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SlackerInc
Sat, Jan 6, 2018, 1:12am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

@RandomThoughts: Thanks! I was pleased with that little theory of mine, so I'm glad to hear someone else got something out of it. :)
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SlackerInc
Sat, Jan 6, 2018, 12:57am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Waking Moments

My initial reaction was to say that Jammer was right in his overall rating, and also right in every particular, including both his complaints and the things he liked about it. And then to be surprised by how generous so many other people were in their reaction to the episode.

But I must say the last comment before mine, from Skimmles, was pretty persuasive--and makes me wonder if even Jammer was a little too generous.

BTW, I'm puzzled as to how I saw this episode at all. A couple years ago, I did extensive research (including this site, friends' recommendations, and "best of" lists I found via Google) in order to produce a curated list of the best Voyager episodes, which I have been slowly watching with my wife and daughter.

But after finding this one so "meh", and then seeing Jammer's rating, I went back to look at my original list of episodes--and it wasn't on there. I have added a few here and there over time, but I usually make a note explaining why I added them. Nothing here: it just mysteriously got on the list at some point with no notation. Maybe while I was dream-typing!
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SlackerInc
Sat, Dec 30, 2017, 3:10am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Mad Idolatry

Turns out the writer of the TNG episode “Measure of a Man” absolutely LOVES “The Orville”. She is green with envy because she and other writers would have loved to be allowed to turn in the same kinds of scripts.
She talked about it here: https://geeksguideshow.com/2017/12/17/ggg288-the-orville-season-one-review/
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SlackerInc
Fri, Dec 29, 2017, 12:32am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Mad Idolatry

OMG, did you guys know Seth MacFarlane made a Star Trek fan film as a teenager? I actually was fairly impressed:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sn_Sgcxg5PQ
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SlackerInc
Tue, Dec 19, 2017, 3:05am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Mad Idolatry

@Outsider65: "Star Trek, mass media as a whole, is for EVERYONE, it's not some exclusive club that's militants only and everyone else needs to be constantly bashed because how dare they watch my precious sci fi when it's not for them those dirty animals."

That rant seemed a bit over the top if you ask me. And I certainly want religious people to watch this show, because it won't stay on the air if it's only watched by atheists.

But I can't help but point out that Seth MacFarlane's interview shows that he is quite clearly one of the "militant atheists" you are complaining about. If you watch a show made by, and starring, an outspoken "militant atheist", it seems churlish to object to others like him watching and commenting on the show from a perspective they share with him.

@hpontes: Interesting points about "red lamping" Star Trek plots. Is that a term you made up, or is it a TV trope I haven't heard of?

@Yanks: "Love your screen name BTW. :-)"

Thanks! I use the same one on Twitter, the SDMB, Disqus, and other places.
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SlackerInc
Mon, Dec 11, 2017, 9:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Mad Idolatry

I'll buy that when I see politicians actually admitting to being atheists.

@Lynos: I watched that YouTube talk. Really interesting, thanks! Seems like a really good, happy group of creators.
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SlackerInc
Mon, Dec 11, 2017, 1:40pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Mad Idolatry

@Peter G: It would be ludicrous for me to discuss the episode with someone who hasn’t watched the episode. But I will answer your question. No, I don’t live in Utah. But where I live now there are lots of churches; and where I recently moved from, there are even more (per capita anyway). No war on religion happening around here! Or if there is, my side is losing — badly.
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SlackerInc
Mon, Dec 11, 2017, 10:46am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: New Dimensions

@Strikelord: "I think that it may have been ordinary, run-of-the-mill harassment/annoyance. Asking someone out on a date isn't nearly the same as asking them to engage in sexual activity. "

The United Nations published a guide to sexual harassment:

http://www.un.org/womenwatch/osagi/pdf/whatissh.pdf

It lists examples. There are some that are in the vein you're referring to, such as "Making sexual comments about a person's body" and "Asking about sexual fantasies, preferences, or history". But there is also: "Repeatedly asking out a person who is not interested". Which is exactly what Yaphit did. We saw him come back and ask again at least a couple times after having been turned down.

