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Friday, January 25, 2013

Posnanski reviews “Trouble with the Curve”

Maybe the movie didn’t have enough of the invisible President bit?

In so, so, so many ways TWTC does a much greater disservice to scouts that it does to the stat people. Heck, it merely makes stats-people into unrecognizably cartoonish figures who hate baseball but want to work in it so they can take over the world with their baffling “batting average” statistics. Big deal.

But scouts … this movie was supposed to celebrate them. Instead it makes grumpy and unfunny old men* who have some sort of weird super-power ability to hear drifting hands. This is exactly the stale depiction of scouts that Moneyball did such a good job of lampooning in the first place….

But here’s the point: If you want to celebrate a scout, why wouldn’t you have him NOTICE all these things. This gets at the very heart of what scouts do. They watch the games. They talk to the players. They learn all about the families. They listen to the fans. If you are doing a whole movie about what scouts can tell you that computer can’t—this is very crux of the argument. One of my favorite scout stories involves a scout in Venezuela who saw a kid play. He was too small, he was too slow, he couldn’t hit a lick. But the scout loved him, loved him because he had these beautiful soft hand, the ball just stuck to his glove, velcro, and he had this marvelous arm and this wonderful attitude. The scout kept following around the kid—there was something about him.

He called the GM personally to plead the case. He said he only needed $5,000 to sign the kid. $5K. It was nothing. The GM said no. Kid can’t run. Kid can’t hit. Who cares about soft hands? The scout said, “Fine, I’ll put up the 5K myself and prove you wrong.” The GM was impressed with that and he liked the scout a lot and he said, “OK, fine, you can have 5K.”

The player turned out to be Andres Blanco—not a star, certainly, not even an everyday player. But the guy got 654 plate appearances in the big leagues, made some dazzling defensive plays and was one hell of a deal for $5,000.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 25, 2013 at 03:29 PM | 426 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: andres blanco, clint eastwood, films, hollywood, movies, posnanski, scouts, trouble with the curve

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   201. Greg K Posted: January 29, 2013 at 05:41 PM (#4357734)
I think that's a different episode --

This is the source of confusion...

I was referencing a Star Trek episode where I learned some stuff about REM sleep (Night Terrors). But since this is a thread about torture obviously Chain of Command came up - which by the way is a great episode, but does not feature REM sleep very prominently...except perhaps we can speculate that the Cardassians used some kind of sleep deprivation on Picard.
   202. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 29, 2013 at 05:45 PM (#4357738)
The moral line, to me, shifts if it is war or not. Which is what makes all this hard to judge - are we at war or not? My guess is that a large percentage of the folks arguing the anti-waterboarding, anti-sleep deprivation angle would also say we aren't currently at war while those arguing the other side of it would say that we are at war.

For me, the line is exigent circumstances. Torture *may* be permissible in a true ticking time bomb situation, but (a) that almost never happens in real life, (b) torture isn't necessarily the most effective way to get the info., and (c) even if you feel that torture is absolute necessary in that situation, you don't codify it and make it part of the standard procedures.
   203. zonk Posted: January 29, 2013 at 05:45 PM (#4357739)
This is the source of confusion...

I was referencing a Star Trek episode where I learned some stuff about REM sleep (Night Terrors). But since this is a thread about torture obviously Chain of Command came up - which by the way is a great episode, but does not feature REM sleep very prominently...except perhaps we can speculate that the Cardassians used some kind of sleep deprivation on Picard.


So I'm technically right -- that's the best kind of right!

The Four Lights reference is definitely from Chain of Command, though --- the lights in Night Terrors is one light circling another (so just two lights).
   204. bunyon Posted: January 29, 2013 at 05:45 PM (#4357740)
the Cardassians OTOH were practically pussies.

I can only think of that Cardassian as a frightened little child.

   205. Greg K Posted: January 29, 2013 at 05:48 PM (#4357741)
The Four Lights reference is definitely from Chain of Command, though

Most definitely. That's probably the greatest line in the entire show's history.

EDIT: a friend of mine once had a moment of serendipity that almost ruined a presentation he was making to some clients at work. After displaying the innards of some kind of electronic device to them he was re-assembling it. His colleague handed him the screws to put the facing back on. He gave him three even though the device required four. After the guy tried to convince him that there were in fact only three screws, my friend drew the connection to Chain of Command and belted out his best Picard impression with THERE. ARE. FOUR. SCREWS.

Unfortunately no one in the meeting was a Star Trek fan and they all just thought he was being a dick to his work-mate.
   206. zonk Posted: January 29, 2013 at 05:58 PM (#4357744)

EDIT: a friend of mine once had a moment of serendipity that almost ruined a presentation he was making to some clients at work. After displaying the innards of some kind of electronic device to them he was re-assembling it. His colleague handed him the screws to put the facing back on. He gave him three even though the device required four. After the guy tried to convince him that there were in fact only three screws, my friend drew the connection to Chain of Command and belted out his best Picard impression with THERE. ARE. FOUR. SCREWS.

Unfortunately no one in the meeting was a Star Trek fan and they all just thought he was being a dick to his work-mate.


SIgh...

Another reason I'd never cut it as an executive... I'd have fired everyone in the room except your friend.
   207. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: January 29, 2013 at 06:24 PM (#4357774)
I agree entirely with #202, and that's where I'll leave the torture discussion.

I heard "Star Trek" and "torture" and immediately went to Chain of Command. And now I'm confusing Night Terrors with whichever weird episode it was that had Data eating a cake made out of Troi during a dream state.

And then there was the episode where Riker had been captured and they were ####### with his mind to interrogate him!
   208. Greg K Posted: January 29, 2013 at 06:26 PM (#4357778)
And then there was the episode where Riker had been captured and they were ####### with his mind to interrogate him!

There's also the one where that alien tries to convince Riker that it's 20 years in the future and he's his son.

Riker's brain must have been mush by the time all those people had finished ####### with it.
   209. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: January 29, 2013 at 06:35 PM (#4357785)
Sandusky is presumably being played by Jeffrey Jones.


I assume Gary Glitter wasn't available.
   210. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 29, 2013 at 06:38 PM (#4357789)
Riker's brain must have been mush by the time all those people had finished ####### with it.


