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Gail NYC
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 6:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: E2

I actually kind of enjoyed this episode.

1) The scene where Malcolm finds out that he will end up by himself. So sad.

2) Loved T'Pol and Old T'Pol. I thought Jolene Blalock was great. I think she's doing a fantastic job with the character, in spite of some of the ridiculous outfits and situations the writers put her in.

I've actually grown tired of Scott Bakula as Angry!Archer. I came into the show a fan of Bakula, and loved him in seasons 1-2. But he does not seem to know how to approach this less optimistic captain. So far the only season 3 episode that I thought he was really great in was "Similitude."

Phlox is my favorite character, but T'Pol is now a close second.
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Mal
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 6:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: The Man Trap

The Man Trap
TOS S1 E1

2 1/2 stars (out of 4)

"Why don't you tell me I'm an attractive young lady, or ask me if I've ever been in love? Tell me how your planet Vulcan looks on a lazy evening when the moon is full.”

- Uhura trying to avoid responsibility for making a mistake in the sub-space log by flirting with Spock. It doesn’t work.

I have been watching Star Trek on and off my whole life. My mom watched reruns of TOS when I was in the womb. But now I am older than Kirk and Spock were (or at least the actors playing them were) when The Man Trap first aired, though not yet as old as Bones. It seems the perfect time in life to go back and give TOS another look-see.

I agree with @Skeptical, this is actually a pretty good place for TOS to have started. The episode introduces us to most of the major characters we’ll know and love for decades and decades and decades to come: Kirk, Spock, Bones, Uhura, Sulu & Janice Rand. Only Scotty and Chekov are missing. Well, Majel is missing too.

There are two key scenes in the episode that really set up the Bones-Kirk-Spock dynamic for the ages.

The first key scene is Spock with Uhura on the bridge. Spock does not react to Uhura's flirting, which is of course his choice. But then word comes down that a crew member has died on the away mission. And Spock doesn’t even flinch. It sends Uhura into a fit. She turns her back and walks away. If TOS had aired today, Uhura would have yelled something like “What the fuck is wrong with you?” Fortunately TV in the 60’s had different standards, and the turn away allows Uhura to speak volumes without talking. Sometimes less can be more.

The second key scene is Bones with Kirk, in sickbay, with the dead crewman. As @Proud Capitalist Pig says, Bones is wallowing in lost love when Kirk snaps at him:

KIRK: How your lost love affects your vision, Doctor, doesn't interest me. I've lost a man. I want to know what killed him.

Bones feels too much. Spock feels too little. And Kirk is there to maintain a balance. That is the touchstone for TOS.

There is also some really subtle humor. @redshirt28 has the hilarious comment above about his ex-wife. Even more subtle is when the salt monster was in the briefing room disguised as Bones (what @Skeptical calls the conference scene). The hilarious thing about the conference scene: that was not the Real McCoy!!!!

@Vanessa asks why the salt monster killed the professor? Two reasons, one obvious - because he could ID her - and one more subtle - because she had moved on to McCoy. The ex-wife metaphor again.

TOS did a much better job than newer iterations of the show are doing at showing people the way they actually are, not some amped up TV version. I didn’t notice what @Sean points out, but I think it makes sense. Sulu and Janice Rand sitting together talking about the flowers. Later on they are strolling together in the corridor when they find a dead body. They seem like wonderful, yet completely platonic, friends. I suppose you could look at an Asian man and White woman as the least likely of all interracial pairings to explain the complete lack of sexual tension. But you know what has even less sexual potential? NTTAWWT.

By the way, I tried to follow @Viktor and @ Elliot’s conversation via the google Universal Translator. Google translates “interrassischen" as interracial, but somehow I think @Viktor means he enjoyed the multi-racial aspect of the show? Still, with the Rand/Sulu and Uhura/Spock scenes, @Viktor might have meant interracial. I kind of really want to know.

Finally the buffalo. It is fascinating to note that from day 1, Star Trek has been interested in talking about extinction. Its a theme that will take us all the way through a fun time-travel movie exactly 20 years later, and even to this day, with another time-travel story about a girl and her animal-lover boyfriend, this time, a whole millennium later.

