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Trent
Sat, Jan 25, 2020, 6:31am (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

Jammer said: "Beyond the connection drawn through the paintings, does Picard's connection to Dahj have something to do with his assimilation into the Borg collective, and if so, how? "

To me, Picard's dreams seemed far too "helpful" to be anything other than some kind of Borg/machine trace memory. The way the episode crosscuts Picard's "helpful dreams" with Dahjs, seems to suggest a similarity between him and the synths.

Andrew said: "This may make people mad, but I'm kind of glad Data is actually dead."

Me too. Unfortunately Spiner's just too old to play an Android who doesn't age. I liked how the show quickly and relatively respectfully got rid of B4 and Data.


Booming said: "How did he know a 30 year old painting that Picard kept at the archives and that nobody accessed (Picard asked the computer)."

The impression I got was that the archives are public, like a museum, and he had clearance to rummage through Data and Picard's belongings and records. But as you say, and which I didn't notice before, the episode specifically mentions that "nobody accessed" this. That lines seems inserted to deliberately explain some future revelation.

Booming said: "What I mean is that Picard was always portrayed as being very private person who always needed his personal space. So having two people live with him who apparently do nothing else but serve him just seemed odd to me. By the way, that is a gigantic mansion Picard ... owns??"

I can't see Picard living out his final years in the family vinyard either. In my mind, someone of his personality becomes some kind of Federation ambassador or diplomat. But I nevertheless thought the episode sold well the idea that he became a kind of outcast hero to the Romulans. I liked the entire - it seems very original - and I thought their relationship was very sweet. I imagine this trio has a rich history together.

Booming said: "Really? Why would there be derelict Borg cubes? Wouldn't there be a billion people who would try to get there hands on something that valuable."

Does the episode say where the Cube is located? The impression I got was that the Romulans fought a cube in Romulan space and destroyed it. Also, does anyone know if there's a Romulan/Federation Peace Treaty in effect at this time? Does DS9 end with the Romulans and Feds at Peace? Does Nemesis? I can't remember.

Booming said: "And who is we?! It is just you who wants to see me suffer."

Mostly me and Omicron. We skype and email each other about your transgressions and plot your various trials and tribulations in the hope of achieving satisfaction.
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Trent
Fri, Jan 24, 2020, 9:56pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

I watched the episode again and thought it played really well once you self-censor the cheesy action scene.

The "Picard waking up at home instead of a hospital" scene also now seems less like bad writing and more like a crucial point; it is suggested that the security footage of the attack on him has been doctored and scrubbed, and we know that the telephone call to the synth's mother was some kind of deepfaked woman. It seems someone with sophisticated gear is doctoring and erasing these events, much like Control did in Discovery. I hope Kurtzman isn't trying to tie these two series together.

OmicronThetaDeltaPhi said: "Am I the only person here who is bothered by the fact that the Trekverse has been turned into some kind dystopia?"

Trek's been moving away from episodic, mind-bending SF tales, and tales of naval exploration, and toward serialized war and conflict for decades now. The latter tends to be easier to write. The former is hard and tends to be easier to write badly.

This first episode of "Picard", though, doesn't feel as "dystopic", grim and airheaded as some of the comments (mine included) here make it seem. It really does feel like a logical continuation of TNG and DS9; the Federation's still a good place and Starfleet still launched a massive humanitarian operation to help its foes. But it's also a Federation that's been driven to paranoia and forced to hunker down after excessive threats from outside. You get the sense - at least from this episode - of Picard trying to drag the Fed back to the stability and nobility of the relatively peaceful TNG era.

Booming said: "So did he paint it and then build the two daughters somewhere between 2369 and 79 or did somebody else somehow build the two"

This episode implies that someone used Data's robot DNA to make robot babies modeled on Data's daughter paintings. The impression I got was that the creator isn't Data (probably Maddox or the Romulans, both who had access to Data's body).

Booming said: "Picard just accepted that two Romulans wanted to become his servants?? I find it strange Picard is comfortable with that."

I thought this was great. The newly designed Romulans look excellent - no rice bowl haircuts or shoulderpads, each unique - and have a sympathetic, graceful, homey quality which we've never seen before. These two seem to owe their lives to Picard, respect him greatly, and really appreciate his attempts to save their people.

Booming said: "Why is the journalist angry about Picard??? Why is it his fault that synthtics went rogue??"

