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Ubik
Thu, Nov 30, 2017, 2:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

@Mertov

An excellent post. Lots of valid points made.
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Ubik
Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 5:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

@Slackerinc

Okay; but doesn't that suggest that narrative coherence - plot - is the most important aspect of a show's aesthetic appeal? It's important, sure, but why should it be the ultimate arbiter? What about character? What about emotions evoked? What about cleverness and wit? What about world creation? And what about colours and textures and music? Would you examine a painting and then dismiss it merely because the story depicted offers no satisfying resolution? What about the experience itself, in the moment, of engaging with the work? Doesn't that count for a lot? In fact, isn't that precisely what David Lynch has been trying to teach us with the third season of Twin Peaks?

This episode has a weak resolution. But it also has at least one brilliant moment, our first view of the clown, as he barrels down the corridor and knocks Alara down. It was funny and creepy and surprising, and its success as an isolated moment does not depend on a logical explanation for it. It's about the image itself, the
Juxtaposition of his presence, the speed at which he ran, and then, finally, the punch line that he appeared on the ship's camera. It's a lovely moment of television, skillfully rendered. That the logical underpinning that comes later is unsatisfying does not diminish the impact of that earlier moment. The only reason they even bother to invent a logical explanation is because viewers, who have learned nothing from David Lynch, sort of demand it. It's so clear that, for the writer of this episode, their heart wasn't in the obligatory logical explanation anyway, but in creating a creepy visceral experience. Can't we appreciate art that achieves success in ways other than in the mere narrative realm?
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Ubik
Mon, Nov 20, 2017, 6:40am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

Of BSG and Lost, I will say this: For the first season of Lost, possibly two, it was among the best-written television series we have EVER seen. Be grumpy all you want about the last couple of seasons - it's certainly justified - but that should in no way diminish our pleasure at that first season of the show. To this day, it's miraculously good, in character work, in structure, in theme, in tone, everything -
it's incredible, all around. Fans get greedy about these things. YOU try having a show last 5 or 6 years and keep the standard set by that first season; it would be practically impossible. Many believe it's the showrunners' fault for not having a plan; okay, fair enough. But there is no reason to believe the show would have maintained that impossibly high standard even if they DID have a plan. Yes, the show fell apart, but that's largely because it lasted too long, and because answers are never as satisfying as questions. BSG also maintained a very high standard throughout, and while there were certainly significant dips in quality in the mid-seasons (Balter's arc, for example, plummeted in interest), the mutiny stuff in the end was gripping as hell. In the end, both of these shows, despite their lows, had such high highs that they should still be regarded as the standard for high-quality science fiction television. AND, later shows can even try to learn from their mistakes, which is even better.

As for this episode, it was giddily entertaining for the first 3/4, with a predictable let-down in terms of the explanation at the end. But that's okay. It's fairly easy to guess what the writers did here - they thought up the premise and the conflict, which were cool and well worth doing, and only afterwards did they try to find some semi-workable sf explanation for it, which they sort-of kind-of did. Everything before the explanation is wacky and scary enough, I would say, to warrant a halfassed resolution - why not? This episode is about the tonal experience, and about the character fearing that she has too much fear - so thematically, it was on-point. And yes, by the midway point, the episode was extremely reminiscent of TNG's Remember Me, and perhaps, like many of even the better Orville episodes so far, it suffers by reminding us of a similar, but better, earlier Trek episode. In this case, it's being compared to a semi-classic, so we shouldn't be too harsh on it. For much of its running time, I think it worked just fine.
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Ubik
Thu, Nov 16, 2017, 12:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

This is what I've missed about Trek nerd culture - the fans care SO MUCH about this stuff. Until Discovery, I had to settle for Doctor Who nerd culture, which couldn't be more different. They PRIDE themselves on not knowing or caring a damn about how any of the tech stuff or internal rules work. The Doctor's been one-hearted, two-hearted, half-human, full Time Lord, the Earth has been invaded in 300 completely contradictory ways, humanity has ended in 20 contradictory ways, and no one cares. Not caring is a Doctor Who badge of honour. If you say, "Excuse me, but Daleks don't function that way. In Season 14, it was explicitly stated...", you'll get laughed off the message board: "Stop taking it so seriously! Doctor Who is supposed to be fun!!" Here, it's like, "Ahem, but that is NOT how a Klingon cloaking device works." It's a fascinating contrast. :)
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Ubik
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, 5:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

