Comment Stream

Search and bookmark options Close
Search for:
Search by:

Total Found: 113 (Showing 1-25)

Next ►Page 1 of 5
Set Bookmark
Tomalak
Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 1:57pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S3: Chosen Realm

Captain: "Oh, and the root cause of [the Iran-Iraq War]? Well! It was a verrrry important dispute, you see. Yes indeed. Apparently, when Mohammed died in the 7th century, there was an argument about whether his successor should be his son-in-law, or his buddy."

Bit of a stretch to call this the root cause of a war between two majority Shia countries in the 20th Century. Note that it was a secular Iraqi government that started the conflict by invading Iran, not the other way around.
Set Bookmark
SmallKiwi
Sat, Nov 18, 2017, 2:51pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Demon

I don't understand the hate for this one. Easily a 3 star episode for me. If you can accept the ridiculous magical Bajoran orbs doing magic things, you should be able to accept an alien lifeform with biomimetic capabilities. If you can accept evil ghost aliens arbitrarily taking control of people's bodies, then the fact that they create perfect copies of lifeforms should not bother. Not to mention transporters. Besides all that we get some great character moments, a landing sequence and finally a convincing use of the ever popular "cave set".
Set Bookmark
SmallKiwi
Sun, Nov 12, 2017, 12:28pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

Jammer, have you considered reviewing the series The Expanse? IMO, it is the best sci-fi show on TV right now by a mile. Also, if you haven't seen it, you should watch!
Set Bookmark
Mal
Sun, Nov 12, 2017, 1:55am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Cupid's Dagger

Mal’s review after Jammers of...

The Orville, season 1, episode 9
“Cupid’s Dagger”


“Peldor joy Yaphit."

- Dr. Finn

"Peldor joy to you too, Doctor.”

- Yaphit (may not be exact quotes)


What a fun episode! Let’s start with the great opening karaoke night. The costumes are just fantastic. The costumes on Orville have reminded me of Angel ever since the pilot had that Ogre with a chilled out personality in Gordon’s holo-simulation. But here the parallels are obvious - and very welcome.

Of course there is a fantastic Host. Hope to see him more going forward. The Navarian ambassador reminded me of Skip, the on-again off-again demon from Angel who is sometimes on our side, and sometimes on the other. And Darulio is a beautiful blue version of the red-devil squash partner from Angel season 5.

Great costumes all around.

If you go back and actually watch “Fascination,” you’ll realise it isn’t nearly as bad as you remember!

@Jammer gave Fascination 1 star, but his review was written 20 years ago!!! I seriously doubt any of us have gone back to re-watch the episode in all these years. Every time I’ve ever gone back to re-watch DS9 from scratch, I skip “Fascination” (the same way I skip “Infection” when I re-watch B5 - why torture myself?).

But do yourself a favour, and go back and re-watch Fascination. It is not a 1-star episode. And what’s sadder is how much you'll wish Discovery might take the time to have a nice chill episode like Fascination. Why is everything a mad rush on STD?

Back to Cupid’s Dagger.

My favourite scene is Gordon and Mercer, when Seth is getting ready for his date with Rob Lowe.

Gordon is confused. (And he plays confused perfectly!)

“You’re... meeting for drinks?” - Gordon

“Yeah. I mean it’s just - just - drinks, you know. It’s no big deal. It’s not like we’re getting married or anything.” - Mercer

“What?” - Gordon (perfect facial expression!)

Then later in the same scene:

“You seem like you’re really into him” - Gordon

“I’m not into him.” - Mercer

“Ok.” - Gordon (super confused)

“Let’s say, what if I was. What if I was? Why couldn’t I be?” - Mercer

“Hey, you can be whatever you want, man. I just want you to be happy. I just didn’t know that you were…” - Gordon (with the key line for this whole thing: I just want you to be happy.)

Later in the same scene:

“Why do we have to put people in boxes? Why even call a box, a box?” - Mercer

“I think it’s just easier to have words…” - Gordon. ROTFLMFAO!!!!

I think it’s just easier to have words. Awesome.

The point is, this light-hearted tale, a classic in the history of all story-telling, takes things to a new 21st century level. Mercer’s bisexuality is not played for laughs. It just is. And Gordon doesn’t treat his old friend any different. He just wants to make sure his friend is ok (which he isn’t exactly… this whole thing is actually caused by some alien influences).

Only the ambassadors’ gay kiss at the end was cringe-inducing. But for a hour of TV, a man can excuse 10 seconds of camp.

This is the second time Mercer has jumped into bed with someone. This is the second time it has complicated and undermined his command duties. And this time, his ex, Commander Kelly, is pretty clear that she doesn’t think Mercer would ever trust her enough to sleep with her again. But the end of the episode opens the possibility of forgiveness. Even between the two of them.

Everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes it’s bad judgment. Sometimes it’s alien pheromones. The point being, a relationship is a complicated thing. And it’s hard to say what makes it work. And it’s harder still to say what will tear it apart. And hardest of all is predicting what might open the door for the possibility of reconciliation.

But it is the Hope of coming together (in whatever combinations, whether or not they involve green goo), that is the very definition of cupid’s arrow.

This ep shot through the heart. Well done. Peldor Joy indeed!

Love,
Mal
Set Bookmark
Tomalak
Sat, Nov 11, 2017, 6:30am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Cupid's Dagger

One of the curious things about the show is that the characters act and talk in a very unintelligent way - like valley girls and meatheads - even in working hours. This helps build the story: e.g. you put an idiot on that Facebook Like planet, or in charge of a diplomatic mission, and it's plausible when everything quickly falls apart.

But it's implausible that these people would ever be employed in these kind of roles in the first place. You have to suspend disbelief a lot to believe people like Darulio would be a leading archaeologist, that most people on the bridge would ever be trusted in that kind of job and so on.
Set Bookmark
Mal
Fri, Nov 10, 2017, 10:39pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

First off, anyone who skipped over the @Gee post above, I highly recommend going back and reading it. I don’t necessarily agree with everything @Gee has written, but the @Gee post reminds me why I keep coming back to @Jammer’s site, year after year after year. Somehow @Jammer has inspired an amazing collection of commenters. Truly a gift to the Trek community.

Next, @Evan, "Treks has always had a strong international presence - Chekhov and Scotty in TOS, Picard and O'Brien in TNG, Bashir in DS9. … Discovery's crew is 100% American. You don't even get that in today's NASA astronauts, who are employed from all around the world.”

I agree. And the sad thing is, @Evan, this is just one more way in which the STD creators have shown just how shallow they are.

Because it is all faaaaaaaake!!!!

Here is what the actor playing Captain Lorca actually sounds like: https://youtu.be/QFzINkr8ciQ

What a gorgeous accent!

Remember, Picard was supposed to be a frenchman. But they let Patrick Stewart keep his natural and beautiful accent. Can you imagine how much TNG would have lost if Picard had been forced to put on a fake french accent all those years?!?

But that’s what they are doing to Jason Isaacs. Instead of his beautiful natural self, they are forcing him to play an American. Why??? My guess is money - they think more people will subscribe to all-access to watch a show with an American captain, than with a foreign captain.

Same for Ash Taylor. This is the soft and sensual natural accent the actor really has: https://youtu.be/z_Vqngtodts

Call me crazy, but isn’t that a perfect lilt for someone the creators want to be a romantic pairing for Michael?

Compare that to the height of the cold war, when Chekov had a strong Russian accent on the bridge of the Enterprise (@Galadriel is spot on here).

As I’ve said before, STD is a devolved, morally debased version of Star Trek. And the rot starts right at the top, with the creators. They are a small and narrow-minded set of money-grubbing bean counters, who don’t want to do anything that might reduce their grand plans for all-access. This is a show run by small men. Roddenberry, JMS, Whedon - for all their faults - were masters of their craft.

Although an early episode of Discovery name-checked Alice in Wonderland, this episode betrays the creators actual inspiration: The Wizard of Oz. And Saru is a cowardly lion.

But the problem is, there is no wizard behind the STD curtain. It’s just a small man pulling the strings.
Set Bookmark
Mal
Mon, Nov 6, 2017, 12:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

@Chrome, I agree. For a change the space battle was actual enjoyable. A little strategy goes a long way. I also agree with your take on the planet and Ash/Burnham. Both were pleasantly diverting.

Really enjoying Ash more and more every week. He’s so good he almost makes SMG bearable. Almost.

The only part of the episode that was a drag were the Klingons. Aside from the captions and the makeup, as @Peter G. mentioned, the Klingon plot makes only marginal sense.

I’m just assuming that the writers don’t know how to write, but that if they did, they intended for L’Rell to be Discovery’s Garak. Because other than lying, L’Rell's desire for defection is ridiculously abrupt. Before Damar defected, he went through so many humiliations over so many episodes, that you actually wondered how he ever managed to stay loyal so long?!

Also, I'm just assuming that the “death” of Admiral Kat was fake, and that she’ll live to sleep with Lorca again.

Here’s hoping they wrap up all this nonsense with the “Fall Finale.” Then they can send Michael back to jail, and get this show on the road with a couple new cast members. This time folks who can act. Maybe even a hot new lady friend for Ash…

Love,
Mal
Set Bookmark
Mal
Sun, Nov 5, 2017, 12:03am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

@Ubik, you make a good point: Discovery is like a lot of shows in the last 10 years. What Discovery is doing might be new for the Trek verse, but by no means is it new to TV.

In that way, Discovery cannot be called ground-breaking, at least not how TOS or DS9 can - both Trek shows that were very different from anything else on TV at the time. DS9 in particular, because back in 1993, almost no one was doing serialised story-telling.

