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Robin Bland

EW on Discovery (and other reviews worth posting)

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Do we have a general Discovery review thread? Just for online essays and stray Trendacosta rants? No?

For those of you who recall this very nerd-a-taining thread...

 

...I thought you might like to read this:

http://ew.com/tv/2017/09/24/star-trek-discovery-ew-review/

Do please post your other pertinent blog posts, essays and stuff here if you have a yen to. 

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6 hours ago, Robin Bland said:

Do we have a general Discovery review thread? Just for online essays and stray Trendacosta rants? No?

For those of you who recall this very nerd-a-taining thread...

 

...I thought you might like to read this:

http://ew.com/tv/2017/09/24/star-trek-discovery-ew-review/

Do please post your other pertinent blog posts, essays and stuff here if you have a yen to. 

We do now. :laugh:

Interesting article; some parts I agree with, others I didn't entirely but it was well thought out.  Not some close-minded Trendacosta-hater rant, thank goodness. 

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58 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

We do now. :laugh:

Interesting article; some parts I agree with, others I didn't entirely but it was well thought out.  Not some close-minded Trendacosta-hater rant, thank goodness. 

I think it’s one of the fairest and most even-handed reviews of the two-part opener I’ve read. But Franich is an insightful writer - even when I don’t agree with a point of his, he usually leaves me with food for thought. 

I agree with him about Burnham’s hazy characterization... it feels as if Martin-Green’s been struggling with that on and off until about episode 5. They take a lot of time having other characters assess her (Saru, top brass who condemn her), telling is what she is, but it doesn’t square with what we see onscreen, so we’re left thinking that Starfleet is psychologically clueless. (This is true later with with regards to Cornwell and Lorca, too.) When Cadet Tilly is the only person to figure out who and what Burnham is and Bad Boy Lorca the only one to give her a chance at redemption, you have to ask what kind of an organization this is.  I accept that a lot of that was set-up, but I almost think the writers saddled her with more baggage than was necessary to make her “interesting” instead of being a bit looser and just throwing the audience into the situation and telling us the war had begun. That is, it feels like they went back and made eps 1 and 2 as an afterthought and ep 3 was the true opener. And should’ve remained so, because that way we’d have got to know and like Burnham more on our own terms, and on the character’s terms also. If we found out about her mistakes in flashback, but witnessed her heroism aboard the Discovery it would’ve made her so much more endearing. 

 

Katherine Trendacosta’s latest on io9:

https://io9.gizmodo.com/star-trek-discoverys-biggest-problem-is-that-its-a-pre-1819758511

https://io9.gizmodo.com/io9-tries-to-figure-out-how-star-trek-discovery-can-ev-1819776512

Trendacosta baffles me, because she often makes very salient points but then upsets them by going off on a rant. She writes herself into corners by being cogent and pointing out genuine storytelling deficiencies, then asking you to agree with something extreme that she plants at the end of one of her arguments.  This is classic fan rage, and we’re all susceptible to that sometimes, but boy, she’s made it into her trademark. She can be soooo negative sometimes. You get the sense she wants the show to fail so she can be right. 

 

I like Monique Jones at Slashfilm, who has a more measured view of things. Like Franich, she calls out dopey developments, but has a warmth to her observations that is really engaging. She does regular recaps (latest): 

http://www.slashfilm.com/author/monique-jones/

Haven’t read this yet (same site, different writer):

http://www.slashfilm.com/star-trek-discovery-is-the-star-trek-show-2017-demands/

 

I guess the thing to note here is how much Discovery is being talked about. It feels like, in spite of its somewhat shaky trot out of the stables, it’s winning the race. That can only be a good thing. 

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18 hours ago, nepr said:

Been looking for a place to post this.  Thanks RB!

I'm an atheist who likes good thoughtful stuff like this.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/october-web-only/discovery-may-be-star-trek-that-gets-humanity-right.html?start=1

My pleasure! This is just the sort of article I had in mind; thanks for sharing. 

Star Trek and its fans are a broad church and it’s so interesting to see and read all these different reactions and interpretations of the new show from all across the Internet. 

