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Paul M.
Sat, Apr 20, 2019, 6:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

This was a disaster. One of the worst Star Trek episodes I have ever seen. There wasn't a single element that made sense: the battle, confrontation with Leland, bomb disarming subplot, vow of silence, explanation of the red bursts, medieval priestesses flying space ships, technobabble to end all technobabbles, and on and on it goes. This was a disaster the likes of which I have never in my life seen on Star Trek, unless you count the likes of Spock's Brain or Threshold. This episode seemed like it was made by a murdered corpse of Michael Bay that underwent extensive zombification somewhere along the way. Abysmal is a kind word for the quality of this... thing.
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Paul G
Fri, Apr 19, 2019, 10:56am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

The second half of the season didn't work for me. Lots of padding, nothing interesting about the 'mysterious' signals. Control was a weak and boring villain. The emotional moments were badly timed. We didn't see enough Saru. Nothing that I havent seen a thousand times before.

The first half of the season was ok though. I hope season 3 brings something new.
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Paul M.
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 4:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

@Daya

"Or it could be Khan."

Nah. Could be K'Ehleyr being delivered to the Enterprise, photon torpedo-style. I mean, she's used to it.
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Paul M.
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 3:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

@Daya,

I don't think that's a photon torpedo lodged in Enterprise's hull. It's way too big. Some kind of probe? Insidious evil malicious thing trying to take control of the ship? Proto-Borg ship-sized nanite-delivery vehicle intent on assimilating everything in its path? Be sure to tune in next week and find out!
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Paul M.
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 1:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

@Trent:

"I think it was done for purely commercial reasons. The TOS era is more swashbuckling, edgier in a pulpy way, has readily packaged villains and so forth. It's the perfect epoch for a vast, pulpy, action series."

There's no reason you can't have a swashbuckling action series post-VOY. Just because it's set in the future doesn't mean the show has to adhere to a more TNG-era approach to storytelling. They could have done whatever they wanted in whatever time period they wanted. Doubly so when you consider that the initial idea was NOT to feature Spock or Enterprise. So if you're doing a prequel show and don't really want to "prequelize" stuff all that much, why do it in the first place? While your explanation certainly has merit, I still think that the primary motivation behind placing DIS ahead of TOS was twofold:

(1) to avoid answering (literal and narrative, not to mention copyright) questions about "Prime or Abrams", and
(2) hitch a ride on the movie bandwagon -- stylistically and by drawing on other common elements.

I still think DIS is superior to Abrams Trek, which I found almost unwatchable.
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Paul M.
Sun, Apr 14, 2019, 5:35am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

@Rahul:

(...) killing these writers (...) [is] the choice of starting DSC in the Trek canon roughly a decade before TOS. This series needed to start sometime in the future after VOY finished (...)

I speculated years ago that the, frankly unneeded, decision to place DIS pre-TOS is the likely result of not wanting to mess with split timelines that resulted from Abrams' movies and thus confuse the audiences that were first introduced to the franchise courtesy of J.J.

Now, I believe this was weird and unnecessary: old Trekkies know better, and new ones will hardly be bothered -- if they even notice anything -- by some divergent lore, e.g. Vulcan still being there.

But such is the way of Hollywood: I sincerely doubt that the present course of action was the result of creators' and showrunners' decisions, but was more likely mandated by execs from above because they wanted to tie their show more closely to the J.J. Trek.

Of course, once you're under that mandate, it's still the responsibility of the showrunners to deliver the best possible product. That they haven't speaks primarily to their failings.
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Paul M.
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 1:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

Discovery's hypersonic plotting really deserves a good old Jammer's season recap. I know we're not gonna get it, but I think it'd be a cool read.
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Paul B.
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 12:13am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

Wooof.

So, I am pretty partial to Discovery when it has properly set up its conflicts and its character moments. Many of Saru's moments throughout this season, Stamets' moments, and the whole Burnham/Spock dynamic works. But the past few episodes feels a lot like part of the first season, where everything keeps moving too fast to set anything up.

In the past few eps, DSC consistently hopes that SMG will just bang another teary performance out of the park and make us believe it, despite the fact that the stakes for many of these emotional moments are introduced perhaps a few minutes before the conversation or battle (pretty much everything involving Burnham's parents is introduced a few minutes before an emotional moment is supposed to happen surrounding them). I think SMG does about as admirable of a job with a lot of those moments as can be expected, but its just too much to honestly believe. Which is a shame, because SMG is a very talented actress, and I feel like her talent is not always appreciated by the writing.

And then we get this episode. Which is pretty much just all character moments that don't feel incredibly earned, especially when they involve Burnham. The Sarek/Amanda thing was pointless, as was the Ash stuff. There's so much incredible content to mine with the Georgiou connection, and its blown over some snippy walk-and-talk in the hall. Even the Stamets and Culber convo, a duo I am incredibly partial too, seems forced, especially when everyone's supposed to be getting shit done chop chop.

