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Mertov
Tue, Nov 13, 2018, 5:52pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

"Yeah, this notion that everything in the Star Trek universe must, at least, have a certain number of common intrinsic values is, to my mind, a misunderstanding of precisely the benefits of having such a wide universe. Just because Star Trek can literally contain ANY kind of story is not evidence that it represents nothing - it's evidence rather that it can represent everything."

Well said Ubik. It's a setting and within that setting, each Star trek fan hopes for what they, in their individual opinion, desire to see. I can find some of what I desire to see in each reincarnation of Star Trek. There are some Star Trek book series, or episodes of Star Trek, or one Star Trek movie where I can't, that is why they are my least favorite. But they are still part of Star Trek, and fans who happen to like them are no less valuable Star Trek fans than I am.
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Mertov
Tue, Nov 13, 2018, 9:32am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

Karl, great input. Thanks. I would still prefer some world building within Star Trek: Discovery, that is why I felt like developing one of the existing characters (that did not get any in the first season) would have helped the viewers identify him/her better.

Dom, I hear you. The way I see it, I can list several reasons why I watch any Star Trek, such as my love of science-fiction, ethical dilemmas, space action, good production, crews working together, interplanetary story-telling, variety of different species, etc.. (I can go up to a dozen or a bit more). For someone else, those 12 or 15 elements (or fewer) they seek from watching Star Trek may be slightly (or quite) different.

I don't expect every Star Trek variety to contain *all* of these elements, in fact, none of the series or book series, or comic series of Star Trek contains all of them at once (some come close and those are the ones I call "my favorites" even though I still like the others). DSC contains some of those elements in my opinion. As long as they are within the Star Trek universe I don't consider them equal to any other Science-fiction movie or series (not that they may be great series themselves). There are no Spocks, or Enterprises, or Andorians in others.

I understand that for some people the number of aspects they expect are far fewer and unless those two or three are not in a certain TV, book, or comic series, it's not for them, and they may well dislike it (strongly) and in their opinion it may not represent the Star Trek they desire. I can list an episode or two, or a book or two, from the Star Trek universe, that did not represent Star Trek from my point of view. Having said that, they are nonetheless Star Trek to other fans who may like them. I hope that clears it up.
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Mertov
Mon, Nov 12, 2018, 6:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

Geez, these Short Treks are just not doing it for me. Bring Discovery on. There four regular bridge crew members that received zero character development during the 1st season. Couldn't these Short Treks have been used on them at least?

As to the discussion above, there is some rich, thoughtful input, but what "Star Trek is" varies in everyone's opinion so to say something "is" or "is not Star Trek" merely reflects just that -- that person's opinion what Star Trek is.

There are endless variations of Star Trek in TV series, books, movies, comics, etc., and yes Enterprise, Nemesis, and Discovery are also among those just as much as The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine are.

If others enjoy one of my less-preferred variations of Star Trek, their fanship of Star Trek is not in some form inferior to mine. My example: I am not a fan of Enterprise at all (relatively speaking, of course) but I would never call it "not Star Trek" or consider its fans any lesser Star Trek fans.
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Mertov
Sun, Nov 4, 2018, 11:39pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

SlackerInc, you were right. I was totally naive :)
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Mertov
Thu, Oct 11, 2018, 11:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

You don't care about "this issue THAT much."

Right......

So much so that the very first thing - in fact, the ONLY thing - you commented on was his beard....

And then went on to cite a 4-bullet explanation of as to why. Clearly, you don't care that much about this issue, right...

Vulcans have facial hair, Spock is half-human. It's a beard. Nothing more. We know nothing of the context in which Spock appears. So what anyway? Spock's facial hair is simply not that big a deal.
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Mertov
Thu, Oct 11, 2018, 1:55am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Spock having a beard is a problem? Really?

And producers sit there plan things to do to "intentionally piss fans off"? What?

Oh dear...
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Mertov
Sun, Oct 7, 2018, 9:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Hi Chrome,
Yeoh said it herself. She was interviewed. You can find her quotes on the show's official twitter account.
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Mertov
Sat, Oct 6, 2018, 6:32pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

The season 2 trailer is out, including a sneak look at Spock. Anson Mount looks great as Pike and Georgiou (mirror) seems to have joined Sect. 31 (no surprise there). And a "Number one." Nice!

