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Big Poppa the XVII-th
Thu, Sep 23, 2021, 1:06am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S2: Future Tense

Funny thing, play STO and learn the full story of that ship from the future. They REALLY expanded on it :)
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 7:02pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S1: Old Wounds

@Mephyve

So, all in all, did you like the Orville?

I'm asking because most of your reviews of the individual episodes seemed pretty negative, yet your summary review of the show (on this thread) was quite positive.

Left me totally confused LOL
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Top Hat
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 5:02pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: A Matter of Time

Rasmussen does not mention the Prime Directive by name: only Picard does that. He does say, "I've studied a great deal about your century, including the fact that you're all quite aware of the dangers of anyone altering the past, and that's exactly what I'd be doing if I were to divulge information like that." But this is of course him covering for the fact that he really has no information to divulge, and it's a classic con technique to flatter the intelligence of his marks ("you're all quite aware of the dangers..."). I see no reason why Rasmussen can't be just making an educated guess here; after all, the same thing can be said of people today, since we've been exposed to plenty of fictional depictions of time travel gone wrong.
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Peter G.
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 12:47pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: A Matter of Time

@ Jason R.,

Yes, although even a really good preparation isn't going to provide as many facts as present themselves even in a simple walk down the corridor. There are just too many details in life, or things people bring up. He can spend weeks memorizing stuff and even then I imagine he'd need to fake some stuff to get through a conversation. So while it does seem reasonable to suppose that some of what he says is a straight-up con job, I think it's hard to believe he would come in totally unprepared.
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Peter G.
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 11:10am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: A Matter of Time

It seems impossible for us to know whether he's conning them about the facts individually, or just conning them about his general purpose (theft). For years when I watched it I just assumed he had first gone to the future, read some stuff about their ship and about this mission to study up, then came aboard using the info to impress them and gain their confidence. He has a time machine, so it would be pretty trivial to travel ahead of time to know how everything went, and then go back in time again to cash in. That's just what happens in Back to the Future. So maybe he's actually got some studied knowledge up his sleeve, and maybe he's really stretching credulity and knows nothing at all and is just making it up as he goes along. In the end it doesn't matter that much. But one thing I'm pretty confident about is that Matt Frewer did not dissect the episode moment by moment and decide for himself whether he was making up a particular fact or whether he really knew it. I think he generally went with an offbeat tone and was riding that through the scenes, without as much attention to minute detail.
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Big Poppa the XVII-th
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 1:13am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ENT S2: Precious Cargo

Eh. Seen worse, seen (lot) better. 0 stars is overreacting. I'll give it 1,5 stars. 0,5 for T'Pol playing "tough", and 1 for the nice workout my right hand got, watching red-hot bombshell Lakshmi prance around on screen in a ripped-up dress. ;) And imagining being cooped-up in an escape pod with her for 2 days. Yummy.

Yea she's a terrible actress. Who cares with THAT body? Not me, I'm not watching her for her acting. Though I do wish she put that mouth of hers to better use ;) her voice is annoying.
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OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Sep 22, 2021, 1:05am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S3: Who Watches the Watchers

@Booming
"I'm neither a communist nor an atheist"

I'll rephrase:

Given your previous comments (which span years), it is clear that you're close enough to both views for my previous comment to be just as relevant.

"if you believe that Rahul and 2PacTruth are just well-meaning people asking questions then you are an idiot."

Sorry, but I think that in this particular discussion, Rahul and 2PacTruth showed more good faith than you did.

@Randall
"Atheists aren't the ones with the problem when it comes to respecting people with different beliefs. We don't ram legislation through states that strip people not like us of rights and dignity."

I don't support such legislation, and you'll find that many of the religious folks here (though not all) would agree with me on this.

The way you put all religious people in the same bandwagon and treat them as if they all share the exact same extreme viewpoint, say more about you then it does about them.

"There are theistic jerks and there are atheistic jerks."

Correct.

"The difference is, atheistic jerks are rude, while theistic jerks are rude, *and* try to make people they don't like second-class citizens by force of law."

History tells us a very different story (see my answer to Jeffrey Jakucyk below)

@Jeffrey Jakucyk

"Being an atheist means simply not believing in a god/gods. There are no tenets, no scriptures, no clergy, no pronouncements. It is not a belief system, it is a rejection of a belief system."

True.

But even atheists believe in *something*. Every human being has beliefs, and a person's primitive human nature does not magically change just because he is an atheists.

