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Chris L
Thu, Feb 4, 2021, 1:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: The Dauphin

Kinda sweet story. Wesley grates, but the episode is a good one for him and takes him at face value for what he is and explores that: a naive kid.

Guinan saying “Shut up, kid” is worth an extra half star alone.

My main criticism is this felt like this would have functioned as a solid Wesley B-plot for some other main plot, but instead it was an entire episode.

2.5/4
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Chris L
Sat, Jan 30, 2021, 9:50pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Inheritance

Okay. My one major nitpick that really threw me for a loop: If Julianna left Soong, how did the chip he left in her head know about that? How did Noonian provide any insight into the problems that led to their splitting up? Did he track her down, deactivate her, and then update the chip and leave?

Or did he presume that she was about to leave him and put that in the chip? But it seems from the hologram that he’s had some time to reflect on what his mistake was, and if she hadn’t left him yet.... why not act on that insight?

Anyway, done nitpicking. 2.5/4. Would be 3 other than that which struck me as a major plot hole and took me out of the episode entirely.
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Chris Lopes
Thu, Jan 28, 2021, 2:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

"Jammer, how can you love Star Trek this much and be a capitalist? :)"

The Great Bird himself was quite enamored with the capitalist system. So are the current owners (looks at CBS All Access item on bank statement) of Trek. Such is the difference between fantasy and reality. :)
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Chris L.
Sat, Jan 9, 2021, 10:55am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

What I find most galling and emblematic of the poor choices this season:

This season was ostensibly about rebuilding a floundering Federation. What planets are actually still members? Do we know of any for sure? I don’t recall them ever telling us or showing us anything about who remains in the Federation. The only planet we know for sure at the end is Trill, who has rejoined apparently.

And why, if Earth is no longer a member, are all the people at Starfleet command apparently human? Nobody on Earth even seemed to know where the HQ was, so how do they get these recruits? And why is the President (I am assuming Cronenburg is the President, which is another poor storytelling choice. Just who is that guy?) human as well?
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Chris L.
Thu, Jan 7, 2021, 10:36am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

And with that, it’s over.

The inside of the ship is mostly hollow space filled with turbo lifts. Who knew?

Is the sphere data gone now with the DOT dying? It rebooted, but did it retain all of the data? I hope not, because it was basically a deus ex machina and only served to remind me of the dumb decisions in Season 2.

I think I am done with Disco now. It has had its moments, but all in all it isn’t worth the time investment. There are better shows on television. I love ST, but this is just skating by on the name and I am tired of waiting for CBS to clue in and hire some writers that respect the franchise enough to at least try and understand it some.

Is Saru gone then? Like, not going to be in the next season because he’s gone back to Caminar? I hope not. It would be fitting for this show to get rid of anyone that dares take the spotlight off of Burnham from time to time.

I will wait until Season 4 is over and some season reviews are in before I decide to continue watching. I do like the uniforms though.
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Chris Lopes
Wed, Jan 6, 2021, 9:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: There Is a Tide...

"If you replace all characters by white straight males, the burn being caused by a kid or the EC wanting suddenly to join the federation is still bad writing."

Yep, just as lame only in a monochromatic way.
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Chris Lopes
Tue, Jan 5, 2021, 2:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: There Is a Tide...

"Nevertheless, Discovery's many narrative problems have far more to do with its faux-Star Wars action, paucity of ideas, and anemic characterization than they do with checking off demographic boxes."

Definitely, but the writers appear to see checking off the boxes as a form of absolution for their narrative sins. The box checking isn't causing the story telling failure, it's being used to cover up for it. Unfortunately while they're virtue signalling, they aren't telling a coherent story.
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Chris L.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 3:14pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: There Is a Tide...

@Dreubarik

In my own head from now on, I am going to refer to this episode as “The one where Michael Corleone goes to the UN and applies for representation”
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Chris Lopes
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 2:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: There Is a Tide...

"If the trailer can be believed next week will be lots of shooting and action, also crying."

That'll be a change of pace. ;)
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Chris L.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 10:21am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: There Is a Tide...

I should add to my above comment, I also have an issue with calling whatever the Emerald Chain does as "capitalism". It's mostly just anarchic collection of planets ruled by an iron fist. There are no discernible guiding principles or laws at all other than "Don't piss off Osyrra!" Osyrra seems to fund and take interests in things only that she can personally exploit. The very idea of there being a structure to it beyond a criminal organization through me for a loop.
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Chris L.
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 10:15am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: There Is a Tide...

@Dreubarik-

"- I will add that I am somewhat distressed by the answer that the writers seem to be providing: That the Federation must indeed accept capitalism as a necessary evil. To be clear, I do agree that this may be the case today (though I reiterate that the writers don't understand what "capitalism" is) but it is concerning that such a moral is being applied with little discussion to a utopian future shaken by a natural-resource disaster. It is the latest example that showcases that NuTrek writers may be openly progressive, but they are also unconsciously deeply neoliberal. "

Yes, this. Rare event natural disasters are also what capitalism does very poorly (generally speaking), since there is no competitive advantage to prepare for every conceivable thousand year event. That is where centralized governments and 'socialism' do better. Not trying to turn this thread into a debate about the relative merits of either one, but if the show runners want to bring these issues up, they should at least understand these concepts better.

