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RandyO
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Top contributor
Nov 29, 2021
In Foundation Discussions
Here's why this first season has basically made me not look forward to the next two with the caveat that the show remains watchable and doesn't turn into Battlestar Galactica: The Gospel of Angel Kara/Starbuck, which was pretty much when I'd stopped watching and got the periodic summary from friends were still into the show. The best way to describe this feeling is to illustrate it against a prior show staring Lee Pace, 'Halt & Catch Fire'. First of all, the show started with a reasonably mundane premise and that was the start of the laptop/portable PC clone business in Texas's "Silicon Prairie" in the metro Dallas area. It was loosely influenced by the rise of Compaq computers when IBM was the de facto PC megalith. So with the above in mind, I was expecting it to be some corporate snooze-fest, using tactics from age old soap operas like 'Dallas' or what have you, to keep it going. Instead, for at least the first season, as the adjacent characters were being fleshed out like Cameron and Donna, Lee Pace as tech visionary/salesman Jim Macmillan, put the entire show on his back and carried it to the finale. And he was fabulous. Thanks to excellent writers, he played the snarkiest and most manipulative business visionary I've ever seen on the small screen. It was almost as if the writers needed time to build up the show's supporting cast (since the first techie, Gordon, wasn't so engaging of a sidekick) so they let Jim Macmillan have the first season for himself. And given that it was the city of Dallas, also a part of the 70s/80s Oil Patch, Macmillan blew the likes of the more cartoonish JR Ewing out of the water in terms of believably, authenticity, and a man of pure conviction in his ideals despite being a constant deceiver. He pushed around the supporting characters around him in every possible devious way, until those first PC clones shipped by the finale, indicating that IBM (or Texas Instruments, as some local in-town rival) would not have a monopoly on the laptop/desktop and that they'd be the first of the successful PC clone makers. Sure, the following seasons spread the work load out among others, so that Lee Pace wasn't the single torch bearer, but the point was that his performance along with good writing made the show's debut season a stunning success. And yes, Cameron was a firecracker, along with sidekick Donna, as time went by which only made the show's seasons 2 to 4, entertaining and fun to watch. In contrast, nothing of interpersonal meaning happened in 'Foundation'. Lee Pace was yes, a "Jim Macmillan-ish" Emperor but there was little there, since they didn't develop his inner thoughts on the spiral walk nor his relationship with Dawn, prior to his death by Ito. Pace was just being regal and authoritarian. And throughout the time, the writers were just bouncing around the various expositions on the cloning process, the paintings on the wall, etc. Even the description of Trantorian life, outside of the palace, was scant. And as for Demerzel, as time went by, she seemed more like some schizophrenic android than an advanced AI who's been at the game of 'rule from behind the throne' for 11 millennia. And despite Jared Harris being a talented actor, Hari Seldon was merely a pontificating professor whose 11th hour arrival as an AI was completely predictable. And as for the psychic mother and daughter, they were just that … being psychic. Most viewers know what psychism is. It's a well developed ability in countless movies and TV shows, outside of stage mentalists like Uri Gellar. The show attempted to make it some startling revelation when it's a rather trite point once you've observe it, either on the screen or as a parlor game among performers. Sorry, but that doesn't make for a good season 1. Watch 'Halt & Catch Fire' if you want to know how to take an average story and make something great out of it with Lee Pace at the helm.
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RandyO
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Top contributor
Nov 20, 2021
In Foundation Discussions
Ok, with the end of Season 1, I think we can see the next wave suiting up. When Brother Day killed all of Azura's friends and family within a degree of separation, he basically indicated a Stalinistic move, which only a sadistic leader would pull, given the fact that those other thousand and a half have nothing to do with Azura's conspiracy. I mean most monarchs could get vicious but that's a bit over the top, even for let's say Ivan the Terrible. Realize, the nuclear strikes on Anacreon & Thespa, by Dusk, were based upon a notion some cabals on those worlds were hiding the culprits of the terrorist strike and so he treated all parties as complicit. Sure, sinister, but still understandable from that totalitarian p.o.v. govt. But before Cleon could go all the way to the level of Comrade Stalin, the last element of compassion, his fawning over the flawed Dawn, was taken away when Ito pulled the fatal blow on Dawn and when the shadow master revealed that the DNA damage permeated to all the Cleons. That's when Day lost it and became a complete sociopath, taking the path of the individualistic demagogue. In the future, the Foundation now fused with the Outer Planets will launch a coup de etat against Emperor Stalin and thus, set up the next crisis which could likely be the rise of the Mule. And I'm sure that conundrum there will be if he/she is related to Salvor/Gaal or Stalin.