Looking forward to it, but January 17th is still three months away, ugh.
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Mertov
Wed, Aug 1, 2018, 11:38am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Some humor is always welcome including the Abrams-esque one as far as I'm concerned.

I hope though, this trailer only points to the first couple of episodes or so. I would prefer that Discovery does its own world-building (such as developing the bridge crew's characters, encountering previously unheard aliens, etc) rather than using the one from the others for most of the season. I don't want Pike to hang aroind too long for example.
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Mertov
Wed, Apr 18, 2018, 12:44am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

"I still can't get into this show, and my mind still doesn't want to grasp that it's Star Trek at all. I can't look at technology that makes TNG era look primitive and keep straight that this is actually a prequel not only to TNG but to TOS."
[...]
"I normally judge Trek shows on a Trek curve (I liked ENT better than it had a right to be liked because it was clearly Star Trek visually)"
------------

Really? So, Archer's bridge looked 110+ years more primitive to you than Kirk's bridge did?
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Mertov
Wed, Apr 18, 2018, 12:16am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

I doubt people who take everything on social media as fact are in the majority, even among among millennial. Nothing groundbreaking there..

---
"Issac, The Orville, Majority Rule: "I believe you are confusing opinion with knowledge."
"That one line was biting social commentary on par with the best of TNG and DS9."
---

The best DS9 and TNG liners/speeches are couple of stars above the observation by Issac - again, nothing groundbreaking about it, sorry.. All Star Trek series have better ones than that.
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Mertov
Tue, Feb 13, 2018, 9:15pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Jammer, yet another excellent review down to the details. Thanks for all of them throughout the season. I hope your plan for a limited review, whatever it may be, materializes to your satisfaction.
___________

My favorite three episodes of the season:
Into the Forest I Go ----- Lethe ----- The War Without, The War Within

Worst three:
Will You Take My Hand ----- The Butcher's Knife Cares not For the Lamb's Cry ----- Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum
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Mertov
Tue, Feb 13, 2018, 5:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Tim, feel free to call it anything you want (I told the same thing to Trent), based of course, on your set of expectations from the vast and evolving arena of Trek.
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Mertov
Tue, Feb 13, 2018, 5:25pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Hank... Speaking of missing the point..
There was nothing I took personally to begin with..
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Mertov
Tue, Feb 13, 2018, 5:22pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Someone asked above about the writers (Dom?), and I believe that, believe it or not, most of the writers are long-time Trek fans.

Akiva Goldsman is supposed to be alife-long fan (I personally don't like his directing in the two epsiodes he did with Discovery.

Lisa Randolph who wrote two episodes is a long-time Trek fan (I like the two episodes she wrote). She also has a vast writing resume starting with many scripts for The Shield and Being Human.

Joe Menosky, a long-time Trek alumni from the older series, co-wrote "Lethe" with Ted Sullivan who also wrote another episode (and directed one other I believe). Ted Sullivan is a life-long Trek lover.

The first three episodes have Bryan Fuller and the two current producers names on the writing credits. Fuller is a long-time Trek alumni, I know that Berg is a long-time Trek fan, don't know about Harberts before Discovery. 5th episode "Choose Your Pain" has Harberts and Berg as writers.

Jesse Alexander who co-wrote the 4th episode has worked with Fuller many times (Hannibal), wrote for Hannibal, Alias, and Heroes. Now he is with American Gods I believe. Not much Star Trek background other than Discovery. The other co-writer, Aron Coleite has written for Heroes and also wrote for Marvel Comics.

Alexander also co-wrote the timeloop episode with Coleite.

Jordon Nardino who wrote one episode has a ton of writing credits in the business but not related to Star Trek until Discovery.

"Si Vis Pacem...." (I thought with a great A-story but mediocre B-story) was written by Kirsten Beyer, a long-time Trekkie with a number of Star Trek novels, mostly Voyager.

Sean Cochran wrote the Frakes-directed "Despite Yourself" episode, probably a good thing Frakes directed, because his writing resume is very thin. This episode was his first writing work.

