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Paul M.
Mon, Feb 19, 2018, 12:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Fun Fact Time!

Out of 29 seasons of Trek, there have been only three without a single four-star-episode as reviewed by Jammer: VOY1, ENT4, and DIS1.

What grand and esoteric piece of wisdom can be gleaned from this? What truth lies hidden beneath the murky waters of subjective opinion, waiting to be ushered into the light? Time will only tell... or will it?
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Paulus Marius
Tue, Feb 13, 2018, 1:01am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@jrpl: The streaming service you're looking for in Canada is Crave TV - that's how I've watched Discovery. The good news for you: you can sign up for a free 1-month trial and watch the whole thing so you can see what all the kvetching here on the Jam Jam has been about. In case you're interested in my opinion, it's worth the ride, despite a final episode that I found disappointing. (I've been a supporter of the show on here, although I acknowledge it has flaaaaws aplenty.)
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Ari Paul
Thu, Feb 8, 2018, 12:24am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: Galaxy's Child

Leah Brahms is HOT HOT HOT! I mean, MEEEOOOW! By far the most adorable chick in the star trek universe. I don't blame Geordi for getting so excited about her arrival. It's just such a shame she had to be married...
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Paul M.
Tue, Feb 6, 2018, 12:19pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

@Tim: "This bit I agree with 100%. It makes me wonder why they had to set the series in this time period? Why not set it a hundred years after the adventures of Picard and his contemporaries? Then you can have your spore drive, the war, and all of this, without current fans scratching their heads trying to reconcile this all with what came before."

It probably has to do with Abramsverse. As we well know, for some time Trek hasn't been under one roof: CBS owns TV rights, while Paramount owns movie rights. My guess is that CBS doesn't want to deal with divergent TV/movie canons and in the process they intend to silently merge the two without ever saying so, probably banking on the fact that new audiences are going to be more familiar with 2009+ movies. And the only way to do that is to place the show in an era before the split occurred. That's also the reason behind much of the visual feel and design of Discovery which definitely owes much more to Abramsverse than to classic Trek.
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Paul C
Tue, Feb 6, 2018, 7:43am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S3: Plato's Stepchildren

The first half of this episode is basically unwatchable and (unintentionally) hilarious. It rescues itself when they start to decide how to solve the problem. Then it's actually quite good and ties the story up well.

The episode contains the lines, 'colour, size, race isn't important'. But this episode is famous for, ironically, it being very important. Sad, really.
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Paulus Marius
Tue, Feb 6, 2018, 1:09am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

I also thought this was a great episode. It scored very high on the Trek-o-meter for reasons others have outlined above. I found the slow pacing very appealing. I found the Ash/Burnham scene not only necessary - but great. (Not perfect, but definitely great.)

Characters were true to themselves. The music was fantastic. The ship almost lovingly shot. The spore terraforming scene was high on the Trek values many have been pining for: exploration, wonder, possibility.

I find I am less and less interested in questions of canon as time goes by, despite having been a pedantic nitpicker about them when TNG and DS9 first aired. I think this has made me a happier Star Trek fan.

I felt that any flaws to be found in this episode directly relate to flaws from other episodes. From where I'm sitting now, it might just be my favourite of the series so far. It left me with that Trekky feeling, y'know? But Jammer's persuasive, so I look forward to hearing what he has to say....
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Ari Paul
Mon, Feb 5, 2018, 9:16am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Cost of Living

I have to agree with you Elle.

This is one of those whimsical fluff episodes that makes TNG so charming. Sometimes, especially after serious episodes dealing with big morality issues or interstellar conflicts, its enjoyable to just to chill out and vicariously lounge around with the characters on the ship. I really can't stand shows that treat everything as if its set to a spinal tap 11 in seriousness--overtime it becomes a joyless and emotionally exhausting exercise. Episodes like this interspersed among the rest actually help TNG.

2 stars.

