Comment Stream

Search and bookmark options Close
Search for:
Search by:
Clear bookmark | How bookmarks work
Note: Bookmarks are ignored for all search results

Total Found: 44 (Showing 1-25)

Next ►Page 1 of 2
Set Bookmark
Marvin
Fri, Apr 3, 2020, 4:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Jacob

I think the commenters that asked why people continued watching something they disliked becomes more relevant now that the season is over when deciding how to approach next season.

I’ve been critical of the series all season but got invested halfway, so I needed to sit through just to see if I might get some satisfaction. Sorta like deciding whether to finish a new movie halfway thorough. Sometimes I will stop watching a new movie if I really don’t see any upside (I’m referring to non theater movies). (It’s rare for a movie to turn itself around in the last half in my experience.) PIC still had some upside halfway through the season.

Now, if I start watching Season 2, I run the risk of getting invested again in a substandard series. I think my strategy for next season is to look at Jammers stars ranking next to each episode, and if there’s a large preponderance of 3+ star reviews, to only then consider investing again. Because this is a serial, it’s an almost all or nothing affair, compared to episodic where I can pick and choose.

Too many shows on TV now to waste time and frustration. I’ve got a huge backlog to watch. Unfortunately can’t let the Trek brand draw me in either.
Set Bookmark
Marvin
Thu, Apr 2, 2020, 10:41am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@msw @Tim C

Appreciate the full replies.

@msw I agree that PIC’s goal was audience expansion and throwing Trek references to keep the fan base at bay

@Tim C Relatedly, although I agree to your cites of Picard’s story being more fleshed out in the middle of the season, the majority of these scenes were with TNG characters. I view this as nostalgia and fan service; you really have to slice through a ton of mediocrity to cobble together a fuller picture of Picard. Nepenthe, for example, was 30 minutes too long, and I thought the real add to the story dealt more with Soji’s acclimation to her new identity vs Picard’s story being flushed out.

All this being said, I also agree a condensation of the season to 3 maybe 4 episodes would capture Picard’s story. In addition, so that the wool isn’t thrown over either the fan base or the new audience’s eyes, it would have been helpful to know within 2 episodes that this was a Picard character study. But then again, the conclusion is frustrating because now we have Picard in a golem, yet still mortal without Irumodic Sydrome (or whatever to infer he had). From a story:character study, what is the moral or lesson that we as the audience or Picard’s character to take away from this? Picard upheld his morals the entire season; he essentially did no wrong, right?

So what was the point of the entire journey?
Set Bookmark
Marvin
Wed, Apr 1, 2020, 8:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Tim C

I hear ya and Jammer on the story vs. plot. However, *if* this is the story of Picard (series name notwithstanding), then that story was essentially told in the first episode, Picard's doctor's scene in the 2nd episode, and the last episode. And if you really look at it, it was more likely the first half of the first episode and the last 20 minutes of the last episode.

What frustrates me and a lot of people on the plot was that everything in between the first and last episodes could be eliminated and you would still have Picard's story. That's 9+ hours of extremely poor writing and plot threads.

Even with Picard's story, the choice of putting to bed Data's story was totally unnecessary. That would require a viewer to rewatch Nemesis, which I thought was a poor movie. Not sure why Nemesis was chosen as a foundation for the first season of PIC. As others have said, Geordi's relationship with Data was much stronger, as was Riker's to Picard's. Hell, Crusher and Q had stronger relationships with Picard.
Set Bookmark
Marvin
Mon, Mar 30, 2020, 5:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Dom and @Trent sum the expectations I think quite well with regard to serialization and the decades of television to draw from to create a quality show.

It really begs the question then what the “excuse”, if there is one, for PIC not to even come close to the requisite high bar set. Too many writers in the kitchen? Too many producers? Chabon himself mentioned in a recent interview that he wanted to “provoke” a reaction. Sounds like a political agenda?

I think it’s fair to say the writers have reached back into Trek canon to bring in many Trek references, so there’s an attempt to stay true to Trek. It could simply be that CBS is merely cashing in on the Trek franchise by dosing enough nostalgia to keep the Trek fans at bay but to attract a larger audience with a darker, more “melodramatic”, less plot-focused product. One would say that is what Disney is doing with Star Wars (to be fair, Rogue One and the Mandalorian are quite good diamonds in the post-Lucas rough).
Set Bookmark
Marvin
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 5:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Glom said "So with Picard, for some, the themes it touches on are embraced as valuable while the plot holes are dismissed as niggles that aren't worth obsessing over, but for others, the slapdash nature of the connective tissue tanks the value of the themes trying desperately to get out."

