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Tony Macaroni
Sun, May 10, 2020, 3:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Regeneration

Love the continuity this episode sets up. I feel the errors can be best brushed aside when you think about it like this. Enterprise doesnt necessarily take place before TNG, DS9, etc, but on a slightly different timeline changed by their fairly frequent visits to the past which probably changed a few things here and there, e.g First Contact.
The music and direction in this one were stellar, and I feel we have to give John Billingsley some major credit for his performances as Phlox, every episode he's superb, here he conveys the fear and confusion of borg conversion extremely well, he may be my favourite Trek doctor.
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Tony Macaroni
Mon, May 4, 2020, 4:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Stigma

I found it strange that the delicately handled AIDS metaphor was in the same episode as a goofy sexual subplot, even featuring some remarkably unsubtle innuendos.
All in all this is a strange one, it feels like a script that was rejected during the first season of TNG for being too sensitive then dusted off fifteen years later by which time it was well past it's well by date when it comes to relevance. That's not to say HIV is no longer an issue, nor was it not back in '03, but one would expect a series of this era to perhaps tackle themes of terrorism or surveillance, remember, it was only the year after this when they were parodying the reaction in Team America, which was ironically a lot more pertinent to then current events than Enterprise was up to this point.
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The Dirty Mac
Thu, Mar 19, 2020, 9:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

Jammer, I wonder (and forgive me if this has been asked of you before) if you watch/know of/like Red Letter Media. Specifically, what do you think of Mike and Rich's take on STP. I love RLM, though, watching these STP Re:View episodes of theirs, I am in complete disagreement with them, and how they seem to find this show to be a disaster. Granted, I understand how Kurtzman-led storytelling is far from on par with say, Sorkin, and that he often leaves plot-holes and threads undeveloped. But, I find the way RLM reacts to each episode of STP, acting like they forget every inch of detail for the sake of criticism, to be way to cynical. Just wondering what you think of their take.

Peace and health to all!
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The Dirty Mac
Sun, Mar 15, 2020, 1:38am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

I think this show is getting better and better, with every episode. While not perfect, STP is moving forward with much more confidence then DISCO every did during its first season. This is, of course, the benefit of having a core production/writing team working on the show for the full run of the season.

Everything clicked and moved naturally in this episode. I was caught up in the storytelling. We get good backstory for both Oh and Rizzo, finally fleshing out the core baddies. I think this is the first 4-star given that there did not seem to be a weak point in the storytelling.

For all her personal struggles, I love how Raffi is always putting the pieces together, solving the problem at hand. Note the scene, near the end of the episode, when the crew is sitting around the table, and Raffi relays the story about what is truly happening, in terms of the greater mission, and the show in general. The moment Picard tells her to "Carry on" is equal to him asking of Riker, in the previous episode, "Thoughts". This scene was great because it truly showed Raffi as Picards first officer, she is speaking for him, guiding the crew.

Rios' arc is interesting here, too. This episode fleshes out his Starfleet career, as well as his personality, when it comes to the holograms, while also connecting him to Soji and the greater arc of the show.

Agnes' character is completely found out in this episode. She confesses and accepts the consequences of her deadly actions, though we know, in the end, she will stay with the crew, her comeuppance will be delayed, and she will be exonerated in the end, free to honestly join this motley crew. But I extrapolate.

And when Picard sits in the captains chair and is about to seize the moment: "Actually, I don't know how to work this", it is brilliant. He then scurries to a side-seat on the bridge and relinquishes to Rios. This is delightful in its humor and self-reverence. This is Picard, old school, giving way to modern Trek. His scene with Rios on the bridge, near the end, when Picard states how Starfleet failed by giving in to fear. This is one of the best moments of the show, thus far. Showing how modern Trek can truly comment on the current political state of America. There is meat to the words spoken here,another great Picard speech is witnesses, and it is wonderful to see!

Other thoughts:

- I hope we Are building to a worthy climax; How many of us are hoping for William T. Riker, recalled to duty, leading Adm. Clancy's squadron to save Picard and crew in the end? The possibilities, if done well, are promising.

- I did not find the music problematic at all. In fact, the music in this series has been great. Cinematic and grand. I love that they use the classic cues, especially the Romulan theme. It adds so much!

