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Picard Maneuver
Thu, Apr 9, 2020, 1:05am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Birthright, Part I

I realize DS9 has a wild west type atmosphere to it, but I'm still doubtful a Starfleet officer could get away with holding someone over a railing 15 feet up with half a dozen other officers watching.

Loved the wide angle, low shot camerawork during the dream sequences.

James Cromwell is lookin' pretty bad. Did he go to warp 10 and have lizard babies with Janeway, too? It's really more the Janeway part than the warp 10.
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Mark Gubbins
Wed, Apr 8, 2020, 10:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

I'm only watching Discovery now on the heels of having finished ST: Picard. I watched this episode a few days ago, and have finished the season today. And I just can't get over how mad *this* episode makes me. It's not just that they ruined Lorca's character arc by making him a generic Evil Empire man; it's that it was so obvious how to fix it!

This episode could easily have been about Lorca's temptation of Burnham. It's "Context for Kings," part two--seeing through the possibility of abandoning Starfleet principles for some apparently greater good.

"See, Michael, this is what it was always about; second chances, or at least a new life. You think I'm a savage. Are you shocked I managed to masquerade as a Starfleet captain for almost two years? Well, what about you--didn't you get the hang of being a Terran captain in a few days? And I'll bet you were good at it. Admit it: it was beginning to shape you.

And you know what? My time in Starfleet has shaped me too. God knows the empire I'm heir to isn't about fortune cookies, but I'm not all Terran anymore either. What we do changes us, Michael. Forget the past: what we do now makes us who we are. I lied to you about who I was, but not about who I am. You're looking at the most Federation-friendly Emperor this galaxy has ever seen.

What do you have back home? A war to lose; and, if you win, a life to lose--again. I sent the cloaking information to the Federation; they'll be fine. They don't know how much they need someone like you, but I do.

So I'm making an offer to you: join me, and let's make this empire better--more than it could ever be otherwise. Bring the crew--they're worthy, even the non-Terrans--and let's rule this galaxy for peace and prosperity. With you as the new captain, and my right hand.

And their captain will make the same offer to his crew on the Discovery."

NOW we have a character arc that makes sense; a genuine temptation that's been hiding in plain sight all along and pits Michael's new life against that with Georgiou; a chance to put the Discovery crew at each other's throats about whether to follow their captain this far or not; and, when Michael finally chooses Georgiou ("Always second-guessing your current captain, aren't you, Michael?"), the choice is much more charged. (Not to mention the implicit softening of the xenophobia also explains how Spock got onto the ISS Enterprise a decade later.)

There are other ways to play this, but the thematic connections are so stupidly available that I'm just fuming that the writers (or their producers/editors) blew the opportunity this way. Frankly, this was unbelievable: Lorca's pretended character was so much more interesting and deep than Evil Lorca's true character, that it's almost impossible that he himself would not have reflected on how he was a better, happier person on the Discovery.

Apologies for the rant, but I needed to say something to folks who might understand where I was coming from. There's a lot of promise here (especially Saru), and some fun characterization. But this one ruined the season for me. It literally lost the plot.
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marcus
Wed, Apr 8, 2020, 3:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Elogium

man sometimes i think the writers are just a bunch of teenage perverts. were there any women in the writers room? the pregnancy jokes about eating dirt and bugs was just wierd and gross. it seems like they was Kess to be a manic pixie dreamgirl for the show but every thing they do here is just off putting. Neelix is a jealous creep and its boring and likewise offputting. I dont understand what the writers were thinking on this one.
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Nothing but the Tears
Wed, Apr 8, 2020, 10:49am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Andy's Friend

As someone who's not among "younger people" these days, I find your blanket judgement of a whole generation to be pretty unfair and, quite frankly, inaccurate. They have to navigate a complex information and media landscape that is far beyond anything human society has ever had. They've got tons of tools to be creative, many of them online, and they're being used, massively. Growing up is hard, no matter the decade or era. But I imagine it's even more difficult to figure yourself out in times like these, where your every move and action is under the microscope via social media.

And, yes, while some shows spell things out for you, TV, in particular, is a lot more complex and demanding than it used to be back in the 80's or 70's, for that matter. Most shows back then had one story per episode. That's really all you needed to keep track of. And while there are shows today just stretching things out, there are also those that are ambitious, complex and challenging.

