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Jo Jo Meastro
Tue, Jul 15, 2014, 1:33am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Genre-Buster, I wont persist and risk derailing the point of the discussion board but to me it doesn't matter how many people use the rape analogy. I see it all over IMDB on practically any film franchise with a hard core fan base and I find it tasteless and idiotic every single time.

At the end of the day, movies are just movies and I'll never understand why people get so invested and so distressed over them that they compare it to rape. I'm not aiming that towards you, it was just a general comment about how people can often behave in these types of discussion boards. If you can't agree that's absolutely fine, I just wanted to try further explain my point of view.

To bring my comments back on topic (sort of!), Winter Soldier is an awesome film and I never noticed the similarities to STID until John W said. Even though I lean more towards the crowd that actually quite liked STID, I have to say Winter Soldier is the superior film any way you look at it.

I also look back and I find Star Trek 09 is the superior film as well. With that film, it was much more ground-shaking and genuinely emotional with moments of pause to let us really feel alongside the characters. Whenever we do get the next Trek movie, I hope to see a return of this kind of balance between spectacle and drama. STID was a flawed but still enjoyable effort, lets hope they learn from the mistakes here to bring us a really awesome conclusion to the trilogy!
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Jo Jo Meastro
Sun, Jul 13, 2014, 9:48am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

I think Macca was referring to the comments' use of rape victims as an analogy for disliking the film, which I agree is a very disgusting remark to make and I think that kind of blatant vulgarity is not allowed by Jammer. As he said, play nice and bringing rape into a trivial discussion of a film is not nice.
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Jo Jo Meastro
Thu, Jun 5, 2014, 3:26am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

Cheknovs' death would have been a good choice if the movie made us feel safe by bringing Kirk back to life and suddenly Cheknovs' murdered just when audiences are expecting the end credits.

The problem with the film as it is, is it repeats the mistakes of many of the Treks shows by being routine and safe more often than not (even DS9 was guilty of this from time to time).

I like STID but I would be the first to admit that it could have been better and could have earned more respect from the fandom.
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Jo Jo Meastro
Tue, Jun 3, 2014, 5:46am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

I wonder if peoples' reactions to the movie had been different if Kirk actually had been killed off for good and Khans' magic blood just didn't do the trick, leaving us with a character study of Spock at a severe breaking point and a darker twist on the legacy of Khan. Or would that be a case of upsetting fans by killing too many main characters too quickly like what happened in X-Men 3, considering Pikes' death early on in the movie?

I personally think a gutsy move like that would have earned more respect and make the point that this really is an alternate spin on Star Trek. It also could have made the movie more moving and mature, with a bit more emotional power to back up all the explosions and fist fights.

I think the cast could pull off a film with lots more depth and it would have been nice to see that on-screen.
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Jo Jo Meastro
Tue, May 13, 2014, 3:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek Into Darkness

I've been reading the comments every so often just to see if the review has been posted yet and thought I'd put in my 2 cents.

I haven't seen as much discussion on peoples' opinions on how each individual actor does recreating the classic characters, so perhaps there is room left to talk about that?

Here's my take and a ranking of each one. I'm just sticking to the main cast but if others wanted to expand on that they're more than welcome to.

1) Bruce Greenwood as Pike. There isn't much to say except that his character is one of the best things for me personally in the new Trek. They took a great character from the older era and breathed new life into him with style, without just merely rehashing what we've already seen a thousand times. I loved the new angle given to him and I will admit I was taken back to see him killed off in STID, but to be fair at least he got a decent send off and there wasn't much development left to do with Pike so he may have been wasted in any more sequels.

2) Karl Urban as McCoy. I will admit he is very under-utilized in the new movies, but what we do see of him is a note perfect performance. Not only does he capture McCoys' manners and voice, he also captures the whole spirit and the essence of the character so naturally. I would like to see more of this new McCoy in future films.

3) Chris Pine as Kirk. This casting choice apparently divides a lot of fans and I can definitely understand since this version of Kirk doesn't even try to be like Shatners'. It works for me though and I believe him as a younger less assured Kirk who had a radically different upbringing given the changes in the timeline.

4) John Cho as Sulu. It probably seems a strange choice for fourth place considering he's barely in either of the films. What I have seen I've liked quite a lot and his moment in the big chair in STID showed to me a interesting take on Sulu with potential for a lot more development. You could never replicate Georges' classic performances so I'm glad they didn't even try.

