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MidshipmanNorris
Fri, Feb 5, 2021, 4:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Threshold

Star Trek Voyager,
What you have just said is the most insanely idiotic thing I have ever heard. At no time during your rambling, incoherent episode did you even come close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone who saw this episode is now dumber for having watched it.
I award you no points,
And may God have mercy on your soul.
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MidshipmanNorris
Tue, Feb 2, 2021, 8:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Star Dreck: Disco Sucks.
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MidshipmanNorris
Tue, Feb 2, 2021, 1:51am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: The Arsenal of Freedom

I read this review and remembered that this episode is really good, and has Vincent Schiavelli (The "GET OFF MY TRAIN" guy from Ghost), who is excellent, but started watching the teaser and instantly ran into one of my favorite Counselor Obvious lines:

"What happened to all the people?"

I swear Marina Sirtis has a poker face carved in stone, cuz it's like "oh you sweet innocent summer child. Well... Counselor, I'm sorry, but... they're dead." xD

Just ... the delivery is so childlike that it borders on ridiculous. I get the sense that Sirtis was heavily overdirected during the first/second season, because she improves drastically the moment they stop doing her hair up in ludicrous 80's "Future Fashion."

Other than that, yes this episode is quite good, and the one my dad (and Ad Copy Writer) referred to (and continues to refer to) as "The Killer Advertising Episode."
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MidshipmanNorris
Mon, Feb 1, 2021, 7:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Re: Facebook

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U64eGakMvQA
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MidshipmanNorris
Sun, Jan 31, 2021, 8:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: A Matter of Honor

I gotta say, while the Riker Transfers To A Klingon Ship plot is solid (with the noted-in-Jammer's-review overall weakness of the character Capt. Kargon), the B-plot with Ensign Mendon is some of the most maudlin, insipid, ham-handed feely-feels tripe that I've ever watched. How did this guy get through the entirety of his orientation (called "indoctrination" here...someone needed a dictionary) without someone asking him "do you understand how Starfleet Vessels handle the chain of command?" and getting a satisfactory answer beyond "yes sir," before allowing him to man a Bridge Science Station??

The fact that the plot then focuses on how Mendon feels would be ok, except for 2 things;

1. This guy, while yes layered under some of the weirdest prosthetics I've ever seen, probably couldn't act his way out of a shower without it on. He's terrible. Wil Wheaton, even at this early juncture in his career, was a much better actor.

2. The dialogue written for these scenes is ridiculously stupid. I don't even have the patience to go into it all, but every single line uttered just makes me want to punch myself for watching it.

I would cut 1/2 of a star off this score, simply because of how insufferable and whiny Ens. Mendon comes off. They really gotta vet these guys better before assigning bridge duty.
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MidshipmanNorris
Sun, Jan 31, 2021, 2:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@SlackerInc

"Next, you'll be asking him to make water that isn't wet! LOL"

That's called ice
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MidshipmanNorris
Sat, Jan 30, 2021, 4:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

I say, put the tip jar up in a prominent spot where no one's bound to miss it, make it unobtrusive, and refrain from comment on it except perhaps a blurb at the end of whatever articles you end up posting.

"If you enjoy Jammer's Reviews, feel free to leave a tip. Your contribution will be used to keep the site running on Full Impulse Power. Thank you!"

And if anyone raises any kind of stink about "I paid xx dollars because I want to see blah blah on the site," pull a Captain Picard "Ensigns of Command" on them*.

Certainly, providing such a valuable site full of great content entitles you to some form of compensation. That seems... logical.

*that is, ignore them completely
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MidshipmanNorris
Mon, Jan 25, 2021, 10:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Necessary Evil

This, to me, feels like "The Origin of Star Trek: Deep Space 9."

Up until now, the show has traded in twists and turns on themes originally present in Star Trek: The Next Generation, whilst throwing in a lot of Casablanca-esque character intrigue.

But with this episode, Deep Space 9 began to show its true colors a bit more. It's right there in the first word of the title: depth.

Odo is not just "Mr. Constable" or "Security Chief Worf: The Sequel." We find out that he was reluctantly thrust into this position on account of being more or less unassailable by either the Cardassians or the Bajorans, during the Occupation. Dukat used him (as he uses everyone), but it is what puts him into the role we find him in when Sisko arrives in Emissary: Part 1.

Similarly, we get the backstory of Kira The Resistance Fighter, which up until now has just been so much talk. Here, we get to see it for the first time. It elevates her above "Tasha Yar 2.0 (or, if you like, Ro Laren 2.0)" and into the realm of her own character.

