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needs_random_name
Tue, Jun 29, 2021, 5:22pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S6: Tapestry

I dont know why so much people are saying that the episodes moral is bad. The moral is not to get into fights with Nausicaans. but to not regret past stuff. I would say this is a top 10 star trek tng episode, heck even a top 10 star trek episode.
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Dom
Wed, Feb 24, 2021, 7:18pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

CBS just released a first look at Star Trek: Prodigy, a new Trek show aimed at kids. It looks very much like the CBS marketing department's attempt to make Trek relevant to the kiddies.

https://variety.com/2021/tv/news/star-trek-universe-paramount-plus-prodigy-1234914526/
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Dom
Sun, Jan 31, 2021, 3:46pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@Roga Danar, three cheers for episodic TV! I do hope the success of Mandalorian convinces studios to stop treating serialization as the default. Serialized storytelling has advantages, but it's not always the better way to tell a story. BSG and B5 probably took the best approach, with episodic stories early on to expand the setting and flesh out characters, and then more serialization once viewers were invested.
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Dom
Sat, Jan 30, 2021, 7:49am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@Mal, I like your suggestion. And I agree that I hope Jammer doesn't take our recommending other sci-fi shows as pressure. I think part of the reason we mention these shows is that we see Jammer's clearly not as thrilled by Kurtzman-era Trek, and so we're giving recommendations for shows that are worth his time. As you say, life is short. Just because Discovery has "Star Trek" in the name doesn't mean Jammer has to review it. Even if Jammer never reviews B5, Farscape, or Expanse, I hope he gets the chance to watch them because I think he'd enjoy them.
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Dom
Tue, Jan 26, 2021, 6:50pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Speaking of Babylon 5, there's apparently a remastered version out now on HBO Max, Amazon, and iTunes!

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/other/e2-80-98babylon-5-remastered-e2-80-99-now-available-to-buy-or-stream-on-hbo-max/ar-BB1d5YpW?fbclid=IwAR2UhLiplfdL1P6TYgLsBjTi4AzF4mUZonIdYF2KWGejvkv3b2OnpXg4-40
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Dom
Sat, Jan 23, 2021, 7:40am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@John Harmon, yes I watched the show. Notice I didn't say The Expanse doesn't have politics or character drama. It's got a lot of that. But, as Paul M. explained, it's not allegorical in the manner of Trek or BSG. It's not trying to be a commentary on current events or make statements about human nature. To some extent, I get that the show has an undercurrent of "human nature remains the same" - a counterpoint to Trek's optimism about the future - but that's more part of the world-building and less a theme.
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Dom
Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 3:49pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@Paul M., the authors seem pretty adamant that the show "wasn't" canceled by Amazon and that they chose to stop at 6 seasons. Now, that could mean many things. They also seem to be open to The Expanse continuing on TV in some capacity. I suspect that they saw the time jump as a natural place to pause the story. Maybe - hopefully - we'll get a sequel series someday.
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Dom
Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 2:22pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@Paul M., I agree with that distinction. The Expanse is certainly political, and the political subplots with Avasarala are some of my favorites. But the politics is part of the world-building and not, for the most part, as a commentary on our own world. It's not, as you say, allegorical. I prefer the allegory. In that sense, Black Mirror is more like the modern heir to Star Trek rather than The Expanse.

I admit I'm a bit worried that The Expanse won't be able to tie up all of the loose ends in just one more season. The implications of the protomolecule have barely been explored. Then again, I'm glad to hear the show is ending on the writers' terms and not because it was canceled.
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Dom
Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 11:14am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@Paul M., BSG is still my favorite. It's got the perfect blend of character drama, action, socio-political commentary, and mystery. I adore the quasi-serialized format of late 90s/early 2000s TV.

I've enjoyed Expanse a lot, but it's a tier below BSG. It doesn't feel as relevant to our times in the way that BSG and even DS9 did. It doesn't seem to say anything about the human condition, politics, or philosophy. Also, it's a bit too serialized for my tastes. It's a very high 3.5/4 stars though.

TNG and DS9 are still two of my top 5 favorite shows. Some of that's certainly nostalgia. Some of that's certainly recognition of the fact that the echos of those shows helped shape my worldview as a young man. Like B5, I have no interest in watching many - possibly most in the case of TNG - episodes again in my life. And yet, because of the episodic format of TV back then, it's possible to rewatch some of my favorite Trek episodes and get something meaningful out of them. I doubt I'd ever just watch a single episode of Game of Thrones or The Expanse out of context.

