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Old August 1st 16, 23:06   #51
Springer
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Re: Is it time to give season 5 another chance?

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Not exactly sure where all that came from but it couldn't have been in response to what I posted. You perceive faults. I don't. But I never - ever - said anything about there being a problem with critiquing the show. I simply see what we got as more realistic than you do and I personally prefer what we got than what you say you would have liked to see.

That's all, nothing more.
I'm sorry. However, my response was provoked by your original comment that was talking down to me, and came across as pretty dismissive of the points I was trying to make. Hence why it might seem to me that you dismiss critique.

One of JMS' dilemmas at the beginning of season 5 was finding enough material to fill it, having wrapped up the major plotlines in season 4. So when you say that there wasn't enough time in the season to include the points I mentioned, which we both know wasn't the case because there was plenty of time in the show for JMS to include whatever he wanted, it does therefore feel that you're saying my criticism of the episodes is irrelevant.

Either JMS didn't think that the things I mentioned needed to be in the show, or it didn't occur to him to include them. Either way, I'd hoped it was a valid topic for a bit of discussion, but perhaps not.

I'd enjoyed writing these reviews about season 5 until today. I'd put a bit of effort into them in the hope of sparking some discussion on the message board. I feel less enthused to carry on now.

For what it's worth, I do think season 5 is worthwhile and does deserve a second chance from viewers who had dismissed it.

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Old August 2nd 16, 03:50   #52
Jan
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Re: Is it time to give season 5 another chance?

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I'm sorry. However, my response was provoked by your original comment that was talking down to me, and came across as pretty dismissive of the points I was trying to make. Hence why it might seem to me that you dismiss critique.
Wait a minute - what *are* you talking about?? I talked down to you? Why didn't I notice it? Please don't read anything into what I say other than what I actually say, okay? I'm really very direct.

Quote:
One of JMS' dilemmas at the beginning of season 5 was finding enough material to fill it, having wrapped up the major plotlines in season 4. So when you say that there wasn't enough time in the season to include the points I mentioned, which we both know wasn't the case because there was plenty of time in the show for JMS to include whatever he wanted, it does therefore feel that you're saying my criticism of the episodes is irrelevant.
See above about reading things into what I say. Now then...you wrote:
Quote:
We don't see Sheridan and company learning that maybe using telepaths to spy on people is ethically dubious.
We saw that Sheridan was reluctant to do it and allowed himself to be talked into it by Garibaldi. We saw that he knew it was ethically dubious and that it turned out badly. Personally, I have no desire to see him doing a regret scene.

And then...we'd seen our protagonists act in ethically dubious manners several times. Wasn't using Lyta to scan the Centauri who'd captured Vir also dubious? Wasn't the way Garibaldi snooped into people's finances and pasts ethically dubious? That's my point. They're fictional but they're just human.

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We don't see Lochley learning that maybe working with Bester isn't such a good idea after all.
We already saw that she knew it was a bad idea before she did it. Her log entry talking about ending up with "a lot of dead people on the deck" is something people complain about regularly. I don't need to see her tell herself (or be told) that she'd told herself it would turn out badly.

My comment about the number of episodes and number of minutes meant exactly that. I may be reading too much into what you've written but it seems that your impression might be that there was more pre-planning than there actually was. JMS wrote one episode at a time and while you think there was a problem filling time, I don't think that's the case. I don't know if you preferred arc-heavy episodes at all times and didn't like the off-format episodes? But given that those more experimental episodes had been set aside in some cases from the fourth season, they were stories that JMS did want to tell during the five-year arc and weren't filler.

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Either JMS didn't think that the things I mentioned needed to be in the show, or it didn't occur to him to include them. Either way, I'd hoped it was a valid topic for a bit of discussion, but perhaps not.

I'd enjoyed writing these reviews about season 5 until today. I'd put a bit of effort into them in the hope of sparking some discussion on the message board. I feel less enthused to carry on now.

For what it's worth, I do think season 5 is worthwhile and does deserve a second chance from viewers who had dismissed it.
Discussion often includes disagreement. That kind of goes with the territory. I don't accept that anything I've said or done has any bearing on your enjoyment or lack thereof in writing the reviews. I've enjoyed seeing them. But if you're going to post, you need to be prepared for people to not agree - sometimes bluntly. Sorry if that bothers you.
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Old August 2nd 16, 08:10   #53
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Re: Is it time to give season 5 another chance?

I think a big issue with season 5 generally in terms of "lessons not being leart" to the degree you might expect is that the focus is partly shifted from completing the B5 story towards setting up future stories.
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Old August 2nd 16, 12:16   #54
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Re: Is it time to give season 5 another chance?

