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Topic: STAR TREK: DISCOVERY - New TV Series Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Victor Perez
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Posted: 01 March 2019 at 1:32am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Re: “Get Woke, Go Broke“

Ugh that is soooooo tired and pathetic. And probably fanned to the max whenever possible by Russian trolls and 4chan incels (who luckily couldn’t care less about us here).  

The absolute worst argument against Michael I have heard is “you didn’t see people of color in command roles on Starfleet ships in The Original Series and Discovery is supposed to take place BEFORE The Original Series so how is that possible to have such diversity on Starfleet ships in Discovery’s era?”  Ironic that this sad logic at least acknowledges the concept of progress over time...  but you don’t see people in a huff about weird cyborgs on the bridge of the Discovery for some strange reason....

Re: ,,,when you’re a dude, obsessing about udders and green milk

My bad punctuation.... the “when you’re a dude” was meant to modify “ranting about MarySues” not the udder obsession. :)



Edited by Victor Perez on 01 March 2019 at 1:33am
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 01 March 2019 at 8:04pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

re: Diversity.

I don't have an issue with diversity, both as a concept and an ideal -- and in a show depicting a better future for the human race than the current track we seem to be on I'd say it's almost a manditory inclusion for the genre.   

Where I have a bone to pick is in the execution.  

We are currently in an era of what I call 'checklist television' -- whereby some committee has decided all the things the show has to include before a line of dialogue is written or even before they've worked out what the programme is actually about in the first place.   If you're wondering why a lot of television these days has terrible writing and aimless plots that are glacially dribbled out it's because these things were low priority at the bottom of the list (or didn't even blip on the list).   The casting choices tend to be reactionary and overcompensate for what was historically a lack of diversity in show business rather than demonstrating that things have evened and equalled out in the present (and extending that to our future).   

TOS made a point of not just showing a future where there's diversity, but also showing us a future where that diversity is so normal and commonplace that nobody stops to think, "gee, we live in really diverse times".   It just is.   Outside the show in the real world the casting of Ms. Nichols was making waves for good reason but within the context of the fictional world of STAR TREK they let the onscreen diversity speak for itself implicity... and it spoke volumes.

Nowadays, the show wants you know just how diversely diverse their casting choices are -- both inside the show and out.  The surest sign of a hack TV writer is clumsy dialogue that blatantly tells you "THIS IS MY STANCE ON THE ENVIRONMENT/RACE/WHATEVER" instead of something more subtle that lets the viewer draw their own conclusions.  The current STAR TREK writers room is chock full of these jokers.   There's only so much time in an hour of television and once you've put in the manditory effects/explosions, acknowledged all of the current sociopolictal movements and causes and dealt with your relationship drama you might actually have space for a story.   Maybe.


Edited by Rob Ocelot on 01 March 2019 at 8:06pm
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 01 March 2019 at 8:40pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply


 QUOTE:
Outside the show in the real world the casting of Ms. Nichols was making waves for good reason but within the context of the fictional world of STAR TREK they let the onscreen diversity speak for itself implicity... and it spoke volumes.

Implicit.



 QUOTE:
Nowadays, the show wants you know just how diversely diverse their casting choices are -- both inside the show and out.  The surest sign of a hack TV writer is clumsy dialogue that blatantly tells you "THIS IS MY STANCE ON THE ENVIRONMENT/RACE/WHATEVER" instead of something more subtle that lets the viewer draw their own conclusions.

I've seen some people argue that THE ORVILLE does the latter, which is why it is superior to DISCOVERY. Even though the show is pretty unambiguous about its stance on same-sex relationships and explicitly condemns bigotry based on sexual orientation. The show's humanistic stance toward religion is fairly obvious too.

What I get from that is "Stuff I like does diversity right" and "Stuff I don't like does diversity wrong".


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Steve De Young
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Posted: 01 March 2019 at 8:48pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Yeah, Star Trek episodes have never been thinly-veiled allegories about race, sexuality, gender, the environment until DSC.

Bro, do you even Star Trek?

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Brian Hague
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Posted: 01 March 2019 at 11:16pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Rob, how do you tell a properly constructed program from one done improperly? Is it the race of the lead characters that lets you know things are probably way too P.C. for the show to be any good? Can you tell just by looking?

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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 01 March 2019 at 11:56pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Brian, it's too late in the evening for me to take your bait. :-)
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Rob Ocelot
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Posted: 02 March 2019 at 12:17am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

I do find it interesting that two people within minutes of each other throw up the glaring exception from an episode of the mostly well-regarded third season.  

I swear, I heard a chorus of "Ackshully..." chiming in from the far reaches of the internet.  

Last I watched "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" none of the main cast/bridge crew even realized there was a difference between Cherons and seemed confused when Bele outlined the differences (much to his annoyance). That (non) reaction from the members of Starfleet was the point I was trying to make.   

