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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 12:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1


"No explanation is given as to why Book and Burnham (B&B?) have to keep making successive transports rather than just one; chalk it up to the action's needs du juor, I guess."

I do understand that Jammer is only human, and may have missed that the most recent transport before the would-be-captors have their final showdown with B&B happens when they transport into a location underwater; Book gives the explanation that they are only able to track transport on solid blocks of land, which buys them some time (a very tried+true plot device).

As for the rest, I'm in agreement with Jammer; this seems like it could translate into good plots in future episodes.

It had better. I'm losing patience, as much as Jammer seems to be.

Will you sit down at a (Dr. McCoy Voice) god-damned typewriter?
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Peter G.
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 11:51am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Looking for Par'mach in All the Wrong Places

@ Trent,

Re: Klingon marriage, while I do think there was some soft retconning I think what you're also seeing is a vestige of the arc we're taken through in TNG (and now DS9) of the demystifying of Klingon beliefs that Worf was totally serious about when he was more ignorant of how real Klingons live. Back in TNG S1-2 he believed that all Klingons value honor above all things, marry any woman they want to have sex with, hit themselves with pain sticks on a regular basis, enjoy fancy tea ceremonies, and generally live the life of a Klingon samurai poet. The reality we've been given, striking the heart of his fantasies about what being Klingon is like, is that modern Klingons are mostly just warriors who are subject to the same kind of corruptions as other races, who aren't particularly poetic, who do sleep around, and who don't care that much about sneak attacks or cheap tactics.

Back in Emissary Worf's position is largely an examination of traditional human values (i.e. conservative Earth values) versus a Roddenberrian view which is more about free love, not taking everything so seriously, and going with your feelings rather than tradition. That this doubled as being about Klingon culture ended up, in hindsight, making Worf an ultra-conservative Klingon given what we now know about them, which is not really inconsistent with the Klingons in general. He's just an outlier, mostly because of his own distance from real Klingons. By the time of DS9 I think it's sort of clear that Worf bubble has been burst and he knows he's not really a normal Klingon. Maybe dating Troi was the straw that broke that camel's back.

In the here and now I think Worf isn't exactly 'modernized' but he's not quite as scandalized as he was 10 years prior at the idea of sex without taking the oath. And I think he still does want the oath, but he's mellowed enough to know he can't realistically ask her for it. If he's going to date an alien, or even a modernized Klingon, he'll have to learn to compromise on that score.

About Kira, I think honestly it never occurred to me for a moment that she was being portrayed as weak just because at this point she is physically much less able. I can tell you that there's nothing cliche or diminishing to women to suggest that toward the end of their pregnancy they are really out of commission. Sure, some can go around and do their thing, but mostly you can't expect anyone to be able to walk more than a short way (back pain, loosening of muscle tissues) or do physically arduous things, and you're not even supported to exert yourself much. Being sleepy all the time is a thing, as well as being sore in random places and needing massages. So to me nothing we see here is diminishing to Kira or un-manning of her toughness. It's just the physical state she's in at this point, and even a softening of her temper can be well understood in terms of her not being quite so feisty at a time like this. I guess I'm not really sure what your objection is, other than I do get the idea that "let's end this baby thing and get our old Kira back." To that extent I basically agree, it had run its course and frankly didn't amount to that much narratively, so it was nice to have her back to normal after.

As for Na-Toth, I never had a problem with either of them.
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 11:49am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

"And so you can see CBS' logic: Trek is too niche, so we need an edgy, action-oriented series to spearhead the franchise's rebirth, draw fans, and then pivot this into more cerebral spin-offs! "
Yeah sure. my point was that even as a show that is created to appeal to a very broad audience it isn't very successful, at least over here.

