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droneriot
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:04 pm 
 

True, I remember the scene from "Descent" where a little kid discovered the remains of a global holocaust on his surrogate father's homeworld.
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darkeningday
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:52 am 
 

:lol: That was literally in an appendix of the in-game encyclopedia of the first Mass Effect, and became the main theme for all three games (which became especially preachy and obnoxious in the third game). Its reveal in Orville completely ruined the mystery of Isaac's once-fascinating race by making it a simple generic-ass "A.I. K.I.A.'d their parents because someone read the I, Robot Cliff's Notes." Yawn.

Cool space battle though, despite the fact it made no sense that the Cylo... I mean, Kaylons with their "vastly superior intellect" badly miscalculated their attack force power, kept the crew alive for no fucking reason (except to take back over the ship) and were so heinously incompetent maintaining control of the ship it begs to wonder how the hell they managed to obliterate their creators in the first place. Also, the temporary alliance with "the enemy" was dumb as fuck.

At least it was better than the robosexual episode.
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GTog
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:56 am 
 

Same problem Trek had with the Klingons. Ferocious, militaristic, warrior race renowned for their prowess in battle... that constantly gets its ass kicked, individually and collectively, because at the end of the day they're not the protagonists and so can't win.
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droneriot
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:09 am 
 

GTog wrote:
Ferocious, militaristic, warrior race renowned for their prowess in battle...

So were the Zulu or Aztecs, superior tech almost always wins. But that's why Klingons were never much of a main antagonist in the TNG era, that role fell to the Romulans. Especially towards the end of DS9 it was implied a number of times the only place Klingon culture belongs in the 24th century is in a museum along with their rustbucket TOS-era ships.
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darkeningday
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 1:00 am 
 

New Discovery episode slayed. Your move, The Orville.
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droneriot
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 2:51 am 
 

Discovery stays true to its biggest, most glaring problem and the facepalming continues with this episode. At the same time they fixed or improved about a dozen other problems of the show in this episode, and the biggest of all of those - in fact the second biggest, most glaring problem of the show - was that the payoffs in the serialised format after several episodes of buildup were never, ever worth it, and this one finally was, it finally was a payoff that left me satisfied. The Culber/Stamets/Tyler story alone was twice the quality of anything previously shown on episode. First Discovery episode ever that I'd rate 5/10 or above. The way it is I'd rate it 6/10, in an alternate reality where Sonequa Martin-Green and Michelle Yeoh are caught in a Kevin Spacey type of situation and edited out of the show I'd rate it 9/10.

I don't expect much from The Orville because I haven't liked a single Krill episode yet, but we'll see. Maybe Seth will figure out the Krill don't work well, or maybe it's just me. New episode is up next.
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droneriot
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:18 am 
 

I made a review on Youtube about the character of Michael Burnham:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEJBbZuq_MA
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Oxenkiller
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 9:34 pm 
 

darkeningday wrote:
:lol: That was literally in an appendix of the in-game encyclopedia of the first Mass Effect, and became the main theme for all three games (which became especially preachy and obnoxious in the third game). Its reveal in Orville completely ruined the mystery of Isaac's once-fascinating race by making it a simple generic-ass "A.I. K.I.A.'d their parents because someone read the I, Robot Cliff's Notes." Yawn.

Cool space battle though, despite the fact it made no sense that the Cylo... I mean, Kaylons with their "vastly superior intellect" badly miscalculated their attack force power, kept the crew alive for no fucking reason (except to take back over the ship) and were so heinously incompetent maintaining control of the ship it begs to wonder how the hell they managed to obliterate their creators in the first place. Also, the temporary alliance with "the enemy" was dumb as fuck.

At least it was better than the robosexual episode.


None of the plots of this show really stand up to serious scrutiny. It's the sort of thing that made some of the Pete Capaldi era "Doctor Who" episodes so unwatchable and occasionally cringe-worthty. (As for the post-Peter Capaldi era Doctor Who, lets not even go there.)

But when it's at it's best, the show is at least entertaining, and still watchable. The last couple weeks episodes- I've watched em both- have been good as mindless entertainment if nothing else. When the writing is at it's best, It's okay for what it is- a sort of re-imagined re-make of "Star Trek." But when it tries to be "A Soap Opera on a Space Ship" then it totally fails, and becomes unwatchable, worse even than the post-Capaldi "Doctor Who."

