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wolfstar
Wed, Apr 8, 2020, 3:29am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

What would I consider "essential" sci-fi TV? Black Mirror series 1-3, and The OA.
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wolfstar
Tue, Apr 7, 2020, 3:33pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S7: Inside Man

Everything about this episode is very stupid. I agree with William B's review. One of Voyager's bottom 10. The only good thing is Dwight Schultz's dual performance, and the fact Commander Harkins's character has been softened silghtly since Pathfinder. He's fair and understanding with Barclay here, yet still firm.

The early-TNG-style Ferengi are nails on a chalkboard. Harry is out of character - maybe he was this credulous in S1, but not since. Tom and B'Elanna's mean teasing of him is also out of character. Admiral Paris and Troi are wasted. The score is really annoying - the episode seems to think it's much funnier than it is, and many scenes are scored cloyingly whimsically despite the fact that nothing funny or interesting is happening. (It's the worst Voyager score since the awful fake-Irish whimsy overkill of Fair Haven/Spirit Folk.) The beach scene is incredibly stilted, so singularly bizarre that it reminded me of the Crusher/Troi aerobics scene in TNG's The Price - the dialog, direction, performances and costuming are all weirdly off. And Troi is shot more exploitatively here than Seven ever was.

I always mix up this one and Repression, because they're just two episodes apart, both remarkably bad, and both based on the monthly Starfleet data stream being hijacked and repurposed by a dire unconvincing one-off villain from the Alpha Quadrant. But this one is worse - it's the different between 1.5 stars and 0.5 stars. Repression at least has Tim Russ's fantastic performance, and an engaging mystery/thriller tone that sustains interest - it only totally falls apart in the final third. By contrast, this episode starts well but falls to pieces less than halfway through, then somehow keeps getting worse and worse.
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wolfstar
Wed, Apr 1, 2020, 4:19pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

I don't know whether this has been discussed here before, but a friend is saying STP is ripped off from this Star Trek short story:

https://memory-beta.fandom.com/wiki/Brave_New_World
https://them0vieblog.com/2014/01/06/star-trek-myriad-universes-echoes-and-refractions-brave-new-world-by-chris-roberson-review/

Plot description: "Picard struggles to resolve a crisis including a rogue colony of androids and an aggressive Romulan Empire in a way that will prevent full-scale war."

Has anyone read it?
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wolfstar
Tue, Mar 31, 2020, 6:12pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

"Earth: Final Conflict season 1", that was supposed to say...
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wolfstar
Tue, Mar 31, 2020, 6:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

The Orville feels more like late Voyager than TNG in terms of its tone and sensibility. I enjoyed season 2 a lot, it was much more character-driven and there were only 3-4 bad eps. I felt in season 1 that the human characters didn't work as well as the alien characters, but by S2 the whole ensemble is an enjoyable group of people to spend time with. Gordon irritated me in S1 but I mostly loved him in S2 - they rounded his character out a lot more.