So now you know. I'm glad you were able to learn something today that could be very important at your workplace!

@Dougie: If you don't think the elevator alien is funny, I'd be very curious to know what kinds of things you do find funny. Are we talking Adam Sandler comedies? Whoopie cushions? Singing bass trophies?
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SlackerInc
Mon, Dec 11, 2017, 10:34am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Mad Idolatry

@Trek fan: “And that's the biggest problem, here, in the end: To have a true dialogue between ideas in the Trekkian fashion to which ‘Orville’ aspires, you have to take the other side seriously and understand it on its terms, which requires a story that invites us to say more than ‘those people are so stupid.’ Dialogue requires us to treat others with the same respect we expect for ourselves.”

Personally, I find it refreshing that some atheists/secularists like MacFarlane are willing to dispense with all those niceties and just speak forthrightly. For example, Dave Foley in this comedy special:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7f2eXQxfHk

He says “Now, I know some of you here tonight are people of faith, and that’s...creepy.” He talks about how if there weren’t so many people who believed in religion, we’d just call religious beliefs psychotic. Yet he also points out the absurdity of religious people whining about a “war on religion”, given that polls show atheists are the least likely to get people’s votes--and there was one single open atheist in Congress who has now retired. And even that guy took like forty years to admit his atheism.

MiaBN: “However, is it such a stretch that human cultural norms regarding formality would evolve a great deal over 400 years from the present? Look at changes in our own civilian and military formal culture from, say, the regency era to today.”

I agree with you, but I think change has been a lot faster than that, even. When I was in college in the mid-’90s, I worked a few telemarketing jobs. We were always strictly trained to address the people we called as “Mr./Mrs./Ms. Smith”. My oldest son is in high school now, and he got a telemarketing job where they were taught to address people by their first names. For another example, look at the young women who were invited to the White House and wore flip-flops. A lot of older people harrumphed about it and needed fainting couches, but younger people were like “huh, what’s wrong with that?”

“Um, was that ensign asking Ed in for a threesome? And were they smoking pot in there?”

I sure would have been tempted in Ed’s shoes, but of course John was furiously waving him off.

Peter G: “I'll preface this post by saying that I don't watch this show and haven't seen any episodes since the pilot.”

Hoo boy. Uninformed take coming!

@Jonah: “There may come a time where our reliance on reason and logic (which represent a mere millisecond of the timescale of human existence) will come to an end or be subjected to a new metaphysics.”

I find that VERY doubtful. It is, however, an unusual and original idea. You should feel free to write a story or novel based on this premise. But MacFarlane obviously sees it as I and most secular rationalists do (including, BTW, most of the people who keep our technological society afloat), and it’s his show.

BTW, I find it interesting that all the people getting offended here seem not to acknowledge that (as Riker pointed out) the “pope” was actually portrayed as a man of integrity! As an atheist who finds Catholicism extremely corrupt even by religion’s already poor standards, I thought that was pretty generous of him, actually.
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SlackerInc
Sat, Dec 9, 2017, 7:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Year of Hell, Part II

I liked these episodes overall, but I agree with the objections to “the captain is always right”. Say what?
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SlackerInc
Sat, Dec 9, 2017, 5:37am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Mad Idolatry

As with many episodes of TNG, I was not aware of "Who Watches the Watchers". That does seem to make it less original. Still, adding the "time-lapse" element makes it a little different, although as I noted upthread there was something like that in SGU.

Oh well: the show may be something of a pastiche, but it's an enjoyable one most of the time.

@Pusher Robot: "I thought there might be a real chance of the planet returning empty of life save for Isaac, the people having destroyed themselves, which would have been a sad twist"

Wow, that's a pretty cool idea you had there. But too dark for this show, I think--putting genocide on an already-stressed-out Kelly would be too much.

