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Mon, Apr 22, 2019, 7:16am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

I've been reading the comments on Discovery as I have watched it unfold, on and off, and thinking back, there are two major problems that seem to keep cropping up, when people are dissatisfied with this show.

First, the character of Michael Burnam, as played by Sonequa Martin-Greene.
Sonequa Martin-Greene may or may not be a good actress (I haven't seen her in anything else). In this show, her character comes off as robotic, forced, and not worthy of all the heaping praise and attention that she is getting from the entirety of the story. If I were to hazard a guess, I would say that it's possible SMG herself despises the writing of this show, and is basically phoning it in, because she has an attitude of it being unsalvagable. I'm guessing her opinion of where the character seems like she should go, development-wise, is being paid lip service by a money-hungry Hollywood Type (not naming any names, not the least of which reasons is I don't know who's driving this thing). She is trying to do something memorable with writing that is unimpressive and uninspiring to her. If I were to hazard a guess.

The problem is that Burnham's character being the focal point of such a story basically _does_ come off as the kind of 'shoe-horning*' of a long-lost family member into an established fantasy world's setting that amateur fan-fiction does all the time, usually so that the writer themself can have an 'avatar' in the story through which they end up writing a romantic encounter with the character in the story whom has attracted their amorous urges.

That doesn't happen here, but I'm guessing some several sequences were re-written**. And yes, for those of you whom are keeping track of this comments section, the typical term for such an 'author avatar that doesn't technically belong in the setting but is forced in' is a "Mary Sue." I'm not calling Michael Burnam a Mary Sue, but I am saying that the way this story (Seasons 1 and 2 of Disco) was written raises a lot of those red flags. I am, in essence, saying that Disco comes off as amateur fan-fiction without any real direction or focus, beyond "Michael Burnham goes to SPACE and does SPACE STUFF with her stepbrother, Mr. Spock."

*A shoe-horn is a metal device which stretches out the heel of a shoe a bit, so that a person can fit their foot into a shoe which is not quite large enough for it.

**I'm kidding.
Secondly, there is the problem of the haphazard writing and logical inconsistencies that are being machine-gunned out of the writing room left and right.
Look, I am not anywhere near anal-retentive enough to sit there and say "If every detail of everyone everything is saying doesn't logically fit with every detail of everything everyone's said in every previous episode, then this is crap." That is way too extreme for me, I just want a night of entertainment once a week that takes my intelligence seriously. ST:Disco does not do that. I am not sure if ST:Disco is capable of taking anyone's intelligence seriously.

The two words which best seem to describe its attitude towards continuity are "who" and "cares." (note: I care, Disco.) ST:Disco wants you to turn off your brain, stop thinking about things, and just watch the show as it is fed to you on a spoon, seemingly being buzzed through the air by a Hollywood Studio Suit making biplane propeller noises. I am insulted. I haven't got a clue why they think this is going to help build the brand's reputation.

I really feel like the two problems here are related. Michael Burnham is a weak character, being written transparently as this Great Unsung Federation Hero Who Is Big Surprise Spock's Stepsister. Such a weakness (having a weak piece of writing at the center) sucks everyone's enthusiasm for keeping the integrity of the storytelling intact right out the nearest airlock.

Intellectual interest in intricate storytelling seems all but extinct from the Star Trek Writer's Room. I am not saying they aren't any good at writing (to be honest they'd have to be pretty good at it to make all this insanity seem like it fits together), I'm saying that nobody on this team is allowed to ask the question of Mr. Big Time Hollywood Guy (again not naming names) "What's the idea? How will this story be interesting? What's the draw?"

I very much sense that Star Trek's Production Team is run similarly to a Fascist Dictatorship at this point, where anyone who questions the leader is suddenly disappeared, and never heard from again, and never allowed to be mentioned again by anyone who wants to keep their situation intact.

I wouldn't take such a job, myself (to quote Gillian Taylor) "for all the tea in China."

At any rate, to conclude this, I will say that ST:Disco is a beautiful piece of tripe. Just lovely VFX, guys. Amazing action sequences, great martial arts choreography. No brain.

Whoever is driving this show, relieve them of command. Commodore Matt Decker, anyone?
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Sun, Apr 21, 2019, 1:31am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

... Reading all this stuff you guys are saying about the plot holes in this show has me doing what is described in this TV Tropes article.

Gosh. It's actually disturbing how desperate I am for new Star Trek. I am willing to simply turn off my brain and completely look over mounds upon mounds of hackjob writing, just so I can feel good about this show.

It is a big realization to come to that I am in this kind of vehement denial. The irrational human thought process goes like this:

Premise A: "I like good shows."
Premise B: "Star Trek is a good show."

Therefore, Conclusion C: "I like Star Trek."

By Corallary:

Premise A: "I like Star Trek."
Premise B: "Star Trek: Discovery isn't good."

Therefore, Conclusion C: "Star Trek: Discovery must be better than I think it is, because I like Star Trek."

