- His secret to bad Trek films: it's a bad Trek film whenever one of the main characters sings, as seen in Final Frontier, Generations, Insurrection, and Nemesis. TMP is an exception, as singing would "only distract from the boredom".
- The Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan review, featuring numerous quotations from the books on Khan's shelf to explain how having only those books for reading material shaped his worldview. In the conclusion, he fully explains why he hates the argument that The Motion Picture was a better film than Khan because it's "more cerebral." "A story is not less cerebral just because it has action scenes. Otherwise you might as well argue that Henry V is less cerebral than Snow Dogs."
- His calling out of the whale probe in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. He points that saying it's "intelligent" and "not hostile" is pure nonsense. As the thing nearly kills all life on Earth, by BOILING THE OCEANS WHERE THE WHALES LIVE, he points out that really, it's either too dumb to know what it's doing, or it is hostile. He goes on to destroy the arguments of people who defend the whale probe, pointing out that it's callous destruction of life on Earth and everything around it as it travels personifies the absolute worst traits of humanity.
- The musical Montage in the Generations review.
- The Insurrection review including: detailing how the film is more interesting as a phenomenon (starting off well-received, but later being one of the worst films in the franchise); his discussion of just how beneficial the Ba'ku planet's rings are to the Federation and that this makes the Ba'ku greater villains than the Son'a by not offering it to help billions; and, perhaps most importantly, his plot idea of "The Family Argument", in which half the crew decides to help the Ba'ku, but the other half helps the Son'a.
- The Crazy Janeway explanation in Star Trek: Nemesis.Picard: I don't understand how you could possibly become an Admiral before me! I've been a Captain for almost 40 years, invented new tactics, saved the human race... All you did was get pulled across the galaxy and managed to wander back home again. You have any idea how many times I've been thrown all over the universe by weird experiments and all-powerful beings and come back?
Janeway: Oh, you've been put up for promotion, Picard, but when I was picking up Tom Paris, I used my father's old access codes to introduce a program that said every time you were supposed to be promoted it'd be rerouted to my file. That's why I got promoted over Commodore, over Rear Admiral, directly to Vice-Admiral on coming back.
Janeway: Ah, yes, it's all part of my plan. Actually, everything that has happened with your mission has been my plan. Shinzon's got an advanced war ship that can fire while cloaked, armed with a weapon that can exterminate a whole planet. It's made with technology I got from my future self and traded to him for valuable information. Or did you actually think a bunch of backward-ass morons like the Remans could've pulled this thing out of their ass?
Picard: You mean, you traded technology to the enemy?
Janeway: Wasn't the first time. That "B4" droid? That's just Lore! I used my high-level access to take his remains. Then I dumbed him down so Shinzon couldn't get much use out of him.
Picard: My god. What have you done?
Janeway: Handed him the means to sneak up on Earth and annihilate the heart of the Federation. And blow up his own ship too... He won't see that coming. Luckily, I'll be conveniently off-world and thus the highest-ranking leader left in the Federation. Ready to lead the remnants in a just war agains the Romulans — which will be short, thanks to Shinzon killing their leadership — leaving me in control of both nations, from which I can launch my total conquest of the galaxy!
Picard: (flabbergasted) ...You're mad! Wh-why are you even telling me all this?
Janeway: Oh, I reprogrammed your replicator while I was picking up Tom Paris. Your Earl Grey's drugged. You won't even remember any of this conversation.
Picard: Rubbish! That's never happened before!
Janeway: Oh, it's happened ever since they installed my Dr. Replicators on the Enterprise-C. Unfortunately, the drug's side-effect substantially increases testosterone. That's why you're so aggressive and you've lost your hair. Sorry... Look on the bright side! Once you go on this mission it won't matter, because there is no way anyone will be coming back from Romulus alive!
Picard: But, but, you... You... I... What I was saying?
Janeway: You were insisting I send you on this mission, and damn it, Picard, you've convinced me! Whether you're making it back alive or not, I'm putting you up for a promotion! I've earn— I mean, you've earned it!
- His discussion of Nero in Star Trek (2009): By detailing his sympathetic characterization, tragedy, and overwhelming rage detailed in the prequel comics and novelization, Chuck concludes that Nero should have been the strongest movie villain since Khan. Instead, we get the film version, who he describes as "An emo with a trident."
- Coming up with a brilliant alternate ending to Star Trek Into Darkness: Khan gets away with all the Augments, Spock mindmelds with Kirk, and Kirk is left in stasis. Then, the next film will be searching for Khan and his new army, Kirk will become a phantom in Spock's mind acting as both an adviser and a nuisance, while the entire Enterprise crew must combine their wits, skills, and generally everything they've got in order to defeat Khan's army and bring him back alive to save their captain. Tell us that is not awesome.
The Original Series
- Calmly dissecting the controversies behind the production of "The City on the Edge of Forever". It's a loaded topic, but Chuck brings up the main talking points without any hysteria or anger, discussing among other things that Harlan Ellison has provided evidence for his position, while Gene Roddenberry spouted some pretty Blatant Lies about Ellison and the script when he was alive, and that the original script does have a couple of advantages over the final episode (though he still thinks they're both great).
- Once you get past the hilarious concept of HOW he structures it, his ultimate breakdown of the issues inherent in "Elaan of Troyius" is a masterclass in trying to think through something complicated.
The Next Generation
- The quoting of 1984 in "The Big Goodbye".
- In his "Skin of Evil" review, coming up with TWO separate scenarios to handle Tasha Yar's death that are far more emotional and meaningful than the way she was initially killed off.
- A very small moment that often gets overlooked comes in his review of the TNG Episode "The Neutral Zone" in which he says he has nothing against people who preach Marxism despite his own stance on the subject, which is a lot more tolerant and respectful than most idiots who look down on Socialism, Marxism, and Communism as "the ultimate evil."
- "Darmok" from TNG:
- Using the original (German) version of "99 Luftballons", a beautiful nod to the episode's story.
- His follow-up video in which he discusses the Tamarian language, using Real Life examples to demonstrate why the concept of incomprehensible language made of metaphors is not as far-fetched as it might seem.
- In his review for "The Bonding" from TNG he shows how Gene Roddenberry's vision for the future (and how he kept the writers in the "Roddenberry Box") is a complete fallacy as it tries to hide behind it. Specifically, how children are forced to repress their emotions from a loved one dying. In addition, he brings up a quote about how Gene essentially was crushing his writers with this rule and how all of them left at the end of the season just because they were tired of having their hands tied."Any emotion, petty or otherwise, is at the core of good drama and creates conflict between characters. But Gene didn't want conflict between characters. 'All the problems of mankind have been solved,' he said. 'Earth is a paradise. Now go write drama.'" — Michael Piller
- Taking "Up The Long Ladder" to task for the horrific Irish stereotyping which then gives way to an even more horrific moral about forcing people to be "breeding stock," to use the episode's own term.
- His follow-up to his review of TNG's "First Contact" (the episode, not the movie), exploring the philosophical and psychological consequences that would come from making contact with any extraterrestrial species that may exist.
- In "Shades Of Gray", discussing at least two different Clip Show scenarios which would have been more worthwhile than what we got.
- The episode-long rant about "Peak Performance", where the guest character whose arrogance we're supposed to be irritated by pales in comparison to how the Enterprise crew are at their absolute Roddenberry future utopia smuggest throughout the whole thing, not to mention poking holes in their continuing insistence that Starfleet isn't a military organization, when it truly is.
- The montage of clips at the beginning of "Datalore" explaining why the review was delayed. Fixing a flooded bathroom has never felt so epic.
- His tangent about the Crystalline Entity and its function in the story as a perfect example to aspiring sci-fi writers on "why you have to think this shit through." Having a planet-eating Lovecraftian monstrosity in your story as a plot device is all well and good. . . but the very existence of a thing like this begs a whole can of worms in questions that must be answered for it to be a satisfying addition to your universe.
