Comment Stream

Search and bookmark options Close
Search for:
Search by:
Clear bookmark | How bookmarks work
Note: Bookmarks are ignored for all search results

Total Found: 1,884 (Showing 1-25)

Next ►Page 1 of 76
Set Bookmark
William B
Thu, Feb 20, 2020, 3:54pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Trent,

"Kurtzman's resume is literally an unending line of absolute crap. He's like Ed Wood, Uwe Boll and Michael Bays all rolled up into one."

Ed Wood (sometimes) made intensely personal movies he wanted to make, like Glen or Glenda. To call the finished work confused would be an understatement, and it's not exactly easy for anyone to tell exactly what it was he was trying to say, but he definitely seemed to be trying to say something. Tim Burton could make a celebratory picture about him and link him to Orson Welles as a man of titanic vision and passion for moviemaking -- he just happens to be completely bonkers and inattentive to the most basic elements of craft or taste. I don't see anyone making that kind of biopic about Kurtzman. Uwe Boll is also a bizarre character IRL and Michael Bay was reportedly a prodigy filmmaker as a student, who quickly channeled everything into soulless moneymaking. They are all kind of more interesting figures than Kurtzman IMO, who strikes me as a middle management type more so than either mad creative, outsider failure or even talent-turned-abject-sellout, though maybe there's an artist in there somewhere. (I haven't watched PICARD yet, so I'm not talking about this show right now!)
Set Bookmark
William
Fri, Feb 7, 2020, 8:58am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S6: Virtuoso

Ok, so if the doctor eventually decided to stay anyway... How would he be transfered? Surely his program doesn't fit in the mobile emitter (which, is, in fact, an emitter, and not a pen drive)... Surely instead of cut/paste they could copy/paste him and send a duplicate? The whole premise is botched
Set Bookmark
William B
Fri, Jan 31, 2020, 5:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: In Purgatory's Shadow

"The distress signal set up by Taim is overly contrived - would anyone really send out a cry for help which only one person in the entire universe could decipher?"

Normally I'd agree, but I think a lot of effort was made in The Die is Cast to suggest reasons why Garak would plausibly be the only living person in the universe Tain could trust: he killed most of his past associates, was fooled by his allies, and Cardassia does not look favourably on failure on his scale. Only Garak is loyal/sentimental enough to be trusted to put Tain's interests first, and hardy enough to hold onto secrets enough to be reachable by an otherwise untraceable code. Of course even then Garak's weak spot for Bashir is exploited by the Bashir changeling.

The case could be made that Martok or whoever should have tried harder to convince him to widen the audience, though.
Set Bookmark
William B
Fri, Jan 31, 2020, 9:02am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: Strange Bedfellows

The weird thing is, I think in terms of sheer screen time, Ezri has maybe the most material of anyone this season. Sisko's role is downplayed earlier in the season (partly, I think, because Brooks was starting to want to work on other projects). There's particularly the Prodigal Daughter/The Emperor's New Cloak/Field of Fire triptych which is extremely Ezri-heavy (two -centric episodes and one where Mirror Ezri gets a lot of focus), and the Ezri/Worf material takes up so much time and space during this period. But someone like Damar who gets comparatively little screentime is given more interesting things to do, even before the final arc (his moments in Treachery, Faith and the Great River are good, for example, and I like what Peter was saying about the Dr. Wykoff stuff in Shadows and Symbols). I'm not sure exactly where I fall on the Winn/Dukat stuff in the final analysis but it's certainly gripping in this episode and the last. I'm not anti-Ezri as concept and I think that at times they were *trying* to do something with her that they didn't fully do with Jadzia, which is to genuinely have Ezri move past her previous host(s) (whereas Jadzia maybe remained stuck in Curzon mode in some ways), but I think the execution is generally weak.

Ezri vs. Damar is really a pretty good comparison actually in that both are characters who really come to take over the show at crucial parts in season seven, after not being major characters before. Damar of course has been around since season four, but he was always a background character before, one who sort of fell upward into prominence. There are some hints in season six of what might be interesting about the guy (e.g. Jack et al.'s analysis in Statistical Probabilities), but still it's mostly this year that brings him to real prominence, and IMO the season does a fantastic job fleshing him out. Ezri is also someone who there's a built-in reason for us to be interested in (being Dax), but I don't really feel that the season earns the level of focus she gets or makes great use of it. Vic Fontaine is another character who gets a surprising amount of material in late s6/early s7 for being a new character, and I'd place him somewhere in between (I like It's Only a Paper Moon a lot, but am not sure about his prominence in other episodes).

