Why the hate for Disco?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by David Hanley, Feb 21, 2021.

  1. gblews

    gblews Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Is there a one hour drama on TV that consistently eschews the A/B plot structure? I can’t think of any.. I can think of a fewTrek episodes that didn’t use it, The Visitor, Inner Light, but I don’t recall any shows that didn’t use the A/B format at all.

    EVERY show wants to make good use of all their characters. That’s not just a Trek thing. Otherwise, they’re paying talent to just fill out scenes. The structure doesn’t determine if the episode is good, it’s the dialogue, staging, plot, acting choices, etc.
    I agree. But as I’v said on several occasions in this forum, people who watch a show, particularly the ones who watch and then go to an online forum to discuss that show, are “fans.” They may whine that “the writing is bad,” or “the characters suck,” or “it’s boring,” but they are as much “fans” of the show as any of us because they do what fans do. So, respect. :)

    Shows that people really have no interest in, they ignore.
     
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  2. Amaris

    Amaris Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I don't know, some people are just fans of making other people miserable, and this is the best way for them to do so. :lol:
     
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  3. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    As much as I didn't like the "It's the TNG Way or No Way!" mentality, at least that one was more about philosophy about how Humanity will or won't change. Something that's genuinely interesting to have a debate about, Star Trek or not.

    "It's the DS9 Way or No Way!" strictly comes down to, "I just don't like that other Star Trek series aren't doing things exactly the way DS9 did them!" Yeah, well, that's the way it goes. They have no idea just how much that rubs anyone who isn't a Total Niner the wrong way. "If we say it enough times, it'll get people to see what we're saying!" No. You're shooting yourselves in the foot. You're making me less interested in revisiting DS9, not more. And I'm not the only one who thinks this.

    I won't expect Post-Kurtzman Series to do things exactly the way DSC is doing them. And when the time comes, I'm not going to beat people who like those future shows over the head with, "Why don't they do it like Discovery?" Because it won't be Discovery. Just like Discovery fucking isn't Deep Space Nine.

    I could break down the way DSC focuses on different characters like I have in the past, but I've come to realize there's no point. Anything I present, no matter how well articulated and explained, will be completely ignored and disregarded by anyone who doesn't already agree with me. So no need to waste time on something that's an exercise in futility.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2021
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  4. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I find the DS9 vs. DSC Argument much more frustrating. And I'll tell you why. I think we're on the same page about how Humanity isn't as pristine as Gene's Vision would have us believe. And both shows agree that it's hard to maintain something like the Federation. So it's not the philosophy we're arguing. It's "well that show did it this way and this show does it that way!"

    Do you seriously honestly think a B-Plot about Owo will improve a season of Discovery by that much? Really? Really. I'd like to know more about her too, but come on. It won't dramatically tip the scales that much. The B-plots in TNG and DS9, and VOY to a lesser extent, were okay. But they were never something that made or broke an episode for me. I never said, "Man, I wish BOBW had a plot about Doctor Crusher's acting classes!" "Wow! "Cause and Effect" was great, but we needed something about Data's cat!" That's the stuff you think makes a series great?! No. That's bullshit.

    But, while we're on the subject of cats, Book's cat Grudge got quite a few scenes in DSC Season 3. Last I checked, Grudge isn't Michael Burnham. Neither does Detmer having PTSD have to do with Burnham. Or Adira being the only who one can see Gray. Contrary to myth, it's not all about Burnham.

    "Yeah, but every episode has at least some focus on Burnham!" "All those shows!" Okay, "All Those Shows" Brigade. I've got news for you. Every episode of Better Call Saul has at least some focus on Saul too. Why? Because he's the fucking star of the show. So he'll get some focus in every episode. In-genre, Picard will get something that's about him in every episode of Picard too. Because guess what? He's the star of the show! I know! I was "surprised" to come to this conclusion too! As if 40 years of watching television hadn't already told me about how television normally works. :rolleyes:

    "But Burnham has focus all the time! Completely, totally 100% of the time!" No. Read my last post. Read earlier in this same post! Click on the link I provided too, while you're at it. When you've actually read it this time (because realistically I know most of you didn't even bother to last time), then come back and we'll compare notes.

