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SammyD
Mon, Jul 12, 2021, 9:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S2: The Immunity Syndrome

I got the impression that the reason they were able to escape the amoeba was that the negative energy field was outside the amoeba and that once they were inside they weren't affected by it
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Jammer
Fri, Jul 2, 2021, 5:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: LD S1: Second Contact

Ten new reviews posted.
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Jammer
Fri, Jun 11, 2021, 6:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S2: Time Squared

Yeah, the number crunching, while fun, is rarely a good reflection of the gut feelings (art translated to data loses a lot of ambiguity in the process), but I must say the rankings themselves of the seasons are pretty spot-on of what I feel for TNG. 1 and 7 are clearly the worst. 2 is probably ranked where it belongs relative to the others, but I never considered it bottom tier like 1 or 7. Didn't know that was a general consensus among the fandom.
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Jammer
Sat, May 22, 2021, 9:25pm (UTC -5)
Re: MAND S1: Chapter 8: Redemption

My general point is that this is more about executing on tried-and-true Star Wars comfort food (and that is done very well) more than it is groundbreaking or innovative.
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Jammer
Sun, May 16, 2021, 7:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Sigh. Does everything have to devolve into the standard tired partisan politics crap? Can't we have one place in the known universe where we don't litigate the 2020 election and all the conspiracy nonsense?
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Jammer
Tue, May 4, 2021, 12:18pm (UTC -5)
Re: MAND S1: Chapter 5: The Gunslinger

Reviews for Chapters 5 through 8 now posted.
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Jimmy
Sun, May 2, 2021, 7:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 16: The Rescue

I’ve been reading and commenting in the ST:TOS section, but popped over here out of curiosity. Some barely structured commentary:

The inexplicable popularity — no, almost zealous adoration — of Mandalorian is probably something we couldn’t fathom happening in earlier era TV shows. One could be a big fan of ST, talk with a few friends or colleagues, yet also remain completely isolated from any “zeitgeist” or fandom-wide perceptions. Fast forward to now, when even casual fans of a show can saturate themselves in online analysis, debate, argumentation, and emotion. And its that last one that “showrunners” (how i loathe the term) are finally catching onto. Case in point, The Mandalorian.

If there’s one thing we know about human nature, its that our emotions and intellect fall completely out of balance when we move to a social or group level. One gets the sense that Mandalorian was designed from the ground up to appeal strictly to emotion, more specifically nostalgia of long-suffering Star Wars fans. Nostalgia itself is powerful even for our personal memories. But group level SHARED nostalgia? Start the money printing presses. After each episode, one could rush to the internet and read:

“OMG did you see X?”
“X isn’t in this part of the galaxy, technically, so I bet its Y. Both create questions.”
“Oh you are so right! I’m sure whatever they do, they will treat it with the respect that we hope for!”
“Oh definitely. If this is about trust, I trust them to handle X or Y’s storyline.”

Meanwhile, at Mando writer’s HQ:

“Storyboards 23-27 are a little bare, don’t you think?”
“Put a shadow in #25 that looks like X. That will wind them up for days.”
“Good idea, done!”

If Mando is a salve for old Star Wars wounds, or reminds people of their favorite moments and people, that’s fantastic. I don’t think anyone has suggested that people shouldn’t enjoy themselves. But here’s what happens - when your emotions are engaged at a very fundamental level, you lose perspective and sense of objectivity. You begin to equate your enjoyment with objective quality. And when others do it with you? Well, the result is the absurdity that is Mandalorian fandom.

“Best SW ever.”
“The magic is back.”
“There needs to be a Mando movie.”
“Baby yoda is a better character than X.”

Really? I mean, REALLY? Do you not see what is on your screen? Do you not hear what you are calling it?

Nowhere is this viral plague on Star Wars fandom more apparent than the Youtube entertainment critic community. You can see the cognitive dissonance of their true souls and fan service struggling in literal real time across reviews:

“This is it, Disney? Threadbare story sprinkled with cheap nostalgia. This won’t last, we hoped for more.”
(two weeks later)
“Although I think it relies too much on nostalgia, there is an expert nuance to the story that is no doubt an homage to old westerns. well done but not perfect.”
(two weeks later)
“Mando strikes the perfect balance between old and new, bridging the classic fan with a new and exciting world. What appears to be simple and emotional is only the tip of a complex iceberg, and we need to let the series build to bigger and better ideas.”