This episode was better. That said, it was very hard for me to suspend disbelief after Osyra revealed she just wanted to open peace negotiations. Seriously? The federation is obviously interested in peace and stability and always would have taken that meeting. You use that olive branch and some concessions to get your hands on the spore drive through negotiations. Not steal it and then come to the table when you already have everything you need. She wants the good name of the federation? Why the heck does she need that? She has a spore drive and can possibly replicate it and do whatever she wants!

Also, I guess the magic mushroom highway is fully healed and impervious to continued jumping now? I seem to recall a plot thread from one of the other seasons that each jump was killing the network a little bit more. Maybe it's fine for Disco to jump occasionally all on its lonesome, but it seems a whole fleet of them would be bad, considering the effect was measurable with just one ship. Or was it only jumping into the MU that decayed the network? It's so hard to keep up with the nonsense....

This season started off stronger, but went off on a weird tangent or two and lost my interest. It's finishing stronger again, but I am tired of it. I think next season, I will just wait till the end of the season and only buy one month of CBS and watch it all at once. I'd support it more fully and keep my subscription if the show were a bit better.
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Chris L.
Tue, Dec 29, 2020, 8:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Su'Kal

@grey cat

I think Burnham is poorly written in kind of the same way Jadzia Dax was. She is supposed to be this nearly unparalleled superhuman in terms of her abilities. But they do a poor job conveying that very well at all. Or even at all. She comes across as an emotional mess, whose insubordination is often unjustified and also unpunished. I get why you might be hesitant to punish an Einstein on your crew that breeches chain of command more than the others, but they really don’t convey that she is anything special.

I liked Jadzia Dax as a character in the end, but she was never particularly well written. She had her moments though, which ended up working just enough (at least for me) to not be completely annoyed by her in nearly every episode. Burnham doesn’t meet that standard...
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Chris Lopes
Tue, Dec 29, 2020, 4:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Su'Kal

I think that interpersonal conflicts are arising because (until Jammer posts his own review) we've actually run out of constructive things to say about this episode. It's strengths and weaknesses have been pointed out, points of view have been attacked and defended, and all we have left (at the moment) are those petty differences our species is known to fight over. Just humans being human.
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Chris Lopes
Tue, Dec 29, 2020, 10:52am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Su'Kal

"If it doesn't involve STAR TREK, how about just ignore the post you disagree with?"

That's an idea so crazy, it just might work.
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Chris L.
Sun, Dec 27, 2020, 8:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Su'Kal

@brian-

Watching the new episodes of the Expanse and then Disco back to back was a thoroughly depressing thing to do. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” indeed. I don’t want my Star Trek universe to be more like the Expanse’s, but I do want my characters to be as well thought out and engaging.

My least favorite character on The Expanse is actually the skinny white guy protagonist. He’s just not that interesting. But everyone else is, so it works.
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Chris L.
Sun, Dec 27, 2020, 8:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Su'Kal

@Chris Lopes-

Exactly this.

I don’t mind having a trans/non-binary character. Or a female protagonist. Or any other character race/gender in any role. But if it doesn’t also come with good characterization and groundwork, then it can come off as “Look at us! We put in someone of background xyz in an important role!” I don’t think they intend it that way, because honestly, so many of the characters on this show are poorly written.

But any character whom we know well and is well written and isn’t primarily defined by their race or gendered status is fine by me. If the writers haven’t cleared that (very low) hurdle, that is kinda on them. Why should I like any random character that is poorly written, regardless of race, gender, etc? Am I supposed to like them just because of that trait? Because that is kinda weird.
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Chris Lopes
Sun, Dec 27, 2020, 7:01pm (UTC -6)
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."

As others have pointed out, Mandalorian is perfect example of that. The last episode featured a practically all woman rescue team with not a peep from anyone about "wokeness". That's because they did the homework of showing these characters as genuine badasses in previous episodes. So they weren't "female badasses", they were badasses who happen to be female. It's called story telling.
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Chris Lopes
Sat, Dec 26, 2020, 7:32pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Su'Kal

"I want so much to keep liking Star Trek and I want so much for the new Trek to be successful and keep the franchise alive."

^^^This^^^. I honestly don't think those complaining about this show are doing it out of malice. They are Trek fans who want it to continue. They want Discovery to be good. They want to like it. They are hoping (perhaps foolishly) that TPTB will understand that they are failing as story tellers and correct what is broken.

