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MidshipmanNorris
Tue, Apr 6, 2021, 9:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Life Line

I'd watch this ep just for Marina Sirtis' great double take on meeting "Leonard" for the first time.

There's no dialogue to quote, and the moment is extremely low-key, but how Sirtis can channel the nonplussed reaction *without even looking into the camera* is just spectacular. I'm dying xD
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MidshipmanNorris
Sun, Apr 4, 2021, 10:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: The Voyager Conspiracy

-0.5 Stars variance from JRS (Jammer's Review Score) for me.

The tractor beam thing was never followed up on, despite the fact that Janeway and Chakotay were shown it? :| Crap.

Janeway and Chakotay taken in by Seven's ramblings without immediately realizing that she's not right in the central processing unit? Crap.

Janeway's Super Glurgey Mom Speech to Seven that Makes Everything Betterâ„¢? Uh, super smelly stinky flat stinkums of crap.

This ep gets two stars from me for the fact that all the actors managed to read their lines well. But this is far from good writing. Holy schniekeez.
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MidshipmanNorris
Thu, Apr 1, 2021, 11:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: 11:59

@Cloudane

Who I am not sure is even an active user here anymore, but they said this:

"I guess Voyager did attract people who like to be spoon fed the same recipe week after week as unfortunately that's the way it went from about S3/4"

I would add "From about Season 3 or 4 until now" :smirk: I happened on this episode and realized that I'd never seen it before, because at that time (May 1999) my family was in a heavily transitional state, having moved to Alabama during a brief 9 month period while my dad sought work in Nashville and looked for a house. I missed this one the first time around.

I feel like Marty McFly, talking to his future father in Back to the Future: "Get outta here! I never knew you did anything creative!" :D hehehe

It's nice, actually, to meet an unformulaic Voyager episode. It's a little bit "Wifetime Network Glurge" but not so much so that it's a bad bit of TV.

It does make me nostalgic for the pre-9/11 days a bit. Boy howdy things did not stay the way they're presented here. :( Ugh.
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MidshipmanNorris
Wed, Mar 31, 2021, 7:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Night

If nothing else, this episode's approach to "trekking through the stars" was never done before this, and arguably could be done better, but it's frankly interesting. What if you find a pocket of space where there just plain ain't none?

In a way, it almost seemed like a metaphor for writer's block, to me (being a writer). You just sort of wade through the nothingness and keep holding on, until you finally reach the other side of it.
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MidshipmanNorris
Tue, Mar 30, 2021, 10:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Demon

This review is 10x better than the episode.
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MidshipmanNorris
Tue, Mar 30, 2021, 10:14pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Message in a Bottle

FWIW, I really didn't like this one. I'd have been tempted to subtract an entire star from it.

Am I taking crazy pills? Andy Dick is insufferably annoying. He possesses none of Picardo's charm. I wanted his holomatrix to be destabilized from the instant he started talking. :| Ugh.

Jammer's on the money with the idea that the dramatic stakes in this episode were heavily watered down by the "snappy comedy angle."

Oh, please. (scoff, scoff scoff)
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MidshipmanNorris
Tue, Mar 30, 2021, 9:54pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: The Gift

Why are the bad episodes of Star Trek always about energy beings?

It's like one of the biggest go-to bad plot devices of Trek, right up there with "too much interference" and "nigh-impossible ship takeover handled smoothly in 30 seconds of show time."

Any time an energy being appears, or someone becomes one, or is becoming one, I get the sense that it's being used as an easy-out. Whatever. I do agree that Lien never sat well with me, among all the other problems I had with Seasons 1-3.

At the time I felt like Jeri Ryan was added because of demographic concerns, and it felt really hollow to me ("What do people like more than Space Adventures?!" said Writer A, nervously brushing the cocaine from his lip, to which Writer B, his head buried in his hands in the corner, suddenly jumped up and violently screamed the reply, "TITS!!"). Looking back, though Ryan took this role straight up for realsies, and kicked it in the teeth, totally knocked it outta the park.

I humbly stand corrected; Seven of Nine is a very thoughtfully written character a lot of the time and Ryan's acting range was and is great.
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MidshipmanNorris
Wed, Mar 10, 2021, 6:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Ensign Ro

Ensign Ro was the 90s saying to Star Trek "grow up, some people in the world have real problems." It was kind of an important stage in Star Trek: TNG's development.

