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Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 2:28am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

People who think: "Maybe this will be smart or something." must understand that all these shows aren't Star Trek and they aren't supposed to be.
Star Trek the cultural phenomenon is the only property CBS owns that pulls people into their streaming service. Star Trek, until the end of Enterprise, was very niche. The movies less so than the shows. It was about science, heady, philosophical topics and even though smart nerds don't like to hear it, most people couldn't care less about philosophy or science. Think about all these comedy shows that made fun of science Nerds and Trekkies. I always (and with always I mean I'm starting now) compared this to vegetarians. People make fun of vegetarians, less so lately, but still. Why? Because they remind us that our modern lifestyle is ignorant and destructive and that we should take better care of ourselves. The same goes for Trekkies. Most people know that science and thinking about difficult philosophical questions is important and that they should do it more. Trekkies are a reminder of what most people are not. Ridiculing Trekkies makes perfect sense. But from a marketability standpoint people knowing Trek, even in a somewhat condescending way, is good. You just have to get the general public from "I know this but it is not for me" to "I know this, I'll give it a try"

One thing had to be done.
Broaden the appeal

Out goes philosophy and science, in goes big emotions, faith/family and ACTION.
From a Trekkie standpoint it is AntiTrek but even that works for CBS. Maybe they even planned for it. Trekkies are pretty dedicated, producing something they hate creates additional buzz and non Trekkies see it and think:" Maybe it's for me now."

They looked at the most succesfull movie franchises and these are Star Wars (space battles), Transformers (simplistic emotional message) and Marvel (quippy humor). In Marvel and Transformers tech is basically treated like magic and it is the same for Discovery and even more so for Picard. Remember the thing that fixes machines and can also project 100 ships into space from Picard...

That is why Rick and Morty 0.5 makes perfect sense. This time they looked at successful animated shows and Rick and Morty is very successful maybe even the most successful right now, so make a show that is like it. One should mention here that Rick and Morty was created by other people, not by McMahon.

What I find interesting is that now I even start to question if Star Trek was ever really important to me in the past. That is how terrible Star Trek is now.
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Brian Graff
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 2:01am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Too Short a Season

I just saw this - never having seen it before.

It has to be the worst episode ever of any of the series - horrible acting, nonsenesical story, just putrid.
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Tommy D.
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 1:43am (UTC -5)
Re: Interstellar

I love this movie. As the review points out, I think it has the right balance of science and sentiment, even if the conclusion is a little soft. And I think the score really adds a kick of adrenaline to a lot of the scenes.

I think the depiction of the water planet is the most mesmerizing to me, which is odd because I do not like open water at all. But the idea and execution is so well done its probably my favorite part of the movie, as odd as it is.
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Tommy D.
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 1:09am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@Lumi. Thats a well balanced and reasonable post and I agree with it. I would add that I think the trailer for Lower Decks reminds me of the initial trailer for The Orville, which I thought was filled with bad humor as well, but the show ended up being pretty decent.
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Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 1:07am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Unimatrix Zero, Part I

As much as a unified collective without a leader is something I would dear more, introducing a central character that could control them, does make sense imo. There is no way all those Borg drones would be able to do much of anything without at least the one person telling them what to do.

What would make a compelling story though, imo is how the queen came to be and what makes her so special.
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Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 12:35am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Aw, it's completely understandable why you won't be reviewing it but I am a little bummed, feeling pretty optimistic about this show being a lighter take on Trek compared to the slightly more glum Discovery and Picard, and I am interested in how they'll take advantage of an animated medium to explore more of Trek's universe without normal budgetary confines. Mike McMahan has put out some excellent work on both Solar Opposites and the (in)famous Rick and Morty in terms of high concept sci-fi as well as (quirky?) but down to Earth characters, and I have possibly a little too much faith in him.

Still, this trailer does seem to be a bit suspect in how far the show will be taking it's comedic aspect, and my hope is that this is similar to how Star Trek Beyond's initial advertising was a bit misleading for the content of the movie itself.

Best case scenario I think is that Lower Decks ends up being something akin to the Orville in that it has more emphasized comedic elements but ultimately still has something intelligent to try to say about the world we live in.

Worst case scenario is that it's a bland comedy with too much pandering and not enough substance and it just simply is left discarded in the alarmingly growing Trek "franchise".

ST:Picard was a decent but somewhat problematic show with a few more downs to it's ups than there should be. ST:Discovery was a little undwerhelming and just... not great but not terrible.

Here's to hoping that ST:Lower Decks is a breath of fresh air for the Star Trek Universe rather than a portent of what's to come of "nu-Trek".
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Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 9:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Also does anyobe know why discovery has been pushed back, if the season or part of it is shot and edited and produced and whatever else, why not start airing the episodes that are in the can already?? After all cbs all access has premiered other new shows and new seasons in the interim during the pandemic..doenst make sense from a marleting standpoint unless there's more to it..

