1

(5 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I think one thing that can help is remembering that a lot of people might agree with your personal views while still being crazy and evil. Harvey Weinstein supported the liberal values I believe in. He is a rapist. Bryan Singer supported gay rights. He is a pedophile. We need to be able to look critically at ourselves and our own sides and always be open to new information and new perspectives. And we need to be willing to set aside a supporter or a source should what we currently have prove unacceptable for plausible discourse.

Looking at myself, I recall back in 2015 - 2016 when I told Slider_Quinn21 off for finding Rey in THE FORCE AWAKENS to be a Mary Sue, badgering him on it endlessly until he said that this wasn't the hill he needed to die on. I look back at those posts and shake my head at myself. Why couldn't I just let Slider_Quinn21 not enjoy a movie?

I think I've changed, probably because of writing SLIDERS REBORN. The thought process of reconciling the Season 3 monsters and the Season 4 myth-arc and the Season 5 casting issues with the SLIDERS mythos I prefer forced me to widen my personal echo chamber from a strict perimeter around Seasons 1 - 2 to making more room for the rest and that created an opening that allowed me to escape. And now I can concede that infamous sexual harasser Andrew Kreisberg was a pretty good showrunner on THE FLASH even if he absolutely had to be fired.

I'd like to think we can recognize hate groups and abusers and frauds for what they are even as we keep ourselves open to other people's opinions. That we can critique feminism and immigration without supporting the rhetoric of Nazis and rape advocates. That we can enjoy a DC film without downplaying Marvel's successes or denying DC's financial struggles. That we can appreciate the Marvel franchise while not ignoring WONDER WOMAN and AQUAMAN performing brilliantly at box office. That we can be aware that our opinions are merely our own, don’t need to be anyone else’s, and are open to revision or being disproven.

And surely Slider_Quinn21 can dislike Rey without me insisting that reality itself exists to prove his opinion somehow wrong. (Sorry about that.)

2

(5 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

I hope nothing bad happened.  If he's moved on from the Board, that's okay.  I do miss his input on lots of things.  It'd be nice if he was here.

I've made discreet inquiries. He's fine.

Transmodiar wrote:

It's almost like people who were fans of a show that went off the air 20 years ago have gravitated toward other interests and use of their time! tongue

Nah... that can't be it.

I think Informant is displeased that Sliders.TV would not be his echo chamber for men's rights activists, birthers, neo-Nazis, scam artists and alt-right white supremacists -- oh, I'm sorry, Informant, I mean "free-thinkers" and "Libertarians." That was a typo.

Informant is not a men's rights activist or a neo-Nazi or a white supremacist or a birther or a scam artist. Informant's a really good guy -- but he has particular views and those are the 'experts' he turns to in order to support his personal perspectives.

The final straw for him, I suspect, was when he posted anti-abortion conspiracy theories parroting mostly false claims that Ralph Northam had said infanticide was legal in order to express Informant's anti-abortion views. Informant later declared this anti-abortion view to be the default view of the Sliders.TV community.

(Northam himself is a moderately convoluted issue due to Northam's inarticulate incoherence, please see https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/trump … n-execute/ for a full summary.)

I edited Informant's post to add a paragraph in bold containing a message from me saying that Informant in no way spoke for the community and that he was (probably) joking (about that part). After that, I think he got fed up.

Do we miss Informant? I don't know, I don't speak for this community. Do I miss Informant? I miss the good he brought to this community. I don't miss the bad.

ARTURO: "I favour the good things in life. I oppose the bad things in life."

QUINN: "Way to go out on a limb, Professor."

I miss Informant's storytelling skill and analytical ability when it comes to plot, characterization, structure and execution. The SLIDERS fan community is a huge part of how I went from troubled teenager who cowered in the face of any and all criticism to someone who could laugh and agree when Nigel Mitchell (or you, Transmodiar) called my writing indecipherable and unworkable. Informant offered a different approach to criticism when commenting on my SLIDERS writing process where I was nervous about having the sliders defeat the Season 3 monsters with non-violent MACGYVER-esque tactics.

Informant said that all fiction has specific goals on the author's part where authors decide what kind of story they want to tell and achieving those goals can mean accepting that other objectives won't be met. A story where Rembrandt defeats the animal human hybrids and with a bag of peanuts may be funny, earnest and show a triumph of imagination over mental illness and horror -- but it might not be totally rational and plausible. A story where the sliders run a fast food operation specializing in mini-hamburgers may be a delightful joke -- but it might not be sensible and logical.

But, Informant pointed out, if the author wants whimsical lunacy over tightly plotted rigour and realism, then it's alright to accept flaws in favour of acquiring specific strengths.

Informant always advised me and other creators to tell our stories our way. To welcome and embrace criticisms always and mine them for what they're worth. (TRANSMODIAR: "You can't have the rock star vampires defeated by high intensity soundwaves. They're ROCK STAR vampires.") But to also make sure to distinguish between advice that helps our stories and advice that instead tells other people's stories. (TRANSMODIAR: "Quinn has a secondary backup personality in his brain and that personality is Mallory?! That is ridiculous. Go back and re-read what you just wrote!")

I've read every single book Informant has ever written and they're all really good. They are not the stories I would write, they aren't necessarily the stories I would want to read, but they are extremely well-written and are fundamentally opposed to fascism, inequality, racism, prejudice and cruelty and indicate strong moral principles and great compassion for the weak. I follow Informant on Twitter (which is how I know he's alive).

Which brings us to what I do not miss about Informant: he has specific political and sociological views which aren't even the issue here. Transmodiar's politics are not ireactions' politics. Temporal Flux's politics are not ireactions' politics. Both Transmodiar and TF are a massive part of my philosophical foundations and yet, we're not remotely aligned. I cannot stress enough in the name of Quinn's brown jacket and Rembrandt's train-track-creased boots that ireactions' views do not represent the views of Sliders.TV.

MRS. TWEAK: "How do you feel about the war?"
QUINN: "We don't follow it much. We have no opinion."
MRS. TWEAK: " I see... so you'd have me believe you're real non-politico types, eh? I won't allow any sympathizing with The Outback Cong under my roof, understood? This fight ain't just about the damn Aussies! If South Australia falls, it's just a hop, skip and jump to our shores."
QUINN: "We can't have that -- boomerangs and kangaroos everywhere, what a nightmare!"

When writing the SLIDERS script where Quinn meets Donald Trump, I asked Transmodiar to create Quinn's political opinions for me and Quinn/Transmodiar's views were decidedly not my own. My criticism of Informant isn't that I disagree with Informant on The Issues; my criticism is that he never seems quite content to let his personal opinions be his own but insists that his incredibly idiosyncratic worldview is universally objective.

I find this insistence on a singular viewpoint to be benign when dealing with fiction but upsetting in real-world situations. Benign examples: Informant is clearly a devout Christian with a fairly traditional view of God. When the character of Chuck appeared on SUPERNATURAL and revealed himself to be (a) a cynical slacker without much faith in humanity and (b) God himself, Informant's reaction was enlightening.

Informant declared that Chuck was clearly pretending to be depressed and downbeat in order to manipulate the other cast members into taking action. Informant's perspective on Chuck was completely detached from the actual TV series, but rather than accept that a TV show might present a different vision of God, Informant declared his God to be SUPERNATURAL's God and ignored what was actually onscreen because it didn't suit his preferred thinking.

When discussing the DC and Marvel superhero films, Informant declared that CIVIL WAR (an adaptation of a 2006 storyline where Iron Man fights Captain America) was an attempt to rip off BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN (2016). Informant backed off that one but then continually insisted that MAN OF STEEL, BVS and JUSTICE LEAGUE are strong successes despite the fact that the people making them being demoted and/or fired and DC fleeing the shared universe market. It wasn't enough for Informant to say that he liked the DC films more; he had to declare them objectively superior to Marvel by way of financial earnings (because BVS earning 874 million with two iconic characters somehow triumphed over CIVIL WAR and its two B-list heroes earning 1.153 billion).

And when it comes to immigration, health care, feminism, racism, cops executing black men, rape, abortion, electoral fraud and birtherism, Informant is not content to simply hold his own views and share them. He then seeks out questionable secondary sources to bolster his views. These sources include men's rights activist Paul Elam, a man who said that women who dress revealingly and go to bars deserve to get raped -- whom Informant offers up as an expert in debunking feminism. James O'Keefe, a noted scam artist who creates deceptively edited videos and made false and disproven accusations of human trafficking against a charity, a man who has been completely discredited as a liar -- whom Informant declares to be a rational investigator into electoral fraud.

Informant also seems to have a peculiar but guarded fixation on white supremacist Richard Spencer (who was espousing neo-Nazi rhetoric and then punched in the face). Informant protested CRISIS ON EARTH X featuring Nazi villains and Nazi villains being punched and complained that the real world keeps smearing anyone with Informant's views as being advocates of the Third Reich, an interesting chicken-or-egg conundrum as Informant's views of race, health care, immigration, economics and elections are often espoused by neo-Nazi groups and individuals.

QUINN: "It's barbaric."
ARTURO: "On the contrary, my boy. In many ways it's eminently more enlightened than our own society."
QUINN: "They kill people to limit the population!"
ARTURO: "They kill volunteers, painlessly. In our world, people die of famine, disease and war in large part because we are incapable of limiting our population. You may find their methods abhorrent -- as do I -- but as a scientist you cannot discount the result. The current conditions on this world are vastly preferable to our own."
QUINN: "Speak for yourself."

What it comes down to, I think, is that Informant has certain political positions that are held sincerely by Informant but often espoused by those who use such positions as a facade of legitimacy over racism, hatred, cruelty, savagery, white supremacy, protecting the wealthy over the underprivileged and silencing the marginalized and powerless.

Informant proceeds to defend these men's rights activists, white supremacists and disgraced 'journalists' and conflate that with defending his own views. To the outside observer, it looks like Informant has a not-so-secret love affair with Nazis. To a friend inclined to think well of him (and I am very inclined to always think the best of Informant), it looks like he's insecure in his opinions being merely his opinions and seeks outside affirmation and is less than discerning about where that support comes from.

There is a certain irony to this because everyone on this forum loves a TV show that the vast majority of the population rightly and sensibly considers to be utter crap. Even the hallowed first season is, as the Think of a Roulette blog observes, full of holes and problems and misjudgements and that's even by the standards of 1995.

Annie Fish wrote:

This show is flawed. It’s entirely a product of the time it was created. Its concept is great, but it never decided how it wanted to follow through with it. At the end of it all, when we carve away the things that make the show terrible, we’re left with Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo.

These four people struck on a chemistry that was frankly magical. It was warm and loving but never alienating. You could be friends with them if you wanted. And we are friends with them in a way. We care about them, and we want to stay with them through thick and thin whether that refers to what’s going on in the show or behind it.

Loving SLIDERS is a personal view, a highly individual choice -- much like writing ten SLIDERS screenplays and treating Seasons 1 - 5 as a vast and infinite and coherent and sensible mythology of science fiction fantasy. I don't need anyone else to validate this extremely peculiar and bizarre perspective and Informant does not need anyone to validate his political views or his preference for DC movies over Marvel movies -- but he feels the need to find support in some troubling places and that I find annoying.

The most aggravating thing Informant did recently, I felt, was his insistence on presenting the Midnight's Edge video channel as a reliable news source on STAR TREK. This would be the YouTube channel insisting that DISCOVERY is actually set in the rebootquel STAR TREK universe and that DISCOVERY's continuity discrepancies are part of a master plan to purloin the TREK rights from CBS and take them to Paramount.

This is a painful misunderstanding of how the STAR TREK rights are held (CBS owns STAR TREK lock, stock and barrel and is in the business of TV shows; Paramount has the film license and the infrastructure to make and market films. Even if CBS inadvertently made a rebootquel continuity show, CBS would still own the show). Despite this obviously uninformed and incorrect view, Informant continued to present Midnight's Edge as a reliable news outlet when the only thing Midnight's Edge had going for it is that they don't like DISCOVERY and Informant doesn't like DISCOVERY.

It wasn't enough for Informant to just have his opinion, he had to fall in with liars and scam artists and white supremacists to feel more secure in his opinion. And that's the part of Informant I won't miss.

But having typed all this, I conclude that on the whole, Informant had a lot of important and positive and vital contributions here and he will be missed and it's a shame to lose him even if I could do without the other stuff.

I think the other stuff stresses me out more than other posters because I have rebuilt this message board more times than Chuck has rebuilt Castiel. I am to a degree responsible for whatever is on this forum and if Informant supports people who engage in hate speech on this forum or shares their views, I feel honour-bound to post a brief response. Not an argument exactly -- I never want to tell anyone they're not entitled to their beliefs or views. But to say that those beliefs and views don't represent this community. That Informant's opinions are his own.

I guess I'd just want to reiterate definitively and totally that I know Informant is not a fascist, not a neo-Nazi, not racist, not a misogynist and not a white supremacist. I know this because I've read all of his books and I believe that while autobiographies can lie, fiction reveals all.

I love Informant. I will always be grateful for what he shared with this community and with me and be glad for the positive role he played in my life.

ARTURO: "I favour the good things in life. I oppose the bad things in life."

QUINN: "Way to go out on a limb, Professor."

3

(1,003 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Where the hell is Informant? Now I have to be him and I have to be him in my way.

So, it looks like Joe Biden is on track to win the Democratic nomination. Dear God.