I think she's just pointing out that the attack decimated the fleet that would have assisted the Romulans, and/or forced Starfleet to become somewhat isolationist. I got FOX news vibes from her; she did seem to be trying to bait him into a reaction.

IMO that scene made the episode. It was like a classic Picard MONOLOGUE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS DELIVERED WITH GUSTO BEFITTING A KING.


Booming said: "Did I get that right that there is a galactic ban on synthetics??"

The impression I got was that it's a ban within the Federation, or within Federation colonies belonging to Earth. Seems to be a "some terrorists did some bad things so we ban all brown people" metaphor.

Booming said: "Why do the scientists who study synthetics still have a huge room when there are only like five people working there??"

And why is there a table at the center of this room dedicated to storing Data/B4's body parts?

Notice too that when the scientist enters the room, we get a show-offy close up of the fancy computer touchscreen required to let us into the room. A better director would shoot this in long-shot; its a matter-of-fact, mundane procedure for these far-future people, as dull for them as turning a door handle is for us. TNG was great for its really detached approach to the Enterprise's technology. The crew weren't wowed by it, and neither was the camera. This banal approach led to a sense of realism.

Booming said: "Why are the Romulans building a death cube star?? Didn't their empire collapse??"

I thought it was a derelict/damaged/abandoned Borg cube which the Romulans converted to some kind of facility. I didn't get any Romulan-build-death-cube vibes from it.

Now go watch Orville S2, Booming, we're waiting on your reviews. This whole post is a trick to get you to watch keep reviewing.
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Trent
Thu, Jan 23, 2020, 9:29pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

Almost every line uttered by Picard in this is masterful. Stewart is riveting here.

But there's a huge disconnect between the episode he is in, and the episode everyone else is in.

Almost everything beyond Stewart dips into overcooked melodrama, wild overacting, is rushed, or filmed with shots cut too short and given no room to breath or generate weight. Consider, for example, the opening "beauty shots" of space, all fading into each other, before we see the Enterprise D. All of these shots should be longer, allowed to be savored, as should the beautiful scenes of Picard wandering his vineyard with his dog, which are rushed with a series of frenetic fades.

The "girl with mysterious powers and in distress" subplot - a cliche ripped from Firefly, Jason Bourne etc - was also often rushed and cheesy. A better writer would have ditched the scenes with her and her boyfriend being attacked, and have her first appear on Picard's vineyard. Instead of having her then leaving Picard's vineyard, and then deciding to re-meet up with him (another cheesy scene), and then suddenly dying (another cheesy scene; an exploding disruptor kills her), a better writer would streamline this: have her leave the vineyard with Picard, visit the Federation archives with him, and be attacked whilst leaving together.

I also thought the show's action sequences were ridiculous. What's with Kurtzman and wire-Kungfu? The hand-combat scenes here are cheesy, belong in a Marvel movie, and scenes with our heroes flying/leaping, or in which an explosion hits Picard (why isn't he taken to a hospital immediately?), are laughably cartoonish.

Alfred Hitchcock used to say that everyone knowing a gun is under the table is more interesting than guns being fired; anticipation, buildup and tension are more exciting than space Kungfu. Surely there are more interesting, original and tense ways to cook up a sense of danger and threat than having ninja-Romulans beaming into rooms and throwing knives? Stewart deserves highbrow action sequences, clever, measured, patiently drawn-out and exquisite, not a 12 year old's conception of cool.

Like Spock's relationship to Michael is shoehorned into Discovery, we see Data's relationship with his "daughter" shoehorned here, a bit of fanbaiting which admittedly works to an extent (Spiner and Stewart are just so good), but nevertheless is wholly unnecessary. Alluding to Data/Lal and daughters indirectly might have worked better. But this episode doesn't do subtlety; characters overtly play with "meaningful rings", constantly have "explanatory dreams", paintings are literal rather than symbolic, reporters infodump decades worth of history and so on.

Finally, the spoiler-heavy credit sequence is awful on every level (the score begins nicely but never swells or climaxes with satisfaction). Indeed, the episode as a whole is over-scored, several times employing intrusive music when silence would work better.

So yeah, the pacing and melodrama issues of Discovery are still present to a degree. The show needs more grace and patience, and less comic book tropes. It has a tremendous asset in Steward, who dominates the screen and delivers more power than the best FX, and needs to be confident in his ability to command attention.