Don’t be too hard on Youtube critics. They must do this because their subscribers would turn on them in a second if they so much as suggested Mandalorian was worthy of criticism. Basically, if “Mando is AHMAZEballs!” is where the fandom is, then “Mando is AHMAZEballs!” is where the critic is. I do have hope for a few critics who seem to have strategically gone silent. They think Mando has serious problems, but are honest enough not to shill the opposite opinion to be popular or make money.

Of special note here must be the gang at RedLetterMedia. One would think that if you make a video mocking Star Wars Rogue One fans for nostalgic bias (“X wing! X wing! I KNOW WHAT THAT IS!), you would guard against it to avoid being called a hypocrite. NOPE! The hyper-critical gang at RLM jumped aboard the Mando money train just like everyone else, and left their critical thinking skills in Plinkett’s basement.

There isn’t much to discuss or argue about Mando’s stories or plotting, because it has the depth similar to that of a 5 year old playing with Star Wars figures. “This bad, this good. New figure! Pew pew! OMG saves day! Time for dinner, mom’s calling.!”

The Mandolorian just isn’t that good.
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Jimmy
Sun, May 2, 2021, 4:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: The Empath

This comment section is a testament to the wide array of tastes that Star Trek episodes can capture. I often wonder if viewers fall into a natural classification of types, as we often do with episodes. Scattered comments:

Put me in the “awful” column on this one. I see what they were going for here, and it is a slightly interesting premise based on a dubious value system. But the execution is fumbled so badly as to lose so much of the signal in the noise, that it is difficult to even discern a message.

For one, it is painfully obvious that the screenplay was written by a fan or amateur. Several lines of dialogue sound like filler based on character stereotypes, and others just don’t fit at all. (I’m thinking of Kirk’s odd and whiny lament about “my men!” after Spock and Bones disappear). There just isn’t a lot of substance happening for a 50 minute runtime. This may be due in part to the amateur author desiring (or being instructed) to avoid messing with long-term Trek history. A few slow motion scenes and over-lingering on faces suggests that the editing room also saw the slim pickings, and padded accordingly.

As a side note, the writer must have thought the name “Gem” was pretty nifty for some personal reason, because both its creation and usage in the story make no sense at all. Why would Bones require “she” to have a name if she was still the only she in front of them? Until this person wants to communicate their name, use the pronoun, what’s the problem? Near the end, even the Vians refer to the woman as Gem! Why would this advanced species who are literally evaluating this woman as a proxy of her species decide to use a name suggested by McCoy on a lark? No one I know communicates in this way!

These sorts of “judgment on humanity” stories are tricky to pull off well, because the end result is always a writer thinking they can write a judging species that, in turn, can find this wondrous nugget of virtue in humanity, a species that includes the writer. It all can come off like humanistic navel-gazing. I suppose the message here is that the Vians found a remarkably roundabout way of making sure a proxy member of a rescued species possessed a set of desired values, by kidnapping members of another species and killing them until they demonstrated the desired traits in front of the proxy member of the rescued species, so that this proxy member magically learned from observation what she must have been utterly incapable of learning in the abstract. Does that about sum it up?

One more thing, I also found the long close-ups on Gem to be cringe-worthy and distracting. But the culprit here wasn’t so much the actress as it was the invasive score. Any time Gem’s face was in close-up, the music changed to this awful dreamy score that eventually made the closeups comical. I think it would have been far more effective to pair her closeups with either silence or a mysterious score that implied a subliminal threat.
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Jimmy
Sat, May 1, 2021, 6:26am (UTC -5)
Re: TOS S3: All Our Yesterdays

Good episode in an otherwise forgettable season.
Just one note on a comment made above. Someone thought it was an inconsistency that Kirk had to worry about dying in the past because he wasn’t “prepared”, whereas McCoy and Spock almost decided to give up trying to leave simply for the love of a woman.

I don’t think there’s an inconsistency here, when we remember that all information Spock and McCoy had was provided by Zarabeth. The implication, I thought, was that Zarabeth was so consumed with loneliness that she would have lied to the men and condemned them to die, simply for a short relief from her loneliness.

