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brian
Mon, May 10, 2021, 11:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 16: The Rescue

^^^
yea pretty much. Is it well done? Sure. Does it tick a lot of boxes that original trilogy did? Sure. Does it feel more like a live action comic book series? Yes. Does it have anywhere near the gravitas of the OT? No. There isn't enough tension, main characters are invincible. Dialogue is cringe-worthy. Plots are thin. It's really not very good. My 5 year old loves it though.
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BRiAN
Thu, Mar 25, 2021, 5:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Darkling

ugghhhhhh this show

Picardo is wasted on this show. Wish he had been able to be on some TNG. At least he got a DS9 cameo.

Once again its a mess of a show with too many random ideas that only gives surface level attention to all of them
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BRiAN
Tue, Mar 16, 2021, 8:32am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Coda

Wow... after a decent episode in the previous one this episode has me reconsidering whether I want to finish watching this series... it at least proved to me Discovery is far from the first bad Star Trek series.

This episode suffers from what a lot of this series seems to suffer from. Which is- they start with a totally fine premise, and then they veer off into wacky territory. It feels like the writers are either totally bored with Star Trek and need to create overly complex plots to keep themselves from totally checking out, or (most likely) they are just cashing a paycheck at this point and trying to fill runtime.

Its true at this point Star Trek tropes are well established, after TOS and TNG. DS9 managed to be a subversion of DS9. VOY, in my opinion, seems to work best when its an unironic return to TOS tropes, fun, episodic, with straightforward plots. But coming off of the heels of TNG the writers seem to want to do something more without any clue of what that should have been. It doesnt subvert the Star Trek tropes. It doesnt bring in new ideas from other sci fi. Instead, it just mashes a bunch of Star Trek tropes into one plot in a way that can only be interesting to die-hard fans....

The original time-loop premise is a totally fine if overdone Star Trek plot. But doubling down on the sexual tension between Chaktoay and Janeway, or (probably better) exploring the idea of if Chakotay would let Janeway die so he could become captain and have Marquis control of the ship would be a totally good idea for an episode. But then halfway through we veer off into an exploration of just.. Janeways confrontation with death? Which.. yes thats also a totally good idea for an episode. But the budget just isnt there, so much of the action is just Janeway spouting exposition.. and they didnt devote enough time to it!! The funeral felt like a bad imitation of Star Trek IIs funeral. What a mess.

That doesnt even touch on the fact the writer doesnt bother giving exposition about The Phage and other aliens that the audience should really have a reminder about at the top of the episode. Just a lazy, mess or writing all around. This series has me actually considering finishing Discovery instead... at least the effects are good to mask the horrible writing.
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BRiAN
Wed, Feb 10, 2021, 9:30am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Macrocosm

i actually liked this ep. Way more than the last one with Q. Good direction and new camera angles on the same old sets. Kate Mulgew did a great Sigourney Weaver impression. Writers are much better in this genre lane than they are tackling hard science fiction. I wish the show stayed more often in this adventure fantasy lane to be honest, it plays to their strengths more.
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BRiAN
Wed, Feb 10, 2021, 9:15am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: The Q and the Grey

judging by the comments, everyone seems to be on the same page on this one. Uncomfortable gender politics. empty sci fi ideas. What does it mean when Paris is pointing a gun at a Q inside of the continuum? Its just a mental metaphor. Is he pointing a supernova at the Q? Why would Paris even be able to lift the gun if thats the case? Its asinine.

That aside, the premise is icky, and even ickier... im sry but as a captain janeway should rly have taken one for the team to get her crew home..... which is why the whole premise of this ep should be avoided, Esp when you learn its just a finger tickle in a really lame joke,
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BRiAN
Fri, Jan 29, 2021, 5:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

this is the end of the road for me. season one was bad but whatever. season 2 was even worse but i figured they tot the message and were rebooting. I cant b bothered to watch this show anymore. self righteous meaningless garbage. good actors, great effects..... Horrible writing
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Brian
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 9:29am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

“Tilly as ensign???? Don’t even get me started!”