I mostly agree about not comparing B5 and the Expanse, but there are some ways in which Expanse gets into that operatic territory. The subplot with the protomolecule hasn't been the focus this season, but surely hints at ancient empires and things beyond the human imagining. I haven't finished the Expanse books, but I could see it turning more into a grand drama. Also, don't forget, B5 was praised at the time for its realistic science, such as a rotating space station, non-aerodynamic star fighters, etc.

I second calls for Jammer to open forums for Babylon 5 (and I'd add Farscape too). It would be great to have a place to share our love for shows we like, as opposed to just bemoaning the fate of Trek.
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Dom
Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 7:56am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@Paul M., that's a great way to put it. Viewers watching it now need to understand that B5 was a bold new attempt at serialized sci-fi storytelling on a meager budget. There's so much that didn't work, from losing main actors to down-scaled CGI to almost being canceled after four seasons. Some episodes aren't great.

And yet... it remains perhaps the most ambitious, serialized, epic story ever put to TV, perhaps outside Game of Thrones. Even DS9 and Farscape were mostly episodic shows with some continuous plot threads. The Expanse is great, but rarely reaches that operatic level of B5.

I sincerely hope B5 isn't lost to time because its production values aren't up to the standards of the 21st century.
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Dom
Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 7:32am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@HarryH, "But if you drift too far of what made Trek work, my question is: why bother. Why call it Star Trek when you obviously wanted to make something else?"

I agree 100%. I understand why corporate marketing at CBS might want to try something new to expand Trek's audience - which among major sci-fi fandoms is still pretty niche. But why are so many fans going along with it? If I want a gritty sci-fi drama, I've got other options like BSG and Expanse. Star Trek used to scratch the optimisitic, liberal humanism itch. If it doesn't, then what's the point? Other franchises exist. Star Trek doesn't need to be everything to everyone.
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Dom
Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 7:28am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

I'm sure many people here are Babylon 5 fans. I just heard that Mira Furlan passed away. It's tragic news for those of us who are fans of B5 and have already lost so many people affiliated with that show when they were so young.

And for those of you who have never watched B5... it's still worth checking out. It will probably scratch the same itch that DS9 scratched all those years ago.
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Dom
Sat, Jan 9, 2021, 8:10am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Came across a good review of Season 3. I particularly like this discussion of why Disco is only questionably "Star Trek" :

https://culturalconversation.co.uk/2021/01/09/star-trek-discovery-that-hope-was-you-season-3-review/

One question that I have been grappling with across this third season is a tried and tested one: is Discovery really and truly Star Trek?

Now, on a factual basis, the answer is of course yes. Discovery is just as much Star Trek as any of the other shows mentioned above. It is canon. It is set in the Prime timeline (despite some hilarious nerds trying to prove otherwise in places online) and it certainly aspires to the core principles of Gene Roddenberry’s series. It is progressive. It is human. It believes in aspiration and equality. It believes in representation. All of these factors are evident, particularly in Season 3 which front-loads POC, LGBTQ and non-binary characters as clearly defined heroes. Discovery considers itself a true heir to the legacy of TOS, perhaps even more so than any Star Trek series since TNG. It carries that belief with passion.

There are two reasons that, for me, Discovery does not, however, feel like Star Trek.

Firstly, it is the only Star Trek show to date which has almost a meta-awareness of the universe it lives in. One might argue Lower Decks has this but the rules are different with that series, one expressly designed as an animated parody of Star Trek’s core tropes. Discovery considers itself a straight-up ‘legacy’ show in the vein of the well-known series of yore, and the carrier of the flame even more than Picard (a project baked in nostalgia designed more as a personal vehicle for Patrick Stewart). Yet Discovery’s characters regularly exist in awe of their surroundings, buoyant with a sense of their own adventure, and almost cult-like about their existence as a crew. Consider how they canonise Michael Burnham, for one thing (more on this later) and how vehemently they resist being parted once they arrive in the 32nd century. They might declare “we are Starfleet” but they don’t often act like it. They act like characters who know they’re in a Star Trek show.

Secondly, the show frequently seems to avoid anything close to the layered interpretation or measured storytelling we saw in previous eras. The standard defence of this is to suggest Discovery cannot be measured in these terms because television has changed, and audiences digest media at lightning, breakneck speed, but it’s a lazy excuse. TV drama has never been stronger, all told, with the cable glory days of The Sopranos, Mad Men, Breaking Bad et al… priming audiences for television which can balance serialisation and nuanced, detailed narrative and character development over fifty minutes. It can be done with science-fiction or fantasy. Just look at Watchmen, a nine-episode masterpiece of storytelling. Game of Thrones, at its height, Westworld when firing on all cylinders. These are just a few examples of shows Discovery, even at its best, isn’t even in the same league with. The writing covers a lack of depth with forced emotion and sentimentality from characters who rarely earn the connection us, as an audience, are meant to invest.
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Dom
Mon, Dec 21, 2020, 4:59pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Terra Firma, Part 2

I haven't watched Disco since Season 1, and it sounds like I'm not missing much. I've got Mandalorian to satisfy my space opera craving and The Expanse to scratch my futuristic sci-fi itch.