When TNG started Ryker was actually supposed to be a pre-command version of someone like Kirk, that kind of went by the boards and his characterization IMHO became the weakest, most poorly conceived of any of the regulars (not Frakes fault as much as the writers/producers)- his behavior in the Cardassians torture Picard ep was atrocious, in a real military he'd have been court martial-ed and either demoted or drummed out entirely. Part of the problem was they couldn't shouldn't have kept his character there, the military is relentlessly up and out - the only realistic way they could have kept him and Picard on the same ship would have been to promote Picard to Admiral, and have him come back as a recurring character using the Enterprise (captained by Ryker) as his flagship.
   211. zonk Posted: January 29, 2013 at 06:42 PM (#4357795)
When TNG started Ryker was actually supposed to be a pre-command version of someone like Kirk, that kind of went by the boards and his characterization IMHO became the weakest, most poorly conceived of any of the regulars (not Frakes fault as much as the writers/producers)- his behavior in the Cardassians torture Picard ep was atrocious, in a real military he'd have been court martial-ed and either demoted or drummed out entirely. Part of the problem was they couldn't shouldn't have kept his character there, the military is relentlessly up and out - the only realistic way they could have kept him and Picard on the same ship would have been to promote Picard to Admiral, and have him come back as a recurring character using the Enterprise (captained by Ryker) as his flagship.


Whattya want?

They kept pulling out the Captain's chair for Riker and he kept turning it down!
   212. Greg K Posted: January 29, 2013 at 06:46 PM (#4357799)
his behavior in the Cardassians torture Picard ep was atrocious, in a real military he'd have been court martial-ed and either demoted or drummed out entirely

This is probably true, but I still love him in that episode.

My friends and I have a drinking game we do every Christmas where we watch random TNG episodes and drink whenever a character does something that is deeply characterstic (Data gives an ETA, Worf grinds his teeth, Picard has any number...the uniform tug, make it so, earl grey), one of Riker's was sitting or leaning in that way he does.

In the relevant scene Jellicoe (the guy who replaced Picard) called Riker into the ready room to chew him out for being highly unprofessional. Riker saunters in and my brother gives voice to the tense expectancy filling the living room by saying "if he steps over that chair to sit on it we drink". And his girlfriend - who isn't a Star Trek fan - asks, "why would he do that?" After which Riker promptly does his manly, and vaguely insubordinate step over to which the room explodes and my brother yells "Why WOULDN'T he step over the chair!"

And another holiday memory is forged.
   213. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 29, 2013 at 06:51 PM (#4357803)
Whattya want?

They kept pulling out the Captain's chair for Riker and he kept turning it down!


The writers kept having to do that to justify him staying as second in command...

   214. Swoboda is freedom Posted: January 29, 2013 at 08:47 PM (#4357845)
When TNG started Ryker was actually supposed to be a pre-command version of someone like Kirk, that kind of went by the boards and his characterization IMHO became the weakest, most poorly conceived of any of the regulars (not Frakes fault as much as the writers/producers)-

Absolutely disagree. Frakes is an awful actor, easily the worst on the show. At least in the running with Wesley. I don't think the writers helped him, but Patrick Stewart held his own with the same writers.
   215. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 29, 2013 at 10:09 PM (#4357873)
But, simple sleep deprivation, disorientation, and effective interrogation can achieve an awful lot, and generally produces less false info than physical torture.


Link?

Speaking of torture, anyone see Unthinkable (2010), w Samuel Jackson? Interesting stuff. I'm reluctantly pro-torture in ticking time bomb scenarios, but otherwise am certain we have to resist its dubious comforts.

(Lost in Translation) There's no sense of pain, of loss. No sense of desire in the middle aged man for the beautiful young woman. What a fraud that was.


Wow, as a guy relatively the same age as Murray, I absolutely felt his pain. I thought Murray was perfect in his relationship with ScarJo -- a man who doesn't want to make an ass of himself, who has bonded with this woman and knows that the second he tries anything sexual it will break the magic of the bond. He needed her companionship and to have that, he had to keep in bounds, if it were.

That's how I saw it.


Edmundo, that's a fascinating take but one I simply didn't see at all. I felt no depth and no real sorrow in Murray's performance, and one key for me was the moment when he escorts her to her room, then leaves. The camera is stationed in the hallway outside her room, and shows Murray closing the door behind him. There's no hesitation, no longing, no flicker of -anything-. It was the briefest of moments, but also the most telling of moments. It revealed an empty, empty film. I don't think it's possible to have any regrets there and reveal absolutely nothing of those regrets or restraint. I just didn't see what you saw.

If you're still in the thread, can you point me to a particular moment or moments that support your thesis? I'm willing to be wrong, but I need something specific to go on.
   216. BourbonSamurai Is a Lazy Nogoodnik Posted: January 29, 2013 at 10:46 PM (#4357897)
Part of the problem was they couldn't shouldn't have kept his character there, the military is relentlessly up and out - the only realistic way they could have kept him and Picard on the same ship would have been to promote Picard to Admiral, and have him come back as a recurring character using the Enterprise (captained by Ryker) as his flagship.


Eh, Starfleet pretty clearly has massive scientific and exploratory responsibilities that for most of next gen were trumping their military ones. The ships were also expected to operate completely autonomously for months or even years- I could see how an organization like that could find value in keeping senior executive teams together when things are working rather than trying to push people towards new responsibilities.
   217. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 29, 2013 at 10:54 PM (#4357901)
Jack, can't speak to specifics any more as it's too long ago and I only saw it the one time -- all I can give you is the feeling I was left with upon viewing.

Allow me to retrospectively caveat my statement that I have been a Bill Murray fan from SNL days. I was one of the few of my peers who thought that the show improved when Chevy Chase left and Murray took a prominent role.
   218. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 29, 2013 at 11:01 PM (#4357909)
The moral line, to me, shifts if it is war or not. Which is what makes all this hard to judge - are we at war or not? My guess is that a large percentage of the folks arguing the anti-waterboarding, anti-sleep deprivation angle would also say we aren't currently at war while those arguing the other side of it would say that we are at war.


bunyon, I think there's just as bright a moral line between 'captive' and 'non-captive'. There's a very different code when you have a captive entirely at your mercy, versus when you're aiming assault rifles at each other across an understood battlefield.

Big-name actors actually "sell out" all the time; tons are doing voiceover work for commercials. Jon Hamm did Mercedes, Julia Roberts did AOL, George Clooney has done Budweiser and AT&T, Gene Hackman did Lowes, John Goodman did Dunkin Donuts, the list goes on and on and on.

It's gobs of money for a few hours of work they can do in their underwear,...


That's why, though, I focused on making bad movies solely for the cash rather than voice work, which isn't draining or distracting the way going off an spending 80% of your time making crap is
   219. Lassus Posted: January 29, 2013 at 11:04 PM (#4357912)
#216 has it, IMO. Starfleet was no kind of relentless military operation, I don't think that the 20th-century military path really applies.
   220. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 29, 2013 at 11:06 PM (#4357914)
@217--more than fair enough, and just to be clear I wasn't playing 'gotcha', but really was interested in your point. I think there's a spectacular movie to be made based on your subtle outline of LIT.

So, the question then, if you have an Al-Queda bad guy in your interrogation room: do you and he exist in a state of war?