Gandhi used salt to beat the British Empire. Is it any wonder that that simple chemical, NaCl, launched this epic Trek.
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Booming
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 5:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

@Glomgee
Choosing to turn your very first post into an attack. What could be more Trumpian.

Sorry I forgot, ok ok noun, verb got it: Idiots love Alex Kurtzman. :)
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Jason R.
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 5:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Looking for Par'mach in All the Wrong Places

" Women are the people who do most of the grunt work of subsistence farming, lugging the water and last year’s baby on their backs, scrubbing the wash and cooking the meals, and they keep it up until the baby comes"

My wife is incapacitated at 6 months. But now that I think of it she never did much manual labor when she wasn't pregnant haha.
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Yanks
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 4:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

@ David

"I am re-watching Star Trek in airdate order and I am finding myself often times disagreeing with Jammer (but LOVING) his reviews as I genuinely prefer TNG/VGR to DS9 with ENT coming in behind. As I write down notes after I finish the episode and give it my own rating for fun, I find myself comparing it to Jammer."

Yup, the main reason I come here. You'll also find many good posters to converse with. Welcome!
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Jay
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 3:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Defiant

Be honest now, how many people would have noticed that Will wears a beard and Tom wears a goatee if he hadn’t peeled off the fake sideburns on-camera? Lol. I know it’s a concession to the viewer, but I was still amused at how they thought that people would immediately notice a facial hair change, even one as dramatic as beard vs goatee.

Agreed that the Miles situation was handled well.

Don’t agree that there’s a Kira/Riker romance in this episode, I’ll have to put that one down as wishful thinking. Men and women can have relationships other than romantic ones, and it felt like the kiss came as a surprise to everyone involved. I did like how they explored Kira’s terrorist past and what terrorism means in general.
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Glomgee
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 2:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

@Mertov A much-needed reply to Trent. It’s like “debating” Donald Trump. With or without the ability to cut off the mic. Some people listen only with their mouth, never their ears. Do Trent and Booming think that if they do not deliver their daily two-minute (that’s a charitable number)hates against “Kurtzman” and “nu-Trek” that we would forget what their beliefs are, and how superior those beliefs are? To paraphrase what one current Presidential candidate said of a former one, “These guys only use four words in a sentence: a noun, a verb, and Alex Kurtzman.” When they read this, they say, “But you’re not talking about Star Trek.” It is as if they are projecting their penchant for changing the subject on to others. Are they seeking to win converts to their belief that Trek 2020 is drivel? Way to persuade there, sounding like Rod Steiger in Mars Attacks!
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Peter G.
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 2:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Looking for Par'mach in All the Wrong Places

@ Tara (and sorry for writing "@ Trent" prefacing my previous comment),

I don't mean to imply that pregnancy incapacitates women outright. I am specifically talking about later in terms, and most specifically 9th month. My wife was working throughout her pregnancy, right until the day she gave birth, but nevertheless long walks and any kind of vigorous energy requirement was really a no-go in the last few weeks. Even a 20 min walk would be difficult with the extreme muscle looseness in certain areas that expand. It's just a physical fact, it would have been literally impossible for her to be doing anything physically exerting at that point. And yeah, there was much more lying down, groaning with soreness, feeling a bit incapacitated. Still working, but not physically very able. It's not a weakness, it's just a reality.
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Tara
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 2:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Looking for Par'mach in All the Wrong Places

@PeterG,

Thanks for the explanation regarding Worf. I didn’t think of that. I did understand that his sense of honor wasn’t shared by all the members of the High Council, and that his self-taught outsider status made him a purist who held himself to the highest standards (similar to Brienne of Tarth in GOT). I just had never related that to Klingon sexual mores. But it makes perfect t sense.

I am going to disagree with you about pregnancy. Throughout human history - and still today in most of the world - women do not have the luxury of taking to their beds or quitting their usual duties for months at a time, every couple years. Women are the people who do most of the grunt work of subsistence farming, lugging the water and last year’s baby on their backs, scrubbing the wash and cooking the meals, and they keep it up until the baby comes. The human race would not have evolved pregnancy as an incapacitating condition, since this would have been terrible for the species’ survival. The same is true for animals: Zebras and cheetahs can’t lie down and moan just because they’re gestating. They have to run for their lives. Other animals have no chivalry toward their delicate condition.