Speaking of which, pull the plug on "Doctor Who" already! Gaaah! It's just ruining the legacy at this point. I've seen some of the ultra lo-budget black and white 60's episodes of "Doctor Who" on PBS recently, and many of them, even with their primitive production values are actually somewhat enjoyable in a campy low-budget kind of way.

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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:56 pm 
 

Catching up a bit on Vikings. It kinda lost me in S4 when
Spoiler: show
Ragnar died and the focus shifted to his sons, who were just nowhere near as likable

But, S5 has some interesting plot lines going on, and some really pretty stuff. The main thing that's pulling me back in is
Spoiler: show
Floki wandering around stoned off his ass or hallucinating through starvation or whatever while wandering around the gorgeous landscapes of Iceland thinking he's in Asgard

That said, I'm still kinda glad it's ending after S6. Seems like it's building toward a good place to wrap it up.
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acid_bukkake
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:06 am 
 

Community S4 holds up better than I thought it would. While the lack of Dan Harmon is obvious from the very start, the characters and the way they interact stayed true, so it's hard to really hate it now after so much time removed. The two biggest tells that Harmon was gone are the way the show was shot (more wider angles and longer takes, less dynamic lighting, much more like a typical sitcom) and the decrease of continuity (side characters are introduced and forgotten immediately, whereas side characters from S1-3 quickly became regulars like Garrett, Neil, Vicki, etc.). S4 highlights include the Inspector Spacetime convention, Troy and Abed pulling a Freaky Friday, and the puppet episode. I'll point out that the Dean getting more screen time was very welcome.

Luckily, S5 starts with Harmon back at the wheel, and it immediately feels right. Quick jokes are made at how Britta went from a strong political activist to a bumbling airhead, and Troy's acknowledgment of the AC repair school (and being their alleged messiah) soon reminded me that this was his last season. Bummer.
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Nahsil
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:02 pm 
 

droneriot wrote:
I made a review on Youtube about the character of Michael Burnham:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEJBbZuq_MA


Get a better microphone you philistine :P
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droneriot
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:23 pm 
 

It's on the list, along with finally doing my homework from speech therapy a bit more.
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acid_bukkake
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:44 pm 
 

Community S5 is like watching your friend learn of their terminal illness but, instead of letting it get them down, they smile and decide to enjoy the days they have left. It has one of the best episodes of the entire series (MEOW MEOW BEENZ) but nothing can undo the damage of S4.

God dammit, NBC...
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Resident_Hazard
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:26 am 
 

GTog wrote:
Same problem Trek had with the Klingons. Ferocious, militaristic, warrior race renowned for their prowess in battle... that constantly gets its ass kicked, individually and collectively, because at the end of the day they're not the protagonists and so can't win.


Got your TVTrope for that one right here, ha ha!

I'd like to just throw this out here, though: I have always found the idea of a space-faring "warrior race" to be a stupid concept. Even going by our own history, we didn't get far into space because we had a warrior mentality. We wanted to explore, learn, and reach out into the dark cosmos to weakly announce to anyone that might be listening, "we exist." Yes, the Cold War drove a lot of that technological innovation, but that was not for a "warrior" mentality, and the bulk of our advancing reaches into space have been through peaceful intentions.

Not a "warrior" mentality like we see in Klingons or literally any alien species that was like "Klingons, but this franchise's version." They're always painted as honor and glory types, so backwards in their thinking it's amazing that they even build homes and cities, let alone space-faring starships. Klingons care about dying in battle and pride of the empire and you never see science or innovation painted as things that are glorious or honorable. How the fuck did they even get into space in the first place? So my point goes beyond how "war innovates science and engineering," to how the very society as a whole thinks about these kinds of things. Humans build weapons of war, then wield them in peacetime for greater societal and economic gains. Klingons have very regularly been shown to scoff at science, scientists, technology, exploration, and knowledge.

In a fucking blunt over-simplification, we took Hitler's murder rockets and used them to peacefully (though in the spirit of competition) land on the moon and build the International Space Station.