I think, if the other side has done something that if done by a nation state would be considered an act of war, you can consider yourself as it suits you to be in a state of war with that side. If North Korea had flown a dozen jets off an aircraft carrier in the North Atlantic and reduced the WTC to rubble, that act of war would create a state of war. There may be a subtlety to this I'm missing, though, based on legal doctrine.
   221. Cowboy Popup Posted: January 29, 2013 at 11:09 PM (#4357917)
the only realistic way they could have kept him and Picard on the same ship would have been to promote Picard to Admiral, and have him come back as a recurring character using the Enterprise (captained by Ryker) as his flagship.

Of course, that wouldn't have worked. Picard was never going to be an Admiral, nearly every vision of the future has him becoming an Ambassador. He was pretty emphatically not military minded through out Next Generation, which helps explain Riker's behavior when Jellicoe shows up and starts treating everyone like they are at war. I really wish they had had a Next Generation cameo some time during the Dominion War, it would have been really interesting to see the Enterprise crew under the duress of a losing war (sort of like the Enterprise-C episode, only in a non-alternate time line).

From a practical standpoint, the Enterprise is the flagship and given how often it's Captain goes missing/gets abducted/conducts an undercover investigation on his own, Star Fleet Command is probably pretty happy that the XO is an officer fully capable (so much so that they offer him his own command 3 times) of commanding a star ship for an indefinite period of time.
   222. OsunaSakata Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:20 AM (#4357969)
I think, if the other side has done something that if done by a nation state would be considered an act of war, you can consider yourself as it suits you to be in a state of war with that side. If North Korea had flown a dozen jets off an aircraft carrier in the North Atlantic and reduced the WTC to rubble, that act of war would create a state of war. There may be a subtlety to this I'm missing, though, based on legal doctrine.


It has been argued before in other forums that torture of A-Q members elevated them from criminals to prisoners of war and A-Q to a nation-state-like entity. I'm sure members of organized crime or international drug cartels have been roughed up for information, but I don't know how frequent waterboarding is.
   223. Baldrick Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:44 AM (#4358003)
There's a whole episode that deals with this Riker command stuff. It's the one with his father and they pretty explicitly say that Star Fleet *expects* him to take his own command. So it's definitely still got that element of the military promote-or-die attitude. But they also seem to be a little more willing to make accommodations for him (and the Enterprise). On several occasions, people reference how #2 on the Enterprise is such an awesome job that they can almost see why Riker keeps turning down commands.

But yes, Riker is a terrible, terrible officer. Basically any time he gets control of the ship, he loses it to some two-bit force. Like the time a few Ferengi in some beat-up old Birds of Prey manage to take over the whole ship. While Picard is in the body of a child. Ugh.
   224. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:33 AM (#4358016)
Stopping the Borg will get you a lot of second chances.
   225. bookbook Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:33 AM (#4358017)
The Geneva conventions didn't say... "Oh yeah, don't bother following these in times of war." They're rules of war. Doing the right thing is occasionally inconvenient, but torture is evidently so ineffective that even that isn't much of an argument.

More importantly, I suspect the Gilbert Grape duo (Depp and Di Caprio) are the two male actors we'll be talking about 50 years from now. The Good Will Hunting twosome, not so much (though both Damon and Affleck have done more directing, IIRC)
   226. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:21 AM (#4358025)
I felt no depth and no real sorrow in Murray's performance, and one key for me was the moment when he escorts her to her room, then leaves. The camera is stationed in the hallway outside her room, and shows Murray closing the door behind him. There's no hesitation, no longing, no flicker of -anything-. It was the briefest of moments, but also the most telling of moments.

He hesitates when he's looking at her in bed, and then you see just a flash across his eyes when the door clicks locked. He might even "check" the door, if memory serves.
Whaddaya want, close-ups and swelling music?
   227. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:56 AM (#4358037)
Nah, just a little evocation. But, because you're a reasonable seeming human being, tomorrow if I have time I'll go back and check, and see what I missed. Iirc it's THE moment in the film for that, so a little emphasis, even for a pomo like Coppy, is probably in order.

More importantly, I suspect the Gilbert Grape duo (Depp and Di Caprio) are the two male actors we'll be talking about 50 years from now. The Good Will Hunting twosome, not so much (though both Damon and Affleck have done more directing, IIRC)


DiCaprio often seems overmatched by roles. He's good as the juvenile lead, but that Charlie Brown head often seems poorly suited for meaty, adult parts (good in Catch Me, while in The Aviator I kept expecting him to trip over his pants legs. Has Depp been a serious actor in...forever? Paul Giamatti beats him sideways. Talk about a guy with no physical gifts, yet he's a star.

But yes, Riker is a terrible, terrible officer. Basically any time he gets control of the ship, he loses it to some two-bit force.


On youtube there's a comparable collection of Warf's (sp?) greatest hits, where TNG's security officer is overpowered by everyone and everything, including vaporous midgets.

@222: was there much discussion of the consequences of that? Fwiw, I wouldn't have tortured AQ, but I would have evoked the right of hot pursuit, even as I tried known members in absentia.
   228. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 30, 2013 at 09:24 AM (#4358066)
I've been watching TNG on Netflix lately for some reason and I still enjoy it, but I mostly like the Picard or Data episodes. The other characters are kind of blah to me. It still bugs me how antispetic and un-lived in their universe feels, but that's not a major complaint. The one episode where the crew is "undercover" trying to find out who murdered Picard is quite possibly the most ridiculous hour of television ever, though. That lot couldn't look rough if you strapped them to the bottom of a tractor trailer for a month.
   229. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:00 AM (#4358109)

He hesitates when he's looking at her in bed, and then you see just a flash across his eyes when the door clicks locked. He might even "check" the door, if memory serves.
Whaddaya want, close-ups and swelling music?


I'd prefer the comedic "boing-g-g-g" sound effect. Most movies would be improved through more liberal use of the comedic "boing-g-g-g" effect.

Other than that I agree with you and Edmundo, I haven't seen the movie in 5 years or so but your interpretation was mine as well.
   230. McCoy Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:00 AM (#4358110)
A few years back I tried to watch TNG as I was going through a phase of tv series marathoning but I simply found the show unwatchable nowadays. Compared to all the 1 hour dramas that came after it it feels like some show little kids would put on in their bedroom for an audience of stuffed animals and dolls.
   231. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:08 AM (#4358117)
whichever weird episode it was that had Data eating a cake made out of Troi


And thus, a million creepy fanfics were launched.
   232. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:16 AM (#4358120)

On youtube there's a comparable collection of Warf's (sp?) greatest hits, where TNG's security officer is overpowered by everyone and everything, including vaporous midgets.


