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Booming
Tue, Feb 25, 2020, 12:57am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: The Quickening

@ Mertov
Ok, call what I write deep dive nitpicking (I'm not entirely sure what that means) but my comments on episodes are my actual opinion. What you wrote here is not your actual opinion.

To admit the scene where the one guy (who later dies in the hospital) points at Bashir always stood out as pretty bad acting / directing.

And the reason why the people were not too mad at Bashir after the people died in the hospital was that he didn't take money and the people who came to him were already "quickening" which means that they would have died very soon. If they hadn't gone to Bashir the would have gone to Trevean. The pointing guy even says so when he enters. Plus Bashir at the beginning openly states that he cannot promise anything.
His entire arc in this episode is the classic hero's journey and a good comparison to the eye ball scene. In the everybody dies in the hospital scene and the aftermath I completely understand what is happening and why people behave in a certain way. In the eye ball scene I have no idea why anybody does anything and I have the lurking suspicion that I'm not supposed to. Let's ignore the eye ball thing itself, maybe they are just sick perverts who like to torture people but why would seven not at least try to beam Itcheb to her ship. She appears, tries to take him but he says no and that is the end of the debate and then she shoots him. Both their motives are nebulous. STP and Discovery are shows that constantly leave me with questions that these shows never answer. The eye ball scene is the very foundation of her character on the show and there are many things that make no sense about this scene or are at least not explained in any way. It is simplistic and manipulative drama.
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Tommy D.
Tue, Feb 25, 2020, 12:50am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Tim

Yes. Saw the scene the same way you did.
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Bilbo
Tue, Feb 25, 2020, 12:26am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

Star Trek: Picard?
This show should be called ‘Everyone Hates Picard’ instead.
For a guy who was one of the most revered and respected people in Starfleet to be reduced to a stupid old man that everyone hates and bitches at in every single episode is really lame.
Let’s place our bets on who’s going to bitch at Picard next week.......


The only reason I’m still watching is because I really like Patrick Stewart but I sure hope that this show starts to improve.
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Mertov
Tue, Feb 25, 2020, 12:00am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: The Quickening

No, remember, the idea was "give me any episode of any series and I can shit on it by applying the same standards of deep-dive nitpicking that you do to a scene, or two, or three" (change a word or two). Go back and read it if you wish.
I did exactly what I promised, applying those standards of nit-picking here. Sorry you expected something else.
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Dark Kirk
Mon, Feb 24, 2020, 11:25pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Sacrifice of Angels

Sacrifice of Angels is the Star Trek DS9 equivalent of Avengers: Endgame.
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Booming
Mon, Feb 24, 2020, 10:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@ Omicron
"Oh great... I see you're in full-snark "I know everything and you are all stupid" mode."
No that was not my intent. I actually find your sentiment/view sweet. I'm not an economist so my opinion about capitalism is not more sophisticated than that of any other person here. And about that communist manifesto comment. Have you actually read the communist manifesto or das Kapital. What you write about megacorporations sounds like something out of a socialist pamphlet. Even though there are parts of your statement I disagree with/don't understand for example "the ordinary rules of economics". That is not a thing, isn't it? Aren't what you describe just market forces at work?

"Perhaps you should return to that project that you've been procrastinating on? Seems like it will be a far better use of your time."
But I really really don't want to. It's very boring. :(
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Peter G.
Mon, Feb 24, 2020, 10:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@ Chrome,

"I think that's a realistic expectation given the season's trajectory. I'd actually hope they went further than that and had Raffi and Rios remind Picard about some of the good things in the Federation he's forgotten in his absence. Picard is just too boring as a perfect character; he needs a foil to humanize him."