In a Klingon world, they would've used their Hiltery murder rockets to finish murdering each other to die in glorious battle. They should almost never have been considered a threat.
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rexxz
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:30 am 
 

^
All of that assumes the multitudinous space-faring races in Star Trek all evolve along the same kind of cultural and technological values at the same time. Yeah, *we* didn't go into space because of that mentality but why can't others? That's what makes Trek so cool, many different races of people with their own values and beliefs and technologies.
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droneriot
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 9:39 am 
 

In universe Klingons actually had a caste system with other occupations being equal to warriors when they first went to space. But then I guess they spent too much time "boldly going into battle" as Captain Archer put it and went militarising. A subject for another episode of why Enterprise is one of the most underrated shows ever.
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GTog
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:59 pm 
 

Not up on my Klingon history, but I suppose it's possible that once they consolidated their homeworld they ran out of steam. Then they focused their energies on developing warp drive etc so they could go conquer some more.
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Resident_Hazard
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:59 am 
 

rexxz wrote:
^
All of that assumes the multitudinous space-faring races in Star Trek all evolve along the same kind of cultural and technological values at the same time. Yeah, *we* didn't go into space because of that mentality but why can't others? That's what makes Trek so cool, many different races of people with their own values and beliefs and technologies.



Star Trek has also been rightly criticized for reducing aliens to singular human concepts. The Klingons are all Spartan warriors. The Cardassians are a fascist dictatorship. The Vulcans are all logic and no fun. The Ferengi are all Reagan Republicans. And so forth. Cultures like these lead to societal evolutionary bottlenecks. Without some overall variety to the culture, everything else eventually fails. Hell, the Ferengi somehow built an entire civilization on activities that lead to recessions every 8-16 years in just the United States alone. Essentially, most Star Trek alien worlds are the backbone of pretty much any dystopian story, where society was propped up based on a singular conceit or set of core concepts. The whole point of those is to illustrate why that doesn't work.

Yeah, the species are fun and they can make some fun episodes with them, but this is also rather lazy writing when you get right down to it. Like that TNG episode where the sexy human-like aliens had the death penalty for literally every crime. How did a whole planet agree to that? This whole planet can't even fucking agree to make it livable.

Still, at least it's not Star Wars' absurd writing where every planet is somehow a single ecological zone. An ice world or a full desert world, okay believable. An entire world that's a single super-giant swamp or the same coniferous forest everywhere? Sigh.
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failsafeman
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:09 am 
 

Well that was sort of also the point. The Federation was successful because it was a diverse group of species who varied widely but cooperated to form a single multicultural society that was stronger than its parts. The "enemies" of the Federation were monocultures that rejected diversity within their own ranks as well as cooperation with others.
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rexxz
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:34 am 
 

Resident_Hazard wrote:
The whole point of those is to illustrate why that doesn't work.



And yet they are all space-faring societies that do work, for better or worse. Doesn't seem like this point holds much weight.

Obviously, as failsafeman put it, they are created to be a counter to the Federation and to show why working together through cultural boundaries is almost always preferable to not. Doesn't invalidate the fact that THEY ALL MADE IT TO SPACE and are still functional/important enough in interstellar relations purely from doing their own thing and not just "copying what the humans did". So yeah, they definitely work.
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failsafeman
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:42 am 
 

There was also the long-running theme of these different races becoming more and more a part of the Federation over time, what with Worf being in Starfleet, Nog becoming the first Ferengi to join up, Klingons and Romulans becoming allies in order to fight the Dominion, etc. Compare that to the Borg, who were a sort of mirror Federation. They forced people to join and assimilate, rather than allowing them the choice of joining and letting them keep their own identity when they did. "Cooperation is better than competition, but don't force it," is basically the main theme of the whole franchise.
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Morrigan
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:03 am 
 

Resident_Hazard wrote:
Star Trek has also been rightly criticized for reducing aliens to singular human concepts. The Klingons are all Spartan warriors. The Cardassians are a fascist dictatorship. The Vulcans are all logic and no fun. The Ferengi are all Reagan Republicans. And so forth.

