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Jason R.
Thu, Mar 4, 2021, 7:44am (UTC -6)
Re: MAND S1: Chapter 1: The Mandalorian

I think Booming et al. are not wrong in describing this show's weaknesses, but I do think it's still greater than the sum of its parts.

It's the Wing Commander Privateer of the Star Wars universe. For those unfamiliar it was a PC game, not a tv show. And it became a cult hit because it permitted players to inhabit and enjoy a small slice of the Wing Commander universe playing a Han Solo-ish rogue flying a rust bucket ship. This was in contrast to other games in the series which were grand operatic dramas (also starring Mark Hamill, incidentally). The fact that you were this relatively petty character engaged in small drama was part of the charm, as was the world building fun.

Getting back to the Mandalorian, after three sickeningly over the top soulless monstrosities (the Abrams sequels) it's fun to just enjoy some small stories set in the Star Trek universe.

And heck, I kind of like the Mandolorian cultural schtick. There is even an emotional payoff at the end of season 2 that exceeds in one moment the sum total of every flying fuck I ever gave about Rey, Finn, Rose and that whole band of nothingburgers.

My other big compliment to the Mandalorian is how properly planned and thought out the action is (minus the stormtroopers). Some shows are meticulous in their attention to detail so that nothing seems perfunctory. Breaking Bad was like that too.

This is a show that sets up rules and honours them . That makes the universe more believable and in turn, males the action more compelling.
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Jason R.
Thu, Mar 4, 2021, 4:19am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: Darmok

"That movie is based on the "Story of Your Life" by Ted Chiang. It's one of the best science fiction stories I've ever read."

Everything Ted Chiang writes is gold.
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Jason R.
Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 9:10am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Unity

"Something to ponder: all we know about the politics of the colony comes from Riley herself. Who's to say that she was telling the truth about the raiders? In retrospect, maybe the "raiders" were storming the cooperative to prevent them from reactivating the Borg hive mind?"

Even if the raiders were as Riley said, does that make forcibly assimilating them right? This is a chilling outcome. Picard said he'd rather die than be assimilated. But I guess it's a-ok here because they are violent and don't wanna live in a collectivist multi-species utopia. Is this some kind of indictment of the Federation? Holy smokes maybe those Klingon monsters from Discovery S1 had a point?

This episode is maddening for focusing on all the wrong things. Chacotay is horrified at being in a collective for a minute or two temporarily to heal a mortal wound but thinks forcibly assimilating hundreds of individuals is cool? Janeway is too busy worrying about the danger of activating the cube to care if any of this might oh I dunno violate the Prime Directive? Or how about just basic ethics and human decency?

In retrospect, this is one of those episodes like Up the Long Ladder that seems to have fundamentally failed in writing, execution or both, despite having some really cool ideas.
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James
Mon, Mar 1, 2021, 9:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: MAND S1: Chapter 1: The Mandalorian

@Bob & Booming

Are we watching the same show? The Mandalorian is none of those things. It’s trite and prosaic.
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Jammer
Mon, Mar 1, 2021, 5:29pm (UTC -6)
Re: MAND S1: Chapter 1: The Mandalorian

Reviews for Chapters 1 through 4 now posted.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Mon, Mar 1, 2021, 1:19pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Alliances

"The Kazon are supposed to be a deadly threat."

They're a threat in the way that roving gangs of thugs are a threat. They're nothing like the Borg or the Hirogen.

"Basic replicators aren't weapons, the Kazon are already a highly advanced species (just not as advanced as the Federation)."

But they're not an advanced species. They're a slave race that overthrew their oppressors (the Trabe) and stole their ships. They're Pakleds ("we need things to make us go"). The Borg even considered them too unremarkable to assimilate.