There's even a trope on this subject. Warf is set up as the tough guy so you can give the villain of the week someone to mangle so they look badass.
   233. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:20 AM (#4358123)

#216 has it, IMO. Starfleet was no kind of relentless military operation, I don't think that the 20th-century military path really applies.


Starfleet is also pretty small. I would classify it as akin to any smallish peacetime navy -- there aren't that many opportunities for promotion, at least prior to attack of the Borg and the war with the Dominion.
   234. Cowboy Popup Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:26 AM (#4358128)
A few years back I tried to watch TNG as I was going through a phase of tv series marathoning but I simply found the show unwatchable nowadays. Compared to all the 1 hour dramas that came after it it feels like some show little kids would put on in their bedroom for an audience of stuffed animals and dolls.

While this certainly applies to a lot of the show, especially early on, some of the episodes are pretty sophisticated. Chain of Command is quite good, the one where Picard learns the flute is fantastic. I mean, it may be that out of every season, you only get 5 or 6 good to really good episodes of TV, but that blows every other non-Deep Space Nine Star Trek show out of the water (watching Enterprise as we speak, my lord it's consistently terrible). Watching most Star Treks means letting your inner nerd out weigh your other TV watching senses.
   235. Lassus Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:28 AM (#4358130)
WOrf! For god's sake, people!
   236. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:31 AM (#4358133)
"Gomer Pyle" star marries partner


Surprise....surprise......surprise.
   237. McCoy Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:37 AM (#4358135)
For quality I don't think TNG should be compared to other star trek shows but what else one can watch and in that regard it's a horrible show.
   238. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:37 AM (#4358136)
My inner geek is made happy by the turn this thread has taken. DS9 is the best ST series (Original excepted, because it can't be compared by me - to much timelining required). TNG is OK after the first few seasons (Season one was so terrible). Riker is OK once he grows a beard and stops being Space Potsie. Both Kirk and Picard are HoF captains, but Kirk is inner circle.

Aside: Torture is bad and injures those who give it nearly as much as those who recieve it. It is wrong and generally not effective and basically never OK.

EDIT: Babylon 5 is the best sci fi show, and seasons 2 through halfway through 4 are the best run of sci fi TV ever.
   239. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:40 AM (#4358140)
My kids like watching Good Luck Charlie, a sitcom on Disney. At first I thought it was really stupid, but after watching a couple episodes I realized that it really isn't any different from the sitcoms I watched in primetime on ABC, NBC, and CBS in the 80's. It's just that shows like that are now aimed at 10 year olds.

TNG has some terrible moments and episodes, but part of the problem is that it isn't nearly as sophisticated as many of the shows that have followed it, both in terms of the writing and the effects. It's like comparing players across eras.
   240. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:41 AM (#4358142)
It still bugs me how antispetic and un-lived in their universe feels,


Well, compared to the modern aesthetic which is for every place in the future to look like it was built in the middle of a war zone. Why would you expect our material surroundings to look the same in 250 years? Anyone who watches "Lincoln" notices how much the built environment and material culture have changed in a mere 150 years. Besides, there are plenty of modern cultures that cultivate a minimalist aesthetic.
   241. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:46 AM (#4358147)
I think TNG is a perfectly enjoyable show -- yes, it's a product of its time, but so what?

(Then again, I watch 1960s episodes of Doctor Who with cellophane and styrofoam architecture without batting an eye. Maybe it's because I'm an art historian, and am used to looking at visual art from a perspective that is not necessarily a contemporary one?)
   242. Greg K Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:47 AM (#4358149)
Yeah, the fact that TNG looks so bad now says a lot about how far TV has come.

Of course, I will always be able to enjoy watching it because it sunk its claws into me as a kid. I can understand people treating it objectively and finding it wanting...but at this point that process is beyond my capabilities.

Aside, of course, from season one, which remains unwatchable for even the most loving fan.
   243. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:51 AM (#4358153)
Well, compared to the modern aesthetic which is for every place in the future to look like it was built in the middle of a war zone. Why would you expect our material surroundings to look the same in 250 years?

10 forward and their living quarters all seemed very sterile from the artwork on the walls to all the carefully placed artifacts Picard has in his room. Even when they went to planets, everything looked too neat and orderly, even on trips to "primitive" worlds. Everything LOOKS like a television set. I think this is the result of them cranking out a ton of episodes every year and not having time for detailed set design, but it's also emblematic of Roddenberry's utopian, but also kind of fussy, vision of our techno future.
   244. Cowboy Popup Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:52 AM (#4358155)
For quality I don't think TNG should be compared to other star trek shows but what else one can watch and in that regard it's a horrible show.

Depends on what you are looking for. If you are looking for a space traveling sci-fi fix, Next Generation, in comparison with what else is available, stands up well. There are only so many times you can rewatch Cowboy Bebop, Firefly, or Deep Space Nine. I would never recommend Next Generation to some one who wasn't willing to make concessions to watch sci-fi.

Original excepted, because it can't be compared by me - to much timelining required.

No kidding about the timelining. I've sat through maybe a dozen of them so far and I can't for life of me see what people enjoy about it. Spock is the only well acted or mildly interesting character on the show. Kirk is a ####### putz, and Shatner is a horrible actor. And I like some of the movies (II, III, IV) but I have yet to connect with the show. I will keep trying as long as I remain unemployed though.

EDIT: Babylon 5 is the best sci fi show, and seasons 2 through halfway through 4 are the best run of sci fi TV ever.

Interesting. I liked it as a kid, but haven't gone back to it. I assumed it wouldn't hold up well, in part because of the other things I liked at that age. As for best run of sci fi TV ever, that's a mighty tall bar to clear (Seasons 3-5 of DS9 and the first two seasons of Battlestar come to mind). I'll have to revisit it when I can and see if I get a similar level of enjoyment.
   245. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 30, 2013 at 11:55 AM (#4358157)
Of course, I will always be able to enjoy watching it because it sunk its claws into me as a kid. I can understand people treating it objectively and finding it wanting...but at this point that process is beyond my capabilities.

It's a good show despite some flaws because they tell good stories. One of my favorite sci-fi movies is still The Last Starfighter and I could do better graphics on my computer here at work. If the story is good, the bells and whistles don't matter so much. It's what's so frustrating about George Lucas, of course.
   246. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:05 PM (#4358173)
"Gomer Pyle" star marries partner


Surprise....surprise......surprise.


Life comes full circle. One of the crazy rumors in the late 60s that spread was that Jim Nabors married Rock Hudson. Of course, Hudson was the all-American macho leading man in those days. Maybe there was something to that craziest of rumors.
   247. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:06 PM (#4358175)
It's what's so frustrating about George Lucas, of course.