Hah!
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Brian
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 1:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: There Is a Tide...

1. Osyraa agrees to let Vance negotiate terms on behalf of the Federation president.

2. It seemed that even then Vance wasn’t interested in Osyraa’s gestures and perhaps was buying time to de-escalate the situation.

3. Admirals in Star Trek have always had a large amount of lateral political power. In DS9’s “Paradise Lost”, for example, Admiral Leyton becomes a mini-emperor after it appears that the Federation president is inept at handling the Changling threat.
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brian
Sun, Dec 27, 2020, 8:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Su'Kal

"On the whole woke/box checking subject: Many shows do the whole box checking/unrealistically diverse cast thing but still manage to maintain a decent quality of acting and story telling."

The Expanse does this well. The anti-hero protagonist is a really white skinny guy, but there are women all over the place, black, indian, asian, etc. And you don't notice. It just makes sense that in the future ethnicity just wouldn't be a big deal. It never feels like checking a box because every single character is written well.

The only reason it even comes up with Star Trek is because the characters aren't written well.
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brian
Sun, Dec 27, 2020, 8:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Su'Kal

".....The Burn just being an accident is actually fine by me. Disco season 3 has successfully been operating with lower stakes for its mystery arc than prior years, such that even if the Burn plotline ends unsatisfactorily, it's not going to retroactively make the whole season worse for me the way that it has in the past...."

but aren't you pissed off at all the time they wasted, especially early in the season, on it? All that time could've been spent world-building or character-building.
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brian
Sun, Dec 20, 2020, 5:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Terra Firma, Part 2

booming....wtf? Expanse is one of the best shows of the last decade. Literally no one should "skip" the first four seasons. Honestly how could you even suggest that?
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Brian
Tue, Dec 8, 2020, 10:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Interface

The only interesting aspect of this episode is Geordi without his visor and the “Why aren’t his hands burning?” question at the very beginning. After that, there’s nothing engaging about Interface. Even the title is boring. The writer put way too much importance on “But it’s his mom,” and “How would you feel if it was your mom who was missing/possibly dead?” But too much of the episode is handled by telling and not showing, and in the end we’re left with having to take Geordi’s word for it about aliens from a planet that we barely get a glimpse of. The worst part about it is the almost complete lack of emotion from virtually every member of the cast. Bottom line: Too much talk & not enough emoting or actively showing what was going on. **/*****
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brian
Tue, Dec 8, 2020, 12:59am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: The Sanctuary

just wanted to say, these comment sections are getting ridiculous. this isn't reddit, people. Post your review and move on. if you want multiple side threads, go to reddit! Its much easier to navigate than this site. Im tired of sifting through hundreds of posts just to find reviews.
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brian
Sun, Dec 6, 2020, 12:33am (UTC -5)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 14: The Tragedy

this is the first bad episode of the show for me. Schlocky action silly looking robots. Boba Fett member berries. Silly empire scenes with gus and baby yoda. First episode to not really stand on its own. too connected to the serialized plot.

There just wasnt a lot "there" there. nice action scenes but not in service of much. Felt like a typical filler episode of a padded Netflix show. Not impressed with the writing, which was a strong point of ep 1 of this season.
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Brian
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 4:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Schisms

Great premise, very well done in terms of atmosphere, somewhat lacking in payoff. People have mentioned the holodeck scene, which is the highlight of the episode, although even the payoff of that is weak. I’m still not sure what the contraption they built actually looks like. That scene - and others - could have used more closeup shots, more intimacy of what was going on with the aliens. Take the cargo bay incidents. The first breach of the cargo bay looked no more interesting than a glowing duct vent, and all we got was a shot of it from the floor. I like this episode but was left wanting more. ***.5/*****
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Brian
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 11:08am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Thine Own Self

Lots of people upset about the B plot. I don’t blame them; it’s weak and rushed, and I don’t like that Troi essentially figured out what she needed to do to pass instead of showing that she had the mettle to do what was necessary. Still, I like the idea of actually treating her like a member of the system and not just a tag-along emotion machine.

