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Anyone seen Rogue One?
Chris Katko
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January 2002
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Neil Roy said:

I dunno, I guess I just don't go over movies with a fine tooth comb like that. <shrug>

I can shut my brain off and enjoy a smashing fest. Like Pacific Rim. But it needs to be consistent within it's own universe. If Superman can fly, fine. Those are the rules setup. But he can't pass through matter. He can fly but he can't violate physics. If some lady is falling 100+ MPH and superman "saves" her within the period of 3 inches, the acceleration kills her. That kind of stuff.

I like nitpicking. But the key is, I can still enjoy it. I'm just discussing this stuff because I enjoy movies, the craft, and would love to make a movie one day. I grew up around kids who later went on to film school, so it's kinda ingrained in me to pick things apart. The same way, a musician might pick apart the melodies, etc of a song. "Notice the cool fade in of the crash cymbals.... HERE."

All that being said, on a related topic: I watched E.T. recently. It's beautifully done. The cinematography, the dialog, it's all amazing. Spielberg is a genius. They SHOW the plot instead of TELLING you the plot. It's not good just because it was popular in the 80's. It's STILL good. If I were to just tell you the plot bullet points, it'd seem to be a fairly boring story. "Alien comes to earth, gets left behind, befriends a kid, evil gubment wants to find the alien, ..." but the EXECUTION is just so phenomenal. Every character feels real. They talk real. They act real. Every scene has multiple threads going on. Each scene isn't just doing one thing, to be connected to the next. Each scene is actually establishing or reinforcing multiple things that will go together. When the kids befriend the alien over time, it really feels like they befriend the alien. It doesn't feel like "The writers decided they're friends now, so now they're friends." I would have to watch it like three times in a row to write down all the amazing points about the construction of that movie. (And I'm not even a big fan of kids movies, or the concept of E.T.!) There are so many good things going on in that movie, so quickly, you can't even recognize them in one pass.

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bamccaig
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July 2006
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I think that's the makings of a truly good movie: when you can't even catch everything in the first pass. Some people's minds move faster than others. If you write for the lowest common denominator then you're going to have a bunch of people bored out of their whits. If the movie is written for the top then the bottom won't even notice all of the stuff they're missing, and might even get replay value if they continue to watch it, whereas the top won't be as bored and won't have to nitpick to keep their mind busy.

Neil Roy
Member #2,229
April 2002
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I guess I'll just remain a happy low denominator then. ;) I tend to be critical over important things in life. A movie... is just a movie. Man, if I nitpicked over everything wrong in SPACE movies, I could write a novel!

I just haven't seen a problem. The latest batch were all well done I thought. Rogue One was a prequel with a surprise ending (at least for me). I absolutely LOVED it when I finally realized what the movie was about, I was like... GREAT idea for a movie! So... I dunno. If you don't like 'em, my advise is to stop watching 'em! :)

My oldest brother (who recently passed away :( ) complained when the first Star Wars came out that he went to see it three times and hated it. ;D... this reminds me of you guys. I was like... than, ummm... why did you go back to see it?! LMAO... but... smoking weed will do that to you I guess. ;D

bamccaig
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July 2006
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As a side note, does anybody else despise prequels? I can't think of many that I've liked. In general, I feel like they're washed up duplicate content. You already know parts of what is going to happen, and it seems they're never done very well so they stand on their own. And of course, going back in time has the disadvantage, particularly in a technology genre, where the technology goes back in time for the worst. That really sort of limits the potential because you won't likely be seeing any fancy new ideas. Just rehashed old ideas. I find that boring.

I guess I'm really ripping on Star Trek here though. I was reading about the new Star Trek series that is going to be airing shortly. First of all, we can hope they don't fuck it up as badly as "Enterprise". What a disaster that was. But so far it's not looking very promising. Looks like two female leads just to force the issue that women are people too, which would be fine if it wasn't some political agenda they're trying to force feed us, but it is. They aren't female just because that is the story that they came up with. They're female because feminism. I fucking hate that.

But even overlooking that, the series is a prequel to even the original series. Naturally this limits what they can do technologically which I think is going to severely hurt the creativity of the show. So far the prototype designs for the ship are ugly as fuck. I didn't grow up in the 70s so I personally find the original series ship ugly too. If you started with TNG Enterprise like I did then it's hard to go back.

Now a distant past prequel might have been interesting. There are gaps in the technology timeline left to explore. But they aren't doing that. They're going 10 years before the original series. So probably the technology is going to be almost identical and it's just a clone of the original series with women starring. How quaint. ::)

Chris Katko
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January 2002
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bamccaig said:

Looks like two female leads just to force the issue that women are people too, which would be fine if it wasn't some political agenda they're trying to force feed us, but it is. They aren't female just because that is the story that they came up with. They're female because feminism. I ing hate that.

