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Brandon Adams
Thu, Dec 31, 2020, 4:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: There Is a Tide...

Anyone else notice those three little maintenance bots having gold, blue, and red eye colors? I had to grin.
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Adam E
Sat, Oct 10, 2020, 2:25am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Nor the Battle to the Strong

When I started watching the episode, the narration seemed a bit jarring. It's quite unusual in an episode to have a character directly voice his internal feelings.

The episode progresses, and the main conflict of the story is revealed: Jake thinks he's a coward. He thinks he's done wrong my Bashir. He's praised for being a hero at the end, but he acted only out of panic.

But then he writes a story out of it. The narration we've been listening to for the whole episode IS that story. The moments he's been telling us about his cowardice, are also him telling Bashir, Sisko, and the world about it—a courageous act.

It's a brilliant episode. It says so much about what courage is, and can be. There is profound courage in admitting one's failings, revealing one's vulnerabilities even when one doesn't have to.
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Wed, Sep 16, 2020, 4:46am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S1: Colonial Day

Only just started watching this episode. They are going to let a terrorist stand for president. Their law allows this. The terrorist has support over the president who has dragged the fleet out of hell.

I'm not sure what the writers were smoking sometimes, this is a total non-story. They need to stop with the idiotic, super-PC terrorism stories. You CANNOT fight anything except your own populace with political correctness.
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Adam E
Wed, Sep 16, 2020, 1:11am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Rejoined

The comments above are just so perfect. There's one idea that's repeated over and over again by commentators. I'll pick the best version of it and address it:

Eddie, in 2019, writes, "In the episode 'Dax' it is established that when a Trill joins with their host a new personality is formed. While the personality has memories of the host and the Trill it is still considered a new, unique person that is, in effect, neither the host nor the Trill. In this episode, it is explicitly shown that the Trill's personality still exists and exerts massive influence. We now have a contradiction."

It's so amazing how close they come to understanding the story, and how their prejudice blinds them to it. Yes, they're two new Trill! They're two new individuals!

And yes, they fall in love!

These are two women who have a full and complete romance apart from their status as joined Trill who's past hosts shared a life together.

They're not just resuming their marriage. In their first few meetings, sure, they resolve an issue from their past live's marriage. But after that? It's all new connection, separate from their past shared life: They share a new interest in Klingons. They share a new interest in science. They have a great shared sense of humor, and they're obviously deeply attracted to each other. Their attraction jumps off the screen.

Lenara is perfect for Jadzia. If they hadn't had shared a past life together, it's obvious to me that they would fall in love. There's no doubt about it.

But someone who views homosexuality as taboo wouldn't see all that. They'd see a "contradiction," as Eddie so eloquently put it. There's no contradiction if you believe that same-sex romance is possible.


That's why this episode is just perfect for 1995. My parents, especially my mother, hated homosexuality. They were all-in on the culture war. This was the era of Don't Ask Don't Tell, The Defense of Marriage Act, and gay sex was illegal and actively prosecuted in many states, ours included. I recall numerous times when my mom complained about the lesbians and gay men she knew in our life.

My parents hated gay people thoroughly, and did their best to impart that hatred on their children. But we all watched Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. We all watched this episode, and not just one time.

This episode was fine, to them. They see this as a story of a ghost from the past. They don't see the gay romance, because they don't believe gay romance is possible. All they see is a sci-fi romance.

Their kids, I think, saw the message. Both myself and my sister have totally left that prejudice behind, and I can't help but wonder if it's due, in some small part, to Star Trek episodes like this one.
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Adam E
Mon, Sep 14, 2020, 3:32am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

I re-watched this just now, at age 34, for the first time in oh, at least 5 years.

I viewed it quite differently than I did before.

Yes, the episode pulls at your heartstrings. Yes, it makes you cry, over and over again. It's sad watching someone's life get destroyed by the loss of a loved one. It's sad watching them fail to achieve their goals. It's sad watching them die alone.

I am not sure there is much more to the episode than that. I'm not sure what the point of it is. Should Jake not have spent his life working out how to save his father? Sisko seems to wish that he had. Granted, that's super interesting from a science fiction perspective, but I'm not sure how much it reveals about us.

In some ways this episode reminds me of a terrible trend in modern television, of dramas that do little more than languish in horrifying, depressing situations: Think Handmaid's Tale or 13 Reasons Why.

