I don't think that The First Avenger was a horrible movie. I rewatched it recently, and it's good enough. I just think that the movie had the potential to be a lot more, except that it was chained down to The Avengers. As a result, the Peggy relationship is a waste of time, and it feels like a lot of Captain America's story potential is thrown out the window, because they have to get him to the present by the end of the movie. The story didn't have a chance to breathe, so it ends up kinda feeling like an additional feature on some other movie's blu-ray, where we learn Cap's origin story.

It's far from the worst MCU movie, but it could have been a lot better if they'd been able to take their time with it and develop some of the relationships in the past.

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Interesting. This video suggests the changes that we may see for season 2. But how many of these solutions will only deepen the problems?

https://youtu.be/4n5TlyBl5Cw

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(177 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

And... that's it. The world is officially over. Goodnight, everyone. We don't deserve life anymore.


https://youtu.be/doFpACkiZ2Q

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(215 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Okay, I've read the conversation! Most of the stuff, I don't need to comment on. So, here's what I do want to respond to:

People keep trying to figure out how to reconcile Star Trek with the fact that we already have a lot of this technology. I don't think it's necessary, if they just kept moving forward. It's not the history of *our* universe, it's the history of the Star Trek universe, which is a world where Eugenics Wars and WWIII happened, and where San Francisco became a sancua--wait, that happened.

I don't think many people think that Star Trek is a historical document. While it might be fun to figure out why the "future" in the 1960's series is behind where we are today, it doesn't really matter. What matters is that the Star Trek universe was the story of that world, through different generations, always moving forward. Their past looks like our past. Their future looks like what we imagine our future will look like. By going back in time and pulling at all of those threads and altering the past of that story, they're destroying the foundation of something huge and beloved. And they do it without any care or a second thought.

Furthermore, by throwing this whole spore drive idea out there, they're essentially invalidating the central plots of both Star Trek DS9 and Star Trek Voyager. And why? Where did that story go? What ultimate purpose did it serve? It was just a Dark Matter rehash, but not handled as well.


I'm not letting Bryan Fuller off the hook so easily. He was involved with redesigning the Klingons, and no decision in that process was the right decision.


I do think that Star Trek is usually an ensemble (aside from TOS). Even if we view Picard, Janeway and Archer as the leads of their shows, there was usually a b-plot that explored the other characters. Or there would be an a-plot that involved them in trouble, but had a b-plot where the captain got to be human for a while. DS9 was definitely an ensemble. Discovery only used the supporting characters as a way to move Michael forward, and never really cared to explore them.

I did think about them possibly jumping into the future too, and either having to adapt, or find their way home. Or maybe explore the Star Trek multiverse, which would explain all of the different styles somewhat. But they didn't do that. Oh well.

It was fun seeing Clint Howard show up though. smile

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Yeah, The Orville was a fun show. I'm not sure how long it will remain entertaining, since it's a very particular type of fun and that could get old, but so far it's been interesting. They've actually done some thoughtful stories too, which is nice.

One more thing that I don't get about Discovery is the need to have one central character. Most Trek shows are ensembles, where different episodes could explore different characters. This was definitely Burnham's show, and the world kinda revolved around her. We're going into season 2 without a captain or doctor, and I'm not even sure that we've seen main engineering. Who is in charge there, because whats-his-name seemed pretty focused on the spore drive, even when it wasn't working.

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Finished.

Ultimately, the series seemed... careless. Like the people making it didn't care about Star Trek and its history, and they also didn't particularly care about telling the stories that they put out there.

Before the show came out, people related to the show spoke about how they drew inspiration from our world and our politics, and played up the idea of these characters representing Trump supporters, or those characters representing North Korea. And that was bullshit. The writers didn't put enough thought into the motivations or the politics within the show for me to find any sort of meaning in it. Even when they put in the "Make the empire glorious again" line in the mirror universe, I couldn't be bothered to care about yet another Trump jab by people who love them some Nazi solutes (which I imagine is just part of the union agreements in Hollywood at this point).

When they did the repeating day episode, it was halfhearted. Like they knew that the audience got which trope they were going for, so they didn't have to put much thought into it. Same with most of the other storylines. They give us a quick reference to which story they're playing with, and then fill out the hour without really exploring the stories very deeply. A Klingon grafted into a human body... okay. Sure. I'll go with that... if they actually bother to do something with that story. But they didn't. They wanted us to feel the emotional reaction, but they never invested in the story or character itself. I still don't even know what the hell they were talking about. The "Klingons" opened people up, crushed their bones, chopped up their insides, and... what the hell does this mean?! The guy passed a physical, so he obviously doesn't have an actual Klingon living inside of him.
And it doesn't matter, because that story ultimately went nowhere. He threw a couple of punches, spoke some synthetic Klingon words, and that was pretty much it. That was the grand plan.
Oh... then he ran off with the woman who brutally raped him in ways that we can't even imagine (and apparently the writers can't either). Because that's totally reasonable.