Two people I have never heard of before, one of them Korean, wrote the best episode of the season (in my opinion of course) "Into the Forest I Go."
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Mertov
Tue, Feb 13, 2018, 4:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Trent (this is in response to your post above addressing Adonis and I),

In a way your post embodies few of the things that I was trying to say. It appears that you have certain set of expectations from Trek that you have formed over a certain period of time, mostly I gather from what you said, from watching TOS, TNG, DS9 and Voyager, and since Enterprise, Abrams movies and Discovery have not met your expectations, thus you label the Abrms movies “stupid”, claim that they should be torn down, and box those who may like them as “conditioned to become passive consumers” based on your perception of that set of expectation. Furthermore, with a blanket statement – “It’s obvious…” (to you apparently, but to anyone else? We don’t know) – you affirm that starting with Enterprise, it’s all “dumber,” “stupid,” and so on..

JJ Abrams’ movies have brought back a quasi-dead franchise and brought in a lot of fans to the Trek realm. There are perfectly intelligent people who like Enterprise, or Discovery. Even if we may not agree on anything else, I hope you see at least how that may come across as derogatory towards those folks or that you are boxing them into a presupposed classification. Everyone has a “Trek” they like, whether it be TOS, DS9, ENT, or else. Because some series or movies do not fit your perception of what Trek should be it does not make those shows “stupid” or their viewers “conditioned individuals.” DS9 is my favorite but I am not about to denigrate a fan of ENT (my least liked) fan just because that is their favorite or that they may not enjoy DS9. I truly did not like the third Star Trek V, I would have strong criticisms about that movie, but I would never for one second put a denigrating label to it or say something derogatory about its viewers who enjoyed it.

50+ years of Trek and the series and movies are bound to become different and it’s not reasonable to expect all of them to live up to the set of expectations we have formed due to the experience we have gotten from watching our favorite series/movies. You can of course call it any name, or label it in any category you want, nobody is going to stop you, but surely you can see why that type of stance would be seen as extreme or severe. Same thing goes for your view that everything after Voyager is the devolution of the franchise. That is your perception and that’s fine. But fans of ENT or Discovery may have differing opinions and they are not necessarily all conditioned, dumbed-down, or reduced intellects entertaining themselves with watching “stupid” shows.

“What is Star Trek?” does not have definitive answer to which all Trekkies will agree. I watched TOS back in the 70s in my early teenage years, because sci-fi with space adventure was rare on TV and I was enamored by it. Even though I only began to perceive the social messages few years later in the re-re-runs, it did not make me a “lesser” or “stronger” fan than when I first started watching it regularly. Then came TNG and I also loved it, but for different reasons than TOS. Yes, the space adventure aspect was still there, but there were also a lot of conflicts, Geordi’s technobabble, human condition through Data, exploration of other species in space took the forefront compared to how I watched TOS. Then came DS9, and I discovered that an overall arch works just as well, and I began to enjoy it for the conflicts that war and political stigma created, and how the crew dealt with it. I loved that not everything was pristine in Starfleet and that there were strains even among the crew, and that they could not always follow the ever-blurry ST principles. Ds9 was a good mix of action and story. Then came Voyager (these last three overlapped some), and it was again episodical, in a ship. It was not my favorite series in the franchise, but I still enjoyed it because it appealed to the Star Trek perception that formed in me from TNG mostly. There were also movies during all that time that kept on adding my understanding and perception of Trek. Enterprise arrived, and I watched it with interest, albeit my least favorite series because I wanted to see the early days of space exploration within the Trek realm. Abrams movies were very entertaining, I enjoyed all three for much different reasons than I enjoyed TOS, TNG and others. I am enjoying Discovery too, with all its shortcomings and flaws, but again for different reasons than the previous series/movies. It still appeals to the adventurous side of me, I do believe there is development for a few characters but not nearly enough, I like the action scenes, the serialization, and I actually enjoyed the first season - again despite its problems - more than I have enjoyed first seasons of other series except TOS. Anyhow, my point is that each franchise builds its own character, and appeals to different set of expectations in millions of fans. I don't seek to pass judgment on one based on my experience with another because they vary. I have grown in age and mentality over the decades too, and the fan base of Star Trek has evolved and will continue to evolve. You couldn't even get Trekkies to agree on the defining characteristics of Star Trek. It is for all these reasons that one or few series/movies among them should not be denigrated or brushed aside as idiotic or codswallop, nor should their fans be characterized as beings of inferior intellect or “conditioned,” just because those series/movies don’t fit the set of expectations that one has come to seek according his/her experience.