The problem with Lucas is that he seems more interested in creating characters that he can sell to kids that actually create ones that have any sort of "questionable" character. This is reflected in all the tinkering he has done in the original 3 movies such as changing the sequence of who fired first between Solo and Greedo.
   248. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:08 PM (#4358179)
including vaporous midgets


In fairness to Worf, I'm not sure exactly how I'd fight one of those, either.

Babylon 5 is the best sci fi show...


You misspelled "The Prisoner".
   249. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:08 PM (#4358180)
Of course, I will always be able to enjoy watching it because it sunk its claws into me as a kid. I can understand people treating it objectively and finding it wanting...but at this point that process is beyond my capabilities.
This is basically the case for when it comes to TNG--I even dressed up as Data one year for Halloween*--so clearly some part of me is way past rational. Nonetheless, rewatching it some episodes don't rise above the level of watchable, but others, including many mentioned above, are pretty good.

*I've since grown up and, you know, discovered women
   250. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:09 PM (#4358181)
I'm reluctantly pro-torture in ticking time bomb scenarios, but otherwise am certain we have to resist its dubious comforts.


Isn't the incentive by the torturee to give false info to stall time just enough for his plan to succeed? I don't see how torture is any more effective under that scenario.
   251. Der-K, the bloodied charmer Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:10 PM (#4358182)
At first I thought it was really stupid, but after watching a couple episodes I realized that it really isn't any different from the sitcoms I watched in primetime on ABC, NBC, and CBS in the 80's.

I dunno, I guess how I feel about this depends on what sitcoms you were watching. GLC is pretty bad - I've maintain a prohibition on non-animated Disney Channel fare (the occasional movie excepted) in my house.

***

I just finished watching The Prisoner, a show I've been wanting to check out for 30 years. Maybe overrated, but definitely worth watching. Love the ambition, can forgive the occasional clunkiness.
   252. Lassus Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:23 PM (#4358192)
DS9 is the best ST series

This is the standard in-the-know geek stance (No, not picking on you, Greg, just saying overall), to which I feel I must always respond that I couldn't stand the damn thing. With the exception of the last season and a half, it was as boring as death. And I'd be happy to Fringe-science the whole thing out of existence entirely for that baseball episode alone, which makes me cringe even to think about it.


EDIT: Babylon 5 is the best sci fi show, and seasons 2 through halfway through 4 are the best run of sci fi TV ever.

That's an awful lot of Dr. Who, X-Files, and Firefly to be ignoring. (Just sayin'. Babylon 5 is HOM and HOF, no doubt.)

   253. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:28 PM (#4358194)
Babylon 5 is definitely still watchable, although a lot of the first season episodes have a "Star Treky" feel to them -- crew meets alien, crew misunderstands alien, crew learns to think outside the box and what at first seemed strange or hostile is revealed to be simply different. But I agree that it is a good show.
   254. BourbonSamurai Is a Lazy Nogoodnik Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:29 PM (#4358196)
(watching Enterprise as we speak, my lord it's consistently terrible)


Enterprise grew on me once they got past the horrendous time travel war. Season 4 was quite good. And Phlox is a fantastic character, one of the best of all treks.
   255. BourbonSamurai Is a Lazy Nogoodnik Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:30 PM (#4358199)
Yeah, the fact that TNG looks so bad now says a lot about how far TV has come.

Of course, I will always be able to enjoy watching it because it sunk its claws into me as a kid. I can understand people treating it objectively and finding it wanting...but at this point that process is beyond my capabilities.

Aside, of course, from season one, which remains unwatchable for even the most loving fan.


I subscribe entirely to this.
   256. Lassus Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:33 PM (#4358201)
I also think Enterprise has been unfairly judged. And that's even with the fact that I routinely spit on prequels as a concept.
   257. Cowboy Popup Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:33 PM (#4358202)
With the exception of the last season and a half, it was as boring as death.

That's...unexpected. The seventh season, other than the seven or eight episode finale, is pretty much all horrible holo deck episodes with the Tony Bennett knock off or episodes with the absolutely dreadful Dax replacement. I guess there is the Nog PTSD story line, but I look at the 7th season as a weakness, not a strength.

To each his own, but I'm not sure how two wars, the constant threat of the collapse of the Bajoran government, a nuanced fleshing out of three big time Star Trek species (Klingons, Cardassians, and Ferengi), all the political intrigue, and 6 seasons of consistent and meaningful character development (until the 7th season, where they throw it out and make nearly everyone pine for the unbearable new Dax) can be characterized as boring. In a lot of ways, DS9 was a precursor to many of the glorious dramas that followed in the next decade in the way that they spend the entire show telling one long story.

Plus the French horn intro in the theme song is awesome.
   258. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:36 PM (#4358205)
I dunno, I guess how I feel about this depends on what sitcoms you were watching. GLC is pretty bad - I've maintain a prohibition on non-animated Disney Channel fare (the occasional movie excepted) in my house.

I should clarify that it's comparable to a typical sitcom from that era, e.g., Growing Pains, Head of the Class, Mr. Belvedere, My Two Dads. Not the top tier ones like Cheers or the first couple seasons of Cosby. Of course, even those are very dated because almost no sitcoms are shot in front of audiences and the humor has become so much raunchier.
   259. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:37 PM (#4358206)
I also agree with 241 and 242.
   260. Cowboy Popup Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:39 PM (#4358213)
Enterprise grew on me once they got past the horrendous time travel war. Season 4 was quite good. And Phlox is a fantastic character, one of the best of all treks.

Love Phlox. The only episode I've really enjoyed is the one where he is narrating the episode while trying to treat a plague on a two species planet. I'm still midway through season two, so the time travel war is still going. What a horrible decision. You get to explore the experience of the first human expedition into deep space and the overarching timeline is a freaking temporal cold war? Unbelievable. So many more interesting possibilities, none of them followed.

I also think Enterprise has been unfairly judged. And that's even with the fact that I routinely spit on prequels as a concept.

The show is interesting enough to keep me watching. I think the story boarding (except for the temporal cold war) is pretty well done. But they rarely do more than one story an episode (as opposed to TNG or DS9 where there are a couple things going on at once) which makes them draw it out and have ridiculous things happens to fill an hour. More importantly, Scott Bakula is just awful as a Star Fleet captain. I get that the point is that Star Fleet was rougher around the edges back then, and they wanted something of an anti-Picard, but holy cow, couldn't they get someone who had some slight amount of gravity. My wife, who watched all of TNG and DS9, saw about ten minutes of Enterprise and asked my why Archer talks to everyone like he is trying to sleep with them. His lack of presence really undercuts the show IMO.
   261. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:45 PM (#4358223)
Is this Seth McFarland produced Star Trek series re-boot happening or did I just dream that after too much domestic beer one night?
   262. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:53 PM (#4358232)
Seth McFarlane wants to reboot Star Trek on tv

This article is from 2011 so I don't know if he is still planning to do this or was just thinking out loud?
   263. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:57 PM (#4358235)
This article is from 2011 so I don't know if he is still planning to do this or was just thinking out loud?

