Star Trek

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Dr. Medulla
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Re: Star Trek

Post by Dr. Medulla » 20 Oct 2017, 8:41pm

Kory wrote:
20 Oct 2017, 8:25pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
20 Oct 2017, 7:22pm
Episodic vs serial storytelling considered: https://io9.gizmodo.com/serialized-tele ... 1819660859

My initial reaction is to wonder whether extreme serialization actually is a thing. I don't watch GoT or Walking Dead, but are they that problematic or normal in terms of these shows?
I don't watch those two either but I did watch Breaking Bad, and thought it was great. The problem with episodic television is that it becomes formulaic, or (as one of the commenters pointed out), nothing has any meaning because you're back at square one by the next episode. Serialization is what TV should be doing—it's the pinnacle of the form. I think we can all agree that the best show that existed before the "Golden Age" of television is Twin Peaks—a serial. BOOM.

I think the only thing that really benefits from episodic storytelling at this point is animated shows. Unless I'm so tired right now that I'm forgetting some excellent example.
Episodic needn't be bad or inferior. Or, put another way, character growth isn't vital to entertaining storytelling. If you set up characters as archetypes, episodic storytelling makes sense because you don't need/want characters to grow. Stories are bascially playpens for those characters to work with. But if the characters are flawed, then I think you need something more serialized, where their growth or collapse is bound up in the narrative. The criticism of nothing having meaning only works with flawed characters; with archetypes, the meaning is fully with us and how we interpret how they wrestled with a dilemma.

Cynically, I'd say the tv biz prefers serial because it wants people hooked, that missing an episode might mean missing a crucial part of the narrative, so the mouse chases the cheese. But it's a bit of a gamble—viewers are either in or out. Episodic allows a more casual viewership.
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Re: Star Trek

Post by Kory » 21 Oct 2017, 9:51pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
20 Oct 2017, 8:41pm
Kory wrote:
20 Oct 2017, 8:25pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
20 Oct 2017, 7:22pm
Episodic vs serial storytelling considered: https://io9.gizmodo.com/serialized-tele ... 1819660859

My initial reaction is to wonder whether extreme serialization actually is a thing. I don't watch GoT or Walking Dead, but are they that problematic or normal in terms of these shows?
I don't watch those two either but I did watch Breaking Bad, and thought it was great. The problem with episodic television is that it becomes formulaic, or (as one of the commenters pointed out), nothing has any meaning because you're back at square one by the next episode. Serialization is what TV should be doing—it's the pinnacle of the form. I think we can all agree that the best show that existed before the "Golden Age" of television is Twin Peaks—a serial. BOOM.

I think the only thing that really benefits from episodic storytelling at this point is animated shows. Unless I'm so tired right now that I'm forgetting some excellent example.
Episodic needn't be bad or inferior. Or, put another way, character growth isn't vital to entertaining storytelling. If you set up characters as archetypes, episodic storytelling makes sense because you don't need/want characters to grow. Stories are bascially playpens for those characters to work with. But if the characters are flawed, then I think you need something more serialized, where their growth or collapse is bound up in the narrative. The criticism of nothing having meaning only works with flawed characters; with archetypes, the meaning is fully with us and how we interpret how they wrestled with a dilemma.

Cynically, I'd say the tv biz prefers serial because it wants people hooked, that missing an episode might mean missing a crucial part of the narrative, so the mouse chases the cheese. But it's a bit of a gamble—viewers are either in or out. Episodic allows a more casual viewership.
Yeah, I agree. I was a little shamerd yesterday and feeling goofy. I regret it now because I don't agree with last night's KP. However, I do think the potential for lazy writing is higher with episodic TV.
Inder:
Absolutely. Here's another collection of words:

Table salt (spoon hinge)
Octopus (Ukraine)
St. Petersburg (arms)
Ginger beer (cauliflower)
Pat Sajak (PSak)
Lamp post (self evident)
Florida Timeshare (ditto)
Heraclitus (EMI)
Developers (Developers Developers)
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Re: Star Trek

Post by Dr. Medulla » 23 Oct 2017, 4:31pm

https://io9.gizmodo.com/star-trek-disco ... 1819758511
I tend to agree that one notable problem with ST:D, and one that is unnecessary, is that it's a prequel and so it's constantly ramming up against TOS and raising unwanted questions about continuity and technology and all that. Thus far, so much of it could be set after Voyager without major changes and make the technology and all seem a sensible evolution.