"With Kurtzman, they're thus able to court Trek fans, who will turn up for anything with the Trek logo,and the Michael Bay crowd, who'd have watched any ole junk anyway. So Kurtzman nets them two birds with one stone."
Probably a few more. That's why there is this very bland stuff about family, love and faith and all that thrown in. That is why everything is super emotional. It appeals to teenagers. Sadly it doesn't challenge them or sprinkles in good messages. It is like fast food TV.
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 11:47am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

Understood, thanks for the clarification. You are right on your last sentence too, now that I understand better what you meant, consider me wrong on that particular interpretation.

Your post is filled with personal opinions presented as "facts" (they are not, throwing insults in the ways of writers you dislike is the epitome of extreme opinions, a practice in which you engage regularly,) and reeks of the deep, passionate loathing that I already referred to, originating from addiction to hate-watching. I am not surprised though, in fact, it's confirmation of what I already knew.

"Now you might like such hacky art, and CBS might deem such an approach to be "financially logical", but don't pretend you're watching anything but trashy writing. The common retort to this then typically becomes "but Trek was always trashy! Spock's Brain etc etc!". But "Spock's Brain" was sandwiched between two masterpieces, "The Enterprise Incident" and "The Ultimate Computer". "Drmatis Personae" was followed by "Duet"."

Oh?!? Now you not only know what I feel and think, but now hold a conversation for both of us? That's some serious entertainment, but you claim to be a writer so I'll be looking forward to this episode's renewal.
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 11:30am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

Booming said: "On the Top10 most watched shows on Netflix..."

The most watched stuff on Netflix is Adam Sandler comedies. The most watched Trek is "Voyager's" action two-parters. The most watched TV shows in recent years are fare like "Young Sheldon", TV crime procedurals and reality TV shows.

That's the kind of stuff that people flock to.

And so you can see CBS' logic: Trek is too niche, so we need an edgy, action-oriented series to spearhead the franchise's rebirth, draw fans, and then pivot this into more cerebral spin-offs!

With Kurtzman, they're thus able to court Trek fans, who will turn up for anything with the Trek logo,and the Michael Bay crowd, who'd have watched any ole junk anyway. So Kurtzman nets them two birds with one stone.
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 11:29am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1


I should have been clearer that I wasn't trying to give a definitive interpretation of the machinations behind events, merely a possible interpretation. The continuation of Discovery clearly shows the show isn't a failure like the right wing snowflakes want to make out that it is. But how much of a success it is the question. Many people are subbing to check out each season, but how many of them are liking it and maintaining their subs so they can enjoy repeat viewings is unclear.

So when I said it's not really landing, what I meant was that it is unclear whether a sizeable audience is finding it to be the next Expanse or Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad or they're just checking it out because of the name and finding it unimpressive. So I was supposing that the suits might conclude that even though they weren't delivering the next big thing, they were getting enough attention for it to be worth continuing and hoping that maybe something will strike it big eventually.

Or it's possible that it has already struck it big with the silent majority. We don't have definitive data on that. I don't hang around in right wing snowflake circles but I don't know anyone who really cares much about recent Star Trek. Some friends have checked it out but it's things like The Expanse they want to talk about or they've been watching old TNG or DS9.

What I didn't say was that it its success was down to haters alone. I merely said they seem to make up a notable proportion of the viewership. Your interpretation of my argument there was a straw man.
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 11:12am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

Mertov said: "thankfully again, Star Trek is in the hands of professionals who have to take into account a lot more than their impulsive desires when they wake up in the morning for a cup of coffee or plop their butts on the couch to watch TV."

You say "Trek is in the hands of professionals" and it's good that it is "not beholden to the whims of fans", whilst describing a show that bends over backwards to appeal to the fickle whims of fanboys (There's Spock! There's the Enterprise! Action! Fighting! Federation values!), and which is literally run by the professionals behind "Transformers", "Mummy", "Hawai Five-O" and the writers behind "Friday the Thirteenth Part V".

These are not "professionals" of any demonstrable caliber. They are overwhelmingly hacks, guns-for-hire and marketeers, and the few auteurs to work on the show (Chabon, Fuller etc) have made it clear that their artistic wishes and inclinations were constantly sabotaged by the wants and needs of Kurtzman.