Not to mention depicting a main male character who is suffering PTSD from having been sexually assaulted. Some of these criticisms are purely hyperbolic - this show has done plenty of original things, and many of them well.
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Ubik
Sun, Nov 12, 2017, 12:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Cupid's Dagger

Hey, I also like Move Along Home!
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Ubik
Sat, Nov 11, 2017, 7:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

@Skupper

The reason, I think, that you are having trouble making your point clear is because it's wrong. It's not that you're failing at eloquence or persuasion; you're actually doing fine in that regard. it's just that your initial claims are incorrect, and that's why no one understands what you're trying to say.

There was no intent to "surprise" by Stamets brushing his teeth with his husband. None. It would be no different than just introducing the fact that ANY character is married by having a scene in their home. The existence of that marriage doesn't need to sneak up on us by first introducing scenes in sick bay, or having the character mention their husband a few times first. A show can simply introduce the existence of a married life by having scene take place at home, between the married couple, which is exactly what it did. You are claiming the series was attempting to shock or surprise in some way, and there is absolutely no evidence of that. And, I suspect (and here is where you'll say I'm wrong), that if this had been a first scene between an engineer and his wife, you would have thought nothing of it; it never would have occurred to you to suspect they were trying to surprise you.

Second, Tilly is in no way less 3-dimensional, at this phase, than any other Trek character ever was by episode 8. She is, actually, significantly more characterized than, say, Worf or Troi or Riker were by the 8-episode mark in season 1. Did we demand better characterization by that point to justify even using Troi as a character? No - we just said to ourselves, "Okay, they haven't given her much yet, I hope they add more later." And that is all one can fairly say about Tilly. That she is probably on the spectrum does not obligate the writers to offer more justification for her existence as a character than would be required if she weren't on the spectrum. You appear to be demanding more of the writers from this character, faster, than you would require of them from a character that was more "standard," like Riker.

No one here, I believe, has accused you of hating minorities or anything. I certainly don't. But I do believe, by the arguments you have made, that you are creating expectations for these so-called "diverse" characters that you would not have had for the old fashioned white, straight male characters. Because they are "different" in some way, you have narrower or higher expectations for how they are introduced, and characterized. If they were more "standard" characters, there wouldn't be so many hoops for them to jump through in order to meet your expectations. That is just an observation on my part.
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Ubik
Sat, Nov 11, 2017, 12:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

@Skupper

I think they only made Lorca a straight white male to check off that box. It's like they're saying, "Hey, look, a straight white male!" In fact, that's the same reason Shatner was cast as Kirk in the original series, just to fill some kind of quota of straight white men. I hate when writers do that. Can't they have come up with the personalty and values of Kirk first, before they decided they were going to make him a straight white male? If you think the writers didn't deliberately decide, in advance, that Kirk was going to be a straight white male, before deciding anything else about him, then you're living in a fantasy land.
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Ubik
Sat, Nov 11, 2017, 10:37am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Cupid's Dagger

@Darren

A good post, and I agree with the nuances of your assessment, particularly that Yaphit is guilty of harassment, but not guilty of assault.

