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Hank
Sun, Jan 6, 2019, 2:53pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: Primal Urges

Hm, I guess Jammer and myself just have different tastes. Seeing the two stars first I expected a pretty bad episode, but was pleasantly surprised.

As always, I don't care much for the humor, and I agree that there were too many issues - in the end, Bortus didn't really so much suffer from porn addiction as from general depression/escapism, so there was no need to bring that up. The counseling session was also pretty shallow.

The dying civilization could have been more fleshed out, but it really needn't be. We know the drill by now. I was pleasantly reminded of wacky TNG and Voyager holodeck episodes. It felt really cheesy and humorous, while having the courtesy to not go into too much detail (I really have no need for more explicit sex scenes in movies and TV, let alone alien sex between two guys, I just don't swing that way).

Aside from Kellys wooden acting (was she always this bad?) this was your typical run-of-the-mill Star Trek episode. Nothing groundbreaking, but not bad either, and for me personally, great, because I got to see more Star Trek.

So, I would rate this episode a high 3 stars at least, it was definitely stronger than the series opener.
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Hank
Sun, Jan 6, 2019, 1:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: Ja'loja

Well, what can I say? I was pleasently surprised (again), by the lack of spectacle and the somewhat clever "hook": Bortus ritual. Yes, this ritual seems utterly pointless, comedic and infantile to us - and the crew on board the ship - but if you think about it, most rituals feel to you that way if they are foreign to you. I thought it was pretty clever in having everybody respect this pointless, "stupid" ritual as if it was some kind of religious ceremony.

I also enjoyed the lack of humor (or i didn't notice it - nothing jarring at least). In the end, I enjoyed about half the episode, and didn't mind the rest. I could have done without the tired "But I still love you!" stuff, but it seems this will be coming to an end. The "B-Plot", if you can call it that, about the cheating children was meh. Why didn't the doctor just take DNA samples off of the replicator? But overall it was nice world building, character work and cozy family stuff. So ... yeah, 2,5 stars? 3 maybe? We don't see too many quiet episodes in series these days, so that was kind of refreshing.
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Hank
Tue, Feb 13, 2018, 5:06pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Tim: Yeah, you are probably right and it is mostly the writers fault. It is just that her delivery would even kill a well written story... I guess they are both to blame, and the exact ratio of actor/writing is indeterminate, we can just agree that the end product sucks.
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Hank
Tue, Feb 13, 2018, 5:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Mertow: No, you miss the point. The point is that Discovery is stupid, indepentend from it taking place inside the star trek canon, as I tried to explain already above. Not stupid because "That wouldn't happen in the Star Trek Universe", but stupid because "that would never happen in any universe, because that is utterly stupid".

Example: James Bond finds the Villain, and places a bomb in the Villains lair, because the villain threatens to destroy London. Bond then reveals himself to the villain, and says: "I have a bomb. I will use it, if you do not promise to not nuke London." The Villain says: "Oh gee oh my, yes, sure Mr. Bond, I will certainly not destroy London!" Bond then hands him the detonator for the bomb in the villains base, and says: "Great, you can have this, it detonates the bomb, now, I will go back to England. Good day to you, Mr. Villain!" The Villain than holds a speech in front of his mooks: "You know, us destroying London - that is really not who we are! We should work on ourselfs, improve ourselfs! Introspection is the word of the day!" And then the villain removes the nuke from London....

Please tell me that that is not stupid. As for people still liking the story: No, it does not make themselves stupid. Regarding the "just accepting this drivel" part: Sure, you can make people like things through repitition. That's what an acquired taste is. So yes, you can indeed make people like shallow, stupid shows, even though they are not stupid. You can also appeal to our base instincts: That is what most advertisement does. People buy a new iPhone even though their old one isn't broken or inadequate yet. Does not necessarily make them stupid, but we are complex beings not only driven by intellect. So I am sorry if you take that personally, but Trent has a point.
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Hank
Tue, Feb 13, 2018, 4:30pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Tim: Don't think too hard about it. The writers just needed a reason for Micheal to be shunned by starfleet. I guess they might have tried for something along these lines: Michael acts emotionally and kills T'Kuvma, but over the course of the story, she realizes that "killing is wrong, mkay?" and becomes the ultimate symbol of star-fleet-ism. There are some scenes where she tries to combat her hatred for Klingons. The problem with that is: If they were going for it, they so utterly botched it, that it is not even funny anymore.