- Though I agree the Seven story on the Borg Cube could have been better developed and added on to, I think it was still great, and added on to Seven's story, thus far. She is definitely strong enough, and self-assured, since her days on Voyager, to take command of the cube, given the situation. She wanted to protect the remaining drones. The fact that she disconnects in the end, and recognizes Annika still has work to do should show that she is not "addicted to" or vulnerable to become the next Queen.

- I see there was another kerfuffle in the comments. A promise was not kept by a vocal commentator, and things got out of hand. As always, Jammer is a sober and reasoned authority figure. For what it's worth, I hope everyone in this forum can come here to state opinion, make reviews, ask questions and discuss the state of Star Trek, without feeling the need to tell others how they are wrong, mistaken, or what they really meant to say. But, this is note my domain, so...

- Also, the scene with Soji and Picard,when they are eating and discussing Data is wonderful. A great addition to TNG and the Picard/Data relationship.
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The Dirty Mac
Thu, Mar 12, 2020, 10:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

@Tim M.

The musical cue you mention, which has been a reoccurring Romulan theme in STP comes from the TOS episode, "Balance of Terror", which was the first Star trek episode to feature the Romulans. It is the very original Romulan theme.
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The Dirty Mac
Fri, Mar 6, 2020, 11:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

Oh yeah...
Get OVER Commodore Oh wearing shades!!!
It's the nerdiest thing to be baffled by this action. Big deal. Besides, we should all be giggling over the first use of a Commodore since TOS and the early days of TNG. Always a nice touch!
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The Dirty Mac
Fri, Mar 6, 2020, 11:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

I can't keep up with the back and forth discussions on this page.

I can glean some make good points and know of what they speak when it comes to star trek, the next generation specifically. They remain open minded and seem to be enjoying this new, modern version of star trek.

I also note that others just see the surface and not the depth. Some like to simply correct others who make posts, like some sort of forum foreman. Anyway...

I often reflect on STP and see the lyrical repetition in the storytelling, through multiple episodes now.

STP has been its own thing, its own version of trek. Modern, faulted, complicated, real. Now it smacks against what was once known, and the end result is the perfect mix of a corrupted future being tempered by the true soul of Star Trek--honesty and family. They had a friggin meeting around a figurative-Ready Room Table in the Dinner Scene for Christs-Sake!!!

I love how Riker dissects everything that has happened thus far in the show, nearly verbatim, straight to Picards face. Did Picard give the finger, while Will was talking to him out back?

And the scene where Picard tells Will his new crew is motley, and carries more baggage than his previous Enterprise crew ever carried, should be enough to shut everyone up for a while as it is a total wink to the camera and the doubters. The more I look at the thumbnails of the whole season, thus far, I see a show getting better and better, I see the overall story, and know that I would like to see the WHOLE story before claiming to be able to make total judgment!

Some other thoughts:

- I did not think the Echeb scene was beyond Trek. It was real and gave Seven an honest reason to be so unreasonable in the finale of the episode. If you remember Voyager correctly, those Borg kids became Sevens family, and allowed her to become a mother-figure, none more so than to Echeb. She is fighting for Order in what was once the Neutral Zone. That rings true to her original character, fighting for order in the very space where Echeb was killed. I love that Seven is coming back for episode 8!!!! Ryan is a great actress and brings so much to the screen!

- As long as the cussing is natural, as it is (for the first time) in this episode, i don't mind it. BSG is far superior by many levels in storytelling,, but "Frack" never really cut it! Image if they could cuss, we'd all have said we loved it for that reason. Yeah, I know, blah-blah-Trek is not BSG...

- I love Raffi. She always is the first to see the bigger picture and figure problems out. First to call Jurati out.

- I love that Will and Troi have a beautiful home and family, ala TNG, but they are still burdened by real life sorrow. The antiseptic TNG is given a touch of the real world--it makes for beautiful and nostalgic television while advancing the core story in developing the Picard/Soji bond.

-I can only hope a recalled Riker rides into the rescue, Ala All Good Things, and save the day in episode ten!?!? If so, I love it already!!! "I had a feeling you wouldn't take no for an answer!"

-I could go on.

-Jammer, I would love to hear your take on The Maldalorian!

One Love!
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The Dirty Mac
Fri, Feb 14, 2020, 9:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

One addendum to my last statement: TOS was known for allegory. If Picard tries a little of the same, should we poo-poo? After all, our moral compass here is Jean-Luc Picard! What a vehicle to see the world through!
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The Dirty Mac
Fri, Feb 14, 2020, 9:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: The End Is the Beginning

The story continues.

