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Steven
Mon, Feb 19, 2018, 11:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

>> "Take a very simple scene, as an example, a very small detail, that shows you exactly what is important in this show: When they first discover the Klingon satellite, they can not get a visual, because the visuals are blurred... So they look through an analog telescope, and can see it clearly. Can you see the idiocy? The "Optical scanner" (which is just a fancy name to say "telescope with an attached digital camera") can not see the object clearly because a field distorts the photons coming from that object, but an old telescope, which recieves exactly the same distorted photons, can see it clearly? This is a very minor and unimportant example, that is dwarfed by many other, bigger examples (and really, I would have just overlooked it normally as cheesy), where the show thinks its viewers are idiots. The ultimate example of that trend is the final solution to the klingon war: They just give up because Burnham is awesome. The show treats everybody, its cast, its viewers, like an idiot, and expects me to cheer them on for it. No, I will not do that. That has nothing to do with "But muh Klingon redesign" or "But Starfleet wouldn't do that!". NOBODY who is sane would do something like that. Nobody. None of the characters involved, would ever do that. And if they did, it would backfire spectacularly."

That's the feeling that the series has constantly been giving me, ever since the pilot. It's worth pointing out how much this disrespect for the viewer undermines the viewing experience. If you feel treated like an idiot, it gets very hard to get involved or immersed with the movie/series.

I just want to leave a brief comment on this episode: It has indeed shown how inept the writers are, and if it were for me, I couldn't give it more than 1 star. It is absolute madness to presume that L'Rell would abort an already won war, because she simply has no reason to do so. It's no exaggeration, as others have suggested, to call this one of the weakest/least believable conclusions to a war plot that has been shown on serialized television.

But anyway, the silver lining is that I feel now is a good moment to quite watching the show. We've seen the complete arc of season 1; we are capable of judging now; and we have a certain sense of completion. I see little incentive to jump into a new adventure/story next season and get invested into a show again that has HAD its trial run in season one and utterly failed in my opinion.

I really wanted to like the show, but things already started to fall apart in the pilot when I started to feel treated like an idiot, - to come back to the quote from the beginning of my post -, because I was supposed to follow Michael Burnham on her journey to mutiny, while her decisionmaking made no sense to me whatsoever. That experience is not only echoed, but completely dwarved by what we got served in the season finale; so in a sense, the series has come full circle. It's just baffling how nothing makes sense. If you just poke a little bit, if you just use your intellect for an instant, everything falls apart. We are expected to narrowly follow the perspective and narrative from Michael Burnham's POV, which is ultimately insulting to the audience. We are told what to feel and what to think, and all the ambiguity that was tauntingly woven into the series in its first few episodes turned out to be misleading: No, there is no complex use of multiple perspectives here; it's all just the Michael Burnham show. Love her, feel with her, or otherwise this series isn't for you.

Apparently my comment wasn't as brief as I thought... sorry for that. I'm saying my goodbye to those who have decided to stay onboard for season 2. It was a good discussion, really, and more intriguing really than watching the show itself.
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Steven Wieler
Fri, Feb 2, 2018, 6:13am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

> What STD did to Captain Lorca is consistent with SJW agenda of the series: white
> people are bad. You certainly can't trust a white man.

> It's a shame that STD is using Star Trek to promote a divisive political agenda.

On the other hand, there is also the message "you can't trust a Pakistani/Muslim", because look at who the sleeper agent is. And the black doctor has just been killed off (black people are unimportant, I guess?), so the "good" crew of the Discovery is pretty white now. Anti-white people? That's a conspiracy theory that is just in your mind, no offense. You can't cherry-pick one single character and claim that it proves an anti-white agenda. That's just lazy thinking.

White people can be pissed, middle Eastern people can be pissed and black people can be pissed by the portrayal of certain characters on the show. Hey, gay people can also feel insulted because how romantical was it to show Stamets and his lover brushing their teeth together? It was a silly/forced romance. So, basically, every political group can be angry about this series if they cherry-pick what they don't like.

In the end, it's just a poorly made series and the insult to certain groups is non-intentional. It's just a by-product of sloppy writing and character work.
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Steven
Thu, Feb 1, 2018, 12:30pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

You guys have indulged in this fun exercise of comparing the moral make-ups of the Star Trek captains, especially as Discovery is lacking in this department.

