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JanielM
Tue, Feb 6, 2018, 2:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Minefield

I'm just going to repeat what others have said, but my psyche needs to express it so here goes:

If you have technology that can get you out of most precarious situations - like the transporter--and you don't use it, *explain* why you are not using it, or you undermine your story by distracting your audience by the fact that they could have freaking transported Malcolm off the hull the second he was hurt. Kind of like Hermione's time turner. Just use the thing to go back and fix every possible problem in their world before it happened. Made it hard for me to feel any anxiety over Malcolm's situation as he shouldn't have been in it in the first place.

The Romulans. Hahahaha! I'm sorry, but didn't the main Romulan's voice sound like they borrowed it from Voyager's Captain Proton episodes? Sounded like Chaotica's robot to me. Heh.

And Malcolm, bless his pessimistic little head. The writers sure made it hard to like the guy over these last few episodes. He wasn't just pessimistic, he was *bitter* pessimistic. Makes you kind of want to smack him a little bit.

One general comment: Scott Bakula! You were so much better than this! It's so weird that he could by turns be believable in this part, then sound like he was reading an instruction manual from the cue-cards. Sounding official wasn't his forté, and neither was info-dump dialogue. Blah. Director and writers ought to have helped the guy out a bit and worked with his strengths. Sigh.

I love Star Trek. But it seems like there's always SOMETHING glaring out of it that bucks canon or doesn't fit. *cough* Enterprise Theme Song For Example *cough*
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JanielM
Tue, Oct 17, 2017, 6:14pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Year of Hell, Part II

Why in the world did they think they needed to reset at the end? There was SO much more dramatic material for them to work with if they'd left things as they were: the ship limping it's way toward home, stopping for repairs along the way with friendly worlds, getting clever to figure out how to deal with unfriendly worlds without hurting the ship further. Watching Doc find a way to restore Tuvok's eyesight and Janeway's skin. Figuring out how to deal with so much physical deprivation on board the ship, and loss. A year of that would have had huge psychological repercussions, and there could have been great episodes surrounding that. Heck, just gathering the crew back together again would have allowed for some amazing stories.

Makes me sad. As it is, these two episodes don't matter. Because they never happened. Sigh.
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JanielM
Mon, Sep 25, 2017, 8:38pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Threshold

Gross.

"Billions of years from now we will rip out our tongues and become slugs. Woohoo!"

I was eating dinner. Sheesh.

On the up side: "WAKE UP, LIEUTENANT!"
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Janiel Miller
Wed, Sep 6, 2017, 2:12pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Phage

@artymiss

I think you're right that it's because of the standalone eps. Any of them could have been put in a TNG season seamlessly. The idea of two feuding crews getting stranded together in the Delta quadrant should be blooming with fantastic plots. Instead it's like they said, "Okay, we've set the stage, that's done. Now lets film all the episodes that got rejected for TNG and DS9." So sad. There could have been FABulous conflict between the crew and Janeway, and the crews themselves as they all adjusted to working together, and instead it was like, "Oh. Janeway stranded us out here. Together. Dang. What's for lunch?" Also, Chakotay was wasted, and that was sad because he was cool. The music even feels dated to me!

Oh well. I will enjoy Doc and some of the other character interactions. :)
I enjoyed Enterprise the first time I watched it (probably mostly because of Phlox and the ever fabulous Jeffrey Combs.) Wonder how I will feel about it now...
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JanielM
Tue, Sep 5, 2017, 2:16pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S1: Phage

It's so weird. The first time I watched Voyager it became my favorite Trek series. I mean it had some (major) flaws, but I loved the characters, loved the actors, and Picardo may be my all time favorite Doctor. Or Phlox. Or Doc. I don't know!

Anyway, it's years later and I'm watching it again and it's driving me nuts. Maybe because I'm in the middle of writing a novel myself, the near constant cognitive dissonance in the writing and characterizations is making me batty and I don't know if I'm going to make it through the thing. First episode Janeway blows the Prime Directive out of the water by making decisions for two peoples and blowing up the array--making even more life-shattering decisions for everyone on her ship. Two episodes later she gets up and moralizes about the PD. Gah. If I remember correctly, this keeps happening.

