Jammer's plans for Star Trek: Lower Decks

By Jamahl Epsicokhan

July 14, 2020

Star Trek: Lower Decks, the latest entry into the ever-expanding CBS All Access Star Trek Extended Universe™ (the trailer is embedded above, if you somehow haven't already seen it), premieres on Aug. 6. I will not be reviewing it. I will not be watching it, either, because I don't intend to re-up my CBS All Access subscription at this time (which I canceled immediately after Picard's first season concluded) just to consume yet another Star Trek product, in this case one I have no interest in.

(As a result of COVID-19, Star Trek: Discovery season three still has no premiere date, so far as I can tell. I can only assume the delays will continue indefinitely, just as the delays in many aspects of many of our lives will appear to continue indefinitely. One wonders if Lower Decks was pushed up as a result of those delays.)

I've hinted at this since well before Discovery premiered in 2017, but the fact that a new season of Trek premieres does not automatically mean I will be reviewing and/or watching it. Life is finite, time is limited, etc., and some things I just don't care about. I just don't have the interest to commit to an animated comedic take on Star Trek, which I'm sure will largely boil down to a lot of the usual animated comedy standbys, layered over with Trek references.

The seventh-season TNG episode, "Lower Decks," was a novel concept documenting the travails of the lowly crew members who don't work on the bridge and don't have sexy ranks or jobs. It was one of the best episodes of the season and packed a good punch as drama. As a pitch for an irreverent comedy show, I guess I could maybe see the appeal of the concept. But I've had my fill of Trek lately, and all the tepid-looking jokes in the trailer didn't convince me this would be something worth paying a subscription fee among my ever-expanding list of streaming and telecom services. The show was created by Mike McMahan, who was a writer and producer on Rick and Morty, a show I am aware of but have never seen. So there's no connection drawing me in from that angle.

I dunno. We've quickly reached a point in the Alex Kurtzman era of Star Trek where the law of diminishing returns has become evident. The strategy is to throw as many different Trek productions at the wall as possible, spaced out over the course of the year, such that viewers (the ones in the U.S., that is) will hopefully keep their CBS All Access subscriptions year-round.

Viewed as a product, I guess there's a certain business strategy there that makes sense, especially if you're creating different shows appealing to different tastes and sensibilities and audience segments. But there's also that pesky problem of over-saturating the market, a problem that Star Wars found out about pretty quickly after being too ambitious, resulting in multiple announcements for projects that have since been canceled.

The current state of Star Trek is quickly resembling an economic bubble that strikes me as implausible, though I confess I have no understanding of the streaming business. Not only do we have Discovery, Picard, and now Lower Decks, we also have in development Section 31 and Strange New Worlds. It's possible there could be as many different Trek series on the air as there are years since this new era of streaming Trek began. It's all becoming too much of a muchness. The feeling of specialness is lost and instead it feels like soulless ... well, product.

That's not to say that Lower Decks will necessarily be bad. With all these shows, there are individual showrunners and writer/producers who hopefully bring their unique perspectives and stamps to these projects. But the overall arc of the Trek universe is appearing more and more mercenary and expansive, and less relevant and thoughtful. I guess that's what happens when growth is the goal in and of itself.

Although I will not be reviewing the new show, I’ve opened up the space below to comment on Lower Decks starting now, which will remain open as the show airs.

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248 comments on this article

Jammer
Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 7:41pm (UTC -5)
New commenting section open.
MidshipmanNorris
Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 8:36pm (UTC -5)
I think perhaps this is a tonal shift for the series that goes too far, too quickly. Humor in Star Trek has always been part of the proceedings, but it was the sort of wry, knowing humor that isn't necessarily just for laughs. The first line I can remember occuring in the Cage that shows this is where the Doctor comments that a man will tell his bartender things that he won't tell his Doctor.

This is taking Trek waaaaay too far from that direction. Who is this show made for? Do these people really think a lot of kids still like to watch Star Trek? Did we need another animated series with gross out humor and pureiele sex jokes?

Everything about this seems ignorant, money-grubbing, and just plain wrong. I've been a defender of many less-than-popular moves by the owners of this Intellectual Property since I began commenting here.

This is indefensible. This is ridiculous. Star Trek has finally given up.
Dave in MN
Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 8:56pm (UTC -5)
It looks like a disaster of epic proportions.

When is The Orville back on?!?!
Leif
Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 9:51pm (UTC -5)
Off topic Jammer, but do you know when you will review the last Star Wars movie? Thanks for sharing i was not aware of this series at all until I saw this post. Will you I hope be revieiwng the other new real Trek series focusing on Pike and exploration? I assume you've heard of it and I presume and hope you will. Stay safe. Hope family is well. Thanks for the uodate.
Leif
Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 9:57pm (UTC -5)
Also does anyobe know why discovery has been pushed back, if the season or part of it is shot and edited and produced and whatever else, why not start airing the episodes that are in the can already?? After all cbs all access has premiered other new shows and new seasons in the interim during the pandemic..doenst make sense from a marleting standpoint unless there's more to it..

N.b. yea Strange New Worlds that's the Puke series I forgot the name. Hope yiu review that one Jammer. I'm guessing you will and maybe section 31. Finally a Trek series abiut exploration...what Discovery shouldbeand mostlywas about in season 2 except the end where they turned the Red Angel into a human instead of a meat awe inspiring alien lifeform and/or phenomenon..hopefully season 3 will be a bit better in this respect..
Lumi.
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 12:35am (UTC -5)
Aw, it's completely understandable why you won't be reviewing it but I am a little bummed, feeling pretty optimistic about this show being a lighter take on Trek compared to the slightly more glum Discovery and Picard, and I am interested in how they'll take advantage of an animated medium to explore more of Trek's universe without normal budgetary confines. Mike McMahan has put out some excellent work on both Solar Opposites and the (in)famous Rick and Morty in terms of high concept sci-fi as well as (quirky?) but down to Earth characters, and I have possibly a little too much faith in him.

Still, this trailer does seem to be a bit suspect in how far the show will be taking it's comedic aspect, and my hope is that this is similar to how Star Trek Beyond's initial advertising was a bit misleading for the content of the movie itself.

Best case scenario I think is that Lower Decks ends up being something akin to the Orville in that it has more emphasized comedic elements but ultimately still has something intelligent to try to say about the world we live in.

Worst case scenario is that it's a bland comedy with too much pandering and not enough substance and it just simply is left discarded in the alarmingly growing Trek "franchise".

ST:Picard was a decent but somewhat problematic show with a few more downs to it's ups than there should be. ST:Discovery was a little undwerhelming and just... not great but not terrible.