And right around the time that we discovered that he was a Klingon mole type sleeper agent type thing, we also learned that Lorka was a mole for a totally different cause. So now this is like 24, and everyone is a damn mole. And the one human male who wasn't written off of the show is the only one who I actually wanted written off of the show!

The show has a lot of interesting characters. The problem is, they have no interest in exploring them. They do nothing to balance big action stories with personal stories in the way that Trek shows normally do. So now we have a show that is set during a war, which they don't bother to explore. With technology that is ultimately a dead end, story-wise. And characters who they don't bother to explore (aside from Burnham, though I still don't get why everyone blames her for the war. She committed mutiny, but her actions didn't cause the war).

Going forward, I'd love to see more of Keyla Detmer. They could have explored her reaction to Burnham being there a bit more, as someone who was severely injured during a battle in which Burnham betrayed her people and lied to them. Yet, they didn't do that. They showed an odd moment where Detmer was happy to see (the fake) Captain Georgiou return, giving us the impression that she didn't know it was a fake. Yet there was no payoff to that beat.


Airiam is another interesting character, despite the fact that she looks a lot like Nebula, from Guardians of the Galaxy. I'd like to see more of her too.

Is it weird that a lot of the characters that I'm the most interested in are just recurring background characters?


The mirror Georgiou is pretty much just mirror Kira. I wonder if the writers genuinely think that they're exploring new ideas here, or if they just think that we won't remember the 500 hours of TV that came before this...?

The show has some potential. Most of the cast is fine (when they're not killed off or sent to live with their rapists), but I just don't feel like the people writing the show or making the design decisions actually care about it. It's like the show is being produced as a way to hold onto a licence, but nobody actually had an idea for it. But then again, some of the bad decisions seem deliberate. They didn't accidentally recreate the entire Klingon look and culture. They chose to take one of the most developed, fleshed-out species in Star Trek canon, throw them in a blender, and then dress the resulting mess in the Pennywise costume from the new It movie.

I'm trying to make sense of what was put on screen, and I just don't get what the point was. I had the song "Going Through the Motions" from the Buffy musical episode floating through my head through a lot of it.


I don't know. I'm still trying to decide whether or not I think it's a worthwhile series, but I'm pretty sure that it's not registering as "Star Trek" in my brain. It's probably not something I'd gather the family for, like when I watched TNG as a kid.


Okay, I'm going to to back and read through the rest of this thread when I get a chance. smile

Wow, Black Panther is killing it in the box office. I'm happy for them, and I hope that this is one of the MCU movies that's actually good and deserves the praise.

I'm not sure that I get a lot of the social elements of people going to see a movie. I've seen a lot of people say that they're happy to see a big blockbuster that's finally led by a black guy... which kinda invalidates Will Smith's entire career. Some are happy to see a comic book movie that finally stars a black guy... which kinda ignores movies like Spawn or Blade. Those movies weren't as huge, but it's not because they weren't made. It's because the comic book trend wasn't a thing until the last ten years or so.
I also see people say that they're happy to see this culture celebrated... which makes no sense, because it's fictional.

So I don't know how much of this box office is earned by being a good movie, and how much is earned by identity politics. Which I hate, because there shouldn't be an asterisk next to its success, even if I end up not liking the movie (as is the case with most MCU movies).

I guess we'll have to wait a few weeks for all of the political stuff to die down before people start talking about the movie itself, and stop with the "he's black!" and "there are strong women!" reviews. I hated that about Wonder Woman too. Just review the damn movie and stop telling people how to relate to it on a personal level. I heard something about people registering to vote at screenings of the movie. Seriously?


Anyway, I'm happy for the film itself. A lot of the actors in it are cool, so I hope it's a good movie, and based on the director's previous success, I'm in no way saying that the success of the movie isn't earned (because I haven't seen it and that would be a stupid comment to make). I'm just commenting more on the press surrounding the movie right now.

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However many times it's said, I'm just happy if we can all agree to just go with it. smile

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These new Klingons are just embarrassingly awful. The costumes are like bad alien Shakespearean crap. The makeup us ugly, bulky, and doesn't allow for performances. The dialogue sounds super processed.

I'm up to episodes where they are supposed to be deceitful and manipulative, and dangerous... And there's nothing there. Badly done CG villains would be preferable to this, because I'm getting nothing from them at all, except a general sense of annoyance. And this is not just me wishing they'd stayed true to the normal design (which they should have). This is all about the complete failure of these characters on every level. And being forced to read subtitles while watching characters who can't emote and have no expression in their voices just makes it worse.

Every single decision here was wrong.

Don't get me wrong, the show itself isn't a total failure. But some very basic things are unforgivably bad. I don't get how professionals allowed this to happen.

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(215 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I've seen five episodes so far...