So I can't resist; here is my list:

1. Picard
2. Sisko
3. Kirk
4. Janeway
5. Archer

Incidentally, I am very much guided by the moral angle because IMO this list shows whose morality is superior to whose, and my sympathies for the captains go by exactly the same order. I'm just too much of an idealist to enjoy something like "Discovery", I guess. Although I did enjoy the reboot of BSG, which is in many ways the antithesis of Trek. However, BSG was "real politics" done right, in an artistic way, far superior to what Discovery has to offer.

The difference between Picard and Sisko has been detailed by you guys. Picard's morality is preferable in theory - if the circumstances allow it. He would've struggled against the Dominion though. Kirk is on place 3 of my sympathy list because his morality is less clearly defined than Picard's or Sisko's. Kirk generally has his heart in the right place and is the "original template" for a Starfleet captain, but imo he is surpassed by Picard and Sisko. Janeway is most similar to Sisko, in my books, because she has to make many decisions under extreme circumstances - but in the end, she is too erratic to be considered on-par, although Mulgrew understood to sell the character surprisingly well, using her charisma.

On Archer, I had to laugh a bit when reading Peter G's description of "George W. Bush in space"... although that's just the issue I'm having with him, too. Scott Bakula comes across as too "American" for my taste. Admittedly, his diplomatic side works rather well in seasons 4 and I might have ranked him higher if more of "Enterprise" had been about the actual formation of the Federation, as opposed to the boring stuff that we got served in the first three seasons. I refuse to even rank Lorca after his recent outing as a comic-book villain.
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Steven
Thu, Feb 1, 2018, 10:55am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

[Quote Peter G:] I'd like to be able to make some grand-sweeping statement like "the moral fiber of this show is completely degenerate" but I think that would be missing the point. It's not that the morals of the writers are mixed up, but simply that they don't exist. They're busting every move to keep the plot twists coming and I don't think there's much more to it than that. There's no consideration for what any broader message might be, and so any message one can draw from the show is going to be largely accidental rather than by design.
...
It's almost like a Terran Empire's version of a Star Trek series, and sorry to those who like reading only positive reviews, but yes, it's an actual betrayal. It's not just some new show we should be thankful for, but it an insult to what I grew up thinking of as Federation values. It's some piece of irony that the story of the series is focused on a character whose chief characteristic is being a traitor.
[/Quote]

To me, that's still the core of what is wrong with DIS. And I noticed something recently: I enjoyed the Mirror Universe episodes more than anything else, ever since the first 30 minutes of the pilot episode. You know, when Michael betrayed her Captain for arbitrary and incompehensible reasons - she's really the first main character of a Trek series that I can't connect to. Now, arriving in the Mirror Universe, the show suddenly became bearable. I think that's because everyone in the MU is so blatantly evil and psychopathic that our "heroes" suddenly become sympathetic - purely by contrast. It's really a sad state that we need the comical simplification and black-white painting of the MU to make the PU crew tolerable.

I haven't posted here since episode 6 or 7, but I've promised to come back and give my verdict on season 1. - So, I think I can do that now: This series is still a failure in my eyes. I mostly share the opinion of Peter G here - no coherent message, no vision, no moral commentary like we're used from Star Trek; instead it's all about action, visuals and paper-thin plots and I don't see the "Trek" in this series any more. There are some technical improvements, granted; the pacing and directing got a lot better recently, but that doesn't change the course of the series which to my taste is all-wrong. In terms of characterization, I have to acknowledge some improvement (from unbearably insonsistent to more or less coherent characters; especially after the reasons of Lorca's erratic behavior have been revealed). Still, I don't expect to pick up this series after the end of season 1.
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Steven Walker
Wed, Jan 24, 2018, 1:28pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Vaulting Ambition

I loved this episode! One fan complaint that I cannot wrap my brain around is the notion that the show somehow failed because some fans were able to deduce the twists ahead of time. In the age of constant week-to-week speculation by an army of fans, it's literally impossible for a serialized show to keep a big plot twist a secret unless they cheat by not offering enough clues to make it believable. Figuring it out early doesn't mean the show failed. I personally do not try to hard to speculate because I don't want to ruin anything for myself. I never would have guessed Tyler=Voq, nor would I have guessed the big twist in Westworld, if fans had not posted their theories online, and I really wish I had never read them. I actually guessed Mirror Lorca, but not in a serious way. Just in a "this is an answer that would explain why he doesn't embody Starfleet ideals" kind of way, but I didn't really think the show would have the courage to go there, so it still felt like a huge revelation to me. My point is, if you are the type of person who spends more time obsessively speculating about potential plot twists than the writers spent writing them, it's not fair to criticize the show if you figure it out early.
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Steven
Sat, Nov 4, 2017, 5:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

