Saturday, June 24, 2017

I Bravely Take A Stand Re: Racism (I'm Con) & Good Trek/Bad Trek #25 This Side Of Paradise

Intro: I’ve loved Star Trek since I was a kid. I started by watching TNG in 6th grade. I’ve been a fan since then and though I’ve spent a lot of time watching Stat Trek, I’ve never watched The Original Series. So, I’m watching and reviewing them as a fan of Star Trek, but one whose never seen any of them. So I’m watching all the TOS episodes for the first time and saying whether or not they suck. At the end, I give examples of better Star Trek to watch that remind me of this episode. That’s it. 

I almost forgot to write about Trek this week. Just getting this one in just in the nick of time. I don’t know why. There’s no real time constraint. I don’t owe you shit. So get off my back. I’ll write my Trek when I good and goddamn well please.

Aside from Trek, there was that awful Philando Castile outcome. As a guy who reads internet comments for a living, I’m usually pretty able to turn off my brain and take this shit in. I try not to let it bother me. This week it bothered me. People are just so fucking dumb. I don’t know why folks can’t be upfront and begin their stupid comments with the truth. If you look at the video of that cop shooting Castile a whole bunch of times for absolutely no reason then there’s a good chance you’re racist. So all your comments should start “as a racist, I believe…” There. Then we all know where you’re coming from. It will save everyone some time. Maybe there should be some kind of autocorrect feature whenever you write something so fucking dumb about a police shooting it corrects to “as a racist I believe…” I actually read someone say that he heard that there was video evidence that Castillo had been smoking pot. For starters, I can think of nobody more on Earth who could stand to smoke some pot than someone who thinks that a couple puffs both ready to kill and deserving to be executed without judge or jury. Any person who thinks that is, in all likelihood a racist and should have their posts auto corrected to reflect their racism going forward. And also, please smoke some pot. 

Every time there’s a police shooting there’s always cops and apologists who come out talking about how hard a job being a cop is. It might be. I don’t know. It might be very tough. The parts about being able to murder, drive drunk, park on the sidewalk, and commit domestic violence with impunity seem like a pretty nice perk, but I’m sure there are downsides too. The having to stop crime part seems unpleasant. So unpleasant that a lot of cops want to snap and shoot people who don’t deserve it. If that’s your default reaction then maybe you shouldn’t be a cop. If it’s such a hard job that you know will break people and cause a certain segment to go all Judge Dredd on dudes with busted taillights then maybe quit hiring those folks. If it’s a hard job then maybe try to find people who are good at it. Though, finding this new breed of cops also sounds hard. So rest assured I will be doing neither. 

What I will be doing is watching Star Trek, which can be hard in its own way. Because sometimes they kinda suck. Like this week’s entry, This Side Of Paradise. See what I did there?


The gang is headed to a planet where a group of settlers went to. There’s too much radiation and pretty sure everyone should be dead. Don’t know why the settlers went there, to begin with. Who knows. 

This week in Bones knocking it out of the park

Turns out everyone is still very much alive. Including a woman from Spock’s past. They should be dead. Nobody knows whey they’re alive. It’s all very curious. 

Fun fact: 80% of this episode’s production budget went to Vaseline rub on the lens to make the focus this soft. 

Turns out they’re under the influence of a mind controlling spore. They need it to stay alive and when they get it in their system it takes over and makes them all happy and wanting to stay on the planet. Eventually, everyone is affected save Kirk who figures out that he needs to piss people off in order to shake the influence of the spores. Kirk gets Spock angry. They fight. Spock breaks free of the spores’ influence. Then Kirk and Spock rig the communicators to make everyone angry. Everyone breaks free the influence and they go on their merry way. 

Good Trek/Bad Trek?

I’d say this falls in the meh Trek category.  I see what they were trying to do here, but it didn’t do it for me. Maybe it was just because the last few episodes have been so solid, but this one just felt like a half completed episode. I get all the garden of Eden stuff, but good gravy it felt forced. Yeah, I get it. Humans were never meant to be any place where they’re not challenged. That’s what makes us human. Blah blah blah. 
This seems like a line that Kirk ad-libbed, and nobody wanted to tell him how dumb it sounded

McCoy continues being the best part of the show. I’ve been reading about how Leonard Nimoy and Shatner used to have a bitter rivalry because Nimoy’s Spock was more popular and that pissed off Shatner because he was (is) such a stupid goon. The real solution is that they were both wrong. McCoy is the star of this show. 

The other stars of this episode are Kirk and Spock’s very visible stunt doubles. It’s even crazier this week because they’re not even doing stunts really. He kind of jumps across the room. That’s it. Was William Shatner that lazy where he couldn’t dodge a haymaker and then jump across the room? Give me a break, fellas. 
100% not Spock taking a swing at 100% not Kirk. 

If you’re looking for something better, I’d go with TNG’s The Game. This is far from a perfect episode, but it holds a special place in my heart on account of it’s the first episode of Star Trek I saw. It doesn’t feature a ship’s crew that’s fallen under the influence of mind control and using some odd measures to free folks. Plus, as a person who really likes Wil Wheaton as a person, but hated his character of Wesley Crusher, this is one of Wesley's best episodes. That’s not saying too much, but still. 

I’m sure there are a bunch of others that’d apply, but that’s the only one I can think of at the moment. I thought about including the movie Serenity in my recommendation, but I don’t think that counts as good Trek. Don’t get me wrong it’s fucking great. But then I’d have to change the name to Good Trek and/or Whatever/Bad Trek and/or whatever.

That’s it. Watch TNG’s The Game it’s solid, and if you’re a cop who feels like you might shoot an innocent person please quit your job and do something else. Maybe be a painter? I don’t think many cops would make good painters, and I think there’s probably too many painters as it is. But there’s also too many cops killing folks. 

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