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Old 02-11-2018, 06:24 PM
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Watching B5 with C&T - S3

I previously posted on this forum B5 first watch threads documenting the reactions of non-science fiction fans "C" and "T" to Season 1 (condensed) and Season 2.

In this thread I'll be sharing observations as we watch Season 3.

"Matters of Honor" / "Convictions"

Not much to report regarding C & T's reactions to "Matters of Honor". There was very little commentary from them. T did enjoy the opening scene where Kosh was being cryptic to Sheridan.

During the opening credits of "Convictions", C gave a running commentary for most of the cast/characters:

Mira Furlan as Delenn: "Looks much better than she used to"

Bill Mumy as Lennier: "Still a freak - needs his own transformation"

Jason Carter as Marcus Cole: "Not bad"

Jeff Conaway as Zack Allen: "He was on 'Taxi'"

Peter Jurasik as Londo: "I've seen him on something else, I don't remember what"

When the lurker got blown up at the beginning C said, "That's no woodpile." And when Lennier seemingly got blown up, she asked, "Is Mumy toast now?" I said, "Watch" and when the camera showed Lennier she said, "He looks pretty toasty."

T enjoyed the scene where Londo was talking to the unconscious Lennier in Medlab. He laughed at Londo's "If I was in your position and you were in my position" speech, and the Centauri light bulb joke.

During the scene where Sheridan was trying to hide his link, C asked where he put it, and I replied, "Down his pants."


"A Day in the Strife"

I introduced this episode by giving my own shorthand description - the one that introduces "Vichy Narns".

When Ta'Lon showed up while Sheridan was at the bar, I paused the playback and explained that this was the same Narn that Sheridan had rescued when he was abducted by aliens, and that's how they knew each other.

Although C referred to the Llort in Medlab as "a freak", she did seem to get caught up in the Narn storyline, wondering aloud during the dramatic scene between Na'Far and G'Kar how long it took to get the actors into that makeup. "Hours", I replied.

When Garibaldi and Franklin were talking in Earhart's near the end, T noticed that Dr. Franklin lied about not using stims during their recent ordeal. And when the episode cut back to the Transport Association meeting, T's comment was "They're back where they started."

As Vir was boarding his ship bound for Minbar C asked, "Is he off the show?" I said, "No, you'll see him again."
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Old 02-15-2018, 06:02 AM
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I previously posted on this forum B5 first watch threads documenting the reactions of non-science fiction fans "C" and "T" to Season 1 (condensed) and Season 2.

In this thread I'll be sharing observations as we watch Season 3.

"Matters of Honor" / "Convictions"

Not much to report regarding C & T's reactions to "Matters of Honor". There was very little commentary from them. T did enjoy the opening scene where Kosh was being cryptic to Sheridan.

During the opening credits of "Convictions", C gave a running commentary for most of the cast/characters:

Mira Furlan as Delenn: "Looks much better than she used to"

Bill Mumy as Lennier: "Still a freak - needs his own transformation"

Jason Carter as Marcus Cole: "Not bad"

Jeff Conaway as Zack Allen: "He was on 'Taxi'"

Peter Jurasik as Londo: "I've seen him on something else, I don't remember what"

When the lurker got blown up at the beginning C said, "That's no woodpile." And when Lennier seemingly got blown up, she asked, "Is Mumy toast now?" I said, "Watch" and when the camera showed Lennier she said, "He looks pretty toasty."

T enjoyed the scene where Londo was talking to the unconscious Lennier in Medlab. He laughed at Londo's "If I was in your position and you were in my position" speech, and the Centauri light bulb joke.

During the scene where Sheridan was trying to hide his link, C asked where he put it, and I replied, "Down his pants."


"A Day in the Strife"

I introduced this episode by giving my own shorthand description - the one that introduces "Vichy Narns".

When Ta'Lon showed up while Sheridan was at the bar, I paused the playback and explained that this was the same Narn that Sheridan had rescued when he was abducted by aliens, and that's how they knew each other.

Although C referred to the Llort in Medlab as "a freak", she did seem to get caught up in the Narn storyline, wondering aloud during the dramatic scene between Na'Far and G'Kar how long it took to get the actors into that makeup. "Hours", I replied.