Also, replicators aren't weapons in and of themselves, but they can make weapons. Aside from things they hand-wave away as unable to be replicated, they're just matter-energy converters. (X) mass raw material in = (X) mass something else out. Or substitute a huge amount of energy input to get some bit of mass output (E = mc^2). Put in enough raw matter or energy and you can get out a hamburger, a billet of plutonium, a gun, a computer, or any number of parts and pieces.
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GreenJacket
Sun, Feb 28, 2021, 9:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Let He Who Is Without Sin...

Certainly one of the better episodes despite the groaning. It's amazing how accurate criticisms of hedonism and excess for the purpose of struggle and meaning can make the typical fat nerds who like Star Trek seething mad. Even Trent, who merely pretends to dislike liberalism, has to go off on Jordan Peterson but also fascism making it clear he has no idea what he's talking about.

The only problem this episode faces is that, like all of Star Trek, the supply of resources is infinite because "science", which is really just a stand-in for magic. If we can apply these criticisms to the real world, we find that places like Risa are analogous to the wasteful resorts like Las Vegas or Orlando, Florida. These places do untold amounts of damage to the surrounding environment, but that is all swept under the rug. I guess since Risa is in space, we really don't have to worry about what happens here.
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Jason R.
Fri, Feb 26, 2021, 5:08pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

"...so you didn't actually have a point then, did you?"

The truth points to itself.
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Jason R.
Fri, Feb 26, 2021, 1:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

"Picard became Kamin, right? "

Only in the sense that Data became Sherlock Holmes on the holodeck.
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Jason R.
Fri, Feb 26, 2021, 12:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

"Well, then they REALLY tipped their hand because "Batai" is the Tagalog word for "Ancient artifact generated best buddy of a flute playing member of an alien race that's been dead for a thousand years."

Well then they really dropped the ball as Picard wasn't a member of an alien race that's been dead for a thousand years.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Fri, Feb 26, 2021, 9:36am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

Well, Batai almost died sitting in his garage with the car running, and again when slammed big-time by a drunk driver. Almost. I think Greg landed on the "Could Be" square on his Jump-to-Conclusions Mat.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Fri, Feb 26, 2021, 9:26am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Coming of Age

I think Remmick and Quinn were compromised after this, by the very organisms they were working to expose. We see later in Conspiracy that those aliens are very good at identifying potential threats, and either assimilating or disappearing them. Remmick and Quinn were prime targets. While they were never specific about what they were looking for, the whole bridge crew knew they were looking for something, and there's no way that knowledge wouldn't make it up the chain. Ironic that Remmick gets the "queen" alien or whatever you want to call it in the end.

I also think Remmick's portrayal in this episode is about 50/50 genuine and putting on an act. He has no problem being so brusque, but at the same time it's just a means to an end. He's investigating something very serious, and not only is there no room for pussyfooting around, his antagonism could also be a tactic to trip up potential conspirators. The admission that he'd like to join the crew would seem to be his more genuine self, it's just unfortunate that he had to burn so many bridges in the investigation, and also the head exploding thing.
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Jason
Fri, Feb 26, 2021, 8:47am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S2: Rivals

If the station's equipment can replicate devices that change the laws of probability, you'd think getting blankets to Bajor wouldn't require so much charity.
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Jason R.
Fri, Feb 26, 2021, 7:07am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: By Inferno's Light

@Elliott I gotta hand it to you, your reviews are like guided missiles. Did a close friend of yours get maimed from a falling DS9 box set? Did Avery Broojs buy the last chocolate bobca at the bakery leaving you with nothing but cinnamon?

You really do take the piss out of DS9 (as you put it) even for episodes that most fans consider high points for the series.

But I will say that even as a fan I always hated the contrivance of them just beaming to the conveniently unmolested runabout and just sailing away from the heart of Dominion space - you're bang on that this is Saturday Morning cartoon stuff. It has always stuck in my craw and it's the worst thing in this episode. Garak's convenient claustrophobia never bothered me until you pointed out how lame and contrived it is. Now it bugs me. Thanks for that Mr. Assassin of Joy.