Agreed. I think a well written plot that is well acted and casted is way more difficult to achieve than themes. Not to offend those more focused on the achievement of the theme, but I think thematic storytelling to the exclusion of poor writing is really an appeal to emotion. There's a lot of TV out there to get me emotional, but not a lot of TV with tight acting, writing, and plot. Of course, to have both is great TV.
Set Bookmark
Marvin
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 5:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Tim

Really agree with you on DS9. I felt the best seasons were actually the first 2, before the Dominion War arc(s) started. Granted, the couple seasons after season 2 had the Dominion plot on mini arcs, with the non-Dominion episodes pretty good, but the show started to get boring and contrived (contrived for the reasons you stated in relation to WW2) when going onto full Dominion mode.

I think you're right re ripping off Babylon 5, way too many parallels, including the introduction of the Defiant to move events off-station (similar to the introduction of the Whitestar in B5, but Bablylon 5 the station still retained importance). I think DS9 wrote itself into a corner by the setting; i.e., having it set on a station constrained the normal Trek ship setting to "boldly go", yet I think the setting was ripe for character development and Bajoran, Cardassian, and Gamma Quadrant development. However, the Dominion War arc(s) pretty much hemmed in further Gamma Quadrant narratives. In addition, there weren't enough Maquis episodes, and I think there could have been interesting themes about loyalty and new alliances vis-a-vis Bajor, Cardassia, the Maquis, and other alien races.
Set Bookmark
Marvin
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 12:45am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Really agree with Nolan’s well written post.

Would love to see someone who likes PIC or at least tolerated it to write a thoughtful response.
Set Bookmark
Marvin
Sat, Mar 28, 2020, 11:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Tim

I'd argue that the biggest difference between Jurati's arguably cold-blooded murder and your excellent list of Trek characters getting away scot-free is that PIC is styled as a serial and prior Treks were episodic.

Episodic Trek has shown to extensively use the reset button for all matter of situations, and as applicable here, in "breaking the law" by Trek characters.

However, PIC, as a serial, arguably can't just sweep away events under the rug; it has to address them head on, otherwise how do we get invested in a continuous narrative story (with beginning, middle, end) if we expect a reset? There's no risk for the characters for any action they take in that situation. This is currently the situation with Jurati, pending Season 2 addressing it.

That being said, my argument is weak in PIC's case because the producers/writers did decide to use resets all over the place (not just for Jurati). Season 2 can still address Jurati, however, but narratively Season 1 has left a crapload of loose ends to address.
Set Bookmark
Marvin
Fri, Mar 27, 2020, 1:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@James White

The actor that played Picard's doctor in ep1 or ep2 was good.

He's played several roles in films, my favorite being the Very Unimportant Person in Ocean's Thirteen.
Set Bookmark
Marvin
Fri, Mar 27, 2020, 8:31am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Dom

Why stop at The Expanse for reviews? Westworld is winning awards and I'd argue is one of the best shows dealing with AI consciousness and human cloning. And there's a lot to dissect in that show.
Set Bookmark
Marvin
Thu, Mar 26, 2020, 5:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

How many deus ex machinas does it take to finish a season? How many frigging reset buttons?

—that tool that fixes La Sirena and conjures multiple La Sirenas to distract the Romulans? Why not use this tool in Season 2 to save the day in every episode?

—great, Starfleet comes in the nick of time. But not a true deus ex machina because they were unnecessary due to:

—I guess it really does just take a speech from Picard to reset everything. At least this is probably the closest we get to TNG Picard speeches. Notwithstanding it negates Soji’s motivations from the last episode. Starfleet risking themselves to defend Soji is enough to change her mind? Starfleet doesn’t represent the organic threat to synths.

—last but not least, the Golem saves Picard. We saw this coming though. Why did Soong give this up? I guess he can make more? As a reviewer stated, now every character can live forever? What’s the danger now in Season 2?

I’m sure I left off other resets. I won’t comment on the melodrama and cheap deaths (Narissa) and large plot holes so eloquently listed by Trent and Karl, above. But it really boils down to did this justify 10 episodes/10 hours? This was middling for Trek (again I haven’t watch Discovery and won’t based on how bad it’s been reviewed and people saying PIC is actually better!) but atrocious when compared to other pay to watch shows such as Westworld. Even Altered Carbon for all its faults and cheap thrills had a semblance of plot.
Set Bookmark
Marvin
Sat, Mar 21, 2020, 3:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

I think we really are spinning our wheels when it comes to the writing and plot.

As Trent stated in one of his comments above, PIC is shaping up, if not already shown to be, a Marvel/CW/Space Opera, that just so happens to have Star Trek characters and references.

Therefore in that vein, one can’t expect too much from the writing. I think PIC wants you to “feel” and experience, without thinking too hard. It may have achieved that intentionally or unintentionally. Are the writers trying? Or are they trolling?

In doing so, I think this helps to reconcile the Star Trek v not Star Trek debate and helps to excuse the writing. I guess it’s like a question of “expectations”, lowered in this case.