- In his review of "The Wounded" he defends Picard's position on stopping Maxwell. He admits that the benefit of hindsight doesn't make things look good for Picard, but as he points the Federation while still reeling from the attack by the Borg so it's no condition to fight even if the Cardassians aren't either. He notes the damage caused when the Dominion came in but at the same time points out they were a factor Picard couldn't have foreseen anymore than Kirk could have foreseen the threat of the Borg.
- His talk in "Sins of the Father", painting the Romulans as a Magnificent Bastard trying to sabotage the Federation/Klingon alliance after "The Defector". Really painting them as genius manipulators of both Federation and Klingon ethics.
- His evisceration about the Prime Directive in "The Masterpiece Society," which may put his 15 minute video about the subject to shame. He essentially says, if Starfleet is so terrified of so much as leaving behind footprints anytime they get involved with pre-warp civilizations, much less culturally contaminating them, they should stay home and only ever send out unmanned probes. They have no business exploring space, much less acting like a moral society, if the very idea tightens their gut.Chuck: The Prime Directive is good idea being used for bad ends the moment we think it is anything more than a philosophy, a guide, and instead turn it into a religion on which we sacrifice others so we don't have to make decisions and own the consequences. Indeed, that is the very irony of this warped application of the Prime Directive: a philosophy that we will not impose our values on others means we're willing to let others die for the sake of our values.
Deep Space Nine
- His positively BRUTAL critique of the DS9 episode "Paradise" and the character Alixus, who may in fact be one of the most evil characters ever seen in any piece of Star Trek media. It really is quite a thing to behold.
- The explanation from "The Jem'Hadar" about why, despite his laying a lot of stuff at Starfleet's door over the years, he doesn't blame them for starting the Dominion War. In fact he goes as far as pointing that even without the benefit of hindsight the Federation still isn't at fault. The Dominion fired the opening shots by attacking Federation and Bajoran colonies in the Gamma Quadrant. They didn't bother with diplomacy, they instantly resorted to violence while insisting that everything in the Gamma Quadrant belongs to them and gave no assurances that even if the Federation stayed out of the Gamma Quadrant that they wouldn't come through the wormhole to attack them.
- In the last 3 minutes of his Dominion War Follow-up he not only explains how this Deep Space Nine arc took a lot of risk and is an example of how their writers were always pushing for more risk than the producers wanted, but also shows how TNG and especially Voyager "played it safe" in terms of writing, and not until Enterprise Season 3 with the Xindi arc when the show was in jeopardy of cancellation were the writers and producers willing to do this. This explains why he seems like a Deep Space Nine Fan Boy, especially compared to all the other Star Trek series.
- "Rejoined": Examining the episode both from the perspective of its real-world allegory for homosexuality (greatly stigmatized at the time the episode aired) and from the in-universe Trill taboo of "Reassociation," speaking about the concept of a "taboo" and why a thing might be such, and concluding that one could be against the idea of homosexual relationships being taboo while understanding and accepting Reassociation as a necessary taboo. In a move of sheer balls, Chuck brings up both homosexual relationships and sex with underage individuals as taboos, and that one could support lifting the first taboo and support reinforcing the second, because they're not the same thing and the reasons for them being taboos are vastly different.
- When looking into the ethics of genetic engineering in "Doctor Bashir, I Presume?" he notes that regardless of what happened in Earth's past due to atrocities committed by Augments, none of that excuses Bashir being nearly ejected from Starfleet because he is genetically engineered. Bashir's parents did that to him without his consent. He is in effect being punished for something he had zero control over.
- In "Empok Nor", Chuck criticizes a Starfleet security officer for pointing her phaser rifle at her colleague and stating that the safety is on by pointing out that both the NRA (National Rifle Association) and the NSSF (National Shooting Sports Foundation) have rules against this.
- In his review of "Inquisition", he devotes the coda to a very thorough defense of the existence of Section 31, pointing out that its existence doesn't necessarily conflict with the image of Gene Roddenberry-this is, after all, the same "perfect humanity" that believes it's a nobler thing to allow innocents to die for the sake of a moral principle.
- In his review of "Profit And Lace" he utterly rips into how horrible a parent Ishka is to Quark. Quark is a misogynist but in every appearance Ishka has made she has treated him like crap and never showed him any kindness. By this point Quark had risked his life to save Ishka in "The Magnificent Ferengi" and she still treats him like trash. Even by the end of the episode when he Quark allows himself to be humiliated by a scheme Ishka drags him into her treatment of him hasn't improved. Chuck doesn't defend Quark's misogyny, but notes that give how his badly his own mother has treated him his entire life, it's hardly surprising he has such a negative view of women even if the show doesn't acknowledge it.
- It's clear from Chuck's videos that he loves Deep Space Nine more than any other Star Trek series... but he doesn't hold back in his criticism of "What You Leave Behind", saying Sisko's fight with Dukat and sealing the Pah-Wraiths away was anti-climactic and un-fitting, especially since characters like Kira and even Worf had more of a connection to Dukat than Sisko did.
- His inspired response to the Fridge Logic of Voyager's plan to literally blow a hole in an event horizon by explaining how an event horizon is not a physical thing, but a mathematical representation of reality. It's not only funny as hell, but teaches viewers about the concept of event horizons in a way they will never forget.
- His "Unimatrix Zero" review is apparently the reason he started this review show. Why? Because this is where the physical evidence that Janeway is crazy is from.Chuck: She's getting ASSIMILATED ON PURPOSE! Yes, the process that frequently leaves you missing an eye or limb, that's plan A! That's how bad Janeway wants to have her little army. She's potentially mutilating herself for life, for the chance! And you guys laugh when I say she's crazy! (as Janeway) "Find the biggest nastiest enemy ship we can find, attack it, board and I'll get assimilated. It's all part of my plan, Operation: I-Don't-Need-A-Reason-Just-Obey-Me. Yes sir, this is definitely the best plan I've ever— [a drone installs something into her skull] ♪—rrrrrryday it's a gettin' closer, goin' faster than a roller coaster♪"
- Going point for point between canon Janeway and his evil version in "Latent Image", and giving up when it turns out that canon Janeway actually had a more evil approach to the situation than the parody.
- The "Tuvix Coda", a montage of Janeway putting Voyager and her crew through hell while "Still Alive" plays in the background. And it ends with Janeway smirking at the camera, wearing her admiral's uniform as seen in Star Trek: Nemesis.
- In "Real Life" of VOY, his understated, absolutely dead serious lambasting of the mockery the episode makes of a horribly tragic situation, which Chuck came close to experiencing himself.Chuck: It is the point I mentioned at the beginning, the "makes you cry, but puts a gun to your head to make you do it thing". The Doc's daughter hit her head playing parrises squares, and despite his best efforts, she is dying. Is this effective? Sure. The young actor is quite capable and Picardo is brilliant as always. The problem with this is the way it fumbles about with it. How long did Janeway's stupid Victorian Holonovel run before they shitcanned it, because nobody cared? A season and a half! The Doctor has a family, meant to teach him about relating to patients, but ending with the tragic death of his daughter. 45 minutes. And this life-changing, soul-crushing, "your worst nightmare" event, will never, ever be mentioned again. Not once. Not when parrises squares brought up all the times in the future to tear open that old wound. Nope. You just don't put someone through the death of their child and have it never matter! That's just cheap! And it is a sign to me that they don't quite grasp what it is they're doing here. I mean, how can this be that dramatic when this great tragedy shows no signs of its effect on him, EVER!? But the only thing that happens this entire episode that will ever matter to anything ever again is Tom flirting with Torres in the mess hall! Really?
- In particular, his notation that the Doctor initially choosing not to go through that experience shouldn't be seen as cowardice or a failure to get humanity. It's an exceptionally painful thing he's being asked to witness, and him choosing to avoid that pain should not make him a weak or unsympathetic character.