I want to second those urging Jammer to review The Expanse. Jammer missed out on B5 while it was airing, and so that classic show will probably never be reviewed on this site (90s Jammer probably would have loved it). But it's not too late to get in on The Expanse. I don't want to pretend it's the greatest show ever, but it's smart, serialized sci-fi, some of the best since BSG. Definitely worth your time.
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Dom
Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 6:44pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Terra Firma, Part 2

@Christopher, "How can this show get distracted so easily, what exactly are the showrunners trying to accomplishing?"

That's why I decided to stop watching after Season 1 of Disco and Picard. These new Trek shows just don't seem to know what they want to be about. Was Season 1 of Disco supposed to be about the war with the Klingons? Or the Mirror Universe? Or the ethics of war? And was Picard supposed to be about learning to accept people who are different? AI? Growing old?

A lot of people have compared Star Wars and Star Trek's current shows. The Mandalorian isn't perfect, but one thing it has going for it is that it's confident about what it wants to be. It's not always the most ambitious or challenging storytelling, but it's got a goal and moves toward it with gusto.
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Dom
Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 6:32pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S3: Terra Firma, Part 2

@Paul M., I agree. It seems like Jammer is reviewing Discovery out of a sense of obligation to the Star Trek franchise, but his heart doesn't seem to be really in it. I think he'd enjoy The Expanse and have interesting things to say about it.
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GunnyFreedom
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 12:53am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S4: Hippocratic Oath

As a veteran, lapses of discipline as extreme as O’Brian exhibited in this episode are destructive to morale and effectiveness. Whether Bashir was right or wrong is immaterial. O’Brian should have been court martialed and sent to the brig.

This one episode converted me from an O’Brian fan to an O’Brian hater. I will have to try and overcome this in future episodes as the nature of a 90’s TV show will just hit the reset button on the Chief like it never happened.

But had this been real life I’d have seen O’Brian drummed out of Starfleet sent to a Federation penal colony for his behavior in this episode.
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Dom
Fri, Nov 20, 2020, 5:23pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 10: The Passenger

@Paul, that's a good way to put it. Mandalorian isn't really pushing the boundaries in storytelling or doing anything subversive, except perhaps in daring to be simple. Episode 2 of Season 1 was one of the best examples of lean, pared down storytelling I can think of on TV. And no matter what the show does, no matter how silly or sentimental, it's almost always confident. I get the sense that the creators are having fun playing in the Star Wars sandbox.
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Intrinsic Random Event
Wed, Oct 7, 2020, 3:10am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: BSG S4: Razor

Been thoroughly enjoying BSG during my lockdown rewatch, had forgotten how great and how unique this show really was... truly one of the best.
However, I have to say, I think Razor is pretty ordinary. I'm not seeing the same criticisms in the other comments (haven't quite read them all), but after the amazing writing and plot twists that ended season 3, most of this movie feels like an unnecessary rehash, albeit with some fantastic special effects.
It's hard to put a finger on it, but the dialogue doesn't have the same flair that is normally present in a BSG episode, and neither does the story, though I do like the idea of somehow including old-school cylons... as a fan of the original show, I got a kick out of that.
Shaw was not a character that I could relate to in any way, the performance seemed too understated and deadpan. I wasn't getting a real sense of brooding anger or frustration beneath the exterior. In spite of how he looked like she could have been younger than Billy from season 1, I could look past that given Lee Adama can be a Battlestar commander, or Ensign Ro could be an admiral. But part of the problem was that I just didn't buy any attempt she made to be intimidating, or trade barbs with Starbuck.
So in summary, I thought it all looked great, loved the old cylons, but the rest fell flat for me, didn't really add anything of consequence to the main storyline. But I can see how this would have been very welcome during a long break between seasons.
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Nancy Doman
Tue, Oct 6, 2020, 4:24am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DS9 S6: You Are Cordially Invited

How can anyone doubt Worf's counting Bashir among his closest friends, considering Bashir's efforts to keep Worf going during their time in the Dominion prison?
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Dom
Mon, Sep 28, 2020, 5:33pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: LD S1: Veritas

@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: LD S1: Second Contact

@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: LD S1: General Discussion

@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: LD S1: General Discussion

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: LD S1: General Discussion

@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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