Media Turning Points

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Media Turning Points

Post by eselle28 on Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:39 pm

This is partly a result of an image that's been going around that relates to Fullmetal Alchemist. It'd be this one:



I remembered when I started watching Brotherhood a couple years ago, after having been urged to by my friend whose taste I greatly respect for several more years. Anime was not really my thing, and honestly, while the first few episodes weren't bad,  they didn't really strike me as being much more than Young Boy from the Country Goes to Make a Great Name for Himself fantasy standard stuff. And then there was the Nina episode, and then there was the Maes episode, and then the characters didn't just brush it off but continued to care about those people right until the end of the series. In the same vein, there's Ned Stark.

On the other side of things, I've been trying to read more short fiction recently (because Hugos), and I was reading a...novelette or a novella?...I forget which. Anyway, it had a great voice and interesting world-building and it was obviously written from a feminist perspective and had interesting things to say about how women, and especially women of color, are treated. And then it had an attempted rape scene, and I just clicked elsewhere and didn't finish it. Which is odd because Uprooted, one of my favorite books of the year, also had an attempted rape scene and I rolled my eyes and trudged through that and loved the rest of the book. I guess for the short work, that was a turning point. I also recently started a novel and about 50 pages in read, "I liked him immediately." I was really turned off and made it another 50 pages, but my heart really wasn't in it anymore, because I find that super bland and lazy when you have 300 or more pages to work with.

Has anyone else had a turning point with media, either of the "I was kind of skeptical, but now I can see this is amazing" or the "I was really enjoying this, but ugh, no, I just can't even" varieties?
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Re: Media Turning Points

Post by bomaye on Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:35 pm



The Death Note anime jumps the shark about 2/3rds through. The major rivalry is kind of left to "the next generation" to fix, and the rivalry with the next generation is weak as fuuuuuu. Last episode makes up for it somewhat. Previous 2/3rds is some of the best psychological thriller you'll ever see.

Star Trek? TNG and DS9 both had good first episodes and bad first seasons, I think DS9 had a bad second season if I recall, whereas TNG's was starting to figure it out earlier. Then they hit a stride and OH BOY. Also Enterprise's Season 4 is the best season of pretty much any Star Trek, and it's preceded by three seasons that basically killed televised Star Trek forever.
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Re: Media Turning Points

Post by eselle28 on Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:43 pm

Oh, that's funny, because I am on a pause from Death Note, and I think my pause took place very shortly after the point you reference. I mean to get around to watching the rest, but it's just not so compelling anymore.

TNG was more gradual for me. I thought that Season 2 was considerably better than Season 1, but that the series had obvious growth in that second season and wasn't really itself until 3. I have admittedly never watched Season 4 of Enterprise.

Oh, and the last season of Babylon 5 was lousy, thought development history explains much of that. So was the last season of Battlestar Galactica, with fewer excuses.
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Re: Media Turning Points

Post by bomaye on Thu Aug 27, 2015 9:49 pm

@Death Note: Episode 27?
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Re: Media Turning Points

Post by Werel on Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:02 pm

Turning point for DS9 was conveniently visually represented:



I think TNG also improved wildly around the time Riker grew a beard. Sisko and Riker's facial hair: barometers for which seasons are good.

edit:
bomaye wrote:Also Enterprise's Season 4 is the best season of pretty much any Star Trek, and it's preceded by three seasons that basically killed televised Star Trek forever.
Truth, except that Season 3 did have some great moments.
Spoiler:

Sink, Florida, sink!


Last edited by Werel on Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Media Turning Points

Post by waxingjaney on Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:25 pm

Riker's beard did name a trope, after all.
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Re: Media Turning Points

Post by eselle28 on Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:43 pm

bomaye wrote:@Death Note: Episode 27?

I stuck it out for a little past that, but yeah, that's basically where I stopped caring. The replacements just didn't interest me that much.
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Re: Media Turning Points

Post by Chickpea Sarada on Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:39 pm

Once a cartoon series has a movie, that's usually the shark.  Dexter's Laboratory, Spongebob Squarepants, etc.

When I first saw someone reading a volume of Naruto, I was like, "Eh, nah." Then I started watching some episodes of the Chuunin exam arc (skipped the beginning and the bridge battle), and I was hooked. Then 3 years later, Shippuden was dragging its feet, devoting hour-long specials to just Naruto's group and Orochimaru staring each other down on a bridge (What, anime? Do you just love to stay on bridges or something?!) and I just stopped caring altogether.
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Re: Media Turning Points

Post by KMR on Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:14 am

bomaye wrote:
The Death Note anime jumps the shark about 2/3rds through. The major rivalry is kind of left to "the next generation" to fix, and the rivalry with the next generation is weak as fuuuuuu. Last episode makes up for it somewhat. Previous 2/3rds is some of the best psychological thriller you'll ever see.

