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Dom
Mon, Sep 28, 2020, 5:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@Flipsider, what really made Galaxy Quest special was that it managed to poke fun at Star Trek tropes, and yet never felt like it was making fun of Star Trek or the fans. I never liked Big Bang Theory in large part because it seemed to center around showing how weird the nerds are.
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Dom
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 6:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@CaptainMercer, I'd go even beyond your comment to note that many of us who are critical of new Trek do like other modern shows. The Expanse is a great sci-fi show on TV now. Heck, there are plenty of kids shows that I respect, like She-Ra, even if I know they're not made for me. I know what good writing is. I know what good Star Trek is. I know what good modern TV is. Disco and Picard just aren't. And as Trek fans that's fine to admit.
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Dom
Mon, Jul 27, 2020, 5:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@wanderer2575, I literally laughed out loud at that comment!

As for the Discovery vs Picard debate... I've only seen the first seasons of Discovery and Picard. I remember the writing on Disco being a mess. I felt like the writers had no idea what they wanted to do or say. the lot just swung around wildly. By contrast, I think Picard actually had some coherence as a story with character arcs, even if I didn't love it. Put "Picard" in another franchise, remove the baggage of having the titular character Picard, and you've got a decently watchable if uninspired sci-fi TV show.
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Dom
Sat, Jul 25, 2020, 8:08am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

I never thought I'd say this, but I've gained an appreciation for Berman & Braga. I don't agree with all of their creative decisions with 90s and 2000s Trek, but at least they had a vision for Star Trek as something more than a cash cow.
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Dom
Mon, Jul 20, 2020, 6:38am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@Tomalak, It seems to me Lower Decks is using that style of humor because that's what's succeeded elsewhere, particularly with Rick and Morty. To me, one of the biggest warning signs is that Star Trek is trying to imitate other TV shows rather than doing its own thing or do something uniquely Trek. With Discovery and Picard, Trek followed shows like Expanse and BSG in going dark and violent instead of optimistic and peaceful.
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Dom
Sun, Jul 19, 2020, 3:57pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

"I am greatly amused to see the usual suspects here eagerly consuming anything with the label "Star Trek" slapped on it, no matter how bad it is. I will not be reading the comments section here when it airs, it's just too damn miserable to see Trek fans settle for mediocrity."

Fixed it.
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Dom
Sat, Jul 18, 2020, 5:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@Startrekwatcher, I'd recommend The Expanse. It's a show that takes the science of "sci-fi" very seriously. The first few episodes are a bit slow, but there's great world-building and compelling character arcs.
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Dom
Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 12:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@Anthony Aguilar, people aren't criticizing Lower Decks because we're biased. We're criticizing the trailer, which looks awful. Look, it's possible that the show will be much better than the trailer. If that's the case, hopefully I'll hear about it on social media and will give it a watch.

But life is short. I'm no longer willing to be biased and give a TV show the benefit of the doubt just because it has the name "Star Trek" on it. There are too many other TV shows, books, and movies that deserve my time and attention.

Star Trek isn't a cult where we're all supposed to follow the leader. It's a franchise for storytelling. If we don't like the stories it's telling, it's OK to walk away.
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Dom
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 12:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@Rahul, with all due respect, but isn't "But this is Star Trek, after all so I'll stick with it" part of the problem? If CBS is putting out bad content yet people subscribe because it has "Star Trek" in the name, then what incentive does the company have to hire better writers and fulfill Star Trek's potential.
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Dom
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 9:47am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

and for the record I actually enjoy Rick & Morty's bizarre humor. It's hilarious. But it's also not Star Trek. R&M isn't asking questions about the nature of humanity. It's not trying to to be socially relevant or challenging.
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Dom
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 9:37am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@Jason R., that's the problem I've been calling out for years. There are some folks in these forums who claim that Star Trek is anything with the label "Star Trek" slapped on it. But for that "Star Trek" label to be meaningful, it has to actually mean something. Right now, what does Star Trek mean? Aside from people drawn to anything Trek solely for the label, how much overlap is there between people who liked TNG's Lower Decks and people who liked the trailer this show?

This line in Jammer's review captures my very ambiguous feelings about Star Trek during these past few years:

"But the overall arc of the Trek universe is appearing more and more mercenary and expansive, and less relevant and thoughtful."

CBS might succeed in the short term by getting subscribers to its streaming service. But how many people will still care about this franchise in 2030?
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Dom
Mon, Jul 13, 2020, 7:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

The Lower Decks trailer makes Into Darkness look like a masterpiece. I'm just done with Trek.
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RandomThoughts
Fri, Jul 3, 2020, 12:02am (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Sine Qua Non

@Luke @Nolan

Yeah, after watching him on "Firefly" and "Supernatural", I'm pretty certain that this is his default voice, or at least close to it...

