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Karl Zimmerman
Sun, Aug 9, 2020, 7:12am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

I do not understand the argument that Lower Decks is "not canon" or "not Star Trek."

First, there's of course the distinction to be made between canon and continuity, which people often confuse. Canon just means whatever the licence holder says counts. This is why Star Trek books have never been canon, and TAS became non-canon during the TNG era (and seems to have slowly been embraced once again). A story can make logical sense within the Trekverse continuity without being canon. Elements of the Trek timeline also outright conflict due to writer error (like say Chekov knowing Khan in TWOK) but it doesn't screw up the canonical status of either work, Or I guess you could bring up the entire Kelvinverse, which clearly isn't in the Prime Timeline, but is still part of canon.

So the real question is if Lower Decks is within the continuity of earlier Trek shows. I don't see an issue here either. Unlike say the Short Trek Ephraim and Dot there is no Looney Toons style physics on display. I didn't see any breaking of the fourth wall either. It's a bit silly, but is it any sillier so far than a giant amoeba that eats planets, meeting the literal god Apollo, a giant glowy hand in space, Rumpelstiltskin, etc I don't see what stretches credulity here.

Unless, I suppose, people are angry at how the crew acts. I find this aspect of the show completely believable however. Comparing the show with TNG in terms of crew competence is not fair because The Enterprise was/is the flagship of all of Starfleet, and thus should have the "best of the best." The Cerritos is purposefully made out to be a smaller, fairly insignificant ship, so having a crew which is a bit less exemplary is understandable. Add to this that the show is from the POV of the ensigns. Much like the TNG episode Lower Decks recast the crew we love as distant and somewhat intimidating figures, we're not seeing the bridge crew here (yet) at their best. The ensigns themselves are assuredly not nasty or nihilistic people either. They have personality quirks, but they're competent and do the best they can to support one another.

So yeah, I can understand how someone would not enjoy the show for its pacing, or humor. I can't understand saying it's "not Star Trek."
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Sun, Aug 9, 2020, 4:22am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

"We seem to be further from Star Trek's future than ever."

Star Trek always postulated that things need to get far worse, before they will get better.

So now things are getting worse. Which just means that it's even more important to remain hopeful and remember Trek's original vision for humanity's future.

After all, in the Trekverse, humanity suffered through a Eugenic War, an economic collapse, Sanctuary Districts, The Bell Riots and World War III, yet everything ended up okay in the end.

If they could make it to the bright future shown in TOS and TNG, so can we.
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Sun, Aug 9, 2020, 4:04am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

"Anyone who doesn't like it 'lacks social skills'? What a petty, childish thing to say."

Well, we're Trekkies, aren't we ;-)

We are also snobbish nerds who never laugh at anything, live in our parent's basement and need to get a life.

Seriously, though, these remarks tell you everything you need to know about the current state of the franchise, doesn't it?

@Dave in MN
"Either this show is bringing in a while new crowd of commenters or there's some kind of organized campaign going on. It'll be fascinating to find out which logical possibility is the truth. "

It's probably a combination of both.

But who cares, really? Either way, it is obvious that the vast majority of these commenters is not interested in an actual discussion. 80% of their stuff is personal attacks and the other 20% of their stuff is empty praise of the kind of "this show is the greatest thing evar!!!!!".
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Sun, Aug 9, 2020, 2:11am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Well, it definitely wasn't funny. As I suspected, the humor is very hyperactive and fast-talking but lacks any actual wit; it's the way """"quirky""" white people act in TV commercials. Also I thought we learned from Family Guy that references alone do not count as jokes.

That said, I didn't completely hate it. It looks really nice. I kinda like the dynamic between Mariner and Bueller, the green girl and the cyborg not so much (see above). I like the cat doctor, kind of a Bones-y vibe.

I like that there's a plot that's spread out between an actual cast of characters, instead of everything revolving around a fucking Micheal Burnham. I like that it's a serialized format that doesn't hinge on taking a massive dump on established canon and characters like STP, though there's plenty of time for that.

