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Aemon Stark

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About Aemon Stark

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    Land of Wind and Rain
  • Birthday August 2

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    A Song of Ice and Fire, of course, math, science, medicine, philosophy, history (especially ancient and medieval!)... and, more fun, movies, books, writing, enjoying fine ales, running, swimming, photography, and many other electrifying things

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  1. Aemon Stark

    Best Sitcom Episodes Ever

    I forget what else happens in the episode, but the one soon after featuring Peterman's return features one of my favourites among his memorable lines: "Kudos, Elaine, on a job... done." "What about my stock options?" "I think not."
  2. Aemon Stark

    Best Sitcom Episodes Ever

    Don't forget "Steve Guttenberg's Birthday". For Community it's either "Remedial Chaos Theory" or "Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design".
  3. Aemon Stark

    Best Sitcom Episodes Ever

    This is a hard call, but I figure I'd list a few from Seinfeld, Frasier, The Office (US), and The Simpsons: Seinfeld: There are too many to choose, but generally I prefer some of the earlier less "zany" episodes that focused more on things like waiting in a Chinese restaurant. So obviously "The Chinese Restaurant" is on my list, along with just about anything with Jerry's parents since they remind me so much of my grandparents. "The Pen" is a highlight there, along with the multi-episode arc from early season 4 involving "The Wallet" and "The Watch". While I'm at it, most of season 4 belongs on this list. After the off-kilter opener with the trip to LA, we go right into "The Pitch" with Jerry and George's NBC pilot and the introduction of Susan (Biddle) Ross. Later we meet George's parents for the first time (Estelle in "The Contest" and Frank - played by John Randolph! - in "The Handicap Spot"). This season also has recurring characters like Russell Dalrymple, Joe Davola, and a very real and spectacular Teri Hatcher. Other highlights include "The Movie", "The Bubble Boy", "The Airport", "The Outing" (not that there's anything wrong with that... ahhh the 90s), and "The Junior Mint". Frasier: Most any episode prior to Daphne and Niles getting together are best. While it was a well earned plot point, a lot of the tension in the show went out the window - and we ended up with way too many appearances of Daphne's mother at the expense of, say, Bulldog or Lilith. My favourites though are the "real-time" episodes. Season 1 ends with "My Coffee with Niles" where each Crane brother asks the other whether they're happy - the whole episode occurs at Nervosa as they shift from table to table to escape rain and hovering crowds. I don't know if they did it again until season 6's "Dinner Party" but it was worth the wait with an entire episode devoted to the planning of the titular party - it goes wrong before it even gets off the ground, unlike so many other prior "successes" (see "The Seal Who Came to Dinner", "Taps at the Montana" and many more). Another favourite is a "A Lilith Thanksgiving" where Frasier and Lilith endeavour to get Frederick into the fanciest, most elite private school in Boston. The Office (US): Fortunately this show still had lots of life in it even after Jim and Pam got together and I second everything said about "The Dinner Party". Hunter's music may be the best part, babe. Otherwise I love essentially every episode in seasons 2 and 3, most especially "Booze Cruise", "The Injury", "Casino Night", "A Benihana Christmas", "Grief Counseling", "The Convict", "Business School", and "The Job". The Simpsons: It's hard to believe this show has been on for 30 years, particularly since I haven't watched new episodes at all for the better part of my adult life. But seasons 2-7 or so remain classic and essential viewing, especially things like "Flaming Moe's", "Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk" (Or rather Burns verkauft den Kraftwerk...), "Homer at the Bat", "Kamp Krusty", "A Streetcar Named Marge", "Last Exit to Springfield"... well all of season 4. Looking through IMDB it's pretty hard to single out things in season 5 either. I generally am not aware of the existence of many episodes after season 12 or 13 (after 2002...). For Arrested Development, I think I'd go with the ones where they go to Mexico to find George Sr. Mainly because of the Ann jokes (who?). And, honestly, I can never watch Jurassic Bark again.
  4. Aemon Stark

    Star Trek: Picard

    The problem with Harry is that his character was poorly written and had little to no growth (let alone a promotion!) over 7 seasons. I can't think of many instances where he had to solve "engineering problems" but many where he had to talk through technobabble (a fine Voyager tradition if there ever was one).
  5. Aemon Stark