Almost no one. Almost.

And that’s where @Ubik lost @Evan. Because Babylon 5 was doing serialised story telling before DS9. (Let’s leave aside that serialised stories were a long-time mainstay of soap operas and also many foreign-language television shows.)

I do think @Evan was probably being a little tongue-in-cheek. Obviously one little word (“inferior”) does not negate @Ubik’s entire point. Especially since it is largely a valid point. Plus, B5 fans have a sense of humour. B5 fans are more than used to people looking down on the show, because of the acting, because of the dialogue, because of the production value. Because of Londo’s hair :-)

And DS9 had more in its favour than mere production values (@Evan). Some of the individual DS9 characters far surpassed their B5 counterparts, particularly Kira (vs. Ivanova) and Garak (vs. Bester). The Dominion was far better developed than the Shadow-alliance. 31 blew 13 out of the water. Weyoun was so far superior to Mr. Morden that it boggles the mind. Eddington’s betrayal surpassed psy-adjusted Garibaldi.

But.

But for all its “inferior” qualities, B5 had something - some thing hard to describe - that DS9 could not reach down into the depths of. Londo and G’Kar. Michael and Steven. John and Delenn (and Lenier). The soul of B5 was a very deep well that explored more than space and war and politics. It spoke to fear, and hate, and suspicion, and loyalty, and loneliness (the crushing loneliness of emperor Londo), and despair (think of G’kar’s speech when Narn falls), and defeat, and addiction, and nationalism, and privacy, and sacrifice, and beauty (in the dark), and hope. It spoke to the many and more facets of humanity we wish that the sheer abundance of Roddenberry’s dream might subsume, but which (like Quark), we suspect will never completely be erased.

I get immense joy from both DS9 and B5. Like many of you, I too have seen both shows all the way through, multiple times. But when you get to Severed Dreams in Season 3, it is a point of no return. You’re going to end up watching the rest of the show, even though you know that the first half of season 5 is best skipped; even though you know most of the spin-off movies are not worth your time; even though you know that starting Crusade will only lead to frustration at its early cancellation. There is something so compelling about the arc of B5. It grips you like a vice. And if you submit yourself to it, it won’t let you go, probably for the rest of your life.

N.B., @Paul M., if you re-watch “Magic”, you’ll notice that you are not describing the first loop.
Set Bookmark
Mal
Sat, Nov 4, 2017, 5:38am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Into the Fold

Hammock Time!

Brannon Braga really is a hack. Why Seth turned to him to write the episode meant to hook DS9 fans is beyond me - seeing as Brannon Braga had fuck-all to do with DS9.

So what’s a hack like Braga to do? I guess, superficially hack together a bunch of DS9 plots and then put Penny Johnson front and center.

Once more, unto the fold:

The Jem’hadar - Penny takes Jake and Nog (I mean, her two sons) for an outing, and Isaac the unwanted robot (like Quark) tags along.

Explorers - their ships gets whisked away a lot further than anyone thought possible for such a primitive vessel.

The Quickening - they land on a post-apocalyptic planet where everyone is infected as a result of war.

By Inferno’s Light - Penny uses a convenient lever-like do-hickey that seems to come standard with cots to pry open her cell.

Explorers (again) - let’s use old-fashion star charts to navigate!

When Isaac said they could get Di-sonium (or whatever) on the mountain that they crashed into on their way down, I thought, oh great - they’re going to go The Ascent route too. That said, I love Isaac’s humour.

Bottom line, keep Braga out of the Orville writing room if you know what’s good for you.

And if you want to do a Beauty and the Beast homage, spend some time on it. Do it right.

-

and now for a new but hopefully ongoing series, "Orville v. Discovery"

. . Barry Manilo v. Wyclef Jean - advantage Discovery

. . Peter Rabbit v. Alice in Wonderland - advantage Orville

. . Glory Hole v. Beer Pong - advantage Discovery

Love,
Mal
Set Bookmark
Mal
Sat, Nov 4, 2017, 3:41am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

@Peter G., well said ("I think, reflects the moral compass of the production team.”). Very well said.

@Steven, "the show is missing a soul.” Actually, the production team sold their souls. For a couple strips of latinum a month.

@Jammer ("I could just as easily say this series shows Trek standing for its core values in caring about science because the crew takes the efforts to rescue the space creature in the first place.”)

With all due respect, @Jammer, you can’t bureaucratize morality.

It is implied in “Magic" that if Starfleet didn’t have a rule threatening a courts martial of a captain if such an animal was not rescued, the Discovery would not have rescued this fish. That’s incredible.

Even in our own day and age, most decent people don't need a sledgehammer-like threat of a courts martial to do the right thing.

