1

(199 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I don't really have an opinion on the Mulder and Scully romance except to say: I see lots of storytelling potential with them as lovers and I see just as much with them as platonic partners.

2

(199 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I think the decision to give each writer has his own personal X-FILES universe was a good approach in the 90s. The casual viewer, which was most of the viewers, wouldn't be particularly aware of the inconsistencies because the majority of the audience wouldn't have seen all the episodes.

For viewers with at best Slider_Quinn21 level memories of the show, aliens being malevolent monsters in Carter episodes but innocent and benign in a Morgan/Wong episode could be part of the mystery. Scully having a dog in Darin Morgan episodes but making no reference to her pet in any other episodes would go unnoticed. Scully could lose a child in one episode and be back to normal next week.

This was TV before DVD sets and viewing on demand; only a small percentage of the viewers were going to be rewatching homemade or official VHS cassettes or marathoning reruns in syndication. Carter's hands-off style has fallen out of vogue in a modern era where serialization is now possible and effective thanks to streaming and each episode is part of a greater whole.

Carter's approach has not translated well to the modern era, but I can appreciate his wish to keep the anthology approach for the revival.

**

Chris Carter and Informant are actually in total agreement on Mulder and Scully's romance. Carter didn't want to have one, never has and still doesn't. It annoys him greatly. When first casting Dana Scully, FOX urged him to cast Pamela Anderson. This drove Carter crazy and he fought hard to have a real actress who could play a scientist, a doctor and an FBI agent.

Part of his distaste for hiring an lead actress simply to objectify her is present in the pilot where Scully, thinking she's found alien implant marks, runs into Mulder's hotel room and strips for him to examine her. Carter's script and Duchovny's performance are very determinedly sexless as Mulder recognizes the marks as mosquito bites, and the moment leads to Mulder sharing his traumatic childhood with Scully.

It's pretty clear from the Pilot that Carter wanted to explore Mulder and Scully as platonic friends and partners with a depth of connection well beyond just boyfriend/girlfriend. He wanted to focus on the conflict between the believer and the skeptic and romance was not his area of interest. Also, THE X-FILES wasn't really about relationships anyway; it was about scary stories, monsters of the week and two characters who would be static and unchanging, more icons than people.

However, something strange happened: there was a peculiar romantic chemistry between Duchovny and Anderson that Carter did not want, did not plan for and couldn't understand. Carter was mystified. Duchovny and Anderson did not get along well at all; Duchovny was a studied, serious, thoughtful, nerdy, restrained thespian. Anderson was a hyperactive punk rocker. They chafed against each other. Neither enjoyed Vancouver, both expected THE X-FILES to be cancelled inside six weeks, both were astonished by the success and the renewal and the increasing horror that they were totally mismatched to each other and would never be rid of each other. Carter wanted to put them in couples' counselling after Season 1 and it baffled him that onscreen, Mulder and Scully had a chemistry that the audience viewed as romantic.

He refused to acknowledge it for a long time and wrote against it. However, the other writers resisted him and Carter, being laid back with his writers, allowed them to write scripts which played up the romance. Most notable was Darin Morgan's "War of the Coprophages" in which Scully refuses to leave her apartment despite Mulder's tales of killer cockroaches -- until she hears that Mulder has met a lady scientist who finds his theories intriguing, then suddenly Scully's hauling ass to catch up with him.

Then came the movie where Carter, accepting that the audience wanted a romance, had a near-kiss between Mulder and Scully. And with the move to Los Angeles and Season 6, Carter found himself struggling to maintain THE X-FILES' originality when five years of monsters of the week had exhausted all the obvious stories.

The writing staff suggested they liven up the show by having a run of romantic comedy episodes. Duchovny and Anderson also pushed for this. Carter conceded that they needed the fresh material that this would bring, but mandated they could only bait the fans with teases and never allow the romance to actually come to fruition.

So we had Mulder kissing a Scully doppelganger in "Triangle" and telling the real Scully he loved her only to be dismissed, "Rain King" where Scully expresses her love for Mulder unknowingly, "Arcadia" where the go undercover as a married couple.

But then came Season 7 where Gillian Anderson effectively overruled him and wrote and directed "all things" where Mulder and Scully finally become a couple. Carter insisted on maintaining deniability where the romance is largely offscreen and indicated only through Mulder and Scully being in really good moods, but then decided to use Scully getting pregnant as a season-ending cliffhanger. Season 8 ended with Mulder and Scully kissing and holding their baby, a final scene that sadly wasn't final.The showrunner had effectively been defeated on this front by his writers, the fans and also the actress.

The romance wasn't something Carter wanted, but as it became a selling point and the series' longevity extended well beyond the five seasons Carter had expected, he gave in and he wasn't happy about it.

The Season 9 finale, "The Truth," has Scully losing all credibility in court as a witness to the alien conspiracy because her romance with Mulder has undermined her as a scientist. This was Carter's grim observation that Mulder and Scully as a couple instantly reduced Scully to Mulder's love interest. In "My Struggle I," he broke them up immediately, but due to the actors' insistence, he was forced to script them as reconnecting again by "Babylon."

It exasperates him, but Carter has grudgingly accepted that the characters he created have shifted due to the actors playing them and what ended up onscreen wasn't what he'd conceived or scripted in the beginning.

3

(199 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

This in no way addresses Informant's criticisms except to say: because Carter encouraged each writer to do their own version of the show, produce their scripts and direct their episodes, Vince Gilligan created Breaking Bad, Howard Gordon helped create Homeland, David Greenwalt led Angel, Tim Minear produced Wonderfalls, Darin Morgan gave Fringe its weirdness -- and Carter nourished and encouraged all these writers and their voices and talents and gave them experience to produce and sell other shows -- although none ever ran their writing rooms the way Carter (doesn't) run his. Nearly every X-FILES writer has gone onto huge success and acclaim.

I think it's terrible. I think your film would be the equivalent of those crazy Men's Rights Activists who created a fan edit of the movie where they cut any women and people of colour. Incoherent and baffling.

I don't think you're a terrible writer, I just think that you're better telling YOUR stories rather than trying to tweak someone else's material to suit your sensibilities and interests.

Honestly, the only thing I'd change about THE LAST JEDI is swapping DJ for Lando... And even then, I'm not sure I would. THE LAST JEDI is so intricate and detailed that it'd be better to make a different movie than to mess around with this one.

But I'm just one person.

I just want to say -- while I of course listen to all your podcasts, I don't always comment because I haven't been able to follow the viewings. I had no time to watch THE FLASH, so I felt unqualified to speak on your podcasts. I will do the same with the Rewatch for QUANTUM LEAP, but if I haven't actually watched QUANTUM LEAP, I shouldn't be telling you whether or not your podcasts covered the show well or poorly.

6

(199 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

There are times when THE X-FILES' anthology approach is quite maddening and infuriating -- specifically with the myth-arc episodes trying to tell an epic story with numerous pieces that don't fit together and lacking much effort to at least make them feel like they're part of the same show. I have very mixed feelings about the non-existent script editing except to say it often drives a lot of people crazy and makes them stop watching the show, and that it's very unusual in a TV landscape of serialization.

It is admirable, however, that Chris Carter has one view of Mulder and Scully -- but declines to insist that his writers follow it, instead telling them to pursue their vision and passions on his show. He could rewrite them. He could mandate that they revise their romcoms and amiable exes attitude and have them replace it with Carter's preference for platonic intimacy. But he doesn't. And he won't. He wants his writers to write their stories, not Chris Carter's stories.

7

(199 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

In my continuing "casual X-Files fan" mode of watching this show, I was confused - I thought Mulder and Scully were actively a couple.  Weren't they living together and snuggling on the couch last episode? (I just read irreactions' "This" review so maybe that was a simulation or an individual's vision of Mulder and Scully?)

Glen Morgan sees them as a couple. Chris Carter sees them as colleagues and friends, but he doesn't see them as husband and wife or boyfriend and girlfriend because he feels that is too conventional for them. Darin Morgan sees them as amicably broken up but still good friends. James Wong sees them as wisecracking coworkers.

And THE X-FILES isn't really about continuity, so each writer writes their own individual version of Mulder and Scully and Carter doesn't force them to conform, instead encouraging each episode to represent the author's vision even when it contradicts what was onscreen last week and what will air next week.

8

(751 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

The Africa incident was situation was shrouded in confusion for the general population (and in the theatrical cut) with Superman misreported. I don't see how that could have been the case in MAN OF STEEL and as Superman was part of a US military operation and executing General Swanwick's orders, the army would have been liable for the damage to the city. The damage was estimated at 1 trillion dollars with about 380,000 people dead or missing -- except that I imagine that Superman would have been voluntarily conscripted into the US Army Corps of Engineers to aid in the reconstruction.

... But I do wish the movie had clarified this. It'd explain why the MAN OF STEEL closing scenes were so optimistic and the city had been rebuilt.

The rest of the debate on Batman's motives and backstory remains pretty fair.

9

(751 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

It is impossible to write a sequel to MAN OF STEEL where Superman is charged for the attack on Metropolis. He worked with the army to fight Zod. It's a matter of public record.

The rest is pretty fair discussion!

10

(199 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I really enjoyed "This," but it wasn't an episode of THE X-FILES as generally defined. Which is to say -- the average episode of THE X-FILES has Mulder and Scully being passive investigators in a world beyond human understanding or control. "This" shows Mulder and Scully as action heroes pursuing the conspiracy to stop it rather than investigating to uncover it and they're much more combat-proficient than ever. It's at odds with the majority of other episodes.

One in-universe possibility: the onscreen events of "This" could be a simulation.

The simulated Langley tells Mulder and Scully that he exists in a world of perfection in which all his wants and desires are met, but the artificiality has become maddening for him while Erica Price declares that few if any of the digital personalities ever discover their artificial existence.

When Mulder and Scully are in the bar and narrowing down their investigation, the lighting around them darkens and dims to show them alone in shadow; neither of them react or seem to notice and it creates the sense that the world around them is a computer generated construct that's experiencing a service interruption.

There are also a number of errors throughout the episode that are clearly deliberate: Mulder refers to the National Security Agency as the NSI. Byers' headstone has a mis-spelled middle name, an error that writer/director Glen Morgan (the co-creator of the Lone Gunmen) would not make.

There is no explanation for how Langly created a cemetery based puzzle for a grave he didn't know he'd be buried in. At one point, Mulder is pretending to be handcuffed but raises his unbound hands in full view of a guard; it goes unnoticed.

The existence of a backup, unremarked upon until the final scene, is inexplicably never raised before then.

Then there's Mulder and Scully's close relationship in "This." In "My Struggle II," Mulder didn't bother to call Scully or answer her when heading off to confront the Smoking Man. Previous episodes had shown him saddened by their breakup and withholding his feelings about William from her.

But "This" shows Mulder and Scully falling asleep on the sofa together and Scully refers to Mulder's house as "our home." And then there's Mulder and Scully as seemingly invincible action stars.

Noticeably -- the conceit that the digital personalities only go online when the real person has died doesn't make sense. There is no reason why the simulation and the real-world person could not co-exist.

However, it's possible that the actual meaning is: the simulation only permits one instance of the digital personality at any given time to avoid conflicts and redundant processes, and the backups of the personalities are only activated if the current iteration is erased or otherwise ceases to function. Furthermore, the simulations may exist in sandboxed situations in multiple planes of digital reality.