Looks like he was just thinking out loud. I actually think the concept of Star Trek is better as a tv show than a series of movies but as long as the movies are making money, I imagine there will be no tv show.
   264. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 30, 2013 at 12:59 PM (#4358239)
until the 7th season, where they throw it out and make nearly everyone pine for the unbearable new Dax


Yes. I watched all of DS9 a few years back on DVD and I had no idea how important origiDax was. The whole series fell apart (perhaps coincdentally) when she left. Who knew?

That's an awful lot of Dr. Who, X-Files, and Firefly to be ignoring. (Just sayin'. Babylon 5 is HOM and HOF, no doubt.)


Dr. Who wins in career value perhaps, but on peak/run? No way. And I love me some Who. X-Files was important and very good, but I do not rate it as highly as you (obviously) - too much "Conspiracy, hinted at, but never solved (and when it was yuck)". FireFly was a great part of a season with some very good (OK fantastic) episodes, but it is much more a what might have been than a great series, to say nothing of best ever.
   265. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:03 PM (#4358242)
I thought Alien Nation was a really good show when I was in high school, but it seems entirely forgotten now.
   266. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:05 PM (#4358244)
Allow me to retrospectively caveat my statement that I have been a Bill Murray fan from SNL days. I was one of the few of my peers who thought that the show improved when Chevy Chase left and Murray took a prominent role.

Going back a bit, isn't this feeling pretty universal at this point? A lot of people might have been skeptical when Chase left, but almost everyone I know loves Murray both for SNL and his subsequent work. I thought Murray was amazing in Rushmore, but I didn't like LIT. I agree with the comments above that it felt shallow -- there's no there there. I think Sophia Coppola is a talented director, but she should probably direct other people's material. I thought the Virgin Suicides was far better.
   267. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:06 PM (#4358246)
Alien Nation is underrated (both the movie and the show).
   268. OsunaSakata Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:29 PM (#4358260)
Would Firefly be Bo Jackson or Mark Fidrych?

DS9 was greatly helped by B5, as if the competition made it better. Sure, DS9 was a less good version on B5, but it's like saying Tim Raines is a poor man's Rickey Henderson.

Throwing out the thought that Jennifer Lien, as Kes from Voyager, was the best actor/actress in all of Star Trek. I'm using the standards one usually sets out for managers - the MOY winners are those who did the most with the least amount of talent. Kes was originally written as a bland, useless character, but she ended up doing a lot with it.

Count me as one of the people unimpressed with "The Inner Light" episode of TNG. Okay, Picard lives an entire life and ends up learning a musical instrument as a result. It might as well have been The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. In neither case do I think the characters learned or changed much, given the depth of their experience.
   269. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:33 PM (#4358263)
Going back a bit, isn't this feeling pretty universal at this point?

Yeah, but back in the time, noone knew that the highlights of CC's subsequent career were going to be "Fletch" and "Vacation".
   270. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:37 PM (#4358266)
actress in all of Star Trek

I'm part way through listening to Nichelle Nichols on Neil deGrasse Tyson's recent podcast, and her story of being ready to quit ST after year 1, only to have a chance meeting with MLK who told her that he was her biggest fan, is a fun listen**.

** I'm sure that all the geeks here know this story already.
   271. McCoy Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:47 PM (#4358275)
Count me as one of the people unimpressed with "The Inner Light" episode of TNG. Okay, Picard lives an entire life and ends up learning a musical instrument as a result. It might as well have been The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. In neither case do I think the characters learned or changed much, given the depth of their experience.

It was the 90's, man. No character ever developed or was given any real depth. You could pretty much tell what stereotype a character would be in the pilot episode and that is what that character would be forever after. Sure, as the actor got more comfortable in his role we might enjoy the performance more but the characters never grew out of being stock characters. Characters were always learning lessons by the end of the episode but come next week they were right back to being their same old selves.
   272. Baldrick Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:48 PM (#4358276)
I think Babylon 5 is the best SF show, as long as you're willing to tolerate the production values (and get through season one). Seasons 2-4 (with a little bit of help from the four or five crucial season 1 episodes) have a fully realized arc. It develops characters; it explores dark places and does so in interesting ways; it gives you a series of real, and well-earned payoffs.

The development of G'Kar and Londo as characters, both individually and their relationship with one another, is really REALLY good. And while some of the other characters have a bit too much earnestness (I'm looking at you Franklin, and to a lesser extent Ivanova) to really be believable, the general attitude really works.

I've been re-watching the whole series of TNG for the last year or so. A couple episodes a week. And while all of the criticism here is totally fair, I still think it's a great show. The problems you have to be willing to overcome:
1. Season one is just god-awful. Pretty universally. I recommend basically skipping the whole thing. You won't miss much.
2. MOST episodes have some serious, gaping holes in them. Why do the characters all behave irrationally? Why do they not employ obvious solutions? Why do technologies randomly malfunction in precise ways to ensure the desired conflicts? Because the plot demands that it be so. There are an astonishing number of episodes where the transporter won't work for some techno-babble reason, because if the transporter worked the whole plot would dissipate.
2a. The basic structure of the universe doesn't really make a lot of sense. Hostile powers exist in order to generate episodes with antagonists. Super-powerful beings exist in order to generate episodes that deal with cosmic questions. And so on.
3. A lot of episodes also suffer from episode-of-the-week-itis. That is: they really want to convey some significant message about characters and psychology and stuff - but it's hard to take it seriously because the events of the episode will play zero role in how those characters act in the future.
4. Its aggressive philosophical liberalism. Alien cultures are pretty universally monolithic. They all have distinct personalities and traits that mark them. Humans, on the other hand, are diverse and tolerant. They contain multitudes. They form communities. Yay, humanity! Except that somehow almost everyone in any position of authority is a white guy. The doctor can be a woman, of course (caregiver!), and the bad-ass security dude can be black (tough!), but most people should be white and if they want to run things they better be a dude. Unless they want to go crazy with emotions and abuse their authority (as various female admirals do when they guest-star). Funny how that works.
5. The kids. So many terrible episodes focused on children. Ugh.

All that said, if you are willing to take the episode in the context from which it's offered, there are tons of really good ones.

Most of the Picard and Data centered episodes are pretty good. Most of the Q episodes are pretty good. There aren't many, but a fair number of the Crusher episodes are actually pretty good, too. The Klingon succession episodes are pretty good.

Even within the terrible tropes, there are occasional gems. The kid-centric episodes are usually terrible, but the one where Picard is trapped with the three kids is great. And that one even gives Troi a chance to shine! Holodeck episodes are usually terrible, but the one with Moriarty from season 6 is pretty good. Time-travel ones are usually bad, but "Yesterday's Enterprise" is stupendous. The Lwaxana episodes are usually terrible, but...no, they're all terrible.

