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Jason R.
Thu, Nov 23, 2017, 6:56am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Context Is for Kings

Uilliam it was one of the biggest facepalms of the pilot. Burnham explains emphatically that they must *not* kill this guy. It is the one objective of the mission. And she has him in her sights, and she just... kills him because, revenge? She literally just had to stun him and beam out. Mission accomplished. At that point I could have completed the mission.

We are to believe that after everything Burnham said, she would choose to start a war for the sake of a momentary act of revenge? And this woman is supposed to be a Starfleet first officer? Raised by Vulcans?

Or I don't know, did she intend to kill him? Was it an accident? BAH! This stupid stupid show.
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Jason Rabin
Thu, Nov 16, 2017, 11:01am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

Peter, your explanation would make more sense in the context of DS9 or really anything post Kittomer Accords. This was actually an issue that was touched on quite a bit in DS9 especially.

But Discovery is taking place at a time when the Klingon Empire has no formal ties with the Federation and is free to attack them as they please. They can be as warlike as they please. Their *culture* isn't changed.

Now you're suggesting that if the Federation gets too big and powerful they won't be strong enough to defeat it, I guess. Kind of a bizarre idea that by the Federation getting too strong to attack, this is an attack on the Klingons' way of life of attacking people! Lol. Sort of like the lion accusing the antelope that fights back of attacking his way of life?

I mean I guess you could imagine the Klingons asserting some kind of variation on the lebensraum concept or maybe more sympathetically suggesting the Federation is occupying their fomer "hunting ground".

But watching the Klingon scenes, do you really think the intention of the writers was to suggest the Klingons' were just mad that the Federation was getting too big for them to attack? That their sole grievance was that the Federation was attacking their way of life by being too strong to attack?

I'm sorry but this is bonkers. "Remain Klingon" has no rational explanation in this context. The more I think of it, the more I think this idea came from a different script with a totally different race and the Klingons were just written in after the fact.

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Jason R.
Thu, Nov 16, 2017, 7:50am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

Pocket let me add to this by pointing out that the Klingons' fear of assimilation is utter nonsense. I suspect they're kind of implying that the Federation is a bit like the USA with the Klingons being like other nations fearful of losing their culture to McDonalds and MTV.

Except it's BS because the Klingons have no contact with Federation culture, because no one has even seen a Klingon in 100 years. How does this assimilation even take place? Do Klingons watch Federation TV? Are there Klingons opening restaurants on Federation stations like in DS9?

What does "remain Klingon" even mean in this context? As opposed to... what?

The Klingons' motivations are not merely irrational (which is fine) but *inexplicable*. This is sloppy, asinine writing. It's like somebody had this idea (wouldn't it be cool if the Federation was this assimilating force and the some races were fighting to preserve their culture!) but tried to artificially graft it into a context that made zero sense, like it was conceived with some other race in mind, but at the last minute they just shoehorned in the Klingons because... Cool! Klingons! Star Trek!

It's funny because the abysmal Beyond movie dealt with a very similar theme and a similarly motivated villain. Except in that story it made the slightest bit of sense. (and that's saying something in a movie where almost nothing else did)

I suppose the alternative explanation is that fear of Federation assimilation is a complete fabrication and an excuse to justify war. But again, why would the other Klingons even be pursuaded by this? It's like if I marched into Tokyo and announced that we needed to fight the scourge of Peruvian culture supplanting Japanese. Even the most xenophobic bigots in the population would just scratch their heads.
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Jason R.
Tue, Nov 7, 2017, 2:14pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

"Comparison is the thief of joy"

I prefer:

"Analysis is the intellect's revenge on art."
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Jason R.
Fri, Nov 3, 2017, 2:53pm (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S2: Mirror, Mirror

Maybe the peaceful people were assholes in the regular universe.
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Jason R.
Mon, Oct 30, 2017, 1:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

Steve, in Q Who it is true that Q indicated that the borg were not interested in the life forms but only technology. But that was his off the cuff characterization of their motives at that specific moment, not gospel truth. Indeed in BOBW 1 it was noted specifically that the Borg priorities had changed - so it wasn't a retconn but an evolution of what little was known about the Borg, a refinement of what was a superficial understanding of a complex enemy.