Is any of "This" actually happening? Or is it a digital dreamworld in which the simulated Mulder and Scully were given an existence in which their fondest desire -- a romantic relationship with endless cases to investigate together and forever -- was granted with reality bending at the seams in order to give them what they want? The fact that William is missing and the Lone Gunmen are still dead in their perfect world indicates that their greatest wish is to be with each other without anyone else in the way -- which is selfish but human.

...

Moving on. "This" is an episode where Mulder and Scully are targeted by a technological phenomenon and act as action heroes in a sci-fi adventure as they go on the run from the authorities, storm the citadel of the conspiracy using subterfuge, weapons, deception and total confidence in their ability to topple any physical threat. It's strange because in the first nine seasons and two films, Mulder and Scully were hardly ever in combat situations and when they were, their attitude was generally to flee in terror from bees and choppers and tanks and gunmen.

They were regularly overpowered, beaten up, shot, pummelled, knocked out and tied up. "This" has Mulder and Scully sliding across floors, punching out assassins, shooting down enemies and Mulder, whose defining attribute in Seasons 1 - 7 was to regularly drop his gun, is suddenly a capable marksman whose uncharacteristic profiency in "My Struggle II" with defeating a thug has become the new normal.

Admittedly, there is a huge time gap between Seasons 9 and I WANT TO BELIEVE during which Mulder and Scully were fugitives and conceivably spent a lot of time retraining themselves for their lives on the run. But the structure of "This" is most unlike THE X-FILES: Mulder and Scully are the focus and the protagonists, and their abilities are well above what's been previously established.

And yet, this is actually very much in tune with how THE X-FILES worked in Seasons 1 - 9. It was a different era of TV where viewers were unlikely and unable to watch every single episode. Chris Carter, as a showrunner, rarely rewrote scripts the way modern lead producers do. Instead, his attitude was to invite each individual writer to produce their scripts from writing to airing and he encouraged each individual writer to present their unique, personal vision of THE X-FILES.

For example, Chris Carter generally writes Mulder as a stalwart hero with a meaningful purpose and mission, but Darin Morgan ("Were Monster") writes Mulder as dysfunctional and fundamentally hopeless in his goals. Chris Carter wrote aliens as unknowable, inhuman monsters of horror and madness; James Wong wrote aliens as figures of unimaginable wonder and beauty.

Vince Gilligan wrote monsters as troubled representations of the dark side of humanity which could be confronted and defeated; Chris Carter wrote monsters as beyond human understanding or control. And Chris Carter writes Mulder and Scully as passive investigators, but Glen Morgan writes them as involved action heroes. So, "This" being nothing like the other episodes of THE X-FILES is actually being quite true to THE X-FILES.

This conflicting, contradictory approach is also within Chris Carter's own episodes: he writes monster of the week episodes that are clearly set in a universe of supernatural, magical, unknowable forces, but his alien episodes are written in a universe of scientific and technological concepts in which voodoo and ghosts don't fit. His Season 1 - 9 myth-arc episodes are about aliens as a terrifying force outside humanity infiltrating our civilization and infecting it with savagery and monstrosity; his Season 10 - 11 myth-arc episodes are about humans who have co-opted the wonder and beauty of benign aliens to take advantage of humanity's weaknesses and failings. Alien colonization and the Spartan Virus are two different conspiracies; Carter treats them as the same conspiracy (aside from two lines in "My Struggle III" where the conspirator says that the aliens are not going to colonize Earth as the planet's no longer worth their while).

This is why continuity both for the myth-arc and for the characters has always been a pointless waste of time in this show. THE X-FILES was written in the 90s where episodes were written as self-directing, standalone products without much concern for what aired last week or what would air next week. This was true of both the writers and the majority of the audience and Carter has maintained this approach for Seasons 10 - 11.

Looking at "This" independently as it was meant to be seen: it's clearly about establishing Mulder and Scully as a couple with the plot being at best an afterthought, a framework to put Mulder and Scully together in every scene with the entire episode never showing them apart at all. They are a pair who are so comfortable with each other that they fall asleep on the sofa watching television, reviewing casefiles and eating junk food. They are so familiar that even as fugitives pursued by assassins, they are cheerily at ease with each other in the woods or in parking lots or in a cafe or in a restaurant or on a bus. They are so acclimated that Scully refers to Mulder's house as "home." They are so warm with each other that they can both silently decide not to bother cleaning up the house and will silently let rubbish fall to the floor and head back to the sofa where they were when the episode began.

These are not coworkers or colleagues; THE X-FILES (this week) is a love story about two people who are uniquely and intimately suited to each other to the point where their marital status and professional standing are completely irrelevant because they are a team, they are a couple, they are together and they are completely infatuated with each other and their lives. God knows what they'll be like next week, but this is what they're like in "This." It's how Glen Morgan sees them. It may not be how the other writers see them.

If you look at it from a continuity minded standpoint -- which is not how THE X-FILES was designed -- you may see an arc. In Seasons 1 - 6, Mulder and Scully went from colleagues who trusted each other to best friends and comrades to the point where even when they'd been reassigned and the X-Files office was closed or kept from them, they would investigate cases in their spare time together to the point where "Dreamland" essentially has them as a sexless couple going to Area 51 and "How the Ghosts Stole Christmas" show them spending their holidays staking out a haunted house as civilians instead of FBI agents. In Season 7, they kissed on New Year's Eve but it went no further and the Smoking Man remarked to Scully: "You'd die for Mulder, but you won't allow yourself to love him." The episode "all things" revealed that Scully had an affair with her professor in her college years that left her feeling that love was somehow a betrayal of indepedence but finally making her peace with that; the teaser and tag scene suggested that Mulder and Scully had finally consummated their relationship.

"Hollywood AD" and "Je Souhaite" showed Mulder and Scully distinctly romantic with each other, "Requiem" had Scully overjoyed to discover she was pregnant, the Season 8 finale had Scully holding her baby and Mulder kissing her and "The Truth" has them running away together. However, I WANT TO BELIEVE shows Mulder and Scully in conflict with the chemistry of a long-divorced couple reluctantly adjusted to how they'll never be rid of each other. "My Struggle I" showed them separated with Scully calling a relationship with Mulder "quite impossible" and Mulder sadly but gently saying that he and Scully had gone their separate ways "for better or for worse" while Scully said to Mulder, "I'm always happy to see you," establishing them as amicably broken up and maintaining constant contact.

However, their relationship starts to get closer. "Home Again" has Scully confiding in Mulder that she longs desperately to see William; "Founders Mutation" has Mulder claiming he has had to forget William but later revealing that he hasn't at all. "Babylon" has Scully getting over the death of her mother and then this reinvigorated Scully visits Mulder at his house and they're holding hands and walking joyfully at the end. They have only one scene together in "My Struggle II" and they have brief interaction in "My Struggle III," but "This" would suggest that after "Babylon," Mulder and Scully have become a couple again. Scully called Mulder's house "our home."

Or the next episode will resume having them living in separate dwellings and only seeing each other at the office and, retroactively, "This" was a late night work session that became movies and snacking and it was an anomaly, not a regularity. Who knows what the next episode will be? You never know what THE X-FILES is from week to week -- that's the show. It could just as easily be argued that the romantic episodes of Season 7 were simply those writers' personal visions of the Mulder/Scully relationship which exist alongside episodes in which they're platonically friendly or professionally amicable. It's almost like each episode of THE X-FILES is set in a different parallel universe.

For better or for worse, THE X-FILES is not really a series as we understand it today; it's an anthology show that features the same actors playing characters with the same names and jobs but with relationships and settings that are radically different from episode to episode and writer to writer with little to no concern for ongoing development or consistency and continuity.

"This" may be the first episode to actually silo its own episode from the rest of the series by proposing that the onscreen are all a simulation -- and it may even explain why Mulder and Scully are so different from week to week, why the conspiracy was in Seasons 1- 9 about an invasion but in Season 10 became population control without alien involvement, why THE X-FILES goes back and forth from sci-fi to supernatural -- these are all different versions of the simulation.

11

(751 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Is anyone as terrified as I am that Informant, Slider_Quinn21 and I all liked the same superhero movie?

**

The burglar at the beginning of the movie asks Batman if the parademons are descending on Earth because Superman is gone. The film never contradicts this assertion, but now that I think about it, the character could have merely been expressing an opinion as opposed to giving exposition that shouldn't be questioned.

Superman was never on trial for the murders of civilians. While the destruction porn aspect of MAN OF STEEL was very troubling especially with the end scenes paying it no mind, the film doesn't support holding Superman responsible for the damage. He was working with the military against General Zod's forces.

He helped them form the plan to stop the worldbuilder machines and he performed half of the strategy. Lois worked with the soldiers to bring Superman in and documented their collaboration. She would have reported on it in the Daily Planet: Superman was working with the army to fight the invaders. The public might blame Superman for being targeted by the invaders, but they know he was on their side and that the Kryptonians were coming for Earth regardless as they wanted a new planet to colonize.

Slider_Quinn21 doesn't seem to remember MAN OF STEEL correctly: he seems to think Superman was swooping in and out with the soldiers never clear on which side he was on. That wasn't the case. Slider_Quinn21's foggy memory of BVS is more understandable because he hasn't seen the Ultimate Edition which makes it very clear: Superman is being called to the Senate to explain his role in the village massacre.

It's confusing in BVS because the editing obscured who killed the villagers while the news reports accuse Superman of murdering civilians; the Ultimate Edition clarifies that Lex's mercenaries killed those people and burned the bodies to make it look like heat vision. Without those key scenes, there's the sense that Superman's being called in for general questioning rather than to speak on a specific event.

There is also a key scene and sequence in the Ultimate Edition which Slider_Quinn21 never saw. It's what establishes Superman as inspirational. It's a scene where Clark is investigating the jailhouse murder of a rapist/human trafficker and discovers that Batman branded the man with a bat symbol, giving him a death sentence carried out by inmates looking for targets on whom to vent their frustration.

Clark is deeply saddened by this man's death and sorry for his widow and child; despite the deceased being an abomination, Clark has compassion for him. This, combined with Superman hovering above a flooded town and coming to the rescue at a factory fire, would have sold Superman's inspiration and how he cares about everyone even when they're objectively awful.

But the theatrical cut removed this gentle humanity to Clark. And this removal has a really weird effect on the subsequent film: the scene of Superman hovering over a flooded town makes it seem like he's indifferently observing whereas the previous scene adds a new context where it feels more like Superman's figuring out how to save as many people as quickly as he can.

There's also another really poorly considered removal: when the Senate explodes, the theatrical cut shows Superman standing in the explosion blankly, then cuts to news footage of him flying away, making it seem like he didn't care about the human beings around him who have been reduced to ash. In the Ultimate Edition, we see Superman flying the dead and injured out from the wreckage to paramedics and in agony over the bodies.

In the theatrical cut, when Superman tells Lois he's giving up on his superhero identity, it comes off as self-absorbed moping; in the Ultimate Edition, it comes off as Superman feeling the helplessness of survivor's guilt.

These were all very small little edits, but the removals made it so that Slider_Quinn21, who hasn't seen the Ultimate Edition, is confused by JUSTICE LEAGUE saying that people in the DCEU actually liked having Superman around.

12

(199 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

... I don't believe.