Yup, this is one of the reasons I always found Star Trek's world-building to be laughable. Humans get to be extremely varied in ideology and ideas and thoughts, but every other alien race is monolithic. I've always hated it.
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rexxz
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:24 am 
 

That's only mostly true, though. I can understand why they were written that way too, to be honest. Most of the non-human races serve more as literary devices rather than a foundation to build characters. The actual characters from other races that are important (Worf, Nog, etc.) are almost always non-stereotypical according to how the rest of their races are written. And those are the characters that get the most screentime of their respective races, so the exposure bias effect evens it out in my own perception and overall enjoyment of the series and lore. It's much easier to suspend disbelief whenever the only time you see more of the cliche and stereotypical writing for other non-human characters is during brief interactions with throwaways. The most impactful and long-lasting scenes are always with the better written characters.
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Nahsil
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:51 am 
 

That was a good Discovery episode. They should hire Frakes as the permanent director.

That said, I also agree with this reddit post:

Spoiler: show
It's all flash and no substance. None of this "drama" is deserved. This character was basically a red shirt and so are a good portion of the bridge crew. Who the fuck is the black dude with the beard and why should I care when he looks shocked every 10 minutes? All the heroic speeches and the sad moments ring hollow without any significant focus on the characters. I just don't care. Well actually I do care enough about Tilly that I hate her now. She was grounded and likeable in Season 1 but in S2 she is just annoying and a pathetic.


which is getting downvoted to hell because fanboys/girls, but they're right. I still think Frakes and the crew did a good job here with what they had, but yep, the overall characterization and plot leave a lot to be desired. I'm hopeful though because other things are coming together more than they did in season 1.
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droneriot
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:53 am 
 

I thought that was one of the worst episodes of the entire show so far just on the grounds of how excruciatingly boring it was. The dialogue was essentially lots and lots of lines to say almost nothing at all and I'd just wait hoping for an action scene and when it came it was "blade mines" like whatever. Shoot me some Greek letters to confuse the blade mines! It's funny that I complained about the video game writing in season 2 before, basically "solve a maze, get a clue" most of the time, and this time they did it literally, gave them a maze to solve to get a clue. It's Legend of Zelda: Discovery now, but with ten times the dialogue to inflate the runtime. "Blade mines", just... :lol:
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acid_bukkake
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 5:40 am 
 

I don't care what anybody says: Paget Brewster and Keith David were excellent additions to Community in S6.
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Resident_Hazard
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:44 am 
 

rexxz wrote:
Resident_Hazard wrote:
The whole point of those is to illustrate why that doesn't work.



And yet they are all space-faring societies that do work, for better or worse. Doesn't seem like this point holds much weight.

Obviously, as failsafeman put it, they are created to be a counter to the Federation and to show why working together through cultural boundaries is almost always preferable to not. Doesn't invalidate the fact that THEY ALL MADE IT TO SPACE and are still functional/important enough in interstellar relations purely from doing their own thing and not just "copying what the humans did". So yeah, they definitely work.


I found your comment amusingly confusing.

I totally get the cultural analogy and science fiction as a mirror to reality elements. It's one of the best parts of science fiction, or fiction in general. That said, there are still moments where Star Trek's commentary crosses into absurd territory, like the classic "black on the left" episode.

However, your point almost literally reads that my point doesn't hold much weight because there are "real societies in the real universe that are exactly like Ferengi and they work just fine" :lol: I am not aware of these societies. Did NASA make a big discovery only a few people know about? Because otherwise, I'm not sure why that needs to be said, because of course those societies work in Star Trek, because anything can be made to work in a fictional narrative.

Star Trek has always towed the line between "hard" and "soft" SF. It's handily a level "above" Star Wars (if Hard SF is the top, and pure fantasy is at the bottom), as Star Wars is almost pure space fantasy where the primary plot device is space magic. It also heavily follows fantasy hero story tropes. Anyway, when Trek is "soft" SF, it's allegories on culture, government, and society. TOS was especially notorious with this. I think the TNG-DS9-VOY-ENT franchises pushed more "hard" SF tropes, but Voyager was frequently bogged down with boring Treknobabble.

My point being, that when Trek does allegory episodes, the aliens fit the narrative fine, but it's really about setting up a convenient "other" to fight against. When the series tries for more serious science fiction, those allegory-heavy aliens can become problematic. Yeah, I get the Federation itself being a narrative piece about working together and camaraderie, etc. Stronger together and all that. At the same time, the Federation has a history of almost being bested by those tropey all-one-race aliens.

I do love Trek, but it doesn't mean I don't have my gripes. Hell, I've watched TNG and DS9 in their entirety a few times each. There is gold in this franchise, or it wouldn't have lasted this long. But there's some stupidity here, too. I hated the Ferengi until DS9 helped us to know the species better, and I still hold that many of those DS9 Ferengi episodes are Star Trek's best comedic stories, especially The Magnificent Ferengi.