They've also got an openly gay guy too. Because more labels = more diversity and we all know the gay guy on a TV show will be handled carefully and with respect, and not used any time the writers simply want a "gay story". Hollywood is known for treating minorities with dignity, after all! ;)

It might be good. It might also bomb harder than any Star Trek made. So it'll either be a good show, or a good show to watch crash and burn. ;D

Quote:

prequel

Now THAT I didn't know and that's pretty damn pathetic.

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OICW
Member #4,069
November 2003
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bamccaig said:

As a side note, does anybody else despise prequels? I can't think of many that I've liked. In general, I feel like they're washed up duplicate content. You already know parts of what is going to happen, and it seems they're never done very well so they stand on their own.

I don't despise them, I just don't like them. I mean Jar Jar Bings was totally useless comic relief character targetting the children audience. But yes, same applies for Ewoks, that is mostly my main grief against The Return of the Jedi. Storywise The Phantom Menace is about a planet you don't really care about with trade federation nobody talked about in the original trilogy. It's introduction of the characters that are important, fine, but so lamely executed that it's hard to believe someone actually approved the screenplay. And don't get me started on that battle between droids and Jar Jar's people. That and the midichlorians (or how it is spelled) thing about the Force...

I was really expecting a lot from The Attack of the Clones but no, you get to watch cheesy romance, CGI on par with Blizzard animated intros, R2D2 performing things that would have saved a lot of situations in the original trilogy - jetpack. You see senator Palpatine preparing the take over which is fine but the rest of the movie is meh. Especially the battle scene at the end.

The Revenge of the Sith was the best of all of them, except emo Anakin, the whole romance pushed really far too much and all done in such a hurry just to get to the point where you kill off the Trade Federation because nobody talked about it in the original trilogy, you create the Vader at the very end of the movie and shove Luke and Leia to their protectors to get an obvious tie in for the episode IV - at least not so rushed as in the Rogue one case :)

Maybe I'm too harsh and verbose, so tl;dr: I was really letdown by the prequels as while watching the original trilogy there were hints here and there about what happened before the empire, there were questions about the Jedi order, about the clone wars etc. Back then I was expecting more stories like Rogue One. In a sense that we would see events that led to the downfall of the Republic, the ascension of the empire, birth of Darth Vader and the beginning of the Rebellion culminating with the theft of the Death Star plans.

Say, for example, episode one dealing with the downfall of the Republic, shadow machinations of Palpatine, creation of the clones. Episode two would depict the clone wars whatever they would be given the Obi Wan's remarks in episode IV. And then finally episode three would deal with the Rebellion, evolution of Vader and the theft of the plans.

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Neil Roy
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April 2002
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I also loved "Enterprise". The one story got a bit long, but after that it started to get really good. It had a lot of potential, but was cancelled due to whine asses. This is part of why I can't stand overly critical people.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine goes on for 7 seasons, the most BORING star trek ever to be made, but Enterprise which I really enjoyed gets cancelled. It's one fucked up world.

LennyLen
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December 2004
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Neil Roy said:

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine goes on for 7 seasons, the most BORING star trek ever to be made, but Enterprise which I really enjoyed gets cancelled. It's one fucked up world.

DS9 is probably my least favourite series, but ironically, it probably has some of my favourite episodes.

I was also disappointed that they cancelled Enterprise when they did. It seemed like the show had finally found itself and was starting to get fun.

bamccaig said:

As a side note, does anybody else despise prequels?

I'm completely ambivalent to the concept of prequels, but I've both loved and hated specific prequels. I can't think of many movie prequels I've particularly enjoyed (I did like Rogue One), but when it comes to books, there have been many.

Chris Katko
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January 2002
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I'm SO GLAD you guys mentioned DS9 being boring. I couldn't even get through it. It was so boring. Like that episode where they're on a multi-billion dollar space station called DS9, and they're all trained military officers... and they spend the episode building a friggin' solar glider and sitting INSIDE the glider that has no windows so you can't even SEE something interesting going on.

They also committed one of the WORST sins you can do. Before any of the characters are established so you "know" who they are and how they act... they do an episode where "People aren't acting right." How the hell are we supposed to know? And there was a second episode where the doctor guy isn't "acting right" and again, we can barely tell, except for the INSANE amount of bad acting as the doctor actor had no ability to be intimidating so he just stressseddd alll ooff hiiss woorrddds to come off as "evil." The audience doesn't know the characters yet and the ACTORS don't know the characters yet!