I don't believe Gillian Anderson. She's repeatedly claimed she was done with THE X-FILES; she said she was done in Season 7, again in Season 8. After I WANT TO BELIEVE, she said she was done with THE X-FILES on TV. She said she was done after Season 10. And now she's saying she's done after Season 11. She's said a variety of things: she wanted to spend more time with her daughter, she wanted to play other roles, she wanted to avoid a TV schedule -- but what she really wants, I think, is to get paid a fair wage.

FOX offered her half of Duchovny's salary for Season 10 which pissed her off. Negotiations for Season 11 were contentious again. I think Anderson is fed up with the studio and the network, but if they start treating her with the respect she's earned, she'll come back.

She just won't come back if she has to battle and demand and pull and howl in order to get the same pay as Duchovny.

13

(199 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I don't know that half an hour added to "My Struggle III" would have done anything but drag out the pointless car chases away from the hospital that lead right back to the hospital.

14

(199 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Perhaps the most telling aspect of "My Struggle III" is how Mulder and Scully are taken to the hospital in dire straits, depart the hospital to engage in meandering drives here and there only to drive right back to where they started with the script trying to use voiceover and quick cutting to clumsily veil how nothing is happening. What we have here is Chris Carter having improvised himself into a brick wall: he scripted "My Struggle" to retcon the alien colonization.

While the fifth episode of the season was filming, he hurriedly scripted the sixth episode, "My Struggle II," in a mad dash of improvisation as well. Carter doesn't like to plan, instead writing to whatever his inclinations are; this is why his continuity across his series has been so full of holes and contradictions. His instinct was to bring about the Colonization event he'd teased for the first nine seasons of the show but through the Spartan Virus, then provide a cure for the virus, then end on a cliffhanger -- and now he must improvise a solution.

His solution is that the Spartan Virus being unleashed was a dream; that it was merely a vision of what will happen when the Smoking Man lets the virus loose. This makes no sense whatsoever; if the virus has been seeded, why is the Smoking Man holding back? Carter's only rationale: the Smoking Man needs William -- except he didn't in the vision, so how can the vision be trusted? What's happened here: Carter, as usual, does not want to lose the standalone monster of the week, so he decided to declare his end of the world scenario a prophetic hallucination, offer a shocking reveal about Scully's child -- and in between, he has the characters drive around in pointless circles.

There is no explanation for why Scully's medical condition ceases to be a concern by the end of the episode. There is no rationale for why Scully trusts her vision when the Spartan Virus clearly hasn't been unleashed. Once again, Carter has declared the end of the world is here -- but awkwardly taken a step back because he has another season of episode's to fill and more monsters of the week to write. So Scully recovers for no reason and offers that tired old chestnut that the answers lie in Mulder and Scully going through the non-myth-arc episodes. And the William revelation is a cumbersome effort to add consequence and weight to an episode that has none whatsoever.

Honestly, I can't believe THE X-FILES is doing something so unbelievably lame as to declare "My Struggle II"'s cliffhanger to be a dream -- except I can because it reflects the same idiocy that had Carter do things like kill Mulder off and then bring him back to life in the silliest way possible or offer a date for Colonization that he unfortunately missed. Carter has often created massive problems without mapping out a solution before lensing his scripts and he's done it here once again.

The simplest way to deal with "My Struggle II" would have been to pick up two years later: the cure was mass produced and distributed, all is well, but Mulder and Scully are missing. Agents Miller and Einstein are investigating a monster of the week and caught in a deadly situation when suddenly, Mulder and Scully reappear to come to the rescue. Where have they been? They decline to explain and get on with the case of the week. It's not like Carter even enjoys these myth-arc episodes anyway; he clearly takes the most pleasure in the standalones. The only reason he perpetuates the myth-arc; he is trapped in this hopeless belief that if the myth-arc ends, the show ends.

I think we know that's not the case. BUFFY wrapped up its myth-arc every year, as did ANGEL. SUPERNATURAL played out its five year arc and came up with a new one. But Chris Carter is still trapped in the 1990s and maybe he should have just stayed there because he's looking embarrassingly out of touch. Maybe he and Tim Kring should start a support group for TV writers who clearly have no idea what they're writing anymore.

15

(199 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

*facepalm*

A face full of *facepalm*

16

(751 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Barry is autistic. That complaint about his second favourite chair, greeting Diana with, "Hi, Barry, I'm Diana, no, that's wrong," etc..

**

Does it scare anyone as much as it scares me that we all agreed with Informant that JUSTICE LEAGUE is a highly enjoyable film?

That said, I hesitate to say it's a great work of cinematic achievement. It's fun. The weak parts of the movie like Steppenwolf are serviceable for getting a troubled vigilante, an awkward geek, a maverick monarch, a mutilated cyborg, a demi-goddess and an alien refugee in the same room to joke, banter, argue, grouse, grumble and bounce off each other hilariously.

It's a big budget episode of THE BIG BANG THEORY. It has been written entirely around starring Ezra Miller as Sheldon and matching up these personalities and these characters and it is designed as a sitcom rather than a superhero film. It has nothing meaningful to say about power, hope, despair, loss, atonement – it doesn't even have much to say about friendship except that all these people get along really well. It's just a good time.

However, I think spending 300 million dollars to make a movie length episode of THE BIG BANG THEORY is insane no matter how funny it was to watch.

That said, I spent 2015 - 2016 writing the same kind of sitcom and calling it SLIDERS REBORN.

17

(751 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Informant wrote:

I've seen Justice League.


I have thoughts.


But you'll have to sit through seventeen other half-assed posts that build up to my underwhelming comments about my thoughts... nah, I'm just joking. My posts aren't Marvel movies. But I don't have time to type them all now, so I will be back later.

I rescind my pronouncement that the DCEU is dead. Clearly, there's a flicker of life after all.

18

(751 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Apparently, the DC Extended Universe is so bereft of hope, so utterly beyond saving that Informant would allow "timing" to prevent him from seeing the JUSTICE LEAGUE film. It's time to face facts. The DCEU is done when a man who has filled page after page with ranting about BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN's successes and financial excellence can't find the time to see JUSTICE LEAGUE and while I applaud Informant putting a brave face on the situation, it's clear that the film franchise died the day Informant watched JUSTICE LEAGUE pass out of theatres with an indifferent wave having never seen a single frame of the movie within one of its cineplex screenings. I take no pleasure in observing this death knell, but we can't live pretending the world is something that it isn't.

**

Steppenwolf is a terrible villain. I don't see that being a problem, however, because as edited and structured, JUSTICE LEAGUE doesn't need him to be a great villain or to have meaningful motivations or philosophies. He just needs to be there so Superman can punch him. He is precisely what the movie needs, but absolutely no more and while it's a flaw, I don't feel it's a problem. It's like Snoke in THE LAST JEDI; the movie's not about the villain, you don't need to know all that much, it doesn't matter.

As for the retconning to claim Superman was more liked than he was -- I see some of it and I also don't. Superman failed to save the Senate and failed to save the village, so the idea that he was holding back the legions of Darkseid seems unlikely to me. However, BVS does enough to show that the average person feels Superman is "all some people have," as Lois said, so I can buy a mourning and a sense of loss and revering children with cell phone footage making Superman seem more meaningful without the darker elements BVS emphasized.

Ben Affleck is significantly heavier in JUSTICE LEAGUE than he was in BATMAN VS SUPERMAN, but it isn't fat. It's muscle. He's gotten even bigger since his debut.

There are a lot of oddities in the film that would have been there regardless of the directorial situation. It's not explained where the Flash got his suit; I assume he used his powers to mine and/or steal anything he needed to build it.

The secret identities were treated with total disregard in this film and I'm not sure what to say about it. I got the sense that Zach Snyder was deeply disinterested in the secret identity aspect of Superman given how Lois is in on the secret pretty quickly in MAN OF STEEL. Personally, seeing Bruce approaching Arthur in the village and Lois yell for Clark in Metropolis added a lot of tension for me: the situation is so desperate that secret identities are no longer worth the time.

I thought the chemistry between all six characters was fantastic, especially the way Henry Cavill haunted the whole film despite his absence. Bruce saying that Superman was the most human of them all because he lived like an ordinary guy was beautiful. Barry's awkward crush on Diana was very sweet, particularly his awestruck first meeting ("Hi, Barry, I'm Diana." "Hi, Barry, I'm Diana, no, that's wrong."). Barry falling face-first into Diana's breasts is a very Joss Whedon sort of moment.

**

My feeling as to why the movie is turning out to be such a bomb critically and financially: first, the release date should have been pushed back once Snyder left the film if only to finish some of the special effects rather than see them released as they were. Second, and this ties into the first point, the effects on Superman's face simply weren't finished. If WB had successfully kept a lid on Cavill's mustache, I don't think the audience would've been looking for it, but because it was in the press, the audience was looking for it and it couldn't withstand scrutiny. Third, from a PR standpoint, Whedon shouldn't have directed the reshoots as a director; he should've just been a producer -- because the whole world knows Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon have fundamentally adversarial styles and is looking for mismatches whether they're there or not. I would have hired Greg Beeman or Adam Kane (HEROES and directors who use lots of speedramping) to execute Whedon's marching orders.

But because WB did what they did, the result is that people are looking for all the seams and joins and staples rather than sitting back and appreciating the movie, and if you look for flaws, you'll find them because all movies have them.

19

(751 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

DC Extended Universe -- time of death: 9:48 EST. Time to call it a day when the DCEU's staunchest defender can't be bothered to see the latest movie.

**

So, are Slider_Quinn21 and I just out of touch to be liking this film?

It's very interesting to watch THE FORCE AWAKENS now because it's very obvious -- at least to me? -- that Rey is meant to be Luke's daughter.

Kylo Ren goes ballistic when he hears that there was a girl who made off with the map to Luke. The implication of the scene as performed: he knows who she is and he's afraid of her. The lightsaber imbued with Anakin Skywalker's Force presence calls to Rey twice, once in the underground chamber and once in the forest when Kylo Ren tries to claim it for himself. Rey also has flashbacks of the night Kylo Ren burned down the temple. And the final scene of Rey reaching out to Luke is meant to mirror Han reaching out to Ben earlier -- the child at a distance from the parent, one reaching out to the other.

However, what was implied was not stated outright and left THE LAST JEDI with a lot of room to dismiss the implications as misdirection without contradicting any outright declarations of fact. Why did Kylo Ren go nuts hearing about "a girl"? He sensed the involvement of a Force user. Why does the lightsaber call to Rey? Because it's really calling to Luke thorugh Rey. The flashbacks aren't flashbacks; they're Force visions of events for which Rey wasn't present. Why is Rey approaching Luke meant to mirror Han reaching out to Ben? THE LAST JEDI actually cuts that, having Rey approach an unmoving Luke with the lightsaber and putting it in his hands -- only for him to throw it over his shoulder.

**

I liked THE LAST JEDI well enough, but there was stuff I didn't. I didn't like Rose's musical theme; it seemed awkwardly out of place with the militaristic and somber tone of the film.

In addition, the First Order being able to track the Resistance ship through lightspeed is declared as an impossibility; then immediately understood as a technological concept by those who moments ago called it impossible. It's arbitrary and forced.

A lot of people hate the movie for a very simple reason: the heroes didn't really accomplish much of anything. Rey going to see Luke didn't lead to the Resistance winning; Finn and Rose's mission didn't lead to saving the fleet; Poe's big revelation is that they have been defeated and need to flee; Luke's return saved a small number of Resistance fighters, a complement so small they can all fit aboard the Falcon.

