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Buckbart
Fri, Mar 19, 2021, 10:57am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: The Emperor's New Cloak

It’s always fun to observe that Jeffrey Combs gets to stretch himself more than any actor in the series. This is a terrific Combs role, and I wish Ezri wore leather more often. Other than that, agree that it’s a disappointing final journey to the alt-u.
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Buckbart
Fri, Mar 19, 2021, 10:51am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: Prodigal Daughter

Stepping away from the driving force of the season gives me a chance to really appreciate the guest spots in this one. Kevin Rahm and Leigh Taylor-Young are terrific in helping to build this Ezri backstory, even if Norvo’s persona makes him the obvious villain.
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Buckbart
Thu, Mar 18, 2021, 11:27am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: The Siege of AR-558

I loved Armin so much in this one. Quark went through so many emotions, fear, anger, rage, his typical skeptical observation, and most especially love for who he would certainly call his idiot brother’s misguided son. I yelled when he downed the Jem’Hadar soldier.

I really wish it could have been 10 minutes longer so we could see Quark deal with his PTSD.
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Buckbart
Fri, Feb 26, 2021, 5:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: The Begotten

Anytime James Sloyan shows up in Trek, good things happen.
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Buckbart
Fri, Feb 26, 2021, 11:30am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Rules of Engagement

The last line is the best one. “Wait until you get four pops on that collar. You’ll wish you had gone into botany!”
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Buckbart
Thu, Feb 25, 2021, 2:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Coming of Age

Commander Remmick is the most intriguing character in the story. Were he and Quinn corrupted before or after this point? If it’s later, and he was sincere about wanting to serve on the Enterprise, would he have made a good fit? He’s definitely detail-oriented and efficient. Too bad we didn’t get to know him better, like Admiral Nechayev.

One of the best Wesley episode, as he actually has to look inside himself and deal with how he got here.
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Buckbart
Tue, Feb 23, 2021, 1:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Rules of Engagement

I like the story and especially the presentation. The characters reliving the scenario and interacting directly with the camera while stepping out of the scenario is effective and draws you in. My only real problem is that we've been over the fact that Worf has had every rank. privilege, and holding that was Klingon stepped away. The idea that they could demand the return of someone they don't recognize as a real Klingon is a step too far, and should have been Sisko's first argument.
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Buckbart
Tue, Feb 23, 2021, 10:25am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Crossfire

Every time we get some of that good "Louis & Rick" banter, it makes me happy. This was one of the best.
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Buckb
Fri, Feb 19, 2021, 11:38am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

Except it wasn’t “just a dream.” It was a real-life problem that caused Jake to become a scientist and devote his entire life to solving. And he did.

Complaining that you don’t like them getting a second chance is the same as saying that you have no regrets about your life with your father and/or kids (congratulations on that, because you’re the only human ever to experience it) and also that you think the series would have been better without Sisko from this point forward. So ... okay on that front.
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Buckbart
Mon, Feb 1, 2021, 11:09am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S1: The Storyteller

It's lightweight, and does an okay job building the Jake-Nog and the O'Brien-Bashir friendships. In hindsight, it would have been awful anywhere other than season 1. The only trouble I have is the same old story - how were the Bajorans able to mount an insurgency when they consistently show how they are so easily swayed and quick to change their minds about anything? I always wish the writers would have made them stronger and more capable.
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Buckbart
Thu, Jan 28, 2021, 2:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: Clues

The only thing I dislike about this episode is the Casual Way, Picard suggests data would be stripped down to his wires, after passionately defending his right to be an individual in Measure of a Man.” If Data still has rights, then he could be drummed out of Starfleet, even imprisoned. But not destroyed. It’s disappointing for the writers to put those words in a friend’s mouth.
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Bucktown
Sun, Dec 20, 2020, 3:35am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Terra Firma, Part 2

@MidshipmanNorris -

Yes I mostly agree with you. I do think that because Discovery is mostly made and written by Hollywood insiders, it suffers from all the pitfalls that brings. And yes, while there is a competitive aspect of it (and absolutely a serious gossip culture), a strange thing about modern Hollywood that many people might not be aware of - everyone (at least in the creative realm) is nice now. Too nice. As in, so nice that nobody really gives honest opinions anymore for fear of being pegged an asshole.