I also like that you hone in on the really good stuff, mostly revolving around Dukat and Cardassia- because let's face it, that's what this episode is really about and what is well done here.
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Jason R.
Fri, Feb 26, 2021, 4:44am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

@Greg it begs the question: what's his name in the Tagalog language track? Maybe Morte? Haha.

By the way, amazing catch on both items. After all these years I am amazed no one else on this board mentioned either one.
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Jillyenator
Thu, Feb 25, 2021, 6:51pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Singularity

Okay, I watched the last second three times to make sure, but take a look: T'Pol gives Archer a big smile (for her) when Archer asks her to take a look at his book preface. So cute. I'm going to choose to think this was her Amok Time moment, rather than the actress corpsing.

Phlox was scary in this ep. And the 'menacing' music reminded me of Time Squared when the TNG crew watches (Obs. Lounge view screen) the last moments before the Enterprise bows up. Same kind of ominous percussion. Memorable both times.

LOVED the kitchen scene with Hoshi holding down the pot lid as Archer is called to the bridge. Perfectly acted scene in a really nice episode. I don't care if the plot is redone. A three star comedy.

And remember, to T'Pol, she feels surrounded by human lunacy all the time. So her clueing in basically has to take this ship of fools to the next level. Well done, Enterprise.
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Jason R.
Thu, Feb 25, 2021, 8:25am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Hard Time

"Also, the whole episode I was trying to figure out where I knew the actor who plays Ee'Char from. It's the Doc from Nightmare On Elm Street 3! One of my favorite movies."

Suck the Prime Time bitch!
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Tue, Feb 23, 2021, 1:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Coming of Age

"Bonus amusement at the idea of Starfleet bringing in failed actors for low paying gigs for corporate training (something I've personally done) instead of just using holodeck tech..."

I would hope that the "lab" was at least in a holodeck even if the actors were real. Otherwise that's an awful lot of construction for a two minute test of one cadet candidate.
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Jason R.
Mon, Feb 22, 2021, 8:45am (UTC -6)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 16: The Rescue

Incidentally, I have wondered if major studios should take a more aggressive hands on approach to social media, particularly after the Roseanne Barr fiasco.

As a condition to signing a contract with a major studio, actors should be forced to have their social media accounts registered through software that puts a delay or cooling off period on any post, which then in turn can get vetoed by the studio and blocked before it goes live.

The way I see it this would protect not only the studio but also the actor because if an actor got into trouble, the studio would share culpability for permitting the offending post to go live.

It would eliminate the kind of ambiguities that plague these situations. It would also protect the enormous investments the studios make in these individuals, who can wipe out billions of dollars in a single ill advised tweet, not to mention their own careers!

If I were an actor, I'd want to submit to this. I can't believe no one is doing this or contemplating it.
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Jason R.
Mon, Feb 22, 2021, 8:32am (UTC -6)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 16: The Rescue

This case actually reminds me more of the Meghan Fox controversy than a traditional "cancel culture" scenario but it has elements of both. As far as cancel culture goes, there are way better examples.
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Jillyenator
Sat, Feb 20, 2021, 5:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: The Crossing

This must be the most disappointing episode of Trek for me ever. The beginning was luminous and felt like really good TNG. What the frak happened? Where did the 'nice' alien(s) go? (...All killed by Archer. Archer continues to piss me off.)

Here's my thought: maybe this was intended as a 2-parter, with the eager, helpful and wondrous aliens, really wanting a cultural exchange AKA the actual Crossing. This could have been up there with The Nth Degree, sharing a new kind of galactic exploration. Or maybe they are on that huge ship, searching for a suitable new home for their kind.

In my scenario, if they wanted to go that way, there'd be a faction of aliens stealing the crew's physical bodies. We'd keep the scenes with Hoshi and Reed. Enterprise would have to work with the friendly aliens to restore everyone, we could hold onto the action sequences, use the Catwalk as shelter, etc as we saw. Have Phlox release the gas, yadda yadda, to get the 'bad' aliens back in their bottle (or some other astral equivalent) where they could not harm anyone again.

