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Grumpy
Sat, Sep 16, 2017, 10:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Rivals

When it first aired, this episode got a boost from the fact that some movie theaters were still playing The Nightmare Before Christmas, featuring Chris Sarandon as the speaking voice of Jack Skellington. At least, I thought that was cool at the time.
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grumpy_otter
Wed, Aug 23, 2017, 7:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Equilibrium

I liked this one right up to the ending, when Jadzia's problem was solved by getting shocked in the milky pool. Really? First, why did she have to hang out with unrelated symbionts to get to know her own? And second--that's all it took? I assumed there'd be a bit more exploration of coming to terms with an unsavory host from the past.

But still enjoyable--just wrapped up too neatly.
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grumpy_otter
Wed, Aug 23, 2017, 7:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The House of Quark

This was lighthearted fun, but I dislike Quark so much it was hard to get through the whole thing. I'm glad I did so I could see the divorce, but it wasn't quite worth a whole episode of him. I will grant he was less annoying than usual, and his bravery was nice.
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grumpy_otter
Wed, Aug 23, 2017, 12:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Maquis, Part I

Thanks Methane--very cool info! I think it is cool to see that obviously they were working with a well-developed idea there--setting it up in one series, then actually introducing them in another.
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grumpy_otter
Wed, Aug 23, 2017, 12:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Collaborator

I think you are right, Paul M. I read up on Bajor a bit after this and learned that apparently the Cardassians scorched certain only regions of the planet--keeping a pristine capital would definitely go right along with Cardassian values. They remind me more and more of North Korea.
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grumpy_otter
Wed, Aug 23, 2017, 11:28am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The Search, Part II

Unlike apparently everyone, I thought this was a better episode than Part One. From the moment Dax and O'Brien came back to the shuttlecraft, I KNEW something was very off. We had seen an unknown being observing them while they were trying to hack the Jem'Hadar computer, but then they suddenly appear on the shuttle just fine?

So during the entire episode, I had been primed to know something wasn't right, and everything else on the simulated DS 9 station supported my assumption that something was very off--I just wasn't sure what it was. At first I had thought Dax and O'Brien were actually Jem'Hadar in disguise, then Admiral Nechayev's reckless disregard of the Romulans made me think it might be a holographic simulation--so I wasn't at all surprised when it turned out to be a test by the founders. So does that mean I'm smarter than all y'all? lol

I am also very relieved that the Dominion turned out to be who they were. In the last episode, I was afraid they were just going to be some warlike conquerors and we were going to get a lot of stupid battles. The way it is presented, with the changelings becoming autocratic out of fear (and their associated desire for power) I think is very good and offers much more potentially-rewarding story lines than I had suspected might be coming.

I was very moved that Odo immediately turned his back on them even after having a union (is that their sex?) with the female changeling. Odo's world was really cool--I liked all the scenes there. His developing friendship with Kira is wonderful.

I'd give this one 3.5, part one a 3. I am not so scared of the Dominion now.

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grumpy_otter
Tue, Aug 22, 2017, 8:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The Search, Part I

Things I liked:

The Jem'Hadar ships have purple lights

T'Rul -- so familiar, so familiar, I like this Romulan's no-nonsense style, so familiar--ach! Seska!

Quark was off the ship quickly

Sisko likes African art

The ending planet--aside from the "Welcome home," it also just looked cool


Things I didn't like:

Battle. Yawn. I don't object to the occasional fight, but I hate when it becomes the focus, and from talk I know the Dominion will become important, so I fear DS9 will start having lots of battles.

Dax's hair. Women who work in fast-paced serious jobs don't have elaborate hairstyles that take a long time to do. They wear no-fuss hair like Kira. Did the producers think Dax wasn't attractive enough? Blech. It's one of the reasons I never liked Beverly Crusher--hair that flopped all over, including into her patients' faces.

The random redshirt, who I hadn't even seen before he died during the battle. Where did he come from? This small ship had room for an extra?

Quark. Just really hate him.