This isn't what modern blockbusters have taught audiences to expect; a film where history has put our heroes on the losing side and all they can do is get by without affecting events significantly is confusing when you have Captain America and Ant Man outgunned, underpowered and saving the day. THE LAST JEDI was an attempt to do something different and to also point out that THE FORCE AWAKENS, in returning to the Rebels vs. Empire dynamic, basically declared that the good guys lost and THE LAST JEDI showed what THE FORCE AWAKENS didn't: defeat and what happens next.

The Canto Bright sequence was very awkward and I totally understood why they wanted some comic relief in the middle of the film, but when the Resistance ships are being picked off one by one, this wandering through a different setting felt clumsily mismatched to the rest of the film. In fact, the idea that one vessel could flee without notice even as as the First Order's fleet pounds away at the remaining Resistance ships was confusing to me: if one can get away, why not more? Admittedly, this sets up how Vice Admiral Holdo is planning to do exactly that with the escape pods, but it's distracting.

Another problem with Canto Bright: it is ridiculous to have Rose and Finn coincidentally imprisoned with a codebreaker, DJ, who is exactly the person they need to do exactly what their mission entails. The level of happenstance is absurd. The only way such a scene could have worked: DJ needed to be a character we'd met before, a character whose familiarity would make his appearance so pleasing the viewer would ignore the implausibility of his presence. Basically, DJ shouldn't have been DJ; DJ should have been Lando Calrissian.

Johnson had meant for Lando to be the codebreaker. But then he realized he didn't want a beloved original trilogy character to sell out Rose and Finn and the Resistance, especially when Lando was the only significant person of colour to be found in the original films. He put in another character. A new character. But he seems to have kept the same introduction and it's a problem.

I don't know what pre-existing character could have replaced Lando. I might have suggested Lobot, Lando's silent aide from EMPIRE, but the actor is dead. Perhaps it should have been Wedge Antilles (Denis Lawson), but you wouldn't recognize him as Wedge at this point (in fact, can you recognize Wedge if he's not in his X-Wing pilot suit and helmet?).

The only other character I can think of whose actor might be available and who might have been recongizable is General Crix Madine (Dermot Crowley) who delivered a mission briefing in RETURN OF THE JEDI and I don't know if anyone outside of obsessive fans would remember him. And I don't know how you rewrite DJ's introduction because the Canto Bright sequence is already too long despite being made as short as possible.

Maybe it should have just been Lando, but he'd also do something to help Holdo target the Star Destroyer and hit it in precisely the right spot and leave Rose and Finn a way to escape? I dunno. It's a flaw and I don't know how to fix it because Johnson's reasons for replacing Lando were very understandable.

In the commentary for REVENGE OF THE SITH, Lucas says that droids did most of the work that in our world would be assigned to servants, janitors, chefs, etc.. I guess, even though he sold the franchise and presented Yoda in the prequels as a humourless bureaucrat and incompetent and had all the Jedi wearing Tatooine costumes and had Leia's mother die at childbirth and declared that a broken heart is a reasonable cause of death... we still have to take his word for it?

Regrettably, the prequels remain canonical as Ewan McGregor had a voiceover in THE FORCE AWAKENS and Luke in THE LAST JEDI refers to Darth Sidious (a name only used in the prequels) and also describes the prequels' events as why he considers the Jedi to be the most useless band of incompetents in history who are best allowed to go extinct.

**

Luke specifically says he felt Snoke in Kylo Ren's mind and the dark side and saw all the people Kylo Ren would kill, hence his igniting the blade. If you didn't understand that Force users are Professor Xavier-level telepathic, you may have misunderstood the scene and the dialogue.

... once again, I don't think you understand how the Force works. Luke crept into Kylo Ren's room and telepathically scanned him. He sensed the dark side, could feel Snoke's mentally projected influence inside Kylo Ren's mind. Instinctively, he triggered the lightsaber, reacting to the presence of the dark side and Snoke within the boy's psyche. Luke didn't walk into that room with the intention to kill his student.

**

I don't know if Luke killed any innocent people. Everyone aboard the Death Star was a willing, complicit staff member on a planet destroying genocide machine that had blown up an unarmed and defenseless world just earlier that afternoon. I can't see Luke killing innocent people in his life on Tatooine, just raiders, thieves, bandits and predatory animals. I wouldn't call Luke cold-blooded; he killed to survive and protect. Judging from his comfort level with doing it in STAR WARS, he'd done it before, but he didn't enjoy it. However, he had accepted it as a part of his life and come to terms with people living and dying -- which is why Uncle Owen, Aunt Beru and Obi-Wan's deaths were given approximately two minutes of grief before he seemed to forget all about it.

From a writing standpoint, STAR WARS was essentially an escapist children's film where the audience surrogate was not to dwell on emotions that would be too upsetting for a young audience.

**

My preference for writing Luke would be to remember that he is both a civilian farmer and a soldier and see these two sides of his personality as a fascinating conflict. The 'vision' of Luke carried by Mark Hamill and by fans at large, I think, is that Luke is a blank template and they project themselves into the character.

One of the toughest parts of the novels: because Luke is so vaguely defined, none of the writers were entirely on the same page. Even questions like how Luke handles himself romantically and sexually were written in valid but contradictory ways.

One writer wrote Luke as being rather oblivious of romance until he had his first date and sexual experience ever with the Force ghost of a dead Jedi Knight. One writer wrote Luke as perpetually crushing on a woman who once worked for the Empire and perpetually and awkwardly distancing himself despite their mutual attraction. One writer wrote Luke as so ridiculously repressed he didn't realize he was in love with Mara Jade for 14 years and asking her to marry him without so much as a first date (although they'd worked together a lot). And you can't really say any of the three interpretations are wrong.

I don't think Luke would have killed Kylo Ren. He sensed the dark side and instinctively triggered his lightsaber. But then he held back -- except the boy woke up before Luke could switch off the blade. I don't think Luke was really admitting that he would have killed Kylo Ren, just that it was his instinct to do so and not one he would have followed through on. And I think Mark Hamill is just flat out wrong to say it's out of character because Luke has been a killer from his first appearance to now. I think Mark Hamill doesn't quite understand the Luke Skywalker character.

In the original STAR WARS, Luke sees his uncle and aunt incinerated. He watches Obi-Wan slice off a man's arm. He's aboard the Falcon when it comes out into Alderaan's orbit and they find scattered rubble where there were once several billion people. Luke shoots at least 50 stormtroopers. There is no reaction that you'd expect for a boy making his first kill. Later, Luke sees all his comrades in Rogue Squadron aside from Wedge killed by TIE Fighters; Luke then blows up the Death Star, presumably killing about 800,000 to 1 million people.

And there is no trauma, no survivor's guilt, no discomfort with taking life. On one level, Luke was very thinly written. He wasn't a character in STAR WARS; he was an audience surrogate and that audience, as envisioned by Lucas writing STAR WARS as a FLASH GORDON knockoff, was adolescent boys who wanted to imagine themselves having all these adventures and engaging in all these battles. But looking at Luke more seriously, the simplest explanation is: Luke is a killer.

More specifically: Luke grew up in a desert wasteland with little law enforcement, predatory wildlife and people looking to rob, steal and kill their victims. So, at an early age, Luke probably had to learn to defend himself. He had to learn how to hunt, how to fight, how to carry a weapon and how to survive -- and, living in the desert, Luke also became acclimatized to violence and death and accepted it as the cycle and circle of life. Luke probably had to kill people who attacked the farm for its equipment. He must have seen friends and neighbours die. Luke specifically says he used to "bullseye womprats," which could have been for sport -- but I think it's more likely that Luke was hunting for food. Luke must have killed people long before he shot his first stormtrooper.

However, because none of that is in the scripts and George Lucas does not direct actors, Mark Hamill couldn't and doesn't see any of that. Luke Skywalker was a blank slate in the scripts, so Hamill's attitude was to project his own personality into the role. Mark Hamill is a gentle, thoughtful, sweet-natured Californian, so he played Luke as himself. And the result is a fascinatingly multi-faceted character because through Mark's performance, Luke becomes this young survivalist who has developed combat and piloting skills simply to stay alive, but his innate personality is the warmth and tenderness of the actor playing the character. The warrior is who he had to become, but the vegetarian charity worker is who he is inside.

We have an interesting conflict in EMPIRE STRIKES BACK where Luke severs the arm of the wampa with his lightsaber. Mark Hamill was furious when he saw the movie; he'd been told on set that the lightsaber would merely scare the animal away. But the slashed-off-arm was added in editing to liven up the scene. "Luke would never do this!" Hamill protested, worrying that the poor wampa would be maimed, die of an infection or worse, be unable to hunt for food or defend itself against other predators. But Hamill's wrong; Mark Hamill would never hurt a wild animal. Luke would. Luke has had to kill to survive and STAR WARS would indicate he killed people long before he brought the droids to Obi-Wan.

And Hamill not really being in tune with the Luke Skywalker character is precisely why he's the best actor to play him. He's a very nice man in conflict with a very violent role and that, onscreen, produces a fascinating personality conflict between the farmer and the soldier inside Luke and it's what made him so iconic and memorable.

SliderQuinn21 wrote:

I still do not understand what's going on in the universe.  We still have no idea how the First Order got so much control, how the Republic was so weak after 30 years in control, and why the Resistance is so small.  We saw in the celebration scenes in Return of the Jedi that the entire galaxy celebrated the end of the Empire.  The Republic should've had a ton of new soldiers willing to fight for them.  Did the First Order take all of them?  Did they somehow convince people that they were the good guys?  How did any of that work?  No one in the galaxy came when Leia was in danger?  No one?  I get that they were talking about the spark of hope being so small, but I still don't understand what happened post-ROTJ that led to the First Order being so powerful and the Republic being weak enough to be destroyed in one fail swoop.

Well, one of my favourite writers, Gerry Conway, has an answer:

Gerry Conway wrote:

George Lucas was the avatar of the Boom generation, and his obsessions, fantasies, political beliefs, life choices, myopias, and sense of destined self-importance are all hallmarks of the generation he embodied and spoke to. Rian Johnson is a true representative of Generation X.

Episode VIII, unlike Episode VII, recognizes the Boomer fantasy of cultural and political renewal through rebellion and the power of elitist “destiny” actually ended in disappointment, failure, and despair. The Baby Boomer Rebels who fought an Evil Empire that invaded the jungles of Endor and burned Ewok villages (an easy Boomer metaphor for U.S. miltary action in Vietnam) ultimately collapsed into a corrupt generation of disillusioned idealists.

Those despairing former idealists then empowered the rise of a new militarism, unopposed by an out-of-touch political establishment so distant from average citizens its destruction is a barely noticeable flicker in the sky. The rebellion against the Empire produced not a healthy new Republic but a remote and disconnected government with no productive impact on the lives of its poorest, weakest citizens (Rey and Finn).

The heroes of the Rebellion either retreated when confronted by failure to fulfill their “destiny” (Luke), turned back to their previous lack of convictions (Han), or soldiered on in an attempt to reclaim old ideals in the face of diminishing odds (Leia). Thirty years after the death of Emperor Palpatine nothing really has changed in that Galaxy long ago and far away. It’s a bleak recognition the 1960s Boomer Revolution was an utter political failure (but not a cultural failure, since we live in a culture that pretends to realize Boomer ideals).