Regarding the canon debate I agree with what another poster said, which is that canon is nothing more than continuity and consistency, which is the halmark of good storytelling.

Why does a studio bother investing in a franchise like Trek? The answer is they get the benefit of a ready-made fanbase with all the good will that comes with it. The appeal of the franchise should be self evident. DC can put out a stinker like Batman v. Superman and still make nearly a billion dollars. If Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 was't so great nobody cares because every Potter fan is still going to see it. You get a built in audience and a big moneymaking machine that transcends any one movie's fortunes. A John Carter is a financial disaster while an Age of Ultron is merely a lesser cog in a mighty moneymaking juggernaut.

But the downside is also clear. People are invested in that franchise, its lore and myth, and you meddle with that at your own peril.

I don't object to a retcon here and there. I don't agree that the example you gave actually was a retcon, but even if it was, it was consistent with the spirit of the material and it was needed to tell a better story.

My issue with Discovery is the lazy, sloppy writing and the contempt the writers show for the source material. It isn't hard to respect continuity 999/1000 and in most cases you can tell any story you want without contradicting anything that came before. But they don't care. It isn't even on their radar. They'll toss in a random character like a Mudd here and there, or a throwaway reference to Captain Archer or Pike in the pretense of connecting this show to past installments (look! look! Harry Mudd! From Star Trek!!) but the writers don't really care. For them Star Trek is a brand name, not a story, not a legacy.

My point is not merely sentimental. I do think they are killing the goose that laid the golden egg for more than 40 years for the sake of a perceived short term reward that won't pay off. We saw it with Abrams Trek which flashed in the pan and then fizzled.

Following canon doesn't just make narrative sense, I'd suggest it is a moneymaker too.
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Jason R.
Fri, Oct 27, 2017, 11:16am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

Well Kirk certainly kissed alot of women. Whether he had sex with them is unknown. I know people today take it as a given but I'm not so sure and I'd suggest he almost certainly didn't in most of the circumstances we were shown on the show. As a tangental point isn't it funny how in fiction as in real life, possibility morphs into certainty where sex is concerned. Not unlike in high school.
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Jason R.
Sat, Oct 21, 2017, 11:55am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Basics, Part II

Shouldn't Janeway have immediately ordered her crew to commit mass suicide when they realized there was an indigenous alien race on the planet? They all should have jumped into lava rather than violating the prime directive by being seen by primitives on the planet.
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Jason R.
Wed, Oct 18, 2017, 10:05am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Krill

William what you describe is paradoxical. You can't have people just like us living in a utopian future free of war, prejudice and hate - because then they wouldn't be just like us. Star Trek's ideal is not just about new technology but new people.

I am not just talking about the anachronism of guys cracking jokes about 20th century car rentals either.

My point is if you accept that the Orville takes place in some bright Star Trek like future then that vision is fraudulent.
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Jason R.
Tue, Oct 17, 2017, 8:58am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

I stand corrected E2. I still don't think the writers remember what the Tardigrade is capable of (and since it's gone, I guess it hardly matters)

Incidentally, I think I recognize this kind of storytelling from back when the show Heroes was on the air. I think Jammer sort of alludes to this in his review. The narrative sputters around, erratic and half cocked. It isn't so much a smooth arc but a plane trying to get off the ground and faltering, going up only to crash down and go up again.

I suspect this show will go through many failed arcs. Threads will be introduced and then promptly forgotten. It wouldn't shock me if even the spore drive gets jettisoned at some point. It will happen abruptly, unceremoniously and it will be as if it never happened.

It's ADD storytelling.
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Jason R.
Tue, Oct 17, 2017, 7:32am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

Thinking back through the mists of time, oh say two episodes ago, I could have sworn that the tardigrade was an indestructible killing machine capable of smashing through hull plates, shrugging off phaser fire and murdering the entire crew of a starship. I get it: the creature was only aggressive when threatened; but in light of the fate of the Glenn, was it not clear that this creature was pretty zealous about protecting itself?