It’s a really thoughtful piece, and there’s much to ponder, some stuff to agree with, some not. This sentence stuck out at me: 

“...At its worst, Star Trek puts forth a godless humanism without a transcendent eschatology, yoked to a flawed understanding of human nature.” 

...It made me think of all the times we do see religions portrayed in Star Trek. Most “gods” are found to be wayward AIs, or just evolved superbeings beyond our understanding who routinely flit between ours and other planes of existence. 

At a (ahem) lower level, no perfect system of society or governance is ever described - even the “utopia” of the Federation (especially post TNG) is consistently imperfect, despite being the land of plenty. Even the Q continuum is not without its flaws. Strikes me that “godlessness” is exactly what we as a species need to be striving for, or at least, a situation where we transcend any need to rely on eschatology or scripture as an excuse or explanation for our own actions. The idea of the Federation and Starfleet for me is that it represents the point where humanity takes responsibility for its own actions and grows up, co-ordinating its efforts for vast, positive outcomes, including the ability to explore the universe. 

But, as far as I can remember, there’s nothing in-universe, within the Federation, that says you can’t or shouldn’t practice religion if you want to. That’s just a production and philosophical hand-me-down from Roddenberry, but I’m not entirely sure it’s written into the Federation’s constitution, so to speak. 

On a personal note, see, I’m really not sure if I’m an atheist or not. I am not religious, not in any practicable sense (I do indulge in certain traditions to make my mother happy at Christmas and whatnot - she thinks me meditating makes me a Buddhist), but I can’t dismiss a sense of spirituality that I can only describe as an essential faith in human nature. That, to me, really seems something to strive for that might be unrealistic, but isn’t inherently unattainable. 

 

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20 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

I have to post Trendacosta. Mustn't.... NO!... Can't help... self... Hands moving of own accord... MUSSST POSSST TRENDACOSSSSTAHHH

HELP MEEEEEEEEEE

https://io9.gizmodo.com/what-change-to-canon-do-you-find-the-most-infuriating-1819885103

 

*.... long distance slap on your wrists... *   :P


Responding to Trendacosta’s um, query, I can only say that while I might find occasional canon goofs to be distracting?  I save ‘infuriating’ for things like politicians, doctors, lawyers and insurance agents. 

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, Sehlat Vie said:

*.... long distance slap on your wrists... *   :P


Responding to Trendacosta’s um, query, I can only say that while I might find occasional canon goofs to be distracting?  I save ‘infuriating’ for things like politicians, doctors, lawyers and insurance agents. 

Now, now, young minds, new ideas... :laugh:

It is characteristic Trendacosta clickbait-y style. I think I needed a bucket of water thrown over me, but thanks. 

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1 hour ago, Robin Bland said:

Now, now, young minds, new ideas... :laugh:

It is characteristic Trendacosta clickbait-y style. I think I needed a bucket of water thrown over me, but thanks. 

:laugh:

Reading her stuff usually causes my left eye to twitch a bit...

tenor.gif

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47 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

:laugh:

Reading her stuff usually causes my left eye to twitch a bit...

 

Ooh, that gif!

I think she’s very smart, and even when I’m not agreeing with her (which is not as often as you;d think) she makes shrewd observations about storytelling generally. Her heart’s in the right place, I think, it’s just her delivery is always like Black Bolt forgot not to talk.  

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1 hour ago, Robin Bland said:

Ooh, that gif!

I think she’s very smart, and even when I’m not agreeing with her (which is not as often as you;d think) she makes shrewd observations about storytelling generally. Her heart’s in the right place, I think, it’s just her delivery is always like Black Bolt forgot not to talk.  

Right. 

It's not that I always disagree with her; it's that she is so hyperbolic. It's all life or death, you know?   Something is disagreeable to her, it's the end of western civilization.

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2 hours ago, Sehlat Vie said:

Right. 

It's not that I always disagree with her; it's that she is so hyperbolic. It's all life or death, you know?   Something is disagreeable to her, it's the end of western civilization.

Exactly.

Stridency is a thing in our culture these days, innit? Whatever happened to "Speak softly and carry a large stick," as Linus Van Pelt put it?

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33 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

Exactly.

Stridency is a thing in our culture these days, innit? Whatever happened to "Speak softly and carry a large stick," as Linus Van Pelt put it?