- He comes up with a great idea for how the Reset Button on "Year of Hell" could still have resulted in lasting consequences: just one room on the ship didn't get the temporal shielding down in time...and Harry Kim was inside. Suddenly the guy they were going to kill off for being too boring has an exciting new role as "a scarred survivor of the war that never was."
- This one's just plain freaky: due to delays caused by his looking for an episode fitting the request of focusing on a bad character but still being worth a perfect score, he ended up reviewing "Timeless", an episode set fifteen years after the season it was part of, exactly fifteen years after it aired.
- Simply, the opening of his 5th Anniversary review - "Emanations", the first review he put up on his YouTube channel - features his typical theme ... before turning into a hyper-strung montage of his various Voyager reviews, set to "Highway to Hell".
- The pop culture-based synopsis of World War II in "The Killing Game". You're caught between laughing your head off and staring in awe. Now with its own video.
- During the "Fair Haven" review, he gives a long and devastating takedown of how the "Voyager" writers seemed to have completely skirted past a message about the possibilities of escapism and an audience's emotional identification with simulated entertainment it knows isn't real... on a sci-fi show in a veteran, fandom-heavy franchise. The argument presented (by the Doctor) is that Janeway's holographic boyfriend is "as real as I am," when in point of fact Fair Haven and the Doctor are radically different programs of radically different levels of sophistication and capability, especially since the Doctor has been modified by Voyager's crew (and been allowed to modify himself). Instead, if the episode had acknowledged that "of course he's not real, but does that make your feelings unreal or less valid?" the episode could have made a very salient point not just about its own fandom, but the phenomena of fandom in general.
- The review was accompanied by a long, detailed examination of the franchise's portrayal of holograms, and how "alive" they can be considered. Which starts off by noting that in "Fair Haven" the portrayal of the titular holographic town as being real enough to be worth risking the whole ship to save conflicts rather badly with Janeway adjusting one of the residents to be a suitable romantic partner, which includes deleting his wife entirely.
- His transformation of the titular character of "Jetrel" in Voyager from flat to three-dimensional, and the issues of the episode from black-and-white to highly nuanced, simply by adding a one-minute scene to the episode.
- For "Fury" he comes up with a far more moving and meaningful reason for Kes to turn on the Voyager crew, rather than the episode's "Screw it, she's just crazy." The idea being that, because Voyager helped the Borg against Species 8472, the Borg have now found and assimilated or wiped out the Ocampa, and Kes seeks to both get revenge and undo that act and save her people.
- His calling out Janeway for her hypocrisy in "Equinox," comparing her treatment and judgement of Captain Ransom to how she would be judged and treated if found by the Enterprise-E and Picard. It's a masterpiece of role-reversal: if Janeway had encountered Picard and the Enterprise-E instead of Ransom and the Equinox, and Picard had taken to exception to Janeway's command style and decisions in the same way Janeway reacts to Ransom's, would Janeway have meekly rolled over and allowed the fate of her ship and crew to be dictated by another Captain, "tactical superiority" notwithstanding. Not only no, but fuck no! Thus, with the application of some Fridge Brilliance, Janeway and Ransom aren't so different.
- His attack on the suspension of the Prime Directive in "The Omega Directive", both for what it says about Janeway and the entire Federation:
- The Prime Directive forbids interfering with pre-warp species, in Janeway's eyes, even if it means preventing their extinction. The Omega Directive overrides it, because Omega could lead to the Federation losing their warp drives. So the Prime Directive is suspended not when a species is threatened with its own extinction, but when they do something that is harmful to the Federation.
- He delivers another What the Hell, Hero? to Janeway about how she refuses to help the aliens in Omega, even though her actions are leading to death of their species.
- Goes into a rant about writing Janeway's character went wrong with writers were so in-cohesive with writing Janeway because they always were concerned about writing female traits with her. He compares her to Sisko, who was written as being black as a minor trait compared to everything else about him.
- It's basically the long setup for a joke, but his speech in his review of "Shattered" on Starfleet Captaincy and time-travel really cuts to the quick of what it means to be Captain of a Starship in Star Trek:Janeway takes that kinda hard and decides that they should alter the plan. Instead of synching up with Chakotay's time, synch up with hers so she can choose not to stay in the Delta Quadrant. Chakotay has to talk her out of it, that there are negatives to this, but there are positives too. It is one of those things about time travel; the possibilities of the future, one reality over the other, trying to decide which is better. But I suppose if The Greats were here, they would say that that is the duty of The Captain, to face every crisis with the realization that you are making a future, choosing one path and forsaking all others. To witness that future become history and wonder if, if you had made another choice, took a different path, you could have perhaps averted the bad and amplified the good somehow. But even still, with that opportunity and the knowledge of your unwritten future, should you presume that you second choice will be the right one, and not lead to an even worse wrong? What, in the end, should someone with such power do?
- The Voyager finale montage, set to the (almost) full version of "Harleys and Indians." It's basically every awesome thing that ever happened on Voyager, set to some badass rockin' music to boot. If you liked the show, it's a fitting reprise of the greatest hits. If you didn't, it's a sign of the show that might have been.
- Several times he points out how the numerous Padding scenes in the episode could have been used to thematically tie the story together with just a bit more work.
- In the review for "Survival Instinct," he talks about how Ronald Moore injected a creative breath of fresh air into the show, and how that made an otherwise completely Filler episode fire on all thrusters to become great. He even scores the episode at the very beginning (9 out of 10), to get that out of the way to talk about the episode itself and what makes it work so well. He points out that this is what Voyager was capable of, the potential it had, and this was just one regular standalone episode with no special significance. It highlights how so many other episodes squandered the potential they had to work with, how the show could have been so much more than it was. And to cap off the episode, which is themed signifcantly around Seven of Nine's terror at being alone, he complies an excellent video tribute to Seven set to Disturbed's cover of "Sound of Silence."
- His "Big Lock" monologue from the "Year of Hell" review. If you've ever had a nervous breakdown, this was pitch perfect.
- While reviewing "Cold Front", he laments all the potential wasted in the Temporal Cold War story, imagining an ending for it built on the fact that none of the previous Trek series had ever mentioned Archer or any of his crew despite the huge role they played in the Federation's early days. What if to finally win the war they had to take an action that would wipe all memory of them from time, making them heroes that no one would ever know about except the out-of-universe audience?
- His theory during the "Dear Doctor" review of what happened to the two species that Archer and Phlox played God with: the Valakians who were dying came in contact with the Romulans who told them what the federation did to them and made them go through gene therapy to survie and wear protective suits to eventually become the Breen, the Menks were enslaved by the Ferengi, revolted and became the Pakleds. And to drive the knife in further, The Stinger consists of Sisko's infamous guilt-ridden confession for his shady actions in "In the Pale Moonlight" (which included being complicit in the deaths of two people in the name of saving the entire Alpha Quadrant) immediately followed by a cheerful Phlox claiming how he has a new found respect for Archer due to the whole genocide thing. Later on, he brings up their exact same arguments when discussing "A Night In Sickbay", pointing out their hypocrisy. Later still he claims that the reason Phlox never wrote up anti-Borg medical procedures (which would have been invaluable in episodes of TNG where they met the Borg for the first time) was because the Breen found and assassinated him before he could.
- Even better is that in the Dominion War, the Breen joining the side of the Dominion nearly led to the Alpha Quadrant's defeat even after the addition of the Romulans to the war. So congratulations, Archer and Phlox, you cause genocide once and keep on doing it.
