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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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PaulM
Fri, Nov 10, 2017, 4:20am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Cupid's Dagger

This episode was fine. We had several grim episodes prior to this, and I don't mind a lighthearted episode from time to time. The Ferengi episodes were in my opinion the best thing about DS9. What can I say? Sue me.
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Paul M.
Sat, Nov 4, 2017, 10:44am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

@mal: "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."

This right here is the perfect example of arguing in extreme bad faith (even with outright fabrications) that haters (yes, haters) of Discovery engage in every day on this site. Anyone who watched this episode with a modicum of good faith couldn't and wouldn't have interpreted it the way the above poster did.

In fact the scene goes this way: Saru informs the captain that gormaganders life readings are "highly unstable". Michael and Taylor, warned by Stamets about the time loop, immediately try to dissuade Lorca from helping the "space whale" at which point Saru interjects and advises the captain on the provisions of the Endangered Species Act and the possibility of court martial if the ship doesn't follow regulations. This entire time Lorca doesn't utter a single word and in fact has no opportunity to do so as this entire conversation between his officers takes a couple of seconds. To construe this as Lorca backing off from screwing over an endangered species only when threatened with court martial is intellectual dishonesty of the highest order. But than again, I've come to expect that from certain posters.
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JPaul
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 9:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Majority Rule

I enjoyed this episode, but it did feel a bit like a missed opportunity. There is a tiny amount of discussion about the society itself but no information about how it became the way it is, something that was frequently a hallmark of classic TOS episodes.

For example, it would have been interesting if this society was once similar to ours, but decided to shift to a more direct democracy in order to combat the corruption of elected leaders. It might have led to a debate about the merits and pitfalls of both systems but maybe I'm expecting a bit too much given that this show isn't actually TNG or even TOS.
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JPaul
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, 10:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

They already established that they have holographic technology, so it makes sense that they would have a holodeck as well.

Let's face it, technology is made through a slow, steady, iterative process - it doesn't just magically appear in a perfect form one day. The TNG holodeck is *perfect* and there had to be earlier inferior versions that preceded it in order for it to exist. Riker was impressed by the holodeck in TNG S1 because he can't tell the difference between it and reality, the same way we would be impressed today if in Rogue One the computer generated Leia and Tarkin were completely indistinguishable from the ones in A New Hope.
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JPaul
Mon, Oct 16, 2017, 8:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

There was a hint at the end that something is not right with Stamets after the jump so I expect it to be the focus of at least one episode. I think he'll go insane or wind up being coopted by some outside force due to the jump experience.

After 5 episodes I am no longer sure why they called this "Discovery" when "Horror" would be a much more appropriate title. Zach Snyder gets a lot of flak for turning the DC hero universe into a dark murderverse, but what he's done is nothing compared to what's going on here. I can't imagine what Roddenberry would think if he were alive to see what his creation has been turned into.
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Paul M.
Sun, Oct 15, 2017, 11:42am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry

I myself am not quite sure of this show yet. Storytelling and plot have to improve, especially when compared to mindblowing sci-fi shows like The Expanse. That said, it's very difficult to have a productive argument with people whose primary motive for watching Discovery, when all is said and done, is to relive their youth. Trek as comfort food... I guess I can see it, but it's hardly a compelling starting position.
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JPaul
Tue, Oct 3, 2017, 3:57pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Context Is for Kings

"@JPaul Why is knowing the Beatles here any different than us knowing the works of Shakespeare or Bach or who Cleopatra or Julius Caesar are?

If anything, with advanced tech (we already see this), historical figures/literature/etc. are amazingly preserved for continuing consumption."

@WTBA
Expecting someone raised on Vulcan to understand a reference to an Earth rock band that had it's peak of popularity nearly 300 years in the past is pretty ridiculous, but maybe that was the point? In any case, it just seemed like one of The Orville's constant stream of 20th/21st century references inserted for no reason, probably the biggest thing I don't like about that show.
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JPaul
Mon, Oct 2, 2017, 10:29pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Context Is for Kings

Oh, by the way, the new iPhone X has a better security system than their breathalyzer ripped from Alien Resurrection tech does.
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JPaul
Mon, Oct 2, 2017, 10:21pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Context Is for Kings

This was one of the most bizarre episodes of "Trek" I've ever seen. I still can't understand why Michael is to blame for starting a war with the Klingons. Weirdly, even she blames herself and thinks she deserves to rot in prison for the rest of her life instead of telling everyone she meets that her idiot Captain wouldn't take her advice on how to avoid war. Georgiou even got herself killed in the attempt to capture T'Kumva - maybe instead she should have beamed over a squad of heavily armed security officers, who did she think she was, Kirk?