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RandyO
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Top contributor
Nov 13, 2021
In Foundation Discussions
So far, I've been less impressed by the series as time goes by. The story of Dawn and his escape from the castle, may have been the first interesting development in the series. For one, it provided a backstory for Azura, who clearly 'knew too much' for a run of the mill gardener and this pretty much seals that angle. And then, despite the whole failed subterfuge of planting an Agent Provocateur in the Palace as Dawn's replacement, ala 'Man In The Iron Mask', Day's return from the Spiral ordeal may change how he deals with a Dawn, who's not so perfectly cloned, as Day's experienced something which the prior Cleons before him never tried. For me, this was more interesting than Hari's AI leading a Motley Crue towards the Invictus, a conclusion which was almost predictable from the middle of the series when we discovered that Hari had himself uploaded prior to death. It was just a matter of time before such an AI would emerge from the vault & since the episode's titled 'The First Crisis', it only follows.
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RandyO
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Top contributor
Nov 12, 2021
In Foundation Discussions
This is for those who'd seen the re-boot of Battlestar Galactica. When did the re-imagined Battestar Galactica become unwatchable? For me, it was around the time when the show transitioned from Sci-Fi with a spiritual angle (because all BSGs had some spiritual folklore & mystical references [ like the Pyramids of Giza or Oseliks of Thebes] ) to that of a full blown religion demagogue of Kara 'Starbuck' Thrace coming back as an angel/savior. Sure, you could say that Baltar was always 'talking to entities' like his Cylon girlfriend, Six, but let's be honest ... in reality, he was not too dissimilar to let's say John Forbes Nash in "A Beautiful Mind" a genius with schizophrenia talking to imaginary friends and foes. And I think most ppl around accepted him as some crazy genius since there's nothing intrinsically wrong with talking to one self esp when he's also having sex with her so it definitely helps in the loneliness dept, given the desperation of half the ppl on the ship. After Starbuck was angelified, the show became irritating where each episode was about vision and faith. That's when the show became some Sunday morning liturgy than an outer space Sci-Fi drama with AI/Cylons and the human condition out in the void. It was nearly 100% unwatchable and preached continually, taking itself far too seriously for a Sci-Fi show.
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RandyO
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Top contributor
Nov 06, 2021
In Foundation Discussions
What's the real punchline here? ... Hari's creating a 2nd Foundation, the psychic one, on Helicon vs some secret location on Trantor, as in the books. And then, he realizes that Gaal's got "psychic" abilities and could help the 2nd Foundation. Hello?! Who was he recruiting to begin with?! People with extraordinary gymnastic abilities? Sure, add another psychic to Wanda's club (assuming that Wanda from the book is around) but now, the Mule doesn't even have to search very hard. Look no further than Hari's home planet for the psychic clubhouse. As far as the Emperor goes, I'm suppose to be believe that a walk through a desert w/o food and water is suppose to conjure 'galaxy shattering' visions. Guess what? That happens to people, when they're mildly sleep deprived nevermind the whole desert visionquest which is as old as the times before the Old Testamount on our own earth. Almost anyone on a desert trip gets lightheaded and delusional, esp in face of the heat and dehydration. And having visions or hallucinations doesn't say anything about the condition of one's soul given the fact that stories about 'Trinities' call it Osiris, Isis, and Horus in ancient Eqypt, Brahma, Atma, Vishnu in ancient & present-day India/Hinduism, Father, Son, & Holy Spirit in Christianity. It's called a universal archetype, if you're into Jung et al. Any signs of the symbol of 3 or even better, 7, which encompasses the deadly sins, the etheric bodies, the chakras, etc. If the Emperor saw three dancing elephants wrapped around seven gorillas then as far as I'm concerned, he's explained the essence of Kundalini Yoga through a metaphor. Congrats, he's now Guru Cleon the 13! Eat your heart out Dalai Lama, there's a new Bodhisattva in town! If this is the religion of 10000 years from now, then I'll stick with earth's denominations. And the jump ship piece was just dragged out from the prior episode. Nothing new here except that I think Farra and Salvor won't be becoming friends in the future.