My fear is that they are too busy checking boxes to engage in actual story telling. They are using their wokeness (which has always been a part of Trek to some degree) as a shield to protect them from genuine constructive criticism. We may indeed be wasting our time watching this show, but some of us love Trek too much to give up hope.
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Chris Lopes
Sat, Dec 26, 2020, 11:43am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Su'Kal

The criticism the show faces on this forum is primarily of the bad writing/acting variety. The critics are usually met with agreement or reasoned disagreement. So no, this forum is not labeling people to protect a bad show.

On the other hand, I don't think it is unreasonable to expect the writing and acting to improve over time, as the folks in charge get feedback from the audience. If despite the audience reaction, things don't improve, it is reasonable to assume the folks in charge are not listening for whatever reason. Given the woke pronouncements of these folks, it is reasonable to conclude that they are labeling their critics in an effort to excuse their own failures in story telling.
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Chris Lopes
Sat, Dec 26, 2020, 10:19am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Su'Kal

"You continue to watch a show that you call a travesty?"

Perhaps the poster is hoping it will get better and is continually amazed that it isn't. In any case, the poster has the right to comment on their ongoing disappointment without the usual snarky "why are you watching a show you don't like" response. The poster is simply pointing out what they think are the show's weaknesses. If you disagree with the poster's points, feel free to explain where they are incorrect. Just don't question their right to criticize in the first place.
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Chris Lopes
Sat, Dec 12, 2020, 1:39pm (UTC -6)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 15: The Believer

"Why is this episode titled "The Believer"?"

Because the main characters (Mando and Mayfield) have to deal with their beliefs, or lack thereof. Mando has to choose between following the strict teachings of The Way as he has been taught (by keeping his helmet on) or finding out where The Child is. Mayfield has to choose between his professed lack of belief in anything beyond himself and his loyalty and feelings for dead comrades. In the end, Mando doesn't let a rule stop him from completing the mission, and Mayfield doesn't let his sense of self-preservation stop him from taking vengeance for the lives of the soldiers he lived and fought with.
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Chris Lopes
Fri, Dec 11, 2020, 12:52pm (UTC -6)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 15: The Believer

"Seems silly of Mando to taunt Gideon."

I'm hoping it's part of a larger plan to draw him out and direct his attention elsewhere. Gideon might not know about all of Mando's new allies.
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Chris L.
Thu, Dec 10, 2020, 3:45pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Terra Firma, Part 1

@Preconia -

That makes a lot more sense then. Thanks. I still think a two-parter is an awful lot of real estate in a short season for the MU, but at least I know it won't end in a weird MU cliffhanger. Probably, anyways.
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Chris L.
Thu, Dec 10, 2020, 2:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Terra Firma, Part 1

That was... something.

It was fun, and developed the mirror universe in a pleasant way. It was entertaining and I enjoyed watching it.

I guess my main criticism is that it felt like a good MU filler episode from some previous trek incarnation that had a 26 episode season? It does nothing to forward the story arc of the season, and at episode 9/10, I’m still not even sure what the main story arc is. It focused on Georgiou, one of my least favorite characters, but it finally gave her the context and gravity she deserves to not be a cartoon villain. Maybe this episode should have happened much earlier in the season?

That said, it did well enough. Discovery in general does well when it takes the camera off of Burnham for awhile and lets other characters flesh out. I wish they had just killed off Georgiou ages ago and fleshed out someone else here, like Detmer or the often neglected Owo. But it worked.

A two part MU episode is not how I would have guessed that this season would or should end. I guess I’ll wait and see how this plays out. But it entertained in its own ADHD kind of way on a smattering of season long arcs, and I guess in the end I can’t complain too much about that. I just wish it were more Star Trek. I always thought that the MU was an indulgence for the writers, and it basically operated as occasional filler fanfic episodes. I guess we’ll have to see where this is all going next week. It could end up tied together well, or end in random hanging plot threads that don’t make a lot of sense per usual. In the meantime, I’ll give this one a 3/4.
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Chris L.
Thu, Dec 3, 2020, 10:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Unification III

@Susie R.

I am so very sorry that happened to you here. On a message board, poor actors have a way of sticking out like a sore thumb. I am sorry you won’t post more, because I like reading different perspectives. You are right that this place is a little male dominated.

I personally responded to Stacy to do just that, share a different perspective and have a discussion without animosity or judgement. Stacy has a valid point, but not everyone agrees. I come on here and am critical of the show sometimes, but not always. I gave Forget Me Not 4 stars. There are some gems in this show, and I enjoy watching it. It’s not a hate watch thing. But I don’t have to like every episode, and I can notice certain writing patterns that I find lazy or annoying when they keep popping up.

But I truly don’t want to take away anyone else’s enjoyment of any episode they like, or belittle anyone because they like or don’t like an episode I found particularly lame/awesome. I don’t speak for everyone, obviously, but I do think that most people are acting in good faith that way. I think when a couple of people really lay it on thick and other people post somewhat critical reviews right next to it, it can seem that everyone just hates the show. But I really don’t think that is true.
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