We’re all invested since we’ve been watching since the beginning. What to do about Season 2? Avoid investing or wait until the end of the season to watch the first and last episodes ;-) Then decide whether you want the journey.

Of course if you’re enjoying PIC, this analysis doesn’t apply.
Set Bookmark
Marvin
Fri, Mar 20, 2020, 7:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

I won’t rehash my complaints about the writing, plot contrivances, and acting on this episode, as I’ve done that on my past reviews and I’m getting tired of my own complaints. I want to focus big picture.

What is interesting is couldn’t this episode be the 2nd part of a 3 part short? I.e., use the first Picard episode, skip everything in between, and have this and next week’s as the season? Hasn’t everything in between been fluff? I agree with others in not feeling anything for these characters because no foundation has been established. I guess maybe one more episode to get the La Sirena crew, Soji, Elnor, and Seven onboard. BAM! Now you have a fast moving No fluff Trek action series. Forgot all this failed melodrama.

Remember, TV execs opted for the serial format in Picard, and yet ironically everything since the first episode has been episodic in its irreverence to the season as a whole.
Set Bookmark
Marvin
Sat, Mar 14, 2020, 9:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

@Brian L

And that is the plot twist that turns season 1 into something...Soji and/or other synths save the Zat Vaj from ______. (Take your pick)
Set Bookmark
Marvin
Sat, Mar 14, 2020, 7:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

@Trent

You shouldn’t add to the already extensive list of plot contrivances now :-) let’s just accept that it’s one of many deus ex machinas in store for the next couple episodes. Including Borg cubes, Elnor saving the day, Starfleet “task forces”, and the Fenris Rangers arriving at Soji’s homeworld.
Set Bookmark
Marvin
Thu, Mar 12, 2020, 10:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

@Dave in MN

I was too lazy to write out all the contrivances, but thank you for the hard work :)

I'll add more, but this is not exhaustive:

--Why is Picard just *now* asking for Starfleet help (since ep 1 or 2)? Did I miss the reason? Couldn't he have just Borg warped back to Earth with Soji from the cube instead of Nepanthe? I thought he was "arrogrant" on Nepanthe to get official help (whether you believe he's arrogant or not)? If Picard is to rendevous at DS 12 with our deus ex machina Starfleet save the day fleet, why waste all that time at Nepanthe?

--So if Picard diverts to DS-12, instead of Soji's homeworld, doesn't that leave time for the Zat Vash to attack? But hold on! Soji takes the helm to correct this oversight...but Rios tries to stop her....but hold on! he's convinced otherwise?

--So Jurati fesses up about Maddox, etc. Is the tracker disabled? Did anyone catch the hipster Romulan ship still tailing them at the end as Rios' ship exits Borg warp near Soji's homeworld? If so, is she still conning everyone?

@Trent brought up a question that also needs answering, if Zat Vash had to kill the synths on Mars, why wait so long to do it and torpedo the rescue of Romulus? Probably will be answered in next two eps..
Set Bookmark
Marvin
Thu, Mar 12, 2020, 7:34pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

The Bene Gesserit response in touching that green pulsating mind meld rail summarizes my reaction to this episode.

How could you *not* laugh at their crazy suicidal reactions?

I guess I'll try to rewatch the episode to understand the convoluted plot.

By the way it's interesting to see people glossing over the blatant plot contrivances they mentioned in their reviews.
Set Bookmark
Marvin
Mon, Mar 9, 2020, 11:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

@Walrus1701D @The Chronek

Is seeing a more "human" and "down to earth" Picard what we really want though?

A fallible Picard, while in theory interesting because it opens more storytelling into his character, I think also forecloses a certain tone, tempo, and plot catalyst; that is, is STP a plot-driven serial with arguably half-baked character analysis sprinkled in, or is STP a space drama, with plot a secondary afterthought and an attempt to really analyze characters? (Or something else?) If the latter, that goes a long way to explain the uneven, almost afterthoughtly-written plot. In TNG, I got the sense its focus was plot and commentary on then-current social issues. In STP, my sense so far is it's primarily a character study with large doses of melodrama, action, and gratuity. A character study: 7of9's avenging her pseudoson's death; Hugo's restoration of Borgs; Picard's "arrogance" and fallibility; Riker/Troi's loss of their son; Soji's consciousness; Jurati's torture in killing her lover to serve a greater good; Raffi's addictions, etc. Plot then is just woven into this analysis.

Now I'm not saying this is done effectively..but STP would then be much different than TNG, DS9, VOY, ENT. (I haven't watched Discovery and only parts of the new movies.)
Set Bookmark
Marvin
Mon, Mar 9, 2020, 11:37am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

@Peter G.

Total agreement. Suck us in with nostalgia, and write a plot and characters that really make no sense.