5) Anton Yelchin as Checkov. While generally a weak character in both the new films and the old series; I can't deny the actor does a good job challenging the original Checkov. It had a old school quality to it with the campy over-acting and outrageous accent, and that's exactly what we've always come to expect from the character. He's not exactly deep but that was never the point of his character and any serious moments with him rarely feel fitting.

6) Zachary Quinto as Spock. He is a good actor but, as many people have already pointed out, he is just too human and emotional in his portrayal. Whenever he was trying to be cool and detached, he came across more miffed or sarcastic. Nemoy managed to give subtle hints at emotion amongst the cool detachment a lot better. I guess I have to take into account that this is a altered timeline version of Spock who suffered the loss of his homeworld, but still I feel he's just too human and lost what attracts us to the character in the first place.

7) Simon Pegg as Scotty. This is an actor I generally do like, but he just isn't what springs to mind when I picture a young Scotty. He is good in delivering the comic relief aspect of him, but on the whole I never can quite accept his portrayal as a recognisable version of Scotty.

8) Zoe Saldana as Uhura. There isn't much to say except that it just didn't feel like Uhuras' character at all and I didn't really like the love relationship that they introduced. She was too much like a typical modern girl if that makes sense. The only aspect I did enjoy was the fact that she was strong willed and quite fiery when provoked which is true of the old Uhura (think "Mirror Mirror" and "Search For Spock"). I wouldn't mind if a new film brought in her hobby of music from the old TV show as a nice little homage to make it feel more like the old Uhura.

9) Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan. Again I'm actually a fan of Benedict and love him as the new Sherlock, but his casting here feels very random and he seems to be there purely to give the film a big Hollywood name attached to it. He was nothing like Khan, mostly down to the writing, and didn't leave much of an impression despite Benedict giving it his best.

It was actually quite hard to do the list as I don't particularly hate anyone in their roles, which means they all generally did a decent job. Sorry for such a lengthy post but you seemed to be in need of STID related conversation so thought I'd do my best to provide some of that!
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Jo Jo Meastro
Mon, Mar 24, 2014, 10:35am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Plato's Stepchildren

From what I can gather, this episode is very polarising amongst fans. I feel conflicted about what I make of it because its such a bizzare mixture of hilarious camp, genuinely uncomfortable dark content and a satisfying degree of thoughtfulness. Sometimes its all these things at once! I think it works in the end, even if you'll ask yourself what the hell am I watching on more than a few occasions (it reminds me of Lexx in that regard)!

I'm surprised that barely on-screen kiss gets so much recognition instead of the line about colour or shape or size aren't important and the depth and strength given to a perceived disabled character. That stood out the most for me, the kiss was too shy and self-conscious to really transcend the era imho.

I'll give this one a 2.5 stars for being unique and a well done adventure despite some OTT silliness along the way.
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Jo Jo Meastro
Mon, Mar 24, 2014, 7:51am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Tholian Web

nice to see Uhura get a chance to shine*
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Jo Jo Meastro
Mon, Mar 24, 2014, 7:49am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Tholian Web

I'll start with what I liked. The director did a great job in creating an atmosphere and I love the use of first person perspective and unusual camera angles. It was nice to see Uhura get a chance to sign which was all too rare on TOS. There were some imaginative and fun sci-fi which makes a nice addition to the TOS cannon. The Bones / Spock conflict was a mixed bag for me but at least the pay-off was very good.

As mentioned, the conflict needed to reach that pay-off was a mixed bag. This was down to Bones being completely unprofessional and undermining Spock with little reason. I agreed with Spock every time he essentially told him to shut up and get on with his work. I also found the outbursts of space madness unintentionally hilarious!

All in all though, it was highly enjoyable and a good insight into the crew dealing with a crisis without their captain. A solid 2.5 star outing imho.
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Jo Jo Meastro
Wed, Mar 19, 2014, 10:09am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Repentance

@ DLPB I'm sorry but you can't speak for all of us here in the UK. It is a hotly debated topic filled with grey areas and conflicting view points, it is nothing remotely resembling clear-cut as you make it out to be. If it was inclined in any way, it tends to be people from a older generation are most vocally in favour wheras the younger tend to either be proud we outlawed it or recognise it as the difficult issue that it is.

I will however agree about our snob politicians who range from misguided to clueless and greedy. A good, honest, hard working politician is sadly a rare thing in any part of the world.
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Jo Jo Meastro
Mon, Feb 17, 2014, 8:56am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: For the World Is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky

It probably sounded a lot better on paper than how it actually turned out.