I don't want it to be bad. But it is. It's awful. It's boring. It's contrived. It's heavy-handed with its speechifying and morality. It's cheesy. It's dumbed-down. It's an absolute mess of logical wrongness. It's ridiculous, the dried, fly-eaten carcass of a Science Fiction show that once pushed boundaries.

I don't think Star Trek deserves for me to like it anymore. Discovery actually makes me look back at all the years I've watched Star Trek, cared about Star Trek, and thought about Star Trek, and I feel like I've been wasting my time. The end result of it all was that Star Trek eventually aged to the point where it was no longer relevant.

Star Trek is dead, Jim.
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Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 8:41pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Don't want to spoil too much. But I feel better now.

The cockamamie fish story ended with a decent catch. Ok, Discovery. You've got my vote.

Carry on, keep me informed.
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Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 7:15pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

You know, I feel like crap right now. I've just taken on a new job which starts very early in the morning, have a difficult personal romantic situation going on, have had something tantamount to a total upheaval of my personal life in the time since Discovery first aired, and further, I am not getting younger (I'm 37, I'm not old).

I feel bad. I feel emotionally, mentally, and physically bad. I feel like 10 pounds of bantha fodder in a 5 pound bag.

This is why I watch Star Trek. I don't follow many current "TV" shows. I can list them offhand right now, in fact.

- Castlevania.
- Star Trek: Discovery.
- Dragonball Z Abridged.
- Game Grumps.

That's literally it. I am fairly interested in the MCU (having been a Marvel Comics fan since childhood), and fairly interested in how the end of the Star Wars Saga is going to play out.

But returning to my original point. Entertainment through fiction is meant to be used by it's consumer to salve those bad feelings generated by dissatisfaction with one's 'real life,' as the colloquialism goes.

So, regardless of any other factors (technology details being consistent with the rest of Star Trek as it's been presented, for one thing), the question I am asking myself tonight, on the 30 minute eve of the Season 2 Finale of ST:Discovery, is:

"Why am I watching this?"

I want to be transported (sorry if that sounds like a clunky pun) out of my 'real life' predicaments and worries, into a fantastical universe, so that I can mentally disengage from them for a while. Does Star Trek: Discovery do this?

Yes and no. See, I used to watch the older Star Treks (TOS, TNG, and to a lesser extent DS9 and VOY) to do this for myself. But around the time DS9 came out, I began to feel my interest in that waver. I was reaching adulthood, and that was consuming a lot of my mental faculties. I had taken up music, was looking at my very own high school experience, discovering girls (have kissed many, Bill Shatner, thanks)...I was 'getting a life.'

I didn't care for much of Voyager, didn't find the DS9 Finale satisfying at all, and as for ENT... well... er. Yeah. It just came off as a dumbed-down version of everything that came before it.

Watered-down sequel to TNG on the Silver Screen after watered-down Sequel to TNG on the Silver Screen came and went, and I generally stopped being interested in Star Trek for a time. Then Star Trek (2009) happened, and I felt a brief resurgence in the level of interest I had in it. Then ST:ID came out, and those who recall how I came to be at Jammer's Reviews will perhaps recall my impassioned defense of the movie. I have since gone back and re-watched it a few times, and found many people's criticisms of it to be quite valid.

I haven't finished watching Star Trek: Beyond, and probably will not.

...I can feel my interest in Star Trek sagging again. This feels like the era in which Star Trek: Voyager came around. Except that this time, I am no longer a teenager on the brink of adulthood... I am smack in the middle (pun intended) of Middle Age.

"How do I feel? ... ... ... Old. Worn out."

~ Adm. James Kirk, TWOK

SO, returning to the question I posed earlier, does Star Trek Discovery transport me out of my life's worries and problems for a time, to get lost in a fantastical world? Technically it does.

But it does so in a way that makes me see the seams of it's shoddily constructed plot. [TNG SPOILERS ALERT] At what point do I feel like I'm watching Picard finally realizing that the Borg Cube is going to destroy his ship, and calling out to Q for help? At what point do I feel like I'm watching the Dowg from "The Survivors" explaining why he has recreated his home on this war-ravaged planet? At what point do I feel like I'm watching Juliana Tainor fall into a subterrainean ravine, only to be discovered by Data with electrical diodes sticking out of her head? At what point do I feel like I'm watching Picard prove that humans are mortal and not Gods in "Who Watches The Watchers?"

No doubt there are many moments of shocking dramatic reveals which climacticize the plot arc of many Star Trek episodes throughout the series' long history. At what point does ST:Discovery do that?

At this point, this point right now. In 17 minutes, the last episode of Season 2 will go live on CBS All Access. If it does not thrill me, if it does not give me a satisfying conclusion to this off-the-rails, kick-the-can-down-the-road cockamamie fish story, then I fear my interest in Star Trek will have to be put in cryostasis until they find a cure for boring.

