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CaptainMercer
Wed, Sep 16, 2020, 6:14am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

One thing that everyone forgets about the "Orville" that makes it brilliant and unique is that it does something that I haven't really seen done before: it can turn a JOKE into the source of serious drama later. Think about that.

Yeah.. Mr. Potato Head Pieces.. let's prank the robot and decorate his head with them.

Cut to next season, that Robot Race found out about it. Oh i could be one of the reasons they want to destroy the Union.

The first episode had a lot of quippy humor about Bortus, the fact that he urinates once a year and comes form a species with only males.

Except that they are not only males. The government of that race wants everyone to THINK that, and it could jeopardize their relationship (in terms of values) with the rest of the Union, and it might affect the power balance in the .. area.. quadrant.. galaxy.. going forward.

I could give other examples. As simple as Seth and his team make this look, turning a joke early on into drama later on is something i'd not really seen before that I can immediately recall.

Trek.. particularly LD.. needs to actually get talented people who are not inspired by Trek, but literally have their own take ON Trek and WHAT KIND OF APPROACH THEY WANT TO TAKE TO HUMOR AND STORYTELLING in order for this to work.. it's NOT enough to make simple Trek references.
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CaptainMercer
Mon, Sep 14, 2020, 2:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

the fact that Mariner isn't always saving the ship is the only saving grace. The stories are decent I suppose but the characters are annoying and the animation and style is disgusting. I guess the show is fine as a time filler, but really lowers the standards of Trek
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CaptainMercer
Thu, Aug 27, 2020, 10:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@Cody B yea.. exactly.. but these kind of designs (which I personally don't care for, but that is just me) don't seem to lend itself the experimentation you are talking about.

If the show was live action, and they could actually LIGHT the characters.. as well as pace the dialogue better, I might actually enjoy it. Most of the stories, while they are B plot level TNG stuff, is at least sound and somewhat funny for the fans
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CaptainMercer
Thu, Aug 27, 2020, 5:42am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@Cody B
It seems that in episode 4 there were more shots where they were trying to "light" the characters and give them a hue on the edges of their faces due to external light. This is a terrible idea with flatly drawn characters
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CaptainMercer
Sun, Aug 23, 2020, 5:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@TaxTheChurches

Simple and childish is the "I know you are but what am I?" retort you just used.
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CaptainMercer
Fri, Aug 21, 2020, 6:57am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

My negativity.. if that's the word you want to use to sum me up... stems form the fact that I actually care about this franchise. I've cared about it my whole life. I hardly remember a time when Star Trek 2 was unseen by me, and it is one of the best films I think I'll ever see. I remember then going to high school and college and really like TNG-era Trek.. loved the life on a ship stuff as well.. but even loving that stuff, sometimes the premises of episodes would feel like fluff pieces.. like.. I'd agree with Kevin Smith "Would you fire at a Klingon or something".. like I would miss the edge that TWOK seemed to have naturally. But even then TNG still took it's characters and situations relatively seriously, and the details added to the scope.. and it's for precisely these reasons that a 25 minute show where people are delivering lines at what seems to 1.5 speed, where everything is drawn to look so simple and childish..that I feel it's as far from from that kind of naval "edge" that tWOK had as you could go. The stories are ok actually, but just the execution is so unappealing to me personally . I do think.. despite me not liking the characters (Mariner, Boimler, and the senior staff) very much, this show could work as a live action series with 43 minutes, where the jokes can be paced well and the dialogue can feel more genuine. Here is my comparison: when Braga and Moore were first given the assignment to write Generations, which was to have Kirk and Picard meet, Braga said on the commentary that the first thing he does is create an image.. in fact.. and image of what a movie poster could be like, and he imagined one of the two enterprises locked in battle "kirk vs Picard.. this summer" but alas thaey didn't make that movie. Later in the commentary, during the scene where they are actually making eggs together and Braga said "I think [the audience] wanted something a little more high octane than hanging around the house, making eggs, and it's as far from the poster that he imagined. This series, LD, is just veering far away from Trek as it could be, mainly because of how quick it is, how it is drawn, how trivial it makes everything feel (from exploration, to first contacts, etc). Not to bring up the other show.. but the Orville managed to mix comedy that might not work for some people, but to me it never made the actual stories seems less substantive
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CaptainMercer
Thu, Aug 13, 2020, 9:26am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