Star Trek has a lot of alien races and a fun narrative universe. It would be nice to see them properly expand on that instead of jumping around with all of these revamps, reboots, and prequels. Surely, they can do that and still bring us fun and arguably important allegorical stories. I think one of my biggest problems with Discovery right now is a feeling that they have no idea really what to do with the series. It's a prequel, but it's not. It's a reboot, but it's not. It's nostalgia bait, but it's not. It's science fiction, but it's space fantasy. It's arc-centric storytelling like Walking Dead... but it's not. It's totally rewriting Star Trek, but it's somehow still fit into the existing canon.

Star Trek Discovery is the Virtual Boy of Star Trek franchises. It feels like they churned it out as filler because plans for a 4th movie fell through, and they wanted to keep Trek going while also scrambling to have something to justify CBS's asinine and unnecessary subscription service. I'll be surprised if Discovery lasts longer than 4 or 5 seasons. Hopefully as it burns out, they figure out what to actually do with Star Trek by then. And I'm not yet expecting the Picard series to be that, since it will be another series (like Discovery) that fits into the franchise, but isn't typical Star Trek and doesn't know exactly what it is.
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severzhavnost
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 2:06 pm 
 

Quote:
My point being, that when Trek does allegory episodes, the aliens fit the narrative fine, but it's really about setting up a convenient "other" to fight against. When the series tries for more serious science fiction, those allegory-heavy aliens can become problematic. Yeah, I get the Federation itself being a narrative piece about working together and camaraderie, etc. Stronger together and all that. At the same time, the Federation has a history of almost being bested by those tropey all-one-race aliens.


Well yeah... the enemy has to be formidable or else there’s no suspense, no compelling challenge to overcome. Also, having the monolithic evil alien races be strong enough to seriously threaten the Federation with defeat, makes for a more realistic and therefore harder-hitting allegory. Imperial Japan at its peak extent was, I believe, the 10th largest empire in world history; so it makes sense that the Klingons (space Japs) should equally become an existential-level threat.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:16 am 
 

Finished up my Community binge last night and, won't lie, actually teared up a bit during the series finale. This is a show that I dove into when my life was in shambles, living in a friend's basement after the end of a 7-year relationship as my parents' marriage was failing, job was potentially closing, and my mother's chemo wasn't working, so to say that I immediately connected with a group of misfits whose own lives had fallen to shit would be an understatement. I may not enjoy the back half of the series as much as the front, and not every episode hits like it wants, but I still have no qualms calling this my favorite show to date.

If you'd have told me at the start that Donald Glover would be the breakaway star, the one who'd move on to bigger and better things? I'd have laughed in your face. Going back through reveals Troy to be one of the least entertaining characters overall, but his role was the glue that held the dynamic together. Losing Chevy Chase (due to his own fucking ego, surprise) wasn't as big a blow on rewatch thanks to the quick addition of Jonathan Banks and the return of John Oliver. Yvette Nicole Brown making cameos in the final season was bittersweet. Jim Rash is an amazing man.

Looking at how I'd rank the seasons after a rewatch is close to how I did when S6 originally aired (on the failed Yahoo TV). The first season struggles to find its footing during the first half but kicks it up toward the finale, the second is the overall best with the third having the best individual episodes ("Remedial Chaos Theory" is utter brilliance and clearly served as a lead to Rick & Morty), fourth is better than I remember but a clear step down, the fifth gives us the return of Harmon and it immediatelyshows, while the sixth kinda just meanders a bit before closing with a proper sendoff that made sense with the remaining characters and their individual arcs. I'll say that S6's episodes on grifting and paintball were great, but it was clear that the cast and crew were laying the show to rest and trying to balance a solid ending with fanservice.

Best to worst...
2, 3, 1, 5, 6, 4

Personal thoughts on the characters' futures:
Spoiler: show
-Jeff and Britta never leave Greendale. I also have no doubt that they eventually marry, as they planned in S5, just to have somebody else in their lives who they know understand them. They won't always be faithful and that's probably known between them, but they'll always have each other's backs. Wacky shenanigans happen after Britta agrees to name their firstborn after the Dean, Britta's parents become the best grandparents ever, and Jeff becomes a TV dad for their children...but more a classier Al Bundy than Mr. Cleaver. Britta also burns the house down while smoking a joint that she thought nobody would notice because she's the worst.

