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MidshipmanNorris
Mon, Jan 18, 2021, 12:54am (UTC -6)
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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MidshipmanNorris
Sat, Jan 16, 2021, 12:15pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

The people who liked these 3 seasons of Discovery, within 3 months of it being off the air, will have stopped talking about it altogether and moved on to the next 'trendy' thing.

However, none of the things they say about it have anything critical in them. Gush Bombing a show for funsies is as much a thing as Review Bombing it out of anger.

I myself, try to keep my criticisms objective and based on how much I enjoyed the story. I did not, btw. But that's beside the point.

These concrete details of how to make a story good, are still going to be true, after Star Trek Discovery has gone the way of the dodo bird. They really don't change much, even between wildly varying times and cultures. There's questions of what is and isn't interesting, and then there are basic underpinnings of a plot structure that can't be neglected, full stop. Discovery doesn't have that underpinning. I'm already tossing it on the pile that contains most of Star Trek: Voyager and all of Enterprise. Picard is getting the stinkeye too, if it doesn't shape up.

At this rate, I'm going to really have to pick up that there Foundation Trilogy my dad keeps going on about. Star Trek, as far as I'm concerned, is over.
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MidshipmanNorris
Fri, Jan 15, 2021, 12:24pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Lessons

I am reading a few lukewarm responses to "Lessons," and I have to disagree.

I also think this episode deserves another half-star, simple in the light of it being possibly the most heart-felt and believable romance story I have ever seen in a single episode of a television series.

Shows can cheat with time; there is the time frame that the episode gives you, and the time frame the episode can *appear* to entail. I think that the time frame over which these events happen (in this episode) is kept deliberately vague. That's an extremely smart writing choice, for a single-episode romance story; hey, what if they were dating for some several months, and this episode just 'forgot' to say so? The story still functions as well as it would have, if it were only over the course of 3 days. This kind of writing in Star Trek is *chef kiss* bravissimo.

Add into that that Wendy Hughes *sells* the performance. Famke Jannsen has gone on to movie stardom in retrospect, but I find Ms. Hughes to be far more believable as an officer and as a person, and as a musician (I am also one and she is delightful, I'd love to play a jam session with Lt.Cmdr. Darren).

To go further on that point, the scene in Picard's quarters where she teaches him that he can improvise is, by far, the single most realistic depiction of music performance that I have seen committed to celluloid, bar none, for the rest of eternity. Shows tend to fake this and this one is no exception, but the dialogue about music that intersperses their actual playing is top-shelf. Whoever wrote this has a background in improvisational playing, and that is super cool to me.

I do think the reset-button-antics of the episode tend to hurt the overall story, but they were also unavoidable as anyone familiar with television production knows. But this balancing act is difficult even for a show that doesn't have to whip up firestorms to get the episode out of the way. ST:TNG managed to make me sad that Picard and Darren's relationship had to be sidelined, and I mean honestly sad. She seems like a good fit for Picard. I hope she's still around and would consider doing some episodes of Picard Season 2, to be honest. I want Nella Darren back. This was a moment where Star Trek seemed like it was really doing stories, just for the sake of doing the story, and it's something that I feel like the franchise has let lay fallow for too long.
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MidshipmanNorris
Wed, Jan 13, 2021, 12:15pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Discovery has a logistical problem that I don't think I've thought about up until now.

It is trying to be more serialized, in less time per season, than previous Trek shows had to be.

Doesn't anyone else see why that would be a bad idea? You are basically forced to boil down the plot to a "Digest Version" of what would constitute an actual story. I don't want to watch a show written like it's the Cliff Notes. I want to see the story.

Going light on tech, I don't mind. You will notice that the technical scientific stuff doesn't bother me a lot, I hope. I am willing to let that all be handwaved away. Characterization and plot consistency, I am not willing to give up ground on. 45 minute episodes, 20-24 times per season, with less serialization, compared with 1 hour episodes 12-15 times per season, is too much to have to cut, and I feel it hurts the show in terms of it being able to give actual weight to the story.

Think about it. If you could watch back through Discovery, with an episode added every two episodes, that fleshes out the story and goes into the side characters' lives a bit more, wouldn't that fix a lot of the problems that we're having with it?