@Ubik

I have a hunch that the basis for our disagreement is that we use the terms "vision, coherent narrative or style" somewhat differently. Although I tried to be explicit, these terms are still not self-explanatory and need to be put into context and into a larger artistic/cinematic theory. I won't do that right now because it would be a bit exhausting to dig so deep, but I believe this is where our misunderstanding lies.

So okay, I retract my arguments and criticisms for now, because I can't properly explain them.
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Steven
Sat, Nov 4, 2017, 4:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

@Ubik

I see where you're coming from in your reaction to my post. But you ignored what was meant as the keywords of my text - "vision, coherent narrative or style".

My arguments are not, as you say, logical loops (strawman arguments), but they are based on my observation that Discovery doesn't have its own cohesive style but feels like an awkward copy and paste job - at least to me.

I am fully aware that you don't have to share that opinion, and that you might interpret what you see as a good form of entertainment - maybe even having its own distinctive feel - instead of seeing it as something that is lacking. As to "The Force Awakens", it was acceptable entertainment for two hours, but personally, I don't mind whether this movie exists or not. It felt empty to me and I will probably not watch it again. Literally like a copy that makes you wonder: Why not watch the original instead? That's just my feeling towards it.
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Steven
Fri, Nov 3, 2017, 10:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

To give us conflicting characters may actually be one thing that Discovery got right; they certainly did a better job than on ENT, where everybody was too content and nice to each other. The DIS characters have potential for future conflicts, especially between military and science officers. Kind of "New Battlestar Galactica meets Star Trek".

Unfortunately, the characters still don't intrigue me, so I'm not particularly looking forward to seeing future conflicts between them and I'd rather focus on the exploration and science fiction aspects. But yeah, the character work hasn't been a complete miss; what I don't like though is how inconsistent the characters still are and where their moral compass is, AND how similar they are to 21st century people.
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Steven
Fri, Nov 3, 2017, 10:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

Oh my god, I just read what Trent wrote two days ago. Here's a quote:

>> MisterWooster said: "What we have in DISCO is a Trek that doesn't adhere to
>> the "8ish or so Senior Officers Going on Adventures" template, and the reason
>> behind that is: That Template No Longer Works In 2017TM.

> The template works fine. As someone who reads mountains of new science
> fiction novels a year, I can assure you that deep, unique, philosophically,
> scientifically and politically interesting scifi "adventure" and "first contact" tales
> are everywhere (everyone go read Peter Watts' "Blindsight" and Octavia Butler's
> "Lilith's Brood"). The problem is, television writers live in bubbles and are
> primarily influenced by film and TV, and not literature, and certainly not science
> fiction literature. So they have no tales to tell."

Now THAT is a plausible explanation to me. I have heard a couple of good explanations now for why Voyager, or Enterprise, failed to meet the expectations. None of them are suggesting that the new course that Discovery takes is the necessary cure to an outdated formula. True, Star Trek was (and is) in crisis, but I believe that the course that Discovery has taken hasn't been of much help in solving this crisis; if anything, it has obscured the issue.

Quick summary of some convincing points I've heard:

- "TV writers live in a bubble and don't take inspiration from good literature any more" is a very good explanation. The remix of TV shows that Discovery writers pull off in such a fancy way is not a solution.

- Another very good point was that TNG had a coherent vision from the start, it wanted to be different from contemporay TV and do its own thing; in that regard, it followed in the footsteps of TOS. Where's the vision/boldness in Discovery? And no, it's not bold to do a mixer of existing TV shows. (As I said previously, let's wait till the end of season 1 to do a judgment on what "vision" or narrative the new show has. All I can say is that currently I'm not seeing it.)