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grumpy_otter
Tue, Aug 22, 2017, 7:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Jem'Hadar

I enjoyed that from beginning to end--aside from Quark's scenes. Man, I really can't get past my hatred of acquisitiveness.

I noted one thing that would support the idea that Eris had no actual powers and the force field (that supposedly would kill you) was really just a light show--THEY ALL SAT SO CLOSE TO IT! If I were being confined by a force field that would kill me, I'd sit in the middle. Wouldn't you?
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grumpy_otter
Mon, Aug 21, 2017, 7:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Tribunal

Amazing episode--really loved it. Best guest stars ever, and exciting story.

But I was saddened by so many analogies to modern earth courts in this. The entire setup was almost entirely like what one might see in North Korea at its most extreme, but there were many aspects that might be seen in more "democratic" courts.

I know of far too many poor people who were found guilty because they did not receive proper representation, and far too many innocent people whose investigators hid evidence that would have exonerated them because they needed a conviction for the "peace of mind" of their districts.

We pretend in the United States to have such an enlightened legal system, and yet rich people very rarely have to suffer a trial. And if they do, they tend to get off. And if they don't, they get to go to luxury prisons.

The Cardassian legal system with its show trials was a joke--well, so is ours.
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grumpy_otter
Mon, Aug 21, 2017, 6:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Collaborator

I loved this one--I thought the tone was perfect and of course Winn is delightfully wicked. I had two observations--one is that I would give it an even higher rating except for the stupid visions Bareil kept having. I found those totally boring and revealed nothing. I hate such hallucinations--can't think of one time Trek used that sort of thing without losing my interest.

The other is a question--the Cardassians have been off Bajor only about a year, right? Because wow did their city look incredibly pristine! I had assumed Bajor had been pretty well ravaged by the invaders--perhaps not.
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grumpy_otter
Sat, Aug 19, 2017, 8:45am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Maquis, Part I

Oh, thanks Methane--I'd so associated Ro in my mind with the Maquis that I'd forgotten she didn't meet them until later in her time on the Enterprise.

So this IS the first time in Star Trek that we ever meet the Maquis?
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grumpy_otter
Sat, Aug 19, 2017, 8:41am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Lonely Among Us

I HAVE FOUND IT! THE REASON DEANNA IS ON THE SHIP!

Y'all know how we often bemoan the fact that Troi really has no purpose? That most of the things she observes are things that are perfectly obvious to any half-awake person?

Well, I point you to this episode. Picard has beamed off the ship as an energy thingie, and Riker says he's lost and "We need to get to Parliament," then orders the ship to leave. He is eager to abandon the Captain in the energy cloud! But then Deanna senses the Captain and suggests they may be able to get him back!

Riker responds, "As WHAT? He's just energy now!" (I'm paraphrasing.)

So now we know why Riker stays as first officer all those years, and why Deanna has a purpose. Without her, Picard would have been a cloud critter for the rest of the series. And Riker never accepts a promotion because he is wracked with guilt over almost having condemned his captain to a permanent existence as a lightbulb.

That was fun. lol

@Percivale

"A self-respecting, standards-holding Federation wouldn't consider these aliens for admission in a million years."

I was thinking the same, but in relation to the "Justice" aliens and the "Code of Honor" ones. Why would the Federation ever consider intercourse with aliens who think it's fine to execute someone for a trivial offense, or aliens who think kidnapping is fine and dandy?

You know, I'm all for respecting the beliefs of others, but not when those beliefs are stupid.



@William B
"When Picard (improbably) is beamed back aboard the ship, he's lost his memory though"

The way they talk in the transporter room, I thought they rematerialized Picard from the pattern left on his first beam-out, so the Picard that rematerialized was simply a copy of the pre-energy Picard. We know they use a similar function of the transporter in later episodes and series, but maybe they hadn't quite figured out how to phrase it yet?

@Troy

"I did like the dog and snake aliens in this one."

Me too! They made me laugh! I wish we'd seen more of them. Especially the doggy-faces. Did anyone notice that the doggies were very similar to the castle guards from King's Quest VI? That came out in 1992, so maybe they copied Star Trek?
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grumpy_otter
Tue, Aug 15, 2017, 8:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Crossover

I'm with Nathan B. -- this is fun, nothing more. It gives the actors a chance to do some hamming it up and that's about it. I didn't find it made me think at all--it was just a pretty-typical action story, albeit an enjoyable one.