This could have something to do with the problem - everyone constantly congratulation one another about substandard work without ever challenging one another in the writers room. I've heard tale from Trek days of yore, and while Rick Berman was probably an asshole, he did seem to draw some good material out of those writers.

But at the same time, you have to have talent to begin with. Alex Kurtzman is a deeply untalented man, and as they say, failure starts at the top. There is no vision for this show whatsoever. Nothing. It is a void. It has no voice. No originality.
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Bucktown
Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 3:26am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Terra Firma, Part 2

@MidshipmanNorris -

You've done a good job breaking down and doing a level 5 diagnostic of Discovery. I agree with just about all of your analyses.

1. I really think this may be the original sin of Discovery's failure when they first developed the dark tone of the show. It's hard to ever change that once it's been established from the get go. There is absolutely nothing in Discovery (or Picard, for that matter) that a kid could grab onto. There's no inspiration. There's thousands of engineers, scientists, doctors, etc. who have cited Star Trek as a main motivator of why they chose to work in their field. There will not be 1 single person in the future who cites Discovery as the reason why they work at NASA. I have absolutely no clue why Kurtzman and CBS decided to go this route. Did they think edgy would get cool people to like ST?

2. Yes, you hit on this one too. I don't think many on here or even the vast majority of viewers object to any of the myriad of identities and representations on the show. I certainly don't and it's in the one thing in Discovery that you could point to that's traditionally Trek. But they way they do it just feels off, like a kind of tokenism. There have been great opportunities to evolve and explore characters backgrounds - like Adira wanting to be referred to as "they", which could have been an entire episode about their Trill identity. But no. It just lands with a dull thud. Instead, we only explore Michael's identity, which still makes absolutely no sense to me. A human, raised by Vulcans, who we're told off the bat is one of the most cold and logical Starfleet has ever seen, yet who we only see weeping from scene to scene for the past 3 years. Huh?

3. The special effects, while well done and expensive looking, don't really add much to the story without any soul or imagination. What new piece of technology on Discovery has been interesting or worthy of great special effects? What has sparked inspiration? Mushroom engines? Sorry, but honestly Mario Kart has inspired more culturally with mushroom engines than Discovery ever could.

I think 4 and 5 are both victims of the same stupidity - treating Star Trek as if it is a superhero story. It steals all of the same story and emotional beats from your average Marvel movie. And Michael is our Iron Man. These writers just wish they were making some comic book hero vs. villain story, and I place the blame of that solely on Alex Kurtzman. It's all he knows and the only story he's ever done. He has no imagination beyond it. He was and always will be the wrong choice to ever spearhead ST. He's even tarnished the reputations of great literary scribes like Michael Chabon. Please show him the door, Paramount!

6. Despite an entire essay worth of complaints about Discovery, I think I honestly hate the incessantly cloying and over-sentimental score in EVERY SINGLE SCENE to be the thing I hate most about the show. Just give it a f'ing rest for 1 goddamn minute, Jeff Russo!
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Buckbart
Thu, Dec 17, 2020, 5:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Lower Decks

There isn't one thing I dislike about this episode. Not one.
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Bucktown
Thu, Dec 17, 2020, 4:40am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Terra Firma, Part 2

The nice thing I'll say about this episode is that it was well paced/directed with a simple, semi-coherent plot, and Michelle Yeoh did a good job with what she was given. For that alone, it stands above most of the other Discovery episodes.

But why, oh Guardian of Forever, do we keep getting these overly long, emotional farewells on this show???? There's been like 47 since episode 1. Not one of them has ever been earned, including this one.