Another thing I'd like to point out is that many young people today are much more aware of diversity and equality. These are things that have always been important to me but I'm still shocked looking back at how tone deaf I was by comparison, just like many of my peers.

The final thing I wanted to add is that I don't think it matters how many stories you tell. They have to be worth telling, well told, and the amount of time devoted to them needs to be appropriate. Plus, no matter how good the story, things still hinge on the characters.
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Startrekwatcher
Wed, Apr 8, 2020, 6:07am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Oh and just remembered some more crappy shows—invasion, the 4400, dollhouse

Jericho and terminator the sarah Connor chronicles weren’t too bad
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Startrekwatcher
Wed, Apr 8, 2020, 6:03am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

V 2.0 is another one to avoid.

A few months ago I tried B5 I thought it was garbage. Yes it has a well thought out mythology but the mythology itself is really corny. Bad VFX. Uninteresting characters
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Startrekwatcher
Wed, Apr 8, 2020, 6:00am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Mike

Then you should Also avoid Alcatraz, Wayward Pines, the leftovers and twin peaks 2.0, life on mars, Star Trek
discovery. True blood was a pretty crappy show too.

A lot of these have in common Abrams or Lindelof or Kurtzman all students of the Mystery box and/or artsy pretentiousness—the Leftovers was really bad about this

Supernatural was a pretty decent scary show in the beginning for the first few seasons with self contained overarching season long arcs with standalone format until it veered into meta overkill and camp
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Mads Leonard Holvik
Wed, Apr 8, 2020, 4:32am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Homeward

I just watched this episode and I liked it. I liked the simple, natural ways of the villagers, I like the emotional conflict between Worf and Nicolai, I like how Picard has to make tough choices, I liked Deanna's compassion when Vorin found himself terrified in ten forward, I liked the surprising ending where Vorin committd suicide. I'm not going to analyze ir further to find flaws
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John Harmon
Wed, Apr 8, 2020, 4:04am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Hey Jammer, do you think you might go back to that short review idea you had last year after discovery was over? I’m still curious what it was going to be.
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wolfstar
Wed, Apr 8, 2020, 3:29am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

What would I consider "essential" sci-fi TV? Black Mirror series 1-3, and The OA.
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Startrekwatcher
Wed, Apr 8, 2020, 3:24am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

For all the hype I hear about great sff in last two decades i found most of it convoluted garbage

I’d much rather watch TOS/TNG/DS9 and evenVoyager and ENT, X-Files than a lot of what I’ve heard people talking about

About the only things I would rewatch are Lost S1/4/5, Heroes season one, BSG s1 and some stretches of season three and four

Most of what came out were uninspired convoluted Mystery box shows—vanished, surface, , helix, 12 monkeys, the event, manifest, daybreak, flash forward, fringe, sleepy hollow, the expanse, caprica, blindspot,

I thought dr who was awful Star Gate Atlantis was awful.
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MARCUS
Wed, Apr 8, 2020, 1:01am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Non Sequitur

Man I enjoyed this episode overall but it was very strange.

WHY in the world would Kim EVER leave his hot fiance.... to be stuck in the Delta quadrant is beyond me...

In fact its very hard to read this episode as anything other than Kims closeted and repressed homosexual love for Paris.... theres not a whole lot of other motivation that makes sense given the text of the show

I agree with most of the comments here, making this episode about Paris instead would have worked a whole lot better, he has a compelling and interesting reason to want to get back to Voyager.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Tue, Apr 7, 2020, 11:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Resolutions

I'm with the three-star crowd on this. Not great, but pretty good. Never saw it before tonight.

And do I really have to be the first one to say how incredibly handsome Robert Beltran was at this time? Very classically good looking guy.

Good heavens -- that massage would have only had one ending if that had been me. And let's not forget Kate Mulgrew. Very sexy lady.

So yeah -- I like the sexual tension. Sue me.
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wolfstar
Tue, Apr 7, 2020, 3:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Inside Man

Everything about this episode is very stupid. I agree with William B's review. One of Voyager's bottom 10. The only good thing is Dwight Schultz's dual performance, and the fact Commander Harkins's character has been softened silghtly since Pathfinder. He's fair and understanding with Barclay here, yet still firm.

