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Brian
Sun, Aug 18, 2019, 2:14am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: The Crossing

Trip holding up the slice of white bread and asking "Have you tried this?" is one of my favourite moments in Star Trek.

Otherwise - yeah, fine but unremarkable. So, sure, two stars. Worth watching the white bread moment, though.
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Brian S.
Wed, Aug 14, 2019, 2:28am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Let That Be Your Last Battlefield

>"Unfortunately, the allegory is too preachy and pretentious and fails to say anything except in the very broadest of terms."<

Sometimes, messages need to be preached, and sometimes the broadest of terms are required for it to be heard.

++++

>"Prejudice has many troubling shades of grey that this story fails to acknowledge."<

True point. But this was broadcast in an era where MLK had recently been assassinated and where only six weeks earlier Star Trek had aired the first interracial kiss on US television, to the dismay of some regional censors.

This episode was written for an audience that was still struggling with (and often against) the concept that "Segregation = Bad"

There are absolutely shades of gray to be explored....1969 was not the time or place for those. Hard to dive too deeply into nuance with an audience that barely understands or accepts the basics.
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Brian S.
Wed, Aug 14, 2019, 1:58am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Paradise Syndrome

Watching these episodes through streaming services in rapid succession is jarring....

KIRK: "Hey Bones, this indigenous woman and I just had some stones thrown at us. I'm a little banged up, but apparently none too worse for the wear. Stay with her. Do what you can."

*McCoy scans Miramanee, discovers she's carrying Kirk's child*

(30 Minutes later)

MCCOY: "She had bad internal injuries, Jim. "
KIRK: "Will she live? "
MCCOY: "No."
KIRK: "No? No?!? Wasn't it just 2 episodes ago where you successfully surgically reattached Spock's brain after it had been stolen from his skull?! And now you're telling me you can't heal a woman with a few internal injuries sustained from some rocks."
MCCOY: "Do you want to explain to Starfleet Command how a woman on an alien pre-warp pre-industrial civilization ended up birthing your child?"
KIRK: "I'll love you, Miramanee. Always."










MCCOY: I swear that's honeysuckle I smell.
KIRK: I swear that's a little orange blossom thrown in. It's unbelievable. Growth exactly like that of Earth on a planet half a galaxy away. What are the odds on such duplication?
SPOCK: Astronomical, Captain.
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Brian
Sat, Aug 3, 2019, 12:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Stigma

Okay - do you people not remember original series Vulcans? Who, for instance, use fights to the death to get out of arranged marriages? Paragons of logic and virtue they never were.

And, this was by far Travis' best episode. Perhaps the only time the actor correctly emoted the scene. Anyone wants to slag this episode over Travis' treatment, I got your Kal-if-fee right here.
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Brian
Sat, Aug 3, 2019, 10:39am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Dawn

Jeez, the number of people looking for any excuse to trash Enterprise episodes is staggering. Like, if you hate it that much, just don't watch.

The episode established very explicitly after sunrise the temperature was going to get to ~170 celsius. The Enterprise couldn't have beamed down water. It could've beamed down steam, but i ain't sure Trip would've liked it.
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Brian
Fri, Aug 2, 2019, 8:36am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Precious Cargo

Opening the show with a harmonica solo when it already has the most hated theme song was a brave choice.

Otherwise ... very thing gruel, but better than I'd expected, given I'd seen Jammer gave it zero stars. It's only zero stars if your Star Trek scale goes from 4 stars (Tapestry, Far Beyond the Stars, Body & Soul, etc) to -4 stars (The Child, Code of Honor, Profit & Lace). Otherwise, it's worth a star.

And I thought Lakshmi's acting was on point for the role ... it's just the role being what it was.
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Brian
Thu, Aug 1, 2019, 6:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: The Seventh

Jeez, a lot of people criticising the writers for messing with Star Trek lore when they know little of Star Trek lore.