It says something that this Starfleet has to have such a draconian law on the books to enforce basic decency. And it says something far worse that the law had to be explicitly invoked for the Discovery to do the right thing here. How far we’ve fallen - and I’m not even saying from the moral high of Picard - but this is a fall even from the moral low of Archer.

As one of Londo’s wives on Babylon 5 once said of him, and which I think applies to Star Trek now: “You have [changed]. You’ve devolved.”

This isn’t Trek told from the point of view of nBSG’s Tom Zarek. This is Trek from the point of view of Admiral Cain.

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi, "Show me the errors of my ways.” As many have already said, your error is not actually watching the show!

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi, "How would actually watching the show make a difference?”

It’s incredible that I actually have to write this (and @Skout has also tried above), but here goes. The difference that watching the show will make is that then your opinion of the show will be based on the show. Right now, you are confusing your opinion of other peoples’ opinions of the show, for having an opinion of the show.

It was an enjoyable hour.

Loved the Romeo and Juliet call-back with Michael swallowing poison after Ash died. Classic.

And I’m glad that Harry Mudd got a chance to take his anger out at Lorca at being left to the Klingons, but in a way that has no actual effects on Lorca himself (@Pandapirate, I don’t think you know what the horrible words you use actually mean). That release, combined with the love of a good woman, should go a long way to re-making Mudd into the man we will see in 10 years.

But to be blunt (Emily Blunt!), the Edge of Tomorrow is better.

Love,
Mal
P.S., st-hypertext is still the best place for Trek discussions on the web!
Set Bookmark
Tomalak
Fri, Nov 3, 2017, 10:58am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Into the Fold

This was the first Orville episode I've really disliked. I'm very surprised by the positive comments above.

"We've got the reliable old chestnut of 'shuttle crashes on an alien planet' and the crew being forced to survive. Under normal circumstances this would be a recipe for an entirely dull, by-the-numbers filler plot."

Isn't this exactly what we did get?
Set Bookmark
Tomalak
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 9:28am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

Jammer, I just wanted to thank you for your many reviews. They have actually got me rewatching many an old TNG or VOY episode again - enjoyable in itself, and the reviews and your great comments section often just as enjoyable. You clearly put a lot of work in to these and it is appreciated.
Set Bookmark
Mal
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 1:45am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Majority Rule

@navamske, I just want to point out that in my comments to the second episode ("Command Performance"), I specifically said I came to Orville to watch Friday Night Lights' Tyra Collette wear a Starfleet uniform :) But I'll now put it on record, that I did not mind - at all - seeing her in civilian clothes.

So say we all.
Set Bookmark
Mal
Wed, Oct 25, 2017, 8:28pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

@Jason, "here, where presumably there is a higher contingent of old Star Trek fans than in the general population of online television reviewers, the response is highly negative. What does this tell us? That Star Trek fans dislike it, and yet professional television reviewers like it? And what might that suggest?”

Well (also, @E2) take The Onion AV Club, which (with all due respect and love and loyalty for @Jammer - see Proverbs 7!), is a gold-standard for TV reviews.

The Onion has been quite disappointed with Discovery. Here’s how they pan this week’s outing, "So yeah, this wouldn’t be great even if it didn’t have the Star Trek name. As it stands, all the Starfleet trimmings mostly just serve to continually underline the show’s failings without adding much in return. There are good performances here, and some potentially good ideas. But there’s no foundation yet. It’s hard to look to the stars when you don’t have any place to stand.”

I’m sure Lethe was a decent enough episode for people who don’t know much about Trek and who like to smoke up on Sunday nights (NTTAWWT), and need to have something on the TV while they do. But (as @Jason calls us) “old Star Trek fans” expect something a bit more elevating and elevated for our hour in front of the idiot box.

@Startrekwatcher, "Ultimately DIS just possesses all the elements of 21st century storytelling I abhor— its slick artificial feel coupled with insufferable characters.”

Yes, and unfortunately, that seems to be intentional.

This week, Captain Don “the Lorca” Draper seduces and sleeps with Kat, an old flame, his boss, and a shrink. Let me start off by saying I actually enjoyed this plot (@Bob, I’m with you on Lorca). If Discovery shows us what Hell in the Trek verse looks like, then Lethe is a fine bottle of scotch that lets us forget our past, including all that Trek canon BS. Add in the psychedelic Stamets mushrooms and the rainbow Katra hippie mumbo jumbo, and this is actually a show that is totally groovy.

But the people are fucked up.

Getting back to Lorca, one of Don Draper’s best girl friends was the lovely shrink, Dr. Faye Miller. I’m guessing that TPTB didn’t want to actually hire the gorgeous Cara Buono for the role of Admiral Kat Cornwell (that would have made the comparison a little too obvious), and in any case it was nice seeing someone of the Kat actress’ age (57) getting naked (without, you know, any actual nakedness). This Kat lady ain't a great actor, but alas this is Trek, and we’ll get over it.