I think that as human beings and politicians go, Biden is better than the worst. However, his electoral message and vision is naive, flawed and stupid. Biden declares that Trumpism is an aberration, a temporary shift in the culture of the American identity. That is simply not true: Trumpism arose because Americans are suffering from some of the worst health care and education systems in the world, a horrific inadequacy of social services and the overall collapse of the middle class with severe income inequality.

Americans are ensickened by pollution and burdened with bankruptcy-inducing medical bills and disappearing jobs that, even when found, are insufficient to pay rent and buy food. Trumpism tapped into this agony by proposing that all these social, economic and environmental ills be blamed on anyone who isn't Caucasian.

Biden may put a friendlier, kinder face on a broken system, but he would simply mark time until the next Trump-esque figure emerged and consolidated discontent into power. If Democrats aren't prepared to address the ills of society that led to this situation, then even a Biden victory over Trump is simply a palliative that doesn't treat the underlying causes.

4

(5 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Informant hasn't been around lately.

Do we want him back?

I am presently gathering my thoughts on the matter and... it's a bit like SlidersCast.

5

(1,076 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

There's been no announcement about Carlos Valdes leaving the show. I assume he'll be back as Cisco. Season 5 of THE FLASH was very strange and oddly deficient. I wonder why. It's odd to chart THE FLASH's creative decline from Seasons 3 - 5, much like SLIDERS.

Season 3 crashed hard. Season 3 was attempting to continue the same successes of Seasons 1 - 2: a new turn on the Flash mythology with the Flashpoint timeline, another villain from the Flash's future -- but the episodes were not written well enough to capitalize on Savitar being a time remnant of Barry or how Flashpoint had warped the lives of Barry's friends. Despite spending all of Season 3 piling guilt on Barry, the main villain of Season 3 had nothing to do with any decision Barry had ever made onscreen; Savitar was a time remnant from some future event that we'd never seen.

There was the sense that the showrunners had gone from running ARROW to running ARROW and THE FLASH and LEGENDS OF TOMORROW and SUPERGIRL. Every year, there was one show that seemed to receive the least attention and suffer the most as a result: LEGENDS' first season was clumsy and formulaic; ARROW's fourth season drifted too far from street-level heroics; SUPERGIRL's first season featured two mutually exclusive takes on Kara as either a college student or a late 30s reporter. And THE FLASH's third season was painfully undercooked. Eventually, there was some internal rearranging and each show had its own dedicated showrunner.

Season 4 of THE FLASH stepped up: there was a shift to more comedy (that rubbed some the wrong way), a return to familiarity by making Harry Wells a regular, and in a clever turn of plotting, Season 4 had the Flash facing a villain whose intellect made Barry's speed useless and irrelevant. Season 4 progressively upped the situation as Barry seemed hopelessly outmatched by the Thinker, an antagonist who could match Team Flash's brainpower, who would later augment intelligence with Sylar-esque levels of power. And then came the finale where... the Thinker is abruptly unplugged and the story switched to punching a big rock falling out of the sky. It was an adequate end to Season 4, but something seemed to go off track.

Then we come to Season 5 where we are back to undercooked stories. The show seemed unable to capitalize on Barry and Nora's father-daughter relationship except in very overt, obvious, clumsy terms with the characters blatantly stating their emotions.

The big dilemmas of major episodes boiled down to Barry, Nora and Joe finding the right words to talk Cicada out of a killing spree or to rally the troops, a strangely small-scale insecurity. Season 5 scripted the 34-year-old Jessica Parker Kennedy to play Nora with the maturity of a teenaged girl and the visual disconnect was bizarre.

It wasn't all bad. Tom Cavanagh as Sherloque was a delight as Cavanagh and the scripts found an actual character to go with one of Cavanagh's comedy accents. Ralph Dibney was a joy as a more competent detective this year. Iris and Barry were a lot of fun as astonished parents. Caitlin had some great episodes this year. The Nora/Thawne dynamic was earnest and disturbing in how utterly sincere Thawne was in his love for Nora even as he manipulated her into erasing herself from existence.

However, in terms of plotting, Season 5 revolved around Team Flash inexplicably unable to take on Cicada, a thug with a magic knife whose superpower was to stretch out short sentences to unbearable length with extremely slow line deliveries, a gift he apparently passed on to the second Cicada.

I watched Season 5, Episode 21 yesterday and I honestly can't remember most of what happened. It made nearly no impression on me as poor Sarah Carter took half a minute to deliver 10 seconds' worth of dialogue. THE FLASH, a show about superspeed, seem to be going so slow that time felt like it was ticking backwards. Only when Thawne got free and Nora and Barry had to race against him did the episode finally come alive. Only then was there suddenly speed and motion and pacing and stakes and energy and danger -- at which point I realized that THE FLASH had spent 21 episodes -- TWENTY ONE EPISODES -- with speedsters circling awkwardly around a villain whose great threat was an unwieldy looking knife.

Looking back, I think there was maybe 10 episodes of story here. Nora and Thawne working together should have been exposed to the audience by the second episode, the discovery should have come in the fifth episode, Cicada should have been dispatched by the sixth and Thawne breaking free and Nora being erased should have been the mid-season finale. There simply wasn't enough content here for an entire season of THE FLASH.

What on Earth made the writers stretch out half a season of material to a whole year? My painful suspicion is that known sexual harasser Andrew Kreisberg brought a certain magic to THE FLASH and took it away with him when he was fired off THE FLASH during the middle of Season 4. Infamous sexual harasser Andrew Kreisberg had a specific approach during Seasons 1 - 3 that terrified his workers. Not only did he grope and grab and hump his writers, reputed sexual harasser Andrew Kreisberg insisted on putting multiple ideas into individual episodes that, on any other show, would have sustained entire seasons.

Most shows would have held back revealing Harrison Wells as a villain, the Flash's future in the Crisis and the exposure of the Reverse Flash and distributed one reveal for each season finale. Accused sexual harasser Andrew Kreisberg put all of that in the first half of Season 1. Most writers would have revealed how Thawne stole Harrison Wells' life across a season finale and a subsequent season. The despised sexual harasser Andrew Kreisberg revealed all in one episodes. Most showrunners would have spread out alternate universes, Jay Garrick and creating Flashpoint across three seasons. The now unhirable sexual harasser Andrew Kreisberg put it all in Season 2.

Somewhat overstretched sexual harasser Andrew Kreisberg seemed to take his eye off THE FLASH for Season 3, but blackballed sexual harasser Andrew Kreisberg gave THE FLASH his full attention for Season 4. Halfway into Season 4, industry punchline and sexual harasser Andrew Kreisberg was fired off every single one of his shows.

It's interesting to look at Season 5's plotting and compare it to Season 1. There are some very good and strong concepts for a season of TV, but the big tentpole moments are extremely few when stretched across 21 episodes and padded out with empty supervillain procedurals. In contrast to Seasons 1 - 2 having Barry constantly learn new speed flourishes, Season 5 had next to no discoveries and made little to no use of Nora picking up Barry's tricks. There simply isn't enough material and rather than add more and make sure every episode is full of twists and turns and revelations and story, what's present is simply overextended.

Universally loathed sexual harasser Andrew Kreisberg has no business working in television (he literally has no more business), but it's painful to consider that he had a strong vision for THE FLASH and his successors don't seem to have any vision for it at all.

6

(223 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

To me, Chuck is a pretty safe way of understanding the world.  He's a good guy, but he's not all powerful.  He can fix some things, but he can't really fix everything.  He's also realized, on some level, that he shouldn't fix everything.  So he watches us from afar, either doing a little here and there or simply leaving us be. .

I think this makes sense up to a point, but "Moriah" points out that Chuck's unwillingness to interfere looks less like respect for free will and more like a decision to put Sam and Dean in harm's way at all times for reasons that "Moriah" finally revealed.

From a real-world standpoint, nine seasons of Sam and Dean enjoying peaceful semi-retirement was never on the table. But from an in-universe standpoint, "Moriah" observes that Chuck has by passivity forced Sam and Dean to serve as Earth's protectors despite continual loss and suffering for them.

Season 11's "Don't Call Me Shurley" had Chuck putting the blame for the recent run of threats on Sam refusing to lose Dean to demonic conversion. But in Seasons 12 - 13, Lucifer's return and the alternate universe situation were due to Chuck once again abandoning his son and a "failed draft," yet Chuck did not return to help.

By Season 12, any benevolent employer in Chuck's position would have put Sam and Dean on vacation and found some new hires to act as Earth's divine defense division. It didn't have to always be Sam and Dean facing every conflict between heaven and hell. They'd done their part and more, it could have been someone else's turn to take up the mantle. It could have been Charlie. It could have been Jodi Mills, Donna Hanscum, Kaia Nieves, Claire Novak, Patience Turner, Alex Jones.

But Chuck allowed WAYWARD SISTERS to fail. What kind of God would fail to get WAYWARD SISTERS picked up? Why did Chuck always want it to be Sam and Dean?

CHUCK: "I built the sandbox -- you play in it. And you're my favorite show."

SAM: "But why, when the chips are down, when the world is -- is failing, why does it always have to be on us?"

CHUCK: "Because you're my guys."

Chuck says he's granting humans their free will, but then the episode points out that Chuck always puts the consequences of his supposed non-interference entirely upon Sam and Dean. Why is Chuck allowing two exhausted, traumatized, burnt-out employees to carry on performing their duties with steadily diminishing efficacy and ability? As if to answer this, Sam observes Chuck taking pleasure at the sight of Dean's agony.

SAM: "You're enjoying this!"

And when Dean refuses to follow Chuck's plot direction, Chuck suddenly gets upset.

CHUCK: "This isn't how the story is supposed to end. The story? Look -- it -- the -- the -- the gathering storm, the gun, the -- the father killing his own son. This is Abraham and Isaac. This is epic!"

DEAN: "Wait. What are you saying?"

SAM: "He's saying he's been playing us."

"Moriah" completely overturns the Chuck character as we know him. But "Moriah" makes a very clear point: Sam and Dean have been forced to manage Chuck's responsibilities since Seasons 6 - 14 when their roles should have been over by the Season 5 finale.

Part of this is, I think, a wry commentary on and from the writers who have, for nine seasons, had to come up with new threats and new suffering. The original authorial intention for Chuck was to make him a warm and loving father figure who represented the writers and their affection for the characters. Chuck allowing free will and acting indirectly throughout Seasons 1 -5 to maneuver Sam and Dean into averting the Apocalypse without overruling individual choice was heroic. Chuck acting indirectly throughout Seasons 6 -14 to keep Sam and Dean in the line of fire for nine years after the original crisis, however, is manipulative and cruel.

SAM: "This whole time. Our entire lives. Mom, Dad -- everything. This is all you because you wrote it all, right? Because what? Because we're your favorite show? Because we're part of your story?"

DEAN: "The Apocalypse, the first go-around, with Lucifer and Michael -- you knew everything that was going on, so why the games, Chuck, huh? Why don't you just snap your fingers and end it?"

SAM: "And every other bad thing we've been killing, been dying over -- where were you? Just sitting back and watching us suffer so we can do this over and over and over again -- fighting, losing people we love? When does it end?"

CHUCK: "Fine! That's the way you want it? Story's over. Welcome to the end."

Unlike the writers, Chuck is not required to deliver 20 - 22 episodes a year, not obliged to make Padelecki and Ackles' characters the center of a TV show and not bound to create a world-ending situation on an annual basis. The only explanation for why Chuck would continue to do it is because it amuses and entertains him to watch Sam and Dean suffer.

It doesn't fit the charming, grounded, silly character that Rob Benedict developed and played. This is a sociopathic puppetmaster, not the well-meaning observer who turned Benedict from a middle-aged, over-the-hill actor and part-time musician into an idol of positive masculinity and unthreatening appeal for a legion of fans.

This is a complete reversal to one of SUPERNATURAL's greatest creations. It's a shocking and painful betrayal. But it seems to me like the inescapable result of extending the lifespan of the series.

7

(223 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

The Season 14 finale confused me and yet, it seemed oddly inevitable to make Chuck the villain. I think it's safe to say "Moriah" alarmed many viewers especially Chuck fans. The characterization didn't track with his arc up to this point. In previous episodes, Chuck was an awkward, earnest, clumsy, good-hearted writer who wanted to see people survive and succeed and be happy and he also very much wanted to be left alone. It suggested that God was on Sam and Dean's side but unwilling to intervene too directly as the Apocalypse was the result of humans, angels and demons exercising their free will and making poor and cataclysmic choices.

And when God returned in "Don't Call Me Shurley," this interpretation was upheld entirely. Chuck is characterized not as the Lord Almighty of Christian lore, but just a person who also happens to be the entity that created all of existence. Also, Chuck is shown to be fallible and his power is not infinite. Not only can the Darkness hurt and kill him, Chuck says that he does not feel divine intervention helps his children, merely enables their misdeeds and self-destruction and overdependency. "Nobody likes a helicopter parent," Chuck explains.

This perspective is reiterated in "Moriah" where Chuck describes Sam and Dean as "my guys" and "my favourite show," but when Dean refuses to act out Chuck's plotline where Dean is to sacrifice himself and kill Jack, Chuck gets upset and behaves in total contrast to his previous regard for free will. He offers to resurrect Mary to induce Dean to fire on Jack. He shows enjoyment and pleasure in Dean's agony.