Vulcans aren't emotionless, they're probably the most intensely emotional humanoids around. They learn to suppress and control their emotions because they're essentially useless otherwise. Think, perhaps, of Picard's breakdown in Sarek - the vulcan emotions totally overwhelm a human who is usually in great control of himself. The kind of meditation, memory suppression, etc. seem exactly like vulcans as we've known then. Field of Fire also comes to mind on that front.
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Brian
Tue, Jul 30, 2019, 12:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: A Night in Sickbay

So, on the one hand, this episode ain't great. A few moments did work for me (I liked the chainsaw ritual, for instance, and did laugh at the makeout funeral), but overall there ain't much substance here.

On the other hand, the number of people who apparently watch every episode, reader Jammer's reviews of every episode, and need to comment about how every episode is the worst episode of Star Trek ever (math doesn't seem to check out there) is astonishing.
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BRiAN
Mon, Jul 29, 2019, 9:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Time's Orphan

uugggghhhhh this was a real drag

At least have Molly go back in time to some interesting civilization that has something to do with the Prophets or gives her some ability or perspective or something. or ANYTHING.

Its preposterous that such a child would survive in an unpopulated planet and even if hse somehow did she would be INSANE. Like even crazier than on the show. It would be un-filmable and this ep almost was as is.

And then the ending is just the thing they should have tried right away, except molly does it herself and somehow thats OK. wtf????

I hope this show picks back up soon. This was a drag....
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Brian
Mon, Jul 29, 2019, 11:17am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Minefield

The number of people who apparently feel this episode was ruined by leaving the line "The transporter room was destroyed in the explosion" on the cutting room floor is surprisingly high.

And I agree - Romulans here isn't lack of imagination or retreading or failing canon. It's really obviously setting up the Earth-Romulan War, which is a precursor to setting up the Federation. Enterprise probably *has* to have an Earth-Romulan War storyline.
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Brian
Fri, Jul 26, 2019, 9:08am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Carbon Creek

Yeah, I have to echo the sentiments above: This is plausibly the best episode of Enterprise (though I myself prefer In a Mirror, Darkly).

I don't get the people who want Blalock spilling emotion around like a drunk juggling a dozen bottles of beer. Early in season 1, her acting was a little clunky, but by this point it's pretty much perfect (apart from Travis, everyone seems to have settled nicely into their roles)
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Brian
Fri, Jul 26, 2019, 8:48am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Shockwave, Part II

So, of course having been a ~20 year old man when this first aired, I might've been a little titillated by Hoshi getting her shirt off, but Enterprise is a somewhat equal actor here.

I don't understand how people don't get when Enterprise is always trying to get people into their underwear, it seems like a pretty obvious attempt to make the show more visceral/primitive; an attempt to present the people in a way that's more animal/less evolve/less intellectual. Bring it closer to our reality as present day humans who still rely a lot on instinct and such. How successful it is varies, I guess, but the decon chamber et al. are messier, embodied, in a way that brings them closer to ourselves.
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Brian
Mon, Jul 22, 2019, 12:04pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Acquisition

Jeez, the number of people who feel every episode must be zero or four stars is staggering. It's a bit of silly fun, that's never truly epic, but has some fun moments, a little bit of character stuff for our trio - I like watching them figure out how to work together, even without dialogue, etc.

It's probably two, two and a half stars. Fine, not great, but not remotely terrible.

I kinda get the impression across all the series that the Ferengi pirates are supposed to be kinda dumb losers; those who couldn't hack it in the world of business or whatnot. So it all fits and makes sense to me (and really, with the Ferengi technologically way ahead of humans, why are you raiding a human ship unless you're kinda dumb and scraping the bottom of the barrel?) - the TNG Ferengi play out pretty much the same way.
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brian
Sat, Jul 13, 2019, 7:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Dear Doctor

I have to say, I thought a Trolley Problem with Genocide on one track, and the eternal enslavement of an entire race on the other on the other was sufficiently unsubtle (in the traditions of Star Trek) that anyone would get it. But, here we are, with a huge number of Star Trek fans asserting it's fundamentally unethical not to take up the White Man's Burden without even questioning whether you're doing the right thing.

