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Rahul
Mon, Jul 1, 2019, 12:36pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Gamesters of Triskelion

@Fur

Totally agree with your comment.

That final moment when Shahna looks up at the sky in tears and says those words to Kirk are truly touching -- it's really the only part of this episode worth watching. It is also accompanied by George Duning's mournful/romantic music (the same for when the Companion/Hedford looks at Cochrane through the multi-colored dress in "Metamorphosis").

As you say, it is a "4 star moment, in a 1.5 star ep".

Definitely would be cool to see how Triskelion evolves decades/centuries after Kirk's visit...but I would be skeptical of the Providers keeping their word. They are gamblers after all.
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Rahul
Sun, Jun 30, 2019, 3:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: All Good Things...

Asher0208’s post touched on some long-held feelings about TNG I’ve had. If I had to describe TNG in 1 word it would be “inconsistent”.

While TNG produced some of the worst Trek ever (Seasons 1&2 in aggregate), it also reached the highest of Trek highs (something VOY, ENT, DSC could not reach). I think what makes TNG their favorite among a lot of fans is episodes like BoBW, “The Inner Light” and “All Good Things…” — that and growing up watching it as their first intro to Trek. But it also did some world-building and told wonderful stories like the Klingon arc that starts with “Sins of the Father”. Of course, introducing the Borg was brilliant — simply the best villains Trek ever came up with. But on the other hand, its inconsistency came out in spades in Season 7.

Asher0208’s discussion on atheism is pretty much spot on. But I do believe Trek mostly tried to be agnostic about faith in the divine/atheism overall. While TNG leaned toward atheism, DS9 (being sort of the antithesis of TNG) went the other way by presenting a more balanced argument. It wasn’t flawless but it was an attempt at balance.

But as Asher0208 rightly says, faith in God is a driving force for good in our society while atheism mostly isn’t. I’d say it totally isn’t. Ultimately when humans don’t believe in God, they believe they should have dominion over other humans — and that is wrong. When humans don’t believe in God, they have no reason to have good morals. So we often see advanced cultures on Trek but their development is an after-thought. TNG was particularly poor in this area because it’s main thing is being science fiction — another way DS9 did a 180 from it. DS9 wasn’t great for science fiction but instead focused on world building. Ultimately, it wound up being more consistently compelling.

And finally about Crusher and Troi — again this is TNG’s hallmark of inconsistency — inconsistency in the main cast. With a giant like Stewart and capable actors like Frakes and Spiner, TNG also had bottom-of-the-barrel McFadden and Sirtis. Admittedly the writing wasn’t great for either of these 2, but neither was the acting. I much prefer Muldaur/Pulaski over McFadden/Crusher. I like Asher0208’s idea for improving Troi.
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Rahul
Sun, Jun 16, 2019, 4:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Friday's Child

@ Sarjenka's Brother

I also liked the portrayal of the Capellans -- a fearsome tribe with strict customs. Didn't think their costumes were goofy though.

But the Capellans are not inherently villains. Only because the Klingon was interfering was there dissension in the tribe and toward the Federation. But, presumably if there are different tribes of Capellans, maybe their analogues in the 24th century could be the Kazon.

On the topic of TOS S2 villains, I think what would be more interesting and plausible (since the Capellans are a tribe and are probably between 1 and 2 millenia of being a space-faring race) is if the modern-day Romans from "Bread and Circuses" or the Nazis from "Patterns of Force" (in a few centuries) developed into space-faring races -- basically bringing fascism into the 23rd and 24th centuries. But then again, this has already largely been done with the Romulans/Klingons/Cardassians.
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Rahul
Thu, Jun 13, 2019, 4:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

One thing I marvel at is how much Jake (Cirroc Lofton) grew (physically) from 1993 (age 14) to 1999. In Season 1, he was a skinny kid much shorter (obviously) than Ben Sisko. At the end of the show, he's taller (over 6 ft.) and a basically a fully developed man. Must have grown an inch per season!
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Rahul
Tue, Jun 11, 2019, 8:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: Turnabout Intruder

@ Peter G.