The early-TNG-style Ferengi are nails on a chalkboard. Harry is out of character - maybe he was this credulous in S1, but not since. Tom and B'Elanna's mean teasing of him is also out of character. Admiral Paris and Troi are wasted. The score is really annoying - the episode seems to think it's much funnier than it is, and many scenes are scored cloyingly whimsically despite the fact that nothing funny or interesting is happening. (It's the worst Voyager score since the awful fake-Irish whimsy overkill of Fair Haven/Spirit Folk.) The beach scene is incredibly stilted, so singularly bizarre that it reminded me of the Crusher/Troi aerobics scene in TNG's The Price - the dialog, direction, performances and costuming are all weirdly off. And Troi is shot more exploitatively here than Seven ever was.

I always mix up this one and Repression, because they're just two episodes apart, both remarkably bad, and both based on the monthly Starfleet data stream being hijacked and repurposed by a dire unconvincing one-off villain from the Alpha Quadrant. But this one is worse - it's the different between 1.5 stars and 0.5 stars. Repression at least has Tim Russ's fantastic performance, and an engaging mystery/thriller tone that sustains interest - it only totally falls apart in the final third. By contrast, this episode starts well but falls to pieces less than halfway through, then somehow keeps getting worse and worse.
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Picard Maneuver
Tue, Apr 7, 2020, 1:41am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Tapestry

If they waited until Enterprise to do this episode and used Carolyn Seymour in it they could have had a Quantum Leap reunion.

I like how Picard dried off instantly after the one night stand old enough to be his mother (of the younger Picard) threw water on him. Then he does a 180 and beds a 17 year old girl. Kinda hard to believe he never added Troi to his harem in retrospect. I guess she's just that annoying. Maybe he tried but he found distracting all the cries of "Pain! Such Pain! Pain!"
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Aaron
Mon, Apr 6, 2020, 12:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Dreadnought

I thought this was one of the best all time Voyager episodes. The only thing that bugged me was...if these missiles were so great, why didn't we see them all the time? Cardassian ships are considered to be slightly inferior to Federation ships...so why should a missile many times smaller than a standard Cardassian ship have such superior shielding and weapons (not even counting its warhead which apparently can take out a small moon).

To me an interesting plot twist would have been if Cardassian had instead modified large asteroids to crash into enemy planets. Perhaps engines would have been embedded and hidden in the asteroids to make them more deadly. That would have been much more sneaky and logical to attempt.
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Aaron
Mon, Apr 6, 2020, 12:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Meld

Not a fan of this episode. Hollywood loves to portray murderers as robots that kill without reason...but in reality almost all murderers have very specific reasons. Usually it is a distorted sense of protection or justice.

The truly psychotic who actually kill for no reason are extraordinary rare and would not have been as stable and eloquent as Suder was...they would have been disjointed, arrogant, and perhaps with a twisted sense of humour. The motive part of the story just seemed to cliche for me.

Tuvoc going mad didn't work for me either. It was too one-dimensional, boring and predictable (like most going mad stories). Tim's acting wasn't top notch...he could have varied his cadence more, used more eye movement, vocal inflections, arm movement etc...even when emotional he came off as robotic. What bugged me was that Tuvoc was only suppressing violent emotions, when in reality vulcons suppress all emotions. Tuvoc losing control should have been more varied and not simply being turned into a robotic killer.
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Aaron
Mon, Apr 6, 2020, 12:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Threshold

This episode wasn't THAT bad. The concept of breaking the Warp 10 barrier was cool as was the concept of occupying all points in space at once.

What hurt the episode were the middle acts where the focus is on Tom suffering from his transformation. It's too simplistic and boring...it also seemed like a horror cliche. Had the transformation to a lizard man happened much faster, it would have been a much better episode. We don't need to see Tom spit out his tongue...

