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MadManMUC
Sat, Dec 15, 2018, 6:20am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

Re: Section 31

'I think a smart writer(s) could make this a great series with this as the foundation.'

Uh, yeah, no thanks.

Bad enough the franchise is about to get another dry ass-raping with a Rick and Morty-style cartoon. We don't need the insult of a S31-centred series adding to the cartoon injury.
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MadManMUC
Sat, Dec 15, 2018, 6:18am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

Just caught the new S02 trailer, and I'm going to agree with some previous posters: this 'galaxy-ending threat' business is as tedious as it is not-Star Trek. Another whole season of artificially high stakes, transparent plot 'twists' one will see coming episodes away, poor plotting and writing, and fucking SMG.

Yay ... fuck me.

*****

Also, just watched 'The Brightest Star'.

• Admittedly, some lovely camera work;
• Ridiculously bad make-up — it looks exactly like the plastic/rubber/latex it actually is, without even bothering to try to apologise for the fact ... which looks jarringly even more obvious in contrast to the cinematography and colour grading;
• Wooden acting;
• More questionable Starfleet behaviour, with the slightly re-hashed 'is there anyone out there?' plot point having already been explored ... and better dealt with/resolved by more compentent showrunners, writers, and directors (cf: TNG S02E15 'Pen Pals').

In any case, pretty boring, but mostly harmless (read: pointless).

Final rating: GNDN, although one star for nice cinematography, especially in the establishing shots.
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MadManMUC
Sun, Nov 11, 2018, 1:56am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

@John Harmon

Netflix wouldn't bite probably because they're already shelling out for the entirety of STD's budget:

'Star Trek: Discovery's Budget Reportedly Paid For By Netflix, Not CBS'

https://screenrant.com/star-trek-discovery-budget-netflix-cbs/
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MadManMUC
Sat, Nov 10, 2018, 2:49am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

Well. 'Calypso', eh?

The least offensive STD episode so far was also quite possibly the most aimless. It really didn't work. It didn't work on film, and it wouldn't have worked as printed narrative. It really had nothing, other than — as John Harmon pointed out — 'Guy shows up to ship, wants to get to home planet, AI says it can't leave, they spend some time together, then AI gives guy a shuttle.'

Sigh. Devoid of any real substance, and any time it *did* try to make a point, it ham-fisted it. No finesse. No subtlety. No graceful analogy. Nothing, nothing, and more nothing.

Well, still. It was inoffensive, compared to STD S01. I really don't see that as a net positive, though just another in a long line of disappointments.
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MadManMUC
Mon, Nov 5, 2018, 12:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: The Ship

Recently re-watched this episode.

Overall, I liked it, but I think I agree with Jammer's evaluation.

One of the things that struck me as problematic is the O'Brien/Muniz angle. We'd only seem Muniz what? Two before this episode? And in those, he was just kind of on-screen not doing a whole lot of anything memorable (except getting a bollocking from Worf in 'Starship Down') or anything to get the viewer emotionally invested in him.

In 'The Ship', however, he's shown to have what seems to be a very close relationship with O'Brien, and I was kind of left wondering, 'Where the hell did this come from?' So, in this sense, the impact of his dying, and ultimate death fell a bit flat.

Except, in another way it didn't.

I found the on-screen chemistry between Rio and Meaney actually great to watch, and the script and direction really helped them. So, in that sense, I was also left with, 'Aw, come on! These two work great on-screen together, and you want to kill Muniz off?!' So, in this sense, Muniz's death kind of hit.

In any case, enjoyable episode, overall, but certainly not without its share of issues.

I'd also say 2.5 stars.
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MadManMUC
Sun, Oct 14, 2018, 3:41am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Jammer

Cheers, mate.

Maybe it would be a good thing to do the same for the new Picard series, since no doubt there will be a lot of chatter from now until it first airs?
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MadManMUC
Wed, Oct 10, 2018, 4:49am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Dave in MN

Likely some sort of (hopefully) simple explanation like he was lost/stranded/captured somewhere without access to a razor and a mirror for a long time. I expect he'll probably ditch the beard not long after being found.

