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Jack
Thu, Mar 14, 2019, 11:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

This is the first compelling episode of this show, like since it began (at least, it’s the first conpelling episode I can recall).

The Ariam stuff was well done but would have been better if all the everyone loves Ariam stuff had happened over time and wasn’t crammed into the episode where she dies.

It was clear where this was going — but it was still entertaining. Not Modern-Golden-Age-of-TV entertaining but entertaining.

Random observations:

- The rotating camera shots made me dizzy

- Displays show the entire UV spectrum but holograms don’t?

- I didn’t miss Tyler or Georgieu

- I will miss Ariam, though.

- Martin-Green’s acting is showing, a little

- Could we have a fresher, more interesting take on AI destroys humanity? (even The Orville did it better).
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Jack
Thu, Mar 7, 2019, 3:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Identity, Part II

Do we know that Isaac had a change of heart? Or had he planned to stop the invasion all along?
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Jack
Wed, Mar 6, 2019, 2:10am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Identity, Part II

The Kaylons say they have no emotions, but as portrayed on the show, something is going on. And I think the writers are aware of this.

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Jack
Fri, Feb 22, 2019, 4:24am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Sound of Thunder

Hated it. The show is quickly becoming fan fiction. The camera wouldn’t stop jumping around. The twist made no sense.
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Jack
Fri, Feb 22, 2019, 12:23am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Identity, Part I

Others have predicted this would happen, but the execution, so to speak, was phenomenal.

Definitely on par with BOBW. Possibly better because of everything that has built to this.

Predictions: Isaac will save the day. But maybe not.
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Jack B
Thu, Feb 21, 2019, 11:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Identity, Part I

Oh yes, needless to say would mean the episode was so awesome you need not say it.

Anyway, I liked it a lot, especially Isaac’s final scene. I’ll go at least 3 shiny stars.
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Jack
Thu, Feb 21, 2019, 11:31am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Deflectors

@Presto

Yeah, not forgetting that Derulio thing. And it was treated as normal-ish by everyone. But it was also a product of alien biology and, well, not normal. Or, well, consensual.

But we haven't seen a normal same-sex human relationship -- although, arguably, we haven't seen a normal male/female human relationship either yet.

But yeah, all the characters (including Bortus and Klyden, arguably), have been straight. Also Derulio (he'd just boink everything).

Again, I'm not trying to police what they show. But the Moclan society is getting pretty dark -- and, well, there was a long history of gays being painted as destructive and dark (remember the war on the family and the gay agenda?). The gays were basically the Borg to plenty of conservatives.
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Jack
Thu, Feb 21, 2019, 11:22am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Deflectors

I'm repeating myself here, but I'm certainly not asking for portraying the Moclans (same-sex-relationship characters played by black actors) as sunny and perfect. I'm thrilled that they're not doing that.

This is a Seth MacFarlane comedy -- none of the characters come across as sunny and perfect. And they'll all occasionally be the butts of jokes. But the show is kind-hearted, ultimately, to most of them. We haven't quite seen that with Klyden yet. He's a bit of a stereotypical shrew. And again, the Moclans have been presented as dysfunctional and harmful in a way that other characters haven't been.

And I get that the show wants to use the Moclans to critique a rigid, dogmatic, heterosexual, cisgender society. And maybe to critique male gender role rigidity. Or too say that, hey, we need chicks to be happy. And maybe riff on the TNGs Klingon stuff. Maybe? I have no idea.

I just don't think it always works. And I do think some people will see them as gay -- and as proof that gay people are screwed up and unnatural. Sure, those people will think that anyway. But I wonder what a young gay kid will think when they watch this?

The good: all the characters and the union accept the Moclans, generally and aren't phased by the same-gender thing.

The bad: the culture is portrayed as backward and barbaric (tooth-eating, husband-killing, baby-mutilating, shunning of all difference). And Klyden and Bortus sure seem miserable.

It's still worth doing. And it's interesting. I just think it's a lot of episodes on these themes in the first 20 or so episodes.

Maybe my biggest beef is that Klyden is the most one-dimensional character on the show. He's an unpleasant, nagging housewife. It's not funny. It's not saying anything. And maybe he'll evolve. It could also be the actor or direction. Bortus is funny, generally. Klyden is awful, generally. Again, maybe there's something interesting there (he was born female and forced to change). But what's that saying, exactly?

Also, logically, why would a species where males can procreate have females, even in small numbers, at all? Or was this all engineered by the society and is, again, unnatural -- so, could some see that as proof that the gays want to destroy the traditional family and get rid of all women (which we've been accused of)?

It's just a TV show, but I want to know that the writers are aware of some of this stuff.

You could make a similar argument with Clare and LeMarr -- that they're both shown as stereotypes -- she's a single mom struggling to cope and he's a slacker. She's also the "wisest" woman on the ship (another black sterotype). But I think the show shows both are both human and highly capable.