Here's to hoping that ST:Lower Decks is a breath of fresh air for the Star Trek Universe rather than a portent of what's to come of "nu-Trek".
Tommy D.
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 1:09am (UTC -5)
@Lumi. Thats a well balanced and reasonable post and I agree with it. I would add that I think the trailer for Lower Decks reminds me of the initial trailer for The Orville, which I thought was filled with bad humor as well, but the show ended up being pretty decent.
Booming
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 2:28am (UTC -5)
People who think: "Maybe this will be smart or something." must understand that all these shows aren't Star Trek and they aren't supposed to be.
Star Trek the cultural phenomenon is the only property CBS owns that pulls people into their streaming service. Star Trek, until the end of Enterprise, was very niche. The movies less so than the shows. It was about science, heady, philosophical topics and even though smart nerds don't like to hear it, most people couldn't care less about philosophy or science. Think about all these comedy shows that made fun of science Nerds and Trekkies. I always (and with always I mean I'm starting now) compared this to vegetarians. People make fun of vegetarians, less so lately, but still. Why? Because they remind us that our modern lifestyle is ignorant and destructive and that we should take better care of ourselves. The same goes for Trekkies. Most people know that science and thinking about difficult philosophical questions is important and that they should do it more. Trekkies are a reminder of what most people are not. Ridiculing Trekkies makes perfect sense. But from a marketability standpoint people knowing Trek, even in a somewhat condescending way, is good. You just have to get the general public from "I know this but it is not for me" to "I know this, I'll give it a try"

One thing had to be done.
Broaden the appeal

Out goes philosophy and science, in goes big emotions, faith/family and ACTION.
From a Trekkie standpoint it is AntiTrek but even that works for CBS. Maybe they even planned for it. Trekkies are pretty dedicated, producing something they hate creates additional buzz and non Trekkies see it and think:" Maybe it's for me now."

They looked at the most succesfull movie franchises and these are Star Wars (space battles), Transformers (simplistic emotional message) and Marvel (quippy humor). In Marvel and Transformers tech is basically treated like magic and it is the same for Discovery and even more so for Picard. Remember the thing that fixes machines and can also project 100 ships into space from Picard...

That is why Rick and Morty 0.5 makes perfect sense. This time they looked at successful animated shows and Rick and Morty is very successful maybe even the most successful right now, so make a show that is like it. One should mention here that Rick and Morty was created by other people, not by McMahon.

What I find interesting is that now I even start to question if Star Trek was ever really important to me in the past. That is how terrible Star Trek is now.
Gerontius
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 4:33am (UTC -5)
I doubt if I'm too likely to get round to watching this, but I'm glad Jammer decided that even though he won't be either he'd provide a comments facility for the regulars here to exchange views about it.

I hope that when the next season of Picard turns up he'll do the same thing, since I definitely hope to watch that. In fact I very much hope he'll be reviewing that, even if that means subscribing to CBS. (In my part of the world Amazon prime put out Picard.)

The pity is, I really liked the Lower Depths episode. I think it could have been the basis for a pretty good series.
Jason R.
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 6:06am (UTC -5)
As a business decision, I find CBS's strategy here dubious. Don't get me wrong - I understand the idea behind expanding the Trek brand, creating different products for different tastes etc... I see the logic but I also think this will fail.

I think retail branding has something to teach us. Many high end brands like say Armani or Coach develop a certain cache, a certain following. But it's niche, it's exclusive, and ultimately there is a ceiling to how much money you can make selling to a narrow high end niche.

The frustration there is that the brand has huge name recognition with many beyond your niche but they can't afford it. It's too exclusive. So you expand the niche. You make it less exclusive. A different flavour for every taste and price point.

But this expansion is the death knell of a niche brand. Suddenly an Armani suit isn't a big deal anymore because everyone has one and your longtime niche buyers, the ones who made your brand, see you as selling out. They move on to greener pastures. Meanwhile the mainstream mob is fickle, you are beleaguered by competition and as the influencers in the niche abandon you, so too do the main streamers until your brand is devalued and your sales plummet.

This pattern applies to Trek as much as to a designer suit. CBS purchased a brand, Trek, which was a niche product popular with a niche of people, albeit one with enough pop culture name recognition that it was known somewhat beyond the niche. Now CBS is going to make a Trek for every taste. But if everyone is watching Trek, then it loses its identity and the original niche abandons it because it is no longer *their* identity. And the mainstream follows just a little bit later. The brand is truly hollowed out.

Setting aside any consideration about art or what is true Trek or whatever, just as a business strategy, this is a terrible path CBS is on and a terrible waste of the investment they made when they acquired the Trek brand. Just my two cents
James
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 7:05am (UTC -5)
I take issue with the idea that science and philosophy are niche topics, at least on the level that Star Trek presents them. Maybe that was true in the 1960s and the 80s, and so there were (especially in the 80s) a slew of movies and show ridiculing nerds and nerd culture. At this point in time, from my interactions with youth in my teaching experience, I can say with some confidence that being a 'nerd' or into such topics as science and philosophy is no longer something to be ridiculed, in fact the idea of 'cool' is increasingly associated with being genuine. You can see this come across in the fact that teen movies are no longer mean-spirited road trip journeys and college jocks hooking up with girls, but invoking more the underdog with a passion for singing or musicals or tapdancing, following through with it and discovering their true self.

I wish this was true of when I was growing up, but I see a lot more positivity and acceptance, possibly due to the fact that it is no longer baby boomers raising kids, the fear instinct and drive towards material success no longer pushes parents to instill in children values like obedience and conformity but rather encourages exploration of unique talents and desires. From post-millennial generations I don't think there is much bitterness against either someone having an interest in certain topics, or a feeling that they or someone else should have more of an interest in them.

All of this is aside from the fact Star Trek is still barely above pop-culture science and philosophy. At best, it's a college level freshman's discussion, and at worst it's purely for entertainment purposes with no higher value.
Dom
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 9:37am (UTC -5)
@Jason R., that's the problem I've been calling out for years. There are some folks in these forums who claim that Star Trek is anything with the label "Star Trek" slapped on it. But for that "Star Trek" label to be meaningful, it has to actually mean something. Right now, what does Star Trek mean? Aside from people drawn to anything Trek solely for the label, how much overlap is there between people who liked TNG's Lower Decks and people who liked the trailer this show?

This line in Jammer's review captures my very ambiguous feelings about Star Trek during these past few years:

"But the overall arc of the Trek universe is appearing more and more mercenary and expansive, and less relevant and thoughtful."