On further reflection, Zarabeth isn’t a sympathetic character at all. She was willing to take the entire remaining lives of two men, just to relieve her loneliness for a short duration of time.
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Jammer
Tue, Mar 23, 2021, 3:30pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: Hollow Pursuits

I subscribe to William B's interpretation of the holodeck as a public/common space. Perhaps they can be reserved, like a pavilion at a public park (especially if you're the captain or other high-ranking officer), but that's probably not always the case, like here, where Barclay is supposed to be on duty. Perhaps this is also why DS9 called it a "holosuite" rather than a "holodeck," to indicate a more private space.
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Jammer
Sat, Mar 13, 2021, 2:45pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S4: Daybreak, Part 2

@Jeff Gill,

BSG was and remains a very special show, and I am glad your experience with the show was augmented by the reviews and comments here. Thanks for sharing!
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Jammer
Mon, Mar 1, 2021, 5:29pm (UTC -5)
Re: MAND S1: Chapter 1: The Mandalorian

Reviews for Chapters 1 through 4 now posted.
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Jammer
Fri, Feb 12, 2021, 6:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 16: The Rescue

"You just don't seem like a guy who neatly slots into some artificial political binary, if the fair-minded way you approach reviews from multiple angles is any indication."

That's the thing. Most people probably *don't* fit into any particular binary political box, but the partisan (and increasingly polarized) state of our electoral politics has all but forced everyone into one, and the no-compromises, take-no-prisoners political combat media infrastructure has made it very hard for sane voices and middle ground to be paid any attention. Even ones who just want good governance and policy that lean in one direction or the other.
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Jammer
Fri, Feb 12, 2021, 11:45am (UTC -5)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 16: The Rescue

"Jammer's insightful commentary and tolerance is commendable in this day and age. I mean, I've read hundreds of thousands of words from the man and I still have no idea of his politics. He's also even-handed in his moderation. (News people could learn a thing or two from him)."

Thanks. I guess I'm somewhat surprised you can't figure out where I stand politically based on those hundreds of thousands of words, but I suppose I could see why it's murky, because I generally stay out of the political fray here. Politics have become an absurd, toxic, contact battle sport, and it became clear to me years (decades?) ago that one side is never going to convince the other, and it's not something I'm interested in having litigated here. There's a time and a place, but I don't feel like that place is here. This place is about Star Trek and sci-fi. So I try to keep mostly out of that, because down that path only lies rhetorical ruin. I'd rather be a uniter at this place, not a divider.
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Jammer
Fri, Feb 12, 2021, 9:42am (UTC -5)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 16: The Rescue

Yes, there's definitely a slippery slope here. I will give you that. But employment, especially with companies with deep pockets and an image to protect, comes at a cost to certain freedoms when you are in their employ, like it or not. Unfortunately, some of that is "shut up and play ball." I'm not saying it's right. I'm saying it's not unusual and not a symptom of a recent "cancel culture."

I also don't understand why someone with the job she had, with so much to lose, couldn't pull it together and not get mired in constant social media controversies of her own making. Again, it's the whole social media thing, where every opinion has to be broadcast and doubled down upon, and where apologies and seeing other viewpoints is seen as weak, and poking people in the eye is seen as a virtue. The whole thing is tiresome. (This, by the way, applies to certain individuals on all points on the political spectrum.)

We'll see if her career is over. It may not be. I don't hope for it to be, just like I wasn't out there posting hashtags calling for her firing. But every time she was in the news, I would hope for her to stop, simply because it was clear she was playing with fire and it was only a matter of time before she would get burned.
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Jammer
Fri, Feb 12, 2021, 9:01am (UTC -5)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 16: The Rescue

Well, I don't know that this is blackballing. We do have a much different situation now where social media gives everyone a platform, which they can use stupidly and it gets them in trouble.

The McCarthy era was more about guilt by mere suspicion, whereas with social media we now have the ability for (1) anyone to say anything and get it out there widely and (2) the irrefutable evidence of those statements right there to be used against you. The question becomes are the statements alone cause for termination. That I can't say without knowing what the code of conduct was and how many warnings someone got. We'll never know that. But I suspect this was not out of the blue.

I'm not saying it's right, but I'm also not saying it's not right. Actions have consequences when you represent someone else.
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Jammer
Fri, Feb 12, 2021, 8:26am (UTC -5)
Re: MAND S2: Chapter 16: The Rescue

Booming is correct in this case. This is not McCarthyism, and it's not a free speech situation. It rarely is when it involves a firing. Free speech applies to your ability to say what you want without government interference. That's not what this is. Gina Carano was fired because she stepped over the line in the eyes of her employer. Whether you agree with it or not (I'm ambivalent; while I think people should be able to voice political views outside of work, I think this is more about a pattern of behavior than this one specific tweet, which was simply the straw that broke the camel's back), it's pretty hard to make the case that an employer has to continue to employ someone for breaking their code of conduct.

Carano stupidly played the game of chicken in trying to be a Provocative Twitter Warrior while also being a Corporate Conglomerate Employee. You cannot do both. Eventually you will lose the latter while doing the former. Carano was in the headlines every other week with the Twitter controversies. That will get under the skin of any company, because it eventually looks like they are condoning the views or behavior.