I see that I will have to be less implicit in the future. :-)

Maybe we can try again and trot out some examples of specism/racism towards Spock from other Starfleet personnel.  "Balance of Terror", maybe?


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Matt Reed
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Posted: 02 March 2019 at 12:53am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

 Rob Ocelot wrote:
We are currently in an era of what I call 'checklist television' -- whereby some committee has decided all the things the show has to include before a line of dialogue is written or even before they've worked out what the programme is actually about in the first place.  If you're wondering why a lot of television these days has terrible writing and aimless plots that are glacially dribbled out it's because these things were low priority at the bottom of the list (or didn't even blip on the list).   The casting choices tend to be reactionary and overcompensate for what was historically a lack of diversity in show business rather than demonstrating that things have evened and equalled out in the present (and extending that to our future).  

Don't know what television series you're watching, but that doesn't describe what I watch at all. In fact, I think this is hands down the best time for television in terms of story, character, actors and production.  Has been for over a decade.  I'd agree with what you write if it was only about network television.  That's the definition of checklist.  But that's decidedly not the case with the series I watch on FX, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Showtime, Starz, BBCAmerica etc., etc.  I actually have a rather large backlist of series I want to check out across a broad spectrum of content providers if I could only find the time to do so.  

I really think it's an incredible generalization to state "a lot of television has terrible writing and aimless plots" these days if you didn't grow up with 70s procedural series and rote sitcoms all airing on the three network channels available to you.  It's the definition of "you don't know how good you've got it because you don't know how bad it was".   
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 02 March 2019 at 1:21am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

 Rob Ocelot wrote:
whereby some committee has decided all the things the show has to include before a line of dialogue is written or even before they've worked out what the programme is actually about in the first place.

This is an incredible misunderstanding of how television currently works.  Bibles are written for pitch meetings before a show is even picked up for a pilot let alone a series.  Character arcs for the first season, bios, a broad first season outline (often including how they may cliffhang the season) and, yes, a pilot episode which includes more than "a line of dialogue" written.  All completed before papers are signed for a pilot.  Now, yes, there are exceptions.  Some series are picked up without a pilot sight unseen.  But the exception does not prove the rule.  

Again, if you only want to talk about ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX and the CW, then your argument may have some validity.  More and more those networks are creating series in-house to reap the benefits of ownership.  But let's be real: those networks have had a "checklist" mentality for decades.  It's nothing new nor revelatory.  What has changed is the creator-led model of the last decade or more where either director, actor, producer, writer or all of the above agree on a project with little to no interference from the studio that is fronting the money.  If you think those projects are slow, terribly written or have aimless plots, blame the production and not some element of diversity that you somehow think is slowing and damaging the entire product. 
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 02 March 2019 at 1:40am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

 Rob Ocelot wrote:
Last I watched "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" none of the main cast/bridge crew even realized there was a difference between Cherons and seemed confused when Bele outlined the differences (much to his annoyance). That (non) reaction from the members of Starfleet was the point I was trying to make.

Even as a kid in the 70s watching repeats of TOS and loving every minute of it, I knew what "Let This Be Your Last Battlefield" was supposed to represent.  Who really cares if the characters themselves were mostly clueless, it's what the viewer saw that made all the difference.  And it was blatant.  That was the case for most 3rd Season Trek episodes. 

TOS was fantastically allegorical.  Some of it was obvious.  Some was not.  There were some episodes in the first and second seasons that were every bit as ham-fisted as "Let This Be Your Last Battlefield" but they were the exception rather than the third season rule.  Even if you cut out the third season entirely, you can't get past it.  And TOS (as TWILIGHT ZONE before it) was the major exception on network television at the time.  You certainly can't uphold 60s, 70s and 80s network television in general as an example of a better time with little to no checklists on content.  C'mon. 
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 02 March 2019 at 2:10am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

 Rob Ocelot wrote:
I do find it interesting that two people within minutes of each other throw up the glaring exception from an episode of the mostly well-regarded third season.  

I certainly hope this was tongue-in-cheek!  Sorry. Can't tell.
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 02 March 2019 at 12:08pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Yeah, its also not an exception.  I appreciate that in the present, its hard to mentally recreate American culture in the late 60's, but just having a Japanese man and an African-American woman on the bridge as respected officers in the crew was making a huge statement at the time.  The kiss in Plato's Stepchildren seems like nothing to us now, but the network got violent hate mail and a bunch of southern affiliate stations refused to air the episode.

I remember when Riker fell in love with the androgynous alien from a repressive culture as a commentary on sexuality and gender.  I remember the huge flap when DS9 had two women kiss.