Then Trip could have worked together with his alien (reminding me of the movie The Host) to fix the ailing ship, and send them on their way to the next galaxy. Perhaps looking for the place Picard's crew went to in *Where No One Has Gone Before*. Seems like that could be perfect for their new home.

Honestly, there must have been more in mind. And the whole "Trip being back in Florida" thing should have been explored further, and with the other crew members. Where did Trip's nice alien go? They were even released from the big ship when asked. This whole thing was dropped. Big pieces of plot must have been cut for this travesty to make any sense. As a coherent episode of Trek, it fail morally in a way that makes me mad. Anyone know what happened behind the scenes?
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Jason R.
Sat, Feb 20, 2021, 11:03am (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

@MattB I wouldn't call it good but it's not boring and that's something.
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GreenJacket
Sat, Feb 20, 2021, 2:59am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: The Ship

Stop comparing the Dominion to the Third Reich. The Dominion is Israel (Founders) + America (Jem'Hadar and Vorta).

It's funny how Trent likes to go on his anti-white spiel when the Federation he likes was the Federation written by Roddenberry, a white man, while the Federation he hates was written by Berman, Behr, etc., who are basically all Jewish lmao.
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Jeffrey Jakucyk
Fri, Feb 19, 2021, 9:52am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Virtuoso

A couple thoughts on the limited music. Getting anywhere into the realm of pop culture would risk seriously dating the series. Locking it in to the time it was produced, so to speak. The old music is so old it doesn't matter, and yet we can still relate to it as civilized or sophisticated. TNG is squarely an 80s TV show, but it does a good job of (mostly) avoiding the tropes of the day, so it holds up. Had Cetacean Ops (dolphin tanks) actually appeared on-screen, Riker played a synthesizer instead of trombone, and Beverly's plays were instead re-watching of The Cosby Show, it would pull people out of the story. Also how much "pop" music from the 1600s do we listen to today? That's where we are compared to TNG/DS9/VOY. Only the best of the best remains, and there's not a whole lot of it. The show could take the Bill and Ted route and make up some near-future music, but without any contemporary 24th century stuff I think it was just too much extra effort.

Also, the music isn't usually the point, so going all-in on something contemporary would be a distraction. If the Doctor was singing something crazy like the diva from The Fifth Element then it wouldn't be possible to contrast his curated repertoire with the algorithm-based synth dreck Tincoo "composed" for her hologram. Similar for Data and his painting. He should be laser-etching holograms in silicone crystal wafers, not smearing oil pigments on canvas. But if he did that, then that's all we the audience would be focusing on. Not his desire to express creativity and understand emotion. There'd be too much "what" and "how" while losing the "why."

The more cynical take is that modern songs, even covers, would require licensing deals and extra fees. When the production won't pay SAG for a couple extras to speak a line, then it's not too surprising they'd want to avoid the cost (and hassle) of getting rights clearances. In a more modern context, there's even the concerns about playing in international markets, where music/imagery/pop culture needs extensive vetting lest it offend China's social gatekeepers. Yes that's a much more recent thing, but even back in the day, bland and inoffensive almost always won out over the alternative. Rick Berman was famously anti-music in the sense that he wanted the musical score for the episodes to be background wallpaper. We only got a little more than halfway through TNG before he fired composer Ron Jones for being too good at his job, leaving the rest of that series, plus DS9 and VOY in a bland musical wasteland.
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Jason R.
Fri, Feb 19, 2021, 8:04am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Valiant

"And yes, I *know* what I was like at 18-22, in my first career job. I was eager, smart; had a lot of disruptive new ideas, and didn't yet know what corporate hierarchy would be like. So in a way that precociousness tracks. "

I can't imagine being this age and feeling this way. Just a totally alien way of thinking.
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