It would have been easy to have the Stranding-in-the-Delta-Quadrant come from something less egregious, more natural. And they really needed to mine the stranding and how people felt about Janeway's unilateral decision for them, and how the Maquis and the Federation learned to get along. Sigh. It would have added needed depth and believability to everything

I just miss the more plausible alien life-forms on the other Trek series. Did not love the turd-haired Kazons who could build battle cruisers but couldn't find water. Couldn't deal with the weird 1970's Stepford-esque society and bad acting (and hair and costumes) in Time and Again. And I canNOT deal with the Vidiians, no matter how cool an idea organ-snatching-space-pirates is. So gross. So so gross. And such silly silly voice choices. Sigh.

As a side note, I would like to have seen a combined ethical/non-ethical solution to the lung problem. Along the lines of:

"Dudes. We don't murder people for personal gain, like you do. So we're just going to take one of those lungs back."
"Wait! With only one lung the phage will kill me sooner!"
"You're right. I'd hate to put you through that. We'll take both."
"I'm good. Happy breathing. Bye."
"Don't let the door knock your butt off on the way out. Next time it won't be just lungs we transport out of you."

So, I think what I've learned is a lot of what one enjoys in entertainment is what one brings to it. I used to be bored by DS9 and love Voyager. This year I loved DS9 and want slap Voyager upside the head.

Maybe I'll go watch Parks and Rec reruns instead.
At least for a minute.
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JanielM
Tue, Jul 11, 2017, 12:01am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Valiant

So the Dominion had special Adult-Seeking Missiles that left only the teenagers alive on the Valiant? Even if the adults were manning all the stations and the kids were hanging about in their quarters, that's some precision. Also, if enough damage was done to kill all the adults, how were these kids able to make all the repairs? With no help? When DS9 falls apart any time Chief O'Brien isn't on the station?

Kind of an intriguing idea to come across a ship manned by teenagers, but the war-time plot makes it too unsupportable and unbelievable. Also, much of the Valiant crew's dialogue was waaaaay to mature and uncharacteristic of teenagers--even mature elite military teenagers. It seemed written for mini adults. Very stilted mini adults.

Also, I was looking forward to seeing Jake squelch around Ferenginar, so I'm kind of sad they never got there.
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JanielM
Mon, Jul 10, 2017, 3:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night

Daniel B and MMM:

Regarding these great comments from each of you respectively:

"She very clearly didn't forget her husband."
"The episode portrayed that very clearly. Nerys didn't see it because she was too upset at the sudden revelation about her mother's story not being what she thought."

"I don't think it's just a physical act for most men either."

"I also don't think this episode ever told us that Kira's mom did not feel exploited or used on any level."

"The way the whole thing is portrayed pretty realistically as far as a manipulative emotional abuser like Dukat goes. People like that really delude themselves into thinking that because they never physically forced their way in, that they didn't do anything wrong, that they just wooed the other person into consenting. And going along with such a person rather than resisting is an actual defense mechanism."

--Very well stated, and I mostly agree with both of you. I do feel that the writers sent a confused message surrounding Meru. They showed her feeling conflicted. They showed her being sad at the separation from her husband. But they also seemed to show her enjoying her new life, beyond just trying to adjust to it. Like, she was happy and excited when she came back from her vacation with Dukat. She acted flattered and happy like a young woman in love when he gave her flowers. Not realistic. And she never defended herself from Kira's accusations that she had fallen in love with Dukat. The writers just let that hang there, and that's what Kira left the experience thinking. Which, btw, I thought was very inconsistent with Kira's character and intelligence levels,

I guess what I'm feeling is that if the writers meant to suggest that Meru was in fact traumatized and was just playing along in order to survive and help her family, and that she did miss her husband and was doing what she could to survive a horrific situation, then they needed to make this more clear and show Kira realizing it, instead of having the episode end with Kira feeling that her mother was weak and a collaborator. I left the episode not sure what the heck the writers were trying to say with it, and I don't think it did any favors for women who truly have been put into the position of being abused like that. I mean if you read the comments, many of the commenters above refer to Meru as having been "weak." So yeah, that's one of the messages that came out of this ep., unfortunately. --unless I misunderstood and the commenters felt she was weak for not fighting until she was killed instead of sleeping with Dukat. Maybe that's where they thought she was weak? If so, then I'd say you'd have to hold off on that judgment until you were in that situation yourself. If you thought you were protecting your family and even helping them, I think that would guide your choices. They could have shown that better, if that was the case.