The only thing I will add is that I wouldn't hold my breath for an apology or realization on Yaphit's part. The comedy here is aiming at the level of a teenager from the 80's - the joke is how different and strange-looking and gross Yaphit is. That's the punch line, the source of the humour: look how gross he is! And he's trying to seduce her! Eww! So, yes, we aren't meant to see him as a person, per say, and his harassment is meant to be funny and irritating and disgusting, and not something we should take seriously or judge morally. This is clearly problematic, which is why none of that plot has worked yet, and I don't expect it to be redeemed with any last-minute epiphanies from Yaphit, either.
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Ubik
Fri, Nov 10, 2017, 6:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Cupid's Dagger

@Josh

Yeah, this isn't even ambiguous. In real life, pheromones do not remove your ability to choose. This blue alien FORCES people to want to have sex with him. That is proven when those same pheromones are used to take two bitter enemies and MAKE them fall in love/lust with each other. There was never any doubt in his mind that it would work. It was GUARANTEED to work, even on bitter enemies. That proves it removes the free will of the individual. But only for a few days. And then, once those days are over, and the pheromones wear off, their free will comes back, and they will remember that they actually hate each other. So it also removes their memory of their own actual desires. And yes, it is very strongly suggested that these two men had sex, or definitely will in the next couple of days.

So, clearly these pheromones MAKE people, without their consent and without their ability to stop it, desire sex with whoever got them on you. It is exactly like a love potion right out of Shakespeare or Greek myth (hence the title of the episode). The episode WANTS us to understand that these people had no control over their actions. That is the source of the "humour" in the episode (measly as it is.)
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Ubik
Fri, Nov 10, 2017, 2:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Cupid's Dagger

Oy. A bad episode. We clearly aren't meant to take any of this seriously, but just as is often the problem with The Orville, it wasn't funny enough to NOT be taken seriously. There was no great humour here. Just low-key, cliched, old-hat stupidity. So, it's stuck in that in-between, where the writers can write sloppily, and then defend it with a, "Just kidding! Don't take so seriously!"

And yes, the whole thing was rapey. Look, love potions go way back and have a long and respectable literary tradition. It worked for Shakespeare, after all. But the reason Midsummer Night's Dream still works is because none of the characters are actively doing it to any of the others - the lovers are all victims of the fairies. That's the humour. They're victims. They're not perpetrators. If, in Midsummer's, Puck threw a love potion at someone to get them to fuck HIM, that wouldn't be funny anymore. That would be gross. Also, in Midsummer's, they don't fuck. They just chase. It's the chase that's funny. Shakespeare knew that. Most classic comedies know that too. This episode, on the other hand, thinks that people being forced to have sex against their will is funny. Maybe, in a comedy written by geniuses, it would have been. Here. it was not.

Here, this blue guy knew exactly what he was doing. It is certainly not the first time he has been around humans, and he knew what effect his hormones would have on others, and then he had sex with them anyway, knowing HE had caused them to desire him - gross. Really gross. If some alien consciously got you drugged enough to fuck him, you would be messed up for LIFE. Here, it's played off as a gag. The Captain's not mad. The XO's not mad. It's all in good fun. Yech.

I am generally of the opinion that almost everything is okay, as long as it's funny. Offensive humour, envelope-pushing humour, taboo-breaking humour, it's hard to argue with any of it if it's funny (since humour, almost by definition, requires the pushing of boundaries.) I have, truth be told, heard a funny Holocaust joke. I have heard funny slavery jokes. I have also laughed at rape jokes (one or two of them, to be bluntly and topically honest, told by Louis C. K.) But this episode just wasn't funny enough to get away with any of those choices. There was no brilliant insight behind the choices, no social consciousness, no shocking irony; the rapiness was not wielded for any great artistic or comical purpose. It was just the product of a lazy plot and the need for a quick resolution. It leaves a very sour taste.

Beyond all that, the episode was unusually uninvolving. Normally the silliness and triviality of this show is still entertaining in a guilty-pleasure sort of way. Not here. This just felt trivial.
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Ubik
Thu, Nov 9, 2017, 2:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Into the Fold

@Yanks

Against my better judgment, I am shlepping myself into this discussion....

"Having respect for your mother doesn't require much effort or self control."

I am not sure what role you played in the experience that taught you this
wisdom (were you the fortunate mother? The respectful child? The neighbour smiling on from afar?), but know that you, my friend, are among the blessed few. If only the rest of us could be so blessed.

