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Sen-Sors
Sat, Sep 19, 2020, 6:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Probably the latter.
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Sen-Sors
Tue, Sep 15, 2020, 5:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

I dunno. I agree that you cannot be a parody of X while also being an official offshoot of X, which is what this show feels like. But I think if you were to ask the people who write this show they would say it's not a true parody, but a "light, comedic" take on a real Star Trek show. Okay, fine.

But I keep thinking about how the spear-wielding species in "Temporal Edict" was granted recent membership in the Federation. Really? They're spacefaring, sure, but their culture also features gladiatorial trial-by-combat and they're currently at war with another species under questionable circumstances. How exactly do they qualify? Lighthearted comedy or not, if this is a legitimate Trek show this seems like a fair question.

I think the case can be made that this show functions as a parody regardless of the creator's intent, which is a problem because you can't parody Trek while also being Trek. And if the show runners want this to be a legit Trek show they're doing a pretty piss-poor job of it while leaning hard towards parody.

I dunno. I feel like I'm engaging in meandering navel-gazing without much of a point, I'm just trying to parse out what this show's angle is in theory and in practice. Mostly I think they're trying to have it both ways, using the recognizable Trek brand to appeal to people who would never actually watch Trek because it's lame and boring while putting in enough easter eggs to make Trekkies feel respected.
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Sen-Sors
Mon, Sep 14, 2020, 6:13pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

I got caught up on this show recently. "Temporal Edict" was mostly obnoxious; the oddly bloodless slapstick fighting aboard the ship wasn't funny and most everybody came off like an idiot in this episode. That said, this was probably the best use of Mariner so far; they gave her something to do besides be smug and too-cool-for-Starfleet, and the dynamic between her and Ransom made her much more tolerable.

"Moist Vessel" was a mixed bag. The plot with Mariner and her mother was rote and tired, but the terraforming goo and "ascension" plots were the closest this show has gotten to decent sci-fi concepts. I really enjoyed the ascension scene even if the "universe is on a koala's back" part was a bit cliche; it was a fun twist to make becoming one with the universe a terrifying and painful transition for a mere mortal.

What I didn't like was Tendi's role. For one thing, manic enthusiasm on its own isn't inherently funny, which the show doesn't seem to grasp. Tendi is obsessed with making everyone like her, and when that doesn't work out she engages in stalking, harassment and even physical abuse. This is presented as charming and funny, perhaps even relatable, when really it's just deeply unhealthy. I realize I'm reading into the psyche of a character in a comedy show, and deeply flawed characters are often the point for comedy, but even so I'm baffled as to what the comedic appeal is supposed to be here. IMO her antics aren't funny, they're mostly just uncomfortable to watch; she comes off like someone with some pretty deep-seated issues, which the show presents as "cute". It's weird and off-putting.

The sen-sors bit at the end would have been funny if it was much shorter and didn't involve Mariner. I should have named myself Space Abe when I had the chance.

"Cupid's Errant Arrow" was a big eye-roll the whole way through, but the reveal of the sweet-talking parasite was pretty funny.

"Terminal Provocations" was mediocre. It was funny how "Temporal Edict" went out of its way to make the fighting aboard the ship completely bloodless and in this episode Badgy is just pulling people's heads off.

The idea of negotiating with aliens whose position is "fuck you" is prime Trek comedy fodder, I wish they would have done more with it instead of whatever the hell the Fletcher plot was about. He's introduced as a model Starfleet mook, level-headed and diplomatic, until he is suddenly a lying, wigged-out incompetent moron? What? The AI monster shouting "DON'T TALK ABOUT MY DAD" before getting blown out the airlock was funny, but that's it.

At this point I freely admit I'm only watching to participate in this comments thread. The show just isn't very funny, and the couple of chuckles I get from each episode are almost always due to the animation or the actions of a side-character; I don't really like any of the main cast and I definitely don't find them funny. The show revels in fan-service easter eggs but seems to resent the larger ethos and themes of Trek as a whole, which points to the dissonance of being a Trek parody and an actual Trek show at the same time.
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Sen-Sors
Wed, Sep 2, 2020, 3:47pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

Please.

