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Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 12:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Booming: Yeah, bad choice of words, that wasn't my intention, more a comment on his (apparent) self-identification.

And you are exactly right, Picard is, like Discovery was, utterly confused in what it wants to tell its audience - because in truth, it doesn't want to tell us anything, it ticks boxes because it is there to make money, completely muddling any points it could make.
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Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 9:30am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

"Picard goes into a preachy rant about "humanity" that is obviously intended to mock the high-faluting speeches Picard gave in TNG. Because that's all he did: Give speeches and then never act, never help those in need. He gave speeches and then went home and felt his job was done. And look at the world that has come out of that mind-set. Look at what the Federation has become."

Are you for real? Are you ACTUALLY for real?

"That's why its so amazing that Annika - who has reclaimed her name and her humanity - listens to his bullshit and then goes back to doing what needs to be done: Taking action. Punishing those who need punishment. Righting wrongs and not letting people get away with their disregard for others."

Yes! Shoot those fuckers! Fuck rehabilitation or progress, the death penalty it is! Old testament bullshit.

"The writers have taken a character that was always objectified, that was nothing more than eye candy to satisfy the male gaze of its audience and they've turned her into a feminist icon: A woman who decides how she looks, what she is called and who will not let evil people trample over the lives of others any longer."

A woman who acts exactly like Dirty Harry, because as it turns out, the old white men were right all along. And really? That's ALL you've seen in Seven up until now? God ... So the endgoal of feminism is to turn all women into angry men, got it.

"SHE is the moral center of this episode while Picard still is a nostalgic old fool who has to learn that he and his speeches are part of the problem, not of the solution."

Eye for an eye. How progressive. Oh wait. No. Thats regressive ...

"I salute a show that dares to take its source material, deconstruct it and tell people why that source material was problematic. And I just hope we get a spin-off show of Annika Hansen travelling through the galaxy and making people pay who deserve it."

This is what you want? That's what you "progressive" people clamour for? Revenge porn and more vigilante violence? Jesus fucking H. Christ, the absolute state of humanity ... I am honestly at a loss for words ...
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Sat, Feb 22, 2020, 10:59am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

I’ve been a StarTrek fan since the first episode of TOS, and I have to admit that the salt creature in that episode was pretty stupid. I watched all of TOS and liked most of the episodes even the bad ones. When TNG came out I remember how some of the original cast thought that how can they do ST without us. TNG started out with some pretty bad episodes the first 2 seasons but I stuck to it. I have the feeling that the same people who hated STD or STP because it wasn’t ST would have said the same comments on TNG, it wasn’t really ST. To the haters who watch these shows, why watch them at all? Also, commenters protest the swearing on the shows, yet use these same words in commenting.
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Sat, Feb 22, 2020, 8:54am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

Jammer said it best in his review: At the most basic, Star Trek NEEDS some kind of intelligence in it. Whatever you think Star Trek is or should be, THAT's the single requirement nobody should be willing to sacrifice.

Why do you think we are complaining about the gore and the violence? Because there is nothing else there to criticize! Except the bad plot, and the boring story, and, oh, thats the meat of the complaints anyways.

@A A Roi: Way to misread my post and claim all I want is nostalgia, when I intentionally mentioned NO details at all about what kind of things I want to see. I hated every single nostalgia-bait moment in modern Trek, from the Enterprise reveal in Disc to the Tribbles in Forgettable Movie 2 or 3, to the "Engage!" shenanigans in Picard. No, give me something new but recognizable.

And stop with the Deconstruction bullshit. "Deconstruction" is an analytic tool, first and foremost, and a deconstructivist story is not automatically good or interesting because it tries to examine things from a different perspective. Yet people trott this word around like it somehow excuses every creative decision made by the writers. The nitpicking we do here IS a deconstruction of Picard. A realistic look at what is implied by the things shown on screen. Does that make for an interesting story? No! It's angry rambling, most of the time (from your perspective, anyways).

And, here's the kicker: A deconstruction is by necessity NOT the the thing it deconstructs. It just resembles it, and then breaks it down. All the anti-war movies of the seventies and eighties are deconstructions of the classical Jingoist War Movie - thats why they are called "anti-war-movies." So, Star Trek is an utopia - thus, a deconstruction of Star Trek HAS TO BE not that. Thus, Anti-Trek is not Trek. Because if it WAS, it wouldn't deconstruct it. Way to prove our points ...

