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Sun, Jun 21, 2020, 8:27pm (UTC -5)
Re: ENT S2: Regeneration

just rewatched this and was very very surprised how badly it has aged. i remember that back in the day, i considered it one of the few highlights within the overall very weak season 2.

but without the context of much worse episodes, it really doesnt do much for me. the continuity discussion only goes to show what the central problem with prequels is: you can only do so much. how are the borg ever to be considered a true threat in this episode when you just KNOW that this cannot go anywhere because the writers wouldnt dare to break such a central part of canon.

so all the loving direction, all the carefully crafted suspense music, its all for nothing, cause by design this cannot rise above the level of the viewer saying "allright guys, since you put so much effort into this, i shall be willing to somewhat go through the motions with you".

and of course with all that negative prequel handicap factored in, they still cant help themselves but break canon anyway. so 22nd century phlox is able to find a post nanoprobe infection cure that noone was able to find 200 years later. uh huh. and nobody has ever heard of this species, because, well, they didnt say "we are the borg" but just "you will be assimilated". riiight. SO clever (eyeroll). and that pile of borg tech at the north pole, people just forgot about that again i presume. or section 31 something something.

come on. i dont mind bending canon, but at least only do it when you get something in return. but this, this is just lame. you limit yourself to inconsequential stories because of canon, and then break it anyway. worst of both worlds (heh!).

good thing that DSC finally also left the realm of prequel hell. for the first time in 20 years, we will be able to enjoy storytelling that is allowed to go where no story has gone before. after watching this again, i can only say thank god, and boy, took them long enough to accept that the whole prequel gimmick BS was a mistake all along.
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Mon, Jul 29, 2019, 2:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: TNG S3: The Ensigns of Command

excuse me, but despite any of its flaws, this episode objectively needs to get 4 stars just for the infamous ending ;-) picard checking the dust on the nameplate before picking up the call is one of the best TNG moments of the entire series.
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Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 10:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

for any person that has watched a sufficient amount of trek, this plot was entirely predictable.
kind of awkward, too. macfarlane really struggles with deep character material. whenever its not standard captain stuff or standard sad guy whos still in love stuff, its a bit out of his range.
obviously, the premise is pretty absurd and time travel never makes sense.
overall, the episode was nothing to write home about, really...

...and i loved it. i dont know what it is with the orville, but it just tickles the right nerves for me. i do think that at the end of the day, its the characters. and the universe building. it just works, somehow, against all odds.

oh, and then theres that final scene. now THAT was bold and extremely unexpected, even if youve watched a lot of trek (maybe especially then).
will that have consequences or will this just be put away in a "oh well, triggered a different timeline we will only hear about again as a season 4 episode 7 gimmick"? who knows.

i must say, i dont care which one it will be. it was a surprise plot twist that worked. personally i find that in this netflix age of bingewatch-optimized shows that try to drown you in WTF surprise plot twists, they rarely do, so whatever the consequences, i like it. very much.

with discovery season 2 at least getting closer to growing a riker beard and the orville, i must say that these are good days for scifi series nerds. two nice series to watch on a regular basis. almost feels like 90s DS9/voyager days. so...more, please :-)
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Thu, Apr 18, 2019, 9:24pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2

hm. ok. nice action piece.

i think i couldnt fully enjoy it because the mode in which i watched this was "save me the obligatory space battle, will you please just finally get to the future already and free yourself from the Chains Of Ze Prequel". and then we ended up not even getting the obligatory cliffhanger WTF moment. not even a single glimpse. guess they ran out of budget or havent yet made up their minds about where exactly to go from here.

but ok, i guess theres gotta be a space battle every now and then, even when you know no essential people can die because, history, because, Chains Of Ze Prequel. and while slightly cheesy, the efforts to clean up the continuity mess that discovery left behind were appreciated. of course it all feels kind of forced, but since the only non-forced way would have been a giant voyager-ish "year of hell" type reset button, i think i can live with this. (even though i would have loved to hear jammer explode and go all vintage jammersreviews on us with a classic reset button hate rant ;-)

and that sure was a well done space battle. i chuckled every time i saw an "inspired by BSG" sequence, and there were quite a few of them. BSG of course is still on another level to me, because it somehow managed to combine its trademark battle dirt chaos with a sense that you always knew what was going on. with actions sequences in general, that seemingly impossible combination remains a mastery that only few archieve. but discovery is close and might eventually get there. how BSG got this right right from the pilot is completely beyond me.