PS - As for my statement that sex for women is more than just a physical act--I didn't mean to imply that that is all it is for men. But men tend to feel loved and supported *by* sex, whereas women need to feel loved and supported first. Which is one of the many reasons that forcing it on a woman (either physically or through manipulation) is so damaging to them. And it's why they can't and wouldn't just let go and enjoy it in a situation like Meru's. I didn't mean to make men sound shallow, so my apologies for that implication.
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Janiel
Fri, Jul 7, 2017, 5:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S6: Wrongs Darker Than Death or Night

Good. Grief. This episode.

So first of all the good:
ALAIMO is a treat to watch, as always, because he's fantastic in the part of Dukat. The writing for Dukat is usually very solid as well, which adds to the enjoyment.

VISITOR has become one of the more fun members of the cast for me as the show has gone on (felt her character was a bit shrill when the show was trying to find its footing in the first two seasons.) So it was nice to once again have a Kira-based episode--if only for Visitor's acting, not the writing. (I'll get to that below.)

WAYNE GRACE as the Lecherous Legate who tries his dubious charms on Kira is pretty hilarious in the part, and I enjoyed watching an extra put that kind of effort into his character. Enjoyed sets and costumes. Enjoyed some of the ideas that were presented.


Forehead-Slap-Inducing Details:
THE ORB OF TIME. Convenient new addition to Bajoran religious relics that brings up all kinds of after-the-fact plot holes, now that we know of it's existence. i.e., Why couldn't they have just used the Orb of Time to find out X,Y, or Z about the Dominion? Blah Blah. Maybe there will be an Orb of Get That Narsty Dominion Chick Out Of Odo's Psyche at some point. That would be nice.

DUKAT. Dude must have a painting in his quarters, √° la Dorian Grey, that is doing all his aging for him, because he doesn't look a molecule younger in the past than his image on Kira's wall at the beginning of the episode.

KIRA. Rash murderous decisions, much? Doesn't like what she thinks she sees, so lets BLOW MOM UP. Yeah. Stone cold and scary. Is that who we want Kira to be? Really?

MERU. Wow. Just wow. I feel an essay coming on. Someone on the writing staff needed to run this script through a focus group of psychologists in order to shave off the total lack of reality that has Meru falling for Dukat after 3 weeks of imprisonment as his mistress. Or *any* weeks. Jeesh. This would not happen. I don't care how nice the man, how nice the clothes, how nice the food. You take a normal woman, rip her from her family on threat of death or torture, but tell her if she cooperates her family will be cared for, and make her someone's prostitute--even with nice clothes and a shower--and I guarantee you that no amount of niceness from the man who is forcing himself on her is going to make her forget her husband and fall in love with him. Sex for women is not just a physical act. You can't just "decide to enjoy it" when it is being forced. That is very rape-culture-y and has no place anywhere. There are major emotional elements tied into intimacy for a woman, and she must feel safe and respected for it to work without her feeling exploited or used on some level. Dukat took her forcibly from her family and coerced her into being his comfort woman. The key idea here is that she had no choice. Dying by refusing doesn't help her family. And no woman in that situation is going to fall in love with her perpetrator, no matter how charming he is. Unless she has Stockholm Syndrome, which would take longer than 3 weeks and her feelings wouldn't be real. Kira should have been mature enough to realize all of that. The writers should have been mature enough to realize all of that and respect women more than to create such an unrealistic reaction in Kira's mother. Makes Meru look simplistic and shallow. It felt to me like character manipulation to accommodate the emotional arc they came up with for Kira. And there was no purpose in that arc. It would have been far more cool for Kira to find out her mom was exactly like she is--apple falling close to the tree and all that--and then take that back and stuff it in Dukat's face.

it's possible I have strong feelings about this . . .
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Janiel Miller
Thu, Mar 23, 2017, 11:58am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Man of the People

@Andy in VA - Yes! Spot on. And don't forget the undercurrent of non-stop victimization by Will Riker, in the form of "Oh, well, Imzadi will always be there for me when I get tired of sleeping around, but she'd better not get serious with anyone! " Geeze Loueeeeze. The writing for Deanna Troi drove me nuts.