Please, for the love of Kahless, do not make me feel like I've wasted my time watching your show. That's all I ask, Discovery.
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Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 10:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1


I hate to be *emotional* about it, but I am sad to see Trek sunk to such a miserably low level of writing quality. It's like seeing the ruinous wasteland left over from a forgotten age.

There is no way Gene Coon would have let things like this go past the editor, literally no way. Star Trek: Discovery is what Georgi La Forge would describe as a "blurry after image" of a Star Trek show, speaking strictly from a writing cohesion standpoint, and I'm talking about both the quality of the dialogue and the overall plotting of the story.

"I'm very disturbed by what has just happened here."

~ Capt. Katherine Janeway

I don't even think I want to try to go into detail about everything I find wrong with what has happened here. Right around the time someone said "Temporal Cold War" the writing of Trek has focused less and less on ideas for episodes that would be good watched on their own, thus good for a rewatch, turning watching these episodes into a kind of hobby.

I have no desire to watch this show again, after I've seen an episode. None. I couldn't care less anymore what it has to say or about any characters I didn't care about before this show existed. The show devotes SO MUCH time to characters that are not creations of this series, and so little time to it's own creations (Owesekun and Kayla, and POOR AIRIAM!!) that it all comes off as (as Leonard Nimoy speaking with William Shatner about 'Wrath of Khan' in Star Trek Movie Memories) "an acting out of a clause that was in someone's contract" (He was speaking about the death of Spock in WoK, about how it was moved to the end of the movie after the leak, and why it made a better film out of could have been Nick Meyer or Harve Bennett who said it, don't remember).

They aren't spending the time developing the characters that they kill off, and they are wasting copious amounts of time developing characters whom are not as good at expressing those developments as the supporting cast is at expressing the developments to theirs. I don't like the main characters, and I don't feel moved by their "Interesting Story To Tell Someone If We Ever Get Hitched." The only way the show can move on is if they are gotten rid of, and to be honest, their characters are too central to the plot arc for it to continue being interesting without them.

Not only do I not find the journey entertaining, the only way forward seems like it will be depressingly badly written. And that's the worst part of watching ST:DISCO, is that is is bleak and overserious about the ongoing arc. You don't even see "threats to the entirety of existence" in Star Wars, which most people have generally agreed is not typically as narattively parsed as Star Trek has been. More sweepingly operatic and certainly a lot more colorful and action-packed, yes. But Star Trek was always more on the "Twilight Zone" "Forbidden Planet" "Songs of Distant Earth" side of Sci-Fi than Star Wars (which calls back to Buck Rodgers, Arthurian Legend and so forth).

The most common way of expressing this idea is the concept of 'hard' sci-fi and 'soft' sci-fi. Hard Sci Fi is 2001: A Space Oddysey. Soft Sci Fi is He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe. Star Trek and Star Wars are both rather moderate, but with Trek being always just a tad harder Sci-Fi than Star Wars.

That hardness is buckling. Shields are down to 18%, Captain.
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Mon, Apr 8, 2019, 2:28am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

"We made it through the black hole!"

"We're free! We're going home!"

"By Grabthar's Hammer, we live to tell the tale."

"Sir! Time knots opening all over the place!"

"Surrender may be the only option."

"No! Never give up, never surrender!"

"New orders, sir?"

[Dramatic music intensifies]

"New orders, sir?"

"Activate the OMEGA 13!"

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Mon, Apr 1, 2019, 12:52am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Perpetual Infinity

BUT don't let GO
If you hold to TIGHTLY
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Fri, Mar 29, 2019, 12:01am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Perpetual Infinity

The Nerd Rage Is Strong With Your Cockamamie Fish Stories

That's it. I give up. I give up on Star Trek. This sucks. This story sucks.

All Discovery seems to be able or willing to do is string me along to another moment of angsty retarded drama with it's cockamamie b.s. story. This season spent all this time buidling up to finally getting Spock into the story and while he is played well by the actor, I am not buying this plotline.

1. No, 23rd century technology (like they're even trying to keep it straight anymore) should not mistake biometric readings of Michael's Mom for a biometric reading of her. No, that should not happen. That's b.s., ok?

2. The previous episode was A MESS. It was talky, confusing, and introduced 15 bajillion new plot threads, in what felt like it should have been stretched to two or three different eps. I am getting vibes of "We Are Starfleet" at the end of last season, where they rushed like mad to tie up the plotline at the end of the season. God damn it, stop, DISCO!

3. I know that this seems really single-issue wonk of me, but I will continue to reiterate that I absolutely cannot STAND Sonequa Martin-Greene's acting. She sucks. She is not getting better. She is the acting equivalent of an alarm clock clanging out the one note (emotional distress) she is meant to deliver. She has been that way since Episode 1, and they are not exploring anything else with her. Each new episode of DISCO is simply a new excuse for Michael to get agitated about something, so Sonequa Martin-Greene can look emotionally overwhelmed. I AM SICK OF IT.