Speaking for myself, a father of two beautiful girls, I can only say that parenting is HARD, and it often takes much more "effort and self-control" than my poor children can muster to show some respect to their mother (not to mention their father). In my less blessed experience (and the experience of literally every other parent I know), children are often terrible, and uncontrollable, just like the ones in this episode. And while we're on the subject, allow me to add to the chorus of people here who believed that the depiction of these children in this episode was refreshingly unfiltered and realistic. Anyone who thinks it was over-the-top or exaggerated has lived just as blessed and miraculous a life as Yanks here has, and I envy you immensely.
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Ubik
Thu, Nov 9, 2017, 10:20am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

@Peter G

I would just like to offer a slightly different perspective regarding these questions of continuity, and it's a practical one.

When Nicholas Meyer was asked to direct Wrath of Khan, he sat down and watched all 79 episodes of the original series. His conclusion, a fair one I think, is that they are about 1/3 great, 1/3 mediocre, and 1/3 awful. He chose Space Seed as a jumping off point, and the rest is history. In terms of continuity, he only had to manage reconciling 79 hours of television with his new film, and even with that comparatively small number (it's not, but I'm getting to a point), there are some major continuity errors in Wrath of Khan, some accidental, and I'm sure some deliberate. First, as we all know, Chekov never met Khan in Space Seed. Huge mistake. I'm sure it was an accident. More deliberate, I think, is the entire change in tone and attitude of the show. Starfleet now seems much more militaristic than it ever did during the original series. The bridge of the Enterprise may as well be a different room, a different ship, a different organization entirely, it seems so different. Carol Marcus was never mentioned before Wrath of Khan, and yet, in the series, there absolutely were episodes in which Kirk is nostalgically remembering "the woman who got away," and it's not Carol. It's other women.

If the Internet had existed back in '82, I suspect Wrath of Khan would have been deemed a betrayal of everything Star Trek used to be. Doesn't Meyer care about continuity? Couldn't he have used someone instead of Chekov? What's with all the submarine imagery? Starfleet is supposed to be on a mission of peace! And why didn't they use what's-her-face instead of this brand new character, Carol Marcus? Meyer clearly doesn't care about continuity, or the show, or its fans.

And that's with only 79 hours to worry about! I'm sure Meyer did his best, and still that massive Chekov mistake got through. Now, can we imagine expecting any new writer of Discovery to sit down and carefully watch all 7000 million hours of Star Trek, as we all have, and ensure that nothing serious, in any of those 7000 million hours, gets contradicted? That would be an utterly unreasonable expectation. These are professional writers, not Netflix bingers. What seems like an obvious contradiction to fans is often likely just an honest mistake. I guarantee these writers haven't watched Voyager or Enterprise religiously, and never rewatched all of TOS, TNG, and DS9 in preparation for this show. So they're bound to contradict things everywhere. It's inevitable.

As for deliberate changes, often they work just fine. Cochran is completely different in First Contact than in TOS, and that's totally cool. In fact, I would offer that Wrath of Khan is just as different from TOS as Discovery is from, say, TNG, or DS9 was from TNG. These sorts of drastic attitudinal and tonal changes happen every once in a while in the franchise, and they have been a part of Trek's appeal ever since 1982.

I guess what I'm saying is, accidental contradictions are utterly inevitable, even massive ones, because there are literally hundreds and hundreds of hours of Star Trek, and we want our television writers writing, not watching TV. And as for deliberate contradictions, even massive ones, they are not only acceptable but encouraged, provided they lead to good storytelling. (As to whether Discovery's deliberate changes have lead to good storytelling, I'd say the jury is still out, though you can't claim they aren't trying.)
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Ubik
Wed, Nov 8, 2017, 3:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

To answer your question, I think Orville "demonstrates" how out-of-date that narrative and structural approach to television is by working, as far as it does, specifically as a form of kitsch. It stands out, deliberately. It is meant, by design, to harken back to an era 20 years lost. That is the difference between The Orville and Enterprise, the latter of which was legitimately trying to write a new tv show, and failed to understand how dusty and stodgy its storytelling attitudes had become. The Orville works better than Voyager or Enterprise merely on the basis of being in on the joke. This isn't a dig against The Orville - I am enjoying it. But a large part of that enjoyment is relishing how old-fashioned the show is; indeed, that old-fashionedness is a large part of what it's trying to sell. I suppose a parallel example might be Stranger Things - it mainly works precisely because it harkens back to an earlier time, and alludes to that time, and requires knowledge of that time on the viewer's part. The nostalgia, just as with The Orville, is a necessary part of its aesthetic appeal.