- His rant in the review of "Unexpected," showing no mercy for the episode's use of Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male (with a side of Double Standard: Rape, Sci-Fi).You might remember the review for TNG's "The Child," where Deanna Troi is impregnated by an alien, so she can give birth to him and he can experience life as a human. Well, whatever good might have come from that story was overshadowed by the fact that Troi, frankly, was raped. And a lot of heat was created over this, especially the insensitive way this was all handled (Troi's reaction after conception was almost as if she had had an orgasm). And Berman especially should have remembered that. Now, with this here, what we have is in many ways worse than what happened over there. The alien who impregnated Troi violated her, but its reasons were issues related more towards discovery and exploration. Now, now, now, don't misundestand me, that does not justify or diminish the horror of it. But it rather just serves to show how awful this engineer acted in contrast. She did it for her own pleasure, and she did it while she was lying to him about it! Calling it "a game" like an adult might tell a six-year-old that doesn't know any better! This woman completely took advantage of his ignorance for her own enjoyment, and now he's stuck with this problem. That's morally repugnant! And what makes the matter even worse is that Berman and Braga decide that this situation, where a member of the crew has realized that he has been physically and emotionally violated. . . SHOULD BE PLAYED FOR LAUGHS?!? WHAT THE HELL WERE THEY THINKING?!? HOW COULD EVEN THESE TWO BE THAT STUPID!?!?!
- For "Detained", he points out that Archer's decision to suspend his personal rule-of-thumb (that would ultimately become the Prime Directive) to aid Suliban detainees in an internment camp is actually a perfect example of the kind of situation where the Prime Directive is meant to apply. The issues involved are systemic, societal issues that cannot be solved by the single action of a visiting starship crew. Whatever action or inaction Archer takes here, there will be consequences this society will have to deal with for generations to come, while Enterprise gets to merrily fly away. Chuck contrasts (naturally) the application of the proto-Prime Directive in "Dear Doctor," where the problem was something easily solved by the crew and the result was unequivocal genocide for one sapient species. In "Dear Doctor," refusing to cure a genetic disease killing off an entire species and lauding it as the morally correct choice is repugnant, while here, if Archer takes no action one way or the other, whatever changes and consequences are wrought in this society will be their own, and he won't risk making the situation worse by meddling in it, no matter how good his intentions are. He ends with the call for the audience to certainly debate the issue, as it is a fascinating conundruum well worth commiting brainpower to, both in terms of how to approach creating or consuming fiction entertainment and in applying the same thinking to issues in our real world.Look, please, please, debate this issue, this is a fascinating thing to consider. The morality of a situation where action and inaction are both highly questionable. Please debate it. All I'm saying is: if you think that a child in a detention camp is unacceptable, but allowing a child to die a lingering death is perfectly fine, you are a fucking asshole.
- The analysis of "Carbon Creek" according to how much it informs, inspires, and/or entertains, plus doing his research on the invention of velcro. There's a guy who's put some real thought into this.
- In "Similitude" he points out a rather disturbing trend of Phlox's, in a quite classy way: "To lose one cure may be regarded as a misfortune. To lose two looks like carelessness."
- In "Minefield", he points out yet another instance of The Main Characters Do Everything (Reed gets himself injured while trying to disarm a mine and Archer goes to rescue him and disarm the mine himself despite the ship being crippled in a hostile minefield with a cloaked Romulan ship stalking them, thus if anything happened to Archer, the Captain, they'd be utterly screwed)...and manages to show how that ridiculous situation could be a huge character moment for Archer with just a few tweaks.
- He calls out "Bound" for being insulting to both genders if you think about it, since the episode seems to be saying women can only accomplish things when they use their enormous sexiness to beguile men into doing it for them, and that an erection makes it impossible for men to engage their brains. Instead, he posits a completely different way to deconstruct the "Orion Slave Women" trope: "Slave Woman" is a job description, not an indicator of status. The women aren't actually enslaved, but will choose to dance (and perhaps "perform" in additional ways) for those who can afford them, then they go home after a job well done. But there are Orion females who object to the Slave Women upholding this damaging stereotype, who want them to cut it out because it makes it hard for other Orion women to be taken seriously in non-Slave-related fields. Suddenly, the episode is an allegory for sex worker rights, something that would be well within Star Trek's wheelhouse to tackle.
- In "These Are the Voyages...", Chuck's proposal for a storyline that would've used a 24th century Trek POV without pushing ENT into the background: Have Riker, an Admiral by this time, turn to Archer and his crew for inspiration from archived footage, not a holorecreation, of one of their missions, as he is preparing for a similar mission.
- Several at the start of the review for "Context Is For Kings":
- Pointing out how Michael Burnham and Seven of Nine share many similarities. Not to the point of being the same character, but so much so that it seems quite likely Burnham was inspired by Seven.
- Positing that "Context Is For Kings" should be the true first episode, with the events of "A Vulcan Hello" and "The Battle Of The Binary Stars" being shown later in the series as flashbacks, to make Discovery more of an ensemble piece, instead of Michael being unequivocally the main character, which might cause some to disengage from the show if they don't like her.
- And related to that, pointing out that you can have problems with Michael as a character without being a racist misogynist. If one does not connect with Michael as a character, it does not follow that it is due to them having a problem with a black female lead.
- His scathing 15 minute video on the flaws of the Prime Directive, ultimately calling it akin to refusing to save a baby from a burning car, and calling yourself a hero for it.
- The Coming of Shadows review: Once again proving he does his research, Chuck interrupts discussing the episode to talk about the historical exploitation of the Slavs by Austria-Hungary, the desire of the Slavs to rid themselves of this oppression and the current Emperor wanting to bring the boot down even harder, but the heir apparent, unbeknownst to the Slavs, wanting to end the tyranny and give a voice to his oppressed peoples, paralleling these discussions with the events of the episode itself. If you don't know the Real Life story, it's pretty much the kickoff for World War I, as this episode is the kickoff for the Shadow War. This highlights both the level of work JMS put into writing Babylon 5, and the level of work Chuck puts into properly reviewing it for his audience's benefit.
- In his review of "Passing Through Gethsemane", Chuck draws the parallel of Brother Edward being forced to confront his past as serial killer Charles Dexter to Adam tasting the Apple, now having the knowledge of Good of Evil, and thus reinforcing Christ-like imagery obvious in the episode with a very subtle metaphor that may not even have been intentional.
- Combined with Funny, in his review for Babylon Five S 03 E 10 Severed Dreams, a gigantic rapid-fire spiel about Mars rejecting President Clarke's Martial Law order, using the words "Martian," "Martial," and "Marshall" as often as he possibly can. It quite simply cannot be retyped.
- The extremely thorough look at the missing episodes of Doctor Who and how some of them were recovered over the last five decades.
- The highly moving editing job on "The Parting of the Ways", comparing the Doctor's dilemma there with the one he'd faced in "Genesis of the Daleks".
- Reviewing the Doctor Who episode "The End of the World" on the Mayan Apocalypse Day.
- Reviewing the episode "Father's Day" on Father's Day.
- His rant against the "It's only a kid's show" excuse while reviewing "Fear Her", especially the writer saying that it "wasn't meant" for older fans as his defense when there was such a huge backlash to it.
- His entire video on Doctor Who's cancellation. Especially how he explains how Colin Baker had a role in it unintentionally.Chuck: The reason Doctor Who was cancelled... (displays picture of the Sixth Doctor's outfit) was this.
- Saying of an interview with Michael Grade that it feels like the audition for the villain in an Adam Sandler film.
- For the TV Movie, rating it "Must See" almost solely on the strength of Paul McGann as the Eigth Doctor, proclaiming that he quite rightly deserves to stand beside all the other actors who have brought the Doctor's assorted incarnations to life in the history of the series. While he is merciless about the movie's faults, he points to it being a good attempt, not being overly Americanized, and being some small promise in the midst of a long hiatus that Doctor Who was still relevant and may one day return. He even points to the movie's failings and few successes as lessons to be carried forward when the series would finally make a proper return.