Great movies reflect an era through the eyes of artists who embody that era. George Lucas embodied the era of Baby Boom “destiny” and self-conceit (“I’m the most important individual in the Galaxy because of my mystical understanding of reality”).

Rian Johnson embodies our era of diminished heroism, cynicism and near despair– tempered by the hope, if we can but learn from our heroes’ mistakes, that somehow, some way, some day, we may yet restore balance to the Force. http://gerryconway.tumblr.com/post/1686 … talk-about

SPOILERS























I see a lot of the issues you raise, but I also think THE LAST JEDI is addressing them. THE LAST JEDI is effectively a repudiation of the prequels and THE FORCE AWAKENS. The prequels declared that the Old Republic was a time of peace and prosperity -- but what we saw onscreen (in addition to some unbelievably boring films and the lamest love story ever lensed) was a theocratic government (run by Jedi) that was so clumsy, inept and incompetent that an idiot like Jar Jar Binks could hand it over to a Sith Lord whom the Jedi never even noticed rising within their own regime.

Add that to the fact that despite the supposed peace of the Old Republic, it was a time in which this peaceful government raised its own clone army with one hand being ignorant of the other, where a peaceful world like Naboo could be invaded with no action from the Republic and where slave labour unfolded on Tatooine without a flicker of concern from the supposed Jedi peacekeepers. And yet, Obi-Wan Kenobi described this era as "before the dark times; before the Empire" except the Republic was at best less malicious and genocidal while not being able to actually prevent any coups that led to Death Stars blowing up planets.

And then we have THE FORCE AWAKENS which, in reverting to the STAR WARS (1977) playbook of gleeful adventure with rebels against the establishment, reversed the ending of RETURN OF THE JEDI by establishing that the Rebels ultimately didn't win the war. As a result, THE LAST JEDI presents Luke Skywalker declaring that the Jedi have been a complete and total failure across the board; they failed to stop the Sith; they failed to stop the Empire; they'll fail to stop the Order. By the end of THE LAST JEDI, the Rebels/Resistance are reduced to whoever can fit aboard the Millennium Falcon.

THE LAST JEDI is effectively declaring the Republic/Rebels/Resistance vs. the Sith/Empire/Order war to be a dead-end for STAR WARS as a continuing franchise, with Luke observing that STAR WARS' central conceit, the Force, is about the light and energy between all living things and the idea that the Jedi's absence would mean the absence of light is absurd and arrogant -- meaning that there have to be new ways to tell STAR WARS stories that aren't just remaking the 1977 film (like THE FORCE AWAKENS) or trying to lead into the 1977 film (like the prequels). There's quite a bit of this with Kylo Ren too, urging Rey to "let the past die, kill it if you have to."

And Yoda urges Luke to stop thinking in terms of who won or lost which war when, but instead look to need: who needs him and for what and what can he offer and give to those who are suffering?

And when Luke dies, the narrative onscreen indicates that Luke has cut himself off from the Force, but now he gives himself over to the Force which is why he looked reborn to youth in his projection. He is giving up his physical body to become one with the elemental nature of reality and STAR WARS stories themselves, allowing himself and the STAR WARS franchise to potentially be reborn into something new.

However, I concede that all this content about renewing the STAR WARS formula and casting off the old tropes is presented in a movie that is entirely about presenting the STAR WARS formula of heists and space battles and lightsaber duels, so it could be somewhat muted and hypocritical and EPISODE IX will be from staunch traditionalist JJ Abrams who made the very sort of film THE LAST JEDI is trying to leave behind.

26

(25 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I don't know what to tell you except to reiterate: all your examples of 'adult' content in RIVERDALE's first season and now it's second are to be found in DAWSON'S CREEK's first two seasons.

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(25 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

RIVERDALE is no racier or 'adult' than DAWSON'S CREEK in Season 1 in 1998.

I'm not sure I would really compare LEGENDS' characterization to the other shows except to say that Dr. Stein's post-mortem was indeed well written and a nice coda to Victor Garber's exit from the series. While I was fine with Stein's exit, I'm glad that the subsequent episode gave Slider_Quinn21 everything I tried to share.

"I may have a life ahead of me but to you, I'm a ghost. I'm not going to cheat death, Jefferson. None of us live forever. And yet, I clearly live a wonderful life with many chapters and if I had one wish, it wouldn't be for me to prolong my life. It would be for you to live yours. To have all the happiness you deserve."

It reminded me, actually, of Wally West's self-sacrifice in DC REBIRTH #1. In the 2011 reboot, DC made all its characters 10 years younger and removed most of the later-generation heroes like Barry Allen's redheaded nephew, Kid-Flash/Wally West with no mention of what had happened to him and no one ever referring to him. REBIRTH shows Wally unstuck in time, observing the New 52 universe and realizing that 10 years have been ripped out of reality along with relationships and friendships, causing the heroes to become isolated, corrupted and alone. Batman and Superman aren't friends; Green Arrow and Black Canary don't know each other and feel a strange sense of loss they can't explain and Wally West was erased from everyone's memories.

The unstuck Wally attempts to re-tether to reality by seeking out past friends -- Batman, Nightwing, Cyborg, the Justice Society -- but nobody, not even Wally's wife, Linda, remember him. Wally, decaying and about to dissipate into the Speed Force and lose all memory and identity, sees the *other* Wally West -- an African-American cousin who, like Wally, was named after their great-grandfather Wallace. Wally sees his cousin exhibit superspeed and realizes there will be a new Kid Flash. Wally then sees Barry rescuing schoolchildren from a fire, bringing them all pizza and realizes that even without Wally, the legacy of the Flash will continue.

And Wally, now barely a ghost, manifests to Barry. Barry doesn't recognize him. Wally tells Barry, "You don't know who I am and you won't remember -- so this is hello and good-bye." An uncomprehending Barry protests, "Who are you?" But Wally, fading into the Speed Force, has little time left and can't explain. Instead, he warns Barry that a mysterious being has attacked reality and removed love, legacy and family from the DC Universe.

And as the Speed Force is about to take him, Wally cries out, "Thank you for an amazing life. Thank you for your kindness. For your inspiration. For being there for me so many times. For now. The last time. That's why I won't die in anguish. Every second was a gift." Wally's final act is to express his love to his uncle who doesn't even know him.

And I think that's what a superhero is supposed to do; a superhero should face all the hardships and inevitabilities we all face, but they should represent our most graceful, responsible, aspirational, compassionate selves and we should all seek to face death with the same spirit that Dr. Stein and Wally faced theirs. Death scenes often define superheroes for me...

Although, in Wally's case, he actually survived.

Informant wrote:

Such as Alex's  "punch a Nazi" comment, which has led to people being physically assaulted in the real world, despite the fact that they have nothing to do with Nazis? I agree. I find it disappointing that you're willing to take a bold stance against my condemnation of that call to violence, but you're silent on the call itself.

Please accept my gratitude and appreciation for your civility and see the political thread for my response.

30

(829 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I believe that you know what you're talking about when you do give opinions even if the conclusions aren't the ones I'd make when facing the same facts. On the Nazis in CRISIS --

Informant wrote:

Such as Alex's  "punch a Nazi" comment, which has led to people being physically assaulted in the real world, despite the fact that they have nothing to do with Nazis? I agree. I find it disappointing that you're willing to take a bold stance against my condemnation of that call to violence, but you're silent on the call itself.

I don't know that my opinion of Alex's remarks and my opinions of the real world are the same thing. I'm going to defer to Mark Evanier, Jack Kirby's assistant and biographer, who was regularly asked: "Where would Jack Kirby, co-creator of Captain America, stand on punching Nazis?" Evanier's response: Kirby, as the artist on Captain America's comics, was regularly harassed during World War II by Nazi sympathizers. At one point, Kirby got a phone call from a Nazi saying that if Kirby dared come to the ground floor of Marvel's office building, Kirby would get his face smashed in. Kirby replied that he would come downstairs immediately. He emerged from the stairwell with two angry fists. The lobby was empty.

Kirby later joined the US Army and accepted the job of killing Nazis and proved highly proficient at the job. One assumes that if he were willing to gun down Nazis (and go down several flights of stairs to meet them), he was willing to punch them.

However, that was a time of all-out honest-to-God war and once the war was over, Kirby was not known to assault anybody, Nazi or not. In all likelihood, were Kirby to encounter Nazis on the street in peacetime, he would go home and draw some comics to express his anger and disgust and hope for a better world. https://www.newsfromme.com/2017/01/25/punching-nazis/

I would say that a Nazi battalion from Earth-X dropping a strike force into the middle of Central City to attack a wedding would qualify as a time of all-out honest-to-God war and these Nazis getting punched and arrowed to death were invading soldiers, not social workers. I don't see how that could apply in the real world where we're not (presently) at war with the Third Reich or its remnants.

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(829 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I humbly request Informant grace us with his take on the Michael Flynn plea and James O'Keefe's recent effort to trick the Washington Post. I'm sure I won't agree? But no one could ever accuse Informant of not being interesting.

I don't manage the Arrowverse. I do manage this board. And on this board, disagreeing with Informant does not make one insane, irrational or immature and any remarks or language that intimidate dissent into silence are unacceptable regardless of whether intentional or not. No one should have to fear being attacked or mocked for not sharing another poster's worldview.

TemporalFlux wrote:

As for the insertion of social and political issues into these shows, I regret that people in film have lost their subtlety.  It’s similar to what almost happened with Back to the Future. If the film makers had an unlimited budget and no restrictions, the time machine was going to be a refrigerator and Marty would have gotten back to the future by riding inside of it at the heart of an atom bomb test in the desert.  When it was decided that would cost too much money to be done “right”, they went back to the drawing board and came up with a Delorean that could be powered by a lightning bolt.  An iconic idea was created because of limitations - because of restraint.  With CGI today, we would have gotten the refrigerator.

In our say anything, do anything world today; it seems there’s no reason to put more thought into ideas.  But messages can be delivered by more than just a hammer; and everyone’s product would be better if they placed limits on themselves (even using a simple question like “how do I get someone who hates these ideas to buy them?”).  If the productions thought that way, maybe we could get something like Classic Trek’s “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” which I still hold to be one of the best spotlights on racism that has ever been put out there (honestly - who even noticed or cared which side of their face was colored until it was pointed out?  For most who saw it - especially kids - it was eye opening to the issue).

Look at that! A thoughtful opinion without in any way intimating that those who might have different tastes and views are wrong! Without any effort to intimidate those who disagree into silence! And a thoughtful sense of contemplation that leaves us thinking even if we don't agree.

Dear God, it was such a relief when Daisy showed up on AGENTS OF SHIELD to rescue everyone from the aliens and assure us that we will get through this.

I just want to reiterate in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost that Informant's political views in no way represent the views of the rest of the Sliders.tv community which is home to many sane, sensible people who are on the opposite end of Informant's opinions and to declare those who disagree with him are mentally ill to do so will not be tolerated in this forum.

I am also going to remind Informant that I opened a thread specifically for his political commentary and it isn't this one and that while he is free to state his views, he is not free to police anybody else's. Any further political commentary whether it relates to TV or the real world will go in the political thread even if I have to personally move it there post by post.

I have put this message board back together more times than God has reconstructed Castiel and I didn't do it for posters to have a place to call those with dissenting opinions insane and in the middle of discussing Reverse Flash and time travel. If that's what you want to do, take it to Reddit.