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I think a big issue with season 5 generally in terms of "lessons not being leart" to the degree you might expect is that the focus is partly shifted from completing the B5 story towards setting up future stories.
Once the possibility of the spin-off came around, that's certainly possible.

The way I see it, the unevenness of season 5 was due to the need to build up momentum again since there was so little left to build on from season four. But I'll take the conclusion of the Londo/G'Kar arc over anything else that might have been shown any day. I may not have phrased that as well as I could have before. That's what I get for posting when I'm on the way out the door for the day.
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Old August 2nd 16, 18:31   #55
Springer
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Re: Is it time to give season 5 another chance?

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[
I'm really very direct.
Which if I may be direct myself, is going to rub people up the wrong way on occasions. I admit I may have overreacted and inferred too much from what you said and I apologise for that, but it's frustrating being dismissed out of hand.

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We saw that Sheridan was reluctant to do it and allowed himself to be talked into it by Garibaldi. We saw that he knew it was ethically dubious and that it turned out badly. Personally, I have no desire to see him doing a regret scene.
To be fair, it took Garibaldi all of two minutes to convince him. It wasn't exactly a decision that kept him awake at night.

I don't want to use the word moral, because that's too preachy, but using telepaths to spy is wrong. Full stop. If JMS wants the characters to take this course of action, which goes completely against everything they've been fighting for, then fine, but at least lead the viewers towards questioning it, even if the characters don't. After all, good writing is meant to ask questions of the audience. I will admit, I didn't see it as a problem when I first watched season 5 as a teenager; this is probably my first cohesive watch through of the season since then, and ethically I'm having a hard time letting both the characters or JMS off the hook. Maybe I'm looking at it in hindsight with 21st century eyes, an era where we have all kinds of debates about privacy, but watching it today it really comes across as just fundamentally wrong. And yes, the characters have made ethically dubious decisions in the past, but it's easy to take them out of context and say they're ethically dubious. In the case of Lyta scanning the Centauri (it was in Passing Through Gethsemane, and it was to find Brother Edward) it was to try and save someone's life because it was the only thing they could do in the time they had. So when you put it in context the mitigating circumstances cast it in a different light.

Using the telepaths to spy on people and governments is of a complete different scale to what Lyta did. There were no mitigating circumstances. For them to go along with it, without any build up to it, without any concrete reason for it other than fear, was not in character for Sheridan or even Garibaldi (who, as we recall, may play it fast and loose out in the world, but in his job he's very strict about doing things properly). Since the politics of fear seems to be ubiquitous in the world at the moment, I'm naturally going to rail against this idea.

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We already saw that she knew it was a bad idea before she did it. Her log entry talking about ending up with "a lot of dead people on the deck" is something people complain about regularly. I don't need to see her tell herself (or be told) that she'd told herself it would turn out badly.
I was actually referring to her not learning from Bester's actions in Strange Relations, where he and his bloodhounds used plenty of violence, even if it was within the law. Making the mistake once, fine, making the same mistake twice, is not smart. It's even worse that she thought it was a bad idea as she was putting the call in to Bester. So why did she do it? Maybe as an Earthforce officer she had no choice? But the way it's written just makes her look like an idiot (and before anyone starts, I like Lochley). In fact, I can just hear in my head Londo going off on one of his 'idiot' rants about her; 'Only the heir to the throne of the kingdom of idiots would do that!"

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My comment about the number of episodes and number of minutes meant exactly that. I may be reading too much into what you've written but it seems that your impression might be that there was more pre-planning than there actually was. JMS wrote one episode at a time and while you think there was a problem filling time, I don't think that's the case. I don't know if you preferred arc-heavy episodes at all times and didn't like the off-format episodes? But given that those more experimental episodes had been set aside in some cases from the fourth season, they were stories that JMS did want to tell during the five-year arc and weren't filler.
I take each episode as it comes and don't mind whether it's arc-related or not. I don't view anything in the series as 'filler' (except maybe Deconstruction of Falling Stars, which was specifically designed to be 'filler', so it's an exception). But JMS had an entire 22-episode season to play with; it's not a scenario like at the end of season 4 where there's wasn't time to show Sheridan and Garibaldi's reconciliation. So I don't see the number of episodes as a reason for not including anything he could include whatever he wanted. JMS didn't include much about the right and wrongs of spying with telepaths because he presumably didn't think it was important, or it didn't occur to him.