We even get to see the day that Odo met Quark, and how that went, and it's hilarious, in addition to getting a classic exchange between Odo and Rom right at the top of the episode after the teaser:

Odo: "I've had my eye on you for a long time, Rom! You're not as stupid as you look!!"
Rom: "I am TOO!!"

xD
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MidshipmanNorris
Mon, Jan 25, 2021, 6:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Cardassians

@StevenA

"Irish and not from the UK. Plus the Republic of Ireland was neutral in WW2. "

1. I really thought Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England were all collectively referred to as "The United Kingdom." Shows what I know.

2. I had no idea. Wow.

Either way, Europeans/Westerners in general did at one time in history have a highly negative view of all Southeast Asians, and many still do. It's a well-earned nitpick, I guess, but still Rosalind Chao's line was executed extremely well. The propers are the propers, and Chao gets propers for that line.
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MidshipmanNorris
Sun, Jan 24, 2021, 11:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Cardassians

I'm going to take my hat off to Ms Rosalind Chao for her very short and extremely potent bit of acting in this episode.

On one hand, Keiko telling Miles "You just said a really ugly thing" can seem like she just abhors racism. But when you consider that in World War II, Japanese people were regarded much as the Bajorans regard the Cardassians by people fighting on the Allied side (like the U.K., where Miles is from), the line itself brings a lot more depth to the scene than just "Oh she doesn't agree with his view."

That's a whole lot to pack into a line, but Ms. Chao sells it perfectly. Wow. :|
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MidshipmanNorris
Thu, Jan 21, 2021, 3:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Alex Kurtzman: "You know Michelle, I think I'd like to change the direction of Star Trek to be more like what made TNG-DS9 great... WHEN PIGS FLY!!"

AK+MP: (Laugh hysterically, see the Pig Flying)

Michelle Paradise: "Will you be ordering those scripts now sir?"

Alex Kurtzman: "No, I'd still prefer not."
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MidshipmanNorris
Thu, Jan 21, 2021, 1:48am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

I recently went back and re-watched a lot of the DS9 Episodes that I missed back when Final Fantasy VII was out and captured my attention away.

I really was not expecting Sisko's Orb Visions to cast him as a sci-fi writer in the 40's, facing racist cops and racist editors.

It's what you would call "a bold move" for a television show to make... or "a big step," hehe. And the current crop of Star Trek shows seems afraid to put its feet in the water.

Grow a pair. You're Star Trek, you already have this baked into your lore. That's what bugs me the most about all these NuTrek writings... yes they feature progressive moves, but they don't devote the kind of incisive writing decisions to them that would really make them sizzle.

Contribute to the replicator rations, or get off the pot, as it were.
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MidshipmanNorris
Mon, Jan 18, 2021, 12:54am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Up until now, Arthur C. Clarke has been my hard sci-fi jam. I remember reading 2001 and Songs of Distant Earth. What struck me about them is that there were no moustache twirlers... No Khan, no Borg Queen, no Zareh, no Osyrra. The stories had danger, death, and tense situations, but they didn't have a scenery-chewing villain.

You can only do the same gimmick so many times, before it gets old. Leonard Nimoy knew that. Star Trek IV hasn't got a villain like this.

The thing about over the top villains is, they can't be built on shifting sands. Voq came out of nowhere, then evaporated into nothing. Harry Mudd went nowhere. Lorca, same difference (once it was revealed that he was a villain). Mirror Georgiou similarly went nowhere. Control went nowhere. Zareh and Osyrra went nowhere.

Khan worked as a villain, because Nick Meyer framed him properly, with historical context within the series, and there was some ceremony to his return, too (the "taking off the gloves and helmet" thing). In addition to that, Ricardo Montalban and Nick Meyer really sat down and did work on the way Khan was portrayed by Montalban.

You can't just churn out whatever drivel survived your little Survivor-esque vote in the writing room. The show loses its direction if you do that. If you can't write a decent villain, don't write a half assed one.

The question really becomes, at that point, why Star Trek seems addicted to beating this dead horse over and over. But like the detective in the police procedural who advises against probing too deeply into the mindset of the serial killer, it's probably best not to overanalyze what seems to merely be sloppy, ham-handed writing that got approved by a bunch of money grubbing ass kissers.
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MidshipmanNorris
Sat, Jan 16, 2021, 12:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

The people who liked these 3 seasons of Discovery, within 3 months of it being off the air, will have stopped talking about it altogether and moved on to the next 'trendy' thing.

However, none of the things they say about it have anything critical in them. Gush Bombing a show for funsies is as much a thing as Review Bombing it out of anger.

I myself, try to keep my criticisms objective and based on how much I enjoyed the story. I did not, btw. But that's beside the point.