Sure give them Megaman guns, whatever guys, but what's it *about?*
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MidshipmanNorris
Mon, Jan 11, 2021, 7:22pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

By this point, I wonder if monetizing an intellectual property in this day and age is something akin to a Ponzi Scheme or Pyramid Scheme, and the fact of the matter is that they can mathematically determine how bad a show they can make, and still get the profit margin they want out of it.

Because it definitely gives off a vibe of "I literally don't care about any of this Star Trek nonsense or if the story is good."

I'm sensing that it gives off that vibe, because that is how they feel, making it.
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MidshipmanNorris
Mon, Jan 11, 2021, 5:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Time will tell the tale. I'm pretty sure the lion's share of the Hardcore Trek audience is gonna feel this way about Disco, and Season 4 is gonna be ... interesting.

This reminds me a lot of when ENT had finished it's third season. It was already on the chopping block, but they renewed it for a fourth, and look what happened. They ended up cancelling it anyway, largely due to the missteps in Seasons 1-3. It didn't matter that it was marginally better than the first three seasons; fans had had enough.
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MidshipmanNorris
Mon, Jan 11, 2021, 12:22pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@AMA

"Ursula K. Le Guin's short story, 'The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.'"

I actually read this in Sophomore English, in College. I really don't see how they worked the moral conundrum from it into this story, other than that there is a child who is suffering, and they act to relieve that suffering. If the person writing this did it based on "Omelas," then I think they missed the point of it.

Those who walk away, reject the suffering of the child and the Utopia (the titular country of Omelas) that results from it, on the grounds that it is the only moral choice which is available to them, and are never seen again.

What does any of that have to do with the rest of this story? Nothing, they just want to sound like they're well-read.

Remember, I read this short story in Sophomore English Class. Woo hoo, you attended my sophomore english class Trek Runners. So did I. You don't know the first darn thing about Star Trek, though, which is a bigger problem than "are you paying worthy tribute to Ursula K. LeGuin," I would say.

Their heads are stuck 50 kilometers up their shuttle bay. Good lord. No wonder this show is so badly written. Next they'll make a season out of hallucinations and flashbacks and dream sequences and call it inspired by 100 Years of Solitude* cuz it's "Surreal." Oof.

*Also covered in my Sophomore English Class.
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MidshipmanNorris
Sun, Jan 10, 2021, 5:50pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

For those of you who don't understand "Virtue Signaling," Discovery has provided us with a cast study.

Tell me, do you expect that at some point during Star Trek (viewed as an over arching series')'s story at some point would have acknowledged the unrest that happened during the 1960's in America, when Black People were marching on Washington and there were riots and people died, and then four students were shot at Kent State University?

So... why not?

Star Trek ought to be culturally above offending its fanbase by now right? So just... tell us how all that turned out in this imagined future history?

Or do you not have the cajones? Oh you don't have the cajones. Of course you don't. That's why you took up the job writing for Star Trek, cuz you like to play it safe I guess, and you don't give a damn if anything you write is good as long as you get paid

Alex
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MidshipmanNorris
Sat, Jan 9, 2021, 5:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@Chrome
[Yeah, I mean when Burnham is spouting lines like "I don't believe in no-win scenarios" it's pretty obvious the showrunners are trying to make her the black female James Kirk. If that doesn't appeal to you, you should back out now.]

It was actually someone else saying "You're in a no-win scenario" and Burnham replies with "Idon'tbelieveinthose." Not only a poorly written line (thanks for playing the pronoun game with us Michael), but the take they used was rushed and the delivery didn't land.

The thing is, no, of course I don't have a problem with a Black Female James Kirk. I have a problem with James Kirk having had an ensemble cast around him that made the show more fun to watch instead of being living breathing interchangeable props.
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MidshipmanNorris
Sat, Jan 9, 2021, 6:49am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

If Discovery wants to try to make a Star Trek show, there's going to have to be significant changes.

If I were going to write it, I think my first choice would be to flash forward a few years.

Let's just say that the dilithium logistics play out, it's boring, stuff happens that doesn't change anybody's life, they just go to work for two or three years.

Then, we pick the story back up; Burnham is Captain of Discovery, these two crew members hooked up, these two crew members had a date recently or something, they're testing out new equipment they recently picked up at a Starbase, and Michael is busy reading up on past Starfleet Captains in her quarters.

