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Philadlj
Mon, Jan 8, 2018, 3:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Requiem for Methuselah

This episode also reminded me of TNG's The Survivors", as Flint has a very Kevin Uxbroge vibe about him, both in his crankiness and his immense power, what with the planet consisting of just his house. Heck, there's even a scene where they dance a waltz! I almost wish Flint had revealed himself to be a Douwd...though he's not immortal and clearly can't perish a civilization with a thought...
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philadlj
Mon, Jan 8, 2018, 9:31am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Despite Yourself

Remembering Tyler drinking what looked like iced coffee (out of a stemless wine glass for some reason) in the mess hall, I suddenly realized...that was a nod to the Raktajino nearly everyone on DS9 got hooked on, right?
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philadlj
Mon, Jan 8, 2018, 9:24am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Despite Yourself

Hmm, pretty solid, bold resumption of the first season last night. We're finally learning more about who Tyler really is, and I appreciate how even L'Rell's Grand Evil Plan(TM) isn't quite going off without a hitch.

Shazad Latif did some nice work here trying and sometimes failing to conceal all of the built-up trauma and confusion stewing within Tyler/Voq.

As Dr. Venkman said, he's "got at least two or three people in there already," and that really comes through in the performance, not to mention the flashes back not necessarily to torture sessions but of a particularly grisly and invasive surgical procedure.

My first reaction to Tyler snapping Dr. Culber's neck, (well, second reaction; first was WTF?!!1) was "well, he's not really dead."

Not only is there likely another Culber in the Mirror U, but I wouldn't rule out Stamets' latent abilities/state of being being used to resurrect the doc. There's too much invested in his character for me accept the shock death.

Finally, I loved how Lorca decided "okay, time to cosplay as our Mirror counterparts"...not to mention how he roughs himself up on a bulkhead (conveniently precluding the need to visit sickbay where poor Dr. Culber could still lying dead where he stood).

I also liked how not only was Tilly not particularly jazzed to play her evil counterpart ("Killy", LOL), she wasn't suddenly *really good* at the act. Put on the spot, she started out a little rough before finding her rhythm. She also seemed genuinely disturbed at the prospect of a murderous version of her out there.

At the same time, we saw that while she was responsible for thousands of deaths and also took out a few Klingons, having to take out a former crewmate in the turbolift (albeit his Mirror version) took a lot out of her in turn.

That wasn't some abstract casualty; she grappled and struggled and twisted the knife, and if she hadn't, it would have been her lying dead in the lift when it reached the bridge. Having to immediately hide her very normal human reaction to having just killed someone was more great work from SMG.

Finally, going in knowing this was a Frakes-directed episode, I loved how swiftly and efficiently things moved, but without wrapping everything up by episode's end.

I'm not opposed to the remainder of the season (or a good chunk of it) being devoted to foiling L'Rell (if her plan ever gets off the ground) and getting back home (preferably with some form of Culber and Stamets still among the crew).

But if it only takes two or three more eps, I won't complain either, as I wouldn't mind the season ending with some kind of resolution to one or more of the arcs rather than another Big Cliffhanger.
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philadlj
Fri, Dec 1, 2017, 10:13am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: New Dimensions

Throughout Ed's crisis of confidence, we kept saying "OMG stop being a whiny little bitch and get over it!"

By the end of the episode, Ed says "I've been a whiny little bitch, but I'm over it."

Good job, Orville!

Also liked the idea that John is actually quite a bright fellow, but CHOOSES not to employ that intelligence in favor of a more comfortable existence.

That being said, glad he got the opportunity to show himself (as well as others) the leadership potential, and look forward to him as the new chief engineer (though I wonder who will replace him at the navigator post? Elevator music guy?)

Kelly came off as a little pushy and meddle-y after looking through John's file and discovering, essentially, his hidden genius, but I actually thought that was appropriate for an XO; as she herself says, it's her job to field the best possible crew for her captain...which segues nicely into her motivation for getting Ed a command - he IS a good captain, it's just that no one, including Ed, was giving him a chance.

Not sure it will happen, but it would be nice to see the "Plant Guy" in action!
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philadlj
Thu, Nov 30, 2017, 9:46am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

I know he's working over at DISCO, but this felt like a Joe Menosky story. They could be good, they could be bad...but they were always WEIRD.
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philadlj
Mon, Nov 20, 2017, 11:54am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

Another fun episode. 3 stars. I like Alara so I appreciated another episode that developed her character further. Picardo was underutilized, but I'll assume a suppose a cameo is all he was available for/wanted to do, so fine.