4. You are stringing me along with a 'race against time' plotline, and I know it, and I don't like it, and I am sure, absolutely sure, 100% beyond a shadow of even an alternate timeline's doubt SURE, that all sentient life (if it can be called that) in this universe will NOT be destroyed at the end of the season. So shove it.
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Thu, Jan 17, 2019, 10:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Brother

Well, well, well. Star Trek: Discovery, you sassy bassy.

I went through the first 20-40 minutes of this episode irritated. I was sitting there saying to myself "Wow, Captain Pike. Oh, man, he's taking command and I'm supposed to be wondering if he's really evil or something. Thanks for hitting me over the head with it, DISCO. Yee haa, a Star Wars-esque dangerous flight situation, in STAR TREK. Eh. More of the same predictable crap from Season 1. Oh, the obnoxious guy who I didn't like got killed. Oh boyee, such DRAMA!!! Uh oh, is Captain Pike gonna die, I bet he isn't!"

Then, the weird robot drones. The E.T.-esque bio-containment tunnel. The stranded crew on the asteroid being kept alive by an engineer doing scientific technobabble jury-rigging....that lady, whoever it was (I don't remember her name) is the turning point where I became interested. I recognize her from somewhere. Has she been in Star Trek before?

Suddenly, Star Trek is starting to feel like Star Trek again. Pointed dialogue. Emotional reactions that convince me I'm watching a sentient being. An exciting escape sequence for Burnham that seems to reference Alien-vis-a-vis-Samus Aran. Then, Tilly, Burnham and Stamets getting all excited about discovering dark matter that they can actually use and interact with. Huh.

Collecting a sample of said dark matter. Huh. This feels like...

This feels like Star Trek.

Did Alex Kurtzman just apologize to us?

I won't spoil the ending, but suddenly, it seems there is something dire going on concerning the nightmares a certain half-human Vulcan is having recur from childhood...Now, I know lots of you folks on here devour every detail of what may be coming on the latest Trek show, but I prefer to wait and not spoil _anything_ for myself, every time.

I'm giving this episode a solid 3 MidshipmanNorris stars. This feels more like Trek to me. Bravo.
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Mon, Nov 12, 2018, 3:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: General Discussion

I don't have time to read all of the comments here, but I'll give you my current perspective on Trek and Sci Fi in general, coursing through the neurons in my thinkin' noodle.

I recently read something called "The Songs of Distant Earth" by Arthur C. Clarke, and have refamiliarized myself with 2001: A Space Odyssey and 2010 as well. Both are fine movies, and the general feeling it gave me was that things like Star Wars and Star Trek are sort of capitalizing on the harder sci-fi that was being put out there in the 50's and 60's. It's a cultural thread that began with the "Space Race" between the USA and the Soviet Union, and here we are, nearly 70 years out from that whole situation, and while there hasn't been any contact from alien species and we still have yet to find a way to transport ourselves from here to another inhabitable planet, there is *just so much cool stuff to buy.*

I feel like these two series, Star Trek and Star Wars, are really kind of emotionally manipulative, hyper-expensive and incredibly long action figure commercials, compared to what I'm experiencing as I dig into the harder elements of science fiction. I know that's a "Bombastically Exaggerated Internet Opinion [tm]" but they really kind of are, and almost always have been. The extra thought going into TNG's scripts starting with Season 3 was largely due to the influence of Michael Piller, who took over as the showrunner at that time, when Gene Roddenberry's health started to falter. He opened up the show to scripts from outside writers, and we ended up getting a first episode ("Evolution") that resembled harder Sci-Fi in many ways, and had a thread of intellectualism going through it that the 60's Trek (relative to the times in which it was produced) had a bit of, too.

But as TNG became successful, and the TOS Movies came to their logical (sorry I couldn't resist) conclusion, something about the Trek culture changed (Looking at you Rick Berman and Brannon Braga), and it sort of slumped back into the "Glorified Action Figure Commercial" territory that I mentioned. DS9 kept producing strong episodes from time to time, but it was typically more about drama than actual Science Fiction, per se (The most prominent example being risks to a main character's life or freedom that you know aren't going to be substantiated by the end of the episode, since they are a regular and are contracted to return to act in the next ep).

Long story short, I think that Star Trek has always sort of tried to skirt the edge between being basically a Merch Machine like the Star Wars franchise and trying to open people up to digging into harder Sci-Fi, but it has never gone straight up, "Total Hard Sci Fi" and it's going to take someone coming along with a vision for the show that has some real "grahmbahr" (as a Naussican would say) for that to ever be something that might happen.
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Sun, Mar 25, 2018, 3:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Other Robert

"[...]any random 4 minutes of Sins of the Father[...]"

Ok now I want to watch it just because you said that. And I'll probably go on from there to watch "Reunion" "Redemption" "Birthright" maaaaybe "Fistful of Datas," and probably even "Parallels" and "Firstborn" despite their respective bonkers/timey-wimey plotlines, just because you reminded me how bloody awesome Michael Dorn* is at being that character.