Just pointing out an obvious pattern.
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Sen-Sors
Tue, Sep 1, 2020, 4:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S6: Far Beyond the Stars

Wow ODTP, you're really not going to stop until you've managed to point every single Trek discussion thread towards bitching about cancel culture and radical leftists, aren't you? And of course MLK, Star Trek and the very concept of humanistic compassion itself are all on your side, all the time.

We get it. You don't need to make the same speech anytime someone makes a passing reference to current events in a comment.
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Sen-Sors
Tue, Sep 1, 2020, 4:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: All Good Things...

The final scene is great, but aside from that this finale is a big snoozer IMO. This is just my personal preference but I really don't like stories where there's A Thing happening, and the protagonist knows about the Thing and the audience knows about the Thing, but nobody else believes them so 75% of the story is treading water until the other characters wise up to what the audience has known from the beginning. There is appeal in peering into the future and seeing where the TNG crew wound up, but not enough to make up for how much of a rote slog the main plot is. I'll take the DS9 finale any day, warts and all. At least I didn't know exactly where that was going to end up.
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Sen-Sors
Sat, Aug 22, 2020, 11:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

"On the whole I'm finding ST:LD to be less ST: Rick and Morty and more a Clone High knockoff set on a starship."

Oh no, I can see it! But... Clone High makes me laugh. Consistently. I'm happy someone referenced Clone High but I'm sad it was in reference to Lower Decks. It's too apt. At least Clone High was very up-front about its parody elements, and it wasn't trying to sincerely be an official spinoff of Dawson's Creek.

God I love that show.
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Sen-Sors
Tue, Aug 18, 2020, 7:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

That's fair. I want this show to hold onto some of the aspirational foundation of Trek, and there's still time for that even if I found the execution of that particular plotline to be rather odd and muddied.

For all my criticisms I find this show to to be somewhat less offensive than STD and STP with all their retconning and awful choices for established characters. I suppose there's still time to bring in Jonathan Frakes to have Riker doing a kegstand on the bridge, but we'll see.

Q would be perfect for this show.
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Sen-Sors
Tue, Aug 18, 2020, 6:21pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

What is, distrusting the Ferengi? Well, fair enough. I'm still not comfortable with it. Perhaps they should make DS9 required viewing in the Starfleet syllabus.
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Sen-Sors
Tue, Aug 18, 2020, 5:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

"Racism? Well sure, but then you'd have to call marine biologists racist for being able distinguish between a whale and a shark."

Mmmm I dunno man, that's not what was happening in the scene. Bolmer wasn't identifying and classifying organisms based on biological characteristics, he was ascribing negative behavioral qualities to an individual based on that individual's race. Seems like a pretty cut-and-dried example of racism to me, but YMMV.
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Sen-Sors
Tue, Aug 18, 2020, 1:36am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Rick and Morty has never been about lessons. And to to be fair, there are many, many episodes of classic Trek that aren't either; sometimes you get a Measure of a Man, sometimes you get Dr. Crusher doing it with a ghost. Or everyone on the ship getting hammered and horny.

And Lower Decks wants to be a comedy, so there will probably be less of an emphasis on themes of morality and ethical dilemmas. And that's fine! But when a major plot point of a Star Trek episode (even a comedy Trek) is one character making another character feel good about themselves by validating their racism... I think that's kinda fucked up.
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Sen-Sors
Mon, Aug 17, 2020, 11:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

To expand on my half-drunk 4AM comment for people who don't watch Rick and Morty, Mariner is essentially Diet Rick. Like the titular mad scientist from that show, Mariner is cynical, manipulative and effortlessly good at everything. Her battle-buddy relationship with the Klingon warrior parallels Rick's numerous relationships and credibility with all manner of unsavory warrior-types on that show; just like Rick, Mariner is a badass. And just like Rick, she engages in plots that make the patsy characters think that they have won until it's revealed that it was all part of Rick/Mariner's plan.

