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MidshipmanNorris
Mon, Jan 18, 2021, 12:54am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Up until now, Arthur C. Clarke has been my hard sci-fi jam. I remember reading 2001 and Songs of Distant Earth. What struck me about them is that there were no moustache twirlers... No Khan, no Borg Queen, no Zareh, no Osyrra. The stories had danger, death, and tense situations, but they didn't have a scenery-chewing villain.

You can only do the same gimmick so many times, before it gets old. Leonard Nimoy knew that. Star Trek IV hasn't got a villain like this.

The thing about over the top villains is, they can't be built on shifting sands. Voq came out of nowhere, then evaporated into nothing. Harry Mudd went nowhere. Lorca, same difference (once it was revealed that he was a villain). Mirror Georgiou similarly went nowhere. Control went nowhere. Zareh and Osyrra went nowhere.

Khan worked as a villain, because Nick Meyer framed him properly, with historical context within the series, and there was some ceremony to his return, too (the "taking off the gloves and helmet" thing). In addition to that, Ricardo Montalban and Nick Meyer really sat down and did work on the way Khan was portrayed by Montalban.

You can't just churn out whatever drivel survived your little Survivor-esque vote in the writing room. The show loses its direction if you do that. If you can't write a decent villain, don't write a half assed one.

The question really becomes, at that point, why Star Trek seems addicted to beating this dead horse over and over. But like the detective in the police procedural who advises against probing too deeply into the mindset of the serial killer, it's probably best not to overanalyze what seems to merely be sloppy, ham-handed writing that got approved by a bunch of money grubbing ass kissers.
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MidshipmanNorris
Sat, Jan 16, 2021, 12:15pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

The people who liked these 3 seasons of Discovery, within 3 months of it being off the air, will have stopped talking about it altogether and moved on to the next 'trendy' thing.

However, none of the things they say about it have anything critical in them. Gush Bombing a show for funsies is as much a thing as Review Bombing it out of anger.

I myself, try to keep my criticisms objective and based on how much I enjoyed the story. I did not, btw. But that's beside the point.

These concrete details of how to make a story good, are still going to be true, after Star Trek Discovery has gone the way of the dodo bird. They really don't change much, even between wildly varying times and cultures. There's questions of what is and isn't interesting, and then there are basic underpinnings of a plot structure that can't be neglected, full stop. Discovery doesn't have that underpinning. I'm already tossing it on the pile that contains most of Star Trek: Voyager and all of Enterprise. Picard is getting the stinkeye too, if it doesn't shape up.

At this rate, I'm going to really have to pick up that there Foundation Trilogy my dad keeps going on about. Star Trek, as far as I'm concerned, is over.
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MidshipmanNorris
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 12:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Lessons

I am reading a few lukewarm responses to "Lessons," and I have to disagree.

I also think this episode deserves another half-star, simple in the light of it being possibly the most heart-felt and believable romance story I have ever seen in a single episode of a television series.

Shows can cheat with time; there is the time frame that the episode gives you, and the time frame the episode can *appear* to entail. I think that the time frame over which these events happen (in this episode) is kept deliberately vague. That's an extremely smart writing choice, for a single-episode romance story; hey, what if they were dating for some several months, and this episode just 'forgot' to say so? The story still functions as well as it would have, if it were only over the course of 3 days. This kind of writing in Star Trek is *chef kiss* bravissimo.

Add into that that Wendy Hughes *sells* the performance. Famke Jannsen has gone on to movie stardom in retrospect, but I find Ms. Hughes to be far more believable as an officer and as a person, and as a musician (I am also one and she is delightful, I'd love to play a jam session with Lt.Cmdr. Darren).

To go further on that point, the scene in Picard's quarters where she teaches him that he can improvise is, by far, the single most realistic depiction of music performance that I have seen committed to celluloid, bar none, for the rest of eternity. Shows tend to fake this and this one is no exception, but the dialogue about music that intersperses their actual playing is top-shelf. Whoever wrote this has a background in improvisational playing, and that is super cool to me.