They introduce Michael as more Vulcan than Human, dictated by logic not feelings. So her sudden "GOTTA KILL T'KUVMA" emotional outbreak is not registered as such - especially since she looks just as cold as she did before. If this actually was a classical story, she would have had her mentor, who guides her to the right path: Coming to terms with her hatred for Klingons, adopting an enlightened philosophy, etc. Instead, Micheal IS the mentor (Or: The Mentors, that shock-rock band): She constantly is portrayed as the arbiter of morality. She tells everybody what is right. So her actions just come off as either stupid, shizophrenic or calculated evil.

Yes, we get it: Michael shooting T'Kuvma is like taking revenge for her parents who were killed by Klingons - prompted by the death of your replacement mother. That could have worked - but it didn't. Simply because she didn't act like she was in emotional distress, but was totally professional about it. There was no build-up. Maybe let her scream in rage, and show remorse immediatly after, instead of only showing regrets that she is now in such a bad spot. I blame that firmly on SMGs acting: Yes, she says she regrets shooting T'Kuvma, and that it was a mistake, but it never comes off as sincere. It is like a child that says "yeah, I regret stealing that (because I was caught, not because it's wrong)". And in the next scene she is there lecturing everybody about morality ...

If, and only if, the writers were going for this story, they failed to convey it on every level. Michael just goes from super emotional to super logical, there is no rhyme or reason to it, no developement that is discernable for the viewer. I mean, she attacked Giorgeo in mutiny - would you really do that without ANY serious buildup to a person you consider your replacement mother (well, second replacement mother, whatever)? So how can we believe her emotional outbreak after Giorgeo dies? After all, she had no problem just trampling over her a scene or two ago.

And even if she hates Klingons so much - would she really kill T'Kuvma in a fit of rage? I mean, she never shows rage... or much emotion anyways. Would she really go against her own better judgement and snap? Is she just a psychopath? Just show me some emotions! Make her cry when she sees dead Giorgeo, instead of pouting, like she does all the time anyways. Show me what motivates her! Show me her reasons... So many interesting possibilities, that are just left unexplored. There is just no direction to the story. Michael is supposed to be highly emotional, troubled and torn, yet at the same time is portrayed as the infallible arbiter of truth that always succeeds... You can not have both in the same character without some seriously good writing - I think it might even be impossible.

All that gets burried under plot and drama anyways.
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Hank
Tue, Feb 13, 2018, 1:15pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Artymiss: Buffy was great. I miss the nineties TV shows ... Yeah, please watch Terminator 1 and 2. Sarah Connor is about the most realistic and badass woman ever put on screen, at least in my mind. She also got a great character arc over the two movies.
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Hank
Tue, Feb 13, 2018, 12:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Chris: Well, didn't you see the "But the Tardigrade is actually peaceful" plotline? There is your Idea: Animals act violently when they are cornered, and misunderstanding the unfamiliar will lead to pain!

Thats, like, a totally original idea that was like, never done before, right? Especially not on Star Trek.
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Hank
Tue, Feb 13, 2018, 12:51pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Artymiss: You put your finger on the most obvious problem this show has: Lackluster buildup and attention to detail, and important information is just not presented.

I get your girl power angle, but to be honest, she really pales in comparison to Sarah Connor from Terminator, Buffy or Ellen Ripley. Or Lisbeth Salander from "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" (the original, not the inferior american remake). Or Xena, while we are at it. Well, I think being a strong person has almost nothing to do with being physically strong anyways, and would it appreciate much more if Burnham wins by wit and cunning rather than by plot-induced super strength.
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Hank
Tue, Feb 13, 2018, 12:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

@Tim: Because we live in the age of identity politics, and your Gender and Race determine what you are supposed to dislike. "Yes, of course those horrible men all hate Janeway - the strong independent woman(tm)". Nevermind all the valid reasons to dislike Janeway (or the assumption that hating Janeway makes you hate the show - Voyager is my second favorite, after DS9, even though I hate Janeway). If you dislike DS9, it must be because Sisko is black and you are white. The list goes on. Best to ignore it completely, but I know, it is hard, because it is such a fundamental attack on your character.
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Hank
Tue, Feb 13, 2018, 11:50am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Adonis: The use of force is not the main problem, as I tried to make very clear in my earlier rant. The problem is that the resolution made NO sense. None at all.

