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Chris P
Sat, Aug 18, 2018, 12:39am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Nothing Human

"If B'elanna's rights can just be ordered away so simply, what's going to stop the next captain from doing the same thing?"
______________________________________________

Perhaps there's an analogy to throwing in the towel in combat sports. The rule says that the combatants will battle until the referee deems the bout over but, sometimes, the referees allow things to go too far and allow excessive damage. At that point a cornerman can get their fighter disqualified by throwing something into the ring/cage. Usually a towel.

In a similar manner, assume that any Starfleet officer serving aboard a vessel to abides by their captain's medical decisions but, if the guilt of survival is too much, they can, at a later date, choose to disqualify themself with a phaser. Until then they are part of a group and responsible to their crewmates and officers with whom they share a profoundly powerful mutual agreement of cooperation and survival.
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Chris P
Fri, Aug 17, 2018, 8:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Timeless

Rahul nails it: the look and feel of this episode sets it above most of the others. The visual production and the dynamic nature of the story allowed people to overlook the incredible cavalcade of plot problems. This is Threshold/Maneuvers level writing in that regard.

3 stars. There's a perfect episode here from the everybody except the writers, whose story badly needed a rewrite to smooth out the bumps: there's a massive list of contrivances, plot holes, and unusual behavior from the characters.
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Chris P
Mon, Aug 13, 2018, 7:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Unforgettable

I found the Ramurans to be a very interesting race. They should have been portrayed not as conventional humanoids but more as a prey species whose evolutionary pressures turned them into something very unique in the galaxy. Sort of like the creature that Geordi morphed into. It's hard to imagine why a human-like, predator race would develop these abilities.

Regarding their insular policies: I can think of a few reasons why it is wise to prevent people from leaving. The obvious reason is that they do not want other races to be aware of them. They have tempting technology and some tech-hungry cybernetic neighbors.

Another, more interesting reason, is that they do not want to cause harm to others. Think of what Kellin's presence means to the people she is around: they forget everything about her and, very likely, everything they were doing while in her presence. That's akin to being in a coma or being so concussed that portions of those days are simply gone. Such a species may very wisely recognize the invasive nature of their abilities and somberly seclude themselves to an isolated existence. It must be a heavy thing to cause temporary brain damage to everybody just by their presence, not just for the guilt but for the isolation.
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Chris P
Sun, Aug 12, 2018, 3:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

Since my comment 4 1/2 years ago I've had a family member falsely accused. When reading the debate between then and now - and the reports from people who know someone falsely accused - it's sad to say that I'm now part of the that group.

I still don't believe that this episode is about specifically about rape though. It's about repressed memories and how the system can be used by opportunists who have motives other than justice to convince people that something that didn't happen happened. I suppose false rape allegation fall under that umbrella but let's not lose the initial message about the larger problem, lest we forget history.

In my personal case, there was an overzealous, young district attorney just shotgunning accusations throughout our community hoping for some to stick. Sucks for the people who, in the eyes of the community, were perfect family men Tuesday and potential criminals Wednesday (fortunately for my family member nobody believes it so he is not suffering the usual social ostracization). Our society needs to talk about removing the incentive for parties to play this game with peoples' lives: mainly career advancement on behalf of the "professionals" and gender prejudice on behalf of other "professionals". That they can take advantage of young, naive people to convince them to ruin the lives of others is just the latest version of the same old story: witch hunts, the red scare, satanic panic, repressed memories, and now all men are apparently potential rapists. It always ends up hurting actual victims and the falsely accused way, way more than it helps anybody.

Let's return to innocent until PROVEN guilty and pressure our system to protect the names of those accused until something is proven.
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Chris from Canada
Sat, Jun 23, 2018, 5:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

I'm just going to leave this here:

https://youtu.be/5ECwhB21Pnk

Jammer, please watch; it just might change your opinion haha

Terrible movie and first time I disagree with one of your insightful reviews in probably over 15 years lol. Still love reading your work though!
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Chris P
Fri, Jun 8, 2018, 4:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Maneuvers

There's just too little verisimilitude in this episode for me. Almost nothing that happened could have happened. What's the word for the opposite of verisimilitude? Where everything that happens reminds you that what you're seeing the work of someone who got a plot outline and didn't even bother trying to justify any of it?

This is one of my least favorite Trek episodes. It's insulting and prompts flares of rage and frustration every few minutes. An actively unpleasant experience. Neither this nor the upcoming Kazon content make it into my head canon. The species strained credulity early but were acceptable but have now become the toys of a lazy, obstinate game master.

0.5*
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Chris P
Fri, Jun 8, 2018, 2:06am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Birthright, Part II

"Worf fired on the birds of prey but they had enhanced shielding and in the Generations case, the ships had a huge edge and first shot on the Enterprise."

I can't assassinate a character who changes from episode to episode. *That* version of Worf was shown only firing once in each episode. Apparently this was sufficient such that nobody turned to look at him askance as they did in "Parallels" but it was not enough to challenge the BoPs that were raining hell upon his ship. All we have to go on is what we saw and what we saw is very suspicious.