Interesting to think about how advanced that world's society will be in just a few more weeks from the Union perspective. Will they content themselves with colonizing the galaxy they spend the vast majority of their time in? They could at this point obviously easily spread out and be the dominant force in both places (especially if they wait one or two more cycles). But maybe they will take a "Prime Directive" ("noncontamination") attitude toward what will soon be, from their perspective, the very primitive Union. So interesting to think about how this temporal mismatch allowed them to go from the backward ones to the advanced ones in a few weeks. Which, I think, is the one definitively original element of this episode unless there's another episode or story I am unaware of. [Oops, reading down further I see I was also unaware of "Blink of an Eye", which includes sending an "artificial life form"--the Doctor in this case--down to live out the longer time cycle on the planet. Sigh.]

But even if they prefer not to interfere, what about when their universe gets to a point of decline, heading toward a "Big Freeze" or "Big Crunch"? That's a looong way off, but only 1/50,000th as long on our side as on theirs (if my calculations are correct). It might eventually look pretty tempting to jump over to a "fresh" universe.

@Yank: "Not a bad episode[...]
This whole ep was just so cheesy.[...]
Lamar hooking up with a hottie!!
That's worth and additional star I guess.
2 stars from me."

That review confused me. Was it written by multiple people? LOL "Not bad" but "so cheesy" and an "additional star" only gets you up to 2? Huh.

I'm glad you reminded me of Lamar's hottie though. Is that the closest to nudity we've seen on a Trek show? Or are they pushing it further on DSC?

@Lynos: "And how did Isaac manage to influence them exactly?"

My take on what they said was that it wasn't really necessary for them to send Isaac. That ultimately, they would have gone through this evolution of belief to non-belief, just as is happening on Earth, regardless of whether it was oriented around Kelly or some other mythology. Note for instance that when they tuned in to the roughly 21st century cable news shoutiness, there were people arguing for separation of church and state without apparently getting their heads cut off. (Reading further, I see Henson made a similar point.)

@Pocket University: Glad to hear "Blink of an Eye" was already recycled, and I literally LOL'd at your "penitence" remark.

@Dave in MN: "If it weren't for Seth MacFarlane, we wouldn't have any Orville at all."

Excellent point, which people should keep in mind when they complain that Seth is ruining the show somehow. It's his show, take it or leave it.

"By the way, is it really anti- religious to plausibly show how a species develops and, millennia later, eventually shrugs off a religion?
I personally think the protests from some posters aren't based on content, but on the subject matter itself."

I'm completely with you. But, like MacFarlane, I'm a resolute and outspoken atheist. I can't blame people who are religious for having their feathers ruffled. What he's saying IS anti-religious, because Seth is anti-religious. See for example the following exchange from a 2009 Esquire interview:

--------
ESQ: I see you've recently become rather vocal about your atheism. Isn't it antithetical to make public proclamations about secularism?

SM: We have to. Because of all the mysticism and stuff that's gotten so popular.

ESQ: But when you wave banners, how does it differ from religion?

SM: It's like the civil-rights movement. There have to be people who are vocal about the advancement of knowledge over faith.
--------

If your sympathies lie on the "faith" side, I don't see how you could help but be offended. Unless you are convinced and convert to atheism, which Seth and I would both appreciate.

@Lynos: " The chain of command is much less strict then in TNG (Gordon opening the door to Mercer and saying to his captain 'hey man', a scantily clad ensign is standing in front of ther captain not bothering to cover herself up), but then again, in other scenes, they use "yes captain" and 'aye sir'. It's odd."

Isn't that just a function of whether they are on or off duty? Note too that Bortus initially took the visit quite differently. I actually thought the funniest part of the episode was his reaction. What did he say exactly? Mercer said "Hey Bortus, what are you up to?" and Bortus responded with something like "Am I suspected of some misdeed?"

@Skweeky: "I don't really see how Kelly healing one person would create a religion, but who knows."