Unlike others, I enjoyed Mirror Sisko and thought his acting was, for the most part, much better than his acting as Original Sisko. I believed in MS more than OS, anyway.

It sure didn't really seem like much of a Mirror universe though--most people were just slightly different from their counterparts and I totally didn't get Mirror Kira--very confusing portrayal.

Mirror Miles almost made me cry--he wasn't different from Original Miles at all--just ground down. Colm Meany is a real actor--I have loved him long in the Irish movies he did before DS 9. I'd venture to say he's the best actor on the whole show.

They missed a humor chance with the last scene--have the runabout dock and be met by the others--and then Kira and Bashir come out looking the way they did, the others look on in shock, then Bashir says, "I need a shower," and Kira says, "Me, too."

I think I'd rank this about a 2.5--I can imagine enjoying it again.
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grumpy_otter
Tue, Aug 15, 2017, 6:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Wire

Most excellent episode. I had been getting a bit tired of Garak prior to this with his little hints and murmurs, which i found tedious; this episode played it perfectly. He reveals a bit, then a bit that seems different, a bit more--and then it turns out to be all true. I immediately thought as Blake W. pointed out--that Garak had told the truth with every story and it showed his journey to exile.

I LOVED Tain--I thought Paul Dooley struck the perfect note. He is apparently quite the murderous villain (or maybe not--we aren't quite sure what the Obsidian Order did) but he is definitely one of those people who has information coming to him from everywhere. He was scary without being diabolical.

I absolutely LOVED that he didn't make Bashir beg for the cure--some sorts of villains would toy with him just for the fun of it--Tain isn't that type. Based on the credits we'll see Tain again--that makes me glad.

Stunning performances in a stunning episode.
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grumpy_otter
Mon, Aug 14, 2017, 7:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Gambit

Just watched this again--they really missed a good comedic moment after the resonator fails to destroy Worf. How hard must it have been for him to resist his warrior feelings? I thought a one-liner after that would have been nice. Just something like, "Well THAT was the most difficult fight of my life."
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grumpy_otter
Mon, Aug 14, 2017, 12:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: The Maquis, Part I

I enjoyed this two-parter, and didn't find Casey's performance lacking. I liked the character's serenity--he struck a good tone, I thought. He's a battle-weary fighter who can't muster much enthusiasm for anything. Didn't bother me and I enjoyed his scenes with Sisko except for the final (here's your uniform) one, which I thought was trite.

The one flaw in the plotting was that I knew right away he'd turn out to be Maquis, so that was some lessening of tension.

I was a bit confused about when the Maquis were introduced, though--this seems plotted to be the first time we meet them, but I checked the airdate and it looks like we'd already met Ensign Ro on TNG?



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grumpy_otter
Sun, Aug 13, 2017, 4:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Blood Oath

I enjoyed this, but it didn't stand out as one of the best for me. Of course I loved the great old warrior Klingons, but Dax really sunk this one for me. As others have pointed out above, she's Curzon when it's convenient, and her fairly-lame line delivery in this one was tedious.

I was also disappointed that we didn't get to hear the Klingon death bellow by anyone, despite losing two great Klingon warriors. That might have bumped this up a star for me if Jadzia had done it for her old friends. I did like the warrior beginning to sing the songs for his fallen comrades.

Unlike most, I did not care for the final scene. I thought it would have made more sense for Jadzia to report to Sisko and say, "I await whatever punishment you feel correct." THEN but to silence and the glaring stares. As it was, it almost seemed like she was trying to sneak onto her post without them noticing.
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grumpy_otter
Thu, Aug 10, 2017, 1:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Profit and Loss

I'd rank this even lower than Jammer did--a completely boring and unbelievable episode.

