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Star Trek Discovery lack of interest

Totenkindly

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Won’t surprise me. They lionized McCain. Look, there were a lot of honorable things about McCain, like his anti-torture position when many Republicans supported torture, but at the end of the day he was a neocon who supported most of the Bush Admin’s foreign policy in the Middle East. Standing against Trump and putting country before party was great but it doesn’t wash away the rest of his career.

I think people love redemption narratives so we get all warm and fuzzy when supposed villains suddenly do the right thing

People also tend to not understand that redemption is ongoing.

Maybe someone can have a turning point, and we've all probably experienced a moment of catharsis in our lives ourselves. But it's not that simple. Otherwise addicts wouldn't drift back into their addicts after choosing to go clean, marriages could stay together after one partner repents of their behavior, folks would never go back to jail for the same crimes, etc.

But our culture is stupid in terms of actual change. We'd rather have Ben Solo going straight after destroying planet after planet and millions of lives just because Mommy spoke his name in his head, or Darth Vader doing the same by dying after throwing the Emperor down a well, versus someone doing the long-term work to strive towards true character change. Certainly our narratives don't have a lot of time for long-term redemptive work (unless it is a serial TV show or book series) but the reality is that nothing is really clear-cut, change takes effort and time to solidify, and we are always the most vulnerable in that period of change. Anyone can make a decision based on momentary emotional impulse and frustration with life, but to stick with it shows character and true commitment to choice.
 

Doctor Anaximander

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Certainly our narratives don't have a lot of time for long-term redemptive work (unless it is a serial TV show or book series) but the reality is that nothing is really clear-cut, change takes effort and time to solidify, and we are always the most vulnerable in that period of change. Anyone can make a decision based on momentary emotional impulse and frustration with life, but to stick with it shows character and true commitment to choice.

I got the feeling they were trying to do something like a drawn out redemption arc with Dukat in season 3-5 of DS9, but then he slipped back into pure villain by the end of the series. However, it felt more like a real life redemption, in that it was never really cut and dry and the morality around it, as well as his motivations, were really quite grey.

That said, Damar got a good redemption arc of sorts. Part of me wonders if the writers originally had something like this in mind for Dukat's character before they decided to make him the antichrist to Sisko's Jesus.
 

Doctor Anaximander

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this is interesting. they mention the 5 decade myth that TOS always had low ratings. I've seen that myth being repeated a lot in recent years in puff pieces about Discovery and Kurtzman era Trek. For whatever reason the authors of those puff pieces often find ways to diminish TOS, and on occasion TNG. Not sure why the existence of one Trek has to invalidate other Treks, no reason all of these various series can't co-exist (I guess unless the point of your new series is to totally erase the past continuity set up by prior series and you want to discourage new fans from checking out those older productions).

 

Totenkindly

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Walter Mosley Quits 'Star Trek: Discovery' After Using N-Word in Writers Room | Hollywood Reporter

Yeah. Well, that simply says there's at least one dumbass on the writing staff. And you find that everywhere, not just on a particular writing staff. Someone is always offended by what someone else says or does. I ran across that shit at church, at work, while running a forum, and pretty much anywhere in life. For what it's worth, if it was just what Mosely said, then it was a really dumb thing for a fellow writer to "complain" about. He wasn't calling anyone that name, he is black, and he was just relaying an anecdote he heard. Let's grow up, life is life and we have to be thicker skinned even if we are trying to be kind.

I would prefer to view the content of a writer's work by the actual work, and artists have to at least be allowed to go where the art takes them. Maybe after the art is complete, it can be evaluated on merits; but you have to be fearless to write or create any type of art, and it has to be considered in context. I mean, JFC, Harlan Ellison was a white Jewish guy who could write circles around most anyone, he did his stint in writer's rooms (and probably got fired from them, like he was from Disney, lol), but MAN that guy could write! Usually the word police folks, if they caught up on word choices, end up being far less writers -- those who write, do, and those who can't end up picking apart those who do. It's called "obsessive editing of ideas" and keeps people from writing.