I'm a bit torn about it, honestly. The show doesn't feel like it was made by people who love Star Trek. It feels like it was made by people who want to cash in on Star Trek, and who are so unfamiliar with the Trek fandom that they think the only way to do this is to go backwards, time and time again. It is a massive mistake. And if they took out those throwback elements, the show would be so much better. Change the Klingons to a new species. Change Sarek to a different Vulcan (I swear, it feels like Vulcan has a population of about 6, and they just keep popping up). Change Mudd to a different character. Then set the series after DS9, because it already feels post-DS9. After all that, the series would work so much better. Even the idea of a Starfleet that is torn between soldiers and scientists feels like something that would come after the Dominion war.

The setting still hasn't been fleshed out enough, which is weird for Star Trek. They could change ships in every episode and I wouldn't notice, or care if it blew up. And similarly, the characters haven't been developed very well. It's a sad day when I think that Mayweather was a more developed character than most of the new crew.

That said, I really only wish they'd ditch one of the crew members this time (the engineer. I just don't think he connects with this world, and he doesn't handle technobabble well), so that's probably an improvement.

Whereas TNG suffered from an unwillingness to have conflict among the crew, Discovery sometimes has very forced conflict.

I don't hate the show. I think it's better than Enterprise, and even Voyager in many ways, but I think that some flaws are just strangling this series right now. I wish the modern decision makers would respect the full history of Star Trek, because many of us grew up with the later shows, and that is what we are fans of.

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(215 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I haven't read all of the posts in this thread, because I haven't been watching Discovery. Now that the finale has been released, I've signed up for the week of free CBS All Access, and now I'm watching the show.

I probably won't comment on every episode, but I just watched the pilot, so I will comment on that. Once I'm done, I'll go back and read everything else here.

One episode in, I'm still not sure what I think. Visually, I'm not sure that I like the show. The lens flares and odd angles work outside the ship, but it is just distracting inside. It makes it hard to get a feel for the ship itself. In fact, there has been an overall lack of setting the atmosphere of the series so far, as we started out on an alien planet and then jumped right into tension and action.

Visually, the show hasn't felt like Star Trek yet. I don't like the Klingons at all. They can barely speak with their giant teeth (an issue for the TNG era Klingons as well, but their teeth were smaller). They are covered in so much makeup that they can't emote. And there are no visual cues to connect us to these aliens and make them register as Klingons. Even when the original Klingons were redesigned, certain elements of their style remained.

Trying to put aside the jarring visuals, I'm trying to decide if the story feels like Star Trek. I'm guessing that the show won't have many stand alone episodes, which is a shame. Star Trek was about exploring people and concepts, so we'll see if they still do that.

If the story wasn't about the Klingons, I'd probably say that it felt more like an interesting Trek story (though I'd have preferred more time spent on establishing the setting). I'm not sure that I like the main character, Michael. The way she pushes people out of the way comes across as arrogant and rude. I can't picture Riker shoving Data out of the way while rolling his eyes.
Are they trying to make her seem super badass, or is she supposed to be arrogant and too emotional? I guess time will tell.

So far... Meh. They've done nothing to make this feel like the Star Trek that I grew up with, and that means that they have to build a relationship with me as a viewer from scratch. Which means that they have to convince me to let go of what I liked about the other Treks. This wasn't necessary, so I wish them luck.

Why do they constantly feel a need to go back in the Trek timeline and mess with it, rather than move forward? Now we have yet another alternate universe to deal with.

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(147 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I think it's strange, how the Supernatural team have handled Adam. They act as though he is a mistake that should never be referenced again (like the Leviathans), but the fans have never shared this view of the character. To the home audience, it's always been baffling that such family-driven characters would forget their own brother, who also represents a massive failure for them. The characters don't even seem to remember him (when they're alive), which could make for a great setup for a story, but the time for that story was years ago.

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(246 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

That's fair enough. But a revival (particularly that in a genre like this, with hardcore followings) should take more care in how they do things. Roseanne can get away with pretending that large chunks of the original show never happened. The X-Files has a harder time doing that.

Kersh is a problem, but I am far more upset at what they've done with Reyes. It's cruel and careless, and I just don't buy Reyes as being CSM's minion.

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I agree with all of that, but didn't they have a lot of those issues with the Skinner character throughout the series?

It's weird that the show isn't pretending that Mulder and Scully have been working for the FBI for all of these years, but they're still acting as though they have been. They wonder what they'll do if they lose their jobs. They are blamed for Skinner's career going nowhere for all these years. It's strange.

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(840 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

ireactions wrote:

I have no interest in debates over whether or not the alt-right qualify as Nazis or if white nationalist Richard Spencer should be considered one when he claims he doesn't identify as such. He calls for ethnic cleansing and for racial extermination and was punched in the face; I wouldn't have punched him, but I wouldn't shed a tear for his pain given his rhetoric. I can't say I'm all that concerned with getting to grips with how Informant categorizes different hate groups.