Now you might like such hacky art, and CBS might deem such an approach to be "financially logical", but don't pretend you're watching anything but trashy writing. The common retort to this then typically becomes "but Trek was always trashy! Spock's Brain etc etc!". But "Spock's Brain" was sandwiched between two masterpieces, "The Enterprise Incident" and "The Ultimate Computer". "Drmatis Personae" was followed by "Duet".

In three seasons, Kurtzman Trek has given us no great episodes, and completely botched three of its arcs, arcs which are plainly not carefully thought out.

Mertov said: "have you seen Mannny Coto’s new series? ....that aired so far are faster paced than any of Discovery’s episodes that the same people who yearn for the days of Manny Coto and criticize Discovery could ever imagine."

Nobody yearns for Manny Coto. His tenure on "Enterprise" - fast-paced, tropey, serialized carnage and violence - merely anticipates where "Discovery" would go.

Mertov said: "...classic revered DS9 writers like Rene Echeverria, Moore, Hand Beimler, Ira S. Behr, Robert Hewitt Wolfe..."

Moore, Behr, Wolfe et all are routinely criticized. All of Trek's best writers are bashed when appropriate, from Coon to Fontana, Piller to Behr. Indeed, these writers have been quite open about their own failings. But they're remembered because they nevertheless made countless good decisions, took many interesting risks, and were responsible for countless great episodes.

Martov said: "the ones in charge of today’s Trek series (Chabon, Kurtzman, Goldsman, Paradise, MacMahan, and their teams) know what they are talking about because today’s audience is no longer attuned to 45 minutes of bottle episodes."

Kurtzman and Goldsman are horrendous artists. Chabon had all his ideas overruled, and had no interest in inserting the Borg or 7of9 et al. Michelle Paradise, everyone here has nothing but absolutely goodwill, hope and love for, and she's plainly responsible for the best bits in this opening episode. If "Disco" improves it will be largely down to her, in much the same way Piller kicked TNG up a gear.

And the idea that "Disco has been presided over by people who know what they're doing", remains total nonsense. The actress who played Raffi just admitted, yesterday, that the producers pulled her "7 and Raffi in love" subplot out of the blue, after accidentally seen the two actresses looking photogeneic when posed together in a fan convention photograph. Entire episodes of "Picard" were similarly cobbled together last minute, or rewritten to allow fanboy walks on (Riker in charge of a fleet etc).

Martov said: "with zero consequence where the few heroes running our pristine ships solve every problem and the crew gets along as if the concept of conflict never existed."

lol. Burnham builds a TIME TRAVELLING IRON MAN SUIT in half an hour. Picard SAVES THE GALAXY by USING A MAGICAL IPHONE and saying "STOP IT GUYS!" CONTROL is literally stopped by two deus ex machinas. The level of delusion in your post is incredible. You accuse past Trek of having "zero consequences" while defending a show ignores the consequences of its spore drive ("You are forbidden by Law from talking about it!"), got bored of the consequences of its Mirror Arc, its Klingon War Arc, its Borg arc, its Romulan Refugee arc, got bored of Ash Tyler, got bored of Lorca, gets bored of everything. There are no "exploration of consequences here".

Martov said: "Sure you can claim to be of a higher intelligent plateau and label today’s viewers “stupid” or denigrate them and continue to yearn for “my Star Trek” while millions of others enjoy Star Trek shows of their liking on TV. "

Carl Sagan did it better:

"The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time -- when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness."