N.b. yea Strange New Worlds that's the Puke series I forgot the name. Hope yiu review that one Jammer. I'm guessing you will and maybe section 31. Finally a Trek series abiut exploration...what Discovery shouldbeand mostlywas about in season 2 except the end where they turned the Red Angel into a human instead of a meat awe inspiring alien lifeform and/or phenomenon..hopefully season 3 will be a bit better in this respect..
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Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 9:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Off topic Jammer, but do you know when you will review the last Star Wars movie? Thanks for sharing i was not aware of this series at all until I saw this post. Will you I hope be revieiwng the other new real Trek series focusing on Pike and exploration? I assume you've heard of it and I presume and hope you will. Stay safe. Hope family is well. Thanks for the uodate.
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Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 9:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: True Q

One thing that I think Star Trek writers overestimate is the need for something to be natural in order to be appreciated. I say this because often we hear “but it isn’t real” as a reason for rejecting something tempting (like Picard rejecting the Nexus in Generations). Similarly here we are supposed to believe that this girl would much rather have her powers go away and things go back to normal, vs becoming like a Q (and learning all of their knowledge of the universe). But no, we are supposed to think that she would rather be an ordinary human. Perhaps some people would, idk, but after they showed her coming to enjoy using her powers I didn’t buy it when she said she just wanted this to end. I know the human condition in Star Trek is much better than it is for us but still think about what she is turning away... she could never feel pain, make herself feel euphoric (manipulation of your own brain chemistry), be able to get anything you want and on top of that Learn cosmic truths about the nature of existence... but nope, for this episode to work the way it does she has to want to be a normal girl again. That is “jumping the shark” to me... way too much of a reach. It’s funny how TNG’s writers decided normal humans would react to a god like entity like Q... and the answer is treating the entity like it is a pest or something you just want to go away lol. Personally I’d treat Q with way more respect.

... but that’s not how Q is supposed to function in TNG. As far as the show is concerned it is best that Q functions as it does because it needs that given the way they want the characters to react to Q, it’s funny how the show insists humans would show no wonder or awe at a being with god like abilities and knowledge and comprehension of things far beyond what Our feeble mortals can understand. But to me TNG is almost like Sci Fi Fables or something, and I like and accept it for what it is. Still though it shows how Star Trek can be overly humanistic in having its characters treat what is basically a minor diety as though it is an annoying pest lol. Sorry I don’t but it, but when I maintain my disbelief it does work well within the context of TNG.
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Dave in MN
Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 8:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

It looks like a disaster of epic proportions.

When is The Orville back on?!?!
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Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 8:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

I think perhaps this is a tonal shift for the series that goes too far, too quickly. Humor in Star Trek has always been part of the proceedings, but it was the sort of wry, knowing humor that isn't necessarily just for laughs. The first line I can remember occuring in the Cage that shows this is where the Doctor comments that a man will tell his bartender things that he won't tell his Doctor.

This is taking Trek waaaaay too far from that direction. Who is this show made for? Do these people really think a lot of kids still like to watch Star Trek? Did we need another animated series with gross out humor and pureiele sex jokes?

Everything about this seems ignorant, money-grubbing, and just plain wrong. I've been a defender of many less-than-popular moves by the owners of this Intellectual Property since I began commenting here.

This is indefensible. This is ridiculous. Star Trek has finally given up.
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Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 7:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

New commenting section open.
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Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 7:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Silicon Avatar

The fact that the entity was responsive to signals and to attempts to communicate rather implied that there might be other similar creatures it there. In which case destroying it without continuing attempts to find out more about it would have done nothing to stop them killing other planets populations, including those with billions of people. The recent spate of devastating incidents suggested it might be a recent arrival in the galaxy, or this part of the galaxy. There might be many more of them on their way.

Picard's choice to explore more about the creature, including whether there might be a better option made complete sense. There might be other potential sources for the Entity that did not entail it devastating populated planets.

The fact that Lore had successfully related to it in no way proved that it knew anything about the existence of humans; all it would have known was whatever Lore might have communicated to it, and Lore of course was not a human. And there are no grounds to assume that this Crystalline Entity was even the same one.

The whale analogy was OK, but I think a better point would be to suggest that if a cow were to talk to them most people would not be so ready to eat it.
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Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 6:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Hard Time

Damn. This one will sit with me for a while. I've had a hell of a lot of PTSD, and I wept when this was over. Incredible script, by any standards, and it certainly deserved a major SF award. Colm Meaney proves yet again that he's a top notch professional actor, and we are lucky to have him.
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Top Hat
Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 5:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: The Naked Now

That concept lingers for a while. Note this exchange in "Deja Q":

DATA: Although I do not require sustenance, I occasionally ingest semi-organic nutrient suspension in a silicon-based liquid medium.
Q: Is it good?
DATA: It would be more accurate to say it is good for me, as it lubricates my bio-functions.