What I think happened is the writers never thought beyond Sirtis' Wonder Bra and her empathic abilities. She had no other traits beyond those, so when they wrote for her it seemed all they could think of were tropes centered on her beauty and her empathy. And even then, they only used her empathic abilities when it was a convenient plot device. If they needed her to not notice someone "hiding something" or being nervous or dishonest, she either wasn't physically present, or simply didn't say anything -- like in "Starship MIne," where she floats around the reception not noticing any strange emotions in the men who would take them hostage.

Siritis was great in "Face of the Enemy," and had other little shining moments that proved she could have been an actual addition to the crew and plot lines if more thought and effort had been put into writing and directing her. They knew how to write powerful women. They did it all the time. Maybe they wanted some contrast between her and the other strong women on the ship (Guinan, and Crusher--who only marginally succeeded at portraying strength and intelligence), but didn't have any idea how to do it. Or maybe she just got hired for her wonderbra.
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Janiel Miller
Wed, Mar 15, 2017, 12:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Man of the People

Also, I want to add that these days one of my favorite things to do is to watch the extras and background personnel. Bwaaaahahahahaha! They never react to anything, and when they do it's often hilariously maladroit. It's as if they are in a completely different show, bless their uniformed hearts. Like a ship full of Data's, but with their personality chips removed.

I also love to watch the actors flopping around in completely different directions and frequencies whenever the Enterprise is rattled by some external force. Picard is always nearly falling out of his chair, while Geordi stands at a console in the background swaying gently. Dude would be scrambling for footing or eating the deck if the ship were shuddering the way Patrick Stewart's body indicates. Heh!
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Janiel Miller
Wed, Mar 15, 2017, 11:57am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Man of the People

I'm not a Star Trek expert by any means--though I've always loved watching it--and this is the first time I've ever commented on a Jammer board, or any Trek board. But I just want to stick up for Marina Sirtis. I have to say l am sorry for her. I read somewhere that Troi's character was originally to be some funky four-breasted hermaphrodite, or something (which idea was thankfully talked down. Good grief.) But it seems that once they humanized her, her purpose was still to be little more than on-board cleavage--so why write anything real for her? Much like what they did with T'Pol and Seven of Nine. The difference being that at least Seven as a Borg ex-pat was a cool enough concept to engender a lot of creative writing possibilities, so she had some good episodes. Poor Troi spent three and a half seasons being nothing more than a pretty potted palm on the Bridge. And when they seem to have realized that she needed to have an actual personality with actual depth they hadn't invested enough int the character to know how to accomplish that. So we got a sudden introduction to Troi's chocolate obsession, in season 4 I think it was. And finally the occasional glimpse into her doing her actual job. It felt like a slight attempt to focus on Marina's strengths as an actress instead of trying to shoe-horn her into whatever plot point they needed her to fill, which often included emotional scenes that were not her forte.

Sirtis was great in the latter part of the series at the counseling scenes, showing warmth and humor, and being a calm presence. The writers and directors should have let Sirtis play to her strengths, and given her character more depth in those areas. It would also have been nice, since she was a bridge officer and there for many of the Meet-the-Alien-of-the-Week moments, to have had her trained in strategy. An empathic strategist might have actually been useful the the captain, and would have provided the character with a brain (*gasp*) that the writers could have written toward.

There were several hilarious moments in this episode for me, but I tend to like the things about Sirtis that I mentioned above, so I didn't mind watching her. Also enjoyed Riker, and the Janeway scene.

I don't want to say I have love/hate relationship with all of the Star Trek shows, because it's more of a love/beat-my-head-against-a-wall relationship owing to so much cognitive dissonance in the writing of characters and cultures, as well as so many lost opportunities. But Trek knew how to cast (with some exceptions) actors who got into my heart and who I wanted to watch each week, no matter how absurd the situations and dialogue those actors were saddled with. And the whole concept was frankly cool, and nicely realized for television at the time. So huzzah for Star Trek, goofy writing, grating acting, and wrong-headedness aside. Hope we always have a bit of the Trek universe to watch!
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