See, the best episodes of TOS were always the ones that had something to say about the state of human affairs at that time, and said it well, and presented a believable in-universe situation all at the same time.

This does all of that, and sort of slamdunks it. It's kinda not bad TV.
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MidshipmanNorris
Sat, Feb 20, 2021, 9:24am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: Conundrum

This episode, while well-shot, well-acted, and mostly a great premise that plays out well, has always reminded me of a certain line from The Simpsons:

Chief Wiggum: "Hey I crack cases all the time. Like the case of the symphony conductor who murdered his star cellist."
Lou: "That was an episode of Columbo, chief. They show you who the bad guy is at the beginning of each one."
Chief Wiggum: "Yeah but you have to remember."

It's really prrrrretty obvious to the viewer that McDuff is "laying it on" a little thick. It can be kind of a bringdown to the episode, in fact, because it may be a mystery to the *crew* thanks to the technobabbly explanation, but it's really not at all mysterious to us who the bad actor is, just why exactly they're doing it.
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MidshipmanNorris
Fri, Feb 12, 2021, 9:16am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Child

It also ends with them relentlessly fucking with Wesley as is a common rite of passage with any new recruit lol
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MidshipmanNorris
Fri, Feb 12, 2021, 9:04am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: The Child

You know, I agree about the two-star rating... but I'd be tempted to give this episode another half-star, out of how it handles the sheer scope of everything going on, *in a season-starter.*

Season 1 of TNG was... well, rough. Everyone is well aware by this point. Season 2 begins, and Gates McFadden (as others have noted) was unceremoniously shuffled off the show, which as has come out in recent years, was due to her not gelling with the 'boys club' attitude of the showrunners. Unlike Denise Crosby, however, they opted not to bump her off (generous souls that they are *cough* dbagTVproducers *cough*).

However, I'm going to bet that this presented them with a problem. They'd sent Dr. Crusher off to "Be Head Of Starfleet Medical," but Wil Wheaton was the only *known* actor of the bunch at the time besides Levar Burton or Brent Spiner, who had only ever been on TV. Wheaton had been in actual Hollywood Films. The "Generous Souls" aforementioned, therefore, could not risk tossing Wesley out of an airlock, as he was part of the show's main draw (as strange as re-watching Season 1 now makes it seem).

So what ended up happening instead is that Wesley Crusher's character received an upgrade from "The Boy" to "High School Graduate Considering A Future In Starfleet." This benefited the show greatly, and benefited the presentation of the character. Wil Wheaton was after all getting older and taller fast.

In addition, the ship can't go on without a Doctor, and they were still using a lot of recycled "Star Trek Phase II" scripts at this time, which were written with the original series cast in mind (The Motion Picture is what the pilot of said unproduced show got made into). I feel bringing in an actress from TOS was an extremely wise choice... Classic Trek fans would recognize her, and it would avoid upsetting the apple cart too much (as TNG already was doing from the outset).

Furthermore, bringing Whoopi Goldberg on board seems like it went through a lot of rewrites... How do we bring another Hollywood Actor into this show? But the bartender Guinan ended up being one of TNG's most compelling characters.

Further furthermore, this is the episode in which Geordi gets promoted to Chief Engineer (I guess they threw the guy from "Arsenal of Freedom" out an airlock... good riddance jerkface!).

Do you see what I'm getting at? "The Child" is a massive reboot for TNG, and it has to accomplish *ALL OF THAT* while still telling the A-plot and B-plot which were in the recycled Phase II script.

It's carrying a TON of storytelling weight. Give it a little more credit where credit is due... It does come off as a slight improvement over Season 1, and frankly "Ian Troi" is pretty creeptacular... There are moments in the episode where it's like "Oh shit, what is this alien thing that says 'I'm not ready to tell you why I'm here yet?' Not good..."

It's not as bad as I think most people make it out to be.
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MidshipmanNorris
Wed, Feb 10, 2021, 4:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: Conspiracy

This plotline would have been a lot better with a lot more talk about the aliens and where they came from... the Compromised Vulcan Admiral even bluntly says "it's not important" :smirk: Yeah uh it kinda is...

What we get instead is a gross-out ending that I'm not sure how it made it past the 1980s TV censors. Maybe they thought the episode was too boring and didn't watch all the way to the end, lol.

