Saturday, September 30, 2017

Boldly Going Places I'm Not Going To Pay To Follow

I just watched the first episode of Star Trek: Discovery. It took me a week to psych myself up for it, because it seemed like, however I might feel about the show, this was going to be your classic no-win scenario. (And, alas, when it comes to no-win scenarios, I am no Captain Kirk.) I figured, either I wouldn't like it, which seemed very likely given that I haven't been entirely happy with any new entry into Star Trek canon since Deep Space Nine, in which case I'd feel disappointed. Or else I would like it, and then I'd probably feel even more disappointed, because I'd have no way to watch the rest of it without paying yet another monthly fee for yet another streaming service, and that is not happening. No way, no how.

So, yeah, I can't say I went into it with the greatest mindset. And how did I feel about it after watching? Kind of shruggy, to be honest. I mean, it looks really pretty. And it's got a nice diverse crew, thus upholding an important Trek tradition dating back to 1966. On the other hand, only one of the characters so far has gotten any development or definition at all, and I can't quite decide how I feel about her. And while the plot seems to be trying very, very hard to be tense and interesting, I mostly wasn't really feeling it. Plus, hoo boy, did the beginning of this have the worst case of Bad SF Expository Dialog Syndrome I've seen in a long time. Which is saying something.

But, of course, it's entirely possible all of that is attributable to the difficulties any pilot/first episode faces. You have to establish all the setting and backstory stuff and introduce all the characters while trying to tell an engaging story from the get-go, and you have to do it with actors who haven't settled into their parts yet and writers who haven't had the chance to see how any of it plays on the screen. So, I'd certainly be inclined to give it some time and see where it all goes, if, you know, it were actually available on my TV. Or anyplace else I am already able to watch stuff. Oh, well. Probably it'll be available on DVD or something eventually, and I'll finally get to see how the cliffhanger comes out. Assuming I still care then.

I will say, though, that despite being the jaded old fan that I seem to have become, and the fact that I've been deeply disappointed by Trek shows in the past, I did still get a teeny little thrill at hearing the familiarly Trekkish notes of the theme song and seeing the credits sequence start playing (even if it was kind of a weird-looking credit sequence). There is something touching, I guess, about seeing something that you loved from childhood still surviving and taking on new forms.

By the way, speaking of new forms, I'm a little taken aback by the new look of the Klingons. Something in the back of my brain keeps complaining that they're just wrong, like I've fallen into some weird uncanny valley of Klingon makeup. But, given the history of the Klingons and their look, that seems like a really dumb thing to complain about. Well, probably I'd get used to them. If, y'know, I could actually watch the damned show.

(Sigh. You know, a quarter of a century ago, I used to dream about future developments that would let us watch anything we wanted, any time we wanted, thanks to the magic of computer technology. I imagined some central storehouse of media that we could pick and choose from and download at our leisure. And for a while there, I thought I was so prescient! But it never remotely occurred to me that what we'd eventually get instead would be a zillion different independent services, each wanting a separate subscription fee to watch their particular crop of shows. Even though in retrospect, it seems like it should have been predictable. But, really, it's always easier imagine the technology than it is to anticipate all messy real-world stuff that factors into how we use it.)

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

September Currentlies

Current clothes: A white t-shirt with a picture of a T-Rex wearing a monocle and holding a cup of tea, with the caption "Tea Rex." Which I find delightful, although scientifically inaccurate, as the T-Rex probably should have feathers, and it doesn't. Then again, it's wearing a monocle and holding a cup of tea, so scientific accuracy is clearly not really the number one priority here, anyway. I am also wearing blue jeans and white socks.

Current mood: It's an odd sort of mood I get sometimes, especially when I'm on night shifts. A sort of pronounced but not entirely unpleasant lethargy, which makes it hard to feel like I want to do anything. I am mostly fighting it.

Current music: Not much. Last thing I listened to was some Bowie, I think, but I don't quite remember what.

Current annoyance: Having fewer teeth than I'm supposed to. Still. Although it does seem to be healing up well. I found myself accidentally chewing on the side with the missing tooth a little today, and it was fine. I still worry constantly about it, though, which is annoying and probably unwarranted.

Current thing: The abovementioned state of lethargy seems to be mostly it this week.

Current desktop picture: Still the Twelfth Doctor. Who I am already preemptively missing.

Current book: Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson.

Current song in head: It's pretty quiet in my head right now, which is a blissful relief after having the same damn song stuck in my head for at least the last two weeks. (I will not name it for fear of summoning it back.)

Current refreshment: Mint tea.

Current DVD in player: Disk 3 of season 5 of Sons of Anarchy, which I am still making my way through at a pretty good clip. It's a show with a lot of flaws, some of which seem like they should bother me probably more than they do. (I mean, so many women in refrigerators. So many.) But I keep finding it compelling, anyway. I think it's all the Shakespearean scheming. I'm a sucker for some good Shakespearean scheming, apparently. And perhaps especially from the kind of people you wouldn't necessarily expect to see that sort of thing from. Like, y'know, bikers. Plus, the cast is fantastic.

Current happy thing: Um... I got paid overtime for having to labor on Labor Day? And my tooth hole really does seem to be healing up well. And my current state of mental apathy is actually making it pleasantly difficult to feel anxious about any of the stupid things I usually find to feel anxious about. So that's all good, I guess.

Current thought: I don't care how much I just want to sprawl on the sofa and binge-watch violent TV shows, I have things I need to do before work tonight, and I am going to get up and do them. After I post this. And finish my tea.