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The TV and Streaming Thread: US Writers/Actors Strike Edition


Raithe

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4 hours ago, Gfted1 said:

Why didnt Ant Man go up Thanos butt and grow? Because then the show is over. Which reminds me of the original Teen Titans TV series from 2003, during the final battle with the BBEG, Beast Boy flies into his ear and then shapeshifted into a whale. Really made Trigon mad. :lol: Good times.

And Beast Boy...inexplicably just stops doing that even though it was effective. Trigon just sits there uselessly flailing around in agony until Beast Boy decides to leave of his own accord. In video games, you keep doing what works until it stops working...in shows and movies, a character doing that to resolve every situation gets repetitive and boring awfully quickly, even if it makes the character seem stupid when they stop. Similarly, a character using one of their abilities in an unexpected way to resolve a problem can either be great or completely stupid, depending on the drama of the situation, how well it was or wasn't set up, how cool or funny it is, and probably a variety of other factors.

Look at this nonsense I found in Atom Eve's Invincible wiki entry, under "weaknesses":

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Mental Limiter: Eve has a mental limiter on her powers that disable her from manipulate organic matter & overall limit her powers.

And noted right next to it...

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Biokinesis: Though normally restrained by mental blocks imposed by Dr Brandyworth, Atom Eve's powers also allow her to affect living creatures and people. She uses this to wipe the memories of Steven Erickson and his assistant by literally altering their brains.

In effect, the typical "we gave this character too powerful of an ability" combined with "so we're going to put an artificial limit on it" topped off with "but actually she can bypass it...but only when we want her to" nonsense. Is it better than not addressing it at all? Maybe, maybe not...addressing it kind of just draws more attention to how stupid it is, so maybe it's better to just not. She changes a textbook into something else entirely different and then right back again, with the textbook having completely resumed its previous form so that it can still be read, so I guess her ability to instantly analyze, memorize, and change reality is literally just about perfect, which makes her powers seem even dumber. This is precisely why I try not to think about this, it really doesn't matter and it's all a load of nonsense. I only care about something like this is if there isn't other things that I like about what I'm watching to distract me from thinking about it, which if it's not accomplishing, is usually a sign I should just stop watching.

Edited by Bartimaeus
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5 hours ago, majestic said:

Well, I've watched worse.

So, when do we get the review of Star Trek Discovery S5 then?

(Prime was absolutely desperate for me to watch Invincible when I subbed for Fallout last month. Ended up watching The Expanse s3+ again instead- no regrets, and the later seasons were much better on a rewatch. Now TVNZ+ is absolutely desperate for me to watch Discovery, the algorithm cannot understand how someone who'd watch just about anything vaguely science fiction keeps ignoring it)

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11 hours ago, Zoraptor said:

So, when do we get the review of Star Trek Discovery S5 then?

(Prime was absolutely desperate for me to watch Invincible when I subbed for Fallout last month. Ended up watching The Expanse s3+ again instead- no regrets, and the later seasons were much better on a rewatch. Now TVNZ+ is absolutely desperate for me to watch Discovery, the algorithm cannot understand how someone who'd watch just about anything vaguely science fiction keeps ignoring it)

Invincible is pretty good, and relatively short. I think I need to finish up the last season of Expanse, but I'm kind of lost on the story and don't want to restart it. 

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I somehow got roped into watching Discovery with my dad. Maybe I'm just built different, but I don't think it's outright horrible like Top Gun: Maverick or VillenDune. For me it's more like the Marvel movies, exceedingly generic CW-tiwr SciFi that nostalgia bait and uses kewl imagery to sucking you into sitting through hollow technobabble nonsense. It's like if they set the most forgettable episodes of any of the old Trek shows in the middle of the Dominon War. It leaves me feeling nothing at all, neither hatred nor the sense of wonder that I got watching the best of TOS/TNG/DS9. Do not reccomend, will probably continue watching because my Dad has very questionable taste (he loves The Phantom Menace because of the pod racing, I am not joking).

Perhaps the one thing I found interesting, Klingon supremacist cult fearing assimilation, gets quickly squandered to make the Klingons classic baddies who don't really believe in anything but power. The redesign also looks awful.