When Garibaldi and Franklin were talking in Earhart's near the end, T noticed that Dr. Franklin lied about not using stims during their recent ordeal. And when the episode cut back to the Transport Association meeting, T's comment was "They're back where they started."

As Vir was boarding his ship bound for Minbar C asked, "Is he off the show?" I said, "No, you'll see him again."
Weird! I could have sworn I responded to this right after it went up. What were my thoughts? I know one was that I was surprised there wasn't more to report, especially that so little was said about T.

And I think the way Na'Far handled is one of my least favorite things about B5, in that I feel his presence should have been a little more maintained once it was established - I think he is only mentioned once or twice after that episode if at all. I think it might be the best thing Stephen Macht has ever done, given the fact that, makeup aside, I am still shocked every time I remember it is him
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Old 02-15-2018, 04:09 PM
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And I think the way Na'Far (was) handled is one of my least favorite things about B5, in that I feel his presence should have been a little more maintained once it was established - I think he is only mentioned once or twice after that episode if at all.
I'm pretty sure that Na'Far is never even mentioned again. I suspect that any future na'farious adventures JMS had planned were dropped during the (ultimately unnecessary) mad dash to wrap things up in four seasons instead of five.
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Old 03-04-2018, 03:53 PM
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"Passing Through Gethsemane"

I told them that there was an interesting story behind this episode, and that it almost didn't see the light of day. C then said something like the freaks almost got less airtime, to which I replied this was a very human story.

T laughed during the opening chess scene and asked what Edward had been working on. I explained it was a little piece of art. T also got a chuckle that the ISN broadcast near the beginning had a commercial.

C didn't remember Lyta from her earlier appearance in "Divided Loyalties", so I had to remind them that Lyta had exposed Talia as a sleeper agent.

When Edward "found" the dead woman in the alley, C asked if that was Lyta and I said no. C & T were confused about what was going on in the corridor/alley, and I explained these were Edward's memories.

When the news story came on the screen about Charles Dexter, C asked if that was Edward and I said yes. T said, "It sure looks like him to me." Conversely, C recognized Brother Malcolm as Edward's killer, but T did not. With his hair tied back, I thought that he was difficult to recognize.

When Edward was "behind bars" as shown here, C asked if he was locked up. I replied that he was just behind a grate.

At the very end when Lyta was returning her piece of Kosh to his encounter suit, T noted that this was the image from the DVD menu for this episode. C asked what was happening, and with almost Vorlon crypticness I said she was concluding her errand for Ambassador Kosh.

After the episode was over, I told them the story of how JMS was ahead of his time when it came to interacting with fans on-line, and how a fan had innocently posted what looked like the premise to his episode. T joked that everything was fine once they mindwiped the fan. I then said that JMS had to get a signed release from that fan before this episode could made. We then proceeded to have a discussion about capital punishment. All in all, this episode seemed to engage them, C in particular, more than usual.


"Voices of Authority"

I introduced this episode by reminding them of various plot seeds that were coming into bloom in this episode: 1.) The assassination of the President, 2.) the mysterious aliens that Sinclair's girlfriend had encountered in the first season, and 3.) the organization that Zack joined to earn a few extra bucks. When I said the last one, C asked who Zack was, and I said the guy who was on "Taxi". C then asked if Jeff Conaway did B5 before or after "Taxi" and I said after.

I also said this episode would bring back a character we last saw in Season 2. When Draal appeared, C said she knew him from somewhere and quickly looked him up on her tablet. It turns out John Schuck got his start at the Cleveland Play House which is more or less local to us.

Otherwise, there was not a lot of commentary from C and T. When the White Star encountered the Walker ship, T said the latter ship was very colorful. I'm not sure if it's improved effects or improved DVD mastering, but I have to admit the Walker effects looked quite good on their widescreen TV.