I'm still finding the show really dark, visually and thematically, without much of a way out. I haven't found any character that I really give a shit about, including Micheal. (Plus, if we have to endure Klingon language with English subtitles, why should we accept that Vulcans speak English? If you're going to emphasize alien foreignness and use subtitles, be consistent.)
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Re: Star Trek

Post by Dr. Medulla » 26 Oct 2017, 4:28pm

"The Magnificent Ferengi" is on. That's the one with Iggy Pop as a Vorta. It's slight and inconsequential, but pretty funny. Iggy's deadpan delivery of his lines are perfect.
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Re: Star Trek

Post by Flex » 26 Oct 2017, 11:05pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
26 Oct 2017, 4:28pm
"The Magnificent Ferengi" is on. That's the one with Iggy Pop as a Vorta. It's slight and inconsequential, but pretty funny. Iggy's deadpan delivery of his lines are perfect.
Love that one.
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Re: Star Trek

Post by Dr. Medulla » 30 Nov 2017, 4:20pm

"Take Me Out to the Holosuite" is on right now, so I'm officially on a break. :cool:
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Re: Star Trek

Post by Boddington » 04 Jan 2018, 9:55pm

I finally finished Discovery and...I think things would have been fine had they dropped the Star Trek part of the title and pretended it was something other than in the Star Trek universe. Everything works fine as a show, but it doesn't feel like Star Trek. The Klingon redesign is stupid, Michael could have been equally convincing as not-a-human-raised-by-Vulcans, the mushroom-drive would have been fine in not-Star Trek and not set a weird precedent that never gets talked about again...

There's just no reason for it to be Star Trek.

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Re: Star Trek

Post by Dr. Medulla » 04 Jan 2018, 10:50pm

Boddington wrote:
04 Jan 2018, 9:55pm
I finally finished Discovery and...I think things would have been fine had they dropped the Star Trek part of the title and pretended it was something other than in the Star Trek universe. Everything works fine as a show, but it doesn't feel like Star Trek. The Klingon redesign is stupid, Michael could have been equally convincing as not-a-human-raised-by-Vulcans, the mushroom-drive would have been fine in not-Star Trek and not set a weird precedent that never gets talked about again...

There's just no reason for it to be Star Trek.
Yeah, I pretty much agree with this. Or, as I posted that commentary above, it might work better post-Voyager, in whatever state the Federation is in. But it is hemmed in by the the history and continuity and what have you, which keeps it from standing on its own. Between the Star Wars and Star Trek, there should be a rule not to do prequels—they're more problem than payoff.
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Re: Star Trek

Post by Wolter » 04 Jan 2018, 10:57pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
04 Jan 2018, 10:50pm
Boddington wrote:
04 Jan 2018, 9:55pm
I finally finished Discovery and...I think things would have been fine had they dropped the Star Trek part of the title and pretended it was something other than in the Star Trek universe. Everything works fine as a show, but it doesn't feel like Star Trek. The Klingon redesign is stupid, Michael could have been equally convincing as not-a-human-raised-by-Vulcans, the mushroom-drive would have been fine in not-Star Trek and not set a weird precedent that never gets talked about again...

There's just no reason for it to be Star Trek.
Yeah, I pretty much agree with this. Or, as I posted that commentary above, it might work better post-Voyager, in whatever state the Federation is in. But it is hemmed in by the the history and continuity and what have you, which keeps it from standing on its own. Between the Star Wars and Star Trek, there should be a rule not to do prequels—they're more problem than payoff.
Other than (and I think this is arguable) The Godfather 2, has there ever really been an artistically successful prequel? Honestly, I never thought I'd say this, but Temple of Doom might be one of the BETTER ones.
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Re: Star Trek

Post by Flex » 05 Jan 2018, 2:23am

The new star trek films (certainly the first one) succeed, imho.

Better Call Saul. Rogue One. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. Prometheus (well, I liked it).

But no, not a very long list.
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Re: Star Trek

Post by Dr. Medulla » 05 Jan 2018, 7:26am

Temple of Doom had the advantage that the series didn't really seek to make connections between the movies. Very few recurring characters and not in a way that is crucial (offhand, Marion in Crystal Skull is the only one that meaningful ties one film to another). Rogue One benefits because of the same reason. The only recurring characters aren't key to the story (maybe Tarkin). Rogue One was also smart by being very contained. It has a tight purpose and kills off most of the characters when it's done.

And the new ST films don't count as prequels, do they? It's a true separate universe / reboot / whatever you want to call it. I was just talking about Enterprise and Discovery.



Little Archie is the only unambiguously successful prequel.
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Re: Star Trek

Post by Wolter » 05 Jan 2018, 9:36am

I forgot about Rogue One. I agree with Doc that I consider the new Trek movies a reboot/alternate timeline.
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Re: Star Trek

Post by Wolter » 05 Jan 2018, 9:39am

Ok. Forgot Better Call Saul too.

I know that TGTB&TU is *technically* a prequel, but the oblique nature of the Man With No Name series makes me instantly discount it for reasons that I know are flimsy.
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Re: Star Trek

Post by Wolter » 05 Jan 2018, 9:46am

Third time’s the charm: yeah, I think the best ways to make a decent prequel are either to have very little character continuity (Rogue One), or self-contained episodic stories (no “Man With No Name” movie is essential to understanding any other - same with Indy movies), or I guess take the best supporting characters from Breaking Bad and focus on them instead of Walter White.
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Re: Star Trek

Post by Dr. Medulla » 05 Jan 2018, 9:57am

Escape from and Conquest of the Planet of the Apes might be prequels, might be sequels, depending on how you want to approach them. Regardless, love 'em both. Battle for the Planet of the Apes is a prequel, tho, and it mostly blows. Are they Apes films supposed to fit in with the originals as prequels or are they true reboots? The first two are excellent, but this last one was a pretty generic action flick.

I've only seen the Days of Future Past film, but are all the recent X-Men movies prequels to the first one?
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