Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Enterprise Enterprise

OK, so I admit it, I have been watching re-runs of Enterprise on SciFi on Mondays. Mostly, they are just the sort of drekh I remember, but over the past couple of weeks they finally got into the last season, and suddenly the show became good! My main question is 'Why wasn't it like this from the beginning?!'

This past Monday I watched the two-part episode 'In a Mirror Darkly', and man was it good. Since the episode took place entirely in the infamous Mirror Universe, they changed the opening titles to ones about the Empire instead of the Federation, and the music was dark and moody (and instrumental, not some goofy pseudo-pop song). The story hearkened back to the good old days of classic Trek, featuring the Tholians and the Defiant (which apparently was sucked into the past in the Mirror universe by the Tholians during an experiment). It was great to see the actors stretching themselves out of the charicatures that they had previously been playing, and the writing was fantastic.

I also recently saw episodes on the original Babel peace mission (which the Romulans tried to quash), how the Klingons lost their lumpy foreheads was pretty interesting, and there was a great episode about the Orion crime syndicate. This stuff is fantastic! I found myself actually interested in the show. Then, of course, I grew a bit despondant as I realized that Enterprise is pretty much universally reviled as the worst thing to happen to Trek ever. Oh, well, buy the DVD set of the last season and pretend it was a limited series, that's what I plan to do!

Monday, June 18, 2007


Welcome back, as I finally get back around to posting. I apologize, my birthday was last week and I was totally remiss with the postings mainly because I was being lazy (i.e. getting more than five hours of sleep). This week I am going to spend some time on my favorite hobby, gaming.

Unfortunately, it seems like tabletop roleplaying games have lately been overshadowed and eclipsed by the tediously repetitive, but visually stunning MMORPGS. Frankly, and maybe it is just me, but I cannot imagine playing a game that is so repetitive for any measurable length of time without real Role Playing. The problem is that, from what I have seen, the RP on any MMORPG is pretty much non-existant. Interaction of players is based almost exclusively around combat resolution, and not about character advancement. In addition, characters are irrelevant, only gear and abilities are important, so very little thought goes into characters and characterization.

Personally, this is why I prefer tabletop gaming. There are people there to react with and the story can organically grow (as opposed to branching from a determined plot tree written by an post-adolescent who read Tolkien, McCaffrey, Vance, and Norton too often). I like to see people with whom I am playing, and have a good time doing it.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

What's New Pussycat?

OK, so I admit it, I am not a huge comic book fan, but a Thundercats movie?! Yeesh, are we not scraping the bottom of the toy franchise barrel here? I've made snarky comments about the rumors of He-Man and my opinion of the Transformers live action film to be released later this summer has been expressed a few times, but Thundercats?

For those unfamiliar with the Thundercats premise, the idea is that there are cat-people and they are having a war, which they are losing since apparently their homeworld blew up. The heroes were the last member of the royal family (Lion-O) and his retainers. They escape the evil mutants of Plun-Darr (clever, eh) and manage to crash land on a strange world where they hope to hide out and re-emerge later and reclaim their rightful position as rulers of the galaxy. Doesn't sound so bad, right? Well, we find out pretty early on that the reason Lion-O's family lost the war is because they were marginally competent idiots who were out-classed by a nominally bright villain. Lion-O is about as clever as a gifted third grader (which can be excused because he IS a gifted third grader in an adult body due to sabotage with his cryogenic pod), and his retainers are not that much smarter. It seems that their only hope of victory is choosing villains who are dumber than they are. Enter Mumm-Ra, supreme super-moron of the planet. He provides an interesting villain (if by interesting I mean completely idiotic) in that he is an Egyptian mummy (clever, eh).

Granted, He-Man and The Transformers franchises both had equally silly concepts, but at least their victors were not predicated upon their enemies being complete and total idiots. Say what you like about Prince Adam/He-Man and, of course, She-Ra, they were smart enough to getthe job done and beat their various and sundry challenges with either brute strength and wits. The ThunderCats are basically super-bullies sticking their noses into other peoples' business because they believe that they have a divine right to interfere. Maybe Lion-O should throw in his hat as a bid for President of the USA, but please gods, not a movie!