As I've been re-watching, I've been reading Keith DeCandido's re-watch blog at Tor. And that's been great. His posts, and the comments, all come from people who clearly love the show, but are absolutely aware of its defects. That usually means that people can have fun picking apart the problems, while still talking about the good stuff.
   273. BrianBrianson Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:50 PM (#4358278)
No kidding about the timelining. I've sat through maybe a dozen of them so far and I can't for life of me see what people enjoy about it. Spock is the only well acted or mildly interesting character on the show. Kirk is a ####### putz, and Shatner is a horrible actor. And I like some of the movies (II, III, IV) but I have yet to connect with the show. I will keep trying as long as I remain unemployed though.


The original trek everyone loves is the movies. I've forced myself to sit through a lot of it, and The Trouble with Tribbles is the only tenth of the way decent episode I've seen. For a show that's supposed to be progressive in it's time, the rampant racism and sexism are just too much for my sensibilities to take. But notice: in cultural portrays, Kirk is balding, Scotty is fat. Because all anybody remembers are II, III, IV, and VI (and seriously, I have to assume if you don't like VI it's because you haven't seen VI. Do it.) The episodes were awful, and can only be lovingly recalled by those who haven't seen them since the 60s.
   274. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:52 PM (#4358280)
Throwing out the thought that Jennifer Lien, as Kes from Voyager, was the best actor/actress in all of Star Trek. I'm using the standards one usually sets out for managers - the MOY winners are those who did the most with the least amount of talent. Kes was originally written as a bland, useless character, but she ended up doing a lot with it.


I'm only 2/3 of the way through season 1, but so far I can't get behind this. She's perfectly fine, but her delivery is a little too unmodulated to suggest that she's anything special. I'll agree that there is nothing to the character, at least so far. Kes has a very good memory and she was the first person to be nice to the Doctor and that's about it.
   275. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:53 PM (#4358282)
2. MOST episodes have some series, gaping holes in them. Why do the characters all behave irrationally? Why do they not employ obvious solutions? Why do technologies randomly malfunction in precise ways to ensure the desired conflicts? Because the plot demands that it be so. There are an astonishing number of episodes where the transporter won't work for some techno-babble reason, because if the transporter worked the whole plot would dissipate.
2a. The basic structure of the universe doesn't really make a lot of sense. Hostile powers exist in order to generate episodes with antagonists. Super-powerful beings exist in order to generate episodes that deal with cosmic questions. And so on.
3. A lot of episodes also suffer from episode-of-the-week-itis. That is: they really want to convey some significant message about characters and psychology and stuff - but it's hard to take it seriously because the events of the episode will play zero role in how those characters act in the future.


This brings to mind the famous Twain quote about James Fenimore Cooper.

   276. Cowboy Popup Posted: January 30, 2013 at 01:55 PM (#4358284)
Count me as one of the people unimpressed with "The Inner Light" episode of TNG. Okay, Picard lives an entire life and ends up learning a musical instrument as a result. It might as well have been The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. In neither case do I think the characters learned or changed much, given the depth of their experience.

We see Picard play the flute through out the rest of the show. One episode (where Worf and Alexander are go to the holodeck) starts with Picard just trying to get some flute playing in and is interrupted repeatedly. We can see, through his increasing frustration, that he really just wants to chill out and play his music. As McCoy notes, the bar for character development at that time is pretty low, so his subsequent flute playing is an indication that the experience had a significant effect on Picard.

Besides the character development issues, I think the story is just excellent. It's a personal look at the last couple of generations of a sentient species. It's a well written, well executed melancholy episode of science fiction that features heavy doses of Jean Luc Picard. I'm not sure it needs to be anything more than that to be a great episode.

and seriously, I have to assume if you don't like VI it's because you haven't seen VI. Do it.

I have not. I will check it out the next time I have the chance.

Starting Season 3 of Enterprise, already more interested. And look, marines! Should be fun to see how they fit on a Star Fleet ship.
   277. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:07 PM (#4358300)
The development of G'Kar and Londo as characters, both individually and their relationship with one another, is really REALLY good.


To my mind their relationship and character development is the best for any two characters in TV (not limited to Sci Fi). Both characters and their relationships grow and change to an astonishing degree over the seasons. Well written and well acted, it is amazaing TV. If only all the medical episodes were removed from Babylon 5. Sigh.
   278. McCoy Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:11 PM (#4358304)
Out of all the ST movies the one I enjoyed was VI. The latest one was ok but it isn't really Star Trek yet so it doesn't really count. It had no real chemistry going for it since it didn't have the advantage of numerous seasons of shows to build that chemistry. Instead Whedon just mashed everybody up together and simply expected them all to click.
   279. Greg K Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:19 PM (#4358307)
I even dressed up as Data one year for Halloween

Thomas Riker for me. Mostly because I have a beard, and the only Star Trek uniform I own is a gold one.

EDIT: Also this was about three years ago.
   280. Copronymus Posted: January 30, 2013 at 02:32 PM (#4358321)
This seems like the sort of crowd that would appreciate a comic about the TNG characters LARPing DS9.
   281. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:07 PM (#4358361)
although I liked Star Trek, I wasn't as much into it as I became with BSG. I think that series was very well written and although there are those that didnt care much for the series end I think it was one of the best sci-fi shows ever.
   282. Kurt Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:26 PM (#4358371)
The latest one was ok but it isn't really Star Trek yet so it doesn't really count. It had no real chemistry going for it since it didn't have the advantage of numerous seasons of shows to build that chemistry. Instead Whedon just mashed everybody up together and simply expected them all to click.

Abrams, not Whedon.
   283. BourbonSamurai Is a Lazy Nogoodnik Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:27 PM (#4358373)
I thought the first three seasons of BSG were as good as any sci fi ever produced. That I ultimately was very dissapointed in the series has more to do with the promise it showed- sort of Dwight Gooden type career.
   284. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:30 PM (#4358379)
Abrams, not Whedon.

Abrams will be doing the new Star Wars, too. I think Brad Bird would have been better.
   285. Baldrick Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:31 PM (#4358381)
Amend that to the first 1.5 seasons of BSG, and I'll agree.

I thought it took a serious nosedive after the resolution of the mid-season cliffhanger in season two. And everything from season 3 onward was baffling and aggravating.
   286. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:32 PM (#4358382)
I should clarify that it's comparable to a typical sitcom from that era, e.g., Growing Pains, Head of the Class, Mr. Belvedere, My Two Dads. Not the top tier ones like Cheers or the first couple seasons of Cosby.