It's actually a pattern I see in a lot of shows in their final season, where new or previously background characters eat up a lot of attention, with mixed results. The stories they do come up with for some of the main characters in the first two-thirds of the season feel weirdly warmed-over -- Bashir in Chrysalis goes through a similar process to in Melora, for instance, though this time with the genetic engineering more forefronted; O'Brien running off to investigate Bilby's wife's murder feels like a weird side quest for him to have gone on, and one the episode itself is only marginally interested in. Sisko, as I mentioned, is relatively backgrounded after the opening trilogy and Take Me Out to the Holosuite and before the final arc, except for AR558. Note that I'm not saying there's *no* new material for these characters, and some, like Odo, keep having interesting and transformative stories. In addition to fatigue with the main cast, I think what maybe happens is that the writing staff has some general or even specific idea of where them main cast will end up at the end of the season, which means that it's hard for them to do anything with the characters that might disturb that ending. So I think there's kind of combination of writerly fatigue with the main cast and also the need to maintain a holding pattern so as not to disturb the endgame. (In TNG, something similar happens in that nothing can be too heavily jostled because of Generations coming up, but they didn't really move to the supporting cast and instead made the Family Theatre stuff.)
Set Bookmark
William B
Wed, Jan 22, 2020, 12:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S3: Basics, Part II

Good write up Elliott. Looking back on what I wrote, I see I couldn't think of what they *should* have done on the planet, and your suggestion of going to the "basics" of psychology makes some sense. Obviously what they did planetside is bad either way. It occurs to me that it may have worked better to fold in aspects of Resolutions into Basics 2 - - instead of focusing on a Survival Story for ten minutes and then a Can We Ever Get Along With These Savages? story for a few more, have the setup in part 1 be that they clearly do have enough basic tools to survive on the planet, and so the issue is what happens when they no longer have a ship to run (and thus time to think).

One of the things Part I suggested was that Culluh wanted to punish Janeway for not giving him replicators. The episode was also maybe attempting to show the Voyager crew having to live like the Kazon and the Kazon living like the Voyager crew. Culluh thinks it's all a matter of tech, but Culluh is too stupid to use the tech he's given and squanders any such advantages, whereas Janeway and Chakotay can make peace with other random tribes rather than playing the endless musical chairs of internal war that the Kazon do. It's not just technological superiority that makes the Voyager crew, well, better. I guess that could work, but peace with the Ewoks isn't really all that impressive here and the Kazon are so hopeless that it's not exactly a compliment to come out on top of them.
Set Bookmark
William B
Tue, Jan 21, 2020, 12:38pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Prophecy

Discovery and Picard have zero negative season seven reviews, either.
Set Bookmark
William B
Mon, Jan 20, 2020, 2:23pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Children of Time

Not that no one else has mentioned this, but for me the key insight about Old Odo is that he was willing to wipe out two hundred years of history he himself knew, of people he in principle saw born and died. It's not the same as Miles arguing they go back to their lives on the station (even had he held fast) because it's a confirmation that Odo will choose Kira over two centuries' worth of other connections he's made (or has not made), that *this* is how much his feelings for her eclipse his feelings for everyone else. To be fair to Odo, something similar could be said about Jake in The Visitor, though at least there it's less clear that there are any lives that definitely won't happen (Jake probably believes that Nog, his wife, etc. will still exist in the world where Ben doesn't die). This also raises the question of where Odo's loyalties lie should his feelings for Kira waver.
Set Bookmark
William B
Mon, Jan 13, 2020, 3:14pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: Broken Link

I don't think gathering information and helping Odo are mutually exclusive though. Gathering information has been rigorously reinforced in Garak over decades and I don't think he can just turn it off that easily. And he still can't help but despise himself for not living up to Tain even if he also doesn't entirely believe in him. Maybe helping Odo is cover for gathering information, which is cover for helping Odo (which is cover for...).
Set Bookmark
William B
Mon, Jan 13, 2020, 7:54am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: The Muse