I really wanted the show to succeed, and as I repeated numerous times, for the first fiteen minutes I was really hopeful. I even came to terms with the Klingon look; yeah, I get it, you want to generate viewers with visual spectacle, and lets be serious, TOS is completely laughable nowadays. I still didn't understand why they had to look different, but ok, whatever. Then all the stuff happens. Magic Mushrooms. Mary Sue. Pointless plot "twists" that were totally obvious and serve no deeper idea, just shallow drama. Add to that gratitious violence and gore, nonsensical ship designs (even Warhammer 40k looks more realistic, and they TRY to be super edgy), and so forth ... yeah, gatekeeping is NOT the main problem here. I was a fan of Enterprise right from the point when it first aired, even though I had seen all other series previously. I can live with strange storytelling decisions or violence or trashyness. My favourite movies include 2001: A Space Odyssey and Genocyber - a completely trashy 90s anime that is generally completely lambasted for just being torture porn, yet I still managed to see the underlying story that the author wanted to tell, but was just unable to, the concept burried under many layers of gore. And you know why? Because the girl that is the protagonist is likeable and relateable - and she is mute and mentally on the level of a small child, and yet, there is more emotion in a drawn, mute character than ever was in Burnham. I like Event Horizon, another "Bad Movie" on my list of alltime favourites. I liked Game of Thrones - because it made me care about the characters (well, until about season 6 or so, where there were no characters left and it just deteriorated into a soft porn with violence). I am telling you that to make clear that I have seen and liked many different movies and TV-series of all kinds of tone and production quality, I am open minded. I liked Stargate: Universe (which was hated for many of the same reasons that DSC is hated: Overly dark and dramatic), because it made me warm up to it to the point where I put the comparison to Atlantis and SG1 aside. DSC does not manage that, because it simply is a badly written show.

Just take a look at the Orville: It fares much better when compared to Star Trek, even though there are many valid criticisms against that show: Humor, plagiarism, outmoded ideas, the list goes on. But it also shows that it IS possible to do a TNG-like series without being totally unoriginal. Discovery tries to be a mix of BSG, Game of Thrones and Walking Dead: Drama above all else, violence, sex. The visuals tell a clear story. Heck, one of the first actions of our main character is a mutiny, followed by mining corpses ... way to turn up the grim-dark up to eleven in a series that is known for being light and aspirational. And it is not only the action, but the portrayal, the visual style that completely goes against previous Trek. If you want to call that gatekeeping, fine, I admit, I don't want Star Trek to be mostly torture porn and drama WITHOUT any compelling characters or story. If they had characters and story - yeah, sure, I do love me some good old ultraviolence. Clockwork Orange is one of my favourite movies, after all. But I can not stand shallowness and idiocy, and DSC is just a big "Micheal Burnham is so awesome" wank with a pointless, unbelievable story. Not a hard to understand, complex and mysterious story like Neon Genesis Evangelion, for example, a series that is also very divisive, a BAD story. Not a badly executed story with flickers of genius, like Genocyber (and it is REALLY REALLY bad on every level, seriously), no, a perfectly executed bad story. It works exactly like it was planned. But it is just drivel. If it was a standalone series, it would still be bad. The comparison to Trek just makes it even more obvious.

Take a very simple scene, as an example, a very small detail, that shows you exactly what is important in this show: When they first discover the Klingon satellite, they can not get a visual, because the visuals are blurred... So they look through an analog telescope, and can see it clearly. Can you see the idiocy? The "Optical scanner" (which is just a fancy name to say "telescope with an attached digital camera") can not see the object clearly because a field distorts the photons coming from that object, but an old telescope, which recieves exactly the same distorted photons, can see it clearly? This is a very minor and unimportant example, that is dwarfed by many other, bigger examples (and really, I would have just overlooked it normally as cheesy), where the show thinks its viewers are idiots. The ultimate example of that trend is the final solution to the klingon war: They just give up because Burnham is awesome. The show treats everybody, its cast, its viewers, like an idiot, and expects me to cheer them on for it. No, I will not do that. That has nothing to do with "But muh Klingon redesign" or "But Starfleet wouldn't do that!". NOBODY who is sane would do something like that. Nobody. None of the characters involved, would ever do that. And if they did, it would backfire spectacularly.