I might not ever get into this show. The stories are ok.. nothing great. But the animation and art style is hideous, and the fact that they still talk too fast, responses from other characters literally given within a second after a line was delivered, no pauses for even a breath when a character has two or more lines. Mariner is the character that will not only cause all the trouble in every episode but will also save the day, which means she is going to be annoying. Just because she is the show's "strong female character" does that mean she has to be annoying? I noticed that Boimler lost his pants near the end of this episode, and I guess I should thank my lucky stars that I didn't see how. I guess him being nude or almost nude is going to be a running joke. Star trek used to be a drama with comedy that came out from character or situations.. but it has sunk to incredible new lows. The teaser was clever.. I'll give it that. But clever here and hyperactive everywhere else is not enough to sustain a Star Trek show or any show.
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CaptainMercer
Wed, Aug 12, 2020, 12:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@Marlboro
I am not a huge fan of it wither, but he reogned it in after the first two episodes of the Orville. For example, in family guy and his Family Guy Star Wars spoofs, he mastered the art of the prolonged joke.. something that starts as kond of funny but he thinks it will be funnier by virtue of it lasting longer than its breaking point. He only teies this ONCE in Orville, in the first minites of the second episode, when Ed's parents call him from an alien ship. I think that is still the kind of humor from the pilot. After that point, the humor in the show overall becomes much much smarter
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CaptainMercer
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 9:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Thanks @ Tomalak
I'm not saying that "Orville is BETTER than Star trek.. (though it is better than 3rd Generation Trek.. It just has the kinds of stories and conversations I want to see when I turn on my TV. It just seems to "get" 90s Trek
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CaptainMercer
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 2:07pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

When those "Roddenberry" shows like Andromeda and Earth Final Conflict came out, they were just not itneresting to me, and not just because Roddenberry had literally nothing to do with them despite the name. They just seemed a bit flat to me, but I never minded the fact that they aired or that Jammer reviewed them.

Also, if Orville came out in the 90s I wouldn't put it in the same category as those shows.

But Orville literally has the same premise as Trek, only it's let loose from the ever-convoluted shackles of canon. It is let loose of having to figure out where the timeline we are, or whether it is an alternate universe, or whether it honors the significance of the legacy characters. In my mind, Trek has gotten so big and so OLD that it forgot how to be Trek. Imagine a show about cops, where the cops originally chased down bad guys, had short gunfights, and did the cool stuff.. but then that show lasted for many years and the original characters were being brought back constantly and the stories just seemed to feel less exciting as it went along. Instead of being about the cool cop action stuff, it is more concerned with it's own legacy or subverting that same legacy. That's where Trek is... but with the Orville I can watch episodes where:
- one type of society lives on a planet
- where the non human character looks again at humanity
- where an alien culture holds a trial for the someone's rights
- where the crew interferes an creates a religion
- they mediate a dispute between warring factions
- the crew must rescue someone
- a time traveler is trying to trick them
etc etc. all the reasons I loved to watch hour long Star Trek episodes is back on the Orville, instead of these new so called Star Trek stories as released by official IP holders, which features everything from sacrificing babies to incest, and depends on ever more convoluted storylines that can never be satisfying . it's like going back to anew cop show that is simple again, about the chases and escapes
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CaptainMercer
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 12:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@Luiz Castenheira
Maybe because Orville is a good show, and it's Berman Trek in all but name.. even the same people are behind the magic. It can poke fun of a few things that didn't age well, while in most other ways it handles themes and ideas much in the same way without worrying about smearing legacy characters: the nostalgia is about the types of stories being told and how they are told, not the individual characters involved. so, while I might convince you to like it, to be dismissive of it out of hand is a bit odd.
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CaptainMercer
Mon, Aug 10, 2020, 9:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@Karl Zimmerman
I guess I could go with that. It had a cohesive plot and a cohesive story. But I think if it was allowed 45 minutes to breathe.. and if it was filmed live action.. hell it would have been a passable episode for me. The aesthetic presented here.. like all tripped out on FunDip so everyone talks superfast, doesn't really HELP the humor for me. And it might be personal, but it is hard to take these drawings seriously. Yes, even in comedies, you gotta take the people on screen at least as seriously as you can. haha