CBS might succeed in the short term by getting subscribers to its streaming service. But how many people will still care about this franchise in 2030?
Dom
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 9:47am (UTC -5)
and for the record I actually enjoy Rick & Morty's bizarre humor. It's hilarious. But it's also not Star Trek. R&M isn't asking questions about the nature of humanity. It's not trying to to be socially relevant or challenging.
Yanks
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 10:04am (UTC -5)
Thanks Jammer.
Troy G
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 10:23am (UTC -5)
Will there be a Lower Decks tab along the other series?
Rahul
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 11:34am (UTC -5)
Just watched the trailer and have to shake my head at what direction Star Trek is going. This is definitely nothing like the original animated series. But trailers also have to be taken with a grain of salt.

Seems like Star Trek trying to take a page out of The Orville's book which is not good for me. I watched the first episode of ORV and realized it is not for me, not what I'm looking for. I'm not interested in juvenile humor being the preeminent ethos of a series.

But this is Star Trek, after all so I'll stick with it. Each episode is only half an hour. With an animated show, you won't get the acting performances that are occasionally wonderful, but can also be a drag if not done right. Perhaps the animation can be cool in depicting some phenomena -- the views of the ship from the outside look good. But ultimately, it will come down to the writing and the premises of the episodes, what ideas and themes are elucidated.
Dom
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 12:19pm (UTC -5)
@Rahul, with all due respect, but isn't "But this is Star Trek, after all so I'll stick with it" part of the problem? If CBS is putting out bad content yet people subscribe because it has "Star Trek" in the name, then what incentive does the company have to hire better writers and fulfill Star Trek's potential.
Rahul
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 12:47pm (UTC -5)
@Dom, I hear what you're saying. Just for me personally, I have this pet project of wanting to watch ever Star Trek episode, so I guess I may not be helpful.

But I don't really know how change at the top gets engineered for Star Trek's showrunners/writers in the short term. Maybe it has to be some high profile criticism, certainly a drop in viewership, advertising? And I don't know how I (being in Canada and not having to subscribe to the CBS All Access stream) impacts the viewership ratings.

But I'm with you in that Star Trek is not fulfilling its potential under the current direction and Lower Decks is not going to help the situation.
Dave in MN
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 2:17pm (UTC -5)
@ Rahul

If it were a pantomime puppet show but was labeled "Star Trek", would you watch it? How about if it were a show a single female Klingon and her 3 female friends all trying to find a mate?

There comes a point where it's NOT Star Trek no matter what label is put on it. A few Easter eggs don't make up for the abandoning of the Trek moral-quandary ethos.
Dave in MN
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 2:22pm (UTC -5)
And Rahul, The Orville has advanced a thousand light years from the pilot. It's the Trekkiest thing in decades and you're missing out.

It is a bit odd to me that you'll commit to watching Lower Dreck but won't give The Orville a real shot.
Rahul
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 3:30pm (UTC -5)
@Dave in MN

Maybe I'm being a bit cavalier in saying I'll stick with it. I intended to watch all the short Treks, but didn't end up doing so. Just being an animated series isn't an excuse to cast it aside but it really comes down to if I feel it is Trek -- and that does go beyond just having the label affixed to it. I hope there will be plenty of references to the non-animated episodes, which could add further details to the Star Trek universe.

I was pretty turned off with ORV's first episode and can understand how things only got better but there's certain aspects about the series that aren't my cup of tea.
Daniel
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 4:05pm (UTC -5)
Jammer,

As a big fan of your reviews and the comments section of each and every episode of Trek, I was immensely looking forward to reading your thoughts on Lower Decks once it is released.
I have a strong feeling that the series itself will be quite different to what the trailer leads us to expect, there is just too much love for Trek and too many little details in there.

Alas, I still hope you will reconsider in the future!
Thanks for your dedication and your great work.
Burke
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 5:21pm (UTC -5)
I must admit i have completely lost interest in the upcoming Trek shows. I'll be passing on this and the new seasons of PIC and DIS as well.

All the great episodes and stories that i love are still there, on streaming, ready to be enjoyed. And that is enough for me right now.
Dave in MN
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 5:52pm (UTC -5)
@ Rahul

If one is going to commit time to trying out a new show, usually people don't limit themselves to just the pilot. Generally speaking, the first episode of ANY show isn't on anyone's "best of the series" list.

The Orville's pilot episode is a poor representation of what it becomes, especially by the end of Season 2. It gets so Trekkish!

We've both been posting here a long time and I believe I have some familiarity with your likes/ dislikes. I hope I'm not misreading things when I say I think you might enjoy some of the later episodes.
wolfstar
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 6:05pm (UTC -5)
"How about if it were a show a single female Klingon and her 3 female friends all trying to find a mate?"

I would watch the hell out of that.

I would watch Andor Shore.

I would watch a version of Catfish where a girl from North Carolina has been chatting online to a cute guy called Brian for 10 months, but grows suspicious when he keeps finding excuses not to video-chat and not to meet up with her, and when they track him down and knock on the door of his penthouse, it's actually the Crystalline Entity.

I would watch Celebrity Rehab Jem'Hadar Special.

I would watch the spinoff series Sex And The Entity, in which the Crystalline Entity achieves its dream of moving to New York, where it balances shoe-shopping and writing its magazine column with consuming all organic life.

I would watch My 600-lb Pakled Life.

I would watch WWE: Horta vs Vorta.

I probably won't watch this.
Rahul
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 6:50pm (UTC -5)
@Dave in MN

You're probably right that I'd enjoy some ORV episodes -- if there's a good story to be told and I have even a slight of appreciation for the characters, and the locker-room humor is kept to a minimum. But I believe that brand of humor is one of the pillars of the show -- isn't it?

I only watched the first episode just as an experiment -- I was not prepared to make any commitment to ORV. There was some hype about it and Jammer was reviewing it -- so I gave it a shot.

Given that Jammer's not reviewing Lower Decks, my interest in it will not be as great. But I'll approach the 1st episode with as open a mind as possible, just as I did with "Old Wounds".
Nic
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 6:59pm (UTC -5)
I wouldn't mind seeing a dramatic live-action Star Trek series set almost entirely on the "lower decks" of a starship (it originally seemed like Discovery might take this route, but it didn't). I wouldn't even mind seeing a Star Trek series that is more comedic than dramatic.