I know a looooooot of fans are up in arms about his beard, and I'm the *very last* person to jump to STD's defence, but this time, I think it's just a simple reason.

Although ... it should be noted that I think the producers are flagrantly trying to trigger old-school fans by showing us a fully-bearded Spock in the trailer, just to intentionally piss them off. Which just goes to show Kurzman & Co's continued lack of respect for lifelong fans.
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MadManMUC
Fri, Oct 5, 2018, 7:47am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

So. The first Short Trek ('Runaway'). What did you all think of it?

This, I think, is the first Discovery thing that actually *felt* like proper Star Trek, instead of just trying to be Star Trek by name-dropping the second-worst Trek series (Enterprise) all the time. I actually felt like the show gave a bit of a shit, for a change.

However, that's not to say this mini-ep was *good*, not by any stretch of the imagination. And it was by no means original either.

The good:
• No Michael Burnham/SMG (it's amazing how her absence almost makes Discovery watchable);
• No shocking violence or gore;
• A straightforward Point-A-to-Point-B story, without any contrived, transparent 'twists' that have plagued S01, and that everyone called out within the first three episodes;
• Some character-building for Tilly, even if it's hi-hum;
• No Michael Burnham/SMG.

The bad:
• Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce to you ... Wesley Crusher! Tilly is this series' Wesley;
• The story is — like so many STD episodes have been — a thematic re-hash/outright rip-off of an episode of another Trek series. In this case, TNG S02E10 'The Dauphin'. There isn't an original thought in STD writers' heads;
• Transporters are apparently much, much more powerful here than they will be ten years later in TOS. Discovery wasn't anywhere near (as far as we know) Po's planet, and yet Tilly beamed her down there;
• I sincerely hope they re-cast the voice of the computer. Fuck, it's irritating;
• Where the fuck did the communicator com from? It wasn't on the table before, and yet, there it sits, all deus ex machina, after Po trashes the mess hall.

I'd better stop, before I start sounding like Jeremy Scott from Cinema Sins.

Suffice it to say, I thought 'Runaway' was better ... but in the context of STD, that really isn't much of a compliment. Still, it didn't completely fuck the dog.
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MadManMUC
Fri, Aug 10, 2018, 8:10am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@wolfstar:
'And this is where other series like The Expanse, The OA, Black Mirror etc. are light years ahead - they're about story, ideas and character first.'

You mention The Expanse. I'm a massive, massive fan (though, to my shame, I've not read the source material yet) and a life-long Trek fan (not including the duds I previously mentioned), and I find The Expanse more true to the spirit of Trek than Trek is, especially when the second half of the latest season. It had it all: the moral dilemmas, the curosity of the universe, the political implcations, the burning questions about what it means to be human and what not being alone in the cosmos means, the coming together for the common good, and, at the very end, a really optimistic note about our future. It almost felt like we actually _were_ witnessing the birth of the Federation and watching it have its growing pains, just in The Expanse's universe.

Anyone arguing that a modern Trek has to be like Discovery — and not like what came before it — needs to watch The Expanse to see how fresh those themes can feel when well-treated, well-written, and well-directed.

We CAN have a modern Trek that feels fresh, but hits all the right notes we grew up to love for what they stood for. It's just a shame the current creative team can't understand this, and that it took another completely un-related series to pull it off.
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MadManMUC
Fri, Aug 10, 2018, 1:49am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Yanks
'I don't think they can mess this character up. There is too much "Picard" out there and he's too big a trek icon.'

We all thought the same thing about the Star Trek franchise as a whole.

Then Enterprise, Nemesis, and Discovery happened.

Take nothing for granted, fellow Trekkies. This new Picard series has every potential to massacre one of our most beloved characters.
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MadManMUC
Mon, Feb 12, 2018, 3:06am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

... and to add insult to a season's worth of injury, they felt it necessary to re-design the USS Enterprise.