so im left with only one fundamental criticism. tyler *again* didnt die. i cant work like this. how many more episodes are theyre going to show in which tyler does not die? i find the whole concept of tyler being alive pretty unworkable at this point. and not only that, those scenes at the end seemed to suggest that he is scheduled to play an important role in the section 31 series? do these guys listen to fan feedback at all? this guy is basically wesley crusher 2019 deluxe remaster edition, and not only do they not drop him, they make him a key player in an upcoming series?

errr...bad idea. unless the plan is to do a GOT type "surprise, lead characters with plot armor can die early on" maneuver. call it evasive maneuver RR or something :-)

oh, one more thing: as if the hilarious plot oversight that they actually didnt need to go to the future anymore because control was destroyed, theres an explicit "control is destroyed" message right before they fly into the wormhole. as if they wanted to rub it in. like,
"hey, control is destroyed. no need to go to the future anymore!"
"awesome mrs georgiou, thank you very much. now fasten your seatbelts please, cause WHEEEEE WE'RE GOING TO THE FUTURE!"
all that was missing was a mute "are you frakin' kidding me?" mumble from georgiou in the background right before they switched on the ST4:TVH oldschool timetravel video effect (nice hommage there!)
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Fri, Apr 12, 2019, 1:07am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 1

agree with the above comment. a split personality episode. beginning was good, end was good, the middle...oh my god, what a cringefest.

all those supposedly touching moments of speeches and hugs and i love yous and all hail the, nope. discovery cant do it. it lacks the setup needed, we dont care enough about half the characters, and you dont get to merely pretend we do. two seasons in and i dont even know most of these peoples names.

and oh my did it go on and on and on for what felt like more than half an hour. this was like ST TMP level slowness, just without the backbone of characters we got to know and love for a long time. try again in season 7, if you ever make it that far. but i doubt that martin green will have it in her even then. i can not (and also dont want to) say whether its the actress or the way the character was setup, but she. must. not. do. deep. emotions. it does not work. not once has that worked with her. maybe its the actress. maybe its the fact that you had to make the lead character and angst-y semi vulcan that primarily serves as a plot advancement machine. so i dont necessarily blame the actress. but you designed this character to be this center-of-all-plot-machinery automaton, so own it and use her in that way and dont try to now make her into something that she cannot portray in a credible way. whether thats because of the actress or because of the character design or both, does it really matter? just have her advance plots and give the emotional material to others. theres a whole bridge full of nameless people to give a life to.

its also SO telling that i cared more about pike than the show lead 10 minutes after he first showed up. thats not because he is pike. personally i dont care all that much about TOS, and pike wasnt of much importance then either. but the actor was great, the character worked and was likeable and down to earth. god how i wish wed be back to down to earth captains logs instead of the angsty "oh im so emotional about everything" burnam audio diaries (more cringe). so, if he leaves the show again (and it sounds like he does), that would be a great loss.

now, for the good stuff though, because its not like there isnt any: i still like that its a bold plot that tries to free itself from the limitations of a prequel. go to the future? hell yes, PLEASE go to the future. and PLEASE stay there. meet the borg. sit down with darmok on a planet, go to a ferengi bar, whatever, but please stay in the open future and tell the stories youd like to tell without anymore prequel BS. its been almost 20 years of prequels and reimaginings on various levels now. enough already, for the love of god (and his starship). please go to the future and stay there. pretty please. that would be the best plot development possible for this series, and would free me from the fundamental prequel-"meh" that always sit on my shoulder regardless of how good an individual episode might be.