Star Trek? TNG and DS9 both had good first episodes and bad first seasons, I think DS9 had a bad second season if I recall, whereas TNG's was starting to figure it out earlier. Then they hit a stride and OH BOY.


Agree with pretty much all of this. I think TNG started running out of ideas in the 7th season and somewhat declined in quality, but seasons 3 through 6 were solid. And DS9 is my favorite Star Trek series, starting with season 3.

bomaye wrote:
Also Enterprise's Season 4 is the best season of pretty much any Star Trek, and it's preceded by three seasons that basically killed televised Star Trek forever.

I've been debating whether I should go back and finish Enterprise just for completion's sake. When the show first aired, I watched the first few episodes and lost interest. A couple years back, I decided to give the show another try but only got through two seasons and had very little motivation to continue. I'm a bit skeptical of the idea that it could get that much better in the end, but maybe it'd be worth powering through the rest of it and seeing how it goes.
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Re: Media Turning Points

Post by Werel on Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:18 am

KMR: do it do it do it. Enterprise season 4 is entirely unlike any other season of Star Trek. Closest equivalent is DS9 season 6, which... Shiny/thrilled
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Re: Media Turning Points

Post by bomaye on Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:27 am

eselle28 wrote:
bomaye wrote:@Death Note: Episode 27?

I stuck it out for a little past that, but yeah, that's basically where I stopped caring. The replacements just didn't interest me that much.

I'd suggest skipping to the final episode. There is a worthwhile payoff even if you do skip everything the replacements do.
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Re: Media Turning Points

Post by Wondering on Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:31 am

Ugh. Enterprise S4 is awful. It's just retcon after retcon after retcon. And Archer going around getting to be the bestest and most importantest of so many cultures. And a whole two-part episode to explain a make-up change. Also Nazis. Could not stand it.

I liked S3. They had a purpose and a goal and an interesting new alien concept with the Xindi.

Truth, except that Season 3 did have some great moments.
Psst, that was the end of S2. Wink


No argument about the greatness of DS9 Season 6. Turning point on DS9 for me was "Improbable Cause," a Garak (of course!) and Odo episode in the third season. Garak is one of my favorite fictional characters ever. I just enjoyed him every single time he was on screen.

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Re: Media Turning Points

Post by Werel on Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:35 am

Wondering wrote:Psst, that was the end of S2 Wink
Surprised

...retreating in Star Trek encyclopedic-nerd-knowledge shame now.

(Oh, jeez, I'd forgotten the Nazi episodes. Maybe I need to rewatch S4 and be sure I'm not just thinking of S3 Laughing)
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Re: Media Turning Points

Post by KMR on Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:50 am

Wondering wrote:
No argument about the greatness of DS9 Season 6. Turning point on DS9 for me was "Improbable Cause," a Garak (of course!) and Odo episode in the third season. Garak is one of my favorite fictional characters ever. I just enjoyed him every single time he was on screen.

Oh yes, I love "Improbable Cause" (I'm also a big fan of Garak). It's probably my second favorite episode of DS9, after "In the Pale Moonlight" (which also features Garak).
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Re: Media Turning Points

Post by bomaye on Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:30 am

Wondering wrote:Ugh. Enterprise S4 is awful. It's just retcon after retcon after retcon. And Archer going around getting to be the bestest and most importantest of so many cultures. And a whole two-part episode to explain a make-up change. Also Nazis. Could not stand it.

Season 4 was what it should've been though, exploring Star Trek's past. Genetic engineering, how the Klingons lost their ridges, Orion Slave Women, race-relations between the future Federation stalwarts, what are the Romulans up to (since no one knew what they looked like before TOS). Section 31? Xenophobia? Pretty much knocked it out of the park.
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Re: Media Turning Points

Post by Wondering on Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:55 pm

We'll have to agree to disagree on that.

There is no universe where I consider "how Klingons lost their ridges" a worthy topic of a Star Trek plot. It's a make-up change. And I remain infuriated to this day that they wasted two entire episodes of the last season of Star Trek on television with "explaining" a make-up change. In fact, that would be my negative turning point with that show.

And don't get me started on the sexism-disguised-as-feminism of that Orion Slave episode.

Also, Section 31? The worst DS9 addition to the Star Trek universe. Wink

S4 is what I feared Enterprise would be. It always struck me as pandering.


Oh yes, I love "Improbable Cause" (I'm also a big fan of Garak). It's probably my second favorite episode of DS9, after "In the Pale Moonlight" (which also features Garak).

Yes, "In the Pale Moonlight" is my favorite episode of the series. I would nominate it for best, up against "Far Beyond the Stars" from season 5. Both are truly excellent.

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Re: Media Turning Points

Post by PintsizeBro on Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:38 pm

I think all of the necessary discussion on ridgeless Klingons was settled in DS9's Trials and Tribble-ations:

Also, Trials and Tribble-ations might not be, strictly speaking, the best episode of DS9, but it's definitely the most fun.