To continue, we have an immoral Captain of Discovery who makes Section 33 look like a bunch of schoolchildren who is working on a mutant alienesque killing machines and wacky spores that make warp drive redundant in order to kill the Klingons. Oh, and probably Genesis, but with the intent to use it as a weapon (speculation at the moment, but still).

We also get a main character who casually spouts Lewis Carroll while her life is in immediate danger, a crew member who thinks people in the 23rd century know who the Beatles and John Lennon are, and a borderline functional cadet with zero experience who gets sent on an incredibly dangerous and vital away mission.

It's like bizarro Star Trek, the exact opposite of what Roddenberry envisioned. Instead of everyone getting along in a bright future it's a nightmarish place where no one is nice to anyone. Are we sure this isn't the Mirror universe or something?
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Paul Allen
Sat, Sep 30, 2017, 4:52pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: If the Stars Should Appear

Less great than last weeks episode, but still good. And Liam Freaking Neeson??
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Paul Allen
Sat, Sep 30, 2017, 4:51pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: About a Girl

Fantastic episode.

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Paul Allen
Sat, Sep 30, 2017, 4:51pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Command Performance

Not bad.... not bad at all!
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Paul Allen
Sat, Sep 30, 2017, 4:50pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Old Wounds

Followed jammers reviews on my 700-odd episode rewatch of the ST universe series. So glad he's reviewing The Orville and letting people comment, feels good. :)

First episode was quite enjoyable, makes me want more. :)
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Paul M.
Sat, Sep 30, 2017, 3:52am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

"This isnt Star Trek at all. It is just some random-generic Sci-Fi-series which happens to have Star Trek in name."

Google defines generic as "characteristic of or relating to a class or group of things; not specific". Regardless of whether we consider DIS good, bad, or in between, I'd like to know to what Sci-Fi "genericness" in your mind this series compares to. For example, we could say that various CSI spin-offs are generic in that they bear striking similarities to numerous other TV shows. We could say the same about a lot of court dramas or police dramas or hospital dramas.

I am having a tough time thinking of TV shows that look and feel like Discovery so I am not entirely sure how one call it "generic", whataver its failings may be.
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Paul M.
Tue, Sep 26, 2017, 5:13pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

So let me get this straight: Omicron still hasn't watched Discovery and continues with the hate? This keeps getting better and better.
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Paul M.
Mon, Sep 25, 2017, 6:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

Or BSG... Clearly an awful show for rebooting/reimagining the original...

I dunno. The amount of focus hardcore fans, be it Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, BSG, GoT/ASoIaF etc put on canon to the exclusion of so much else has always been so strange to me. But to each his own I guess.
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Paul M.
Mon, Sep 25, 2017, 5:44pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

"I wonder what the "don't prejudge the series" folks are going to say now. Are we finally allowed to state with confidence that Discovery is a sneaky reboot of the TOS era? Are we now allowed to state with confidence that the creators of this show have zero regard to continuity?

I mean, it was BLINDINGLY OBVIOUS from the moment the very first trailer came out. Actually, it was blindingly obvious from the moment the very first promotion pics began circulating a year ago. I called it all the way back in November 2016, and I was right on every count.

So, are we finally allowed to say the obvious now? I hope so."

I don't want to be rude, but... who the f*** cares about canon? ;) Okay, okay, I'm being a bit silly here, but not really. I am a hardcore Trekkie that watched TNG as a kid when it premiered so I'm far from new kid on the block. TNG and DS9 are by far my favorite TV Trek. Movies 2-4 are probably the best Trek movies taken together. But this fixation on continuity and canon is baffling to me. I mean, I like it just fine, hey cool, respecting finer points of what came before. But the heart and soul of Trek has always been in its themes and writing, not whether Galaxy class Type X phaser array emits enough power to blast a Bird of Prey in 7 or 23 blasts or if Klingon have ridges or if Warp scale makes any damn sense.