oh, and of course the absolutely best news of the season: tyler isnt coming. yaaaaaaaay! :-)
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Thu, Apr 11, 2019, 11:49pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Sanctuary

they did. that undoubtedly was the scene where topa was shown the baby girl. it was just a bit too distant in the plot to make the connection as clear as it could have been.

another very entertaining episode. what can i say. i like the orville. all of jammers complaints about it never quite being able to decide how serious it wants to take itself (or not) are absolutely spot on, but at the end of the day, im entertained, i like the characters, its a fun universe and theres lots of stories to tell.

what more to ask.
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Fri, Apr 5, 2019, 3:46pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S2: Through the Valley of Shadows

as agreeable or disagreeable some of the plot decisions are - its bold "think big" stuff that wants to surprise and entertain. i like that.

this especially occured to me after thinking back to the days of the absolutely spineless storytelling of the first two enterprise seasons, where it seemed like they were so scared of violating continuity that they literally just ended up telling one "captain is thrown in some brig on some planet" story after another. think of discovery what you want, but at least its not *that*. i still will never understand why this had to be a prequel and couldnt just happen at the back end of the main timeline (it would all make a LOT more sense in that setting) - all just for the spock namedropping? prequel premises are so limiting to the range of stories youre "allowed" to tell. so limiting about the threats you can put into the story (best example here: the "all life in the universe will cease to exist" threat which is even MORE pointless that it already is by default). so limiting when it comes to the villains. like, the best trek villain will always be the borg, yet by definition you cant ever truly explore them in a prequel. so many limitations for nothing. but at least it seems like they finally recognize that and try to do something about it.

having said all that, will the ultra super uber pointless, one dimensional "i have one angsty look in my repertoire and thats it", breathtakingly charisma free tyler please die already? at this point, even replacing him with young wesley crusher through some time anomaly would be a vast improvement.

i mean, they do have a time crystal now. one can always hope :-)
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Thu, Feb 21, 2019, 9:38pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S2: Identity, Part I

oh man. easily the best episode of orville so far.

actually, easily the best episode of TV scifi ever since BSG ended, for me. finally, a good villain, and with the 2 year preroll of isaac as a show favourite character, one that feels relevant and fleshed out. i'm a sucker for the nerdy scifi stuff, so i was sold the moment they chose to fly to isaacs home planet anyway, but wow, they really got a lot out of that. pretty much went all in with the worst case scenario, which in itself is not the most original twist ever of course, but a surprising twist nonetheless because it is so unlike what one has come to expect from the orville.

really really nice. more of that please.
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Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 11:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Firestorm

very, very impressed by the score, both in quantity as well as in quality. this must have been about the same amount of work as 3 regular episodes if not more. 80% of the scary stuff was scary thanks to the masterful oldschool soundtrack that pulled out every scary soundtrack trope there ever was without apologizing for it. as a musician, i was very very much entertained (and scared) by this. hats off.

also, camera work and cutting was also done with a surprising amount of skill. you could probably run this side by side with kubricks shining camera work and end up with every single camera pan trick being used at some point. they must have had a blast producing this.

having said all that: another TNG rehash plot without any original orville angle whatsoever. for a moment i misread braga (who was directing) as writer and was already about to do a "bragaaaa!" kirk/khan impression, so note to self, cut the guy some slack because the directing work was very good. regardless, braga or not, the plot was yet another example of how the show sometimes takes the easy route and just copies a proven star trek formula, updates its a bit, throws in a handful of jokes, done. thats kind of a letdown. i have seen the beverly crusher episode "remember me" that this is based on many times (one of my TNG favourites actually) - i am ok with the orville copying TNG to some extend, what with it being part comedy and part childhood dream remake for mcfarlane i imagine. but when they copy it so much that you feel like they are copying the story beat by beat by beat, it gets way too predictable and boring.

i can live with the orville being many things. episodic or not. reset button or not, comedy or not. i dont care, as long as im entertained. but please not predictable and boring. because then im not.

still...that score. oh man. give that man a raise.
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Mon, Nov 6, 2017, 8:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Into the Fold

oh, and lets not forget the "archer gets captured" element.