In fact, The Orville episodes that work the LEAST are the ones that forget they are writing a deliberate reference to an earlier time. Whenever it starts to play it too straight, it becomes cliched and maudlin. The cracks show. The out-of-datedness becomes an obstacle, rather than a selling point. If you catch my drift.
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Ubik
Wed, Nov 8, 2017, 12:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

@Peter G
@Shannon

Peter, here is what I'll give you: it would be nice to know for sure that Tilly has Asperger's. Because then, as you say, it could be an inspiring message about people on the spectrum overcoming their obstacles and excelling. On the other hand, I can imagine the struggles the writer's room would have trying to stick that exposition in there without it seeming either awkward or After-School-Special-Message-of-the-Week. It must be incredibly difficult to stick that information into the show, I think, without it screaming "Inspirational Message!" So I have sympathy for the writers, if they chose to leave that out. With that said, I am 100% certain that both the writers and the actor of Tilly have Asperger's in mind. I am married to a woman with Asperger's, and one of my daughters is fairly close to having it, and I suspect it would be absolutely clear to anyone who has experience with it that Tilly has it. So, for me, her presence on the show is extremely inspiring for my family, and a sign of contemporary notions of diversity.

The same goes for Stamets being an openly gay main character - we cannot underestimate how inspiring that is for gay Star Trek fans, and other fans who care about gay representation. Again, in an ideal world, it wouldn't have to be such a big deal, but unfortunately, it still is, and it's wonderful to see a 3-dimensional, well-written, well-acted gay man starring in a Star Trek show. In regards to where they're going to take it - given them time. It's only been 8 episodes!

As for colour of the skin being a valid factor in diversity, obviously "merely" how you look OUGHT not to make a damn difference in how we view that person, but the fact of the matter is, it always has, and still does. Sisko's blackness was not, with a couple of exceptions, a major factor in his characterization (it became more so in the later seasons, with the Holosuite episodes and his visits to New Orleans), but the representation of a healthy black father-son relationship WAS absolutely inspiring and amazing, all throughout the series. The colour of his and his son's skin alone spoke VOLUMES. Complex three-dimensional representations of people of colour are STILL important markers of diversity, and we should not dismiss that. We may all agree that we wish it weren't important, but I can guarantee you that for Star Trek fans who are women of colour, having Michael Burnham be the lead of a Star Trek show in 2017 is a godsend.

So, I guess what I'm saying is, this cast of characters is actually intensely diverse. Star Trek was behind the times for the last decade or two in that respect, yes, but this show has caught up very nicely (again, using a more modern notion of what diversity means.)
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Ubik
Wed, Nov 8, 2017, 11:00am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

@Peter G

I believe you are underestimating the value and significance of having a black woman as the lead. You are also, I believe, underestimating the value of having one of the leads be a member of a male gay married couple. It's not about quantity - it it were, you could say Uhura counts as much as Michael Burnham, which is clearly false.

Furthermore, Tilly is probably on the spectrum, striking me most plausibly as having Asperger's.

Tyler, whether he turns out to be a Klingon or not, is at the moment a lead, and he's not a white guy. Latif is part Pakastani, part English, I believe.

And Saru is as alien here as Odo was on DS9 (he has more in common with Odo than Data or Spock, I think). So, if Odo counts, so does Saru.