Enjoyed the new security chief, Ash Tyler. Nice opening with Lorca (@Chrome, I’m with you on this). Really gets to the heart of the matter - how messed up is Ash after his ordeal with the Klingons? Not so messed up that he can’t beat the Captain’s holo-Klingon kill-count. Which says something. (I love that Ash reported 22 instead of 26 kills, so as not to undercut the Captain’s 24 kills! Kinda makes him hotter.)

Lorca is assembling a bridge crew that he hopes will have his back in a future mutiny. People who either owe their undivided allegiance to Lorca (Ash, Michael), or who have shown a very protective streak for their captain (Saru). Rekha Sharma’s character was of the same type before we thankfully saw the end of her. Lorca uses these people who are tied to him personally above and beyond regular Starfleet notions of duty. Kat used to fall into that category.

But now Kat wants Lorca to be a bit more professional - follow protocol and orders and all that.

There is a scene in House of Cards where journalist Zoey Barnes, who had been sleeping with Frank Underwood in the past but ended it and wanted things to be more professional, now wants a favour, and is surprised when Frank won’t just give in. Why, she asks, won’t you do this for me?? And Frank says: you waned it to be profession. This is what professional feels like.

Well Kat, you wanted Lorca to follow protocol and follow orders? Now don’t be surprised that he won’t just drop everything to jump in and rescue you. This is what professional feels like.

Finally, @Jammer, sorry to hear about CBS All Access techno-craping. This is my last week getting to watch ST:DIS on Netflix. Next week I’m back in the U.S. Maybe it’ll be time to put on my Pirate hat and sail the choppy waters of the itBay of the orrentTay. Getting down with the amorality (or is it immorality?) now being pushed on STD...
Set Bookmark
Tomalak
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 8:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Final Mission

"Stewart is competent while not being overly pompous, treating Dirgo as an equal despite Dirgo's erratic behavior."

We see a fantastic example of this early on. Picard makes the decision to head to the mountains and Dirgo rejects the idea that Picard is in charge. Wesley flips and yells.

Wesley: If you want to get out of this, I suggest you listen to Captain Picard! He's the one who's going to keep us alive!
Picard: Thank you, Ensign, that's enough... Captain Dirgo, you're an able pilot. I welcome your input. If you feel that there is an alternative we are overlooking...
Dirgo: ... No.

Picard is diplomatic and respectful and gets Dirgo to agree to his plan - and at the same time subtly takes command by reducing Dirgo to giving his "input".

This moment is a good example of what is annoying about Wesley, but also realistic. Aside from his very high technical ability, he is immature and incompetent. He put his foot in it in an immature way and escalated tension, while Picard was masterful in defusing that tension.
Set Bookmark
Mal
Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 10:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

Mal's review after Jammers...

Star Trek Discovery season 1 episode 5
"Chose your Pain"

3 stars (out of 4)

"All this shit started when Starfleet decided to boldly go where no one fucking wanted you to."
- Harry Mudd (may not be an exact quote)

I saw this episode immediately after a massage while on vacation, so I'll admit I was in a good mood.  As a stand alone hour of trek it was pretty good.  Not great.  Ok.

But I love @Skuffle's point ("Mudd goes on and on about how Starfleet are bad guys, which we heard from the Klingons in earlier episodes. So no one in the galaxy likes Starfleet I guess, and judging from the characters so far on the show I can see why.")

I don't like this show.  And I have never - in three dozen years watching Trek - ever said that.  Even when ST V went in search of God at the center of the galaxy (who signed off on that?!), I didn't say it.  Even when VOY was derivative and unoriginal, I didn't say it.  Even when ENT was boring, I didn't say it.  Even when Abrams OD'ed on the blue flares, I didn't say it.  Beacause I still loved Trek.  At the end of the latest Abrams movie - Beyond - I had a big old grin on my face.   But I'm saying it now. 

I don't like this show.

@Startrekwatcher hit the nail on its head: these folks are morally bankrupt.  And they know it.

I don't know how many of you understand what its like to work for a large bureaucratic organization, but there is only one reason you summon someone away from their day to day work for a face-2-face meeting (@Jack Strawb and others).  And that's cause you don't want a record of what was discussed.

Starfleet wants to hunt and trap and press into service as many Rippers as they can?  Yeah, we're going to need you to travel for a F-2-F.  Kthnxbye .

The morality on many shows is bankrupt. I remember being sick to my stomach every Sunday watching Don Draper decend further into depravity (Mad Men aired around the same time every week that the new STD drops). Or take the dispicable Underwoods on House of Cards. Both are amazingly scripted shows, compelling characters. Addictive story lines. None of which is true for Discovery. Discovery is just bad.

Take that god-aweful scene at the top where Sonequa Martin-Green says she is "out of sorts." Can a line delivery bomb any harder? @Brian and others ("Burnham is dragging the show down..."). Did anyone really think they could build a show around this actor?