*Throw Stark Trek VI in there for the heck of it. He really only has 4 lines or something but still.

This brings me to examine what I've just typed and say, does anyone else have themed Episode Playlists they recommend, possibly even spanning separate Trek series? Like, you could watch everything that has the Borg in it if you tried.
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Thu, Feb 22, 2018, 1:30am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

... I remember when I made a Sonic the Hedgehog comic book in 5th or 6th grade, and stayed up so late that I just wrote 4 one word lines of dialogue between Sonic and Tails in a single frame and called it a night.

That's what this ending feels like to me. Eh.
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Wed, Feb 7, 2018, 4:10am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

I was profoundly affected by this episode in ways I have not been since I watched TNG in its broadcast run as a child.

I have read a lot of the criticisms you all levy at it, and without getting into a discussion of specifics or playing the "explain why everyone is wrong" game, I just want to say that no piece of writing is ever going to be so perfect that it cannot be criticised in some form or another. I feel that yes, we've had to forgive Discovery for a lot. But I recall the experience of forgiving TOS and TNG for a lot. DS9 did not grab my attention right away either, as I was becoming more mature and discriminating in my entertainment choices, and developing the ability to think critically.

But I eventually found a lot to enjoy about DS9, and I've even gotten a kick out of a VOY episode here and there. I didn't like most of ENT, at all, really, but I have gone back and re-watched some of it. It can be compelling at times.

But Discovery, in my opinion, transcends Star Trek in a lot of ways that someone merely thinking about "is this show a good Star Trek show" is not really making themselves open to.

Everyone was fine with the fact that Klingons and Humans were sworn enemies in TOS, because back then, the Klingons were merely strawmen representing Russia in viewer's minds.

The fictional race has evolved into something much more as time and various writers have had their take on them, and for me, it's been a good progression, rubber masks and gratuitous early-season subtitles and all.

L'Rell explaining to Cornwell that Klingons basically just keep coming at you until they're cut to pieces, while horrid and dark, says quite a bit about what it means to be a Warrior Race, to me, in a very simple and easy to understand way. For me, this final episode of the season will solidify whether I think this show is well written depending on its strength of writing about what it means to be a Klingon. I want to learn something about them that finally seems like a definitive statement, as this storied bit of Trek History comes to its untying.

I noticed SMG doing some acting in this episode too, and the dialogue in the much-derided scene between them felt far from irrelevant.

So much of Trek is a bunch of people cruising along in their sweet Starfleet Careers [tm] and eating whatever they want from the handy replicators while they ponder their interesting and rewarding day.

Michael Burnam is an example of a character whose life seems to collapse like a house of cards in front of her everyday, all while still having to work in space which, if I may say so, seems quite a bit less comfy here than in previous trek iterations.

Something about this show just resonates with me, and I don't seem to be able to put my finger on it. It really does seem intent on upsetting the apple cart a bit, but its roots in classic Trek are also apparent.
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Wed, Jan 17, 2018, 9:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Wolf Inside


@Peter G.
"They come off similarly to that guy everyone knows who's totally incompetent and knows nothing and is always the first to volunteer to take charge of things and offer 'information'. The moment he opens his mouth you know you'll have no choice but to endure his chatter and there's nothing you can do about it. He'll probably be given the job, too, because no one has the guts to say out loud that he needs to just stop talking."

You mean he just keeps talking and talking in one long incredibly unbroken sentence so that no one would have a chance to interrupt it was really quite hypnotic?

"She's an unspeakably deep well of human compassion"

'Impossibly.' For their Universe, Sarek means, but I believe what is going on here is that he is not as proficient at melding as Spock was in "Mirror Mirror," and add into that that he is trying not to talk about the fact that he's just found out that this person is his surrogate daughter, and he is a Vulcan, and you can get him kind of flabbergasted I think. Perhaps the 'Alternate Universe' thing wasn't clear to him due to the emotional shock it delivers to a Vulcan to meet their child (?) for the first time, and see an entirely different past version of themselves in that person's memories. I don't find the dialogue to be bad, the way you do, but I get what you're's a little "Condensed Trek Speaky," and the talkiness of the scenes is bugging me. ...But somehow it never feels like they're TOO bogged down, as there's always some new event happening in a bit.

"PS, I should comment on something I neglected in my initial review, which is - why is there a need for this show to include material that belongs in films like Event Horizon or Seven? It's one thing to have adult themes and morally grey characters, but straight-up slasher gore and disgusting images? This not only has no place on Trek, but it makes it impossible for families to show this to their children. Just how stupid are the producers to think that making a Trek series rated R is a good thing? I suppose we could argue the same about Tarantino's proposal to write a Trek film, but at least parents would know in advance to leave the kiddies out of it."

Erm...they label the shows on CBS All Access with content warnings right? Don't they? Aren't they supposed to? Shouldn't you always screen something you think you want to show to your children anyway?