Also not teasing the audience at the end of where Georgiou ended up after passing through the portal is total BS. Do they not want us excited about whatever her potential spin-off show is?

Or are the rumors true and all of these show may be getting cancelled if CBS can't dump them off on Netflix? If that's the case and I was a Netflix exec, I'd only take them if CBS canned Kurtzman and the other 57 producers, lest they'd be endorsing total hackery.
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Bucktown
Fri, Dec 11, 2020, 5:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Terra Firma, Part 1

God this show is such a mess. I don't even think the people who write it know what it is.

As a teacher, it reminds me of when students have nothing original to write in an essay and just end up remixing the same paragraph over and over again.

Shouldn't Paramount hire writers who are EXCITED to write for Star Trek and represent the future???
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Buckbart
Tue, Nov 24, 2020, 5:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: In Theory

As much as I like the plot, I just can’t get past Data suddenly using contractions. Especially such trite ones as “Honey? I’m home!”

The writers, Stewart, and Spiner all dropped the ball on one of the most dedicated points of Data’s personality.
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Bucktown
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 5:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Scavengers

@SlackerInc -

I agree with your last point - the last thing we need from this show is characters wallowing in depression any further. But I just don't think we were properly and fully sold on any of these characters' ambivalence about being thrust 1000 years into the future. Everyone they've ever known is long dead, and despite that, they all seem perfectly giddy about their current setting. It's an unbelievable tone.

And yes, true, we haven't seen much in Star Trek's history of our main characters going into the future and coming back (it's always been traveling to the past). But we have seen instances of characters going back to the past to prevent unwanted events that occur in the future, in spite of any temporal prime directive. "Endgame" and "Timeless" from Voyager come to mind. Why wouldn't preventing the stupid Burn be any different?


@Eric Jensen -

I still don't buy it. What kind of ego does she have that thinks that she is the first person out of trillions to look into the Burn and potentially solve it, without ever having any prior knowledge of 32nd century technology and history? And if she is supposed to be the first person to really investigate it, how is that remotely believable by any stretch of the imagination?

As to Georgiou, I actually enjoy her character because I'm holding out hope her psychopathic tendencies are still within her and she murders Michael Burnham. But I am sure we'll instead see some dumb Hollywood sacrifice of hers to save Michael in the finale, which will result in the collective groan of millions of Trekkies across the globe.
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Bucktown
Thu, Nov 19, 2020, 1:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Scavengers

And just like that, Discovery goes back to the mindless action no one asked for. On top of that, this episode had so many cliches, it made an average Enterprise episode seem like it was written by James Joyce in comparison. Speaking of Enterprise, didn't they even do this "we need to break someone out of a prison camp" plot like at least 5 times?

First off, I'll never get over the suspension of disbelief that this is the 32nd century. The entire opening act of retrofitting the Discovery is treated as basically just upgrading your iPhone to the new iOS. Where is the imagination here? The writers had a 1000 years to play around in, and all they could come up with is personal teleporters and "programmable matter"? Weren't the replicators of the TNG era already reprogramming matter?

Michael's obsession about the Burn makes absolutely no sense. She's not even supposed to be in this timeline. Shouldn't she and the rest of the crew care more about getting back to their own century? Don't they have families and friends to get back to? They all seem perfectly fine with it, which doesn't sit right. Again, Voyager makes that plot Dickensian in comparison.

This episode was also back to being so Burn focused, I felt like I was getting heatstroke. There are likely trillions of sentient lifeforms existing in the Milky Way Galaxy within the universe of Star Trek. We're supposed to believe not one of them thought to figure this out in a 100 years? The galaxy requires just 1 single lifeform, Michael Burnham, to solve all of its problems across all of time and space? How does that expound on the Star Trek ideal of peoples of all backgrounds coming together to solve dilemmas? Making a single character the savior of everything at all times is not even something I would expect out of a 10 year old. It's just dumb no matter what.