Yes, this is obviously a soft reboot, but so the eff what? It was always going to be a soft reboot because frankly there was no other way to justify the new aesthetics. And there WERE going to be new aesthetics no matter what. Even if this show was set in 25th century, anyone who thinks old races and earlier history would remain untouched is very much in error.
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Paul
Mon, Sep 25, 2017, 4:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek Beyond

@ John Harmon and @Chrome:

I think I just realized where the problem lies. When they put Chekov on the bridge of the Enterprise, nobody made a fuss about him being a russian (in universe), yet it was obvious that he was one. At that time, half of america or more believed the russians were some kind of communist deamons. So they had both a way to unintrusively put him there and comment on an issue that was present at the times.

Now, with Sulu, everybody knows that the character was not gay in the original series - which caused much backlash, even George Takei was against that change. Taking an established character and making him gay just because - yeah, thats tokenism. If they introduced a new Character, lets name him Bob, and have a little sidestory were Bob talks with his husband Frank, and everybody just goes about his buisiness: Sure, why not? I guess nobody would have cared. Take The Orville for example. They have a gay couple (granted, their whole species is monogendered), but that didn't phase me in the slightest. It didn't come across as "Lets push our liberal agenda folks! Look here, we even got a gay guy!"

So to sum up, there is nothing wrong with having a gay character in and of itself. There is something wrong with putting one there just to appease the PC crowd, at least it put a bitter taste in my mouth. And it did something ... very un-treklike in the end. Now I am sitting here being unhappy that a character in a show is gay. Thats the exact opposite of what Star Trek wants to achieve, I guess. Well, it's not even that I am unhappy. It is just annoying because so much fuss was made about it. For weeks everybody only talked about how Sulu is gay. The scene itself was perfectly fine. But why make such a big fuss about it? If being gay is being normal - there is no need to even mention it, period. Why are we talking about gay characters again? Why is it important if somebody is gay? Besides them shitting on canon (again), is there a reason this is even worth mentioning?

Same goes for pretty much everything being pushed by certain people nowadays. I never cared that Sisko was black. Now with Discovery, and how they brag that most of their cast is none-white, I am thinking: Yeah, uh, what are you trying to say? White people are evil? Colour matters?

Wow, I just realized that Tuvok was black too. I totally forgot. Never before has the color of his skin even mattered to me. Damn our times for making me think in racial terms all the time. I guess that really annoys me more than it should, but a few years ago, I would never have thought about this stuff.
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Paul
Mon, Sep 25, 2017, 10:44am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: About a Girl

@Alexandrea:

Oh, I am sure that there are laws against workplace sexual harrassment - she just chose to laugh it off. I am quite sure that if he were to continue, she would take steps. It is her choice how the situation should be handled in this case. After all, she can make decision on her own, right?

I am not sure why you bring up the gender binary. That was not the focus of the show, it wasn't even mentioned. The point was, is it okay to perform operations on infants? Also, the Gender Binary is by no means outdated. 98% of people or more identify as the same gender as their biological sex. Other "genders" have no reproductive purpose, so it is fair to say that the human species is composed of only two genders with a few exceptions.

And regarding male circumcision: Yes, the Union is fine with it, but why? In the same way it should be fine with the Moclans changing the gender of a female - as they apparently have no reproductive purpose whatsoever (if they are even capable of that), but seem just like a genetic vestige from the time before they became monogender. Granted, we know almost nothing about their biology or society, so this is conjecture, and i wish they'd shown more of that before tackling this issue. So they don't answer the question if male circumcision is right or wrong, but they bring it up and make people think, instead of preaching to them.

Oh, and regarding sex-change operations and long time consequences: In the series, the procedure seems to be perfected by the Moclans, and human medicine has advanced as well, so I would assume that there were fewer complications. So rather than a lack of research, this is a hypothetical case where there are no medical reasons not to do it, just ethical ones. In that way they focus on the important question.
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