Sure, I grew up with Bugs Bunny, tom and Jerry and I loved Ren and Stimpy, but I think I just can't "connect" with the art style or the frantic vocal style here. It's like watching those YouTube channels where they do lots of cuts to eliminate pauses. I hate it, even though movie critic Jeremy Jahns is so good at it that it works for his channel.. any time he pauses or takes a real breath he cuts that out of the final video.. it's like they edited out any signs of people breathing in this show. That means - to me - that they are not human. So I become disconnected.
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CaptainMercer
Mon, Aug 10, 2020, 3:48pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@Karl Zimerman I don't totally disagree with your assessment of the Lower Decks 'character" though I think it speaks to just the opposite of what Trek is usually about, seeking scientific and personal truth and not protecting lies or misdeeds (as this short short video points out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1Whdw9HIz8&feature=youtu.be)

My problem is that the show is frivolous in its approach, filled with unfunny gags instead of actual drama.. and the terrible art style doesn't help.
I mean it literally is, guy gets bit, turns crew into zombies, but spider on the surface has the cure. That's literally it. This is what Star trek is now after 50 years of trying to create a kind of verisimilitude in the franchise, after many years of characters trying to solve problems, it's all now a big joke?
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CaptainMercer
Mon, Aug 10, 2020, 1:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@Karl Zimmerman

Star trek is a drama/ adventure.. and the reason those comedy episodes work is that they are a relief form the drama.. and often times they seem to start out and play like regular episodes.. and then you realize that they are using all the tools they have used for dramatic storytelling to make these comedies.

I would argue that the best Trek comedy that you did not mention is "House of Quark".. a perfect comedy because it actually compares and contrasts two different cultures by smashing their idealisms against one another.

Please don't lump me in a category.. even if it is "I hate CBS".. because I have not done so for you. I think Pike is a good captain on "Discovery" and seeing him got me invested in the show. i like Picard MORE than I hate it, as it beautifully shot,, produced and acted and did a lot of challenging things. I just don't see what the point of LD i except to copy another show (Orville) which is copying (or, in my mind, continuing in all but name only) Star Trek. The key tom Orville's success is the same as what I mentioned above, it's really a drama starring good characters and facing real dilemmas.

With Lower Decks, we see htat philosphy being betrayed.
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CaptainMercer
Sun, Aug 9, 2020, 10:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

If the show was called Star Trek: Lower Ducks and it starred a bunch of anthropomorphic ducks in Starfleet uniforms, it would be no more canon than this shit show
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CaptainMercer
Sun, Aug 9, 2020, 10:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@KarlZimmerman
It's not Star Trek because Star Trek is actually about something it's a bunch of different departments working very hard to bring a story that actually really attempt to examine the human condition while having some fun and action and drama along the way lower deck is a cheap cash grab a desperate Creator in a desperate studio just hoping to quickly give some good numbers to the investors. You can call it starts like all you want because have a name and logo plastered on it but that means nothing
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CaptainMercer
Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 9:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

