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RandomThoughts
Tue, Aug 20, 2019, 2:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Wounded

Strange how something can just strike a person so funny:

Kardashian War...

I had to take off my glasses, wipe my eyes, take a sip of coffee, all before I could continue.

I'm picturing nice-looking but largely expensive, useless ships; with huge engines.

Enjoy the day everyone... RT
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RandomThoughts
Thu, Jul 18, 2019, 6:05am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Conspiracy

Hello Everyone

From the time I watched this first run, to the last time a couple of years ago, I always thought the way he malevolently said "peaceful co-existence" meant that was the last thing they wanted. He said it to mock the Feds, not offer the hand (heh) of peace. Federation sentient beings were taken over and at least one ship was destroyed along the way, with the loss of all hands. This was an invasion, pure and simple, and they stopped it.

I do recall being a bit surprised they made it all explody, instead of beaming it to a holding cell, but I think it is a case of shoot first/remove the threat, and figure out the rest later.

Regards... RT
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RandomThoughts
Sat, Jun 29, 2019, 8:28am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: The Visitor

@Bobbington Mc Bob

Heh, I liked how you put that, at the end. And two manly things I can still do, as well. :D

Regards... RT
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RandomThoughts
Fri, Jun 28, 2019, 10:48am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Nightingale

Hello Everyone!

My main concern was with helping the Kraylor get their cloaking device. We've seen races in ST who were destroyed, or nearly so, because they were "bad" and there was a good reason for them to be confined to their own world.

In Voyager, we've had the Trabe be homeless because they'd been jerks, and we've had those few thousand folks in the 800-year-old ships who'd been naughty in the past as well (not on my normal computer, so I'm not looking the names up today). Now these folks with Sheppard Book (he even had the same haircut as on Firefly!) ask for help to escape their world, which is under blockade. Until I knew if the blockade was bad, or for the good of the galaxy, I'd not help either one of them.

As far as promotions, it has been noted here and elsewhere that there were only two that we ever saw/noticed: Paris and Tuvok. I don't really believe those count. Paris had no rank when he started, and flipped back and forth between Ensign and Jr. Grade, while Tuvok started out as a Lt. Commander. I think they just fouled up by giving him Lieutenant pips and kept him there, and fixed/retconned it later.

I figured since we didn't see anyone else ever get promoted, they decided to leave everyone where they were at, and if/when they got home, the ranks could be adjusted. I mean, if it were to actually be 70 years to get home (as originally postulated), who'd care what your rank was when you retired on the generational ship? That was how I thought of it anyway. :)

Have a Great Day Everyone... RT
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Dom
Thu, May 23, 2019, 6:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

So the Picard teaser:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3om4V_-Y0Q&feature=share

It's fine. It's a teaser. There's obviously a mystery about where Picard's been. He's no longer in Starfleet. He's downcast. It's beautifully shot. Didn't make me more or less excited for the show.
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Dom
Thu, May 23, 2019, 5:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

@William B, it's amazing how many people forget that, but it's so true. Reboots can actually be good if you actually get good writers and have some good ideas. Battlestar Galactica and Rise of Planet of the Apes are to me the gold standard for reboots.
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Dom
Wed, May 22, 2019, 5:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

@Chrome, yes, that's the one. I tuned in because I was a Darkwing Duck fan, but came away very impressed. It also had some interesting things to say about what it means to be a fan. I agree, it's a bit puzzling that Ducktales has better social commentary than the current Star Trek show.
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Dom
Tue, May 21, 2019, 10:00am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi, absolutely. I've been really frustrated with the hypocrisy in fandom. I've seen people who claim to just want a "genuine dialogue" with fans who disagree, and then turn around and trash those fans when they do disagree. People are far to ready to dismiss any opinion that doesn't line up with theirs.