Quote:
Discussion often includes disagreement. That kind of goes with the territory. I don't accept that anything I've said or done has any bearing on your enjoyment or lack thereof in writing the reviews. I've enjoyed seeing them. But if you're going to post, you need to be prepared for people to not agree - sometimes bluntly. Sorry if that bothers you.
I never said I didn't want people disagreeing with me. JoeD80 disagreed but gave a reason for why he felt it was better the way it panned out in the show. I know that JMS was under no obligation to include anything in the show just because I might have wanted him to, I will praise what things I liked and criticise what he wrote if I think it was a bad choice, and be open to changing my mind if there's some good in-story reasoning that someone can present for why it was done the way it was. (As I think I said at the beginning of the thread, I'm judging the episodes from what's on screen, not what goes on in production because it's what's on screen that matters.)

Anyway, I think we've probably derailed this thread long enough. Let's kindly make peace and agree to disagree and move on.
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Old August 2nd 16, 19:09   #56
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Re: Is it time to give season 5 another chance?

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Originally Posted by Mororless View Post
I think a big issue with season 5 generally in terms of "lessons not being leart" to the degree you might expect is that the focus is partly shifted from completing the B5 story towards setting up future stories.
Once the possibility of the spin-off came around, that's certainly possible.

The way I see it, the unevenness of season 5 was due to the need to build up momentum again since there was so little left to build on from season four. But I'll take the conclusion of the Londo/G'Kar arc over anything else that might have been shown any day. I may not have phrased that as well as I could have before. That's what I get for posting when I'm on the way out the door for the day.
Yes I'd agree with that, the shift was pretty much unavoidable after the changes to season 4 and I think the G'kar/Londo story ended up being the most effective climax in season 5 exactly because unlike Sheridan, Delenn, etc it wasn't really covered prematurely in season 4.
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Old August 4th 16, 18:04   #57
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Re: Is it time to give season 5 another chance?

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JMS didn't include much about the right and wrongs of spying with telepaths because he presumably didn't think it was important, or it didn't occur to him.
I don't think this is true since the whole concept of the Psi Corps which is there from the pilot is based on what should and shouldn't a telepath be able to get away with. As for Sheridan's guilt/not guilt it was in the author's intent at some point because very specifically Joe calls out in the script books that the vision Sheridan sees in season two of himself in the Psi Cop uniform refers to his decision to use telepaths for his own purposes (especially with the frozen telepaths who don't even have any choice in the matter, unlike Byron). That is what I was alluding to above.
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Old August 4th 16, 20:42   #58
Jan
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Re: Is it time to give season 5 another chance?

It never occurred to me that Sheridan would think that spying was unethical, really. Given his military and political background, I'd think he'd consider it just something that everybody did, whether on allies or enemies.

For me, if I'd wanted to see some regrets, it would have been the use of the frozen telepaths. After all, they were civilians.

Jan
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Old August 5th 16, 05:48   #59
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Re: Is it time to give season 5 another chance?

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It never occurred to me that Sheridan would think that spying was unethical, really. Given his military and political background, I'd think he'd consider it just something that everybody did, whether on allies or enemies.

For me, if I'd wanted to see some regrets, it would have been the use of the frozen telepaths. After all, they were civilians.

Jan
I'd guess again the situation wasn't helped by potentially looking to end after 4 seasons. That short talk Sheridan has with Bester on the subject in Rising Star would I'd guess have been much longer if it has happened in season 5.
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Old August 6th 16, 10:41   #60
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Re: Is it time to give season 5 another chance?

For me, Season 5 is mostly a huge miss until Phoenix Rising. I do think that the first half could have improved had Claudia remained and taken Lyta's role in the telepath arc. But the telepaths being portrayed as mostly hippy(can't think of a better description) cultists wasn't really consistent with what we've seen in the past. They reminded me too much of the vampires from the Lost Boys. The didn't come across as believable and it hurt that entire arc. I think the cult of personality leader was unnecessary and reduced the impact of their sacrifice as they weren't believable human beings.

Lochley really wasn't a great addition and her connection to Sheridan was forced and overly coincidental. I find it interesting that the only episode of the series and Crusade where I actually like Lochley, and Tracy's acting, was the one written by Neil Gaiman.

I had major issues with Lennier's actions near the end of the series. I know Joe stood and probably stands by them, but they seemed WAAAAY out of character for him.

The Londo/G'Kar arcs are what save the season as a whole for me. But as with the rest of the season, it wasn't implemented quite as impact-fully as I was hoping. The series finale was amazing and truly stands out, but then again it was filmed with Season 4 where JMS was close to his peak.

The empire building portion was definitely a drag on the pacing of the season as well.
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