This gives the freedom to reinterpret the character dynamics and framing of the show, while being able to quickly and arbitrarily (more or less) make adjustments to how you're going to approach each character.

Star Trek is, among other things, an Ensemble Show. It always has been. If this Ensemble is gonna... ensemble, or whatever, they'd better get to ensembling, fast.
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MidshipmanNorris
Fri, Jan 8, 2021, 9:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Ahem

To sum up:

Lt. Commander Data: "I believe you will also de-evolve into an earlier form of primate - possibly similar to a lemur or pygmy-marmoset."

That's how I feel about this show. Star Trek has de-evolved, and it no longer has any rhyme or reason to it, just lots of chutzpah and energy. It's like a painting of a fireworks display. Sure, it's nice and colorful, but you take one step to the side and you'll notice that it's entirely two-dimensional.
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MidshipmanNorris
Fri, Jan 8, 2021, 1:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Could...

Could this be the result of an overzealous Agent?
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MidshipmanNorris
Fri, Jan 8, 2021, 1:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Something occurs to me as I am reading about Burnham being the center of the universe on this thread.

That is the thing that none of the other Star Trek Shows did.

Even TOS (where reportedly William Shatner most assuredly got the *star treatment), tended to focus plots on minor-ish characters from time to time.

This show, absolutely never takes the focus off Burnham.

That's it; that's the connection. That's what's bugging me about this show. Star Trek doesn't do that!
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MidshipmanNorris
Fri, Jan 8, 2021, 10:01am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

I think that the analysis ought to include a bit of bias, based on which show we are talking about. Each Star Trek show, I will grant, tries a unique concept. It's not like Next Generation was in any way the same idea as TOS... by virtue of how much times had changed between them, TNG stands on its own as a different type of concept from TOS. Instead of "Wagon Train To The Stars" it's more like "Mission: Impossible...IN SPACE!", if you will. And DS9, Voyager, Enterprise, Discovery, Picard, ...(sighs)... Lower Decks...They've all attempted some kind of unique spin. That, I will give Disco; this is a different idea.

However, it doesn't work. It's heating the ..."writerly aspects"... of the show up to lukewarm when I want them at a nice, rolling boil.

"This is the Enterprise. We set a different standard, here." File it under "Experiments with Middling-to-Unacceptable Results."
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PM
Fri, Jan 8, 2021, 8:47am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Daniel S. ROTFL
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MidshipmanNorris
Thu, Jan 7, 2021, 9:04am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Simply put, none of what I've seen since the start of this series leads me to believe any of the people responsible for what it has become gave one feather or one fig about the reasons why Star Trek was originally a hit.

Because it was. After its short lived Network Run, it went into Syndication and the Early 70s were all about Star Trek Star Trek Star Trek. My dad came of age in this era, and yeah, it was everywhere on TV.

Fandom exploded at that point. Why?

Cuz the episodes that were good, were better than anything else on TV.

Discovery has not had an episode, yet, that made me feel like "This is the best show on TV." It has lots of computer generated special effects. Boy did we notice that this show has lots of computer generated special effects! It's too bad computers can't generate a story or a likeable character. Disco might've turned out to be a better show for it.

But it isn't a very good show, and I've known this since Michael uttered a line a long time ago:

"Shit, that worked!"

Not only the profanity, not only the unusual turn of phrase (nobody says this), but also the way she inflects in the take they used, are all way off. This line should have been rewritten.

It wasn't. And the whole show has been like that, leaning heavy into the VFX and throwing the story in as an afterthought.

The people behind this, have mistakenly thought that I originally watched Star Trek for the VFX.

Nope!
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MidshipmanNorris
Thu, Jan 7, 2021, 6:11am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Watching this episode frustrated me. Everyone else here will give you the details; I'll just do a hot take, cuz I'm due in at work in an hour.

If this show is renewed for a fourth season, I'm not watching it.

Your time is up, Disco. Save your profound Gene Roddenberry quote at the end. You have no idea how to make a good Star Trek show. That's my takeaway from watching these 3 seasons. They don't have any idea what they're doing.