Yes, we once had a discussion where I said something to the effect that the TOS cast and guest actors absolutely blew away their counterparts on subsequent Treks. Shatner is fantastic and I still shake my head at those who criticize his acting. Nimoy is outstanding as well and I'd say, that from the other Treks, only Stewart is in the same league.

But your comment about lighting/shots/direction got me thinking about something else that made the demands on the TOS cast far greater than other Treks. Obviously back in the 60s, Trek didn't have great special effects and I don't think the intention ever was to wow even the 60s audience with what special effects they had. Subsequent Treks, I believe, did try (especially DSC) to impress their viewers with VFX, CGI such that part of their audience came to depend on this aspect of entertainment and may not be able to recognize/appreciate classic, excellent acting to carry a show. Thus the demands on the cast/guest actors wasn't as high and, as a result, you got weaker actors. I'm generalizing a bit but I think this is essentially the development of a certain aspect of Trek and sci-fi overall.
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Rahul
Sun, Jun 9, 2019, 3:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Way to Eden

@Chrome

That's one of the "virtues" of TOS is that you get these period pieces -- the sci-fi analogies of real world issues (counterculture, cold war, Vietnam, etc.), which became a hallmark of Trek. And some of them are different for TOS than for the later Treks.

And yes, this episode is plenty cheesy but I actually think it fails to really engage in a sensible discussion of the counterculture movement or the aspect of a group following an insane cult leader. It gets lost in plenty of goofiness and the takeover/regaining control of the ship is just a mechanical exercise -- not particularly riveting. And with the Eden planet popping up right at the very end, there isn't much chance to reflect on the deaths of Adam & Sevrin. But I suppose you could also argue that it's left for the viewer to come to his/her own conclusions.

Interesting comparison with "Up the Long Ladder" -- I also see that as a 1* episode but overall I rate that a tad higher due to the presentation of cloning and rights of the individual. It has a modicum of more intelligence to it. But the Irish group were worse than the space hippies!
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Rahul
Sat, Jun 8, 2019, 6:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Way to Eden

@Chrome

No way does this episode deserve zero stars -- the music of the hippies alone is almost worth 0.5 star on its own. Seriously, Charles Napier is a good singer and I these are cool lyrics:

"No more trouble in my body or my mind
Going to live like a king on whatever I find
Eat all the fruit and throw away the rind
Yeah brother ... yeah"

Granted -- listening to "pop" music is not what Trek is supposed to be about but this episode deserves props for coming up with some good tunes that many people love to this day.

TOS music was just fantastic. The little sorrowful music at the end as they find Adam dead -- actually quite a touching moment.

And I actually liked Chekov's part here -- granted he was unprofessional and later regretted his actions, but his character got a bit of development in that we learn he's uber-dedicated to Star Fleet and could not understand why Irina would go off pursuing Eden.

But objectively and critically speaking, to me it's a 1* episode -- it has a ton of flaws and is a weak premise that is poorly executed. But I have a soft spot for it!
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Rahul
Thu, Jun 6, 2019, 10:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S7: The Dogs of War

The structure of this episode bothered me quite a bit -- just too much going on. Just too many loose ends to try and set up or tie up in the penultimate episode. Did we really need the Bashir/Ezri nonsense? I think that could just be dealt with in the finale. Kasidy's pregnancy just pops up out of nowhere to remind of the uncertainty of Sisko going against the Prophets' wishes.

Of course one of the major subplots to sort out is Quark wanting to Make Ferenginar Great Again but even if it is prophetic for back then, it is obviously greatly exaggerated. As a Ferengi plot with all the dumb characters (Rom, Leeta, Zek, Ishka, etc.) it is one of the better Ferengi ones -- 2* stuff on its own merit. But man, does DS9 ever try to make capitalism look bad.

One scene kind of fell flat in Mila's basement -- when Kira urges Damar/Garak to keep up the fight, the 2 Cardies just sit there glum. And while I did think the scene where they blow up the Jem'Hadar barracks is critical for assuring the Cardies that Damar is alive and well, it felt somewhat artificial being on a soundstage as opposed to an on-location shoot.