Only Saru continues to impress. Sorry @Jammer, gotta go with @Jason on this one: Saru was super effective at carrying out his primary concern: protecting his captain. Way to step up when you're called upon to lead.

Which brings me back to Mudd. He's right, these folks are terrible. When I want to watch terrible people, I have a lot of far superior options: for incest, there is Game of Thrones; for throwing your people under the bus, House of Cards - and that's not even taking into accout old shows like the Wire which are always eminently rewatchable.

And speaking of the Wire, there is one of the most poetic scenes of dialogue from the Wire when the detectives (McNulty and The Bunk) analyze an entire crime scene using only the word "fuck." Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. And on like that for minutes. It is amazing.

Or you want scifi fucks, go watch The Expanse, where Christian, a beautiful middle-aged woman wearing a sari tells her political rivals to grow a pair of fucking balls. She's a powerful leader, and her fucks have meaning. Compare that to a kid on STD blurting out a bad word: oops.

In short, for bad people I have tons of TV to chose from, all better than STD.

Star Trek used to do just one thing better than the rest. Not CGI. Not violence. Not token minorities. Not torture. It showed what we might be. If we really tried. But that's hard. It means foregoing cheap tricks that please your corporate bosses. It takes courage.

Come on Star Trek, grow a pair of balls.
Set Bookmark
Mal
Wed, Oct 11, 2017, 12:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry

@Yanks, jumping. inter arma enim silent leges, bitches! But... but... I can’t imagine Spock not protesting (Captain, I should point out…), or Data (same), or Bashir (I can’t believe the Federation would go along with this?! To which Garak might reply: dude, grow up), or Kim (I really don’t think we should be doing this), or Trip (I brought you some pecan pie, and I basically think you’re becoming evil), or Scotty from Abrams-Trek (I quit!) But like you @Yanks, I live in hope of an eventual confrontation.

@Chrome, thanks for the RLM pointer. Enjoyed it.

@Peter G. & @ Robert, love your posts.

In The Captains, a 2011 documentary on all the actors who play Star Trek captains, William Shatner asks Scott Bakula why his show didn’t succeed? And Bakula says it basically boiled down to the cast. They just didn’t have the chemistry. Especially when compared to Bones/Kirk/Spock. But I think @Peter G. has an even better analysis. It boils down to motivations.

Characters are defined by their motivations. Data wanted to be human. Spock wanted to control his human emotions. Kira wanted what was best for Bajor. Odo craved order. Bashir wanted to live the principles of the Federation. Worf wanted to be a true Klingon. O’Brien was deeply loyal. Garak had daddy issues. Wes wanted to grow up (I think there was an episode where he got his wish from a Q-ish Riker). And Kirk wanted. everything. so. much. he. talked. like. this. :-)

What did Mayweather want? Or Malcolm? Or Phlox? Or Hoshi? No wants, no character. VOY didn’t have to be that way, but it became bland when the likes of Chakotay abandoned their motivations. Only The Doctor’s motivation survived, and lo, he was a pretty good character. Getting home is not a motivation. The motivation is why you want to get home.

Deforest Kelly was 46 when TOS first aired. Shatner was 35. When a 35 year old work-a-holic goes to his 46 year old colleague and asks what he thinks about foregoing having a family to pursue a career in starfleet, it is natural that the 46 year old pours him a drink and offers to listen. It worked on the show. (In Abrams-Trek, Chris Pine's Kirk talks to Bones about turning the age his father was when he died - it's a great beat).

Patrick Stewart was 47 when TNG started. That’s Bones territory. Too old to really second guess his main choice of work over family. But Jonathan Frakes was 35 - same age as Shatner was when he played the captain. And Frakes’ Wil Riker went 7 years without a promotion! Oh my god. That would cause a mid-lift crisis in just about anyone. Sisko lost his wife, had to raise a boy alone. We saw that boy grow. Paris was an ex-con, got married, started a family.

These are real people. Real emotions. Things that happen the same way to folks, whether back in the 1960’s (TOS) or 80’s (TNG) or 90’s (DS9) or today in the 20-teens.

Who are the people on STD? What do they want? I hope they don’t fall in that ENT/VOY trap… Michael is going to hit Kirk's age, and won't be captain. She's going to hit Riker's age, and won't be first officer. She’s going to hit Kira's age, and won’t even be a freedom fighter. She’s Paris’ age when VOY started. She’s an ex-con. But Paris had Harry.

Who will pour Michael a drink on her birthday?
Set Bookmark
Mal
Wed, Oct 11, 2017, 10:07am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Pria

@SlackerInc, oh crap, yes I'm travelling. I plan to get back in a few weeks - and along with Discovery disappearing from my Netflix, now I guess The Captains will too...

