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SlackerInc
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 11:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Command Performance

Remember upthread when I said I felt like this episode deserved a half star less than the pilot in some respects despite acknowledging aspects that were improved? Jammer's review shook loose the basic reason why: the turnaround to defy the admiral's orders was too perfunctory and not really imbued with the realism or complexity that was actually a strong point elsewhere in the episode.

I did like that she started out obeying the admiral's orders, and then dismissed the helmsman from the bridge for disobeying hers. (Similarly, dressing down the chief engineer.) But then how did she ultimately justify her disobedience if she expects others to follow the chain of command? Exploring that quandary would have been cool.

And then everyone in the mess was cheering her "bite me". But this is a brand new captain and XO. Would not at least some of them prefer following a fleet admiral's orders to going off on a mission that could get them all killed or imprisoned?
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anchors away
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 10:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Projections

when the Doctor views the last log left by Janeway,.....who would stop RIGHT in the middle of a catastrophe to stop, chat to a camera,, and record a log?
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Peremensoe
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 8:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: What Are Little Girls Made Of?

Trek fan: "At this very moment, in 2017, we have androids (see that freaky prototype in Japan) that look and act entirely human."

What? No we don't. There's nothing that *really* looks human. Close enough to be uncanny, but that's a valley short of passing.

The behavior, of course, is much harder and much farther away.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 6:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Darmok

Me and my wife are currently watching all of the Trek episodes in order (I rewatch, she's in for the first time) and tomorrow we get to "Darmok".

I envy the magical experience awaiting her, watching this episode for the first time. It is - literally - a once in a lifetime experience.




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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 5:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Command Performance

For what its worth, I don't find the "drinks and drugs" thing funny, either.

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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 4:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Old Wounds

@Chrome

"But, I'm more excited about Discovery, especially after reading the published episode summaries that OTDP posted the other day."

Those were not "episode summaries". They were guesses made by the press based on the episode titles.

Sadly, you won't see any "episode summaries" before the premiere on Sept. 24 due to the review embargo.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 4:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Old Wounds

@Jason R.

You might be surprised.

The typical "McFarlane humor" is *very* toned down in the Orville. It's still there, of-course, but it's far less cringe-worthy then - say - Family Guy.

And keep in mind another thing: For some odd reason, the really heavy McFarlane-type jokes tend to cluster in the beginning of the episodes. So before you decide to quit the show after 5 minutes of watching, remember that the first 5 minutes are not representative of the whole thing.

(I have no idea why they're doing it in this way, but it happened in both episodes 1 and 2 so I assume it's intentional)




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Canjobear
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 4:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: General Discussion

Sounds like the long dramatic episode names are a throwback to TOS. A good sign.
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SlackerInc
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 3:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Command Performance

And Thursday is a premium spot on the schedule, due to advertising for weekend movies (although scheduling is becoming less and less relevant with each passing year). This is when NBC used to rule the roost with "Must See TV": Cosby Show, Family Ties, Cheers, Frasier, Seinfeld, Friends, ER, and even The Apprentice were all NBC Thursday shows that were in the top 10 of weekly viewership.

Nowadays, though, along with making money from later sale to streaming services and international markets, what counts in the short run is how a show does in "the demo" (18-49 year olds). A site that's very good at tracking all this stuff is TV By the Numbers. Their graph for the past week (that includes this second episode) show "Orville" in strong position both in the demo and in total numbers (but notice that the demo is presented first, as advertisers don't much care if a lot of 50+ folks are watching):

tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/weekly-ratings/broadcast-top-25-and-network-rankings-for-sept-11-17-2017/

This is a weird graph, though. "Orville" is actually the only scripted show in the top 13 ("Marlon" is tied with a couple others at #14), and it's the only hourlong scripted show in the entire top 25 (in the demo: the old-skewing "NCIS" has a repeat at #14 in total viewers). That's going to change: this is still the end of the summer TV season, and when all the shows come back for fall (and new ones premiere), it will be a different story.