2.5 stars for "The Dogs of War" -- was a bit too generous for my own liking in my initial analysis. As part of the 10-part finale arc, it's on the same level as "Penumbra" and a tad worse than "'Til Death Do Us Part". The amount of riveting moments were minimal here -- the opening with Damar/Kira/Garak getting stranded and their ship getting destroyed set up a lot of potential, but I do now feel the Quark sub-plot, while needing resolution, is a poor fit for this episode.
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Rahul
Thu, Jun 6, 2019, 9:33am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: Metamorphosis

@Wes B.

Thanks so much for sharing Senensky's blog site. I thoroughly enjoyed reading how he (and Jerry Finnerman) came up with the look for the planetoid Cochrane was on. So many good little details in there. Definitely will check out what he had to say about some of the other TOS episodes he directed.
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Rahul
Tue, Jun 4, 2019, 8:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

@Michael

I think you still need considerable propulsion forces to accelerate the ship and then create the warp subspace field which then shifts space/time around it. My thinking is the inertial dampers might not or should not work if hull integrity is relying on force fields during the propulsion.

So I guess I should correct myself and say that the acceleration/propulsion should be iffy with force fields holding the hull together. But I get what you're saying about hull integrity not being affected by being at warp -- it's just getting to warp [or full impulse] that I'd take issue with.
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Rahul
Tue, Jun 4, 2019, 5:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Q Who

Man, the Borg were cool at this point in the Trek canon. The foreboding from Q and at the end between Picard/Guinan (did Q do them a service?) bring that genuine feeling of dread -- even after seeing everything that VOY would do with the Borg. "Q Who" stands the test of time.

The naivety of Picard & co. upon seeing the first Borg drone examining their systems in engineering is shocking in retrospect knowing what we know of the Borg now. But it is entirely in keeping with the innocent, green, and somewhat smug nature the crew had at this point in their adventures. It takes forever for Worf to use deadly force with his phaser on the 1st Borg drone invader.

A couple of nitpicks jumped out at me though: Just prior to the first Borg beaming aboard the Enterprise into engineering where Geordi first spots him, Riker had ordered the shields to be raised. So are the Borg able to transport thru shields?

Also, the ship reaches warp 9.65 even with force fields holding its hull integrity after the Borg cut out a section of the saucer. Technically, I don't think this should be possible but we can suspend disbelief. The story would have still worked if the ship could only reach full impulse, for example. They're still totally overmatched and would have to beg Q to save them.

I still feel the "Selena" Gomez parts are a bit of a drawback on the episode but as has been discussed before -- she is a microcosm (innocence, curiosity, eagerness, complacency) of the Enterprise. I think it's been said by some others that she should have been 1 of the 18 to die -- I agree that that would be more impactful. Now we just kind of wonder what becomes of her.

The first two acts of this episode are ordinary at best, but once it gets going it's riveting. A top-10 TNG episode.
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Rahul
Sat, May 25, 2019, 10:12am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Best of Both Worlds, Part I

Just want to second Peter H's comments regarding the musical score. BOBW I is one of the few episodes in all of post-TOS Trek that actually has a score that really resonates and adds to the visceral nature of the episode. This has long been my biggest complaint about post-TOS Trek -- such bland musical scores.

Given the powerful soundtrack to BOBW I, I really think it is one of the 2 hours of perfect Trek ever made (the other being "The Doomsday Machine" which is similar in certain ways as the Enterprise deals with a threat to its own existence).
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Rahul
Fri, May 24, 2019, 3:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

I too could not believe the new Picard Trek would actually be called "Star Trek: Picard" -- similarly, I think DSC could be called "Star Trek: Michael Burnham"

It's fine to have plenty of focus on the Picard character as we all know and love him but I think the new series should be a bit broader in scope like "Star Trek: The Golden Years" or whatever.

No point commenting on the trailer, just like there's no point commenting on a preview. They're bound to be excessively emotional and dramatic.
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Rahul
Mon, May 13, 2019, 5:40pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Deadly Years

@Baron Samedi and @Jason R.

Have to completely disagree with your thinking this is one of the worst TOS episodes of all time -- it's not even close and I don't think I've ever seen it mentioned as such. As I said in my initial comment, I think Jammer's rating is harsh at 2 stars and I see it as a 3-star (7/10) episode.