While we're discussing other sci-fi
- Love B5, but it's only really solid for a year and a half: from halfway through S3 to the end of S4. Seasons 1 and 5 are a write-off, and season 2 is good but inessential.
- BSG... though I liked many individual episodes and watched it avidly through to the end, I don't like it as much as most people seem to. I think the first half of S2 was its high point. I enjoyed the increased experimentation in S3, but really, this is a show that presaged the modern tendency for constant Big Twists for twists' sake. The show pulled the rug out from under itself three times - at the end of S2, the end of S3 and the end of S4. S4 had a lot of strong individual episodes, and I adored Katee Sackhoff's performances and Starbuck's plotlines throughout the series (Maelstrom speaks to me hugely to this day), but by the final season the arc writing was all over the place. I haven't rewatched it since it finished. Another thing about it was the tendency to have characters constantly pull guns on each other, and it sometimes felt like the show was written from a perspective of "what's the most shocking thing that could happen in this situation?". The cast was AWESOME, though, across the board.
- Farscape: I saw most of the first season as a teenager and never got past it because it was really bad. I'm told it gets better later? Certainly lots of people I respect seem to love it.
- The Expanse: I loved seasons 1 and 2 but lost interest during season 3. Part of the reason for this is, as others have pointed out, the weak main character. The worldbuilding and plotting was so engrossing and well-done in seasons 1 and 2 that it didn't bother me that none of the Rocinante characters were that strong. And Alex and Amos are more compelling (and better performed) than Jim and Naomi, the two leads. The second half of season 3 fell flat for me in terms of the plot and characters, and got worse when they brought a season 1 character back as a head-character like Six in BSG. I missed characters like Avasarala and Fred Johnson. I haven't watched S4 because I don't have Amazon Prime anymore.
- Earth: Final Conflict is indeed great. After that I believe it gets very choppy; only seen a handful of episodes from S2-5.
- I haven't seen Westworld, Altered Carbon or The Man In The High Castle.
- Firefly is another sacred cow I'm happy to slaughter. I though the characters were fantastic, all of them. The concept was pretty good too. But season 1 was two-thirds filler, which was a terrible choice. It has a great pilot, a couple of good episodes in the middle, and a good finale. But there are a ton of fluff episodes padding the rest of the season out which sank the show for me. The "Mrs Reynolds" episodes in particular are diabolical. I'm continually surprised people rate it so highly. And I thought the film was a mess.
- I haven't watched all of The Mandalorian yet but I really like its economy and grace. It tells a story in a classic filmic way that I thought modern shows had forgotten how to do. The score and editing are great, the whole thing just feels sincere and cohesive, and like there's an actual consistent creative vision behind it.
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wolfstar
Mon, Mar 30, 2020, 4:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

*half of
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wolfstar
Mon, Mar 30, 2020, 4:37pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Yeah, Voyager hits the ground running more than any other Trek series post-TOS - there are no episodes as good as In The Hands Of The Prophets, Duet and Emissary, but none as bad as The Naked Now, Haven, Symbiosis etc.

I actually like TNG S1 more than S2 though. S2 only has 8 episodes I like, whereas S1 has 13, mostly in the latter half (it really kind of turns a corner halfway through). I adore Conspiracy and Skin Of Evil, they have a rawness and unique tone that has only been occasionally present in Trek before or since. The Neutral Zone and Coming Of Age are strong, ditto The Arsenal Of Freedom and Heart Of Glory; We'll Always Have Paris and Too Short A Season are engaging and ultimately work despite flaws and production limitations along the way. Where No One Has Gone Before, Lonely Among Us and The Battle are the series's first three halfway competent episodes. Datalore is good, and 11001001 is enjoyable and engaging throughout. I find all of the above eps rewatchable. The characters are enjoyable to spend time with and you know where you stand with them all.

DS9's first season has a lot of eps that feel like modified leftover TNG scripts, but there are only about 7 duds out of 20. I think the first 6 episodes of DS9 are an excellent run - Babel and Captive Pursuit are underrated. Babel uses the nascent ensemble really well and has some great Odo-Quark stuff, and Captive Pursuit is stronger still, a meaty O'Brien episode with a fascinating guest star. Vortex is a really good Odo ep, and The Forsaken does more for Lwaxana's character than any TNG ep did hitherto. Of the duds (The Passenger, If Wishes Were Horses, Dramatis Personae), I don't even mind the lightweight ones like Move Along Home so much, it's Battle Lines that I consider the season's worst misfire on many fronts. But it's a good season and at least have of the characters - Sisko, Kira, Odo, Quark and O'Brien - totally work straight out of the gate and have fantastic interplay with each other. One thing I like about early DS9 is it uses the Kira-O'Brien character pairing slightly more (as well as Kira-Sisko, Sisko-O'Brien and Kira-Jadzia).
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wolfstar
Mon, Mar 30, 2020, 12:02pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

My top 3 is the same as Rahul's, then TNG, ENT, DIS, PIC.
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wolfstar
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 6:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Exactly Brian.
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wolfstar
Sun, Mar 29, 2020, 11:30am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

I'm gay, and the Seven thing just feels like a shallow box-tick to me. And she's one of my all-time favorite Trek characters (or was on Voyager). I would love nothing more than a serious, well-written exploration of her life and relationships since arriving in the Alpha Quadrant. The Picard version of the character is dreadful. I would be up for Seven having a relationship with any gender or species if it was maturely, sensitively and realistically written - like, say, Sisko and Kasidy, Picard and Neela Daren, Jadzia and Lenara, Kira and Bareil, B'Elanna and Tom etc. I don't think these modern incarnations of Star Trek are interested in writing relationships like that though, or that the writers are able to. These shows aren't about people or ideas.