I get that you are saying you don't like the disturbing imagery, but you have to admit one thing about it, it isn't where Trek has been before. To truly fulfilll it's purpose, Trek has to move into uncharted territory as it has boasted about doing for it's entire existence. More on this in a bit.

"But I really do think that this concept is much closer to a fantasy premise than sci-fi. Most sci-fi isn't supposed to be 'real science' anyhow, but it's quite another thing to introduce what is basically magic and call it science. Frankly I think that's not only sloppy, but gives people a very bad impression of *what kinds* of concepts can be called scientific. "

I don't know about you, but I trust actual scientists to tell me what concepts can be called scientific, not science fiction writers. The point of writing fiction is to entertain people with a compelling experience. It always has been. That it can be thought provoking or not is one of the nice things about it, using your brain all the time for everything isn't always fun or productive. I like that DISCO loosens things up a little, without seeming like it's purposely crapping on the previous show, the way STID felt with it's technocrapple explanations for things.

@Gul Densho-Air
"Maybe having watched these series has made me indifferent to some extent. But just as VOY's outrageous violation of logic and common sense has taught me to take it for whatever it is, I guess I've learned to accept the ridiculous nonsense of DSC."

I wanted to comment on this...I am not a huge fan of late era DS9, I do not like how things went near the end of it. Up to about Season 5 I was alright, but for VOY and ENT, not really blowing up my skirt either. The intervening films underwhelmed me, with the exception of Star Trek 2009, which I was ok with for the most part. It got out of hand, I agree.

But Trek needs to reassert itself as a trendsetter, the way it began and the way I hope it continues to be. DISCO is daring to be different in the hopes of setting a trend in entertainment for others to follow, that you shouldn't be afraid to try something new.

That's what I like about the series so much. This episode handled the previous episodes' buildups well, and I enjoyed seeing the plot play out, and all the implications of those reveals which will continue to figure into future episodes. Who says Shazid Latif is done with this show? Hm?

What do we do with a Klingon altered to be human and brainwashed into thinking he is another person, to the point where he is being driven utterly mad at times? I like that the writer decides not to simply off him, but to accept the dramatic consequences of the character as a continuing plot thread. This show really likes to keep it flowing in terms of how each event creates new implications for the future, along with new dramatic possibilities.

I do feel that SMG ...may not go down in history as the best actor ever to play a Trek main character. I felt like she was developing some momentum for a while, but I'm starting to get the idea... She is sort of...erm...flat in her delivery. Static, you might say. It's very limited. Her eyes don't tell much of a story beyond "look the way the script says to look."

Phillipa Georgiou as the Empress is a nightmarish turn for the story which is played well by the music, might I add. :D I love how the shit just gets deeper and deeper on this show. You know they've got to do something that will satisfy the audience, but things are getting out of control here...

Speaking of out of control...Um...

Who or WHAT is Mirror Stamets...? Was he behind Lorca's ...ahem... alteration to the Jump coordinates? Or is Lorca ...

Is Lorca trying to defeat Mirror Stamets...? This freaking show is blowing my mind.
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Mon, Jan 8, 2018, 6:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Despite Yourself

After 20+ years of having the Internet, people still seem to think complaining/arguing incessantly is going to accomplish some end which heretofore has not materialized.

You know what they say about madmen repeating the same actions while losing sight of their goal... I feel that way about popular culture discussions online.
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Sun, Jan 7, 2018, 10:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Despite Yourself

...Ash is Voq, surgically altered into a fake human. My theory is that L'Rell is planning to have him capture or kill Michael Burnham, but L'Rell seems to have thought her code words would have some immediate effect that they did not. Ash is ready to break her neck for a moment, and she expresses genuine confusion. Time will tell how that will eventually play out, but I enjoy being strung along by this, I want to know the whole story of L'Rell. She's just got way too many cards up her sleeve for a Klingon, something's not right.

"Lorca is actually from this universe" is an interesting theory but it ignores the technobabble plot development at the start of the episode: how has he managed to conceal that his quantum signature does not match the rest of the universe (this was from the script for "Parallels" for those interested in TrekTrivia)?

That seems a mighty feat, but then, Lorca does have all those wonderful toys. Is he the Batman of the Star Trek Universe, or is he just Bela Lugosi out to suck your bluid? Ah ah ah, Nick Meyer isn't telling you, ah ah ah! :D

This Trek is sassy bassy and likes to mess with my head and my ideas of what Star Trek is about, and how I think of it and what it means to me. I enjoy this experience immensely. I like this show.

..."Captain Killy." Saru wins a point for "That's totally uncreative." And I have one more tidbit:

No show or movie has ever made me too scared to laugh but DISCO has accomplished just that feat. When Tilly is first on with the captain of the Cooper, and Lorca poses as the 'Chief Engineer,' I was so shocked by the tension of the scene that I actually couldn't laugh, even though his Scotty impersonation was absolutely dead on. I will probably die laughing the next time I hear it. He has to conceal his voice somehow, they can't know he is Lorca because they don't have any data on this universe about his identity yet. This, to me, is good, layered, detailed humor that works on a lot of levels.