And, of course, the episode is incredibly unsubtle about the point that it genuinely doesn't know what the right course. Archer looks at the damn camera and says as much.

Of course, Next Gen having been made when it was, it's unsurprising it and the subsequent Treks take a hard line anti-Colonialism stance. And since in practice humanitarian aid bleeds incredibly easily into colonialism. If you're really, truly ignorant of all of history - even today, we ask "Do we send humanitarian aid to a famine, knowing most of it will end up in the hands of a brutally violent authoritarian government, and keep them in power, even as it mitigates some of the famine?"
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Brian
Tue, Jul 9, 2019, 11:18am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: Terra Nova

"With the gradual dying of some of the older ones, why did the ones who were left behind devolve so drastically? Perhaps due to the radiation? I don't think that was made clear. "

This flawed understanding seems to be the basis of so much of the criticism. The episode makes it very clear that nobody over ~5 years old survived the poisoning, so the dropping of tech, the English with a lot of odd modifiers, etc. all make sense.

It is a little repetitive and slow; it's probably tough to move it along faster and not get criticised from a "You arrive at a planet full of people who think you tried to genocide them, they instantly trust you" angle. Maybe more Novans could've slowly won over one by one to make it slightly less repetitive? More Novan-Novan interactions figuring themselves out? I do like the space travel is new and difficult and we don't know what we're doing mood it's setting for early Enterprise. But ... a bit on the slower and thus boring side.
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brian
Sat, May 11, 2019, 10:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: The Reckoning

oh my gaawwwddd. this is terrible schlock. I dont understand how this show went from Pale Moonlight to then two of the worst episodes in the franchise. I hope this is not a sign of the quality of season 7. zero stars ugh.
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BRIAN
Sat, May 11, 2019, 9:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: His Way

This one was kind of silly and shows how important the ghost of Gene Roddenberry was. People now like to criticize Roddenberrys no conflict edict, but it at least made Star Trek unique and interesting. This sort of tired rom com sitcom episode wouldnt have been the center of an episode in his heydey. Not much science fiction to be found here and not a lot thats interesting to me tbh.
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Brian Lear
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 6:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

^^^
well put but it still sounds like apologizing for a very poorly conceived scene.
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Brian Lear
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 12:50am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Oh I've read the stars explanation page long ago. But then, if they don't mean anything, why do you have a star rating system? Are we meant to skip 1 or 2 star episodes? Because that doesn't seem right. I always recommend people watch all of a good series, even the bad episodes.

The star system seems especially irrelevant with the new serialized format of Discovery, and that's probably all I was picking up on.

Like, are there people out there choosing which discovery episodes to watch based on how many stars Jammer doles out? :)
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Brian Lear
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 9:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Jammer, you're awesome and I really appreciate your balanced take on things. But I feel like you rate Discovery according to a completely different set of criteria. You were extremely tough on Enterprise. And Voyager. You do call out Discovery's mistakes but I don't see that ever translating into your ratings. A show that consistently displays deep logical flaws and over reliance on spectacle regularly pulls 3 star ratings and up?

If these episodes had come from any prior Star Trek series, I feel like you'd be giving them 1.5-2.5 stars max. Yet somehow, Discovery gets a huge pass and I believe the justification is that you review each show on its own merits, and there is a "4 stars for TNG" and a "4 stars for Discovery" and those may be completely different criteria. That's fine, I get that. I just feel like you were much tougher on previous Trek series than this one. You seem to call out all the mistakes, bad writing, and poor execution in your reviews, but it never seems to affect the star rating.

For example, you say this:
"Looking back at the season arc from beginning to end, you see the shortcuts the writers often took and the plot holes apparent in doing so, and few of those are mitigated with what happens in the finale. Discovery's plotting has never been iron-clad, and there's always been a tendency for the series' writers to leave big narrative gaps and expect us to fill in the ellipses with our imaginations. This creates a sense of sloppiness more than anything else, as if the writers couldn't be bothered to put in the time to create narrative clarity and credibility."

