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John Harmon
Sun, Jan 17, 2021, 12:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

“ TAS has been a back-burner would-be review project for nearly 15 years (ever since I got the DVD box set, still unwatched), but I was never able to motivate myself to start with everything else going on. Eventually.”

It would be great to get reviews on TAS. I genuinely love it. I mean there’s an episode of a kids cartoon from the 70’s where the heroes meet the actual Satan and it turns out he’s actually the good guy and the chilled dude around. I love it.

@Jammer, I’d love to hear your thoughts on Star Trek Continues as well. I know it’s a fan project, but it’s easily the best Star Trek fan product ever made. The TOS ship recreation is impeccable, its full of actual professional actors, there’s even Star Trek and other sci-fi tv cameos. In my head it is TOS season 4, it’s that well made.
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John
Sat, Jan 16, 2021, 6:42pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Generations

I'm not sure why people are asking for more technobabble concerning the Nexus. We have dozens of Trek episodes proving that never helps. What makes this the best TNG movie isn't the budget, the acting or the cast, it's the central question: "if you could take advantage of a phenomenon that inserted you into a heaven-of-sorts where all your deepest wishes became your experience, would you do so?". As a sci-fi premise, it's a great one, even though I find the final argument "no, because it's not real" lacking.
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John Harmon
Wed, Jan 13, 2021, 7:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

“The Orville couldn’t maintain its network audience and has no production schedule for a third season with somewhere else yet. I wouldn’t call that a success.”

The Orville shifting to Hulu was a result of Disney buying Fox. Everything got shifted around. Their production delays have been due to COVID. Also it’s just straight up a better show than Discovery.
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John Harmon
Tue, Jan 12, 2021, 5:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

nBSG was bleak, but at its core there was a real hopefulness about the resiliency of humans. And you had those main characters that at their core were just good people. That’s what you need in bleak sci-fi, characters that feel like real, good people to ground it and keep people interested.
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John Harmon
Tue, Jan 12, 2021, 4:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@Booming I don’t know if Expanse is all that depressing. It’s dreary and bleak, but the main characters are good people trying to do the right thing which gives the series the hope and humanity it needs. Of course I’m only early into season 2.

Watching the pilot, I feel like Discovery tried to rip off The Expanse in its first season. Both shows start off with a first officer undermining their captain to do what they feel is right and getting almost everyone killed. The difference is this was well done in The Expanse. Both main characters frequently put the weight of the world on their shoulders, but the difference is in The Expanse it makes sense and feels earned. And in that show, other characters call Holden out for this.
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John Harmon
Tue, Jan 12, 2021, 1:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Jammer, I think you’d love The Expanse. I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but it’s genuinely great modern sci-fi. It would be amazing to get reviews on it from you, but even if you didn’t do that I think you’d enjoy the show. The characters make sense and feel like real people, the motivations make sense, the world building is extremely thought out, it doesn’t rely on mystery boxes and ridiculous narrative twists. I can’t recommend it enough.
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John Harmon
Tue, Jan 12, 2021, 1:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

“Will season four make better efforts to explore the Federation and the 32nd century? I sure hope so, but that's what I hoped for this season. Maybe this season was simply to get us here and next season will be committed to living here. One can hope, I guess.”

It feels like we all keep saying this every season. Like, maybe next season will be better and more developed. But it never happens. At some point it’s our own fault.
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John
Thu, Jan 7, 2021, 8:45am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

This episode's title is the perfect encapsulation of what's wrong with Discovery: it's cute to separate a two-parter by a entire season, but it makes no sense.

This series values spectacle and empty platitudes over plotting and logic. It wants to look interesting without doing the work of being interesting. It wants to be deep and say something, but does so without substance. It's depiction of Emperor Georgiou (a mass murdering dictator whose accepted as a member of the crew) suggests a show with an immature sense of morality. It mistakes forced Trek references for a worthwhile continuation of the franchise's legacy.

Discovery Season 3 is my last as a regular viewer. Maybe I'll binge season 4 after the fact, but I won't be paying CBS a monthly subscription to watch the episodes as they drop.
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Larry Pettyjohn
Sat, Dec 26, 2020, 10:59pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: The Royale

The fact that this place was based on a poorly written basically cheesy novel, that should have given you the reason for the cheesiness of the episode The Players already in the casino had set rolls that they had to follow per the book. that in itself explains why the away team had few options for exit. I do wish they had came up with a more scientific way out, Like finding a power source and after deactivating it, so no other space travelers could become trapped, had to be beamed out at a precise moment after deactivation and before the planets atmosphere reached them.
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John
Thu, Dec 24, 2020, 3:33am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Terra Firma, Part 2

Thanks Booming. I'll stick with it, and I'm already seeing signs of things opening up, with seeing more of the UN, characters like the mormon, the sex worker and the cop's partner. Different motivations and purposes. At first it reminded me more of the monotone Caprica, which I wasn't a fan of. And yeah, Holden is a weak point, but no show is perfect. I'm liking what I've seen so far.
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John
Thu, Dec 24, 2020, 1:30am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Terra Firma, Part 2

Actually, I would say Discovery has done a good job with creating characters with different personalities. Tilly's attitude, speech and behavior is noticeably distinct from say, Stamets. The show hasn't done a whole lot with those characters, but saying that they are all the same is just not accurate. Relative to other current shows and the temptation to make everyone the epitome of 'cool', spouting one-liners and mouthing off at everyone else, that's something.
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John
Thu, Dec 24, 2020, 1:14am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Terra Firma, Part 2

After all this talk about The Expanse, I watched the first 2 episodes. There are plenty of good things, and it's already provided far more substance and vision than Discovery could hope for. However, I don't find the characters any more diversified; each one only differs in how much more cynical, hostile and unfriendly they are than their peers. Even the UN lady is going around torturing people to death.

