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SlackerInc
Sat, Sep 5, 2020, 12:34am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

I tapped out after the pilot (which I thought was fine but nothing great), but then came back for episode four because I heard on a podcast that it was more like “Rick and Morty”, one of my favorite shows. How wrong that was! The person who said that clearly does not understand the comedic genius of “Rick and Morty” at ALL. Episode four was actually bad, not just mediocre like the pilot. I am definitely out now.
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SlackerInc
Sat, Aug 22, 2020, 3:22am (UTC -5)
Re: DS9 S5: Trials and Tribble-ations

This was so great! I can't believe I never caught this one before. Like Startrekwatcher, I was never a fan of the original "Tribbles" ep, so this actually redeems it.

The technical wizardry, especially given the technology of the time, is incredibly impressive. And it was just so fun.

You can't nitpick this one to death or you ruin that fun. I haven't read all the comments, but I've been gritting my teeth waiting for someone to complain that in the corridor where Sisko and Dax are pretending to work on some sort of panel, there is just a smooth wall in the TOS scene. Relax, everybody!

I kind of wish they would have done a whole series based on time cops chasing miscreants around the TOS universe. I say "would have" because I don't trust the current Trek brain trust to do it right, but if they turned it over to Seth McFarlane, it would be pretty great.
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SlackerInc
Thu, Aug 13, 2020, 4:57am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Thirty Days

“wouldn't 0700 be breakfast?”

Exactly what I was going to say! I guess the writers had a brain fart and mixed up 0700 with 1900.
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SlackerInc
Thu, Aug 13, 2020, 2:37am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Counterpoint

I liked this episode but I wouldn’t call it one of the series' best as many of you are saying.

What stands out for me more than the episode itself is the comment section. Some really interesting and thoughtful observations. I never thought of the interpretations Chris P and Green Tree Sky offered, but they really make a lot of sense. Food for thought.

Like others, I loved Torat. Why did they go so much further with his makeup and prosthetics than they typically do, I wonder? They did kind of kidnap him: that was ethically pretty shaky.

But I guess I have a different understanding of the Prime Directive than most of you do. I always thought that was only about not interfering with prewarp civilizations.
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SlackerInc
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 8:40am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Infinite Regress

I thought the story here was pretty weak. In particular I cosign grumpy otter's complaint that the deactivation of the vinculum made Tuvok's mindmeld superfluous.

But the episode is saved by Jeri Ryan‘s virtuoso acting. She was given a showcase for her thespian chops and really took full advantage of the opportunity.
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SlackerInc
Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 1:16am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

This comment section has been an even better read than normal. Wolfstar, I want to particularly give your comment a shoutout because although I didn’t necessarily agree with everything you said, it was extremely thought-provoking and very well written.
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SlackerInc
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 3:02am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

This is going to be a boring take, that leaves me looking like I don’t want to pick a side, but I thought it was...not bad, but not great. Like, say, 2.8 stars on Jammer’s 4 point scale.

I definitely laughed several times. But the joke density was a little low, and at least as many jokes missed as hit. I like the characters reasonably well and I was not bored.

But I want to say for anyone who assumes that, since this creator was a writer on Rick and Morty, that they have an idea of how good that show is. They definitely do not. Rick and Morty is pretty much four stars every time, although you would probably have to give some episodes 3.5 just to indicate which ones are your favorites.

I will probably not continue with the show, but not because I dislike it. There are just way too many good TV shows and movies out there, plus a lot of other aspects of life to live. If I were in a doctors waiting room and there was the typical assortment of TV shows on but also this, it’s likely this one would win out. But if I had the nearly unlimited choice of everything else on various streaming services, then it would not. Even if I had just CBSAA, I might be more likely to catch an episode of The Good Wife (I’m still in season five) or Young Sheldon (I have only watched four or five episodes of that and I’m starting to realize it’s actually a really good show).

So, TLDR: shrug emoji.
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SlackerInc
Wed, Aug 5, 2020, 2:17am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S7: Lower Decks

I knew Sito didn’t have plot armor, but it was still a kick in the gut for her not to survive.

Great episode. I have a couple friends who complain that the waiter character was poorly written, that a civilian worker on a ship would not act like that. It seemed fine to me, but I have no experience with the military.
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SlackerInc
Tue, Jul 21, 2020, 7:04am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Timeless

I liked this, but 4 stars seems a bit overblown. 3 stars for me. Best parts: drunk Seven; the visual of Voyager under the ice; and Giordi musing that he might do the same in their shoes but he has a responsibility to his own crew to try to stop them.
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SlackerInc
Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 12:21am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S5: The First Duty

@Peter G., I see your point but I think a lot of people in his shoes would be sorely tempted to see Wesley get expelled along with him.

My 10-year-old daughter and I watched this episode because we watched the “Boothby” (Species 2471 or whatever number it was) Voyager episode the other day, and when I mentioned he was on TNG, she wanted to see that—and it turns out this is the only episode he was ever on where it’s actually him. (She was initially confused when it appeared that Tom Paris was on the show using a different name.)