Wait, is this going back to the Arrowverse crossover, and Alex's "punch a Nazi" comment? Because I couldn't care less if Richard Spencer is punched in the face, however,you are ignoring a much larger movement, which has taken to labeling anyone that isn't extreme-left as a "Nazi" and then pushing the "punch a Nazi" idea as a way of justifying violence against anyone that you don't agree with. I've seen liberals labeled "alt-right" (a term which pretty much has no meaning at this point). I've seen Jews labeled "Nazi". I've seen non-white people labeled white nationalists. These aren't legitimate claims. These are excuses for calls to violence, or the destruction of peoples' lives based on their political views (which are sometimes pretty liberal).

In this case, I'm just classifying one hate group: The far left. They are a hateful, violent bunch of bigots.

I'm also not terribly interested in explanations on how Trump bragging about sexual assault doesn't count as a confession and how he hasn't professed racist views -- except to say that people are free to offer their views but have no business declaring that those who disagree are mentally ill.

Trump once said, "I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, okay, and I wouldn't lose any voters, okay?... It's, like, incredible."

Do you believe that Trump should be arrested for shooting someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue?


My view: the 2016 election was subjected to an unprecedented level of hacking from Russian agents. The FBI is investigating whether or not these agents coordinated and collaborated with the Trump campaign, a worthwhile avenue of inquiry. Christopher Steele's distaste for Trump is not a disqualifying factor in his information being used to open an investigation as espionage and law enforcement constantly rely on informants biased against the party on whom they're reporting and such information is not treated as proof in itself, but as information that must be corroborated or disproven in the course of an investigation. A biased informant is a given in any investigation as such parties tend not to be neutral.

In addition, Trump's denials of collusion have been matched with (a) firing James Comey which Trump confessed on TV was to interfere with the investigation (b) being unable to keep his story straight on why he fired Comey and (c) seeking to fire Mueller for the same reasons. Nobody goes to this level of effort if they're not scared of what will be discovered.

Did you notice that you didn't actually say what the Russians are supposed to have done with Trump, aside from mentioning that it's completely unprecedented? Do you know what the actual accusations are? Do you know what any of the evidence is? Or do you just have such blind faith that those pesky little details don't matter?


Devin Nunes misrepresents law enforcement (and now espionage) to stir phony outrage and Nunes' claim that Hillary Clinton colluded with Russia (to sabotage her own campaign?!) is unbelievably stupid. Nunes is another person to add to the list of dubious alt-right white nationalists, Birthers, Men's Right Activists, Sarah Palin, Cassie Jaye, James O'Keefe, Paul Elam, Roy Moore and other peculiarities in the current political climate.


You can't honestly believe that the suggestion here is that Hillary was sabotaging her own campaign.


And how can you put Cassie Jaye on any of your lists? You've made it abundantly clear that you are unwilling to listen to a word she says, or watch her film (much less the many other videos made up of interviews that didn't fit into her film, which she's put on YouTube). How can you even comment on the woman despite refusing to acknowledge any information regarding her?



Look, it's fine if you don't want to waste your time listening to every point of view, or reading every piece of information about these big issues. That's cool. Not everyone is into it. But if that's the case, I think that you should stop posting grand comments about those supposed crimes, supposed racism, supposed hate groups and supposed alt-righters that you're not interested in reading about or listening to. You're blindly swinging a bat, hoping to hit a pinata, but you keep hitting the wrong target. I don't think you're full of hatred or malice. I don't think you're stupid. But these are large issues, and it doesn't help anyone if we're basing arguments on headlines, tweets and general impressions. If there's not a legitimate conversation to be had here, then let's just stop pretending that we're having one.

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Yeah, I know that a lot of fans online are really psyched, but I'm not there. It didn't make sense. It didn't seem necessary. And after Castiel, Ketch and Rowena coming back, I'm just not happy with some of the decisions being made.

I like Jack. I even kinda like having Mary back. I still think that the stand-alone episodes are great and prove that the show isn't past its expiration date. But things need to change.

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I'm not an Olympics kind of guy, so I'm not really paying attention to that. However, I have seen a lot of comments about the chick from North Korea and how she's "winning", or referring to her as their answer to Ivanka Trump. And I think that all of this BS glorifying of this monstrous dictatorship for the sake of siding against Trump is absolutely insane. The same people who are like "Trump is literally Hitler" are now acting as though this woman and her brother aren't the people slaughtering people and feeding them to dogs.

Seriously, these people are *monsters* and people are acting like they're just someone that we don't get along with.

I just watched the Star Trek TNG 30th Anniversary panel, with most of the cast members, and Patrick Stewart said something pretty relevant to our conversation. He was talking about how fans react to the show, and connect with things that become really meaningful and personal for them, and he said that when those fans ask him questions about those things, he worries that they will walk away disappointed in the actors because they don't share that specific connection. They have an entirely different relationship and connection to that show, and he worries that the fans will be let down by that, or by the fact that he sometimes can't remember what they're talking about.

I think he articulated what I was trying to say (perhaps better than I did). The show means a lot to them and it was a huge part of their lives, and they love that fans connect to different things, but they simply cannot relate to the show on the same level. It represents something entirely different to them, and there is a chance that fans will be let down, or even insulted by that, but it's unavoidable.


