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For those who don't know me... I'll list a few of my hobbies and favorite things, just for fun !
The Lord of the Rings, Michener's Centennial, Sherlock Holmes, Star Trek and Star Wars movies (if written well), the works of Jean M. Auel.
The Star Wars, Star Trek, and Lord of the Rings series. Titanic. The Mummy. JFK. Malena. The Breakfast Club. One Fine Day. And any old film from c. 1920-1945.
Monk. Star Trek (esp. TNG). Stargate SG-1. Doctor Who. Most Haunted. The Dick Van Dyke Show. A Touch of Frost. Crossing Jordan, CSI, and anything hosted by Rachael Ray
Shakira, Marillion, Annette Hanshaw, Progressive rock (mostly British or European), Jazz, Big Band and music from the 1920s and '30s.
George Clooney, Monica Bellucci, Kate Beckinsale, Richard Dean Anderson, Shakira, Ian McKellan, Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, Ewan McGregor, Kiefer Sutherland, Mabel Normand, William Powell, Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, Greer Garson, The Three Stooges, Bud Abbott & Lou Costello, Rachel Weisz, Brendan Fraser, Pierce Brosnan
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Stargate SG-1: Line in the Sand (2007)
Possibly the worst episode of the series
I used to love SG-1. For seven years, I loved this show, and the thing that drew me into the series was the character of Samantha Carter.
As a previous reviewer has noted, once the creative energies behind Stargate changed hands in the later seasons the character of Carter was severely weakened, and made into less of a heroic or admirable character, and more of a "damsel" ready to be put in distress at the whim of writers unfamiliar with the character and the whole image of her as a strong, competent, and intelligent Air Force officer.
But, this episode takes the cake ! Here Carter is severely wounded - although not as much so as she has been several other times on the series - and she spends a good deal of time in this episode lying in the infirmary, afraid for her life. The "real" Carter (ie. the one the writers gave us for 8 seasons) would be trying to get out of that bed and get right into the thick of solving the problem at hand.
She wouldn't be lying there whining to Mitchell that she wasted 10 years of her life "using science" to make people give up their beliefs in false gods, and now she wanted God to save her life.
This line was a slap in the face to any of Carter's atheist fans. And I happen to be one of those. And I am not trying to say anything against anyone's religion, or particular set of beliefs.
But we all like to see characters we can admire on shows we like. And a sympathetically portrayed atheist is very rare. I always enjoyed Carter because she was a scientist. She never said she was an atheist, but she certainly made an atheist, like me, feel that at least a strong belief in science was not a bad thing.
And now, the "brilliant" writers of season 10 feel the need to ruin 9 years of Stargate and make Carter retcon that message into a "maybe it's time to embrace the Lord" speech.
Just another attempt by the writers of the later seasons to show us a Carter who couldn't stand on her own two feet.
Stargate SG-1: 200 (2006)
Why must we mock the things we love ?
I have been a fan of science-fiction since I was a young girl, and now my daughter is following in those footsteps, I am very proud to say - a fan of both Star Trek and Star Wars.
This episode of Stargate reeks of a very distasteful part of Sci-fi fandom I have experienced, and loathed, for as long as I've enjoyed science fiction. The obligation to make fun of, or appreciate the making of fun of the very thing you love and enjoy or be dubbed a "nerd" with "no sense of humor".
There is nothing funny about an hour of Stargate with the sole purpose of saying "Star Trek, Star Wars, and even The Wizard of Oz is stupid clap-trap that only boys who get wedgies for a living could enjoy !" Star Trek has been a major part of my life, and a major influence on how I live that life for over 30 years. It was a strong influence on both of my parents - successful teachers who gave their love of Gene Roddenberry's vision of the future to their daughter.
To see another sci-fi show I have always enjoyed attacking something so important to me, to my family, and to my own child is offensive.
Maybe I don't have a sense of humor, but I see nothing funny about the Stargate cast serving up an hour-long helping of their arrogance, extolling their low opinion of their competition.
Would Star Trek ever do an episode making fun of the very shows and films that made Star Trek possible ? No. Because Trek writers know how to come up with a story, and are not ashamed of the genre in which they are writing.
This episode has the feel of a smug teenager lashing out at their dad, because he wouldn't give up his car keys. Stargate is ashamed of shows like Trek, or Farscape. Embarrassed by movies like Star Wars, or Wizard of Oz.
And maybe it is because the writers know the truth - without Star Trek, Star Wars, and the rest there would be no Stargate. No 200th episode in which to trash everything that came before, and in comparison to most of the stories on SG-1 after season 7, were far superior.
Battlestar Galactica (2004)
5 reasons you should not watch Battlestar Galactica (and I really mean it) !
1 - The original series was far better in terms of what science-fiction has been and always should be, since the days of Jules Verne. This new BSG is simply a dark angsty drama dressed up with a few special effects. Everyone raves on and on about how great it is, and it may well be a great dramatic series, but it is in no way true science-fiction any more than Titanic can be called a Western just because Jack came from the US, Cal carries a six-gun, and in real life Ben "The Tall Texan" Kilpatrick robbed his last train in 1912.
2 - Fans of this series (and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) have a nasty propensity for trashing all other sci-fi shows, and insulting the people who enjoy them. To me this is a sign of the new BSG's inability to stand or fall on it's own merits. Like a politician who's losing an election, BSG's fans feel their show is best served by mud-slinging against other shows, and insulting their fans. In my opinion, a show that engenders such support and provokes me to behave in kind in my own review, after seeing so many of my beloved series insulted in favor of this clap-trap does not merit a strong fandom.