But whatever little curiosity I had for this show quickly evaporated as I watched the trailer. I don't know who the target audience of this is, but it isn't me. Perhaps the series will be "smarter", but I'm not holding my breath.
Dirk
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 7:04pm (UTC -5)
I know my opinion is going to be rather unpopular, but ever since The Simpsons, I've just never understood cartoons for adults. Cartoons are for children who don't value the subtly of facial expressions, body language, etc. Leave childhood to children. Same goes for video games. A radio play is a different animal altogether; voice actors work to build a story in the mind's eye. A cartoon is just lazy entertainment. And I agree, Trek - and written SF - are a very niche field. Most people don't care to expand their minds.
Frank
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 7:12pm (UTC -5)
For me, the factor which is going to stop me watching isn't that it's 'not Trek'. I'm happy to watch a Trek comedy, I just can't stand the frenetic, hyperactive, hysterical style popular in animation nowadays where everyone's lines have to be read at 10x the speed of how normal people talk, as if every character has just had 6 cups of coffee and snorted a line of meth, ice and coke. And you might as well just be listening to a radio play, the visuals are usually insignificant and it's all about the script. There's no artistry since it's all computer generated, and it's not like they give you any time to take it in anyway since your senses are bombarded with a million things happening a second.
MidshipmanNorris
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 7:19pm (UTC -5)
CBS is going to learn a hard lesson, here.

Star Trek has lived or died since its inception on the passion of its fanbase for something more than the latest fad in entertainment.

Like Sisko to Kira (re: The Maquis): "THEY'VE CROSSED THE LINE!"

Attn: CBS. You get ready to reap the whirlwind.
Tommy D.
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 8:15pm (UTC -5)
As I saw someone post on another board, whatever the outcome is for this show, the trailer has over 5 million views on youtube in just a few days. Good or bad, there is interest in this.
Dave in MN
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 10:38pm (UTC -5)
Those views also include embedded ads that autoplay.

Put it this way, before they pulled the likes/ dislikes/ comments, the YouTube preview had a half million views and only 5K total votes. The engagement rate tells the real story.

@wolfstar

I would probably watch all those shows .... shoot, I'd even watch Sex And The Single Klingon. I just wouldn't consider them Trek .
Dave in MN
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 10:41pm (UTC -5)
@ Rahul

By episode 8 in the first season, Orville started to settle into a groove.l, but I'd say it was halfway through season 2 before The Orville truly grew a Riker's beard.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 12:46am (UTC -5)
LOL

I don't think I've ever seen the people here so united in their opinion of a new Trek show.

Looks like CBS has finally managed to do the impossible, and got most of us to agree on something for once. Even Jammer finally decided that he had enough of their sh*t.

They've crossed the line indeed.

@Rahul
"You're probably right that I'd enjoy some ORV episodes -- if there's a good story to be told and I have even a slight of appreciation for the characters, and the locker-room humor is kept to a minimum. But I believe that brand of humor is one of the pillars of the show -- isn't it?"

Not really.

They laid the juvenile humor really thick in the pilot, and it gets less prominent as the show progresses (though it's always there in the background). The show also greatly improves in other ways, too.

Besides, if you're enough of a Trek completist to endure the (literally) crappy humor of "Lower Decks", you have no excuse to avoid the Orville. It's the Trekkiest show we've had on TV in the past 15 years.

Look... I can't guarantee that you'll end up liking it. But you'll definitely like it more than this new Trek animated series (the stupid humor being a potential problem in both shows). And I'm pretty sure you'll like it more than Discovery or Picard as well.
Cody B
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 1:11am (UTC -5)
I got an ad for this excrement. I Immediately cringed and knew this had no hope. Should be called Star Trek’s Lowest Drecks
Geekgarious
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 1:41am (UTC -5)
Not at all surprising. After Picard, I have no interest in this either. Kurtzman Trek is just not very good and watching it has been more frustrating than anything. Not much else to say about it.
Booming
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 2:11am (UTC -5)
@Dirk
Maybe you should rethink your line of argument.

Every cultural product can be seen as a transfer of information. First you say that animated is worse than filming because it transfers less information (allegedly limited facial expressions) and should therefore be only for children (I guess every painting since the beginning of time has never really reached it's target audience).

But then confusingly you continue to argue that radio plays are better because they transfer even less information.

I also fail the see the relevance to this debate here. You don't like animated shows or movies, Trek or not.
Glom
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 2:27am (UTC -5)
@Dirk

Ok, boomer.
Tommy D.
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 3:36am (UTC -5)
@Glom

I finished the Bob book. You left out the part where this is a trilogy!

I did enjoy it for the most part, and will likely pick up the next two books. I do, unfortunately, have the time.
Lady Sith
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 3:55am (UTC -5)
I'm going to reserve judgement.

We can only wait and see.

I am a patient Sith.
Latex Zebra
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 5:13am (UTC -5)
This does look pretty shit to be honest but if it appears on Amazon or something, as a UK viewer, then I'll probably watch the first episode to give it a go.
Expectation levels are pretty low and I like Rick & Morty.

Also would love to see your thoughts on the last Star Wars movie.
Anthony Aguilar
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 5:42am (UTC -5)
We all have our opinions, it’s just interesting how many have been formed before the show even airs. I understand Jammer’s concerns about the Trek universe on the whole, though. It seems like too much in to small a time span. Essentially a money grab by CBS.

That said, Lower Decks looks... possibly interesting? I think people need to remember that the show is NOT Rick and Morty, it just comes from the same writer. And people here proclaiming once again that “it’s just not Star Trek” (such a tired trope) before they have seen a single episode tells me more about the bias of that “fan” then it does about the show. Ugh. The definition of toxic fandom. Give it a chance before summarily writing it off. If animation isn’t for you, that’s fine (it’s not really my cup of tea either), but don’t come here with your pompous attitudes simply because it’s a medium and genre (comedy) you don’t prefer and doesn’t fit in your tiny box of what you think Trek should be.

As for me I might watch the first few episodes to see if somehow they pique my interest. And hey, maybe it will be ‘Trek’ and maybe it won’t, but I’m not going to judge it based on 2 minutes of edited trailer footage.
Jason R.
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 5:58am (UTC -5)
@Wolfstar LOL!! Horta versus Vorta....

"And people here proclaiming once again that “it’s just not Star Trek” (such a tired trope) before they have seen a single episode tells me more about the bias of that “fan” then it does about the show. Ugh. The definition of toxic fandom. Give it a chance before summarily writing it off."

Since Trek is no longer broadcast over the air for free but must be paid for via subscription service (CBS All Access in the USA or Bell Crave in Canada...) by "give it a chance" you really mean "give over a minimum of $15" (or whatever the minimum subscription costs).

Also, while I agree the "this is not Trek!" argument has become pointless when evaluating the quality of this or that existing show that one has already committed to watching, I do think when evaluating a new series that one hasn't decided to watch yet, it is highly pertinent.