But I don't think the Seven/Raffi thing is even in the top 10 or top 20 things wrong with STP. It's just one more thing that's indicative of how nothing in these shows develops naturally. And I think some of the "they made Seven a lesbian!" backlash that I've seen on other sites is a distraction, and is getting the wrong end of the stick. (Let's bear in mind that the Seven/Chakotay thing at the end of Voyager also had no development and came out of nowhere, and was rightly criticized for that; I see this a similar way.) I'm more concerned about everything else they made her - a hard-bitten murderer and vigilante who talks in mock-Whedon snark like most of the other characters on the show, because the writers don't have the skill to give different characters distinct voices and authentic dialog. And they don't have the craft or patience to actually build up, grow and explore relationships - it's just suddenly "Rios and Jurati are sleeping together" or "Raffi loves Picard" or "Data loved Picard"; relationship developments don't emerge organically from the characters or situation, instead we're directly told them out of the blue as pieces of information. The same as how on Discovery we hardly saw any character development in the gay relationship or spent much time with them as people. The show just wanted to go "look, some gays" without wanting to put any of the work in of showing an actual relationship. That applies to all the straight characters too.
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wolfstar
Fri, Mar 27, 2020, 12:58am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

Todd, I don't think that's the main fault that many find with the series - it's bad drama. It's not that it's "not Star Trek", it's that it's very poor drama in its own right. I guarantee you that if it was still non-Trekkian in its values, sensibility and aesthetic but as good as, say, BSG, Firefly, Farscape, The Expanse, Westworld etc. (all shows it has cribbed elements from), it would have been pretty rapturously received. People want good storytelling.
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wolfstar
Thu, Mar 26, 2020, 9:39am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2

- Why can't Romulans be assimilated?
- Why is Soji shown to have Borg knowledge she can't explain in "The End Is The Beginning" and "The Impossible Box"?
- Why is Soji in the ancient Zhat Vash prophecy, if the Admonition is a message from the distant past?

Among everything else, I think one of the messiest things here is the way the Soji character has been treated (particularly in the final third of the season). Isa Briones is good, with better writing she could have been the breakout character. Her actions in the final episodes seem poorly motivated. In the show's chronology, she spends an episode with Kestra, the Riker-Trois and Picard being treated with kindness and learning to trust again, then *subsequently* makes her decision to construct the beacon and eradicate #allorganiclife. It would have worked much better if Sutra had been the prophesized "Destroyer" and Soji the one who makes the decision to stop her because of what she'd learned and experienced with Picard, Kestra and the others.

I think the entire Borg side of the plot is a leftover from an earlier version of the show before they retooled it. There's a clear break between E1-6 and E8-10, with Nepenthe as an interstitial non-plot-driven episode.

The whole thing feels like "OK, we want two leads who kinda look like Jim Holden and Naomi from The Expanse... people seem to like that show. And a ship that's like the Rocinante or Serenity... let's call it La Sirena. Plus an elf from LOTR, and maybe a ditzy science girl like on Discovery. Except, twist, she's actually a murderer! And throw in the Borg, people like the Borg. We can bring that chick from Voyager back and make her a bad-ass killer... throw in some hinted lesbianism - not as a meaningful development of the character or a serious exploration of her life and relationships since Voyager, but for edginess points. Everyone loves a cool bad-ass lesbian. Plus we can bring back that Borg kid Hugh from Next Gen and the Borg kid from Voyager and kill them gruesomely - no-one will be expecting that, it'll really drive online discussion of the show! Oh yeah, Picard. Get this: What if Picard... but robot?"