god, the tension!
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Mon, Nov 6, 2017, 8:43pm (UTC -5)
Re: ORV S1: Into the Fold

strangely enough, this episode seems to get a lot of good reviews online.

i hope this doesnt start a dynamic where the orville gets applause for "also finding a more serious side of itself" when all it really does is rehash a TNG plot almost beat by beat. by star trek standards, this was a completely generic shuttle crash of the week episode, with no consequences and zero tension (will the shuttle party survive an approaching horde of generic aliens of the week on a planet of the week? gee, i wonder!). on TNG, this would maybe have earned two and a half stars because back then this trope hadnt been done to death quite as much. on DS9 or voyager, and especially on enterprise, this would have been 1 or zero star material, hands down.

shocking to hear that this was written by brannon braga of all people. maybe one could forgive an outsider like macfarlane such a rehash. you know, from an "aw, look how much he is in love with oldschool TNG" angle or something.

but from braga?? this is literally as if he had taken one of the more forgettable star trek episodes (lots of shuttle crash episodes to choose from), exchanged names, added a glory hole joke, done. thats not only a letdown, such a phone-in-script borders on offensive, to be honest ;-) please, no more of this. it scares me that this gets so much praise among non-trek reviewers. god forbid, this might encourage them to do more of that stuff.

but if thats what this is going to be, generic star trek clichee episodes, the occasional joke, and i.e. the isaac character ending up being "just like data, if not quite", then i'm out. that whole isaac android-out-of-water aspect for example was such a predictable data-learns-to-understand-humans ripoff, that half way through the episode i was almost sure that this was a setup for an unexpected shift in tone.

turns out it wasnt. thank you, brannon braga. ugh.

enterprise season 2 material. zero stars for me. and thats on a scale where voyagers threshold would still have gotten one star for at least trying to tell a story we hadnt heard before.
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Sun, Oct 8, 2017, 9:59pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: The Butcher's Knife Cares Not for the Lamb's Cry

i continue to be surprised about how much i like this.
all the negative hype beforehand might end up playing to the shows advantage :)

lets see - i like the characters. lots of nuances, motivations and conflicts. this used to take up to 2 seasons in classic trek, so, well done on that front.

liked the plot. as mentioned above already, nice use of a classic trek plot point with the monster not being one.

production is great. great space FX, but also lots of nice little touches.

overall arc, we will have to see. shows with plans for long arcs but without confirmation for additional seasons tend to make me slightly nervous :) so, lets hope that this doesnt get killed by the no true scotsman syndrome that surrounded BSG and trek fans give this a fair chance to get going. i for one think its finding its tone a lot faster than any previous trek, but of course these are different times and the "2 seasons until it knows what it wants" rule of thumb of the past is unthinkable these days.

anyway, im rooting for it. 3 weeks ago i would have never thought id say this. i still think its stupid that they label this a prequel (for what, really??), but as long as they take enough freedoms in their storytelling they like and dont fall into the enterprise continuity angst freeze trap, im fine with that. explain it away as it all being section 31 and just take the story whereever you like, i say.
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Wed, Oct 4, 2017, 5:11pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Context Is for Kings

i was surprised about how much i liked this. there had been so much negative hype about this series, and i frankly wasnt very impressed with the first two episodes, largely because i didnt know the rather dull captain was just cannon fodder.

this now feels much more interesting, much more nuanced, and it feels like it does want to go somewhere. i also cant say how much i appreciate that they hint at not being too bound to continuity - to me, the fact that this is yet another prequel (technically the third in a row now) is by far the biggest weakness, so, the more freedom they take, the more i expect to be surprised and thus entertained.

id still rather have a post TNGDS9VOY star trek that finally gets back to just tell any story they like and move the big picture and the state of the federation in any direction they want.

but until then, this at least seems to not repeat the mistakes of enterprise and not bore us to death by being so scared of breaking continuity that they forget to tell interesting stories in the process.

and the main cast seems very good. weird decision to risk the first impression of the series by not showing them for 2 full episodes.
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