So point a phaser in its general direction and it will go Resident Evil on you and wipe out your starship to the last man in a blood soaked rampage. But torture it by sticking needles in it and it's just a saaad cute widdle puppy who needs Saint Michael's help to be free!

What's funny is that I don't even think the writers remember anything about what happened two episodes ago. They can't even make the show consistent episode to episode so it's foolhardy to expect them to honour canon established in a previous show on the air a decade ago. This is television Memento style; each episode is tabula rasa.

Ohhh look!! Harry Mudd! He was in the original series! Because it's STAR TREK! And they mentioned Pike and Archer in passing! I'm having a fangasm. Maybe they should have Picard show up as a guest star. That would be cool!!

Sadly my cable subscription ends in a few days, as I'm cord cutting and moving over to Netflix. So this was likely my last episode. I'll just have to enjoy this show vicariously through this message board. I guess I've chosen my pain.

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Jason Rabin
Fri, Oct 13, 2017, 4:26pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry

Just as a commentary on the spore drive I don't agree that this belongs in the same category as subspace. For subspace there is no evidence that it exists, true, but also no evidence that it doesn't. It is some sci-fi concept that relates loosely to our universe's physical laws that is simply unknowable at present.

The spore drive isn't unknowable because we know what spores are. We have them here on earth. There is evidence that spores don't live naked in the vacuum of space (and right next to stars!!) because it's fucking impossible.

There is writing a science fiction story about a man walking on the surface of Mars and then one where a man walks on the surface of the sun. There's speculative bordering on fantastical and then there's impossible. The spore drive is really pushing heavily into the latter category.

I am not saying this is my biggest beef with STD. Actually, I kind of like it if I'm being honest. If they really run with the concept and we get some stories like STNG Where No One Has Gone Before or Q Who then I'll forgive them the conceit. Even in the context of a gritty war story one hopes that sooner or later *someone* is going to notice that they can travel anywhere, ANYWHERE.

The big irony is that the only character thus far to give us an inkling of this so far was Lorca of all people in his speech to Michael.
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Jason R.
Thu, Oct 12, 2017, 7:28am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry

Djkazaz you do make a good point that the franchise has alot of catching up to do. Heck with any new show even one that was well supported and easy to bridge from previous ones (like DS9) it takes time for the actors to grow into their roles. With the exception of Buffy and maybe a few others I can't think of too many shows that were running from the opening gate. So I will cut Discovery the tiniest bit of slack on this.

I do think the storytelling has been wesk so far, but that seems to be a feature of modern storytelling and obviously audiences don't mind so I'll set that aside. The negation of Trek canon and the decision to essentially reboot the setting is a slap in the face to the fanbase, but that should not stand in the way of the show being good - maybe it won't be good Trek but it can still succeed.

For me the two issues that will need resolution if this show is to succeed are the Klingons and the main character Michael Burnham.

I admire the ambition of trying to make the Klingons alien and speaking purely in their language. But as others have noted ad nauseum this has crippled the actors, making their jobs impossible. Something needs to be done about this, especially if the Klingons are going to be a central part of the story. I actually do think there might be a good actor or two buried in there somewhere as I did find myself feeling bad for the albino no-name Klingon - kind of a loveable loser. But it is really really hard with the artificial impediments the show has imposed. That needs to be fixed. Time to tone down the makeup and find some way to get the Klingons speaking English ASAP. Just do it.

The Michael character is a tougher nut to crack because with her it's not a technical fix but goes to the abilities of the actress. And let's face it she just isn't that good.

If you are going to make the entire show revolve around her you need a Patrick Stewart, a Shatner, someone with charisma. Say what you will about Brooks' s acting as Sisko (and I know many didn't approve of it to put it mildly, though I am not in that camp) the man had energy and charisma. He gave a performance! Kate Mulgrew as Janeway also managed some energy despite the characterization issues that were more the fault of writing than the actress.