For me it's actually worse than Discovery. Discovery has Saru, who was an anchor of Starfleet values throughout (as well as being brilliantly played), and it handled Pike, Spock and Number One relatively well. Discovery also had the excuse of the repeated changes in showrunners for its messiness, as well as the fact it was the first new Trek show in 15 years. And because it feels like its own universe unrelated to the rest of Trek, it can kind of be mentally siloed - even before everything that happens in the first 2 seasons is literally siloed. Discovery is not a good show. Until now it was the worst of the Trek series. But my god, this Picard thing is a clusterfuck.
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wolfstar
Mon, Mar 23, 2020, 7:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

This whole discussion is ridiculous and splitting heirs over nothing. Lynos's original comment was that in the Picard series, "he's portrayed as a doddering old man fighting windmills". This is a legitimate opinion whether you agree or disagree with it. It in no way equates to Lynos personally calling Picard "doddering" - he's describing his perception of how Picard is presented in the series. Gerontius's repeated assertion that this is "highly offensive" is ridiculous. Even if Lynos were personally calling Picard that, it still wouldn't be offensive. But he isn't.
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wolfstar
Sun, Mar 22, 2020, 3:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

*But no-one in the Alpha Quadrant
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wolfstar
Sun, Mar 22, 2020, 3:26pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

So, I have a theory - apologies if anyone else came up with this first and I didn't see it.

What if the advanced machine civilization is the same one that created/adapted V'Ger?

A few parallels:

- When Spock tries to mind-meld with V'Ger in TMP, he quickly experiences a sensory overload and is knocked unconscious. This is similar to what happened when the Romulans telepathically viewed the "Admonition" message (created by the machine civilization), which overloaded them as it was designed to be viewed by synthetic minds.
- Voyager 6 fell through an anomaly and emerged at (according to Memory Alpha) "what was believed to have been the far side of the galaxy", where it fell into the gravitational field of a planet populated by living machines. They greatly enhanced it and sent it back out into space. So the machine civilization views itself as a kind of custodian towards less advanced machines and (potential) machine life.
- V'ger was reprogrammed to such an extent that it saw biological lifeforms as an "infestation", and destroyed any that it encountered. This is similar to the idea in PIC of an advanced machine civilization prepared to wipe out organic life to protect synthetic life.
- Memory Alpha: "Gene Roddenberry, in an interview shortly after 'Q Who', said that the machine planet seen by Spock might have been the Borg homeworld." - this could provide a route for tying the Borg into the overall Picard storyline. We know from VOY that the Borg are a lot younger (several thousand years) than the machine civilization that created the Admonition (200,000-300,000 years old). Perhaps the Borg were organic humanoids experimenting with synthetic technology who were "upgraded" by the machine civilization just as V'Ger was. Their modus operandi is the same - V'Ger absorbs and consumes, destroying in the process but absorbing all of the knowledge of that which it takes, and replicating it perfectly within itself.

There is some distant past connection to the Borg here.
- If, according to Picard, Romulans can't be assimilated (ignoring the oversight of the guy in Unity), the Zhat Vash must have introduced some kind of protective element into Romulan biology (akin to the Brunali cube-disabling pathogen from Child's Play) a long time ago. But in the Alpha Quadrant knew about the Borg then as far as we know.
- Similarly, why does Soji have Borg knowledge she can't explain in "The End Is The Beginning" (during her meeting with Ramdha) and "The Impossible Box" (when she inexplicably knows the range of the Borg-assimilated Sikarian spatial trajector)?
- If Soji was only created 3 years ago by Maddox and Soong (which we know to be the case), why is she in the ancient Zhat Vash prophecy?

I don't know quite how this ties together but it's worth thinking over.

A couple more thoughts:
- If Dahj and Soji were created by positronic cloning from Data, could Jana and Sutra have been created by positronic cloning from Lore? I'm here for the theory that Altan Soong is actually Lore, but I think it's also possible that Sutra is Lore.
- Though never linked to either the Borg or V'Ger, there was another inorganic lifeform that existed to wipe out organic life, and that Lore was in communication with: the Crystalline Entity. Could it have been an envoy or leftover of the synthetic civilization? There are certainly analogies between Sutra summoning the machine civilization to kill the organics and Lore summoning the entity for the same reason.
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wolfstar
Sat, Mar 21, 2020, 3:44pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

What Flip said.