Still, this is nevertheless a strong pilot. Earth and its various Federation locales look great, Picard's sparring with a news-reporter is great (though too many buzzing droids), his dream-interactions with Data likewise, the Romulan music from TOS is a nice callback, and the plot's promises to "flesh out" the Romulans is interesting.

It's hard to know how to rank this in relation to other Trek pilots. With "Remembrance", one gets the sense that the episode does "less things bad" than previous Trek pilots, but also does "much less things". As it was shot as a two hour episode (or two parter), one probably has to see next week's installment to judge it properly.
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Trent
Wed, Jan 15, 2020, 9:19am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

In preparation for Picard I watched this episode again and it seemed even sillier. The battle sequence (parodied nicely here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mw_GC1pcXHo) was particularly cringey, and seems to have aged oddly in just a matter of months.
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Trent
Fri, Jan 10, 2020, 6:33am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Past Prologue

Also, Booming, did you give up on Orville?
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Trent
Fri, Jan 10, 2020, 6:31am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S1: Past Prologue

Peter said: "I've always felt his positive references to clothes and tailoring were completely ironic, as if to say that he hated everything to do with it despite it working excellently as both a cover and a side business."

Garak's tailoring is also a reference to a familiar archetype in spy fiction. WW2 era spies in fiction, and then the more sophisticated novels of Graham Greene and John Le Car which milked the Cold War period, often had spies masquerading as "simple tailors". Antique book shops were another common "front" for a spy organization.

The association between homosexuality and secrecy and potential treachery has also had a long history, and gay spies or double agents were a recurring trope in Cold War-era spy fiction (Le Carre's "The Spy Who Came In From The Cold"* and "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" include gay subtexts for example).

*- the 1960s movie version of this is awesome BTW.
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Claudia Trent
Sun, Jan 5, 2020, 1:31pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Random Thoughts

["The exterior plot sketch of "Random Thoughts" may very well exemplify what Star Trek: Voyager is now all about: a relatively unchanging story setting where the ship and crew can fly in, meet some people, encounter and subsequently solve a problem, and then fly out. In a way, the setting of Voyager has turned into what TOS and TNG originally set out to be. I know this isn't exactly a news flash; Voyager's setting has always made it more TOS-like than the other Trek series of the decade. But after watching the original Voyager ideology disintegrate through two disappointing seasons followed by a wandering third, and now witnessing the first consistently entertaing opening stretch of a Voyager season (if a little on the slight side) that I can remember, I find myself realizing that perhaps this series can reconceptualize the TOS mentality for the 1990s—while simultaneously framing it within the Voyager alone-in-the-Delta-Quadrant premise."]


Thank you for making it clear that you had never bothered to understand this show. Your criticisms of it strike me as incredibly shallow. Mind you, I have expressed criticisms of some of the show's episodes . . . just as I have criticized other Trek shows. But your perception of it strikes me as ridiculously shallow.
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Trent
Sun, Dec 22, 2019, 8:41am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: About a Girl

lol, please keep doing these reviews Booming. I want to see if you finally break.

Booming said "Saudi Arabia isn't trying to erase women, the men in that country just want them to act in a way and have a role which makes it easy to control them."

That's an erasure. It's a sexist erasing of female subjectivity and desires. The Moclans deem females weak, second class and inferior to men. The exploration of this culture gets fascinating in season 2.

The next episode is a generation ship episode, in the vein of TOS' "For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky". It has some good jokes, and a poetic ending, but is a failure IMO. But you can see the show beginning to develop it's identity as TOS bottle-plots meet TNG decor meets GALAXY QUEST meets zany sitcom.

I wouldn't call the show misogynistic as some above have said - Ed's the butt of the joke (he's Kirk if Kirk were a well-meaning loser), and the show's overtly steeped in "girl power" - but CUPID'S DAGGER, 5 episodes from now, is really tone-deaf on a character's rape.
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Trent
Fri, Dec 20, 2019, 8:13pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Command Performance

Boomer, have you seen this?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sn_Sgcxg5PQ

The next episode on your list is decent; it's a gender reassignment on Space Saudi Arabia episode.
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Trent
Fri, Dec 20, 2019, 1:10pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Old Wounds

Keep watching Boom-man. The show gets better come season 2. I'd be interested in hearing your comments as you go along.
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Trent
Tue, Oct 8, 2019, 9:25am (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Dave said: "What's the deal with all cavernous empty space in the ship?"