That said, "Orville" got a jump on the competition, and the second-week ratings are within the normal 10-20% dropoff for a second episode (though close to the high end). We'll have to see what happens when it moves to Thursday. When shows get a launch after something like "Big Bang Theory", they inevitably lose a lot of viewership when they move to their regular night. But I think there's reason to be a little more optimistic here. For one thing, football caused "Orville" to start at a really weird time this week (8:48). Secondly, it's supposed to be getting a boost from coming on after FOX's afternoon football game, right? But first you have to sit through a postgame show, not nearly as much watched as the game itself. And then, if you're into football, aren't you going to switch over to NBC and watch Sunday Night Football, the most popular "show" on TV? Not to mention that Sunday night in general is when networks schedule their most prestigious offerings.

Time will tell, and the numbers will be the numbers. I'm crossing my fingers.
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Trek fan
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 1:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: What Are Little Girls Made Of?

PS -- I disagree with people asserting that the main TOS cast is acting out of character too much in these early episodes before we get to know them. The space phenomena that make our protagonists act out of character is actually a great storytelling device: It helps us learn who these people are in the course of dramatic contrast and conflict, as thoughts like "Kirk isn't like that!" leads us to form conclusions about what Kirk IS like. And so on.

So early TOS ends up "showing rather than telling" by allowing the characters to develop through their interactions with the main plot -- much more like modern movies do (including the Trek reboots) than the long-winded exposition of later Trek spin-offs, i.e. the long-winded speeches Picard is always giving about his values in TNG, especially Season 1. Sometimes the character speeches in later Trek spin-offs are good, but the speechifying ("I am Worf and honor is important to me") gets dull and many key character development moments (i.e. Data on the holodeck) often get relegated to B-stories which sometimes exceed but rarely intersect with the main plot, leaving the shows feeling strangely bifurcated into two unrelated plots or two plots which are poorly balanced (i.e. either the A-story or B-story is incredibly forgettable) or so poorly related that it's hard to remember they share the same episode space.
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Trek fan
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 1:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Man Trap

PSS -- And kudos to the whole "my ex is a salt vampire" subtext to the episode. That's a fun head trip: McCoy's sweet ex-girlfriend has died and been replaced by a rampaging beast. It's a snarky little piece of irony that is very typical of classic Trek; we may sometimes miss these fun little plot winks when we take Trek too seriously.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 1:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Command Performance

It was a planned change, though.

We've known for weeks (at least) that the Orville will air on Thursdays starting with episode #3. Does this change your assessment of this being "a bad sign"?





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Trek fan
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 1:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Man Trap

PS -- On second thought, I might give "Man Trap" 3 stars, mostly because I still find myself thinking about its implications -- the relationship between Crater and the creature, the creature keeping Crater alive to supply salt (we might assume the creatures died out after exhausting the planet's salt supply from both natural and animal sources), the implications of wiping out the last of a species, etc. This is good stuff. In analyzing and responding to reader critiques in my comments above, I've argued myself into appreciating this one more than I previously did. And even though many comments on these Star Trek episodes use the phrase "it raises more questions than it answers" as a criticism, I tend to view it more as a badger of honor: I don't *want* Star Trek to wrap up every loose end in a neat bow with some exhaustive explanation, as many of the later spin-offs tended to do, but to leave things a little messy in a way that challenges me to think. I believe TOS does that especially well: There's a real pulpy sense of risk and adventure in these shows even if "Man Trap" unfolds a bit slowly. And when we look at "Man Trap" as a Trekkian take on the Sci-Fi monster movie, rather than comparing it to Trek overall, I think we can appreciate what it's trying to do: Ultimately the creature is killed, but only after a debate in which people try sincerely to find compassion for it. And although the creature finds a tragic end after the briefing it overhears causes it (I'm avoiding gender pronouns since the creature appears both male and female in the episode) to panic and eliminate Crater, Kirk exhibits regret over having to kill it. That feels pretty Star Trek to me.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 11:22am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Command Performance

The final ratings for episode #2 are here:

Old Wounds: 8.6 million
Command Performance: 6.6 million

Anybody has an idea whether this is good or bad news?