There have even been quite nasty negative comments directed at posters like Rossi who liked the entire series so far and only reached their point of exasperation with this episode. Indeed, quite a few of the critical reviews above are by posters who liked (in some cases loved) the previous three episodes. And yet now that they fairly share their more negative opinion of this ep, people are popping up with cruel comments.

Criticizing drama is not "hate". People who do so aren't a "haters" or a "hate mob", especially if they've praised certain episodes and criticized others, or praised aspects of the show while criticizing others.

Look, I know that if you're really enjoying something and want to share that enjoyment with others, it can be disspiriting when you head to a message board full of excitement and are surprised to see that everyone is complaining about the thing you love. I've had that experience too, plenty. It's not a reason to attack people. Everyone comes at Star Trek (and drama generally) differently, everyone responds to it in different ways. It's an anonymous forum - we're all different generations and backgrounds, with different sensibilities. If you're enjoying the series, if you enjoyed this episode, just comment what you enjoyed about it (as many people have) - don't attack others for having the temerity to dislike even just one episode.
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wolfstar
Sat, Mar 21, 2020, 3:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

I really echo Lynos's last comment.
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wolfstar
Thu, Mar 19, 2020, 12:09pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

Episode 11 - Picard and Seven retrieve Hugh's body from the crashed cube and, in an attempt to bring him back to life, use the synths' "golem" technology to transfer his mind into the body of an aquatic mammal. Working title: "Oh, the Hugh-manatee".

Horrified by its own existence and in constant pain, the manatee kills its creators and uses a Klingon time crystal and magic manatee-shaped flying spacesuit to travel back in time through a micro-wormhole into a parallel dimension and erase all sentient life in the writers' room.

Worf bakes a cake.
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wolfstar
Thu, Mar 19, 2020, 8:36am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1

Can't wait for the Voyager "Prototype" crossover...
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wolfstar
Thu, Mar 19, 2020, 6:12am (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Ashes to Ashes

2.5 stars. For a mediocre episode, this is weirdly memorable - I think because of the strong concept and Kim Rhodes's singular, slightly odd performance; she makes Lyndsay into someone who's quite full-on. Other than that, though, there's a lack of nuance in the script, and the ending in particular feels rushed. The broader issue of whether it's possible or right to return to your old life is touched on, but not explored in real depth. I also wonder in what sense her Kobali father and sister are her father and sister, as presumably they were all created as adults by reanimation of dead bodies, and she's only been living with them for three years. So her Kobali father isn't a blood relative and didn't raise her, yet claims her as if she's a daughter.

As much as I like Collective and Child's Play, the Borg children storyline suffers here - again from the same lack of nuance. Mezoti is well-developed here, but Seven, who was so dextrous in her dealings with the children in Collective, is suddenly written as much more inflexible and disciplinarian than usual (as if she's channeling Captain von Trapp), leading to the contrived scenes where the children rebel over the game. Like the "red alert" scene in Virtuoso, it forces Seven into a shallower characterization than usual for the purposes of low comedy.

I did think the ending was a bit weird, the awkwardness arising unintentionally from a haphazard "well, we have to try to tie the A- and B-story together somehow".

I agree with all the other criticisms on distance, continuity, and as William B put it, "why would a replicator burn a pot roast?"
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wolfstar
Mon, Mar 16, 2020, 5:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: VOY S6: Collective

As someone who thinks Dark Frontier and UMZ were terrible - empty spectacle and soap-opera villainy - I like the Borg children storyline a lot. It's one of the best things Voyager did in its latter seasons. I would give Collective 3 stars. Voyager did defang the Borg a lot and use them in a way that made them no longer credible, but that's the fault of the big showpiece two-parters (the episodes with the Borg Queen) rather than the smaller character stories. Pretty much every time Voyager used the Borg to tell a small character story - Drone, Infinite Regress, Imperfection, Survival Instinct, Unity, Retrospect, Collective/Ashes To Ashes/Child's Play - it was done well.
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wolfstar
Sat, Mar 14, 2020, 4:52pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

@Dom - that rings a lot of bells. I had a Sisko poster on my bedroom door. DS9 was home. "a place where hard work, smarts, and character matter" says it all, and I've found that in real life there are many people in which the first two exist without the third, yet it's the most important and underappreciated of the three.
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wolfstar
Sat, Mar 14, 2020, 4:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

It's Muse, an interesting and thoughtful episode, and another one that I forgot to include on my little list of VOY season 6 episodes with no antagonist :)
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wolfstar
Sat, Mar 14, 2020, 9:35am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

@Captain Jon, Dom, stardustraven, Mal - thanks.