When we reached the end C gave the episode the raspberry. I asked what that was for, and she said that it was for all the freaks. I tried to point out that at least half the episode dealt with the humans, but she was unmoved. So I guess I am going to go ahead with my original plan to skip "Exogenesis". With all of C's complaints about "freaks", I can't imagine she'd be interested in a story about alien centipedes.
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Old 03-04-2018, 04:50 PM
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"Passing Through Gethsemane"
When we reached the end C gave the episode the raspberry. I asked what that was for, and she said that it was for all the freaks. I tried to point out that at least half the episode dealt with the humans, but she was unmoved. So I guess I am going to go ahead with my original plan to skip "Exogenesis". With all of C's complaints about "freaks", I can't imagine she'd be interested in a story about alien centipedes.
I hate to say this, but man, this is kind of painful to read. I'm not sure it's possible for someone who looks at non-human characters and just sees freaks to really enjoy the show.

All I'm trying to say is, uh, don't torture yourself? This may just not be a battle you can win.
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Old 03-04-2018, 05:47 PM
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I hate to say this, but man, this is kind of painful to read. I'm not sure it's possible for someone who looks at non-human characters and just sees freaks to really enjoy the show.

All I'm trying to say is, uh, don't torture yourself? This may just not be a battle you can win.
T is digging the show, so I want to continue for his sake. Hopefully the upcoming trilogy of human-centric episodes ("Messages from Earth", "Point of No Return" and "Severed Dreams") will improve C's outlook on the series.
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Old 03-05-2018, 10:31 AM
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I hate to say this, but man, this is kind of painful to read. I'm not sure it's possible for someone who looks at non-human characters and just sees freaks to really enjoy the show.

All I'm trying to say is, uh, don't torture yourself? This may just not be a battle you can win.
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Though it's great that T is liking it. Isn't there any alien that C likes? I'm reminded of how flabbergasted I was that my sister didn't care for G'Kar just because he "looks like a lizard".
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Old 03-05-2018, 03:53 PM
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Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Though it's great that T is liking it. Isn't there any alien that C likes? I'm reminded of how flabbergasted I was that my sister didn't care for G'Kar just because he "looks like a lizard".
C seems to have warmed up to Delenn since she gained her more human appearance.

And perhaps C likes Vir - she seemed a bit concerned when Vir was assigned to Minbar, asking if that meant he was off the show.
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Old 03-05-2018, 06:31 PM
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Yeah this is very revealing about C. C's attitude encompasses a problem all science fiction has had through out its history and that is a vast number of people who refuse to take it seriously because some characters don't look human. I find it very disturbing, but I try to be nice about it and attach the most benign explanation I can think of to that attitude and that is those people have no imagination.

Personally my father refuses to watch anything animated because it is all "for children" despite the fact that I have explained, with examples from the history of animation, that he is completely wrong.
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Old 03-14-2018, 02:49 AM
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I also know those types from friends and family, sadly (vs. animation/comics, spaceships, aliens, fantasy, future tales etc., just because of the setting and/or look, regardless what the actual story is). But I have to say, the constant use of the word "freaks" by your friend bothers me and seems borderline racist, even if I get it that it isn't meant that way, but in a more naive way, I suppose. Anyways, thanks for your interesting updates!
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Old 03-14-2018, 02:48 PM
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Anyways, thanks for your interesting updates!
Thank you for reading and posting!
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Old 03-14-2018, 03:10 PM
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But I have to say, the constant use of the word "freaks" by your friend bothers me and seems borderline racist, even if I get it that it isn't meant that way, but in a more naive way,
Yeah I almost made my statements this way, but I really tried to dance around the "R" word. Now that someone else has said it I have to say that I agree that borderline is how I see it as well.

I admit that I am weird. You can tell me the most fanciful story imaginable and I am will look for holes in logic. You can go to any extreme of imagination and I will reign that back and say it was too extreme. When I watch a show or movie I look at the first few minutes. I feel it sets the rules of the reality the storyteller is trying to create and if I feel they deviate from that reality too much I am going to call them on it. (See weird) What I can't understand is how people can watch any given TV show, something that is completely made up in a realm that couldn't exist, and find it to be more engaging just because the characters are human. I can't understand how someone can watch any kind of TV show or movie that is completely fictional and not very plausible in reality and say that it is great, but as soon as the plot moves to outer space then it has gone too far into the realm of fantasy to be engaging and entertaining.
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Old 03-24-2018, 06:28 PM
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"Dust to Dust"

As we sat down to watch this, C debuted an original jingle, "Freaks here, freaks there, freaks everywhere." But she soon revealed she had been paying attention to the series. When I reminded them that last week it was revealed that the President had assassinated his predecessor, and she said "Santiago".