Honestly, if this show jettisoned her out the airlock, it would probably improve overnight. All of the other characters are decent, and this season's addition of Adira seems promising. But this show can't quit Michael like a bad, abusive relationship. WHY IS SHE ALWAYS CRYING???
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Bucktown
Wed, Nov 18, 2020, 3:32am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Die Trying

@HaveGun_WillRiker, @grey cat, @dave -

I tried following along with what this comment section devolved into and it honestly makes no sense to me. Something about Minnesota?

My best hypothesis is while we were away, this board was bombarded with synthetic T-cells and most turned out like Riker in "Genesis".
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Bucktown
Fri, Nov 13, 2020, 6:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Die Trying

@JohnKusack -

Thanks! But yes exactly - so much unnecessary drama. Discovery's extreme form drama and emotional outbursts have been turned up to 11 since the very first scene and have not let up once. This episode was no different. It's exhausting.

To me, the original concept of Spock and the emotionless Vulcans could be interpreted as a metaphor that problems can be solved much easier without emotions getting in the way and mucking up solutions. Star Trek always posed that question - what if we all (including humans) had perfect control over our emotions? Could we actually accomplish more? Their theory was yes. The emotional development of humankind was more revolutionary than the economic or technological developments. THIS above all things, may be the central thesis of Star Trek.

TNG tempered this slightly by offering Troi as a character trying to help the crew find a healthy balance of what kind of emotion is appropriate in a work place environment. But they all remained complete professionals. Take Riker in "Measure of a Man" for instance. He does his duty to prosecute Starfleet's case against Data. Of course, Data can't feel emotions but everyone else on the crew understands this professionalism and doesn't hold it against Riker.

Or how about this scene between Data & Worf from "Gambit"? Absolutely incredible, and you will never find anything at this level on Discovery:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMKtKNZw4Bo&ab_channel=SuperMetalDave64

Voyager, while constantly criticized for it, may have exemplified this professionalism the best. The crew was thrown across the galaxy, and Janeway was saddled with a mediocre crew, half of whom were a minute ago traitors. Yet every person on board understood the position they were in, put aside differences, and Janeway was there to constantly remind them the principles and ethics of Starfleet and the Federation. Really inspiring stuff.

JJ's and Kurtzman's Trek believes all of that is impossible at its very premise. They believe Vulcans are just fooling themselves, burying emotions so deep that they want to cry and scream at any given moment. Vulcans are a failed experiment. Every humanoid is an extreme emotional being at their core. Michael Burnham, (quixotically) raised by Vulcans, feels so much she speaks through tears about 60% of the show. Every character has to say whatever dumb or asisnine thing pops in their head (I'm looking at you, Tilly, Jet and Michael, and to a lesser but still noticeable degree, Stamets).

One of the writers, Akiva Goldsman, even admits it in this annoyingly pedantic, condescending monologue on his general "rules" of writing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2zEkef-7QU&ab_channel=AmericanFilmInstitute

This, of course, must be the same ethos in the writers room. But I constantly pose the question - if we get that style of storytelling with most other franchises and other studio productions, what makes this version of Star Trek unique or special? Not much, as it turns out.
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Bucktown
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 9:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Die Trying

@Nick -

Fair points. But my rebuttal is how fast it was depicted. The Discovery crew was shown basically out-performing these other officers with a 1000 years on them right off the bat. Huh? It's ludicrous unless this version of the future has undergone some type of "Idiocracy" like scenario. If the Burn also made everyone in the galaxy really dumb, that actually might be sort of fun. Oh well.

I fully believe that given some time to learn, Scotty would have been gotten himself equal to Geordi in "Relics." But that episode wisely depicted a character out of time attempting to immediately help, only to realize all of his knowledge is outdated and stale, which causes an identity crisis. THAT's the way to handle it. Not whatever this is.