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Ari Paul
Fri, Feb 2, 2018, 8:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Hunted

What makes this episode so great (or, bearable, if you don't like the episode) is the actor who plays Roga Danar, Jeff McCarthy. He's just fantastic! Star Trek has always been blessed to have great guest stars, and he's one of the best.
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Paulus Marius
Fri, Feb 2, 2018, 1:51am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

Bang-on review, Jammer. You nailed it. Thank you. I needed that.
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Paulus Marius
Tue, Jan 23, 2018, 12:15pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Vaulting Ambition

Rapp and Cruz light up the screen. Their chemistry is fantastic. Too bad that's probably it for Rapp-Cruz scenes.

I could watch Rapp for hours. He's so good.


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Paulus Marius
Mon, Jan 22, 2018, 1:49am (UTC -6)
Re: TOS S1: Balance of Terror

Knowing the reputation of this episode probably harmed my experience of watching it for the first time, as I have just done (yes I grew up a TNG kid). I realize it is regarded as a classic but I didn't find it as compelling as a whole as many have enthusiastically outlined here. There were many masterful moments. But as a whole it didn't impress me as much as I was expecting it to. (Pesky expectations) Spock saving Stiles for instance - too tidy for my liking. One of the young couple being the only casualties - eminently predictable. But it's easy to criticize with hindsight and I wish I could have seen this as people viewed it in the 60s. Loved Kirk and McCoy performances though. outstanding.
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Paulus Marius
Wed, Jan 17, 2018, 7:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The Wolf Inside

*refreshes page yet again eagerly awaiting Jammer's review*

Some fascinating discussions on here, thanks lads & lasses

+1 to Shannon & WTBA's posts
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Paulus Marius
Tue, Jan 16, 2018, 1:45am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The Wolf Inside

@Troy G:
"For anyone who cares, I don't readily compare Discovery to previous Trek series. I compare it to the recent JJ Abrams Trek films. I find DSC to be more satisfying."

Yes, agreed, +1000000

Got a real charge out of this episode. Very satisfying.

Also, the music was outstanding.


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Paul B.
Mon, Jan 15, 2018, 9:56pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The Wolf Inside

Fairly workmanlike episode that mostly just tied together loose ends. 2.5/4. Nothing terrible, but nothing stunning.

I do like thinking about the fact that, of all people in the universes, however, Ash Tyler is probably the only person who does not have a mirror version anywhere. Voq does, of course, but not Tyler.
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Paulus Marius
Tue, Jan 9, 2018, 2:53pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Despite Yourself

I'm just chiming in here to go on record as saying I really enjoyed this episode. It entertained me. It had good internal momentum.

Discovery has won me over to the point where I've decided I'm not interested in parsing every last plot point to find all the flaws, or to pick apart the show for violations of canon. Of course, I'm not saying people shouldn't do that - go nuts! Knock yourselves out! I just wanted to add a little positive note here in support of an entertaining episode of Star Trek. And to add that I started enjoying Discovery a lot more, for its own merits, when I stopped worrying so much about all that stuff.

I'm just happy Star Trek is on the teevee again, just like it was in the old days, a new episode every week. Yes, there have been some stinker episodes and sloppy storytelling this season. But what a thrill when good-to-great episodes like these last two hit the airwaves.

Thanks, Jammer, for the consistently excellent reviews.

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Paul B.
Mon, Jan 8, 2018, 12:31am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Despite Yourself

Perhaps I spoke too soon about Culber:

https://www.buzzfeed.com/adambvary/star-trek-discovery-death-spoilers?utm_term=.udPVLDDjY#.bvwp6WWQv
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Paul B.
Sun, Jan 7, 2018, 11:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Despite Yourself

I am really, REALLY appreciating Martin-Green's performance in this episode. It is right on point. When she stabs Connor, you could see how subtly she feels pain for all the loss she caused on the Shenzhou in the prime universe.

All of the performances in this were amazing. Everything was sold very well. I really, REALLY hate to see Culber go (he always seemed the most reasonable person on the crew, therefore easy to like and sympathize with—reminded me a lot of someone like Geordi), but his death was affecting, and promises to be more so, if the sneak peek at the end of this episode means anything. I kinda hope he is replaced with a Mirror version of himself, but given his Wilson Cruz's place in the credits, it's probably not likely.