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I mainly came to report that I did finally watch all of Season 2 Discovery... and I actually enjoyed it. The damn show even made me cry. I'm kinda irked that the video is calling it the stupidest show on TV because I find some of the other Treks far dumber, and pretty much any scifi show on SciFi channel and other second-rate cable channels to be dumber as well.

You guys know I was harsh on Season 1, it was a season of a few ideas that also felt like they rushed the implementation of said ideas because there was a war over show direction with the showrunner leaving. it felt like they wanted to just clear the slate. So I was frustrated with that. I was also ticked at the thought of Pike taking over the Discovery... hooray, another stereotypical white guy captain.

Except he wasn't. They actually wrote him really well and Anson Mount did a terrific job. He ended up being an exemplary captain in terms of what unfolded over the season and his way of being a captain. I was pleasantly shocked and I'm sorry the end of the season ended in such a way that he won't be around in Season 3.

Sonequa Martin-Green is pretty fierce. She holds everything together and gets a chance to show her talent the way she never got to on The Walking Dead (so I'm glad she left that show for this one). Doug Jones is great, he's a master class in acting through movement and body carriage. I could go on but don't feel like it. Even the spock thing could have been a disaster (and I wonder how much of the Trekkie fan bitching is because "oh my god they are incorporating a younger spock" whine bitch moan). Well, I think the season is actually an example of how you CAN actually do a "prequellish" Trek that doesn't change the history and also explains itself adequately on why we've never heard about this in the earlier treks. (honestly, it makes Abrams look like the hack he can be with franchises sometimes.) There's elements of the old series that show up and they were decently done (and hell, I got to see Melissa George in Star Trek, which made my day).

yeah, there was some problems in the writing from time to time. There were some inconsistencies in the characterizations, there were times when someone was mad at someone else... until they suddenly weren't. There were some characters they never figured out what to do with (Ash Tyler being one of them, that stuff was kinda dumb). A few plotlines that felt kind of dumb. It had the same gobbledy gook "science" that we see in every other Trek out there (make up sciency words and string 'em together). And so forth. like on pretty much ANY show on TV, except for Breaking Bad and that similar high-pinnacle of writing that few shows reach. But my threshold with scifi shows is lower because frankly so much of it is NOT high art. This was better than most of them.

The finale was actually stellar and had such a high production quality. I was blown away by it and the feelings I experienced watching it.

Man, I wanted to hate this show after Season 1 ended, but I can't be fair and diss the second season just because Mosely quit because of some dumb-ass writer. I don't know if I'll ever rewatch it through again, but I felt pretty inspired by the end, enough to tolerate the weak parts and appreciate the good parts. I really don't know what Season 3 will be about and the show could suck again. But hey, just giving due where it is needed.
 

Z Buck McFate

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Except he wasn't. They actually wrote him really well and Anson Mount did a terrific job. He ended up being an exemplary captain in terms of what unfolded over the season and his way of being a captain. I was pleasantly shocked and I'm sorry the end of the season ended in such a way that he won't be around in Season 3.

I really liked Anson Mount in that role, and I'm stoked that they're starting a whole season of (yet) another Star Trek continuing him in that role. And I think it will have younger Spock as well? (Gregory Peck's grandson, can't remember his name). And Romijin too, though frankly I could take or leave her.

I think I also liked season 2 simply because when I was growing up, that particular episode of the original Star Trek (where they transport a disabled Pike back to that planet) was my favorite. Having a whole season partially revolve around that backstory *with* Anson Mount as Pike was almost too good to be true for me. (And that Melissa George played the woman on that planet made it all the more enthralling).

eta: It's called "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds". ‘Star Trek’ Series Starring Ethan Peck as Spock, Anson Mount as Capt. Pike Set at CBS All Access
 

Totenkindly

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I really liked Anson Mount in that role, and I'm stoked that they're starting a whole season of (yet) another Star Trek continuing him in that role. And I think it will have younger Spock as well? (Gregory Peck's grandson, can't remember his name). And Romijin too, though frankly I could take or leave her.

