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Wainscoting
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 8:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

I love that people are mentioning Mass Effect 2! Garrus, Tali, Mordin, Wrex...there were some fantastic characters there. The interesting thing about that game when it came to the story beats is that it frequently gave you the option to align with a humanist, Trekkian view of the world or a cynical, nihilistic one. For instance, on Garrus Vakarian's 'loyalty mission' you discover that Garrus ran a vigilante mercenary group undermining various crime syndicates that was betrayed by a member, resulting in the deaths of all but him. Anyway, you spend some time hunting the traitor down and having discussed his underlying motivations along the way Garrus ultimately asks Shepard to draw the traitor into the open so he can kill him from range. You can either aid in this person's death or at the last second to step into the line of fire and explore the circumstances leading to the betrayal as well as the guilt and suffering it is causing this person. Garrus may be dissuaded from vengeance and is fundamentally changed for the rest of the story. Incidentally, no eyes were horrifically yanked from sockets by metal claws in order to evoke emotional response.

Basically, Mass Effect 2 (specifically in those moments where you aren't shooting thousands of bad guys) did Trek better than this nu-Trek can.

That aside, although Jammer's apathy towards the "What is Star Trek?" question is justly earned, most Trek fans will draw a philosophical line somewhere. It seems undeniable that TNG and DS9 largely emerged from their predecessors shadow because they necessarily supplemented the humanist, modernist core of Star Trek with more postmodern spheres of thought. Yet, while challenging themselves, they remained sincerely devoted to the idea that all sentient beings possess moral value and despite our myriad differences, by embracing a 'sovereignty of reason' we can overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges and perhaps in some small way strive meaningfully towards one day solving the epistemological, metaphysical and ontological questions we all share.

This new, truly postmodern trek has replaced all that sincerity with irony. We see that intelligent life is disposable, people are vain, self-obsessed and eschew the idea of a duty to the common good, society is destined to remain fragmented with people always finding a way to exploit one other. In other words, the pursuit of any truth greater than ourselves is simply a futile attempt to escape the historical and cultural discourses that run our lives.

Q: “You just don't get it, do you, Jean-Luc? The trial never ends. We wanted to see if you had the ability to expand your mind and your horizons. And for one brief moment, you did.”

Sorry Q, it seems you were wrong. 'Picard' believes in nothing and says nothing, simply taking pleasure in unravelling all that the character represented in TNG to the pleasure of some and the despair of the rest of us.
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Descent
Sat, Feb 22, 2020, 6:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Guiding Light

It is a very American-centric show, as all Star Trek series including Picard are, but I think you're selling TNG's diversity short:
- Geordi is a prominent black human character, born in Somalia
- Recurring characters include Keiko, with acknowledgements to her Japanese cultural heritage given several times
- Though their characterisation obviously reflects American culture, several white characters are said to be non-American - Picard is French and played by an English actor, O'Brien is Irish and played by an Irish actor, and so on.
- Guinan and Worf are both prominent characters played by black actors
- Many extras seen serving aboard the ship are not white, including some prominently-seen named recurring characters such as Ensign Gates
- Ships have names such as USS Yamato, USS Al-Batani, etc.

I think many of the extras being white (when in reality, based purely on Earth's current demographics, we'd expect them to be in a minority) is due to the production realities of making the show in America. As for the principal cast being overwhelmingly white, you're right and I agree, though I don't think it's enough to scupper the show or accuse it of "close-minded whiteness". We're in a much better position today, where a show like Discovery can offer a fantastic level of representation among its bridge crew - I just wish the scripts were any good...

The classical music thing sucks, not just because it's Western-centric but because it's so boring. I've heard that it was chosen because it's royalty-free and therefore much easier for the producers to include than something they'd have to pay a license for, maybe that goes some way to explain it. I think the cultural references being mostly Western is another fairly understandable product of the show being an American production - we get James Bond and Shakespeare references because they're what the writers know, and they're also widely known enough worldwide, at least in passing, that most viewers can be relied upon to be familiar enough with them to understand the reference.

On the topic of non-Western references, for whatever it's worth, there's a bunch of anime references in early TNG, mostly just in easter egg form. They wanted Wesley to have a Dirty Pair poster in his room, which still makes me laugh thinking about it.