- TNG also had a superb production team. The reason why Voyager wasn't as great as TNG or DS9 has largely to do with conflicting ideas of what the series was supposed to be or where it wanted to go. In the first two seasons, there were a couple of good concepts and conflicts between the characters that the writers should have expanded upon. At the core of TOS, there are three characters with conflicting attitudes and ideas (Kirk, Spock, Bones); something similar would've been needed for Voyager. Chakotay and his Maquis crew were too easily implemented into Voyager's crew after season 2 and there was little internal conflict left among the crew. I could go on with this; but I think my point is clear that the "8ish main officers going on adventures" template as such is not the problem.

Let's wait and see.
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Steven
Fri, Nov 3, 2017, 3:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

"I just want to add one thing: Star Trek Discovery feels to me like the first Trek series since DS9 that's genuinely committed to trying something new. Voyager and Enterprise tried to be fresh in their initial concepts, and had their moments, but they were largely rehashes of stuff we'd seen before. But a lot of Trek fans now seem to fault Discovery for departing from prior shows too much to do its own thing. My response? If all you want from Star Trek is familiarity and repetition, there are HUNDREDS of old episodes on Netflixa and in TV reruns for you to enjoy."

That's the two camps that we have right now:

1. One camp says: DIS is boring for being too much like any other contemporary TV show. It has lost Star Trek's originality and no guts any more.

2. The other says: I was bored by VOY and ENT, finally we got a new series that has the guts to refresh the Trek formula.

Both are right to *some* lesser degree. The question is which one you think is the more relevant description of what's going. To me, it's clearly number (1) and there are lots of examples to strengthen that argument (which have been brought up during the discussion).

I think the people who defend position number (2) need to explain to us what the new "vision", the new coherent narrative or style is supposed to be. Because if they can't do that, then we have a strong indication that the new series is without artistic direction and a product of mere "copy and paste". At this point, I don't have the evidence to completely rule out that the writers KNOW what they're doing, so I don't want to lean too much out of the window. But I can say that I haven't recognized a coherent narrative *so far*.

The right time to judge will probably be the end of season 1.
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Steven
Thu, Nov 2, 2017, 4:38pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

The series fatigue argument is also unconvincing to me. In "The Force Awakens", the writers took the safe route of doing a - rather uncreative - copy and paste job and sticking too close to the original. But surely, you can't argue that the Star Wars universe had "series fatigue" already and that it would have been impossible to create a new, original movie, that set itself better apart from the original ones.

That is what I also see happening on Discovery. DIS uses the established methods from contemporary shows (2017) plus the established methods from the old Trek shows, mixes them somehow and then the Media hypes the result as a creative new approach on Trek.

I will only subscribe to that positive interpretation when I've discovered a coherent, convincing artistic and narrative direction of the new show. So far, I haven't, and Peter G is right in saying that TNG was much bolder - in setting itself apart from everything else - than Discovery is with its rehashing of things that you've already seen in 10 other TV series, just better (Discovery being a shallow copy of the originals). Who wants to see a worse version of Battlestar Galactica or House of Cards?

It's still possible for DIS to get its act straight, so this is all that I want to comment on this atm.
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Steven
Wed, Nov 1, 2017, 6:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

"Steven I find it very disrespectful that you come here again and again writing basically how stupid anybody is who liked this episode or the show overall!"

Well it recently came up as a point in the discussion that some people see the show as anti-science or anti-intellectual, so I posted my view on it. That was a constructive thing to do, as in to clarify my position.

Having done that, I see no point in doing it again, and I'll move on. So don't worry, I am not coming here particularly to insult people. I have every right to write that I don't feel taken seriously by the authors because they don't make the effort to polish their scripts and THEY treat the audience as dummies.

If your conclusion from that is that I wanted to insult the audience and insinuate that they are stupid, well it wasn't meant like this. It's hard to speculate on the general audience, maybe they're just coming from a different angle and for some reason they're not bothered by the same things that I am, maybe the do spot the same mistakes but don't mind them, or they don't spot them... I don't know. I never directly insulted the audience, and if that is what you read between the lines from my posts, well that isn't what I said.
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Steven
Wed, Nov 1, 2017, 4:29pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

"That's sort of the vibe I get off Michael, basically that 'science' for the show boils down to that she's smarter than everyone else and is always right. TNG did quite a lot of science-puzzle shows, and in each one the characters are mostly wrong for the entirety of the episode until someone - or a group - comes around to the solution, which is typically thematic to the episode. In DISCO there isn't any 'getting it wrong until they get it right', Michael is just right. That's not science, it's the Trek equivalent of superpowers."