DSC does the same that the JJ Movies and new Star Wars does: It thinks everybody is an idiot, and that nothing is important. "The First orders build a super-mega-death-star-clone" How? NOT IMPORTANT! Look at our fancy visuals. "Hello, Max von Sydow, you are the only one who knows where the map is that leads to Luke Skywalker. So, instead of torturing some villagers to make you spill the beans - I will just kill you because I am an Idiot! Oh, I will later reveal that I can mindread, btw." Wow, what a great story. You can take any Arnold Schwarzenegger action flick from the eighties, and the story will make MORE sense than either NuTrek or NuWars. To enjoy it, you have to not think about it, or you have to come up with some headcanon that tries to retcon everything. This is far beyond any initial "New = Bad" reaction that you may have (and I admit, I am pretty prone to having those at first). This is a complete failure of story telling at the most basic level. If your story breaks apart the first time you poke it with a question, it is a bad story. And if a bad story is filled with unrealistic, unlikeable cardbord characters - it is an utter desaster, and voilla, you have Discovery.
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Hank
Tue, Feb 13, 2018, 10:47am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Another thought regarding the comparison to DS9: The Dominion is not comparable to the Klingons. The Klingon/Federation war is what a war between Russia and the USA would be: Two sides with different ideologies but roughly comparable capabilities. The Dominion were the "Borg light": Genetically engineered super soldiers, vastly superiour resources, no moral considerations whatsoever or even a concept of "Honor" that can be exploited. The Dominion made it quite clear that it will stop at nothing: The first attack on a Galaxy Class ship is a suicide run, and a needless one at that, as nothing really was at stake for the Dominion. The Federation knows quite well that the Dominion will commit genocide, as they have done it in the past, and show no indication that they will stop: They even turn their weapons on Cardassia as a punishment. Knowing all that, it took several seasons for the Federation to come up with the morphogenic virus - and it is quite conceivable that it was just meant to prohibit the founders from changing form, not outright killing them. Wheter Section 31 or Starfleet command decided that genocide was acceptible, is never made clear. The Federation also took active steps to "genocide" the Borg, if such a term is even applicable here, simply because there was no other option (I am going to ignore Voyagers take on the Borg here, as they were neutered beyond belief).

So, the setup is quite different. The Klingons are not a hivemind that can't be reasoned with, and neither are they so different from the Federation that they consider all "solids" unworthy of life. The mistake the writers made was writing themselves into a corner: The Klingons achieving a perfect, flawless victory. They should just have looked at WW2: USA vs. Japan. Japan dominated the early war, but gradually, the US industrial might took over. The same should have happened here: The Federation can use the resources and skills of several races, the Klingons are so focused on War and Honor that they just fall behind (like the Japanese). Then it is easy to put through the message: "Diversity is strength".

Instead they give us a curb-stomp battle that can only be won by a Deus Ex Machina. I mean, we knew that the Klingons would lose, or at least be fought to a stalemate. There are enough historical examples (Flanders, anyone?) that could have been used. Germany collapsed at the end of the war, simply because the population revolted. There were no enemy troups on german ground at the time of the armistice. That would have worked great for the Klingons: They win the war, but internal strife takes over, and the smaller houses gang up on the leading house (which is also leading the war) and in an effort to fight them off, the leading house makes a bitter peace with the Federation (maybe even in exchange for aid), as they can not win against the other houses and the Federation. That would fuel Klingon revanchism for the next 100 years, surely. But alas, Micheal just solves everything by being so awesome, as TBonz pointed out so clearly.
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Hank
Mon, Feb 12, 2018, 4:04pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Ed: Yes, gradual changes are realistic - not jumping straight to genocide. Even the morphogenic virus that targeted the founders was never sanctioned officially by Starfleet, and Section 31 always was portrayed as an evil shadowy organization that had gained too much power and was working independently (and sometimes against the wishes) of Starfleet.
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Hank
Mon, Feb 12, 2018, 3:52pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

@Peter G.: It's your brain trying to alleviate the painfulness of the show. I have constant visions of Picard watching a recording of this show in the historical database and shaking his head in disbelief, before ordering Earl Grey and going back to bed in his grey robes.

Or that scene where Janeway talks to Chakotay about Kirk, and how those "Hot headed cowboys" did it back in the day, with Chakotay then mentioning Discovery, which brings Janeway to just sigh and take a sip of coffee, before ordering to never speak of this dark part of history again.

Heck, I could even imagine Damar and O'Brian sharing a cup of Canar in agreement that all is not so bad, after they were dragged into the Discovery Universe by a freak transporter malfunction.
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Hank
Mon, Feb 12, 2018, 3:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Artymiss, BZ: Well, there is a difference between a former head of state going into exile (and being watched carefully) and handing an evil empress the command of a space ship with the explicitly stated intent of government sanctioned genocide ... I appreciate the subtlety of the question, but I think it pales in comparison to the giant elephant in the room.