"And there is also the way problems are solved: Picard shows up, gives a big speech and then people agree and we move on. But that is not how these things work. This is how you present it from a priviliged position that assumes that everyone always has to listen to you. In reality, it's activism, hard work and a constant struggle to move a society into a better future. Not just a few well-chosen words. But TNG postulated easy activism."

I don't think that's a fair reading of the show. The Federation explicitly doesn't start from the position of assuming everyone has to listen to them - half the time, Picard has to deal with wanting to help but being explicitly forbidden to do so as a result of the Federation's strict non-interference policies. You also seem to imply that TNG consists of Picard showing up, telling people how to behave, people overhauling their societies to match his demands, and then him jetting off to his next neo-colonialist adventure (sorry if this is an unfair misrepresentation of your argument). That really undersells how complicated TNG could get.

There are relatively few episodes that actually just consist of Picard showing up, giving a speech which fixes everything, and leaving. Much more common are episodes where Picard has to mediate between two groups, episodes where un-ideal (albeit still optimistic) solutions are found, episodes where Picard's/the Federation's starting position was wrong and it's them who end up learning a lesson, episodes where nobody is really in the wrong and it's all about dealing with cultural relativism, episodes where cultural change is effected but it's acknowledged to be the start of a lengthy and difficult process, etc.

"And it presented characters spewing platitudes about inclusion and working together while I.) never showing the reality of that and II.) never showing that 'uplifting others' often means 'taking a step back yourself'."

How might the show have depicted these? If I'm reading your second point right, I think the show depicted this fairly often - the crew adhering to diplomatic protocol and the Prime Directive, acknowledging that their own personal ideals had to take a backseat to cultures they interacted with, because they knew they didn't necessarily have all the answers, nor the right to impose themselves or their values on independent peoples.
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Descent
Sat, Feb 22, 2020, 3:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Guiding Light

I don't remember the direction in Voyager being sexist for the most part - at least not with most of the recurring directors and cast member directors.

If you're not trolling, what did you mean by TNG ignoring the voices of minority communities and contributing to the rise in 2010s right-wing populism? Genuinely interested to discuss this, because your evaluation of the show jars so heavily against my own to the point where I honestly don't know what you're talking about.

As for being "morally myopic" and "naive", yes I do want them to make a series in which most problems encountered can be solved via dialogue and peaceful negotiation, where the protagonists strive to understand their enemies, and where antagonists can be talked down or shown the error of their ways. Regardless of whether or not you think that's naive and inapplicable to the real world, it was Star Trek's identity and what made it stand out from other science fiction, and people are completely within their rights to lament that the current owners of the franchise are more interested in shootouts, irredeemable and thinly-written villains, and recycled conspiracy plots. Even if you prefer the new shows, you can't be that surprised when fans of the existing 50 years of work comment on the major change in direction the franchise has taken.

I agree that it's no good when people argue that the new shows are "not Star Trek" since they of course literally are, but if people instead say that it's no longer the Star Trek they want to see, then I'd agree with them.
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Descent
Sat, Feb 22, 2020, 12:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

Echoing those who say this is the worst episode yet. It's not "my Star Trek" and I don't have any shame in saying that - if Star Trek isn't overall a show about reasonable people trying to find positive, moral and constructive solutions to nuanced problems, it's not for me anymore. The last five episodes are going to have to be really impressive to turn things around at this point.

Of course, not being what I wish it was isn't what makes it a poor show. That's down to the scripts. As others have said, it's a muddled and weak amalgamation of scenes and ideas that other shows over the past two decades have done repeatedly, and done far better.

@Guiding Light

I have the feeling you're trolling because of the extent of the misrepresentation going on here, but this is where you really overplayed your hand:

"The writers have taken a character that was always objectified, that was nothing more than eye candy to satisfy the male gaze of its audience and they've turned her into a feminist icon: A woman who decides how she looks, what she is called and who will not let evil people trample over the lives of others any longer."

Seven was easily the most complex and engaging character in Voyager, and received most of the best plots. The writers used Ryan's outstanding acting range for all kinds of stories - comedy, drama, action, even psychological horror, and she got far better development than any other character on the series, including the EMH.

The catsuit sucked and I'm sure most of us here today would have preferred something else (I always wished she'd stayed looking like a Borg drone, but having to apply that level of makeup and prosthetics everyday would be a nightmare), but if you can't see past a purely cosmetic thing like that and appreciate Seven as one of the best Star Trek characters, that says more about you as a viewer than it does about the writers.