How did being in America become worse than being overseas? Make Netflix great again :)
Set Bookmark
Mal
Wed, Oct 11, 2017, 9:43am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry

@Peter G., "Even an average American in the present day would probably speak up about an animal being tortured. And in Trek they're supposed to be so advanced that they're beyond racism, hate, and prejudice. I find the incident really troubling, mostly in terms of how cynical and jaded the show implies the crew is to gleefully allow it to happen.”

Well said.

I’m reminded of a conversation between Mal and the Operative in the movie Serenity ( https://youtu.be/rxcTDoE_Kbg ),

Mal: I don't murder children.
The Operative: I do.

Only it would go something like this,

The Orville: We don’t imprison animals.
Discovery: We do.

What the fuck kind of Star Trek is this!?
Set Bookmark
Mal
Mon, Oct 9, 2017, 7:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry

@Traveler, it reminded a lot of Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land. Like a 60's version of scifi, with a bisexual orgy every episode.

Certainly not everyone's cup of tea.

But the point being, there is now Neo-Nazi scifi (Man in the High Castle), absolutely modern post-Interstellar level scifi (The Expanse), The Doctor just got a sex change scifi (Who), sit-com scifi (The Orville), Asian sex-robot scif (Humans), a group-of-strangers-become-a-crew scifi (Dark Matter), and on and on and on.

And that's not even including movies. Blade Runner just came out, a new Star Wars every year. Wonder Woman was gorgeous. And my absolute favorite: Guardians of the Galaxy.

YMMV
Set Bookmark
Mal
Mon, Oct 9, 2017, 6:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry

@Hank "Saru had... one line of dialogue. Like me, he seems quite disenchanted with the whole premise of the show/mission.”

LOL. Love it - so true. Seems like the only good part about the future is unlimited blueberries.



@Alexandrea, and @Chibbi, I agree, I do like Tilly. But that may be because no one else around is likeable at all - so you just reach out for anything remotely positive.



@Stefan T., "Why did Saru become the first officer in the first place, when he is so morally conflicted about his superior? Who would even promote such a coward?”

I think Lorca is a pretty incredible guy, but he knows he walks a little too close to the edge. He has to, yes, this is war. But he also likes to - his collection is a testament to his base nature. Saru is a canary in a coal mine. You need a birdie to sense when shit is about to hit the fan. And Saru stood up to Burnham when he thought she might be committing mutiny. That’s something that Lorca, with his god-aweful management style, will probably need in a first officer. So Lorca gets two things out of Saru: Foresight and Loyalty. It’s actually a great choice in first officer.



@Trent, "In the 1950s, SF was rekindled by short stories, short story compilations and old pulp magazines. These SF tales were concise, mind-bending, made their point quickly, and got out. They were little thought experiments.”

For sure. And things have been dry for the last 15 years or so. But the author of one of my favorite scifi books, “Never Let Me Go” just got the Nobel Prize. So things are looking up again. Scifi is thriving: The Expanse, Man in the High Castle, Guardians of the Galaxy, Sense8, Intersteller, etc. Maybe Trek is stuck in the era of Archer, but the world has moved on.



@bhbor, "Its 2017. I am tired of war stories. I love war stories but I'm tired of them. All I see on the news and in my city streets is violence, crime and hate. A man just shot 500+ people in Las Vegas last week, war rages on all over our planet (right now) and the world political environment is tumultuous, unpleasant- even frightening...

and it pisses. me. off, that I cannot look at this Star Trek as escapism, that I cannot see a better and brighter future from which to inspire in myself a more hopeful outlook on my species or way to think about my own world.

I hate this Star Trek.”

Wow. Yeah, I think you hit the nail on the head. I guess I just needed to see it written out like that.

I feel Angel might lecture the crew of Discovery:

"Nothing in the world is the way it oughta be. It’s harsh and cruel. But that’s why there’s us: champions. It doesn’t matter where we come from, what we’ve done, or suffered. Or even if we make a difference. We live as though the world were as it should be, to show it what it can be. You’re not a part of that yet. I hope you will be.”

Discovery, you’re not part of Star Trek yet. I hope you will be.


Set Bookmark
Mal
Mon, Oct 9, 2017, 9:42am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry

Mal’s review of Star Trek: Discovery season 1 episode 4

“The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry”

before Jammer’s review…


“That’s not fair! T’Kumva said I could be in charge! I’m hungry! You’re a meanie!”

- Son of None. I admit, maybe my translation from the original Klingon is a bit off...


Better this week, but the writing is crap. Is this what $6m buys? Actually, all the plot points are here - the story outline was done right - but holy crap, it’s like the people actually tasked with fleshing out the script have absolutely no idea how to create a feeling.