And I'm enjoying your contributions to the site very much too!
Set Bookmark
William B
Mon, Jan 13, 2020, 7:53am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S4: The Muse

@Fenn, thanks. I'm doing okay-ish. I was having a bad couple of days upthread.
Set Bookmark
William B
Mon, Jan 13, 2020, 7:22am (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: The Inner Light

Speaking for myself, of course Stewart is fantastic and the episode wouldn't work without him (or someone of his calibre, whoever that would be!) but mostly what attracts me about this episode is that it corrals the notion of a civilization's existence -- including an unavoidable planetary demise -- to a single well-lived life, and gives us a snapshot of that, via Picard, in an hour. It's about living in the shadow of death -- of the individual, of the planet! -- and finding meaning despite (or even in) that. It's breathtakingly ambitious, the mad folly of putting the weight and meaning of a whole planet and species onto a flute, but it's presented in an elegant, straightforward and (arguably) unpretentious way. Probably the episode relies on cliches to get to its final outcome but it doesn't really detract from the episode for me, at least because any cliches in this episode are still to me representations of recognizably real kinds of people and problems.

The other thing is that in addition to showing Jean-Luc opening up from his closed off world, it also shows him giving up some measure of control -- first he stops trying to get back to the Enterprise, then he stops trying to save his planet. It's not really a message that one should never try to do anything (!) but rather it pops because we know both how hard these things are for Jean-Luc and that he has had and will have plenty of opportunities to save humanity. There are some things beyond our control, however. Now of course here is where it's worth noting the invasive, violating element to what the probe does to Picard, and I do understand why people object. To me the episode is about what Jean-Luc gets from the experience (and the experience itself) rather than the morality of what the Ressikans did, so I think it's still meaningful to see Jean-Luc giving up some of his control in order to appreciate what he life he has.
Set Bookmark
William B
Thu, Dec 12, 2019, 2:01pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Nightingale

I don't think the idea is that Lien was fired instead of Wang because Wang is better looking (both are good looking people), but because Wang got more positive press that year (related to his good looks). It seems as if the producers weren't particularly happy with either of them and then pivoted from firing Wang to firing Lien so they could capitalize on the publicity for Wang. That it seems Lien had some big personal problems is probably another factor.

Strictly speaking, the "character bible" versions of Kim and Kes were some of the characters who would have the most obvious arcs over the course of the series, as the youngest, the naifs who would be expected to change the most over the seven-year journey. It's sort of a shame that one's story was truncated by her leaving the show and the other was kept in a semi-artificial stasis. I say sort of because it's hard to know how much the show could have really done for the characters given the possible limitations of the actors (either in terms of range or in terms of personal problems getting in the way, or maybe both). In fact the best episode (arguably) for each character is one which jumped ahead in time (Before and After, Timeless) to a "fully developed" version of the character, even though in principle we could have seen some of this development in real time. (I know that we did, a bit -- Elliott I'm sure will talk about what Kes development actually did happen in season 3, especially.)
Set Bookmark
William B
Thu, Dec 12, 2019, 12:47pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S7: Nightingale

I also dimly recall an interview where Wang said that they wouldn't let him direct an episode when he asked, in contrast to every other cast member (Trek was generally pretty generous with allowing cast members to direct). For whatever reason, they did seem to maybe have it in for him. Most of us here seem to think his performances weren't really great, so it might be that the producers didn't think he had the artistic chops or something, but I don't know if that fully explains it.

"Alas, they underserve him again. They didn’t HAVE to make him an indecisive, micro-managing, arrogant and unsympathetic middle manager. Those characteristics do not naturally emerge from earlier shows where he’s been shown to have more judgment and maturity. He could just as believably - and more rewardingly - have been allowed to demonstrate more ability here. The writers pranked him."