During the opening assault scene when the dust-head was beating his victim repeatedly while yelling "Make it stop!" T said, "Good Heavens!" I agree that this is an intense scene.

As the opening credits rolled, C complained that Marcus was good-looking and not appearing enough in the show. I consider this a ray of hope for the future because we all know that, unlike Keffer, Marcus will be getting more screen time as the series progresses (up to Season 5 anyway).

When Bester agreed to take the sleepers while he was on the station, C was certain he would have some way to defeat them. She asked me for confirmation of this and I said, "No, he's actually going to play by their rules."

When G'Kar was first shown under the influence of dust, I explained that he had tested it on himself. T replied, "I was wondering about that." And when G'Kar assaulted Vir and the screen faded to black, T said, "Wow. We don't know what he's gonna do."

After G'Kar had beaten up Londo, C asked if he was dead, and I said, "No." As the camera panned up to show Ambassador Kosh, I explained that it was Kosh who had been talking to G'Kar and C said, "I knew that". So despite all her "freaks" complaints, she is paying attention.

When Garibaldi offered to return the Book of G'Quan, T asked what that was and I explained that it was G'Kar's holy book.

I tried to get C interested in the next episodes (we're going to skip "Exogenesis") by saying they were very Earth-centric, but her attitude was "I'll believe it when I see it."


"Messages from Earth"

I began by saying we were going to skip "Exogenesis" because it was standalone and not very good. I then said the opposite was true of the next three episodes. I told them that the next three shows were very interconnected and very good, and that everything regarding Earth, the President, and Nightwatch would come to a head.

At the beginning, T remarked that Marcus was in trouble, and recognized that he and Dr. Kirkish were in the bowels of the station. T asked if Dr. Kirkish had appeared on the show before and I said no. C noted that the actress had appeared on "Matlock".

T enjoyed the humor as usual, including the "Shut up and eat it" regulation and Marcus testing Ivanova's attentiveness by claiming there were fifteen wild badgers living in his trousers.

C seemed to be much more engaged than usual, asking questions about the merging process of the Shadow vessels or "Spidery Things" as she called them. She also asked if Sheridan and Delenn were falling in love and I said yes.

She also asked about the blonde haired Nightwatch guy, "Is he one of them?" I said he's in the Nightwatch same as Zack, and soon Zack would have to decide which side he was on. During the scene where the blonde haired Nightwatch guy was running down the list of all the people who were disloyal C remarked, "It's Trump!"

When Sheridan entered the sleeping quarters on the White Star, C asked if those were beds. I said yes, they were Minbari beds. When Sheridan talked about his Dad, I mentioned that he was still alive and we would see him in the third episode.

During the battle with the insane Shadow ship, C asked if it was dead, and I said yes, it was crushed by Jupiter's atmosphere. After it was all over T said, "Wow!"

Last edited by alpha128; 03-25-2018 at 06:57 AM. Reason: Added quotation marks
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Old 03-24-2018, 09:13 PM
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Now you've made me want to go watch exogenesis. And to change my sigline to: The Freaks and me will be out in the car.

You seem like a very kind and patient person.
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Old 03-25-2018, 06:56 AM
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Now you've made me want to go watch exogenesis. And to change my sigline to: The Freaks and me will be out in the car.
Based on C's much higher level of engagement during "Messages from Earth", I know I made the right call by skipping "Exogenesis". At the start of "Messages", she was asking how many more B5 seasons there were. But during the episode, she had me stop the playback so I could explain how Shadow vessels use living beings as the central processing units of their ships.

And she made not one comment about "freaks" during the entire episode! I am certain that would not have been the case had we watched "Exogenesis".

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You seem like a very kind and patient person.
Thanks.
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