn't satisfy me the way Kehylar, Vash and Ro did is that the latter three carried their episodes: their shows were entirely about their characters, just like the Q shows, Lore shows, Too Short a Season, Outrageous Okona, The Hunted,, etc. Shelby was a great guest but the episode wasn't about her, as I remember.

As for the audience - I don't know that you're right that it was twenty-to-one male. The hardcore crowd, yes: the kind who collect figurines and, heh, post on sites like this. But I can tell you that my mom watched it in reruns for years right along with "law and order" and the British comedies and MASH. All my female college friends watched it enough to know the characters and have animated discussions about the relative merits of Riker vs Picard or Beverley vs Pulaski. We weren't obsessed; we didn't make a point of catching every episode; but we knew it and we liked it.

In fact, the first day I found myself dissecting a human cadaver, I found myself in a heated discussion about the uselessness of Tasha Yar.... with my two female dissection partners whom I'd met just a few days before. Good memories.

Thanks for the discussion. I'm certainly glad times have changed... at least a little, and at least on TV.
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Chrome
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 9:09am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

You can't talk about season 1's female guest stars and not mention Captain Phillipa Louvois, the JAG who oversaw the hearing in "The Measure of a Man". She has to be one of the best-written female guest stars in the franchise.
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Jason R.
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 6:09am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

Tara, I'm surprised you forgot about Guinan. But then again she wasn't exactly a doer either - more a listener and dispenser of invaluable wisdom.

Shelby was also a pretty big omission given her centrality to what was likely the high point of all Trek.

But you'll get no argument from me in this department - the men definitely have the more action heavy, adventurous roles in Trek. Calling those roles "interesting", mind you, is a subjective judgement, but one I agree with generally.

If I may offer a partial defence on that latter point - Trek for most of its history and certainly in the STNG days, was basically a male interest. Not exclusively, but mostly. What do you suppose the ratio of male to female is on this board?

That being the case, there is a certain logic to emphasizing male characters for a male audience. If we were to take the number of "interesting" characters on STNG (Shelby, Yar, Garrett, Ro, Vash, Guinan) compared to the number of interesting male characters, would 20:1 be fair? Now how many male Trek fans do you suppose there were in 1987 relative to female fans? I'll make a supposition: that the ratio on the show gave female fans far more selection than their representation in the audience would have.

My supposition also assumes that 100% of the female audience identified with the Vash or Shelby archetypes, and not the Crusher or Troy ones. And for that matter, I also am assuming that 100% wanted to see themselves in the role the way you describe.

Anyway I think you're going to get your wish. Disney has clearly awakaned to the potential of a large female scifi audience and has clearly chosen to market its Star Wars property heavily to girls. They seem to be doing so with quite a powerful will. If that succeeds, others will definitely follow.





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Tanner
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 5:24am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Behind the Lines

I was hoping that Odo would kill the female Founder and assume her form, so he could give orders to the Vorta. But , nope.

I like how the PADDs can't seem to hold more than one document or file at time. Gotta hand over thee PADDs? Even in 1997 a tablet/iPad was just a technical dream.

I guess no FX budget to see Dax and the Defiant successfully destroying the Dominio spying array. Too bad.
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Tanner
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 5:08am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Sons and Daughters

If Dukat is now the leader of Cardassia, why is he living on DS9/Terok Nor? Shouldn't he be ON Cardassia?

Why would Alexander be such a physically small Klingon? Worf is certainly a large Klingon, and his mother K'Ehleyr was a tall human/Klingon hybrid.

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tara
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 3:15am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

william b,

You're right that I did miss Lal. I forgot about her. But I also said that i was crossing off all the children.

Children aren't independent actors. Lal wasn't independent. She made no decisions for herself. She existed to follow Data around, adore him, emote, die and tug at our heartstrings. It was Data who made all the decisions - to create her, to let her go.

You're also right that I left off Yar and Garrett. I explained that too. I left off the guests who were part of ensemble casts.

I left off Yar's love interest, and Yuta, and everyone on Yuta's planet, every Klingon, every Ferengi, the Home Soil scientists, etc. I really didn't want the job of combing through ensemble casts and deciding who gets included and who doesn't. Way too boring.