But I want to give a lot more love to the A plot. Spiner’s performance stood out as a nice departure from his usual Data-isms. And I loved the scientist - ignorant of “modern” science but still curious, mildly humble, and open to other interpretations. And the father-daughter pair had a lot of charm.

Not a perfect episode, but I return to it periodically. ***.5/*****.
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brian
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 4:31am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: The Sanctuary

well, if discovery is a roller coaster, seasons one and two went off the rails quite spectacularly killing many people. Season 3, the car just stopped in a flat section. Call the maintenance guy, because were boldly going nowhere. Does anyone smell a rip roaring, rushed few episodes to finish out this remarkably inoffensive and boring season?
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Brian
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 9:00am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Identity Crisis

There is so much I like about this episode: Geordi’s banter with his “big sis,” the slow unfolding of the mystery, the sick bay scenes, and especially the holodeck scene everyone’s mentioned. I even like the aliens, for the most part. Unfortunately, the answer to the mystery doesn’t hold up. The DNA aspect doesn’t pass inspection, and the relatively quick and easy way the doctor had for reversing it seemed highly implausible, even for Trek. Plus, I’m not a biology expert, but it seems highly unlikely that one species would need another, human-sized being in order to reproduce like this one did. That said, I really enjoy this episode and rewatch it periodically. ***.5/*****
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Brian
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 8:44am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Identity Crisis

@Anton

Wow. Calm down, man. David was clearly joking about Miss Universe. Your antipathy is unwarranted.

(Plus, you have no idea if there are beings on other planets out there. Will we ever see them? Will there ever be anything like Star Trek for real? Probably not, but calm down and let us have our fun.)
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brian
Mon, Nov 9, 2020, 12:58am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: People of Earth

Trent that was beautifully written but...you lost me when you brought red/blue politics into it. Classic trek has always appealed to those across the political spectrum, because of its optimism and humanism. You calling this "Biden" trek is divisive and uncalled for. I respect your opinions, but if you truly want to be inclusive, that is not the way to do it.
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Brian Lear
Sat, Nov 7, 2020, 9:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Forget Me Not

They are improving on most all aspects of the show--pacing, writing, directing. It's all getting better and I give the new showrunner credit for that. They're doing a good job. This episode...dare I say it...actually felt like Star Trek. Blu Del Barrio's Adira is fun to watch. She seems like a natural choice for the character and she seems confident. Ian Alexander's "Gray" wasn't as much fun. I thought he delivered an over-the-top, cloying representation of a romantic partner and he seemed out of place and awkward. I'll chalk it up to growing pains and not having chemistry with the cast yet. But Blu Del Barrio didn't seem to have a problem giving a natural performance, so what happened with Ian Alexander? In any event, at least we had a story that felt like Star Trek, and the show IS improving on many fronts. Even the music was better this time out. I guess when you have a somewhat compelling script and new blood in the acting department, the music guys actually have something to go on.

What isn't getting better, though, and it's a big problem, is their reflexive use of the Michael Burnham character. This episode was a particularly egregious example. It's like no one on the show can have their own epiphany or experience without Michael Burnham somehow being the catalyst. I've been complaining about this from the very first episode of the entire show, and it's STILL a problem. Every episode. Every time.

There were a lot of apologies in the scripts lately, from the writers to the audience. They apologized for Michael Burnham giving hollow speeches. They apologized for turning Tilly into a lame caricature ("It's not about "science is cool" comment from Stamets"). So, a lot of apologies, but so far they aren't backing down on Michael Burnham being the center of everything.

Previously, she was the savior of the universe.