This is a furniture moving episode that got the sofa stuck in the door between the exposition and rising action. This whole ep could have been the first 10 minutes of the finale. Let's hope this episode has set up the finale well.
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Paul M.
Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 4:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

There's so much pathos and saying goodbye in this episode that I have a feeling we'll see some real rejiggering (again) of Discovery heading into Season 3. I don't think they'll go the "Burnham writes herself out of history" route, but I wouldn't be surprised at some MAJOR temporal hijinks in order to realign the show with established canon.
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Paul M.
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 8:11am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

@Tim C
"As Jammer says, though, this feels like it's dragged on long enough. I still think a better idea for the third season might be smaller arcs, like Enterprise S4 or Agents of Shield's season 4."

I was never really a fan of the whole multiple mini-arcs thing. It segments the story into these strange independent chunks that have nothing to do with each other. But if that's the case, why not simply revert to the good old episodic thing and tell a bunch of solid stories?

I think the main problem with Disco's overarching narrative is that it's too simple. Yeah, you heard that right! :) The whole thing can be summed up in a couple of sentences about AIs, future, and all that jazz. That's why the writers, in order to prolong the narrative, resort to various soapy bits and plot twists. That wouldn't be nearly as evident, had the season-long storyline been constructed with more relevant moving pieces (not too many though!), better fleshed out motivations of various antagonists and side players, and a stronger focus on the wider world and worldbuilding in general. This way the season could have been structured around several plot-relevant high points along the way, which would in turn help with the feeling that the entire season is just a stalling tactic until the episode count runs out.

Again, this from someone who actually likes the season quite a bit, but isn't blind to its obvious shortcomings.
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Paul M.
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 3:55am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

I wonder if this season is falling into the same trap as Season 1. The closer we're getting to the end, the more heavily serialized the season becomes, and the crazy factor starts heating up towards overdrive.
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Paul M.
Tue, Apr 9, 2019, 3:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

Haha, I must commend mixmets7 for his masterful use of Trek quotes.
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Paul M.
Mon, Apr 8, 2019, 4:18am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

"Everyone is invited to chime in as to how they manage to be fans of both TOS and DIS without suffering any cognitive dissonance, if they feel like it."

I don't know Alan's position, but if may volunteer my own. My favorite Treks are TNG and DS9. They are the first I watched, but I also think they are by far the most consistent and well-made TV shows out of all the Trek incarnations. I fully accept that my opinion may be influenced by the fact that I grew up on them, but I'd like to think I can intellectually formulate some quality standards that aren't completely dependent upon my early TV viewing experiences.

I like both TOS and DIS. TOS's first season was exemplary, but unfortunately that show progressively worsened as seasons went by. It therefore doesn't have the consistency nor the overall quality to really qualify for the top-tier. Discovery, on the other hand, never tried or wanted to be exceptional in its themes, symbolism, or storytelling. It's a well-executed action-adventure show that is entertaining to watch and has compelling performances. Some may not like it, but to me Discovery seems to be the crowd pleaser that Voyager wanted to be but could never really get there. DIS has the money, the visuals, and the relentlessness that are a solid fit for what they are trying to achieve. Simply put: I like it. It's not TNG, DS9, or TOS, (let's not even mention the masterpiece that is The Expanse), but it gets the job done and keeps my interest in a way VOY or ENT never managed.

As for "cognitive dissonance" that Daya mentioned, well, I was never all that into continuity porn. That's not to say that I don't appreciate canon, but it's not very high on my list of priorities. And this applies not only to canon, but to other continuity parameters as well -- I don't need unified themes or visual language to enjoy a franchise over several different TV shows.

"One of the deeper complaints I have seen is that bringing in new information so close to our beloved previous information just spoils our original memories. Fans of TOS want the original charm / intrigue / mystique of TOS intact, not hyper-explained. To many it feels as if someone is unnecessarily altering our fond childhood memories."

I can sympathize with your view, though I have mocked this sentiment in some of my, let's just say, less charitable posts. For those, I do apologize. Thing is, TOS is still there, all 79 episodes, original or remastered, for your viewing pleasure. That show and all your childhood memories aren't going anywhere. Watch it, cherish it, debate it with all the millions of Trek fans around the world, hopefully myself included. Discovery, for all its sins, real or perceived -- and beauty is, after all, in the eye of the beholder -- can't destroy that if *you* don't let it.
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Paul G
Wed, Apr 3, 2019, 4:31pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Perpetual Infinity

@yanks
I have given countless hours of thoughs to this, and my conclusion that any parallel universe 'me'' is not really me, or even not me at all.
I could maybe accept a parallel universe girlfriend as a close enough girlfriend, but no parallel universe me is a close enough me. They're all frauds. I would kill all parallel universe me if I could, so that there's only one me.

So, my timeline is the only timeline that matters.