I mean, you're offering highfalutin praise to a show whose last episode had sensors which can't track people underwater, whose last season climaxed with a magical photon-torpedo resistant door, and all executive produced by a guy who thought Evil Space Tentacles was a good idea.
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 11:10am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

So I have a little data point about how successful it is in Germany
On the Top10 most watched shows on Netflix it is fifth. There were now major new releases this week. Discovery is losing against shows which were released weeks ago.
But it got a forth season. The numbers for the US would be nice because they are the important ones...
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 10:52am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

Tommy D: "I''m not really following the logic of Trek being run by bean counters who watch Discovery apparently hemorrhage a ton of money, and then these same bean counters decide to give the okay for Trek to spawn off close to half a dozen shows with seasons already renewed or currently in production in spite of this overwhelming lack of financial success."

There isn't much to follow there Tommy because, you are right, there is not much of a logic to it. And the number of progressively off-the-wall, some bordering on absurd, type of explanations given to justify that reasoning as time goes by should tell you that there isn't. I read somewhere earlier this year that CBS had been planning to shut the doors on Star Trek, it's just that they were "waiting for the right time to fire Kurtzman" and his crew. Riiiiiight, a company would rather lose money like crazy for years rather than just firing the person that causes that loss because they "can't find the right time." For anyone to believe these justifications they would have to have zero idea of how TV-show business works where shows that are deemed unsuccessful do not even make it to the end of their first season (or even past 5 episodes) and certainly get canceled after one season (and even they were successful, they'd still be under the same threat in its seasons to follow. Making successful TV shows, whether on TV or streaming, is one of the most difficult challenges entertainment-business people can face, and do so in such a ruthless market.

Glom, sorry but your explanation that it is actually haters who keep Discovery afloat since "Nothing is really landing so far, but it is at least people are watching new stuff and eventually something might land" is up there with wildest of explanations. It's a secret that thousands of failed new shows in the last 4 decades apparently have yet to discover. Heck, they should have just kept renewing their "terrible" shows because people "would check them out" anyway, just enough to decide it's terrible and talk about it and keep it afloat for another horrendous season. Oh-kay... It's just not how it works in TV-show business.
(Side, tangential note: I will perfectly buy into the argument though that haters do a great job of keeping youtube conspirators afloat :) - those people probably celebrate each Star Trek show's success or renewal more than anyone else since that is one more season added of click-baiting and making money off gullible suckers who listen to their perpetual lies based on "reliable sources.")

Mike: "In that sense it's a total strawman argument - fans would make a terrible show, so therefore Kurtzman Trek is amazing."
Mike, great post and I agree with everything you said, including the above, I am not sure who said this though, I certainly didn't draw this ludicrous deduction.
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 10:37am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Looking for Par'mach in All the Wrong Places

I’m so glad I rewatched this one. I agree with Jammer for the most part. Quark was funny and refreshing. He had a chance to be sincere and sympathetic (and brave - he could have bailed on Grilka as soon as his life was threatened), as he had been in “House of Quark.” Good character work, and lots of laughs.

I thought Worf’s motivation for helping Quark was more than just a straightforward effort to prove he had the right stuff to win a Klingon woman. There was an element of masochism in it. Worf, the most honorable of men, lives with the shame of public disgrace, and as apparently feels it is his Klingon place to submit to this and even wallow in it (we’ve seen him insulted by Klingons in a number of scenes; he never defends himself). To help a (to him) worthless and craven Ferengi win the heart of a noblewoman he desires is an extension of his chronic self-flagellation. He’s intent on embracing his sorry lot, and believing himself the most disgraced of all disgraced Klingons in the history of Q’onos.

I liked Dax’s pointed comments to Worf, but I got whiplash from Worf’s sudden about-face. One moment he was wracked with pain as Quark walkEd away with Grilka,; the next he was helplessly responding to Dax’s charms. The scene did imply pretty heavily that Worf’s response to Dax was instinctive and sexual, which (among humans at least) is very different from being in love. I was expecting an awkward morning-after scene (as I think Worf had with Kaylahr) and was relieved that they were still together and still on speaking terms when they arrived in Sick Bay.