Also, Gates McFadden and Marina Sirtis totally almost got into a fight. smile

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I guess it's kept my interest more than some shows this year, but they just keep digging that hole deeper. At this point, Betty is a cyber-callgirl who performed a striptease for a bunch of aging bikers, and helped her prostitute brother and her mother cover up a murder... And she's the good girl on the show!

Last year, the show was dark and moody, but the core characters still seemed pretty solid. This year, Jughead is cutting skin off of a woman's arm. It's insane. smile

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Are any of the characters on this show supposed to be likable anymore? This season has gone way off the deep end. It's worse than some of the crap that happened in the second season of Friday Night Lights.

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For f*** sake, how many dead characters have they brought back *this season*??? This would have been a great time to bring Michael/Adam back.

And we have another throne room.

They really need to do away with some of their storytelling safe zones on this show. The arc/mythology episodes are 90% filler scenes and usually just repeated stuff that we've seen a million times before.

I will be happy when Jack and Mary get back, but after that, I want some stand alone episodes, so I can remember why I watch this show.

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It doesn't really *confuse* me, since this sort of thing isn't new to comic book stories. Even now, there are two versions of Superman and the Flash out there.

If they do this, they need to make the separation clean, as with film and tv. Maybe make this a streaming platform movie? I don't know. At least call it "DC Multiverse: The Joker" or something like that.

That said, this sort of multi-dipping is what made it hard for me to keep up with comic books, and why I stopped reading them. I'm not sure that copying that particular comic book element is a great idea.

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Yeah, it's selfish writing, when the writer becomes more important than the characters or stories. (Which is not the same thing as setting out to tell a political or personal story in the first place)

Similarly, with the Arrowverse, we've seen them make references to Trump, but they've clearly established their own fictional presidents, so it makes no sense.

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Not bad this week. A standard X-File, with an interesting plot. Leaning a little much on the trope of the psycho US army dude in Vietnam, but adding a government conspiracy to explain it. The episode was shot well, and the characters were written well enough, for the most part. So yeah, not bad.


Question, going back to the politics of this season: these episodes take place shortly after My Struggle II, right? So we'd be in maybe April of 2016 by now? So there is no President Trump yet. I guess they're fudging the dates so they don't end up making a period piece when all is said and done, but this is a great reason why they shouldn't be doing political commentary.

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Keep in mind, the streaming option is becoming more and more popular all the time. The normal ratings hardly seem relevant anymore. (and I say this as someone who fully understands why the ratings should drop like a rock)

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As opposed to the great and thorough evidence that has been used to verify the ties between Trump and the Russians? And if you have some argument to debunk the validity of the claims made in the memo, I'd love to hear it. The reason why I copied so much of the memo is because Grizzlor didn't seem to be responding to the contents of the memo at all, and it hardly seems productive to comment on a document without bringing that document into the conversation.


Let me ask you this question... What exactly do you believe transpired between Trump and the Russians? What collusion do you believe took place? And once we have that answer, explain to me what evidence you have to support that claim.

Or do these things even matter anymore?

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I think that the problem with a character like that in general is that they become an easy answer for everything. A puff of smoke and some mumbled latin, and the need for any significant plot resolution flies out the window. This was a problem on Buffy too. Eventually, Willow was more powerful than Buffy.

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Okay, let's not pretend that it's just run of the mill nothingness. If that were the case, the democrats wouldn't have been calling its release dangerous or treasonous. They would have been like "Yeah, sure. Do that." Because the thing hardly reveals any matters of national security that could get us all killed. Especially if you think that it doesn't contain anything damning.

So, let's check out some actual bits from the memo. The whole thing can be found here : 
https://www.documentcloud.org/documents … ocument/p2

I just don't feel like copying and pasting the entire thing, though I think it's worth reading. It's only four pages long.


1)

The dossier- compiled by Christopher Steele (Steele dossier) on behalf of the
Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign formed an
essential part of the Carter Page FISA application. Steele was a longtime FBI source who
was paid over $160,000 by the DNC and Clinton campaign, via the law firm Perkins Coie
and research firm Fusion GPS, to obtain derogatory information on Donald Trump's ties
to Russia.

You don't believe that it's relevant to include information on where this dossier came from, especially when that information was bought and paid for by Donald Trump's political opponent? That information was deliberately left out of the application for a reason.

I highly, *highly* doubt that you would be cool with a dossier created by the Trump campaign as evidence against Hillary Clinton, for all of her many crimes. And I highly doubt that you would shrug off the omission of that information from a FISA application as being irrelevant to the investigation. Let's not pretend that you would.


The Carter Page FISA application also cited extensively a September 23, 2016, Yahoo News article by- Michael Isikoff, which focuses on Page's July 2016 trip to Moscow.

- This article does not corroborate the Steele dossier because it is derived from information leaked by Steele himself to Yahoo News.