While it has its flaws, TOS shows that it can do a good job of focusing on a human condition like aging / Alzheimer's. That much is done effectively in showing how Kirk struggles with being duty-bound as a starship captain yet losing his faculties and bearing the embarrassment, seeing younger officers concerned about him etc. Kirk put on one of his better performances in showing his stubborn nature. The episode does evoke a feeling of sympathy for Kirk.

The slow pacing is a drag on the episode but I think that also is an experience in dealing with the elderly. But I would say TNG's "Sarek" is a better episode for shining a light on the human condition of aging and losing one's sense of usefulness.

As for the miracle Trek medical cure, we've seen this on numerous episodes across all the series. That's part of the suspension of disbelief of Trek -- almost as accepted as warp speed and transporters.

Some of the earlier comments also point to what makes this a pretty good episode.
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Rahul
Thu, May 9, 2019, 7:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Inquisition

Some terrific writing / lines in this episode at the end between Sloan/Bashir after the holodeck simulation ends and then with Sisko/Kira/Odo/Bashir about the grey areas Section 31 operates in, how it is like the Obsidian Order to the Cardassians, etc.

Have to give credit for how this episode picks up on the various dubious decisions Bashir has made, none the least of which is his hiding his genetic engineering. And yes it makes perfect sense for Section 31 to recruit him.

Definitely adds a nice wrinkle to DS9 which already has a ton of moving parts providing intriguing interactions. Introducing a Section 31 to Star Trek on DS9 absolutely makes sense and especially just before "In the Pale Moonlight" when Sisko feels he has to cross the line.

Upgrading my rating to 3 stars for "Inquisition" -- the fact that most of the episode is a simulation for Bashir is a drawback but for the end-product of unwrapping Section 31, it's worth it. This episode also feels more significant in light of DSC Season 2 -- the last act had more intelligence about motivations/operations for Section 31 than did the entire 2nd season of DSC.
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Rahul
Fri, May 3, 2019, 7:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S3: Extinction

Hadn't seen this episode in some time and found that it didn't hold up as well to what my initial thoughts were nearly 2 years ago. The 2nd half gets better but there is too much stupidity in the early part of the episode. It's also a fairly boring hour of ENT that really does remind one of some of the weaker VOY episodes -- has little tie-in to the season-long arc.

Yes, "Threshold" and "Genesis" are two forefathers of this episode but this is much better given the idea of an extinct civilization's master plan to re-perpetuate its race. I liked the scene of morphed Archer looking over his ancient, damaged city. But despite Bakula's and Park's efforts to act like aliens, the overall effect was annoying and definitely a stretch.

It's also like a weaker VOY episode since we have the hard-headed aliens of the week cliche who won't be seen again on the series.

I also have to take issue with Archer wanting to store the pathogen, although the rationale @Jamie posits makes some sense. I would also say that the more pragmatic Season 3 Archer who just tortured an alien in "Anomaly" should probably want this pathogen destroyed.

In my first comment I said: "And not liking the opening music in S1 and S2, it even bothers me more in S3 with the beat added - are we preparing ourselves to watch Mr. Rogers or Star Trek?" I've long since done a 180 re. ENT's theme song and having gone thru the series 3 or 4 times, I'm a huge fan of "Faith of the Heart". (I've said that before in this forum).

1.5 stars for "Extinction" -- not a fan of messing-with-DNA episodes. This one isn't a total turkey but it's not good enough to even be called mediocre. Seems like a filler to make up the numbers, something DSC has avoided having to do since it's going with 14-15 episodes a season. If ENT did that with Season 3, "Extinction" would never have been produced.
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Rahul
Thu, Apr 25, 2019, 2:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Another great review from Jammer — but more importantly, one that I think is very fair to this episode and the issues with the series. There is no question in my mind that this is a very good episode with a shit ton of flaws but it’s about having the pros outweigh the cons and telling a good story. And that has been achieved with all the reverse engineering.

I also thought this episode could have been a series finale. Oddly enough, I watched parts of “Endgame” yesterday and feel these 2 episodes have a lot in common. They both spared no expense with the visuals but are highly flawed. Just like “Endgame” had to bring in the Borg one last time, SSS Pt. 2 had to bring in the Klingons/Kelpiens. I won’t get into the time travel analogies with Admiral Janeway/Captain Janeway vs. Burnham.