But your comments miss my main point by a mile, in favor of nitpicking. I certainly did not set out to make an exhaustive list of every female and male guest star. I set out to show people - those of you who care to think about it - why Captain's Holiday is so important to me. (Clearly, no one else feels like I do - some love it, some hate it, but everyone who loves it calls it "a light romp." whereas to me it was way way better than that.)


I've liked your comments many times in the past, so I'm going to assume your comments stem from missing my point innocently, and that you're not deliberately picking a nit because you're defensive about TNG's sexism. So, in good faith, here's the short version of my first post.

tl:dr:

Growing up, I was strong and adventurous. While I loved action and adventure on TV and in books and movies, I was constantly enraged by the female characters. At best they were nonexistent. If they existed, they were never equal to the males. They were narrow stereotypes: they mothered or preened or worried; they were noble princesses or got rescued or played the obedient sidekick or the devoted wife. They were never the hero. They bedded the hero and married him, though, if they were lucky.

I thought TNG was going to be different. It wasn't. The vast majority of episodes showed interesting, strong males doing things I loved - fighting, fixing stuff, leading away teams, taking risks, making command decisions, often being vulnerable and flawed as well. When females showed up, they were mostly just there to say "Captain, I sense great pain!" and "My husband is a brilliant man" and, "Um, is that the same thing as a cosmic string?" and "He's my patient and I must stand around in Sickbay waving a wand over him to protect him," and "Sniffle, I'm crying - I'm crying on the bridge!" They completely failed to ever fight, fix stuff, lead awayteams, take risks, or make command decisions.

(They all had children, though. They all found time for that. )

So TNG constantly insulted me and rubbed salt in my feminist wounds.

However:
the Keylahr ep,
the Vash ep,
and the Ensign Ro ep

were three hours that filled me with joy. The featured independent women who were the focal point of their episodes, had strong opinions, did stuff, thought stuff, and were not on the show just to be someone's mother, caretaker, sidekick, follower, or girlfriend.

Three is precious little, but it's better than zero. And when you're accustomed to zero, getting even three transient characters you love - in four years - feels great.

And that's why I love Captain's Holiday.

Make sense, this time?

Please: no nitpicking in response :)
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William B
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 12:30am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

Of course, one could read Lal as a "weak" character. I suppose we could say that it is sexism storytelling that she essentially dies by having too many feelings. I don't want to argue against whathe you say in general. But I feel like many fans of both genders identify readily with Lal, especially as children, but also as adults who still bravely face a world they are unprepared for, which, more importantly, is not ready for them. (I am including myself here, while male.)

The other guest stars in s3 which are significant also Tasha again and captain Garret in Yesterday's Enterprise, Shelby who is very important in the finale and is meant to be Riker's rival and near-equivalent. They are action heroes, stars in some of the series' most beloved episodes. The other important female guest stars, I will grant, are love interests, and not very well developed ones (the woman in the Ensigns of Command who falls for Data, the hologram of Leah Brahms, Yuta, etc.).
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Gooz
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 12:27am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: The Q and the Grey

Any Voyager Q episode that doesn't begin with Janeway and every other member of the crew getting on their knees and begging Q to tell them what they can do for him so that he'll send them home is a nonstarter. Doesn't matter what happens in the rest of the episode. I just can't watch an episode where every character suddenly forgets their number 1 motivation. By the way, we all know Kirk would have had sex with Q in exchange for a ride home, if he were stuck in the gamma quadrant and Q came a courtin'. Not sure about Picard.
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William B
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 12:17am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

...which isn't to say you have to like her. But certainly, she is a guest star who matters, in an episode beloved by many fans (see Peter G.'s excellent recent comment), and while partly a way to tell a story about Data, Picardy and the Federation, I think she is memorable and poignant in her own right.
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William B
Tue, Jan 24, 2017, 12:13am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Captain's Holiday

@Tara, while there are a dearth of important female guest stars, I would put Lal from s3 as one of the most memorable one-episode characters in the series.
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