Yeah. I think part of the problem is that the writers wanted to make "a command episode" for Kim which is *only* about his command abilities, and so that necessarily means they have to have some kind of arc about his command abilities, and so the arc they settled on is "he is bad at it but learns," and then they went about it in a hamhanded way. They might have done better if they'd made Kim commanding part of an episode about something else (as they did in season five sometimes).
Set Bookmark
William B
Tue, Dec 10, 2019, 5:22pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S6: Time's Arrow, Part II

Finale spoilers

Ah so THAT'S why Geordi became a writer and apparently successfully wooed Leah.
Set Bookmark
William B
Mon, Dec 9, 2019, 11:59am (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

Jeez, I meant The Little Mermaid, not Beauty and the Beast (thanks Chrome). Les Poissons is great.
Set Bookmark
William B
Sun, Dec 8, 2019, 6:46pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S7: What You Leave Behind

I just saw the news about René as well. A wonderful performer, whose work in Altman movies, Beauty and the Beast, Frasier, etc. I enjoyed. His A-game, terrific work as Odo, having the most expansive, complex and demanding arc of the series (possibly of the franchise?), playing a character who was a shapeshifter, grump, cynic, romantic, pillar of integrity, near-fascist, traitor, collaborator, freedom fighter, prodigal son, hermit, friend, lover, and self-sacrificial redeemer of his fallen god people, and keeping these disparate elements balanced within a believable whole, could never have worked without this man's dedication, talent, and soul. RIP.
Set Bookmark
William B
Fri, Dec 6, 2019, 2:35pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S3: The Survivors

And in particular, Uxbridge was not planning on using *any* "force," even the threat of force. I think his pacifism was so strong that even depowering them directly would seem to violate his extreme, inflexible code -- only deception and illusion were allowed. Threatening them would be right out. The problem is that Uxbridge didn't really anticipate he would fail, and so didn't consider any intermediate options (threatening the Husnock, un-weaponizing them, destroying the particular attacking ship) between extreme pacifism with some deception and overt genocide. If he had known that Rishon would die and how he'd react, of course he would have taken more steps, but he didn't.
Set Bookmark
William
Fri, Dec 6, 2019, 12:26pm (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Demon

We have literally another series about a threatening species of changelings that can mimic human beings and it's considered a total threat and they WILLINGLY let themselves be cloned by a liquid species they know nothing about? Call me whatever, but VOY is lame and should be embarrassed of itself.
Set Bookmark
William B
Tue, Dec 3, 2019, 4:32pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

I hope I'm not being a busybody, but I think Booming meant those "more debate, silly!" "will this madness never end" with emoticons comments in a tongue in cheek, "It's fun to talk about this" kind of way, OTDP, which is to say I think it's not meant to be aggressive or insulting. Not that you have to agree with Booming's arguments or conclusions, of course.
Set Bookmark
William B
Mon, Dec 2, 2019, 11:57am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S4: Retrospect

I'll add that TNG's Violations also was possibly inspired by these "false memory" cases. There the "therapist" (evil memory retrieval person) plants false traumatic memories (and retrieves real ones?) for, apparently, sadistic pleasure. The Doctor is well meaning in this episode but I suspect Jason is correct that this episode is inspired by cases of that sort. I'll add that Seven is already vulnerable because of what the Borg did to her (and her parents, for taking a seven year old into Borg space), but it is not possible to bring the Borg to justice, whereas it seems possible to bring Kovin. I think at core the episode is not saying "people don't get victimized," so much as that there are sometimes places where memory gets hazy, and the (correct) desire to see justice done can cloud judgment, especially when the possible victim is already a victim of a major trauma which the justice system is completely unable to deal with. I don't know that it's successful, partly because the plot takes some cheats, though I think Ryan and Picardo are excellent and much of the character material works.
Set Bookmark
William B
Sun, Dec 1, 2019, 2:58pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S5: I, Borg

@Jon R.,

I agree to a point, but three things.

1. I do think the episode presents the main choices as annihilation of the Borg or not annihilating them. It's a dramatic conceit that these are the choices, but I think the episode is clear that those are mostly the choices.

2. They do suggest that Hugh might bring the concept of individuality back to the Borg, which is addressing the possibility of offering help to the "kidnapped slaves" therein.

3. Trek seems at times to suggest all Borg are forcibly assimilated from other cultures, but Q Who laid out that there are Borg birthing chambers, so there are some Borg, at least, who are not from other species but are "only Borg." Hugh might be one of those. They need help too, but it might be that there is no species for them to return to, but will have to construct a more individualistic society from the ground up.