Then he throws a tantrum when Sam also defies him and fires a non-lethal shot on him. Chuck is furious when Sam accuses Chuck of creating endless torment and loss for the Winchester brothers but does not deny Sam's claim that Chuck has permitted their suffering and finds it entertaining. And then Chuck, in a strange act of pettiness, unleashes every caged monster and demon upon the Earth and declares it "the end."

This is not the pleasant, aloof, distant father figure who wanted his children to be independent and self-reliant. This is a child frustrated by his pets not performing tricks for them and smashing apart their world for being insufficiently amusing and a completely different character. And yet, looking back at Seasons 6 - 14, Chuck's villainy seems oddly inevitable.

It's noticeable that despite Chuck's supposed interventions in Season 5, Season 6 saw the angels seeking to immediately bring about the once aborted Apocalypse with Castiel discovering that the angels could not grasp the free will and freedom their creator had now given them. In fact, Castiel's prayer for guidance and clarification from Chuck is flatly ignored.

In addition, the Leviathans and further lunacy with Gadreel, Metatron and Lucifer are met with no response from God. On one level, there's a grain of truth in Chuck declaring that Sam and Dean have what it takes to meet and overcome any threat to the world. But given the trauma, grief and sacrifice they've had to endure, how can Chuck claim to care for his creations when he condemns them to a life of endless torture? Why does he make them the center of the Earth's divine defense plan? Doesn't he worry about employee exhaustion and diminished job performance?

The reason for every season of SUPERNATURAL subjecting Sam and Dean to madness and cruelty is because it's a TV show and the writers are compelled to heap one threat after another upon their central characters. Giving Sam and Dean a full season of vacationing is not an option. However, within the fictional universe of SUPERNATURAL, it is Chuck who is if not targeting Sam and Dan, then at least permitting their continued situation while other humans deal with problems like mental health, financial security, raising children, caring for elders and retaining homes and employments.

Within SUPERNATURAL, if Chuck continually allows all the ills of the world to be entirely Sam and Dean's responsibility, then Chuck is a villain. "Moriah" declares that Chuck's insistence on making Sam and Dean the first line of defense for every threat with no concern for their well being makes him the villain of the series. It exposes his professed respect for free will to be a fraud and a lie.

It does not track with Chuck's previous characterization. It does not track with the in-depth exploration of Chuck's character in "The Monster at the End of this Book," "Dark Side of the Moon" and "Don't Call Me Shurley." But in retrospect, it seems inescapable and inevitable.

I'm betting it's because they had a shorter season than most shows and ran out of time and space to address it. Dan Harmon in his COMMUNITY audio commentaries says that he was always shocked get to the end of Seasons 5 - 6 and realize that he only had 13 episodes and had been so consumed with GI JOE parodies and DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS sequels that he'd forgotten to address Jeff's career as a teacher in Season 5 or tell an Annie-centric story in Season 6.

David Goodman, in an interview, said he felt there had been no consequences for Isaac's betrayal and return in Season 2 and that it'd be a priority for Season 3.

When watching the AGENTS OF SHIELD premiere for Season 6... well, it felt like it was set after ENDGAME to me. I realize that the writers had no idea whatsoever how ENDGAME would turn out. They thought putting a year between Seasons 5 and 6 would give ENDGAME space, not knowing ENDGAME would happen over the course of five years, not one. Any tie-ins to ENDGAME are accidental and unintentional. And yet...

The one year later tagline doesn't come after the recap of Season 5; it comes after the opening scene where Fitz's spaceship is sliced in half with no timestamp for the opening scene itself. And, since it's airing after ENDGAME, it feels reasonable to assume that it takes place after ENDGAME.

The entire cast of AGENTS OF SHIELD is present. No one is missing, no reference is made to half the planet's population disappearing a year ago. This suggests that the episode is set one year after ENDGAME when the population has been restored as opposed to one year after Coulson landed in Tahiti with May. Jemma says she spent the past year learning alien languages, but Davis says he hasn't seen his child for "months."

If I hadn't read any press, I would take this to mean that the entire cast of AGENTS OF SHIELD (along with Nick Fury and Maria Hill but excepting the frozen Fitz) were erased in INFINITY WAR. INFINITY WAR was taking place concurrently with "The End." I would assume that the team landed the Zephyr in Tahiti at which point they were all erased from reality. Five years passed, then Tony Stark used the Infinity Gauntlet to restore everyone with no memory of their disappearances and unaware that they'd gone missing.

At that point, the team promptly resumed everything they'd been doing -- bidding farewell to Coulson and May, preparing to search for Fitz, installing Mack as the new director -- and they only realized that they were missing five years' worth of time when the Zephyr was in the air or as Coulson and May settled into Tahiti.

And with the Season 6 premiere taking place a year later, all those reactions happened during the time gap. The anomalies in reality seem to tie into the trailer for SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME which indicates that the Thanos snap and undoing it opened ruptures between dimensions.

I guess the main thing that made the Season 6 premiere feel like it was set after ENDGAME -- it was airing after ENDGAME and the episode was very good and the timeframe in relation to ENDGAME just didn't seem to matter as much as the characters and their conflicts for this season of AGENTS OF SHIELD.

Well, ORVILLE is getting a third season. No episode count as of yet.

I've only really read Mark Waid's run on FANTASTIC FOUR, but Doom is intriguing because he presents himself with regality and proclaims himself to possess nobility and honour -- but in reality, he's a petty, delusional lunatic who insists to no end that Dr. Reed Richards MUST have somehow sabotaged the science experiment that blew up in his face and scarred him. Doom is perpetually insisting on his generosity and grandeur of spirit only to do something sociopathic and insane and he's fascinating because he's completely convinced of his own excellence and doesn't realize how small-minded he is. His brilliance as a scientist and sorcerer exists alongside his pitiful behaviour and the contradiction is perpetually intriguing.

His powers are that his suit of armour is full of endless technology that could either manifest as telekinesis, super strength, energy projection and really anything Iron Man can do but unlike Tony Stark, Doom's mind is fuelled by a twisted and cruel psychosis that takes outer form in a seemingly suave and elegant form. In his main Mark Waid story, Doom approaches a woman he once dated and asks her to forgive him for his horrors and give him a new chance to love her. She's touched by his story and embraces him.

The skin promptly melts off her and forms a new layer of magical armour around Doom; as she screams, Doom tells her that in his youth, he chose science. He has now appealed to darker gods to choose sorcery instead; the price was to sacrifice the only person he's ever loved aside from his mother to form a new suit of armor made of magically strengthened human flesh.

**

Sooooo, AGENTS OF SHIELD in Season 6 is set one year after Season 5 -- but it will not address INFINITY WAR or ENDGAME at all:
https://www.thewrap.com/agents-of-shiel … me-marvel/

The problem: Marvel TV had no information on ENDGAME but assumed that time travel would resolve the INFINITY WAR cliffhanger. AGENTS OF SHIELD's sixth season was set one year after Season 5, thinking that would grant the show some distance. But ENDGAME is set over the course of five years. Jeph Loeb and Jed Whedon say they have written Season 6 without referring to the Thanos snap, and essentially written it the way LUKE CAGE, DAREDEVIL, JESSICA JONES and PUNISHER were written -- as though they take place before INFINITY WAR. But AGENTS OF SHIELD tied into INFINITY WAR with the final episodes happening concurrently with INFINITY WAR -- so how can Season 6, set one year after INFINITY WAR and four years before the ENDGAME conclusion possibly make sense?

Loeb and Whedon said they simply weren't going to explain it, that they couldn't, that SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME is tasked with presenting the Marvel Cinematic Universe after the events of ENDGAME and also, that Marvel Studios withheld any and all ENDGAME information from Marvel TV. Whedon asked that viewers go along with the story and not be distracted by trivialities -- except the disappearance of 50 per cent of all biological life forms is not a trivial matter and it would be inexplicable that absolutely nobody in the AGENTS OF SHIELD cast fell victim to the disappearances.

Whedon added that in his mind, there is an explanation, but that it may not end up onscreen and that it will need to be determined at a later date. (Later as in Season 7?)

Anyway. I think the simplest explanation: the Thanos-snap didn't happen after the Season 5 finale, but during the flight to Tahiti. Everyone was erased from existence. Five years passed. Tony restored all the disappeared and, of course, made sure that their surroundings (like a plane) were restored as well. As a result, the SHIELD team didn't realize that they had gone missing or that five years had passed. They touched down in Tahiti, bid their farewells to Coulson and May, flew off to space in search of Fitz and then one year passed between that and the Season 6 premiere. As a result, all the reactions to their disappearances and returns and Earth adjusting to the restorations takes place offscreen between Season 5 and Season 6.

13

(1,076 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

THE FLASH: *sigh* And now we're back to mediocrity. Neither Cicada works as a villain. I wondered why for awhile and it's interesting to compare the Cicadas to Thawne in Season 1. Thawne could be avuncular, warm, earnest and kind. You could see him casually murdering the cast if it suited him, but you could also see him hitting Big Belly Burger for a snack. He had characterization outside his immediate need to be threatening and manipulative and cruel; he wasn't just a rasping voice who snarled threats.

In contrast, Chris Klein and Sarah Carter as the Cicadas exist to do nothing but raspily snarl threats. There was an episode of flashback for Chris Klein and it was singularly incapable in adding sympathy to Cicada probably because Klein is one of the worst actors in Hollywood today. Klein is incapable of appearing natural; he cannot even walk through a door without indicating that he is an actor trying to hit his mark and has rehearsed every movement. Sarah Carter is better, having salvaged the Alicia Baker character on SMALLVILLE and made a video game fight movie like DOA watchable, but her Cicada is just as limited.

There came a moment in this week's FLASH when I just gave up on the show -- the point where Joe has a crisis in the middle of a police station because he doesn't have the confidence to give orders. This is the veteran police detective of five years? And the reasoning behind Joe's inability to command is that Captain Singh isn't around at present, a nonsensical justification that ignores five seasons of Joe never having any difficulty providing anyone with instructions. Why is it there? It looks suspiciously like Bill Dial style padding to stretch out a script that was short a few pages. This is the first time in the history of THE FLASH that I've seen an episode clearly fail to fill its own timeslot as though extending stock footage of the speedsters a bit was not an option.

TemporalFlux wrote:

Falcon has a clear identity.  Bucky really doesn’t.  But taking on the mask of Captain America (yet another facade) might just help Bucky find his own identity.  It would make an actual character arc instead of just a statement (which is what I feel the Cap Falcon idea is - just a statement with no more meat to it than that).

Yeah, that's fair. In the comics, it made sense when Sam became Captain America. Temporal Flux knows his stuff, so this post is more for others, but in the comic book CIVIL WAR, Steve died on the courthouse steps on his way to trial for going rogue. The Red Skull brainwashed Sharon Carter (Peggy's descendant) into shooting him to death. Bucky became the new Captain America, continuing Steve's battle against the Superhuman Registration Act and other evils including Norman Osborn (the Green Goblin) taking over government oversight of superheroes and the Red Skull infiltrating American economics.

In CAPTAIN AMERICA REBORN, Bucky discovers that Steve isn't dead, but unstick in time due to the gun that shot him being a temporal bullet that ripped him out of time. Bucky and Sharon save Steve. Steve visits President Obama who grants him a pardon, but Steve says he is out of touch with America and cannot be who he was. Steve then tells Bucky to keep the shield and remain Captain America. After Osborn is defeated and removed from power and the Registration Act is overturned, Steve assumes Osborn's position, wearing the WINTER SOLDIER version of his costume with no mask and using an energy-based shield. However, Bucky's exploits as a Russian assassin are revealed and Bucky is prosecuted and can no longer be Captain America. Later, Bucky is seemingly killed during the FEAR ITSELF event, but it turns out he faked his death and will continue to do good but as the Winter Soldier and Steve becomes Captain America again.

In another later storyline, Steve is aged into his senior years due to a sci-fi contrivance and is physically incapable of being Captain America. This time, he gives the shield to Sam. Sam assumes the role until Steve is restored to youth by a reality warping device. However, it's later revealed that this device altered Steve's history to make him an agent of HYDRA. At first, Steve's work is covert, but when he reveals himself and has HYDRA overthrow the US Government and take over America, Sam has to resume his once-temporary role as Captain America. Later, it's revealed that the HYDRA version of Steve was created by splitting Steve's timelines in two; the original Steve remains in limbo but is able to return, defeat and imprison his doppleganger and redeem the name of Captain America.

I think Falcon being Captain America made more sense when Bucky had been Cap for a time but eventually found the position untenable due to his past as a Russian assassin coming to light.

I get the sense you're all agreeing that there isn't a market for a three hour film of Steve and the Red Skull sitting in a cave and talking.

15

(1,076 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I really liked the reveal of Nora West-Allen's origin story in the flashbacks, the team discovering her partnership with Thawne, Barry and Iris' reaction and Nora's eventual return. It provided something THE FLASH didn't have enough of in Season 3 and this year in Season 5: a sense of discovery. Too much of Season 5 has been running through what we already know about superspeed and the Flash's legacy. It was wonderful to see Nora discovering her powers for the first time and Barry and Iris having completely different reactions to Nora's friendship with Thawne.

Tom Cavanagh does incredible work at differentiating Thawne from his Season 1 incarnation and from Sherloque. Sherloque is one of Cavanagh's silly comedy accents but with a gentle yet oddly ruthless analytical mind, following the evidence wherever it goes but never seeking to cause people undue harm. Thawne has the ego and condescension of Season 1, but there's also pain and regret and the slightly feeble and unfortunate sense that being kind to Nora is going to be his only meaningful contribution to the world.