Anyway, I asked her about halfway through the episode whether Wesley should tell the truth or stick by his friends and she said stick by his friends, which I thought was interesting. After Picard’s speech, though, she changed her mind.

One other “from the mouths of babes” note. She has not seen the show Picard because it is rated TV-MA or TV-14 or whatever. But she has seen little snippets when she came into the room before I paused it. She opined that they must be using a “hologram” of Picard in the new show because TNG is “from the 80s” and it’s 2020 now, but according to her he looks exactly the same in both places. I told her Patrick Stewart would be flattered, but that he does look older now—and I showed her a trailer and then she saw what I meant. But he definitely has held up well!

Anyway, great episode, very nuanced and good to see Wesley get dirtied up a bit, although I would have liked to see his mother’s reaction after he confessed. (My daughter said “I guess in the future kids can tell their parents what to do” after Wesley told her not to interfere, LOL.)
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SlackerInc
Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 12:32am (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S4: First Contact

I really liked this episode too. I should give Jammer all the credit for leading me to it. I have been watching Voyager with my wife and daughters for several years now, along with a little bit of TOS (we recently watched “the one with the whales”) but never TNG. Just the other day we watched the Voyager episode that had the imposter Boothby, and I commented that he was from TNG. That got my youngest daughter curious about this show, so I decided to find an episode for us to watch together.

But I have probably only seen a couple dozen TNG episodes myself, and the ones that came to mind were either too atypical (“Measure of a Man”, “Inner Light”), or too scary (Borg), or both. The same problem came up when I googled “best TNG episodes”.

So I decided to just scroll through the listings here and look for four-star episodes that sounded like they would be a good introduction to the show. There are probably others that would be better to illustrate how things actually work on the ship (and my daughter still wants to see the “real Boothby”), but I was very happy with how this turned out.

I found Riker having sex with the alien woman amusing and didn’t think much more of it than that. But reading the discussion here I can see that it is a legitimate perspective to see it as a kind of rape, coming from coercion. I would thread the needle and say that instead, Riker basically temped as a sex worker. If the woman had held a gun on him when he was walking down the street and taken him prisoner and told him he could not leave unless he had sex with her, that would be rape. But she was not really the agent in charge of his custody, and she was willing to offer him something of value at risk to her own status in exchange for the sex, so it was really a kind of barter.

Jason R. wrote:

————
If you were an astrophysicist and we were discussing, say, neutron stars, that would be one thing. That is such a discrete arcane discipline that most people wouldn’t dream of challenging a bona fide expert.

But unfortunately, sociology is a discipline that overlaps with a lot of everyday topics like politics, philosophy, anthropology, that everyday laypeople must be entitled to an opinion on and can't just agree to defer to "experts" on without effectively surrendering their inherent human right to participate in the public square.
————

Both my mother and wife are sociologists, and I agree with Jason about this (sometimes to their chagrin, LOL).

@spmsmith: Great point about the doctor.
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SlackerInc
Tue, Jul 7, 2020, 7:10am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: In the Flesh

LOL, Spock's Ears, fair point. I enjoyed the episode, but you guys have convinced me of its many flaws.
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SlackerInc
Mon, May 18, 2020, 11:31am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

@Trent, glad I am not the only one who found the stuff at the end (with Picard “dying” and Data dying) really weak.

@OTDP, I agree with you that AI is still sentient if it is complex enough—that it doesn’t have to be formed from the same physical components as our brains.

Relatedly, two recent science fiction series I have really enjoyed are Devs on Hulu and Upload on Amazon.
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SlackerInc
Mon, May 18, 2020, 5:32am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Drone

8,000 cubic kilometers per hour, lol. Hard to imagine they would need to bother moving the ship. The edge of the nebula is almost certainly approaching them slower than an old man using a walker. Probably slower than a snail.

But I did really like this episode, and the ending really “gave me all the feels” in a way that rarely happens with Trek (“Inner Light” and “City on the Edge of Forever” come to mind, not that this episode is necessarily quite in that stratospheric company).

I did initially see it the way @Nick did, though: “Janeway should have aborted the drone fetus in a heart beat”. But my feelings about it evolved along with Seven’s, and I was tearing up right with her when One died.
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SlackerInc
Sun, Apr 26, 2020, 9:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S5: Night

I enjoyed this quite a bit. But I knew someone was going to comment on this:

“Why did the holodeck have a blackout too? LOL.”

That’s definitely a bit silly, but I was willing to just go with it.
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SlackerInc
Tue, Apr 21, 2020, 8:48am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: Hope and Fear

Harsh review! I liked this one a lot. 3.5 stars.
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SlackerInc
Thu, Apr 2, 2020, 1:01am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S4: One

I liked this episode, but I had a hard time not feeling like they should have just taken the extra 11 months to go around the nebula.