I definitely don't like many of the comments I've seen from people who like the show. Anyone who doesn't like it "lacks social skills"? What a petty, childish thing to say.

Anyway for a comedy show the humor falls completely flat and as a parody it mostly boils down to "hey remember WORF!?" so that's a pretty terrible foundation for a Trek show. I'm willing to concede that there might be a couple of legitimately good episodes tucked away in the season but I sure as hell wouldn't pay to watch it.
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Sun, Aug 9, 2020, 2:02am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

You guys are wrong. It's a great show. Christian Blauvelt's review on IndieWire says it may be the most Trek series ever.
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Sun, Aug 9, 2020, 12:57am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@Nolan, great post ;-)

Lower Decks really is a symptom of a much more fundamental problem.

Star Trek was never able to transition into the 21st century. It's been running on auto-pilot for the past 20 years.

I suppose that is a testament to capitalism.

You can make a boatload of money putting out mediocre drek year after year, decade after decade. People will buy pretty much anything. I hear The Bachelorette is in its 15th season.

Why bother working hard, with passion and integrity, to put out one of the most aspirational shows ever made by man?? It's far easier to slap together some garbage, throw on the name of some established IP franchise, pump out the promotional PR, and sit back and cash the checks.

We seem to be further from Star Trek's future than ever.

Twice before we've appeared on that track for that future. Twice before we were able to come together to create the greatest of great Star Trek.

Once as man was racing for the moon (TOS).

And then again at the at the end of the Cold War when the hope was we could once more turn our gazes back to the stars (ST VI, TNG S4).

TNG laid the groundwork for DS9, and VOY provided the cover fire so DS9 could do its thing. But once DS9 was gone, and Ronald D Moore was gone, and Joe Menosky was gone, Star Trek was dead.

But Star Trek has died before (after S3 of TOS). And Star Trek has been debased before (TAS). And Star Trek has had false re-starts before (TNG S1, ST:2009). And Star Trek has come back from the dead before (TWoK).

So let the current string of debasement (Lower Decks), and false re-starts (Discovery, Picard) burn themselves out. Eventually there will be a, er, um, Restoration...

And then maybe we'll be able to do the impossible once again.
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Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 11:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Indiscretion

Wait - Cardassians and Bajorans can interbreed? That seems far fetched...
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Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 9:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

STLD was laughably bad. Like lowest common denominator waste of time.
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Louis B
Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 9:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

STLD was awesome. You're missing out, Jammer!
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Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 7:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Armageddon Game

I liked this episode and found it entertaining. My main issues were why do all alien races dress exactly the same? I find it hard to believe that every person on a planet all wears the same brown outfits. My other issue with Keiko as she was super unrealistic. No one would ever react that way to finding out their husband just died.
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Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 7:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

I once liked this episode for its basic tone and its Twilight Zone-ish way of handling the 'correction of deviance' issues.. "We're just going to cure you. This won't hurt at all...." I now feel differently about it.

In TOS the problem of social conformity was handled in the Landru episode (The Return of the Archons). Kirk and Spock could just short out the god-like computer (again) and make everything alright. Here the J'naii were real people so the Prime Directive was invoked to make sure that their indigenous tyranny could win out and crush the individual... the term lobotomy comes to mind not only for Soren, but for me the viewer.

Soren's impassioned speech before the tribunal was memorable and sensitively delivered. However, the scene in the shuttle with Riker before mission 2 to null space, was an interminable 4 minutes 20 seconds to tell a story that could have been done in just 4 lines. "A kid in my school was basically just like me. They beat him up and then reprogrammed the poor bastard. He barely remembered who he was. It was totally perverse!"

This 9% of the total episode revealed that, filler was more essential to the writer's mission than social message. Score 5/9.
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Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 4:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Silicon Avatar

The big problem with the episode isn't the dilemma itself ("shoot on sight" and "let's try to talk to it first, but with our weapons trained on it" are both justifiable given the threat the CE poses). The problem is the script is so firmly on Picard's side and doesn't really care about the alternate view - the scientist is written as a lunatic and the only other proponent of her view is Riker, who brings it up for five seconds and immediately drops it.