As for legality: Mirror Philippa is not a citizen of the prime universe, so it is debatable if she even has basic human rights, from a legal perspective. And even if she has, she is not a citizen of any entity recognized by the Federation, so I guess she has no legal protections whatsoever. At least if the law works the same way it works on earth right now. There is also the option to just classify her as insane, unstable or dangerous and put her in a mental institutions - like the genetically engineered people Dr. Bashir worked with in that one DS9 Episode. Dr. Bashir himself would have faced serious repressions if his status as genetically modified was known, even though he never actually did anything illegal.

But, if human rights are extended to her, because it makes no difference that she was born in the mirror universe, it is only logical to assume that her crimes carry over as well. After all, you can't have one but not the other.

But since Star Trek focuses on morals and not on law, the question should be: Is it moral to set such a dangerous individual free, instead of putting her into custody of some form?
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Hank
Mon, Feb 12, 2018, 3:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

@Artymiss: I agree with Peter G and Jason R, and I can assure you that no underlying unconcious bias is at work here - that whole concept is up for debate anyways, but thats a different story. The point is, as the other two have said, that Micheal is a badly written character that is badly acted - but takes center stage anyways, and we are supposed to cheer for her and think that she is the best in the world. The show goes out of its way to spell it out for you: Michael is the most compassionate, understanding and overall best character in the world. In that sense, we really do watch a different show, because for you, she works on some level. For me, she worked for the first fifteen minutes of episode one. So in your viewing experience, you see a character that you can relate to, while I just see an actress having two facial expressions being praised and admired by everybody constantly. Where you see a conflicted character facing tough choices, I see a Mary Sue facing utterly avoidable and artifical dramatic moments that only amount to more praising and fawning by the rest of the cast, that only seems to be there to tell us how great she is. Like "The Room" - not undeservedly called the worst movie ever.
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Hank
Mon, Feb 12, 2018, 1:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Disgusting. Who do they think we are?

Never mind the bullshit that is having Mirror Georgiou in charge - it was absolutely obvious that her plan was genocide. And the Feds aprove? Bullshit. When they are that morally bankrupt - fuck them, let the Klingons win.

But where I couldn't stop bashing my forehead against the wall in disbelief and desperation was when they handed L'Rell the detonator ... Ok, here is how this would have played out:

L'Rell to the Klingon High Council: "Yo, guys, the feds placed a bomb that can destroy our planet - but I have stolen their detonator! This proves that T'Kuvma was right! You will accept me as your leader now, because I hold Kronos in my hand. Now we wipe out the Federation!" *Federation dies*

or: L'Rell to High Council: "I got a bomb that can destroy Kronos! Make peace with the federation!" *sharpshooter kills L'Rell, Klingons proceed to destroy the Federation*

Why would L'Rell end the war with the Federation? She hasn't got a single reason to do so. It only makes her look weak. It is completely unrealistic. Fuck the writers for this piece of turd and the self-congratulatory ending they wrote for this episode. You did everything wrong. You proved that the Klingons where right when they saw the Feds as a menace that can't be trusted. You betrayed fifty years of Star Trek history, and worst of all, you take us all for idiots who are unable to follow basic plot lines. Fuck you.

Burnhams speech: What an utterly idiotic thing. "We will not take shortcuts!" Oh, like threatening an enemy with genocide, only to then hand of the bomb to an unstable extremist, to make her the leader by giving her the option of genocide? Fuck you Micheal Burnham. "We will put evil emperors in charge!" "Yes, that is StarFleet" "We will use genocide" "Yes, that is who we are!" "We will do utterly stupid things that only work out because Micheal Fucking Sue is a fucking Mary Sue!" "Thats who we always will be!" And Sarek you spineless coward, you went along with that plan, you imbecile lunatic. Kill yourself, you have disgraced everything vulcan. Your logic is worthless.

And, to add a final insult to injury, Saru asks if they have cleared the Sol System ... with Neptun in front of them. Do you think we are all idiots? And fuck you too for giving us the Enterprise and the ending theme, like some kind of treat. We know that you will shit all over that series anyways, just stop it, that will not make up for your completely botched story.

And don't even try to defend this utter display of stupidity. It is stupid from front to back. There was no reason for L'Rell to end the war - NONE, nada. Everything else that happened in the episode is completely irrelevant. This single "Plot Twist" ruins everything. Whoever wrote that unbelievable storyline should be fired on the spot. No excuses. At least a reset button resets things - yes, it is also very bad writing, but here, it is even worse. I lack the words to describe how utterly idiotic this storyline is. Who thought this was a good idea? "Yes, sure, we let Hitler live, give him the Bomb, and he will just make peace with us when he is about an inch away from winning, because our fleet is destroyed and his fleet is right at our home!" Unbelievable. Simply unbelievable. And no, this is not hyperbole, this is the worst fucking story ever put on TV. Oh well, I am sure some smartass will find a worse story somewhere, but who cares.