The behavior of that version of Riker is also suspicious. If space battles were the subject of Vegas betting there would be a major federal investigation after "Rascals" Enterprise vs. 2 BoP scout ships and "Generations" Enterprise vs. 1 BoP.
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Chris P
Thu, Jun 7, 2018, 1:45am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Twisted

This episode evoked more fascinating reactions on Jammer's board than did its story. Once in a while I wonder if Jammer wishes he could redo a review and this is such a case. I wonder too if his scathing words about a decent episode influenced some people in the comments. Then I wonder how independent the comments are and how colored they might be by herd mentality. Way, way, way too harsh for a middling anomaly of the week that ends with a bashed reset button.

Star Trek: Voyager relies on Janeway or whoever is on the bridge flying into anomalies/nebulas/trouble, technobabbling, and then bashing the reset button. If we're grading on a scale then this formula must be accommodated for half of Voyager's episodes, not used as a demerit when convenient. The only explicit flaw that I saw was the map. That was a visual lie and should not have been shown unless they were willing to get very funky with it. All of the rest of the things (ship rearranging itself, how does the ship functions when twisted, how does it envelop the ship) are better off assumed to be the work of a sentient anomaly messing with the crew.

This episode deserves credit for serving the characters well at a time when they badly needed it. Arguably the first episode since Cathexis to show the crew working together and interacting for a prolonged period of time. The creepy atmosphere and fun crew interactions (which is one of Voyager's strong points) supersede my desire to nitpick.

2.5
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Chris P
Mon, May 21, 2018, 6:45am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Birthright, Part II

Worf's complicated. I'm not sure that the writers agreed on who he was.

He's a Klingon supremacist who exclusively dates non-Klingons.

A guy who learned everything he knows about karate from the strip mall dojo and Hollywood / learned everything he knows about Klingon society from literature and fanciful sources, but who effortlessly navigates the actual culture.

A guy who retains his fanciful notions despite having seen how none of it is actually true...but who is constantly flummoxed by Federation principles....but wishes to remain with Starfleet and spend his days looking at his crewmates in befuddlement.

A guy who twice sacrifices the Enterprise through his refusal to fire twice upon Birds of Prey (Rascals, ST:Generations) while later slaughtering them in DS9.

I don't know who he is. Maybe that's why I've never liked the character. He's a living contradiction of the arbitrary sort.
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Chris P
Sun, May 20, 2018, 9:21am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Chain of Command, Part II

What a wonderful convergence of quality writing with three great actors taking up 90% of the screen time. Filmed fiction flourishes when it allows the viewer to believe that they're watching real events transpire. This was rarely accomplished better in Star Trek than in these two episodes.
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Chris
Fri, May 4, 2018, 7:23am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Thanks Jammer, it's good you took your time. This was probably the best review I've read on The Last Jedi.
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Chris
Sun, Feb 25, 2018, 6:41am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

I have to confess, this one bothered me to the point where I couldn't make it through the whole episode.
If you're so concerned about cultural contamination and the Prime Directive, why go through the trouble of building a sizeable modern "watchpost" inside a hollowed-out cliff face within walking distance of the planet's inhabitants? Why add insult to injury and make it so fallible and dependent on advanced power sources that the cloak effect drops when they malfunction? If this is what's considered a safe way to study a pre-warp culture, then perhaps the takeaway is to *not* study pre-warp cultures, at the very least not in person. It makes the crew come off reckless and inconsistent to the point of derision.
This isn't the only time the crew's solipsism has bugged me (the episode where you're supposed to think Jellico is the antagonist because he doesn't babysit the crew comes to mind) but it's certainly the most frustrating one.
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Other Chris
Thu, Feb 22, 2018, 12:50am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Nievesg "IAMD" is In A Mirror Darkly, the Mirrorverse two-parter.
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Chris
Tue, Feb 13, 2018, 4:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Hank: Oh right. Discovery can win diversity AND animal rights awards now. This show is so God Tier, omg.
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Chris
Tue, Feb 13, 2018, 12:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

The one scene that sums up the JJ Trek movies for me: Kirk, after the saucer crash in the third film, goes back to the crash site to retrieve something from the ship with, Chekov I believe? And he's shooting his phaser into the ship at baddies then makes some dopey, cartoony comment about not knowing what he just accidentally shot, which triggers absolute mayhem. Lol. Caption of a starship doesn't know what he's shooting at within his own vessel?

The same level of idiotic storytelling is present in Discovery when it tells you to feel emotion over a decision (that Starfleet and a revered ambassador sanctioned??) to blow up the entire Klingon home world, while only one person is able to talk everyone down from it all. Sigh.

There are plenty of dumb story ideas and episodes in past iterations. No doubt. But after 50 years, there's plenty of great material to help guide new show ideas, too. Bringing back Star Trek without the weight of thought-provoking storytelling is such a miss, IMO.