Thank you for putting it in such good words, that is just the point I am trying to make whenever I say the show is anti-science or anti-intellectual. It's true that they are not directly saying that science is stupid or intellectuals are dorks, and if Lorca says this, it should be treated as a single voice and I wouldn't see it as the voice of the entire series.

This is fine and well. But there is an *indirect* disrespect for science and intellectuals so far on the show, because they give almost no screen time to solving scientific or intellectual puzzles. Nobody has to figure anything out, which is what most Star Trek episodes used to be constructed around. Michael gets the solution instantly right, with no explanation given how she reached her conclusion, and boom, there is your Hail Mary. I don't take the writers' claim that they love science at face value, because they need to show it through their scripts to convince me.

On the "intellectual" topic, for some reason I feel a bit intellectually insulted in every episode so far, because there are always a couple of mind-bogglingly stupid logic flaws, that make the viewing experience much less pleasant than it could be. It's like they don't take the audience and their intellect seriously and don't make the effort to polish their scripts. Which is something that was *different* on Star Trek before. Even Voyager episodes, which often had silly stories, were a bit more consistent in themselves and at least tried to be clever within their own logic, and tried not to give us logical flaws every 5 minutes.

The first Trek movie whose watching experience was ruined for me because they brought huge logical flaws every few minutes (you had just recovered from one, and then came the next) was "Nemesis". That is what I call the Nemesis experience. For some reason, Discovery gives me a very similar vibe. Everything revolves around the visuals and action, while nobody stops for even a moment to think about the contrivances that are called a plot.
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Steven
Wed, Nov 1, 2017, 4:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

"Peter G, I totally understand your reading of this episode but I don’t think it was necessarily meant to be read like that."

You assume that Peter G was trying to sum up and judge the episode in his text, which he failed to do properly. I think that's where you're wrong in the first place.

It's evident to me that Peter G never meant to write a representative review of the episode, the likes that Jammer writes. He instead focused on very particular impressions that lead to certain conclusions about the series as a whole, which he elaborated on. That was very picky, and some people here mistook it as a "negative review for this one episode", which it wasn't.
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Steven
Wed, Nov 1, 2017, 1:24am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

Skeech, that explanation is about as convincing as the reason why Warp 10 was never used again on Voygager: Simply because it mutates human DNA. It wasn't a convincing explanation back then, and it's no more convincing now. There's a reason why "Threshold" is considered one of the worst Trek episodes of all time.

During wartime, everything is different anyway. They would've used the spore drive during the Dominion War endlessly, because even if it kills the pilot, there are always some people willing to sacrifice themselves like that if it brings their side a good tactical advantage. (For example, if it allows the ship to escape; better to just kill one person, than allow the whole ship to be destroyed.)

Besides, Janeway would've used it right after the Voyager pilot episode, to sacrifice herself, but bring the Crew home.
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Steven
Tue, Oct 31, 2017, 10:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

"We just had a 3 episode arc about a new life form that was explored in detail, it feels disingenuous to act like the show doesn't explore new life just because it didn't in this episode."

I must have been watching the show in a mirror universe, because to me the tardigrade is the best example of how this show doesn't (!) take alien lifeforms seriously. I roughly remember it like this:

"We've hooked it up to a neural scanner! Here's the brain patterns!"
[10 minutes later]
"We need results fast. Let's put it to sleep, then I lower the forcefield and cut off its fingernail, as a sample to weaponize."
"Okay."
[Female officer does as she says, gets attacked and dies]

Here's what a real scientific thinker would have inserted:

"Wait a moment; it killed a lot of Klingons and you just want to approach it? Shouldn't we try to anticipate its behavior (most likely violent)? I'm sure that in 10 minutes, in a streak of brilliance, I will recognize that it is only "defending itself", but by that time you will be already dead. Also, why did we hook it up to a brain scanner if we don't even take a look at the monitor to see whether it has been sedated? [Yes, they actually didn't even look at the brain scan monitor.] Oh, and you want to bring a phaser, which has been PROVEN to ineffective. That is surely a good measure to defend yourself."

You call the original version "explored in detail"?

Some time later, while the tardigrade is looking like it's suffering, Michael suddenly comes to the conclusion: "It's self-aware!" What her conclusion is based on, we are never told. Normally, at this point, in any Trek episode, people would try to communicate with the lifeform to prove the theory that it's self-aware through whatever he's saying. But no, we never got any communication established.