The only good guys in this whole series are the Klingons: They try to preserve their heritage against an expanding amoral genocidal empire, and in the end, they take pity on the fools and don't eradicate them, even though they have the option and every justification imaginable. Good for them, Remain Klingon! They could not have written better propaganda for anti-star-trek philosophy than this if they tried. We only learned one thing: Might makes right. And Micheal Burnham is the worst case of Mary Sue I have ever seen outside of fanfiction, played by one of the worst actresses I have ever seen. God what a trainwreck. This is worse than my wildest speculations, and as you all know I am quite good at being pessimistic and over the top. God what an aweful show. I am so glad that I live outside the US and never had to pay a single dime for this turd. Unbelievable. Simply unbelievable.
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Hank
Mon, Feb 12, 2018, 11:21am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

@Jadzia: I demand an apology from you right now, and from everybody else accusing me or anybody else of racism because we don't like an actress. If it wasn't for the show runners making a big deal about "Look, female BLACK lead", nobody would even talk about that. We already were long past any feelings that a woman or a black person in a lead role is anything special, or noteworthy, as it was normality until everybody decided to make it out to be something daring, groundbreaking or special, which it isn't, if we really are equal.

I am not dignifying your accusation with any kind of defense on my part, instead I implore you to really take an inward look and try to figure out why you think that everybody is a racist - and what your implicit assumption that everbody commenting here is white and male says about your own prejudices. You are not going to achieve anything trying to guilt-shame people towards your point of view. Sonequa Martin Green could be the whitest, manliest man on the planet and her acting would still suck, and no amount of vile accusations will ever change that fact. It just proves that she really is a bad actress if you have to pull the race and gender card to browbeat your opposition into submission. Shame on you.
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Hank
Sat, Feb 10, 2018, 6:54am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

@Ed: I think that retconning Kronos again is totally unnecessary. But since these are not my Klingons, I don't care. And no, you won't see smooth-head Klingons, I think.

@Cynic: The Fortune cookies were a subtle hint that Lorca is evil: Since fortune cookies are not chinese, but a western invention, it is cultural appropriation or somesuch. The only thing missing is Lorca making Gergiou read out a fortune cookie in broken english: "Herro, you will meet ah strangeur who seem ohddly familliah, because he is you from mirroru univelse". No, I don't know where I am going with this either, your name inspired me.

In hindsight I am glad that they didn't use a fortune paper as cheesy forshadowing: "Micheal, you will meet a stranger who is not what he seems, but you will fall in love with hiim!" "Beware the Mushroom clouds!" "You are what you eat (sentient)!" "Beware the Space Ball!" "You will travel far to reach home" "Sun Tsu says: If at first you don't succeed - throw magic mushrooms at the problem until it disappears". Ok, enough cynicism.
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Hank
Thu, Feb 8, 2018, 5:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

@Booming: Which is why I find it so strange that you seem to not like Seven. She got the most attention on Voyager, even eclipsing Janeway, had nuanced character developement, interesting background, etc. etc. without being a mary Sue - which would have been easy to do. She even mimicked the Doctor perfectly that one episode, so she can act. I guess we just have to agree to disagree.

@Kinematic: SMGs problem is that she only has two facial expressions. Concerned and surprised, but without the fine nuances that Jeri Ryan for example brought to an emotionally stunted character. Even when she smiles her eyes look surprised. She was no better in Walking Dead, either. Here Boomings concerns would be appropriate: She may have the looks, but she can't act herself out of a wet paper bag. On Walking Dead that didn't really matter as she was a secondary character, but here, with all the Mary Sue stuff going on ... Yeah, no way that that works in any way, shape or form.
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Hank
Thu, Feb 8, 2018, 2:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

@Booming: Well, maybe she just isn't a bad actress? Maybe just YOU don't like here? Has that thought ever crossed your mind? And even if people only like her because she looks good - so what? Is there anything wrong with liking attractive people? Or is it only wrong for man? I am frankly tired of this feminist mantra that "looks are not important" - yes they are, for both genders, and admiring an ideal is not a bad thing.
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Hank
Thu, Feb 8, 2018, 2:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

Oh boy...