It seemed to start out interestingly with the arrival of Natima and her students, but they sure didn't do anything with them. And the female student's acting was really lame. (Apparently that's Heidi Swedberg, who played Susan, George's fiancé, on Seinfeld. She was okay on that--maybe wearing Cardassian makeup turned off her acting ability. "They've already tried to kill us once; they're sure to try again." Blech. As a shy student her line delivery was okay--as a supposed revolutionary leader it was laughable. )

What was it they were supposed to have done, anyway? I might have gotten so bored I drifted off and missed it. Or are we just supposed to believe that anyone wanted by Cardassian authorities must be a good guy? Apparently Odo and Sisko can simply tell a good guy by smell or something.

I enjoyed Garak, but am getting a bit tired of his hints about all he knows. Slow reveals of a character can work well, but in his case I am getting tired of it. Just come out and say what you mean, dude!
@Aaron

"The actress who played Natima was particularly bad. I thought they only got good actors to play important Cardassian roles."

That was Bing Crosby's daughter, Mary! I found her acting to be better than the other Cardassians, but the dialog she was given in her "love affair" was appalling.

@ William B

"Spoilers: "Casablanca" takes place in Morocco in WW2, currently under French control . . . "

I don't think we've needed a spoiler warning for Casablanca since about 1950, lol


@Kotas

"I like Quark a lot so that saved what might have otherwise been a poor episode for me."

I hate Quark a lot so that ruined what might have otherwise been a decent episode for me. lol

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grumpy_otter
Thu, Aug 10, 2017, 12:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Playing God

I enjoyed this while watching it, but the very best part was the Klingon bar, so the episode as a whole didn't have much resonance. And now I am sad because I love the Klingon chef--a search reveals he was played by Ron Taylor, a star of musical theater who died at the young age of 49. What a great voice and what a great song and what a great character. I love those small roles that bring so much atmosphere to Trek. The Bolian barber Mot of TNG would be another.

I like Dax's intern--but his personality struck me as a bit too similar to the thief host who briefly stole Dax in a previous episode. He seemed nice--just needed a bit more character development.

As far as the "whole civilization within a universe" thing goes, I kept hoping we'd get to go inside it. You know, like at some point we'd be shown some sort of species of scientists and they'd be freaking out in their labs trying to figure out why their universe was being jostled about. Sort of like the tiny people in "Horton Hears a Who." And then they could have figured out a way to send a message out to the DS9 folks to tell them that their universe needed to be returned to the Gamma quadrant in order for them to survive. And that their universe would only get so large if they were near some sort of space thing in the Gamma quadrant.

And they'd look like some sort of adorable chipmunk people and we'd make friends with them, and Jake would decide he wanted to move to their universe and his Dad would get all upset but then appoint him ambassador from the Federation and the chipmunk people would turn out to be wonderful scientists and they'd help us create universe bubbles so we could float around in them.

I enjoyed the joke with Kira and O'Brien's butts. That was funny and the voles were cute.


@William B

"Jadzia actually talks explicitly to Arjin about what it's like to be a joined Trill. At which point Arjin says, "I know what I have to do." Well, it's great that he does, because I have no idea."

Me neither, and I don't think the writers did either. I haven't seen the rest of DS9 yet, but up to this point I am not sure if they have quite figured out what they want the Trill to be, and all the rules of hosts/symbionts. What we learned from their first appearance on TNG through Odon seems to have already been contradicted quite a bit. So maybe that's the problem--they want to explore the possibilities of a host situation, but aren't quite sure yet what the rules should be.
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grumpy_otter
Thu, Aug 10, 2017, 9:38am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Shadowplay

I have to completely disagree with Jammer -- this is the episode that has done it for me! I've been working my way through DS9 and haven't really been able to connect with it because I have to love the characters to enjoy a show. I can enjoy even lame episodes of TNG and VOY simple because I love most of those characters so much. I don't care how brilliantly plotted or wonderfully sci-fi and speculative an episode is--if I don't like the characters I don't care.