Regards... RT
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RandomThoughts
Fri, May 29, 2020, 6:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Carbon Creek

@Robin

Hello and congratulations on finally seeing them all. :D

Regards...RT
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RandomThoughts
Fri, May 29, 2020, 6:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: A Matter of Honor

@Weasel

Nice comments and welcome to the party. :)

Regards... RT
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Dom
Sat, May 23, 2020, 7:34am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Eamon, I agree, and what's so odd is that the writers seem to know what would make a good story, but didn't deliver it. If you listened to the writers talk about the show before it aired, they were raising some of the same questions you do. But, as you pointed out, the actual show has nothing to do with those questions or themes. It really makes me wonder... are the writers just so bad that they don't understand the implications of their story? Or was there a bunch of studio meddling that water down whatever messages were intended?
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Dom
Wed, May 20, 2020, 7:56am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Glom, I haven't seen the RLM review, but that list is spot on.

@Eamon, I do think there's a bit of a disconnect between Jammer's star rating and the text of the review. Jammer always recommends focusing on the text, which is a bit more nuanced. Also, for serialized shows, it would probably be helpful to have some sort of rating for the season. There are individual episodes of Picard that I thought were fine or even good, but taken as a whole, knowing the end, I can't really recommend the show.
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Dom
Sat, May 16, 2020, 7:50am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@wolfstar, I agree, but unfortunately the viewer ratings for these new shows are strong enough that I doubt we're going to get a shakeup of the writers room. I guess nostalgia's a powerful drug.
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Dom
Tue, Apr 28, 2020, 8:12am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

I don't even get why this has become an argument. Like Booming said, "I don't like big space battles. I like smaller battles where I understand the personal motivations of everybody involved" is a valid opinion, but DS9 is dumb because it has CGI fleets is a bit perplexing as a criticism. As far as ship battles go, TWOK and Undiscovered Country were more compelling than the massive fleet battles in DS9. But DS9 certainly had those types of battles as well. It's not an either or situation. Sometimes the story calls for a small-scale engagement with a limited number of ships, and sometimes it calls for a fleet. They're complementary types of battles.

If the Dominion War in DS9 was *just* CGI battles, then absolutely the show wouldn't be compelling and the criticism would be justified. But the show also had scenes point of view characters on the Defiant (and sometimes other ships), as well as episodes that depicted the war without any fleet battles. Most of the fleet battles in DS9 last mere seconds. DS9 is the fleet battles plus episodes like "Siege of AR-558," plus the banter between Weyoun and Dukat, plus the character arcs arc, etc.
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Dom
Mon, Apr 27, 2020, 5:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Tim, yes the point Jammer was making - and I agree - is that the ships in Picard don't have any weight. They're too cluttered and it looks like the ships are right on top of each other. The zip in and out too fast. There are too many for what seems to be an engagement in some backwater planet. See for example this picture here:

https://screenrant.com/star-trek-picard-riker-new-ship-zheng-he/

Now DS9 did sometimes have fleets that were a bit cluttered, but they usually weren't packed like sardines. There was some space in between ships. The ships moved relatively slowly, giving the feeling that they had some weight and somebody had to actually pilot them. (except for the Defiant, which was much faster). Also, you had a greater variety of ships (note not that many Galaxy-class ships in this frame). This is an image of ships in DS9:

https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/What_You_Leave_Behind_(episode)

Which to my mind looks very different from the image in Discovery.

It sounds like you're more keen on the TOS/TNG era stories that focused on a single ship exploring or moving majestically through the stars. That's fine, but that's not the story DS9 is telling. DS9 is about a war, and for a war you do need fleets. If you want to convey the stakes, you can't tell a multi-season war arc and keep the fleets entirely off-screen as happened in Best of Both Worlds. That would be like having a TV show about D-Day and never seeing images like this:

https://fortune.com/2019/06/06/the-eyes-of-the-world-are-upon-some-of-them-raceahead/
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Dom
Mon, Apr 27, 2020, 4:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Tim, I think you're letting the minutiae of real-world shipbuilding processes to get in the way of enjoying the TV show. First of all, DS9 is a future with tech far beyond ours, where money doesn't seem to be an issue, and in which energy can be pretty easily be converted to matter. It doesn't seem implausible to me that the engineers of the 24th century would have solved some of the bottlenecks that plagued 20th and 21st century production processes. It also strikes me as a bit unrealistic to assume that the number of carriers the US has in 2020 is going to determine how many Galaxy class ships Starfleet would have in 300 years.

