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Random TV Show Thoughts

asterixsmeagol

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Where are you in the series? I think she's a bit of a hothead early in the series but she matures and grows into her role as XO over the course of the series.
 

mnkykungfu

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I've been watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine every night on a cable TV station lately. Not my first time but the first in several years.

I'm reminded of two things I've always thought about this show.

1) How great it is, almost as good as the best of The Next Generation

2) How much it could have been even better and far surpassed TNG if it weren't for officer Keera or however it's spelled. Man I can't stand her. Her character annoys me to no end every time she's on screen. Both her characters writing and the actor. The character is annoying, illogical, self righteous, and unlikeably arrogant, ignorant, and opinionated in the wrong ways. And the actors portrayal is just as obnoxious as all that the character is would call for. She's just always rubbed me the wrong way and I'm immediately annoyed whenever she talks. It's a shame she could have been much more likeable with just some small tweaks to her character traits.

The only blemish on an otherwise amazing show.
As a kid, I watched reruns of Star Trek: TOS and thought it was pretty fun, though I didn't get the headier Sci-Fi concepts until a rewatch marathon when I was older.
My bread and butter was Star Trek: TNG, which was a perfect blend of more mature drama with creative Sci-Fi.
I tried to make the switch over to Star Trek: DS9, but for my age, it was just all these people walking around talking about BS, and I got bored of it and couldn't last through Season 2. Where was the adventuring? Where was the action? This was clearly not aimed at me.

I did a marathon of TNG a couple years ago and realized/found out a couple things. Firstly, DS9 was being developed as the successor to TNG, and originally the former was going to end and then DS9 start, but executives were concerned the audience wouldn't migrate and that TNG wasn't ready for films and so extended TNG so that its broadcast was actually overlapping. But they were setting up characters and plotlines on TNG to transition over to DS9.

A big one was "Ensign Ro" and the whole Bajoran conflict. This was going to be the sort of politically complex anchor point to kick off DS9, with Ro at its center. However, actress Michelle Forbes could not be convinced to sign a multi-season contract for DS9, so they decided to rewrite her character: Kira was born. On TNG, Ro is hot-headed and cocky, opinionated and a bit self-righteous. But she is also very, very good, and is proven right several times. She grows during the last couple seasons, and I think if she had been on DS9, the character would have come across very differently. The audience would already have been invested, and she would have earned the right to have all those feelings and to be so antagonistic. We had seen episodes showing why. The producers' decision to switch to Kira ignores all that and hamstrung the actress who took over that plot point (Nana Visitor, who did a great job).

I know DS9 is really respected among adults and fans of slower, talkier Sci-Fi, shows like Dr. Who and Babylon 5. I've always thought that some day I should try to really give it another shot, but I think I'll always see those first couple of seasons as floundering in the wake of massive changes from producers.
 

tremault

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I know DS9 is really respected among adults and fans of slower, talkier Sci-Fi, shows like Dr. Who and Babylon 5. I've always thought that some day I should try to really give it another shot, but I think I'll always see those first couple of seasons as floundering in the wake of massive changes from producers.
My brother has said he always struggled to get into ds9 and said something about the first couple seasons. I personally prefer the earlier seasons rather than the later couple of seasons, but I do sympathise. There is a lot of intermeshing story elements throughout later seasons whereas the earlier seasons are more episodic. it really give the grounding for the characters though. I mean you need to see the beginning of Bashir's relationship with Garak, to really appreciate the later stories about them. that's just one example.
 

asterixsmeagol

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This is a problem with TNG too. It really hit its stride in Season 3, but a lot of important character moments happen in the first two seasons that make the later ones stronger. And both Q and the Borg are introduced all the way back in Season 1.
 

mnkykungfu

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Oh wow, I was never struck by that in TNG. I loved the first normal episode, with all wild antics? So much fun! Couldn't believe how much I knew and loved all these characters within like 4-5 episodes. They still had room to grow of course, but I absolutely love S1 of TNG, and S2 might be my overall favorite.
 
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tremault

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I'm confused... what were the masks you speak of?
Were there masks in encounter at farpoint?
 

mnkykungfu

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^Sorry, I meant the first episode after the movie premiere. Called "The Naked Now", it's the one where everyone acts crazy and almost possessed, and Data gets freaky with Tasha. I was conflating it with a later episode where people also act out of character. Post corrected!
(But yes, the premiere movie, "Encounter at Farpoint", is of course beyond reproach. One of the best intros in TV history for a series, which I thought was a given.)
 
