Comment Stream

Search and bookmark options Close
Search for:
Search by:
Clear bookmark | How bookmarks work
Note: Bookmarks are ignored for all search results

Total Found: 9 (Showing 1-9)

Page 1 of 1
Set Bookmark
Hapworth
Sun, Feb 10, 2019, 5:47pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: Fascination

Gul Sengosts nailed it in his March 27, 2015 post. "Fascination" is a pretty obvious attempt at Shakespearean fantastical comedy, with "A Midsummer Night's Dream" being the clear template. There is the partner switching, the revelry, the heavily unreal atmosphere that hangs over everything. Still, the episode is a mess, but it at least becomes a more noble failure when one sees that the writers were not simply lost in the wilderness. They were aiming for something but missed the mark.
Set Bookmark
Hapworth
Sun, Feb 10, 2019, 5:01am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

Wow, 160+ comments for a two-star episode buried in the middle of season five. That must say something. What's more, I'll be smug enough to say that my comment here should solve everything (yeah, I know: not likely).

The problem, of course, is that the majority of commenters here insist on "reading" this episode as a commentary on same-sex desire or same-sex-desire acceptance. This is absurd. It is absurd even if the episode's writers are on record as saying that this is what the "The Outcast" is about. Why? Because of that old saw: Trust the tale, not the teller. Another way to put it: the writer is just another reader (or in this case, just another viewer).

Once viewers take this episode at face value (a society without gender), they should begin to appreciate how chance-taking "The Outcast" is. In fact, I put this episode up there with "The Inner Light." I know. I know. Crazy, right? It's true; it's one of my faves. Stop insisting that the episode is an allegory (it isn't allegory; really, it isn't, as in it doesn't meet the literary definition of the term). Stop insisting that the episode has what we would now call an LGBTQ message. Stop insisting on a forced "reading" of the episode.

Instead, please watch "The Outcast" on its own terms. I mean it. Watch it as a straightforward story of the Enterprise crew's encounter with a people who have no gender. Then report back.
Set Bookmark
Hapworth
Sun, Feb 10, 2019, 4:26am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S3: The House of Quark

This is a good episode, and Armin Shimerman's comedic skills are sharp here (I loved him as Principal Snyder on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," where he's always convinced that the high schoolers he oversees are hooked on PCP (LoL!)). It's too bad that the Ferengi episodes are usually so underwhelming. Shimerman has always delighted me because of his Bogart-esque role and delivery (which I noticed before the Casablanca-driven episode "Profit and Loss"). I mean, Quark runs a bar, he's sort of in self-chosen exile, and his offhand apathy (partly driven by profit, sure, but it also seems to be a deep-seeded character trait) all make him a much more interesting character than the DS9 writers realize. Quark is hilarious here, and his "brave" move at the end shows his cleverness and his heart.

I agree with Jammer that the B-story, though not given many minutes, is sweet and well-intentioned. I don't know why, but the O'Briens just don't radiate much emotion or affection. Their marriage always felt like a plot detail, not an essential partnership. Thus, Miles's awareness of his wife's pain (too often, Miles seems oblivious to his family, no matter how hard the writers try to give the O'Briens occasional screen time). Keiko seems cold, and this is not a fault of Chao or the Keiko character. Rather, their relationship just always seemed perfunctory, which is why the B-story here is so welcome.
Set Bookmark
Hapworth
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 1:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S7: Liaisons

I like this episode. But I also liked both parts of Descent, so perhaps I'm not to be trusted. Yes, the story is boilerplate, and there's definitely that sense of "been here, done this," which Jammer accurately locates in on-screen elements (the "Trekkian mantra" or "TOS template") and off-screen elements (borrowing from another film: Misery).

So okay. "Liaisons" doesn't offer the freshest strawberries in the patch, but I appreciate episodes that, despite all the weaknesses, still shine through. Like William B, I too have a soft spot for Worf, and he's hilarious here; his antagonist is also terrific because he's instantly loathsome! The food-addicted ambassador is a hoot as well, and he and his surly colleague make quite the comic pair. I laughed out loud as one scene ended with Mr. Loathsome insulting Worf, and then another scene started with Mr. All-You-Can Eat, accompanied by Troi, sipping a fruity drink from a giant Hurricane glass the size of a small vase.

I agree with others that if the Ana storyline had been treated in earnest, some real drama could have been generated. I love "Liaisons" portrays Ana (initially, at least, before she gets kooky) as deeply scarred and beyond lonely. She has lost some of her speech, and cannot gauge how much time has passed, mistaking her seven years marooned on the planet as "only one or two." Yikes! I felt for her; I really did.

But such drama wouldn't have matched well with Laurel and Hardy/Abbot and Costello/C-3PO and R2-D2 back on board the Enterprise (honestly, pick your thin/fat comedic duo of choice with which to compare Mr. Loathsome and Mr. All-You-Can-Eat!).

