TV Review – Star Trek: Discovery – S01E06


Well, here we are again. Another week down, another episode of my “favorite” Trek series completed. So where am I on this one?

Hold your horses, kids. I liked it.

Though not in the same way that she likes Lorca.

Spoilers, as always, to follow!

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TV Review – Star Trek: Discovery – S1E5


Choose your pain! I choose to continue to watch Discovery, despite the fact that I should, by now, know better.

This episode was an improvement over previous ones. There were some little moments that I liked, and Rainn Wilson is quite good at playing a character we once saw on the original series. There was also a wonderful little moment of continuity that, at last, canonized the character of Robert April.

But just as I was starting to warm up, along comes the stupid. Here’s my usual spoileriffic list of questions!

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First question: why would you allow a prisoner to keep that many rings?

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TV Review – Star Trek Discovery – S01E04


Ever wonder why I’m not putting titles for these episodes? Because a pretentious title like the ones we’ve seen lately deserves no praise, no accolades, and no recognition.

Oh, well. On with the review. Spoilers ahoy. Etc.

Also, why are transparent monitors a thing? So useless.

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TV Review: Star Trek: Discovery – 1.03


Well, that was awful.

Yes, I’d held out hope that somehow the third episode would be better than the first two. That once we got to see the “real” crew and characters, we’d get something better, interesting, and, indeed, watchable.

We did not. Spoilers ahoy!

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At least the outfit’s color is correct!

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TV Review – Star Trek Discovery Episodes 1.01 and 1.02


I have seen the first two episodes of Discovery. Here is my very spoileriffic review.

And it is not the review I wanted to write.

I love Star Trek. Back when I was a kid, I grew up watching TOS. I know I saw Star Wars in the theater in 1977 (or maybe during the re-release in 1978), but I don’t remember those. I DO remember seeing The Motion Picture in early 1980.

Whenever I had a birthday party, my mom would rent a VCR (yes, that was a thing), and we’d rent video tapes to go along with it. If I wasn’t watching the David Warner trifecta (Tron, Time After Time and Time Bandits), I was watching The Wrath of Khan. Great movie.

I really began to embrace Trek with The Voyage Home, and then along came TNG. Excited? Oh, yes. And I quite enjoyed the show. I fell in love with Deep Space Nine, occasionally liked Voyager, and watched Enterprise, which of itself puts me in rare company.

The less said about Star Trek Into Darkness, the better, but the other two movies were very good in their own way, if full of occasional unnecessary stupidity.

So when Discovery was announced, I was very excited! A new Trek series! Strange new worlds, new life, new civilizations, and best of all, an optimistic future that runs counter to the fucking nonsense we get in most sci-fi these days. And, hey, Bryan Fuller, who makes some very good TV, was involved, and so was Nicholas Meyer! What could be better?

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Conscience of the Conservative


What happens when a conservative Republican ex-president, who has been out of office for more than two decades, decides he’s completely out of fucks to give, and starts looking at the damage his policies caused?

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This is the premise of Epix’s TV series Graves, which began airing last year. Somehow I’d not heard of it. I’m guessing I was too busy paying attention to real politics. Or perhaps their PR just sucked. But either way, I’m glad to have found it now..

Nick Nolte plays the titular character, who, it is implied, was a two-term Republican president that came along after Reagan but before Clinton. He’s now retired and living in New Mexico, and is becoming very unhappy with his life. After a confrontation with former New Mexican governor Bill Richardson, he starts looking at the way his time in office is being remembered. He starts to realize some of the consequences that were experienced by the American public when he did things like cut cancer research, “get tough” on illegal immigration, or speak out against gay marriage.

He looks at these things with the distance of time and wisdom and doesn’t like what he sees. So he starts acting up and speaking out. As this is going on, his wife is being courted by the Republican establishment to run for the Senate, his daughter is going through a divorce, and his estranged son has returned from service overseas.

To a great extent the series is a liberal wank-fest. We all want to have someone like Bush 41 or W admit that they were wrong in what they believed and fought for. We want to have a moment where they say, “Yeah, I fucked up, and shouldn’t have done X, Y, or Z.”

But the show does this liberal wank-fest in a very entertaining way. Nick Nolte is absolutely magnificent as the main character, and Sela Ward is fantastic as the former First Lady. The rest of the cast is spot-on, as well, and there are many cameos by the likes of Bill Richardson, Rudy Giuliani, Barney Frank, Michael Steele, and others.

If you’ve got a hankering for an enjoyable diversion of a political series, do check this out. It isn’t quite as sharp as Alpha House, but it’s still very good. You can find it through Epix’s channel on Sling, and possibly your cable provider. It’s also available on the various streaming services. Vudu has the first two episodes for free, and the series as a whole is only $20 through them. Not bad!

Some Thoughts on Season One of The Grand Tour


I’m watching the season finale of Amazon’s similar-to-but-legally-distinct-from knock-off of Top Gear known as The Grand Finale. What have I thought of this first season?

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In general, I’ve been very pleased. The formula is basically the same as it was with the BBC, ie: three lads screwing around with cars. On that level there’s no real difference from the old series.

But that’s a good thing. I like that. I liked Top Gear with May, Clarkson and Hammond, and I like what they’ve done here. It’s got the same “feel” and remains vastly entertaining.

There are some things I dislike. The “American” bit isn’t especially original or entertaining. It’s very one-note, really. The “Celebrity Brain Crash” bit has gotten old quickly, too.

But those complains aside,  I’ve enjoyed it quite a bit, and I really look forward to season two! Oh, and to a lesser extent, I look forward to the next series of Top Gear.