I do think the reset-button-antics of the episode tend to hurt the overall story, but they were also unavoidable as anyone familiar with television production knows. But this balancing act is difficult even for a show that doesn't have to whip up firestorms to get the episode out of the way. ST:TNG managed to make me sad that Picard and Darren's relationship had to be sidelined, and I mean honestly sad. She seems like a good fit for Picard. I hope she's still around and would consider doing some episodes of Picard Season 2, to be honest. I want Nella Darren back. This was a moment where Star Trek seemed like it was really doing stories, just for the sake of doing the story, and it's something that I feel like the franchise has let lay fallow for too long.
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MidshipmanNorris
Wed, Jan 13, 2021, 12:15pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Discovery has a logistical problem that I don't think I've thought about up until now.

It is trying to be more serialized, in less time per season, than previous Trek shows had to be.

Doesn't anyone else see why that would be a bad idea? You are basically forced to boil down the plot to a "Digest Version" of what would constitute an actual story. I don't want to watch a show written like it's the Cliff Notes. I want to see the story.

Going light on tech, I don't mind. You will notice that the technical scientific stuff doesn't bother me a lot, I hope. I am willing to let that all be handwaved away. Characterization and plot consistency, I am not willing to give up ground on. 45 minute episodes, 20-24 times per season, with less serialization, compared with 1 hour episodes 12-15 times per season, is too much to have to cut, and I feel it hurts the show in terms of it being able to give actual weight to the story.

Think about it. If you could watch back through Discovery, with an episode added every two episodes, that fleshes out the story and goes into the side characters' lives a bit more, wouldn't that fix a lot of the problems that we're having with it?

Sure give them Megaman guns, whatever guys, but what's it *about?*
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Nothing but the Tears
Tue, Jan 12, 2021, 5:29pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

I think that’s a great point about “The Expanse”. It csn get pretty bleak at time. But there’s always hope and there’s a sense of wonder.
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MidshipmanNorris
Mon, Jan 11, 2021, 7:22pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

By this point, I wonder if monetizing an intellectual property in this day and age is something akin to a Ponzi Scheme or Pyramid Scheme, and the fact of the matter is that they can mathematically determine how bad a show they can make, and still get the profit margin they want out of it.

Because it definitely gives off a vibe of "I literally don't care about any of this Star Trek nonsense or if the story is good."

I'm sensing that it gives off that vibe, because that is how they feel, making it.
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MidshipmanNorris
Mon, Jan 11, 2021, 5:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Time will tell the tale. I'm pretty sure the lion's share of the Hardcore Trek audience is gonna feel this way about Disco, and Season 4 is gonna be ... interesting.

This reminds me a lot of when ENT had finished it's third season. It was already on the chopping block, but they renewed it for a fourth, and look what happened. They ended up cancelling it anyway, largely due to the missteps in Seasons 1-3. It didn't matter that it was marginally better than the first three seasons; fans had had enough.
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MidshipmanNorris
Mon, Jan 11, 2021, 12:22pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@AMA

"Ursula K. Le Guin's short story, 'The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.'"

I actually read this in Sophomore English, in College. I really don't see how they worked the moral conundrum from it into this story, other than that there is a child who is suffering, and they act to relieve that suffering. If the person writing this did it based on "Omelas," then I think they missed the point of it.

Those who walk away, reject the suffering of the child and the Utopia (the titular country of Omelas) that results from it, on the grounds that it is the only moral choice which is available to them, and are never seen again.

What does any of that have to do with the rest of this story? Nothing, they just want to sound like they're well-read.

Remember, I read this short story in Sophomore English Class. Woo hoo, you attended my sophomore english class Trek Runners. So did I. You don't know the first darn thing about Star Trek, though, which is a bigger problem than "are you paying worthy tribute to Ursula K. LeGuin," I would say.

Their heads are stuck 50 kilometers up their shuttle bay. Good lord. No wonder this show is so badly written. Next they'll make a season out of hallucinations and flashbacks and dream sequences and call it inspired by 100 Years of Solitude* cuz it's "Surreal." Oof.

*Also covered in my Sophomore English Class.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Jan 11, 2021, 9:42am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

"With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably. Those words were uttered by Judge Aaron Satie as wisdom and warning. The first time any man's freedom is trodden on, we're all damaged."

--- Judge Aaron Satie, 2331
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MidshipmanNorris
Sun, Jan 10, 2021, 5:50pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

For those of you who don't understand "Virtue Signaling," Discovery has provided us with a cast study.

Tell me, do you expect that at some point during Star Trek (viewed as an over arching series')'s story at some point would have acknowledged the unrest that happened during the 1960's in America, when Black People were marching on Washington and there were riots and people died, and then four students were shot at Kent State University?