I'm sorry but Michael is not cutting it. She's not only bland and low energy, she is just boring. The writing certainly isn't helping what with her wildly inconsistent characterization. By the way was she raised by Vulcans because at this point you'd hardly know - it seems like even the writers forgot that detail. I still know almost nothing about her personally, what she values, how she thinks except the barest sketches and the whole show is about her! The first officer, frankly, is far better developed despite having 1/8 of her screen time.

And getting back to the point, even if you hated Brooks as Sisko or Stewart as Picard, they were not the be all end all's of their respective shows! Those were ensemble shows. Unfortunately for STD thus far it's been the Michael show with that actress carrying the entire series on her back. It is unsustainable. She just isn't good enough.

To sum up, the people writing this show need to eat crow and fix the Klingons and they need to allow the focus to shift away from the Michael character. It needs to be Star Trek Discovery, not Star Trek Michael's Redemption.
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Jason R.
Wed, Oct 11, 2017, 6:56am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry

How does the crew read the Ripper's mind? It knows all the pathways of the spores and has a map of the galaxy in its head? Okay I'll buy that. How do they know what it knows and how do they tell it where to go?

Oh wait, I know the answer! Some other Starfleet officer on the Glenn who we never met invented a magic machine to do it! And it's plug and play! Like something in an RPG game - you figure out what quest item you need to insert into it to make it work and BADANG +500xp now the discovery can teleport instantly to where they want to be just in time to destroy the Klingons and save the miners +1,000xp level up (at this point I am sure a tutorial should pop up explaining how to use the jump drive - just open your auto map and click on wormhole symbols on the map)

This is some seriously lazy, sloppy Abrams style storytelling.

By the way, when they jumped above that star I figured well maybe they got close enough? Maybe they can go the rest of the way by warp? I was waiting for someone to ask where they were, but nope.- wherever it was it wasn't instantly over their mission objective so who cares? Another galaxy maybe? Borg space? Whatever get with the program. Imagine my foolishness thinking that there could be, you know, *discovery* on my Star Trek show called discovery. Remember Where No One has Gone Before? (both original and TNG) wasn't that cool when Starfleet officers cared about exploration?

By the way, I hate the main character's name. It really is starting to bug me alot. Michael is a man's name. It isn't even androgynous like Kelly. And the character isn't trans. It's just pretentious and obnoxious. It just makes you want to punch someone in the face.



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Jason R.
Fri, Oct 6, 2017, 7:07am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Context Is for Kings

Wow you know I just forgot about the whole Alice in Wonderland reference which is the same in the Resident Evil films. Holy smokes they really are ripping off Resident Evil!
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Jason R.
Fri, Oct 6, 2017, 7:03am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Context Is for Kings

Am I the only one who got a distinctly Resident Evil vibe from this episode? Has Starfleet been co-opted by Umbrella Corporation? It's either that or Event Horizon - space fungus opens the gateway to HELL!!
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Jason R.
Mon, Sep 25, 2017, 12:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

I really wish they had not made another prequel. I just have zero interest in this setting. Colossal miscalculation on their part. I think fans would have clamored for a continuation of the story and setting they loved (post ds9 / Voyager) not another backward looking retconn. I'll watch the series if Hammer gives it phenomenal reviews but otherwise meh, won't bother.
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Jason R.
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 9:13am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Old Wounds

I have been debating whether or not to see this show. The premise is interesting, but my main hesitation is MacFarlane. I don't hate the man or his work. I have liked Family Guy at times and was even a fan of his offbeat Oscar hosting performance.

But there's no question when I watch his stuff, even when I enjoy it (like with sone Family Guy or American Dad) I feel dirty like there's this ugly film over his material and I feel soiled for watching it.

MacFarlane's characters aren't just irreverent or silly or parodies (like with Simpsons or Futurama) they're contemptible, even ugly. I echo Peter's point that MacFarlane's ethos is really the anti Trek. He takes something banal and really nasty in the modern culture, amplifies it and then projects it onto everyone, everywhere. It's not souless - it has a soul and it's vile and depressing.