Consider that literally the only reason most of us would consider watching this show is that it carries the Star Trek brand. Absent that brand, it's just another Comedy Central slapstick adult cartoon that most of us would never think to watch (not because those shows are even necessarily bad, just because we don't have the interest or the time)

So when the Rolex company releases a special series of watches for $26.99 each on sale at Walmart and Target is the Rolex collector wrong to say "it's not a Rolex!" or must he "give it a chance" and buy one?
Frank
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 7:06am (UTC -5)
If I'm not supposed to judge a show based on a 2 minute trailer, how am I supposed to decide whether to watch anything? Isn't a trailer supposed to give us an idea whether we will like it? If I have to "give it a go" then I would end up needing to go to every single movie and watching every show in existence, leaving me penniless and without enough time for anything else in life.
NCC-1701-Z
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 7:44am (UTC -5)
I’ll be passing on this show as well. The fact that CBS shut off comments, likes/dislikes on the trailer demonstrates that I’m probably not the only one. Honestly, what’s the point of doing that? All it does is show you’ve got something to hide. Ever hear of the Streisand effect?
Booming
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 8:32am (UTC -5)
I find the negative portrayal of people having an actual opinion about what star trek is (or was) tiring. It is not just a two minute trailer, we have already worked our way through three seasons of garbage. With PicardJesus and a mirror universe federation and all the other non trek nonsense. I wish I had a klingon time crystal to undo the damage!
How often do people need to touch the hot plate to understand that they will burn their hand?!

NuTrek has nothing to do with what star trek was supposed to be.
William B
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 11:26am (UTC -5)
Trailers are sometimes misleading - Jammer frequently discussed the episodic trailers for Voyager as being wild misrepresentations, for example. That said yeah. A person can't watch everything and a trailer is the best bet to find out what the content of this show is going to be like, for now.

I wouldn't feel comfortable calling the series bad without watching it, but I am comfortable not watching it based on the impression that I probably wouldn't like it or find it worthwhile, even if I know that's going to be a guess. If the series ends up getting rave reviews or whatever, I *might* check it out, but it's very low priority for me.

I was planning on watching Picard, but the negative reception did sap my enthusiasm. I will maybe still watch it at some point due to my attachment to the cast, and go in with an expectation that it is a kind of "what if" story rather than let it define how I imagine these characters' future. I like Frakes as a director too, and so there's a certain connecting there. But I think (my preferred kind of) Trek is mostly writer-driven. Honestly the last work associated with the TNG main cast I feel genuinely invested in is the end of DS9 for Worf and the Barclay Voyager episodes for Troi, and Insurrection (which I don't particularly like, but at least has some TNG-ishness) have more relationship to TNG in terms of writing staff history than Nemesis, let alone the Kurtzmann era.
William B
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 11:40am (UTC -5)
For what it's worth, the Lower Decks animated series idea does have potential, IMO. It's a good opportunity to imagine everyday life in the Trek future while dealing with smaller scale problems. The lighter tone also seems appropriate. What I think the show should be would be to emphasize diversity of being, philosophy, and problem solving approaches while doing Trekky research. The emphasis would be on what different people value in Starfleet, why they joined, what they hope to get out of it, how they solve small scale problems and conflicts in more enlightened ways, and how they manage being in an environment where crazy and dangerous things happen over which they have very little decision making power, but, presumably, still some input. I think it could be helpful to explore what it means to be an everyday person in a sometimes bewildering time, and having a limited but important role to play rather than being one of the decision makers. And tech going haywire, etc. can be part of the fun. I'm, to be clear, not optimistic that this will be the focus.
Jason R.
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 1:55pm (UTC -5)
@William that's fine but as you noted, it is unlikely the show will be any of those things.

I am not at all against marrying serious subject matter with semi serious or even comedic tone. Something can be irreverent and fun while still taking its subject matter seriously and treating its characters and setting with respect. Anything by Joss Whedon falls into this category as do shows like Breaking Bad and its spinoffs, or even recent entries in the Marvel universe like Thor Ragnarock. I would be intrigued by such a take on Trek.

But there's simply nothing in the trailer that suggests that is what they are going for and in any event, there is zero reason to believe that the Kurtzman crew are even capable of pulling off such a feat. Even as far as purely cynical snarky comedy goes (a la Family Guy) I doubt this show will be successful. It has failure written all over it.
William B
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 2:42pm (UTC -5)
@Jason, agreed. And your examples, Whedon and Breaking Bad (Vince Gilligan in general), some Marvel, are pretty much what I was thinking. I agree that it's unlikely this will be those things.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 3:13pm (UTC -5)
@Booming
"I find the negative portrayal of people having an actual opinion about what star trek is (or was) tiring."

Funny how these people don't realize that their own posts are - *gasp* - also an actual opinion about what star trek is. Apparently doing that is okay, as long as you agree with their point of view ;-)

And have you noticed that it's nearly always a new guy who never posted anything before and isn't likely to post anything again. They just pop up, yell "toxic fandom!", and run away never to be seen again.

That's the internet for ya. And honestly, after so many years of this happening, you learn to take it in stride.
wolfstar
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 3:18pm (UTC -5)
To me the question of whether something like this should be part of the Star Trek franchise is secondary (ultimately it doesn't have to be treated as canon, just as The Animated Series isn't by most people)... for me it's more the case that this thing seems to be failing on its own terms. Probably most of us here have at some point enjoyed shows like The Simpsons, Family Guy, South Park, Daria, Bojack, Futurama etc. There's an established audience for irreverent animations aimed at adults. Honestly, if I had laughed even just two or three times in the trailer, I would be much more positive. But there's nothing close to a joke or resembling wit or intelligence - the style is very much what one of the commenters on Youtube (before the comments section was shut down) described as "millennial lol so random" humor. It reminds me more than anything else of that viral Twitter video a girl made last year about what passes for comedy in most Hollywood movies now: https://twitter.com/nsilverberg/status/1140300647922831361?lang=en It just looks like snarky puerile chaos, and the voice acting is incredibly strident and annoying.
Dave in MN
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 3:46pm (UTC -5)
I didn't laugh once either.

In fact, the only thing about it that DID make me smile was imagining everyone else watching it at the same time and having the same reaction I did.

I mean, there's an ensign (that supposedly graduated Starfleet Academy) playing with a shuttle blast shield like a 2-yeat-old discovering power windows go up and down. It's so unfunny I felt secondhand embarrassment for the Roddenberry family.

If this is supposed to be a highlight of the series, I dread to imagine what we haven't seen yet.
MidshipmanNorris
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 4:01pm (UTC -5)
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi said:

"I don't think I've ever seen the people here so united in their opinion of a new Trek show."

You remember when STID came out and I discovered Jammer's Reviews? I came in here full of excitement and enthusiasm (having never really been part of an Online Community of Trekkers before) and said you were all being stolid, stodgy, grumpy, curmudgeonly old ninnys, and fought to the death for that film (looking back, it wasn't as good as I felt like it was at the time, but that's beside the point).