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The Klingon stuff feels heavily nerfed; like whatever plan had generated it had been so revised by the time it broadcast that it no longer really made sense but had to be there since the entire structure of the character relationships and second half of the season needed it since it propelled the concept.  You could tell that Disc had a tumultuous creation, and I say that as someone who was okay with Disc s1 & 2 (still got to get around to finishing 3 & 4)

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Posted (edited)

Phantom Menace is a pretty good analogue for Discovery. Lots of flashy set pieces that don't make much sense if you think about them for more than a second and ultimately not so much actively bad as just disappointing- both could have been a lot better- and RotS was decent while Discovery got a lot more time to improve and never did. The main difference is TPM being shorter.

(Really it was the disappointment that got me. They had some actual interesting ideas, but they seldom (only once that I can remember, and that in S1) went anywhere interesting with them. It had more than hint of the horrible 'modern screenwriting style' about it where you suspect they wrote down cool scenes they wanted to put in and wrote the plot around them, even if it made no sense.

The only thing that was genuinely bad was the Direction. Now, I'd suspect that they'd generated a lot of the actors with CGI as that would explain why they looked like aliens that had been explained human emotions (with a couple of exceptions, like Captain Malfoy. Much like, though to a greater extent, Ian McDiarmid made a load of Palpatine's theoretically dumb sounding lines great). And the action scenes... they'd work better as a parody of JJ Abrams' style in a Flying High! Airplane! like spoof

Best sum up: you got more characterisation of the bridge crew in Strange New Worlds in a few episodes than for Discovery in 3 seasons. And that really counts if you want to make a big deal about killing one of them off. One works emotionally; the other, complete indifference)

Edited by Zoraptor
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Posted (edited)

You are all dead to me now. Fie. Shoo. I am also aware that I said the exact same thing when @Amentep posted about watching Discovery and not hating it way back when it happened. :p

A special thanks goes to @Zoraptor whose reminder turned my evening from being purely occupied by grinding in Diablo 4 to sharing my brain space and time with the beginning of Discovery Season five. Disclaimer: I will be watching this at 2.25x replay speed, which worked wonders when I wrote my Sailor Moon Cosmos recap. Yum Yum.

The Red Directive

Yes, that is actually the episode name. Yikes. I haven't even begun to watch, but the title hangs there, ominous in its wording. You know, that situation in a horror film where the protagonist is clearly aware that they are making a mistake by walking down an aisle, or entering a door, or leaving the safety of their room, but they are doing it anyway? Yes, this is exactly like that. At least this is going to be the final season of this travesty of a show that should have never been made.

With the possible exceptions of the Michelle Yeoh focused mirror universe episodes, which were just absolutely delightful. Without any further ado, let us begin.

Spoiler

Last season's recap is awfully short and does not touch on any of the major plot points, just feels between Booker and Michael. Not the worst choice, considering that the actual plot of the season was, well, let's just say it was delightful, in the same way that being slowly asphyxiated by your own mutated cells is when you have cancer and it spreads to your lungs. The episode proper begins with someone on a space walk while the ship they're standing on is flying through warp.

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I have a feeling that this is not going to be the dumbest scene of the episode.

Of course it is Michael and she is doing something or another, which causes the ship's warp field to collapse. We do the old four hours earlier.

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I actually spent some time looking up Tilly's actress here. That hairdo looks so bad I wondered if it was a wig and she had chemo therapy.

Chief Enginner Gay and Dr. Gayer discuss that the spore drive research program was shut down in favor of something called the pathway drive. That must be some propulsion technology when you think about how Discovery's spore drive can materialize the ship literally anywhere in the universe in an instant. It also comes with the added benefit of being capable of resurrecting lost comrades (for those who forgot, that is something that happened to Dr. Gayer).

Gay is all prissy about it, but Gayer tells him to smile and enjoy the evening. Huh, why don't you smile a little, you look much better when you smile. Isn't that toxic behaviour? Why, no, it cannot be. Not on Discovery. Non-Binary crewmember Whatstheirface has no idea what the hell they're doing there, and neither do I.

Abe Sapiens and his hot Vulcan GILF discuss his new job offer: Federation ambassador. Now, I'm not going to judge, but Saru just literally went through his species' puberty a season or two ago, and she looks like she's a ripe 150. What a nice indication that I am already thinking of all the wrong things when watching this, and it's six minutes into the episode.