More to the point, I agree that the best episodes are character episodes, but that doesn't mean you can't also have episodes with fleet battles. They're not mutually exclusive. In fact, I'd argue they're complementary. The fleets helped sell the notion that the Dominion War is huge in scope. The character episodes helped give the war personal stakes. That balance is key. DS9 felt like a war. Sure, maybe the special effects crew could have settled for 30 ships instead of 50, but that seems like nitpicking.
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Dom
Mon, Apr 27, 2020, 2:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Tim, I agree with the criticisms of Picard, but not DS9. DS9 was depicting a galactic war, the likes of which we'd never seen. At the beginning of TNG, the Enterprise-D was almost certainly one of the few Galaxy-class ships, but it seems hard to believe Starfleet wouldn't have made more, especially if it war worried about armed conflict. The number of ships helped sell the idea that the Dominion War was THE war to end all wars of the 24th century. And notice how DS9 built the stakes over the course of several seasons. In the first Jem Hadar episode, you only had one Galaxy-class ship. The fleets grew over the course of the series. So it's less like the 11 supercarriers we have now and more like our fleet during WW2 - but at a much larger scale (we're talking a galaxy, not a single planet).

By contrast, there's nothing in Picard to suggest that the finale episode was going to be some big battle necessitating big fleets. Why would the Romulans think they'd need so many ships? How does the post-supernova Romulan Empire have so many ships? Why would the Federation allocate so many ships just on the word of Picard? The story doesn't support the scale of the fleets.

And DS9 at least added some variety to the fleets.
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Dom
Tue, Apr 14, 2020, 4:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Honestly, I'm not sure what people will do in 20 years. I think the writing in Picard and Discovery is bad, if Star Trek is still a big franchise in 20 years I suspect people will watch it. I think most of us would agree that Voyager and Enterprise are mediocre on average, yet they're some of the most watched Trek shows on Netflix. It's unfortunately a sign of the power of IPs and nostalgia in pop culture. I worry shows that (I think) are undoubtedly better, like Farscape, will be forgotten in future decades because there isn't a big studio pumping money into the franchise or rebooting it every few years.
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Dom
Sun, Apr 12, 2020, 10:08am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Chrome, maybe I'm looking for an "Aha!" moment, which certainly has been how Trek handled social commentary in the past. More so I think I'm looking for follow-through. We're really talking about one single scene in the entire movie, when Kirk makes that decision. The social commentary and the themes I think do kind of work within the context of that scene. But they're kind of ancillary to the larger plot of the film. As I said before, a single scene or even a few scenes doesn't make for compelling social commentary. The themes of a story should be interwoven throughout the entire story.

About 3/4 of the way into the film, STID becomes a movie not about the ethics of drone strikes or even about saving the Federation from its militaristic tendencies, but rather about stopping the evil madman Khan. The resolution to the central conflict turns out to be disconnected from the themes. The movie might have started as being about confronting the Federation's darkness, but there's no real resolution to that. Marcus turns out to be a lone wolf who isn't persuaded to see the light, but rather is killed off by Khan. Spock doesn't stop Khan by using Federation ethics, but rather just punches him.

There's a disconnect between the setup and the payoff, between the questions raised and the "answers" provided. Again, similar to Picard. Picard started off as a show that depicted the Federation as less welcoming to refugees, to the proverbial "other," but it ends up being a story about stopping evil space AI and saying goodbye to Data. The central conflict raised in episode 1 (the Federation's indifference to refugees vs. Picard's championing traditional Federation values) is resolved entirely off-screen when the Federation lifts the ban on synths.
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Dom
Sat, Apr 11, 2020, 8:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Chrome, I don't want to get into yet another discussion about STID, but the problem there is the same as with a lot of this new Trek: there's no follow-through. There's the scene where Kirk decides not to order the launch of the torpedoes, but the rest of the film doesn't build upon that dilemma. I forget when that scene occurs, but it's like the later two-thirds is about Khan and Marcus' conspiracy.

Then, of course, at the end of the film, Spock DOES succumb to vengeance by beating Khan to a bloody pulp. He never apologizes, never admits that his violence was excessive. The only reason he stops is because Khan's blood is magic. So so much for not succumbing to vengeance.

As a writer, if you want to engage with social commentary or a theme, the story has to consistently engage with it and build upon it. Just throwing in a few lines isn't social commentary.
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