But, like, wasn't this the plot of DISC season 1? The good ol' Feds have lost their way and need a hero to bring them back to form? One of my biggest complaints about DISC was their preposterous aim to deify Michael at every turn, and the more illogical it was the more the writers protested that she was magnificent. I fear that they are doing exactly the same here with Picard. To put it in a strange way, both shows seem to teeter dangerously close to straight-up idolotry, trying to give us idols to worship. That they toy with whether or not we should *really* worship them doesn't change the basic arithmetic, which is that the point of why to respect someone is *not* because they are some kind of idol. That's the kind of crap TOS fought against.

@ Trent,

"In the way the threat of violence hung over everything, TOS is darker and more violent than any subsequent Trek. But TOS generally took a Lovecraftian approach to horror and violence. Here the universe outside the Enterprise is a malevolent, wild, lawless, alien thing, so bafflingly bizarre that it's constantly driving men to madness. There's something really disturbing about TOS, and the way its villains were so psychologically unhinged."

Yes, I love this description, it feels exactly right except for one thing: the optimism built into this is that not only is there a Lovecraftian malevolence out there but that humanity has gotten to a point where we can actually stand up to it through a combination of technology and principles; neither one alone will do it. Technology without principles turns us into the monster, and principles without technology leaves us helpless and out of the game. And it's this juxtapose - of on the one hand seemingly insurmountable dangers, and on the other hand our seemingly limitless opportunities to be better than we are - that the series hinges on.

But in PIC now the problem seems to be simply one of sheer power; so far I haven't seen anything compelling that gives credence to the stock Picard position (which they are making him inconsistent about) or to the 'Seven position' if I'm to call it that, which is that it's the wild west and principles are for offices and armchairs only. I mean, so far things seem to be hanging in favor of the side of kicking butt and chewing bubble gum, so from that standpoint if we've got any takeaway yet it's that talking about principles hasn't helped anyone very much so far. And if my hunch is right they are actually saying (again, inconsistently) that Picard's "principles" were the problem all along, and that his resignation being a prime example of this armchair theorizing was a mistake not because there were better options, but because gestures based on principle aren't as 'meaningful' as going out there and getting it done. In a nutshell the argument is that action movies have more meaning than anything else, because how can we respect anything other than action? Well we certainly won't, if no one makes a case for avoiding the dark and easy path.
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Tim
Mon, Feb 24, 2020, 9:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

Did anyone else notice that Seven seemingly stunned (blue bolts) everyone except Bjayzl (red bolts; vaporized)

Keep reading “Seven’s killing spree” but that wasn’t how I read the scene.
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Trent
Mon, Feb 24, 2020, 9:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

Chrome said: "TOS notably did a lot of dark topics. Indeed, it's often compared to The Twilight Zone because of how space rips you out of your comfort zone."

In the way the threat of violence hung over everything, TOS is darker and more violent than any subsequent Trek. But TOS generally took a Lovecraftian approach to horror and violence. Here the universe outside the Enterprise is a malevolent, wild, lawless, alien thing, so bafflingly bizarre that it's constantly driving men to madness. There's something really disturbing about TOS, and the way its villains were so psychologically unhinged.

TOS' violence is also conveyed with a very expressionistic style - like kabuki theater at times - and aside from a few conventional fisticuff scenes, often came with a level of subtext or critique.

TNG's violence was as idiosyncratic as TOS', but in a different way; things were drawn out, methodical, directed with a kind of austere distance, or were deliberately banal. Like TOS, when it tried to be conventional, its violence tended to be ridiculous.

Later Trek tends to get more naturalistic, more literal, obvious, glossy, and the violence generally less interesting and/or used for easy shocks. In PICARD, for example, we've had robot-ninja fights, a space-samurai decapitation, some Tarantino-esque torture, a synth attack, and Seven's murder spree. All of this is pretty routine, and hard to differentiate from everything else on TV.
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Easy_Eight
Mon, Feb 24, 2020, 9:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Projections