But now I'm in love! I thought Dax and Odo had great chemistry--it was funny of her to try and tell Odo about his Bolian crush (I googled her name and it didn't come up, so I assume we don't see that develop, but it was a nice little piece of character-building)

I thought every main character's development was wonderful in this--we see Kira having a bit of romance, Jake exploring who he is, Miles being kind, Dax being helpful, Quark being Quark (OMG I HATE THE FERENGI) and Odo being sensitive and sweet. And twirly. I feel connected to the characters now as I never did before. This is good--now I WANT to watch the rest.

I teared up when we learned that this was a holographic village. Kenneth Tobey played Rurigan beautifully and I felt his pain. But he did it without ever chewing the scenery--a subtle, masterful performance. I often bemoan how every alien we encounter has some evil undertone and wouldn't it be nice to meet some that were just nice people? Well here they are. I loved it.

Biological people are just a set of biological systems working together to create bodies and personalities; holographic people are just mechanical systems working together to create bodies and personalities. Holograms are people, full stop. Some are smarter than others, some have more complex emotions, and some can reproduce. Just like organic people. I do NOT understand anyone who claims they aren't real.

By the way, Rurigan must be the greatest holographic engineer ever, right?

As others have pointed out, Odo's friendship with Taya was the best part of this--she certainly is a talented little actress, and I loved that we see this side of Odo. Turning into a top was adorable and touching.

This one is a solid 4 for me.

@Dimpy

"She goes from having an imaginary friend, to being an imaginary friend."

lol-I had to go look her up right away when I saw her because I knew I recognized her!

@Lt. Yarko

"Would have been nice of the dude to tell Odo and Dax not to waste their time with a mystery investigation as they started one. Would have saved them some time."

I think they had to have him not say anything for the story to progress, but I actually liked the way this worked. I could tell he was hiding something, and figured it was some evil plot (as usual). Was SO glad it turned out to be nothing sinister.


"And why didn't he fix the thing himself? He built it. He just let people disappear and waited for someone else to come fix it? Then he doesn't want to fix it and bring it back up? This guy was really weirdly written."

I didn't think so--I thought he was perfectly created. In the short time we got to see him, I feel like I know him. I assumed his holo-engineering skills were faltering because he was frail because he was dying.
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grumpy_otter
Fri, Jul 28, 2017, 7:39am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Paradise

I am a bit dismayed at all the folks above who are mocking a low-technology lifestyle and point out how a bow and arrow is "technology," so "HAHAHA they are stupid and inconsistent." I have a semi-Luddite preference in my life, and it's not the strawman y'all are presenting. What most people like me find upsetting are the kinds of technologies that pollute or cause harm. Have you ever lived in a town with a paper mill? Have you ever met some coal miners who've had to breath that stuff? I used to have to commute past a shipyard, and I'd be coughing for ten minutes.

The Star Trek universe seems to have solved some of these problems, but we've seen with the Malons that all that great technology does have harmful waste products. Someone like me would then take a hard look at it and decide if that technology was worth the impact. Do we need that much power if it is going to create that kind of waste? I'd say no--find another way.

There are lots of types of technology that we simply want but don't need--and they all come at a cost to our health and the planet. Some things that we make are unable to biodegrade for millennia; other things are "use once and throw them away." I find that problematic and try to minimize it. For example, I don't have a smartphone--I am typing this on a ten-year-old computer that is perfectly suitable for my needs. I do own a car, but that's even older and gets 35 mpg. I buy all my clothes except underwear at a thrift store. I try to "repair, don't replace" as much as I can. I know how to sew and fix my own stuff.

When this episode first started, it looked like a paradise to me for sure (when it seemed the people were there voluntarily). But because their leader was a fanatic devoted to a particular ideal, they burned wood and had candles--very inefficient and polluting sources of light and heat. You'd think they'd be doing wind and solar and water power if they wanted to truly have a low-impact lifestyle in terms of pollution.

So my request is simply that y'all recognize that not everyone who has troubles with some of our technologies is some sort of crazy idealistic freak. Some of us are just trying to minimize the impact we have on this planet. Unlike the folks in Star Trek, it's the only one we have.