So the question is: Are atheists any less adamant/extreme/oppressive/violent in defending their views? Enter Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao and Korean Kim to tell you: Nope. Human nature just sucks, and power-hungry people will find excuses for their rotten behavior, with or without religion.

In short:

Religion is not the problem here. Dogma, prejudice and hate towards people who think differently - is.
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Peter G.
Tue, Sep 21, 2021, 9:28pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

There does seem to be some difficult in crafting a review that disentangles technical achievement of a plan from the plan itself. I fondly remember Ebert's review of Basic Instinct 2, where he talked about how there was no way he could recommend the movie, even though from a certain perspective its low and almost embarrassing goals seemed to be achieved with gusto. So he gave it something like 1 star, but hinting that it could have been 4 if he gave in to his baser impulses.

The Rise of Skywalker is a film that, conceptually, I would have to give around zero stars. Somewhat like its predecessors, there is scarcely a single major plot point that yields a response even from its proponents of "Alright! Finally, this is what we wanted!" Even the big fans of these films seem to have to moderate their praise with disclaimers like "well, it's true this part didn't exactly make sense, but.." Jammer, I think you are completely correct about this overbearing responsibility for the creators of these sequels to do...something. Certainly they can't do everything, as you suggest. But what should be an embarrassment of riches seems instead to have been treated by the creative team as a struggle to do come up with what to do. I just wonder how that's possible. I bet most posters on this site, even the Trek fans who aren't as hot on Star Wars, have a laundry list of things they'd find really cool to see features in a SW film. I have such a list myself. So to say that finding arc after arc as recycled material is more than just frustrating, it's almost unfathomable.

From the standpoint of looking at the plot and character outlines on paper, I really find The Rise of Skywalker especially to be almost without any merits at all. But because the team executing this plan has state of the art technology, design teams and editing that are unparalleled, and a legacy that can feed even an empty schematic, it can still play energetically and even get a rise out of you despite yourself. I actually felt something near the end, even though it was totally unearned. It's one of those times it makes you have more fun than you even want to have, because of how undisciplined the writing and concept are. It's sort of like a jerk who makes a joke in terrible taste, but you're ashamed to find a laugh sneak out of you from some primal sub-intelligent place in your psyche.

From a certain perspective, getting any result at all from a pathetic concept sort of deserves an award of its own. But do we really want to give out such an award? At least when Bach wrote fugues out of lame musical fragments, he did cool things with them. This is more like a pop song cutting and pasting from lame musical fragments, using the same tired hook you've heard 1,000 times, and yet it makes top 10 on the radio anyhow. And you know this because you've got the radio on yourself.
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philadlj
Tue, Sep 21, 2021, 8:11pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Nice write-up, Jammer! Worth the wait. Rise was the last movie I saw in theaters until I saw Black Widow in July. When I saw it, I was angry about a lot of it, but even though I haven’t re-watched it since my opinion has softened. As you said, JJ had an impossible task in trying to wrap up a nine-film, 4-decade-long saga. And while it had its problems, I got my ticket price worth of mostly mindless entertainment. It was neither as clever or interesting or satisfying as Last Jedi (which I’ve seen many times), but it was never going to be. I watch plenty of dumb fun movies on their own terms, but ultimately it’s not fair to expect Scorceseian excellence from a now wholly Disney-owned pop space opera franchise. Like most Marvel movies, it’s more about enjoying the ride.
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Patrick Wise
Tue, Sep 21, 2021, 4:36pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S7: Inheritance

After many years and views, I just noticed an inconsistency that I've not seen anyone mention: After the violin duet scene, Data goes to see Dr. Crusher and is still carrying his violin, leading one to believe that this takes place relatively soon after the duet. Then, when he's called to the transporter room "immediately", he not only had time to drop off the violin, but he and Dr. Tainer (sp?) arrive in the transporter room together and her hair is now not only pulled up, but fully braided in the back, despite it being mostly down in the duet scene. I then noticed as they beam down that she's wearing boots with a very high, thin heel, which would be a bad thing to wear in a cavern undergoing quakes. Added to this, when they materialize in the cavern, she is then wearing flat soled boots; apparently the transporter chief must have noticed and changed them for her mid-transport, right? I'm not usually a continuity buff, but this one cracked me up.
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Episodenull
Tue, Sep 21, 2021, 2:54pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: LD S2: The Spy Humongous

2.5 stars? Man, Jammer is a tough crowd.