What exactly makes this Discovery crew so brilliant? The individual characters are written as mostly fine and capable, but not the elite of the elite. There's a disconnection of believability with what they accomplish vs what they seem capable of.
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Bucktown
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 5:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Die Trying

@Karl Zimmerman, @Chris L. & @Nick -

I think you all are giving the writers the benefit of the doubt that they have never proven they deserve. "The Burn" is absolutely supposed to be the MacGuffin/JJ Mystery Box. It would be one thing if the Burn was just a simple device that would explain why intergalactic society has not advanced much in a millennium, thus not requiring a completely new imaginative universe with no relation to the Star Trek that we know of the 23rd/24th centuries. That actually would be interesting.

But no. The Messiah, Michael Burnham, will eventually solve (and/or be the cause of) the Burn. Move over Control, Red Angel, Red Matter, Zhat Vash, Admonition, etc. - The Burn will be the stupidest, most asinine revelation of them all.

This big "revelation-style" of storytelling is not rooted in Star Trek's legacy. It never has been. That was always the domain of Star Wars and other fantasy, superhero, and myth type storytelling. It is by far the biggest problem I've had with Discovery and Picard. These are writers who either grew up or absorbed those other writing styles and did not really understand what made Star Trek special.

Ultimately, Star Trek is at its simplest core a workplace drama of elite professionals putting aside differences to solve science-based mysteries or social/cultural/ethical problems that pop up each week. That's it.
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Bucktown
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 4:33am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: Die Trying

"The Burn" continues to be the most frustratingly Kurtzmanian of all the Kurtzmanesque. Whatever is revealed inside that mystery box can't be worth having to hear every character utter that embarrassing moniker every 10 minutes. We don't care what happened, and neither should you, Messiah Burnham!

Everything about this distant future feels so off, that I half predict Saru to pull a Riker in "Future Imperfect" and shut the whole thing down since none of it adds up. How is it in the realm of any fathomable universe that the Discovery crew could ever possibly assist (and even surpass!) a society advanced 1000 years??? It would be like a crew of a medieval oarship of the Byzantine Empire assisting some Google coders and then somehow developing a holographic interface. Preposterous. Also, 500 year old starships are still in use? What? Why? I better fire up my horse and carriage to get to work tomorrow.

Also, if replicators existed since the 2300s, which can analyze any item down to its subatomic level and get stored in a computer database, what is the need for a useless and literal seed bank ship? Don't all of these seeds' DNA exist in binary?

But are the character and emotional beats there, even if the science and plot isn't? Not really. We never really understand who this alien race that Burnham and crew are trying to save. We spend literally 3 seconds seeing one of them squirm on a hospital bed. There is absolutely no reason to care about the mission to save them at all without being invested. Were the writers just trying to make some ham-fisted GMO parallel? If so, for the love of Q, they need to get a real scientist consultant, since GMOs have been proven time and time again to be perfectly safe and healthy. It is scientifically illiterate to argue otherwise. Wasn't Star Trek always supposed to be pro-science?

We also get another "farewell" episode with all the beats to go with it for a character that the show assumes has had a full series arc, only to not realize that 95% of the audience probably couldn't even remember her name. I still can't remember her name 10 minutes after finishing the episode.

I do appreciate that this episode didn't have any big action scenes, but that's likely more for budgetary reasons. The future Federation officers keeps talking about how Discovery came from the "golden age" of Starfleet, but we never saw that in season 1 or 2. We only saw death, torture, war, violence and destruction.

This show is constantly resting on its past laurels to skirt its own storytelling issues, and it's getting very tiresome. It's high time it creates its own inspiring stories instead of just relying on the good will of our memories of past glories. It came close last week which is why I still watch, but I've been "BURNED" too many times with this show.
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Buckbart
Tue, Nov 3, 2020, 3:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Loud as a Whisper

If these people have been fighting for 15 centuries, shouldn’t they all be dead by now?

We’re still here.
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