-Abed becomes a successful PA in Hollywood, working on various superhero movies before forming a production company that focuses on b-movies. He definitely directs some adult films and gets an AVN award for an adult Kickpuncher parody, heralded for his ideas and not the execution.

-Shirley never returns to Greendale or Colorado at all, eventually reconciling with Andre again as they both live in Georgia. She turns the crippled detective whose house she looks after into a devout Baptist through guilt alone, and occasionally runs into Annie at the Atlanta airport after opening a local branch of Shirley's Sandwiches. She occasionally offers expert advice to Annie that helps her crack tougher cases.

-Annie is now Special Agent Edison, cold and bitter and all about getting the job done. Her secret to cracking hard cases? A locked room in her apartment that she's turned into her own Dreamatorium. She has no time for men or family, only her career, but that changes when...

-Troy finds himself in Atlanta. He cannibalized part of Levar Burton while lost at sea for several years and is a complete recluse and drifter, wandering the east coast while looking for Pierce's lost daughter after finding information about her in the Childish Tycoon that Pierce left to him...and then finds out it was Annie and that's why she was Pierce's favorite (he'd never admit after being raised by such a staunch antisemite).

-Dean Pelton accidentally kills the City College dean...but gets off after Elroy, Frankie, and Chang are able to prove that Carl and Richie (schoolboard) diverted necessary funding from Greendale's restoration budget into their own failed business venture, Skeepers2go (a mobile party bar). Carl and Richie are arrested by Officers Cackowski and Warburton find proof in their emails.

-Star Burns gets Todd hooked on meth, and that's when things get super weird...


Community was doomed the moment NBC said yes. This was a show built for a cult audience and not mass appeal, which means it was ahead of its time as that basically describes every show these days. If it had been on Comedy Central, HBO, Showtime, or any other network that's proven to stick by their shows if there's a sizable cult appeal? We'd probably have gotten that movie by now.

#andamovie
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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:22 am 
 

Discovery is still only in its second season so I'm still on board for it potentially getting decent around halfway through season 3, as is par for the course for Trek (outside of TOS and TAS).
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Resident_Hazard
Possessed by Starscream's Ghost

Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 2:33 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:54 am 
 

darkeningday wrote:
I've shown this to you before, but hopefully this time you'll actually watch it: times are between 0:42 to 6:05 on the video:
https://youtu.be/filkaXWGrPk?t=42



I didn't want to watch anything that might be spoilery until I'd gotten into the series. I'm currently caught up according to the site where I'm pirating it.

A lot of the arguments about Discovery being a Star Trek show because it borrows shallow call-backs doesn't hold up for me. Because those are shallow call-backs. For instance, calling all first officers "Number 1" is just fucking stupid, and totally misses that it was a kind of nickname Picard gave to Riker. Borrowing the shitty lens flares of the Kelvin timeline is obnoxious and to act like this is "something distinctly Star Trek" is laughable. Most, if not all of the arguments made in the video for why Discovery is "still Star Trek" are like this, but I added the "number 1" gripe myself. Exploding computer consoles define Star Trek? Okay, that is seriously not something I would have ever considered if asked to define Star Trek. Changing alien make-up? Cool, I guess that means that Battlestar Galactica and Star Wars are also Star Trek, since their aliens/characters went through redesigns over the decades.

This is Star Trek the way Metroid: Other M is a "Metroid" game. In that it's color-by-numbers without understanding the core.

Other M had a lot of "expected" Metroidy stuff. Samus started weak and then got strong--but the reasoning was nonsensical and removed any feeling of being earned by the player. There was "exploration," but it was watered down to "kill enemies in a room, now we highlight the secrets on the map," instead of the player truly searching the environment for hidden elements and overcoming challenges. It lazily called back to better games by heavily reminding us of the original games. It opted for an ill-fitting story telling method instead of understanding how players discovered the story through exploration. It lifted from the original music, but watered it down to a minimalistic simplicity so as to rob it of emotion. One argument I saw at the time noted--quite reasonably--that the Metroid theme had been so watered down that it would work as title screen music for almost literally any game.