I'd say that my handful of candidates for best DS9 episode would be: Duet, Far Beyond the Stars, In the Pale Moonlight, Rocks and Shoals, maybe a couple more than I'm not thinking of right now. Profit and Lace is, hands down, the worst episode in the series.

I like Valiant a lot, but that's a very polarizing episode.

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Re: Media Turning Points

Post by bomaye on Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:43 pm

I was gonna say something like "PUT YOUR DUKES" because we're gonna have to fist fight over this, but then I googled Star Trek fist fight gif and found the greatest series of gifs in human history

Since we're shamelessly hijacking the thread out from under a moderator Disapproving , The Visitor might be the most emotionally powerful episode in all of DS9

Spoiler:

The one where Sisko keeps appearing throughout Jake's life and Jake eventually commits suicide to send him back in time because he couldn't live his life without his father in it
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Re: Media Turning Points

Post by Wondering on Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:51 pm

PintsizeBro wrote:I think all of the necessary discussion on ridgeless Klingons was settled in DS9's Trials and Tribble-ations:

Also, Trials and Tribble-ations might not be, strictly speaking, the best episode of DS9, but it's definitely the most fun.

I'd say that my handful of candidates for best DS9 episode would be: Duet, Far Beyond the Stars, In the Pale Moonlight, Rocks and Shoals, maybe a couple more than I'm not thinking of right now. Profit and Lace is, hands down, the worst episode in the series.

I like Valiant a lot, but that's a very polarizing episode.

I am with you on all counts, except the Valiant one. I was polarized the opposite direction. Smile


he Visitor might be the most emotionally powerful episode in all of DS9

Oh, yes. That episode makes me cry every time. And Tony Todd is excellent in it.

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Re: Media Turning Points

Post by Enail on Sat Aug 29, 2015 2:33 pm

I had the same turning point with Fullmetal Alchemist (the first one, still haven't watched Brotherhood), Eselle!
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Re: Media Turning Points

Post by eselle28 on Sat Aug 29, 2015 5:24 pm

Enail wrote:I had the same turning point with Fullmetal Alchemist (the first one, still haven't watched Brotherhood), Eselle!

Interestingly, I haven't watched the original! I've heard they're quite different in some ways, but people speak well of the original too, and I've always meant to check it out for comparison.
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Re: Media Turning Points

Post by KMR on Thu Sep 10, 2015 12:57 am

I just finished watching the rest of Enterprise. I thought season 3 was a definite improvement; the continuous story arc was compelling enough to keep me watching. I have mixed feelings about season 4, but ultimately I have to agree with Wondering. While I was happy to see them abandon the episodic "explore and have new adventures every week" format that had characterized most of the other Trek series in favor of expanding on the history of the Star Trek universe (which is what I always felt Enterprise should have been doing), almost every attempt to bring in some element from another Trek series just felt like blatant pandering to me.

So while season 3 cleansed my palate from some of the distaste I had for the earlier parts of the series, season 4 brought it back, so that near the end I found myself happy to just get it over with.
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Re: Media Turning Points

Post by Jayce on Sat Sep 12, 2015 4:43 am

eselle28 wrote:Oh, that's funny, because I am on a pause from Death Note, and I think my pause took place very shortly after the point you reference. I mean to get around to watching the rest, but it's just not so compelling anymore.


I've only watched some of the Death Note anime and never got too much into it, but recently I've watched the recent 2015 japanese drama version of it that is live action, and I feel similar. Near just isn't as compelling as L, and him and Mello are hard characters to make seem realistic since they are so young and their personalities are just extreme to one end, they feel a bit less believable. But if they kept L alive, everything would've just dragged out too much and become much more confusing.

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Re: Media Turning Points

Post by litterature on Sat Sep 12, 2015 5:14 am

Oh mate, that dogsplay really hit me... :<

I had been meaning to watch Brotherhood for quite a while and started to watch it a few days ago after reading this thread. I barely remember the original, other than having the vague notion that it's one of the few fight shounen I can stand/actually liked, but the 3 episodes I've watched so far seem much much much more compressed than the original and have a goofier tone which feels a bit out of place at times (I don't remember that many "who are you calling a pea-sized runt!!?!" jokes in the original at all!). But I like how Mustang's characterisation isn't as cold and stoic this time around, while still being a "serious" character.
i'm not sure about the soundtrack though, and i think the dramatic cuts and angles might be a bit over the top sometimes

As for Death Note, I've only read the manga, but I liked Near to be honest! It's true that the story gets a bit out of hand in the end, though.

edit: What do you think about Ed as a character? Sometimes I think he's slightly rude and everyone seems to be always looking after him, so I'm not sure I really empathise with him all that much...

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