The rest of your post is just odd. I fall under the "minority communities" you speak of and I don't feel like TNG's vision of utopia is exclusionary towards me or anyone else, other than the occasional tedious 80s/90s sexism that creeps into some episodes. On the contrary, the crew's determination to reason their way through conflict made it seem like a world I'd want to live in.
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ST:KitschCard
Fri, Feb 14, 2020, 1:11am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

I commented because Trent found kitsch 3 times in one episode
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Scooby Doo
Mon, Dec 16, 2019, 9:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Pen Pals

Ruh roh, Rhaggy
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Catdaddy in Columbia SC
Thu, Jun 6, 2019, 2:49am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Final Mission

This episode has numerous problems, but the worst is the fact that nobody on 1701-D has any idea how orbital mechanics works. SLOWLY accelerate the stupid garbage scow thing and park it in a higher orbit to buy some time, then go rescue Picard and Whil Whheaton, then come back and get the garbage scow out of orbit using the same technique and send it into the local sun.
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No scarcity economics
Tue, May 7, 2019, 8:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Child

Excuse me, source of the Eichner radiation agitation of deadly substance is what I meant to say.
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No scarcity economics
Tue, May 7, 2019, 8:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Child

You found out Ian was born to Troi to learn the human life cycle? Was this stated in the episode or was the conclusion made from the obvious implication of Ian's existence? I don't recall the child ever explaining himself, besides that he was the source of the "deadly substance", which was called a plasma virus by the way.
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SC
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 1:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

I thought it was a very entertaining episode of The Orville and a clever idea (thanks TNG! Ha.) The twist at the end was a good one.

Perhaps Seth came up with this after dating Halston Sage? And realising their age gap was too much. I think we all like the idea of dating a younger person, but as seen in this episode, we change as we grow older. Could we really go back to nightclubs and immature behaviour?
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SC
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 5:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Kurtzman, "One of the most gratifying things is to see how deeply the fans have embraced Pike, Spock, Number One, and the Enterprise. The idea of getting to tell more stories with them would be a delight for all of us."

Yeah, they've been embraced but what about the Discovery crew? Ha!
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SC
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 5:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

@Tim C. I missed your link. Discovery has been renewed and it's gonna be set further in the future than the show has ever been. Discovery will be outdated tech then!

I suppose that's the last we've seen of Pike and Spock (unless they get a spin-off.)
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SC
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 5:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

It was a really good episode with a spectacular space battle. Did Discovery really need to go the future? Control was defeated at that point. They could have just blown Discovery up.

The ending leaves the way for a spinoff show with Pike and Spock, although we probably won't get one. It also serves as a possible ending for the show if it isn't renewed.

Where exactly has Discovery gone to? Are we gonna see Picard and co next - recast. Are we gonna see the Borg and Q? Interesting.
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Scott Gordon
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 6:16am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

I was worried about young Kelly's rejection at first, but then I remembered that we were told only that he called her at 9:00 AM the next day. It was also implied that this was not an appropriate time to call and was probably a little off putting to most people. So, since Kelly's memory was wiped (Dr. Finn usually knows what she is doing), I convinced my self that in the original timeline, young Kelly probably react by saying that she didn't see it working out, Ed Mercer is very strong willed and probably got her to come around after the initial reaction. Oh well, at least I was able to satisfy myself with this, but I am not very hard to convince.
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SC
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 6:10am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Sanctuary

The last two episodes have earned a 3.5 from Jammer! I know it's like comparing apples and oranges, but in comparison, Discovery has received 2/4.

Yet, The Orville hasn't been renewed yet.
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SC
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 2:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Sanctuary

@Alan Roi.

It would make more sense to air the show on the same day, in the same time slot, every week until all the episodes have aired. Like they do in the UK. Or they used to do, because many of the shows are on US time now (like The Orville.) However, some shows like Magnum P.I. are held back until there's enough episodes to air them without a break.
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SC
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 8:48am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

@Kira Nerys. That guy has probably been rejected time and time again. He's lonely and looking for love. Consider his feelings.

I do agree with you that Pike is the best thing about season 2. However after initially being lukewarm to Discovery, I quite like it now. At the end of the day, it's just a TV show. If you're no longer having fun, maybe stop watching it. Life is short.
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SC
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 5:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Sanctuary

@Perry They take the show off the air for three weeks and wonder why the ratings drop. Stupid networks.
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SC
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 7:42am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

It would have been a good way of rebooting the show! Take everyone to the future - let them face the Borg etc... BUT we all know Spock wouldn't be there.
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SC
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 6:45am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

It's amazing that people keep watching things they supposedly hate. Your life is short. If you don't like Discovery, The Orville, Star Wars, Who, Potter etc... then stop watching them!