Oh, I definitely see it. Look at how many religions are based on healing. Kelly (wearing colorful fabrics no one had ever seen) healed a bad wound nearly instantly, apparently magically, in front of a bunch of people, and then disappeared forever. I don't know how a Bronze Age could take her as anything else but a goddess. I suppose they could have gone with "witch" or "sorceress", but I find the religion angle highly plausible.
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SlackerInc
Thu, Dec 7, 2017, 9:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Mad Idolatry

A four star episode for me. There might have been a little borrowing from SGU, but it was applied in an interesting and novel way.

There's someone I want to get into this show who was a big fan of TNG but didn't like the pilot of "Orville". He is willing to watch one episode to give it one more chance. Previously, I was leaning toward the one where they sneak onto the Krill ship; now I'm thinking maybe this one. What do you all think? (Funny that my two choices revolve around religious extremism.)

If it helps, his favorite episodes of TNG are:

Measure of a Man
Yesterday's Enterprise
The Big Goodbye
Data's Day
Cause and Effect
Lower Decks
The Inner Light
Q Who
Best of Both Worlds
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SlackerInc
Wed, Dec 6, 2017, 12:59am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: New Dimensions

Jammer, I don’t agree with all your opinions about the episode , but I really have to take my hat off to you for the virtuoso writing. I have read dozens of your reviews (admittedly a small fraction of the total) and this is the best-written one I have seen. Bravo.
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SlackerInc
Mon, Dec 4, 2017, 7:51am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: New Dimensions

@Jack: "I also don’t think Yaphit was sexually harassing Claire — he propositioned her/asked her out repeatedly, she told him to knock it off or she’d report it and it was done. She took care of herself."

If he wasn't sexually harassing Claire, there would be nothing for her to threaten to report.

"A post scarcity world will never exist. This is science fiction were are talking about, not reality. We will never invent a replicator, or warp drive, or most of the other things on Star Trek or The Orville, because they are impossible. Arguing about it is a bit silly."

First, I think it's never "silly" to chew the fat over an issue explicitly raised on the show we are discussing. Secondly, while we're unlikely to invent replicators or warp drives as depicted, I think it's highly likely, a near certainty, that we will get to a world where there is no more scarcity for material goods. It won't be that such goods are made instantly in a replicator, but they may be mass-produced in fully automated factories, or--as Lynos noted--individually produced in an hour or two by a more advanced version of a 3D printer.
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SlackerInc
Sun, Dec 3, 2017, 10:19pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: New Dimensions

@Tyler: Well said. That was better than my answer, but I agree 100%. I think we'd both have to agree though that the toughest point of Lore's to answer is about land and housing.
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SlackerInc
Sun, Dec 3, 2017, 3:51am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: New Dimensions

@PerryP: “Thursday night football tend to skew the Nielsen ratings. There was one football night that people refused to watch on a kneeling incident story that week and I think the Cowboys played that game, not so sure. It was a huge boast to The Orville rating.”

Interesting theory, but it doesn’t really square with the data on NFL viewership. The week “Orville” got that big number, the Thursday night NFL game (an admittedly blah Dolphins-Ravens matchup, although I don’t recall any particular controversy on that one) had 11.4 million viewers. But the following week, when the Bills were playing the Jets, TNF’s viewership was cut almost in half, to 5.8 million. Yet “Orville’s” viewership also dropped by 300,000! I can’t make heads nor tails of it. (And the trend the past couple weeks has not been great: although this week they actually added 300,000 viewers from the week before, they skewed a lot older so the number in the 18-49 demo, which is all that really matters, actually went down.)

@Lore: “1. Even if food and goods can be replicated freely leaving nobody wanting, there is one thing that will always be scarce - land.”

That’s true (although the entire population of Earth could stand comfortably side by side within the city limits of Los Angeles). I suppose there could be a lottery system for land. It also might be that with holodecks and transporters, people don’t really care that much where they live as long as the interior is nice (which it would be thanks to replicators).