So there's that. Comedy--and just an overall sense of fun--thrives in this episode, at least for me. I also like Picard's comments near the end, where he admits that even though human ways are more "balanced," he does find it "nice" to see a culture take its curiosity to the "furthest extreme." I agree with Picard. The basic material of "Liaisons" might sound at first like a sleepy, familiar tune, but it's jazzed up with enough idiosyncratic grace notes that I was thoroughly engaged.

Engage!
Set Bookmark
Hapworth
Sun, May 30, 2010, 12:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: The Thaw

The story here is decent enough, but the overall look is so spare (read: cheap) that it significantly affects the viewing experience. In fact, the set design of "The Thaw" reminded me of ST: TOS, where any given room on any given planet or spaceship, was ridiculously austere: a couple pieces of angular furniture and no wall hangings to be seen! Throw in a host of funny-looking extras wearing garishly bright costumes and you have a recipe for chaos.

It might sound like I am being too nitpicky, but the devil is in the details. We have seen more or less contemporaneous episodes of DS9 where the DS9 station is transformed into the past, nightmarish world of Tarok Nor through dramatic lighting, refugee costuming, and a strong sense of cinematographic vision. "The Thaw" needs more style in order to enhance the existential crises embedded within its narrative. Actually, just from a logic point of view, more style is needed. How can one suspend disbelief and accept an advanced alien culture (a culture that can not only place its people into stasis but provide virtual reality as well) that is unable to design a techno-reality that rises above a bad mime performance?
Set Bookmark
Hapworth
Fri, May 28, 2010, 8:53pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: A Time to Stand

Wow, what a great kick-off to a season. Very visceral and grim. War feels real, even though so much of it has already happened (between season five and season six), and, moreover, what happened occurred "off stage." We viewers simply hear the chilling aftermath figures and the data hits us as it hits Sisko: hard. My only very mild complaint is that this episode needs (NEEDS!) a reaction scene involving Weyoun and Gul Dukat when they learn that the Ketracel-white facility has been destroyed by the Federation. Maybe this scene comes in a later episode (I am watching DS9 for the first time), but it would be priceless to see Weyoun's carefully crafted surface of nonchalance slip into one of surprise and anxiety--ditto for Dukat who has been too cocky over the Dominion's/Cardassia's military success. As a viewer, I want to see a scene where these two are visibly shaken and taken aback (much like Sisko's reaction to the news that only 14 Federation ships out of 112 survived). Man, I love this show!!!
Set Bookmark
Hapworth
Sun, May 23, 2010, 10:40pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Call to Arms

Not sure how this episode did not receive four stars, though Jammer's rating is still quite high. The penultimate episode, "In the Cards," while charming, was also so light that it could float away, yet it received four stars. Still, I'm nitpicking. This is a great finale to a season, probably the strongest finale of any of the seasons of DS9. It's compelling, tension-filled, and the producers clearly saved money in the budget for the final episode because it shows: what a terrific battle sequence as the Dominion attach DS9. I can't wait to start season six.
Set Bookmark
Hapworth
Thu, Apr 1, 2010, 12:48am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Rules of Engagement

Wow does Jammer know his stuff. I teach film, so I was impressed with how Jammer throws out terms like "diegetic" and "non-diegetic" (fancy terms for the elements that literally occur within the fictional action of the story and those elements that occur outside the storyline (such as when Dax breaks with the fictional world and speaks to the camera). I too was impressed with Lavar Burton's decision to take such a risk, which is rare in television (at least in the 90s, unless your name is David Lynch). I wonder if Burton was influenced by the Scorsese films, such as "Goodfellas," which came out a handful of years before "Rules of Engagement." There's a moment in the trial scene of "Goodfellas," near the end of the film, where Ray Liotta disrupts the diegesis (the fictional world of the film) to speak directly to the camera. Anyway, sorry to hijack this thread (as if anyone will really read this). I am in the habit of watching a few episodes of any given ST series and then rushing to Jammer's Web site to read his reviews. After I finished with "Rules," I ran here to see if Jammer too were impressed with director Burton's moves in this episode. Kudos to Jammer! The man knows his stuff! This man is the man!!!
Set Bookmark
Hapworth
Tue, Feb 2, 2010, 12:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Tattoo

Yeah, like others, I'm bothered by the coincidences--Voyager coming across the 37s, Voyager bumping into a race of aliens that made contact with his tribe long ago. I'm all for putting logic aside, and I'm no hardcore sci-fi type (the type that demands, for instance, that physics must support (right down to the level of equations) a particular story detail), but when Star Trek--in all its guises--enters La La Land I have to admit that I inwardly groan. It's the biggest fault of Roddenberry and his successors: too many episodes simply don't pass as quality "SCI" fi (emphasis on the "sci"). There must be a way to have Chakotay's past come out more naturally and believably.
Page 1 of 1
▲Top of Page | Menu | Copyright © 1994-2019 Jamahl Epsicokhan. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication or distribution of any content is prohibited. This site is an independent publication and is not affiliated with or authorized by any entity or company referenced herein. See site policies.