...I am going to echo others here and give it a solid 3 and a half our of 4. This entertained me.
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Wed, Nov 22, 2017, 7:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

...The long-range sensors can detect its power signature...what about the lateral sensor array? Perhaps it's not quite the same type of technology, and modifying the long-range sensors to operate the same way is not possible?

Technology can be full of seemingly nonsensical things that actually are due to really mundane explanations. Running programs from a command prompt, for example, seems totally counter-intuitive to do at this point simply because we have mice and cursors for that. But it actually makes more sense to do and you can access functions of a program that its GUI doesn't let you work with.

So, the sensors may work this way: Long Range Scanners can detect things like that, but they are not specific enough to use with the tactical systems. Those are locked into the lateral sensor array, which is for short range quick "get and go" identification of stellar objects, ships, signals, etc.

That makes a lot of sense to me, anyway.
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Tue, Nov 21, 2017, 5:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

Sunshine! Lollipops and RAINbows everything that's wonderful is what I feel when we're together, brighter than a lucky penny, when you're near the rain clouds disappears, dear, and I feel SO FINE, JUST to KNOW that you are mine!

What with plenty other troubles going on in the world, we have to argue right here on the Malaka Malaka Board of Good Faith. Come on people, this is the Enterprise, we set a different standard here!
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Sun, Nov 12, 2017, 10:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Into the Forest I Go

Nipply boobs indeed. Send the kiddies to bed next season.

And danged if that didn't satisfy a lot of the building up questions of what this show is going to be about and deal with, and at the same time raise the most questions of any Star Trek cliffhanger to date. Where are they? Are they even in the same universe anymore?

Did this just turn into Sliders with a Starship?
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Thu, Nov 9, 2017, 3:59am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum


["This episode gets a solid 1 star out of 4 for me. This is lazy showmaking. Step it up much beyond this, Mr. Meyer. Come on."

Is Meyer even involved in day to day decisions on the show?]

The fact that we can't tell is troubling in itself.

This was a weak episode, is my point.
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Wed, Nov 8, 2017, 11:24am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum

Tangential: It is a big wall-banger for me to watch such vehement nerds attack the romantic chemistry of Burnham and Tyler. :| You try writing convincing romance in this cynical as (insert anglosaxon monosyllable) world.

I do agree about:

- Open-ended Mysteries For Their Own Sake.

This isn't going to end well. What was always cool about the writing on Star Trek was that the mysteries had a lot of thought put into them. If you end up putting too many mysteries in play, resolving them becomes an utter HELLJOB for the writers, and we will end up getting explanations in the end which a Packlid wouldn't buy. Watch it, producer man.

- Magical Plot-Resolving Convenient Science

Enough of this. Your show has already done this too many times. Start doing some research. I don't even want to go into examples, it's getting too frustrating keeping track of all the hand-waving. You may as well bring Ian McKellen on the show as Gandalf the Grey if you go much farther with it.

- The Tone of DISCO

Someone has said "If you want that uplifting, inspiring, warmfuzzyfeeling Trek, those shows have been made and are streamable now." I agree. This show's tone is up to IT to set, and your obsession with the words 'Star Trek' being EXACTLY what you think it is (IDIC, people) is probably doing more to interfere with your enjoyment of the show than anything you're seeing.

- Sonequa Martin-Green's Acting

...She was shaky in the first ep, I said so. This hasn't improved. Ms. Martin-Green is either being over-directed or just wasn't paying attention in acting school. Her character, whatever plots are being thrown at her, seems static and unchanging. The plot says she has developed, but the actress is still doing exactly the same notes as before. Someone needs to have a talk with either her or the director. She just isn't varied enough in her emotional throughput...I dunno. It's hard to put my finger on it. I feel like this character could be being portrayed better.

- The Slipshod Plot Progression

CLUSTER ####. That is all. It's been covered by others. This is the worst plotted ep of the series so far. Stop making magic science excuses. Stop making disjointed scenes go one right after another just to have the 'shock and awe' element to them. You aren't making a story, you're making a fireworks display. Stop it. Make a story.

- 'Ash/Voq'

Saru read his mind using the mind crystal thing from 'Aquiel.' Uhm...shouldn't Saru have realized he was Voq at that point, if he is Voq? He clearly states that he was able to see Tyler's intention to keep him there, but was that all he saw? Telepathy grey areas abound, but if he were a spy, I don't think he would have submitted to the Aquiel (TNG Season...5?) mind crystal thingie, unless he is profoundly stupid, which he doesn't seem to be.

This episode gets a solid 1 star out of 4 for me. This is lazy showmaking. Step it up much beyond this, Mr. Meyer. Come on.
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Thu, Nov 2, 2017, 11:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad

Thu, Nov 2, 2017, 1:47pm (UTC -5)
I've been cruising these comment threads for a few weeks now, silently...[/QUOTE]

Well I'm not going to repost the whole thing but I read through it and the blog post you linked.