The show missed a big opportunity not to keep Tom/Janeway's lizard kids on board. They could have been pets and the source of many interesting future stories. TNG had spot...Voyager could have had lizard kids.
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P'kard
Mon, Apr 6, 2020, 12:51am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Night Terrors

The Mom-watch of TNG continues with this frankly embarrassing episode. Episodes like First Contact made me proud to introduce my mom to Trek yet shows like Night Terrors make me cringe to watch with my mom. As if she's thinking "He likes THIS?" Macabre feeling. However we both got a great laugh out of Troi's constant, pointless "WHERE ARE YOUUUUUUUU"s when all she had to do was say "detonate chemical now." Truly great unintentional comedy.
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Picard Maneuver
Sun, Apr 5, 2020, 2:20am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Face of the Enemy

I agree with the comment above mine. Many of TNG's scripts seem to be written as if it's unexpected that the episode is ending soon, like they got all the way to filming before they realized it and had to rewrite on the fly.

Regarding Sirtis, as much as I love the show, I've always had problems with the direction. Everybody was bad in Encounter At Farpoint and it's obvious that the actors were just given scripts with some vague notes. It's a little amusing that despite the progressive platitudes, this show was probably below average in giving its females something meaningful to do. This episode was a big exception with the tension between two women being the centerpiece. Even more surprising that Sirtis held her own against a much stronger actress.

I enjoyed Megalomaniacal Troi when she was chewing out the Romulan guy. She also looked good in the sweater thing that I guess was a medical gown or something when she was in sickbay at the end. They brought this woman on for sex appeal and it took them six seasons to figure out how to dress her.

It's a minor thing, but in this episode, Worf is ordered to bring the traitor guy to Picard's ready room, and Worf goes to manually fetch him. Why? Does Picard really expect him to do it himself? There is a moderately tense diplomatic thing going on and Worf leaves the bridge to valet. Can't he just hail someone else to bring the guy to the bridge? It's a tubby, meek, and seemingly broken middle age guy, what's he gonna do that requires a Klingon escort? Softly complain internally?

Hope the Romulan engineer was never found out for leaking the cloak. He's kind of fucked if he is.
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Nothing but the Tears
Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 6:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Wow, over 600 comments. That’s more than the reviews for DS9’s and VOY’s finales combined.

So, I just want to dip my toe into a couple of things. I’ve tried to read all comments but it’s WAY to expansive to provide proper responses to everyone.

I think AI and AC (which I hadn’t hear before) are fascinating concepts. I know not nearly enough about either to add anything meaningful to that debate so I’ll limit it to the scope of the show.

The question then simply becomes, does what we see within this fictional universe feel consistent with what came before and what the show portrayed? Do the outcomes feel like natural outcomes of the story being told? Can I easily suspend my disbelief or do I have to work for it?

So, as an individual viewer, my feelings here are:

- That Data would want to die seems in character to me, especially given how long he’s spent in limbo.

- That Picard would turn him off so quickly, that nobody else would question it, that I don’t buy.

- Again, given what we’ve seen on TNG as well as how little we actually know about the synths and the golem here, it feels to me as though it should be possible to transfer Data to the golem. Bear in mind, I say this not from a scientific point of view, just what feels right to me, in universe.

- Overall, I feel like the foundation for Data’s existence in limbo as well as the reasoning that he basically has to die don’t flow naturally from the story. As others have said, I think it could have been set up from the start if Picard had been aware of Data’s state from the start. It could have been about why Data wanted to go, possibly arguing back and forth, so, in the end, it’s clear to Picard that can’t go on.


As far as great Sci-Fi shows out there are concerned:

- The Expanse is probably my favorite show out there right now. Love the characters, love the look and feel, love the music, love the world building, love how willing they are to shake up the show every season as they follow the books.

- The Man in the High Castle I enjoyed immensely. I thought the world had a really strong PKD feel to it. The casting was great throughout, and I think the nailed the different look and feel for the East Coast vs. West Coast and Neutral zone. Loved the music, too. I think it went too much into Indiana Jones territory in its portrayal of the bad guys but I still thought it was worthwhile.

- I’ve been watching The Orville S1 and I’m enjoying it. It’s not great but entertaining. The feeling I constantly get is that I wish it knew what it wanted to be. It seems to meander rather than fully embracing the idea of an homage to TNG or, instead, being Galaxy Quest The TV Show.

