Aug 18, 2017

[TV] Star Trek: The Next Generation - Season 4 Review

Netflix makes it crazy convenient to watch entire runs of shows and over the past few months my idle time away from Tobie often leads to watching the various Star Trek shows on the platform. A lot of these shows originally came out well before DVRs and streaming on demand so one could only watch them by catching broadcasts on TV. And if you missed a night, you'd have to hope the show would cycle through syndication or something.

My current project is filling in the gaps of my knowledge of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Despite it initially airing on local TV and again on the cable channel Star World. I never quite caught all the episodes. And it's only now that I'm really going through each and every one of them.

And this fourth season really had me expecting a lot given how it starts. And I think that it certainly has a great start and a great end to it. The middle bits were a little all over the place.

Aug 17, 2017

[TV] Reactions to Charlottesville

The story of the protests in Charlottesville over the weekend is an increasingly alarming one. It started with a supposed "alt-left" protest that just happened to be composed groups identified with white supremacy and outright the Nazi movement. Over the weekend things got violent when a car driven by a young member of one of these groups drove his vehicle directly into a counter-protest group. There have been repeated clashes between the various protest groups and the statements by President Trump haven't been helping the situation at all.

And here's how late night personalities have been responding to the situation.

Jimmy Fallon Addresses the Events in Charlottesville

Seth Meyers' Statement on Charlottesville

Take A Side, Mr. President: Nazis Or Not Nazis

Aug 16, 2017

[TV] Breaking Bad: Season 1 Review

It's 2017 and Tobie and I still haven't watched Breaking Bad. And thus with the whole series on Netflix and other shows having wrapped up in one way or another, we finally started watching the show. There's been so much good press about this show that it was a little hard to ignore.

And to be fair, this first season is pretty strong indeed and quite different from most other shows you encounter in the US. I think the biggest help is that it's a single solid narrative. It doesn't bother with the "case of the week" sort of episode format that has the characters encountering new experiences in each episode but the larger continuing remaining in force once things wrap up.

This show comes out of the gate with a startlingly different tone from most shows and with a very intriguing setup for the big scene in the desert. We are introduced to a handful of characters and their quirk interconnections and then things just take off from there.

And before we realized it we had blitzed through the first season.

Aug 15, 2017

[Videos] Imperial Interdictor Cruiser

One of my favorite ships introduced in the Star Wars Expanded Universe (now the Legends universe) was the Imperial Interdictor Cruiser. It's main function was pulling ships out of hyperspace by generating artificial gravity traps. Their main function was blockading planets since they could stop ships from escaping into hyperspace or setting traps along major hyperspace lanes to pull out Rebel fleets in transit.

Grand Admiral Thrawn would also develop a whole host of tactics using interdictors to pull his own fleets out of hyperspace at strategic points in the combat arena. As if I didn't love these ships before, creating these new tactical uses of these vessels made them even more fascinating.

YouTube channel Star Wars Explained just released a quick video discussing both the Legends and new canon history of these ships and its a fun little watch.

Interdictor Cruisers - Star Wars Canon vs Legends

Aug 14, 2017

[TV] Jane the Virgin: Season 3 Review

When a show pretty much gets past its initial premise, you'd think that it spells the end of the story. But as we see in Jane the Virgin, there's still a lot to learn about this set of characters that makes for some great entertainment. Thus even though Jane is no longer a virgin, she is still a heroine to root for.

I really appreciate how this show has found a way to bring telenovela tropes to the mainstream US audience in a manner that is both approachable and yet still true to its origins. In addition, the show has become a vehicle for exploring various female stories including child rearing and all the complications that come with it.

And the show's supporting cast also have some great stories, shows how skilled the writers are. It's easy to get lost in Jane's drama alone but in truth Jane's story is closely tied to that of her family (as is the case with such Hispanic families) and it makes things all the better for it.

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