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Trek fan
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 10:37am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: What Are Little Girls Made Of?

Good early Trek episode, perhaps not among the best but entertaining nonetheless, and not just for the oddly shaped Kirk rock and creative Andrea costume or even for Ted Cassidy's fun guest turn as Ruk. This is good philosophical Sci-Fi, a foray into what it means to exist and to be yourself. And the final reveal of Korby, with Chapel's tragic loss and the pathetic self-explanation of "Korby," comes across as surprisingly affecting and poignant. I give it 3 or 3 1/2 stars.

Ironic that TOS gives us androids that actually look MORE advanced than Data on TNG supposedly 70 years later in the Trek universe. At this very moment, in 2017, we have androids (see that freaky prototype in Japan) that look and act entirely human. So Data's yellow/green skin and fake eyes on TNT is actually the more primitive design than TOS, where Roddenberry was probably just trying to save money by having androids who looked human. Very intriguing. Incidentally, we'll give Ruk a pass on "looking human," since he was designed by "the old ones" on Korby's planet centuries ago and presumably resembles them rather than human beings.

So all in all, this is a good introduction to androids for the Trek universe, although I personally find "I Mudd" in Season 2 more entertaining if not as thought-provoking as this one. "What Are Little Girls Made Of" also helps develop the TOS characters further, firstly giving us more backstory for Chapel in the only episode where she plays the central role. Secondly, we continue to learn about Kirk's resourcefulness (the methodical way he scraps out of an impossible situation) and the observant qualities of Spock in his budding relationship with Kirk.

And this show has one of the best mic-dropping ends in the Trek universe -- gotta love Andrea's response to being refused a kiss (snap snap) and Kirk's "Dr. Korby was never here" line at the end. And Korby's final monologue, railing at his own limitations as he realizes his lack of compassion/emotion makes him less than the perfect copy he had hoped, is affecting. Some of the cat-and-mouse games in the cavern feel a bit like filler, but the red shirt deaths are iconic, and the closing exchange between Kirk and Spock on the "half-breed" gambit cements their growing bond. Good Star Trek here.

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Yanks
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 9:32am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Command Performance

I enjoyed this episode.

It seems that those having a hard time with this series are evaluating it like it is trek. It is not. We wouldn't do that for FarScape, or BAB5... I just don't think you can look at this through that same lens.

The biggest issue I had with this one was the reason Alara "caved". She was so worried about what everyone thought of her she even went to the mess hall to announce her change in heart.

I loved the reality TV bit and all the neat new aliens.

Loved the opening. I like that it's a long one. TV had gone away from that. The visuals made me think of Voyager, but I couldn't place what sounded familiar to me in the music. Then I figured it out.... it reminds of of 'Seaquest DSV'.

Fun ride, getting better as we go.

Nice to see Ron Canada again.

2.5 stars.
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Jason R.
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 9:13am (UTC -5)
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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N
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 7:39am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Command Performance

The score's certainly impressive in its bombast, but in this ep I found it overemphatic and intrusive at points - almost telling you what to feel rather than effectively and appropriately underscoring what's happening on screen.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 7:34am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: General Discussion

Titles of the first 4 episodes revealed:

www.tvguide.com/news/star-trek-discovery-first-four-episode-titles/

If nothing else, DSC will boast the the 2nd longest episode title in Trek history (9 words).
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Yanks
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 6:45am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Resolutions

Just caught this one last night.

I really enjoy this one; always have.

Harry should have been thrown in the brig! :-)

Kes actually serves a meaningful purpose.

I do have a problem with Voyager just flying into the Vidian's plain as day trap... but Tuvok's solution was a good one I guess.

Still 3 stars in my book.
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SlackerInc
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 4:55am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Command Performance

@Tempeh: "By the way, did anyone notice the soundtrack? I though it was amazing; very DS9 like)"

I just read that MacFarlane insisted on having a full orchestra score each episode separately, as would be done with a movie.  That is, indeed, pretty amazing.