“2. Kelly says we no longer work for money, but for reputation. Isn't that simply making others think more highly of you so that you receive benefits from them? How will that be beneficial in post-scarcity and why will people feel the need to work to achieve that?”

I think it’s beneficial just for one’s ego, as you intimated. For some people it wouldn’t be, and they probably wouldn’t work. This is not portrayed in any Trek I’ve seen, but it would be interesting to see it.

“3. Another thing that is never going to be scarce - services. Say I have a sore back and want a back massage every morning. Who is going to do that, and what for?”

That one seems easy to me: robots. Or specifically in the Star Trek world, since Data is said to be so rare: holographic masseurs/masseuses. Just head down to the holodeck (or if you have a mobile emitter, just use a voice command wherever you already are) and enjoy!

@Lynos: “It's not really what they say on TNG, it's what they don't say. Of course we have no way to actually know how people will speak in the 24th century and most probably it won't be English anyway, or even more likely communication will be mostly telepthatic and not use sounds at all (I'm just riffing here), but for sake of us viewers being able to follow, they do speak English in the 24th century in Star Trek but they use neutral, clean English, no slang, no pop culture references, and no specific accents (except for Picard).”

So did you object to the TOS accents of Chekhov, McCoy, and Scotty?

I get what you’re saying, but here’s the thing: either approach comes down to “We don’t know how people will actually talk at that time, so this is just kind of a 20th/21st century translation and you can fill in the blanks in your mind if you like”. Sort of like the universal translator but within our own language across time.

The TNG approach is to “translate” into flat, unaccented, non-slangy English. But I think it’s also legitimate to use current-day slangy American English, and have that be a marker for “whatever the 24th-century version of this way of speaking is, that’s how they are actually talking”. I actually like that approach better, because with the TNG style, you can be lulled into thinking future people have just discarded all slang and inflection and I don’t think that’s the case. McFarlane’s approach also preserves more character to each, well, character.

@Tomalak: “I cringed at this line. How can you be a TV writer and not know when to use I and when to use me?”

I cringed at it too, but I don’t know that TV writers should use their own command of grammar to make all the characters they write use perfect grammar as that wouldn’t be realistic. Most people would probably use “I” rather than “me” there, which BTW means it’s entirely possible this will be the standard by the 24th century (just like how it’s pretty rare nowadays for anyone to use the predicate nominative “It is I” instead of “It’s me”).

@Skoozy: “I didn't like the look of the 2D space. Where was all that light shining up into if there is no 3rd dimension?”

And like I said, how was the ship (and other objects in the dimension) going OVER the flat shapes? It should be more like a maze, as in Pac-Man or something. Oh well.
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SlackerInc
Fri, Dec 1, 2017, 6:51pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: New Dimensions

Yeah, I really liked Seth’s concert with Sara Bareilles.

I can pretty much guarantee you that the high IQ revelation is a retcon they didn’t foresee earlier in the season.

Interesting about the Nielsen ratings (I’m once again lamenting that I lost my chance to have a box). Anyone have a theory on why the numbers jumped up for 1.7 and then declined?

Lore, can you expand on why you don’t buy the idea of a post-scarcity economy?

Lynos, What makes you so sure TNG characters talks like the 24th century? I suspect people at that time will use a lot of slang or neologisms that would sound completely incomprehensible to us now.
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SlackerInc
Fri, Dec 1, 2017, 6:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S4: Bound

It’s true that we at home don’t have the benefit of smelling the pheromones. But I still thought the Orion women were very sexy and appealing.

The one who went after Archer seems familiar. Anyone else?
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SlackerInc
Thu, Nov 30, 2017, 9:21pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

Ha, we were all wondering what side Jammer would land on, and the answer was...neither!
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SlackerInc
Thu, Nov 30, 2017, 9:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: New Dimensions

Back to fine form with a good episode.