Fuck this shit. Fuck this awful show. And fuck the producers. I'm done. I won't coming back for more of this shit next season, or any of the remaining seasons.
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MadManMUC
Sun, Feb 11, 2018, 8:04am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

@KT: 'DS9 - if they'd been less ferengi eps and more bajor stuff in later seasons it'd easily be number one'

Eek. No, no, no. Bajor and their dumb religion made those eps my 2nd least favourite after the Ferengi ones. I mean, really, who would want to see more Kai Fucking Winn, right? God, she was annoying.
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MadManMUC
Sun, Feb 11, 2018, 5:38am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

Bryan1: I've never watched it. But from what you're describing, it'd be enough to make me want to punch the screen.
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MadManMUC
Fri, Feb 9, 2018, 4:21pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

@Yanks:

'[...] much improvement is needed if you are going to center a series around her. I might recast her though.'

You're right, much improvement is definitely needed; I fear, however, that for SMG, that ship has sailed long ago. In fact, that ship never even put in at her port. She's simply a rotten actress.

Recasting I hadn't considered, just because it kind of annoys me when it happens in other shows. Might be worth doing in this case, though. It'd be a bit 'burning the village to save it', but if it finally results in STD turning into a real Trek series (or at least making great leaps in that direction), I'd be all for it.

I'd call up Dominique Tipper (Naomi Nagata on The Expanse) for the job. Unlike that deadweight space-filler SMG, Tipper can actually act. Not only that, she's got real presence.

Actually, on second thought ... no, don't take Tipper away from The Expanse. I actually like that show. And after Thomas Jane left, I don't want to lose another character that I like.
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MadManMUC
Fri, Feb 9, 2018, 8:07am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

I always found Seven of Nine more or less convincing. Yes, yes of course I think she's bloody hot, but in the paramters of her characters, she carried it off just fine, and had a number of stand-out moments (her out-of-the-blue romance with Chakotay was not one of those moments, however) and her interractions with the Doctor especially were great.

T'Pol, on the other hand, was basically a cynical attempt to re-create Seven of Nine, but with pointed ears, and I think failed miserably. And I agree with one of the comments above that she was far, far more sexualised than Seven was.

In any case, at least neither of these characters were a Mary Sue. Not like Michael Fucking Burnham.
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MadManMUC
Fri, Feb 9, 2018, 3:25am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

Apologies for all the typos. Posting a comment on this site from an iPhone is no picnic.
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MadManMUC
Fri, Feb 9, 2018, 3:23am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

@KT:
'there is nothing that I recall from previous Trek to suggest that mind melds are humiliating'

Not humiliating, berhaps, but likely deeply, deeply unpleasant. just ask Kirk in STIII:TSFS when Sarek melded with him to know what happened to Spock's katra, which meant Kirk had to re-live those final moments all over again.

Oh, and for the record: Sarek asked Kirk's permission for this, despite Sarek no doubt feeling his own personal stakes were high.

Also, Picard has been on the receiving end of a Sarek mind-meld (although, to be fair, he volunteered for it), and the results weren't at all pleasant for him, either. In fact, he's is completely overcome by Sarek's emotions for hours. (TNG 3x23: 'Sarek').

'My impression is that mind melds are no more or less invasive than an accurate polygraph type test.'

This is bullshit, and you know it. Between the two incidents detailed above, as well as other example from VOY and ENT, we know that min melding is quite possibly one of the most invasive things a person in the Trek universe can go through. It completely exposes a person's thoughts, feelings and psyche to the person initiating the meld. If that's not invasive, I don't know what it.

In any case, part of the problem I have with this whole mind meld incident comes down — again — to two of the main problems that has been plaguing this stupid show from the beginning: the writing and the acting.

James Frain isn't Sarek. He doesn't look the part, he doesn't sound the part, he doesn't act the part. It's as though he either didn't bother to watch TOS: 'Journey to Babel', STIII:TSFS, STIV:TVH, TNG: 'Sarek', or TNG: 'Unification, Part I' or — if he did — he consciously chose to ignore all of the source material. And I say this because his interpretation of Sarek is frankly way off (and he's also entirely too young looking to be convincingly said to be Sarek 10 years before TOS).