What business do you have switching people up within the first ~10 episodes?!

Could you imagine how fast X-Files would have tanked if in episode 3, Mulder becomes "Not Mulder"?

Such a waste of a great IP. They never should have canned Star Trek: TNG that year. They could have easily gone another 3. (The real reason is the actors salaries kept rising so in an effort to reduce costs they killed the entire show. A common trait for non-animated shows. See Big Bang Theory where it's one of the most popular shows and they threatened to write Raj and Walowitz out of the show if they didn't take the "studio decided" pay raise.) Now, don't get me wrong. One reason TNG (like Seinfeld!) is so highly regarded, is that it was canceled before it got bad! But, Star Trek: TNG was NOT slowing down at that point and had some of the best episodes in the later seasons, and every season had a bunch of notable, great, episodes.

And Voyager? I can't... I can't get myself to watch it even though I would LOVE some more Star Trek to watch. DS9 soured my tongue... and everyone says Voyager is just "out there." Like a more generic scifi show, or a knockoff star trek, where they do crazy stuff just to keep ratings up. And their casting choice... everyone looks so white washed and generic to me... from what I hear, Captain Janeway is basically better than everyone else at their own jobs so it's like, "Why do we even have anyone else on the ship?"

I need to go back and watch the original series. There's some damn good episodes in there and I've never seen them all.

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Neil Roy
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April 2002
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As for Voyager, I wasn't crazy about it at first. That first season was... meh, but it got better. And now it is one of my favourite series which I have actually watched more than any other. I even got my wife to like it, and she is not a fan of science fiction.

The series has a beginning, it has an end goal and a good story where they actually explore, a lot. It has a lot of humour in it I noticed as well and the characters really build up interesting relationships. The series gets much better once Seven of Nine comes on board I found. So, I would say, if you never really watched it past the first season, you're missing out as it did improve.

My top series are #1) Voyager, #2) Star Trek: TOS and #3) Enterprise now. I can't stand DS9 and I am not a huge fan of TNG either. TNG got better later in the series, but I wasn't a fan of it early on.

OICW
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November 2003
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I watched Voyager around the same time as TNG went on in the TV here. Well, right after it, and that was maybe around the time I was around 10 I guess. I've seen several episodes of DS9 and was kinda intrigued by it because it was different. But at that time I totally liked TNG and Voyager was still good for me back then. When I was older and wiser I could get myself to watch TOS when it ran on in the TV, however, it's so cheesy.

Now, when I talked to real Trekkies on some convetions, I got almost the impression that DS9 is highly regarded while Enterprise is shunned upon. You have to take into account the fact that DS9 was conceived as competition against Babylon 5 that will also be not that costly as one episode of TNG. I can't tell whether it's good or bad as I haven't watched it.

What I know is that I need to watch TNG again with the original sound. I watched few episodes lately in the TV with Czech dubbing and I could pick up the bad translation there in lot of places. And anyway, there are some cheesy moments, but as a kid I loved that show, so I really need to rewatch it, if only for nostalgia :)

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Chris Katko
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January 2002
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I watched TNG remastered in 1080p on bluray last year. It was glorious.

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bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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I loved Voyager. I would hold it up next to TNG. To me they are comparable. I have watched TNG and Voyager full series a couple of times. I can still go back and watch them both and enjoy them as if they were new. I suggest giving both TNG and Voyager a chance if you haven't and want more Star Trek.

I never gave DS9 a chance because it seems the show revolved around one or more Ferengi, and I absolutely despise the race. It's an annoying character to sit through. It's all just "greed" and backstabbing and muffled voices. And they're ugly to boot. They have nothing to offer anybody, and they take take take. The few stories involving them in TNG or Voyager made for funny stories, and it was always clear that they were a loathed race, even if the officers did their best to be welcoming of them. I think it was a mistake for DS9 to make them regularly characters on the show. But then, I haven't given it a chance (mostly because after I sit through one episode with Fenengi if I see another one I turn it off).

I don't even remember Enteprise, but I think I remember everything just being different and the writing was not anything like Star Trek. It was like a completely different universe. The writing and acting was terrible. And I just couldn't. I think I gave up after the first few episodes.