Levi Sur shows up and hands Michael something that transports them to Woody Allen's location, which is Morpheus' loading program from The Matrix.

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Neochel, I belive you are the chosen one.

The Event Horizon suddenly shows up on sensors (eh, well, a Romulan science vessel gone for eight centuries), and they send Discovery to hunt it down. It contains something so paramount and important that it needs to be retrieved by any means necessary. Last season the Federation did not even know what was going on with Earth, and how they can scan the entire galaxy for 800 year old science ships - and all the databases are still intact after the burn. Sure, why not.

Bonnie and Clyde show up to steal the McGuffin, and a shootout ensues that leads to a hull breach and that neatly explains how and why Neochel began the episode in space, on a ship, trying to get something back. Wie wunderbar, as we would say.

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They really went all-out on the makeup and hairdos in this episode. No, please go back to wearing helmets.

Neochel messes up, and Bonnie and Clyde escape with their loot. They drop warp trail chaff. No, really. They fake twenty warp trails by dropping chaff. So you're telling me that the Federation can spot a Romulan science vessel at the edge of nowhere that just showed up from being somewhere for almost a millennia (sic, Discovery joke) but they cannot track Bonnie and Clyde because they... ah screw it. Dr. Woody Allen is annoyed.

Michael goes back to Book because Book can track them. Sure, why not. We need to get those love birds back together after their relationship issues, after all. Want to bet this season ends with them living happily ever after, or some such?

Booker takes one look at the warp trails and immediately points out to which fence they are going with the Cenobite Romulan puzzle box (the thing that Bonnie and Clyde stole, not knowing that they will earn an eternity of pleasure and pain from it).

Tilly has a random romance moment for no real reason.

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I feel you girl, I feel you.

Neochel calls and she's back doing something for her. Whatever made her not want to be a part of last season seems to have evaporated. Or, you know, like, Paramount  increased the paycheck enough. Discovery goes to Mos Eisley, which makes sense. It's the largest hive of scum and villainy this side of the galaxy.

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Admiral Ackbar's fishsticks from the sea, they cook so tender and flake-y.

Bonnie and Clyde go to meet Fred the Fence (actual name):

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Thanks to Freddy I'm a sexual spastic. Whatever this is, it looks like a cross between Data and Weyoun.

Fred solves the Cenobite puzzle box and immediately realized that he commited a grave error. It contains a book he leafs through, and then gets really worried. Bonnie and Clyde want to up the price, seeing the synth scared. Ah, such sights we will show you. Such pleasures.

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Bonnie and Clyde shoot Fred. Somehow I expected an android fence who insinuated that he was active for at least 660 years to put up more of a fight. Well, maybe synth did not mean android. Perhaps he's just a silicate or a replicant. :shrugz:

Book, Neochel and Captain Whoever from the random ship they got assigned to help find the dead Fred, who is still warm. Okay. Too bad about Fred, all those memories lost, like tears in the rain that never seems to fall on Tatooine. Speaking of Tatooine, did you guys know the planet suffered through a massive and catastrophic impact that turned it from a lush world into the desert wasteland it is?

Gay and Gayer examine Fred to see if they can download his memory. It is an older Soong type model (of course it is, what else could it be), but they have such delicate wiring, which means it will take a while. What? When did Data have delicate wiring, and he's certainly older than Fred.

Meanwhile, Book, Neochel and Random Captain Guy have a speeder bike chase. Because it is literally impossible to track speeder bikes in a desert from the ships you have in orbit. At least they're not riding dune buggies just because Picard likes them. Tilly decrypts whatever Woody Allen is hiding from everyone. It is a record of the Romulan scientist saying that he found some random ancient technology that must not fall into the wrong hands.

And here I thought Picard took care of The Stone of Gol.

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Now this is pod racing!

They're moving towards some caves that have an explosive device ready to go off. Neochel suddenly has the idea of beaming to Bonnie and Clyde's destination, just to drive home how utterly dumb this speeder bike chase really is. Random Captain Whoever (hey look at the subtitles of the chase image telling me that he's Captain Rayner) fires on the caves, ignoring Neochel's safety concerns, causing Bonnie and Clyde's ship to vector off after launching a torpedo at the mountain range, which promptly does cause a rockslide. 