I found this episode delightful. The Pakleds' idiocy never fails to make me laugh, which I think is where the breakdown happens between people who like this stuff and people who don't: if you find this stuff funny, you don't care if it's obvious or not.
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mephyve
Tue, Sep 21, 2021, 1:52pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S1: Old Wounds

Ok , finished the 2 seasons and read the comments so I'll review. those.
1. "Turning your brain off to like The Orville "
Hardly, in fact by my review of the first episode it's clear that the show actually turned my brain back on. Seth's reasons for loving Star Trek clearly mirror my own.
2. Comparisons to Farscape
There are similarities. Farscape was centered on the relationship between the two leads; same with The Orville.
The difference is Farscape was about rebellion against the empire, the Orville is about building the empire. Farscape established a franchise, The Orville pays homage to one. The Orville is to StarTrek whar Firefly is to Farscape.
3. Judging Discovery before it even aired
From the leaks and previews it was evidentDiscovery was obviously more about a woke agenda than it was about pleasing the fans. Still I gave the first episode a try. Wish I could wash my brain out with soap. Boring, dismal, franchise wrecking garbage.
That's what people were reacting to before it actually aired. The writers were going out of their way not to make Star Trek .
Look at the rotten tomatoes ratings: Critics 88% Audience 41 %
Contrast that with The Orville: Critics 65% Audience 91%
Of course the fans are using The Orville to give CBS the finger. CBS gave the fans the finger first.
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mephyve
Tue, Sep 21, 2021, 8:56am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S2: The Road Not Taken

Due to Kelly's selfish decision we get a What if story. The great thing about alternate timelines and parallel universes is getting to see how the characters react under different circumstances. A couple of takes.
1. I liked Alara Kitan. As expressed here, her look belies her capabilities. I don't like her replacement.
2. There's always a paradox lol. If the alternate timeline didn't happen then the doctor never went back in time to wipe Kelly's memory. Maybe the alternate timeline exists as a continuous loop.
Anyway, this looks like the end of the season. I got my Star Trek fix. On to season 3 when it comes.
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Top Hat
Tue, Sep 21, 2021, 7:52am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: A Matter of Time

Is there a concrete example of him stating an actual fact that he can't possibly have been exposed to? Remember what con man stands for -- "confidence." He acts like he knows things, so people assume that he does.
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mephyve
Tue, Sep 21, 2021, 1:02am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S2: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

Gotta love time travel. This one was about 'What if you could go back in time and do it all over again. Would you?' All my married friends say no ... and they all have children.
Apparently Kelly says no Uh oh. It was her divorce that caused her to recommend Ed for captain. If this really is past Kelly she just screwed the timeline big time. I've already decided that she's hypocritical and self absorbed but this amps it up to a colossal level.
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mephyve
Mon, Sep 20, 2021, 11:42pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S2: Sanctuary

This is what I call making a Moclery of an episode. As soon as I saw the crate I smacked my head and said they're smuggling a female Moclan, here we go again.
So let me get this straight. Males can procreate with transgenders. But females are incapable of procreation. Unless procreation has nothing to do with the sexual act, the science has me baffled.
According to Dolly Parton's new disciple, the birth of females happens more than the government lets on. Odds are there are transgender couples on Moclan. Are they barren? Seems like something the show would need to address in order to explain wy two Moclan females are unable to make babies. Not that I care but the writers seem determined to force the issue of Moclan sexuality into the storyline.
Which brings me back to my original point that the Union needs to stop interfering in Moclan affairs. All of Bortus'marital problems can be traced back to his crewmen using Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer to tear down his long held traditions.
Now the ship's officers are directly responsible for straining relations with the Moclan government. When they found the planet of dissidents they should have flown away like they never saw it. Obviously the evolution of Moclan morality was working itself out without interference from interlopers.
Should the Moclan females be taken back to Moclan for corrective surgery? I don't care. None of my business. Should the smugglers be prosecuted to the full extent of Moclan law? I don't care. None of my business. It's not the Union's business either. They should have done their homework before they extended the hand.
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mephyve
Mon, Sep 20, 2021, 9:44pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S2: Lasting Impressions

Still watching but this is just creepy. White Geordie is cyber stalking a 400 year old digi zombie. creepy
The Mocluns get hooked on synthesized cigarettes.
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mephyve
Mon, Sep 20, 2021, 9:08pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S2: Blood of Patriots

The obligatory change of pace after the excitement of an all out battle royale.
This one was a mystery, did he or didn't he. Admittedly that wasn't much of a mystery. We all know he did it. The only question was how. There was no way to deduce that his daughter was actually an alien with an explosive blood type so this was more of a wait for the reveal story that falls somewhere along the border of ok.
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Peter G.
Mon, Sep 20, 2021, 8:03pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

@ Trish,

I actually thought of Elaan of Troius as well, for just the reasons you mentioned.