Sick with the flu, home from work, going through the series for the umpteenth time. Was not sure another replay would not be boring and unsatisfying. However, I was wrong. I love this series. I guess because I love the interplay of characters and the idea fostered by Janeway of famiily as opposed to TNG, where Picard is not exactly the warm and fuzzy type and was more about duty and excellence. Which brings me to this episode. Up until this episode, I felt that Voyager was, after so many years, surprisingly good and satisfying on many levels, so much more so than the scifi blockbusters and TV series we are currently being subjected to. But this episode was so disappointing and predictable that I finally had to scroll through to the end. The opening premise was very interesting. I thought it was going to be one where the Doctor had been left alone and had to figure out what had happened and develop and execute a plan to bring back the crew and save the ship. But instead it just seemed like a series of vignettes with various characters coming at the Doctor to convince him that things were not as they seemed. No real interaction among crew members. Most episodes have several plot-lines that operate simultaneously off the main theme. There are lessons to be learned, personalities that unfold, and humor. And the focus on one character was IMHO an unwelcome change possibly introduced by Jonathan Frakes (not sure about this as I am not a Trek historian). I have no idea why there are so many positive comments. I would give this one star. It was predictable and confusing and hard to follow. To adequately analyze the logic was too tiresome for me. I know there are huge plot-holes (as some have presented in their comments). The bottom-line for me was that it was not worth the effort to work out the logic. I am guessing people who gave it positive reviews liked it because of the idea of a complex story within a story like some computer program logic with nested For Next Loops. As a viewer, i compare the experience to lying in a hospital bed and having specialists and nurses constantly appearing at your bedside taking blood, repeating the same questions, and just generally being in your face. When I got to the point where I realized that the Doctor was not going to have to save the ship and rescue the crew and interact with the characters in "real life", I lost interest. It was obvious that the Doctor was either going to decide that he was human or a hologram and to blow up the ship or not. We unfortunately were forced to endure the pleading and the threats of the other characters. In the end the decision was made for him with the flip suggestion after all that he had been through at the very end by Kes that his reality still may not be what he perceived it to be. The introduction of Barklay was, at this point in the series, IMHO, seemed ill-timed and confusing. The later introduction of Barklay in the series made more sense and seemed appropriate as Barklay was responsible for figuring out a way to communicate with Voyager.
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Chrome
Mon, Feb 24, 2020, 8:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

Skye wrote:

"I'm hoping that's the point of PIC. That things HAVE gone astray and he's trying to find out why and get them back to how they should be. Something rotten at the core of the Federation etc.

I mean if the show started in a perfect paradise that Earth is meant to be and he just chatted to Riker, Geordi and his Romulans in his vineyard.. ok that would be sort of entertaining but not particularly exciting for 10 episodes."

I think that's a realistic expectation given the season's trajectory. I'd actually hope they went further than that and had Raffi and Rios remind Picard about some of the good things in the Federation he's forgotten in his absence. Picard is just too boring as a perfect character; he needs a foil to humanize him.
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Nolan
Mon, Feb 24, 2020, 8:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

Perhaps the reason shows aren't trying to teach morals or ethics or say that society can do better than it is but instead just sets out to entertain across the board is a growing movement of distrust and disrespect for intellectuals and mult-tiered discourse, either in those shows or spurred on by those shows - discourse that one would have to strive to step out of an intellectual comfort zone to fully understand - "why should I have to go out of my way learn something to participate in a conversation when the conversation shouldn't have the arrogance to talk above my level and instead be more inclusive?"

Contentment in ignorance - when the lesson should be "Its okay to not know or understand something, that just means you have something to learn today." Especially when there is an entire global network of information readily accessible at the fingertips of most people.

Do I truly think that? Not sure, just noodling it in my mind, curious what people might think.
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Dougie
Mon, Feb 24, 2020, 7:38pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Eric Jensen
The theme music is reminiscent of Passengers
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aidivad
Mon, Feb 24, 2020, 7:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

All of this philosophical argle-bargle bandied about by people who assume, as fait accompli, that they are on a higher plane of understanding than we mortals, reminds me of a sentence in Pauline Kael’s “The Shining.”