It's good. It's a shame THE FLASH didn't get into this material sooner. It's much more interesting than another villain of the week or another pointless faceoff with Cicada.

**

ARROW: I've liked ARROW a lot with Season 5 going back to basics. I've loved Seasons 6 - 7 -- but there came a point in Season 7 last week when I was appalled. Roy lost control of himself due to Lazarus Pit madness and killed two innocent security guards. So the team... cover up the murders, frame a villain for the crime and then proceed to include Roy on more missions. Are they insane? I thought reconstructing Damian Darkh's totem so he could steal it and repower himself again was stupid, but this is deranged.

Roy could lose it again and turn on the team or kill more innocent people. The team provide various reasons for why Roy can't be prosecuted: a biological attack is coming, Team Arrow cannot lose its partnership with the police department right now. I wasn't entirely clear if Roy knew the Lotus elixir had failed to treat his bloodlust or if he only discovered it after killing two security guards. But regardless, Roy should be held in Andy Diggle's old cell, not free to roam and wander. That said, there is definitely going to be some follow-up with serious consequences for the cover-up.

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

The writers of the film have come out and said that there's one timeline in the film.

And, curiously, the directors Joe and Anthony Russo take the view that Steve lived in an alternate timeline, but made a return trip to the original timeline to hand Sam his shield. This is the view supported by the film as Bruce declares that you cannot change the past to alter the present; travelling to the past makes it your present. If you leave the past and return to your point of departure, you return to the original timeline which has none of the alterations made during your trip.

This is supported entirely throughout the film: Gamora's past self travelling to the present does not undo her actions in previous films. Thanos travelling to the future does not undo the events of INFINITY WAR. Loki escaping custody does not undo the events of DARK WORLD or RAGNAROK. The only reason the Avengers need to return the Stones is to avoid creating destruction in a parallel timeline even if they'd never experience that themselves.

My guess is that the writers scripted a scene that declared that only removing the stones creates an alternate timeline and that time travellers cannot alter the past, but they can make supplementary additions. This view of time travel is present in DOCTOR WHO with "fixed points" in history where the Doctor must follow how history is recorded but can add details to pay off later.

I imagine that this scene was then cut by the Russos, resulting in two contradictory opinions between the writers and directors.

In the movie, when Steve and Bucky say goodbye, Bucky is clearly aware before the younger Steve time travels away that they are making their farewells. It indicates that the older Steve made an earlier visit to Bucky to explain the situation  before his return to greet Sam. This is reinforced when Bucky directs Sam to speak with the older Steve and in fact seems to know where the older Steve will be before he even appears.

As for choosing Bucky or Sam as the new Captain America -- all I can say is that there's a certain value to a black man wielding the shield, but Bucky in the comics was extremely popular as the replacement Captain America. Maybe they could alternate every other week.

One thing I'd like to see -- I'd like a three hour movie, CAPTAIN AMERICA: STONE UNTURNED, where Steve returns the stone to be guarded by the Red Skull. In the first hour, Steve lands on the planet and finds the humble, repentant Skull. Refusing to hand the stone over to a man Steve knows as a Nazi mass murderer, Steve turns away, but when attempting to leave, the Skull attacks him, demonstrating Tesseract powers.

Steve is beaten half -to-death but is then saved -- by the Red Skull -- another one. The hostile Red Skull attacks them both and Steve and the Skull who saved him are trapped in a sealed cave.

In the second hour, we see the Skull and Steve with nothing to do but talk. The Skull apologizes for his misdeeds, but Steve won't hear it, saying the Skull isn't sorry. He just lost his power and whatever's outside the cave may be a time traveller or from another dimension. The Skull says he was made by deranged fascists and Steve was made by kindess and sacrifice that the Skull mistook for weakness. The Skull has changed. Steve replies that if the Skull could get his power back and return to Earth, he would instantly resume his campaign of terror. The Skull confesses that is true and asks Steve to share his exploits since WWII.

In the third hour, to pass the time, Steve describes some of his adventures and the Skull tells Steve that the Skull finds solace in knowing that the evil of the Nazis has, in a very small way, contributed to the good of Captain America. Steve replies those are easy words when trapped on a cave and also on a planet from which the Skull has no escape.

In response, the Skull leads Steve into the caverns of the cave which reveal numerous dimensional portals, some of which lead back to Earth. The Skull found them after the first several centuries of his imprisonment. He could have left at any time since then but chose not to, wishing to pay for his crimes with his isolation and fearing he would resume his old ways if he left.

At this point, the Tesseract powered Skull outside the cave finally catches up to the imprisoned Skull and Steve. Steve fights the Tesseract-powered Skull but eventually realizes: this isn't the Skull, it's a manifestation of his hatred for the Skull brought into being by the stone. So long as Steve does not forgive the Skull, he cannot give up the Stone.

Steve chooses to let his hate go. He forgives the Skull. The hostile Skull disappears. The stone leaves Steve and is returned to the Skull once more. The Skull shows Steve the portals once again and says that while the Skull will remain, Steve might make use of them now or in the future. The Skull wishes he could tell his mother good-bye, the Skull wishes he could visit each of his victims and apologize. But he can never allow himself to leave.

Steve looks at all the portals, seeing the 616 universe, the Ultimate Universe, the Spider-Verse, CAPTAIN AMERICA TV movies, the direct-to-video feature, the 90s Captain America who guest-starred on the SPIDER-MAN TV series, the HEROES REBORN Cap and others.

Steve also sees a portal leading back to Peggy Carter and one leading to the time machine in his original timeline. Steve says he doesn't know which one to choose. The Skull suggests that he choose both.

Three hours is too much? Oh. Well, maybe this could be one of those MARVEL ONE-SHOT short films. I guess a 15 minute length might make more sense.

17

(230 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Arguably true but unsettlingly mercenary. I think it's more what Quinn said in "Luck of the Draw": he said to Wade, "You don't get something for NOTHING" -- which is to say that when you charge a price, you need to offer, as John Rhys-Davies would put it, "value for the money" where the customer receives something they would not have without paying for it and something worth the money that they paid to buy it. The problem -- for me -- is not that the free Eruditorum Press blogs isn't worth supporting financially. It's that if I am to offer them money, they must provide in exchange something I wouldn't otherwise have that makes me feel I made a good purchasing decision.

I am constantly seeking to get as much as possible in return for the money I spend. I feel good about my monthly Netflix subscription and make sure to use it to justify the cost. I pay for health insurance and I'm constantly looking into how to take full advantage of it, getting as many pairs of glasses as I can, as much dental care as I can.

If they want $60 a year, I want all their ebooks for that price. If they want $120 a year, I want all the ebooks and a selection of three of their print books each year. If they want $240 a year, I want all the ebooks and all the print versions and a monthly Skype panel with the bloggers. And so forth. I'm not paying Peter David $120 a year for the privilege of his family photos -- but I would pay him $120 a year for blog entries on writing, everything he's published that year in a digital format and access to his monthly Q&As. If I pay money, I want a product that matches my estimation for what that money is worth. I think the markup on these products for these prices would be sufficiently renumerative for these content producers.

18

(230 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I don't currently support any artists on Patreon. I'm thinking about it, but I guess what it comes down to is that I'm uncomfortable about making a regular, monthly, standing contribution to a single artist.

I'm a huge fan of writer Peter David; I have yet to join his Patreon. At $12 a year, the benefits of seeing selectly private blog entries isn't worth it to me. At $60 a year, I get his select blog entries and his family photos... which really doesn't do it for me. At $240 a year, I finally get the content I'd want: entries about writing, a monthly Q&A where I can submit questions he'll answer, a chapter a month of his autobiography -- but $240 is just too much annually.

I would also like to support Eruditorum Press, but for $60 a year, I get progress reports and previews of the material I will later buy in book form. That doesn't really do it for me either.

I guess what I would really want and what I would be prepared to pay for -- for $60 a year, I want Peter David's blog entries on writing and to see the Q&As on writing. For $120 a year, I want the blog entries, the opportunity to submit questions and one short story a month. For $240 a year, I want the blog entries, Q&A access, one short story a month and a digital copy of any of his new books and comics during the year. And for Eruditorum Press, for $60 a year, I want... honestly, I don't know what Eruditorum Press could offer me on a subscription service. I will buy all Eruditorum Press books, so I guess a Patreon could automatically send me any and all ebooks for $60 a year, print copies and ebooks for $120 a year and make sure to publish up to four a year or offer a refund.

I'm not a wholehearted fan of the WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE podcast, but I think their Patreon is great. They release a regular and free fictional podcast. For $60 a year, you get behind the scenes notes. For $120 a year, you get the behind the scenes notes, four bonus episodes, a small item of merchandise, access to pre-sales for the concerts and a 10 per cent discount on merchandise. If I were a bigger fan, I would find this very reasonable.

With this in mind, for MY Patreon:

$60 a year gets you two SLIDERS scripts a year, taking place after the events of SLIDERS REBORN and featuring Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo's new adventures in the restored multiverse with Sliders Incorporated. The premiere has Quinn throwing out his back and realizing at he's over 50 and wondering how he can keep sliding.

$120 a year gets you four SLIDERS scripts a year: two REBORN scripts and two scripts set in a reboot continuity where college student Quinn discovers sliding in 2020 and begins sliding with Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo.

$240 a year gets you personal letters from Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt or Arturo (choose one), one a month as your personal penpals, plus the four scripts.

$360 a year gets you all four scripts and four letters a month from the characters.

$480 a year gets you a podcast between me and Transmodiar as he chastises me for the foolishness of this endeavour and castigates me for writing fan fiction after he told me to do original work. Also, you may commission a SLIDERS adventure of your choice for a script!

For $720 a year, you get to see the cease and desist letter from NBCUniversal when they shut me down for unauthorized use and profit of their property and you get to hear Transmodiar laugh at me when this happens plus all of the above.

And at $960 a year, you get to see me realize that all my writing on SLIDERS has always been a gift. Something to hand over freely to the fans. You see me realize that the scripts, the reviews, the blogs, the message board posts – they are a gift to myself and a declaration that yes, this 90s show was silly and poorly written and badly acted for the bulk of its run, but it was special and full of potential and populated with great characters and it was not only loved with sincerity and earnest truth, it was worthy of love and had its later-era creators given it the attention and care it deserved, it would have been a wonderful show that would have stood alongside THE X-FILES, LOST, MACGYVER, SUPERNATURAL and the greatest and most overlooked TV series of all time, SHE SPIES and at this point, I give all the money back.

("What is SHE SPIES?" It's about three lady spies. It's a tongue-in-cheek CHARLIE's ANGELS with a lot of fourth-wall breaking and self-awareness and hand to hand combat. I'm overexplaining it. Women. Punching! Villains!)

In interviews, Jeph Loeb and Jed Whedon said Season 6 would be set a year after Season 5 and allow ENDGAME to resolve the INFINITY WAR situation. But ENDGAME takes place over the course of five years and concludes in 2023 while AGENTS OF SHIELD will still be set in 2019, four years away from ENDGAME's resolution. Loeb and Whedon said there would be no references to ENDGAME -- but how can the series be set in a world where half of all life was removed from existence and never make mention of it? How can none of the regular cast have been affected by the snap?

There were rumours that Marvel TV had become so detached from Marvel Film that the TV writers would scour the Marvel movie trailers for clues because they were getting no information from the film productions. It makes me wonder if the AOS writers thought giving themselves a one-year time gap would give them distance from ENDGAME, but now it turns out that they're four years short of what they needed...

But would Disney really be so crazy as to fund, produce and air a TV show that contradicts their biggest major motion picture release of 2019 while claiming to tie into it? Do the AOS writers have something to coordinate? Or are there some details to the ENDGAME restoration that AOS will present unintrusively?

We don't know how the people who disappeared experienced their being removed and being restored. What if, when being restored, they reappeared in the exact place in which they had disappeared with no memory of the five years that passed? And I assume that Tony considered when restoring people to also restore whatever vehicles they might have occupied.

If the SHIELD team were in a bunker or a ship or some isolated situation or conveyance, then they wouldn't have noticed having ever been absent, and they would have immediately resumed whatever they were doing -- May caring for Coulson as he enjoyed his retirement, the others searching for Fitz.

Maybe the idea is that for the team, they had no sense that time had passed. Their perception is that it's still 2018/2019 even if the calendar isn't, and Season 6 is set one year after their disappearances/reappearances of which they have no recollection. Would that work?

SPOILERS for ENDGAME














I thought INFINITY WAR was a good film, just not for me. I thought ENDGAME was good and I enjoyed it a lot. In comics, Iron Man and Captain America don't ever come to endings, so it was lovely to see them come to conclusions here. The battle sequences did a great job of showing all these heroes from different movies sharing the screen together. Scott Lang's reunion with Cassie was very touching. Nebula is a delight onscreen. Thor is hilarious. However, INFINITY WAR and ENDGAME have perhaps unwittingly raised a moral, sociological and scientific question that it doesn't seem able to address. Should Thanos cutting the population in half be undone?

Natasha notes that the world governments have managed to keep things running. Carol says the universe remains filled with life and planets in need of her care. Steve sees humpback whales closer to cities because fewer ships have meant less pollution. Thanos should have been stopped. The heroes failed. Should they try to change what he did when he's left them with a world that is beginning to heal from environmental damage and overpopulation? Does having the power to repopulate and overpopulate this planet give them the right to do so without further consideration?