The key difference between Mariner and Rick is that, well, Rick is funny. His humor is based on caustic wit, constantly poking holes in the other characters as well as sentiments, trends and attitudes from modern day. Mariner's humor is based mostly on using modern-day slang in Star Trek. Rather than criticizing, she __exemplifies__ the sentiments, trends and attitudes of the modern day in a play for """relatability""". She's basically Floe from the Progressive ads but more aggro.

Bolmer, the Starfleet ensign who actually tries to act like a member of Starfleet, is Jerry. And just like Rick's stepson, Bolmer is an awkward, bumbling idiot who is not nearly as smart as he thinks and whose motivations are often more selfish than well-meaning. For example, correct me if I'm wrong but Bolmer's big moment in this episode is him gloating about being "right" after projecting racial stereotypes? I understand that this was all part of Mariner's brilliant plan and the Ferengi was playing into said stereotypes so that... Uh .. Bolmer could feel good about himself...? Is there an anti-racism message in there somewhere? Because all I saw was a group of Starfleet crew hooting and laughing over racial stereotypes. And Bolmer is supposed to be the most Starfleet of the cast! Seems to me he's on the same level as the frat guys bro-ing it up on the bridge. I'm not saying "that's not Trek"; I'm saying that is the polar opposite of Trek.

Considering Mike McMahan worked on R&M it's not surprising they share the same art style or even the same general structure. But R&M has wit, imagination and vision; after the first season fans were clamoring for more on Rick's backstory and there was an expectation of grand character arcs and season-spanning conflicts with recurring villains. Instead the show has devoted multiple episodes to taking a huge dump all over those concepts, subverting people's expectations while still maintaining the levels of quality humor, imagination and high-concept sci-fi. It certainly never needed to resort to obnoxious pandering will-they-won't-they gimmicks, but this is Kurtzman Trek and you gotta have that schmaltz.

So far Lower Decks is a Trek show that thinks it's too cool and funny for Trek. Haven't you heard? It's 2020 bro! Starfleet is lame and ethics make you boring. Like, literally.
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Sen-Sors
Mon, Aug 17, 2020, 3:52am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Wow, could it be any more obvious? Mariner is Rick and Bolmer is Jerry. This show is Rick and Jerry. Way less wit than the original and way more will-they-won't-they.
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Sen-Sors
Thu, Aug 13, 2020, 6:18am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

"Jesus... you've just painted 50% of the population as inhumane monsters."

50% is your number that you pulled out of nowhere. And I'm not hearing any actual argument here; there are clearly a substantial number of humans that fit this description. Again, where's the lie?

So you guys saw a poster that said "silence is violence"? Oh you poor boo-boo. Why don't you look up the midnight no-knock warrant killing of Breonna Taylor? Do you think that's maybe worse? I'll post this person's story because ODTP probably hasn't heard of it. https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/23/us/breonna-taylor-police-shooting-invs/index.html

The changing of society for the better has always come at great cost to the most vulnerable communities; it comes from the people who put themselves out in the streets, and it sure as hell never comes from the comfortable moderates.

And yeah, this has gone on long enough. It's gotten pretty far away from Star Trek. I've said my piece in this thread and I promise I won't say anything more, and I apologize for taking part in this massive derail.
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Sen-Sors
Wed, Aug 12, 2020, 9:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

Jason R, if police reform isn't happening it's surely not for lack of trying on behalf the populace. Why would you blame the inaction of politicians (who often takes tons of money from police unions) on the protestors? Also Cori Bush was just elected to Congress on a BLM platform. They're working on it.

As for actual solutions to police reform, you say BLM has offered no solutions. This is not true. "Defund the police" is not an empty slogan, nor is it the same as "abolish the police". It means we should reduce the bloated budgets of many police departments and put that money towards social services that will alleviate crime and poverty without armed officers being solution to every problem. It means more money for social workers, shelters, schools, low-income housing and work programs.

Other concrete police reforms include reducing all the surplus military equipment they have, civilian oversight boards so that the police are not the ones investigating their own misconduct, and ending qualified immunity for police officers. These policy solutions have been voices many times, but you don't seem to be listening.