And it's a smaller cast of main characters than the previous Trek shows. So what do we have, among this smaller cast? A black woman, a gay man, a woman with Asperger's, a part-Pakistani man, and an alien. No diversity? Demonstrably untrue. You have listed or implied several factors you deem relevant in regards to diversity - nationality, political persuasion, religion - and while those are all valid factors, to limit it to those is arbitrary. Are nationality or culture or religion the only kinds of diversity? Perhaps in the 60's, nationality was mainly how people framed their questions of identity, and hence we have Scotty and Chekov. But in 2017, identity is framed in much more personal terms - namely, gender, colour, sexual orientation, mental disability. See? Exactly what we have on Discovery. Nationality is almost beside the point in our much more globalized world. It seems to me that, rather than merely imitate the TYPE of diversity found on earlier shows, the showrunners here updated their notions of diversity to better match our current 2017 notions of diversity.
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Ubik
Tue, Nov 7, 2017, 8:15am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

@MadManMUC

I agree, of course, that TOS and TNG were inspiring, that they were idealized worlds, that they made a whole generation or three of people want to be part of that world, or want to be scientists or engineers. That was absolutely valuable and awesome, and I would never want to lose either of those two shows, for anything. I was certainly inspired by TNG in my own way, as it surely was a factor in my eventually choosing to teach science fiction for a living.

But a TV show, or any work of literature or art, is not your rabbi, or your priest, or your social worker, or your mother. It is under no obligation to be inspiring. Some art is. Much of it is not. Discovery in no way erases TOS or TNG from existence - those inspiring shows are still there, and because of the glories of Netflix, can continue to inspire millions of people in the generations to come. I am already showing TOS, episode by episode, to my 8 year-old daughter.

But Discovery, at least for now, has no intention of being inspiring in that way. It's not interested. It's interested in doing other things, other valid and valuable things, and if we are to be fair reviewers of this work, we must judge it on how well it achieves its OWN goals, not the goals that we, because of our own personal preferences, have a priori set for it. You can say you don't like this new direction. You can say you prefer if Star Trek would continue to be inspiring. Those are perfectly valid expressions of personal taste. But they are not claims about the quality of the show itself. That would require us to judge it on its own terms, its own merits, given its own ambitions and goals.
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Ubik
Tue, Nov 7, 2017, 6:42am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

@OmicronBetaDeltaPhi

"Which of these two series has a more professional crew? Which crew has a stronger moral compass? Which series has better plot logic and more believable science? Which series is better at tackling issues in the best tradition of Star Trek?"

Alright, being a watcher of both shows, I will tackle these for you.

More professional crew? It depends on your definition of professional. If you mean "competent," as in, who would I trust with my life more, the answer is Discovery, no contest. These guys are clearly better trained, smarter, more mature. They have had to confront more difficult choices and events, and they have come out in one piece, events that likely would have lead to everyone on the Orville being killed in about half a minute. If you mean, who follows the chain of command more, than the answer is The Orville. Of course, to be fair to Discovery, the people in Orville have been involved, on the whole, in much lower-stakes decisions, and so haven't really had cause to question orders. So, The Orville crew is more obedient, and more cohesive as a crew. The Discovery crew are more competent.

Which crew has a stronger moral compass? It depends, again, what you mean. If you mean, who has acted, so far, in a way that is obviously and clearly moral, making decisions that are non-controversial, that even a Kindergarten student could easily agree with them? The Orville. These are good, wholehearted people (aside from the wife's affair, of course), well-meaning, friendly. They haven't really faced any major high-stakes decisions (changing the sex of the baby was probably their most morally contentious issue), and so their morals haven't really needed to be tested. So, in a universe in which we are counting objectively moral decisions, the Orville crew wins this easily. On the other hand, the Discovery crew are more deeply troubled by their moral decisions. Michael and Saru are clearly haunted by decisions they feel they have had to make, in extremely complicated and ambiguous situations. They are affected more deeply by their moral consciences, and they are more aware of the difficulties involved attempting to live as a moral being. So: who has made the objectively more moral decisions? The Orville crew. Who has more understanding of the real-world complexities of the moral universe? The Discovery crew.