I found this very thought-provoking as well.  I have friends who are strongly anti-zoo, but I still take my kids to zoos from time to time, as long as they seem to make an effort to provide habitat and not just a cage.  But I recognize that it's still nothing like what an animal would have in the wild (although I haven't been to the San Diego Zoo).  I console myself with the fact that animals do tend to live longer in captivity, but I'm still torn about it and this episode actually shifted me over a bit.

@Cosmic: I am glad you are keeping an open mind.  I agree with a couple of your points (that toning down the comedy is a good idea, that the colon scan joke was too much, and that rehashing how the captain "wasn't there" for his wife/XO is tiresome, just as it was in the pilot).  I also am beginning to see a pattern, that in general you frown at lighthearted or approving portrayals of drugs and alcohol.  That's your prerogative, but just not one I share.  I like that the show is "modernized" in this way (although I recall Scotty getting pretty wasted on Romulan ale or something like that in TOS).

@OTDP: I liked the Star Wars joke too.  And I agree it's tough to give individual ratings.  I liked some things about this episode better than the pilot, yet overall I feel like I want to give it 3/4 instead of the 3.5/4 from the pilot, and I can't quite explain why.  (Maybe it's because nothing here was as awesome as the troll bit?)
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SlackerInc
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 4:39am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Old Wounds

@Peter G: "It is also definitely supposed to be a comedy; it's not a serious story with jokes, it is definitively a 'jokey' show."

You can't argue taste: if you hated it, I can't say you're wrong.  So this is the one point in your "review" that I will contest.  "Supposed to be" is in the intent of MacFarlane, and he said:

"Star Trek has chosen to go along a different path or try something different than what they’ve done before, which is great. But it’s also left a wide, open space for the kind of episodic science fiction that they used to do, and I still have a huge appetite for that. I feel like a lot of people, a lot of fans do as well."
Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2017/09/16/seth-macfarlane-on-the-orville-going-boldly-where-no-tv-show-has-gone-before/#619d85c05357

Unless you think he takes earlier Trek shows as comedies?

I think this becomes more clear in the second episode, by the way.  There are jokes there, but overall it definitely leans toward the "dram" in "dramedy".  In particular, the whole crisis the young lieutenant faces regarding her first command can hardly be said to be the stuff of comedy.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 3:10am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Command Performance

The strength of the pilot, in my view, is that it is a good *pilot*.

I probably would have disliked it more if it were, say, the 5th episode of the series. But as a pilot, it does a very good job introducing the characters and the tone of the series. Even the bad humor serves this purpose... think of it as an initiation ritual: If you can stick through all those jokes (even grudgingly) then you'll probably enjoy episode #2. Otherwise, the series is probably not for you. :-)
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 12:32am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: General Discussion

@Startrekwatcher

"Yes there's so many added benefits to going forward from TNG/DS9/VOY. You can have all those TOS and TNG era aliens but can also show changes in their societies since the TNG era."

Yeah.

I, for one, think that we should see the aftermath of the Dominion War. Did the UFP learn of its mistakes? We were just left hanging there.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Sep 19, 2017, 12:20am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Command Performance

@Cosmics

"Kind of leaning towards a 2.5/4 on the Jammer scale.

(I would've rated the premiere a 1.5/4) "

It looks like you had to revise your rating for the premiere downwards... and I think I should too.

I mean, if I give the pilot a low 3 stars and this is definitely better... well, something was obviously off with that rating.

This just demonstrates how difficult it is to rate a new show before it finds its footing. I mean, everybody today agrees that "Encounter at Farpoint" was a mediciore Trek episode, but there's no way I would have given it a mediciore rating when it first aired.

I think I'll just forgo the star ratings for now, until we have a few more episodes with which to make a meaningful scale (I don't envy Jammer, who doesn't have this luxury).

And a note on the current episode: Did anybody notice the random Star Wars joke that was thrown in? I thought it was a nice touch.


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