For example, BZ has a post right after yours, and Chrome has one right after that. They have valid criticisms also, but they are mainly about Discovery and done so without insulting it or attacking their fans. I have read great posts on this site that bring criticism to the series (or to other series and episodes) and I learn a lot from them. I even learn a lot from un-ST-related posts (such as yours on global warming, that thread of posts had nothing to do with the show, but in retrospect, I was glad your posts were there, because they pushed me to research more, and learn. I feel enriched by that). Again, nobody is stopping anyone from posting whatever they want in any type of language (hey, just look above), but an exchange of ideas conducted with all sides considering the other’s angle yields better rewards. Anyway, I have gone on a lot longer than I intended to and probably won't have much more on this, in general, I prefer to speak about the episode in question.
The floor is yours or anyone else’s. Thanks for reading if you made it to the end.
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Mertov
Tue, Feb 13, 2018, 10:39am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Adonis, great post. I think you are old enough like me to remember all that. It boils down to (you explained it a lot more eloquently in your post) the distinction that hard-core fans are unable to make, which is expectations vs gatekeeping. Unfortunately, some hard-core fans fall into the latter category, and anything outside of what their perception of "Trek" is rejected severely. I am weary of gatekeeping, (small example: that the retro Kirk version of the Enterprise is the only permissible version to be shown, or else [anger expressed]...). Each series should create its own path, which Discovery is also doing in my opinion. To expect it to be like Kirk's Enterprise, or Picard's Enterprise (which was also gatekept by some hard-core fans of TOS), or Sisko's Deep Space Nine (which was also gatekept by TOS and TNG fans), or Janeway's Voyager (gatekept by all the previous), is simply not realistic.
Trek should evolve just like any other decades-long series have. For example, it has existed now longer without Roddenberry at the helm than with him. It's absurd to expect it to still strictly adhere to his framework. One's "set of expectations" on what Trek is comes across in their opinions, but the bottomline is what that "set" is changes according to everyone. That is why Trekkies will never universally agree on anything. Someone commented somewhere that Trekkies hate every new show until they don't. They might have a point there (not in the literal sense, but in the implication).
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Mertov
Mon, Feb 12, 2018, 1:43pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Wow... good to know (at least) that this commentary section serves as relief for anger issues..
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Mertov
Mon, Feb 12, 2018, 1:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

.... and through that pursuit, there are also a ton of victories along the way, and characters that grow.

(above, I clicked submit before I meant to, sorry)
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Mertov
Mon, Feb 12, 2018, 1:15pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

The problem with the utopic vision of Starfleet is that when held under scrutiny to each series in the franchise, it does not hold water. I would argue that people in Starfleet are well aware of that too and that is why it remains a concept for which to aspire, while knowing full well that it cannot apply to every real-life situation. The long list of admirals and captains who backed despicable ideas, especially during dire times, from ENT to Nemesis (chronologically) shows that they have aspired for it but knew realistically that it can brushed aside at times. If we hold each series to meticulous scrutiny under the umbrella of Starfleet principles, they would struggle. However, the pursuit of the concept yields its rewards so much more than if the concept was eliminated altogether.
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Mertov
Mon, Feb 12, 2018, 12:54pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Jrpl,
For my part, I'd be very interested (ref: "Into the Forest I go" comments section, bottom half) in hearing what you think once you have finished the season. I am assuming you will watch the episodes in succession and at a much more frequent rate (or even binge in a matter of days) than the once-a-week pace that most of us did, and I would love to hear your perspective coming from that experience, especially that you are, I presume, in the group of millions who no longer watch series once a week since you have been off cable since 2003.
Again, hope to hear from you once you finished watching.