Plus Picard just comes across as completely up his own ass. Especially when he deals with Riker. Riker's whole job as a First Officer is to raise alternative viewpoints to the Captain, and when he actually bothers to do that here (a rare occurrence since Riker is usually useless), Picard immediately shuts him down with "oh, well I think you're just mad that your girlfriend blew up". Pretty nasty when you think about it, but Riker just takes it.

The ending scene is farcical. Data, who has no emotions of his own, manages to be absolutely "certain" in his extrapolation of how a dead person he's read the writing of would react. Not only is the end scene dumb, it also makes it completely clear that the script has chosen a side and is going to talk down to the opposite side. I think Picard is right, but at the same time, the script seeming to invite the viewer to be more angry with Marr for taking one life* than the CE for taking millions if not billions.

*and potentially not even a sapient life. You'd assume a creature of any intelligence might notice that the things it's vaporising look suspiciously like settlements full of people, or complicated manmade starships.
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Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 3:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Saw this just now, it wasn't bad. One thing I'll note is this is geared for people with short attention spans; there's a joke or graphic scene every other second. So, basically this is tailored for Millenials and that's fine.

I do like how it takes place in the TNG universe and uses familiar technology/races from the Berman era. The jokes themselves were pretty run-of-the-mill or extremely over-the-top. The animation and voice acting on the other hand is really polished -- and I think that helps keep this ship in orbit. I may watch Lower Decks on occasion, but I have the feeling it's not really made for me.
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Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 2:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@ Peter G.,

Hey, I never said it was good parody. Fully recognizing that parody is what STLD was going for (at least in "Second Contact"), I'd still only rate it like 1*.

As for being pointed about what it wants to parody, I think it was done more generally in this pilot -- not targeting a particular episode but rather broad topics like the underlings' views of senior officers, senior officers being obsessed with covering their asses and taking credit for underlings' work, miracle cure etc. So there were definitely specific aspects of Star Trek that were parodied -- at least the wheels in the minds of the showrunners were turning as to what they wanted to spoof. But any intelligent spoofing was lost amid the furious pacing and excesses which I already talked about.
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Peter G.
Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 1:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@ Rahul,

"I think the key thing about STLD is that it needs to be understood as a parody primarily, though I don't think it was marketed as such -- at least that was not my expectation when I first started watching it. Strictly as a comedy, it does not work for me. When observed through this parody lens, it's better than a zero-star experience for me even when evaluating it like I would classic Trek, though that's where I was leaning after my first viewing."

The thing about parody is that to be one it would need to do some very particular things. Spoofing a genre, and in particular one show in a genre, requires some pointers towards actual details in the original that you're making fun of. A good example of a TNG parody - probably the gold standard in my book - was MAD Magazine's TNG special back when TNG S1 was on the air. They include several vignettes making fun of TNG, including a funny segment lampooning Justice where a monster is eating the crew and Picard says that they can't interfere with its local customs and so have to let it continue. Not just anything silly or stupid can be parody, it has to actually parody *something*. Just doing anti-Trek in the style of South Park isn't a parody or a spoof all by itself; the content must be pointed. Otherwise it's just a zany childrens' version of the show, not while I would call a parody making mock of the actual content.
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Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 12:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

OK so I watched it a 2nd time while doing laundry... and I have a more nuanced take than my initial impression.

I think the key thing about STLD is that it needs to be understood as a parody primarily, though I don't think it was marketed as such -- at least that was not my expectation when I first started watching it. Strictly as a comedy, it does not work for me. When observed through this parody lens, it's better than a zero-star experience for me even when evaluating it like I would classic Trek, though that's where I was leaning after my first viewing.

I could see a non-animated parody of Trek being successful provided it was still done with a measure of class, which STLD isn't. Nevertheless, I still feel this type of show isn't good for the Trek franchise given its ethos and I think on its own merit as a parody, I think 1 star is an appropriate rating -- still pretty terrible.

I definitely think they went way overboard with the rage illness and medical response and the characters on steroids. For example, did we really need to see the Orion chick pumping the guy's heart? No. Did we need to see infected crew furiously spewing black stuff all over? No. The couple dating was pretty forgettable. And the bit with the giant spider attacking is again way overboard.