Cheesy music and visual fx, and no moral compass. 2 stars is too high for this one, I think. Was wisely retooled into the Borg, who made for a much more interesting sci-fi concept.
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MidshipmanNorris
Fri, Feb 5, 2021, 4:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Threshold

Star Trek Voyager,
What you have just said is the most insanely idiotic thing I have ever heard. At no time during your rambling, incoherent episode did you even come close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone who saw this episode is now dumber for having watched it.
I award you no points,
And may God have mercy on your soul.
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MidshipmanNorris
Tue, Feb 2, 2021, 8:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Star Dreck: Disco Sucks.
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MidshipmanNorris
Tue, Feb 2, 2021, 1:51am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S1: The Arsenal of Freedom

I read this review and remembered that this episode is really good, and has Vincent Schiavelli (The "GET OFF MY TRAIN" guy from Ghost), who is excellent, but started watching the teaser and instantly ran into one of my favorite Counselor Obvious lines:

"What happened to all the people?"

I swear Marina Sirtis has a poker face carved in stone, cuz it's like "oh you sweet innocent summer child. Well... Counselor, I'm sorry, but... they're dead." xD

Just ... the delivery is so childlike that it borders on ridiculous. I get the sense that Sirtis was heavily overdirected during the first/second season, because she improves drastically the moment they stop doing her hair up in ludicrous 80's "Future Fashion."

Other than that, yes this episode is quite good, and the one my dad (and Ad Copy Writer) referred to (and continues to refer to) as "The Killer Advertising Episode."
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MidshipmanNorris
Mon, Feb 1, 2021, 7:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Re: Facebook

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U64eGakMvQA
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MidshipmanNorris
Sun, Jan 31, 2021, 8:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: A Matter of Honor

I gotta say, while the Riker Transfers To A Klingon Ship plot is solid (with the noted-in-Jammer's-review overall weakness of the character Capt. Kargon), the B-plot with Ensign Mendon is some of the most maudlin, insipid, ham-handed feely-feels tripe that I've ever watched. How did this guy get through the entirety of his orientation (called "indoctrination" here...someone needed a dictionary) without someone asking him "do you understand how Starfleet Vessels handle the chain of command?" and getting a satisfactory answer beyond "yes sir," before allowing him to man a Bridge Science Station??

The fact that the plot then focuses on how Mendon feels would be ok, except for 2 things;

1. This guy, while yes layered under some of the weirdest prosthetics I've ever seen, probably couldn't act his way out of a shower without it on. He's terrible. Wil Wheaton, even at this early juncture in his career, was a much better actor.

2. The dialogue written for these scenes is ridiculously stupid. I don't even have the patience to go into it all, but every single line uttered just makes me want to punch myself for watching it.

I would cut 1/2 of a star off this score, simply because of how insufferable and whiny Ens. Mendon comes off. They really gotta vet these guys better before assigning bridge duty.
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MidshipmanNorris
Sun, Jan 31, 2021, 2:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@SlackerInc

"Next, you'll be asking him to make water that isn't wet! LOL"

That's called ice
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MidshipmanNorris
Sat, Jan 30, 2021, 4:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

I say, put the tip jar up in a prominent spot where no one's bound to miss it, make it unobtrusive, and refrain from comment on it except perhaps a blurb at the end of whatever articles you end up posting.

"If you enjoy Jammer's Reviews, feel free to leave a tip. Your contribution will be used to keep the site running on Full Impulse Power. Thank you!"

And if anyone raises any kind of stink about "I paid xx dollars because I want to see blah blah on the site," pull a Captain Picard "Ensigns of Command" on them*.

Certainly, providing such a valuable site full of great content entitles you to some form of compensation. That seems... logical.

*that is, ignore them completely
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MidshipmanNorris
Mon, Jan 25, 2021, 10:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Necessary Evil

This, to me, feels like "The Origin of Star Trek: Deep Space 9."

Up until now, the show has traded in twists and turns on themes originally present in Star Trek: The Next Generation, whilst throwing in a lot of Casablanca-esque character intrigue.

But with this episode, Deep Space 9 began to show its true colors a bit more. It's right there in the first word of the title: depth.

Odo is not just "Mr. Constable" or "Security Chief Worf: The Sequel." We find out that he was reluctantly thrust into this position on account of being more or less unassailable by either the Cardassians or the Bajorans, during the Occupation. Dukat used him (as he uses everyone), but it is what puts him into the role we find him in when Sisko arrives in Emissary: Part 1.