- RDM’s BSG remains one of my favorite Sci-Fi shows of all time. The first episode I saw was “33”, and I fell in love with it the moment I saw that episode. I never looked back.

- DS9 remains my favorite Trek show, followed by TNG. I immensely enjoy re-watching both of them to this day, for different reasons. I love DS9’s cast and massive extended cast. I thought they had some fantastic stories, but long and short form. Not a perfect show but close to my heart. TNG is just great fun to watch. I think my favorite type of TNG story is the one where they’re solving some kind of mystery, just slowly peeling back the layers. I also really like the feeling of ‘being’ aboard the Enterprise. Also, Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner. I like the others, too, but these two always come out on top for me.

- Babylon 5 I recently re-watched and really enjoyed it. The best stuff is definitely somewhere between mid season 2 and mid season 4, roughly speaking. And when it’s strong, it’s really strong. Interesting, too, that it doesn’t matter that the SFX and the production in general can be lacking. I find even S1 is worthwhile, especially knowing what’s to come. The last episodes in S5 are also pretty good, after a weak first half. I could do without the movies, tbh. Somehow none of them clicked for me.


Ranking first Trek seasons, hmm, tough one. Let me phrase it this way, this is how high each first season would be on my ‘would like to to re-watch’ list:
1. DS9
2. TNG
3. TOS
4. VOY
5. ENT
6. PIC
7. DIS

Also, it occurs to me that the order would be a bit different if I just wanted to re-watch specific episodes (e.g. I’m still sort of curious to go back and watch Picard’s pilot but I’m not interested in seeing the whole season again). One thing to note here is that I recently re-watched TNG S1 but haven’t seen TOS S1 in ages so that might be impacting this order. With that in mind:
1. DS9
2. TOS
3. TNG
4. PIC
5. VOY
6. ENT
7. DIS

Oh, also wanted to mention that I wonder what an RDM Picard show would have been like. I'd have loved to see what he would have done with it. Has he ever commented on the show? I assume not. Just curious.
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GarretH
Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 1:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Robert, Data and Picard were working to stop Shinzon, not Nero. Lol

I’ll get in on ranking all of the first seasons on Star Trek series too:

1. TOS
2. DS9
3. PIC
4. VOY
5. DSC
6. TNG
7. ENT
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Picard Maneuver
Sat, Apr 4, 2020, 2:09am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Aquiel

All these scenes with Renée Jones and LeVar Burton and no Emmy for outstanding acting? "i'M sCareD GeoRdi" should have been the clincher. At least the dog should have been honored. It was the best part of the show.

LaForge is such a simp and ironically the opportunistic nice guy women need to be wary of, even though I realize that wasn't what they we going for. She gets him back, though, by dumping him the moment his advocacy no longer has any use in getting her out of murder charges. Not even a cushy job offering does it for her; she wants to get away from him that badly and with a "I'm doing my hair that day" tier excuse to boot.

P.S. Just use a fucking putty knife to scrape some DNA off the metal plate! Jesus Christ how hard can it possibly be? God awful CGI on that goo, too. Yikes.
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Marvin
Fri, Apr 3, 2020, 4:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Jacob

I think the commenters that asked why people continued watching something they disliked becomes more relevant now that the season is over when deciding how to approach next season.

I’ve been critical of the series all season but got invested halfway, so I needed to sit through just to see if I might get some satisfaction. Sorta like deciding whether to finish a new movie halfway thorough. Sometimes I will stop watching a new movie if I really don’t see any upside (I’m referring to non theater movies). (It’s rare for a movie to turn itself around in the last half in my experience.) PIC still had some upside halfway through the season.

Now, if I start watching Season 2, I run the risk of getting invested again in a substandard series. I think my strategy for next season is to look at Jammers stars ranking next to each episode, and if there’s a large preponderance of 3+ star reviews, to only then consider investing again. Because this is a serial, it’s an almost all or nothing affair, compared to episodic where I can pick and choose.

Too many shows on TV now to waste time and frustration. I’ve got a huge backlog to watch. Unfortunately can’t let the Trek brand draw me in either.
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John Harmon
Thu, Apr 2, 2020, 6:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2

I wonder if Hot Dog was ok with abandoning technology after being told his son has renal failure a few episodes prior.
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