So... why not?

Star Trek ought to be culturally above offending its fanbase by now right? So just... tell us how all that turned out in this imagined future history?

Or do you not have the cajones? Oh you don't have the cajones. Of course you don't. That's why you took up the job writing for Star Trek, cuz you like to play it safe I guess, and you don't give a damn if anything you write is good as long as you get paid

Alex
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MidshipmanNorris
Sat, Jan 9, 2021, 5:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@Chrome
[Yeah, I mean when Burnham is spouting lines like "I don't believe in no-win scenarios" it's pretty obvious the showrunners are trying to make her the black female James Kirk. If that doesn't appeal to you, you should back out now.]

It was actually someone else saying "You're in a no-win scenario" and Burnham replies with "Idon'tbelieveinthose." Not only a poorly written line (thanks for playing the pronoun game with us Michael), but the take they used was rushed and the delivery didn't land.

The thing is, no, of course I don't have a problem with a Black Female James Kirk. I have a problem with James Kirk having had an ensemble cast around him that made the show more fun to watch instead of being living breathing interchangeable props.
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MidshipmanNorris
Sat, Jan 9, 2021, 6:49am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

If Discovery wants to try to make a Star Trek show, there's going to have to be significant changes.

If I were going to write it, I think my first choice would be to flash forward a few years.

Let's just say that the dilithium logistics play out, it's boring, stuff happens that doesn't change anybody's life, they just go to work for two or three years.

Then, we pick the story back up; Burnham is Captain of Discovery, these two crew members hooked up, these two crew members had a date recently or something, they're testing out new equipment they recently picked up at a Starbase, and Michael is busy reading up on past Starfleet Captains in her quarters.

This gives the freedom to reinterpret the character dynamics and framing of the show, while being able to quickly and arbitrarily (more or less) make adjustments to how you're going to approach each character.

Star Trek is, among other things, an Ensemble Show. It always has been. If this Ensemble is gonna... ensemble, or whatever, they'd better get to ensembling, fast.
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Thiago Santos
Fri, Jan 8, 2021, 11:22pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Wondered how many people died from that warp core explosion. Not a very Federation thing to do since they could have just jumped away and Osyra was already dead. I don't get why bother setting tasers to stun if the plan is to mass murder everyone later.
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MidshipmanNorris
Fri, Jan 8, 2021, 9:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Ahem

To sum up:

Lt. Commander Data: "I believe you will also de-evolve into an earlier form of primate - possibly similar to a lemur or pygmy-marmoset."

That's how I feel about this show. Star Trek has de-evolved, and it no longer has any rhyme or reason to it, just lots of chutzpah and energy. It's like a painting of a fireworks display. Sure, it's nice and colorful, but you take one step to the side and you'll notice that it's entirely two-dimensional.
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Nothing but the Tears
Fri, Jan 8, 2021, 3:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Just finished the episode. Haven’t read the comments yet. For now, I’m just going to go with ugh.
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MidshipmanNorris
Fri, Jan 8, 2021, 1:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Could...

Could this be the result of an overzealous Agent?
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MidshipmanNorris
Fri, Jan 8, 2021, 1:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Something occurs to me as I am reading about Burnham being the center of the universe on this thread.

That is the thing that none of the other Star Trek Shows did.

Even TOS (where reportedly William Shatner most assuredly got the *star treatment), tended to focus plots on minor-ish characters from time to time.

This show, absolutely never takes the focus off Burnham.

That's it; that's the connection. That's what's bugging me about this show. Star Trek doesn't do that!
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MidshipmanNorris
Fri, Jan 8, 2021, 10:01am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

I think that the analysis ought to include a bit of bias, based on which show we are talking about. Each Star Trek show, I will grant, tries a unique concept. It's not like Next Generation was in any way the same idea as TOS... by virtue of how much times had changed between them, TNG stands on its own as a different type of concept from TOS. Instead of "Wagon Train To The Stars" it's more like "Mission: Impossible...IN SPACE!", if you will. And DS9, Voyager, Enterprise, Discovery, Picard, ...(sighs)... Lower Decks...They've all attempted some kind of unique spin. That, I will give Disco; this is a different idea.