Though I'm in the middle of TOS Season 2 parallel to this show (Chekov's wig...WOOF!) I felt compelled to watch one of my favorite TNG episodes: "Remember Me."

While there's definitely a palpably creepy nature to the crew disappearing bit by bit, at the same time I enjoyed seeing and hearing the Enterprise without any crew. It's the same thrill one gets from "Starship Mine" or the beginning of "Brothers" when it's just Data on the bridge.

You really get a feel for how big the Enterprise is once it starts emptying out (even though the universe around it is shrinking).
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philadlj
Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 9:21am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

A final report on the "Season 1, Chapter One" CBS All Access Experience

We watched all nine episodes on a laptop with Chrome through CBSAA's streaming service, plugged into our TV with an HDMI cord.

Every episode played perfectly from start to finish in HD quality with no audio or visual studder/stagger or any other distortions.

Needless to say, the quality of the streaming, even on my antiquated Toshiba laptop, came as a pleasant surprise.

My only criticism is that I hated how every episode would cut to black without any kind of closing credit(s), going from the black straight to the previews.

Since I don't like watching previews, it was annoying to have to suddenly avert my eyes and stop the player/close the browser.

I'd prefer if they went straight to the credits THEN show a preview for the next episode. Ah well.

One more nitpick: While the spacebar pauses video for both Amazon and Netflix, neither CBS nor FOX's browser streams have that feature; you have to use the mouse to press the pause button. Again, not a huge deal, but annoying all the same.
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philadlj
Sat, Nov 4, 2017, 8:44am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Into the Fold

The Orville started to find you last week, only to lose you completely this week? Bummer! Fortunately, the next episode will likely be, as Cleese would say, "something completely different."
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philadlj
Fri, Nov 3, 2017, 12:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Into the Fold

@MiaBN - Agree that they could have added a beat in there somewhere illustrating Finn's regret at having to kill.
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philadlj
Fri, Nov 3, 2017, 11:09am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Into the Fold

Regarding Finn's choice to stab and shoot her captors and leaving them to die -

I don't think she had much choice! Brian Thompson (veteran player of hulking baddies on Trek, as well as the Alien Bounty Hunter in X-Files), the actor playing her captor, is 6'3" and well over 200 pounds.

The guy is HUGE, and she needed to stop him quickly and decisively in order to escape, so her options were extremely limited. If she had had her Union phaser I'm sure she would have stunned him and the other(s)...but she didn't.
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philadlj
Fri, Nov 3, 2017, 8:32am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Into the Fold

I'll also add "Into the Fold" is probably The Orville's best episode title so far.
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philadlj
Fri, Nov 3, 2017, 8:29am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Into the Fold

I've been watching the first season of TOS for the first time parallel to both Discovery and The Orville. By happy coincidence, the TOS episode I watched just before "Into the Fold" was..."The Galileo Seven!"

The first Shuttle Crash episode (and just the second episode with an acutal shuttle in it, following "The Menagerie") also involves a strict, logical commander who's not great with emotions having to keep a couple of overly emotional comrades in check, and a mothership trying to find a needle in a haystack with the clock ticking.

While "Seven" was filmed on a familiar soundstage, I appreciated "The Orville" getting back outside. It's unlikely this was intentional, but the environment where they crashed reminded of the California forest near Mount Whitney that was the setting of "The Ascent", one of my favorite DS9 episodes.

I'll also point out that I watched the low-key CGI-enhanced version of "Seven" on Netflix, and seeing the shuttles launch from the Enterprise's shuttlebay, as well as the full majesty of that quasar, really did enhance the viewing experience. I daresay the Galileo, despite being designed to accomodate a low budget, looked better than the Orville's too-cute-for-my-taste design!

I really enjoyed both episodes, with "Seven" serving as the benchmark/genesis of this kind of episode and "Fold" as its latest reimagining. I'm always of the mind that rehashing a cliche is perfectly fine as long as it's well-executed, adds a new wrinkle somewhere, and most importantly, is fun and entertaining, and "Fold" succeeded on all fronts.

I'd give it an 8/10, or 3.5/4 on Jammer's rating scale.
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philadlj
Fri, Oct 6, 2017, 12:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Pria

For those interested, here are Jammer's ratings for the first five episodes of every Trek show (not including Discovery) plus The Orville:

TOS: 2.5, 3.5, 3, 3, 3.5 = 3.1/4
DS9: 3.5, 3, 2, 2.5, 3 = 2.8/4
VOY: 3, 2.5, 2, 3, 3 = 2.7/4
ENT: 3, 2.5, 3, 1.5, 2 = 2.4/4
ORV: 1.5, 2, 3, 2, 2.5 = 2.2/4
TNG: 2, 2.5, 0.5, 2, 2.5 = 1.9/4
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philadlj
Mon, Oct 2, 2017, 11:03am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Context Is for Kings

Look, I get that a lot of people are frustrated that this takes place in the prime timeline ten years before Kirk, but I'm not. I'm going with it, and enjoying it immensely.