- One of the flaws he criticies is the Prolonged Prologue with Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor regenerating into Paul McGann as the Eigth, and how this makes it difficult for viewers new to the franchise to get hooked in. Instead, he posits the movie should have begun with a cold open: the TARDIS lands, Paul McGann stumbles out with no idea who he is. But he keeps seeing a figure on the edge of his vision, and it is revealed it's the Seventh Dcotor, who parcels out the explanation of what happened and who the Doctor is and what he must do, keeping the Seventh Doctor alive in spirit, maintaining the "passing the torch" symbolism, but introducing the audience to the Doctor who will exist going forward.
- His complete evisceration of the insulting manner in which Doctor Who's "Love & Monsters" portrays fandom.
- Even though the episode really doesn't deserve it, he takes the trouble to come up with a plausible explanation for "Absorbaloff" being an Appropriated Appelation and his race apparently never having come up with a name for themselves.
- His full analysis of the Cosmic Retcon in "The Day of the Doctor", and revealing why he thinks it was not only a good decision, but reinforcing of the show's point, and a great example of how to do one correctly, unlike One More Day: The Doctor saving Galifrey when he has the chance is the Doctor being the Doctor, the man who will do everything in his power to avoid hurting innocents, and closing out the era of the Sole Survivor of the Time Lords by finding the best redemption possible.
- Also, setting the three Doctor's entrance to Aerosmith's "Walk This Way" Badass.
- Correctly predicting that in Doctor Who "Missy" is a female regeneration of The Master
- Ripping apart the subplot of Torchwood: Miracle Day where a guy who rapes and kills little girls is able to get a sizable fanbase. This gets him to call the main story about death ceasing to exist "the believable plot." Going into details about us culturally, he brings up that we assign considerable weight to sex crimes, possibly more than he should, along with violence against children, and the idea that Oswald Danes could get a fanbase in universe is ludicrous because of it. He points out that even getting out of prison through Loophole Abuse regarding having served his sentence was absurd given how it essentially has the prison warden caving into threats of appeal that Oswald was almost certainly lose.
- Part 9's "The Reason You Suck" Speech about Gwen's appalling self-centeredness.
- The final summation of what a grotesque mistake the entire character of Oswald Danes was. As note above, he brings up how throughout the entire review how absurd the reasons for pushing Oswald into the plot were, and while he states he gets the idea of Torchwood being forced to team up with a monster, Owsald is so evil he doesn't why the kept around so much when after all the screen time, all the show does with him is continue to emphasize how horrible and insufferable he is.
- His criticism of Miracle Day's ending and how it failed to deliver on both the show's main mysteries:
- The Reveal about the miracle. Over half way through the series, the only leads we get on the source of the miracle beyond something called "The Blessing", which points is just and word could be called anything proves it by calling it "The Walrus Tusk." And that in the end, The Reveal is that the miracle was caused by a giant crack in the Earth that somehow controls the lifespans of every human, even though we have no idea where it came from or it even does that. Ten episodes and The Reveal is something we know "it's this thing there that does stuff and don't know a damn thing about, but how doesn't look cool the way it sucks in rocks sideways." Even the reasoning for how the crack was found doesn't make any sense.
- Calling out the series attempt at a Sequel Hook with the season failure at resolving the conspiracy plot, revealed everything was a "trial run" for "plan B". He admits the Three Families not being finished after two people were killed in the finale is perfectly reasonably, but this attempted hook only brings up they were only a vaguely defined group of villains that justified the show's plot devices without actually revealing anything about them, and leaving it shows how little the series accomplished.
- The analysis of nostalgia movies, also called the returns of old favourites presented before the review proper in his look at Back to Earth, complete with ideas why these are so popular, yet polarizing at the same time. According to SF Debris, there are three types of nostalgia films: objectively good ones, then those that deserve two viewings, and finally those that are flawed, but have the eternal flame nostalgia, representing another possible return of your favourite franchise, which doubles as a really sweet heartwarming moment.
- Verbally dissecting the character of Wonder Woman in the failed 2011 pilot, pointing out how exactly she has failed as a character. Going so far as to explain that the only way her character could work would be to act as a sort of Knight Templar antagonist for the actual Wonder Woman. He starts the review by regretting taking it on, as it's not really fair to mock an unfinished product. He's changed his tune by the end of the first act, declaring that no matter what would have been improved in the final version, there is no saving this story.
- His X-Files reviews are simply made of win. They seem exceptionally well-researched, pointing out relevant issues and making interesting analogies between the show's world and Real Life. And they are as hilarious and snarky as anything else SF Debris does. That is a job well done.
- His summation to Back to the Future, talking about how some have criticized the ending for being "materialistic," i.e. Marty's life is better because his parents and siblings are living in house with nicer furnishings and wearing nicer clothes. But the point isn't that they have better stuff, it's that, because of the changes to George and Lorraine's characters, they have become better people, motivated to set goals for themselves and strive to accomplish those goals, which has had the side effect of improving the material quality of their lives. Even Marty now having the 4x4 truck he'd gazed at longingly at the beginning of the film has deeper meaning: Marty was shown drafting on cars with his skateboard, at the whims of drivers happening to be moving the direction he wants to go. His plans for the weekend were trashed because the family car was totaled. The time machine car takes him on a journey to the past that imperils his very existence. And at the end, after changing history for the better, getting to know his folks when they were his age, and returning to his family's improved circumstances, he now has a car of his own. Chuck posits that Marty's relationship with cars is the relationship of teenagers with life: being at the whim of others and not having control over where you're going, when, or how fast. Thus, Marty now having a truck is symbolic of him passing into adulthood, being able to set his own course and make his own choices, to decide the path of his life from here on out. Even the fact that it is a 4x4, a truck designed for off-roading, is symbolic. Marty is no longer bound by outside forces, he can go wherever he wants and do whatever he wants, make his life into what he wants it to be.Chuck: Or, to put it another way: where we're going, we don't need roads.
- His intro video to his The Day After review. Shown Their Work at its finest. Particularly the very appropriate usage of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again" up until the bombing of Hiroshima.
- The entire fact that he was able to review the film The Day After, and throw in several of his usual jokes while also making perfectly clear how seriously the subject matter should be taken.
- His review of The Matrix, a highly thoughtful essay on the power of the human brain.
- His Hogfather review once again uses Baba Yetu to awesome effect, this time using it to close out Death's big monologue from Reaper Man.
- At the end of the review, he gives his heartwarming speech about Terry Pratchett and the legacy he's leaving behind.
- His review of Godzilla (1954). He brings up that film itself is more than just a good monster movie, it's analogy for advancements of science that led to the nuclear and hydrogen bomb. Scientists who worked on such projects don't do so because they hope to build weapons, they do so because their work makes scientific achievements that advance the quality of human life, the development of new weapons is, sadly, a consequence of that. He brings up that Godzilla serves as a perfect metaphor that consequence, he's every big as destructive and humans can only prepare for him and deal with the consequences.
- The introduction to his Transformers review, attacking the viewpoint of fans of the franchise claiming that they own a piece of it. He doesn't own any of the franchise itself, but he does own how it makes him feel, and he's going to have opinions based on that, and trying to deny them is true undeserved entitlement.
- The "fight to end all fights," scored with False King by Two Steps from Hell.
- His review of Godzilla 1985 and his comparison of how this film was localized with Godzilla: King of the Monsters! (1956). While there are legitimate problems that one can have with the changes to the film, the original film's localization was done with the intent of bringing it to western audiences, because very few subtitled foreign films see theaters (even today), while preserving the spirit of the original movie, with the American actor introduced simply being around to make the film more accessible and not take the spotlight from the Japanese characters. The 80s film, however, was made by people in the business of creating exploitation films and they completely butchered the movie, to the point where he considers the possibility that they were intentionally trying to make a bad movie.
- Using the trailer background music of Alien (with the siren wail-like Previews Pulse) for the trailer to his review of It! The Terror from Beyond Space (which he discusses at length about being its Spiritual Predecessor). Makes the earlier B-Movie scarier than hell...
- In his review of Ghostbusters (1984), he deconstructs the Whole 'Walter Peck was in the right' interpretation with the following evidence:
- The fact that he refers to Venkman as 'Mr.' instead of 'Dr.' (remember, Venkman has doctorates in Psychology).