And again: Just because something is new and different, it isn't automatically better, just like "Old and the Same" is not automatically better. I can take a classical piece by Mozart and remove everything that made it great, like, melody and chord progression, just hacking away at the keyboard, or better yet, electric guitar, because piano is sooooooo 200 years ago, call it a deconstruction of Mozart (a destruction, really, what most so-called "deconstructions" really are), and guess what. It sounds like shit because it is shit! It's new and fresh and a bold new direction for classical music but in the end, it just isn't good, and most definitely not classical music!

"But I like it!", you say. Right, perfectly fine! Maybe it spawns a new genre of "Anti-Mozart" music! Great! Maybe it grows, and builds an identity of its own ... wonderful! But it still isn't Mozart! Just like Rock'n'Roll isn't jazz, and Pop songs aren't Heavy Metal. You can put cocain into your coffee, because like sugar, it's a white powdery substance, but that doesn't make it sugar!

And to all the people saying "Star Trek always had this and that", yeah, sure, but the dosage makes the poison! If I hit you in the face once and break your nose thats violent, but if I then proceed to kick your rips in, break your arms and legs and finish off with a kick to the crotch, I can not claim "Lol, there's no difference here!" Oh, so we had ONE cruel scene in Wrath of Khan ... Therefore, constant violence in Disc and PIC are totally the same thing. Just like giving somebody a mild concussion is the same as giving them brain damage, or shooting somebody dead and dropping a nuke killing hundreds of thousands is murder, thus equivalent.

Anyways, all of the above would be irrelevant if Picard was interesting on its own, achieved something truly remarkable, but it doesn't, it is mediocre in EVERYTHING at best. The violence isn't particularily gruesome, compared to modern TV. The action scenes are not exactly thrilling, the "philosophy" is about as sophisticated and interesting as middle school discussion, the pacing and directorial style is bog-standard modern TV, the visuals are nothing new either. The Last Jedi is one of the worst movies ever made, but it had ONE scene that was truly remarkable (even though it utterly ruined the whole worldbuilding), and that was when the Supremecy is destroyed light-speed-ramming. That was a perfect scene, truly impactful, a visual spectacle worthy of admiration. Godzilla 2014 had the Paradrop sequence, a true achievement of style and visual composition, even though the movie was so-so. Shin-Godzilla went the other direction, being a political commentary on current-day Japan, but STILL delivered on the spectacular visuals even though the movie is 90% talking and bureaucratic red tape, with a cast of maybe 40 forgettable people, intentionally filling the screen with written names, titles and legal texts to overwhelm the audience and hammer home just how impenetrable and incompetent an overblown bureaucracy is, while at the same time being an hommage to the all the Godzilla movies that came before without obvious "Remember that?" nostalgia bait.

What does Picard have? Nothing! It has a franchise name, nostalgia and political messaging. It does nothing new. It isn't boldly going anywhere. It has no distinct style, no unique story, not even unique characters. It doesn't have a single new idea! Borg? Old. Androids? Old. Refugee crisis? Old. Secret agency conspiracy? Old. Hinted at homoerotic relationship? Old in current year! Ninjas? Super old. AI Is dangerous? Jeez, the oldest sci-fi trope in the book! So, what's new here? Nothing. The only thing it has is that it's different from what was previously called "Star Trek", but that just makes it more similar to other things. Hell, one could argue that it steals the core idea of DS9, namely: The Federation is not as perfect as you think it is.

And you know, THAT wouldn't be a problem either if it just wanted to be Star Trek, but it doesn't, it WANTS to be new and fresh, it just fails at that.
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Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 6:28pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Dom: Well, the thing with darkness is: It needs to be a trajectory. Either it gets better or it gets worse, but so far, it just stays the same. To be really effective, you start of mildly dark, then go carefully optimistic until the half-way point, and then, over the course of following episodes, slowly break down the characters we now care about and want to succeed and use that to examine them in close detail. And then you top it all off with a bittersweet but hopeful ending.

Or, dunno, you just insert violence at random points in the story. That should work just as well.
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Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 6:08pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@A A Roi: Yeah, just like Star Wars made the leap - into oblivion. Or Stargate with Universe ... even though that show actually improved and was cancelled prematurely in my opinion, just as it was getting interesting. It still shed its fanbase and, standing on its own, found out that there is no new group of fans to replace the old.

Star Trek didn't grow, it shrunk. It went from "Universal Moral stories told with a somewhat detached look at things" and "Suitable for all audiences" to "Specific moral stories told through the lense of "Current Year(tm)"" and "Suitable for mature audiences only."* That, right there, is why NuTrek sucks. Instead of beeing rooted in the future it planted its feet firmly into the ground of the present - in terms of style, presentation and storytelling. It went from "Here is this thing nobody else does" to "Lets do what everybody else does." Which means: It will be forgotten REALLY fast, and then it will die. Because, oh shock, oh horror, TV is a visual medium. Change your style to resemble something else and that makes you LESS unique, not more. That's the problem with making the Klingons look like Orks: It takes away, it doesn't add.