I think the main pitfall is the unfortunate lack of an emotional punch. Wether it was the actors or the director or simply an uninvolving script, it leaves you strangely unmoved at times when you should be completely hooked and in the heart of the moment.

Coupled with a very slow pace and a failure to actually do anything interesting or original with its good concepts; it wasn't one of my favourites despite me being a big McCoy fan.

I would rate it a 2/4. I didn't hate it but I was left feeling very indifferent to it which isn't much better. As a side note, I love the episode title and I noticed TOS has a tendency for really cool sounding titles (excluding Spocks' Brain of course)!
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Jo Jo Meastro
Mon, Feb 17, 2014, 4:42am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Day of the Dove

I pretty much fully agree with the review; good and a very respectable effort, but not quite ground breaking.

Although I do think the episode deserves some brownie points for giving us a memorable Klingon villain with genuine charisma, depth of character and intelligence (TOS Klingons normally lack all three!). And praise for the effective anti-war sentiment showing us the hideous nature of hatred and those in power who feed on it.

3 stars is my rating too. One scene which really surprised me was when Checkov nearly raped Kangs' wife, I didn't think TOS could go that dark! A scene showing Checkovs' remorse and apology for that incident would have been nice even if he wasn't in control of his actions, it would make for a good character moment.
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Jo Jo Meastro
Sun, Feb 16, 2014, 10:14am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Spectre of the Gun

I really enjoyed this one and the whole feel of the Western town, the crimson sky and eerily sparse buildings where a excellent touch to give a subtle yet distinct impression of warped reality.

Retro John-Wayne-era westerns are a guilty pleasure of mine so I was bound to enjoy this one! Although I do agree that there was some slightly plodding spells in the middle, I found it very entertaining on the whole and I liked the concept of desperately avoiding violence in a desperate surreal situation. 2.5 stars would be my verdict too, possibly edging more towards 3.

I don't mind taking a break from conventional sci-fi settings, especially when the results are this good and one of the things I enjoy most about TOS is its mythical fantasy-esque approach to this final frontier of mankind. I prefer this to the more harder and more drier sci-fi.

TOS just has a certain charm and magic to it even if you could never take it seriously as a viable vision of the future. When its bad it is horrendously bad, but when its good its pretty fantastic.
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Jo Jo Meastro
Sat, Feb 15, 2014, 11:53am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Is There In Truth No Beauty?

To me this was a brilliant, classic episode and I am surprised to see it only got 2 stars.

On the technical side we had absolutely fantastic direction and the whole thing was bursting with colour and style. For once we got some good guest actors with surprisingly complex characters and the plot always kept you captivated without the need of any contrived action.

As for my personal appreciation, I adored that exotic mythological flavour to the episode and scenes like the possessed Spock speaking of the loneliness of our flesh form gave me goosebumps. There's just this wonderful quality to it that I can't quite explain and I loved the philosophical themes.

The only negative was some mild hints of sexism but this can be forgiven in light of the fascinating dimension given to Miranda. I'd go as far as give 4 stars.
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Jo Jo Meastro
Tue, Jan 21, 2014, 9:51am (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S1: The Andorian Incident

Hi Cloudane, regards to Babylon 5 I would recommend trying to watch the whole thing one day because season 3 and 4 are the absolute height of the show and all the drive of the show is chanelled directly into paying off the lengthy set-up. Imagine all of the best episodes of the first 2 seasons intensified and pumped on steriods and firing on all cylinders and the you'll get an idea of how mind blowingly epic it managed to get! Not to mention, there's consistency and a daring edginess and spark that was absent in them early days.

Each season marked a huge improvement over the last except for a slightly pointess season 5, but even the weakish fifth season gave us one of the most powerful finales ever made. I'm not saying its perfect (just the dialog alone never failed to bug me in its persistent tone deafness!) but I definitively do highly recommend completing the show if you got any enjoyment from those wobbly early days :).
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Jo Jo Meastro
Tue, Jan 21, 2014, 7:48am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Paradise Syndrome

I've been working my way through TOS starting with the third season and ending with the first, simply because I've already seen many of the episodes and I'd prefer to end my run with the strongest season. With regards to commenting I probably only will whenever I feel I've got something to say that hasn't been already said by Jammer or anyone else, 2014 has been a busy year so far!