This is where I’m going to be a spoilsport and count up the number of retcons we’ve seen to Klingon mating and marriage rules. In TNG season one, we saw a fantasy Klingon woman appear in the bridge on all fours (wearing a fetish outfit as I remember), savage and submissive and snarling like a cat. In “Emissary,” it was implied that after a male and female have sex, tradition demands that they “take the oath” - apparently indicating commitment so intense that Keylahr wanted more part of. In “House of Quark,” we learned that Klingon marriage and divorce can be accomplished at the drop of a hat. All of which leaves me puzzled at the end of this episode. Did Quark win himself a wife or a one-night stand? Will Worf insist Dax take the oath? Well, I won’t think too hard or complain too much. It was a great comedy with warm characterizations, from a series that rarely gets comedy right.

The B story is more problematic. Here’s what’s good: I like that Keiko, a 24th-century spouse, has apparently evolved beyond jealousy and suspicion. (Roddenberry would be proud.). I like Miles and Kira developing feelings for each other in a believable, mildly funny way. And I was relieved that the ending didn’t descend into soapy adultery and marital drama.

Now here’s the bad: Doctor Bashir made prurient bro-talk with Miles about a woman who is, among other things, his own patient. I cringed when Miles gave Kira an all-over massage (yes, I know this is more evidence of 24th century liberation so I should like it for that, but I have 21st-century eyes..).

But what bothers me most is the overarching plot of Kira handicapped by pregnancy and unable to travel, function normally, or even live in her own quarters. Maybe I missed something - maybe this is at some point explained as ‘Kira being extra sick and fragile because her fetus is an alien’, and maybe I would mind it less if this point were given more attention. But what comes across is that a formerly tough-minded female character has been reduced to a state of aches and pains and dependency by the vagaries of her female body. If a tough male character were watered down like this, made needy and unfit for duty, I might use the word “neutered” to describe what the show has done to him. Interestingly, since Kira is female, the word doesn’t apply, I would say instead that she has been “feminized” - and while this shouldn’t be an insult, it is one, precisely because the Hollywood trope makes it one. To be feminized is to be made passive, sexual, demoted to the background, and given lightweight relationship stories rather than important action. I miss the old Kira. I hope she has the damn baby soon.

Final note: Thanks to a comment above, I’ve just realized that the Grilka actor is the same woman who played the replacement Na’Toth on Babylon 5. Strange: she was strong and noble as Grilka, but weak as Na’Toth and seemed unable to match the fierce Narn presence of the previous actor. Am I alone in thinking that?
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 10:32am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

Great review Jammer, doing well on this front.

Jammer: "...but damn if this show doesn't sell it with earnestness and its unfurling of a long-tucked-away Federation flag."

Just a personal note here, I was significantly more moved when Burnham commissioned Sahil.

Hope you and your family are doing well. I know folks here would love an update.
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William B
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 9:34am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Facets


I like your proposed rewrite of the episode a lot.

Because you mentioned Phantasms above for Distant Voices, I think it might also make sense to use the holosuite to literalize Dax's internal world the way Data's was, though that makes more sense for an android.

One of the big advantages of this approach is that the hosts (Jadzia's versions of them) could actually interact with each other, so that we get a sense of what inner conflict and harmony might mean. Have hosts take points of view and argue with each other and agree, take sides in key issues.

It might be cliché to do this, but it could take the form of a sort of hazing even, where near the episode's climax the other hosts gang up on Jadzia to underscore how much she does not deserve to be a Dax...leading her to piece together that this is her fear, not an accurate version of her past hosts, or to the extent her past hosts are aligned against her, it's mostly to get her to the realization that she can be in harmony with them without being beholden to them, especially Curzon.

