TV Review: The Orville 1×08

Episode Title: Into the Fold (1×08)

Airdate: November 2

Notable Guest Stars

Brian Thompson as Drogon, the creepy bunker guy.  He is an Star Trek Alum, playing Admiral Valdore in Season 4’s big arcs.

Brannon Braga – Director/Writer.  Was a director and producer on various Star Trek shows.

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Movie Review: Ghost Ship 2002

Note:  Novemeber, due to being NANO, is going to have more reviews and the like and less research intensive essays. December will have us back to normal business with a variety of posts returning.

Title: Ghost Ship
Release Date: October 25, 2002
Genre:  Horror/Thriller
Rating:R
Director: Steve Beck

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National Diabetes Month

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month.  Diabetes is a growing concern in the United States as a chronic disease.  The percentage of the population that is diagnosed with Diabetes has grown over the last 25 years to being almost 1 in 10 people having the disease. In some states  it has doubled since 1990. It is also the seventh leading cause of death in the United States, both as a contributing or underlying cause. It isn’t always diagnosed right away, and many people remain uninformed about Diabetes as a whole and what causes it and how to manage it once you are diagnosed.

It is a chronic disease, so it is a disease one must manage throughout their life.  Some people are born with it, others develop it over the years.  There can be genetic as well as lifestyle contributions to Diabetes as well.  Diabetes deals with your body’s ability to process insulin, a hormone that processes sugar in the blood into usable energy.  There are two main types of Diabetes.

Type 1 is often diagnosed in childhood, and used to be called juvenile diabetes. This is a rarer type of diabetes and mainly deals with genetic causes.  In the cause of Type 1 your body doesn’t produce insulin at all, and usually requires insulin management.

Type 2 is more adult oriented and varies from insulin treatment to other medication to manage your sugar levels.  With Type 2, your body does not create enough insulin or is unable to use it effectively.  This can develop due to genetic reasons as well as lifestyle.  Like with Type 1, it requires active management, but the ways are more varied in nature.

If you would like to know more about Diabetes, or find a way to help in researching for its cause/treatment, I’ve provided some links below with more information.

I am of course not a medical professional, and you should always trust someone who is a medical professional over someone you read on the internet.  Doctors are your best references on this and other medical topics.

For more information:

The American Diabetes Association

The Mayo Clinic on Diabetes

 

Movie Review: Sinister (2012)

Title: Sinister
Genre: Horror/Thriller
Rating: R (NOT FOR KIDS; while not as gory as some horror movies, this film focuses on murder and psychological horor, so not for the kids)
Release Date: 2012
Director: Scott Derrickson
Writing Credits:  Scott Derrickson & C. Robert Cargill

At a Halloween party over the weekend, a friend decided that everyone should watch Sinister, which he greatly recommended (and horror is his favorite genre).  So we agreed.  Although I’m sure some of my friends regret watching movies with me because I am a commentator. This movie was no exception.

The movie starts out with Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke) and his family moving into a home that (unknown to the rest of his family) is at the center of a murder mystery he is investigating for his new book.  He finds a bunch of 8mm home videos and decides to watch them.  Only he finds out that the films cover 50 years and all end with the family dying in various different ways.  Things continue to go south in many ways for him as he continues his investigation. It begins to affect his children and wife.  (The effects on the kids is another reason why this movie is not for kids).

It is your standard horror movie, with the psychological elements that come with it.  Writing wise, its well written. I think the idea of tying into a fictional pagan deity was a bit much, but it worked within the film.  The minor characters seem to have a lot more sense than I usually see in a horror film which was also a nice change.

The cast, other than Ethan Hawke, was pretty new to me.  However they all did an excellent job. The girl who played Ashley Oswalt (Clare Foley) might be familiar to some as she played a recurring character on Gotham (Ivy Pepper).

The soundtrack was amazing though, and perhaps the best part of the film.

My overall enjoyment of the film was so-so because Horror films don’t seem to appeal to me.  I spend too much time mocking the characters. But this movie overall if taken analytically was a well put together movie.  My only criticism is some of the lighting in some of the scenes  could have been better.