This is how I feel about Discovery, especially the slap-dash first season. Season two is notably improved. That said, Star Trek was supposed to fill us with hope of a nigh-utopian future where humanity has fixed the bulk of our issues, and the outliers exist to show us humanity's overall growth. It was a "we can do this" mentality to the core of the franchise. Corrupt captains and admirals, and the like, were mirrors to the faulty ways of pre-enlightened humankind. To us. Even during the hefty war arc of DS9, the show was still able to deliver a sense of wonder and exploration and discovery. Humanity at it's best. Characters are unfocused, and instead of an ensemble cast, the first season didn't even seem to know who to kill or care about.

Discovery also dove headlong into some common Trek elements too early* and with reckless abandon (narratively speaking), thus largely eradicating a sense of urgency or high stakes. Time travel, mushroom-hopping anywhere in space, and an almost immediate leap to the mirror universe gives us little reason to care about the "here and now" of the galaxy. Why even build warp engines when we have the Shroomhopper? Why does what we do in our universe matter, when we can just leap to another one? Certainly the Mirror is not the only one. It's a Rick & Morty problem that they can solve with absurd logic and humor, but Star Trek is stuck with. And in season two, despite being better, the call-backs to familiar characters and stories seem even more desperate while the stakes of the story have--as noted--gone straight Mass Effect. Sigh. It is also vastly more action-centric than any other Trek series, and that includes Kirk bounding off a wall to hit an alien with his bulbous torso. The immediate impact of the mirror universe should be a much more important aspect given that two pivotal characters have shaped the series from that.

I don't necessarily have a problem with the serialized format (Enterprise, Voyager, and DS9 all tinkered with it at times), for the most part, but the argument/justification that "this is TV now" is fucking lazy. And it misses the point. What made the original Trek stand out was precisely how it was not typical TV at the time. So why is the new Trek just being like every other fucking show a good thing? It's just more Star Wars/Battlestar Galactica/Expanse/Firefly/Stargate/etc. at this point. Hell, Stargate SG-1 was more of a Star Trek series than Discovery, now that I think of it. I don't see what makes this show stand out in any capacity.


*One of my early gripes with Enterprise was an almost immediate leap to a massive time travel storyline. It eventually did get better, and didn't dwell on this too heavily, but it was still annoying. Over the years, Star Trek went from tinkering with time travel once or twice to it basically becoming a mainstay. I fully expected a Star Trek: Time Federation series at some point, particularly since it had been noted in, I think, both TNG and VOY that at some point in the future, the Federation actually does have a time travel branch. To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure I'd hate a time travel-centric series. I'm a huge fan of time travel stuff, so the idea is certainly intriguing.

But hopefully this notes my gripes and overall feelings on Discovery. It's color-by-numbers Trek. It grabs some surface-level elements while failing to understand the substance that drove those elements. Yeah, I rolled my eyes at yet more changes for Klingons, especially after so much effort was put into simply making the original change a canon element on DS9 and ENT. I'm not bothered by general make-up or style changes on the aliens. The video said, "these changes are normal, so this is still Trek." Stupid. Of course these changes happen--that they're being done in a vacuum is what bothers me.

At best, what we can say is we have a Trek series where we are following one of those rogue ships and captains that served as moralizing fodder in previous shows. But as they keep cramming in familiar faces like Spock and Pike and Sarek, etc., etc., we are consistently seeing them acting out of character, confusingly portrayed, and off-canon. The show is an unfocused mess far too much of the time.

I am also currently rewatching Enterprise with my son, who has never seen it. That title song is still terrible, but the show is much better.
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Resident_Hazard
Possessed by Starscream's Ghost

Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 2:33 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:04 am 
 

iamntbatman wrote:
Discovery is still only in its second season so I'm still on board for it potentially getting decent around halfway through season 3, as is par for the course for Trek (outside of TOS and TAS).


I'm really hoping this is the case. TNG's first two seasons are borderline unwatchable at times, but the show came out of that into something spectacular. Let's not forget the "black people planet that kidnapped a white woman" episode.

DS9 and Voyager were mostly boring over the first two seasons. Granted, Voyager stayed that way for most of the rest of it's run until Seven arrived and she and the Doctor got expanded roles and we had the Borg arc.
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acid_bukkake
SAD!