So we have people leaking information to the media, and then using the reporting of those leaks as evidence to be used on a FISA application, and again, you see absolutely nothing wrong with this?


a) Steele was suspended and then terminated as an FBI source for what the FBI defines as the most serious of violations- an unauthorized disclosure to the media of his relationship with the FBI in an October 30, 2016, Mother Jones article by David
Corn. Steele should have been terminated for his previous undisclosed contacts with Yahoo and other outlets in September- before the Page application was submitted to the FISC in October-but Steele improperly concealed from and lied to the FBI about
those contacts.

b) Steele?s numerous encounters with the media violated the cardinal rule of source handling- maintaining confidentiality- and demonstrated that Steele had become a less than reliable source for the FBI.

Before and after Steele was terminated as a source, he maintained contact with DOJ via then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce 0hr, a senior DOJ official who worked closely with Deputy Attorneys General Yates and later Rosenstein. Shortly after the
election, the FBI began interviewing 0hr, documenting his communications with Steele. For example, in September 2016, Steele admitted to 0hr his feelings against then-candidate Trump when Steele said he "was desperate that Donald Trump not get
elected and was passionate about him not, being president." This clear evidence of Steele's bias was recorded by Ohr at the time and subsequently in official FBI files- but not reflected in any of the Page FISA applications.

You're saying that Steele is a highly respected intelligence officer, but the evidence isn't supporting that at all. He has a clearly stated objectives and biases. He is being paid to deliver damning intelligence by Trump's political opponents. He is speaking with the press, leaving information. How can you possibly argue that he is too highly regarded to be questioned or criticized in this situation?


a) During this same time period, Ohr's wife was employed by Fusion GPS to assist in the cultivation of opposition research on Trump. Ohr later provided the FBI with all of his wife's opposition research, paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign via Fusion GPS. The Ohrs' relationship with Steele and Fusion GPS was inexplicably concealed from the FISC.

According to the head of the counterintelligence division, Assistant Director Bill Priestap, corroboration of the Steele dossier was in its "infancy" at the time of the initial Page FISA application. After Steele was terminated, a source validation report conducted by an independent unit within FBI assessed Steele's reporting as only minimally corroborated. Yet, in early January 2017, Director Comey briefed President-elect Trump on a summary of the Steele dossier, even though it was- according to his June 2017 testimony- "salacious and unverified." While the FISA application relied on Steele's past record of credible reporting on other unrelated matters, it ignored or concealed his anti-Trump financial and ideological motivations. Furthermore, Deputy Director McCabe testified before the Committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information.

5) The Page FISA application also mentions information regarding fellow Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos, but there is no evidence of any cooperation or conspiracy between Page and Papadopoulos. The Papadopoulos information triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Pete Strzok. Strzok was reassigned by the Special Counsel's Office to FBI Human Resources for improper text messages with his mistress, FBI Attorney Lisa Page (no known relation to Carter Page), where they both demonstrated a clear bias against Trump and in favor of Clinton, Whom Strzok had also investigated. The Strzok/Lisa Page texts also reflect extensive discussions about the investigation, orchestrating leaks to the media, and include a meeting with Deputy Director McCabe to discuss an "insurance" policy against President Trump?s election.


Yeah, I said I wasn't going to copy the whole thing, and I very nearly copied everything anyway. It's just hard not to, because there's no part of it that isn't damning. We're talking about agents within our government working with one political candidate to deliver damning intelligence regarding their political opponent, with the clear intention of swaying the outcome of the election. Leaking to the press. Omitting vital information from FISA applications. Basing an entire investigation on evidence that they manufactured themselves!

You want the definition of the word "conspiracy"? This is it. And if you can look at that and not have some very serious concerns, you're just proving what I said initially. Facts don't matter. Evidence doesn't matter. Reality doesn't matter. You picked your team and you'll cheer for them until the end of the world.


You're criticizing Trump's supporters for ignoring his misdeeds (and I agree that there are some who are way too fanboyish, and need to revisit reality at some point), but how are you not doing the same thing now? If there's evidence against Trump, I'm all for putting it out there and holding him accountable for whatever he has done. However, that's not where the evidence (or lack thereof) is leading us right now. Do you want an honest investigation, or do you simply want Trump gone at any cost?

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Yeah. I guess it is what it is. As a whole, I can't really view this revival as part of the larger X-Files series. Some of the episodes, sure, but not all of them. So at best, maybe it's a glimpse into the X-Files multiverse where different episodes take place in canon and some don't, leaving it up to the viewer to decide which is which.

While I'm watching the show this year, I have some family members who have watched everything up to this point, but just couldn't do it anymore. So now I'm going to just tell them which ones are worth their time and which aren't.

smile

Sorry, but no. Your niece is going to have to realize that whatever couple she ships, of whichever orientation they may or may not be, neither the crew nor the actors are obligated to take that pairing as seriously as the obsessive fans. It is common for the actors to joke around about these things, and to label it as homophobic simply because it involves a same sex couple in this particular situation is absurd.