Couldn’t agree more with Jammer here:

“And that's kind of the lesson of the season, if not the series. Disappointing to middling ideas beget some truly impressive visceral experiences. Insofar that Discovery works as a piece of mainstream entertainment, it does so on those sensory terms — whereas the vision of its storytelling is less compelling because it's an exercise in mechanics rather than an engagement of ideas or philosophies. If previous Treks were about ideas, this one is about experiences. And this episode has some good ones.”

I don’t like the fact that DSC is about experiences — but isn’t that what people (stereotyping millennials here) are after these days in general? But I would hope to see more substance from DSC in Season 3. Go episodic!

And let’s face it: the writers/showrunners fucked up with the arc but they made it come good in the end and despite the flaws, this particular episode told a decent story. Now they have Burnham and Discovery where it should have been in the first place — in the distant future. And Pike/Spock can go on their not-so-merry way.

@ Chrome:

Thanks. Yes, I guess I mostly do see things the same way Jammer does (or vice-versa!). I think me and him are both impressed with DSC’s ability to generate a visceral emotion and I couldn’t really penalize any episodes (other than SSS Pt. 1) in the way some other Trek episodes deserve to get hit ratings-wise by my criteria.
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Rahul
Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 9:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

DSC had its cake and ate it too -- I think the finale provided closure on many fronts and has the timeline back to normal: The Discovery with all the newly introduced crew is some 900 years in the future and the Enterprise has Pike/Spock (clean-shaven)/No. 1 where they're supposed to be. The spore drive has been destroyed along with Control and nobody is to speak of this whole thing again unless they want to be charged with treason. I think Spock even established some kind of temporal directive. Overall, a satisfying conclusion to an up-and-down season -- although one has to realize we've essentially gone in 1 big circle with DSC's 1st 2 seasons. It's been superficial entertainment mostly.

Some great sci-fi visuals in this episode along with a good soundtrack for the battle scenes helped -- back in the days of 90s Trek they didn't have drones like they do here, which now makes those battles seem dated to me. The firing between ships/drones takes place much faster and overall I liked these battle scenes more than the ones from DS9's later seasons, for example. Good strategies set forth by Pike, Saru. The Sick Bay situation looked genuine and Stamets gets put into a coma by Culber who makes up with him -- not that I cared.

Of course a fair bit of handwaving needed to take in this episode like believing Discovery's crew could build the Red Angel suit so quickly, Burnham could be escorted by the convoy successfully, Leland can't quickly subdue Nhan/Georgiou etc. But a lot of things tied together and did appear lucky like the Kelpiens/Baul/Klingons showing up on time -- but that's typical for Trek. The 1st 5 signals were for helping the "good guys" team up to beat Section 31 in the Big Battle, the 6th was for guiding Discovery, and the 7th was to let Spock know they made it. I guess Burnham going back and revisiting the 1st 5 signals is a way to tie the whole season together -- not really necessary for me.

I think every cast member got to do something here -- some good, some bad, some odd. Adm. Cornwell sacrificing herself to contain the torpedo blast was weird -- couldn't they get a robot to hold the door shut or something? Tilly having to fix the shields on Discovery also seemed out of place -- bugs me that the ship has no formal chief engineer. Jet Reno tells Saru to get off her ass -- what else would you expect from this clown?

Liked the fight scene with gravity off-line between Leland and Nhan/Georgiou although this was just superficial entertainment -- that Georgiou is able to get Leland into the spore drive chamber and magnetize it is the kind of heroics you see in movies -- totally unrealistic but whatever. Hand-waving.

And it wouldn't be DSC if Burnham wasn't glorified. Spock pours it on pretty thick saying he was lost and Burnham found him blah blah blah. These 2 are on good terms already but a season finale has to have more syrup so we get their good-bye scene.

Burnham going thru the wormhole reminded me a bit of 2001: A Space Odyssey -- wonder if that was intentional. I liked this sci-fi visual.