STLD was laughably bad. Like lowest common denominator waste of time.
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CaptainMercer
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 12:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@alex99a
Disagree. just because someone owns an IP and can slap the logo on something, doesn't make it that thing.
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CaptainMercer
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 6:38am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Sure, it was made by adults for adults. Sure, but the drawings still look like kid drawings.. intentionally. I mena I love Ren and Stimpy and they look like kid drawings.. but if you have watched and Stimpy there is an extra edge to the art style that was most certianly unique, as shown by the closeups. This looks possiitively cheap. This is just my opinion, by Star Trek is, at its base a drama.. in fact the reason Star Trek comedy episodes work is that they subvert the fact that it is a drama at base.. it's a relief from the heaviness, often shot in the same style as the heavy episodes. That's why it's funny. That's why I objected to the gimmicky editing (the swoosh pans accompanied by sound effects, and the sound of beeping horns) in the original Orville trailer, because the actual show does not have that kind of editing. Star Trek doesn't either.. how it is shot and filmed is very much an important aspect of the show. In one half an hour, so much happened here that my eyes started to glaze over. I guess it's just not for me. Thinking about it, my favorite joke was the "Sulu" reference with regard to maneuvers
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CaptainMercer
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 10:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@Randall Graves I know that is the traditional stick figures, but your question is rhetorical. these are fifth or sixth grade human designs
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CaptainMercer
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 9:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@Tax_the_Churches
Let's not be disingenuous here. If I looked at the first Clone Wars movie and said that the animation made all the characters look like wood cuts would I be wrong? I say that despite what talent the animators had or did not have the characters in Lower decks are drawn to look like stick figures you'd see a fifth grader do. That was how they wanted them to look in the final product so me saying that does not diss their talent. In fact, it would not matter if it did. Most critics never make films, but they still call many films terrible just as a way of criticizing the work.. it's fair game .. they might even say a filmmkaer is a talentless hack when that filmmaker has at least MADE a film and the critic has not . To say I'm giving a disservice to the "hard work" that went into this is being disingenuous. It would be like me saying you are or doing disservice to all the hard work that went into the Orville because you did not like it and therefor did not watch all the episodes

As for the voice acting.. clearly editing was happening as people that would normally take a breath between two or three consecutive lines of dialogue would need to breathe and I would bet anything that those breaths were edited out in post, much the way a good editor like Jeremy Jahns can make his quick cut movie reviews where he does not SEEM to pause work. I find this style abhorrent for star trek. If you like it that is fine. I also felt that since set up and timing of jokes is often as important as the jokes themselves, the short run time did not offer the most comic potential that this episode has. Sure they cna keep it at 26 minutes, but instead of setting up and paying off the humor, they often rushed through it. It wound up not being funny to me. I guess maybe that is me. I laugh at Ed Mercer because the character seems like a human to me
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CaptainMercer
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 7:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@Tax_the_Churches
Sumple fact is that I didn't laugh. The Orville pilot had a similarly standard story, the difference was that I laughed. Humor is all about tinibg and delivery. If this episode was an hour long and allowed scenes to vreathe, then maybe the hunor would have worked.instead it was all on 2x soeed. If a character spoke two lines in a row not a single breath was taken between the lines.

Also hated the animation. On love action you have lighting, and talented actirs that have to gold the sfreen. Here its stick figures.

This story's plot, such as it is, might have been better than the time doohickey of the Orville pilot, but they squandered a better plot for cheap and hyperactive animation.
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CaptainMercer
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 6:03pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

I like the Pillar Filler stuff, the life on a starship stiff, and I think Seth does too. If Lower Decks was an hour long live action show I can picture it working on that level as well. The story wasn't the problem. It was too fast. Pwople speak two sentences in a row with no pause, not even to breathe. It tries to cram too much in a frame. Trek needs to breathe. That's how the drama.. and the comedy, succeed. What i find funny in Orville are the bits most people don't even think are funny, like the holodeck (environmental simulator) announcing "YOU WIN" after a game, or Mercer saying to "take him back to his stupid lab". Why is "stupid" funny here? It's probably not to most people, but I laugh every time I play that scene
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CaptainMercer
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 4:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@Karl Zimmerman
This is nothing like TNG. TNG actually focused on drama, acting, dialogue and line delivery. Even the lighting. This is "let's speak two lines of dialogue without ever taking a breath" hyper. This is not allowing anything to sink in. If anything.. what you described is what Orville is to a T, and that is because Seth was clearly a fan of the Berman era and got many of the same people BTS to work on his show.

To even put Lower Decks on the level of TNG is an insult
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CaptainMercer
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 3:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@HaveGunWillERiker

maybe the people you are putting down here actually care about the franchise as a whole, that it was created with the intention to be better and more forward-thinking than other shows, and not be acceptable along side the shows meant for the lowest common denominator. Surely the people you are bashing have no passionate hatred to Barney the Dinosaur.. they might not watch it, but they know it's targeted to toddlers. This is using the name and nomenclature and maybe even the canon of one of the most forward-thinking mythologies of our time, and it is a canon people care a lot about. Don't put them all in the "haters" group.
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