I've at times held that line, and at times had to admit that what was currently airing was crap. But yes; you are correct. I'm seeing a bit of consensus on this new development, which I wish had happened under better circumstances.

Think about it; I'm going to guess that the more erudite of us here on this very comment board probably learned a lot about writing and dialogue from watching Star Trek. I know that I, personally, am reading this in Elam Garak's voice, as we speak. :smirk:

But it's funny, this is a time when I absolutely have to agree, I am incensed by this. It's exactly the kind of idiotic spoon-fed television garbage that Gene Roddenberry didn't feel like making when he envisioned Star Trek in the first place. My Dad (who watched it in the first run) has always compared it favorably (in its better moments) to the Twilight Zone.

This show seems like it came OUT of the Twilight Zone.
Booming
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 4:39pm (UTC -5)
@Omicron
Maybe these are the new fans but I must admit deep down I hope they are payed shills from CBS. That would make so much more sense.

And for the record I laughed during the lower decks trailer.
I laughed about how TERRIBLE it was!

Apparently I still haven't fully reached the fifth stage of grief:
acceptance. I fear I need one final push. To turn the knife around. How long was Discovery postponed?
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 5:02pm (UTC -5)
@MidshipmanNorris

I guess now you finally understand what it was we "stolid grumpy old ninnies" were complaining about, eh?

@Booming

I don't particularly care if these are actual fans or shills. I'm simply saying that respect needs to be earned. The statement of a random guy who pops in and yells "you're a toxic bunch!" does not carry much weight. At least in my opinion.
Lodged Animated Torpedo
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 8:17pm (UTC -5)
I’m saddened by this, but understand & respect your decisions. But, what if it’s a hit? What if it’s witty and tons of fun like Rick & Morty, & is a cult smash? If you renew and review DSC S3, not even a blurb of your basic thoughts (à la your concise TOS reviews) just for the continuity of having reviewed all Trek incarnations, isn’t in the cards? Again, I fully support whatever you do because you’ve brought me weekly joy for so long, and I only jumped on board relatively recently. The sky’s not always the limit, though, so who knows? 🖖 JAMMER
MidshipmanNorris
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 10:00pm (UTC -5)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

"I guess now you finally understand what it was we "stolid grumpy old ninnies" were complaining about, eh?"

Regrettably so! How much fucking cocaine are they doing in Hollywood these days?!

Who thought this was a good idea? Throw them out the nearest airlock!

Picarddoublefacepalm.gif. I feel like crawling into a hole, turning into a lizard and mating with my commanding officer. This looks *really bad.*
OmicronThetaDeltaPhI
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 10:32pm (UTC -5)
"I feel like crawling into a hole, turning into a lizard and mating with my commanding officer."

LOL

Ah, the golden days when Star Trek was actually good ;-)
(wait... whose side am I on?!)
James
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 11:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: Lodged Animated Torpedo - Well, Jammer hasn't reviewed the 70s Animated Series so it's not like there's no precedent for skipping a Trek series. Still, there's a lot of material I'd like to see him review before Lower Decks. Chiefly, the superb Babylon 5 and Farscape and maybe The Expanse (the latter which I haven't seen but heard it's great).
Nolan
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 11:44pm (UTC -5)
Man, I'd much rather get Futurama back... ah well, at least Star Trek is finally just being up front about what it's become - a bad parody of itself.

Seriously, it's like CBS saw all the jokes and deconstructions of Trek in other series and on Social media and decided to ACTUALLY address them. No. Swear Trek on Twitter is funny because that wasn't in Trek. Futurama works as a loving parody because it built it's world around that goal.

I think I saw someone mention Maddox here or else where, so maybe that's why I'm thinking of him now. How he wated to take spart Data (deconstruct him) to figure out how he worked so he could build more Data's, while Data refused because he didn't believe Maddox could put him back together again without losing the essence of what made Data, Data. Data knew you could not just build something Data-like enough that one could slap the name "Data" on it and have it be Data anymore than you could slap the label "gourmet" on a McBurger and have it not be considered fast food.

"I am the culmination of one man's dream. This is not ego, or vanity. But when Dr. Soong created me, he added to the substance of the universe. If, by your experiments, I am destroyed, something unique, something wonderful will be lost. I cannot permit that. I must protect his dream."

Au Revoir, Star Trek.
SpaceCadet
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 11:47pm (UTC -5)
I’m not renewing my subscribing to CBS All Access just for this season either (10 half hour episodes for 5 hours worth of content) plus I had no real interest in it to begin with, which this trailer pretty much cemented.

Yes, I think the obvious business plan here is to have at least one new Trek series on at any given time spaced out that fans remain subscribers year-round. I do believe though that Discovery season 3 shortly after Lower Decks season 1 ends. Discovery season 3 had already finished filming and started post-production as COVID-19 began. That post-production was slowed down some as people had to finish up work on the series from home, but I think by this fall/winter it will be ready to air. I’m looking forward to it and it’ll probably be our last season of live action Trek for sometime since the pandemic will push back filming on other Trek series like Picard indefinitely.
Brandon Adams
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 11:59pm (UTC -5)
While I, too, am turned off by the sophomoric and socially useless appearance of this show, I kind of have to ask, where else is Trek supposed to go?

Science fiction is played out. All the popular tropes are done to death, and it was Star Trek that pioneered many of them, or brought them to the mainstream.

Special effects are played out. Nothing looks amazing anymore, or elicits gasps of "how did they do that?"

Allegory is longer-lasting because there's always social shortcoming to address. But that carries the risk of being too heavy-handed. Plus, you need something in-between the topical episodes to leaven everything and, well, see the discussion above on tropes and special effects. Also, allegory is something that can really only be supported by one series. You can't do it with five.

Character shows are good, but again, you need something to leaven, and again, tropes and special effects.

That leaves self-reference as the last place for the show to go, and as you said, that's rapidly reaching burnout, too.

I dunno. We're reaching an apex of cultural creative boredom. Like that deserted way station in the Q Continuum. In every genre, all things have been done. Trek is suffering just like everything else.
Glom
Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 2:25am (UTC -5)
@Tommy D.

Glad you enjoyed it. I haven't read the follow up books so I can't offer up an view on them. I just thought the first book offered up a creative spin on the experience of being an AI.