So I might be wrong about this Bortus stuff. Maybe we've moved past all this.

And, again, complicated and nuanced is good. And we should be asking ourselves uncomfortable questions.

I just think this stuff is worth thinking about.

And maybe I'm projecting my own crap/guilt/shame onto a Fox sitcom.
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Jack
Sun, Feb 17, 2019, 7:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Deflectors

I’d also forgotten that Klyden was born female — so he could be overcompensating. Not sure of it’s intentional by the writers, but people who’ve been discriminated against for one reason aren’t always automatically tolerant of people who’ve been discriminated against for other reasons.

And as for PC stuff, I think part of the problem is the idea that some fixate on words etc. instead of real societal changes. Pronouns might not seem to matter — especially “they” — to someone who hasn’t been discriminated against. It might seem silly, like they’re just words.

Again, I’m not saying the Moclans should be a Mary Sue culture — and Bortus is accepted/valued by everyone on the ship — but, as a 40-something gay dude, I remember when we were portrayed as weird, unnatural and barbaric (Moclan divorce literally involves murder). Again, I don’t think they’re gay (as gay is the opposite of straight).

But couldn’t this be stuff that we learn abput the culture a few more episodes in?
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Jack
Fri, Feb 15, 2019, 12:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Deflectors

@Dave

I’m not saying they have to be flawless. And of course there would be problems. But we’ve just seen nothing *but* problems, and they’ve all been sex- and gender-related ones, so far. It’s being presented as an effed-up culture, and all those problems stem from being all-male. Again, some think gay culture is a effed-up culture.


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Jack
Fri, Feb 15, 2019, 3:11am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Saints of Imperfection

The worst part was Tilly and spore-Mae’s sudden BFF “don’t leave me” scene at the end.

At this point, I don’t really care about anything that happens to these characters because it could all change in (quite literally) six seconds.
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Jack
Fri, Feb 15, 2019, 1:26am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Deflectors

I get what they’re trying to do (metaphors for homophobia and transphobia etc.) — but it bothers me that the same-sex culture is shown as unnatural, wrong and generally screwed-up (things that gay people have traditionally been accused of). And so far, it’s the same-sex characters (and no other regular characters) who’ve been shown as sex addicts, attempted murderers, bigots, mutilators of babies, generally miserable in marriage, and practitioners of bizzare, barbaric cultural rituals. So, what might a viewer imply that this is saying about gay people?

And the same thing bothered me about that TNG episode about the androgynous world that was supposed to be a metaphor for homophobia but (partially because of the casting) actually made it look like Riker’s love was a straight woman and a victim of unnatural lesbian orthodoxy that wouldn’t let her love a man.

It’s 2019. You can talk directly about bigotry, sexuality and gender — you don’t need clunky metaphors.
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Jack
Thu, Feb 7, 2019, 4:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Bar Association

"Jessica Rabbit—who is inexplicably not participating in stupid Bajoran ritual #54"

She has to pay the bills somehow...although asshole djarra guy is only a week away,...
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Jack
Thu, Feb 7, 2019, 2:27am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Point of Light

Agree with this notion of there still needing to be some equilibrium between serialised and episodic content in something like Star Trek, the premise of which is ideal for allowing those strange and unusual ideas that can't get screen time elsewhere to flourish. The limitless creative range of Trek to engage any genre from any angle is what makes it really special.

I should really preface by saying that I only starting watching any variation of Trek about 5 months ago (in my early 20's), and I've since watched half the films, the more famous TOS episodes and the entirety of TNG (skipping a few in line with Jammer's excellent recommendations). I'm now continuing my obsession by watching the sixth season of Deep Space 9 and I'm noting now how effortlessly it changes tone from say the intensive progression of the overarching narrative in Sacrifice of Angels - to the psychological aftermath those events wrought on the main villain and an examination of how great evils are equivocated by tyrants in Waltz - to a cerebral commentary reflecting not only upon racism but upon the core objectives of the show; its optimistic affirmation of humanity's potential - to a fun, slightly zany sci-fi piece about a Runabout shrinking to the size of a toy and saving the day, letting us relax and enjoy another side to characters we've come to care about. To me this is a perfect balance of boldly celebrating creativity without abandoning the most consequential narrative.

I think Discovery tries to be more than a 10 hour netflix space drama by producing a huge number of b-plots that it consistently fails to resolve satisfactorily, but it doesn't seem to have the courage to really take a step back and try something novel or strange. The result is mostly just a slightly bland mess of half-baked concepts that I find hard to justify giving time to, especially considering that the pervasive main plot isn't especially compelling to begin with, despite some good moments here and there.

New Eden seemed like they might be striking a balance again in multiple respects but then...this happened. Perhaps they should try to get more people from TNG and DS9 to direct and pace episodes, given that Frakes did an admirable job with the previous one.