Deputy So-and-So (who I see as the most sensible person in this movie) returned for the sequel, which came out in 2015.  It has Shannyn Sossamon in it, which intriqued me but I don’t think I’ll be watching the sequel.

Final Grade: A

Trailer:

TV Review: The Orville 1×07

Episode:  Majority Rule (1×07)
(Original Air Date of 10/26/17; viewed on Hulu on 10/27/17)

Notable Guest Stars:

Ron Canada (Adm. Tucker) – Second appearance on the show.

Steven Culp (Willks) – One of my favorite guest stars of all time.  He’s been on Star Trek, The West Wing, JAG, NCIS.  He is forever Major Hayes or Web.

So the concept of voting for executions seems rather weird.  We don’t even know what the two men did that brought them to this point, but apparently everyone’s life is down to social voting.  (EDIT:  As I am watching this as I write, I have to correct this from later in the episode; we do know what they did.)

Gordon has now been upgraded from last spot from “Person you don’t want on an away mission.”  I have to wonder why John thought it was a good idea to “dry hump” the statue considering they were on a foreign planet.  I mean, given he’s a senior officer you would think the idea of different cultural ideas might have sunk in.  Not to mention he’s technically at work and not hanging out with his colleagues afterwards.

Also, if they had the ability to know various hat choices, surely they had time to research the planets historical figures?

So from what I heard before I watched, and what I saw when I watched, this episode is an allegory about Social Media and the trial of public opinion.  John got caught dancing with the statue and was put on Youtube.  It became Viral, and now the general public is voting on him and whether they believe his apology.  Should his apology not be believed, he gets more downvotes.  If he gets to a certian amount of downvotes, he’s electrically ‘corrected’ before being sent home.

The Chat, I am assuming is their version of “The Talk”, which is a show I dislike for many reasons, which I’m not going into here because this is a “Review as I watch” post rather than a discussion about media and female discourse.

I think perhaps this is also some discussion on the various forms of democracy, and how it can be corrupted.

Not sure this episode is going to be one of my favorites, but it was well acted and some of the shots were nicely done as well.

Notable Quotes:

John: “It’s these jeans – if I leaned back now I’d give myself a vasectomy”

~*~

Claire: What if people try to collaborate this?
Lysella:  Don’t worry, they won’t.

Pros:

  • They do have the point of cyber bullying and the masses not fact checking.  Many times people will get self-rightious on social media and don’t take into concideration the person’s age, intent, or knowledge base.  I’ve seen people who consider themselves social activists go after people who don’t have the awareness to know what they are saying/doing is offensive/not correct.  They bully these people rather then educate them or at least allow them to go educate themselves.

    Fact checking is always a problem on the internet.  I’ve been guilty of this a few times myself.  You read something, and perhaps you trust the source and just post it, or you forget because you are reading something on your phone on your break and have to get back to work.  And it gets spread because everyone else is also reading while on a break or not looking at the source because they trust you and it spreads from there.   I’ve tried to get into the habit of looking at the websites I read, and also bookmarking thigns if I don’t have time to really go into it.  Also making sure to read various articles on the subject to double check facts.

  • THe fact that not all things are instantly curable at this stage of the game.  Sometimes Future based Sci-fi shows like their medical stuff to be 98% solved. One of my great pet peeves about TNG was the fact that colds and headaches were treated as something that rarely happened anymore.

Cons:

  • I can’t imagine this system working for a world population. Also it can’t be completely unstructured or there would be no way of enforcing the popular vote.

Final Grade:  B

TV Review: The Orville 1×06

And now I am caught up.  Since the episode airs on Thursday on FOX, I hope that it will be up on Hulu (where I can watch it) Friday morning, so with all luck Friday’s post will be the 7th episode that airs this week.  but first, the sixth episode:

Episode:  Krill (1×06)

(Original Airdate: October 12, 2007)

Notable Guest Stars:

Michaela McManus (Teleya) -She’s been in a couple big shows, but I know her mostly as Lindsey from One Tree Hill.