.....and.....3 stars.

So, sloppy writing, writers couldn't be bothered, plot holes left gaping open, over-reliance on spectacle, gets 3 stars.

What the hell would they have to do to get down to a 1? or a zero? Intentionally insult the audience perhaps?

:)
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Brian S
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 1:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S1: A Taste of Armageddon

@Richard: "I find it hard to believe that people would voluntary walk into a disintegration chamber.... I would imagine that self-preservation is a pretty strong instinct throughout the galaxy."

++++

The episode addresses this point.

Mea--the hostess--says she has no greater wish to die than Kirk or anybody else, but that to her it's preferable to the alternative.

In war, there isn't just death.....there is pain, and suffering, and mutilation, and torture.

Take, for example, the conflict in Syria. It isn't just the deaths from the bombs being dropped on people. Thousands more beyond just the dead are injured, crippled, left bleeding in the streets. Their wounds can become infected, limbs lost. Among the survivors, homes and schools are destroyed. Basic services disrupted, water systems damaged and non-functional. Supply lines are cut, there are food shortages and hunger. Disease runs rampant with no functional medical facilities to treat it. Soldiers/Rebels tend to be fairly barbaric in personal combat, often taking prisoners, torturing enemies, raping civilians.

War is not sanitary. War creates secondary and exponential unintended suffering far beyond deaths from the primary attack.

And even in killing, not all deaths are brought about the same. Most combat deaths are not instantaneous and painless like a disintegration chamber. People spend minutes or hours bleeding out from bullet wounds or shrapnel. Choking to death on nerve agents. Drowning in the ocean after a sub or battleship is sunk. Having their flesh burned off their bones by bombs. Spending several days agonizingly bleeding to death in your home next to your family under 500 pounds of rubble.

As Spock says, there is a certain logic to a war ravaged civilization wanting to do away with all of those secondary harms. None of the Eminians *want* to die, but given the choice between a horrifically painful death where your face and limbs are blown off and you bleed out in some muddy ditch or a clean instant painless death where you merely step into a "disintegration chamber"......one can see the appeal.
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Brian
Tue, Apr 23, 2019, 3:27am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Issue: unsolvable plot problem

Answer: "let's build a time suit"

Cast members then proceed to hastily construct the single most advanced piece of technology ever developed in the history of humanity, in an hour.

Do the writers seriously believe they can get away with this? Apparently the answer is no, because POOF, it's all gone and classified. How convenient. Voyager crew managed to get transwarp working briefly, but only with some help from Borg technology, and it wasn't without problems and couldn't be relied upon. Star trek is FULL of crazy examples of humans using technology, but NEVER have I ever LAUGHED OUT LOUD at my television as i did the moment I saw the discovery crew racing to put together a....F***ing TIME SUIT! And of course it folds and unfolds like a transformer, because, ya know, it just has to, because the kids won't think its cool unless it has SUPER obviously fake animations. The show doesn't even seem REMOTELY real, AT ALL. There IS tech in Star Trek that is plausible enough to enjoy the show as if it was real, such as warp drive, holodecks, replicators, etc. But a time suit built in an hour? No.

Discovery writers:

"hmmmm, people love marvel movies....comic books...super heroes flying around in suits.....AND people seem to love star trek, time travel.....think...think....what should we do......aha.....F***ing TIME SUIT."

Genius!!
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Brian Lear
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 6:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

I sure would love to see the defenders respond to Galadriels points line by line, since he so coherently put them together for us.
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Brian
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 11:17am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

‘"The Enterprise and Disco have been established as capable of taking a pounding."

Go and watch the season 1 pilot again, and look how fragile Fed ships are compared to this season 2 climax.’

Maybe the Enterprise or the Discovery are tougher? It’s post-Klingon War, so comparing this episode’s armaments to other random ships in the pilot seems illogical.
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brian
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 6:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

well. that was bad. but not as bad as i feared. and not as bad as season 1.


heres hoping they do something interesting with the soft reboot!
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