ODTP, are you for real? According to people who actually live there, Portland protests averaged around 100 demonstraters per night and only in the downtown area. It was in no way a "war zone" outside the fever-dream coverage of right wing media. These demonstrator numbers exploded once Trump sent in his DHS and Border Patrol goons in in a blatant attempt to bolster his "law and order" campaign for re-election. If you can't see the connection between his re-election campaign, his repeated calls for a military crackdown in US cities and his executive order sending unmarked officers into cities to throw people into unmarked vans without a warrant than you probably shouldn't be talking US politics. I gave you the links. Where's the lie?

Here's a link to an on-the-ground perspective from Portland: https://www.wired.com/story/portland-protests-online/

"Please point to any call of violation of rights in these documents."

Oh damn, dude. You got me. If the official government documents don't explicitly call for the violation of citizens rights in the text, then that means everything is on the level! You're good at this!

Oh wait, there's that thing called the Fourth Amendment, you probably haven't heard of it so I'll post it here:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

This is why it's a problem for unmarked federal agents in camo to pull you off the street into an unmarked van without telling you why, offering no warrant and holding you indefinitely. If you're breaking the law in public, there's no reason a clearly labeled policeman can't arrest you properly. But again, this is about Trump looking tough and using the Border Patrol and DHS to do it. The DHS memo speaks of how they want to expand this operation into other cities, which will only further inflame the protests and lead to more violence which is, of course, the point. Trump gets to point to the crazy protestors and how America needs the military to crack down. Intimidation and violence. Apparently you're fine with it.

And yea, any yahoo can rent a van, buy some surplus camo gear and go pulling people they don't like off the street if that's what the unmarked Feds are doing. Who could tell the difference? You seriously don't see that as an issue?

Also that whooshing you heard is my point about riots going right over your head.

"Makes me wonder, what percentage of the protests are about this kind of nonexistent evils..."

Ah, there it is. Yeah, you're really set on fighting racism but this whole "police brutality" things sounds like a lot of hoopla amirite?

I think you're very uninformed about the most basic aspects of US law as well as current events. It's funny that Jason R says that BLM hasn't done anything substantial and then you claim that society has bent over backwards to accommodate it. Well, which is it?
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Sen-Sors
Wed, Aug 12, 2020, 1:06am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

Oh man. Well, you did say you're not from America...

Here's a link to an NPR story detailing how unidentifiable federal agents are using unmarked vans to snatch people off the streets. https://www.npr.org/2020/07/17/892277592/federal-officers-use-unmarked-vehicles-to-grab-protesters-in-portland

Who is to stop any right-wing American militia (of which there are plenty) from renting a van and doing the same thing? How could you tell the difference?

Here's a link to the leaked government documents detailing how the DHS and Border Patrol are cooperating to carry out this "operation". https://www.thenation.com/article/society/border-patrol-portland-arrest/

The memo makes it clear that this is happening under the executive order of Trump in order to protect monuments and statues, which are apparently more important than upholding the rights of actual flesh-and-blood citizens. Many of the people released by these snatch-and-grabs are being forced to sign papers promising they won't attend another protest, the legality of which is dubious at best.

Here is a link to a story about a Portland protestor who was shot in the eye by a police rubber bullet. https://www.thedailybeast.com/portland-protester-shot-in-face-with-rubber-bullet

Here's a link to a story about a Utah woman who may get life in prison for buying red paint that was used in a protest. https://globalnews.ca/news/7257388/protester-paint-life-prison-black-lives-matter/

Does any of this concern you?

Look, I live in one of the cities cited in that DHS document. This summer I learned what tear gas feels like just walking home from work. My city is one where they took down a statue. The statue was a Union general who died fighting the Confederacy in the Civil War, not exactly a symbol of white supremacy. It wasn't a good look for the protests. In fact, it was dumb. And I don't agree with all the protest methods. But I can tell you this, because I saw it with my own eyes: the vast majority of BLM protestors were peaceful, they were local people who were out there washing out people's eyes after they were gassed, providing medical aid and actively discouraging people who were looting and starting fires.