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grumpy_otter
Mon, Jul 24, 2017, 7:16am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens

I just saw Rogue One--FINALLY! I immediately went to Jammer's site to read his review and all the comments. I have been making a list of all the points I wanted to discuss and noting what other commenters had said. And then I thought, "I don't recall commenting on The Force Awakens? I'll go over to that review and see."

So I read this review, and these comments, and refreshing my memory of the film reminded me of why I hadn't read them before, or commented myself. I enjoyed TFA while watching it, and loved seeing old friends again, cried at Han's death, enjoyed the good protagonists, and when the movie was over I said to myself, "Ah, I get it," and no further exploration seemed necessary.

I felt it was clear as crystal that Abrams was wiping out the existence of the prequels with this film, which was just a redo of "A New Hope." I was grateful for that, because I am one who finds the prequels to be complete garbage, but there didn't seem to be much to say about this film since it was basically just a new ANH to restart the series under new leadership. The whole film was screaming "WE LOVED THE ORIGINAL SERIES AND WE HATED THE PREQUELS SO HERE WE ARE SHOWING YOU HOW MUCH WE LOVED THE OLD ONES." It was enjoyable, but I didn't feel there was much to discuss about it since that motivation seemed so obvious to me.

I also strongly suspect that somebody involved with this film is a fan of Red Letter Media's prequel-trashing reviews (which I have watched more times than the actual prequels). Certain things Mr. Plinkett pointed out in those reviews were front and center in this film--even down to how the protagonist was presented and characters were carefully given motivation, and how NOBODY sat on a couch to talk. Just a suspicion.

There were two things about this that bothered me -- one was Snoke.

NCC1701-Z said it perfectly: "One of the weak points of the story, for me, is Snoke. He feels pulled out of thin air to be a copy of the Emperor and not an organic character in any way. I mean, seriously, where the frak did he come from? What hole was he living in during the original trilogy? "Snoke" just *sounds* like a phony name to me."

Indeed. And if my theory above is correct, then Snoke WAS just a copy of the emperor. That was taking the "return to OT" just a bit too far because it made no sense. And you are right about the name, NCC, but at least it wasn't "General Grievous." Sheesh. I literally facepalmed when I heard THAT name.

The other thing that bothered me was the new death star. Star Killer? Whatever they called it. The Empire was almost destroyed at the end of Return of the Jedi, but they had the resources to build this? Come on. (Interestingly, this ties in to part of my hatred for the prequels--I wanted more about how the Death Star was actually conceived and built and how they were able to get enough materials to build something the size of a moon. And whoot! That is part of what Rogue One has done.)

But anyway--the short version of all this is that this film might have been subtitled "WE HATE THE PREQUELS TOO!"
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grumpy_otter
Sat, Jul 22, 2017, 7:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Human Error

I join the annoyed commenters on this one--it could have been so much more!

But what probably annoyed me the most of all is that Miss Super-Perfect Seven is SUDDENLY so obsessed with exploring her emotions that she starts missing duty shifts--even to the point of putting the ship in danger-- and failing to regenerate. Horse puckey. I would have believed this much more if she hadn't slacked off so much to explore this new project. Including lying to the Captain!

Sheesh. I sometimes have to wonder if the writers ever watch the show they are creating.
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grumpy_otter
Fri, Jul 7, 2017, 5:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Year of Hell, Part II

This two-parter was so gut-wrenching, so challenging, so moving--I was truly invested in it from beginning to WHAT THE FUCK?

The reset button here is the most unforgivable in the history of trek. There was NO point to that. The crew didn't grow as we saw through their experiences--just worthless bunk.

I threw things when this one ended.
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grumpy_otter
Thu, Jul 6, 2017, 3:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Darkling

@Robert

You noted:

"He's still Patrick-freaking-Stewart and he'd be captivating reading the yellow pages in a closet on a stool"

Interestingly, I have the whole Narnia series audiobooks read by different British actors like Kenneth Branagh, Lynn Redgrave, Derk Jacobi, and Patrick Stewart, who reads "The Last Battle." And it's horrible. It sort of reminds me of how Sisko says his lines with deep gravitas for every one. It makes the story really plod, while others' versions soar. I agree he's a great actor--but not so much for the reading.

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