I'm glad this is a rare episode in DS9's run. I understand the value in reflecting on the possibility of living a life that you're not happy with, and dying alone; I recognize the poignancy of a story about losing someone you love. But I'm glad that Star Trek usually doesn't have too many of those stories, and suspect that's why it's still incredibly popular as a whole today.

As others have said, this episode is great for people who don't like Star Trek. For me, for the first time on this rewatch, I found myself thinking it's not for me.
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Wed, Sep 9, 2020, 3:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@ Boomer

Oh dear, I don't know what tangent you're off on, but let me clarify my point.

My comment was largely about Lower Decks. You know, this being the Lower Decks discussion. Your comments about Discovery/Picard have no relation to what I was talking about so I am going to ignore them.

A trailer is designed to give you an idea of what the show is about: its characters, its themes, its content. If you watched a terrible trailer for a film which in your opinion showed you nothing you wanted or expected to see, but which you found triggering in terms of being annoying/contrary to reasonable expectations/unfunny, what exactly is your motivation to watch that film? If the trailer trying to sell it to you is a chaotic mess, in my opinion you'd need a screw loose to reasonably expect anything better from the product. Yes, bad trailers exist for good films (cf. the entire 1980s), but the trailer failed its duty, try harder next time.

Perhaps grasp the point of my post before heading off in some other direction, please.
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Wed, Sep 9, 2020, 12:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

I am in the UK so note sure I am even allowed to watch this yet. All I can go on is trailers and Youtube clips.

From what I've seen, it's an abomination compared to the Star Trek I grew up with. It appears to be absurd and immature (for me to call something immature it's got to be REALLY bad). I see nothing but scenes of characters yelling at each other like a stupider and more obnoxious version of the Goonies. I see constant scenes of a black woman humiliating a wimpy, disrespected-by-all white man (the new TV trope?). I see a starship wearing Terran Empire colours.

It appears to be a failure on every level. It disrespects the source material; the canon; existing fans; human intelligence. It appears to disrespect and dislike white men. What, are we all racist, sexist oppressors? Maybe I am blanking out during these human rights atrocities I'm supposedly committing.

I really don't understand who modern Trek is aiming at. Clearly not men; clearly not long term Trekkies; clearly not people with intelligence or dignity.

I've gone back to ENT season 4 - later-season ENT is starting to look like Trek's last gasp, like an Indian summer that leads straight into the arms of a long and bitter winter.

I've gone back to BSG and will be starting The Orville soon. BSG does dark scifi without swearing or excruciating, violent horror, and inclusiveness without coming off as some kind of social justice crusade. The Orville apparently does exploration and humour without simply retreading old ground.

The best Star Trek you can see today is anything other than Star Trek.
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Tue, Sep 1, 2020, 6:26am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S1: Bastille Day

Ah, the "prisoners must be treated like kings and have more rights than the people they raped/robbed/murdered". Typical Western hand-wringing, from the days before our world went crazy with West-shaming. The human race is on the verge of extinction. Any labour force has been wiped out and the remaining humans are bogged down with a hundred life or death problems. Let's make sure that the hardened criminals who gave the middle finger to society are cosseted in bubble wrap and given every chance to elevate themselves. That way we can make up for the immense shame of what previous generations (not us, but people long dead) did. Because what happened 200 years ago somehow reflects on us and we need to be taught a lesson, even though we've done nothing wrong? Just get the bloody prisoners on the asteroid and shoot those who riot - these are the end times and you cannot afford to carry those who would destroy you.
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Mon, Aug 10, 2020, 8:34am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Invasive Procedures

I'm halfway through this episode. Star Trek hasn't exactly shone in the villain of the week aspect, and Verad is an example. His acting is terrible, the delivery of lines was stiled and I was embarrassed every time he opened his mouth. This isn't just because of how the character is written, it's how he was played - badly.
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Adam Marsland
Mon, Jul 27, 2020, 2:19am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Silicon Avatar

Brent Spiner is miming real guitar chords during Data's guitar sequence, but it doesn't correspond at all to the music we hear.
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Bill Adama
Sat, Jul 25, 2020, 11:44am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Dismissing a show outright from a trailer is just silly. If you are a real Star Trek fan you have to give it a chance even if it looks and sounds different than what you are used to.
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Brandon Adams
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 11:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

While I, too, am turned off by the sophomoric and socially useless appearance of this show, I kind of have to ask, where else is Trek supposed to go?