- The fact that as an EPA agent, he has no reason to investigate the Ghostbusters, since any chemical purchases would be for research, and thus no larger than that of a high school. (Had he been with the Nuclear Regulatory Committee, or a fraud investigation firm, then they'd be screwed).
- The fact that when he comes to shut down the containment grid, he only brings a cop and a guy from Con Ed, when in real life, he should have brought a team in hazmat suits.
- The opening of his review of The Thing (1982), which consists of him reading a passage from Who Goes There?, the short story that inspired the film.
- Jurassic Park: The "Discussing Jurassic Park" video, in which Chuck, several times, talks about the format. Seems like a boring tech-tech discussion for film students, yes? No. Chuck goes to great lengths to point out how Speilberg has used different aspect ratios in different films and why, how the differences in vertical and horizontal space lead to the film looking different and how Speilberg uses those differences to help tell the story. Chuck likens aspect ratio to both the canvas upon which the artist paints, as well as a tool in a toolbox, stating that the difference between a craftsman and a master is choosing a tool because it's the best one for this particular job, instead of sticking with the tool you're used to using. He backs this up with several still frames from Jurassic Park to show how artfully Speilberg used that film's chosen aspect ratio, primarily to capture the majesty (or terror) of the gigantic dinosaurs.
- Narrating a scene from The Sandman to start out his review of The Man from Earth. Coupled with the use of Baba Yetu in montage near the end.
- The ending of his review of Titan A.E., a music video of the credits version of "A Whole New World"
- His review of Superman vs. the Elite, he defends Superman's refusal to kill Atomic Skull, even when a mob of people in Metropolis is calling for the villain's death. He points out that Superman doesn't want to play Judge, Jury, and Executioner. If society is not willing to take the measures needed to stop a murderer like Atomic Skull, then the failure is on society, not Superman. In fact he argues that wanting Superman to kill is admitting that we cannot be trusted with our own decisions and need Superman to make them for us. In fact he praises Superman for sticking to his principles instead of giving into mob mentality.
- On the subject of superheroes not killing supervillains, he has also brought up the case with Batman's infamous refusal to kill the Joker. He argues that it's not Batman's fault the Joker keeps killing people, not when society refuses to take the measures needed to actually stop the criminal. In fact it's unreasonable to want a vigilante to handle a problem like a mass murdering supervillain simply because we as a society are too inept to do it.
- Refusing to go any easier on Gargoyles just because it's a cartoon intended primarily for children, as that would be tantamount to admitting such a thing can't possibly have the same quality as adult-oriented entertainment. And because the show actually deserves that kind of attention.
- While reviewing the Gargoyles four parter "City of Stone", he notes that he has a problem in how to deal with a certain piece of Foreshadowing given how some viewers may not have seen the show and shouldn't have the reveal spoiled. So he simply notes that somewhere in the review is a hint toward the reveal and leaves it at that. Said hint being his mention of how Puck had previously shown the ability to be seen however he wanted... like he does in "City of Stone" by showing himself as Owen turned to stone.
- The clue is much simpler: the first word of each video: "Owen", "Is", "Puck". There's no way that was an accident.
- He does it again in "Eye of the Beholder", where he notes how, for the most part, the irony of everyone's proverbial masks being removed on Halloween-a night of literal masks. The one person whose mask doesn't come off? The last person we see before the episode ends.
- From the opening text splash of his "Awakening" re-upload:Note: Greg Weisman watched the original version of this two-part video."He really had me laughing at my own stuff."Nearly ten years later, I still treasure that.
- The Grand Finale of Avatar: The Last Airbender. He laments not being able convey the awesomeness of everything happening at once, and says it would be so much easier if he could just put together a montage. If only he could find a song rousing enough...than he sees Iroh set the Fire Nation flag in Ba Sing Se on fire.Iroh...that is just what I needed. (Cue Iko Iko by the Belle Stars).
- He gives Katara a pretty hard time throughout these videos, but toward the end reveals that it's not because he dislikes the character, but that it illustrates how easily her kind of personality could be twisted until she ended up like Hama.
- The Legend of Korra:
- For delivering a thorough and devastating rebuttal to Tarrlok's claims to Korra.Nice try, very nice try. But the difference is that your job is preserve the peace and justice of Republic City. You're performing an injustice by treating the innocent as if they were guilty, and you destroyed the peace by encouraging them to resort to violence, because you had destroyed all non-violent recourse, and you provided a ready made army for the greatest threat to Republic City ever. Your cure is worse than the disease, and you have utterly failed in doing your job! That is the difference. You abuse your power to intimidate people. Korra is doing her job to trying intimidate you into stopping that.
- Explaining why is it right for the avatar to have spirit-bending and wrong for Amon to do it.
- Brings up the argument that benders are favored over non-benders in the Avatar world, and points out that that's not true. In the original series, of the leaders of the four nations, not counting air nomads since they were composed only of airbenders, two of them were non-benders. In Legend of Korra, we also saw in the flashbacks that Sokka, a non-bender, was once the representative of the Water Tribe in Republic City.
- For delivering a thorough and devastating rebuttal to Tarrlok's claims to Korra.
- The mental image of Lauren Faust leaving My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic by flying into the sunset on a pegasus.
- Overviewing and defending Power Girl in the review of Fearful Symmetry, saying that, at her best, she at least reflects the immigrant experience better than Superman does and is slightly more relatable (near the end, even saying at her best she reminds him more of a Marvel character), but also admits that the crazy backstory that's tied in with Supergirl and the DC alternate universe cosmology leaves her VERY hard to adapt. And then ending off with "I'm shallow, but I'm not THAT shallow."
- His analysis of "Twilight's Kingdom Part 2". He points out that Twilight's title of Princess is a strong case of "You Can't Go Home Again", and how, while her library was the place where she took her first steps into a larger world, it can only remain in the past, and that she can only go forward. It's time for her to spread her wings, and become what she was always meant to be. What follows immediately afterward is Twilight's fight with Tirek gloriously set to The Touch.
- His My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic "When Turkeys Fly" Thanksgiving Day Special he seemingly selected four random episodes: "The Best Night Ever", "Hearth's Warming Eve", "Pinkie Pride", and "Hearthbreakers", joking that they all have the theme of being about Rainbow Dash. At the end he reveals the real theme: ruining a celebration by trying to make it as you feel it should be than just enjoying it. He then gives a heartfelt speech about how the point to celebrations isn't HOW it is done... but being with those you care for and having fun.
- How is Sparkplug Witwicky, an American working on an Oil Rig, familiar with a South Asian ruby mine? He was once part of a Black-Ops team that raided these same mines as part of an off-the-books operation.
- From his review of "Only Human', the mental image of the Autobots thwarting 9/11.
- His review of Futurama's "Where No Fan Has Gone Before". He opens wondering if he should treat this as a Trek review... and within 10 seconds decides yes, to the point that he gives out awards just like he does with Trek Reviews. The highest honor he can give a review: treating it like an episode of Star Trek. Crosses over with Heartwrming.
- In his review of the Rebuild of Evangelion, he calls out the adults for their rampant hypocrisy in how they deal with Shinji- from the fact that they won't step in to help him when he's getting beat up by a bully but fully expect him to jump in a giant robot and fight against a giant monster to save their lives, to telling him if he doesn't want to be there he can just leave and then forcing him to come back via armed guards, to simply showing how cruel it is to get mad at a 14 year old kid acting like a 14 year old kid. While he makes no bones about how he's not a fan of Shinji, it's refreshing to see someone stick up for the kid and criticize the other characters for how they treat him for a change.
- In Evangelion review, stating how unnecessary Rei's nude scenes are and how they seem to add nothing to the plot, especially since she's supposed to be a 14 year old girl and it sort of creates a whole mess of Unfortunate Implications.