Now, erm, the avalanche is moving towards the settlement, crossing an immense distance in the process. Rayner, Book and Michael are speeding way from it because why would you transport them back up to the ship in such a situation.

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To think that I used to captain the worst Trek show at some point.

Random ship assigned to help and Discovery will block the avalanche that by now crossed what looks like a vast distance of straight desert at full speed by diverting it with their shields. They can't just fire a torpedo on the ground because some random reason, and Neochel has to go and chase life signs near the avalanche because reasons prevent them from using the transportes to save them.

Whatever, really. Never let sense stand in the way of an action scene. Not even in Star Trek. To think that I once complained about Picard driving around in a dune buggy for no reason. Sic transit gloria mundi.

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If there is one thing this show excels at, it is getting dumber by the minute. Discovery and the Antares are diving below the desert sand.

Booker and Neochel have a moment, then Tilly calls, and Discovery goes back to space dock leaving a trail of sand.

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I hope I am just having a nightmare.

Abe Sapiens and his GILF have a moment, then he accepts the job as Ambassador because he wants to spend more time with her. GILF proposes to him. It is only logical.

Woody Allen spills the beans, the Romulan scientist was one of the Romulans in the TNG episode The Chase, and they think the diary contained in the puzzle box can lead to whatever they used to create life throughout the galaxy. Okay, well, I don't mind the callback, but I thought they just created the first single cell organisms on several worlds, based on their own DNA. Who knows, maybe they'll find some Xenomorphs. :yes: 

End of episode.

Great, the forum just posted my post due to a software update, while it is not finished. At least it is not gone. Freaking forum software.

Edited by majestic
ends -> begins
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No mind to think. No will to break. No voice to cry suffering.

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So, just in case you read the half-finished post, it is now fully finished. I just got dumberer from watching the episode. I need to lie down. Good night.

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No mind to think. No will to break. No voice to cry suffering.

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No special thanks required, I have to admit I watched S5E1 out of curiousity last evening as well, so I have been appropriately rewarded. At least it was weirdly entertaining I guess, probably due to the complete lack of any positive expectations meaning I could just laugh at everything.

Funnily enough I too thought of podracing during that one scene. Overall, an episode written like an AI learning from all the worst clichés of the last twenty odd years.

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"Dr Pimple Popper"

wtf am I watching and why haven't I turned it off yet.

She's a charming/fun persona tho.

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“Things are as they are. Looking out into the universe at night, we make no comparisons between right and wrong stars, nor between well and badly arranged constellations.” – Alan Watts
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Streaming Rogue on Freevee and finding it oddly addictive. At least it's not a police procedural.

Edited by rjshae

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Watched most of the first episode of Disney's new Star Wars outing "The Acolyte", and I already regret it. I wish I could stop doing this, but alas...

So far it is just like Ahsoka insfoar as it is not so much offensive and stupid as it is boring, wooden and flat. It therefor, just like the aforementioned Ahsoka, stands in stark contrast to The Mandalorian, where the craftsmanship of the series is often good (even if production values scream tight budget at you, but that is a problem every Disney Star Wars has), but many episodes are just so utterly dumb that one cannot but wonder if a half-witted fanboy was involved in writing the scripts.

Every camera angle in this episode was so flat it gives credence to the Flat Earth conspiracy theory. Everything is drab, boring and uncinematic. Every dialogue is set up as shot/reverse shot, and the actors were all wooden, talking in this strange monotone that Disney seems to think Jedi should talk in. Watchers are apparently review bombing this based on it having a diverse cast, as if the series has no other problems it deserves to be review bombed for.

They hired Carrie-Anne Moss as a guest actor for the first episode, where she's doing her best Matrix martial arts fight impression in the cold opening. I like Carrie-Anne Moss as an actress, but I facepalmed throughout her fight. Since this happens in the first two or three minutes of the series it is not much of a spoiler, but I'll mark it anyway:

Spoiler

She dies because her attacker took a lesson from HK-47. To efficiently kill a Jedi, put others in jeopardy. Good idea, but the execution was terrible - and boring. Yikes.

Verdict: Unless you're like me, just stay clear of this. While it wasn't a dumpster fire in the same way The Mandalorian season three or Rings of Power was, it just is not worth your time, and I am fairly confident the rest of the series will not change that.