    Fin.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2021
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  5. eschaton

    eschaton Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I would agree, but I don't think the needs of casting should drive the story. Rather, the needs of the story should drive the casting. I think it works much better when shows attempt to balance out roles over the course of a season rather than each individual episode. Thus if your looking at say a DS9 "Ferengi episode" it's probably better they just have Sisko reduced to a few minutes in his office, rather than giving him and others a full B-plot to keep them engaged.

    If you must go the A/B route for "plot of the week," I think it's important to have the two plotlines actually be tonally consistent and have some sort of common theme which links them. A lot of TNG episodes were really held back because the B plot was some random "anomaly" which really didn't jibe with whatever character focus they were attempting in the A plot.

    Let's flip it around though and imagine DS9 Disco-fied. Basically cut each season in half, and focus all of the episodes on Benjamin Sisko, with everyone else just as supporting characters. Would it still be a good show? Almost certainly. But there are so many great episodes which never would have been written, and so much wonderful exploration of characters like Kira, Odo, Garak, Jake, and Nog which would have been mostly absent.

    I'm not of the opinion that we really need a "random Owo B-plot." But I do think it would be refreshing if we saw an entire episode which was told from the frame of reference of say Tilly or Stamets, rather than just always using them as supporting characters. Some of the episodes of Discovery which have stood out the most have been those which shifted the focus away from Michael - such as this season's Forget Me Not (which was an Adira/Culber episode) or Terra Firma (which was all about Georgiou). I think the series desperately needs more of that.
     
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  6. IRW Bloodwing

    IRW Bloodwing Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I'm giving my honest opinion, with the understanding that it is opinion, and YMMV.

    I think Discovery has a highly inflated sense of it's own importance. The reportage on the show acts as if it is a special snowflake that breaks new ground for Star Trek. In point of fact, just about every "First" touted had already been done at least once by a previous incarnation, but no one gives them credit for it. Some of the attitudes toward the fan base (such as the infamous Jason Issacs fisasco during S1 didn't help matters either. The case wearing their politics so openly on their sleeves didn't help either.

    My last problem is that they can't seem to put out a full season to save their lives (all the modern Treks have that problem). How did Hollywood lose the ability in just a few years to go from full, 20+ episode seasons to struggling to put out 12-15 a season?
     
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  7. RandyS

    RandyS Vice Admiral Admiral

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    For what it's worth (probably not much since it's coming from me), I agree with everything you said here.
     
  8. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    90s Trek never did grasp that idea. If they had, the main casts of the shows would have been the four who got the most of the character development as opposed to seven who could fill the bridge posts.
    Shift of priorities. In the days of 20+ episodes a season it was because the producers wanted the shows to attain a syndication package, where they needed a minimum of fifty episodes, though often a hundred is preferred. Now, shows get their popularity from streaming services, where shorter seasons are preferred as it makes binge watching more palatable.

    Besides, in the 90s a typical Star Trek episode took six days to film with sixteen days spread over twenty-six weeks, with two weeks off for Christmas. That kind of scheduling was hell for everyone involved with production, so it's not surprising they're going for something significantly shorter these days.
     
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  9. Amaris

    Amaris Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah, at first I was bummed to see that change, but now it's a bit of a relief. You get better episodes (in theory) and a much more manageable season, instead of 10 good episodes, 2 great ones, and 20 subpar dross filler episodes, there's 14 solid episodes, and no one is exhausted or wasting time. Again, in theory.
     
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  10. Jadeb

    Jadeb Commodore Commodore

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    Personally, I’d take TOS season three — the series at low ebb — over any of the serialized seasons we’ve gotten so far.