@Chrome, I just watched the most recent episode of Ducktales and you're not wrong. I hadn't been watching that show, but it's actually quite good (and clever). If I had more time I'd dig into it.
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Dom
Sun, May 19, 2019, 9:22am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

@Booming, at the end of the day, I do tend to err on the side of giving fans more rather than less freedom to voice their opinions. Disney, HBO, and CBS are massive corporations and already have a lot of power to shape the public discussion about their products. The actors and writers give interviews, hold events at cons, etc to promote their work. Your average fan on Twitter or Youtube is nothing compared to that. I do worry about a world in which these corporations deliberately whip up fans of their works to shout down fans who are more critical. I think we already saw a bit of that with The Last Jedi, which was a PR disaster. I refrained from talking too publicly about certain parts of that film for months because I didn't want to get labeled as a sexist or racist manbaby. Now, a worrying trend on the other side is that in aggregate fans do seem to have increasing power to shape the public discourse on the other side. I do think part of that is the media attention the most extreme parts of fandom get. If mainstream media outlets hadn't covered the GoT or Last Jedi petitions, I doubt they would have gotten nearly as many signatures. The outrage industrial complex shines a spotlight on fan outrage, increases fan outrage, and so on.
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Dom
Sun, May 19, 2019, 7:53am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

@Booming,

I actually agree strongly with your first point on GoT. I was grinning during the episode, not because I'm a sociopath, but because for years I felt like that's where Dany's arc was going but I didn't think the show would have the guts to go through with it. Glad I was wrong.

I actually meant the Washington Post article (posted much higher in the thread), not that Vox article. I find it to be a useful attempt to structure film criticism. It suggests we ask three questions: "What was the artist trying to achieve? Did he or she achieve it? And was it worth doing?" What I like is that it gets us away from actually critiquing the art on its own terms rather than measuring it against our own expectations. So for me, for example, Discovery in Season 1 was trying to tell a war story, but it didn't succeed in the building the stakes or providing a satisfactory payoff. As much as I might want my Trek to be high-concept episodic sci-fi, Discovery was never going for that, so that might be a reason why I personally don't enjoy the show, but that's not a constructive critique of the show.

Which gets back to my point above. There's a difference between allowing fans to have their criticisms and those criticisms being constructive and leading to productive discussion. I believe strongly fans can and should be allowed to say whatever they want about a show and not attacked. At the same time, while I respect their right to disagree, that doesn't mean I have to respect their argument. If someone is launching ad hominem attacks, I'd say don't engage. That person just isn't worth your time. People online seem to think we're going to persuade people who disagree with us, but we just aren't. The social science on persuasion shows that it's much, much harder to get people to change their minds with facts and reason than most people believe.

You're right though, the line between critiques of the show and attacks on fans can perhaps become a bit blurry. Is "the writers must think the audience is stupid" an attack on show or on fans? I could see how someone might think they're just criticizing the art, but fans of the show would take it as a personal slight.
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Dom
Sat, May 18, 2019, 10:38am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

@booming, the Washington Post article I posted above is a good guide to constructive criticism. Criticizing a story because it's not the story you want isn't good practice. There's a difference between "it didn't meet MY expectations" and "it didn't meet the expectations set up in the story itself"
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Dom
Sat, May 18, 2019, 10:24am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

@Booming, I probably wasn't clear, I was talking about criticism generally, including but not exclusively Disco. I don't know of the creators of Disco attaching fans, but Trek websites and Disco fans certainly have attacked other fans. With Star Wars, people associated with Lucasfilm certainly attacked fans (and I don't just mean calling out bigots).

I'd certainly never deny an artist's right to feel hurt! What we're seeing though I think is fundamentally different. As you alluded to, I think this is more about companies trying to shut down negative criticism. Ultimately, I come down on the side of saying ANY critique of the art is fair, whereas critiques of the artist - especially ones focusing on the artist's race or gender - should not be fair game. If people disagree with a critique, they can muster the evidence and analysis to support their side.