Yes, riots are bad. No one disputes that. But as good ol' Dr. King said, "riots are the language of the unheard". It's what happens when people are pushed and pushed and pushed. To tut-tut rioters and ignore the circumstances that brought it about is willful ignorance. The police in this country require deep, systemic reform. I think it's very clarifying what people choose to focus on; do you spend your time griping about the protestors methods, or do you keep your focus on the underlying issues that caused the unrest? Is your support for a righteous protest movement withdrawn after mere broken windows and mean tweets? Are those worse injustices than all the intimidation, lying and murder that brought about the movement?

Also after the n-word fell out of style in public use the term "thug" is what replaced it. It's a thing in America.

Finally, I think it's ridiculous to connect this episode to cancel culture for reasons I've largely already explained: The Drumhead is about figures with authority punching down in McCarthyist fashion for personal gain, not the frenzied proles overwhelming society via tweets. Cancel culture is (at best) about ordinary people holding powerful people accountable. It can descend into mob action that turns out to be wrong or misguided, but what we see in this episode is not that. We see powerful authority figures attempting to persecute ordinary people for political gain with dubious accusations that prey on our fear of The Other.

Those who participate in "cancel culture" do not hold the status and reputation that Satie does in this episode, and this episode is not about whether or not someone's past words or actions are worthy of forgiveness vs being "cancelled". It's about baseless accusations of consorting with the enemy, based on fear and paranoia. That's McCarthyism, not cancel culture.
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Sen-Sors
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 5:50pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

I'm just gonna ignore the vile crap about Ferguson being "a lie"(???) and the insinuation that George Floyd's sobriety or lack thereof justified a cop taking a knee on his throat until he died. And throwing out the term "thugs" like that's not a known racial dogwhistle. Some of you need some serious introspection, to put it mildly.

The vast majority of BLM protests were (and still are) peaceful, unless you're getting your news from Fox, who have taken to photoshopping scary men with guns into their coverage of protestors.

Since you guys seem really concerned about extremists, I wonder if you have any concern over the Department of Homeland Security agents in full camo whisking people off the streets into unmarked vans? Doing so without identifying themselves, without informing people why they're being arrested, holding them indefinitely without legal recourse? All done in the service of bolstering the re-election of a man who has failed to condemn Nazis even when they kill? I mean, you guys seem really concerned about Nazis; doesn't that sound a little jackboot-y to you? Maybe even more of a problem than broken windows and tagged buildings? Maybe?

OTDP, you made yourself quite clear. You cherry-pick incidents of violence and the most fringe sentiments of one of the largest protest movements in American history while ignoring the underlying causes of that movement, as well as the grossly disproportionate violence of the government response. All while claiming the mantle of anti-racism for yourself. Nice!

Anyway, you guys carry on with your reactionary laments, they are as ridiculous as the idea of citing The Drumhead to claim victimhood from cancel culture.
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Sen-Sors
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 6:35am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

My point about McCarthyism and The Drumhead invalidates Robert's point because The Drumhead is about figures with authority punching down in McCarthyist fashion, not the frenzied proles overwhelming society via tweets.
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Sen-Sors
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 6:28am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

"It's not a call for equality, either."

It absolutely is. It's "black lives matter", not "black lives matter more".

Look, if you guys wanna sit here and pretend that the main priority of a theoretically-still-alive MLK JR would be the protection of private property, then you go ahead. I would recommend you read the "Other America" speech for his take on riots and "Letters From A Birmingham Jail" for his views on the white moderate but mostly I think it would be good if you stopped using the man as a political cudgel.
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Sen-Sors
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 12:09am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: The Drumhead

Well-said Fockspot. Always a hoot when people invoke MLK to shame current-day activism.

And forgive me for potentially pushing this thread into a full political debate but I just have to push back on Robert H's lament that it can be considered racist to claim "all lives matter." This is true, but context is needed.