Science fiction is played out. All the popular tropes are done to death, and it was Star Trek that pioneered many of them, or brought them to the mainstream.

Special effects are played out. Nothing looks amazing anymore, or elicits gasps of "how did they do that?"

Allegory is longer-lasting because there's always social shortcoming to address. But that carries the risk of being too heavy-handed. Plus, you need something in-between the topical episodes to leaven everything and, well, see the discussion above on tropes and special effects. Also, allegory is something that can really only be supported by one series. You can't do it with five.

Character shows are good, but again, you need something to leaven, and again, tropes and special effects.

That leaves self-reference as the last place for the show to go, and as you said, that's rapidly reaching burnout, too.

I dunno. We're reaching an apex of cultural creative boredom. Like that deserted way station in the Q Continuum. In every genre, all things have been done. Trek is suffering just like everything else.
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Adam Marsland
Tue, Jun 30, 2020, 6:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Icarus Factor

Boy, did the Japanese dialogue during the martial arts sequence suck. Atrocious. I didn't even recognize it at first.
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Mon, Jun 29, 2020, 12:24am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Innocence

What I found unbelievable was Tuvok explaining that Vulcans believe in some sort of soul that survives death. That is an epic fail for a race that prides itself on being logical.
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Adam B
Fri, Jun 19, 2020, 11:04am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: Dramatis Personae

These season 1 episodes are short on any sort of explanation for what happens in the episode. Why was Sisko building a clock? (Also, I find the way he just says "A CLOCK!" hilarious) Chalk this one up to another random alien for which we know nothing about. It's just like If Wishes Were Horses - the aliens leave. But mister alien? Can we learn anything about you? "No, maybe next year."
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Tue, Jun 16, 2020, 1:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

^ P.S. What I meant by "reactions of the other actors" is that the rest of the cast are gathered around asking Brooks, not Benny, if he's alright when he collapses.
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Tue, Jun 16, 2020, 1:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

In the What We Left Behind documentary, it's revealed that Avery Brooks really did have a breakdown in that famous/infamous scene. As others have said, those are real tears on his face. But what I didn't see mentioned in the comments is that Brooks was so into the role that he really does fall to the ground and is too distraught to stop acting. A lot of the reactions from the other actors in that scene are real as well, and apparently after the camera stopped rolling Brooks was still upset. I was never bothered by the "acting" in the first place -- as others have said, real breakdowns aren't pretty on film -- but I'd say the episode deserves four stars purely for the fact that we are watching a black man have a genuine breakdown over the issues this episode explores.
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Sun, May 24, 2020, 2:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Twisted

This episode is a masterpiece because it has an incredible revelation: there's a turbolift that goes to engineering!

4 stars
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Fri, May 15, 2020, 5:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Precious Cargo

This episode was better the second time I watched it, when I reluctantly, after many years, bought season 2 on DVD. Season 2 is generally horrible with only a handful of episodes that can remotaly be considered "good".

The first time around, I couldn't believe that this sort of predictable, cliched rubbish was still being made.

Don't give up if you are watching this show for the first time. Things vastly improve and the show finally starts to adhere to its concept. Reviewers were so jaded that they rate the two later seasons lower (much lower) than they should have done. Season 3 is a tremendous improvement and season 4 is like a different show, the only Trek apart from DS9 that remembers its characters live in a bustling, exciting universe.
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Wed, May 6, 2020, 3:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S4: In a Mirror, Darkly, Part I

ENT season 4 is, with one or two exceptions, utterly gripping. Out of all the shows from the classic era, I actually think ENT S4 has got better with time. It embraces the Trek universe so deeply it is clearly being written for fans, by fans, and it breaks my heart to know there will never be a season 5.

What's ironic is that Picard and Discovery seem to take the gloom, violence and anti-Trek ideals of these mirror universe episodes, and builds whole new series out of them, while modern audiences bay for more violence, more twisted storylines, basically more Game of Thrones style horror and pessimism. In the Trek universe? Really? Where humans are supposed to have outgrown the mess that we are today?
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Sun, May 3, 2020, 5:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Sub Rosa

This is one of those episodes that makes Xena: Warrior Princess look like it was aimed at intellectuals. Why did TNG make its female characters so desperately boring? Someone early in the comments mentions Voyager, and to be blunt VOY did Troi much greater service than TNG ever did (actually, it did Barclay greater service too). Crusher had a few good moments in ST: First Contact and the episode where she is alone in a bubble universe. However, she will always be known as the one who got fingered by a ghost.
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Brandon Adams
Sat, Mar 28, 2020, 10:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

It is amazing, and somewhat comforting, to see how much mileage Star Trek can wring out of two of the worst narrative missteps (Hobus and Data's death) in the franchise's history.