I think I also liked season 2 simply because when I was growing up, that particular episode of the original Star Trek (where they transport a disabled Pike back to that planet) was my favorite. Having a whole season partially revolve around that backstory *with* Anson Mount as Pike was almost too good to be true for me. (And that Melissa George played the woman on that planet made it all the more enthralling).

eta: It's called "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds". ‘Star Trek’ Series Starring Ethan Peck as Spock, Anson Mount as Capt. Pike Set at CBS All Access

Oh yeah. I totally forgot they were doing that. As always, I am withholding expectations until it comes out. However, Peck and Mount were really great in Season 2, so it pretty much depends on writing.

I like how they were able to fit into the past deftly, accentuating what we already know, without it dominating or being the focus per se.

The part where I cried was actually the bit where Pike touches the crystal and his decision after. It is a measure of his caliber.

I was a little thrown by Rebecca Romjin as Number One, I'd only seen her act as Mystique in the original X-Men movies and wasn't expecting much, but she did fine and seemed far from that other character and her background as a model, she was just a pretty normal person aside from her detachment.
 

Totenkindly

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Been plodding on and off through Discovery Season 3. (I am currently halfway through Episode 11, out of 13.)

Kind of torn. Obviously it's not compelling drama because I have had no desire to binge-watch the season in a week or less, it's been dragging out and now mostly driven by the idea that another season (4) might be arriving this winter.

The acting is fine. I like it is a bit edgier at time that vanilla trek series, at least. I like them dealing with gender-boundary crossing themes, with their non-binary and/or trans characters (typically involving the trill, which is ready-made for that kind of thing). The concept of jumping ahead hundreds of years in the future was fine, and the idea of the Federation being underground and/or warp travel having been majorly wiped due to an event called The Burn. So it's like familiar elements of Trek but in new configurations and relevance/relationships.

But there seems to be a lot of rehash. Maybe at this point they have settled on whether Burnham will have a Number One position? Because basically she's capable of command but not really great at being subordinate to her commanding officer. It seems like perhaps she has embraced one of those options and is at peace, halfway through the season. Also despite all of this interesting plot conceptualizing, it can still feel very inert and meaningless -- kind of like how all Treks can sometimes feel like the same show and missing an episode isn't really a big deal for some things because it ends up rather inconsequential in how it was done or what was gained.

There was also a cool single episode where Burnham has to face down a triad of vulcan/romulan logicians to prove her case. It was an attempt to do something unique.

They finally wrote Michelle Yeoh off this season because I think she is supposed to be doing her own Section 31 show, which this is supposed to set her up for. The way they handle that with the time discrepancy harkens back to older Trek and I was fine with it, although maybe some purists are all riled up just because they can be. It was an interesting two-part episode that seemed to be some of the more interesting stories of the season (and it gave some of the actors a real chance to push/enjoy themselves), but in the end also felt like a diversion because you can just excise the episodes without impacting the main storyline.

I don't know what I really think of the season. It's more polished and actually has some intriguing ideas/plot points, and trying to rebuild Trek in a sense... however, I barely feel anything when watching it. I actually felt things emotionally in the first two seasons. This has been more emotionally inert to me however.
 

Doctor Anaximander

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I know a show's writers lose me when I find myself just not caring what happens to the characters, and half the time I'm trying to remember who a particular character is and why they are supposed to be important in the first place.
 

Totenkindly

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I just got this over with last night and I felt rather disappointed with Season 3.

Production quality was great, acting was fine -- they've got some really good cast. But again, it was kind of becoming forgettable crap TV. It is probably the least of the three seasons in terms of rewatch value; it is simply just to read the synopsis to catch up, and move on.

The Vulture review was pretty harsh (it gave the finale a 1 star), and I might have given it a 2/5 instead. What I like about the show is that it cares in general about the characters, even the semi-nameless bridge crew. Instead of focusing on just 3-5 characters all the time, or separating them all, the bridge crew actually often works together as a unit. They even were influential as their mirror counterparts in the Terran world. In the finale, while Burnham is doing her thing and Saru's group is doing its thing, the bridge crew under Tilly is also doing its thing -- and all three subplots were important to success. I just wish we'd get more backstory on the bridge crew because we barely know anything about them, and I have trouble remember their names.