3 - This show, unlike it's original incarnation, has some very uncomfortable overtones. There are elements of homophobia, racism, sexism, and even the glorification of rape within BSG's scripts. There is even one episode where some of the human "good guys" gang-rape a cylon woman and leave her chained to a floor in a skimpy cocktail dress, and while the actual assault is not shown on screen, the rape-torture of another female character comes very close to being shown - and in this case the victim is a young Asian woman. And the person authorizing this behavior and allowing it from her crew is a lesbian woman.
4 - This show has ruined how science-fiction is written. And as a sci-fi fan, and single mother, I will now never be comfortable watching new sci-fi with my daughter until I have inspected it first, for scenes of rape-torture and glorified gang-rape. This show should not be glorified by future viewings and high re-run ratings.
5 - The original series had an air of family unity, love, loyalty, and friendship. The new BSG is just the opposite. It is dark, gloomy, downbeat, harsh, and edgy. None of the characters truly get along, or ever seem to really, genuinely care for each other.
If you're ashamed to admit you're a sci-fi fan, and once truly enjoyed the adventures of James T. Kirk, go ahead and watch this show, and tell yourself you're watching "real, serious drama", instead of crass, abysmally dark science fiction.
But if you're a fan of true science fiction; the kind that really defines the genre, from Flash Gordon to Avatar, skip this dark-themed turkey and pull out your Stargate, Star Trek, and Farscape DVDs.
Star Trek: Voyager (1995)
While I agree with your sentiment about Voyager- it is a wonderful show and one of the most entertaining of the Trek franchise, I have to disagree about one point you make, consistently, throughout your piece.
You say that TNG purists, and TNG fans for the most part are the ones who hate Voyager. This is not true, based on my experience as a Voyager fan on the internet for the past decade.
It is the fans of Deep Space Nine who usually attack Voyager, name it the worst Trek, and ridicule it's actors, characters, and stories.
Most Trek fans consider DS9 to be not only the best Trek, but the best television show ever produced. I'm a Trek fan- and I love TOS, Voyager, and TNG. But DS9 takes a lot of getting used to since it is so different from other Treks.
It's darker, and edgy, and "grittier" - and this has influenced every sci-fi show to come after DS9 to be dark, and edgy, and gritty to the point of dark/edgy/gritty being done so much to death that it is now trite, and clichéd as an element of TV sci-fi.
TNG, and Voyager feel like natural successors to TOS. DS9 feels like "Sci-fi 24" and shows like CSI, NCIS, or the 80s hospital drama, St.Elsewhere have more of a true Trek feel than DS9.
Worst show of the series !
Forget all the fandom whining about Monk's assistants.... *this episode* is the worst thing that ever happened to the series. In my opinion, poor writing ruined a great show. I haven't been able to really enjoy Monk since I sat through this nerve-wracking mess ! The plot, quickly: A man is murdered in six different ways (very similar to the murder of Peter Campbell in the first season of soap, where Campbell, played by Bob Urich was "stabbed, shot, strangled, suffocated, and bludgeoned" to death). Monk, Natalie, and company are on the case, but they are stonewalled, sidelined, and bullied at every turn by a gang of tech-savvy "superfeds" who wear cheesy all-black outfits and drive around in a cartoonish version of the A-Team van suped up with impossible gadgetry. Monk finally solves the case, but there is one strong point in the story that is left decidedly unresolved, and in my opinion it ruins the episode.
All through this episode Monk is constantly bellowed at, talked down to, and in general treated like a dog who just went poo on a white carpet by the lead FBI agent. And even though Monk wins out in the end by solving the case where the Feds could not, there is no closure for a true Monk fan here.
Adrian Monk is supposed to have OCD- but he has never been written as a wimp, or a coward when it comes to his work as a cop and a homicide detective. He might have been picked on on the junior high playground, but when faced with a murder to solve Monk is always dogged and determined. He may have to re-tie his shoes 5 times, but he can stare down a killer and boldly proclaim "I know you did it, and I know how you did it." - even if the killer is a good friend of the Mayor (as per the episode, "Mr. Monk and the Psychic".) And yet when he is barked at by the vitriolic Agent Thorpe he just droops his head, and walks away ! This is not the same Adrian Monk who stood in front of an Air Force jet on the runway to stop a murderous Astronaut from escaping justice.
The writers could have saved this episode- they could have made Thrope the killer (which would explain his wild-eyed ranting and over the top bullying.... because he looks as if he is trying to stonewall the investigation and keep *something* from Monk, Stottlemeyer, and Co.). But instead there is no satisfaction. No ending scene where Monk shames Thorpe, and makes *him* walk away, not by bullying and shouting, but by being right, standing firm, and costing the agent his job due to Thorpe's failure to solve the case.
So- if they were gonna write Thorpe to be such a goon, they should have rewarded the audience by making him the episode's undisputed bad guy.
Seeing Adrian bullied this way, with no satisfying ending as per the Astronaut episode ruined this episode for me... and by extension, I have not been able to enjoy the series since. I still love, and still watch the old episodes. But when this perfect sample of sloppy script writing hit the airwaves, I swore off new Monks for good and all !