- The "No More Holding Back" Speech on Homura's behalf in episode 10 of Puella Magi Madoka Magica. This one deserves to be put down for posterity:"The difference between an indomitable hero and a tragic victim is the same as the difference between a magical girl and a witch: one has hope, the other, despair. This can be seen as a tragedy, a further sign of darkness, that Homura is forever suffering for a friend who does not remember what she has done for her — the sacrifices that she has made — who has even looked upon her aghast at what she is. But it isn't tragedy, because Homura has never stopped having hope. Her task is not a chore that is to be endured, it is the purest form of love that which is given to another, and with all that one has, knowing that it receives nothing in return. And yet, the basis of that love is not a delusion, but upon emotions that would be reciprocated because in another time, they were. And the absence of them now is not a sign that they did not matter; despite Homura's claims that she's not human anymore, she still does what an emotionless, inhuman being like Kyubey could never comprehend: she fights a losing battle forever and ever for someone she loves, and no pain is too great to ever make her stop fighting."
- Followed by a montage were he shows many dialogues whose meaning changes after The Reveal.
- In Episode 12, he states that, of any series that he has reviewed (keeping in mind this includes all the ''Star Trek'' series, ''Babylon 5'', ''Ghost in the Shell'', ''X-Files'', ''Gargoyles'', ''Avatar: The last Airbender'', ''Legend of Korra'', ''Firefly'', ''BSG''...), he would suggest this series the most.
- Some way, some how, he got two completely independent requests to review Puella Magi Madoka Magica on the exact same day. As if that wasn't weird enough, both also contained the specific request that he do separate reviews for every episode rather than just an overview.
- Before the intro to Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion, he tells the first part of the tale of the Soldier and Death, a Russian folktale about a man who escaped from the fatal consequences of a Heroic Sacrifice by tricking Death into a magic bag. It turns out to be a rather masterful Chekhov's Gun for Homura's ambush of Madokami, where Madoka is kindly Death, and Akuma Homura being the soldier who both committed the Heroic Sacrifice for her, and then sealed her away to negate all the bad effects of said sacrifice.
- Becomes an extremely fitting Tear Jerker if you know how the story ends; namely, that the soldier releases Death after realizing he inflicted Age Without Youth on the world...and discovering that not only is Death so scared of him she won't let him die because she won't go near him, but the Devil is even more afraid and won't let him in Hell, while God won't let him in Heaven for his hubris. Think about what that says about Madoka and Homura's relationship from then on.
- Destiny of the Shrine Maiden:
- Calling out the series in his review of episode 10 for the bit of Himeko still longing for Chikane even after Chikane raped her, where he engages in a rant where he makes it clear if it weren't for obligation, he'd have stopped reviewing the series with episode 8.
- In Episode 11, the anime treating Himiko apologizing to Chikane for being raped by her causes Chuck to launch an epic rant about how the anime is both glorifying domestic abuse and arguing that abuse is okay in lesbian relationships.
- From his review of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, the bit where he and his cat prepare to fight zombies.
- In his Dragon Age: Origins review, he actually manages to beat the Hopeless Boss Fight against Ser Cauthrien.
- Tim (The Player Character) cowing a Desire Demon into submission. When it attempts to convince Tim to let her leave and come back in a few years, Tim launches into a tirade about how much effort he's gone to involving fighting a Zombie Apocalypse, preparing a town for said zombies, clearing a castle, clearing the Circle Tower out, being trapped in the Fade and fighting out, and having to deal with Jowan, Tim threatens her to leave, and, since she caused so much trouble, he'll take something while she goes, learning Blood Magic in the process.
- He also lays into Loghain and Anora, going so far as to edit in their lines so it sounds like he really is having a conversation with them.
- During the build-up to the Landsmeet, he delivers an in-character Badass Boast to Loghain:Teyrn Loghain: The Emperor of Orlais also thought I could not bring him down; expect no more mercy than I showed him!
Tim!Chuck: An emperor is just a man. You ever stared into the face of a High Dragon? Stared, as the fire went out of its eyes and belly, as you delivered that final blow? My order slays Archdemons. We end Blights. You think I'll cower before your barks and boasts? Return to your palace: prepare the throne for your... new... king.
- Each episode has an aside focusing on one of the companions, drawing parallels between them and a companion in Knights of the Old Republic. Some of the comparisons are thin, boiling down to order met or mechanical role within the party (such as Leliana being Mission, both being rogues but otherwise having practically nothing in common). Then he gets to Loghain, and draws some insightful comparisons between him and Revan.
- In the final chapter of the review, upon learning that a Grey Warden must die to defeat the Archdemon, despite decrying it as "the worst news," Tim states that, should Riordan fall before the Archdemon, the final blow will be his, not Loghain's. Both because the order needs to be rebuilt and Loghain knows how to build an army from nothing, and because Redemption Equals Death is too good for Loghain; Tim wants him to spend the rest of his life, short though it may be thanks to the Taint, atoning for and correcting the mistake that got them in this mess in the first place.
- In a digression, Chuck talks about how Origins uses the interactive nature of video games well, pointing to the marshaling of the armies for the march on Denerim as a perfect example. The scene is as epic as any movie, yet more impactful because the player's choices created it: dwarves march instead of golems, elves instead of werewolves, mages instead of templars, all because of the choices Chuck made through Tim. In playing the game, you are not just watching something epic, you are making something epic.
- For Dragon Age: Origins Awakening, Tim comes upon Wynne talking about a meeting of mages to decide whether or not they should, quite peaceably, tell the Chantry to go stuff itself. First a minor one for giving a brief "What the hell!?" to Anders who proclaims this madness, asking why Anders wanting freedom for himself is okay but when it comes to every other mage, just grin and bear it, but the humdinger is when Wynne agrees with Anders, saying mages need to prove themselves trustworthy.Wynne: Do you want to give the Templars another excuse to call for the culling of all mages?
Tim: Exactly! We live with a knife to our throats in the towers! Held by people who call our gifts a curse, some of whom would rather err on the side of killing every last one of us. That's not hyperbole, it's stated fact. The Chantry has turned what should be a symbol of wisdom and learning and seeking our full potential into a prison that we long to escape. Joining the Grey Wardens was a death sentence, but the day that sentence was pronounced was the day my chains were finally broken. I'm not demanding a violent revolution, but if we peacefully break away, and the Templars overreact. . . that's on them. If a Templar rasies a hand to strike down a mage who's only saying they don't want to be a slave anymore. . . I'll slice that hand off.
- His review of Dragon Age II, like most he dislikes the conflict between the mages and the Templars. He feels both sides go too far with their With Us or Against Us attitude, and that the game's writing seriously botches its attempt at making it look like Both Sides Have a Point, instead ending up making it look like a case of Evil Versus Evil, but he still ends up destroying the Templars' argument. Mages are born with power that other people don't, but the aristocracy are born into positions of power as well, yet it is accepted that they wield power despite their only qualifications being born into a noble family. Clearly, accepting people being born with magic isn't as big of a step as the Templars are claiming, yet everyone on their side argues for the extreme that mages should be completely subjugated.
- His dressing-down of Anders' motivations for blowing up the Chantry, and the fact he tried to trick Hawke into being a participant is something to behold:"So... This is what you wanted me to "trust" you over? The dumbest fucking thing in the history of dumbest fucking things? You think what's going to convince people of the need for reform is blowing up a church?! You thought: "People are afraid of mages, so how about if I prove they should be!" That's right isn't it? That is what you thought, yes?! Because you were so confident of your asinine plan that you refuse to allow any input in from anyone else, so you must have considered all of the options, and said "Yes! By the Maker, I will take the cause I've spent years fighting for and piss it away in the stupidest act I possibly can!" And you had the nerve to tell me that aiding you was for "my protection"? When you knew full well that being your accomplice would get me executed right alongside you! Do you really think that me not knowing what I was helping you with was going to fly? I only ask, because you are such an imbecile, that it's entirely possible for you to think "Templars are cruel despots!" and "Templars are perfectly just!" at the same time! It is easy to have cognitive dissonance when you're carrying around a second mind. By all rights, I should kill you as a pre-emptive means of self-defense, simply because you've tried to trick me into getting myself executed! And gods know what else you might try before the day is over. In fact, frankly, the only reason I'm not gonna do that is because, I'm half-tempted to see if they make you into a Tranquil. And I normally abhor that! But do you know what else I abhor? Blowing up churches!"