3.5/4 easily. Could be convinced of 4/4.
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Paulus Marius
Sun, Dec 31, 2017, 1:40am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Threshold

Hilarious - both the episode, and the reviews, some of which are so entertainingly biting.

My two cents: I'm always fascinated by how expectations alter one's viewing experience.

I didn't see this episode the first time round (or perhaps I blocked the memory, lol, although I don't think it's a 0-star episode i'f I'm honest). Now that I'm re-watching the first couple of seasons on my way to finally watching Voyager, I ended up watching this episode loaded with the expectation that it would be terrible, the worst, beyond awful.

Had I watched it without those expectations, I might have actually hated it.

But I found myself bracing for something much worse. As others have pointed out, the first couple of acts have a fair amount of merit. By the time it started to get weird, I was entertained enough to appreciate it as camp - especially the (yes, wonderfully ridiculous) ending, which gave me hope that perhaps Star Trek doesn't always have to take itself seriously, and that that's OK.

As I watched, all I could think of was its reputation. I was watching it through that filter, and that probably made me feel a little...sympathetic to its flaws. I was thinking, yeah, it's not a great episode, sure, yes, lots of inconsistencies, yes, lots to criticize here, but it's not *the worst ever*

Funny how expectations change things.

Unfortunately it works the other way too, sometimes. When you hear something is "the best ever", and then it disappoints. Not because it wasn't great, but because it couldn't possibly live up to the expectations.
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Paulus Marius
Sat, Dec 30, 2017, 6:53pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Alliances

I have to agree with the previous two commenters. Re-watching this weak season now, so many years later, this episode felt full of holes and glaring inconsistencies, as laid out by many commenters. If this were today placed under the kind of scrutiny every episode of Discovery has faced thus far, I don't think it would hold up very well. (I did enjoy most of Season Two the first time, if I think about it. Perhaps I'm the one that's changed...)

Also, the music was terrible, and that didn't help.

To me, the robot episode was a bit stronger than this one.

1 star. OK, 1.5 for effort, however misguided, to make a relevant episode that has consequences.

Oh boy, on to Threshold, yippee!!
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Paul Allen
Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 1:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

Watching it now - when it's clear she's in a simulation when she shoots Isaac and is bleeding, she has that whole Ripley in Aliens vibe going on, even the music matches.

Kinda hot. :)

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Paul M.
Sun, Nov 12, 2017, 6:25pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

It's not *that* dark and creepy! I mean, it is, but there's a real sense of camaraderie, adventure, and wonder, as well as there being a lived-in, almost cozy quality to the worldbuilding that makes up for it. For example, BSG was extremely dark right out of the gate, but at the same time it... wasn't...? Watching Adama and Tigh eat noodles in the very first episode after the pilot or Baltar cavort around or simply watching Lee and Roslin form a quiet bond over a shared tragic experience... The Expanse has that similar comforting feel of flawed yet relatable and at their core decent people doing what they can to make the world a better place one small step at a time.

This will sound like a crazy example, but are Stranger Things dark and creepy? In a way, yes, but that show is also a love letter to the 80s pop-culture, that special brand of kid movies that were popular then (remember Goonies?), King, D&D, adventure of all kinds but, most of all, it's a celebration of innocence, childhood, and friendship. That's what resonated the most with the audiences and the show a hit, not creepy mirror universes, Cthulhoid monsters, paranormal powers and the like.

Now obviously, Expanse is a much more mature, political, and -- yes -- dark series. But the point is, that's not the point (if you'll pardon the pun). It has its heart in the right place with a compelling ensemble of fundamentally decent characters and a good old-fashioned true sci-fi mystery at the core.
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Paul M.
Sun, Nov 12, 2017, 4:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

Two seasons with S3 on the way; 23 episodes aired thus far. Give it a try, see how you like it. I wholeheartedly recommend it.
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Paul M.
Sun, Nov 12, 2017, 2:51pm (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!"