*Funnily enough, NuTrek replaced the actually mature discussions and themes of OldTrek with the fake maturity of violence, sex and cursing. Old Trek could be violent and dark and sexy at times, but that was always on top of all the other things. Now, there is nothing beneath the superficial elements, and even those are average at best.
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Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 1:52pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Bold Helmsman: Yes. In the smallest way possible. Why can't he do anything? Can he not speak out for them? Can he not call on old allies or friends who owe him a favour? Can he not try? Apparently he has given up on all that and focuses on selfish desires (save the daughter of your dead friend to replace him/save her sister to not feel so guilty anymore). In other worlds: He has already given up on the world.

But Ok, I give you Picard as the sole optimist in this story - an optimist who is constantly berated and ridiculed for his ivory-tower mentality, shunned by superiors and peers alike, who has failed more people than anybody else apparently and is universally hated and ignored. A dreamer, deluding himself, that's what he comes off as. A relict from another time, thrust into the harsh reality that everything is pointless anyways.
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Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 1:03pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Booming: Exactly! Optimism isn't a fixed point to be achieved, it's a mind set, and so far, none of the characters in this show have it. Even Picard has given up on his optimism and instead retreats to saving a single person who is the daughter of an old friend instead of trying to do something for the Romulans, for example. A personal quest, not some principled stance.

Add to that: Bitter Romulan refugees sitting on a planet, putting up signs "Romulans Only", never even trying to better their lot themselves? Bitter Admiral saying "Fuck you, Picard, you are a piece of shit!"? Bitter Picard saying his interview was a mistake (because it clashed with public opinion, apparently)? Heck, even scientist lady is bitter because her research was shut down for no other reason than fear, while the research itself yielded nothing but an army of enslaved robot workers!

Seriously, we get a 20 year timeskip, a catastrophe 14 years ago and NOTHING has changed from that point onwards, nothing turned to the better, nobody moved on. People got more hateful and bitter because of it, and it somehow all relates to Picard, who is the lynchpin of this turn. Everybody we know is either dead, bitter or absent and the new characters are either bitter or jaded. If the qualifier for "optimistic future" is "Some things are better than now" then even Warhammer 40k qualifies as that, since there are whole planets of absolute peace and quiet, untouched by any danger since milennia!
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Fri, Feb 21, 2020, 12:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@ Dave in MN ... "Millennial Falcon" ... HAHA... I like that.

Not sure if this has been shared before, but I think this video is really well done and talks about our differences while watching old and new Trek. Pretty interesting I thought. Remember, there is much more that unites us than divides us. Personally, I don't need the gore and the f-bombs and think some of the critics above cut Discovery Season 2 WAAAAY short.

Sigh.. while I think this was the best acting Michelle Hurd has given us so far, her character is just all over the place. So, this snake leaf stuff is pretty bad? .... she finds her "son" and claims to him she's "clean"? ... isn't that a flat out lie? Her son has every right to be pissed at her from what we know. He also should go to acting school (horrible). Man, his wife looked like she was ready to pop! ... lol triplets on the way!

So, 7 is now a "Ranger" ... BAB5 popped in my head immediately. I was waiting for some sort of "We live for the One, we die for the One!" reference. I thought Jeri did REALLY well with what she was given here and what she was given wasn't bad. I was impressed. I hope this isn't a flash in the pan thing with 7... I want her as a regular in this series. So who is this "Chop Doc" Borg part seller gal? ... did I read this right, was she and 7 in some sort of previous relationship? I felt no-shit tension and drama in 7's scenes (for the 1st time in this show). I'm glad 7 schwacked her. Did anyone else catch that Madam Chop Doc was looking for a cortical node in Icheb? ... I immediately knew she wouldn't find one because he gave it to 7 in "Imperfection".

As far as casting the initial actors for the Maddox and Icheb parts... if I were Brian Brophy and Manu Intiraymi I would have said "what's the point"? ... eesh, I can't remember such short screen time for someone that should have meant more to the plot; especially Maddox.

I didn't mind the animated pop-up stuff ... hell, we get tailored crap on our phone and email everyday. Nothing for Elnor?

When they beamed down to this place on Freecloud and were all guzzied up, I thought Picard should have been dressed like Dixon Hill instead of an over the top French dude.