I guess no one hears soft-spoken words anymore...:dontgetit:

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31 minutes ago, Sehlat Vie said:

I guess no one hears soft-spoken words anymore...:dontgetit:

No.:(

Or "A still tongue keeps a wise head"...?

Our Internet comms tech has done away with a lot of subtler human interactions in less than the space of a generation. 

Or maybe people just need to learn to write and express themselves better...? (Present board excepted, of course.)

 

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2 hours ago, Robin Bland said:

No.:(

Or "A still tongue keeps a wise head"...?

Our Internet comms tech has done away with a lot of subtler human interactions in less than the space of a generation. 

Or maybe people just need to learn to write and express themselves better...? (Present board excepted, of course.)

 

Also a reason I'm glad we don't just have 'like' buttons; it encourages one to be part of the conversation rather than a judge. 

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Interesting - possible alternative themes and an alternative music composer for Discovery (Cliff Eidelman of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country rather than Jeff Russo):

https://io9.gizmodo.com/listen-to-this-short-album-of-unused-star-trek-discove-1819950947

 

 

On 10/27/2017 at 7:51 PM, Sehlat Vie said:

Also a reason I'm glad we don't just have 'like' buttons; it encourages one to be part of the conversation rather than a judge. 

“Like” buttons are the scourge of this age. 

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1 minute ago, Robin Bland said:

Interesting - possible alternative themes and an alternative music composer for Discovery (Cliff Eidelman of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country rather than Jeff Russo):

https://io9.gizmodo.com/listen-to-this-short-album-of-unused-star-trek-discove-1819950947

 

 

“Like” buttons are the scourge of this age. 

I ‘like’ that... :laugh:

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Just now, Robin Bland said:

We all use ‘em... :confused:

I’m just glad we don’t have ‘dislike’ buttons.  

Last Thursday's “Orville” episode (“Majority Rule”) had an interesting high concept episode about a culture based entirely on a ‘pure democracy’ where justice was entirely decided by like/dislike buttons. The episode had a distinct  "Doctor Who" vibe about it.  And yes, the outcome was predictably frightening.   

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Just now, Sehlat Vie said:

I’m just glad we don’t have ‘dislike’ buttons.  

Last Thursday's “Orville” episode (“Majority Rule”) had an interesting high concept episode about a culture based entirely on a ‘pure democracy’ where justice was entirely decided by like/dislike buttons. The episode had a distinct  "Doctor Who" vibe about it.  And yes, the outcome was predictably frightening.   

Haven’t seen it yet. Will watch when it arrives on Hulu. For a ‘Trek-lite’ The Orville has delivered some fairly interesting ideas. I just wish it knew whether it was comedy or drama.  

Edited to add: I think you can have both, I mean there’s a bit of tonal mismatch. Ach. You know what I mean. 

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5 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

Haven’t seen it yet. Will watch when it arrives on Hulu. For a ‘Trek-lite’ The Orville has delivered some fairly interesting ideas. I just wish it knew whether it was comedy or drama.  

Edited to add: I think you can have both, I mean there’s a bit of tonal mismatch. Ach. You know what I mean. 

I would be okay if it kept bouncing between "high-concept" and humor if the humor wasn't so painfully...middle school.

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28 minutes ago, Robin Bland said:

Haven’t seen it yet. Will watch when it arrives on Hulu. For a ‘Trek-lite’ The Orville has delivered some fairly interesting ideas. I just wish it knew whether it was comedy or drama.  

Edited to add: I think you can have both, I mean there’s a bit of tonal mismatch. Ach. You know what I mean. 

Very much so.  

The humor could be germane to the characters and the story, instead of that tacked on feeling that plagues Orville’s ‘comedy.’ 

 

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Trendacosta on Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum (Discovery episode 8):

https://io9.gizmodo.com/star-trek-discovery-riffs-on-an-original-series-episod-1820167557

Dammit, I agree with her again, especially all the confusing Klingon stuff and whether Cornwell is dead or not.

Monique Jones at Slashfilm is a much more patient critic generally, and she likes Saru (don't we all) but seems confused too:

http://www.slashfilm.com/star-trek-discovery-si-vis-pacem-para-bellum/

 

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