It's a conundrum that ENDGAME can't handle because the Avengers are the wrong superheroes to address it. The Avengers are, in reality, fighting for the Marvel copyrights to continue existing to produce content in films, TV and streaming services.

Few superheroes are suited to confront such dilemmas; there are only four who could possibly confront this question and they are Quinn Mallory, Wade Welles, Rembrandt Brown and Professor Arturo. And even they hesitated to come to a definitive answer: in "Luck of the Draw," the Professor conceded the philosophy of limiting population while abhorring the methods to do so.

ENDGAME can't go there and instead fills the screen with superheroes and assures you that it's good. They might have side-stepped further it with a line from Carol declaring that most planets and spacefaring civilizations can handle population just fine and it's just Earth that seems to be singularly inept, and yes, more people means more conflicts, but they all had the right to exist and Earth is just going to have to manage.

The time travel was handled a bit strangely at points. The film does a good job of explaining why taking the stones and Thanos and his army and Gamora and Nebula out of their timeframes doesn't alter the past of this movie, it only brings the pieces to the present day gameboard while creating an alternate timeline that our main characters don't experience.

However, then the Ancient One declares that all the stones must be returned to the moment from which they were taken so that she can resume her job, but it wouldn't make any difference to the modern day Avengers. It's simply a measure to prevent death and destruction in other timelines. That's fine too and explains how Loki can appear in a future Disney show while still having died in INFINITY WAR.

Except, but by that logic -- why is Steve Rogers back in the prime timeline at the end? It's wonderful that he was reunited with Peggy at some point in what I assume is the 1950s. It adds a kind coda to the unfinished arcs of the AGENT CARTER television show, declaring that regardless of what did or didn't happen in the never-filmed Season 3, Peggy and Steve found each other again -- except that would be an alternate timeline that wouldn't connect with our own. The same way there's now an alternate timeline where Thanos and his army disappeared nine years ago. And an alternate timeline where Loki stole the Tesseract and escaped after the first AVENGERS.

Steve should have simply disappeared, never to return -- unless the Steve at the end of ENDGAME actually travelled from his timeline to this one to assure Bucky and Sam and Bruce that he was alright?

It was strange that Gamora wasn't present at Tony's funeral and that she isn't aboard the ship as Thor joins the Guardians; one would think she'd stick with Nebula.

Is Chris Hemsworth contracted to be part of the cast of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY III?

Is AGENTS OF SHIELD's sixth season going to be set five years after the events of Season 5 the way ENDGAME is set five years after INFINITY WAR? If Netflix hadn't cancelled the Marvel shows, how would they have integrated the five year disappearances into their stories?

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

Yeah I'm very surprised at the ending.  It's just really impressive that the Orville is willing to take chances like that - I realize that it's essentially a 2-part finale, and there's a chance that it'll be just as generic TNG-like Sci-Fi as the Isaac storyline was....but this show is so much more than I thought it would be.  And that's impressive.

I agree about Palicki, though.  I thought the best part of her performance was how convincing she was as younger Kelly.  They felt like two sides of the same coin - the same but very different.  I actually bought for a few minutes that she might play two characters on the show going forward.

SPOILERS























I thought the ORVILLE finale was great! I thought it really underlined how Kelly's contributions and victories may be small and low key and not the equivalent of commanding a starship, but they have vital and critical value. The timeline in the finale with the Kaylon having destroyed Earth and biological civilization was very stirring especially in what went unsaid. Kelly says that Ed was the reason the Kaylon failed to take over, and she has no way of realizing that it isn't true. The reason the Kaylon invasion failed: Isaac formed a romantic relationship with Dr. Finn and a father-son relationship with Ty and Marcus. The reason Isaac formed that bond: Kelly encouraged Dr. Finn to date Isaac while being aware of the risks.

Without Kelly to encourage Claire Finn to take a chance on her feelings, Isaac never developed his sympathy for humanity and never switched sides. Kelly's small acts of kindness saved us all and even as she went about setting time right, she had no idea that her kindness and friendship were the missing link.

It is beautiful.

Sucked. What a godawful experience. It's astonishing that something built over the course of decades can completely fail to launch and serve its function. I refer, of course, to the cineplex web system for the theatre near my apartment which seems to have crashed and isn't allowing me to book my ticket to a screening of ENDGAME. I'll try again tomorrow.

Just got home from CAPTAIN MARVEL. Every time this 1995 set film referred to the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division as SHIELD, I could hear SliderQuinn21 yelping in pain.

There's a lot in this movie that's beautiful and a lot that doesn't quite work. The sight of Captain Marvel declining to engage in a fistfight with her combat trainer because she has nothing to prove to him is lovely. The imagery of Captain Marvel as a protector of refugees is magnificent. The sight of Phil Coulson back on screen is charming if a bit blurry due to the CG facelift. The effects work on Nick Fury to make him Samuel L. Jackson's age in 1995 is clearly where the money went. The discovery that the ultimate weapon is housed aboard a ship of refugees is perfect.

And then there's the plot and the directing. The story is extremely dense and convoluted with the Kree/Skrull war, the Lawson project on Earth, the Skrull refugees, the Carol Danvers/Vers project, the plot to control the Tesseract energies -- and the exposition scenes are paced in the slowest fashion possible while laying out key revelations so far in advance that they have no punch when they arrive.

There's no magic or mystery to Hala or myth to the Supreme Intelligence or grandeur to the Kree army, just plot points in dialogue. It's entirely too obvious too early that Vers is not a Kree because Carol's demeanor is so human and her flashbacks come in too soon. Despite Brie Larson's excellent performance as a militaristic alien soldier on a primitve world, the film is too desperate to get to her smiles and charm. And the action! The action is functional but an oddly ineffective mix of rushed cuts, hurried choreography and visual spectacle that's oddly cold.

I kept longing for the skillsets of different directors. I have always admired how in SERENITY, Joss Whedon compressed the complex mythos of FIREFLY's Alliance and the crew and Simon and River Tam into a tight sequence of three scenes showing a dream, a rescue and a spaceship touching down to a planet. CAPTAIN MARVEL needed that deftness to establish Hala, show the Kree military force and how Vers has no memory but is a loyal and commited soldier whose lack of history is irrelevant to the army which expects to see her perform her function and has no concern for dreams and identities.

In the movie, the Carol/Vers split is nearly non-existent aside from Vers' coldness to civilians as she tracks down Lawson. I can't help but think that the Wachowskis would have done an amazing job with this plot element given that THE MATRIX in retrospect is a reflection on gender dysphoria. Neo feels there's something wrong with the way he experiences the world, with his very identity itself, like it's been co-opted and suppressed. Agent Smith insists on calling him "Mr. Anderson" and Keanu Reeves intoning, "My name is Neo" is a cultural touchstone and now clearly two transgender individuals speaking their own truth.

I think the Wachowskis would have kept Vers cold and aloof, militaristic and savage -- until she lands on Earth and is confused when Nick Fury makes her laugh. I think they would have shown Vers somewhat disdainful of Earth and humanity -- and then discovering that she is Carol Danvers would have been a shocking trauma that gives way to self-realization and self-reconciliation.

A TV show I really like is BLINDSPOT, featuring Jaime Alexander (Sif) as an amnesiac woman named Jane who discovers she has spy-girl combat skills akin to Jason Bourne. A major part of BLINDSPOT is the amnesiac Jane confronting her original identity, Remi, with the two conversing, fighting and trying to find some way to reconcile their differences and forge a unified identity and I think CAPTAIN MARVEL might have needed something similar to really sell how Carol unifies both her identity and Lawson's legacy.

And finally, I kept longing for the sure hand of James Cameron for the action sequences. It's funny that CAPTAIN MARVEL has Vers shooting down a TRUE LIES poster when Cameron has what this movie lacks for action -- a sense of spacing and geography. When Carol and Fury are running around the SHIELD base, the film doesn't convey the scale of the facility or the distance between the library and the hangar and how close behind the SHIELD agents have gotten. In the final spaceship action sequence, there is no sense of where the refugees are as they flee in relation to Carol stalling the Kree soldiers.

When the the Accusers fire missiles at Earth, there is no clarity as to which part of Earth they're attacking or how Carol can, on a planet with an diameter of over 150 million kilometres, meet the missiles on an intercepting course and send them back. Cameron would have made all this clear enough to create suspense; Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck are clearly not action directors.

There's a lot of good stuff here, I just think Marvel went with the wrong directors. I think it should have been the Wachowskis.

I'd have to agree that DISCOVERY in the first season made no effort to square its visual representation with the era in which it claimed to exist. Only with the finale showing the Enterprise and Season 2 bringing in TOS elements did the effort come and as much as I liked it, it made DISCOVERY seem apologetically backpedaling.

**

THE BOY SHERLOCK series is an interesting case: it contradicts the Sherlock Holmes stories, but it *only* contradicts them in areas where creator Arthur Conan Doyle contradicted himself. "A Scandal in Bohemia" features Holmes meeting Irene Adler for the first time and is set in 1888. A later story, "The Five Orange Pips," is set in 1887 -- but Holmes refers to having been defeated by Irene in a previous adventure.

"The Final Problem," set in 1891, has Holmes telling Watson about the evil Professor Moriarty and Holmes meeting the Professor for the first time. But "The Valley of Fear," set in 1888 - 1889, has Holmes and Watson discussing Moriarty well in advance.

"The Gloria Scott" claims that Holmes' first case ever was when he was a university student, but this first case is dated 1885 -- except when Holmes and Watson first met in "A Study in Scarlet," Holmes had long graduated from university and the year was 1881.

THE BOY SHERLOCK doesn't match the canon when it comes to Irene and Holmes' first meeting, Moriarty and Holmes' first encounter or Holmes' origin as a detective -- but the information in the stories in these areas is either contradictory or flat out wrong, and I think writer Shane Peacock was using that to his advantage and declaring that the contradictions are there because Sherlock Holmes was burying the demons and traumas of his past.

And I think it *mostly* worked except there came a point when I felt Peacock needed to be overt in explaining the discrepancies. He needed to present the real events between the adult Irene and Holmes, the conflict between the grown Sherlock and the Malefactor-turned-Moriarty -- and Peacock needed to establish whether or not Watson ever knew these truths.

Instead, Peacock ended THE BOY SHERLOCK series when Sherlock was at 17 -- well before the timeline could address these events and 11 years before Holmes and Watson would first meet. Yes, there's over a decade for the BOY SHERLOCK characters to become the Arthur Conan Doyle versions and yes, the reader can imagine how they go from points A to B -- but by ending where he did, Peacock never offered his own answers to questions he raised, and it'll always bother me. DISCOVERY did provide answers.

(A gag order on the name Michael Burnham. Maybe we were better off with the questions?)

I'm quite a fan of Sherlock Holmes and my favourite Sherlock Holmes series is THE BOY SHERLOCK, a prequel series by writer Shane Peacock about a 13-year-old Sherlock. He's poor, starving, lonely, scraping by in the gutter, a far cry from the gentleman detective presented in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories. In the first book, young Sherlock expects a short and lonely life in London, but when he's falsely accused of murder and on the run as a fugitive, he has no choice but to apply his intellect to clear his own name and then discovers he has a gift for being a detective. As the series progresses, he develops a close relationship with Irene Adler, a young charity worker. He becomes a reluctant frenemy with a street gang leader called Malefactor who leads a group of child criminals called the Irregulars.

In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories, Irene Adler was an American opera singer whom the adult Sherlock Holmes faced off against once in "A Scandal in Bohemia." Malefactor is a term Holmes once used to describe the criminal mastermind Moriarty, whom Holmes is shown to meet only as an adult in "The Final Problem." The Baker Street Irregulars are a term Holmes uses to refer to homeless children whom he employed as spies.

It was unclear how THE BOY SHERLOCK's discrepancies would be reconciled with canon: was Peacock writing an alternate universe? Or was he making use of how the Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle are narrated by Holmes' friend Watson who can only relate what Holmes tells him? THE BOY SHERLOCK series relates extremely traumatic experiences that Holmes could have found too painful to share with Watson. The sixth and final book in THE BOY SHERLOCK series, "Becoming Holmes," was in a position where it would have to explain all of this one way or another.

It didn't. "Becoming Holmes" is focused largely on Sherlock solving an extremely personal murder mystery. The continuity issues are not addressed, although Irene does leave for America and Malefactor declares himself Sherlock's mortal enemy. The characterization rang true for a young Sherlock Holmes, but the mismatched details -- they didn't come off as glaring contradictions, the author simply declined to connect the disparate dots, perhaps trying to indicate that life isn't a straight line from prequel to present.

Why will this English version of Irene later present herself as American-born? Why will Holmes deny their childhood friendship in adulthood? How does the street thug Malefactor become the learned Professor Moriarty? Why does Holmes conceal all this from Watson? The reader is left to infer their own answers. "Becoming Holmes" was a good BOY SHERLOCK story, but as the finale, it seemed positioned to bear expectations of tying the continuity together and it didn't even really try. I'm sure Spock has read these books, though, he's a Holmes fan and claims a distant lineage to Arthur Conan Doyle.

There was a point to all this, but I forgot what it was.