With worker bees flying about between the decks, no less.
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Trent
Fri, Aug 30, 2019, 11:35am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S4: First Contact

Peter said: "Everything about Krola is moronic, exemplified by his ludicrous glasses prescription."

I always thought this was brilliant. He's literally myopic and short-sighted.
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Trent
Tue, Aug 13, 2019, 1:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

Theo said: "He clearly cared deeply about her well-being before he even met her."

Only after prompted by Crusher. Picard rationalizes her "slavery" - using old school cultural relativism, and hiding behind the Prime Directive - until Crusher pushes him to visit the metamorph's quarters.

Theo wrote: "@Skeptical wrote a pretty brilliant hypotehtical interpretation that comes to precisely the opposite conclusion as you, suggesting that Picard may have actually 'saved' her to a degree"

That's the common reading of the episode; the metamorph "tragically imprints on Picard" whilst "forced to dutifully marry the King". I would say whether this works out best for the metamorph or not, is beside the point.

We're talking about an alien who meets Picard and is instantly ordering "Tea, Earl Grey" for him. She knows him inside out.

What unfolds is then a kind of game of self-delusion. Picard convinces himself of his nobility ("Have I not done everything possible to discourage this?", "I don't want to use you as other men do") and convinces himself that there is no manipulation involved in their relationship. Her pheromones aren't affecting him, he believes, and his desires aren't affecting her. The sham culminates with a wedding on a holodeck, a place itself dependent upon shared delusions.

The metamorph, meanwhile, is continually (and instantly!) mirroring back to Picard everything he wants. The MOMENT he sees her standing before a mirror in a wedding dress, she out of the blue says "I will never truly love him". She then flatters Picard's vanity: he, she reveals, "opens her mind and heart to endless new possibilities" and she "only likes herself when she is with him". She essentially paints Picard as a Kirk-figure: the one-of-a-kind spaceman who tames every alien gal he encounters!

Of course Picard doesn't believe he's being duped. After all, she imprinted on him! And him alone! He's special! The chosen one!

But imprinting is itself a kind of lie; like the giving of one's virginity, or finding a "true love" or "soul mate", she plays to his ego. Picard is suddenly the only one in the universe worthy to take her, the cause of her awakening, the special one who irrevocably changed her, brought her into womanhood and fullness. They may be forced apart, she says, but he will always be in her heart! This kind of romantic male fantasy is exactly what Picard wants. "For a metamorph," she then tells him, "there's no greater pleasure and no greater wish than to bond as I've bonded with you. Who I am today, I will be forever." And Picard laps the deception up.

Ultimately, however you read the episode, it's a really ambiguous and deliciously open-ended little story. It's a shame the bad stuff in it is so corny, because its one of Trek's best "romance episodes" and a really cool piece of SF writing.
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Trent
Mon, Aug 12, 2019, 9:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

I rewatched this episode today, to see what all the reignited fuss was about - I'd last seen it decade ago, and remember it being a clever, subversive piece of writing by Trek savior Michael Piller - and once again found it to be a genius piece of writing.

What you have here is an alien who's literally a male fantasy object. She instantly becomes and does what men unconsciously and/or consciously desire, and her entire culture and upbringing gears her toward such subservience.

This is not a "sexist episode", or a "juvenile fantasy", as others have labelled it above, but a critique of sexism, and how even women internalize their own oppression, integrating the attitudes, values, standards and the opinions of others into their own identity or sense of self. As Peter explains above, the episode's title is clearly ironic: what constitutes a perfect mate oft hinges on a denial of another's subjectivity.

But Piller's script goes further, pushing the episode into far more interesting, and creepier, territory. The episode pretends to be about "Picard helping the metamorph", gallantly leading her into enlightenment. The episode pretends to be about a guy chivalrously attempting to save a slave and nobly teaching her to cast off her chains. The episode pretends to be about an alien who "gets smarter", "learns to value herself" and "nobly sacrifices herself for peace". But as the constant shots of the alien posed in a mirror emphasize, the metamorph's merely reflecting back to the watcher what the subject wishes to see.

In Picard's case, he's suckered into a romance (and presumably sex) by an alien who echoes back to him a sexist fantasy which he smugly deems enlightened and compassionate. The more the metamorph drifts toward Picard's ideal - self-sacrificial, interested in archaeology, music, the greater good, existing to boost his enlightened self-image etc - the more he cares about her well-being. Her value, then, remains still bound up in the preferences and desires of men.