The elevator/brunch alien cracks me up, and has the potential to become a breakout character. The bloody tissues were a great sight gag. And good character development for John and the captain.

If I’m picky, I can gripe that the supposedly two-dimensional space seemed to allow some objects to slide over others.

Hope the show is still getting solid Nielsen ratings. I’m a little frustrated because Nielsen had periodically sent me diaries to fill out, maybe once a year or so over the past few years; but last week they finally called me to have the actual electronic Nielsen box installed. However, I moved to another state in August and they couldn’t do it at my new address. So I could have been a boost to their numbers. Oh well.

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SlackerInc
Sun, Nov 26, 2017, 6:46am (UTC -6)
Re: Interstellar

I'm always so hungry for some really hard sci-fi that I just wanted this to be as great as some people (like Jammer) say it is. And there were cool aspects (like the time dilation on the one planet), but too much that was murky and mumbo-jumbo-ey. I'm tempted to classify it with other films that started out as really great hard sci-fi but then devolved into something else by the end ("2001", "Sunshine", "Arrival"), except that there were elements that bugged me from the beginning. I just can't buy that a civilization that can build interstellar ships cannot create food on Earth somehow or other. Even if it would require greenhouses, sun lamps, hydroponic vats, whatever.

It definitely got a lot worse with the gobbledygooky ending though. If you can detect an actual defensible hard science fiction rationale for that, good on you. For me it just seemed cheesy and cloyingly sentimental, the antithesis of hard sci fi (much like where things ultimately led in "Arrival").

"Passengers", a movie I just recently saw on Blu-ray (I actually came to this movie review section hoping it was reviewed), is much more successful in being emotionally affecting without selling out the hard sci-fi (there was only one scene where I felt there was something worth nitpicking). It doesn't get great reviews, but I would call it extremely underrated even if it doesn't have the whole "saving the world" scale to it.
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SlackerInc
Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 2:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

@Startrekwatcher, nice comment. I am a fan of Piller as well. I became aware of him relatively late, after seeing and being very impressed by the Voyager episode "Meld" and wondering who had written this involving, intense, and unusual (by Trek standards) script.

@Ubik: "Okay; but doesn't that suggest that narrative coherence - plot - is the most important aspect of a show's aesthetic appeal? It's important, sure, but why should it be the ultimate arbiter? What about character? What about emotions evoked? What about cleverness and wit? What about world creation? And what about colours and textures and music? Would you examine a painting and then dismiss it merely because the story depicted offers no satisfying resolution? What about the experience itself, in the moment, of engaging with the work? Doesn't that count for a lot? In fact, isn't that precisely what David Lynch has been trying to teach us with the third season of Twin Peaks?"

I did offer a specific exception in the case of someone like Lynch. But with him, I know what I'm getting: surrealism. And he's not going to explain it in ANY way, including "it was all a dream". In a show that has essentially made a compact with the audience that it is intended to be more or less realistic futuristic science fiction, that trust is broken IMO when you do something like this. You talk about character, but for much of the episode, we were looking at one "real" character (albeit in an unreal situation) and a bunch of unreal characters. Was the depiction of the doctor as a psychopathic torturer, for instance, supposed to add to our understanding of her character?

@Dave in MN: "It made me retroactively dislike the entire convoluted mythology."

Yup, same. I gladly rewatched the first season and a half of BSG with my kids, but I have no desire to revisit that island. They made, as you say, the most convoluted mythology ever (piling more on it even into the last season), and then they said none of that matters, it's just a bad man and a good man and a cork. Oh, and "the characters". Well, then why did you throw all that crazy mystery and mythology at us? Why not just show the characters living on the island and interacting, and leave it at that? And as you note, the chutzpah of promising "no purgatory" and then delivering exactly that...wow.

