Review: The Orville 2.05

Episode Title: All The World is Birthday Cake (2.05)
Original Airdate:  January 24, 2019 (watched later via Hulu)
Grade: B
Notable Guest Stars/Directors:

Robert Duncan McNeill (Director)– Star Trek Alum.  He’s been a director for years on many good programs, but on screen you may remember him as Tom Paris, the navigator/pilot of Voyager.  He always seems to do a good job, on screen and as a director.
Ted Danson (Admiral Perry) – This show loves to have random well-known actors show up as Admirals.  Ted Danson is known for a lot of things.  Most recently perhaps CSI, but also Becker, and the film Three Man and a Baby.
Jennifer Landon (Ukania) – I know her best from As the World Turns as  Gwen Munson , but she is also known for roles on House and various other television shows.  She also happens to be the daughter of Michael Landon, so acting runs in the family.
John Rubinstein  (Prefect) – He’s appeared as minor characters on various television shows I watch,  but I know him probably best from Star Trek: Enterprise where he played Minister Kuvak.   He also played on House and Becker so he probably worked with several of the other notable co-stars in this episode.
Nico Nicotera (Rokal) – I didn’t recognize him, but apparently he played a recurring character on Sons of Anarchy (one of my sister’s favorite shows).  
Jessica Szohr  (Lt. Talla Kaylai) – She’s a new main character for the series, coming in as Alara’s replacement.  She’s also known for her role as Vanessa Abrams on Gossip Girl.  I enjoy her work so far.

Notable Quotes:

Lt. Cmdr. Bortus: It is much easier with an egg.

Capt. Ed Mercer: You had big shoes to fill, and I’m not kiddin’. And as far as I’m concerned, you filled them and then some. So, from here on out, you’re officially allowed to punch me.

SPOILERS BELOW

Continue reading “Review: The Orville 2.05”

Star Trek: Enterprise 15th Anniversary.

Today and yesterday marks the 15th anniversary of Star Trek: Enterprise being announced.  Star Trek Enterprise is my favorite of the franchises.  Not a completely common thought, but there is a group of us who really enjoy the show and have active interaction together.

It also gave me some of my greatest friendships.

I grew up watching Star Trek.  My father was a fan of the original (TOS), my mother of The Next Generation (TNG).  There were marathons on Saturdays from a WV channel that just happened to manage to get far enough that we could catch it on our TV.  They would tape it, and years later my sister and I would enjoy the commercials with brick sized cell phones and news about Boris Yeltsin making a trip to DC.

But I didn’t really get into Star Trek till I was in high school.  I had started to get into sci-fi when I found a box with my mom’s old books by Anne McCaffrey, and so when I found the old marathon tapes I decided I might as well.  So I watched, and enjoyed.

So I decided then that I should netflix Enterprise, as it was available as it had only recently gone off the air (so about the time I graduated high school).  I had heard odd reviews about it.  About how the finale made no sense (Which admittedly it does not, but that is a post for another day), how there was this weird cannon couple no one liked  (Not so true) and in general it wasn’t as good (also not true).

Enterprise has the disadvantage of being a prequel.  Prequels are harder to manage because you have to make sure it doesn’t change the story already out there.  Enterprise managed to do this, though it had some growing pains.  It also had the disadvantage of 30 years of technological development which meant that to look futuristic to the time they were airing, they also had a problem with looking more advanced than the ships that came after them.  And there was 9/11 to deal with, which also caused the theme of season 3, which was a bit more heavy-handed on the social commentary then perhaps other shows went.

I also think it suffered from a sense of crew exhaustion.  Some of these writers and crewmen had been working on the franchise for almost 20 years.  TV viewers had been watching Trek for as long.

Enterprise is a good show.  I believe if it had been given a fifth season we would have seen more connections to TOS, and later shows.  Season 4 is probably their best, yet many had already given up on it, especially TPTB.  So the show only got 4 seasons (oddly, still more seasons the TOS, which my father uses as the golden standard).

Again, we won’t go into the awful finale.

If you are a Trek fan, or sci-fi in general, I recommend you watch Enterprise.  Its a fun show, although like any it has its high and low moments.  I personally love it.

 

May the Fourth be With You

Today is May Fourth, which has been adopted by Star Wars fans as a bit a punned holiday.

I first watched Star Wars in sixth grade.  I walked in during a viewing of Return of the Jedi, and was so confused as to what was going on.  I thought that there was some strange thing going on that every time that blond kid hit the machine man, he gained a maniacal part.

Well, my friends decided that was not going to stand, and eventually I watched all of Star Wars (well, until recently.  Still need to watch VII).  I watched Phantom Menace first, then the original trilogy.  I think this set me up for an interesting look at the trilogy.  Many of my friends grew up with the originals.  They had time to build expectations for the Prequels.  Thus they hated the prequels a little bit and I actually was able to enjoy them.

Not that I don’t see the flaws (and quite a few point to Lucas himself as a cause despite the blame I see cast towards characters and casting).  The original trilogy was made in a 7 year period.  They were right along side one another, and limited in the same ways by technology.  The Prequels had 30 years of tech advancement.  It gave Lucas & Company the chance to widen the scope of the universe they were playing in.  Only I think Lucas decided this was his chance to take to the editing pen again and made too many small changes that make the fan who watched the original trilogy first and grew up with it go “Wait…that doesn’t fit.”

Prequels in general have this problem.  Star Trek Enterprise had this problem, though not nearly as badly as Star Wars.  Enterprise was filmed 32 years or so after the original series.  The average person had more technology around them, and in some way the sets looked more advanced then the sets of what was supposed to take place 100 years later.  Simply because they had to update it to be compatible with the reality.

It also had problems because it was new history and had to fit in with the older series, which didn’t always prove to be easy.  And many people with the power to effect the show’s ability to stay floating quit long before the show started making strides in connecting it to the older series.

Of course, going back to Star Wars,  I’ll have to see what almost 20 years with the Prequels  (Phantom Menace came out in 1999)has settled in and biased me against (or for) the new movie.

Fandom Writing Starter Kit: Lets Talk Canon

As I mentioned in my previous article, each fandom has a canon.  It depends on the fandom itself what is considered canon. In sports, their canon might be the rules and regulations that the sport runs by.  In a fandom such as Star Wars some fans may consider only the films canon, others might include the extensive extended universe tie in novels.   Game of Thrones fans might consider their canon either the show or the books, or attempt to meld the two.

There are other choices other then strict canon, such as fanon, semi-canon, Alternate Universe, and of course non-canon.

Continue reading “Fandom Writing Starter Kit: Lets Talk Canon”