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Fri, Feb 22, 2019, 4:34pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S2: The Sound of Thunder

This episode SEEMS great only because it is more coherent than most other Discovery episodes... but compared to TRULY great Star Trek episodes from earlier franchises, Sound of Thunder is still mediocre.

- The camerawork is artistic failure. It is an attempt to induce emotion (fear, disorientation, etc.) by moving the camera so much. However, it just serves to make the show difficult to concentrate on. It literally made me a little dizzy. That's not a good thing. This bad cinematography unfortunately overlays the entire episode, making the whole thing worse.

- Pike's decision to trigger this massive, species-wide biological response was radically irresponsible, not courageous. He could have accidentally wiped out the entire Kelpian population. Genocide would then have been at his hands, rather than the Bauul -- which he scolds them for. There was virtually no good, multi-sided discussion about this decision. This is shallow storytelling.

- The Bauul are still far too unnecessarily evil. Yes, we understand that 2000 years ago they were the prey species on the planet. But their only response is 2000 years of enslavement? History moves much more quickly than that among pretty much any humanoid species. And making the Bauul look like black, oily, spiky things rising out of sludge was just silly. This isn't a show for 8-year-olds.

There was a lot to like, enumerated already in previous comments. But the good is way overshadowed by gigantic problems of artistic decision-making.
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Mon, Feb 5, 2018, 3:29pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S1: The War Without, The War Within

Whew... finally, an episode that doesn't start with people pointing guns at each other (at least as I recall it). Just having a breather from all the violence was refreshing. Moments of compassion! Tilley talking to Ash in the mess hall! People smiling and greeting him! Thank *goodness*.

I think I've finally figured out (for myself, anyway) why this show has been failing: it takes itself all too seriously. If you're going to go full out interstellar warfare, with the immediate risk of Earth being wiped out and even the multiverse destroyed, you had better have the storytelling skill to live up to it. Jules Verne, PK Dick or Spielberg would even have trouble with stakes that high, stakes like secretly beaming *into* the Klingon homeworld with a constitution class starship. STDisco never relents, never cracks a joke or throws in some sly subtext about its own absurdities or contradictions. Scenes that are simply *calm* provide relief just because they are.

Contrast Picard: he was always musing about his own mistakes, imperfections, lack of knowledge. Not all this posturing about being the Alpha in the room. He was Alpha by not trying to be Alpha. Even in TOS, the cheesiness and joking served to allow us to step back and say, "this whole project is absurd" (universal translators? human teleporters? aliens that look a whole lot like humans?). That made it relatable.

Lorca, Michelle Yeoh (both of them), Michael, even Sarek (!), they constantly seem to be trying to prove themselves. Tilly is the one beacon of humor here, along with Saru on occasion. What's interesting is that Tilly was the character that seemed most out of place in the first episodes of the season (which feel like a year ago now).

People wonder why many The Orville fans are so proud of their show and critical of STDisco. That's because they've figured this out. Star Trek doesn't work without a sense of humor. It doesn't have to be slapstick and gross-out humor like the Orville. But *something* subversive, self-effacing, not-so-damn-serious has to be there, in order for the Star Trek universe to work as successful fiction.
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Mon, Jan 29, 2018, 2:01pm (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S1: What's Past Is Prologue

I got to the end of a very stressful day, went to bed, opened up the laptop, and hoped a smart, subtle show would calm me down. What do I get? Any other formulaic war action film, except with scifi backgrounds. Guns, guns, guns. And a problem with spores which might destroy the entire multiverse. Uh-huh.

24 minutes exactly, and I shut it off, just as stressed as before. I went to sleep, because sleep was preferable to Discovery's world of violent extremism.

Maybe the episode god better, but we each have our threshold where we stop watching and just say, it sucks. 24 minutes was that threshold. It sucks.
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Thu, Jan 18, 2018, 4:00am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S1: The Wolf Inside

It seems that a higher proportion of commenters here are now defending Discovery compared to when the show started. I wonder if that is due to people who don't like it dropping away, and ceasing to comment any more on this board.
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Tue, Jan 9, 2018, 1:12am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: DSC S1: Despite Yourself

I fell asleep around minute 32. I looked forward all day to seeing this episode, but it put me to sleep, and I wasn't even tired.
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Fri, Dec 1, 2017, 6:09am (UTC -5) | 🔗
Re: ORV S1: New Dimensions

This episode brought down the quality of the series for me, because there was just too much bickering, sarcasm, and unprofessional behavior among the senior staff.

I realize this is not TNG. The Orville crew don't have to be such a well-oiled machine. Yes, the Orville is comedy. It should be given license for joke-cracking and goofiness.

However, if it's going to be an homage to TNG -- and if it is going to have staying power -- it needs to keep us firmly believing in a certain quality of ability and implementation of order among the characters. That Yaphit was even being considered for a commander position, when he has a history of sexually harassing the doctor and being generally a jerk, is ludicrous. (So yes, it makes sense that he was eventually not chosen.) Contrary to the poster above, I don't find Yaphit to be an increasingly well-developed character. In this episode he didn't show vulnerability or wisdom. He just complained about not getting the job. We never saw him admit that maybe LaMarr was better-suited to it. A simple scene with Yaphit congratulating LaMarr would have gone a long way toward making the whole team feel more likeable.

I still prefer The Orville to DSC. But they seem to be converging to a middle-quality asymptote as Star Trek shows go, the Orville from above, and DSC from below.
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