The main reason I find William B's suggestion troubling - that Kamala cannot really be said to have wants *at all* - is that it eliminates her entirely from any conversation about whether she's being used or not. Of course she is, she literally cannot be anything but be used if that's her nature. I have to say in all my years of watching this ep, it never really occurred to me that she literally cannot have thoughts other than those generated by the nearest man's fantasy. If that were really true, it would be possibly the most alien being in all of Trek, so distant from our notion of free will and self-sovereignty that I do not even know if there are reasonable terms we could use to describe her participation in any scene at all. How can we tell that anything she says to Picard at any point is coming from her? Maybe it's all just a house of mirrors reflecting his own mind back to itself. What about when she's with Data? Well maybe she's close enough to some man somewhere to pick up something or other from him. I guess it could make for an interesting alien of the week, that it's incapable of having thoughts that are its own.

But as William B and Trish both mention, I don't think the episode is at all about exploring what it would be like if an alien could literally only reflect someone else's personality. I don't even know whether your idea, Trish, that it's about the person we can become when with others, is really emphasized (although it is of course at least obliquely present). That idea that it's a Picard episode seems pretty evident from the story progression...but what's the actual story?

If Kamala absolutely has no personal agency, then every moment Picard spends with her is just him fooling himself that he can have a real conversation. Nothing she says can be taken seriously as having a unique perspective. And likewise, it can't be a sexist piece, really, because we're dealing with a being so unlike us that there's no comparison. On the other hand, if she does have personal agency, and if indeed she does have thoughts of her own about Picard and about her life, then we have to completely reverse our assessment and look carefully at everything she says to inspect whether it's purely her own idea, or whether it's being tempered to please the man she's nearest.

I will say one thing, though: the episode always played (to me) as one where she admired Picard, and drew from him the strength to *truly* go through with her mission of her own free will. Prior to bonding with him Beverly was probably right that she was saying what she was conditioned to say, but afterward, she knew exactly what it meant and she chose it. So we could perhaps say that bonding with Picard was a choice to be a person with free will of a particular sort, and that being like him was in her eyes the best version of herself she could be. I always come out of the episode with the idea that she did have some will of her own in this, that she knew she was different with different men, and that she actively preferred the person she was when with Picard. So in the end, her bonding with him isn't just the playing out of his personal fantasy of loss (although this is a neat idea, William), but is actually the best outcome for her since now she doesn't have to devolve into being a prostitute for her husband. That she leaves Picard is because he taught her duty (as Trish points out), so this leaves us with hints of Pygmalion, where he gave her the best he had, and in becoming his ideal she had a more important mission to complete than making house with him. She rose above the need to please a man, and instead took on the mission of saving two worlds. So the ending is bittersweet, rather than a lesson in mere loss due to Picard sowing his own doom. It's not really his doom, after all: he did save her. And that is, finally, his mission.
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mephyve
Mon, Sep 20, 2021, 7:56pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S2: Identity, Part II

So this episode took the predictable route, using Isaac to save the day thereby sowing seeds of redemption. But it also implied that despite his protests, Isaac does have a heart.
Clearly the semblance of emotion is a part of the programming of Isaac's race. There seemed to be more than a self preservation logic in their resentment, yes resentment, at being enslaved. Wiping out the entire race of their creators wreaks of revenge. And their inability to believe that humanity could evolve past their basic instincts seemed to have a tinge of a phobia.
As for the green runny booger. Good job. Didn't even recognize Norm's voice before he actually appeared on the show. Now it is sadly distinct. I don't know if the slime ball survives the season. If he does it will be interesting to see what they do about his voice.
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mephyve
Mon, Sep 20, 2021, 6:40pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S2: Identity, Part I