I was really surprised Maddox had such a short role. He basically only told JL where to find Soji (and that she existed)... I was expecting more. .... so, were my suspicions true? ... is Agnes a Romulan spy? ... or was she acting on her own? ... more to follow I'm sure.

I was more than happy not to see Soji and her love interest (I need to shave Romulan spy) and the creepy interactions with Narissa for one episode.

What did they show Agnes? Who is they? What does she think she needs to atone for? Why did Maddox have to die? How is the Federation involved? Allison conveyed her conflicted position very well I thought. I don't think she planned to do this when she joined Picard.

Tune in next week for more answers... I hope. I just hope 7 is part of our search for the answers.

I thought this episode was better than the last 2, so I'll go 2.5 stars.
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Thu, Feb 20, 2020, 8:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Jensen: Yes, Eric, I have a better grasp of writing, apparently. Seven is a ranger. Her life is dedicated to helping freed borgs who are hunted for their implants. One of those implant hunters killed her "child". Now, tell me, what would she do? A: Staggering around space bamboozeld for 13 years, not trying to stop her, or B: Accomplish the mission she states she has and try to stop her? And if you now say "Well, it wasn't THAT important to her", well, she lies to Picard, she beams down, she WAITS for the guards to arrive, she shoots the gang boss deader than dead, vaporizing her, and THEN walks into gunfire guns blazing not caring for her own safety. It was important enough for her that her survival is not a concern if she achieves her goal.

You know whats funny about this? All they needed to do was either: Make the time span shorter, or give us a single line from Seven how she was looking for her all that time but was never able to get close. The second option is still flimsy, but hey, better than nothing. To improve it, you could make the lady actually hard to find. At least acknowledge the fact that time passed and she tried before. Because if she didn't you have to explain why, otherwise her motivation does not fit her actions and thats the number one rule of writing: Character motivations inform character descisions. And in this case, her other motivation, protecting fellow ex-borgs, enforcing the law, directly reinforces her first motivation, revenge. So you can't even say "Well, she had more important things to do for 13 years".

Or, how about, just don't tell us how much time passed so that we don't question it? Or better yet: How about we don't have a revenge plot for Seven? How about, for once, we are introduced to a sane, logical, well adjusted character without any hidden agenda or tragic past? Hm? Some variety? Oh yes, that assasin dude, but he still has beef with Picard and got demoted to extra REALLY fast. And no, I don't care that Patrick Stewart is a exec-producer or is pitching his ideas. I wouldn't care if Shakespeare or Orwell or Tolkien or ... dunno, Rosy McDowall from Frogballs, Arkansas wrote this. Names do not matter. Results do.

And, as an aside: This is all just, like, my opinion, man :) Since the theme of this episode was revenge: If you want to rip something apart that I like to even the scales: Watch "Genocyber", but the english version with the shitty nineties anime voice actors. It's on youtube, I think. THAT clicks with me more than Picard, just like TNG does, and I would argue that those two shows are as far apart from one another as can be.

Anyways, no hard feelings on my part. I'm just poking a little fun at the show (not at you for liking it, just to make that clear) and I am fond of hyperbole.

@Drea: It would be nice if the show hints at that, though, everything else is just fanfiction. Just have Seven say "T'wasn't exactly hard to find yee, me captain", implying that she was looking for him and not just randomly there. We know nothing about her normal patrol area, how the rangers operate, anything. With a simple line like that, none of it matters, really. She went looking for him, arrived just in the nick of time. And to explain the why: "I went looking for you because you made a big fuzz. Thought shit was about to go down, and hell fucking yeah, I was fucking right" < - this last sentence is brought to you by "Everybody swears because not swearing is for kids."

Or just have her say: "This is my patrol area, and you were in danger." Or have HER be surprised as well. Just like this:

P: "Seven?"
7: "Picard??"
P: "of Nine???"
7: "Jean-Luc????"
P: "Do I even know thee, my fair maiden?"
7: "Nah, we never met. We are just two ex-borg randomly meeting on a quest to infiltrate a borg cube."
P: "Oh. Right. Earl Grey?"
7: "Whiskey. Deliver it shaking while looking stirred."
P: "It's just about noon!"
7: "Yeah, well, you see, I've got this drinking problem because my child was killed by an organ harvester thirteen years ago, thus, I became a western Gunslinger and drown my pain in alcohol now. Ah, that reminds me of that one time the Doctor inhabited my body ... fun times, fun times."
P: "Oh. Hm. That's sad. Want to do anything about it?"
7: "Yeah, kill that bitch."
P: "Well, as it turns out, we are about to meet with that exact bitch because she has kidnapped a guy I want to ask some questions."
7: "Hm, isn't that a coincidence?"
P: "Sure, but ... do you mind?"
7: "No, not at all."
P: "While we are at it, Seven: I am against needless violence."
7: "Hm. Ok, fine."
P: "You give up on the revenge and hatred you harboured and let fester for thirteen years? Just like that?"
7: "Sure. Pinky swear!"
P: "Do Borg even have pinkies, if you know what I mean?"
7: "Ah, sexual innuendo. Chakotay told me about that. Remember Chakotay?"
P: "Never met."
7: "Tall guy, square jaw, tattoo on his face? Was demoted to extra even more when I was introduced?"
P: "Oh, that guy. I smoked his 'peace pipe' once."
7: "Isn't that just a cliché, or is this another sexual inuendo?"
P: "Yes."
7: "... I miss Star Trek ..."
P: "Ask me about it!"
7: "Remember that episode where Tom Paris turned into a lizard?"
P: "That was drole. Remember when Archer had to use a chainsaw to do some ritual?"
7: "Or when Trip got pregnant?"
P: "Or when those worms infected upper managment?"
7: "Good times, good times."
P: "Yes, yes, indeed. Engage! Hah!"
7: "Resistance is futile!"
P: "Careful, otherwise I'll extend my assimilation tube!"
7: "Ha! Feeling lucky, punk?"
P: "My last breath I spit at thee!"
7: "Et tu, brute?"
P: "We will fight them on the beaches!"
7: "One small step for mankind ..."

etc. etc. I've got too much time on my hands, it seems.
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Thu, Feb 20, 2020, 2:55pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

Yeah, yeah, sure ... Seven waits 13 years to enact her revenge, even though it's her defining character moment, it seems. Walking towards gunfire without cover, dual wielding machine gun lasers, because she just doesn't care anymore, because in the far future, there is only one way to grow your character: Nihilistic and cynical - she doesn't even try to save Icheb, it's the wild west, folks, a horse with a broken leg gets shot. What's that, holographic lung of Neelix? Ah, shit, seems like we forgot about you, we only do leeches now. But at least she's a dirty harry clone now: "Go ahead, make my day." Because of course a hyper-intelligent being with half the knowledge of the borg collective spends her days gunslinging. What use is intelligence when you could just use a gun instead? Don't be silly, there is no problem that sufficient firepower can not solve!

Ah, Icheb. We hardly knew ya. And of course no anesthetic, you want your cybernetically enhanced, super-humanly-strong ex-borg to be fully aware of whats happening ... Also, do it in the most barbaric way possible, because those implants are worth a fortune, so no biggy if you accidentally drill a hole into the cortical implant because you don't use a scanner, but a dull plexiglass drill and the Mk. I eyeball instead. LOGIC. Oh, but maybe they paralyzed him, because everybody in the future is a sadist.

Raffy had a drug problem which ruined her family, how original and relevant - in a future where you can cure almost everything by applying some magic hypo-spray. But even in the far future, blacks will be blacks, amirite? At least our expectations got subverted, because it's an absentee mother now. Yeehah, clichés are SUCH FUN. Right right, it was her pursuit of the truth that broke her family, yadda yadda, because of course that breaks her completely, of course every character is totally imbalanced otherwise there would be no duraaaamaaaa.

Miss "I am too anxious to push a transporter button" murders her lover in cold blood in a VERY painful way instead of just ... dunno, something else less painful? Because as it turns out, she's heard the secret that will DESTROY MINDS. Beware, in the grim darkness of the future, a single contact with the warp will rend your mind and deform your flesh, birthing an abomination of vile, hellish heresy! Yeah, yeah, she cried, but she went through with it anyways. So maybe not cold blood but frozen blood? What's her justification? Killing Hitler? Even though he is no immediate danger? But wait, she got brainwashed by Miss Sunglasses, or somesuch things, in the most horrific way, of course. It included bisecting her brain without anesthetic because torture = authenticity & realism. Remember, folks, the more darkness, pain and blood the more mature your series is, as every human being is more fucked up than the next and there are no good people left, except Picard, and HE STOPPED so he's the worst of them all, except that there's nobody worth saving left anyways, because as soon as you turn away, they betray you and just start murdering everything again.