The spore drive is something that would have bothered me before, but at this point, we've had transwarp beaming and resurrection blood in the Kelvin timeline suppressed and for some reason, Federation ships never have cloaking devices except the Defiant. It's possible that the spore drive is in development but the technology isn't widely used or restricted to secret levels of application. Transwarp beaming could be a security nightmare, harvesting blood from frozen superhumans could be a restriction based on consent and I guess it doesn't really register to me as a problem. I don't disagree that it is one; I've just become deeply desensitized to this sort of thing.

It is bizarre to me that THE ORVILLE has made so little of Isaac after his betrayal and how there haven't been any storylines where the crew struggles to trust him again. They also aren't featuring Isaac that much at all; he's barely appeared, he has no character arc when he does appear -- it's almost as though a 14 episode order proved inadequate to fully explore the issue, so rather than show everyone cool with someone plotting their murders sitting at the next workstation, they're just not showing much of the relationships or lack thereof and hoping to address it next year. Maybe a subsequent episode will have Ed talking about how he issued orders that nobody discuss Isaac's betrayal and pretend all is well because he's an asset and how the crew is starting to crack under the strain.

**

I liked the DISCOVERY finale. I thought it was great. I loved the whole season, from Pike discovering his future and choosing to accept it to Tilly's reunion with the Queen and the Michael/Spock conflict and the whole AI plot. The only thing that really bothered me was Section 31.

Regarding continuity: I completely accepted the DISCOVERY version of the Enterprise and I liked how, the way it was presented, it's either a different artistic rendering of the ship we first saw in the 1960s -- or it's a few refits away from the pastel-and-painted-wood aesthetic that will come into style in the subsequent decade. They had the orange-red lining, the gratings in the hallways, the changeable lighting to indicate that it could resemble the pop art look of the original series if a later remodelling made it so.

During my obsession with menswear last year, I noticed how men's suits started out as very large, intricate, busy formalwear for royalty but mass production required simplifying the design and making the clothes large enough to fit multiple body shapes while draping over the body properly. In the 80s, there was a brief burst of popularity for suits that were more tightly fitted, but by the 90s - 2000s, we'd gone back to suits that were like coats compared to the tighter, closer-to-body shapes today. Pierce Brosnan's Bond suit was an outer layer of wool padding. Now the pendulum has swung to Daniel Craig's suits being cut to fit him like a second skin. "The Cage" could have happened during a pastel-popular period only for the shift to metal and lights which was briefly supplanted by a period of retro popularity the way art-deco comes and goes.

Obviously, the onscreen intention is that it's a rendering of the same ship with modern techniques. They've kept the original grating and the shape of the nacelles and the key colour lines but used 3D printing and metal composites instead of plywood and paint. But the door is open to the more literal view of the 23rd century that TNG, DS9 and ENT took when using 60s-style TOS designs.

Another idea reminiscent of my suggestion that Pike is a fan of 1960s sci-fi and remembers all his past adventures as low-budget NBC shows of the era: it's possible that the pop-art and pastels look was a popular visual style for rendering the 23rd century in records and art even if the reality was that it changed around a lot from "The Cage" to DISCOVERY to TOS to the movies.

I don't see why DISCOVERY couldn't have continued to be set in the 23rd century. I didn't take any issue with DISCOVERY trying to fit into the TOS period except that the Enterprise's uniforms should have been used on DISCOVERY from the outset. According to the costume designer, she made multiple versions of the gold/red/blue tunics and all were rejected by CBS as not fitting the aesthetic of the Discovery set (and I assume Fuller wasn't there to fight for it). Costuming them attempted a variant on the ENTERPRISE costumes and that was approved. Later, a fourth variation on her gold/red/blue costumes were approved for Season 2.

I wouldn't say they had "nothing" because I don't even think there was a continuity problem with Michael never being mentioned in TOS. I'm not entirely sure why Alex Kurtzman felt the need to explain it. The explanation has always been there.

In "I, Mudd," there's a scene where Dr. McCoy tells Spock he's suspicious of a new crewman who never smiles, whose conversation never varies from discussing his job, who won't discuss his background -- and Spock regards McCoy silently as McCoy realizes that describes Spock as well.

In "Journey to Babel," the Vulcan ambassador and his wife come aboard the Enterprise, Spock and Kirk greet them and Kirk says Spock will take them on a tour of the ship. The ambassador coldly asks that someone else be their tour guide and starts walking away without a word with his wife behind him.

Kirk, confused, sets it aside for a moment and asks Spock if he'd like to take some time to visit Vulcan and see his parents. Spock reluctantly replies that the ambassador is his father and the ambassador's wife is his mother. Spock is so recalcitrant he wouldn't acknowledge his own dad until forced to do so. Later in the episode, Spock's mother, Amanda, is telling the crew what Spock was like as a child, but then Ambassador Sarek abruptly interrupts the conversation and rudely escorts Amanda away. In private, Sarek quietly asks Amanda to never embarrass Spock (with the quiet undertone that he can't actually make her do anything). Vulcans are notably uncommunicative about personal matters.

Honestly, what really jumped out at me as bizarre was Tyler being "assigned" to Section 31 as its new leader -- what the hell is that? Section 31 is a secret cabal of black-ops agents who either manipulate actual Starfleet officers or win their loyalty based on the belief that eliminating threats to the paradise of the Federation can justify assassination, sabotage and collaborating with villains.

The TrekBBS forum has like 30 - 40 posters who defend this with ranting on about how in DS9, Sloan merely said that Section 31 was covert, not that it wasn't part of Starfleet, and that he never declared 31 outside the chain of command, but their literalism over the specific dialogue misses the obvious authorial intent that 31 is a rogue nation, an unofficial arrangement and a secret guarded through silence.

Anyway. I'm eager to see how DISCOVERY fares now that it can use the multiple-era format that Bryan Fuller envisioned for the show.

I was a bit busy last week so only caught up with the last two episodes of THE ORVILLE this week. "Sanctuary" was great, taking on a THE NEXT GENERATION type moral conundrum of diplomatic crisis but unlike TNG, "Sanctuary" didn't resolve the entire situation and relieve everyone of their prejudices, instead choosing a resolution that was tentative, compromised and simply an awkward first step towards peace. I really liked that and it was a wonderful correction on TNG's easy moral softballs.

And the episode of Kelly's past self being transported to the present was great. It was interesting to see the episode as a slightly grim reflection on Adrianne Palicki's career. If you strip away Palicki's glamour and profile, ignore the fact that she turns heads at every red carpet event and has retained her face and figure after 16 years and has had notable credits in numerous franchises (SMALLVILLE, GI JOE, SUPERNATURAL, WONDER WOMAN, AGENTS OF SHIELD), Palicki's career is defined largely by failure.

She was the first Supergirl on SMALLVILLE and dismissed after one episode. Her WONDER WOMAN pilot was a trainwreck. She was a corpse on SUPERNATURAL. GI JOE was an underperforming mediocrity and it was the second one in a row for the franchise. She made a much-heralded entrance on SHIELD and proved so popular with the studio that they shifted her character into a leading role for a spinoff and the network passed.

What it comes down to is that it sucks to be a woman in Hollywood because any man as pretty as Palicki and half as talented would have had at least Jerry O'Connell's number of leading roles. Palicki is a leading-class performer: she commands the screen and can carry and share a scene. The only performer with whom she's ever failed to create meaningful chemistry of some sort is Tom Welling. She's commanding and forceful but with a hint of goofiness for Kelly and as Mockingbird on AGENTS OF SHIELD, she played a seemingly invincible character with the cheerful heartlessness of a veteran spy that could be scary.

She's beautiful, but more importantly, she has the physicality to perform in fight scenes and convey astonishing ferocity and ability and when a stunt performer steps in, Palicki can still sell the stunt as her character. And there's a note of reality when Kelly from the past remarks that she is not in a leading role but a subordinate one, has done noteworthy jobs but achieved no overwhelming successes, and she has fallen short of her goals and dreams.

It's at this point that Wil Wheaton would probably say that the majority of performers go their entire careers without having ever played Supergirl or Wonder Woman or a GI Joe or an agent of SHIELD or a starship commander (if not captain) and many performers certainly don't make a living from their craft. Palicki has always found work, and even if the work hasn't made her Angelina Jolie, there is more to life than just one's professional career. While some people achieve overwhelming success in one life-defining area, for Kelly, it's been smaller achievements across a range that add up to a satisfying life. Kelly may not be the captain, but she is a leader, she runs the Orville well, she's made a difference and not everyone needs to be a star to be special.

The ending was disturbing.

29

(230 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Nobody should think my not denying a failed friendship with Raver-Lampmann is in any way a confirmation of my archnemesis' identity. I'm not keen to allow people to identify the woman in question via process of elimination.

It would be hilarious, though, for people to imagine that Ellen Page and I were sitting down every four weeks to eat vegan burgers and talk about the art of acting and that she stiffed me on show tickets after accepting my help with tracking down obscure texts and that I spent months wandering about my day wondering why Ellen Page didn't think I was worth her time or friendship.

The reason why (not) Anne Hathaway's behaviour freaked me out so much: I was pretty awkward with women in college and grad school to the point of wanting to tell a classmates I that I liked her writing/editing/interviewing/personality but being too shy to approach, so I would meander in their vicinity and be unable to communicate or if I did, I would say something creepy and disturbing like indicating I knew their bus routes or where they lived (because I'd heard them mention it while circling without landing).

As an adult, a bunch of female friends explained why this was disturbing and I knew afterwards to be direct and make it easy for anyone to walk out of a conversation and to be careful not to indicate in-depth knowledge of strangers until they weren't strangers. And it meant a lot to me to have so many close female friends. It told me that I had repaired a defect in my behaviour that caused people alarm and made them feel threatened.

When Anne acted like she didn't know me and ignored the fact that we'd made plans and ignored me when I tried to talk to her, it terrified me. Were we actually friends or had I misread something? Had we actually made plans to meet or was it some sort of delusion? Did she actually promise complimentary tickets or was that my assumption? I would nervously review text messages and emails and call my friends to ask if they had any memory of Anne.

She really disturbed me and her behaviour would remind me of how awful I'd been to women in my early 20s and the combination of anxiety and paranoia and shame would make me deeply depressed and I despise Anne for making me feel that way when the actual reality was: she asked for help, she agreed to hang out and hand over show tickets in return, she took the help and didn't live up to her end -- partially because she was yes, tired and overworked and distracted -- but also because she took my help for granted, didn't have much interest in the person helping her and doesn't see keeping promises as meaningful commitments to uphold.

But, as I said, if that were to happen today, it wouldn't bother me (as much). I wouldn't make a scene or tell the person off in some quietly furious confrontation like I did with Anne. I'd just quietly fade out of their life and not be available to them going forward.

I've run into Anne a few times since then at various acting events (I'm not an actor, but I learn a lot from them). I've coldly studied the space behind her left shoulder if I have to look in her direction at all. I've told our mutual friends that if they want to talk to her, they can go right ahead. I, however, will go wait in the car. Whenever Anne she sees me, she tends to do her stuff and dive for the exit at which point I linger in the room for 10 minutes so she can get a few blocks' distance.

She still triggers a lot of anxious mistrust in me and I'm not keen to invite her into my living room and even if I did invite her, she wouldn't show up or would show up late and then act like I was an unwanted stranger and ignore our mutual agreements and have no regard for my contributions to her life and career and cause me so much distress that I wouldn't be able to appreciate the show.

I used to feel the same way about Jerry O'Connell. It took exactly 15 years to wear off.

Well, I've been listening to the Rewatch Podcast all the way through THE FLASH and QUANTUM LEAP (albeit not week to week, but I recently finished listening to the backlog of podcasts). I didn't have time to watch THE FLASH and didn't wish to watch QUANTUM LEAP, but I'd actually like to try watching VOYAGERS and writing Tom and Cory a letter each week. I don't know if I *can* because I've been trying to devote myself to REALITY a bit more, but I'll be listening regardless if only because Tom and Cory occasionally mention SLIDERS and every time they do, I feel very happy.

31

(87 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

So, having not seen GOTHAM, how about Slider_Quinn21 offers a GOTHAM/SMALLVILLE comparison as superhero prequels?

32

(230 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I’d rather not say. It’s not that I wouldn’t like to destroy my archnemesis, split open her psyche, shatter her career and such — but I have a lot of other actress friends and would like to keep the ones I have and find a few more. I wouldn’t want my friends to fear that should our friendships ever take a turn for the worse, I might seek revenge by attacking their reputations or careers as that would induce present and future actresses to keep their distance. Instead, I’d rather they see that this woman upset me, and that my approach is to steer clear of her and when I talk about her, I alter certain details to make her unidentifiable.

She isn’t actually credited as Woman Number Three, I changed the name because I’d forgotten her character’s name as given on the sheet. It’s a generic term I use like saying Brandon Routh auditioned to play Cop Number Three or Bystander One.

33

(230 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Hmm. Many, many, many years ago, when I was in college and chatting with one of my friends who was still in high school:

TASHA: "Dude!! I had sex with Gerard Way! Oh my God his penis is SO HUGE and he told me I was so hot he'd risk the jail time to stat-rape me."

IB: "Oh. Did you... did you want to?"

TASHA: "He's a STAR, totally, and besides, I got backstage to his show and we were both wasted. He gave me his email the next morning but yeah right. The important thing is that I'm so hot I'm worth risking jail to fuck."

IB: "Did he say anything about the next issue of his UMBRELLA ACADEMY comic? It's been late."

TASHA: "No. We didn't really talk."

IB: "Damn it. Just to be clear, he didn't force himself or -- ?"