Seconded. I know Jammer has his plate full with job, family, not to mention DIS and ORV, but he'd really really want to watch (and review! heh) The Expanse. It's without a doubt the best space-based SF show since BSG: good characters, great sci-fi plot, outstanding production values, wonderful worldbuilding and a lived-in immersive sense of place. An almost perfect blend of serious and well-executed factional politics, character drama and a series-long creepy real-deal sci-fi mystery (and, it must be noted, Avasarala's dresses are a reason unto itself to watch the show. That old lady must be the best-dressed SF character in the entire space-time continuum. Just sayin'.) The series is a feast for the senses... while it lasts, that is, because with how much it allegedly costs and how low the viewing numbers are, I fear it might not get a fourth season. Hope springs eternal though!

Seriously Jammer, you should give The Expanse a go, maybe in the DIS/ORV off-season. I think it'd be right up you alley. At least watch it! And frankly, the site that has all these ST, SW, BSG and even Andromeda reviews deserves to be made even better with some Expanse goodness! It's a perfect fit.
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Paul M.
Sat, Nov 11, 2017, 5:57pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

@Skupper: "Because I dislike how certain characters are introduced or portrayed doesn't make me intolerant. In fact I believe it's quite the opposite. The fact that you don't care, is more indicitive of your own ignorance, rather than mine. I actually care how people of different backgrounds are treated in the show. All that seems to matter to you is that they exist. I believe that many of these characters were created to fill quotas, and nothing more. If you are willing to accept characters like that, so be it. I want something more of them.********** I want them to have a reason to exist on the show, and to be integral parts of it. Having a gay person or an autistic person on a show just to make it look good is ridiculous.*************

Exactly as I said in my previous post. Anyone who "deviates from the norm" has to have a special justification to exist. Straight white guys and non-threatening women, sure. Occasional person of color to make us feel good? Bring it on. Anything other than that though? You want a gay couple? An autistic person? An uncomfortable percentage of dusky cast members? Whoa there! I need some reasons and I need them now! Why are all these people cluttering my TV screen? Quotas! Quotas everywhere!

Seriously now, there is something unsettling to me when confronted with this school of thought. Why the hell can't Stamets be just an engineer who happens to be a gay who loves to brush his teeth together with his nice doctor partner? What, does his gayism (that's the word) need a special gay-oriented storyline to justify his existence? I really can't wrap my head around this thing.

This doesn't man that there isn't real "pandering to diversity" -- tokenism -- in cases where unimportant or side characters are black/gay/pink/whatever in order to simulate a sense of superficial inclusiveness or where the entire purpose of those characters are to be black/gay/pink/whatever and their whole storyline revolves around their affiliation to a particular group. But frankly, Discovery for all its problems, hardly belongs to that kind of TV show.
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Paul M.
Sat, Nov 11, 2017, 1:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

@Ubik: "If you think the writers didn't deliberately decide, in advance, that Kirk was going to be a straight white male, before deciding anything else about him, then you're living in a fantasy land."

Exactly. I wonder where all these "I'm all for diversity, but..." people come from lately. I'm all for people of color, but look how they're shoving people of color down our throats. I'm all for strong independent women, but look how they're showing strong independent women down our throats. I'm all for gays, but look how they 're shoving gays down our throats. I'm all for disabled people, but look how they're shoving disabled (or autistic) people down our throats.

News flash guys: maybe you're not as tolerant as you think. It's easy to be "above these issues" when you're straight white male (which I am by the way). So many people don't even register that the vast majority of important, plot-relevant, "heroic" characters are straight white males (aka people like me, hurray!). We take it for granted without even thinking. It's so ingrained in our psyche that any deviation from the norm automatically sends warning signals. "Huh, gays holding hands. Must be diversity quota!" And maybe it sometimes is, but why is it no one ever questions when a straight couple is holding hands. How come they can do it without comment in literally every TV show every created in the history of universe, but the moment a gay couple appears, it's "diversity quota"? Ditto for the above comments on Tilly: "Gee, they only included her cause autism, duh! How tolerant of us."

In other words, straight white guys can appear wherever and whenever, no questions asked. But we apparently need special approval, adequate plot relevance and sufficient character impact to dare to even contemplate having anyone else around.

Or in the words of my grandmother: "I don't hate gays, they can do all they want behind closed doors. I just don't want to see them." Ain't that peachy?
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