3 stars for "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2" -- much, much better than Part 1, which really seems like fluff now. Nothing profound here but the story for the episode is decent, the actions scenes top notch and I liked the resolutions. Only minor gripes now -- probably more to come as I ponder everything. I suppose DSC Season 3 can focus on Discovery/Burnham in the future and/or follow the adventures of Pike/Spock on Enterprise. But at least all the new stuff DSC introduced is in the distant future where it should have been in the first place.
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Rahul
Wed, Apr 17, 2019, 8:55pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Q2

Here's an episode that never should have been made. I could barely make it through the hour. What has VOY done to the Q?? Far worse than what it did to the Borg. This takes it to an all-time low. Nothing funny in this idiotic episode that loosely seems like a beggar's version of "Charlie X". The whole premise makes no sense -- that omnipotent beings would come to Janeway to straighten out their offspring. This is not sci-fi -- it's garbage. Just an attempt to get one more de Lancie / Mulgrew outing (since they are both good actors) -- not that that helped "The Q and the Grey" work well.

What really bugs me about the episode is that just when there might be some albeit trite lesson for Q Jr. and therefore some kind of moral or real consequence, the episode basically resets. In the end, Q Jr. isn't stuck being a human, he gets all his powers back and the Q Continuum is made to look like a farce. What was the point? Did Q Jr. really grasp the self-sacrifice thing?

Also, the usual stupid Q tricks are very old. And making 7 naked is just "Threshold" -level bad. The first half hour was cringeworthy and the second half hour wasn't much better. The Icheb character had a chance to act outside its box but it was more stiff acting.

0.5 stars for "Q2" -- like I said, this episode never should have been made. The only redeemable thing here for me was Mulgrew/Janeway acting the right way given the terrible script -- she was convincing in trying to do her part to help Q Jr. even though the whole premise is ludicrous. What has the Q Continuum become... There are good Q episodes, bad ones, and this ugly one.
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Rahul
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 10:40am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

@Trent, yes "realpolitik" is the right term and is quite different from "swashbuckling" for sure.

Kirk had his realpolitik moments as well: "A Taste of Armageddon" (making the 2 warring planets fight a real war instead of via computers) and "A Private Little War" (arming Tyree's people with a 100 "serpents" or flintlocks).

So while TOS had its "swashbuckling" moments (which some will mock -- not saying Trent is), it's realpolitik episodes were terrific.
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Rahul
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 9:58am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

@Trent,

Interesting argument re. swashbuckling TOS and more diplomatic TNG.

"I associate the post TNG era with bureaucracy, protocols and order. I just can't see a post-TNG captain/crew doing stuff Kirk gets away with."

But I think DS9 muddied the waters on that -- Sisko's actions in "For the Uniform" and "In the Pale Moonlight" show a swashbuckling nature of sorts (although this is far beyond what Kirk ever did). Maybe there's a better word than "swashbuckling" to describe Sisko's deeds...
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Rahul
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 9:47am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

@Artymiss,

I agree with what you're saying -- and you made me think I should clarify my point about Season 3 hopefully going episodic and not just leaving my point as glib or something.

I guess it comes down to trusting these DSC writers but I find that S2 episodes that just serve to advance the arc (typically juggling 2 or more subplots) have not worked out as well as episodes that are more "standalone" in nature with the overall arc firmly in the background. So it makes almost think that it would be easier for these writers to produce better episodes without having to move several plot pieces along and just worry about 1 story. I think the writers need to make their own jobs easier.
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Rahul
Mon, Apr 15, 2019, 8:43am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

I think wolfstar makes some good arguments on what has gone wrong in DSC S2. No question there are inconsistencies in the writers' logic but I completely agree with this:

"If the storytelling isn't good, if the characters haven't been well-developed enough for us to care about them, if people have lost faith in the writing over the course of the series (or if they've thrown their hands in the air and stopped trying to make sense of the show in the face of constant twists, shock moments and rug-pulls, not to mention characters coming back from the dead and the ship being able to travel anywhere in space and now time), they're not going to care enough or trust the show enough to muse over the finer details of an episode's plotting."

Here's always been the problem for Trek writers and I think a very good example is dealing with ENT's temporal cold war. Exposition and creating a canvas is the easy part and, at the start of a season, the viewer is not looking for resolutions and thus those kinds of episodes are more satisfying. It's like the typical 2-part Trek episode where the 1st part usually (but not always) winds up being "better" than the 2nd part.