TASHA: "No, it was more like I forced him."

I want to watch it at some point, but not right now because my archnemesis is in the show and I worry that it could be triggering to see her perform in anything. ("What? You know someone who's in UMBRELLA ACADEMY? Who?") Well, one of my quirks is that I have a number of friends who are actors and we like to hang out, eat pizza or ramen or raw fish and discuss acting (body language, vocal inflection, space, expression, etc.). As a socially awkward person, actresses are a wonderful resource for me to become a more polite and considerate person in my interactions with others.

TRANSMODIAR: "So, these performers are all young... ?"

IB: "Uh, I guess. I can be a little juvenile, so I tend to draw younger people to me as friends."

TRANSMODIAR: "And they're all girls?"

IB: "Hmm. Yeah. All of them."

TRANSMODIAR: "Attractive?"

IB: " ... that has nothing to do with anything. These are all sexless, platonic friendships. We just eat and talk and then go home separately. Most of them are pretty happily boyfriended. Women always treat me as one of the girls."

TRANSMODIAR: "Send me pictures!"

Anyway. I've found these friendships very rewarding -- but there was one that started out well and then went really bad. There was this one actress -- I'm going to call her Anne Hathaway. We would hang out and do the usual thespian-oriented chatter, and Anne would occasionally ask me for some favours. She'd ask me to write reviews of her acting troupe's work so she and her team could feel good about themselves and I was happy to do that because they do good stuff.

She would ask me to track down extremely obscure and difficult to locate plays for her acting workshops, and I was happy to do that as well. I went to journalism school so I know how to find documents. Working on EarthPrime.com had taught me how to assemble scanned sheets into a reproducable, readable digital file. All I asked in return: for each favour, I asked that Anne accompany me to a stageplay, watch it with me and then talk about it with me afterwards over something nutritious and vegetarian. Or provide a complimentary ticket to the show for which I'd found the text.

I delivered but Anne didn't. On four occasions, Anne showed up to our show late and ignored me when I spoke to her afterwards, instead talking to other people and acting like I was some unwelcome stalker as opposed to someone with whom she'd made plans. At one point, we had dinner plans after a theatre festival event; I met her at the event and she walked off, went home, and didn't bother to tell me that dinner had been cancelled.

After that, Anne failed to provide the tickets in exchange for the texts I'd procured. I'd find things for her and her immediate follow-up would be to treat me like a stranger she barely knew.

This really hurt me and I told her I was angry. She told me that she was sorry, she was just very easily distracted due to a busy work schedule. I could never let go of how I went out of my way to help someone who treated me with complete disdain and disinterest and disregard and she really dented my self-esteem and I dislike Anne Hathaway intensely. I declared her my archnemesis and told my niece all about it.

LAUREN: "Anne being someone you don't want to spend time with does NOT make her your archenemy."

IB: "I know! I said archnemesis."

But I know I was being ridiculous. These days, if one of my actress friends responded to a favour by acting like they didn't know me, I wouldn't tell them off or confront them. I'd just quietly end the association and I have a lot in my life to keep me busy. I have a niece, my studies in Bootstrap and vector imaging and I don't depend on any one person's regard for my sense of self. And yet, recently, when having dinner with my friend Emma the Osteopathy Student --

EMMA: "Hey, you like superheroes. Have you seen UMBRELLA ACADEMY?"

IB: "I have not. Anne Hathaway is in it. I saw her on the cast list. I don't want to see her. It could be triggering for me."

EMMA: "Anne Hathaway's not in this show -- oh, you mean that actress you call Anne Hathaway. Shit, really!? Who does she play?"

IB: "Woman Number Three."

EMMA: " ... uh... oh. I -- I remember who she is. You know -- it's... it's not a very big role."

IB: "She's clearly a pivotal player in the series."

EMMA: "She is barely in the show."

IB: "She's clearly a cameo to seed a larger plot with a mythology on which Woman Number Three is the crux of all things!"

EMMA: "She's like an extra."

IB: "An extra source of grief!"

EMMA: "Yeah, okay."

I don't remember either. Professionally, I believe that April Fools Jokes are destructive because you can't achieve anything without trust between parties. And personally, this joke is why Transmodiar and I didn't become friends for a very, very, very long time. I missed the original "The R.K. Weiss Lie: Exposed!" prank. I wasn't really active in the SLIDERS community during that time and wouldn't return until 2010 or so, although I did catch one incident where Transmodiar shared a photo of a box that supposedly contained the Sci-Fi Channel's press archives from which he'd gathered some press clippings. Many members of this community quite reasonably declared it absurd that Sci-Fi would have sent anyone office materials.

But when I came back, Transmodiar had a reputation for being untrustworthy. Someone who would create flamboyant, bizarre posts that attacked teenagers for their age (?), attacked teenagers for their web design (these are children, for God's sake and as someone who has been building Wordpress sites lately, I can assure you that the first ones are always poor), attacked people for their fan fiction (an art form that is fundamentally idiosyncratic and for one's own reading).

He scared the hell out of me and triggered every anxiety I had within me.

At one point, I mentioned that EP.COM had once featured an original Cleavant Derricks interview that later had Cleavant's frank remarks about SLIDERS redacted at Cleavant's request. Transmodiar emailed me and sent me the original. We kept talking and he gave me the password to EP.COM and encouraged me to post essays and reviews and offered extremely constructive and pleasant criticisms and highly apologetic rewrites without the terrifying acidity I'd seen in him before. He edited my fan fiction with patience and interest and poked fun in ways that put me at ease with criticizing my own work.

He asked me for help with maintenance and uploading materials and had messengered to me a box containing what were indeed the Sci-Fi Channel's press archives regarding SLIDERS. In the several hundred pages, there were 16 articles that weren't already on EP.COM and I scanned them, OCRed them and put them on EP.COM. And because Transmodiar gave me access to his site, I became familiar with Wordpress and web building and I've been building websites lately for work. I don't recognize the unrepentant, cruel prankster that Transmodiar used to be as the person I know today.

His reputation made me keep my distance from him for a very long time. Looking back, being friends with Transmodiar has sparked a lot in me creatively, personally and professionally. I had some serious anxiety issues when he and I first talked, once having an hour-long meltdown over text with him because I was having a nervous breakdown over having taken the wrong parking spot at work. I was web illiterate. And I was handicapped by a lot of childhood traumas that were encapsulated in SLIDERS.

I've worked through a lot of that since then and a lot of that is because Transmodiar in the present day was a rather gentle and goofy personality who put me at ease with him and with web management and with writing and treated me with the patience and generosity of an indulgent older brother. And I have a particular distaste for the pranking because it delayed our friendship by 5 - 10 years and I consider that stolen time.

35

(159 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

He could be a Force ghost haunting the wreckage of the Death Star, an artificial intelligence, a flashback or a voicemail.

36

(159 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I haven't seen SOLO and I'm going to try to keep this post short and follow my fiction-restricted diet.

Star Wars: Episode IX - "The Rise of Skywalker" Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7slB4-0PDU

Is director JJ Abrams going to backtrack on THE LAST JEDI and have Rey be Luke's daughter after all? It was implied by the visual composition of THE FORCE AWAKENS (Han reaches out to Kylo and dies; Rey reaches out to Luke with hope) and the original script (in which Luke would react to Rey by rushing towards her and embracing her). The RISE OF SKYWALKER title is designed to prompt speculation.

Alternatively, the Jedi truly are extinct and Skywalker could be a new designation of Force sensitive individuals. As the Empire rebranded into the First Order and the Rebels into the Republic, the Jedi are renamed the Skywalkers.

37

(635 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I'm sort of... going on a somewhat restrictive diet. I meant to see AQUAMAN and CAPTAIN MARVEL in theatres, but the day came and I felt I would be better off failing to understand Javascript and JQuery. I want to log onto TrekBBS to share thoughts on DISCOVERY, but I put them here so that I'll get fewer responses and won't get drawn too much into fantasy. I want to up my intake of reality and consume less fiction. Pierce on COMMUNITY once advised, "Start a family, find someone to share your life with -- that and learning about computers are two things you can't knock out at the end." Well, I have my niece and an assortment of platonic female friends. I think I need to understand computers or at least fail to do so after prolonged effort.

I was also averaging one date a week, but I've shut my online dating profile down. I just don't feel I have anything to offer the dating world until I really understand how to code instead of knowing just enough to build my own Wordpress theme and have it blow up in my face. I know I could just ask Transmodiar, but he shouldn't be doing what I need to do myself.

STAR TREK in the 60s was not concerned with continuity. It was an impressionistic stageplay made for TV. The movies and TNG were trying to step into a more convincing reality in the style of STAR WARS, but even then, the films were riddled with stylistic discrepancies. We somehow went from touchscreens in STAR TREK V (and its redressed TNG sets) to dials and buttons again in STAR TREK VI. Data went from emotional in Seasons 1 - 2 to emotionless in the third year. His male cat later got pregnant. DS9 somehow had the Defiant carrying out the same battle maneuvers against the same ships in multiple episodes (because the creators reused previously aired special effects footage in 'new' battle sequences). VOY had the ship magically repaired every week despite the lack of resources.

However... DISCOVERY is the first STAR TREK show to be garishly impossible to ignore in its inconsistencies, actively flaunting how its visual style is a mismatch for the era in which it's set. It's actively hostile towards the fans in this respect in Season 1. Only with Season 2 did it start layering in visual references to the original series by presenting the same uniforms and flowers and ships in a made-for-HD design, but even then, it's still jarring. DISCOVERY calls attention to discrepancies whereas the other shows made these mismatches incidentally.

Fuller wanted DISCOVERY to have a look reminiscent of "The Cage" with the same colours but modern materials, but after CBS drove him away, they mandated a completely new design for the sets and uniforms and it all spiraled from there.

39

(16 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

It doesn’t get any worse.

40

(97 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

https://www.vulture.com/2019/04/allison … -case.html

Allison Mack has pleaded guilty. Actual remorse or a cold calculation that it was her only chance at escaping life imprisonment and having to register as a sex offender?

At the very least, I think Mack should be registered as a sex offender for her trafficking and subject to permanent GPS monitoring. She's dangerous and is a threat to any women who cross her path.

According to VOYAGER, the Borg have been active since at least 1484, which means their history must begin even earlier. The TOS era cannot be their origin... although we are talking about a show where Section 31 is a recognized branch of Starfleet in the chain of command instead of a rogue organization unacknowledged by all.

I think DISCOVERY's writers are perfectly aware of the contradictions and decided that the name Section 31 had more weight than Starfleet Intelligence. For better or worse, DISCOVERY got locked into a prequel setting and then decided to introduce contradictions (Klingons looking different, holographic communications, different uniforms, a Starfleet mutineer, Spock having a sister) and then offer an explanation later. The explanations have either been adequate, clumsy or non-existent.

There's no real explanation for the Klingons except the makeup has been toned down a bit and it's possible that the altered Klingons of ENT and TOS were only a small subset of all Klingons. Holographic communications and uniforms have been explained as tech and uniforms being tested on different ships before being distributed across the fleet. Michael's record was expunged so that Spock could say in TOS that there was no record of any Starfleet mutiny. Michael is a source of trauma for Spock so he never discussed her.

And Section 31... well, there will be an explanation but it may be as unconvincing as using clips of "The Cage" in a DISCOVERY episode and wordlessly asking the audience to accept 1966 designs and production as impressionistic memories from an era of television that was more impressionistic and didn't attempt the illusion of objectivity.

The explanation is likely going to be some sort of massive mindwipe at some point along with Control's AI erasing itself and its records from all Starfleet systems, possibly an extension of the memory tech that Section 31 tried to use on Spock or a Talosian using their telepathy.

I wish they had just not called this branch in DISCOVERY Section 31. They could have just called in Starfleet Intelligence and hinted that agents might or might not be 31, but I suspect another reason for the prominence of the name -- they want to set up the title of their new SECTION 31 series.

42

(914 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Maybe?

Honestly, I didn't even go to see CAPTAIN MARVEL in theatres. I have a new 55 inch tv with a subwoofer and lights behind the screen so there's no reflection on the screen and it seems silly to go our and pay for movie tickets when I have so much I can watch at home and when it suits me. It probably says something that rather than running out to see AQUAMAN and SHAZAM, I stayed home to watch Jerry O'Connell fight crime.

(It doesn't say anything about the franchise. I’ll comment when I can watch it at home.)

I think this was the height of Jerry's alcoholism.

I've watched a few more episodes of CARTER and it continues to be not horrible at all, but one longs for more. It is a cop show where the supporting cast tell the lead that he's not a cop and life isn't like cop shows, followed by standard cop show fare in which our Jerry O'Connell does everything expected of a cop.

CARTER calls out procedural tropes like detectives using guesswork and crime scene technicians performing days of analysis in minutes -- but then has them work as they would in any procedural.

One wishes for Danny Pudi's detailed acting and Abed spouting the procedural tropes he wants to re-enact as scripted by Dan Harmon -- except Jerry O'Connell is perfectly capable of all of that. Jerry could have played Abed. Jerry's hypermaniacal, goofball enthusiasm would be perfect to play a leading man obsessed with living the conventions of a detective show. But the scripting never sets up situations to show Carter trying to re-enact a scene only for reality to conflict.

Jerry is, I assume, completely familiar with the structure of police dramas after an astonishing NINETY-THREE appearances as Detective Woody Hoyt on CROSSING JORDAN and LAS VEGAS. Jerry's played a police officer more than he ever played Quinn Mallory and he is a very fine writer ("Narcotica" is a great comic). Jerry's fought more TV crime than you've fought colds.