Very curious for Jammer's take!
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SlackerInc
Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 3:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

@Lynos: Ubik's comment is a good illustration of why I suspected a correlation. Ubik sees no real problem with writing a TV series from an approach of "what images and actions can we put on the screen that will be really weird and tantalize viewers, never mind whether we have any idea how to ultimately explain them". For me, unless it is clearly being done as an exercise in surrealism (like David Lynch), that's not a legitimate way to write a TV show. It becomes, especially when it is carried out over multiple episodes or seasons, a kind of long con. But even over the space of an hour, it's a narrative cheat, not playing fair with the audience.

Maybe that's really the bottom line. We've all seen cases where a character on a TV show has something bizarre/horrible happen to them, and then suddenly they wake up in bed and we see it was a dream. (Sometimes the wakeup is also a dream.) I'm not a huge fan of that to begin with, but I can tolerate it if we are only teased for like fifteen or twenty seconds before we are shown that it was just a dream. To do it for thirty minutes is not kosher IMO. Or at least, it's not the kind of thing I want to watch. But without advance warning, I get sucked into watching it anyway, and feel annoyed that I wasted my time.
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SlackerInc
Sun, Nov 19, 2017, 6:15am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm


Just to clarify: As of January 2006, when both shows were in the middle of their second seasons, I would have called “LOST” and BSG my two favorite television programs. I stuck with both all the way through, but with BSG it became fairly quickly apparent that the quality level became much more uneven after “Resurrection Ship, Part II” (the conclusion of the Admiral Cain storyline). I often tell newbies to that show to go through to that point and then stop, and they will have watched a nearly perfect 27 or 29 episodes of television, depending on how you look at it (the miniseries episodes are double-length). There are enjoyable moments after that (in particular, the most painful thing to excise was Apollo’s speech at Baltar’s trial about being a “gang on the run”), but all in all it’s just not worth it given how it sullies the greatness that came before.

With “LOST”, I failed to recognize it at the time (which in retrospect I feel foolish about), but it also jumped the shark in 2006. I didn’t really get disenchanted with the show until 2009, late in Season 5. But when I tried to figure out a similar “curation” of the show as with BSG if I recommended it to someone (so, what episode to exit the show), I kept finding myself having to go earlier and earlier as I reviewed episode summaries. Despite enjoying the time travel stuff, I knew the making-it-up-as-we-go nonsense had started much earlier.

[Spoilers for “LOST” follow. The last two paragraphs return to “The Orville” and are spoiler free.]

At one point I settled on the second season finale: Desmond blithely and inexplicably decides to go along with Locke’s plan to stop entering the numbers, even though--as the flashback in this very episode shows!--he had once come back from outside too late to enter them at the proper moment, and it had caused the hatch to almost destroy itself.

But a major pet peeve about the slapdash writing of the show had long been the “smoke monster”, which before it was shown to be a smoke monster had so obviously been conceived of as a mechanical security system, operated by 1970s style clickety-clack Dharma computers, just like the numbers board in the hatch. So that meant the scene earlier in season 2 when Eko comes face to face with the “smoke monster” had to go.

Anyway, to tie it back into my speculation about those who liked this episode of “The Orville”, I hate it when TV writers go the lazy route of ginning up audiences by throwing all kinds of “mysterious” occurrences at the screen, everything but the kitchen sink, but have no real plan to explain the mysteries, or the one they do have is kind of lame. This wasn’t as bad as was the case on those other two shows, where mystery plot threads were dropped entirely or ultimately explained with gauzy mystical mumbo-jumbo; but this wasn’t too far from “it was all a dream”, and that’s a pretty lame explanation in and of itself.

So as I said in my first comment, the reveal at least makes what we saw plausible. But it still meant that when we in the audience were kept in the dark, our chains were getting dishonestly yanked over something that ultimately didn’t really matter, not in a way that made it worthy of being virtually the entire plot of an episode.
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SlackerInc
Sat, Nov 18, 2017, 6:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

Sorry for the double post, but a light bulb just popped off over my head:

Did those of you who liked this, also like LOST and BSG right to the end, or at least into the final season? I bet there's a correlation there.
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