James Horan (Sazeron) – Star Trek Alum who also does alot of voice work for video games. He appeared in The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise.

~*~

This episode was a wonderfully written episode.  Ed and Gordon are sent undercover (using Holographic technology so no physical alterations) to obtain the Krill holybook so that the Union can better understand the people they are fighting.  The Krill believe their god has made them the supreme species in the universe, and therefore they are mission bound to take over.

THis episode does a good job in giving us a look at how the Krill operate.  I was a little uncomfortable with the theme that belief in god makes you less advanced or more inclined to be terrorists, however.  It seemed pretenious and a bit preachy.

I have to admit that in previous scifi ship shows you don’t often find the main crew come across another ship with children on it. I didn’t realise that till I saw this episode and realised it seemed odd that there was this idea that Humans would be the only ones to make long term exploratory vessels with families on board.

I have to admit that in this episode, Gordon reminded me a lot of Scott Grimes’ other known character Archie Morris from ER.  Except perhaps more inclined to do adult humor.

Notable Quotes:

Gordon:  Dude!  We are Vampire Hunters!

~*~

Gordon:  AH!  That;’s a new leg!

~*~

Ed: They aren’t my enemy.

Teleya:  After seeing what you did, they will be.

Pros:

More back story about the Krill

Cons:

I was a little disappointed in the heavy Anti-religon of this episode.  Like somehow believing in a deity makes you less advanced.  While I get that the Krill are set up as fundamentalists, that still doesn’t mean that belief in god is somehow wrong.

Final Grade: A-

TV Review: The Orville 1×05

Episode: Pria (1×05)

Notable Guest Stars:

Charlize Theron (Pria) – I don’t really think I need to explain why Charlize is a notable guest star.  I first saw her in That Thing You Do but that is far from the most famous film she’s been in.

Jonathan Frakes (Director) – Star Trek Alum.  He played Will & Thomas Riker in TNG and several spinoffs.

Rachel MacFarlane (Computer Voice) – Seth MacFarlane’s sister.

This episode’s A plot starts with the crew coming across a distress signal coming from a comet.  They rescue a mining pilot named Captain Pria Lavesque.  Pria explains she works for a mining consortium and was investigating the comet when she ran into trouble.  Kelly’s instincts are telling her something is wrong, helped no doubt by her jealousy, so she starts to investigate, pulling Alara in with her.  Ed isn’t happy that they are treating a guest this way.  He is also biased, because he is interested in Pria, and its mutual.

However, just as Ed thinks he might have a chance to finally move on, strange things keep happening.  Turns out Pria is a future traveler from the 29th century who goes back in time to grab ships and artifacts to sell on the antiquities market back home looking like they are in prime condition.  Ed gets his heart-broken, and I think everyone is taken aback when she tells them they were meant to be dead so why does it matter.

The question remains though…does anyone remember this after the end of the episode?  Erasing the wormhole and Pria’s existence in the past so she has no need to come back seems like it might change their reality but I don’t know if everyone forgets her or if this buys into the new timeline theory.

The B plot is Issac learning about Human humor, which doesn’t turn out that greatly for Gordon who ends up losing a leg, literally, and having to regrow it because Isaac hid it.  The b plot filters in and out of the A plot, and ends up connecting to how Issac lets the crew know he’s still around.

This episode, plot wise, probably won’t be my favorite, but it wasn’t a bad episode.

Notable Quotes:

Ed: Kelly! Kelly, wait! Hey, listen – I don’t want to play the blame game here.
Kelly: That’s because you’re the one to blame.
Ed : Look, we all made mistakes.
Kelly : Nobody made mistakes but you.
Ed : Let’s not do the “I told you so” thing.
Kelly : I told you so numerous times.

Pros:

  • Charlize Theron
  • Female friendship

Cons:

  • Once again they were overhanded with the hints that Ed and Kelly aren’t as indifferent towards each other as they appear
  • Do we remember or not remember?  I’m a tad bit confused here.
  • Charlize’s outfits all make me think of bugs.

Final Grade: B