Jerry should be completely capable of remoulding CARTER from the generic cop show that it groundlessly claims it isn't. He should offer a focused product where Carter is more interested in roleplaying as a detective with zingers, chase scenes, posing, costumes, slang and such than he is with solving crimes.

Why isn't CARTER better? Why isn't Jerry making CARTER better? My theory is that CARTER is an extremely low-budgeted show with showrunner Garry Campbell churning out scripts but distant from the set, meaning the writing isn't being tailored to capitalize on the actors' performances and hasn't been given the be refined and developed. It's made on a tight timeframe and budget with 10 episode seasons and not many calendar days to write and film it. The emphasis is on being functional and airable.

I don't think CARTER's a Season 5 of SLIDERS situation of witless half-assery; it's more like the end of Season 2 of SLIDERS' production where the cast and crew were extremely tired. "The Young and the Relentless" staggered into production with a decent standard of professionalism but limited energy. Jerry is likely filming 10 episodes of Carter a year between other commitments and doesn't have time to revise the writing. He's there to be on set, perform the scripts to the best of his ability and high-tail it back to LA to play Sheldon Cooper's brother, do voice acting as Superman and pester Torme and NBC about SLIDERS.

CARTER strikes me as a faded photocopy of another mediocre cop show, PACIFIC HEAT. PACIFIC HEAT is animated, but it has the ARCHER-esque comedy towards cop shows that CARTER seems to want: PACIFIC HEAT opens with a team of police officers about to storm a building of criminals, but leading man Todd grumbles about who gets to say "lock and load" and protests wearing a helmet because he likes how his hair looks. After bursting into the building, Todd's partner Zac hesitates before a firefight to get a soda out of a vending machine. Todd barks out questions when interrogating people of interest, and when they answer, he has to ask them for a pen because he can't remember the addresses they've given him. En route to pursue a suspect, Todd gets distracted by a pretty girl, drives around in circles and gets lost.

PACIFIC HEAT shows its cop characters as frivolous and incompetent for comedy purposes; CARTER would have a reason for Jerry O'Connell's character to be so unprofessional.

It's funny. Jerry O'Connell once thought he'd be playing Spider-Man in globally released superhero blockbusters. Now he's proudly headlining an affable cable show that produces 10 episodes a year. It says something. It says that he has advanced to the John Rhys-Davies stage where, like John, he's never too proud to turn down smaller projects with good work (not great work, but good), not seeing TV and indie film as being beneath him, and never giving any script less than his all because for all of CARTER's many mediocrities, Jerry's performance is thoughtful and hyperenthused..

I was worried about watching Jerry in anything because I have such fondness for Quinn, but Jerry's performance as Carter is nothing like Quinn. Carter is a childish man of impulses who talks before he thinks and everything he says is regurgitated from a script for a generic cop show than the character presumably performed once as an actor. Jerry plays Carter as a manic innocent who doesn't entirely understand that reality has consequences because he has grown accustomed to living life on TV sets. Carter has nothing of Quinn's calculating intelligence or cunning; Jerry is careful to make Carter guileness without being foolish.

It's a performance from an actor who has thought through the material and done his best to put himself in it. This is a actor who is happy to be working. This is an actor who hopes for more but will settle for less and has made his wife and children his joy rather than any rewards from his career. This is a man who could lead a SLIDERS revival.

45

(1,003 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Where the hell is Informant? Now I have to be here to express my frustration with Joe Biden, a potential Democratic nominee for 2020. If he runs and wins the nomination, it will be another indication of how Democrats aren't really liberals at all. I don't think Biden is a rapist, but he is a harasser. And I don't think it's with malice: he, like me, was born to a culture that commodifies women's bodies as possessions for men's pleasure.

Like Biden, I grew up thinking that it was flattering to women to lay hands on them to indicate appreciation, that it was acceptable to touch hips and shoulders and legs and hair and backs without permission because, in this asinine belief system, it indicated regard for the female form.

Unlike Biden, this only lasted from age 18 - 24 for me at which point I started to befriend a lot of women who described their rage and violation from such behaviour; how it made them feel like their permission and autonomy didn't exist; how it made them feel powerless and furious with the world around them declaring them insane or easily offended for wanting control of their own bodies and the power to decide who touches them and who doesn't. I heard and understood and mended my ways.

I imagine that, like Biden, at some point, women whose space I've invaded will come out with their accusations. Unlike Biden, I wouldn't offer a meaningless ramble about lack of malicious intent in response. The best thing to do in these circumstances is confess, apologize, admit our lack of concern and respect for others, directly acknowledge the harm we’ve caused to women and their self-esteem and sense of self-ownership, note our upbringings and how such behaviour is not inherent to our natures and we can change, indicate that upbringings aren't excuses for mistreating others, accept whatever professional and personal consequences will result and hope that friends and co-workers and employers will understand that we're not who we used to be except Biden remains exactly who he used to be and should not represent liberal values, wokeness, democracy, democrats or the Democratic Party. Ugh.

I watched one episode of CARTER, Jerry O'Connell's TV show and it's... not terrible. I'd actually been avoiding watching Jerry in anything for years because I was writing a lot of dialogue for Quinn in my scripts and I didn't want Jerry's persona interfering with his character, preferring to instead use Tom Welling's body language and Tom Cruise's voice (from the fifth MISSION IMPOSSIBLE movie). I knew he'd gotten better because he was terrific in the MUNSTERS reboot and in his guest-appearance on SAMANTHA WHO, but yes.

Anyway, CARTER's gimmick is that Carter (O'Connell) is an actor who plays a detective on TV and now he thinks he can be a detective in real life. It's at this point that I fail to grasp or explain what CARTER's joke is -- CARTER is a TV cop show where the lead cop character is... regularly informed that he is not actually a police officer at which point he... performs the role of a leading man in a cop show... and is reminded periodically that he is not really a police officer and... and... what?

I don't get it. CARTER seems to draw a lot of humour (?) from having characters comment on how Carter isn't the character he plays, but given that this is the only time we've ever seen Carter onscreen and have no scenes of him in his TV show, there is no comparison to be made. There's a lot of noise from this cop show about how life is not a cop show and it's blatantly hypocritical.

Certainly, not all roads of comedy lead to COMMUNITY, but when COMMUNITY did an homage to LAW AND ORDER, COMMUNITY had all the lead characters behaving with deadly serious demeanors as they systematically and analytically sought the truth in investigating the murder of... a smashed yam. At one point, Abed and Troy discuss a suspect behind plate glass and the suspect yells that the wall isn't actually soundproof and the glass isn't one-way. At another, Shirley admonishes Troy and Abed for overstepping, regarding them like a police chief character in a procedural as she intones, "You're not really cops." COMMUNITY took a very silly crime very, very seriously. With CARTER... it's really clueless as to what the joke is unless this is some sort of extended pisstake of Jerry's CROSSING JORDAN role (which I've never seen).

That said, Jerry O'Connell's performance is engaged and sober and he has tremendous charisma as a leading man. On one level, the joke (if there even is one) could be that despite having regularly been criticized for only playing himself, Jerry is mocking his own career trajectory as he plays Harley Carter, a Hollywood TV actor who is slightly less successful than Jerry O'Connell himself, somewhat past his prime and grudgingly accepting that he has to settle for less in his career.

However, the ending of the first episode suggests that Harley Carter became a fake detective because he couldn't be a real one in order to solve the disappearance of his mother when he was a child, a crazily exaggerated, irony-free revelation that Jerry plays with oddly stirring sincerity and... yeah, I'd agree that CARTER is not bad but surely humanity should aspire to heights beyond not bad.

Surely Jerry's talents would be put to better use playing Quinn Mallory in a SLIDERS revival.

47

(1,076 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I mean, I was a Snowbarry fan myself. But, looking back, I now see that Danielle Panabaker isn't as awesome as I thought and she works best when paired with another actor. When asked to carry a scene, Panabaker reverts to that vacant stare in GIRLS AGAINST BOYS and TIME LAPSE. When sharing the screen with Grant Gustin, the Caitlin character had grief, trauma, loss and duty: she was Barry's personal physician and had deeply passionate feelings -- towards Ronnie, her dead fiance -- feelings which for a time were directed in Barry's direction.

There could have been something romantic, especially given that Iris was written so blandly in Season 1 as a generic female in distress. However, as Iris became a reporter, an investigator and the team leader, it became clear that Caitlin worked best as Barry's doctor and that very much took romance off the table. A doctor should never be romantically involved with the patient and if Barry and Caitlin ever acted on whatever spark was between them, she could no longer be his doctor. I think it was for the best that THE FLASH never pursued that angle regardless of whether Barry was meant to be with Iris or not. Ultimately, I really enjoy seeing Panabaker and Gustin together and their platonic friendship is vivid and compelling.

JWSlider3 wrote:

Ireaction psychoanalyzing aside, I really enjoyed that podcast/interview very insightful on both Jerry and Macaulay I can understand a lot more of their life choices. It is kinda odd that no one has ever bought Jerry a slider until that interview.

Specifically, that's armchair psychoanalysis, a term which specifically emphasizes how the analyst is amateur, untrained, unaccredited and has no professional grounds on which to offer any genuine assessment whatsoever.

49

(1,076 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

WOW. I confess that Reddit is my discussion forum of choice, but the ARROW subreddit is so overrun with deranged hatred for Felicity (as opposed to Informant’s critical distaste for her) that I just avoid it. The KSite forum seems unused.

I do see COMMUNITY as the spiritual successor to SLIDERS (no, it's not THE ORVILLE) -- but one thing SLIDERS struggled with in Seasons 4 - 5 was a reason for the characters to be doing whatever the hell it was they were doing. (By Season 4's finale, they've found three separate superweapons yet failed to use them to liberate Earth Prime; in Season 5, they have the coordinates to bypass the slidecage and a path to Kromagg Prime yet spend three episodes meandering.)

COMMUNITY seemed to hit the same problem in Season 5. It was the much heralded return of the creator which received positive reviews but was described by its own showrunner as listless and devoid of energy in his own commentaries. He explained much of that as failing to follow up on Jeff as a teacher because he got wrapped up in the DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS episode and a LOGAN'S RUN homage, and then episodes like Britta at a charity function with Duncan and the Save Greendale Committee putting on a bear/dog dance were conceived with the empty desperation of putting the characters in a standing set and giving them an argument.

Season 4, whatever its faults, had a clear purpose: the characters were trying to complete their degrees and graduate, Jeff attempting to do so in 13 episodes because he didn't have a full 22 - 25. Season 5 had our graduates return to Greendale to attempt what students taking more than four years to complete four year degrees call "a victory lap," but after one episode of Jeff teaching and Annie studying, academics seemed to evapourate. The Save Greendale Committee had a lot of meaningless busy work. Episodes were conceived in terms of a concept (a heist, a dance, a sci-fi dystopia, a treasure hunt), but with little to no attention to what the characters were trying to accomplish at Greendale or if they'd made any progress.

To Harmon's credit, he acknowledged this in the two-part finale where Jeff remarks that Annie and Abed aren't ready to leave Greendale as they're from a generation where post-education adulthood doesn't really begin until after the age of 30, and he had an insurance assessor declare that the Save Greendale Committee had turned Greendale from an insurance liability into a worthwhile property. But from episodes 3 to 11, there was the strong sense that Greendale was a safety blanket the show should have outgrown.

In Harmon's defense, his plans had been to do Season 4 as a "dress rehearsal" for a Season 5 where the group wouldn't need the Greendale campus to be in the same room (not necessarily the study room) on a regular basis. That was why he had Abed, Troy and Annie living together by Season 3 and had Shirley, Jeff and Pierce go into business together with Shirley's Sandwiches. The offbrand feel of Season 4 had Harmon decide to set Season 5 at Greendale at which point the campus became the focal point of the show instead of the study group which had lost Pierce and Troy. Harmon would later say to The Hollywood Reporter, "I needed to convince myself that Donald leaving wasn't the death of the show, but now that it's all over, I think we can agree that it was."

I don't agree with that. Glover's absence was followed by some below-average Season 5 episodes (which, compared to most TV, are still pretty good), but the problem wasn't the lack of Troy but rather the lack of clarity as to what the group is doing and if they're advancing or backsliding, and without direction, it feels like filler.

I haven't gotten to all the Season 6 commentaries yet, but in interviews, Harmon confessed that he was burnt out and tired and that Season 6 was also not his best work. I have very fond memories of Season 6 and recall that introducing Frankie (Paget Brewster) as a consultant to raise Greendale's reputation to professional stability gave the show new direction: it wasn't about saving Greendale through vaguely relevant filler tasks, but about working with Frankie to make Greendale a decent college in *addition* to being a halfway house for troubled dysfunctionals.

This gave COMMUNITY a sense of clear direction and it seemed less important to wonder about when the characters would get their degrees. There was still some confusion, however, in that Abed seemed to be getting paid for his work for Greendale as Frankie at one point threatens to fire him, Britta works on the committee yet has to clock in at a bar and Annie seemed to be taking blow-off classes like Ladders. However, Abed highlighted this in a fourth-wall leaning monologue about how it was a question as to how the characters get their money but one that he found deeply uninteresting. I remember Season 6 being superb and splendid and thinking that Harmon's disenchantment certainly didn't show in his work.