This was a really good episode despite the little hiccups in logic required to make it work. Each Star Trek incarnation has its own take on the concept of the captian coming to terms with a simplier life away from everything that used to matter to them and TOS did a remarkable job when it set the trend. I was gently moved by the ending and there was a certain vibrant visual beauly held throughout the show which perfectly complemented the story.

One last thing, I got the impression Kirk only went along with the notion of being a god because at that point he feels like he came from the sky and believed it might be true!
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Jo Jo Meastro
Thu, Oct 24, 2013, 5:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Endgame

I would say as a finale, this is perhaps slightly below DS9s' "What You Leave Behind" but still very much an effective end to an enjoyable series. I'll try to keep my comment spoiler-free for anybody skimming over this on the Comment Browser.

Maybe I'm a big softie, but I had a lump in my throat and it made me feel both happily nostalgic yet sad to see Voyager come to a natural end. The very last moments of the show were a little abrupt and I would have liked just a bit less focus on the admittedly impressive action in order to get a better chance to soak in all of the crew in their wonderful, ultimate bookends; so it is fair to say there was a respectable margin for improvement. This is much like Voyager as a whole wrapped up in one neat, pleasant little farewell parcel which makes you smile whilst hoping for more.

With all that said, it was still very effective and I was sad to see it end. I found season 7 was actually the most strongest season the show has ever had and I am both sad and glad to see it go on such a high (unlike its' older brother TNG!). For all of its' faults and frustrations, it was often fantastic entertainment and I will miss spending time with the Voyager 'family'.

3 stars for an effective put slightly lacking finale, and 3 stars for Voyager as a whole.

I'm pleased I took the time and the effort to comment on the whole of the season, Jammer makes it look easy! It might be a while before I'm back commenting since I've ran out of Trek to watch except TOS, for which I have to wait for Christmas to get on DVD (I've already seen about 60 % of TOS in the past and I'm a big fan). Until then, I'll finish by saying thank you for the marvellous reviews! :)
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Jo Jo Meastro
Tue, Oct 22, 2013, 6:03am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Renaissance Man

I really liked it.

Although I do question why they went to the trouble of bringing back them Hierarchy aliens instead of just using someone from this season who wasn't left too far behind. Even inventing a new race would probably have went down better. I guess the Hierachy guys are taken out whenever they need comedy villains for a harmless romp.

And while I don't mind the fact that this was a fun, standalone, penultimate adventure; I would have liked if they at least had one scene were the crew pondered Neelixes' absence from their lives or a last minute Star Fleet transmission to act as a lead-in for the finale.

Other than these complaints I generally enjoyed it very much.

I especially liked the skillfully played mystery, did anybody else noticed the subtle clue dropped by Janeway/Doctor when he said the made-up aliens had a hierarchy? Its a fun little detail. I loved the Doctors' crazy action scheme, it was cool as well as funny and inventive.

All in all, 3 stars which came very close to 3.5!
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Jo Jo Meastro
Sun, Oct 20, 2013, 10:10am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Homestead

Easily 4 stars. It was the perfect celebration and magnificent swan song for Neelix. The farewell scene was so moving and you could tell everyone was just trying to enjoy this finale moment of togetherness, even while their hearts were mourning. This to me was a special and beautiful moment in Voyagers' legacy.
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Jo Jo Meastro
Sun, Oct 20, 2013, 10:02am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Homestead

If you had asked me after the pilot what my feelings would be if Neelix left for good, I would have told you the sooner the better and I'll shout with joy as he departs.

Little did I realise I'd grow to like him inspite or because of what a big goofy teddy bear he is and underneath all his earnest smiles was a wonderfully kind soul. He has his troubles and there's such sadness lingering deep within him, which is what drives him to surround himself and everyone in his life with happiness. He bounces off and needs everyone, just as much as they bounce off and need him.

I think that's why he craves attention from Tuvok and to melt that icey Vulcan exterior; it's what keeps him going and we've seen just how hard it hits whenever his bubble gets burst and when no one wants to be a part of his useless, fuzzy, comfort blanketed world.

Of course he's annoying and doesn't know when to stop; but that's part of his loving, wounded nature.

And I'm very sad he had to see him go but happy he found his true home.
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Jo Jo Meastro
Sun, Oct 20, 2013, 8:05am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Natural Law

The only saving graces here are the impressive visuals, the nice bonding between Seven and pure raw nature woven with subtle hints of a Chakotay romance bubbling beneath the surface, and the pleasant depiction of a primitive alien society.

Other than that though; it's all a bland retread of what we've seen before. It only further grinds Chakotay down to a one-note, boring, under-written character despite his likably gentle nature.