    TBH, I think the later Berman era has convinced a lot of fans that episodic Trek must come with a lot of filler and dross. But that’s just excuse making for shows that were creatively kaput.

    Both short, serialized seasons and longer, episodic ones can be done well or poorly.
     
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  11. Agony_Boothb

    Agony_Boothb Commodore Commodore

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    In fairness modern trek episodes cost about $8 million a piece. 90's trek had much lower budgets that bordered on budget constraints. This allowed for 26 episodes a season but was also the reason why we got the same ship establishing shots, same matte backgrounds, very little location shooting, the same looking cave on every planet and holodeck malfunction episodes.
     
  12. Jadeb

    Jadeb Commodore Commodore

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    Was the reuse of matte paintings and establishing shots worse than the copy-n-paste fleet Discovery gave us?
     
  13. Ianburns252

    Ianburns252 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Copy and paste fleet?
     
  14. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Picard had the copy-and-paste fleet. That scene at the end of the first season with Captain Riker.

    Disco gave us, I think, four or five different class ships in the first two seasons. That can look cut-and-paste too, when you have so many times more ships. So I can see it with DSC. But PIC is the worst culprit. By far.
     
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  15. eschaton

    eschaton Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd say that in general I haven't really found the "quality control" on an episode-by-episode basis to be much better for either PIC or DIS than the average season of Voyager. You have a handful of great episodes, a few stinkers, and a lot which are basically fine.

    And I'm totally okay with that, because as long as there are a lot of Trek shows running concurrently, we're getting the same amount of Trek per year. But it doesn't really provide strong evidence of quality over quantity, IMHO.
     
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  16. Jadeb

    Jadeb Commodore Commodore

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    That’s right — thank you for the correction. I can’t say cut-and-paste bothers me too much, but neither do reused matte paintings and establishing shots.

    If anything, I tend to think the generous budgets are fueling storytelling bloat. The big bucks make it possible to do these universe-shattering stakes, which drive the breathless storytelling that is responsible for a lot of the issues we’ve seen in modern Trek’s serialized approach.

    Looking back over the Trek films, bigger budgets clearly don’t always make for better movies.
     
  17. Ianburns252

    Ianburns252 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Maybe it is just me, but the concept of a fleet of one class of ship feels more realistic to me, certainly from a practicality of production stand point.

    We have spent years seeing non Fed races and organisations use 3 or 4 classes tops but produce them in their thousands whereas the Fed seem to have hundreds of classes but it's like they roll a d20 to decide how many to make.
     
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  18. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It reminds me of when my father became obsessed with the Ford Taurus. We had four of them at one point, around the time I started driving. One for each family member who could drive. He was that big of a fan of them and he was the one making the purchases, so...

    It might be realistic. But sometimes realistic is ridiculous.
     
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  19. Ianburns252

    Ianburns252 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I get what you mean. My contra to that would be to look at the ubiquity of the Honda Civic - its a good car, reliable as all hell, versatile and lasts for time so mass production makes sense.

    I guess my point was (other then budget saying variety in enemy/non fed ships can't stretch) does everyone else love a huge homogenous fleet and we want a handful of everything.

    One could argue that the idea is that each is heavily specialised but that then gets in to the fact that it would make more sense for each ship to go around with 2 or 3 support ships with their own specialisms.

    Possibly taking this thread off topic though so I'll ease up
     
  20. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Yes, in my opinion. Copy and paste fleets (ridiculous term but I'll roll) makes sense to me. After all, in TOS and in fan productions, it was pretty much that way, or swapping out various Constitution components to create different classes. So, it's either copy and paste elements (nacelles, saucers, deflector dishes) or whole ships.

    Matte paintings are harder for me to swallow. They all look the same and it is a brief moment of being taken out of the show because I roll my eyes at seeing the exact same establishing shot on the planet and assuming it must look different. I get that budgets are tight, I get that it is a TV show, I get that suspension of disbelief is different for all, but the matte paintings always stood out to me, and really created a blurring effect to trying to watch TNG.
     
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