Ah, THE PUNISHER. I liked the Netflix series? Yes, a question mark. Because, to be honest -- I don't think this version of Frank Castle, the Punisher, is actually an adaptation of the comic book character. I think that the producers have very deliberately abandoned the comic book incarnation. In the comics, Castle is an addict with an uncontrollable compulsion to kill; he chooses socially acceptable targets and the comic is a black comedy of the Punisher brutalizing the absolute worst of criminals. In order to avoid alienating the audience, the Punisher's villains must always be sadistic, cruel, horrific monstrosities whose gruesome deaths are applauded by the reader because they're so much worse than Frank Castle. The Punisher is a serial killer.

Writer Garth Ennis pushed this version of the character forward in the 90s, noting that the Punisher's war on crime never seems to stop the criminal underworld and Castle had killed anyone involved in his family's murders years ago, yet he continued his massacre. Where Ennis hinted at the Punisher's psychopathy, Jason Aaron made the Punisher's addiction overt. The Punisher is not a hero.

The TV series is clearly uncomfortable with this. So, to adjust this, DAREDEVIL revealed that Castle has brain damage that causes him to experience his family's murders as though it's in the present tense. THE PUNISHER proceeds to inflate the murder of the Castle family to insanely bloated proportions -- all so that the Punisher's murder spree doesn't come off as a murder spree. Instead, he's pursuing justice for an atrocity. The result is that the Netflix Punisher is a troubled, reasonable, thoughtful military man and all of the comic Castle's disturbing edges have been filed down, making him an uncomplicated hero rather than the crazy, bloodthirsty kill junkie he actually is.

If you can accept that, THE PUNISHER is as good as most of the Netflix shows. There's a lot of random plot elements that don't connect to the main plotline in order to pad out the episode count. There's a lot of characters standing around and talking for an episode. There's a strange lack of action for a 'superhero' show, although when the action does come, it's compelling and exciting. It's a moody, atmospheric series that at times seems over-extended and at times seems needlessly drawn out with unnecessary conversations and characters but is sufficiently entertaining and enjoyable. It's a Netflix Marvel show. But this isn't THE PUNISHER.

I can accept that the true PUNISHER could be a bit too much for a mainstream audience. I can enjoy this version of the character on its own merits, but I do note that for all of the Marvel Netflix's claims of edgy, provocative, challenging content, this PUNISHER series deliberately steers clear of anything controversial.

So... I'm not watching INHUMANS. This isn't a review because I've not seen a single episode and I don't intend to. The reasons why:

INHUMANS was a spite-driven project. Marvel CEO Isaac Perlmutter was upset over FOX having the rights to X-MEN & FANTASTIC FOUR and FOX rejecting Marvel's wish to get involved in the X-MEN films and share in the profits. Perlmutter wanted an arrangement akin to what Marvel has with Sony to share the SPIDER-MAN rights that the company short-sightedly sold off in the 90s.

FOX rejected this. In response, Perlmutter demanded that (a) Marvel stop promoting the X-MEN and FANTASTIC FOUR comics and stop producing merchandise and (b) that Marvel shift to using INHUMANS and the Inhumans concept where it would have once used mutants. X-MEN comics sold too well to cease publication, but FANTASTIC FOUR, rarely if ever a strong seller, was cancelled. INHUMANS was pushed forward with Marvel mandated to have people develop superpowers through Terrigenesis making them Inhumans rather than evolution having people born as mutants to develop superpowers.

Marvel Editorial was understandably dismayed and grudgingly went about Perlmutter's mandates. But, naturally, the Inhumans concept has never caught on because a distant royal family of Inhumans who live on the moon in seclusion has never been as relatable as people being born different into a world that hates and fears them. To be a mutant is to be black, gay, awkward, nerdy, lonely, troubled and marginalized. To be an Inhuman is to be part of a royal lineage or, in Marvel TV's continuity, to be exposed to alien technology that taps into your genetic potential. There's no meaningful metaphor there. INHUMANS was promoted and pushed into Marvel Films' docket simply because Perlmutter was upset with FOX and thought the Marvel brand could compete against X-MEN with INHUMANS.

Kevin Feige, the chief creative lead in Marvel Films and Perlmutter's subordinate, thought this ridiculous. No sensible person could expect a general audience to switch their interest from X-MEN to this D-list property with no meaningful themes, no standout characters known to the general public and no cultural impact beyond a small number of comic book readers.

Eventually, Feige engineered Perlmutter's removal from the film division and cancelled the INHUMANS feature film. Perlmutter petulantly ordered that an INHUMANS TV show be produced and its premiere shown in IMAX cineplexes.

At no point was INHUMANS developed, produced or designed because it was an interesting idea with worthwhile characters and a strong creative vision. It was simply a petty grudge. INHUMANS' opening episodes were slapped together by director Roel Reiné who freely admitted he was asked to make it as cheaply and quickly as possible. INHUMANS's showrunner is Scott Buck who led the disastrous IRON FIST mini-series on Netflix. I have no more time for this man's writing.

I have no interest in watching a series made in order to facilitate one man's temper tantrum, especially when its own director has confessed the lack of concern for artistry and craft and when it's led by the worst writer and showrunner to ever script a Marvel live action property. I don't know what the content of the series is, but given that it's a ratings and critical disaster and likelihood of being cancelled, I doubt any future Marvel property will tie into this train wreck or want anything to do with it.

I wasn't too keen on IRON FIST, but I sat through it because it was part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and I didn't want to miss anything. I got through DEFENDERS which wasn't great but not absolutely terrible. I tolerated IRON MAN II and the first CAPTAIN AMERICA movie and I found AVENGERS incredibly dull. It's a shared universe; I'm a fan, I keep up even if I don't always like the content. I am skipping INHUMANS. For all I know, it could be like JUSTICE LEAGUE (most people hated it, I adored it). But even if INHUMANS has somehow become a show I would enjoy, projects fuelled entirely by spite are not worth my time.

If I wanted to watch TV shows driven wholly by pettiness and childish grudges, I'd rewatch Seasons 3 - 5 of SLIDERS.

Well, Eddie's sacrifice did lead to Thawne's automatically arranged confession tape to be released, leading to Henry Allen being released from prison and he did save the team in that moment as Thawne was going to kill Barry and then Caitlin and then Cisco and then Joe and he probably would've killed Tina McGee afterwards, too. Eddie's sacrifice also led to opening the black hole that almost destroyed Central City and cost Ronnie Raymond his life, so it's not like it was all good.

As for Dr. Stein, I think it just goes to indicate that death sucks. Stein died taking a risk by separating from Jax to divide and conquer. He got shot by a Nazi goon which just goes to show that we don't all end in a blaze of glory. With what would likely have been his dying breath, he triggered the gateway to get the sliders home and then he gave his life once again so that Quinn could live. I mean -- oh, you know what I mean. The randomness is actually quite true to life, and is countered by Stein choosing both times to use his death to save someone.

I thought CRISIS ON EARTH–X was good and a strong correction on INVASION last year. The creators filmed four episodes of CRISIS when they would have normally filmed four of ARROW, four of FLASH, four of LEGENDS and four of SUPERGIRL.

As a result, the lead cast (Oliver, Barry and Kara) are evenly distributed across the entire story as opposed to last year where they were front and center for the first, reduced to cameos for the second and only returned fully for the last half of the third episode.

With CRISIS, Parts 1 – 2 feature them prominently. Part 3 has them appearing just as much but has them confined to locations (Kara at STAR Labs, Barry and Oliver either at the Nazi base or the Resistance HQ). In Part 4, the Legends take center stage to start, but Oliver, Barry and Kara resume their lead roles at the 1/3 mark.

As with last year, the crossover frontloads their screentime, then reduces them but has them return in full force for the end. This time, however, the supporting cast were sufficiently foregrounded that it doesn't feel like actor unavailability as much as giving the other characters their spotlight. Jax and Stein have a great rapport and arc throughout the crossover. Alex's uncertainty with a post–Maggie sex life is hilarious. When Mr. Terrific, Wild Dog and Black Canary show up in Part 3 to defend STAR Labs, it feels like a delightful surprise and when the Atom and Nate come to the rescue in Part 4, it feels appropriate to spend some time with them after lavishing so much attention on the stars.

Stein's exit from the series was meaningful and everything Professor Arturo's death wasn't on SLIDERS. It wasn't necessary to kill Stein off, but I appreciate the show wanting to take Victor Garber's departure as an opportunity for tragedy and growth and accept that he wouldn't return as a guest-star or come back next year. Where INVASION felt overblown, incidental and quickly forgotten, CRISIS will leave lingering impact on all the shows: Alex has gotten over Maggie; Barry and Iris are married; Oliver and Felicity are married; the Legends have lost their father figure.

Also, the CRISIS villains were much more effective than INVASION. The Dominators were generic thugs who wanted to invade Earth by attacking one rooftop. In contrast, Overgirl, Dark Archer and the Reverse Flash had clear goals in wanting Kara's heart. In terms of production, the scale was so much larger and yet the story was so much smaller and much more effective.

Production sounds like it was a bit desperate at times. Apparently, even with a four week shooting schedule for four episodes and the crew of four TV shows working on the project, actor availability was an issue. Every single actor had multiple photo doubles filming scenes concurrently so that any sequence that didn't need the actor's face onscreen was used for maximum advantage. The Dark Archer and Overgirl had masks so that it wouldn't be necessary for Amell and Benoist to play them except when exposed. It worked.

Amell says that taking four weeks to shoot four episodes (instead of 16) threw all the shows badly off schedule and that they can't do it again next year -- but from a quality standpoint, the INVASION approach was rather disappointing to me and I hope they don't return to it. It'd be best to accept that a crossover, to serve all the characters and get all of them onscreen for satisfying periods of time, will push back the subsequent episodes.

There were a bunch of minor issues with CRISIS. There were a few shots where the heroes are tag-teaming a villain while Nazi soldiers are firing guns offscreen (at civilians?) which almost makes one think the heroes care more about grudge matches than saving people. I was confused as to why Overgirl and Dark Archer, seeking Supergirl's heart, target an Earth on which Kara doesn't live. I missed the explanation for why only Sarah, Jax, Stein and Mick were at the wedding while the other Legends weren't. These are small issues.

My main problem with CRISIS: Reverse Flash has gone from confusing to inexplicable. LEGENDS got confused with showing Eobard Thawne after his erasure in the FLASH Season 1 finale. The explanation was confusing: he says he escaped into the Speed Force but was captured by Barry for "Flashpoint" except the Thawne in "Flashpoint" was the pre-Season 1 version. Ignore the reference to getting captured and it works to say that "Flashpoint" altered history so that Thawne, before he was wiped out of reality, escaped into the Speed Force, leading to his appearance in LEGENDS -- which ended with him being consumed by the wraith–form of Hunter Zolomon.

CRISIS offers no explanation for how Thawne survived that. It's also unclear why Thawne is working with the Earth–X villains, what he hopes to gain from associating with them or why this arrogant master manipulator and genius is following their plans and serving their goals. Thawne's time on THE FLASH was all about maneuvering Barry, Caitlin, Cisco, Joe and others. His tenure on LEGENDS was marked with controlling Damian and Merlyn. Downgrading Thawne to Overgirl and the Dark Archer's henchman is awkward.

Thawne also doesn't even offer any explanation for why he's played by Tom Cavanagh beyond a joke. He might as well have said, "Matt Letscher was busy this week." There's also a serious problem with Cavanagh's performance as Thawne which recalls neither the measured, aloof manipulator of Dr. Wells or the smug, superior antagonist of LEGENDS.