Picard's realization at the end isn't that he failed to rescue the damsel, or that she'd finally become an "autonomous female character", or that she "tragically and nobly sacrifices herself". No, his realization is that he's little better than every sexist creep who'd been using the metamorph. "How did you resist her?" the ambassador asks, before leaving the ship. But Picard didn't, and that's what disturbs him. And it's a profoundly disturbing realization; the sexism of the "nice guy", the "white knight" etc.

The episode has some flaws. The Ferengi - obviously inserted as a kind of reference to their sexist culture - are unnecessary, and the hangar bay scenes in which the metamorph is "birthed" from a cocoon, are silly. Better to have her simply arrive in the first act on the transporter pad. Some of the "sexy dialogue" is also silly in a soft-core porn/1940s femme fatale kind of way.

But these are minor problems. The episode's premise is clever, its scenes with Crusher and Picard are great, the glimpses of the alien cultures are neat (Picard plays a giant alien xylophone), and the whole thing is creepy, ambiguous, and filled with behavior and dialogue operating on a level both Picard and the metamorph seem blind to.
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Trent
Mon, Aug 12, 2019, 6:06pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

Theo said: "In either case, you will rely on scientific consensus at the end."

The social sciences tend to expose forms of past and present exploitation which modern western conservatism deems natural, good or non-existent. Academia, and academic consensus, thus quickly becomes "the enemy".

This leads to a weird kind of double-motion. The conservative is always ranting about "postmodernism" and "the evils of relativism" (which supposedly "destroys our traditions"), whilst simultaneously incessantly pointing out that the sciences are "just pushing subjective theories" because "everything is falsifiable" and "that's just like your opinion, man" because "I believe in different facts". Conservatism, then, as postmodernity writ large.

Along with stuff like denying climate change (or racism, or class, or non binary genders etc), one of the most popular buzzwords to contest over the past few years (in the West; almost nobody cares about this stuff outside the US) has been "the patriarchy".

So you get a lot of guys seeing "the patriarchy" as a "feminist conspiracy designed to attack men" (despite the term - or terms like "kyriarchy" - being used to also describe men being victims of other men), whilst also believing the "patriarchy is natural" and "beneficial to everyone" anyway, or "just a hierarchy of competence" or a "result of biology". So it simultaneously doesn't exist, and is good anyway, and a figment of "feminists' imagination".

But the idea of a "patriarchy" spans different fields. Experts in language, literature, history, anthropology, religion, law etc have all detailed countless forms of covert/overt female oppression throughout history. But all of this is casually dismissed as a "feminism101" plot.
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Trent
Fri, Aug 9, 2019, 8:57pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: Hollow Pursuits

This episode has aged really well.

We get some good Guinan scenes, Troi is used well, the comedy is great, the holodeck scenes are witty/funny, and Picard's management skills are showcased to good effect - he brings the awkward Barclay into the fold - though this requires the contrivance of Georgie and Riker becoming heartless, tactless brutes for an episode.

And while the episode degenerates into another "forced action climax", it's an interesting one, and for once the engineering team seem like actual engineers working sequentially through a tough problem.

With the rise of virtual realities, machine learning AIs, smart phones and face swapping and deep faking technology, TNG also seems quite prescient about tech addiction. With this episode and The Game, you have some of the most chaste, innocuous, but pin-point precise science fiction tales about modern techno-sexual fantasies/fetishes/addictions.
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Trent
Fri, Aug 9, 2019, 8:44pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Perfect Mate

lol, Booming sniffed out that Jordan Peterson link fast.

Jason, Jordan Peterson is a Koch funded, Big Oil, climate denying, Heritage, Cato shill, paid by some of the biggest conservative think tanks on the planet, who's rolled out by banksters to speak at the The Trilateral Commission, who, along with George Bush, is the face of PHP Agency, a multilevel marketing company denounced as a ponzi scheme, who platforms self-identified white nationalists, who defends chicks who promote the Great Replacement conspiracy, who promotes the "rapid onset gender dysphoria" conspiracy (an echo of the "they're not really gay, they're faking it!" hysteria that homosexuals once had to endure), who regularly outright lies about the scientific papers he cites, and who's book quotes papers by actual scientists who've had to denounce him for mis-using their data.