I also thought it was cool to delve into more about the trill and their subjective experiences.

We do find out what caused the Burn 1-2 centuries in the past (basically a simultaneously explosion of any ship in warp at the time, which took out the Federation greatly and a bunch of other stuff), but it's rather underwhelming and only quasi-scientific (if a show about ships using spore drives could be called purely scientific).

There's also a big thing with the Emerald Chain, the baddies of this season, and suddenly in Episode 11 it seems like we might have been misunderstanding them and what they wanted -- like, they're pretty awful in some ways, but also potentially good in others, and maybe there could be something to work out between the Federation and the Chain. In other words, we were moving from a binary morality shows with good and bad guys to something more complex and gray.

Then in Episode 12 & 13, it felt like it was all a big joke or studio heads got weird and threw out the whole thing, resorting to a predictable battle between good and bad guys, large scale shootouts, physical violence, and then when the main villain is removed, suddenly the entire villainous organization also disappears. (Hell, at least Star Wars TFA was honest enough to say, "okay, with the emperor gone, others step into that vacuum and pick up what remains of the resources and organization to jump-start the NEXT empire.")

There's also the way that Saru was relegated rather ignominiously to the sidelines. My guess when watching is that Doug Jones really needed to do some other things after three seasons, thus moving on. But now what I have seen is that he will be back in Season 4. He doesn't even get a proper send-off, it's almost just an aside to say where Saru has gone. Anyway, I think it's pretty lame after working so hard to develop him as a captain to suddenly just do this, in what seems to be just a move to get Burnham into the chair.

The Vulture review notes (and I agree) that she hasn't really learned anything since the first episode of the series, which resulted in her court-martial; she still has been doing the same old bullshit of overriding everyone around her to do what she thinks is right, which got her captain killed in episode 1, and continually has resulted in her getting kicked out of command positions. It's really hard to guess the actual position of the show on her behavior; basically she hasn't changed, everyone else simply had to change to accommodate her. I thought it was gutsy to leave her in a position where she wasn't in charge, and developing Saru and Tilly as characters... but hey, I guess that was too much for them.
 

Totenkindly

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There is also this loser character who is in the Emerald Chain whose ass they kick (killing all his men and leaving him to die in the wastelands) back in e4 or something, and then he shows up as second-in-command of the Chain group in episode 12-13, is given one job, and fails repeatedly at it over and over until he is finally finished off. It's like, why the hell is this guy even in charge? He's lost every EVERY time. But the show seems to treat him seriously, not as a joke per se, and he's kind of a braggart.
 

Totenkindly

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My love for Doug Jones continues to grow -- and it was cool to see him show up in his "human" guise in the last two episodes -- they are in a holodeck situation that transforms those inside, and it makes Saru appear as a human. I have seen Doug under prostheses in so many movies at this point and he's amazing typically with his body acting in any of them. (Perhaps the best part about The Shape of Water winning an Oscar was not because it was a super film but because it mean Jones was being seen finally by more mainsteam audiences.)

I think he's awesome as Saru, both his line delivery and his physical mannerisms. Along with his very skinny and angular body, he has this amazing walk he made for Saru where his arms kind of sway behind him back and forth like willow vines. He has such a distinctive movement silhouette.
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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My love for Doug Jones continues to grow -- and it was cool to see him show up in his "human" guise in the last two episodes -- they are in a holodeck situation that transforms those inside, and it makes Saru appear as a human. I have seen Doug under prostheses in so many movies at this point and he's amazing typically with his body acting in any of them. (Perhaps the best part about The Shape of Water winning an Oscar was not because it was a super film but because it mean Jones was being seen finally by more mainsteam audiences.)

I think he's awesome as Saru, both his line delivery and his physical mannerisms. Along with his very skinny and angular body, he has this amazing walk he made for Saru where his arms kind of sway behind him back and forth like willow vines. He has such a distinctive movement silhouette.
Also he was this guy.


Sadly much like Pepe, he's been co-opted by the altr-right for some reason. Like I should be happy that only the Noid remains unblemished. God damn Noid. (And yes, I know the story behind why they stopped using the Noid for a long time....)
 
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