However, it doesn't work. It's heating the ..."writerly aspects"... of the show up to lukewarm when I want them at a nice, rolling boil.

"This is the Enterprise. We set a different standard, here." File it under "Experiments with Middling-to-Unacceptable Results."
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philadlj
Thu, Jan 7, 2021, 7:52pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

WAIT WHY IS THE DISCOVERY THE SIZE OF THE DEATH STAR ON THE INSIDE???
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philadlj
Thu, Jan 7, 2021, 7:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Sigh...always with the excruciatingly painful torture scenes...
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MidshipmanNorris
Thu, Jan 7, 2021, 9:04am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Simply put, none of what I've seen since the start of this series leads me to believe any of the people responsible for what it has become gave one feather or one fig about the reasons why Star Trek was originally a hit.

Because it was. After its short lived Network Run, it went into Syndication and the Early 70s were all about Star Trek Star Trek Star Trek. My dad came of age in this era, and yeah, it was everywhere on TV.

Fandom exploded at that point. Why?

Cuz the episodes that were good, were better than anything else on TV.

Discovery has not had an episode, yet, that made me feel like "This is the best show on TV." It has lots of computer generated special effects. Boy did we notice that this show has lots of computer generated special effects! It's too bad computers can't generate a story or a likeable character. Disco might've turned out to be a better show for it.

But it isn't a very good show, and I've known this since Michael uttered a line a long time ago:

"Shit, that worked!"

Not only the profanity, not only the unusual turn of phrase (nobody says this), but also the way she inflects in the take they used, are all way off. This line should have been rewritten.

It wasn't. And the whole show has been like that, leaning heavy into the VFX and throwing the story in as an afterthought.

The people behind this, have mistakenly thought that I originally watched Star Trek for the VFX.

Nope!
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MidshipmanNorris
Thu, Jan 7, 2021, 6:11am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Watching this episode frustrated me. Everyone else here will give you the details; I'll just do a hot take, cuz I'm due in at work in an hour.

If this show is renewed for a fourth season, I'm not watching it.

Your time is up, Disco. Save your profound Gene Roddenberry quote at the end. You have no idea how to make a good Star Trek show. That's my takeaway from watching these 3 seasons. They don't have any idea what they're doing.

I don't want to watch that.
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James White
Wed, Jan 6, 2021, 7:37am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: There Is a Tide...

Amos should go on one of his psychotic benders and take out the entire Discovery crew.
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MidshipmanNorris
Tue, Jan 5, 2021, 11:43am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: There Is a Tide...

So...

here's a left turn change of subject

What scientific discoveries (pun Very Much Intended) has the USS Discovery made, since the start of this series? The Spore Drive does not count, simply because that's "the big one" and we have heard the opinions on it from here to eternity... a place in the sun ... (that's mongomery clift, honey!) ... ahem sorry

So... besides that, I think that Kelpian Danger Ganglia fall off at the end of the Varharai, discovered when Saru got too close to an alien tree, or somesuch... gosh I forgot "Si Vis Pacem" or maybe it was the episode before it?

Uhm, they discovered the source of the Burn, just now, uhm, they discovered a colony of humans way out in space they didn't know about...hm... They discovered that there was a mysterious thing about Ash Tyler that they didn't know... and that the mycelial network is capable of regenerating a human consciousness through contact with it.

Weird list, already... The future stuff they've learned since coming to the 31st century doesn't seem like it should count though. That's not discoveries they've made, it's just discoveries that happened.

There was some Dark Matter dealy that Tilly was kicking around? Oh, and that the Sphere Data is sentient and benevolent. Trying to think of more... How bout you guys?
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philadlj
Mon, Jan 4, 2021, 6:56pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: There Is a Tide...

Never thought we'd get a reference to Star Trek V, but the Morse code scene between Bryce and Rhys was fun. "STAND BACK?"

Barefoot Burnham going full McClane was also fun.

Admiral Vance is perhaps the best Starfleet Admiral in Trek history. He's just so damn...STARFLEET, and yet still not just wallpaper paste (see: Bryce/Rhys when not knocking out Morse code).

After the shit they pulled killing Culber, I really want to doubt they'll kill him AGAIN, along with Adira and Saru. I happen to like all three, so save 'em! Judging by how well the "anti-radiation meds" work (Burnham's burns just vanished like dermal regeneration), they can hold out until someone can go get them.
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