“Kubrick isn’t just a virtuoso technician; he is also, God help us, a deadly-serious metaphysician.”
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grey cat
Mon, Feb 24, 2020, 7:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Henson yep my parents would definitely argue that TOS is the best of those 3. It's amazing that Star Trek in it's vastly different forms has endured. I'd rather it be on the air (even if it's DSC... sigh) than not at all.

Never enough sci-fi on TV.
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Henson
Mon, Feb 24, 2020, 7:32pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Dave in MN

Yeah, I think a lot of people are starting to realize that episodic television actually had some significant strengths that haven't been much appreciated in the last 10-15 years. I think Entertainment Weekly's review of the first few episodes of Picard put it rather well:

"Serialization used to be exciting, back when Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was crafting a multi-season war epic. The three episodes of Picard I’ve seen confirm that serialization has become a haven for television’s hackiest writing, a way to justify stretching one limp story across empty take-forever hours."
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grey cat
Mon, Feb 24, 2020, 7:30pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi i know you weren't talking to me but reputation wise i think you're right DS9 (rather than TNG) would definitely have the worst reputation of the 3. Maybe that has changed a little over time. People appear to have warmed to it over the years.

Personally DS9 became my favourite instantly (even with the slightly wobbly first 2 seasons). I always found TNG too stiff on whole with the occasional exception episode. I actually couldn't stand Picard at all at first. I grew up with Kirk. I ended up liking him and TNG just find though.

I never did like Janeway and her dictatorship though. Seven came along excellently to actually make some good debate and tension (I never cared about the catsuits and I'm male too - I don't watch sci-fi for that). So glad to see her back, if only briefly. She is a damn fine actress.
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Henson
Mon, Feb 24, 2020, 7:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@phaedon

"My apologies.. I'm committed to the parallel universe where Enterprise and Voyager don't exist. I meant TNG in relation to TOS and DS9."

Ha!

Actually, I would argue that there isn't really a clear consensus on which of those three shows is considered the worst, or even best. I would personally argue TOS as the worst (or least good) but I know a LOT of people would take issue with me on that. Depends on who you ask.
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Tempeh
Mon, Feb 24, 2020, 6:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Meld

Sorry, I have to disagree with the consensus. This episode was painfully boring. The premise that someone killed another crewmember because the way he looked at him is as implausible as the creatures at the end of Threshold.
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Jason R.
Mon, Feb 24, 2020, 6:54pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

"Up to this point, I've found things to enjoy about this series. But the graphic torture of poor Icheb that opened this episode was in really poor taste, and it scuttled whatever anticipation I had for Seven's return. It may well have been the moment that turned me against this show. Picard started out fairly strong, but it is going downhill fast."

The funny thing is that this scene didn't really bother me especially at the time. Like most of the action it was actually rather confusing in the way it was shot - I wasn't even sure what the heck was going on other than someone being tortured, but even the why and how was kind of fuzzy. When I realized it was Icheb I didn't really feel much to be honest - though the horror of it did sink in a bit when I thought about it later and remembered him from his brief appearances on Voyager.

What turned me against this show was the moment when 7 beams down and blows away that woman and (presumably) goes out in a blaze of phaser fire.

To be clear, it isn't the fact that 7 would choose to die in a blaze of gun fire in an act of brutal revenge - that is an understandable (if depressing) end to this character. What made me mad was the timing of the scene, the message it conveys immediately after her quiet introspective scene with Picard.

Two characters who were brutalized and tortured facing their inner demons and resolving to be better. And then - 7 going Dirty Harry in a cool Matrix like display of glorified ultra-violence. The message couldn't be clearer - revenge is good and badass. Even suicide and self destruction are awesome if it means taking an evildoer who wronged you with you.

To say that it's an anti-Trekkian scene is gobsmackingly obvious but let's face it, does it even matter? Would it be anything worthwhile if it were a scene in some other show? This isn't darkness and grittiness as an aesthetic choice or the writers choosing to make the setting dark and vile - it's the writers glorifying vileness. It's celebrating nihilism.