@Brandon Adams

If that is the case, then it's peverse to throw out more shows for simultaneous release than has existed in the entirety of the franchise's first 50 years.
Cody B
Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 7:06am (UTC -5)
@brandon adams

What do you mean where else could they go? How about they go to Quality Writing Town. It’s not rocket science. Step one: find quality writers. Step two: hire them. That’s it. No agenda or trying to study demographics or making sure to wedge in cringe inducing “wholeness” or whatever it is they are doing to create these awful current series. Get talented writers and let them write
Cody B
Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 7:08am (UTC -5)
*Wholeness= wokeness

Autocorrect being pos what’s new
Mike
Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 7:22am (UTC -5)
Writing about wokeness would be far more interesting than what Discovery and Picard have actually done. DS9 did far more with wokeness, writing about genuine social and racial issues. Instead, DIC and PIC are about absolutely nothing, neither wanting to say anything or offend anyone.
Booming
Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 7:37am (UTC -5)
I found especially ST:Picard rather reactionary. With refugees aka Romulans being mass murderer racists and the minority aka androids almost committing the ultimate genocide. Let's not forget how the apparently lower class workers were portrayed at the Utopia Planetia shipyard, intolerant, foul mouthed and shall we say limited. I don't remember when I last saw a show that reactionary in tone.

I think it is clear that CBS doesn't want good writing, or to become HBO 2.0. They want a streaming experience for a broad audience. Dazzling quantity not finely tuned quality.
Mike
Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 8:01am (UTC -5)
That's the thing, I don't think the writers were aware of what the Romulans and the androids symbolized. I don't think they were intended to come across the way they did, the "Romulans only" scene on the desert planet was more about Picard's burden, the android genocide was about something else. Most of the time I don't even know what the intention was, the whole thing was very confused. That's not to pardon or vindicate them. I just thought 'woke' meant being awake to social and political issues, and you can't say that about the Picard writers - 'asleep' would be a better adjective.
Jason R.
Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 8:52am (UTC -5)
@Mike to be fair to the writers it is possible that multiple independent storylines were fused. So you have a story about Picard abandoning persecuted and demoralized refugees. Then you have a story about an evil empire conspiring to persecute android underdogs and conspiring to infiltrate the Federation to do so.

Individually the stories provide one kind of message, but when fused, that message seems inverted.

Personally, I kind of like the idea that the persecuted could really be a legitimate threat. This could be true (and often is) and yet shouldn't justify persecition. It's easy to condemn witch hunts when you know witches aren't real, but that is a moral dodge. If some burned at the stake really were evil witches, it would not have made the witch hunt morally correct.

Or to turn it around, wiping out organic life isn't justified just because organics really are out to persecute you.

But who am I kidding - I am giving way too much credit to the Kurtzman crew even delving into such nuances.
Cody B
Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 9:46am (UTC -5)
@Mike

I don’t think the new Trek shows beat us over the head with their “wokeness” but here are some examples to try to explain what I meant when I brought up the term. Tilly having an arc about getting in shape while the actress clearly gains weight as episodes go by (no fat shaming! Just pretend she’s losing weight. What are they going to do, state the obvious and ask tell the actress she’s gaining weight when her character is supposed to be losing weight?), both series are FILLED with Strong Independent Women (TM) to the point where it borders right there in woke territory, Patrick Stewart said before Picard premiered that he hoped for a strong anti-Trump and anti-Brexit message, Kurtzman has said his favorite TOS episode of all is “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” which I don’t see how that could genuinely be someone’s favorite episode but I could see why some people would want others to THINK it was their favorite, one would have to wonder what was the line of thinking or purpose when they decided to name a black female lead character Michael, the way Raffi and Seven of Nine were out of the blue and confusingly shoehorned into lesbian lovers. Those are just some examples I thought of off the top of my head I’m sure there are plenty more.
William B
Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 10:00am (UTC -5)
"Kurtzman has said his favorite TOS episode of all is “Let That Be Your Last Battlefield” which I don’t see how that could genuinely be someone’s favorite episode but I could see why some people would want others to THINK it was their favorite"

I'm not exactly trying to defend Kurtzmann's Trek bona fides here too much but FWIW a friend of mine, one of the first people I talked to about Star Trek back in the day, and a kind of weirdo not overly concerned with appearing conventional or woke, identified that as his favourite TOS episode. No accounting for taste and all, it's certainly not my favourite but I think it's an episode with some striking and memorable images and moments.
William B
Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 10:08am (UTC -5)
"when they decided to name a black female lead character Michael"

IIRC, Bryan Fuller said about his lead female character Jaye in Wonderfalls something to the effect that he deliberately gave his female leads male names because he found that it was too difficult to get into a female character's head if she had a female name (?). I think BF gave his female Discovery lead the male name Michael for a similar reason, before parachuting out of the show. I guess it's sort of a compromise position because it suggests that on some level Fuller has to trick himself into thinking he's writing a male lead, but also wants to have more female leads.
J.P.
Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 10:28am (UTC -5)
This is why I always cringe a little when I hear fans say, "Make Discovery more like the Orville!" or "Bring back the episodic format!" I know what they mean when they say it, but I also know how that feedback will be interpreted by Kurtzman and his clueless acolytes. They are like a monkey's paw. Your wish will always be granted, but the result will always be a curse, and a mockery of your desires--hence, we have Star Trek: Lower Decks.

You cannot simply deconstruct Star Trek down to its constituent elements, and expect it come to life when you patch those elements back together. Star Trek will always be an abomination if the creator lacks that ineffable, crucial spark that gives things life, and that is love. There is only one man who can redeem Star Trek now, and that is Ronald D. Moore. Give him total creative control and autonomy, or forget this whole enterprise.
Booming
Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 10:31am (UTC -5)
Yeah strong independent women...
Raffi: Drunk, drug addict, hated by her family.
Agnes: Murdered her boyfriend.
7of9: alcoholic, murdered her former girlfriend.
Soji: Almost committed galactic genocide
Narissa: murdering psychopath
Commodore Oh: Mass murderer

Tilly: surprisingly the only character that is not broken or a murderer
Burnham: started a galactic war because she couldn't control her emotions.
mirror Georgio: Mass murdering psychopath
Admiral Cornwell: Almost committed genocide
L'Rell: Mass murderer (ok she is klingon, so that is somewhat ok)

These are the most prominent women on both shows. What a bunch of heroines...
The men are actually far better
PicardJesus: Saves the galaxy
Hugh: kind and upstanding
Elnor: technically a mass murderer but apart from that as innocent as a newborn.

Pike: This guy is pure Trek. Just a plain good guy.
Spock: Spock
Saru: good natured giraffe

Sure there are a few bad men but all things considered I think there is no doubt that men are portrayed as the better sex.
While women are at best broken drunkards and at worst genocidal maniacs. Oh and Tilly.
If that is woke then I suppose it is the Russian version of woke.
Jason R.
Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 10:42am (UTC -5)
"They are like a monkey's paw. Your wish will always be granted, but the result will always be a curse, and a mockery of your desires--hence, we have Star Trek: Lower Decks."