@Tom, Brian Lear - thanks, I can relate to that so much. I've often thought that growing up loving Star Trek (particularly DS9 and TNG) shaped my worldview and expectations of adult life, and I do regularly find it disappointing that in the real world most people are mainly motivated by self-interest rather than the greater good. Especially in the west (and the US/UK in particular), where individualism is higher and social cohesion lower. We could all do to be a bit more Starfleet. DS9 still shows me a world I want to be a part of - most of the characters are outsiders who've found sanctuary and purpose there, and though all have their flaws and there's still a fair amount of conflict between them, they all respect each other and are able to support each other and work together. It's a true community, gritty and dynamic but with real solidarity - if it were a real place and I were a Starfleet officer there, I feel like I'd have fitted in, been happy and found purpose there, more so than just on a starship.

@Rahul - thanks. I found If Memory Serves to be too much of an exposition info-dump, and as I'm not a big TOS guy (more a fan of the TOS films than the series), the Cage nostalgia didn't do much for me. The Airiam character piece, a compelling and superbly realized tragedy, really worked for me though.
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wolfstar
Fri, Mar 13, 2020, 7:51am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Broken Pieces

Hey Captain Jon - you ask a legitimate question. I agree with your assessment of the relative merits of the Trek series, which seems pretty much in line with consensus. It seems we disagree more when it comes to the nu-Trek series.

Some people (not so much on here, but certainly on other sites/platforms) seemed determined to hate both Discovery and Picard before they had ever aired. That I have a problem with. You can't judge drama without seeing it. And yeah, the same thing happened when Next Gen started, to some extent when DS9 started. VOY (while inconsistent) still gets more flak than it deserves, IMO, and I think that's starting to be re-evaluated. It seems in this day and age that Discovery vs. Orville became a kind of team sports thing - you either support one or the other. I never found that a helpful way of proceeding. I watched both and judged them for their relative merits like I think most sensible people did.

I liked and enjoyed about 6 episodes across Discovery's run: the two-part pilot, Into The Forest I Go, The Wolf Inside, The War Within and Project Daedalus. I stuck with it for two seasons despite the fact that after the first 4-5 episodes my opinion of it was extremely low. I liked the original Shenzhen setup and found most of what came after to be bad drama and bad sci-fi, with iffy performances, next-to-no character work, very few interesting ideas (and those few ideas that did have potential were botched in the writing and execution). I kept watching a) because I wanted to see if it got better b) it was the first new Trek series in a decade c) I was paying for Netflix anyway for various shows, not just Discovery d) I kind of wanted to see how bad it got e) I enjoy watching episodes so that I'm able to contribute in the debate here f) I write, and I think I can learn as much or more from watching and analyzing drama with bad writing as from watching drama with good writing. Watching and analyzing something that's bad is still a productive experience for me. I almost rage-quit after Vaulting Ambition, an episode I found to be repugnant, but seeing as I was essentially getting the show for free and there were only 3 episodes left, I carried on.

I returned for season 2 having been given hope by the show's new direction. While that season didn't work out for me, I thought Project Daedalus was a masterpiece of the type that Discovery - especially late into season 2 - didn't have the capacity to deliver. It gave me renewed hope for the series given that the author of that episode is the showrunner for season 3.

I won't be watching season 3 after all, because I cancelled Netflix after they cancelled The OA. And because I found Discovery's two-part season finale (also co-written by Paradise) to be its absolute nadir. The 20% of Discovery episodes I did consider to be solidly good weren't worth the other 80% that were some of the worst drama I've ever seen. And the episodes I did like didn't work as standalones (making it unlikely I'd revisit them) but were interstitial arc episodes, with the partial exception of Project Daedalus.