Only if I have have proof my timeline is doomed should I seek consolation in the fact that other timelines are better, and some parallel universe me are faring better. And even that would be a very small consolatuon
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Paul M.
Sat, Mar 30, 2019, 2:32pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Perpetual Infinity

Has anyone suffered more than O'Brien? ;)
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Paul M.
Sat, Mar 30, 2019, 4:50am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Perpetual Infinity

People talk of Terminator when considering influences on the arc of this season. Don't know about that, but these latest revelations coupled with Kurtzman's own words -- https://trekmovie.com/2019/03/29/watch-alex-kurtzman-explains-whats-motivating-section-31s-control-in-star-trek-discovery/

...

This screams Mass Effect to me, honestly.
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Paul
Fri, Mar 29, 2019, 9:00pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Perpetual Infinity

I wanted to just throw out there that I got a lot of echoes to "The Visitor," the magnificent episode of DS9 where Jake and Sisko go to see some spatial anomaly (I forget what now, something like a supernova--think it has something to do with the inversion of a black hole or something). SPOILERS AHEAD for DS9. Go watch "The Visitor" if you have not seen it. Undoubtedly one of the best episodes of Trek ever produced.
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Due to some warp core accident, Sisko is seemingly killed. He then reappears around Jake, however, every few months, a year, many years down the line--but only for short bursts, haunting his son. Eventually, of course, the timeline is restored, and things continue on their merry way, but not without some incredible character sequences between Jake and Sisko. The whole episode becomes a moving meditation on the permanence of loss, and how living in the past becomes an anchor that keeps you there.

This ties into this episode in interesting ways. Dr. Burnham visits her daughter many times as well, but whereas Sisko's message was to cherish those moments, Dr. Burnham is jaded by having seen so many "ghosts" of her daughter throughout her time-travels. And as opposed to being anchored to the past, Dr. Burnham is anchored to the future, always looking ahead to the next thing she has to do, and never taking time to look around--see what's going on. It is an interesting companion piece to this episode, and I'd love to hear if anyone else has any thoughts on these lines.
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Paul M.
Sun, Mar 24, 2019, 3:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: The Red Angel

I don't intend to add more fuel to the Mary Sue debate because labels are a slippery slope, especially in this day and age. I do think that the writers are dangerously close to writing themselves into a corner due to the Fuller's initial decision not to center the show on the ensemble or the captain. Because of this, they constantly need to come up with ways to personally connect Burnham with almost every plot and side character out there and make everything at least tangentially related to her. So it's not some devious desire to make Mary Sue out of Burnham, but a consequence of making her the only true lead without giving her the needed moral and hierarchical authority in-setting.
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Paul G
Sun, Mar 17, 2019, 6:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Project Daedalus

Good episode.
Yes, the evil AI is an used trope. BSG, terminator, etc. And it's just a sub-trope of evil technology, going back to Franckeinstein or even Prometheus. But there's time for many twist. Maybe the AI is not the big bad. I'm still convinced the Kelpians are behind all this. Or maybe they'll be the big bad in season 3?

Apart from the AI, the other weak points were Nahn left to die by Burnam (don't want to kill Airiam, but doesn't care to help Nahn), developping a secondary character just to kill her, and not enough Saru.

Strong points were no klingons, no Tyler, no Georgiou, and I can trick myself to believe Pike and Spock are the real thing (kudos to the actors), so I care what happens to them.
I still dont care about Michael, whatever trick I try. I would care about the other crewmate though, if they'd give them more screentime without killing them.

There's hope.
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Paul Mehlin
Sat, Mar 16, 2019, 10:42pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: If Memory Serves

There are times I find Discovery almost unwatchable. This was absolutely not one of them. An excellent episode!
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Paul M.
Fri, Mar 15, 2019, 11:15am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: If Memory Serves

I love how the usual suspects are getting tilted hard (harder than usual, that is) at the mere notion that a Discovery episode might merit Jammer's 4 stars.
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Paul M.
Wed, Mar 13, 2019, 3:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: If Memory Serves

Great review, Jammer. Thoughtful, wordy, and just plain fun to read. It's strange. I've been a Trek fan for decades -- since early nineties -- but I can hardly separate my love of the franchise from my appreciation for this site anymore. Jammer's reviews has become a natural extension of Star Trek for me. Fifteen years and counting. Keep it up!
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Ari Paul
Tue, Mar 12, 2019, 9:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The Outcast

lol "urges"
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Paul
Tue, Mar 12, 2019, 6:24am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Light and Shadows

What’s very noticeable about this series is just how forgettable episodes are. On reading your review, I can barely remember the events you’re describing. Whereas with The Orville, I remember it far better. I wonder why that could be?
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Paul M.
Mon, Mar 11, 2019, 2:10pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Light and Shadows

*
Jesus, so many typos and awkward sentences! Ugh. The first sentence of the last paragraph should read: "Going now on a complete tangent, does anyone agree that this show feels strangely barren where worldbuilding is concerned?"
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