I might even play on the Distant Voices Garak reveal a bit. Have Ben appear to be with Jadzia as a guide, saying either that he's the real Sisko who has entered the dream state with her, or maybe that he's a representation of someone he trusts who can be an external observer, and then eventually reveal that he's Curzon (who has been absent, but which is explained by Sisko as "the way it works that you only meet the most recent past host at the end"), trying to earn her trust in order to get closer to her. The audience when realizing that Sisko is actually Curzon and that he's been to an extent playing her will feel some sense of Jadzia's betrayal. In general, swap Sisko into the Curzon slot, because he's the one she trusts and the one she associates with Curzon (though I think Rene is very good in the episode proper).

Maybe even have some problem going on - the station is failing in her mental world, or something - and Jadzia assumes it's Joran causing it, but it's really Curzon trying to keep her from really seeing him.

Lots of possibilities.
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 9:34am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Third Season Recap

I've been rewatching DS9. Using a 10 point scale, I'd give rate this season's episodes thusly:

The Search Part 1 -- 8.5/10
The Search Part 2 -- 8.5/10
House of Quark -- 8.5/10
Equilibrium -- 6/10
Second Skin -- 7/10
The Abandoned -- 7/10
Civil Defense -- 2/10
Meridian -- 2/10
Defiant -- 7/10
Fascination -- 2/10
Past Tense Part 1 -- 8/10
Past Tense Part 2 -- 7.5/10
Life Support -- 1/10
Heart of Stone -- 7/10
Destiny -- 8.5/10
Prophet Motive -- 7/10
Visionary -- 4/10
Distant Voices -- 2/10
Through the Looking Glass -- 6/10
Improbably Cause -- 8.9/10
The Die Is Cast -- 7.9/10
Explorers -- 6.9/10
Family Business -- 7.5/10
Shakaar -- 7/10
Facets -- 5/10
The Adversary -- 7.5/10

I would say everyone's reached a kind of consensus on this season. Everyone knows the good episodes, and the bad. For me personally, "House of Quark", "Search 2" and "Destiny" grew in stature over the years, whilst "The Die Is Cast", "Defiant", "Explorers" and "Past Tense" dipped slightly. I thought there were no great Dax, Miles or Bashir episodes in this season.
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 8:59am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Distant Voices

Like "The Abandoned" earlier in this season, "Distant Voices" is preoccupied with aging. There Jake and a Jem'hadar boy rapidly grow, and Sisko is left reeling, unable to stem the flow of time. Here Bashir hits his thirtieth birthday and finds, like "Facets" later in this season, his personality traumatically split into disparate parts.

But it's all rather dull, the episode consisting of countless familiar tropes, blunt symbolism and "dream logic" cliches. An episode like this needs to aspire to something like Hitchcock's "Vertigo", or David Lynch's "Inland Empire", but instead we get a less interesting version of TNG's "Phantasms" and "Masks", two episodes which at least have cool science fictional angles to elevate them above mere psychodrama.
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 7:46am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

I think the continuation of Discovery demonstrates one thing: the show isn't a commercial disaster. It is likely whenever a new season of Discovery releases, there is a spike in subs as people check it out. A significant part of that will be those watching it so they can talk about how terrible it is. Many of those subs are lost once it finishes because the show doesn't have a lot of legs.

So the suits see this and conclude that more new Trek is the key to getting subs and if there is a steady stream of new Trek, subs will be maintained. Keep churning out more Trek. Nothing is really landing so far, but it is at least people are watching new stuff and eventually something might land.

In a way it is the opposite situation to Super Mario 3D All-Stars. That is a minimum effort product but it has three of the greatest games ever so it will sell like mad as it has done. With Star Trek right now, it isn't doing that well so CBS need to keep putting in effort. And if they cancelled it, what then? Walk quietly into that good night? Their current strategy may not have reached the promised land, but it is at least keeping them afloat (and they have haters to thank for that as much as actual fans).
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 6:55am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

@ Mal
That is how imagine Kurtzman and his clone to sit in bed talking about their story ideas. :D

@Tommy D
"at the very least generating enough interest and enough revenue overall to keep going, and to continually plan to add to the platform"
I completely agree it draws in significant numbers subs, ViacomCBS have increased their subnumbers from the end of 2018: 7,2m to 16.2 and Star Trek in this new form is certainly successful. Original programming is everything these days.
I disagree StarTrekwatcher that there isn't any quality programming. There is but right now it is all washed away by this avalanche of mediocrity. Everything is greenlit now if it is half original. Another problem is that too many stuff is too dark. That was successful for a time but now life is so gritty that more and more can't stand this depression festival everywhere. I believe that shows will soon become far more positive, not better of course maybe even worse but easier to digest.