As for Mariner going off on her own to help the alien farmers and circumventing Star Fleet bureaucracy -- that's a good idea to show. The macho camaraderie between the commander and another senior officer -- that's fine as well. The captain taking credit for curing the rage illness and not crediting junior staff was also good from a parody standpoint. But the idea that a miracle cure is found in the nick of time -- that much is typical classic Trek.

A couple of other comments would be that I noticed the episode title and credits are in the same font/color as TNG -- so that's a nice touch. At least we get an episode title on the screen, which nu-Trek shied away from. Why I don't know. And as for the animation, some of it was pretty cool -- like the ship's panels and the ship itself -- some nice details. But I don't get why the animation for the characters is so simplistic. Pros and cons to the animation.
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Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 11:35am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks


"...People with poor social skills will probably hate it."

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Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 11:27am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Workforce

This was a near perfect episode. I loved the pace at which the story unfolded, and like Jammer said, I had maybe 10 different theories about what was actually going on until they gradually revealed the actual back story. Seeing all the characters there but different was certainly fun to watch, and I did kind of like the Tom/B’elana thing tho I normally don’t like the Trek does romance. All in all, I’d give both 3.5 stars, it was only let down by the rushed ending, and some very terrible acting by Don Most. I don’t normally call out bad actors unless they’re distractingly bad, and Kadan was so distractingly bad, it reminded me of Bernie Casey in DS9’s “The Maquis.” In both episodes, a well written character was essentially ruined by blocks of wood. Otherwise, loved it.
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Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 11:13am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Q2

This episode actually made me miss Wesley Crusher. 1 star.
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Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 11:11am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Don't bother that guy is clearly a troll.
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James White
Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 10:51am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks


I'm extremely successful, and I find Jammer's reviews both intelligent and fair-minded. Most of the people that comment here are extremely intelligent. And most do not resort to petulant name-calling. Since you called out Jammer, why don't you tell us specifically what works you've published or were adapted to TV/film. Provide your name and give us some means to verify it independent of you.
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Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 10:17am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Jammer hasn’t been relevant since he submitted half baked mostly lifted scripts to the voyager writers. He’s been in some bullshit mode of half hate for almost 3 decades. This site is a high school reunion of old writers, staff, fans, and alcoholic wreckage from prior times. It reads like the left over cheerleaders from your highschool yearbooks. Being stuck T a reunion 25 years later at one of their tables as they make fun of anyone successful.
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Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 9:57am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Majority Rule

>It kinda felt like a blend of a few episodes of Sliders (man I miss that show).

I loved the first few seasons of Sliders before they started messing with the cast.

>They enter a planet they know that has money but they do not know that it has the button system?

Good point. Seems like a big plot hole and it wouldn't have harmed the story if they synthesized those badges before they went down.

>The button system also makes no sense because there is no way of stopping somebody from upvoting himself a million times. Or secretly downvoting somebody else.

They probably only receive a vote based on the badge of the person voting, like they connect using bluetooth or some similar technology. One vote per person.

>it's effectively an old fashioned TOS style morality play in modern packaging and will probably be severely dated in a decade or so.

What makes you think it will be dated so soon? I think social media and direct democracy will still be relevant in ten years time.
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Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 8:59am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: The 37's

>but then will it count as interfering with primitive cultures even if their our own?

In TNG 5x13 "The Masterpiece Society" @43:40 It's mentioned that the prime directive doesn't apply to humans. Although this is contradicted in Discovery 2x02 "New Eden" but you could argue that the law changed after Discovery. Personally I don't view Discovery as being cannon.
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Gavin Lloyd
Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 8:26am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Time's Arrow, Part I

My one memory of seeing this as a child for the first time in 1993 (I think) was not the plot or wether Data would survive....but HOW IS PICARD IN COMMAND OF THE ENTERPRISE?? He’s just spent “40 years” living as someone else...and he’s back as if the last episode hadn’t happened. If I was thinking this, perhaps the plot wasn’t very good?
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