Anyway, in case I don't comment again I just want to say a sincere thankyou to Jammer and other commenters for all these reviews. They've really enriched the experience of watching the show. All the best.
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Jack
Thu, Jan 31, 2019, 5:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Dreadnought

Heh...I wondered why having an uncle was a lie and then I remembered Elogium....Ocampa females only ever have one pregnancy.

Uncles have siblings, by definition. I suppose Ocampa may have twins on occasion.
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Jack2211
Tue, Jan 29, 2019, 2:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: All the World Is Birthday Cake

This show needs to be funny/edgy again. When Ed's not around -- and, increasingly, even when he is -- the dialogue is bland and over-earnest.

And, yes, religion, taken literally, makes no sense -- apart from a way for people to impose order on the world and on each other.

Pointing that out is easy. But how about some nuance -- what if Rubenstein hadn't believed, but his political life depended on his acting like he believed? Or if Jelliac slave labour was necessary for their economy? People in power benefit from religion, misinformation and even prejudice. Sure, some are fervent believers, but I suspect many aren't.
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Jack
Mon, Jan 28, 2019, 11:20pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: All the World Is Birthday Cake

This week, both Discovery and Orville had episodes that felt like bad episodes of Voyager. I don’t know if Frakes and MacNeill were part of the problem.
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Jack
Sun, Jan 27, 2019, 9:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: New Eden

So it took me a while to figure out why I hated this episode.

Part of it, what is that the planet-side stuff felt like an episode of a 90s syndicated Canadian-made scifi show (both in production values, acting and silliness).

And I don’t get what the point of it all was. What is the story telling us? What’s the message? No, not everything needs a message. But without a message there’s no point to any of this because there was no human steaks, no emotion, no nothing.

So a bunch of people gather in a church (apparently with all the texts from the world’s various religions) seeking shelter from nuclear bombs and the church was whisked across the galaxy, saving them. They have no technology and they manage to get along with each other (and somehow learn to make stained glass) and do just fine for the next 200 years. It’s presented as a utopia, in a sense.

But we learn nothing about them. Why did they thrive (because they thought they were the sole survivors; because they were saved; because they think they’re following God’s will?)

It’s all a mess that doesn’t really say anything and gets us more rah-rah-ing for humanity’s progress.

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Jack
Fri, Jan 18, 2019, 5:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S4: Return to Grace

“your dad just wants to bone me to prove how awesome he is to himself,” to a teenaged girl."

Considering what the Cardassian neck looks like, the male Cardassian "bone" might have bones of its own...
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Jack
Tue, Jan 15, 2019, 11:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Threshold

Janeway's rapid change of heart could be because a chance encounter with the Orb Of Time told her what was coming and she finds Kim is a bit young for her to mate with.
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Jack
Sun, Jan 13, 2019, 1:44am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Lineage

It was a little hard to buy the establishing premise of the drama in this episode.

B'Ehlanna is fully half-Klingon and her forehead ridges are some 90% reduced compared to the average Klingon.

It's hard to buy that her one-quarter Klingon child would have basically the same forehead ridges that she has, as was presented here. DOc says taht the ridges are dominant through several generations, but even a cursory look at B'Ehlanna shows that isn't the case.

Also, post-natal surgery on the child's forehead would seem far more practical and moral then randomly altering DNA, if B'Ehlanna was really that worked up about it but it isn't even brought up.

It made the entire conflict seem more than a bit too contrived.
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Jacob
Thu, Dec 27, 2018, 10:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: Solo: A Star Wars Story

"As so-called Star Wars "anthology movies" go (all two of them)"

Don't the two Ewok movies count?
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Jack
Sat, Dec 15, 2018, 1:31am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Life Support

"Yeah. I think this whole women-chewing-their-men's-food bit is supposed to be heartwarming, but it isn't."

It also is the reason I can't bring myself to recommend non-Star Trek fans to watch "The Visitor", an otherwise excellent episode but for that scene in the middle where Nog mentions this disgusting act and it still lifts even me right out of the narrative, and I've watched the episode probably 40 times.

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Jack
Sat, Dec 15, 2018, 1:15am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: Heart of Stone

"but the implication that this is the only reason Odo didn't stay with his people undermines what happened in “The Search”--Odo didn't want to be part of the Dominion because it's fucking evil and he recognised that."

I hated the ret-conning they did with this too.

We (spoiler?) learned later - or at least the writers try to gaslight us later - that everything the Founders have done was motivated by "getting Odo back home", but we get that smokeblow only AFTER the Founders made him a solid, and since they weren't the reason that Odo eventually got his goo-ve back, it's rather absurd to try and make us believe that the Founders were playing three dimensional chess like that. There is a ridiculous nonsnese throwaway line from the Founder that "we've forgiven you", but are we supposed to assume that the Founders orchestrated the events of "The Begotten"? to restore Odo?
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Jack
Sat, Sep 1, 2018, 3:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S3: The House of Quark

Man, if you don't give this four stars, you don't give nothin' four stars.
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