Monday, January 16, 2012

News, Notes and Updates

Not really, but I always find those types of posts irresistible. Not enough happens to me that warrants real updates though. So, I don't actually have any of news. Nor notes. And definitely no updates.

Wait, I do have one. A few people emailed or otherwise sent me a message to let me know they couldn't comment on Friday's post. I couldn't help but notice that it coincided with Blogger's update to allow threaded commenting. That sounds about right. I like using Blogger I suppose, but it seems like it's buggy to me. Always things going wrong. So I disabled the embedded commenting - effectively ending the threaded commenting - and instead have pop up comments enabled. Hope that works better.

Anyway, on to the rest. I have watched a few episodes of Star Trek this week. I realized when trying to cut things from my Netflix queue that I quit watching Star Trek: Voyager, around the time 7 of 9 jumped on board. Not real sure why, but I started watching and realized that it didn't suck near as much as I thought it did. Weird, because as I went back and watched several episodes of TNG and I found I did not like them near as much as I remembered. 

In fact, I had built up Best of Both Worlds from TNG so much to my kid that he recently sat down with me to watch it. He was so jazzed about seeing it. So we watched. 

The Rubik's cube became a bad guy. They were running low on ideas.

And it wasn't that amazing. In fact, I was stunned at how impossibly weird several scenes were. Like when the away team beamed aboard the Borg cube and Riker walked around describing what he saw. Let me repeat that: He walked around and described what he saw. Like, "We're walking into a room now. The room has walls, there is a button on the wall. I pressed the button. It appears to control the lights... Yes, the button controls the lights."

I mean, I've seen similar things done in movies and such, but usually I'm at least seeing reaction shots from other people. I might have been cool with it if the Captain had to sit on the bridge and there was creepy music playing as he listened to the folks aboard the Borg cube describe things, you know, the Captain could look pensive or something. All in all, it wasn't the most effective storytelling I've ever seen. During all that Riker was just walking around looking at stuff. 

My kid was less than enthused. He's been raised on the MTV style of frenetic edits and nonstop action, and I guess I have been too, because, damn. It was really slow. I suppose I can't recapture the awe I felt when I saw the episode the first time. Or the second. 

I don't know. It was just, well, sad.


Gail said...

Resistance is must be assimilated.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've watched all of the old episodes and still enjoyed them. Die hard Star Trek junkie I guess.

Anonymous said...

I can relate. Guess I've been conditioned at least a little bit. I do despise the rapid fire cuts from different angles. Often I wish they would just film the damn scene "as is."

Rusty Webb said...

Hey! I thought I disabled this. Anyhow, I'm a fan til the end too. I was just stunned at the ponderous pace of the episode. I did cherry pick episodes and found so many I adored still. It was just this one that seemed so off to me.

Jay Noel said...

I never got into Star Trek. Watched some of TNG, and it was OK.

Not sure why I didn't like it much. I'm a big sci-fi fan, but Star Trek just didn't do it for me.

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

I never liked the Best of Both Worlds episode. I think the only way you can like it is if you've been following Trek and saw how empty the series was up to Season Four of any real villain. The episode Q Who in season 3 is a great jumping point because that's where you first get introduced to them. And depending whether or not you are invested in the characters at that point and like/appreciate what Q did is going to determine if The Best of Both Worlds is going to cement you in Trek fandom.

Honestly though, the series has aged quite badly.

Briane P said...

I'm gonna double-comment because I read your Friday post.

First, on New Coke: The people didn't lie, they just didn't know what they liked. Pepsi routinely beats Coke in taste tests because Coke has a bitter aftertaste that in a one-sip contest loses every time to the sweeter Pepsi. But for drinking a whole can, Pepsi's sweetness is cloying and most people prefer Coke.

Which is to say: If you're going to drink just one sip of soda, buy Pepsi. If you want more than one, you'll generally want a Coke.

That was what taste-testing missed out on in the New Coke fiasco (My dad had a lower-level exec position at Coke at the time, so it's a story I know not because he was involved but because it was such a huge thing in our family.)(He was not involved; he was VERY lower level.)

So testing your cover on your readers is probably a missed mark, too, as your readers (strike me as) are mostly writers, and writers don't read the way people read. What you want to do is take your cover to people who NEVER write and ask THEM what they like -- preferably people who like stories like yours is, but who don't themselves write.

Ask the right questions, get the right answers.

Also: There's no right answer. There's just better answers based on your goal, so before you think about redesigning your cover, ask what your goal is: Is it to maximize sales (seems so)? If that, then make sure you consider where your sales take place -- as I said on the original comment, your sales are likely through thumbnails and on black-and-white kindles, so see what your new cover looks like on those before deciding.

Enough advice! On to Star Trek, about which I have to say: Never cared much for the show; your Rubik's cube joke is awesome, though. And I gave up trying to tell my kids how incredible something from my past was, because it invariably looks stupid when I show it to them.

Andrew Leon said...

I think I mentioned before that I never got into TNG. I walked in on that first episode with the saucer detaching, said (out loud) "that's stupid," and walked out of the room. I didn't see another episode for years and that one wasn't even on purpose. For a long time, every time I watched an episode, it was the one where Wesley saves them all from video games.

Responding to Briane (sort of), I have introduced my kids to many of the things I loved as a kid. They tend to love the stuff I show them even when I look at it, now, and think "how could I have ever watched that?"

Tonja said...

I talked up Alien to my daughter - it's actually mostly boring now. Bummer.

Cindy said...

Yay, the posts are working. I haven't re-watched TNG episodes, but I remember back then being impressed by the Borg ones. Like "wow...what is that giant cube???"

Les said...

Ah, nostalgia goggles. Things so rarely live up to our memories.

M Pax said...

The original is still my favorite. Voyager had good moments. It eventually centered on the hologram doctor and 7of9 too much, which bored me. Deep Space Nine was quite good, too.

Yet no matter what I think of some of the series, I always end up watching. Theres's just something about that world.

Trisha said...

The embedded commenting seems to work for me...but I haven't had any reports from people about it not working on MY blog. I'd like to know if it doesn't, though. ;)