Friday, June 14, 2013

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

This Is the Most Eloquent and Exact Statement About Fat Shaming Ever

This is exactly how I feel a lot of the time. Bless this man for stating this so well and so bravely.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Star Trek: The Animated Series, Season Two

The second season of the animated Star Trek really only consists of six extra episodes, so this will be a bit of a short one. And everything I said about the first season still applies: it's just a consistently solid, engrossing show that contains some really good Star Trek stories.

1. The Pirates of Orion (4/5)
Neat episode with Spock slowly dying of a fatal disease and Orion pirates stealing the cure, written by Howard Weinstein, who wrote one of my favorite Star Trek novels in the Pocket Books series (The Covenant of the Crown). Appropriately tense, though it suffers a bit from some of the actors--particularly Shatner, who seems distracted. His mispronunciation of "Orion" is a distraction.

2. Bem (5/5)
David Gerrold's second episode for the series, and one of the top five for the entire show. It does go right into Roddenberry's god-creature preoccupations (though Nichelle Nichols is very warm and interesting as the voice of the entity), and I think the whole concept of Bem as a colony creature is very interesting. And the ethical concerns are right in front.

3. The Practical Joker (4/5)
How do I describe this? It's not really stupid-good, it's more like silly-good. I mean, it's really silly, but it's amusing, with an almost intoxicated-sounding Majel Barrett as the Enterprise computer after some anomaly turns the computer into a dangerous practical joker. Also features this classic moment:
Oh, and this features the Rec Room, which is exactly the holodeck as later used on The Next Generation, right down to a malfunction in the holodeck nearly killing three of the main characters.

4. Albatross (5/5)
Another great ethics debate, this one about Dr. McCoy possibly having accidentally unleashed a virus that ravaged a planet. The Dramian aliens are really interesting, too.

5. How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth (5/5)
My personal favorite of this shortened season, with the Enterprise encountering Kukulkan, the ancient Mayan god. This is one of the best Star Trek stories about the possibility of Earth having been visited by ancient alien intelligence that was revered by ancient humans as a god. I know it's a Gene Roddenberry preoccupation, but this episode really tells the story well and ends on a note of understanding.

There was apparently a debate about this episode involving whether or not Kukulkan would travel the cosmos in a ship that looked like him. My concern isn't about that, but rather about why almost every non-Klingon alien ship on this series looks like a flying uterus.

6. The Counter-Clock Incident (5/5)
In this episode, the crew find themselves in a parallel universe where time flows backward and biology works in reverse, so the crew starts growing younger. It's another Trek trope, but it works really well here. I also like the appearance of Robert April, original captain of the USS Enterprise, as a way to sort of say goodbye to the original Star Trek (at least until the movie, five years later) and restate what the show really means as an exploration of ideas.

If we have to end it all, that's a nice way to close out. Not a lesser episode in this batch at all.

And now I've seen all of Star Trek. Kind of want to start all over again at the beginning...

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Song of the Week: "Forever Young"

Because yes, I am binge-watching Parenthood on Netflix. Bob Dylan, 1974. (A little pitch-shifted because of YouTube nonsense.)