Kurtzman in 2032: Have you been pining for an epic four-season Jonathan Archer series somehow stemming from the removal of Icheb's eyeball? Have we got a show for you!!!
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Fri, Mar 20, 2020, 6:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

@ Lynos

I think the way that Jurati's crime has been handled is inexcusable. She had a mind meld with a half vulcan that showed her some bad stuff. She agrees to be a spy (and maybe more?). She meets up with her ex lover, and kills him. Why did she kill him? Was it because he had created androids? If so it was premeditated. Was it to prevent him from making more androids? What makes her judge, jury, and executioner? It certainly did not seem like a crime of passion. So that leaves what we would call murder 1 in most states. The Picard from TNG would have put her in the brig with a guard, not let her run around free on the ship and a planet. Makes no sense. I am surprised Patrick Stewart, as executive producer, went along with this. No wonder no one listens to Picard anymore. Just this one item has ruined the show for me, unfortunately.
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Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 7:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: The End Is the Beginning

I want to modify the tone of my previous post. I was tired, ill and in a bad mood when writing it.

I stand by all points I made, but I did try watching the next episode. Picard is not as bad a show as I made out, but it's not what I would call very good either. It's taken Picard and Seven in a dark direction I would not have gone, as I don't believe either of these characters would have turned out that way. Seven of Nine is basically Aspergers and you don't get aspies flying around killing people and blowing shit up, especially when they have a close family teaching them positive values like co-operation, emotional regulation, the need for obeying laws etc. Also... I just hate seeing cherished characters who've lived miserable lives for no reason other than "dark modern drama [TM]".

The show picks up after episode three. It's still generic, agenda driven, plot driven and disappointing compared to what might be, but it is leagues above Discovery. The need for TNG's message of striving towards utopia is needed now more than ever. Trek has abandoned this core tenet, and the world is a little bleaker for it.
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Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 7:55am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: The End Is the Beginning

In this show so far we have the usual modern agendas.

* Mysterious and powerful female character, inspired by the Hunger Games, who the galaxy revolves around? Check.

* Female empowerment shown by every character in a position of power being female, and a female character kicking the shit out of four men at once? Check.

* Everyone who demands better than this is a sexist misogynist? Check.

* Everyone is racist (for not wanting to help their oldest enemy, the sneaky tyrannical race who annexes worlds and starts wars)? Check.

Other problems with this show:

* Unnecessary swearing because Game of Thrones? Check.

* Complete rewrite of Picard's character to make him an old, bitter, forgotten failure a la Mulder in new X Files, which was also crap? Check.

* Foot-draggingly slow pace featuring a confusing storyline, with an additional B-plot that so far doesn't make sense? (Romulan Empire captures a Borg cube and immediately invites species across the galaxy to inspect it??) Check.

* Dodgy acting, even from Picard, who in ep 3 appears to be reading the script and veers from looking like he's asleep to bursting with energy? Check.

* Multiple variations of Starfleet uniform, a la Star Trek Online, when Voyager and TNG have already shown us what the uniform should look like in this time period? Check.

* Complete failure to show us what happened to any of the TNG characters after Nemesis, because the new show is completely plot-driven? Check.

* Complete absence of any notion that Picard may have married Dr Crusher? Check.

* Extremely shallow Easter Eggs such as Picard going into some room with mementos from the final season of TNG and the films? Check.

* Mass hysteria and automatic 5 star reviews by all the internet because that's how we do things these days? Check.

* People defending it by saying "Trek has moved on from the 90s" because the show has ejected everything that originally made Trek a success? Check.

Honestly folks, if you think Picard is a five-star show, watch your favourite TNG episodes again. If you think this is telling a good Borg story, watch Voyager's "Dark Frontier". If you think modern Trek is good because "The 90s are old", you missed Trek's best era regardless of how many times you call people "boomer".

I don't want to see any more of this tired, painfully derviative mess, which appears to have Picard flying around in an ENT-era ship. We had better than this. The modern era killed it off and it's not coming back.
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