"Also, I would just add that I think Nielsen ratings aren't much of a measure here. For example, we just had in the U.S. the NBA finals, featuring the most popular basketball team in the U.S. and likely the most popular NBA team in the world (Los Angeles Lakers). The ratings were the worst in years, and down just over 50% from the previous year. Since those fans don't disappear (I know I live in L.A.), I think you have to assume people are consuming and viewing their favorite shows and events much differently than how we measured viewership 20-30 years ago."
Yes and no. The Nielsen rating was always a bad system. It is a panel study (The same group is asked again and again) and such a study form has quite a few downsides, money and learning effects to name two. On the other hand, there is a pandemic going on that takes money out of the pockets of the lower classes which means less money for pleasure, add to that that the games are a very different viewing experience (no or less fans) plus interests change like it happened with Baseball and American Football.
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Tim C
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 6:38am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

Doing well here, Jammer, although like everyone else the pandemic has derailed a whole bunch of life plans. It'll be nice to have your reviews back. Feels like one more step towards things returning to normal!
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 6:31am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

oh shit, forgot to add this to my previous post for @Booming
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 6:29am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

@Startrekwatcher, I agree, Trek writers today are pretty sad shadows of days past.

I'm so glad you called out for special praise Melinda Snodgrass. She's a gem!
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Tommy D.
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 5:09am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1


I agree we don't really have much information on how to measure the success of streaming service. I also think its fairly plausible that Trek acts as a loss leader for the platform. That actually wouldn't surprise me, as subscription and its retention is extremely important for streaming platforms.

However, I think the amount of shows that have spawned since Discovery launched, including some that were likely not planned for in the beginning, point to this show (and these shows) at the very least generating enough interest and enough revenue overall to keep going, and to continually plan to add to the platform. Even bean counters have their limits.

Also, I would just add that I think Nielsen ratings aren't much of a measure here. For example, we just had in the U.S. the NBA finals, featuring the most popular basketball team in the U.S. and likely the most popular NBA team in the world (Los Angeles Lakers). The ratings were the worst in years, and down just over 50% from the previous year. Since those fans don't disappear (I know I live in L.A.), I think you have to assume people are consuming and viewing their favorite shows and events much differently than how we measured viewership 20-30 years ago.
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 4:34am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

Oh and this episode feels a lot like the third season premiere of ENT. Promised a revamp but more of the same. Average or so. Stock action with a filler plot on a trading post. Interesting teaser at the end that’s more interesting than the entirety of the episode itself

But unlike discovery the writers managed to later capitalize on the xindi arc to great affect

I don’t have Faith these writers can based on picard play-off , the klingon war arc and the red angel mysteey

What will happen is viewers will come up with more interesting story developments and sadly see more in the writers ideas than the writers do.
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 4:28am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

The sad truth is writers aren’t very good anymore. At least that’s my opinion. I’ve watched a lot of tv and despite protestations that this is the Golden Age for tv I disagree

Sure there are tons of shows to watch nowadays. Too many. Nobody can keep up. Sure they are more serialized than was the norm.....maybe. Because in the 80-90s soaps and primetime dramas on networks DID tell serialized season long arcs. And I’d argue they did them better because the serialized format they used wasn’t based on epic mystery boxes and playing games with the audience by limiting points of view or only showing a few cards they were holding