I also find TOS cheesy. I've only seen a few episodes, and I just can't stomach it. Besides the cheesy stories and dialog, the ship looks ridiculous too. Of course, it was made during a time when options were limited and that probably looked pretty damn cool. So at least there's a little bit of give... But I'll have to be pretty bored with Counter-Strike before I'll even attempt to sit through TOS. :-/

Neil Roy
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April 2002
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OICW said:

You have to take into account the fact that DS9 was conceived as competition against Babylon 5

Ooooh yeah, I absolutely LOVED Babylon 5!!! Seen ALL of those and the movies. I miss that series a lot. At the time I especially loved the fact that it used an Amiga computer to render the graphics (with Video Toaster) as that was my main computer at the time. But great series with an interesting story and great characters.

bamccaig said:

I also find TOS cheesy

I guess I can understand that if you're rather young. I grew up in the '70s, so that was all there was and it was awesome! I watched it on a B&W vacuum tube TV for a long time when we only had like... 4 or 5 channels we could get total. Understand that portable cassette tape recorders were a new and fantastic thing that would eventually replace all my 8 tracks I grew up with and computers... computers were on TV, nowhere in real life. Arcades consisted of pinball machines, analog ones, not digital with round wheels that had the scores on them that turned and cost 10 cents. You have to understand the context when it came out... so... it was pretty damn fantastic! Way ahead of it's time. The TRS-80 model 1 computer was still a decade away when it first came out, and about 5 years away when I first seen Star Trek... so it wasn't cheesy at all then. Compare to modern tech, yeah... but... I still love it. There are some episodes I despise though, the ones with the children in control mainly annoy me. the time travel ones were my favourite "Return to Tomorrow", "All my Yesterdays" or something like that I think were a couple.

OICW
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November 2003
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Neil Roy said:

I guess I can understand that if you're rather young. I grew up in the '70s, so that was all there was and it was awesome!

Yeah, you're right, I'm too young for this, hell, I wasn't even born when TNG started in 1987. I really enjoyed lot of the TOS episodes. On the other hand there are some really cheesy and awkward moments like the infamous battle between the Kirk and the lizard man. But, on the other, there were some really clever episodes. And I don't really mind the production qualities.

Babylon 5, yeah, I've seen some episodes in the TV and did not know what's going on there. I've seen the movies and apart the fact that the CGI quality is on par with Blizzard games movies... I really want to watch the series as a whole, even though I don't like very much sci-fi shows with many alien races etc. The most remarkable fact about the show is that it was conceived as 5 seasons story arc from the very beginning. So nothing like "yeah, we have this concept, we prepare the first season and then will see where it can bring us" approach which was kinda obvious in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica.

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Chris Katko
Member #1,881
January 2002
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When I was a kid, I liked watching Andromeda ("Hercules in space!"), and Farscape.

Flame on. ;D

I tried to watch Babylon but everything feels "wrong" about the visual design of the show. The alien costumes, the dark foggy lighting of every shot. I can't explain why I dislike it. I just really do.

p.s. The original intro music for Andromeda written by FREAKIN' STING? That was epic. I used to play that on repeat as a kid.

video

Also, the original plot is pretty damn cool. It was built from Gene Roddenbary's "b-side" / scrap notes for Star Trek. Starfleet is always seen as some utopia. In Andromeda, it was literally starfleet (with a different name, the commonwealth), except they failed. The commonwealth collapsed. The good guys lost. And Kevin Sorbo is a captain of a commonwealth battleship that was fighting in the big final battle. But he got sucked through a wormhole or something transporting him forward in time. So he's the only survivor of the dead commonwealth. ALSO really freakin' cool is because the "good guys" lost, starship technology has REGRESSED. So his ship is one of the most powerful ships still around even in the future... but he's got no crew. (I don't remember why there's no crew survivors...).

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Neil Roy
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April 2002
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Yeah, you have to watch Babylon 5 from the start. It's quite good if you follow along. The story really gets quite good after a while and had a good ending. Certain characters will grow on you after a while you will find. And some of the movies were almost sad for me. I missed that series. It had a sequel, but it never done well and I didn't hear many good things about it.

Just keep in mind that Babylon 5 was done in the mid '90s, before computer 3D was a thing. Even ST:TNG didn't use much in computer generation, I seem to remember Babylon 5 as being one of the first series to really dive into computer generation. The Amiga computer (with Video Toaster) really opened up computer generated video for TV and such at an inexpensive cost. I remember the weather network started off using an Amiga (because it crashed one day and there was the flashing "GURU MEDITATION ERROR" on my TV and I was like... kewl! ;D).

Chris Katko
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January 2002
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TNG had no computer FX! (Or almost zero.)

It was one of the, if not the, last major show to use "classic" special effects. It's an amazing achievement at the height of the craft. The behind-the-scenes shows are a lot of fun.