And that is pretty much all that we ever learned about the tardigrade. Jumps in captivity are for some reason stressful, while jumps in freedom are not, so the creature is released.

Your "3-episode-exploration" is much less than any single episode of any other other Trek show, if it puts the exploration of a new life form in its center, tells us about that lifeform.

"I also have trouble buying the anti-intellectual, anti-science mindset when the majority of the characters are scientists and the show dotes over them."

You're right in that regard. But the writers show their disrespect for science by putting really bad science in the show.
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Steven
Tue, Oct 31, 2017, 4:48pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

Good points, Peter G.

"And this, I think, reflects the moral compass of the production team. I honestly feel that they understand Trek about as well as JJ Abrams does Star Wars. They know the gadgets, they know the references, but the heart of it entirely eludes them. Worse - they appear to hold values that are utterly antagonistic to Trek. And let's not mince words about showing Mudd torturing people: these scenes were supposed to be fun to watch. Is it proper to make a comedic spectacle over the Captain being spaced?"

When someone is shown to us as a sadist, that used to have a narrative justification. But on DIS, pretty much every "bad guy" is exaggerated like this. The Klingons are torturers, assumedly in a pathological way, because keeping Mudd and Ash in the prison for months seems tactically pointless, when they could just be executed. Obviously, the Klingons like to gloat and humiliate their enemies. Captain Lorca also likes his collection of pain-inflicting weapons, just don't ask me WHY. What's the narrative point? It's almost like these character cards were written by 11-year olds, who try to make them "as badass as possible", with no regard for the moral implications.

New Mudd is the kind of character that you usually meet in video games these days. In pretty much every ego shooter, there are these sadistic characters whose cruelty we watch as a form of entertainment. The writers of the show use this common device simply because it's an established and cheap form of entertainment.

But yeah, the show is missing a soul. There's nothing behind it.

"... although I was still sad not to hear any more about what a 4-D life form is or how the Federation knows of their existence. But who am I kidding, I'm not going to get that kind of thing on this show."

I think that's just another example of how anti-intellectual this show is. I doubt that they have any concept behind what a 4-D lifeform is supposed to be. No intelligent person would include "four-dimensional beings" into an episode script, because that is actually what WE are: We move through three dimmensions, plus time, so by definition we all are four-dimensional beings.
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Steven
Mon, Oct 30, 2017, 10:54am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

"Why did Michael eat the death ball, instead of throwing it at Mudd?"

That's the point that I already tried to make: Even if we assume that phasers got remotely deactivated, there are other ways to stop an intruder - physical assault, throwing one of Lorca's death weapons, etc.

"If this is not a reboot, why is this Mudd so much more sociopathic than old Mudd?"

I was definitely wondering that, too. But it's probably the same as with the Klingons: Make him look brutal, because that's considered "edgy" on television today.
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Steven
Mon, Oct 30, 2017, 10:38am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

Basically a time-loop episode like this one should be the easiest to get right, it is so conveniently self-contained (pun intended). That the writers still manage to make so many mistakes is kind of impressive. Not in a good way!
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Steven
Mon, Oct 30, 2017, 10:22am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

My scores so far, now that we had roughly half a season.

Pilot
1x01 - 2 stars (sets a nice atmosphere, but the spacewalk is pretty dumb)
1x02 - 1.5 stars (Michael's actions are barely, erm, bareable)

Regular episodes
1x03 - 1.5 stars
1x04 - 1.5 stars
1x05 - 1.0 stars (extremely lame prison episode, reminds me of ENT season 2)
1x06 - 1.5 stars
1x07 - 2.5 stars (has the actual feel of a Trek episode, but too many errors in execution)
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Steven
Mon, Oct 30, 2017, 10:01am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

> "It's pretty convenient that they just happened upon this whale with Mudd in it out
> in the middle of nowhere."
>
> Good lord, Mudd put himself there for them to find.

I think his point was that Mudd knew where the Discovery would be.
Just like the Klingons in the prison episode knew where Lorca's shuttle would be, to catch it. But with the Discovery, it's even weirder that Mudd would be able to predict its position, given that the ship makes unpredictable jumps all the time.