Chappity,
I totally forgot about his appearances in DS9 and ENT. He is an alumni indeed.

Chris,
No you're not, and your criticism is very fair. There was great character development (and growth) for a couple of characters but like you say, while the action sequences were great, the discussion of ideas fell short.
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Mertov
Sun, Feb 11, 2018, 10:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

One thing I forgot above.. The way Ash's first-season arc concluded was excellent, this was probably the best episode for him other than "Into the Forest."

Foot note: Clint Howard was in this episode! Is he the first and only actor as of now to appear in both TOS ("The Corbomite Maneuver") and Discovery? If so, nice honor for him.
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Mertov
Sun, Feb 11, 2018, 10:44pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Interesting I felt the opposite of AR above as to the layout of the episode. I thought the first 20-25 minutes were clumsy and disappointing. Tilly gets recruited on the spot by mirror-Georgiou who reveals right then that she is from mirror universe? Obviously Cornwell and Sarek had no idea about that. Should that no have raised red flags? And then the scenes with the Orions, Georgiou just wonders on her own to have some "me time" and that didn't raise red flags with the rest of the away team either? I thought they were supposed ot watch her "like a hawk."

Then comes the second half of the show, which I loved honestly. I agree with Karl above, the writers did not fall into any of the traps that I was also predicting such as the ones Karl mentioned above, and it was resolved in a creative way (at least for me). Georgiou does remain alive for possible future appearances, and so does L'Rell whom I really did not want to see die. She has been given a second chance too in a way. I guess I am just too much in love with Star Trek, in a quasi-mushy way, because I loved the last scenes, the promotion scene and the speech that could have been 15 seconds shorter. Nice appearance by Amanda and did Sarek show a glimpse of a smile? I believe he did, and that felt a bit off, but, ok...

Please don't pick up another captain and keep Saru in that post. Ok, I know that won't happen, so I can only hope the new captain is an interesting character played by a strong actor/actress.

Oh, yes. The Enterprise at the end and the ending credits with the classic Trek music. Yes!
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Mertov
Sun, Feb 11, 2018, 8:14pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

Jammer, spot-on review as usual (how many times have I said that? Yet, I will again if deserved).

I can see (almost "feel it") through reading the review that the ending of the episode weighed heavily on your opinion, with valid reasons that you explained in detail. Others have mentioned it too. It was one of those "Come -- ON" moments..

I thought Stamets and company explained through some major trektechno-shucking-n-jiving how they manage to grow the crop, but I didn't grasp any of it, so either way, your criticism is valid on that too.

I love the "brief thoughts" stuff at the end that you sometimes add to your reviews. Thanks again.
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Mertov
Sun, Feb 11, 2018, 5:50pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

I just watched this again for the second time, in preparation for this evening's finale. I liked it even better than the first time around. I felt that it was the most Star Trek-y epsiode as I said in my first comment above in this section, but I guess I did not grasp how vintage Trek few of the scenes were.

The scene with Saru showing tolerance to Tyler and letting him know that he can see the good in Tyler was about as emblematic as captains get, willing to let go of bad deeds for hope and growth of the individual. Also the scene with Cornwell and L'Rell during which Cornwell insists on trying to convince L'Rell to see the light for a peaceful solution. And then, the way Tilly attempts to convince that Burnham should look to at least have a dialogue with Ash. Saru, Cornwell, and Tilly were basically representing the core of Star Trek there. Detmer, Tilly, and Owosekun converging on Ash's table in the mess hall is a great moment too (the others could have stayed where they are though).

About Sarek... He betrayed Burnham once and hurt her deeply (ref: Lethe), and now he is betraying her again by being part of a plan and not letting her know (Emperor Georgiou and him had a secret talk). I am wondering if that had anything to do with Burnham getting vibes from Sarek that she may never see him again. Perhaps he feels the burden of that guilt (you can almost tell in that scene, Frain is great here in playing a character that is not supposed to show emotions, yet somehow conveys the feeling that something is wrong), and believes that once Michael learns of it, she will be upset with him - because it was behind her back or she would not have agreed with it had she known about it - and break all ties with him?

I doubt this finale will be a wrap-up episode anyway, so maybe that issue could be explored.
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