Similarly, we get the backstory of Kira The Resistance Fighter, which up until now has just been so much talk. Here, we get to see it for the first time. It elevates her above "Tasha Yar 2.0 (or, if you like, Ro Laren 2.0)" and into the realm of her own character.

We even get to see the day that Odo met Quark, and how that went, and it's hilarious, in addition to getting a classic exchange between Odo and Rom right at the top of the episode after the teaser:

Odo: "I've had my eye on you for a long time, Rom! You're not as stupid as you look!!"
Rom: "I am TOO!!"

xD
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MidshipmanNorris
Mon, Jan 25, 2021, 6:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Cardassians

@StevenA

"Irish and not from the UK. Plus the Republic of Ireland was neutral in WW2. "

1. I really thought Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England were all collectively referred to as "The United Kingdom." Shows what I know.

2. I had no idea. Wow.

Either way, Europeans/Westerners in general did at one time in history have a highly negative view of all Southeast Asians, and many still do. It's a well-earned nitpick, I guess, but still Rosalind Chao's line was executed extremely well. The propers are the propers, and Chao gets propers for that line.
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MidshipmanNorris
Sun, Jan 24, 2021, 11:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S2: Cardassians

I'm going to take my hat off to Ms Rosalind Chao for her very short and extremely potent bit of acting in this episode.

On one hand, Keiko telling Miles "You just said a really ugly thing" can seem like she just abhors racism. But when you consider that in World War II, Japanese people were regarded much as the Bajorans regard the Cardassians by people fighting on the Allied side (like the U.K., where Miles is from), the line itself brings a lot more depth to the scene than just "Oh she doesn't agree with his view."

That's a whole lot to pack into a line, but Ms. Chao sells it perfectly. Wow. :|
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MidshipmanNorris
Thu, Jan 21, 2021, 3:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Alex Kurtzman: "You know Michelle, I think I'd like to change the direction of Star Trek to be more like what made TNG-DS9 great... WHEN PIGS FLY!!"

AK+MP: (Laugh hysterically, see the Pig Flying)

Michelle Paradise: "Will you be ordering those scripts now sir?"

Alex Kurtzman: "No, I'd still prefer not."
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MidshipmanNorris
Thu, Jan 21, 2021, 1:48am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

I recently went back and re-watched a lot of the DS9 Episodes that I missed back when Final Fantasy VII was out and captured my attention away.

I really was not expecting Sisko's Orb Visions to cast him as a sci-fi writer in the 40's, facing racist cops and racist editors.

It's what you would call "a bold move" for a television show to make... or "a big step," hehe. And the current crop of Star Trek shows seems afraid to put its feet in the water.

Grow a pair. You're Star Trek, you already have this baked into your lore. That's what bugs me the most about all these NuTrek writings... yes they feature progressive moves, but they don't devote the kind of incisive writing decisions to them that would really make them sizzle.

Contribute to the replicator rations, or get off the pot, as it were.
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MidshipmanNorris
Mon, Jan 18, 2021, 12:54am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Up until now, Arthur C. Clarke has been my hard sci-fi jam. I remember reading 2001 and Songs of Distant Earth. What struck me about them is that there were no moustache twirlers... No Khan, no Borg Queen, no Zareh, no Osyrra. The stories had danger, death, and tense situations, but they didn't have a scenery-chewing villain.

You can only do the same gimmick so many times, before it gets old. Leonard Nimoy knew that. Star Trek IV hasn't got a villain like this.

The thing about over the top villains is, they can't be built on shifting sands. Voq came out of nowhere, then evaporated into nothing. Harry Mudd went nowhere. Lorca, same difference (once it was revealed that he was a villain). Mirror Georgiou similarly went nowhere. Control went nowhere. Zareh and Osyrra went nowhere.

Khan worked as a villain, because Nick Meyer framed him properly, with historical context within the series, and there was some ceremony to his return, too (the "taking off the gloves and helmet" thing). In addition to that, Ricardo Montalban and Nick Meyer really sat down and did work on the way Khan was portrayed by Montalban.

You can't just churn out whatever drivel survived your little Survivor-esque vote in the writing room. The show loses its direction if you do that. If you can't write a decent villain, don't write a half assed one.

The question really becomes, at that point, why Star Trek seems addicted to beating this dead horse over and over. But like the detective in the police procedural who advises against probing too deeply into the mindset of the serial killer, it's probably best not to overanalyze what seems to merely be sloppy, ham-handed writing that got approved by a bunch of money grubbing ass kissers.
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