I don't want to watch that.
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PM
Thu, Jan 7, 2021, 2:05am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Haven't seen this episode and no one who reads this site has either but when they do, I guarantee the assessment of this episode will be that it is awful. Why can't it be like Star Trek was and what it always should stay? WHY? Can't stand this show but can't....stop....paying to watch it and drive ad revenue to a site about how it all sucks...We want the best for Trek, its just that reasons...etc...blah...fmrffff....!!!
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MidshipmanNorris
Tue, Jan 5, 2021, 11:43am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: There Is a Tide...

So...

here's a left turn change of subject

What scientific discoveries (pun Very Much Intended) has the USS Discovery made, since the start of this series? The Spore Drive does not count, simply because that's "the big one" and we have heard the opinions on it from here to eternity... a place in the sun ... (that's mongomery clift, honey!) ... ahem sorry

So... besides that, I think that Kelpian Danger Ganglia fall off at the end of the Varharai, discovered when Saru got too close to an alien tree, or somesuch... gosh I forgot "Si Vis Pacem" or maybe it was the episode before it?

Uhm, they discovered the source of the Burn, just now, uhm, they discovered a colony of humans way out in space they didn't know about...hm... They discovered that there was a mysterious thing about Ash Tyler that they didn't know... and that the mycelial network is capable of regenerating a human consciousness through contact with it.

Weird list, already... The future stuff they've learned since coming to the 31st century doesn't seem like it should count though. That's not discoveries they've made, it's just discoveries that happened.

There was some Dark Matter dealy that Tilly was kicking around? Oh, and that the Sphere Data is sentient and benevolent. Trying to think of more... How bout you guys?
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MidshipmanNorris
Sun, Jan 3, 2021, 6:07pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: There Is a Tide...

It was new years and I was smashed when I watched it, but I still say this is probably the most thorough plotting of any Disco yet, and the action is at least followable. It doesn't make up for what we've been thru to get here, but it plays out nicely enough.

However, it does happen to have one quality which Discovery can't seem to resist; it is very melodramatic.

Do you all remember when Kirk and Spock would talk on the bridge, and say things like

Spock: "I fail to see why you insist on questioning me upon matters which you have already decided."
Kirk: "It gives me emotional security."

Without any music, without any special effects in the BG, indeed, without anything in the scene except sfx of the ship and Spock and Kirk well-shot and talking to themselves. Wrath of Khan has lots of moments like this.

Star Trek is suffering from being able to afford its vices; when the show was limited in its budget and thus scope, they had to do more with less. This feels excessive, and I keep coming back to this, but it feels unbalanced. It doesn't seem to know what kind of show it wants to be anymore, and that messes with the story and pacing.

Still, taken for all and all, "There Is A Tide..." is enjoyable TV, if you are willing to make the caveats to this already baloney plot that it is asking you to make.
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MidshipmanNorris
Sat, Jan 2, 2021, 5:27am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Su'Kal

"Also we have an incredible, very diverse cast, and we embrace that."

Someone (forgot who) said that this sounds like PR has put the person giving the interview (Michelle Paradise) on very strict guardrails, and I couldn't agree more.

If I was in a casual, unrecorded conversation with this person about Trek and Disco in particular, I would then go on to ask her to define "Diverse" and "Embrace" in the context of the cast and show. You have a lot of human crew members, one or two of which have fantasy bionic implants, who are from various cultures of Earth, and one alien, and one Earthling raised by aliens. But are they really that diverse? Could I not switch out the characters in 90% of the scenes this season, and the dialogue would not necessarily have to be re-written? What have we learned about half of this cast, so far? We knew more about Sulu and Rand after watching The Man Trap, for goodness' sake (that'd be the first aired episode of Star Trek).

Also, how are you "embracing" that? Forgive me, but it doesn't seem like you are. Diversity is more than just having the character be in a position. You have to make a statement, in the story, with a scene about the character.

I don't read interviews, I don't do the whole 'behind the scenes' thing, I don't wear the ears, I don't go to conventions, I barely have read any of the Star Trek books. I just watch the show.

Hearing Paradise talk about Star Trek feels like attending an extremely boring corporate marketing meeting.

Sure is a whole lot easier to make shows when you kick all the artists out of Hollywood, to make music when you kick all the artists out of Nashville, and so on and so on.