For those arguing Pedro Pascal did the same thing, I would argue that with Carano there was a pattern of behavior (and likely, she was warned behind the scenes) and the bosses simply grew tired of it and decided it wasn't worth the trouble for the ongoing negative press.

What amazes me is that people choose to be Twitter warriors when being employed is far more lucrative. But, hey, she decided she wanted to do the Twitter provocateur thing and it didn't work out. She's free to continue to speak out; no one has silenced her. It's happened to a lot of people (on both sides of the political spectrum) and it will happen to many more, because companies will make a calculation and ultimately protect the bottom line. If this were an isolated mistake, I would be more bothered. But I have little doubt she was warned she was on thin ice.
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Jammer
Thu, Feb 11, 2021, 5:51pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Yes, the spoiler guidelines are written very clearly in the commenting rules (last bullet point). Please try to follow them. Thanks.

https://www.jammersreviews.com/info/terms.php#comment-rules
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Jammer
Fri, Feb 5, 2021, 6:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S2: Threshold

I generally hate Adam Sandler movies, but I love this quote.
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Jammer
Wed, Feb 3, 2021, 6:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Before we turn this thread into a huge tangent on The Expanse (or other shows), let me say that I'm hoping to provide somewhere else on this site where you can do that soon. (I'm also going to launch the tip jar shortly!) For now, if you can hold off, please refrain from discussing that show in this thread.
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Commodore Dubs
Sun, Jan 31, 2021, 7:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: BSG S3: The Woman King

So far this series had insurrection/ military coup, and a crooked election. Now it's got an episode about anti-vaxxers apparently. Why is real-life trying to follow the events of this show danggit.
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Jammer
Fri, Jan 29, 2021, 9:34am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

Back in 2005, I used PayPal to fund the TNG reviews (when I had to shell out more than $500 to buy all the DVDs, before streaming was a thing; my how times have changed). That was pretty straightforward. I'm just trying to figure out if one of these newer services that are centered on content creators (Patreon, Buy Me a Coffee) might be a better fit for potentially creating a space for bonuses of some kind, not that I'm necessarily going to offer that up. Also, transaction fees would be a consideration.

Philosophically, it gets dicey, as I already see people saying they'd gladly chip in if I were to pick up or go back and do X or Y show. Unfortunately, it's just not going to work that way. (This really would be tips for services already rendered, not pressures for future work.) I can tell you I do not have the time or will to go back and review something that's already 50 or 100 episodes backlogged. It took me eight years to retroactively review TNG. Never again.

Thanks for the ideas. Keep them coming!
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Jammer
Thu, Jan 28, 2021, 9:46am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

@Mal: "That's why I have many times suggested that @Jammer that he put up a tip jar. But I guess he does this for the love of scifi, and not the love of money. Which of course is why this website is full of love and good feelings."

That's not why I do this, but, sure, I like money. ("Everybody needs money. That's why they call it money.") I just haven't adequately explored monetizing opportunities, which has long been an oversight of mine, probably to my own personal detriment. If I put out a tip jar, how many would actually contribute, and more to the point, how many would actually contribute without expecting something extra in return? That's what I wonder. I've considered setting up a Patreon page, but haven't fully researched it. But it might be time, especially since this site has been going through a bit of a renaissance the past few years and has been taking up more of my time.

If I did do some sort of Patreon, the one thing I can't promise is extras for paid users. And the one thing I don't want to do is change how things work around here. The content all gets put on the site, and I won't have time to create exclusives and I certainly won't want to shut off parts of the site for paid members only, or change how interactions go between patrons versus non-patrons. Would people really donate without the incentive of extras?

I don't know. What do people think? I certainly wouldn't mind getting a little something for my efforts. I'm not against that. In about 10 years I'm going to have to start putting my kids through college, after all. :)
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Jammer
Sat, Jan 16, 2021, 4:22pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

"I'm almost positive that this has been asked before, but is there any chance of seeing some reviews of the old 70s cartoon series?"

TAS has been a back-burner would-be review project for nearly 15 years (ever since I got the DVD box set, still unwatched), but I was never able to motivate myself to start with everything else going on. Eventually.
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Jammer
Thu, Jan 14, 2021, 10:04am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S3: That Hope Is You, Part 2

No, me not challenging something is not my approval of anything. There's all kinds of stuff posted in the comments I'm not "OK with," but that's not the bar for my action here. As I've made clear, the only things that get moderated, edited, or removed are those that blatantly break the rules (and sometimes not even those).
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