My favorite scenes were the bookends of Seven asking the holodeck crewmembers blunt personal questions in rapidfire succession, and then connecting with them hesitatingly but more effectively in real life at the end, and showing some vulnerability. I hope this is character development that will not be erased by the dreaded Voyager Reset Button.

Of course the Doctor was great as always. I found it funny that no one ever commented on the irony of his lecturing Seven about tact. It’s true that at this point he does better at that than she does, but this is a low bar and he is not the ideal teacher.

I do not believe the alien was real, but I do think Tom actually crawled out of his pod at least once (the first time we saw — clearly the last couple were hallucinations). Otherwise you have to believe that Seven was hallucinating some of the Doctor’s lines as well, and that she told a falsehood at the end.
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SlackerInc
Thu, Apr 2, 2020, 12:32am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

You guys (including Jammer) are making me feel really lonely here! I thought the epilogue with Data was the worst part of the episode and one of the worst parts of the whole season. Dull, maudlin, implausible, and morally bankrupt. But then I was never a huge fan of Data’s character to begin with. Give me Spock, Tuvok, or even Isaac from the Orville any day.
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SlackerInc
Fri, Mar 27, 2020, 9:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Wait, are we sure Narissa is dead? On the SDMB, someone pointed out that she was shown throughout the season to have a personal transporter to get her out of jams. Seven/Annika should have used the disintegration method she employed earlier in the season!
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SlackerInc
Thu, Mar 26, 2020, 7:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Which episodes were solely written by Chabon?
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SlackerInc
Thu, Mar 26, 2020, 7:03am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

I did not like the epilogue. I really hate the trope about immortality being a bad thing.

But I thought the main part of the episode was well done in a middling classic Trek kind of way, and in fact all of it — good and bad — was very representative of the sort of median level of Trek over the years. Even if it didn’t approach the level of the best episodes or movies, it was also significantly better than the worst ones, and it just seemed much more recognizably *of* the franchise than virtually anything we have seen for the past decade or more.

2.5 stars, and I look forward to next season not quite eagerly but amiably.
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SlackerInc
Thu, Mar 26, 2020, 5:46am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

That was pretty intense.

It’s not entirely original, of course. We have seen variations of this in BSG, the Terminator movies, even “The Orville”. And for that matter, when Patrick Stewart is arguing with the leader of the synthetics, it’s highly reminiscent of his debates with Ian McKellen’s Magneto in a different universe with some parallels between synthetics and mutants.

But it was all very well done. And one thing I really liked about it, that others may feel betrays the spirit of Star Trek, is how we got various inversions of what had seemed good and bad, but it wasn’t just a random twist for twist’s sake. It all tracks logically with what we have seen. It’s pretty wild to think that Picard’s big noble quest is starting to look very questionable as to its actual nobility, and that in saving Soji he may have condemned billions or trillions of organics to death.

The other aspect of this twist is that the Romulan “bad guys” kind of seem like they had the right idea! And they did plant the seeds. I commented on the last episode that Rios kind of had a point when he noted that it was a little scary how Soji took over his ship.

I wrote the above before receiving any comments or the review. I see now that both are generally negative, which is too bad. I thought this episode was quite good, 3.5 stars and possibly the best of the season.

Now, on to the exciting conclusion!
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SlackerInc
Mon, Mar 23, 2020, 8:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

I like the site fine the way it is, but if people want to volunteer to make it fancier that sounds cool too. I would chip in a couple bucks at Patreon if Jammer wants to do that.

I am pretty happy with this season overall, but I will defend the people who hate it but keep watching and commenting, as that has been pretty close to my experience with Discovery. If you are really interested in Star Trek, it’s just...interesting, to watch what they do with it—even if you don’t *like* what they are doing. And it’s also interesting to talk about it with other people.

Some questions I had:

How did Elnar get his hands out of the shackles?

Why did the Romulans think all the Borg had been killed if there were still enough to swarm Nerissa and her henchmen?

I agree with Rios: what if they’re right?
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SlackerInc
Sun, Mar 22, 2020, 11:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Nepenthe

Great review of a great episode. I know we need to get on with things, but I could definitely handle more of the Soji & Kestra Show!
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SlackerInc
Sun, Mar 22, 2020, 9:47am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

I can see how the gore could be jarring for fans of 1990s TNG. But I remember TNG being jarring to me as a teenager after being a fan of TOS reruns and the movies.

I don’t mind watching Trek that is more adult, although I do regret that it puts it more off-limits for kids.

I acknowledge some of the flaws in this episode, but I found it more enjoyable than most episodes of Discovery, so it’s still registering as a pleasant surprise so far.

My biggest disappointment in this episode is one PM mentions. I liked Agnes as kind of a lighthearted, funny audience surrogate character. So it’s really unfortunate to have her flip to the dark side.

(I was also confused for a while as to whether Bjeyzl was an amazingly well-preserved Troi, LOL.)
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