These concrete details of how to make a story good, are still going to be true, after Star Trek Discovery has gone the way of the dodo bird. They really don't change much, even between wildly varying times and cultures. There's questions of what is and isn't interesting, and then there are basic underpinnings of a plot structure that can't be neglected, full stop. Discovery doesn't have that underpinning. I'm already tossing it on the pile that contains most of Star Trek: Voyager and all of Enterprise. Picard is getting the stinkeye too, if it doesn't shape up.

At this rate, I'm going to really have to pick up that there Foundation Trilogy my dad keeps going on about. Star Trek, as far as I'm concerned, is over.
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MidshipmanNorris
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 12:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Lessons

I am reading a few lukewarm responses to "Lessons," and I have to disagree.

I also think this episode deserves another half-star, simple in the light of it being possibly the most heart-felt and believable romance story I have ever seen in a single episode of a television series.

Shows can cheat with time; there is the time frame that the episode gives you, and the time frame the episode can *appear* to entail. I think that the time frame over which these events happen (in this episode) is kept deliberately vague. That's an extremely smart writing choice, for a single-episode romance story; hey, what if they were dating for some several months, and this episode just 'forgot' to say so? The story still functions as well as it would have, if it were only over the course of 3 days. This kind of writing in Star Trek is *chef kiss* bravissimo.

Add into that that Wendy Hughes *sells* the performance. Famke Jannsen has gone on to movie stardom in retrospect, but I find Ms. Hughes to be far more believable as an officer and as a person, and as a musician (I am also one and she is delightful, I'd love to play a jam session with Lt.Cmdr. Darren).

To go further on that point, the scene in Picard's quarters where she teaches him that he can improvise is, by far, the single most realistic depiction of music performance that I have seen committed to celluloid, bar none, for the rest of eternity. Shows tend to fake this and this one is no exception, but the dialogue about music that intersperses their actual playing is top-shelf. Whoever wrote this has a background in improvisational playing, and that is super cool to me.

I do think the reset-button-antics of the episode tend to hurt the overall story, but they were also unavoidable as anyone familiar with television production knows. But this balancing act is difficult even for a show that doesn't have to whip up firestorms to get the episode out of the way. ST:TNG managed to make me sad that Picard and Darren's relationship had to be sidelined, and I mean honestly sad. She seems like a good fit for Picard. I hope she's still around and would consider doing some episodes of Picard Season 2, to be honest. I want Nella Darren back. This was a moment where Star Trek seemed like it was really doing stories, just for the sake of doing the story, and it's something that I feel like the franchise has let lay fallow for too long.
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MidshipmanNorris
Wed, Jan 13, 2021, 12:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Discovery has a logistical problem that I don't think I've thought about up until now.

It is trying to be more serialized, in less time per season, than previous Trek shows had to be.

Doesn't anyone else see why that would be a bad idea? You are basically forced to boil down the plot to a "Digest Version" of what would constitute an actual story. I don't want to watch a show written like it's the Cliff Notes. I want to see the story.

Going light on tech, I don't mind. You will notice that the technical scientific stuff doesn't bother me a lot, I hope. I am willing to let that all be handwaved away. Characterization and plot consistency, I am not willing to give up ground on. 45 minute episodes, 20-24 times per season, with less serialization, compared with 1 hour episodes 12-15 times per season, is too much to have to cut, and I feel it hurts the show in terms of it being able to give actual weight to the story.

Think about it. If you could watch back through Discovery, with an episode added every two episodes, that fleshes out the story and goes into the side characters' lives a bit more, wouldn't that fix a lot of the problems that we're having with it?

Sure give them Megaman guns, whatever guys, but what's it *about?*
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MidshipmanNorris
Mon, Jan 11, 2021, 7:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

By this point, I wonder if monetizing an intellectual property in this day and age is something akin to a Ponzi Scheme or Pyramid Scheme, and the fact of the matter is that they can mathematically determine how bad a show they can make, and still get the profit margin they want out of it.

Because it definitely gives off a vibe of "I literally don't care about any of this Star Trek nonsense or if the story is good."

I'm sensing that it gives off that vibe, because that is how they feel, making it.
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MidshipmanNorris
Mon, Jan 11, 2021, 5:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Time will tell the tale. I'm pretty sure the lion's share of the Hardcore Trek audience is gonna feel this way about Disco, and Season 4 is gonna be ... interesting.

This reminds me a lot of when ENT had finished it's third season. It was already on the chopping block, but they renewed it for a fourth, and look what happened. They ended up cancelling it anyway, largely due to the missteps in Seasons 1-3. It didn't matter that it was marginally better than the first three seasons; fans had had enough.
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MidshipmanNorris
Mon, Jan 11, 2021, 12:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@AMA

"Ursula K. Le Guin's short story, 'The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.'"