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RandyO
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Top contributor
Nov 04, 2021
In Foundation Discussions
Here's one of the technical points which I think highlights a problem with the show. The whole genetic dynasty thing is based upon a basic knowledge of biology that twins tend to do similar things and thus, are the same person with a few superficial differences. And sure, given the fact that they live together and occasionally wear each other's clothes, etc, one could make that case. So now, the fate of the entire galaxy is based upon cloning and maintaining a type of identical Cleon to provide the face of eternity. Well, if one has 400+ years to work with, will that person have a 40 to 70 year old mentality forever? I would think that a healthy, non-bed ridden person, even at the age of 90, will try something new even if he's in his final decade of life. This then brings up the whole contrasting Avatar thing. Hari's death by Raych was really his birth in cyberspace. Instead of a frail 60-something, he's now immortal and can pursue research till the end of time or at least till the end of computing machines. And yes, the show does appear to make this the case so that the time vault is actually a Hari-personality AI. Likewise, even if Cleon used a type of body double occasionally, his consciousness and memories from prior lives would be assimilated into them, given the tech of his century. In addition, even if he didn't use direct clones, couldn't he grow organs and have his surgeons swap out aging ones and thus, extend his human life in the hundreds of years? The show has indicated that we're 1000s of years in the future where all of this exists. Instead, we have a type of inconsistent universe building of medievalism mixed with tech, way ahead of the era of Genghis Khan. Gaal's home world would be the laughing stock of the galaxy, as ppl on Trantor and other planets would take bets on when the deluge happens, since it's obvious that the idiots on the surface aren't doing anything about it. And one could say something about Lumin being another Luddite, anti-tech, fake Buddhist world/culture but that's for another day, since earth's own Buddhism allows for soul to transmigrate/live anywhere. I mean sure, ppl love to visit medieval places like Bhutan or Tibet but on the whole, modern practitioners of the faith live in places like Thailand, Malaysia/Singapore, Sri Lanka, Europe, and America.
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RandyO
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Top contributor
Oct 23, 2021
In Foundation Discussions
Spoiler Alert: This post is about episode 6 where Brother Dawn leaves his solar system for a far away destination. What surprised me the most was not so much that the welcoming party was one person but how the entire journey went. For one, it appeared that Dawn has never taken a trip on board an FTL ship and didn't look so healthy after the short trip from a time duration p.o.v. If he's Emperor and has health issues, pre-existing or not, even if it's just "travel exhaustion", than the Empire's best physicians should be on hand to deal with it. Instead, it's almost like the show was indicating that he took a Motrin to deal with jet lag like every average Joe out there. And then, at the destination, he arrived on a single ship without an escort of an entire fleet to protect him in case of a major assault by an unexpected enemy on the fringes. If anything, the prior episode on Terminus showed how dangerous that was. And also, why didn't the Emperor have a scouting fleet, show up ahead of time, to scan the region for possible hostiles? Even on Earth, in our reality, the President of the United States would not have arrived at some random location without the armed forces, NATO or otherwise, scope the region for problems ahead of time. Instead, he's on the surface with half a dozen bodyguards, no air cover, and no escape plan if his ship gets missile attacked. It gave me a bad impression that Day's out of touch with the universe, outside of Trantor. He lives in an information bubble where only traveling emissaries and Ito's counsel are the only things he knows. And if that's the case then it's clear that the Empire will collapse and probably within a decade or two, nevermind his natural lifespan.
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RandyO

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