I think the episode is great, but definitely it presents some simplified arguments, to scale for a single episode about a species which looms over the series but only intermittently appears.
Set Bookmark
William B
Thu, Nov 28, 2019, 2:17pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Angel One

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi (do you mind OTDP?),

Out of curiosity, what chat subjects did you uncover for Crusher/Ogawa and Crusher/Troi besides the romantic conversations? It's not that I'm doubting you, I just can't recall that many such conversations. The only thing that comes to mind is the brief discussion about Ogawa's promotion in Lower Decks, and even there in an episode mostly about career discussions, most of the Crusher/Ogawa conversations were about Crusher's concern about whether Ogawa and her boyfriend were going to make it work. (Credit where credit is due, though, that episode has the excellent Sito material which is completely unrelated to any romantic elements.)

I think that people are underrating the breadth of the material for Crusher a little. Emphasis on "a little," because I do think there are definitely limitations. The "care work" is partly because of the way in which Crusher's medical work sometimes plays out, though off the top of my head it's mainly Transfigurations which has her medical/caretaking/romantic selves all uncomfortably smooshed together, and that's just one episode. But she's a doctor and single mother who is also interested in dance (as Peter mentioned), cybernetics, community theatre, non-medical sciences (metaphasic shielding), command, organizing conferences, and debating philosophy and ethics with Jean-Luc. I do think that McFadden has a smaller range compared to, well, Muldaur comes to mind (though I think McFadden has a likable presence and good chemistry with Stewart) and Crusher doesn't have much of an arc, but there was some effort made to make her a well-rounded person.
Set Bookmark
William B
Tue, Nov 26, 2019, 7:43am (UTC -6)
Re: VOY S5: Warhead

@Proteus, I'm not sure how useful it is to translate Jammer's star ratings directly into (American-style?) percentages. First off, academic percentages aren't entirely standard - - in Canada, for instance, 50 is generally a D (well, D-), a marginal pass, and 75 is a B. Mostly though Jammer is going on his own system which isn't really meant to translate to academic percentages. My (educated?) guess is that it's mostly following movie star ratings, especially from Roger Ebert. So 2 stars is really not a *failure*, though it's definitely not a success. Certainly you do appear to line this episode more than Jammer, but his 2 star rating should be taken according to how his scale works.

OTOH, it is probably true that the movie critic style 4-star scale is a bit limiting. If a show is good or even tolerable then generally the 2-4 part of the range will get used a lot more than 0-2. A scale like the one SFDebris or Luke uses where 5 is taken to be a kind of Trek (or series) average maybe makes better use of the whole scale. I'm still pretty partial to the movie criticism 4-star scale, though largely because I'm used to it. And with half stars there's a decent amount of gradation.
Set Bookmark
William B
Sat, Nov 23, 2019, 12:18pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S2: The Child

@Top Hat, I don't think it was ever super popular, but no I don't recall it being mentioned as a Worst Episode. I think it partly benefits from starting season 2. The first episode featuring Guinan and Ten-Forward (and Pulaski, for those of us fond of her) and Geordi in Engineering can't be all bad.
Set Bookmark
William B
Fri, Nov 22, 2019, 6:57pm (UTC -6)
Re: DS9 S5: Looking for Par'mach in All the Wrong Places

I wonder how much Worf was aware of Jadzia's interest on some level and decided to ignore it. Worf was aware of the possibility of something with Troi but never really followed up, and then lost his connection to Klingons. I think probably the notion of dating a non Klingon was sort of bearable in late TNG because he felt better about his Klingon-ness, but in S4 of ds9 was too focused on his tragic condition to really let himself admit that he could have a full life ostracized from other Klingons. This episode does link Worf's desire to woo Grilka to his insecurity about being a pariah; it appears that being able to successfully woo her through Quark is enough to get him to realize he has the skills to be a Real Klingon, in different circumstances, and thus allay his concerns enough to make him willing to consider what's right in front of him.

Notably, Dax *is* respected by Klingons, so I wonder if on some level Worf feared that any relationship would just end up hurting her, that his pariah status would somehow rub off on her. I guess mostly he needed a confidence shot.
Next ►Page 1 of 76
▲Top of Page | Menu | Copyright © 1994-2020 Jamahl Epsicokhan. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication or distribution of any content is prohibited. This site is an independent publication and is not affiliated with or authorized by any entity or company referenced herein. See site policies.