For some reason, some time around nuBSG this became the sci-fi norm, and the idea of characters with different personalities was abandoned. Why is this? I yearn for the return of the Spocks, the Datas, the Roms, the Delenns. Even a Neelix-like character would be welcome, just for the contrast, and who would have thought we'd be saying that 20 years ago?
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John
Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 4:19pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Terra Firma, Part 2

@Mal

"@John, I think we can safely think of Discovery & Picard as something like Season 5 of Babylon 5. "

They really couldn't be further apart. If Picard was able to achieve that level of resolution, the deepening of its characters, the reflecting on what came before combined with a few new elements thrown in, and the gentle and mature winding down towards a beautiful conclusion, I would have been thrilled. It wouldn't have needed to be perfect, as long as it was made with love. We got the tiniest of glimpses in the Picard/Data scene of what that might have looked like, but precious little else.
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John
Fri, Dec 18, 2020, 7:23am (UTC -6)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 16: The Rescue

I can see the reaction now.

A lot of fans - Hell yeah, that hallways scene was better than all three sequels combined! And OK, the CGI was a bit dodgy but we can let that slide.

Some fans - God dammit, why must they continue to bring in old characters instead of letting this show stand free of all that baggage?

Other fans - How DARE they split apart Mando and Grogu?!! I'm canceling my Disney+ subscription and burning all my Star Wars stuff. Also, I though Spock was permanently dead after Star Trek II and all those Marvel heroes were coming back after Infinity War.
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John
Thu, Dec 17, 2020, 10:57pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Terra Firma, Part 2

Re: The opening sequence. I think it's the idea that counts, and it's an old idea. When Babylon 5 did it for the Season 5 Psi-Corps episode I don't think much was changed, but seeing the "Trust the Corps" slogan come up instead of the usual "Babylon 5" was amusing and even quite shocking if you were watching it without foreknowledge.

Still, while we're waiting for DIS to come up with an original idea of its own, you could hardly pick a better show to.. erm.. "borrow" from.
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John
Sun, Dec 13, 2020, 7:05pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: The Sanctuary

Re: The idea there's "nothing new to talk about in sci-fi anymore". That's always going to be the view - people were probably saying that before Asimov, before Dune, before TOS and HG Wells.

This current focus on trans issues just highlights for me the potential around the discussion of identity. How much we define ourselves based not only on gender, our bodies, but what we do, what we perceive ourselves to be. How about an episode about that? How about giving us a future in 900 years where we aren't still using stale old notions of "what I am" based on my employment, my upbringing, my body, my past, OR my gender. I imagine those legendary sci-fi writers of the past would have seen the current trans issues as the first step to envisioning a new way of perceiving ourselves, and be willing to explore that deeply.
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John Harmon
Tue, Dec 8, 2020, 11:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: The Sanctuary

@Omar shut up
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John
Tue, Dec 8, 2020, 7:14pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: The Sanctuary

I admit it. I have a phobia, not of trans people but rather what Jammer said - of important issues being shallowly explored in wasted opportunities. Adira's deeply felt burdens brought up and tossed aside in a short conversation, Detmer's PTSD (or whatever she has) resolved in a video game space shooter sequence. I haven't lived with either, but if I did I imagine I would be upset at how superficially they are treated, with the show refusing to give them the depth they deserve.

I don't think saying it's better than nothing, and at the same time admitting it could have been a lot better is out of order.
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John Harmon
Tue, Dec 8, 2020, 6:50pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: The Sanctuary

“Here, not only do the writers miss the obvious sci-fi opportunity, they play the whole idea as far too contemporary.”

Yeah, these are bad writers. Have been from the start of the series.
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John
Mon, Dec 7, 2020, 7:04am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: The Sanctuary

Yeah, me too. I'm not even sure what the "sanctuary" part refers to. Is it Book's home planet? Sanctuary for whom? And sanctuary from what?
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John
Sat, Dec 5, 2020, 7:59am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: The Sanctuary

It's hard to fathom just how little imagination goes into making this show. 900 years into the future and it's still one of greed, cynicism, violence, mistrust, from all the races we meet. Book's planet looks like a European forest, modern 21st century house included, with a few floating CGI jellyfish. Aliens acting like mob bosses. Space battles and ship designs looking like Star Wars to the degree I'm surprised George Lucas hasn't sued. Musical wallpaper that never lets up for even a second. It's all rather boring.
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John Harmon
Fri, Dec 4, 2020, 2:45am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: The Sanctuary

Does it seem ridiculous to anyone else that it took the Discovery showing up for the Federation to finally be interested in figuring out “the burn” (I really hate that name)? And since it affects ships across the galaxy, wouldn’t countless species from other worlds have a vested interest in figuring it out too? You’re telling me nobody tried anything this whole time? Is this the writers forgetting how big space is again?

Also I can’t help but feel like every season of Discovery could be condensed down into really good 2 part episodes. That’s what these seasons feel like, stretched out 2 parters.
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JohnTY
Wed, Dec 2, 2020, 11:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Unification III

@Frank A. Booze

Nice comparison.
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John Harmon
Tue, Dec 1, 2020, 2:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Unification III

“Burnham's mutiny and then getting released to be science officer for Lorca was weird but I saw it as a rather messy and rushed redemption.”

Well...yeah. That’s the entire point of the criticism. It was rushed and messy and nonsensical. Like...that is the critique. It’s poor writing.
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John
Sun, Nov 29, 2020, 11:01am (UTC -6)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 13: The Jedi

The fights were fun in this one (and they aren't always in Star Wars, especially in prequels/sequels) but kept thinking when she was holding off the bescar staff with two lightsabers why she didn't just swing one of them around and slice her opponent in half.
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