Next time on Picard: Infiltration of the Borg cube! The Drones awake! Betrayal! Excitement! More sho-ho-cking revelations! Another character with a tragic backstory turns up to berate Picard for giving up! Because nothing says quality writing like piling drama upon drama. Will Romulan brother be raped by Romulan Sister? Will Soji kill her lover? Will Picard hold a speech? Is our beloved cigar smoking badass pilot really a hologram, because the original one got horrifically eviscerated in a flashback? Will Picard hold a speech? Will the EMH tell anybody that he witnessed the murder of Maddox? Is the borg cube secretly engaging in child prostitution? Will there be gambling, alcohol, drugs and course language? Will Picard hold a speech? Tune in next time and find out, on CBS All Access, giving you for money what TV gave you for free!
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Sarjenka's Brother
Wed, Feb 19, 2020, 9:02pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Resistance

I think this is the best episode so far in the run of "Voyager." Kate Mulgrew hits a home run, and I liked the Torres/Tuvok scenes a lot. Great idea to put those two together.

These DQ races sure aren't nice folks.
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Wed, Feb 19, 2020, 9:32am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

@philadlj: Yeah, exactly. There are other shows out there filling the niche that Picard tries to fill and they fill it way better. Trek has it's own niche, why doesn't it try to take advantage of that?

On a more general point: The "two stories in one show" could actually be quite good - if they had two truly seperate stories of wildly different tones, which inform the other story but don't directly interact. Picard rides off to save the princess, high on morals and guilt, in his usual, comtemplative style, while we, the audience, already see the mess and danger he getting himself into - the gritty, violent reality of a fallen empire. Then, slowly bring the stories together.

In essence, they'd be telling the story from two different points of views: Picard sees the galaxy as flawed but bright - his opponent, or the protagonist of the second story, sees the galaxy as falwed and utterly dark, and thats reflected in the tone, pacing and set design. You could have great scenes where the two characters see the same thing, but it LOOKS completely different. For example, Picard sees a somewhat primitive, but brightly lit town. Change PoV, and suddenly the dirt and trash in the corners is focused upon. Picard sees his opponent as desperate, dangerous but vulnerable and basically human, while he himself is brightly lit. In his opponents eye, Picard looks dangerous, his stern, rightous look becoming one of authoritarianism and lust for power. All you have to do is change the lighting slightly. Something like that. Visual storytelling.

But I guess thats too artsy.
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Wed, Feb 19, 2020, 1:27am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Regeneration

I watched this last night thought it was a great episode. The combination of naivete and then pending dread was terrific. If you redacted your knowledge of the Borg prior to watching this, it would have played out like any vanilla Star Trek episode I think that's the thing I liked most about it. You get something that might be a threat, it gets the benefit of the doubt, then either becomes or is perceived as an aggressor later in the episode. The gimmick in this instance is the audience is in on it. It was a very clever episode for me.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Tue, Feb 18, 2020, 11:27pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Maneuvers

While the Kazon will never be epics, I'm upping my evaluation of them. I was pretty entertained.

Whatever the plot holes in Cold Fire before and this episode Manuevers, at least they both work off and advance previous stories (Caretaker/Ocompa and Kazons/Seska) instead of another episode spacial distortions and such.

Any Seska episode is worth a viewing.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Tue, Feb 18, 2020, 11:11pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Cold Fire

There's this Caretaker that's been on my mind
All the time, Sus-Sus-peria
Oh oh
Now she don't even know my name
But I think she'll send me to the Alpha Quadrant just the same
Woah oh

(And as usual, I liked the episode more than the rest of you. 3 stars from Sarjenka and me).
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Tue, Feb 18, 2020, 10:08pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

I have to admit: It warmed my heart to see Seven again. Guess I'm just another fanboy. Might have helped that she didn't speak much yet, so, lets see how her character has changed before coming to any hopeful conclusions.

Turns out trying and failing is worse than never trying at all, given by the reaction Picard gets. Or rather, stopping to try is the worst sin. And we don't even know if he did try to do something after his resignation. Or if he could have in the first place.

I constantly get the feeling that the writers wanted to create a fantasy story instead of sci-fi, with all the hero+party travelling the land to rescue the princess, the swashbuckling and the mysteries. And now the mysterious warrior (that assassin dude) has entered the picture, together with the sorceress (Seven - if we replace magic with "borg stuff"), after we got the genki-girl (the ditzy scientist lady (didn't we have one of those before, in another series?)), the grizzled veteran and the deadpan snarker (Ruffy). Time to enter hell (the borg cube) and slay the dragon, defy the prophecy and return order to the world.
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Sarjenka's Brother
Tue, Feb 18, 2020, 6:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S2: Tattoo

Three stars? Not a fan of this episode, and I'm frequently in the role of defending a "Voyager" episode as being better than given credit. Here, credit is too generous.