As I was saying, once you extend your hand it's hard to take it back. This reminds me of Dr. Who's Cybermen. A robot army created to take over the universe.
Nice work giving Isaac Data's voice so that viewers get comfotable with him. But as I pointed out, Isaac had no desire to be human. The fact that he viewed humanity as inferior definitely should have been taken more seriously.
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mephyve
Mon, Sep 20, 2021, 4:40pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S2: Deflectors

Ok, so Kelly reveals the she actually is both hypocritical and self absorbed.
Now that's out of the way let's deal with the Moclans. This species was introduced as a joke species. They showed Bortus sitting on an egg and hatching it. Was that not disturbing in itself? lol
Unfortunately you can't have your cake and eat it too. I said before that it is a mistake to use Moclans to make a serious moral point because a. They're hilarious and more importantly b. They're not human. So unless you're saying that all species need to be judged according to human morality, painting humanity as the self righteous morality gods of the universe, then why should humans care about the moral code of non humans?
Now I get it, if the other species is the Krill that actually do believe they have the moral highground and moral right to literally tread all over every other species in the universe to the point where they wipe out anybody who isn't Krill, then we have a right to defend ourselves.
However since the existence of alien species is supposedly a sign that humanity isn't the center of the universe then we need to learn to respect alien cultures, otherwise we're no better than the Krill, enforcing our morality on others.
In that sense, I don't care about Moclan morals, laws nor sexuality. The synopsis of this episode says that The Orville finds out "a disturbing aspect of Moclan culture." Disturbing to who? It isn't disturbing to the Moclans, it's their way of life.
The Union's problem, which has been highlighted repeatedly, is their lack of preparation. Find out about a culture BEFORE you desecrate their statues, BEFORE you make first contact and most certainly BEFORE you invite them into the Union. Once your hand is extended it's hard to take it back.
So who actually was the bigger person at the end of this episode? The security girl who shuns Klyden because of differences in cultural ethics or Klyden who has learned to live with other species despite cultural differences. He doesn't hate male humans for liking females despite the fact that in his culture that's disgusting.
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Peter G.
Mon, Sep 20, 2021, 12:17pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

If all that is true, William, then it ironically means that not only is Kamala an empty shell, but the role of Kamala as written into the episode is also an empty shell whose only purpose to exist is to show off Picard's attributes.

But again I have to say that Kamala does seem able to think for herself even apart from morphing into people. Or rather, the actress portrays a common Kamala across various scenes which doesn't particularly seem to be a fantasy of anyone in particular. I dunno.
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Peter G.
Mon, Sep 20, 2021, 11:01am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

@ Trish,

Yeah, there's no escape from the fact that the show throws us a sexy lady as the centerpiece, so the exposition line doesn't impact us that much. I wasn't really talking about whether it's sexist per se, and more exploring whether they're trying to map the situation onto the real world at all.

About women changing themselves vs men, I wasn't making the case that women don't have to do anything. Obviously the game is two-way. But the action of the game typically is the woman does certain preparatory procedures (which can include make-up, costume, etc) to put beauty on display, and then the males come to her. This is similar to (but inverted from) the peacock situation, since in the Western human culture it's the female that is adorned. Her preparation may involve a lot more work than males do, and may be stressful, etc, so I'm not trivializing things into 'the woman does nothing.' But if the woman does do these things typically she can be assured of some result; she won't have to go around asking men out just to get a date. A guy, by contrast (perhaps because of the social system) can sit around minding his own business, and will get nowhere. He will usually have to get out there and try to make something happen. Actually I'm not particular fond of this dichotomy, but in my experience this is the setup. It just is what it is. And more point, in any case, was that in the final analysis, the women select the men more than the men select the women. Sure, any given women might not be able to get a particular arbitrary man, but she will have options within bounds. A guy will have typically have zero options unless he creates those possibilities for himself, unless he is unusually attractive. I have seen the odd guy that women throw themselves at, but it's pretty rare. With women, not so rare. So functionally they gatekeep dating (this is not a complaint on my part, I think it is actually good).

About point 2, I think you are speaking about Kamala like she's a biological sex machine rather than a sentient being who can choose to govern her choices (maybe not her desires). It's sort of analogous to arguing that a horny guy is only doing what his biology has programmed him to, so it's not his free choice whether to ask like a horny animal or not. But I think the Trek mentality is that we really are capable of being civilized no matter our base impulses; this topic was more prevalent in TOS then TNG, I think. So yes, Kamala has a tough job to be at the peak of her sexual maturity, and yes it's what she was born for, but if she is an intelligent adult she should also be capable of saying "You know what, my desires are really strong and it would be bad for me to act them out, I need to try to discipline myself." It's like, ok, maybe you have a need as strong as a powerful addiction. Well people IRL do face that problem, and steps are taken to deal with it if you're being responsible. But she seems really unconcerned with the effects of her actions, to the point where they are really quite wanton. From that standpoint I can't be sure whether to blame the script, the actress, or what. She just looks like she doesn't give a damn whether she starts a brawl or whatever. I mean, what, is she supposed to be a sociopath?