Telling that the NYT article (I'm just going from what @Mal quoted) hit the nail on the head.
Set Bookmark
Marvin
Mon, Mar 9, 2020, 7:49am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

It seems, from reading through the comments, that people are writing over each other because different people are watching Picard for different reasons. Some for TNG nostalgia, some because they have watched all Trek and will continue to watch all Trek, others for general sci fi, and yet others that like a science fiction show that has a fair amount of *drama*.

Speaking for myself, I was drawn to Picard because I grew up watching and loving TNG and the Kirk Star Trek movies. I watched DS9, but only liked the first 2 seasons, as I thought the writing and acting weren't the greatest in later seasons. Couldn't stand VOY and Enterprise; again, only my opinion, but bad writing and acting. Didn't get into NuTrek movies or watch Discovery.

I'd like to think there is a larger than spoken contingent of people here, myself included, that were really into TNG and not really into later Treks, and Picard drew us in due to nostalgia for that series. But nostalgia only gets you so far. Nostalgia, in my opinion, is the *only* thing that is keeping me watching Picard at this point, as I've voiced my disappointment with the plot and writing. Do you guys think this series would be as good if they didn't sprinkle in a 7of9 episode or a Riker/Troi reunion episode? How much plot advancement did you have with 7of9 or Riker's appearance? After nostalgia gets used up, especially if for some reason Stewart or 7of9 leaves the show, what then?

My point is I was drawn by nostalgia but I've been disappointed on the writing and plot, which I believe needs to be good to keep people watching. Again, my opinion that I'd like to think is shared by some, but once that nostalgia gets satisfied at the end of Season 1, the writing and plot better be good to keep me in for Season 2.
Set Bookmark
Marvin
Sun, Mar 8, 2020, 9:55am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

Did we ever get background on how the Borg Reclamation Project fit in with the Zhat Vaj and the Romulan-Federation treaty? So far, the Zhat Vaj have been portrayed to fight against all synthetic life, and their presence and tolerance(?) of the reclamation project appears congruent in helping to reclaim former Borg. Yet we have Rizzo kill a lot of reclaimed Borg to extract information from Hugh, and Zhat Vaj agents killing non-synths willy-nilly (Daj's boyfriend, and the attempted murder of Picard at his chateau).

So, is the Zhat Vaj directive still congruent then, but Rizzo is a little on the psychopathic side, willing to kill non-synths to advance the ultimate agenda of finding the synth homeworld to save the galaxy (of living, not synth, beings)? She did mention trying to save "trillions" of lives if I recall.

All seems convoluted to me (so far). It appears the Zhat Vaj appear to satisfy the "protect the living beings of the galaxy" goal but at an "ends justify the means" approach.
Set Bookmark
Marvin
Sat, Mar 7, 2020, 11:11am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

Not to necessarily defend Gooz, but I find that he/she competently points out issues with each episode in a snarky tone (personally I think it’s funny but could see why some would not).

Re Keiko, I see that merely as a running gag, and not necessarily as racist. Unless I missed a post that was purely blatant and not a Chris Rockesque saying how it is joke.
Set Bookmark
Marvin
Sat, Mar 7, 2020, 10:48am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

@Mertov

No worries Mertov. I’ve read your reviews on Picard and we’re generally on the same page in terms of critical analysis of plot points. That’s why we’re here right?

Speaking for myself, I want the show to succeed, that’s why I’m being hard on it, and I think a lot of other critical reviewers are in the same boat.
Set Bookmark
Marvin
Fri, Mar 6, 2020, 7:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

@Mertov

If saying "straining over backward" is considered "not civil" then that wasn't my intent. But I will say, civilly, that some people may be a little too sensitive here.

Civilly.
Set Bookmark
Marvin
Fri, Mar 6, 2020, 7:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

@Tim

I purposely did not watch the last season of House of Cards due to severe fan and critical reviews (not to mention Spacey’s departure; but again that’s understood). Also forgot to mention Mad Men as another quality serial.

Generally agree with the rest of your comments; as has been stated serialization appears commercially viable yet is difficult to pull off unless you have excellent writers. I don’t think we lack talented actors, but directing and writing I feel are the weak points. That being said, we have so many shows available now that are quality, which I think allows us to set the bar higher for Star Trek, especially considering it’s a marquee brand. This really may boil down to commitment on the part of CBS or the studio to shell out for quality, but it may appear CBS is using Picard as an anchor for CBS All access. I.e, purely profit driven.

One might ask had someone such as AMC or HBO were to get the rights to Star Trek, if quality would have been better. Not to say they are not profit driven, but they have reputations for innovation and quality.
Next ►Page 1 of 2
▲Top of Page | Menu | Copyright © 1994-2020 Jamahl Epsicokhan. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication or distribution of any content is prohibited. This site is an independent publication and is not affiliated with or authorized by any entity or company referenced herein. See site policies.