With all due respect, I do wonder if your attitude about GoT episode 5 isn't part of the problem. Why would people going "crazy" increase your enjoyment of the story? Isn't that a bit sadistic? Schadenfreude much? Why not just enjoy/dislike the story for what it is and let people who disagree go their own way?
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Dom
Sat, May 18, 2019, 8:19am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

@Booming, it's all over the internet, include sometimes in these forums fans attacking other fans. Vox just published an article about this:

https://www.vox.com/culture/2019/5/16/18618425/let-people-enjoy-things-criticism

I obviously don't condone people sending vile messages to creators, and it's a shame that it happens, but there's actually a pretty simple solution: don't check Twitter. I get that creators have to post things on social media, but they don't need to actually respond to every tweet. For fans, I'd say something similar. If someone disagrees with you, don't attack the person, attack the argument. If a bunch of fans start a petition to remake a film or TV show, ignore them. It's their right to be dumb (for the record, I loved the recent episode of Game of Thrones).

What we're seeing online isn't just disagreement about a movie or TV show, it's this notion that a lot of fans and creators have that disagreement itself can't be tolerated. I think a lot of fans want to feel like there's consensus and the fact of the matter is with millions of people out there consensus might just not be possible.

Huge caveat to this: if someone is being a bigot or harassing other people online, it absolutely makes sense to call them out. I don't know if that's always the most effective approach, but that's certainly morally defensible (I think blocking or ignoring trolls is probably more effective - trolls thrive on conflict).
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Dom
Sat, May 18, 2019, 7:21am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi, I agree and I was trying to support your point. I was also trying to go a step further though and defend the idea of criticism in general. But you're right, and I think one thing you point to shows a disturbing trend in pop culture. Back then, showrunners and actors and studios didn't publicly trash their fans. Yes, it must be frustrating to get letters or tweets condemning the show, but that's part of the process of the game. That's an inherent risk of putting your art into the world for all to see. Now, some of the people associated with these shows, professional critics, Trek websites, and fellow fans attack fans critical of a TV show or movie. And unfortunately this is a problem with both sides. Fans who don't like a show will harass critics, fans, etc who disagree. This level of personal attack is new for pop culture and deeply frustrating. We should all vigorously talk about our opinions about a show, but refrain from attacking the people expressing those opinions.
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Dom
Thu, May 16, 2019, 5:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi, agree very much. We're in this weird place with pop culture discourse where we not only disagree about the quality of a movie or TV show, but also about the extent to which it's legitimate to critique that quality. Vox just had a good piece about this with respect to Game of Thrones, but could equally apply to Discovery and The Last Jedi:

https://www.vox.com/culture/2019/5/16/18618425/let-people-enjoy-things-criticism

I generally liked the DS9 doc, but I thought that first scene came across like an undeserved pity fest. People need to realize that when you're talking about a pop culture franchise like Star Trek, millions of people watch it. Millions. That's a big number. That means you're always going to get a broad spectrum of opinion. Even if only 0.1% of people send nasty letters, that's still a 1,000 people. Fortunately, at the time the writers of DS9 had enough confidence in the show and pushed ahead.

There's another aspect to this discussion the doesn't get discussed nearly enough. A lot of these complaints about DS9 and TNG came during their first two seasons. A lot of fans, and even the DS9 doc, want to portray this as evidence that Trek fans are always resistant to change. But guess what? The first seasons of both shows were pretty bad! Would anyone associated with Trek really defend "Move Along Home" or "Code of Honor"? Sometimes the fan complaints were ridiculous (the captain's bald!), sometimes they were rude, but I also don't think the writers deserved glowing compliments at that point in their respective shows. If they hadn't gotten complaints, they might have gotten complacent, and then the shows wouldn't have pivoted around the end of Season 2 to become the classics that we all know and love. And guess what? Most of the fan complaints stopped once the shows got better!

Call me old fashioned, but the best complaint to fan criticism is to make a good show. Not to give in to fan demands or lavish fan service, but to make a quality piece of storytelling that you're proud of.
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RandomThoughts
Tue, May 14, 2019, 1:49am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Deadly Years

Hello Everyone!