The whole story just doesn't flow very well, which has a devastating impact on such a bare-boned plot. One too many times I found myself looking at my watch and yawning.

If there had been more firey or indepth interactions between Chakotay and Seven along with an unusual twist to the material (for example have monologue webcam-style personal recordings from both of them privately airing their most guarded feelings and thoughts scattered throughout); it might have really brought it to life.

But as it is, it was hardly worth the time.

A bland 2 stars is about right.
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Jo Jo Meastro
Sat, Oct 19, 2013, 11:03am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Friendship One

I thought this episode was pretty good, even though it is one of the more simplistic adventures.

Part of what makes it stand out a little more is the fact that Voyager has been given its first real mission from Star Fleet Headquarters since the pilot. You can feel the uplifting buzz it gives the crew and you can't help but feel it too. It is also what makes the death of Lt. Carey weigh higher and ends the successful Voyager milestone mission on a more sobering, bittersweet note.

I only wish Lt Carey hadn't been hidden away for so long. It made his death have a lot less impact, as well as making it too obvious.

I loved the terrific look and atmosphere of the planet, the rubber puppet baby excluded! As I mentioned before it is a fairly simple tale, often enjoyably so, however it did weaken any moral questions they were trying to make. On the upside, the guest acting was of better quality than in most standard outings; even the villain was decently performed.

I'll go for the slightly lower end of 3 stars!
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Jo Jo Meastro
Sat, Oct 19, 2013, 9:24am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Author, Author

Wow. Any hour of television that can make you laugh one minute then pulling on your heart strings the next, all while making you think and feel and captivate you this much; is something truly remarkable and poignant, deserving the highest praise even from beyond the Trek and sci-fi fandom.

If anybody was to argue that television is not a valid medium for creative arts, I'd show them pure golden hours such as this one to prove that TV really can transcend simple entertainment.

I would continue but Jammers' excellent review expresses exactly how I felt and putting it much better than I ever could! Also my praise of the episode in the above paragraphs more than adequately covers that this an un-missable classic IMHO.

4/4 stars, it earns nothing less!
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Jo Jo Meastro
Sat, Oct 19, 2013, 6:44am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Q2

A decent, entertaining effort even if it is apparent that Q stories deserve to amount to a lot more.

Part of what makes it forgivable is that there are plenty of smirk inducing gags and all of the actors involved make much more mileage out of the material than there really should be. Q Junior could have easily descended into Jar Jar Binks territory, but thanks to the actor portraying him; he's actually amusing, quirky and has a certain charm. It must be difficult to nail a role were you must be irritating to every character yet loveable to the audience.

A few instances did hold it back. Even for a story that's meant to be light-hearted, some gags just didn't work and despite what the writers think; we don't want Seven reduced to shameless bait for adolescent male viewers. Plus some of Qs' human lessons were redundant. Making him write essays was dull and useless, as the episode proved a few Acts later.

In the end I did hope for but I laughed more than I sighed, so it gets a moderately enjoyable 2.5 stars.
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Jo Jo Meastro
Fri, Oct 18, 2013, 11:46am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Human Error

A couple of typos to fix.

*I think this works best if you view it as a Day In The Life show to understand

*It was not only cruel and a dramatic dead end

I also forgot to say I kind of liked the strange Seven and Chakotay pairing which is hinted at. I just hope they are actually going to go through with the pay-off, even if I had to wait for the finale...although seeing Seven finally getting together with the love-sick Doctor is still my first choice! :)
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Jo Jo Meastro
Fri, Oct 18, 2013, 11:33am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Human Error

I liked how the episodes' story telling style and atmosphere was a perfect reflection of Seven.

It was calm and composed, paradoxically cold and mechanic but flesh warm and heartbreakingly vulnerable; such a unique, silent battle for humanity and somehow almost visibility quaking with a violent ocean of buried feelings.

I think this works best if you view it as a Day In The Life show to understated Sevens' everyday inner pain and hardship that her humanity suffers her through. The crew only ever see her unmoving surface, but we get to see deeper and inside she's crying and tragically shacked by so many mechanical scarrs torn deep inside her humanity. It makes you hate the Borg and feel for Seven all the more.

But I agree it was a mistake to open the window for Seven only to slam it down and barricade the glass with lame technobabble. It was not only cruel a dramatic end, it was just badly executed and ends so abruptly it only baffles you.

A reluctant 2 stars for a brilliant show that got sabotaged.
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