In the 24th century - when medicine is incredibly advanced and a hypospray is all it takes to cure pain - I don’t buy Kira’s situation. I understand she would avoid military action because she doesn’t want Keiko’s fetus to get phasered - but other than that, there should be much less fuss. I could be charitable, I guess, and assume the Kira actor was having problems with her actual pregnancy and asked to be put out of commission for a while and that the writers saw this as an opportunity to display a different side of her. Still, I can’t help gagging a little. Maybe that’s just me.

(On a personal note: I had to work 36- hour days and an eighty-hour week throughout my first pregnancy, mostly on my feet, despite vomiting literally ten times a day and sometimes needing IV fluids to keep me on my feet at work. I kept this up until the day Ibwas induced. Can’t say I enjoyed it -actually it was miserable and exhausting, especially the last couple weeks - but it was my job and I had no choice and I did it. No one ever suggested it was dangerous or too hard for me or that I should be excused. Guess what my position was? I was a medical resident — in OB-GYN..)

Question for everyone: Pregnant women - doctors, nurses, teachers, and I assume soldiers and plumbers too - don’t typically get excused from work or put on light duty prior to delivery, do they? I’ve never worked anywhere but the medical field so perhaps I’m wrong, but I’ve never heard of this being a thing in the modern age, among any of my working female friends.
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James G
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 1:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Birthright, Part II

I watched both halves of this sub-par two parter (two-sub-par-ter?) over the last couple of days, and comments here apply to both.

I was never a fan of Deep Sleep 9, and only ever saw a couple of them. I assume the Bashir content in this one is intended as a sort of trailer for the new series; it adds nothing. I sort of liked the Data 'dream' story, but not that much really.

The remarkably humane Romulan open prison on the remote planet is just bizarre. It's hard to know what to make of it. Is the ageing Romulan, married to a Klingon no less, some sort of saint, to have achieved such harmony between these two bitter enemy races? He is after all their jailer in a real sense, and in charge of Romulan soldiers who are ultimately shown to be prepared to use lethal force.

Why do the Romulans even bother with this? Just to indulge an old soldier? And why would the captive Klingons accept this fate so readily? I don't really buy the excuse that their honour had already been lost so anything goes. If the Klingon woman who married Tokath felt so strongly that her honour had been stolen, why would she do that? Let alone the consideration that Tokath was one of the attacking force who supposedly carried out a massacre against her people.

I'm always surprised at the ease with which, in the Star Trek universe, species from different planets can reproduce. It seems phenomenally unlikely to me that a Romulan could get a Klingon pregnant (or even want to in all honesty; those cranial ridges aren't the most feminine feature). Worf's remarks to the mixed-race girl about her parentage are actually quite hateful, although he apologises later. And falls in love with her, quite suddenly and with no real development in their relationship having been apparent. As if the writer couldn't help squeezing another cliche in.

So I'm afraid this one is quite poor. It's just too incoherent and nonsensical. It looks to me like the Data plot was considered inadequate to sustain a whole episode, so they stretched out a pretty risible story about a Romulan prison planet for Klingons to accommodate it.

One last thought - how does the alien that Worf pays to take him there even know about it? But maybe I wasn't paying attention properly. It seems to me though that information like that could be more valuable (and therefore lucrative) to the Klingon government than to Worf. Either way it's not a very secure secret. Perhaps he should have been killed off in an accident.

Dire episode.
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David
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 1:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

I am re-watching Star Trek in airdate order and I am finding myself often times disagreeing with Jammer (but LOVING) his reviews as I genuinely prefer TNG/VGR to DS9 with ENT coming in behind. As I write down notes after I finish the episode and give it my own rating for fun, I find myself comparing it to Jammer. Here is the funny thing - we match a lot for Discovery. This review is spot on - 2.5 stars. It was an average opening with a storage that was average, masked by amazing effects and cinematography. It looks beautiful but the actual story is lacking. After 18 months, I was hoping for something more engaging for an opening. Once we arrived in 3188 and things in the galaxy went downhill fast and we found ourselves in a retread of "Andromeda", I am cautiously optimistic that the writers will avoid that. However, it just did not feel original to me - the Federation fell, things went terrible. I am hoping this season explores it well because for me Discovery always starts off great and then sputters by the finale.