@Jason R.

I really must agree with most of your comments. My thought is (without reviewing the comments again), how could that fellow be a Commodore, above a Captain, having never commanded a ship? Did he get that commission by being a good "supplies" commander, over time? A "chair-bound paper-pusher"?

Then he dis-regards the comments of the junior officers about traveling across the neutral zone. Is there a bulge in it they cannot go around? Or are they on the other side so, so far away that they have to cut across it to save time and they'll wave hello to Romulus and Remus along the way? Even an idiot would have known to take the fastest safe passage that doesn't break the treaty.

On the other hand, when I was 12, and Checkov finds the body, I was hooked/stunned. And we had ships shooting? Oh my gosh! I still have a soft spot for this episode, but not as soft as it used to be. Even then, I wondered how the Commodore could be so... stupid. He'd have been "retired" as soon as they got back to the Starbase....

Enjoy the day Everyone... RT
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RandomThoughts
Sat, May 11, 2019, 1:24am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Memorial

Hello Everyone!

@acd hit it on the head for me. Partially fix the memorial, making it voluntary. Explain in the buoy message (multiple languages they've come across, I'd think) what the memorial is and what it says it's for. Tell about the BIG BUTTON they've added to it. Hit the button, relive the memory.

I thought about the ST:Voy episode Nemesis throughout the story.

Regards, Everyone... RT
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RandomThoughts
Fri, May 10, 2019, 9:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Virtuoso

Hello Everyone!

I won't post too much. I mostly agree with both the positive and negative assessments that have been posted before.

I did like how the folks on the planet didn't just say "Oh, you're right, we must see music your way" and went off doing their own thing.

But I did wonder how they never, even by accident, ever invented a wind chime? :)

Have a glorious day... RT
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Dom
Thu, May 9, 2019, 7:41am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi, agree. Mary Sue is a very loaded term. But criticism of any character is fair game. I've been saying for years we need a new (gender-neutral) term for characters at the center of a story who never struggle and magically have whatever skills and powers they need to resolve problems that come their way. I can certainly think of male and female characters who fit that mold.
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RandomThoughts
Wed, May 8, 2019, 4:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Force of Nature

@Trish

I enjoyed that. Sounds like something I'd do/write. :)

Regards... RT
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RandomThoughts
Sat, May 4, 2019, 3:23am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: The Road Not Taken

Hello Again, Everyone!

I just watched this for my second time, using Hulu, and had missed the part about the special serum during the storm warnings. But, I didn't miss all that much. :)

I've seen a couple of comments saying something along the lines of "...if Ed isn't the Captain, the Kaylon win the battle..." (paraphrase), and those folks finding fault with Ed being the saving grace. It isn't just Ed. If Kelly doesn't get him this command, she isn't the second in command, and Gordon isn't on the ship either. After Kelly demanded to head out to find allies, with Gordon as the pilot, they never pull the stunt with the drive to get them to Krill space.

So, so many threads to pull, but that one stood out for me. Ed didn't save the Union, it was the people around him (since he was there as Captain) that saved the day (including Claire then dating Isaac).

On the other hand, if Kelly wasn't on the Orville, who notices LaMar is really smart and makes him the head of engineering? *ouch* *brain hurts again* At least, he Seemed to be an engineer when they went to the Trench to find the ship, as he was the only one in the engine room trying to make the plan go forward.

I just hope, if and when there is a third season, LaMar doesn't go blind...

Regards Everyone... just some... random thoughts...

RT
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Dom
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 9:32am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

"there's always been a tendency for the series' writers to leave big narrative gaps and expect us to fill in the ellipses with our imaginations. This creates a sense of sloppiness more than anything else, as if the writers couldn't be bothered to put in the time to create narrative clarity and credibility."

Man this applies to so much writing on TV and in movies nowadays.
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Dom
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 7:43am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

@Peter G, I think you hit the nail on the head on how we should think about reviewing movies. After Last Jedi, a Washington Post reviewer explained her thoughts on this

"Before you review any film... ask yourself three questions: What was the artist trying to achieve? Did he or she achieve it? And was it worth doing?"