Instead, Cavanagh plays Thawne as clownishly malicious and it's a strange acting choice. Previously, Cavanagh and Letscher gave Thawne a restrained danger where, because he was so distant, you could never sure if he'd be (faux) avuncular or terrifyingly homicidal. But this time, Cavanaugh's Thawne is so unsubtle that he's predictable and because he's following Overgirl and the Dark Archer's orders, he's not scary. He's just silly.

And then we come to the end where Barry for some reason doesn't kill or incapacitate Thawne. I'm not sure what to think. The truth is, I too would hesitate to kill Thawne because I have no idea how he's alive again or why he's working with the Earth X villains. Without any clear sense of where Thawne's at in his personal timeline, without any clarity as to how killing Thawne could change the past or present (last time, a black hole opened), it makes a sort of sense for Barry to let Thawne go.

The problem is that none of this is onscreen. It's confusing why Barry thinks Thawne will simply leave the fight because the Flash pinned him. It's baffling why Thawne exits the scene willingly rather than rejoining the battle and forcing Barry to fight him again. Thawne's motivations are unfathomable to me here.  Now it falls to subsequent FLASH episodes to explain how Thawne is alive and what he wants now.

It's rather sad that the most significant villain of THE FLASH has become a muddled mess of confusing exposition and mystifying contradictions and reduced to being Dark Archer and Overgirl's pawn. Cavanagh doesn't play this as the original Thawne; I wonder if this was an acting choice or the result of Cavanagh not having played this character for over two years and forgotten what he was like, or if he was trying to distinguish Thawne from Harry and went too far.

The simplest explanation, of course: this isn't Eobard Thawne. It's a time remnant.

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(751 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Informant wrote:

I wouldn't call BvS a massive success. I would call it a solid success. I would call it impressive for a franchise that is several reboots down the line for both of its main characters.

Informant wrote:

I don't disagree with what you say will happen to the franchise in the future, but I disagree with the logic behind your comments.

Informant wrote:

I think Aquaman will stand on its own. I think Shazam will stand on its own. I think most of the single-lead movies will stand on their own, just like Man of Steel and Wonder Woman did. There may or may not be another JL movie in the near future. I think the plan for that probably got thrown when the Snyders (who have been developing this movies) stepped down. We'll have to see what happens, and if they ever decide to come back.

Informant wrote:

I still haven't seen Justice League. Soon, I hope. I'm avoiding spoilers as much as possible. A lot of people seem to like it... so I'll probably hate it. smile

It's scary how I totally agreed with Informant on all of this except the part where he disagreed with me. I can't wait to see what he makes of JUSTICE LEAGUE.

I'll just say I think Zack Snyder is a great director whose work on BVS should have been released to theatres unbutchered.

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(751 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

I think the DCEU brand is toxic at this point. MAN OF STEEL was a decent start to a Superman series, but the destruction porn rankled the audience and the box office was mediocre for a cultural icon. WB sought to raise the profile by adding Batman into the sequel -- but as BVS developed, WB then wanted to chase after what Marvel had and what the TRANSFORMERS, JAMES BOND, SPIDER-MAN and other franchises were pursuing in Marvel's wake -- a cinematic universe.

As a result, BVS was now saddled with Wonder Woman and cameos from the Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg and setting up a JUSTICE LEAGUE film that would face an invasion from Apokolips. Zack Snyder and screenwriters Chris Terrio and David Goyer found a way to tell an operatic, epic tale of an angry man against a human god while meeting the shopping list WB had given them. Understandably, such a movie was going to be about three hours long -- and then WB ordered that an hour be cut from the film.

As a result, BVS was an incoherent mess of confusing plotlines that only the director's cut would finally explain. The vast majority of the world saw the often unfathomable cineplex version and viewed Zack Snyder as a director of incomprehensible, alienating films. SUICIDE SQUAD suffered from the same incoherence due to too many cut scenes. So, with a muted reaction to MAN OF STEEL, a severe distaste for BVS and SUICIDE SQUAD and WONDER WOMAN seen as an outlier because Snyder had nearly nothing to do with it, JUSTICE LEAGUE was (unfairly) expected to be more unwatchable confusion from the BVS director made even more incoherent by a different director coming aboard at the tail-end of the process.

The DCEU brand is synonymous with unpleasant, awkwardly edited, confusing filmmaking. Informant insists until he is blue in the face that BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN was a massive success, but WB wouldn't have hired Joss Whedon to alter JUSTICE LEAGUE in mid-production if they'd been satisfied with BVS' finances and critical reception. But the turnaround was too late and the overall perception of JUSTICE LEAGUE (a film I actually really enjoyed and want to see again soon) is that it was WB trying to imitate a Marvel movie and not pulling it off despite having *the* Marvel director doing it.

At this point, AQUAMAN is filmed and WONDER WOMAN was too successful to cancel a sequel. But I think what we're looking at is WB trying to salvage the brand by splitting the DCEU back into separate franchises so as to try to sell SUPERMAN, BATMAN, WONDER WOMAN, FLASH, GREEN LANTERN CORPS, CYBORG, HARLEY & JOKER and JOKER as standalone features rather than DCEU features. Part of this was already in the planning stages, but I expect that if the FLASHPOINT film is ever made, it will break up the shared universe so as to allow each property to pursue its own path and public standing rather than seeing the Snyder brand define every single one of them.

JUSTICE LEAGUE cost too much money and has brought in too little for WB try a sequel any time soon and a movie with one or two superheroes is going to be cheaper than a movie with six. I think the DC Expanded Universe is done. Shared universes cost too much and one failure affects every other project.

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(751 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Slider_Quinn21 once remarked that he didn't see Marvel movies as 'real' films as much as Saturday morning cartoons in live action. Temporal Flux had the same view of SMALLVILLE. That's how I saw JUSTICE LEAGUE. It was good-natured, cheerful, speedily-paced fun with a focus on putting favourite characters in the same room and the plot either a framework or an afterthought. (It's the main flaw in my writing, too.)

SPOILERS













The plot is just an excuse to justify Wonder Woman shoving Batman for bringing up her dead boyfriend, Batman hinting at a secret weapon to stop Superman which turns out to be Lois, the Flash frantically confessing to Batman that he's never been in a fight, Batman protesting to Superman that he in no way dislikes Clark, Aquaman confessing all his insecurities because he sat on Wonder Woman's lasso of truth, the Flash saving one truck and feeling emasculated by Superman saving an apartment building, Batman saying his superpower is being rich and, my favourite moment -- when Batman pulls his disappearing act on Commissioner Gordon but the Flash lingers awkwardly.

The complaints about the movie being disjointed are, I feel, the result of viewers being overly aware that Zack Snyder left the film before the reshoots and trying to identify which scenes are Whedon's and which are Snyder's and overly fixating on the computer alterations to Henry Cavill's face (which only looked awkward to me in two shots because I wasn't looking for problems). To me, this movie was made like the Season 6 paintball episode of COMMUNITY: the plot was full of holes and gaps and leaps of logic because the story was about the people, not the events..

I liked JUSTICE LEAGUE more than AVENGERS because where Whedon seemed to linger for far too long on getting the gang together for Marvel (despite four movies of setup), JUSTICE LEAGUE makes it happen rapidly.

I had a lot of fun. It's not a film filled with insight and inspiration; it's got way too many characters to service for that due to Cyborg, Flash and Aquaman lacking a solo debut in their own films, but it does a good job with its task list. It's too bad the movie isn't doing so well financially; I suspect that the audience, aware of the production difficulties and change of directors, is understandably not eager to spend crazy cineplex money on what they assume is a mis-matched wreck of two directors who could not be more different. I think it works. The world disagrees.

I feel like Informant.

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(751 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Well, I thought JUSTICE LEAGUE was really fun and a good movie.

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This may be my asexuality, but --

I think it is really pathetic that a man goes to such insane lengths to procure, dominate and control women for sex. Every part of this cult is designed simply so that Keith Raniere can have sex with skinny women and maintain an inflow. What sort of ridiculous affectation is that for an adult especially as a full-time focus, a complete and all-consuming fixation for an entire life?

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(49 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

A lot of the time, people unconsciously see themselves as pawns and well behind the line of being perpetrators.

They tend not to realize it never takes much to cross that line.

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I cannot stress enough in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit that Informant's views do not represent the views of Sliders.tv and our current moment of agreement is clearly an abberation.

I don't think Allison Mack started evil. I think she just learned really fast.

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(25 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

Now here's the question I'm interested in - did he abandon the FBI storyline or was he never really planning on using it?  Did he stop it because Bennish was instrumental and FOX didn't like Bennish?  I'm not sure I remember reading anything about that, honestly.

Disclaimer: everything below is based on memories and impressions of chatting with Torme via AOL almost two decades ago and may be coloured by personal bias and filling in blank areas with guesses and it was written hurriedly during a lunchbreak.

I asked Torme back in 2000 about his plans for the FBI plot and his answer was appropriately SLIDERS-esque. He explained to me: his approach to a story is not to lay out precisely what happens when and to whom. Instead, he creates a concept and a beginning that will allow him multiple options for additional stories and conclusions. Due to the improvisational nature of television, it's important to have lots of different paths available rather than a strict plan from which any deviation means losing direction.

In the case of the FBI, Torme and Weiss wanted to create an alternate group of interdimensional travellers who would be professional and authoritarian. These federal agents would stand in stark contrast to the awkward ragamuffins that are the sliders. When the sliders encountered them, they would be in opposition.

Extrapolating from what Torme said: where the sliders blunder into situations, the FBI would be coolly mission-oriented, seeking to acquire intelligence, weapons and technology. Where the sliders are unwitting forces of anarchy who bring down governments, the FBI consider it appropriate to uphold existing power structures.

To me, Torme's view opens the door to many potential conflicts: the FBI want to reproduce biological weapons, but the sliders want to destroy them. The FBI want to help the fascist regime put down the resistance that the sliders have joined. The FBI want to curtail the interdimensional interference that the sliders regularly cause. The FBI consider the sliders to be domestic terrorists while the sliders view them as authoritarian pawns.

According to Torme: Bennish's presence on the federal agents' team makes the agents seem more professional in contrast and also showcases Bennish's hypocracy: he sides with whichever side he thinks will benefit him most.

Also according to Torme: to wrap up the FBI plot, if needed, numerous options existed. The FBI and the sliders could come to a truce where the FBI can't take the sliders home but can take messages for their families. The FBI catch up to the sliders and, because John Rhys-Davies wants to leave the show, the FBI manage take Arturo and only Arturo home (but, if John changes his mind, the FBI accidentally take the wrong Arturo home and the right one returns to the group).

One idea that Torme was keen on but chose not to pursue: the FBI weren't actually investigating Quinn's disappearance in "Summer of Love." They were investigating Michael Mallory's disappearance, had been for years, believing he faked his death to join a foreign power to help them make weapons. The FBI believed the vortex to be some unknown armament. Quinn's disappearance made them suspect that Quinn had been recruited by his father.

This would lead to a story where the FBI, investigating on a parallel Earth, could clear Michael's name and find that Michael had gone into hiding to protect his family and country. Alternatively, Michael could've been a traitor (like in "Gillian of the Spirits") and Quinn would embrace the Professor as his true father figure. The FBI plot could end with Quinn having hope that his father was still alive back home. Or it could end with Quinn knowing that a confrontation with his father was lying in wait should he ever get back. But when Torme wrote "The Guardian," he no longer saw Michael Mallory as secretly alive; he now saw Michael's value as the ghost of Quinn's childhood.