Sure, just reduce everything to product. In 10 years your disposable crap television shows will be forgotten, and Star Trek will still be around.

We needed another Wrath of Khan moment, but I guess Nick Meyer (who was originally part of this show) wasn't willing to put up with PR's bullshit. Oh well.

To CBS Corporate: Up yer shaft.
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MidshipmanNorris
Fri, Jan 1, 2021, 4:37pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: There Is a Tide...

Pure adrenaline, mixed with brain candy.

The resolution of Su'Kal has been wisely put off for another week, in my opinion. Yes, please, let's get the more tense parts of the plot out of the way.

Jonathan Frakes continues to be the best in class for directing Discovery (MAKE THIS GUY THE SHOWRUNNER, FOR FUCK'S SAKE!!). I have always (in the history of Trek) heard a lot about "Federation Negotiations this," and "Federation Negotiations that." It is *nice* to SEE it, for once (show, don't tell). And Osyrra being made into a genuine villain here, was wisely double-blinded against her previous cardboardness, and presented here as a long, drawn-out negotiation in which she basically is trying to wear down the psychological defenses of Admiral Vance, and give him everything he wants, except one thing; she has to stand trial for her crimes. She naturally says "Fuck you." It all just comes together.

In addition, Tilly makes her presence known here. ...It might have been presumptuous of me to discount her. There were always plots where the Enterprise was overtaken by enemy forces under questionable circumstances (And The Children Shall Lead, anyone?), and in an old-fashioned "take back the ship" plot, she has just shown exactly the kind of James T. Kirk confidence that I would expect of a Starfleet Captain, perhaps due to being pushed straight to the edge. I approve. Michael sending a dying message to her Mom also rings very true to her character, and makes me not sorry to be watching SMG for once. Good gracious gravy!

Points for the Vulcan Nerve Pinch, and subsequent protestation by Stamets for her jettisoning of him back to Starfleet HQ. WHOA. That, my friend Trekkies, is a SCENE.

This is pure-ass Star Trek. Four motherfucking Stars. Get me back into this plot, please. Oh my Lordy Lord. January 7th cannot come fast enough.

I enjoyed this episode.
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MidshipmanNorris
Wed, Dec 30, 2020, 5:32am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Su'Kal

MUMBLER
Seriously you've just got to stop mumbling because I can't understand a word that you're saying
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MidshipmanNorris
Tue, Dec 29, 2020, 6:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Su'Kal

Wait so Booming is a lady person?

Huh. Whoops. ...Sorry
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MidshipmanNorris
Tue, Dec 29, 2020, 7:32am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S3: Su'Kal

@Drea

Booming has failed to explain the point he was making, instead choosing to get offended and be angry and rude about it. That reminds me of the very type of strawman people he is railing against. He meant, people who are angry about LBGTQ+ rights, are being misled. They ought to be angry about all the crap that the Right is using it as a scapegoat to distract from, instead of getting bogged down in what is clearly a diversionary tactic by them.

Really, Booming. Your logic is pretty easy to circumvent, for someone who's watched Star Trek. You don't complain about people getting righteously outraged over what you deem to be insignificant things, then immediately turn around and get righteously outraged cuz someone asks that you not use a word they find offensive. It's "Transgender Person." Say you're sorry, move on...is that really so bloody hard? It doesn't affect your right to a free press and right to assemble peaceably for a redress of grievances, so can the Freedom of Speech talk. Otherwise you are ceding the very ground you're standing on. You've nullified the point you're making, that people **shouldn't be so quick to get righteously outraged.** Presumably, you understand that you are negating the point you just made, by becoming flustered about someone getting upset with you for using that word. Otherwise you ought to have said

"Also making so called woke politics responsible for the downfall of western culture. How original. It is not wealth inequality, failure of social systems, imperial overreach or an ancient political system. No, it is the t___y in Star Trek. But none of this applies to me, I can get mad and be rude to whoever I want for whatever reason, cuz I'm woke and privileged."

In fact, I think the proper solution would be for us all to adjust our priorities in terms of what we will and will not use as a reason to get righteously outraged. Adjust them to where, you ask? I don't care really... just raise the bar higher. It happens WAY too often for my taste.
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