Which show has better plot logic?

Neither. Both shows have had trouble along these lines. It is possible that The Orville wins slightly here, if only because the plots have been simpler and less ambitious: less room for mistakes.

Which show has more believable science?

No idea. Not a science guy. You'll have to ask a science person. As a casual viewer, I have found the Discovery science more believable so far, but that's due to narrative style, pace, character interactions, skill at inventing gobbledygook technobabble, seriousness with which the science is taken by the characters, etc. In other words, it's a question of style. For a casual, non-science person, I suspect The Discovery seems more scientifically plausible. It is entirely possible that, the more about real science a person knows, the more The Orville becomes the more plausibly scientific.

Which shows tackles issues more in the tradition of Star Trek?

The Orville, hand-down. It more closely resembles the type of issue, the approach to the issue, the way of resolving the issue, of earlier Trek shows than Discovery, which more closely resembles other non-Trek properties we have all seen. This is not a qualitative judgment on my part, of course, because there is zero obligation, artistic, moral, aesthetic, commercial, or otherwise, for Discovery to do anything at all "in the tradition of Star Trek" - I am just stating it as a neutral fact. The answer to this question is clearly Orville.
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Ubik
Sun, Nov 5, 2017, 9:26am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Into the Fold

@OmicronPhetaDeltaPhi

See, it's interesting that some of these moments (like the BOOM) communicate to us as "authentic" or "how it would really happen". It's a quite effective illusion. The truth is, perhaps the biggest WEAKNESS of the show so far is that these characters react in a completely UNREALISTIC way, given who these people are supposed to be.

The reason no one on TNG would ever react by yelling "BOOM!" is because, in order to get that far in the institution and be given the responsibility for piloting a starship, that level of emotion and spontaneity would have been trained the hell out of them. There is a reason why astronauts in real life are rather bland individuals - because it's a deathly serious and dangerous job, and the slightest mistake, even taking your eye off the ball for a second, could mean the death of literally everybody. TNG people seem blander than real-life people, but that's because only the very-serious and the most-mature could ever hope to be given the responsibility of running a starship, and having that high-stakes a job.

So, while I am certainly enjoying the seemingly "authentic" feel to these characters' interactions, ("now entering glory hole" absolutely made me laugh, despite myself), I recognize that the authenticity is an illusion. This is how athletes might genuinely sound winning a football game, maybe, or MP's winning political points in the British House of Commons, but trained astronauts, having to survive against alien adversaries, the elements, and the great unknown in the terrifying deeps of space? In my opinion, it's not likely any of these guys would have gotten past their first year of training.
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Ubik
Sat, Nov 4, 2017, 3:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

@Geekgarious

You believe that Babylon 5's superiority to DS9 is as obvious and incontrovertible as Nemesis and Enterprise's inferiority? No way. In fact, John Clute, literally one of the 2 or 3 most admired sf critics in the history of science fiction, in the multiple-award winning Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, argues that DS9 is better than Babylon 5. That doesn't mean it's a decided fact, and that isn't the reason I also believe DS9 to be superior, but it does suggest that the jury is still and will forever be out, and that suggesting DS9 to be superior to Babylon 5 is in no way a controversial claim.
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Ubik
Sat, Nov 4, 2017, 1:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Into the Fold

Wow, Jammer's been grumpy about BOTH new series so far. :)

Yeah, 1 or 1.5 stars ought to be saved for offensively awful stuff. This benign bit of predictable character work is nowhere near as awful as all that . This was just...earnest. And well-intentioned. The stuff with the kids reminded me EXACTLY of my own kids, so I thought it was refreshingly realistic, and the moment when she cries that she can't just let her boy die had me legitimately moved. The guy who kidnaps her was played well, and a few moments with Isaac either got a laugh or a quick pull on the heartstrings. None of it was original, surprising, or essential, and none of it was horrendously bad. It could easily have been a midrange Voyager episode, but with slightly edgier comedy. On that score, it's probably a 2 or 2.5. But for those who are already sold on the world of The Orville, this will, I am sure, be a perfectly fine use of their time.
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Ubik
Sat, Nov 4, 2017, 1:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

@Riker's Beard

Thank you!
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Ubik
Sat, Nov 4, 2017, 8:48am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

@Steven

"I think the people who defend position number (2) need to explain to us what the new "vision", the new coherent narrative or style is supposed to be. Because if they can't do that, then we have a strong indication that the new series is without artistic direction and a product of mere "copy and paste"."