And this is what I'm saying-- where are the IDEAS? Enough of the inane plot lines. I wrote this kind of shit when I was in grade school, pretending to write Star Trek scripts. Where are the well-thought-out, intellectually-challenging IDEAS that give life to compelling plot lines, characters, drama and discussion?

Man, post-modernism sucks.
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Chris
Mon, Feb 12, 2018, 1:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Hey, question-- what do you think Nick Meyer's ultimate role was at the start of/during this season? Do you think his input even made a dent?
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Chris
Mon, Feb 12, 2018, 12:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Very interesting to watch how the franchise owners/marketing agency tackles online feedback--it's obvious that they'd do this, but the main handles are constantly ReTweet the gushing and fan fawning, in addition to the excitement from actors/producers--and boy does that not make one feel as if this show accomplished something noble? What, just being on the air is an achievement worth celebrating? I guess so. Who am I/who are we to be judgmental pricks and rain on the parade.

But, this diverse cast and glitzy presentation aren't enough to assuage the fact that the writing, the point of the show, is objectively devoid of intellectualism. Klingons are the "Make America Great" crowd, but did we learn ANYTHING at all about their wishes and dreams, their struggles or their viewpoints that is worth a damn? We really needed Michael, Saru and the bridge crew to stand up and say NO to genocide?? Or that a Mirror Universe barbarian shows us how horrible humans can be to one another (and even that was half-assed). Come on, where are the worthwhile IDEAS?

And I suppose this is where (my) internet outrage comes from-- seeing a hyperbolic "omg this is the best ST series EVER" tweet then RTed by the same writers who came up with these gimmicky, totally nonsensical plot points... I'm not saying I got hired by Hollywood to produce TV and I know best, ok? But, come on, there have been 50 years' worth of Star Trek and there was a lot of outstanding material there to aspire to, to borrow from beyond just elements for fan service. This show missed the mark on what I think a good number of folks out there wanted to see from a new Trek TV show: a discussion of IDEAS.

Am I just too old to be able to ask for the action AND the allegory? :(
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Chris
Tue, Feb 6, 2018, 3:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

@Tim, that may be true but let's not forget about the myriad of other character-centric stories DS9 DID offer up. The Siege of AR 558, It's Only a Paper Moon, In the Pale Moonlight, Rocks and Shoals... even Homefront/Paradise Lost have some strong allegorical elements. I think the Section 31 arc is another good example of exploring war time, not just telling about it. Sure, sounds like DS9 towards the end of the show had throw-in lines that extend the scope of the war without much dedication, much in the way the Discovery exposition has been offered up, but there are so many more instances where DS9's writing far surpasses the characterization and allegorical storytelling regarding war and its effects than Discovery's.
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Chris
Sun, Feb 4, 2018, 8:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

The CONSTANT cutting to reaction shots of the bridge crew is so annoying, haha. But, this episode actually felt like a Star Trek episode. Lots of character analysis, for once.
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Other Chris
Sat, Dec 9, 2017, 5:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Mad Idolatry

I didn't mean radio, but that counts too!
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Other Chris
Sat, Dec 9, 2017, 5:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Mad Idolatry

Fox local television, home of Married With Children, The Simpsons and Family Guy itself, has a much broader audience than cable's Fox News radio.
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chris
Fri, Dec 1, 2017, 12:41am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S3: The Eye of Jupiter

“This is Gaius Baltar” and “it feels like I am back in home”.

“We come in peace” and “we are throwing in Baltar” by Brother Calvin,

some of the coolest and most hilarious lines of this season.

As for the cliffhanger, indeed nobody believes Adama will nuke the planet next episode. As nobody buys the Pegasus cliffhanger or the “Mr Worf, fire” line. But still I think they are all well acted and add a lot in the series feel.

...
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Chris
Sun, Nov 26, 2017, 6:43am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Civil Defense

Am I missing something here? All this talk about whether or not they would have left part of Cardassian OS running but surely, if they did, as part of the treaty there would be some sort of long term support agreement with the Cardassians to help if any bugs cropped up? Why the hell did they not simply contact the Federation and/or Cardassian command about this issue as soon as it arose and get someone to given them the override codes they needed?

I couldn't find any indication during the episode that the security protocols had cut-off external contact. If they had, it would of helped maintain my suspension of disbelief. As it was, it seems like they made a mountain out of a mole hill on this one.
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Chris
Wed, Nov 1, 2017, 7:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Children of Time

There is one HUGE plot hole here that I haven't seen mentioned, making this one of the silliest episodes, regardless of the decent drama. The defiant was supposed to have gone back 200 years to that planet to create the colony. BUT, this defiant, does not, it is purportedly in the present time. Meaning, it could not have created the colony even if it stayed, the colony had already been created and existing for 200 years at the point at which this episode's events are taking place. It means NONE of this episode makes sense! How the crew, and inhabitants of the planet, and the watching audience, don't see that, amazes me.
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Chris Papadopoulos
Thu, Oct 12, 2017, 7:12am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry

I think 2.5 stars is generous. This is a very poor episode that treats the viewers as idiots. Fancy production value can only get this series so far.
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