I stopped watching Discovery after S2 Ep3 and I was done. But a mate convinced me to give it another go and now I like it. Because S2 is much better than S1 and because the show works better when being binge-watched.
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SC
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 5:56am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

Imagine if Michael went to the future and that's now the show! The rest of the characters are gone. The DISCO haters would really hate that. They could rename it - The Michael Burnham show! Michael TNG.

[I personally don't have a problem with her. I did at first (because the actress was in Walking Dead mode, which might have been me) but I like her now.

Also, to all the trolls who hate DISCO, the Picard show is moving forward. People on YouTube were saying it's been cancelled, but it hasn't. Rehearsals have started. They're pushing it close for a 2019 debut, no?
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SC
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 8:27am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

@TheGorn.

I wouldn't believe anything he is saying. Him and his followers clearly hate the show and call it 'childish STD.' They don't want a season 3 or a new Picard series to be made. Man babies, all of them. If they don't like it, no one is allowed to enjoy it.
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SC
Mon, Apr 8, 2019, 6:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

If the heads of CBS streaming have any sense, they'll drop the planned Georgiou spinoff and replace it with a Pike / Spock spinoff. I worry for next season when Anson Mount is no longer around.

Still:

"Can I have a time crystal?"
"No!"
"I'm not leaving without one."
"Oh, all right then!"

It was poorly written but the future scene was compelling. I don't see why Pike can't change his future if he takes a time crystal. He just needs to be wary and avoid those circumstances on that day. Assuming he can figure it out. In regards to the show, would it be so bad if he managed to change that event and stick around? It would be an alternative timeline and that would be okay.
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SC
Sun, Apr 7, 2019, 7:30am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Perpetual Infinity

I'm from the UK and sadly I am sick most of the time. No doubt part of the reason I want to watch wholesome entertainment. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.
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SC
Sun, Apr 7, 2019, 2:55am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Perpetual Infinity

"Is it exemplary to shy away from the things that plague human existence?"

Yes, I think so, because otherwise you risk glamorizing that behavior and being corrupted by it yourself. As you said, you do not watch Torture Porn movies and I suppose this is because the extreme violence does nothing for you. I wouldn't expect you to start watching those movies. I gave you two examples that the mass public like that I do not. Pornography and extreme horror. You disputed the second point but I don't agree. Men are often drawn to horror because they think they'll be considered a wimp if they don't like it. 165 million (Saw III) from a 10 million budget is very impressive. Then we have to add everyone who saw the movie on home video. There are many, many horror fans. It's probably mostly younger people but older people like them too.

Cody mentioned The Wire and a boy throwing his future away to Heroin. This is exactly the kind of thing I do not wish to see. The world is scary enough without watching this kind of thing for entertainment. At least, to me. It's like the news, there is some benefit to be had from listening to it. But it also reports the most negative aspects of humanity, for ratings. And TV is inherently negative anyway.

I consider Picard to be a role model. He is a man of duty and honour, a good friend, a decent human being. And he drinks Earl Grey, which is a plus :) But as you pointed out, he is flawed. Most people are. Still, in most episodes (as it is nearly always about the job) he is a role model. Nucky and Don Draper are anti-heroes in that, the audience like them and root for them, even though they are horrible people. I've often seen people say they want to be like Don or that they relate to him. He is a product of his time. Compelling maybe, but as Jon Hamm said, don't try and be like Don. Buy a nice suit of you want to, but don't smoke and drink like him, or cheat on your wife.

There are different degrees of being a do-gooder. I have argued with people online who infuriate me, because they get offended at every little thing. Worse still, they pretend to be offended! White men who get offended if there are white men in the cast. Men who think female actresses are hard done by, when there are many successful, millionaire actresses. Making a mountain out of a mole hill. However, you can be a good person without being a do-gooder or being called a snowflake if you don't like something. [The dumbest insult ever.] You can be inspired by people like Picard and Pike (without idolizing them and wanting to be them) and you can watch things with hope and idealism, and fun. People seem depressed these days and part of it, is what they watch on TV. Everything is so miserable and negative.
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