The guy is all kinds of uber-conservative evil, but he does it in a sneaky, low-key way, so he's expert at convincing people that "the patriarchy is not a thing", "feminists are evil" and "sociologists like Booming" are OUT TA GETCHA WITH THEIR TWISTESD, SATANIC, TRADITION-KILLING POSTMODERNIST LINGO.
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Trent
Fri, Aug 9, 2019, 9:57am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: The Road Not Taken

I hope it doesn't become serialized.

Episodic science fiction is like a fun box of chocolate. You never know whatcha gonna get.
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Trent
Fri, Jul 26, 2019, 7:54pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

I hadn't seen that RedLetterMedia review before, so thanks for posting it. It's a quite subversive review, in the sense that it really lays hard into our whole zeitgeist.
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Trent
Fri, May 24, 2019, 2:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Thankfully, according to google, it's actually actress Merrin Dungey's voice in the teaser. So no Michael.
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Trent
Fri, May 24, 2019, 2:14pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

Wait, lol, the show is called PICARD? They literally called the show PICARD? And the tagline is THE END IS ONLY THE BEGINNING?

This already feels as hacky as Discovery.

MadManMUC said: "Though the vineyard footage was beautifully shot."

IMO it's not beautiful at all. Like Discovery, it's just expensive and overproduced. The ideas, compositions, mis-en-scene, over-worked lighting...again, it's the Michael Bay school of art. Or a Thomas Kincaid painting. Everything pushed far beyond the point of good taste, and filmed by people with a background in commercial advertising.
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Trent
Fri, May 24, 2019, 2:06pm (UTC -6)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

I found that Picard trailer to be kitschy and cliched, and filled with the usual grimdark/edgelord trimmings ("Did you lose your faith in Starfleet?", "Tell us why you left the Federation!" etc). The voice over, which sounds like SMG, also makes it seem as though Discovery/Picard are going to have some tie-ins (please god, no).

It's depressing that Trek constantly needs to "test the Federation" and cook up stories in which "people are fighting for Federation values!" (Rah! Rah!). The implicit message is that writers can't envision what simply living, working and exploring in Starfleet/the Federation, entails, and how this might be an interesting, beautiful thing in as of itself. It's a phony motion: cynicism in the guise of affirming optimism.
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Trent
Sun, May 12, 2019, 10:20am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: The Road Not Taken

Avis blesses us upon this glorious day.
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Trent
Thu, May 9, 2019, 6:20am (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S1: Mad Idolatry

Christianity used to be cool and edgy, man. This was a religion about a gender-neutral hebephile who impregnates their own underage mother in order to incestuously give birth to a proto-Marxist bankster-bashing son who was simultaneously his own father and who possesses a magical save-game function which restores the sin-health-bars of humans whenever he presses reset on a cross.

That is cool, edgy stuff. But then Christians ruined Christianity and turned it into the worst kind of conformism. Your modern western Christian is just like everyone else, down to its day to day activities, thought processes, wants and desires. Worshiping at the alter of the Invisible Hand, the Holy Market and the self, Christ's believers demote Jesus to a kind of teddy bear, selfishly and periodically rolled out.

We gotta bring back the fire-and-brimstone Big Lebowski Jesus. Drunk stoner hippie-love Picard-in-a-toga Jesus. No other religion has a hero as cool as him, except, arguably, Buddhism.

Someone above mentioned "Devil's Due". This episode seems to present the reverse message of "Devil's Due". In this episode, Orville defends religion as a "stage", a "vital crutch" which helps societies "evolve". Religion as a kind of wisdom laid upon cultures, which helps add structure, guidance and shape, and which helps bootstraps humanity to something more nuanced.

"Devil's Due" offers sort of the same message, but is IMO a bit more critical of religion; religion in "Devil's Due" is more parasitic, it claims victories and achievements which the aliens would have accomplished without its presence, and its demands for payments and fidelity get in the way of, stymie and slow past and future accomplishments.
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Trent
Fri, May 3, 2019, 2:20pm (UTC -6)
Re: ORV S2: The Road Not Taken

Has anyone noticed how this second season bookends itself like season 2 of TOS?

TOS season 1 first episode - Amok Time
Orville season 1 first episode - Ja'loja

TOS season 2 last episode - Assignment Earth
Orville season 2 last episode - The Road Not Taken

Amok Time and Ja'loja see Spock/Bortus being taken back to their home-worlds to enact a rare biological ritual. Assignment Earth and The Road Not Taken deal with time travelers trying to restore time lines and prevent future calamity and war.
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