(And I like Chakotay -- so no issues with a Chakotay/Native American storyline).

Another observation:

Earth was a VERY busy place for alien visitations according to canonical "Trek," going all the way back to "Who Mourns for Adonis?"
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Tue, Feb 18, 2020, 9:46am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

Sorry, timestamp 22:20
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Tue, Feb 18, 2020, 9:45am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

Well, I completely missed this little tidbit.

Go to timestamp 20:20 in this episode and watch Soji closely.

You see a familiar Data twitch.... could be revealing with regard to her origins.
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Tue, Feb 18, 2020, 8:06am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

@ Andy's Friend

Long time no see!!

"Yanks — ‘Yeah that is kind of the running joke of Star Trek. The moment you become an admiral you want to do nasty stuff.‘"

This wasn't me, but that's OK.

"As always, we must know to differentiate, and to recognise when the ‘big speech’ is being directed primarily at the in-universe characters (say, ‘The First Duty’), and when it is being directed primarily at the audience as commentary, as here. TNG generally stroke a balance between the two deliveries, and did so masterfully. Unfortunately, in the case of ‘The Drumhead’, this is not understood by most fans. Picard is not speaking to his fellow officers: he is speaking to us."

IMO this is Picard's finest moment.

I tear up every time I here this.

"You know, there some words I've known since I was a school boy. With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably. Those words were uttered by Judge Aaron Satie as wisdom and warning. The first time any man's freedom is trodden on, we're all damaged. I fear that today"

So apt is this to today's political climate.

Another point Picard makes during this episode:

PICARD: We think we've come so far. The torture of heretics, the burning of witches, it's all ancient history. Then, before you can blink an eye, it suddenly threatens to start all over again.
WORF: I believed her. I helped her. I did not see what she was.
PICARD: Mister Worf, villains who wear twirl their moustaches are easy to spot. Those who clothe themselves in good deeds are well camouflaged.
WORF: I think after yesterday, people will not be as ready to trust her.
PICARD: Maybe. But she, or someone like her, will always be with us, waiting for the right climate in which to flourish, spreading fear in the name of righteousness. Vigilance, Mister Worf, that is the price we have to continually pay.

You are absolutely correct. This is directed at us.

Makes you wonder why "Civics" hasn't been taught in High Schools since the 70's.

Sorry, I know I'm off topic here.... but it's so damn good.
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Fri, Feb 14, 2020, 5:53pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

@ Mertov

"Good stuff Yanks! Always enjoy reading your take, whether I agree or not."

Why thank you. I enjoy yours as well.

"-- No, it does not remind me of post-TNG Picard, but post-Nemesis Picard? Possibly yes, but it is not even supposed to do that. Stewart and showrunners have made it very clear that this Picard is not the Picard we have watched in TNG (in fact, his interviews show that Stewart made that a condition for him to come back). Twenty years of heavily consequential events went by."

I understand all that. I should have been clearer. Post-Nemisis. The early flashbacks, when he is swarmed by the locals... he's making promises, it's alright, etc... that just doesn't sound like Picard talk... he certainly would tell them what to expect but to sound all wishy-washy, lovey-dovey... it's just not him of that time period.

"But if you want to look for the absurd along these lines, how about the post-"The Inner Light" Picard who lives a lifetime as someone else in another planet for decades and comes back to Enterprise before the episode's end and picks up next week with a new adventure, totally unchanged from the pre-"The Inner Light" Picard? Talk about absurd :)"

I don't think we know how much time passed... and he did seek time with Troi. But even when he was Kamin, he still was Picard at the core.

"-- Hmmm.. Yanks, I am going to have to disagree with you here (see Big Pimpn's post and my reply to him)."

I remember the comedy in 'First Contact'... it never felt forced. It was not good here.

I am glad, for my part, that it is not a post-TNG show and tries to build its own story and world, using some characters from the TNG. If it were up to me, I would have come up with a whole new set of characters have nothing more than cameo appearances of old characters (although I cannot complain here, I must admit, about having Picard as the lead because of Stewart).

I'm mostly referring to the flashback stuff. Even when he's speaking with Raffi after losing the battle with SF... this should be "Jean Luc Picard!!" ... but it just isn't. I mean look how Raffi talks to him... "JL". ... really? ... Do you think he ever would have let Riker speak to him like that? I get the new stuff and other than some pretty lame writing at times I'm fine with the new story/tone.

It will be interesting to see why 7 just happened to pop in.
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Fri, Feb 14, 2020, 12:33pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

"Special Guest Star - Jeri Ryan" .... thanks for spoiling the damn episode... grrr...