I have felt this way, about the fan communities of all things nerdy, since about 2004 or so, and I'd add to it, that it has become a contest of who remembers the most trivia knowledge, and the idea that these are stories we are supposed to relate to and allow to inform our daily lives, help promote introspection and self-examination, has been cast to the side. It's about the neat sweatshop produced collectibles that you bought off Amazon, rather than the way a character's death made you feel. It's about the number of lines you have memorized, rather than about how those lines made you feel when you first heard them.

People are growing increasingly agitated, paranoid, and vicious in this world, and are becoming far less inclined to be honest or vulnerable in any way. It's like we're all suffering from the effects of Bendai Syndrome :D Hee hee.

This is the world in which DISCO finds us. We are at the end of a particularly frayed and precarious rope, and the thematic central element, Lewis Carol's "Alice In Wonderland" beckons to us.

"If you can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it's not for the timid."

One wonders how far through the looking glass we've already progressed, and what lies ahead. These are strange times, and we have a strange trek.
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Sun, Oct 22, 2017, 9:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Lethe

Lorca is a slime ball! Geez!

This guy is the most unStarfleet Captain in the history of Starfleet Captains. Selling out your commanding officer/bang friend to the Klingons to keep your ship...detestable behavior. He hasn't a shred of honor.

This is very different for Trek. Very very different. This does not seem like it will end well. People are moving around in position on this ship, joining the crew and getting offered positions, and forging relationships as a result. Those relationships don't just *not* have TNG Plot Armour(tm) coating all round them, they stand a likely chance of totally falling apart at any moment.

This show is full of possibilities for tense scenes between people who think they trust each other and find out otherwise. I can see the conflicts forming already.

In every Trek outing on TV in the past, you kind of knew the 6-7-x number of regulars were going to continue to be in the show, more or less. This show seems like it's about to go very very wrong in that regard.

These people aren't likely to get along if the stuff hits the fan.
Set Bookmark
Mon, Oct 16, 2017, 11:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain

I forget who I'm quoting, just finished skimming the thread.

"• Archer, Kirk, Picard, Sisko and Janeway — even if they didn't like the guy — would have never, ever left a human (or, indeed, any Federation member race) civilian to languish as a prisoner aboard a Klingon vessel to be tortured, even during wartime. Even if said civilian had sold them out. That civilian would have been rescued, then brought to justice. Disgusting, and further evidence of this show's overall moral bankruptcy."

Interesting bit of Star Trek Trivia: In the Starfleet Academy Bridge Simulator game for the SNES, one of your first missions involves pursuing and capturing Harry Mudd as he flees a ship intent on blowing him the $$$$ up, and when the ship demands his return so he can be executed, you fail the mission if you agree to it.

The reason given for this is that there is a Starfleet Regulation which states that Officers are to act in any and all ways to protect the lives of Federations Citizens. Mudd is one, whether Lorca likes him or not. This is a clear violation of the regulation in question.

Also, commenting on Culber+Stamets, I'm straight, liberal, and a rock musician who has worked with homosexual band members before, so I like to think that such a development would not be a problem for me. I believe in 'live and let live,' and didn't mind the scene at first.

As it went on, and became more intimate, with Culber brushing Stamet's hair, I found myself growing uncomfortable with it, and I can't explain why. "Why shouldn't there be a gay couple on Trek?" I asked myself. "Why does this make you uncomfortable?" I don't really know why. I'm guessing it just flopped me out of my comfort zone a little too hard for my taste. I guess I still have a long way to go toward being an accepting human being. :(

There is either more to Lorca's story of blowing his crew the $$$$ up that somehow justifies the action (why wasn't he on the ship too? Did someone stuff him in an escape pod and push the button as he screamed 'NOOOOOO'? Why would he willingly leave the ship?), or we are meant to think that Lorca is just a jerk.

No preview for the next ep at the end of this one. Weird.
Set Bookmark
Sun, Oct 15, 2017, 8:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Choose Your Pain


Discovery just doesn't seem to know what kind of Trek it wants to be. It bears the distinct mark of writing which is trying to please too many different kinds of people, and ends up simply alienating most.

...There's something a little mustache-twirly about having Harry Mudd scream the line "You haven't seen the last of me!!" ...Ehhh. Is this what Star Trek is supposed to be about? The episode goes off in 4 or 5 different thematic directions at once, never seeming to find its feet, even in the main plot concerning the 'ethical treatment of sentient life' angle, which itself comes off as forced and also well-trodden Trek territory. Am I supposed to be happy to have a familiar plot? Or does it represent the problem with making more Trek stories at this point? That most of what can be done with the world has been done already, so you're going to be riffing on it no matter what kind of plot you write.

This episode left me with kind of a patchy feel. 2 stars out of 4.
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