- First coming to understand the vicious cycle which will eventually lead to the Mage/Templar conflict exploding, Chuck discusses the problems and how both groups are moving farther and farther into irrationality, then cues a montage of some of the excessive examples encountered in the game. . . set to Billy Joel's "I Go To Extremes."
- At the very start, he discusses the rushed nature of the game's development cycle, and gives Bioware props for trying to take a problem and turn it into advantage: with limited time to create maps, setting the game entirely in one area (Kirkwall and its environs) lets them focus on the story and characters to make that environment sing. It may not have entirely worked (and Chuck is fully prepared to take them to task over it), and while the problems are apparent to the players, it deserves credit as a noble attempt to still make a quality game on an exceptionally tight deadline.
- His digression about illusion and suspension of disbelief, tying it into the divided reception of Dragon Age II. The fact remains that, within the game, Hawke is not driving events, but reacting to them. A player may pick up on this and be soured, or not and still find it enjoyable, and Chuck points out that both experiences are valid and neither type of player is smarter or dumber than the other. He compares Hawke to Sheppard from Mass Effect 2, with Sheppard being a tank who decides where to go, what do, and takes a great deal of resistance to be convinced to change course, while Hawke is the operator of a railroad switch: Hawke can change the direction of an incoming train, but the train is coming no matter what. It's an incredibly insightful dissection not just of Dragon Age II, but of entertainment in general and video games in particular. It's especially stark if you come off the heels of his review for Origins, where he talked in depth about how the game makes the player's choices matter.
- A conversation with Fenris about murdering someone they'd promised to release, and how he now realize it was a mistake, leads to a Kirk Summation worthy of The Captain himself:We already dance on the dividing line between right and wrong, but we can't deliberately cross it. Because everybody has a reason for making that last step. And that's why Kirkwall is a powder keg — a thousand excuses for crossing the line that are waiting to tear this place apart in one, big, perfectly justified. . . bloodbath.
- His conculsion, summarizing how the game recieved its poor reputation, the potential the existing game actually has to have been great, and his "if I had done it" what-if. He ends with stating that Dragon Age II doesn't necessarily belong in the dustbin of history, but there were issues and failings that caused it to be bad, and the right lessons were learned from it.So from one measure, it is a success. It was good enough to be worth a playthrough, but bad enough to convince management to stop cutting corners. And there's something kind of noble about sacrificing oneself in order to ensure the future is better and not worse. DA2 saved us from gaming mediocrity. . . by sacrificing it's own reputation.
- The final montage, set to "Land of Confusion" by Genesis. Much like he did for "Endgame" on Star Trek: Voyager, while Chuck made you look at the game's flaws, in the end, he chose to celebrate what awesomeness it did bring.
- His dressing-down of Anders' motivations for blowing up the Chantry, and the fact he tried to trick Hawke into being a participant is something to behold:
- While he technically loses in Sid Meiers Alpha Centauri after the computer realises it can't beat him out right it has to settle for a diplomatic victory. He made YANG of all people resort to diplomacy to win.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic:
- His Sith Warrior playthrough, after Angela Ripley is betrayed and left for dead by Darth Baras and his new apprentice, a sad montage plays set to a melancholy remix of "In The End" to close out the video. The next video starts with a kickass remix as Ripley goes to find two Sith who (sort of) helped her survive the betrayal, signaling quite clearly the start of Angela's Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Baras.
- For the Bounty Hunter:
Rose: No, your mistake is assuming that "surrender yourself to execution or life in prison" is a reasonable argument. Would you take a look at the pair of us (BH and Gault) here? One of us spent thirty years on the run, staying one step ahead of the worst being thrown at him. . . and he's the sidekick' in this relationship. What do you think my commitment is to staying alive?
- Lone Rose honks off a Jedi Master, and ends up with that guy marshalling forces all over to try and get him, but Rose refuses to surrender. The Jedi believes he's been mistaken that Rose would be reasonable.
- Taking the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic making a Senatorial Address aimed specifically at Rose to mean. . . the Chancellor has just given him the best free advertising ever. Telling the whole galaxy that the most dangerous, formidable, unstoppable Bounty Hunter, worthy of having the entirety of the Republic focus its resources on his capture or death. . . is currently between jobs.What the Chancellor's just announced is: that the most deadly weapon in the galaxy is for sale, and here's his phone number.
- In The Hermit's Journey Volume II, he went over Jake Lloyd's performance and explained why it didn't work and resonate with the audience: he was a nine year old kid with limited experience and George Lucas' way of directing was ill suited to get what was needed. Every other internet critic would've just ridiculed the kid, and they have. A lot. But this time, someone didn't go for a cheap shot and actually examined things.
- With The Hermit's Journey complete, it's time to talk about just how much work was put into this three series project. How much time Chuck probably spent trying to get as much details right as humanly possible and presenting them in an honest way. So many other videos about George Lucas will either present him as a flawless man beset by unpleasable fans or the worst person imaginable because of his mistakes with the prequel trilogies and the special editions. And yet, Chuck brought up both the positives and negatives, looked through them both and created a series that truly showed just how important George Lucas was to not only Star Wars, but film in general. He showcased just how Lucas pushed forward and created a revolution in filmmaking that ultimately changed everything even despite his stumblings. Chuck could have approached this as others have, but by going this way, he gave perhaps the best look at George Lucas and his legacy and came to the conclusion that while the negatives were there, the positives ultimately outweighed them.
- His epic The Reason You Suck Speeches:
- To Dr. Pulaski, who "endeared" herself to fans in her very first episode.
- To Lutan from "Code of Honor".
- One for Lwaxana Troi in "Haven".
- During that same episode, the one he gives Picard for acting like there was no nonviolent way to save the people of Haven, which he was so desperately hoping for, only to order Tasha to simply stop the Terellian ship with a tractor beam at the last minute.
- He rips into Zhaan in the episode "The Way We Weren't", bringing up that she doesn't really have a right to complain about Aeryn having shot the old Pilot of Moya years ago, when a) the reason that Zhaan is ON Moya- a former prison ship- is for killing a man in cold blood (she's actually the only guilty person aboard Moya at the start — Rygel was essentially a political prisoner and D'Argo was framed), and b) she, D'argo, and Rygel had worked together to cut off the current Pilot's arm. And then when Zhann realizes she was wrong, he goes out of his way to point it out and praise the subtlety of the scene.
- To Bioware over the handling of Anders' sexuality in Dragon Age II. Noting that Anders will start a romance with the Player Character right after he joins the party without player input, and the only way to prevent this is to tank his approval during his pickup quest or harshly shoot him down. No middle ground. Then (and this may just be an unfortunate roll of the RNG), before even leaving the level, Anders questions Aveline about her and her husband's sex life. . . if her Templar husband ever asked her to indulge any naughty Templar-Mage fantasies. You know, Aveline's husband who died at the beginning of the game. In that light, Anders comes off not as progressive diversity, but a textbook Depraved Bisexual.Chuck: (Sarcastic Clapping) Nice fucking job, assholes.
- His VERY thorough discussion on how comics nearly collapsed in The '90s. In 13 parts, and it's great to see all the what ifs and the key points in the drama.
- Man's got a whole new ending logo for himself! It even makes the noises that I presume are what a sun makes.
- The opening to his 5th Anniversary Clip Show, which is his own rendition of "The World is Awesome" from the Discovery Channel.