Another question is why exactly Mudd thought that the spore drive was incomplete, and when Stamets revealed himself, it was like "Heureka! It's him!" As far as I remember, the drive also works without a "pilot"... just not over such big distances. But the Klingons were coming to fetch it, anyway. You know what would have been clever? If Mudd had been forced to use the drive, in order to avoid his pursuers and jump directly into Klingon territory, to give the ship to the Klingons. That would have given him a genuine incentive to make the drive work and use it.

It would also have spared us the meeting with the pursuing ship and Mudds reunification with Stella... which I really could've done without. This ending was directly copied from TNG's "The outrageous Okona", where Cpt. Okona also has a rich young girl who's into him that he's fleeing from. (If my memory serves right, but it usually does.)

About Stamets giving up himself... from a tactical perspective, that was a terrible decision. Giving up himself meant that ALL of the crew would be given to the Klingons and tortured/killed, so it didn't really help anyone or prevent them from being harmed further.

2.5 stars, the highest that Discovery will probably ever get on my scale.
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Steven
Mon, Oct 30, 2017, 6:44am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

Excellent points Skeech. I wouldn't emphasize the point too much that Stamets didn't confront Mudd himself (he doesn't seem to be the soldier type, and silently plotting against Mudd behind his back also seems a good course of action).

But you still got to wonder how Mudd can move freely through the Bridge and corridors without having to fear that security personal just shoots him. Are there forcefields everywhere on the bridge (every 50 centimeters), so that no matter where he stands, there'll always be protective forcefields around him? We've never seen such a thing on Trek before though. Seems a bit much. More likely that he disabled everyone's phasers remotely, if such a thing is possible. But even so, when he is about to give the ships' position to the Klingons (and I mean when he REALLY did it, not in the last loop when the "chair was re-wired"), even without phasers, every officer on the bridge should start running towards Mudd to try to overpower him physically, before he gives their position away. They are soldiers, right? And they're just standing there...?

All these flaws (Skeech summed them up well) make the show really amateurish. Even in a decent episode like this one, they have to ruin things with countless logical flaws. Most of which could have been prevented with some tweaks. Especially embarassing are pure errors (such as Michael remembering something from the previous loop), the kind of which you wouldn't see in a TNG time loop episode. Because the show was just better. You'd think that this kind of stuff could be avoided, if the writers were capable.
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Steven
Sun, Oct 29, 2017, 1:55am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

@TheAncient

In case you didn't understood what I wrote, I was basically calling OmicronThetaDeltaPhi out on trolling, which is what he does unless he's willing to present his case and back up his view. Just making a bold statement that the new series is a dumbed-down Trek is not a good idea.

My *whole post* was trying to make the point that while I subscribe to OmicronThetaDeltaPhi's opinion, making such a statement without willingness to engage in an argument about it is indeed trolling.

So from the context it should have been sufficiently clear that I was not trolling, but on the contrary trying to defuse the situation; although the first sentence of my post ALONE could give you that idea.
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Steven
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 10:57pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

"One can be a fan of this show while still admitting to the fact that it *is* a dumbed down mainstreamized version of Trek (Jammer has done so more than once, with his "there's a Trek for everyone" statement) and accept the fact that some people just can't bring themselves to enjoy this kind of thing."

I think many people haven't realized yet that this show is a dumbed-down version of Trek, and that is excusable because it's a complex topic. It will become more evident once we have the arc finished and can take a more distanced look at the material. I don't even want to have that discussion right now, this is why I never wrote explicitly that the new show is dumbed down, as you do. It'd be a difficult discussion to have at the current time, because the show is still so new.

Personally, I've noted a number of indications that this show is less deep than others before it, but if I wrote those down, people would probably throw lots of counter-arguments in my face - such as "this show has more ambiguity than before; you don't know where you stand with Lorca, among others; he could be a calculating psychopath or not", and in this particular way the show is indeed cleverer than old Trek.

Yeah, I believe I see the same general pattern that you do, that this show is more mainstream and dumbed down than previous ones, but it'd make for a difficult discussion right now and I don't start a discussion or make bold statements, unless I'm willing to dive into it and back it up with arguments. So I personally won't join in a discussion on that atm.
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Steven
Sat, Oct 28, 2017, 10:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

@BZ

Fair enough, if you've seen it this way, I understand your disappointment in season 4. I just wish the finale had been different. But anyway, it's a good example to illustrate how confusion over whether a show is science, religion or anti-science can lead to disappointment.
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