I think there is an unintentional straw man argument going on here on your part. I don't think anyone here has argued that this show is offering something new IN TELEVISION. It's just something new for Star Trek. At its time, TNG was obviously more different from other television shows at the time than Disc is to other television shows now. DS9 was also more different than its contemporary television shows (with the exception of Babylon 5, its inferior competitor) than Disc is to other contemporary television shows now. So, no, I don't think anybody here can offer you evidence that Discovery is pushing the envelope of television itself, the way that TNG and DS9 did in their times. It's just pushing the envelope for Star Trek, and doing it well.

But anyway, I don't think that's a fair comparison. Battlestar Galactica has happened. Game of Thrones has happened. Discovery has far more competition, even within the science fiction and fantasy genres, than either of its big brothers ever did. But fair or not, you are right if one of your beefs is that Discovery is not as original in its time, as compared to other shows, than TNG or DS9 was.

But "copy and paste"? You say that like it's easy. You think it's easy to do what other people have done before, and to do it well? Force Awakens, being a very good copy of what others had done before, was a very good movie. Blade Runner 2, doing very well what another movie had done equally well before, is also a good example. Most copy-and-paste attempts are awful (see Voyager and Enterprise, and almost every movie sequel made before about the year 2000.) If Discovery is the Star Trek franchise's attempt to do their own quirky twist on Battlestar Galactica, I say they've had a very promising start.

So, is Discovery doing something of what Battlestar Galactica already did? Sure, absolutely, but with a tone and texture all its own, with its own character, its own unique feel. And that's what I think Discovery has done especially well so far - it doesn't FEEL like Battlestar; it's lighter, less self-serious, quirkier, even a bit stranger. Unlike you, I am really enjoying the setting, the characters, and the tone of Discovery so far - I enjoy spending time with these people, I am excited to spend time with them next episode, and I like the world they inhabit. I have affection for Saru and Michael and Stamets. I feel like I know them already, but am excited to learn more. Lorca, for his part, scares me and fascinates me. Is all this original in television history? No, of course not. And it's obviously not as strong out the gate as Battlestar was, but Battlestar was an immediate masterpiece, so again, I think that's an unfair comparison.

What Discovery is doing so far is making a show that, yes, fits into modern sensibilities, and is doing it with confidence, a fair amount of chutzpah, and some very competent character work. I haven't enjoyed a Star Trek show this much since DS9 went off the air, and like Jammer, I believe the criticisms of the show on this site have been vastly overstated.
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Ubik
Thu, Nov 2, 2017, 5:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

@Del_Duio

Oh, hey, I'm a massive Deep Space Nine fan, don't get me wrong. I just meant that, by episode 6 or 7, even that series hadn't already created at so many really compelling characters. Kira was the best out of the gate, Odo and Quark had great potential, Sisko's story was awesome at least on paper, but there is something about the quirkiness and uniqueness of these Discovery characters and the confidence with which they are already written and acted that I think is rare in Star Trek this early on. I'm not trying to put one down in order to bring the other up. This show has a long way to go before it can compete with Deep Space Nine, as a whole. It's just that Lorca, Saru, and after this most recent episode, Stamets, are such FASCINATING characters to me. I'm just reveling in the wonderful character work.
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Ubik
Thu, Nov 2, 2017, 4:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

@Peter G.

Hey, see what you just did there? Because Discovery is risky, by not being like previous Trek, it's actually risk-averse, and if only it had been more risk-averse by being like TNG, it would have been riskier. Hah! Clever man. Also, up is down, and black is white. :)
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