... this is what it was like to talk to Torme. In fact, I think this is why, nine years later, Transmodiar talked to Torme and Torme couldn't remember what his plans were. He hadn't planned. He'd imagined multiple paths of potential development.

None of the above is the secrets SLIDERS was building to reveal. This isn't the uncovered mythology of the series. They're just things Torme thought about doing but may not have done and probably wouldn't have done because other possibilities would have presented themselves over time. Quinn was supposed to be an awkward geek; that wasn't what was onscreen, so Torme changed his approach. Also, Torme was working with Robert K. Weiss and Weiss would've had his own ideas for what might come.

During our talk, the only certainty Torme was absolutely sure of for the FBI was this: if SLIDERS had been more successful, it'd occasionally be necessary to do an episode where the regular cast would have limited onscreen roles to get ahead on another episode. This happened with THE X-FILES where supporting cast members would take center-stage for a week. In that event, there might have been an episode devoted to the FBI and Bennish having an adventure.

Torme's philosophy of writing is neatly summarized in Quinn's speech about stardust in "The Guardian." Torme didn't make plans; he made possibilities. And as time passed, those possibilities would be dismantled and reconfigured to form new paths. That's what we should expect from the co-creator of SLIDERS.

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(25 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

Slider_Quinn21 wrote:

So while the Kromaggs might've been his way to reinvent the show after the Peckinpah stuff, there's a chance he would've never mentioned the tracking device again if he'd stayed on the show indefinitely.

I agree and disagree. With "Invasion," the tracking device means that if the sliders get home, the Kromaggs will invade. The natural endpoint of the series -- getting home -- is now irrevocably entangled with "Invasion" and the Kromaggs cannot be ignored.

But, I admit, Torme could have had a storyline where the sliders are caught in an electromagnetic pulse and the implant, whoever it's in, is presumably destroyed. Kind of a waste, though.

Neno wrote:

No need for kromaggs to make sense when sliders never did from the start
1) Quinn's dad died when he was 12 but in the picture in the pilot there they are the same height as they are at the end of the pilot when he comes home from work.
2) After skipping a grade in school Quinn said he was smaller then his classmates (the picture in the pilot makes him ruffly 6" at 12 did he  go to Giant dude high school?)but still managed to be QB on the football team.
Also why did the mags drive Hummers instead of some antigravity mini manta idk
Maybe the felt demasculinized and need to overcompensate

Well, this is a discussion forum and as fans, we'll naturally discuss the absurdities of the series. We may not find sense, but we do search for meaning. And I do find meaning in SLIDERS' absurdities, especially in how the more ridiculous aspects of the first 22 episodes feed the depth and mythic nature of the characters.

In the first two seasons, the sliders never carry luggage, yet the characters alternate between outfits and maintain the same styles: Quinn's flannel and jeans, Wade's casual dressiness, Rembrandt and Arturo's fitted, tailored suits.

And money! In Season 1, the sliders find jobs despite having no verifiable identification; in Season 2, they always have money for food and hotels without explanation. These plot points were set aside because dealing with it every episode was repetitive and distracting.

You could see that as a plothole. Or you could see it as an indication that the sliders are innately gifted as interdimensional nomads. They are just that good. The rationalization (if there is one) is not as important as the meaning behind it.

That said, if I *had* to explain it -- I'd go by the DOCTOR WHO story that every supposed mistake is just a missing story away from explaining it. I imagine a lost Season 1 episode: the sliders land on a world where the Cold War never ended and the world lives in terror of impending nuclear war. The sliders are caught up in an espionage plot, mistaken for enemy spies and seek refuge in the Dominion Hotel (instead of the Motel 12).

There, they find a secret storage space left by two Communist agents who died in the 70s and never recovered their cache. In the storage space is a suitcase full of cash and a variety of outfits for different identities to pass for Americans -- which allow the sliders to maintain their styles and even alternate between the same outfits.

Subsequently, any time there's a Dominion Hotel in a parallel Earth, the sliders visit the storage space and 30 per cent of the time, the cash and the clothes are there -- which is why they always stay at the Dominion Hotel starting in Season 2.

As for the inconsistency between the Pilot and "The Guardian" regarding Quinn's childhood:

Quinn being smaller than his classmates because he's younger and Quinn being athletic as he grew are not mutually exclusive concepts. The former serves as a solid explanation for Quinn's awkwardness when he's Jerry O'Connell. The latter is reinforced by Quinn's love for sports as indicated by all the gear in his bedroom. There's nothing in the Pilot to contradict this backstory.

However, there is indeed a contradiction: the Pilot puts Michael's death in Quinn's teens via the family photograph. "The Guardian" declares that the death of Quinn's father at age 10 caused Quinn to become socially isolated and racked with guilt over how his final words to his dad were spoken in anger.

I don't think it's an error; I think Tracy Torme, who wrote both episodes, deliberately altered Quinn's backstory.

You could conceivably rationalize the continuity here. If I had to explain it, I'd say that Quinn had a growth spurt on his home Earth that his "Guardian" double would experience later. I might suggest that in the family photo of Jerry O'Connell and Tom Butler, Jerry isn't playing Quinn; he is one of Quinn's cousins and Quinn keeps the photo to think of how it might be had his father lived.

You could even go so far to say that there were two timelines; the original timeline in which Quinn's dad died when Quinn was a teen and then an altered timeline resulting from the Season 5 Combine experiment retroactively reaching into the past and warping reality causing a corrupted version of history that now had Quinn further traumatized by this new version of his formative years...

But to me, rationalizations obscure the purpose of the "Guardian" retcon -- which was to reconcile Quinn Mallory being an awkward, isolated nerd who is played by the attractive and charismatic Jerry O'Connell.

Torme's solution: he changed his plan for Quinn's father. Originally, Torme's idea was that Michael Mallory had faked his death and gone into hiding (possibly because foreign powers sought to use him to develop weapons for their ends?). This could have led to a storyline where (a) Quinn discovers a double of his father staged the car accident and wonders if back home, his father is still alive or (b) the sliders make it home, but due to Michael Mallory being alive, they cannot be sure if this is home or not.

But, because of how Quinn was cast and how Jerry played him, Torme decided to revise Michael Mallory's role in Quinn's life. With "The Guardian," Michael isn't a future plot point to pay off. Instead, he became a life-defining trauma for Quinn.

The inconsistency between the Pilot and "The Guardian" is really the creator noting the inconsistency between the actor and the character. The retcon merges them into a unified whole. But the discrepancy speaks to the contradictions within Quinn Mallory. He's both an adventurer and a withdrawn scientist. He's both athletic and physically vulnerable. He's both glowingly charismatic and traumatized into isolation. These conflicts make the character rich and multifaceted.

Anyway. The sliders never earning money and Quinn having two conflicting backstories is, of course, ridiculous. But that's why SLIDERS is such a special show. Like the very best superhero concepts, SLIDERS tapped into mythic absurdity where myths are always ridiculous.

A godlike being lives as a mild-mannered reporter? A billionaire playboy fights street crime? Four homeless people never struggle financially? It's absurd, but the absurdities speak to deeper truths of human nature. Like the sliders, we can solve anything by working together with ingenuity, inventiveness and ideas. And like Quinn Mallory, we all have multiple sides to ourselves.

49

(565 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

So, I'm pretty happy with how the Tab A 10.1 is working out as an instantly on bedside computer. It's superior to my iPad Mini 2 by performing smoothly and having a bigger screen to justify picking it up over a phone. But. Occasionally, as I grip it to type or rotate it in my hands, there's a click or a creak, like the casing seal isn't entirely rigid. Even though Samsung did a great job of making the plastic have a faintly metallic feel, plastic just doesn't feel as solid as the aluminium of the iPad. But... tablets just don't do enough to justify spending more (or any) money on them.

It'll probably feel fine once a case comes in the mail and I grip the outer frame of the case instead of the tablet.

50

(25 replies, posted in Sliders Bboard)

As I recall (although I could be mistaken), it was Marc Scott Zicree who wanted to bring the Kromaggs back in an effort to do an epic storyline for SLIDERS and in an attempt to compensate for SLIDERS having lost the Professor and Wade, but Peckinpah executed the opening installment of this arc with "Genesis" his way and it only got worse.

However, it raises an interesting question. What did Tormé want out of the Kromaggs?

The thing about "Invasion" is that Tormé deliberately wrote it so that it was impossible to ignore the Kromaggs. The tracking device meant the sliders would doom their world by going home, requiring that any finale involving home would involve the Kromaggs.

Tormé said in an interview that he wanted to do a sequel to "Invasion" where it would be extremely surreal and it would not begin with the sliders landing in another Kromagg invasion. In fact, the sliders wouldn't even realize they were in a Kromagg story until they were in the middle of one.

He would reveal that this story was "Slide Effects," a Season 4 premiere in which Quinn wakes up to discover he is home and time has been rewound to the Pilot. It's 1994, Wade's at Doppler's, Rembrandt's working on his career, the Professor's teaching and only Quinn remembers sliding. More interestingly, Tormé's plot had Quinn encountering doubles of familiar characters: Ryan, Gillian, Sid -- and Logan St. Clair.

Logan's presence in Tormé's storyline is peculiar because in no variant on Earth Prime with Quinn Mallory could have Logan St. Clair. They're the same person. All the other characters would indicate to Quinn that sliding wasn't a dream; he recognizes them all from his adventures.

I wonder if Logan's presence would be a hint leading to the eventual revelation: the entire scenario is a telepathic simulation created by the Kromaggs.

Also intriguing: "Slide Effects" was devised this way because Tormé was trying to get past FOX's resistance to any Kromagg sequels. His solution was a story that, as pitched, wouldn't be a Kromagg show. It'd be the story of Quinn waking up to find that he's back at the beginning.

It's strange how Tormé conceived "Opportunity Cost" four years before Matt Hutaff submitted it to Slide It Yourself...

As a Season 4 premiere, "Slide Effects" would re-establish the show's premise for a new audience. But with any subsequent Kromagg stories being fraught with difficulty -- network distaste, losing the mystery -- maybe it'd have been necessary to deal with the Kromagg tracking device in this episode.

I wonder if maybe Tormé would have had "Slide Effects" end on a bittersweet note: the sliders realize -- due to the inoperable, unremovable tracking device, they can never go home. Maybe, the Kromaggs aren't meant to be the central villain, the primary antagonist. Maybe they're simply a plot device that ends the ongoing arc of the sliders searching for home. That was their goal for Seasons 1 - 3. With Season 4, they're forced to accept that they can't go back and they mustn't keep trying.

And maybe the Kromaggs, having cut the sliders off from home, open a new path for the sliders. These are Quinn, Wade, Rembrandt and Arturo, after all. So they are not crushed or broken by home being permanently denied them. Instead, they are heartwarmed by having had the chance to revisit home one last time, even in an illusion.

They are strengthened by the knowledge that even within a comforting dreamworld of home, they found their way back to each other and gave each other the will to break free. And they step into the vortex once again, no longer searching for home but instead giving themselves to adventure and infinity with the knowledge that so long as they're together, they are home.

And maybe that's what the Kromaggs were meant to do. They were supposed to make the sliders more commited to sliding than ever before.

It's just a theory...