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/the-last-jedi-backlash-provides-a-useful-primer-in-how-not-to-watch-a-movie/2018/01/04/6fa9a72c-f142-11e7-b3bf-ab90a706e175_story.html?utm_term=.04bb20aed2fd

Even after all that said, I find I still can't get on board with Discovery. But I also feel like I gave the show a chance on its own terms and didn't just hold it up against the nostalgia I have for DS9 or TNG.
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Dom
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 7:34am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

@Mitch, I agree, it's hard to reconcile some of Jammers star ratings in previous years with the ratings he's given Discovery. But Jammer is also a human being, one I suspect only a handful of us know in real life. People's tastes change over time, they're allowed to mellow out. I know personally just 5 years ago I thought all the Marvel superhero films were dreadfully boring. Now, I really enjoy them. Have I suspended my critical faculties? Possibly. But it's also just a function of where I am in my life. I have close friends and family who really enjoy the films, so Marvel films are more like a communal event I can share with loved ones. I can also appreciate the joys of escapist entertainment a bit more. Things within and outside me changed to change the way I view the films. I don't want to psychoanalyze Jammer, but perhaps things have changed for him as well.
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RandomThoughts
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 1:31am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: The Road Not Taken

Hello Everyone!

Heh, I hate storm warnings. Glad it was only three minutes for me towards the beginning. I'll catch that up on Hulu. Same thing for Supernatural, which I'll catch up on at the CW app.

I was gratified one of my musings on the previous episode was right. They were not in the right place, at the right time, to prevent the Kaylon destruction of Earth. And boy, they didn't mess around. I'm thinking they took pieces of the Moon and shot them towards Earth, as those were some big craters. If that was the case, the atmosphere might have been more hazy though, from the ejecta.

Those flying heads were a neat surprise, but once again, why didn't Isaac use his head cannon to save them when they were stranded on that planet? And they don't seem to be all that stable when flying, since for the most part they were only successful in shooting the ground. They seem to do much better standing still.

And a question was answered for me from a previous episode, there are indeed Kaylon in those ships, they are not separate entities.

It was nice to see Alara.

It seems this version of Isaac didn't spend 700 years on a planet (my opinion) and didn't date the Doctor. It just had the original programming to learn for invasion. I think that means in the original timeline, Isaac did indeed develop empathy for the sentients it was observing.

The empty Orville, with a bit of interior damage from their takeover fight (I presume) did look creepy to me as they slowly walked along, but not over the top. I did expect to see some bodies around though. Maybe the Kaylon do indeed like their spaces to be neat and tidy, and there was a room full of bodies somewhere.

Yes, Kelly was bad for that small thought of hoping that timeline would remain. Ed was bad for not being shocked and appalled. I also said out loud "He's EATING HER FACE!". But I've never had to kiss someone, and feign passion, on camera. Maybe it's harder than it looks... :)

I thought they'd run into some Kaylon at Earth, then realized since it was blasted to rubble months before, why bother? They needed the ships to defeat other races.

It seems the Kaylon are indeed connected to each other in some way. Now I wonder, as others have, why they didn't know their guards were defeated in the shuttlebay in the earlier ep? Or when Isaac went rogue? Perhaps they have to actually "think" about it, just as we have to say something verbally after the thought hits us. I might be reaching though... :)

I also wondered why, when the Doctor was set to go back in time, she hadn't told them what to do beforehand? The clock is running, she's about to get on the table, and only then hurriedly gives them the instructions. A small point, but enough that I took notice. Maybe do the instructions off-camera, and have her say something more along the lines of "Do you remember what I told you to do?"

Overall, I liked this one. Not fantastic, but not horrible. I'll watch it again on Hulu, and not just to see the little bits I missed when they came on to tell us about the potential tornado. I'll give it a thumbs up.

Enjoy the day Everyone... RT
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