Writers nowadays are no good. They haven’t lived or lived very protected shallow lives and done no self reflection or deep thinking. So they have nothing to bring to the table when it comes to writing. Instead they rely on a relentless pacing and being propped up by ridiculously large VFX and production budgets

Gone are the days writers told a well crafted entertaining story. Trek was mostly entertaining. Not always deep that’s ok. As long as you were Entertained. But these new trek programs can’t even do that. The storytelling is so convoluted and payoffs so underwhelming you are left scratching your head why you even watched it

I’ve been rewatching 90s trek especially TNG and the dialog. The character moments. The vocabulary The discussions. The ideas are fantastic. You could tell Michael Piller or Melinda Snodgrass or Michael Wagner or Mauruce Hurley lived and were thinkers. It showed in their scripts. There was imagination. There was reflection at times.

Now shows don’t bother. You won’t find that here these days. Oh you might see lot of pretentious ideas or chatter but scratch or peel the surface and it’s a whole lotta nothing

I’m not saying bringing back writers like Melinda snodgrass or ira Behr or ron moore or brannon braga is necessarily the answer. I believe artistic ability peaks. You hit your high then it’s down hill from There. You can’t be as good a writers as when you were on fire in TNG or ds9. So I don’t think they could do that. But maybe spark something or guide the writers working on trek these days. Provide some sage advice. Give pointers on how to improve their scripts
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 4:24am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1


There's a point to what you say in general. Creativity by focus group is a terrible thing. Council of Geeks said that if creators ask fans what they want for the next installment, they'll just reply by saying they want more of the same. Creators need to be unafraid to do their own thing because when they succeed, the fans will act like that's what they wanted all along. When Creators don't feel bound by the legacy, you get the Zelda series, which is a string of games that are all great to varying degrees but each have their own voice and are the better for it.

However, I'm not sure that's what's happening with Star Trek. Here, it feels like it is very much creativity by focus group, although maybe more creativity by market analysis. It feels like they're taking tropes that are in vogue right now and trying to form a frankenstein's monster out of it. You've got the comic book plots of the Marvel movies mixed with the "adult" stuff of Game of Thrones mixed with the seizure inducing action of Transformers mixed with the pandering nostalgia bait of Star Wars. This makes sense from a business point of view, where the goal is to draw in membership to CBS All Access or whatever it is now. But you can see why many might roll their eyes at this approach.
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 4:09am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

@ Tommy D
That is the one big question. Streaming and the lack of information about the success of something has given companies quite a bit of power. Are they bleeding money, are they not. I would argue that Star Trek is one of the few shiny name rights CBS owns, so they are throwing out as much as possible. You have to spend money to make money. That is why Star Trek is fairly bland action cookie cutter stuff. It is supposed to appeal to the widest possible audience so that these people keep the so far cheapest streaming subscription. It is the equivalent of the gym subscription, you go once and then forget to cancel or you actually go. As I explained years ago. If CBS cannot get a streaming service going then it will falter. Only media companies who have successful streaming services already or soon will exist in 20 years. These shows have very high production values, as Jammer rightly points out, this must cost a ton of money but if it brings subscribers then it is ok to bleed money on these shows.
So yeah Star Trek is essentially a very expensive add for CBSallaccess.
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Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 3:56am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

What Mertov does is reframing the argument. He says that it is either the fans or the corporation who control it and he is happy that he global spanning enterprise is.
He thinks if a company owns art or the naming rights which in my opinion has very little benefit for society, then they decide what it is. Fair enough.

My opinion isn't covered by that. I think that Star Trek has an identity as a cultural artifact, like Lord of the Rings. Lord of the Rings is defined by what JRR Tolkien wrote and luckily the trust fund that oversees what can be done with it is very restrictive. CBS on the other hand is putting Star Trek out on the street, 5,99$ a pop, thanks to the professionals.

"By all means, do so. You already do it multiple times an episode anyway and multiple times before even a new show aired. But sure, go ahead."
Because we are all quoting Pete Campbell now.
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