Much of his work seems an exercise in persuading the audience that we're all as vulgur, vapid and empty as he is (or wants us to think he is). I also think alot of his stuff is straight up misogynistic, and that's not an accusation I make lightly.
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Jason R.
Wed, Sep 13, 2017, 5:25am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Old Wounds

I haven't had a chance to watch the Orville, but to those starved for lighter scifi you may like the Lexx, a series from many years ago but that still holds up today. It had an initial run of four movies (basically a mini series in four parts) and then three regular seasons.
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Jason R.
Tue, Sep 5, 2017, 6:56am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

Rather, Mikey, I call BS on this supposed utopia - as DS9 and later Trek stories did with great success. Trek was always at its best when it explored its characters' humanity, and the utopia described (mostly through Picard in STNG) is phony baloney for a plethora of reasons.
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Jason R.
Fri, Sep 1, 2017, 11:50am (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S2: Pegasus

@Tara,

We are almost in complete agreement on most major points so I won't beat a dead horse. But suffice it to say the kind of argument you were making and the thought process I see behind it is very much cosistent with what I hear from women again and again and rarely from other men. So no I'm not the guy from Greek myth who lived as both sexes yet I do perceive a noticeable (though sometimes subtle) divergance between how men and women see sex.
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Jason R.
Fri, Sep 1, 2017, 9:39am (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S2: Pegasus

"Because you don't need to get it that way. "

It depends what "it" you are trying to get. Sexual desire is not just having an orgasm or even having sex with any woman like a prostitute as Tara implied.

This is as tone deaf as claiming a heroin addict should be satisfied with marijuana or even methadone. People want what they want when they want it how they want it especially under addictive or compulsive influence.

And speaking of addiction my drug example isn't that far off from sex. The neurochemical effect of sex is often similar to drugs. That it's a built in addiction owing to biology does not change the fact that all of us, on some level, are addicted to sex on a chemical level.

So just tossing sexual desire aside like it's incidental or not important is my main objection moreso even than focusing on power.
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Jason R.
Fri, Sep 1, 2017, 9:24am (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S2: Pegasus

@Tara,

I actually don't have a problem with what you said except that it isn't really in agreement with the "rape is about power" dogma that we all hear as gospel and waters that down quite a bit.

And I never claimed women don't understand wanting sex - I said they don't understand wanting sex the way a male does, which claim I stand by. You think you get it but you don't - you get it from a female pov but not from a male one.

My drug user example was not to exonerate rapists anymore than I would exonerate tweakers who kill for their addiction. I merely point out that divorcing sex from rape is as silly as divorcing robbery for drug money from drug addiction.
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Jason R.
Thu, Aug 31, 2017, 9:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S2: Pegasus

Tara note I never disagreed with the point that many of the excuses surrounding rape were myths or at least half truths.

I merely stated that the "rape is about power not sex" dogma was itself another myth / half truth but one touted with the force of certitude by experts and authorities and pop culture for my entire life. It's reductionist in the extreme.

Your final paragraph is presumptuous to say the least given that as a woman you have no experience of a male sex drive or male perspective on sex and seem to have a poor understanding of it. I don't have to guess why contact with a woman (even an unwilling one) might be preferable to masturbation or seeing a prostitute. It isn't complicated and the answer does not require a great leap of imagination if you open your perspective beyond your own.

What is required is for you to simply imagine wanting something, now, in a viceral way, like a physical need or addiction. Then imagine that you either have weak morals, poor empathy, or simply don't fear consequences, or you simply permit your need to overwhelm those things just like people do every day with alcohol, drugs, gambling and an infinite number of destructive irrational behaviours fuelled by physical compulsion.

Do you lecture a heroin addict that when he robs someone at knifepoint to get cash for his next fix it isn't really about the addiction but some other thing like hatred or power? Do you tell him that he could just use methadone, go into rehab or take in a hobby so obviously the heroin isn't the cause?

Not a perfect analogy I concede but close enough.
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Jason R.
Thu, Aug 31, 2017, 7:21pm (UTC -6)
Re: BSG S2: Pegasus

@Tara,

So it seems one bit of nonsense was replaced by another. But the difference is the "rape is about power" foolishness is not only still currency but popularly assumed to be unassailable truth.
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