I remember Babylon 5 being pushed as CG. Entry-level CG looks super cheap / dated to me. But if you say the story is really that good, I'll have to try it some time...

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bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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The behind the scenes videos included on the ST:VOY DVDs talk about some of the technology that goes into it. The ships were actually not computer generated, but models made of paper and plastic and things ranging from a few feet to a few inches. In fact, the shuttle model scale was many times larger than that of the actual ship so they had to be crafty with the shot to make it look tiny in comparison (careful with light, I imagine). I personally found this fascinating to learn because I believed it was all CGI. That in itself is probably a dying art. It makes you wonder if computers are ever used today where the old school method would be faster and cheaper.

Neil Roy
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April 2002
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I remember Babylon 5 being pushed as CG. Entry-level CG looks super cheap / dated to me.

Well, just the space scenes obviously use it. But do remember, this was released in January 1994, before Doom 2 was released. The graphics for this series were really good for the time, so remember not to judge it based on today's stuff. I remember it being one of the first series to use all computer graphics, if not the first, so this was new territory.

But it has an ongoing story that develops over time, not just random events. The main story comes to a pretty kewl ending I thought.

Londo Mollari was by far my favourite character. Always scheming, a bit of a villain who gets whats coming to him eventually, but you grow to like him and I felt sorry for him in the end.

This clip gives you a hint of why I love this series and Londo...

video

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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That's what you call a good scene? I'm starting to rethink this advice. I couldn't even sit through it.

Neil Roy
Member #2,229
April 2002
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bamccaig said:

That's what you call a good scene? I'm starting to rethink this advice. I couldn't even sit through it.

I guess you had to see the show to understand the significance of what happened here.

If it's fight scenes in space you want (something you rarely see anymore), someone put together this video from the series...

video

Not that I expect you to like it, you seem to make it a hobby to be a critical ass. I loved the series, that's all that matters to me. What you think, means sweet fuck all. I share this for anyone that wants a good series, you... can go back to masturbating to porn or whatever in fuck you do in your miserable little life.

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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I'm comfortable with my tastes in art, even though many of them would not be shared by most others. I don't need other people to justify it. Just because I question your taste doesn't make it invalid. It just might not be right for me.

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LennyLen
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December 2004
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Neil Roy said:

Londo Mollari was by far my favourite character. Always scheming, a bit of a villain who gets whats coming to him eventually, but you grow to like him and I felt sorry for him in the end.

He was definitely my favourite as well.

bamccaig said:

That's what you call a good scene? I'm starting to rethink this advice. I couldn't even sit through it.

To be honest, it's not the best scene if you haven't watched Lando mature a a character.

B5's biggest strength was it's biggest failing. It was one continuous story arc, preconceived almost entirely from start to finish. Most episodes were not intended to stand alone. They were a mesh of interconnected plots that wove through seasons.

This made it hard to jump into the series mid-show, or to get back into it after missing a few shows. At the same time it made the experience so much richer if you saw it through from start to end.

Chris Katko
Member #1,881
January 2002
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LennyLen said:

B5's biggest strength was it's biggest failing. It was one continuous story arc, preconceived almost entirely from start to finish. Most episodes were not intended to stand alone. They were a mesh of interconnected plots that wove through seasons.

That sounds freakin' awesome.

Quote:

This made it hard to jump into the series mid-show, or to get back into it after missing a few shows. At the same time it made the experience so much richer if you saw it through from start to end.

That's a HUGE freakin' problem if you want a long term show to have an arc. I love arcs. But like you said, the barrier-to-entry becomes a problem. The only people who "sign up" are when a show is "so freakin' amazing" that people can convince their friends/neighbors/etc to watch it. Otherwise, you just see a show that makes no sense. The further you are from the start, the worse the "necessary list of episodes/info", the less likely you'll get new people. And you'll drop people every season anyway.

p.s. Netflix makes arcs and binge watching possible now so I really feel like we may end up with better quality shows overall. (Strange Things is amazing... need to finish the last 3 episodes. They're renewed for a second season.)

I just found an interesting article about Battlestar Galactica and how the ratings were "tanking" yet nobody cared and it kept getting more popular, making money, and green-lighting further projects.

http://www.today.com/id/26396271/ns/today-today_entertainment/t/galactica-proves-ratings-system-dead/

On the otherhand, Caprica got cancelled pretty quickly and this was written before it came out. (Maybe Battlestar Galactica - The Ship = Boring show? Ever watched How I Met Your Mother when they go to Lilly's house instead of the bar? It felt like the most generic sitcom ever.)

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