Why doesn't this have a "skip Intro" selection?

I see Frakes is directing so I'm optimistic.

The opening flashback didn't excel in the "make me younger" CGI like the previous episode did. Romulan refugee planet, Romulan nuns... Does this Picard remind you of post TNG Picard? Not for me. Picard making promises, etc... You'd think this Picard would still be Picard. I did enjoy the kid and the nun Picard speaks to (can't remember her name) While Picard reading to the kid was nice, it's sad to see Sir Patrick struggle to clearly and emotionally deliver some lines. Even when he's reading them out of a book.

So Picard is tired of the grape farm and then uses the holomatrix to recreate it aboard the ... what's the name of the ship? I would have thought he might recreate his captains quarters from the "D" or "E". When he said "freeze holomatrix", the fire did not stop BTW.

We listen to some more swearing for no apparent reason, and the Picard sanity is questioned...

He's got to go back to this planet because he's going to need a whiz-bang fighter. How much you want to bet it's gonna be the grown up kid?

Some really bad comedy.... eeesh.... I'm not asking for much, but they didn't make it here.

Nothing gained on the Borg Cube. We know "The Destroyer" is supposed to ... well, destroy everything, and just why do they "skate" in the ventilation shaft? Why can Narissa choke Narak if she's not there? ... or maybe she is now? The only thing we learned is he has one week to find out more about Soji. ... OR ELSE!!

...standing by for a broken hearted Soji... it's coming.

I don't know about the functionality of the holo-controls on the ship, but it's kind of hard to watch. I'd rather see some stick flying.

So Picard tells his story to Elnor and it just sounds like Picard has turned into a total wuss... "I mourned the loss of Data, blah, blah" again and again...

Picard when walked past the "Romulans only' sign and throws it down in order to get into a fight. I thought this was to egg Elnor to come protect him, but man - what if Elnor was taking a dump? ... or didn't fall for Picards sob story? We get a beheading... pretty lame I thought. They are still luckily in the "window" and they beam up to the ship.

Picard yells at Elnor for killing ... also pretty lame I thought. He knew what he was capable of and egged him into defending him... then he is surprised? Come on man...

What race is Elnor? They kept saying he shouldn't be where he was. Is he Vulcan? Some sort of half-breed?

We get a space fight scene with the old Romulan War Bird because Picard needed more time on the surface. Another ship out of nowhere joins the fight, and of course we know it's Seven because the episode is almost over and we haven't seen her yet. Her piloting shill impresses Rios, her ship get's hit and blows up and they beam her out just in the nick of time (shocker). Just to keep everyone with no brain at all guessing, they refer to the pilot as "he"... before they beam 7 out. (slaps forehead)

Now Seven isn't Seven, she's a comical Jeri Ryan. I really hope she still has some of seven's personality left in her.

@ wolfstar

"I don't think most people did expect it to be TNG. And the swearing (and violence) isn't one of the main reasons I think STP (and STD) are bad, but it is a legitimate issue - Trek was always a show you could watch with three generations, even DS9 at its grittiest. (DS9 might have been thematically heavy but you knew it was going to be gore-free, free of bad language, and not wallow in nastiness for the sake of sensation.) If I'm watching with a 10-year-old who's just getting into Trek or an elderly person with early dementia who loves TOS, TNG and DS9, we don't want decapitations, F-bombs, Pike's face melting, people being eaten etc. The point isn't that there is swearing and gore; the point is that they're completely extraneous and clearly only there for shock value, inserted as an added extra to spice up the show. I would appreciate a mature Trek with adult content and themes, but STD and STP use graphic violence and swearing the way ENT used the decon chamber - that's the problem. How far we've descended since the days when To The Death had to be (regrettably) edited down because the violence, although entirely gore-free, was merely too "intense"."

wolfstar should drop mic, pic it up and drop it again!!

Well said.

Picard just dropped all contact with these folks on the planet? Didn't even give them a phone call to let them know what happened?

Also, I really don't know why Picard was apologizing to these folks... for what? ... saving them? Why would they be mad at him?

Why can't these Romulans not advance at all over 20 years? No one has replicators anymore?

This didn't feel like a Frakes directed episode.

This really isn't giving me any post TNG feel. I know it's not supposed to be TNG but...

I can't go over 2 stars for this.
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Thu, Feb 13, 2020, 9:02am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

Thanks Cody B & Chrome!
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Thu, Feb 13, 2020, 6:56am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Absolute Candor

I thought these things didn't release until Thursday?!?!?!?
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