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tremault

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Ah yes the naked now, I always crack up at that that bit where Picard makes that funny noise "not now doctor" 🤣
 

Gaith

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This is a problem with TNG too. It really hit its stride in Season 3, but a lot of important character moments happen in the first two seasons that make the later ones stronger. And both Q and the Borg are introduced all the way back in Season 1.

*pushes up glasses* Um, "Q Who?" is a S2 episode. ;)
 

mnkykungfu

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Voltron: Legendary Defender (2016-2018)
So, as a child who worshipped Voltron back in the diz-ay -as all the cool kids say- I was skeptical as always that yet another of my beloved childhood properties was having its corpse dug up and exploited for nostalgia/cash-in purposes. Big corporations will just never get tired of making bad iterations of GI Joe, Transformers, He-Man, or virtually any other property that was a hit '80s cartoon. So Voltron seemed like another to add to the list with this new Netflix series. But a few things stood out...

1. This series was actually delivered like premium TV by Dreamworks, in "seasons" of 13 episodes, bit by bit over 8 seasons. That's a lot of stopping to check in, not the typical "churn out new characters for new merch" methodology.

2. A lot of the people involved in making it were the same people who had made some DC Animated Universe stuff I've really liked, as well as my beloved series The Legend of Korra.

3. There is a surprising metric ton of critical praise for this series, a supposed kids' cartoon!

So okay, fine, I threw it on as a lark one day to see how they were updating Voltron. And here I am a few months later, having watched all 76 episodes. Truly, the show is worth the hype.

Some "random thoughts":
-One of the things I loved about the show as a kid (I mostly watched the Japanese import on satellite) was how surprisingly raw it could get. Like, these space guys are on an adventure, but suddenly they're in a place where people get into sword duels. And one of the main guys just gets flat-out stabbed and dies! This was like no American cartoon I had seen (and indeed they make it seem like he just "retires from his injuries" in the US edit). But this new Voltron show fully embraces that, with moments of real-world darkness and drama and death that creep in, and much more frequently!

-The downside of the original show, once you're a bit older, is that it's very much a formulaic cartoon. Basically every episode, a new monster comes, the good guys struggle with it, then they "form Voltron" to a lengthy montage sequence, I'd jump up on the couch and celebrate, and Voltron defeats the monster, err, "Ro-Beast". Okay, as an adult, that would get boring quick. Thankfully, the new show subverts that! The crew often has narrative reasons why they can't just form Voltron, and even doing so is not the ideal solution to every problem. You see a lot of teamwork, a lot of them in and out of the Lions, and then various iterations of Voltron, too.

-That's not the only way in which the show is very self-aware and makes smart choices about how to adapt the original material. It plays on the differences between the original US and Japanese shows, and around "season" 5, it incorporates elements from the sequel Voltron series (the one with all the spaceships that form another Voltron). It's also great about sort of dealing with Voltron as a legacy that has multiple iterations.

-Downsides of the show: admittedly, the final season is my least favorite. It escalates to a point where all the stakes are so huge, and so rushed into, that the story becomes "a lot of magic stuff merged with science and yadda yadda, somehow this is happening now!" It's so macro level so all the time that it doesn't feel adequately developed. It's unusual for a show that would take multiple episodes to lay out plot points in the past. There's also a lot of virtue-signaling. I'm not against any of the virtues they're signalling, I just wish they would actually build them instead of just paying them lip service. This comes into play with the romances, too. The show has a surprising amount of romances hinted at or shown, but it's not great at developing them. This could be a particular weak note in the way the show ends for some people.

All that said, Voltron is easily a huge improvement over not only the old anime/cartoon, but over virtually every Japanese giant robot anime ever made. (Yeah, an American, Netflix production did it...I'm as shocked as anyone). Moreover, the episodes are often surprisingly creative, and FUNNY. Sure, some of it is kind of kiddie humor or anime otaku humor, but a lot of the show is just very cleverly written. This is technically approved for kids to watch, but it feels honestly aimed at teens and those in arrested development like me. If you're a 20-something who ever partakes in anime, this is kind of ...well, a must-watch.
 

WilliamRedRobin

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Amazon Prime's subtitles are atrocious. They're full of errors and often out of sync.
I recognise a lot of the issues they're having from my experiences with WhisperAI. Using AI tools for subtitles is great, but it's kind of pointless when you don't even bother to check the subs afterwards.
I'm surprised they've managed to get away with it for so long given how famously cantankerous the deaf community is, and with how many people are saying they need subtitles these days due to mumbling actors and poor sound mixing.
 
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