Now, she's going to be savior of one special deserving individual. Or perhaps one special deserving civilization, per episode.

The stakes are lower, but it's no less stupid. I really hope the writers have figured this one out and there are only a few more episodes of the Michael Burnham show. I'm expecting an apology from them soon.

2-stars. Everythings getting better but they haven't let go of their major trope yet and it's bringing down the entire show still.
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Brian
Thu, Oct 29, 2020, 7:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: People of Earth

Frakes directing is always better, and so we get less shaky cam, more full scene shots, and fewer extreme closeups. The intro explanation for "the burn" was not satisfactory. We are told that the dilithium "ran out". Then we are told it "went inert" causing any ship then at warp speed to explode. So we have two things going on--A, the universe ran out of dilithium. B, it went inert. So which is it? Or was it both? That seems pretty coincidental. Then we get into the standoff between the Earth Defense Force and the "aliens", with Discovery caught in the middle. It was awkwardly handled, and a bit convoluted. And then they decided to make Michael Burnham the key to a good outcome. I was hoping for something a little different this time, but no, they decided to stick to the formula where Michael Burnham saves the day, the ship, the universe, ever time without fail. It's getting really old, IMO.

This was a well directed, well paced, and well acted episode, for the most part. But the big concepts and premises, to me, are still problematic. The premise of the show seems to be that Michael Burnham and the Discovery are the key to everything, across all of time. They alone have spore drive technology, and it would seem that this tech will be key in allowing them to rebuild..both starfleet, and the federation. That's strange about the spore drive...it seems no one else ever thought of that. I was really hoping they would drop that technology/concept in the jump. Oh well. I think it makes the universe feel very small.

I also feel like they are trying to shove too much story into too little time. There was an entire story here about a group of exiled humans trying to return to Earth. Yet we learn absolutely nothing about them, don't see their planet, etc. This story could have been its own entire episode, but we get just a couple token scenes. It felt like they were there just as a prop to let Burnham and Disco prove to the audience that they know how to instill Federation values.

And so it feels like we are about to go on a fun space romp about the universe, visiting worlds instantly, having Michael Burnham introduce federation values, rinse and repeat. But never actually explore anything in depth, always in a merciless march towards the end of the season which is always just a few episodes away.
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BRiAN
Tue, Oct 27, 2020, 10:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Future's End, Part II

solid two parter with the Tom Paris and Sarah Silverman stuff being really strong.

Didn't really like the way they stopped the paradox or future form happening... I want a clever twist from these types of stories. They just... shot the rift with torpedoes?? Kind of a let down.

Would have been great to have Sarah Silverman stow away and join the cast, have to learn how to adjust to live on Voyager. Ah well. Might have ruined Silvermans comic career, who knows.
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BRiAN
Tue, Oct 27, 2020, 10:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S3: Future's End, Part I

Sarah Silverman really helps make this two parter work. She adds a lot of life to this Voyager crew of wet blankets, and plays off of Tom Paris well. Rumors are she almost became a regular. Would have made the show a lot better IMO, and the show would have been better for it if it took more risks like that.
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brian
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 6:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 1

S03E01

Still more of the same. Most of the episode was a complete mess, full of pointless violence, overdone CGI creatures, and quippy "dialogue" between Burnham and Book. Oh, the future they landed in is a violent dystopia populated by selfish individuals who will do anything for a few credits? That's a big fucking surprise. The whole "guy sitting in office waiting for Burnham to show up" for 40 years felt fake. It had a few nice scenes, between Burnham and Book, that's it. Book is a great character but I wonder if we'll see him much.

The shaky cam is absolutely infuriating. It's like they're afraid if they hold the camera still for a moment, the audience will switch it off. They have no confidence in their product and it shows.

This is going to be like Picard all over again. The promise of "something different" which leads nowhere. It will be difficult watching all the desperate fans fawning over this until they can't lie to themselves anymore.
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