I hope some details are explored, i.e., did the Federation fleet just blow up at once given there is quantum slipstream technology?

Also, is anyone like me in that they actually like the cast very much BUT their least favorite character is Michael - the main character?
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Tara
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 1:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The House of Quark

A funny episode, with good Quark material.

Given all the sexism discussion above, I’ll weigh in with my own opinion.

ST made a questionable decision to cast females as submissive sidekicks in many races (Klingon, Ferengi, the “Suddenly Human” race), whereas it depicts males in that role never - except “Angel One,”
where male submission was the focus of horror and disgust from not only the characters but the viewers. Perhaps just as bad, ST depicts many women in traditional roles that it refuses to show men in: the self-sacrificing spouse of a Great Person ; the prostitute;; the d’abo girl/dancer, the caring counselor, the parent cradling an infant. So it was refreshing to see a Klingon woman acting, well, very Klingon, and very much her own person. It’s a bit of a salve for the crude use of Klingon women elsewhere, as fodder for bro jokes among male characters.

Regarding Elliot’s comments: I didn’t see any sexism in Miles’ attempts to make his wife happier. I though career-man Julian came off especially well, when he recognized that Keiko had a scientist’s passion just like his own, and matter-of-factly pointed this out.

The final decision of what to do with Mollie did grate. The problem is not that she ended up going with her mother, but that Miles had unilaterally decided to ship her off with Keiko *before asking Keiko.*. Why didn’t the writers see fit to have him say, “She could stay with me or go with you. She could even go back and forth every month or so, depending on your duties and mine. We can make it work.” (I mean, surely there are some people on the station happy to help out or make extra money. Garak in particular strikes me as a fun ‘uncle’ for Mollie. And am I the only one who thinks a botany expedition would be a much trickier place to be raising a child than a space station? She’s going to be literally bushwhacking in the wilderness with a small group of busy scientists on the move and exposed to the elements. Will she lug Mollie on her back?)

Bottom line: No woman would ever dream of informing her husband, “Here - I’ve unilaterally decided you should take care of the baby around the clock for the next six months. I’ll be far away, not helping at all.” When Keiko tells Miles “I couldn’t leave you and Mollie”, the implication is that she couldn’t put all the work of baby-care on Miles. The fact that Miles has no such qualms and doesn’t seem to know how much work a baby is, is crazy. That he presents his plan as not just the obvious (and only) solution, but also as an unmitigated good that isn’t selfish and won’t burden her at all, is jaw-dropping.

(If the show were different and darker, I would suspect Miles was trying to punish and sabotage her. “You’re not happy being a military wife and mother? Fine: see how you like balancing work and motherhood put in the wilds with no Miles O’Brien around. In six months, you’ll come back begging to be a stay-at-home wife.”)
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Nolan
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 1:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Looking for Par'mach in All the Wrong Places

@Tara, Peter G.

Regarding both the "weakening" of Kira and the length and narrative purpose of the pregnancy plotline, remember, those are both determined by the timetable and demands of the Kira actress' *real* pregnancy (With Bashir actor Siddig El Fadil's child!). Nana Visitor couldn't rush that along anymore than the writers, and it'd be pretty cruel to throw a pregnant woman into demanding action plots. I think they probably extended the pregnancy story past the birth of the actudl child given some later episodes, but given the context of real life behind the scenes, I don't begrudge Kira getting "lighter" fare here.
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MidshipmanNorris
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 12:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

@Jammer

"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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Booming
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 11:49am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

@Trent
"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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Mertov
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 11:47am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

Glom,
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.
-----

Trent,
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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Trent
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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Glom
Wed, Oct 21, 2020, 11:29am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

@Mertov

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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Trent
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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Booming
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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Mertov
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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Tara
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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Yanks
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

@Trent,

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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