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Paul Davis
Mon, Nov 28, 2016, 1:17am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: In the Pale Moonlight

Possibly the most affecting episode I've watched of DS9. By the end I was getting choked up. Not just at the torture you could feel he went through but out of sadness seeing a beloved character knowingly put a little darkness in his soul for "the greater good".

I agree with every word of Jammers review. I'd add that without all the other episodes that have built this world and these people it would not have been as emotionally jarring and draining as it was.

Considering everything that happened this will sound strange, but this was a pure joy to watch.

Absolute masterpiece.
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Paul Davis
Mon, Nov 21, 2016, 1:39am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: Time Squared

As much as I love the story and its elements I'd personally give this one three or even 2.5 stars - and for one and only one reason: Picard acts like a complete Dick in this episode - not just in general but to other people as well.

His short little condescending remarks to the crew when they note that they can't imagine any reason he'd leave the ship is just one example.

The other problem with him being an asshole is in the way it's portrayed: it's not consistent with his character. After getting more than enough evidence that this is indeed him he keeps behaving as if he doesn't believe it. That's not how Picard would normally react.

He's also an introspective man who is comfortable with his strengths and weaknesses so for him to act so threatened by his other selves odd behavior is... not necessarily jarring but, I guess, against the grain. It rubs the wrong way and laces the entire episode with a bad taste.

I remember watching this when it aired and being angry because this is exactly the kind of story I love and it ruined it for me.

All these years later and I find my reaction is the same.
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Paul Davis
Sun, Nov 20, 2016, 1:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: Shades of Gray

To this day whenever we watch a clip episode of any show we call it a "shades of gray" episode. Everyone knows exactly what we mean.

And thanks for the genuine laugh out loud at seeing zero stars.
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Paul Davis
Sun, Nov 20, 2016, 12:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: Contagion

Recently re-watched and I'd have to nudge it to 3.5 also. This is a very efficient episode with no fat on the bone at all. It goes quickly yet crams a whole lot of great things in.
Jammers complaint about the Yamato - that they should have been able to figure out the same solution forgets that unlike either the Enterprise or the Romulan ship it was fully scanned by the actual probe and had a much smaller window to fix things. Not to mention no Data to spur the solution.
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Paul Davis
Fri, Nov 18, 2016, 4:50am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

There are a lot of folks that despise J.J. Abrams for reasons they never adequately explain. I get the lens flare thing but I think they're just pissed that he rebooted Star Trek. As if he stepped out of a hot tub one day and said "hey, I think I'll go screw with this beloved franchise".

If you want to be angry that it was rebooted fine but aiming that anger at Abrams is ridiculous. He's the guy that got the job to direct what Orci and Kurtzman wrote and the studio greenlighted the reboot.

I think that misplaced anger causes people to accuse Abrams of either not having respect for the franchise or not understanding it. Everything Abrams has said in interviews, podcasts, con panels etc say otherwise.

In reference to the theme of the first Star Trek in 2009 and extending to Into Darkness he said something very simple that I think he's lived by. This isn't the quote but basically it was that history wants these people to be together and whether you call it destiny or fate they keep getting thrown into the same places and people but now in ways different than the original universe.

I like that idea and it's what's made me come to appreciate the reboots. I especially don't think J.J. gets enough credit for the mirror scene of Spock/Kirk dying.

That scene had about a million ways it could have gone horribly wrong but Abrams was pitch perfect. I was amazed AS I watched it the first time in theaters, thinking damn, he really pulled that off.

I had a much harder time with the "solution" to Kirks death but honestly it wasn't any more "hand wavy" than how Spock was brought back.

I know some thought it came out poorly but I'd recommend they rewatch it - they might have a ddifferent view.
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Paul Davis
Fri, Nov 18, 2016, 3:49am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

I've been following this story since Discovery was announced and just since August the mood and tone of Trek fans has gradually but forcefully moved from cautious excitement to outright anger and rebellion. I'm one of them.

CBS All Access is 5.99 for basic service - with ads. If you don't want ads for some odd reason (?!) You can pay the Netflix price of 9.99.