Let's say there's ten people sitting down at a table for dinner. Everyone is served food except for Bob. Bob says "Hey I didn't get any food. Bob needs food!" The other guests look up from their meal and say "everyone needs food" and then continue eating. Now it's true that everyone needs food, but that wasn't the issue being raised, was it? It's that Bob still doesn't have any food!

So when people hear "black lives matter" and respond with "all lives matter" they're sidestepping the issue in a transparently disingenuous way. Of course all lives matter; that's why it's so messed up that black people need to point out that theirs do too! Nobody ever said "only black lives matter". It's not a call for black supremacy, and you damn well know that. The slogan is in response to structural racism in society that regularly demeans, disadvantages and even murders people of color. To ignore this and claim "well ALL lives matter" is an attempt to obfuscate, nothing more. See also: the response to the Colin Kapernick protests.

I don't think it's true that The Drumhead couldn't be made today; why not? It has more parallels to MCarthyism than "cancel culture", and it's worth noting that many of the loudest voices that speak out against cancel culture do so from massive public platforms in prestigious publications. Some of these people even had a hand in pushing the United States to the fraudulent invasion of Iraq and they still have gigs as high-tier opinion columnists and talking heads on major news networks. These people are somehow never cancelled, and they have a lot more in common with Satie's character than any unruly Twitter mob.
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Sen-Sors
Sun, Aug 9, 2020, 2:11am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Well, it definitely wasn't funny. As I suspected, the humor is very hyperactive and fast-talking but lacks any actual wit; it's the way """"quirky""" white people act in TV commercials. Also I thought we learned from Family Guy that references alone do not count as jokes.

That said, I didn't completely hate it. It looks really nice. I kinda like the dynamic between Mariner and Bueller, the green girl and the cyborg not so much (see above). I like the cat doctor, kind of a Bones-y vibe.

I like that there's a plot that's spread out between an actual cast of characters, instead of everything revolving around a fucking Micheal Burnham. I like that it's a serialized format that doesn't hinge on taking a massive dump on established canon and characters like STP, though there's plenty of time for that.

I definitely don't like many of the comments I've seen from people who like the show. Anyone who doesn't like it "lacks social skills"? What a petty, childish thing to say.

Anyway for a comedy show the humor falls completely flat and as a parody it mostly boils down to "hey remember WORF!?" so that's a pretty terrible foundation for a Trek show. I'm willing to concede that there might be a couple of legitimately good episodes tucked away in the season but I sure as hell wouldn't pay to watch it.
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Sen-Sors
Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 3:11am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

I second that; I feel like I should never comment on new Trek again because I could never top that post.
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Sen-Sors
Mon, Aug 3, 2020, 8:08pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

Jeez Booming, I'm sure Susie's kids can just say no if they don't wanna watch it. Or maybe they just put up with it cause they're hanging out with their folks; that's what I do whenever I have to watch goddamn Guy Fieri shows back home.

Or worse, American Pickers. So many garages filled with crap, WHO CARES

Maybe I'll go home and turn the tables, force them to watch "Profit and Lace" or the one where Bones slaps a pregnant lady.
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Sen-Sors
Mon, Aug 3, 2020, 5:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

I haven't but anything that stops that Section 31 show is fine by me. Yum yum
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Sen-Sors
Mon, Jul 27, 2020, 5:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

The tweet that wolfstar linked to is on point. https://twitter.com/nsilverberg/status/1140300647922831361?lang=en It

It's painfully true that the vast majority of humor in the mainstream media boils down to quirky white people being "awk-waaard". This is usually accomplished by having one character exhibit the cardinal sin of enthusiasm (or a personality in general) and then another character looking away or directly into the camera like "get a load of this guy!" Or it can be done by having characters talk like quirky white people during fantastical situations. "Well, THAT just happened!"

This is ubiquitous. The humor in Marvel movies is functionally indistinguishable from the litany of crappy Progressive ads, and people eat it up.

Some people blame Joss Whedon, personally I blame The Office, the show where average-looking people are all inept buffoons while the conventionally attractive characters look knowingly into the camera and play will they/won't they. I am half-serious about this.
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