At some point they quietly dropped the idea that he has any biological component (note that the absence thereof is what saves him in First Contact).
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Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 3:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

This episode just reeks of the some 80s pop culture stereotype -- just goofy, shallow. It does seem to capture what I think of that decade -- and in that sense a lot of very early TNG does.

Any reasonable arguments or stances to be made, just get overwhelmed by how tongue-in-cheek the various characters seem in different scenes and how arbitrarily things come about. It's just very hard to take any of this seriously.

Yes, this is another example of TNG trying to be TOS as in many Season 1 episodes. Guess it really rings true that it's best to be yourself (what TNG would really become in Season 3) instead of trying to imitate something else and winding up looking like a fool.

Riker gives a speech that Kirk would typically give -- and "Angel One" is a Riker-focused episode. While all the other males are affected by the virus, he has his chance to shine. He ultimately scores a point for the men when it's all about the women being in charge (both on the planet and on the Enterprise with the virus).

In going thru Season 1 again, I just don't get any sort of positive or revisionist sentiments for these primordial TNG episodes and still firmly believe it is the worst season of the entire Trek franchise (writing, acting, execution etc.). But it is interesting to see the TOS influences (premises for episodes) and I appreciate the more bold musical scores -- shame Ron Jones didn't last the entire run of TNG.
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William B
Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 12:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Extreme Risk

The pancakes moment in this episode reminds me of that moment in Melancholia when badly depressed Justine has her childhood favourite food, French toast, and exclaims "It tastes like ashes."

Sometimes the simple things help and sometimes they don't, in conclusion.
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Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 11:16am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: The Void

I also found myself wondering whether this was based on scrapped plans for the show as a whole and retooled as a standalone story. Good episode anyway. I like the optimism on display, but Janeway's characterisation strikes me as a bit... off. For the purpose of the story, she's right back to season one Janeway, who does things by the book and remains true to her principles at all costs. That's not an inherently bad thing, but it could have come with some acknowledgment of her actions in episodes like Equinox (especially the titular ship's crew are still, as far as we know, still on Voyager). An episode that actually saw Janeway reckon with her mistakes to retain that first season optimism would have perhaps been a more complex and interesting one, but I'm happy with what we have here regardless. 3 stars.
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Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 10:53am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Extreme Risk

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Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 10:19am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Deadly Years

Spock should have relieved Kirk. Simple as that.
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Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 9:17am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: The Haunting of Deck Twelve

Proteus: I think you need to rewatch the last few minutes of this episode. The story that Neelix told did happen to the ship.
When the lights came back on and the Borg kids walked to their alcoves to regenerate, they accused Neelix of making the story up. To placate them, Neelix pretended like the kids were right and he had been caught inventing the entire story. Then right after, in the final scene of the episode, Neelix went to the bridge where Janeway and Harry showed Neelix the nebula where they released the entity. Neelix wishes the being a happy ending in its new home.
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Jason R.
Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 9:08am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Seventh Season Recap

"Voyager’s final season was, overall, far better than TNG’s seventh. Similar number of great episodes, but way fewer shockingly boring phoned in episodes like “Masks.”"

Haha say anything else you like about Masks but "phoned in"? From where? Someone's acid trip maybe?

I always give shows credit for ambition and guts even when they fall flat on their faces. Masks is a failure but an ambitious one.

It's a bit like Threshold. It may have a well deserved zero star rating but I'd rather watch it than the equally rated Shades of Grey any day of the week.
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Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 8:41am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Prophecy

An unfocused mess that ultimately feels like a total waste of time. Everything about this episode comes off as tired, whether its the reheated Klingon business or the incredibly laboured comedy. I can only assume the writer's room had "Klingons in the Delta Quadrant?" written on a whiteboard for years and just thought "eh why not" when they ran out of ideas.
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Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 8:23am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Masks

Boring boring boring.

The crew didn’t really seem all that alarmed by random crap popping up all over and that the ship was being transformed.
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Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 8:13am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Seventh Season Recap

Voyager’s final season was, overall, far better than TNG’s seventh. Similar number of great episodes, but way fewer shockingly boring phoned in episodes like “Masks.”

I find Voyager way better now than when it was first run. When first run, it felt like— and was— mostly reheated leftover TNG. But add in 20+ years of distance of no new TNG, and it plays a lot better.

Voyager should have a disclaimer “abandon all continuity ye who enter here.” The lack of continuity was a deep flaw because Trekkers have long been deeply concerned with continuity. But the upshot now with streaming is you can pretty much watch any random episode and not feel lost. It really just boils down to Kes vs Seven timeframe.
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