I actually read this in Sophomore English, in College. I really don't see how they worked the moral conundrum from it into this story, other than that there is a child who is suffering, and they act to relieve that suffering. If the person writing this did it based on "Omelas," then I think they missed the point of it.

Those who walk away, reject the suffering of the child and the Utopia (the titular country of Omelas) that results from it, on the grounds that it is the only moral choice which is available to them, and are never seen again.

What does any of that have to do with the rest of this story? Nothing, they just want to sound like they're well-read.

Remember, I read this short story in Sophomore English Class. Woo hoo, you attended my sophomore english class Trek Runners. So did I. You don't know the first darn thing about Star Trek, though, which is a bigger problem than "are you paying worthy tribute to Ursula K. LeGuin," I would say.

Their heads are stuck 50 kilometers up their shuttle bay. Good lord. No wonder this show is so badly written. Next they'll make a season out of hallucinations and flashbacks and dream sequences and call it inspired by 100 Years of Solitude* cuz it's "Surreal." Oof.

*Also covered in my Sophomore English Class.
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MidshipmanNorris
Sun, Jan 10, 2021, 5:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

For those of you who don't understand "Virtue Signaling," Discovery has provided us with a cast study.

Tell me, do you expect that at some point during Star Trek (viewed as an over arching series')'s story at some point would have acknowledged the unrest that happened during the 1960's in America, when Black People were marching on Washington and there were riots and people died, and then four students were shot at Kent State University?

So... why not?

Star Trek ought to be culturally above offending its fanbase by now right? So just... tell us how all that turned out in this imagined future history?

Or do you not have the cajones? Oh you don't have the cajones. Of course you don't. That's why you took up the job writing for Star Trek, cuz you like to play it safe I guess, and you don't give a damn if anything you write is good as long as you get paid

Alex
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MidshipmanNorris
Sat, Jan 9, 2021, 5:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@Chrome
[Yeah, I mean when Burnham is spouting lines like "I don't believe in no-win scenarios" it's pretty obvious the showrunners are trying to make her the black female James Kirk. If that doesn't appeal to you, you should back out now.]

It was actually someone else saying "You're in a no-win scenario" and Burnham replies with "Idon'tbelieveinthose." Not only a poorly written line (thanks for playing the pronoun game with us Michael), but the take they used was rushed and the delivery didn't land.

The thing is, no, of course I don't have a problem with a Black Female James Kirk. I have a problem with James Kirk having had an ensemble cast around him that made the show more fun to watch instead of being living breathing interchangeable props.
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MidshipmanNorris
Sat, Jan 9, 2021, 6:49am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

If Discovery wants to try to make a Star Trek show, there's going to have to be significant changes.

If I were going to write it, I think my first choice would be to flash forward a few years.

Let's just say that the dilithium logistics play out, it's boring, stuff happens that doesn't change anybody's life, they just go to work for two or three years.

Then, we pick the story back up; Burnham is Captain of Discovery, these two crew members hooked up, these two crew members had a date recently or something, they're testing out new equipment they recently picked up at a Starbase, and Michael is busy reading up on past Starfleet Captains in her quarters.

This gives the freedom to reinterpret the character dynamics and framing of the show, while being able to quickly and arbitrarily (more or less) make adjustments to how you're going to approach each character.

Star Trek is, among other things, an Ensemble Show. It always has been. If this Ensemble is gonna... ensemble, or whatever, they'd better get to ensembling, fast.
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MidshipmanNorris
Fri, Jan 8, 2021, 9:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Ahem

To sum up:

Lt. Commander Data: "I believe you will also de-evolve into an earlier form of primate - possibly similar to a lemur or pygmy-marmoset."

That's how I feel about this show. Star Trek has de-evolved, and it no longer has any rhyme or reason to it, just lots of chutzpah and energy. It's like a painting of a fireworks display. Sure, it's nice and colorful, but you take one step to the side and you'll notice that it's entirely two-dimensional.
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MidshipmanNorris
Fri, Jan 8, 2021, 1:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Could...

Could this be the result of an overzealous Agent?
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MidshipmanNorris
Fri, Jan 8, 2021, 1:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Something occurs to me as I am reading about Burnham being the center of the universe on this thread.

That is the thing that none of the other Star Trek Shows did.

Even TOS (where reportedly William Shatner most assuredly got the *star treatment), tended to focus plots on minor-ish characters from time to time.

This show, absolutely never takes the focus off Burnham.

That's it; that's the connection. That's what's bugging me about this show. Star Trek doesn't do that!
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