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JohnC
Wed, Jan 18, 2017, 10:22am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Parallax

To follow up on my comments on Caretaker, I don't expect much from this series, so I continue to be entertained. Yes, it's another "spatial anomaly" episode, but I thought the dialogue in the shuttlecraft between Janeway and Torres was sparkling, as they debated whether to choose the Voyager to port or starboard.

As for JB's comments just above, that was an entertaining read, but I'm not as down on how Torres ends up being chosen. Part of a starfleet captain's job is to know how to delegate, and sometimes feelings get hurt. I think it was pretty obvious to Janeway by the end of the first staff meeting that Torres was something special as an engineer. Janeway expressed her reservations about Torres' ability to command others and it was obviously a difficult decision for her, but I think ultimately she decided that she was going to go with her first officer's recommendation of an exceptionally talented and creative engineer with people problems over a cookie-cutter personality who doesn't think outside the box - and if there's one thing that Janeway would know is evident, it's that if you're 70,000 light years from home, you're WAY outside the box. And although it might have provided some episode fodder to have Torres work her way back into good graces and then get promoted, I think perhaps we are to infer that Janeway realizes the importance of assigning roles and duties from the outset. Just a thought.
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JohnC
Wed, Jan 18, 2017, 10:02am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Caretaker

I have a long relationship with Star Trek, with huge gaps in between. Like most kids of my generation, I watched TOS in re-runs after school. When we went outside to role-play after, we all argued over who got to be Kirk because he was a bad-ass and got all the girls, including the green alien chick.

I looked forward with keen anticipation to the original movie and, honest to Kahless, fell asleep watching it in the theater. Khan, of course, set things right. And although I enjoyed III and IV, I somehow never found my way over to TNG, or DS9, or Voyager during their original runs. I did try to watch Enterprise for awhile but with the exception of Jolene Blalock and her catsuits I didn't really care for the characters. Trip was too folksy, Archer was too earnest... it just annoyed me all the way around. I found TNG on BBC a few years ago, and then on Netflix, and over the past 2 or 3 years i've made my way through TNG twice (which I love) , DS9 (which I loved at first, then disliked immensely as it wound down) ... and now I suppose I qualify as a bit of a Trek junkie. I'm not a fanatic, and I don't science, but I've been immersed into the Trek oeuvre now and I find myself craving a dose at regular intervals. So despite the lukewarm reviews i've read about the Voyager series, I embarked on my own rewatch last night.

I was prepared to be disappointed - maybe my low expectations are part of the reason I was surprised to find Caretaker to be the most entertaining of the series' premieres. I like the cast, for the most part, especially the Doctor and Torres, although as someone noted earlier, Neelix is a bit to Jar Jar Binks-esque for my taste. But there have been other Trek characters I didn't "get" at first, like Quark, and now he's among my favorite DS9ers, so maybe Neelix will grow on me.

If I'm watching mindless television, the most important criterion is: do I want to find out what happens next? And the answer here was an emphatic yes. I can't really say the same about "Emissary", which I had to struggle through. In fact, the only thing I really remember about Emissary (except for vague recollection about Sisko traipsing around a beach with his future wife) was that Sisko was irrationally rude to Picard in blaming him for his wife's death. That's the only part of the episode that got my attention - in contrast, Caretaker really kept me moving along with the plot. Even the slow interlude in the middle with the old Kentucky Home or whatever was bizarrely intriguing, because of the stilted weirdness of the setting...

Regardless, I may yet regret deciding to start this, but for now I'm looking forward to more.
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JohnC
Thu, Jan 5, 2017, 1:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Chimera

Doesn't anyone answer for anything on this space station? A Klingon dies and Kira just lets him go so Odo can frolic through the galaxy with his boy-toy getting all gooey and looking for a threesome or more.... Meanwhile Odo browbeats Sisko to let Laas go earlier (absent which the Klingon would still be alive, BTW) and takes responsibility for him, and as soon as Laas offs the Klingon he's playing the race card for him. To quote a wiser poster than me above:

"The last few episodes where Odo has interacted with his people have started turning me against him as a character. Whenever he links with another changeling it's as though he becomes an intoxicated juvenile nitwit."

Kira's no better. Those two are meant for each other. They alternate between selective self-righteousness and indulgent recklessness, and I find myself wondering if I can get through this binge-watch of this series. I can't take much more of these two.
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JohnC
Mon, Dec 26, 2016, 12:33am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Take Me Out to the Holosuite

I thought the episode was just average until I read all the comments and now it is one of my favorites. Anything that can simultaneously annoy sports-hating nerds and smug Eurocentric boors ranks very high with me indeed.
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JohnC
Fri, Dec 9, 2016, 3:40pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

The original Star Wars was released when I was in school for a year in Europe. This was before the days when movies were released almost simultenously worldwide, so I didn't get to see it until several months later. By that time, every magazine I'd ever read, and every friend I talked to on the phone, made me think that finally seeing it was going to be an amazing, life-changing experience. And then I watched it and realized as I did that I was daring the movie to blow me away, but it really didn't. I expected too much.

I didn't watch DS9 on first run. I'm just bingewatching the series for the first time, and I love it. Intricate serial plots, multifaceted and deliciously flawed characters, and ambiguous endings. I love all that stuff. So I had read a lot about The Visitor before actually watching it, knowing that many reviewers believe it to be the finest DS9 episode ever, comparing it to The Inner Light, which I consider to be one of the finest television episodes of any series, ever.

So I was really disappointed to be disappointed. I thought maybe it was the Star Wars thing over again - maybe I was just expecting to much. So I rewatched it and just couldn't get past my dislike for so much of this. Leaden acting, unabashed attempts to jerk the tears out of the viewer... one of the reasons Inner Light was so good is that our emotions were stirred as the natural consequence of the way the plot developed - I never got the sense that as a viewer I was being manipulated. In comparison, the Visitor is a hokey schlockey oozing mountain of saccaharine goo.

Beyond that, although I know it's been debated and rationalized in the comments, I just can't feel much sympathy for a character who would intentionally wipe out the existence of events that he experienced and people he knew for nearly a lifetime because he has to get his dad back. Someone earlier mentioned that the episode is implausible because no writer would ever give an unpublished manuscript to another aspiring writer for fear of plagiarism. But there was no risk here. Once Jake got his dad back - Melanie would never exist.

I found this to be heavy-handed and trite. Just like Star Wars, Episode IV. Now, the Empire Strikes Back? - another story. :)
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