The Sarek in all of the source material might come off as an arsehole sometimes — especially toward Spock — but he's a fundamentally decent man, and I highly doubt Mark Lenard's Sarek would ever be written to be the sort of person to have a cavalier attitude to mind melding with others. I think he would ask permission at all times.
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MadManMUC
Thu, Feb 8, 2018, 9:48am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

To be honest, the only really *great* actor any Trek has had are:

• Patrick Stewart. I defy anyone to try and tell me this isn't so, especially partnered with ...
• David Warner. His Gul Madred was the stuff of delicious nightmares
• Ricardo Montalbán (his acting in TWOK ran circles around everyone else)
• René Auberjonois. He can convincingly portray a whole range of feelings and emotions, and his comic timing is impeccable.
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MadManMUC
Thu, Feb 8, 2018, 9:39am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

The thing is with SMG and her acting:

I don't know about any of you, but I don't need Trek actors to be great ... but I do need them to be *likeable*. SMG is certainly not that. She's always sporting a contemptuous, peevish look on her face that makes me see red. Likeable she most certainly is not.

And the rest of the cast is entirely to one-dimensional for me to give a toss about them; they haven't given me any reason to like them (possible exception going to Saru and Tilly, but they're still one-dimensional), much less be emotionally invested in them.

People like LeVar Burton, Gates McFadden, DeForest Kelly, Michael Dorn, Avery Brooks, Nana Visitor, Robert Picardo, Robert Beltran, et al ... they're not *great* actors by any stretch of the imagination, but they somehow made their characters likeable, and that's more important, because it brings emotional investment from the audience.*

As it currently stands, I just want one of the writers to decide that it's time to kill SMG's character off. It's not like they'd be killing Spock, or the original refit Enterprise, is it?

*Well, maybe not Major Kira. I found her tedious and irritating (the character, not Nana Visitor).
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MadManMUC
Thu, Feb 8, 2018, 4:19am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

@Skwinty said: 'I don't think the writers had that much in mind at all, other than making a flashy show with some plot twists and shocks in it.'

Bingo. This is it, right here. And, let's be honest: these plot twists are exactly surprising, we all saw them coming episodes away.

I promise you, you will never get anything nearly as profound as 'Balance of Terror', 'The Enemy', or 'The Inner Light' out of STD. What you will get is a poorly written, poorly acted mediocre sci-fi series that is Trek in name only and full of utterly dislikable characters, that is far more informed by Jar-Jar Abrams's lightweight action flicks (all the while wishing it had the serialised chops of GoT) than it is by the legacy of TOS, TNG or DS9 (hell, or even VOY).

And really, this is — for me — the worst crime this series is committing (redesigning the Klingons — if you can call them that — comes a close second). The Trek franchise (nu-Trek not included) has an incredible legacy that the showrunners of STD has willingly chosen to ignore in order to pander to the lowest common denominator. At the same time, they think that name-dropping Jonathan 'Golly Gee Gosh' Archer and his ugly ship every once in a while will put them on the fast track to hardcore fan acceptance, when all it really does it make this turd of a series look cynical and superficial (which it is, anyway).
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MadManMUC
Tue, Feb 6, 2018, 9:11am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

Cinema Blend is putting forth the theory that Burnham might actually get killed off:

https://www.cinemablend.com/television/2307291/is-star-trek-discovery-planning-to-kill-off-michael-burnham

We could only be so lucky.
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MadManMUC
Mon, Feb 5, 2018, 9:34am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

@Warrior4Jah

'drop from the sporedrive touching Tilly. In Aftertrek one of the writers mentioned we need to wait for season 2 for an explanation/follow up.'

Ugh, oh no. They'll probably decide some hitherto unknown all-powerful, malevolent Q-like race actually inhabits Mushroom Land, and it will take possession of her.

Yay us, I can hardly wait.
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MadManMUC
Mon, Feb 5, 2018, 6:04am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

This week on 'Slow-Motion Car Crash Masquerading as Star Trek':

• The Earth's solar system is woefully under-defended. One single Klingon house can take out a starbase just outside the solar system with barely any starships (three? really?) to stop them. And, apparently, with no reinforcements from Earth coming. One can only be thankful Starfleet had learnt its lesson by the time Wolf 359 happened, even if they were on the losing side. At least they had ships to throw at the Borg.