Mind Meld out of the blue. Jee, at least put some lube on next time.

Next, a minor thing. Our dear Mrs. Admiral firing a Phaser just for fun. We are off to a good start, but my standards are too high I guess. That scene in Star Trek VI was for nothing I guess.

Next, she wants the information about the MU classified AND destroyed .... eeeeh? *instert suprised anime girl sound here* M'lady, you can only have one of the two. When you destroy the information its lost, and not classified anymore... I guess you could classify a part and destroy another, but it just sounded dumb.

Then, Discovery is sent to Starbase 1, 100 AU from earth - which is fine - and 1 ly away from Discovery? So, Discovery jumped right next to earth? Yet the charts they were showing last episode made it seem like they were on the other side of the frontline, in Klingon space? Jesus ... one lightyear is nothing. The nearest star to Sol is four lightyears... But I guess it makes sense that the Klingons can destroy Starbas 1, when they are that close to earth already. God damn, can somebody please think of the fact that space is BIG? Like, totally huge and stuff? Just makes the show ridiculous.

Then some scenes follow that are quite alright, or at least seemed so, I don't know. Then somebody says that "StarFleet tactics have failed us". First: Are there different tactics for different empires? My guess always was that the tactics are universal, just the degree of violence is specific to certain races or empires ... If your tactics are so bad that the Klingons beat you while they are in a civil war ... Which leads me to the next point: The Empress says "Yeah, dudes, why not just, like, attack them for a change, instead of just defending?" and everybody is totally "Wooooooow, never thought of that". It is confirmed now, Starfleet high command is manned by idiots. There is not a single Admiral that has figured out that attacking enemy supply lines is vital for winning a war? Jesus ...

So now the plan is to map Kronos - from a cave. Harry Kim was already screeching in the background: "Interference! Interference!!" but then: Mycelium ex machina. Ok, writers, why don't you just ask the mycelium to fix the situation for you? After all, it is not only an energy source, a travel network, possibly sentient, necessary for all life in the universe, an anti-cloaking device, no, it is also a mapping service ... Does it hand out blowjobs and free lunches too?

Then, the scene between Sarek and Burnham was quite nice for a change. He said she made foolish choices and is only human. I couldn't agree more.

Oh, add terraforming to the list. Why was there ever a shortage of mycelium if you just thrust it deep into a planets crust and then pound it with blue radiation from phallic objects? Especially if it is mentioned five minutes earlier that it took years to grow? No, I don't know either, don't ask me. And it took all of twenty seconds or so. And everybody was so super excited, but why tho? Nobody knew this was even possible or that it would happen, so there were no expectations built up. But ok, at least the crew got some dialogue, and acted like a bridge crew.

I never noticed, but the uniforms look like training suits. The kind that is worn by underclass people. Maybe thats just my imagination though.

And then the big thing this episode: We just managed to endure 13 episodes of a MU-character wreaking havoc in the PU. It put Mrs. Admiral so on edge that she phasered a ... whatever that was. Fortune cookies? And now her plan is: put another MU-character in charge. I'd like to hear that job interview: "So, what can you tell me about yourself?" "Well, I am an evil empress from another universe, I genocide people for fun, and my favourite dish is Kelpian fear-tendrils. I also think that every nonhuman is an untermensch that should be enslaved." "... well, looks like you are the perfect fit!" Sigh...

Also, what does that say about starfleet? Every single Admiral, Captain or first officer is so incompetent that the empress has to take over, with advice that everybody could have come up with - which just means that starfleet is full of idiots. There is also no real sense of war, since this is just a curbstomp, to be stopped by a deus ex machina. Woohoo, such excitement. At least DS9 had the occasional fleet battle and situational report, Sisko was on patrol duty and so forth. Here it is just "Grow Mushrooms, Win War, acquire currency" or something like that. We also know how it will play out: the Empress will try to genocide the Klingons (the dark secret that she couldn't tell Micheal, because she only told her what she could handle - which in this case was one of the more obvious strategies one would employ in war), Micheal says "No way! I am Micheal Burnham!", the Empress will melt like in Raiders of the Lost Ark and the Klingons will give up. Boring.

Which leads me perfectly to the romance scene between burnham and ash. I couldn't understand half of it because they were talking so mumbled that I just couldn't make out the words. Either way, I didn't believe them for a second. Ash just looks ridiculous when he plays the crybaby, and Sonequa just can not act. There were glimpes of real emotion there, but honestly I don't care.