Edited by majestic

No mind to think. No will to break. No voice to cry suffering.

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Huh. I should probably watch Ahsoka at some point. But I also think I was supposed to watch Clone Wars or Rebels or The Bad Batch to know what is going on, and that seems like a lot of TV time that I don't really have.

I also stalled out on the MCU trying to watch that Nick Fury series. That was really slow.

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Watched the first 2 Ahsoka episodes and then just stopped. Never looked back. It's really funny to me that Andor of all the shows is the one that ended up being good. Like... this random guy nobody gave a damn about in that one movie from how many years ago gets his own show because whatever... and it is actually good?? What are the odds. Even that Obi-Wan show wasn't great.

Edited by Lexx

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1 hour ago, Hurlshort said:

Huh. I should probably watch Ahsoka at some point. But I also think I was supposed to watch Clone Wars or Rebels or The Bad Batch to know what is going on, and that seems like a lot of TV time that I don't really have.

I also stalled out on the MCU trying to watch that Nick Fury series. That was really slow.

I can watch almost anything but I couldn't finish the Nick Fury show. I think I was out after the first or second episode.

I finished Ahsoka without having seen the cartoons and if it was a t-shirt it'd be a size extra medium. I was e able to piece the backstory together with the help of <insert preferred search engine> plus they sometimes overexplain some stuff which makes no sense in the context of the scene but helps the viewer catch up.

 

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On 6/11/2024 at 1:41 PM, Lexx said:

Watched the first 2 Ahsoka episodes and then just stopped. Never looked back. It's really funny to me that Andor of all the shows is the one that ended up being good. Like... this random guy nobody gave a damn about in that one movie from how many years ago gets his own show because whatever... and it is actually good?? What are the odds. Even that Obi-Wan show wasn't great.

Rogue One was the best of the new SW movies, so I don't think it was a huge shock that the spin off series from that movie turned out good. They really are the only ones that use Star Wars as a sandbox to tell a good story, instead of trying to capture a reminiscent moment from the original trilogy.  

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I cannot - yet I must. How do you calculate that? At what point on the graph do "must" and "cannot" meet? Yet I must - but I cannot! ~ Ro-Man

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On 6/13/2024 at 2:52 AM, Hurlshort said:

Rogue One was the best of the new SW movies, so I don't think it was a huge shock that the spin off series from that movie turned out good. They really are the only ones that use Star Wars as a sandbox to tell a good story, instead of trying to capture a reminiscent moment from the original trilogy.  

 

 

No mind to think. No will to break. No voice to cry suffering.

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As mentioned, I was invited to the London premiere event showing the first two episodes of The Acolyte a few backs.

Now with the third episode having dropped and taken that in, I think given the nature of the show, it's going to really require the full thing to be watched to get the best idea on its script.  Trouble being, is they're doing a  murder-mystery detective plot, which can be slow burn to start with, and then they look to be throwing in flashback episodes and sequences. 

So yes, they got Carrie-Anne Moss to do the big name, then kill her off in one five minute fight sequence at the start of the first episode, but she's going to be turning up in assorted flashback stuff through the season to showcase why certain things are happening and putting characters into focus.

Which I think is part of the problem. Doing an episodic release structure where most character backgrounds and reasons for behaviour aren't going to be explained or understandable until you've gotten half a dozen threads a month down the line... is not going to help with fan reception.

A lot of the sensible critique of the show (some stilted dialogue, some cheapish looking costume design, and set choice questions, and flat filming) seem to be getting lost in the haze of complaints of woke casting (It's a very varied casting - which does make sense for a galactic spanning collection) and some fan horror over how not-great the Jedi are coming across as.  Not quite picking up on that the High Repuplic time frame is pretty much when the Jedi are at the height of their dogmatic, bureaucratic, this is the right path absolutism with no time for questioning the path.

The reveal that Amandla Stenberg was actually

playing separated twins

was a thing they'd managed to keep hidden from all trailers and such, so that was a nice touch. While you have to recognise the capability that Lee Jung-jae playing Master Sol apparently went from Korean acting royalty to learning English for the role some months before shooting began.

 

So yes, I think to contemplate the actual story, I'm going to end up struggling my way through it just so i can have fully reasoned discussions about it afterwards. But it's not exactly got me excited or engaged.

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