I feel sorry for the people who believe this is empowering or some kind of feminist statement. It's really pathetic.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Feb 24, 2020, 6:40pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Booming
"I find it sweet that you think that way about capitalism."

"Did you copy that out of the communist manifesto or Das Kapital? :D"

Oh great... I see you're in full-snark "I know everything and you are all stupid" mode. That's the second time in the last month (remember the Romans?) and it's getting old real quick.

Keep this up, and you'll never learn anything about anything.

Perhaps you should return to that project that you've been procrastinating on? Seems like it will be a far better use of your time.

@Phaedon
"My apologies.. I'm committed to the parallel universe where Enterprise and Voyager don't exist. I meant TNG in relation to TOS and DS9."

Even then, it's a strange statement. Since when does TNG have "the reputation of being the worst show" among these three?
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James
Mon, Feb 24, 2020, 6:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

"And I think philosophy will follow the way of alchemy which was sent to greener pastures by chemistry, biology and physics. For philosophy it will be neurology(brain), psychology(individual) and sociology(group), maybe philosophy will be used to interpret the findings of these fields. "

That would be unfortunate, in my view. Depression is on the rise and our dissatisfaction with life remains unimproved despite those fields being at their respective peaks. To say we know what we know, the world works the way we think it does and merely to pursue the established fields and close the door on the possibility we might be wrong... that's not something I'm prepared to accept.
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phaedon
Mon, Feb 24, 2020, 4:39pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

My apologies.. I'm committed to the parallel universe where Enterprise and Voyager don't exist. I meant TNG in relation to TOS and DS9.
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Dave in MN
Mon, Feb 24, 2020, 4:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

The problem is this: in episodic television, you can afford to have a clunker here and there. The process that creates a stinker also creates the occasional genius..

It's the story variety, the disparate cinematic/plot elements with logical reactions by intelligent character, that intrigues and invites a following.

There's an alchemy that occurs with genre programs people remember: you have to take risks ... but do so with a framework an audience can identify and feel comfortable with.

Otherwise, you end up with stuff that was outdated when Dynasty was still on the air: a soap opera that can only top itself by going ever more over the top.

What compounds this is the idea of a serialized show based on a singular concept. If it's plausible and interesting, you've got potential for a good season. If it's not, well....

The writing by committee (which is what we've seem thus far) only compounds the problem. I don't get a sense of a singular narrative voice at work in any episode.

Rather, it seems like they plotted it in a conference. Once they settled on an outline, the showrunner bluntly chopped it into ten blocks and the writers scripted it in random chunks.. M.y impression is STP varies authors from scene to scene, judged by the hyperkinetic mood shifts within singular episodes. It's checkbox storytelling.

Everything also seems to filtered through a weird lens demanding signposted supposedly-shocking drama. Nothing is allowed to be intellectually explored because there seems to be a constant rush to the next gasp-inducing reveal.

The music doesn't help. The soundtrack constantly drones on, never taking a rest, always a beat ahead of the scene in telling the viewer how to feel.

Then there's the obvious bait to audiences who crave "mature" things like gory vivisection of beloved characters and potty mouthed Admirals and drug addiction and beefcake Romulan Elf warriors and incestuous spy siblings and a evil Vulcan(?) Commodore in sunglasses and so on.

STP currently feels very manipulative, crass and pessimistic. It doesn't improve on rewatch either. I won't re-rate this episode a third time... but man, diminishing returns.

I'm hoping there's a redemptive arc in the remaining episodes that recaptures that Trek spirit. Perhaps some retroactive reassessment will then be in order.

Fingers crossed.
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Henson
Mon, Feb 24, 2020, 3:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@phaedon

"...despite its campy style, episodic nature, and its reputation as the worst of all the shows, TNG..."

This sentence baffles me. Surely, the pre-2009 Trek show with the reputation as the worst of all the shows is Enterprise. Or even Voyager. TNG?
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