• Miraculously, the Klingon Houses seem to be able to not bother trying to take each other out for control of the Empire, and have it together long enough to take out the Federation instead. Because, well, civil war sucks, and would be a complete waste of resources, and would mean they wouldn't be able to mount a cohesive strategy against Starfleet, am I right? Oh wait, they're not actually united, you say ...

• Turns out terraforming takes no time at all, and Federation starships seem readily equipped for the job (how convenient!). Makes one wonder why there was so much hype around the Genesis Project, 28 years later. Clearly, Dr Carol Marcus & Co were rank amateurs.

• SMG still can't act.

• Neither can the mouth-breather who plays Tyler.

• Their 'romance' is still so painfully written and trite to watch, I want to stab my eyes out with an X-Acto knife.

• Happy to see Stamets got over his BF getting the Worf Neck Snap™ so quickly. Chin up, lad, that's the spirit.

• Captain Lorca was actually a mirror universe terrorist, and he was running the supposedly most important ship in Starfleet? How awful! Terrible! We should see to it nothing like this never happens again! Until ...

• Uh-oh! We're in the shit! Make the mirror universe Georgiou captain of the supposedly most important ship in Starfleet! What a great idea! What could possibly go wrong, right?!

• The utter numpties in the writers' room seem to think dropping references to the second-worst Trek series will lend their own shit-show some legitimacy. How cute.

• You told me there were no Kelpians over there. And then you ate one. That's OK, I forgive you. Lying, betrayal and eating sentient beings happens sometimes. I still love you, you big mutinying, war-starting, Kelpian-eating silly.

• Hi, my name's L'Rell. And I'm a piece of furniture.

• Hey guys! Guys! He's really a Klingon, he killed our doctor, but he's allowed to wander around and stuff, and have lunch with us! Group hug!

Sigh. I fucking hate this show.
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MadManMUC
Tue, Jan 30, 2018, 5:33am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

Can someone tell me what this series is actually about? Because I think I've missed what the over-arching story is.

Oh. What's that you say? The showrunners and writers are no-talent imbeciles who wouldn't know real Trek if it came up and kicked the in the balls? Sounds about right.

This show is just fucking awful, and it becomes more and more so with every passing week; and that's saying something. It's a brainless, violent gorefest that has absolutely nothing substantial to say, hasn't got a single likable or relatable character to be found, and relies on cheap 'twists' that are so obvious as to be comedic.

If CBS insists on running a serialised bleak, violent, gruesome Trek series, at least hire a creative team that have the talent to pull it off. Ronald D Moore and Ira Steven Behr come to mind as being capable of handling the task, as they already have maps for these territories. They even know what makes a Trek series, well, Trek.

I'll watch to the end of the season just because, but I highly, highly doubt I'll be watching the subsequent ones.

And lastly, to Shannon ... if you don't like people complaining, well that's just too fucking bad for you. As another commenter pointed out more patiently than deserved, people who complain about this series are just about the hardest core Trek fans you'll find, and _want_ any new Trek to succeed. They complain because they care. Fucking hell.
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MadManMUC
Tue, Jan 9, 2018, 2:42am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Despite Yourself

@TheLabyrinthMind:

'Which means that mirror Lorca might actually be a moral, honorable man who hates to see the oppressive empire smash everyone to the dirt'

Whikst I'm firmly onboard with the idea the Lorca we've been exposed to is the MU Lorca, I find this idea about his motivationsl laughable. Sorry. The 'moral, honorable' Lorca was likely the PU Lorca, and I reckon he's long, long dead.

'This would really explain Lorca's personality of being morally questionable but also having some semblance of morality.'

No. No, it wouldn't. The only thing his *occasional* displays of what passes for morality and decency explain is to make sure he doesn't get caught out in the PU.

The fact of the matter is that people in the MU advance their lot in life through killing superiors off. So, the more simplest — and most likely — explanation of MU Lorca's motivations is that he wanted power in the MU, it all went south for him, and now he's a wanted man.
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