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2015 10:45 am
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:11 am 
 

Really enjoying British sitcom Wasted (a thematic continuation of the classic Simon Pegg/Edgar Wright series Spaced) and the almighty Letterkenney.
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rexxz
Where's your band?

Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 8:45 pm
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Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:37 pm 
 

Resident_Hazard wrote:

I found your comment amusingly confusing.



And your essay-length response shows as much. You've read way too much into it, all I was saying is that those societies that you are saying "don't work" actually work really fucking well. Just because they don't work as well as the Federation doesn't in the slightest mean that they don't work at all, which is plainly evident by the fact that they've survived long enough to make it into space and becoming formidable adversaries to the Federation, which would be really fucking hard to achieve in the first place if they didn't work as you put it.

So yeah, your point holds no weight.
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acid_bukkake
SAD!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:34 am 
 

WASTED IS ONLY SIX EPISODES?!?! THE FUUUUUUUUUUCK?
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darkeningday
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:50 pm 
 

Oh wow, another romance episode of The Orville, how exciting! And of course it was just another mash-up of VOY's Real Life, Barclay's holoaddiction and that Irish Black Mirror episode. :boring:

Discovery was pretty good though.
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GTog
Metalhead

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:38 am 
 

I've been binge watching Enterprise on Netflix. I had never bothered to watch it when it was on, past the first few episodes. I very much like the grumpy Vulcans and their distrustful relationship with Starfleet. It seems like that's how it really would have been, after first contact. I also like how they were sure the humans would just go out and cause trouble, and yup that's pretty much what happens. :lol: At least through 2 seasons so far.
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droneriot
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:33 am 
 

At least now we know darkeningday is just trolling. Even fans of Discovery agree that was an extremely poor episode because nothing at all happened for 40 minutes. Complete waste of everyone's time and the first time Discovery critics and Discovery fans agreed on an episode. Really lame filler that could and should have been cut entirely except for the last couple of minutes, but congratulations to Michelle Paradise for now making Discovery episodes that even fans of the show say are terrible.

Big disappointment for everyone because everybody thought now the show would finally go somewhere, instead it puts everyone on hold for 40 minutes.
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shouvince
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Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 9:11 am
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 1:31 pm 
 

Empyreal wrote:
Currently on Umbrella Academy - this is a shitload of fun. Great style. Very cool characters.


I'm binging on this right now. I'm midway through the series and thought I'd peep into this thread to see what people thought of it. I haven't read the comic book so I can't compare the two but the TV series is very well done and quite enjoyable. It started off very slow though and I almost gave up after the first episode but my perseverance seems to be paying off now as the plot (and sub-plots) unravels. Also, the actor portraying number 5 is frighteningly good!

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darkeningday
xXdArKenIngDayXx

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 1:20 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 4:23 pm 
 

droneriot wrote:
At least now we know darkeningday is just trolling.

Oh, fuck off. At absolute worst I've seen tepid approval of the episode. Saying someone's trolling because they had the temerity to call something "pretty good" is risible. You sound like a YouTube comment :lol: .

Quote:
Complete waste of everyone's time and the first time Discovery critics and Discovery fans agreed on an episode.

Are you fucking kidding me?
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/22/arts ... recap.html
https://www.denofgeek.com/us/tv/star-tr ... -red-angel
https://trekmovie.com/2019/03/21/review ... red-angel/
https://www.slashfilm.com/star-trek-dis ... el-review/
http://www.treknews.net/2019/03/22/revi ... red-angel/
https://m.ign.com/articles/2019/03/22/s ... -red-angel
The worst review I could find was AV Club's Zack Handlen bestowing it the oh-so-lowly score of a B-. Be as contrarian and curmudgeonly as you like (I know I'm in no position to throw stones in that department), but lying about the overwhelming consensus from fans and critics in order to push an extreme fringe opinion is embarrassing. Be honest about the fact no one agrees with you; I use it as a badge of honor!

Anyway, I'd still only call the episode "pretty good." Something about Michelle Yeoh just isn't clicking with me (the mirror pansexual vs. normal gay conversation was perhaps a series low for me) and Culber's difficulty re-integrating is just annoying. The stand-out was, of course, the grand finale and big reveal at the end, which was an effective pay-off, and Ethan Peck's Spock is really something to behold. Overall I'd give it a B.
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