As to Picard, I did quit it. I really disliked it by the end of the third episode, and by the time episodes 4-5 came around, I'd simply had enough - I watch the show with people I don't want to expose to that kind of graphic sadistic violence. I didn't want to expose myself to it either, and I don't want to put myself in a place where watching something feels like a chore, or I'm forcing myself to watch something I really dislike just out of misguided loyalty. And it was the only reason I subscribed to Amazon Prime, so I did feel that I was specifically paying for the show. That being the case, by cancelling I also wanted to send a message.

I do find TNG S1, for all its flaws, preferable to either DIS or PIC because it at least shows people who I like and respect and a world I'd like to be a part of. I think something that's really been lost in the nu-Trek era is the counterintuitive understanding that Trek is a workplace show. We want to see a team of professionals doing their job. Those kinds of shows have never been the coolest or most critically acclaimed, but remain the most popular with viewers - NCIS, ER, police procedurals etc. As a viewer you feel like a proxy part of the team. That's a big part of why Trek in general and TNG in particular were able to break into the mainstream. Because we like spending time with smart, professional people and seeing them work together to solve problems, support each other and do their job well. That thread, for the most part, runs right through from TOS to ENT.

Where Trek from TOS-ENT was a workplace show, DIS and PIC are "ride" shows where the viewer perspective is locked onto one POV character (Burnham/Picard) who essentially becomes an avatar for the viewer as they're whisked from one set of outlandish and shocking circumstances to the next, with lots of rollercoaster-style twists and turns along the way. That approach mostly doesn't leave room for characterization, thoughtful tackling of ideas, quiet day-to-day moments, and the variety of tones and genres that always made Trek what it was. The great thing about Star Trek (and that nu-Trek doesn't seem to understand) is that it's not a fixed format or genre ("space adventure") but a conceptual category - from one week to the next, Trek can be a screwball comedy, courtroom drama, philosophical meditation, murder mystery, study of religion, domestic/relationship drama, psychological horror, comedy of manners, study of loss... any type of story, any genre can be set in that universe and most have been. That's a significant part of what's gone missing. (I would embrace a Trek with no or minimal space stuff, which is why the fact that Picard was on Earth for the first three episodes of the series wasn't a problem for me - they just didn't use the time well.)

There doesn't have to be a jeopardy angle. I've been rewatching VOY S6 recently, which I didn't used to consider that strong but is actually better than I remembered, and something that has leapt out at me is that many episodes lack an antagonist. Blink Of An Eye, Pathfinder, Life Line, One Small Step, The Voyager Conspiracy, Memorial and Survival Instinct all lack a villain - the drama emerges from a situation ("Seven absorbs too much data", "an antique spacecraft trapped in an anomaly", "stuck in orbit above a planet where time runs differently", "a war memorial that transmits conflict memories to nearby people", "trying to establish communications between Earth and Voyager") rather than an antagonist or . Others, like Tinker Tenor, Collective and Ashes To Ashes, have gentle antagonists with relateable motives (comical aliens, a scared child, a father trying to retrieve his daughter). Again, this less-is-more approach when it comes to stakes also seems to have gone missing. Instead, because the writers don't have the skill to write these smaller character stories. every single season has to be about "all sentient life in the galaxy" potentially being wiped out.

If you are going to go the jeopardy route, you better make sure you have a good villain - again characterization is key here, and is what's missing. Gul Madred. General Chang. Khan. Henry Starling. Annorax. Kashyk. The Clown. Winn. The Female Changeling. Dukat. Weyoun. Alixus(!). Moriarty. I could go on. Instead, because the writers aren't able to create rounded, interesting antagonists of that caliber, DIS/PIC has given us Mirror Georgiou, "Lorca is actually evil now" (then dispatched within the space of 1 episode), made Klingons into Orc-like monsters that eat people (because apparently the Klingons were too *subtle* in previous Star Trek), cackling villains in a grand conspiracy that doesn't stand up to any scrunity, a woman who tortures people to death, killer AI, killer AI and killer AI.

There's a selection bias element to your question - you ask why so many people who dislike Picard are still watching it, yet all the people who *have* quit the show and *have* stopped discussing it online aren't visible or present here or on other forums. So however many people stop watching and stop discussing the show, what you see online will always automatically be the remaining people who are still watching.

Hope that helps!
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