How long have gay people fought to be treated the same as straight people? Well, here you go. This is what that means. And if that is too offensive, then the answer is to simply seek shelter away from the rest of the world. Gay people aren't sickly, delicate little flowers, and I refuse to concede that they should be treated as such.

I get that fans really get into their shipper-ness. We all know that I can get obsessive about elements of different stories too. But failure to join that obsession cannot be equated with some sort of hateful inolerance. And expecting the cast to take any of this as seriously as the shippers themselves is absurd. They have an entirely different perspective on it, and they're allowed to make jokes about how fans react, especially when those fans photoshop images that put those actors' faces and bodies into romantic or sexual situations that they never took part in.

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It's fine for William to be brought back into the picture. I just think that the execution of that story was poor. It felt like a generic X-Files script, with scenes added to put William in there, but without properly framing that side of the story.

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I'm torn. I agree that season 9 was pretty bad, but I also like the Doggett and Reyes characters and don't like it when people lump them in with the show's downfall. Honestly, I think the show lost a lot of it's vibe when it moved to California. They still had good episodes, but it just felt wrong to go from gray and rainy, to bright and sunny.

Season 9 had an episode called "4D", which featured parallel worlds, and it was done in an interesting way. I'd be interested in seeing an episode where the Mulder and Scully from the revival meet their alternates, from a world where they are 100% platonic. I just want to see the look on that Scully's face. smile

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No, I'm an X-Files fan. I started watching the show when the first episode aired, and I have watched it straight through today. Ice rewstched the series. I know the series. I get the series. I know what it's like when it's good, and I know what it's like when it's not. Sorry, but if you watch the series all the way through (including the rather iffy last couple seasons of the original run) and go right I to this revival, it just doesn't feel like it fits (for the most part). "Ghouli" is a halfway good stand-alone episode and a halfway good mythology episode, but ultimately succeeds at being neither. And the lack of proper story construction is perfectly evident in the scene in Mulder's office. The case is introduced as both a normal X-File and as a supernatural message to Scully, when only one of those was needed (probably the supernatural element, because it would echo Scully's previous discovery of her daughter)


A fun experiment might be to go back and watch the introduction of Emily in season 5.

No, I just literally see nothing remotely homophobic in his joke. I have seen a lot of different shipper fandoms over the years, both hetero and gay, and I have seen many actors laugh at the thought of many of those couplings, insisting that they're just friends, or they're... Y'know... Brothers. He didn't say anything homophobic (and isn't likely to, considering his history), and didn't even reference the gay element in his joke. If anything, he was treating them the same way he would treat any highly unlikely coupling. And it's probably also likely that the cast had been laughing at the shippers on set for a while prior to that, because that's what actors tend to do when the shippers pop up. Do you think Jensen Ackles and Misha Collins are taking their shippers seriously?


If the shippers want to he offended by the fact that he didn't take them seriously... Okay. I guess. But if they're claiming that he is doing so because he's homophobic... Honestly, I find that ridiculous.


Let me ask you a question. How do you think the audience would react to the pairing of Curtis and Dinah?

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This week's episode was weak. It wasn't as horrible as the first two of the season, but it was incredibly weak. It was like they took a typical X-File monster of the week story and tried to turn it into a story about William, and the final product was neither one of those things. It didn't have the weight or care of an episode about William should have, even with the weird scene with Scully crying over his body. They didn't spend enough time getting to the "this is William" side of the story, and the fact that whole thing just came to them, rather than them going to it, made it feel false.

Had they played the angle of Scully finding the file on Mulder's desk, and her suspecting/projecting a William angle over their course of the investigation, the episode could have been really interesting. It didn't even need to be the real William. In fact, it probably shouldn't have been, because turning him into this big X-File creature with super powers prevents him from being an active part of the story in any real way.

Trying to mash these stories together deprived the story of any natural flow. It just didn't work for me.

On another note, what's with Gillian Anderson's voice? I watch her on The Fall and American Gods, and she sounds perfectly normal. However, on The X-Files, she sounds like she's spent the last 15 years living with the Cigarette Smoking Man.

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I should clarify and say that I think that the memo *should* mean something big. It's a pretty huge deal, and not just in terms of the Russia investigation. I just don't think that most people are going to change their opinion at this point, and people will dismiss the memo without a second thought.

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I honestly don't know. The season was fine without her, and I don't see a huge need for her. Ruth Connell has said that she always knew that it wasn't going to stick, so this was the plan all along. I just don't get why. Why kill her? Why bring her back? Even in this episode, I think they could have done without her.

That said, the episode wasn't horrible. The story of the two witches trying to revive their mother could have been a fun episode on its own.

I'm super tired of the demon lair, with the throne room and the dungeons and all that. It is a set that's dedicated entirely to useless dialogue. I wish that Lucifer really was dead, but we know he's not. I think that at this point, the writers need to make death mean something again. Maybe introduce a third tablet: the tablet of life and death. Explain that it went missing about ten or fifteen years ago, and it's throwing off the balance of the world by allowing the dead to come back. Maybe a reaper went nuts and stole it. Then you have three tablets that can solve all of the show's major problems at this point. smile

I had to look up the Jeremy Jordan thing. Are you referring to the "only friends" thing? Or did he say something else.