And maybe your objection about what we're shown is in line with mine, because I don't really see any metamorphing going on in the episode. Every scene is just her coming on to the nearest guy in the same way. She doesn't strike me as changing for them, just using the same smile and pheromone routine to guy any guy to like her. Is that supposed to be respectable? It may be an issue with the show's directing in the end.
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Peter G.
Mon, Sep 20, 2021, 8:06am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

Watching this one again reminded me of a few things.

First of all, they claim that male metamorphs are relatively common, but that it's the female metamorph that is so incredibly rare. This means not that the episode is painting women as being a mere object of our desires; in fact if we take the premise seriously then on this world it's more the norm that the men will do anything the women want to conform to their needs, and it's a rarity for the reverse to be true (to this extent, anyhow). To be honest, if we're looking at contemporary (90's) society, this episode more or less maps onto reality in this sense, that women in the West mostly control sexual selection and that guys must 'win them', meaning, do whatever is required for the female to accept them. For it to be the reverse case - for a woman to have to change herself and jump through hoops to appeal to a man - is, I think, much more rare. I'm assuming an analogy between being a metamorph and having to bend oneself to appeal to someone else. If I'm right about the analogy, then rather than saying that women are subservient, on the contrary the episode is saying that women have won the sexual revolution, and that it's now super-rare for a woman to have to go through any kind of ordeal to win the attention of a men.

Regarding the slavery angle and whether Kamala is being treated with respect, Beverly at breakfast certainly makes the case that this is slavery, and Picard is particularly irate at having to defend against this point. But why is he irate? And his irritated response continues when he tells the ambassador that Kamala is going to be let out to visit the crew. I think he may be irate because despite his intention to stay away from Kamala and not get involved in any interaction with her, Beverly is goading him on to go and save her from imprisonment, and by the time he goes to the ambassador he's being cornered into taking a macho "not on my ship" attitude. His overdone bluster about this shows that even though Kamala isn't present he's still having an interaction with her, impressing her with his boldness. And it's mostly against his will at that; he'd rather not be fighting for her. And when the ambassador says that she'll drive every man on the ship nuts, Picard mutters "not every man!" as if Data is going to somehow shield the ship from her effects. It almost seems like Picard knows exactly what's going to happen and is daring his own ship to take her on. But why? I think it's macho bravado. He's already not thinking clearly.

The problem with this theory is that Kamala has to have driven him wild already from their first interaction, which is sort of implied but doesn't quite come off properly on-screen. And in fact overall I'm having a problem with Janssen's performance. Every scene features her looking cute and knowing she's looking cute, and speaking in this really flat tone that says little else than "I know you think I'm cute". Considering what her abilities are supposed to be, this is really monotoned on the seduction scale. And frankly all she ever seems to do is be trying to seduce every man she sees. Sure, I can understand if she can't turn off her metamorph power and her emapthy, but I don't see why that has to mean that she's also actively choosing to go forward with seductions, kissing Riker, going over to the miners, etc. She seems to sort of be a dunce. Or maybe this is just too much of a one-note performance. I actually found that to be the case in X-Men as well, that Janssen's scenes were all one-note and pretty boring.

So I was definitely missing Janssen actually portraying someone who's personality changes depending on who she's with. She seemed pretty much the same in every scene regardless. You'd think that, being alone with Picard, her demeanor and attitude would immediately change, and moreover, into something more respectable, someone who could challenge Picard on a level he respects, rather than just animal attraction. I did not get that he left her quarters with something to prove to her about how tough he is, despite the fact that from then on this is how the episode has him act. So really the scenes that fail for me are the one's she's in. It would have been so much better if, instead of just smiling at everyone she sees, she actually changed into different people with different priorities. Her priorities in every scene, as it is, seem confined to making the men go crazy for her. At that point I'm inclined to agree with the ambassador that she should have been locked up in her quarters, if she's going to be irresponsible like this.
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