You know, I didn't really think about this, but it's true. My kids are 8-15 and for a few years I've been lamenting the fact that there are no prime time shows that are appropriate for them. The only thing is a few reality shows (the ones that are mostly positive like DWTS or BL).

But actually, all of the family friendly sitcoms have basically shifted to Disney Channel. And there's a ton of them (Wizards of Waverly Place, Good Luck Charlie, Pair of Kings, Austin & Ally, etc.). Now, I'm not saying that they are good, but they are clearly the successors to the shows you listed.
   287. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:35 PM (#4358387)
Abrams will be doing the new Star Wars, too. I think Brad Bird would have been better.


And I would have gone with David Fincher. C'est la vie.
   288. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:46 PM (#4358399)
I'm geeky enough to find it disconcerting that Abrams is doing both Star Trek and Star Wars. It seems wrong.
   289. Bitter Mouse Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:46 PM (#4358400)
I predict I will be dissapointed by the new Star Wars, but it will not tarnish the franchise for me, and yes I think Star Tours is the best ride in Disney World, why do you ask?
   290. Cowboy Popup Posted: January 30, 2013 at 03:59 PM (#4358416)
I think Brad Bird would have been better.

Agree. Everything he touches turns to gold. Speaking of which, I am going to finally watch Ghost Protocol and see if it is as good as everyone says.
   291. BourbonSamurai Is a Lazy Nogoodnik Posted: January 30, 2013 at 04:02 PM (#4358421)
Abrams will be doing the new Star Wars, too. I think Brad Bird would have been better.


And I would have gone with David Fincher. C'est la vie.


Clearly we can all agree that I would have been the best choice. But I was, you know, busy. Too bad for them.
   292. The Clarence Thomas of BBTF (scott) Posted: January 30, 2013 at 04:06 PM (#4358423)
I am so happy we got away from the torture tangent I introduced in this thread. Mea culpa, folks.

I think that TNG holds up pretty well to any drama of its time, and that the problems cited above is based in part to the increased serialization that has occurred in television since the turn of the century. These days even network dramas are expected to have more than just case of the week episodes. If I had to pick 1990s hour-long dramas that were better than TNG, I'd probably only be able to firmly choose Homicide.
   293. The Chronicles of Reddick Posted: January 30, 2013 at 04:38 PM (#4358463)
I predict I will be dissapointed by the new Star Wars, but it will not tarnish the franchise for me, and yes I think Star Tours is the best ride in Disney World, why do you ask?



Nothing can be as bad as the last 3 Star Wars movies and I will take your Star Tours and raise it with a Space Mountain.
   294. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 30, 2013 at 04:44 PM (#4358468)
I think that TNG holds up pretty well to any drama of its time, and that the problems cited above is based in part to the increased serialization that has occurred in television since the turn of the century. These days even network dramas are expected to have more than just case of the week episodes. If I had to pick 1990s hour-long dramas that were better than TNG, I'd probably only be able to firmly choose Homicide.

I stopped watching around 2002, but ER was great for a while. And there's the X-Files and Law and Order of course. But I agree that the 90's weren't a great time for TV dramas. Or maybe it's just that the last 10 years have been SO good that the 90's seem weak in comparison. TNG, Homicide, X Files, and ER probably match up pretty well with the dramas of any earlier decade. In fact, I remember a NY Times magazine cover story from around 1996 asking whether we were in a golden age of TV.
   295. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 30, 2013 at 04:51 PM (#4358473)
Over the last 10 years we've had:
Sopranos
BSG
Breaking Bad
West Wing
House
The Wire
Lost
Deadwood
Alias
24
Downton Abbey
The Walking Dead
Damages
Game of Thrones
Mad Men
Friday Night Lights

I haven't watched all of those series, but that's an impressive group of shows.

And for sitcoms we've had:
Malcolm in the Middle
Curb Your Enthusiasm
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Louie
Archer
Parks and Rec
The Office
Arrested Development
etc.

   296. McCoy Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:00 PM (#4358483)
For 90's hour long dramas TNG only really holds up well if we limit the discussion to the first half of that decade otherwise it will get crushed by everything that came in the latter half of the decade.

First half had:
Twin Peaks
TNG
X-Files
Law & Order
NYPD Blue
Northern Exposure
Melrose Place
Homicide
Lois & Clark
My So Called Life
Party of Five
Sliders
Adventures of Brisco County Jr
Quantum Leap


Not a great bunch when compared to all that came after that in the decade.
   297. Mefisto Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:00 PM (#4358485)
Although just barely, the last 10 years also includes Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
   298. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:03 PM (#4358488)
a nuanced fleshing out of three big time Star Trek species (Klingons, Cardassians, and Ferengi)


nuanced? Ferengi?

When introduced in TNG the Ferengi were largely one dimensional but vaguely sinister, in DS9 they were comic relief, their "culture" was someones idea of a parody of capitalism.

The Cardassians OTOH almost got interesting- BTW anyone read Andrew Robinson's (Garak) Star Trek Novel? One of the absolute best Star Trek/Star Wars etc etc novels ever written- he did a tremendous job of explaining a coherent Cardassian culture without violating/reconnng what was shown about them on screen
   299. BourbonSamurai Is a Lazy Nogoodnik Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:23 PM (#4358513)
The Cardassians OTOH almost got interesting- BTW anyone read Andrew Robinson's (Garak) Star Trek Novel? One of the absolute best Star Trek/Star Wars etc etc novels ever written- he did a tremendous job of explaining a coherent Cardassian culture without violating/reconnng what was shown about them on screen


Yes, he is quite interesting. I think he and Alexander Siddig actually wrote a little Garack/Bashir play together.
   300. Cowboy Popup Posted: January 30, 2013 at 05:28 PM (#4358514)
When introduced in TNG the Ferengi were largely one dimensional but vaguely sinister, in DS9 they were comic relief, their "culture" was someones idea of a parody of capitalism.

I strongly disagree. It may start out that way, but once the show really gets going, there is more depth to the culture. Quark, who is one of the best characters on the show, is an unabashedly traditional Ferengi. If the culture was strictly parody, he would have become loathsome at some point. The Rules of Acquisition that are quoted on the show are genuinely clever and sensible.

It's Star Trek, so of course there is some of the standard "Our way is better than their way" to it, but the Ferengi culture gets fleshed out far more than it had been before and it's certainly more even handed than the TNG representation of Ferengi. Quark's sincere speech to the Gamma Quadrant alien in Starship Down about Ferengi values is a great example of how DS9 hasn't simply reduced the culture to a parody of capitalism.

While many of the Ferengi centric episodes are comic, the treatment of the culture and the three main Ferengi characters, is not a one note joke. Their treatment is far more sophisticated than their treatment in any of the other Star Trek series.

BTW anyone read Andrew Robinson's (Garak) Star Trek Novel?

I haven't, but I have heard good things.
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