I laid out in the last thread what my preferred direction for the show would have been: Narrowing down the scope, focusing on characters, toning down the fantastic elements. Instead, they are widening the scope, and turn up the fantasm to eleven. All under the guise of the grim-dark theme of "In war, you have to throw your morals overboard!" - which is totally not a worn out chliché itself. If I want to see a "War is Hell" movie, I watch Fullmetal Jacket or Apokalypse Now. The Battlestar Glactica vibes were also strong this episode - the leadership is more or less gone, and our Admiral must lead the last survivors into an unknown future (like Mrs. President). But again, if I want to watch BSG, I watch BSG.

I hope you can make out something of value in my rambling review, I didn't spent much effort concocting it.
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Hank
Sun, Feb 4, 2018, 2:16am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

To all those climate change deniers: Can you please go back to some other place? This Forum is for discussing Trek Topics - and since Climate Change was not in this episode, it is inappropriate to discuss it here.

Also, all your arguments have already been refuted and you repeating them only shows your own ineptness at handling the topic. Dunning Kruger strikes again.
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Hank
Thu, Feb 1, 2018, 10:39pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

Yes, that is what is so frustrating with this series. Just a simple sentence, here and there, and the plotholes just disappear. Another example is Burnham rerouting the video feed. Just show us, for three seconds, how she types something into a console or sticks something somwhere. All she does is ripping some glowing cables out of a wall ... yeah, well, of course people don't believe that she hacked anything, because there was neither time (the conversation starts immediatly after) and she didn't actually do anything conducive to her aim ...

If have seen Porn films with less plot holes than Discovery - and there, the holes are the plot!
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Hank
Thu, Feb 1, 2018, 9:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

@Cynic and Ed: Oh no, please, no, don't make the spore network sentient ... That would basically create god: Needed to sustain all life, permeating the whole multiverse, unlimited power - and now it can talk? No, just no. And before any comparison to Q pops up: Q is a metaphor, above all else, a plot device, not a science gadget. Q only worked because he was used sporadic, and had to be reasoned with to get something from him. The spore network can be manipulated by technology. Also, in the end, it would turn out that Micheal was created by the mushrooms to bring balance to the force. Would at least explain her mary sue status.

What this show desperately needs is a reduction of scope, not an increase. We went from starting a war between the two most powerfull entities in the alpha quadrant to risking all life in the multiverse. This show really needs to calm down, take a step back, show us some character work, and abandon its most ridiculous ideas. The best thing to happen would be: Spore Drive doesn't work anymore, network is gone. Didn't kill everyone, because Depac Choopra is not a scientist, and Discovery is superseeded by the Constitution Class as the most modern ship in the Star Fleet arsenal. Thus, under Captain Saru (Mirror Yeoh dies because of terminal visual overload (too bright a future)), the crew must come together after the traumatic Lorca experience and find a way to continue on, being tasked with small missions. Then you can explore the Burnham character, and everybody else, and still tell a dramatic war story in the background. You can't do that if you are constantly piling one suspension-of-disbelief defying mega-plot twist onto another.

And now a specific response to somebody else:

“And when they got back to the PU, they say they have no contact with Starfleet at all. Yet they show a 'war map' detailing all the advancements and victories of the klingons in the past 9 months. Really? Where did they get that from? So stupid. “

"Obviously they have google maps. … or just the audio hails weren’t being answered, you know so someone could sneak up on them and board them… you know like we saw in the previews of the next episode. It’s obvious that their computer network linked up…. Because we ended up seeing the status of the war."

No, they said they didn't even get an automatic response, they got nothing. No connection to the internet. Thats what that scene implied and what gave it gravitas. If they can connect to something that tells them exactly how the war is going right now in real time, they can also contact starfleet. This is just lazy writing. Just say: "We can't get a response from Star Fleet. Nobody is answering any calls. No automatic singals either ... Wait Captain, I got connection to a satellite orbiting Eta Eridiani. We got a connection to our network, updating computer." And then, boom, federation "Lost the war!!!! (well, 20%, so no big deal, especially if that is regarding to territory and not planets). Something like that. We have to assume that the reason why they can't pick up communications is because the Klingons are jamming them (if that is even possible - there is literally no other reason), and that includes all data transfer, als all data transfer has to be wireless.

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Hank
Tue, Jan 30, 2018, 12:40am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

@Consider the Following: Yes, you are stating the obvious. Many people think they have figured something out that no-one else has. But that was not the point. I consider it a bad idea to look down on nerds on a site devoted to the biggest nerd thing in history, and at the same time insulting about 90% of posters here.
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