It really doesn't matter whether canon is being followed to a T. Would it be nice? Sure; a post-DS9/Voyager-set show would've been nice too.

I'm going to take what I can get. It's Star Trek. It feels like Star Trek to me. It looks fantastic, and there's some great performances among some iffy ones. Most of all, there's Trek-like discussion of morality and humanity's purpose: to better themselves. Of course, survival must come first.

Can't wait for next week, but I'm actually glad we didn't get all the eps at once. Better to let episodes digest rather than binge them all at once.
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philadlj
Tue, Sep 26, 2017, 8:38am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

A few stray thoughts:

- Yes the Klingons are different and perhaps scarier-looking and more hard-line, but considering the age this show takes place in, and the fact the Klingons of DS9 were perpetually bored when there wasn't a war and constantly chomping at the bit to fight and conquer, I for one am glad to see them back as an enemy. At the same time, I was a bit confused why T'Kuvma's command of English seemed to be better than that of Klingon (or maybe his halting speech was part of his particular regional dialect). Also...Albino Klingons are back!

- Where ST:D (ugh, what an unfortunate acronym), or at least this prologue two-parter, excels is actually keeping us aware at all times that these ships are in SPACE, and space is dangerous, with or without Klingons. When battle breaks out, it isn't just consoles that explode in sparks (though of course that does happen); holes are blown in the wall, and for a split second before the forcefields go up, a crew member or two is sucked out (seat belts, guys!)

- Burnham going out in her thruster suit is a nice nod to Spock's trippy excursion in Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Not sure why they couldn't launch a PROBE...interference I guess.

- I realize MACOs probably aren't a thing ten years before TOS, but still...the Captain and First Officer boarding the Klingon flagship with NO armed escort...Saavik would be appalled!

- Really bold move to not introduce anything at all about the titular ship or its crew. This would be as if the DS9 pilot were nothing but introducing Sisko, Jake, the Vulcan captain of the Saratoga, and that Bolian guy, leading up to the Battle of Wolf 359 and ending with Sisko evacuating in an escape pod.

- I have no earthly (or otherworldly) idea how someone convicted of assault and mutiny (albeit completely unnecessary assault and mutiny) is going to end up with her commission back. I mean, it's not like she saved Earth by bringing two humpback whales from 1986 to communicate with a mysterious alien probe!
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philadlj
Tue, Sep 26, 2017, 8:26am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Vulcan Hello / Battle at the Binary Stars

My friend and I bought commercial-free CBSAA knowing full well ST:D would be the only thing we ever watch on it, but that doesn't matter. We've been so conditioned by Netflix, Amazon, et al to watch things without commercials that the CBS broadcast of the first episode, interspersed with loooong commercials, felt like torture (#firstworldproblems I know).

Three stars is fair. The excellent production values and, more importantly, the fact that STAR TREK IS BACK ON TV BABY WOOOOOO makes up a LOT for the fact there were some instances of pretty sloppy writing and bizarre decisions by the protagonist, and the fact Michelle Yeoh was only a "Special Guest Star."
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philadlj
Thu, Apr 10, 2008, 4:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: He That Believeth in Me

That instant when Tigh shot Adama in the eye was a TRIP. Thank the Gods he was just imagining it, but still...

On another note, did anyone catch Colbert's weird Battlestar reference at the end of the Daily Show? Hilarious.
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philadlj
Mon, Mar 24, 2008, 5:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: The Augments

You gotta love how Klingons don't have escape pods...unless the plot necessitates it, of course.
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philaDLJ
Sun, Mar 23, 2008, 8:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: First Contact

Riker getting laid by that nerdy Malcorian nurse - real Prime Directive-y...
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philaDLJ
Tue, Feb 19, 2008, 4:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S3: A Day in the Life

You make a great point - this is a character piece with no character insight.

There's nothing wrong with taking occasional breaks with the narrative and delving into the pasts of the characters we know and love.

But not like this. Not like this.

For gosh sakes, doesn't anyone have a HAPPY past?:)
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philaDLJ
Tue, Feb 19, 2008, 2:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: The Matrix Reloaded

http://wylfing.net/essays/matrix_reloaded.html

The link above sends you to some very interesting essays that de-construct the two Matrix sequels hardly anyone liked.

They're long and heavy on literary and mythological references, but they're entertaining reads, IMO.
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