The harder part for the writers is coming up with a logical conclusion to what they've set up. While ENT's temporal cold war started out with some promising episodes, its wrap-up was disappointing. The writers could not dig themselves out of the hole they created. Same thing is happening with DSC S2 although the exposition was not as good as ENT's temporal cold war. It is a credit to them that they came up with "If Memory Serves", "Project Daedalus", and "Perpetual Infinity" (for me the 3 strongest episodes of the season/series) -- but we've now had 2 underwhelming episodes ("Such Sweet Sorrow" was downright embarrassing for me) as we reach resolution. I'm not holding my breath for the finale as it has an awful lot of loose ends to tie up and I have no reason to have faith in these writers.

Hopefully Season 3 is episodic. I've had enough of arcs, whether they be short or season-long.
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Rahul
Sat, Apr 13, 2019, 1:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

Great review from Jammer -- really nails what's so wrong about this episode and how the writers are trying to shoehorn plot to get to a certain end. Yes, this episode layered on the melodrama pretty thick, as I previously mentioned, but that's not the biggest problem.

This is key from Jammer's review: "Let's call it a problution: Something that moves the plot forward by creating a problem X that must be solved with solution Y in order to get us to destination Z. Except that Z was obviously conceived first, so X and Y are improvised by the writers to justify the utter insanity of going to Z."

It's the "problution" that is killing these writers -- not that they have consistently proven themselves to be capable -- and 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 and come up with new ideas and not be constrained by canon and trying to pay lip-service to TOS -- though "If Memory Serves" was terrific (but that's just 1 episode).

The other thing is the Short Trek "Calypso" is an end that needs to be reached -- so the Discover with fully functional AI (sphere data) is supposed to end up 1,000 years in the future. Where Burnham is etc. who knows -- I guess we find out next week along with a Big Battle. But yes, next week's episode either knocks it out of the park or falls flat. I'm banking on something closer to the latter.
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Rahul
Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 9:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

Good grief ... just turn up the melodrama to 11. Can this series glorify Michael Burnham any more?? This episode really lathered on the anticipation for the big finale far more than it should have. Not much of a plot. Honestly, I think this was the worst DSC episode has ever produced.

So these Short Treks are somewhat relevant. The Tilly ST was one of the worst and this Queen of Xahea character was just another disaster we didn't need to see. No surprise she hit it off with Reno. She's here for some technobabble which somehow concludes Burnham has to take Discovery to the future and stay there. Now the reason for getting the time crystals in the prior episode become clear. (Wasn't totally clear to me until now.)

But overwhelmingly I was disappointed with how much time was spent glorifying Burnham, the soon-to-be martyr. And she's like a catalyst for everybody making up, tying loose ends (Sarek/Amanda, Culber/Stamets, and worst of all her and Tyler - the worst actor/character on the show). It just sucked watching all this garbage.

I was also pissed off at how the bridge of the Enterprise looked -- so flashy. Why could it not have looked like how ENT re-created it in "In a Mirror, Darkly"?? Anyhow, that's not a huge gripe.

I'd also have to question the plan to take the Discovery ship into the future. If the sphere's data is now protecting it from self-destruction and photon torpedoes, how should Burnham be able to take it through a wormhole to the future? Maybe because she's Michael Burnham and the plot demands it.

I guess the other thing the episode focuses on is preparation for a big battle -- Burnham and Reno get visions of this from touching the time crystal. It was fine to see the secondary and tertiary cast members sending messages to their loved ones.

Stuff that should have a great deal of meaning and be very "Star Trek" like Pike thanking his Discovery crew and vice versa -- that fell kind of flat to me. It was just too much given all the glorifying the episode did of Burnham and the buildup to the grand finale.

1.5 stars for "Such Sweet Sorrow" -- this is what I indeed felt after watching the episode. Really seems like the writers are trying to set things back on track with the Trek canon/timeline (Discovery ship into the future, spore drive gone because it is used for the technobabble to go to the future). But no way Burnham's completely out of the picture for Season 3. So I guess we've seen parts of the next episode thanks to Burnham's visions from touching the time crystal. Meh. Somebody needs to slap these writers upside the head. Or they have to get their heads out of their asses.
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