Though the "Borg RItual" (sliding across the floor with your shoes off scene) was too cute by half, the story of Soji and Narek does advance. There is now a time limit placed on Narek's method of "romancing" Soji. Soji, in turn, has shown as that she is inquisitive, smart, and won't be played for a fool. Plus, there is also mentioned danger of pushing her too far and "activating her". All good stuff.

The story of Elnor and Picard is told well. They actually acknowledge the fact that the Picard we knew hated kids ("Disaster" anyone?). This elder man sets the record straight. I love the idea of having Picard closely protected by a Romulan Ninja/Assassin/warrior young man. Great dynamic.

It is also great to be seeing a show that is ADDING to the canon of the Prime Universe. Learning so much more about the Romulan culture is akin to us actually learning more about the originally one-dimensional Klingon culture in TNG.

There is no incest. There is only a very seductive Romulan power play afoot (i am thinking of the Romulan Commander in TOS' "Enterprise Incident"). Think of Rizzo as throwing Narek's methods back in his face. Seduce. Is this what you want? Is this what will help reach your goals?"

Rios still kicks ass, and his ego, having every ship hologram programmed as the many versions of himself is a continued experience! Bravo to Santiago Cabrera for pulling off so many characters. Not since Jeffery Combs have we seen a Star Trek character pull off more than two characters in a single episode. The rest of the crew are sophisticated and great additions.

Sevens entrance, though a bit predictive given the time left in the episode, the constant use of the pronouns his/he/etc., and her name being in the opening credits, was terrific. I can't wait to see Jeri Ryan's take on this new, more matured, Human, version of Seven!

It may be blasphemy, along with the cursing, but it is a tad refreshing seeing the Federation as not quit the bastion of righteousness it once was. It is clearly established in the show that Starfleet/The Federation has failed to stand up in a moment of galactic need. When the Romulan star exploded, Starfleet failed. Interesting. Especially if you want to use this as an allegory for America in the age of.... But, I digress.
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The Dirty Mac
Mon, Feb 10, 2020, 9:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: The End Is the Beginning

Just a couple of comments on Jammer's review:

- Soji does say "Hugh" when speaking with Ramdha. The moment comes and goes quickly, but I did catch it on my first viewing and even thought to myself at the time, "she said Hugh, cool".

- As for Rizzo suddenly appearing on the cube, and in Romulan form, she did tell her brother, I believe in the first episode, that she was coming to the cube. I believe Commodore Oh's orders for Rizzo were to keep an eye on her "guy", which is Narek. So her moving to the cube to oversee his seduction of Soji makes sense.

Final thought on the show itself: I liked it. It held my interest and moved the pieces along competently. The attack on the chateau was great, all the more so for coming out of left field, as Jammer indicated. Rios was interesting from the beginning. I liked Raffi as well, and found a joy in seeing a new character who has her own history with Picard. She may know things about him that we the audience don't even know to be true.

The ship looked cool, though I did miss its name if it was said. Loved seeing a "personalized" version of an EMH. And, I don't mind the slow build at all. If I am being entertained, than what is the complaint? Attention spans have shortened since the days of TNG, to be sure, but if the next seven shows, or majority of them anyway, take place in space, then, in the end, what will all the fuss have been about...

We will see...

Three stars
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Mac
Wed, Dec 18, 2019, 3:35am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

I had to take a Star Trek break for about 8 months because as this season was airing, I also managed to watch the final 3 seasons of TNG and films, and 2 seasons each of DS9 and VOY, so I was a little burnt out.

I just finished watching the entire second half of season 2 in one sitting, and I thought it was alright. Not as strong as the first half of the season, but not as bad as I had been hearing. This episode in particular I felt was fairly strong. I only had a few issues with it. Despite looking quite cool, I thought the Georgiou zero grav fight was kinda dumb, and a little hard to follow. And towards the end when Spock tells Burnham that his ship was damaged and he can't go to the future with her, that whole scene felt out of place because as they're speaking to each other and being all emotional, all I could think about was how many people were dying as they took the time to talk about it.

I thought closing the season in such a definitive way was a very odd choice, but I'm intrigued to see what they do in the future next season. Maybe they'll seek out new life and new civilizations? Fingers crossed.
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Machias
Wed, Oct 2, 2019, 4:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Thirty Days

Mr. Paris doesn't grow much of a beard in 30 days.
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Machias
Mon, Sep 16, 2019, 4:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: In the Flesh

To all the folks that claimed Species 8472 have been "neutered" and that no alien race would be empathetic, your response is so very human, albeit, American human.