    Star Trek: Picard

    I don’t think Jellico was purposefully trying to change the ship culture. He didn’t much care how Picard ran things - as he says to Picard, “the Enterprise is mine now.” I don’t think he mismanaged the crew either - they were the ones spending more time complaining and Riker felt that his job was more to bring said complaints to Jellico rather than executing his orders. Anyway maybe I just enjoy Ronny Cox too much.
  6. Aemon Stark

    Star Trek: Picard

    Well I don't think the... bizarre situations Harry found himself in generally reflected his intelligence. But those were also most of the Harry-centric episodes, so I'm straining to see how green Ensign Kim > Picard.
  7. Aemon Stark

    Star Trek: Picard

    Programmed in multiple techniques... I thought Jellico was great. The complaining from the likes of Geordi always struck me as terribly unprofessional. Four shifts probably would work better anyhow... Otherwise I'm mystified by this "intelligence" discussion. I mean... Harry "read me like a book" Kim? He could hardly go more than a few episodes without getting into trouble largely due to his own haplessness (catching an alien sex disease, being tricked into thinking he was actually an alien all along, getting replaced by his double from a duplicate Voyager...). Also Picard was always *portrayed* as a Renaissance Man with wide and deep interests, whose idea of fun is reading a dusty old book on Risa or puzzling over Fermant's last theorem. I would watch Star Trek: Garak though.
  8. Aemon Stark

    Star Trek: Picard

    I'm sure Harry has made lieutenant (junior grade) by now. Maybe even a full lieutenant!
  9. Aemon Stark

    Star Trek: Picard

    Fixed that.
  10. Wait, he redeemed himself? I always felt that he'd finally come to terms with what he'd done, if nothing else. Anyway, I'd rank Breaking Bad at the top definitely. The Trek spinoffs offer some nice comparisons from "good" to "excellent" to "abysmal". TNG was really classy and was a huge event at the time (I remember they showed at the Skydome!). DS9 was more emotional and bittersweet - it maybe trends too much into outright nostalgia (the montage), but it always feels earned. It did have some budgetary constraints that were unfortunate. Voyager was okay - too much time travel, too much more defanging of the Borg, and an ending that avoids all semblance of sacrifice. Enterprise, which never gelled for me as a show, had an insultingly bad - and cheaply made - ending. Sitcoms are quite variable. Friends and Frasier were good, but both shows were on too long. I actually like the Seinfeld finale, even though it has many of the same problems as the last two seasons. But it also gave rise to the wonderful running joke on Curb Your Enthusiasm about how the reunion show would "make up for the finale". I thought the US Office was really great, almost making up for the quasi-mess of the Michael Scott-less seasons. And I actually kinda liked BSG at the time - but haven't watched in a long time. Fairly bananas though. I think overall GoT worked pretty well for me, though it absolutely felt rushed. I'm not sure how I would have extended it, but there was a feeling throughout these last two seasons that the writers have been working from GRRM's ever sketchier outlines.
  11. Aemon Stark

    Canadian Politics: Revenge of the small minds

    To be fair, I believe the cut as proposed will be to anesthetic fees for endoscopy sedations (i.e. when there's an actual anesthesiologist present). That wouldn't necessarily be typical and definitely isn't the cheapest way of delivering procedural association. But I'd say it's more reasonable to have available than, say, new license plate mottos or $10m for horse racing.
  12. Aemon Stark

    US Politics: A Farewell to Arms

    Or perhaps better stated, insufficient (not no) evidence of "collusion" to warrant charges and/or impeachment.
  13. Aemon Stark

    Watched, Watching & Rewatch Redux

    We just finished You on Netflix. It's generally very effective and captivating, but it starts to tend too much to coincidences in the second half. And there are far too many severe-looking head injuries that seem to be just walked off. Also watched Killing Eve which was tremendous and glitzy and weird.
  14. Aemon Stark

    Star Trek Discovery #3 [Spoilers] - It's A Wonderful Spock!

    Fortunately there are podcasts to bring relief from the Youtube cesspool. "The Greatest Discovery" is a good review/recap one, done by the guys who started "The Greatest Generation" in - I think - 2016. It's on iTunes and Maximum Fun. On TGG they've gotten all through TNG and are almost done season 3 of DS9 now. There's an associated online community that is largely lacking people complaining about SJWs and virtue signalling.
  15. Aemon Stark

    Glass-is Shymalan back?

    I just thought 90% of the character beats rang false and, as usual, the Shymalan cameo was awkward and overlong.