If that's it... Maybe I'm missing something. What was homophobic?

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I think this whole issue was settled months ago, whichever side you come down on. The memo either confirms what you already believe, or it doesn't exist.

Yeah, I was thinking that too. Maybe he could be recruited to work directly with ARGUS, bypassing the need for the Suicide Squad. Hell, maybe his time in prison could be an undercover mission. Some other prisoner has ties to a major threat, and Oliver needs to live amongst a lot of the people that he put in prison in order to find answers. No mask. No weapons. Maybe bring in another character who we know, who was a villain, to be Oliver's secret ally. It could get pretty gritty on Arrow, while The Flash is keeping it pretty tame.

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I totally get the fun of reworking someone else's project (I've been chipping away at a Supergirl pilot script for a long time, whenever I have some time, just for fun), an finishing a story that you feel wasn't properly resolved (I did a season of Buffy. That's roughly 1,100 pages. You think <i>you're</i> crazy?). But those projects need to be used as a means of sharpening your tools and practicing your craft in a safe and familiar environment. They're a stepping stone. Now you create your own world that the sliders don't get to see, and when you manage to put that crazy little daydream on paper in a way that you're happy with, you will feel a whole new type of rush.

If all else fails, just take the vague idea for an episode that you had for one of those other shows and turn it into a unique story of your own. All of the original elements of my Buffy scripts belong to me, and don't think that I don't plan to mine that crap someday.

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I think it'd be fine if Mulder made a sarcastic comment or whatever, but they just keep hammering it, and it's frustrating. Mostly because they aren't clever comments, they're just actively insulting their audience in petty ways. I make Trump jokes all the time, so I'm not really defensive of him. It's just done really poorly. I think the original series is still watchable because while it is very dated in some ways, they didn't go out of their way to date it over and over again in every episode.

It just comes down to bad decision-making in general.

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I do appreciate it!

My stuff isn't usually that political, if that helps at all. Freedom/Hate has some politics, I guess, but it's more about an alternate history/what-if story than it is about hardcore political commentary. Half of the stuff that seems really current is based on things that happened in other countries in the past smile

But yeah, if I do any sort of podcast or YouTube channel, it will be more like my posts here where I review/discuss shows and movies, and writing, but probably not too much by way of politics.

And I think most of my ideas for upcoming writing projects are non-political. I have one book that I wrote years ago that I need to get out, but that takes place in the past, so you should be safe. smile

Yeah, I don't get why the writers aren't leaning on Cisco more this year. Ralph was introduced to take over for Barry for a while, but if I were in a dangerous situation, I'd much rather have Cisco using his powers to help me. His powers are way more impressive than Ralph's, and I think that Ralph is just annoying in general.

Plus, it would create a situation where Cisco might realize his full potential while Barry is away, and he might not want to go back to being the guy in the chair once Barry gets home (did I really just reference a stupid Marvel movie?).



The question that I have is, are they wasting this prison story on Barry? Arrow set things up for Oliver to potentially go to prison (which is taking forever, compared to Barry's speedy conviction), but then The Flash went there. So Oliver probably won't go to prison... but should he have? Should they have spent a season with Oliver in a high-security prison? This was going to be the plot of a movie at one point, but it never happened.

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Agreed. It'd be like if any show ever had an Obama joke... Ever.

Good thing that never happened. smile

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The hospitals on American medical dramas really give our heathcare system a bad name. I'm trying to watch The Resident on Fox, but they're getting so much wrong. They're having their hospital violate many, many laws, all for the sake of making the healthcare system look bad and create drama.

Trust me when I say, hospitals are not typically this evil.

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They are already pretty dated and petty, and they just aired! The problem with a lot of these hollow jabs is that they're based on "everybody knows..." politics. They're not based on facts or reality, just raw emotion, with vague references to news headlines that nobody bothered to read the story for. So now we have Mulder making comments about the President wanting to shut down the FBI (not something that I think is true), and we're at a point in the news cycle where shutting down the FBI doesn't sound like the craziest idea in the world... which again, will probably change before the story is settled.

And it was done in such a way where Mulder and Scully are wondering what they'll do if they lose their jobs... the jobs that they just got back, after spending 13 years without those jobs!

The need to jab at Trump has trumped (no pun intended) the need for their stories to make sense. We're expected to laugh because "everybody knows" that what they're saying is true, because it bashed Trump.


Argh.

Interesting. I guess it'll be worth keeping an eye on. smile

Okay, I'm obviously not the target audience for MCU movies, so I wanted to see what everyone's impression of the Black Panther trailers are. Are people looking forward to the movie? I can't base any expectations of performance on my own impressions, but I also can't really take the word of the critics.