Once upon a time not that long ago this was a viable new business model and it's played out to the point we see who's standing now and CBS is at the bottom of the heap of the seven that survived: Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, HBO Now, SHO, Starz and CBS.

I can get all of those but one on my Tivo - guess which one? Any idea how many people use Tivo? More than CBS All Access has as customers - by a very large number - and like Jammer I will NOT be watching this on my phone or tablet. So my choice is wait, pirate or pass.

Those just scratch the surface as to why CBS is setting themselves up for failure.

Now Bryan fuller has left as showrunner. Let that sink in. This is the person that has creative control of the series. CBS has tried to downplay this but it IS a big blow.

Now we have CBS Interactive CEO Jim Laznor angering fans by saying Star Trek and sci-fi don't really do well on TV.
Now some have tried to argue that he's technically correct in that Trek shows lost viewership as the years went on but the other side of that argument is that Star Trek created a bit of a glut for itself - not to mention we need to recognize that the writing on shows like VOY and ENT did go down in quality, as do many shows that find themselves boxed In by their own narrative.

The other argument in favor of Laznor's comment is that while there are actually quite a few sci-fi shows doing well on TV today - none of the ones on broadcast TV are space based. This argument makes no sense. It's incredibly difficult to get your hands on comprehensive production costs of a space based TV show but I see nothing that would indicate a space based sci-fi show would cost any more than any other sci-fi show.

This perception is based on a decades old mentality that CGI is very time and cost prohibitive and in the late 80's into the mid to late 90's that was true. It no longer is.

I wanted to point that out for a little history on where that bias comes from but the truth is it's a moot point.

When you look at Laznor's actual words he wasn't talking about today's shows. It's a very subtle thing he does trying to justify the move to streaming:

"Sci-fi is not something that has traditionally done really well on broadcast..."

He says "traditionally". You see that's just not true on its face. All "traditional" sci-fi has been on broadcast TV - even Stargate SG-1 which started on Showtime moved to the then Sci-Fi Channel. Sci-fi has traditionally done very well on broadcast TV Mr. Laznor.

Go to any site that's talking about ST: Discovery right now and read the comments section. It is overwhelmingly negative toward CBS while not criticizing the show itself. That should indicate who the majority of these commenters are: Trek fans.

CBS wants American viewers to pay 5.99 - or 9.99 if you don't want commercials - in order to watch a show that millions of viewers will only be able to access on mobile devices - and if you're like 75 million of us still keep your Netflix - while everyone else in the world will be able to watch it ON Netflix.

CBS hasn't aired a single second of this show and they've already pissed of the built in audience that's supposed to support it so why on earth would a non-fan feel motivated to pay for the service when Trek fans themselves are already talking about waiting for it to go to regular broadcast, pirate it or skip it altogether?

I don't know how far along the show is so I don't know what viable alternatives CBS has - if any. What I do know is that the poisoning of the Trek fanbase began when their legitimate right to the IP overstepped into the fanbase that truly love the franchise. There's guidelines for fanfiction now. Fanfic - the vast majority of which never sought monetary gain and hurt no one. If anything it was the lifeblood and spirit that keeps Trek's vision alive. Most franchises with similar fan structures understand there's a balancing act when it comes to protecting the company's legitimate property with givingbfans breathing room since they are your base.

Whether these perceptions are true or not this was seen by most if not all fans as vindictive and punitive.

So CBS started in the negative column. Now, go to any comicon and ask a Trek fan and you'll hear them talk about how CBS and Paramount have no respect for the fans or the franchise and that it would be in better hands with Disney. Yes, I heard that at a comicon and I have to say I found myself nodding before I even considered if it would be because I don't feel it's been treated with respect or an understanding of Treks vision and spirit.

Again, none of these perceptions may be true (though I personally believe many are) but they ARE out there in large numbers.

I almost think it would be better to shelf it and do some image rehabilitation but I suspect they won't.

For myself I'll wait and see how it's received and if it's positive I'll either hold off till it goes to reruns on the network - or Netflix since they have a relationship now. What I WON'T do is contribute to CBS All Access. I'm pretty sure I represent most Trek fans in that regard.
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