First, the Klingons are boring. Bo-ring. End this subtitle bullshit. Clean up the makeup. Bring back some passion. Remember General Chang, twirling in his chair while torpedoing the Enterprise and reciting Shakespeare in The Undiscovered Country. Now that’s a fucking Klingon! Not some whiney-ass Son of None.

Second, howzbout a little dramatic build up. Bombs going off on random dilithium planet - no one fucking cares. I know these writers can’t seem to do anything unique, so here’s a cheat. Go watch DS9: “the Breen have attacked Earth.” That’s hairs on the back of your neck. Or how about B5: “they’ve started bombing Mars. I repeat, they’re bombing Mars.” Yeah baby, war time! The way STD played out, it seemed like some backwater out of Andromeda was under attack by monsters of the week, and Captain Dylan Hunt and his crew are on their way to save the day. Mr. Gaeta, set jump engines. Jump.

Third, what’s a guy gotta do to get a little water works? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m happy Rekha Sharma is dead. But dude, maybe a memorial? Some, I don’t know, swelling music? By the time Michael Burnham opened Georgiou’s box, we should have been primed and ready to go. Instead, I barely cared. And I really liked Georgiou. But the writing is just off.

Personally, I didn’t mind the Equinox plot with The Ripper (@Greg M, good catch). But you’re telling me Stamets, who complains about everything Lorca does, doesn’t have any problem with this? That said, Burnham figuring out what’s up with The Ripper was a highlight. So 2.5 stars. With writing like this, we can use any highlight we can get.

Love,
Mal
Set Bookmark
Mal
Mon, Oct 9, 2017, 8:56am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Pria

@SlackerInc

Here's the direct Netflix link:

https://www.netflix.com/title/70187715

Set Bookmark
Mal
Sun, Oct 8, 2017, 12:55am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Pria

@SlackerInc, I found the part from The Captains (2011) with Kate Mulgrew talking to William Shatner about her kids and her personal life:

https://youtu.be/qPdmzp6cK3I

Let me know what you think.
Set Bookmark
Mal
Sat, Oct 7, 2017, 10:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Pria

@SlackerInc: "Am I the only one who really liked Kirk's romances of the week? He always fell in so deep, I felt for the guy. He really wore his heart on his sleeve."

Oh, I agree. He fell reluctantly, then deeply - whole heartedly. And he knew his job would take him away in just a little while and break everyone's heart. So he tried to stay away, and often, very often, they did not make it easy.

The "After Trek" abomination pops up after Discovery when you watch the show. Anyway, it all left such a terrible taste in my mouth, that I hunted around Netflix for a palette cleanser, and found "The Captains (2011)" a documentary with The Shat, Sir Patrick, Avery Scatman, Kate Singlemom, and Scott Singer. They even threw in a few minutes with Chris Pine. At one point in the documentary, Shatner asks each actor who played the lead on a Star Trek show about how the work (14 hours a day, 40 weeks a year) killed their marriages (except Avery Brooks, because that man seems like he could handle anything, as long as he has a piano!). It was a heartbreaking moment.

Kate Mulgrew talks about how theirs is the “second oldest profession in the world,” and leaves unsaid the kinds of Harvey Weinstein like crap she must have faced to get to where she is. And Sir Patrick is just stunned into silence by the question. He doesn’t say anything for a long while, and then stumbles through prepared lines on guilt and regret and his two failed marriages (this was before he got married a third time). Who knew the actor behind Picard was as bad at relationships as the Picard himself!?

But it got me thinking: who from STD would be the lead actor from the show and be able to sit with Shatner or Mulgrew or Patrick Stewart or Avery Brooks (holy crap!) and have a deep discussion about what happens to you when you die? Not Sonequa Martin-Green. Even Chris Pine, as delightful as he is, didn’t really have much he could contribute, so the documentary showed him and Shatner arm wrestling. Which was not unentertaining.

And that brings me to Pria, and the point I wanted to make. Seth McFarlan’s lines after he sleeps with Charlize Theron is something right out of the lives of any of the great actors behind the great Starfleet captains. They all have fucked up personal lives (except Brooks), and they all must have the same trust issues as Captain Ed Mercer, who was cheated on while he was away at his 14-hour a day job. Captain Mercer has been hurt, and hurt badly, but unlike Kirk (as @SlackerInc described him), Mercer plays things close to the chest. The more I watch Orville, the more I think it’s basically Voyager + The Office, but toned down, because McFarlan is not Michael Scott. And from The Captains documentary, it is clear that Mulgrew knows what it is to be hurt. And Mulgrew knows what it is to be alone. And that came out with Janeway.

I’d take Seth sitting down to chat with The Captains over Sonequa any day.

Love,
Mal
Next ►Page 1 of 5
▲Top of Page | Menu | Copyright © 1994-2017 Jamahl Epsicokhan. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication or distribution of any content is prohibited. This site is an independent publication and is not affiliated with or authorized by any entity or company referenced herein. See site policies.