As I continue my journey through Voyager from beginning to end, this episode has been one of the best.
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Machias
Fri, Sep 6, 2019, 11:15am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: One

At a recent convention an audience member mentioned she had a podcast that discussed all of the plot points of Voyager and analyzed them, much like many of these reviews have turned out to be. The audience member was asking a question of Kate Mulgrew at the time, and she looked back incredulously and asked "why would you do this"?

I just watched this episode and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I've seen better, I've seen a lot worse, but this is a well done episodes. Sometimes you have to sit back, relax, and enjoy the presentation for what it is.

Machias out.
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Machias
Mon, Aug 26, 2019, 4:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Hunters

One of the things I've always enjoyed about this episode is the Janeway-Chakotay "coffee commercial" near the end. The dialog and the cadence of the delivery is straight out of 1970s era coffee commercial. Cracks me up.

And Janeway is right, coffee is the finest organic suspension ever devised. Coffee. Black.
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Machias
Tue, Aug 20, 2019, 5:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Concerning Flight

I really enjoyed this episode. I understand there were some plot holes along the way but honestly, it's a good Star Trek episode to escape into. If you have to, pretend it's a holonovel gone rogue. Turn the safety off. Occasionally we all have to escape.
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Macca
Wed, May 29, 2019, 10:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Force of Nature

Watched this again on Netflix last night. I didn't realise how long Data and LaForge spend in that Jeffries Tube!

Another one for the fans who would happily watch a whole hour of the crew roaming around, pressing buttons and having a drink at Ten Forward.

This reminds me of Twisted from Voyager.
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Macca
Thu, May 16, 2019, 10:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

At least we're not tearing ourselves to shreds over Game of Thrones too.
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Macca
Sun, Apr 28, 2019, 6:53am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Sub Rosa

Star Trek's first 'Treehouse of Horror' episode. I'm sure this would have been followed up in Season 8.
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Macca
Sat, Apr 27, 2019, 1:34am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S6: Man of the People

DS9 Worf wouldn't have let that happen.
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Macca
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 5:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: The Road Not Taken

I'm glad they all had their Maquis/Terran Rebel outfits ready to go.
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Macca
Fri, Apr 26, 2019, 4:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

They could have beamed away from every dangerous situation except for that pesky ion storm, cave covered with strange minerals, system lock out, forgetting about the transporters on the shuttles, bad guy taking comm badges...
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Macca
Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 8:55am (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

Science Fiction TV recycles plot ideas and themes frequently (time travel paradox, evil twin, body switching, long lost parent/sibling, etc.)

I'm not saying this is a bad thing necessarily. You could make an argument that TOS did all the sci-fi plots back in the 60s.

The thing that I find annoying about Orville is that McFarlane and Braga seem to start with an episode of TNG they want to 'do'. They then re-write the TNG episode to fit the Orville setting and characters.

I find Orville reasonably watchable but I can't shake the feeling that I've seen it all before. I don't get that feeling when I watch Discovery.
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Macca
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 4:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

Another TNG rip off. Second Chances explored this idea in a more interesting way and it was original in the 90s.

They did a good job of making Kelly look younger and the twist at the end was a nice idea - if it goes anywhere.
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Mac
Thu, Mar 14, 2019, 11:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

I like what was done with Arium in theory, but not in execution. I'm glad she got to be in the spotlight, but it feels kind of forced. I never got the sense that any of the Discovery crew were friends (outside of the main cast), so it feels kind of strange to have that be the focal point of an episode. It'd kinda be like if one of the characters from the TNG episode "Lower Decks" was Riker's best friend, even though they'd never been mentioned previously. And they really shouldn't have killed Arium off. That "emotional" ending didn't resonate with me at all, and it wasn't earned in the slightest.

Ethan Peck did a great job as Spock. I already think he's better than Zachary Quinto. I think he has really good chemistry with Michael, and I think their dynamic was surprisingly the best part of the episode. Besides Pike, at least, but that goes without saying.

Overall, not the worst episode of the show, but certainly nothing special. If the Spock/Michael stuff wasn't here, I'd say that this is a definite clunker, but because that stuff is so good, I think this episode just barely scrapes by with 2 stars out of 4 for me.
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