What I don't remember is the people who are now so upset about DSC getting all upset when Voyager came out.  Voyager, which very deliberately chose a female captain.  Which deliberately assorted its bridge crew to have a Native American first officer, an Asian officer, two African-American actors playing officers, etc.  I don't even remember a bunch of people screaming about the new Vulcan character being black even though that hadn't been depicted before.

So what's changed?  DSC's crew is, if anything, less diverse than Voyager.  After all, the Discovery has had two captains, and both were middle-aged white men.  The only difference is that now we have a whole bunch of white males who feel threatened in their dominant position in Western culture.  I mean, throwing a bone to minorities was okay when they were firmly in charge, but now that they might not be for long they're worried about being replaced.  Which makes every character that isn't a white male an 'attack' somehow and the more prominent the character, the more violently they react.
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Bill Collins
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Posted: 02 March 2019 at 1:46pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Steve, i have your answer...The Internet!
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 02 March 2019 at 2:25pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

What I don't remember is the people who are now so upset about DSC getting all upset when Voyager came out.  Voyager, which very deliberately chose a female captain.  Which deliberately assorted its bridge crew to have a Native American first officer, an Asian officer, two African-American actors playing officers, etc.  I don't even remember a bunch of people screaming about the new Vulcan character being black even though that hadn't been depicted before.

——-

I recall some grumbling, but they were mostly dismissed as grumps rather than being the “valiant defenders of Star Trek in the face of the culture wars”. 
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 02 March 2019 at 8:28pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Rob, no bait was intended. I'd like to know how you can suss out an uncreative "checklist" show from an honestly intended creative endeavor aside from the racial makeup of the cast. 

You seem to want programming to acknowledge that "things have evened and equalled out in the present (and extending that to our future)." You're summarily declaring the battle for equality over, is that it? Things have reached a level in our culture you're comfortable with and everyone just needs to stop here? The Civil Rights Movement has accomplished all it needs to and everyone can just go home now? Rob says it's all over!

You posit that Star Trek simply presented a better future and that no one ever discussed it or questioned it. You're ignoring "The Savage Curtain," "Patterns of Force," and "The Squire of Gothos" among others, of course, but hey, those didn't upset you back then as shows today seem to. Shows today are somehow different. More agenda driven. Scarier.

Diversity in casting is apparently the reason shows are too long, seasons are underwritten, plots don't come together, and there's flouride in all the water. If we could just fix this, without ever saying what part of it needs to be fixed, heaven forfend, we could all have our beloved genre shows back again, safe and sound without all those... well, y'know, we can't say it, but you understand, of course. 

Am I reading you wrong on this, Rob, and if so, where?

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Steve De Young
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Posted: 07 March 2019 at 8:21pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Well, sorry conspiracy theorists.  In tonight’s episode, Pike had a flashback, and it was footage from The Cage.
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Tyler Kloster
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Posted: 08 March 2019 at 8:46am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

That...was amazing. And heartbreaking. 
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Tyler Kloster
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Posted: 08 March 2019 at 8:47am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

One thing I do struggle, on a minor scale, is the varying episode lengths. Last week's clocked in at barely 40 minutes, while this one was almost a full hour, not counting the ads.

It does throw off the pacing a little bit when one week the show is starting to wrap up at about 35 minutes in and another week it's barely halfway through.
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Matt Reed
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Posted: 08 March 2019 at 9:49am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

I'm fine with that.  It's the advantage streaming services have over traditional networks.  Allow the story to dictate the runtime rather than forcing an arbitrary time limit that all episodes must adhere to.
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Victor Perez
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Posted: 08 March 2019 at 11:06am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Re: “sorry conspiracy theorists.” 

That is exactly what went through my head—right after I finished cheering at the screen! That opening certainly is something I can’t remember Star Trek (hmm...or any other TV show) ever doing before, and not many shows *could* do that I guess... sharper minds may please correct me if I am wrong. 

(p.s. after Discovery I snuck out to see Captain Marvel and the late show was packed with 40-somethings, 50-somethings, what looked like a high school football team...and five women. Everyone had a great time so I can confirm that—including this Discovery episode—yesterday in general was a bad day for the YouTube Incel Conspiracy Theory Industrial Complex. Even Paul Manafort had a better day! Man are some heads going to explode after they torrent up Captain Marvel for a hatewatch!) p.p.s. No spoilers from me, but: both extra credit scenes deliver.

Re: varying episode lengths

Great observation—I was aware they were different but not by how much until I went back and scrolled through. Wow. I guess it doesn’t hurt, it’s kinda interesting, it allows for story beats and transitions to come from left field as opposed to when we have been conditioned to expect them (the antithesis of ST)—but it probably contributes to that feeling that pops up now and then that there has been some wacky last minute editing and reshuffling in both seasons. I should do a YouTube video about that... :)


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