Haha nailed it JP. It reminds me of the entire Star Wars Sequel trilogy as some alleged antidote to the sins of the prequels. Be careful what you wish for.
Jason R.
Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 10:45am (UTC -5)
@Booming jeez picky picky. Being a strong independent woman and a murderous psychopath = having it all.
Glom
Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 11:00am (UTC -5)
@Jason R.

It is a problem that arises from the serialised format. When each episode is a self-contained story, each story, with its own theme, can take place. When you try to blend them into one big narrative, you get a mess like STP. Not to imply that I'm one of those "just do TNG again" people, but it is something to be aware of and the writers weren't.

Star Trek has indeed covered the themes you mention. Think 'Balance of Terror', 'Detained' or various subplots surrounding Odo or Seven of Nine, or also the best episode to have ever come out of the franchise 'Duet' for takes on the theme of living with the face of enemy. Or think 'The Drumhead', 'I, Borg' or hell even the finale of Discovery season 1 for takes on the theme of the ends not justifying the means.

STP may have been trying this but it lacks the coherence to tackle it properly. You can't have Picard pontificating on how bad it is that the Zhat Vash fear the synths, when the next episode it is revealed they are at least as bad as they feared. In the hands of better writers, and ones able and willing to not fall back on the destruction of the entire bloody galaxy yet again (even Jessie Gender called them out on that), maybe it could have worked. Also, ditch the stupid robo space octopus.
Mal
Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 11:08am (UTC -5)
Trek has finally been dumbed so far down, it's reached the Lowest Common Denominator.

As the trailer might put it, "the dumbest Trek?"

It is so sad, because animation has been an incredible platform for certain scifi franchises.

Animatrix was a wonderful animated addition to the Matrix franchise in the form of a prequel. Even better, maybe, than the third movie.

By all accounts, The Clone Wars was a grand animated follow up to the Star Wars prequels. Certainly better than the prequels themselves.

There has also been some startlingly revolutionary original animated scifi, like Ghost in the Shell. Futurama gave a Simpson-esque-verse a fun scifi spin.

But alas, NuTrek is none of that.

Lowest Drek. Indeed.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 11:34am (UTC -5)
@Brandon Adams
"Science fiction is played out. All the popular tropes are done to death, and it was Star Trek that pioneered many of them, or brought them to the mainstream. "

That's the lamest excuse for bad writing I've ever heard.

For one thing, it's obviously false. There's plenty of good new science fiction. Novels. Short stories. Indie films that can be found youtube. Some of them present genuinely new and thought-provoking ideas. Others put a refreshing spin on old ideas.

But let's assume, for the sake of the argument, that your claim is true. It would still not excuse what CBS is doing.

First of all, if a showrunner really thinks that "sci fi is done", they shouldn't be doing sci fi in the first place. Least of all pushing us a gazillion new Star Trek series in the span of a few years.

Secondly, even if it were true that we are stuck redoing old things (which we are not) then a good writer could elevate the tired cliches into a good story. Indeed this is a big part of what "good writing" is all about.

Thirdly, Star Trek isn't just about telling stories. It's also about giving us hope for the future (which is something that's desperately needed right now). So even if Trek was a dead end in the story-telling sense (which it isn't), that's no excuse to abandon the one thing that always made Trek special.

And lastly, nothing (and I mean NOTHING) excuses the creation of absolute garbage. Even if it were true that we can't do any better than "medicore cliched sci fi", is that really an excuse to do WORSE?

I long for the old days, when the worst that could be said about a Trek series was that it is too cliched (or that it is "TNG 2.0"). Not that having a TNG 2.0 would be good, but it would still be infinitely better than what we're getting right now.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 11:52am (UTC -5)
@Booming
"These are the most prominent women on both shows. What a bunch of heroines..."

Shhh... you are not allowed to say that. If you do, then you'll immediately be tagged as a racist misogynist homophobe.

And that's exactly the problem. While these characters are - indeed - horrible, we are *still* expected to cheer them as "strong independent women".

This is exactly the difference between all this "wokeness" madness and advocating actual diversity.

Actual diversity means having a diverse mix of characters who play a variety of roles. Men, women, straights, gays, whites, blacks, whatever. And most importantly: All these characters are expected to be judged and analyzed by the same human standards.

NuTrek isn't doing that.

And I also don't agree with your claim that the men on these shows are so great. Pike - sure. But he is really the exception that proves the rule. The role of most white men in NuTrek is to be complete idiots. Even Picard, who is the ****-ing hero of a show that's ****-ing named after him, has been transformed into a babbling idiot that every loves to laugh at.

At least some of the women get to be serial killers and do the cool evil stuff.

(and the really sad thing is that 90% of modern TV looks like that)
Dom
Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 12:08pm (UTC -5)
@Anthony Aguilar, people aren't criticizing Lower Decks because we're biased. We're criticizing the trailer, which looks awful. Look, it's possible that the show will be much better than the trailer. If that's the case, hopefully I'll hear about it on social media and will give it a watch.

But life is short. I'm no longer willing to be biased and give a TV show the benefit of the doubt just because it has the name "Star Trek" on it. There are too many other TV shows, books, and movies that deserve my time and attention.

Star Trek isn't a cult where we're all supposed to follow the leader. It's a franchise for storytelling. If we don't like the stories it's telling, it's OK to walk away.
HC
Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 4:14pm (UTC -5)
That trailer was honestly the nail in the coffin of my interest in any new Trek product. I'm sure plenty of people will enjoy this, and all power to them, but between Discovery, Picard, the announcement of Section 31, etc., I've come to realise that none of this is in any way for me. There's obviously an audience for this stuff, but lord knows whether that's enough to keep all this going, especially considering how expensive the live-action shows appear to be. Star Trek just doesn't have the popularity of, say, the Marvel movies (a model Kurtzman seems keen to emulate) and I can't help but feel like none of this is really sustainable in the long term.

Maybe I was a little too optimistic, thinking they could make Trek's version of The Clone Wars/Rebels, but oh well. Plenty of Trek left to watch, and even more to revisit after.
CaptainMercer
Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 11:43pm (UTC -5)
Orville has it all.. it's 90s style Trek with many of the same people, now working at the top of their game, having learned from not only experience but also a really long break that allowed them to reflect on what worked and what didn't about 90s Trek (and it is the latter that is often the source of the humor. This one spoof understands Star Trek in its ideals, gives us characters we would like to spend time with. Interesting how the Season 2 trailer has a lot more confidence in the material
Startrekwatcher
Sat, Jul 18, 2020, 11:57am (UTC -5)
I thought Orville was awful. Dumb corny. Frankly I’m
Pretty unimpressed with contemporary sci fi. It’s just dumb or recycled or unnecessarily convoluted.

I’ve been rewatching 90s Trek, the X-Files, the better seasons of nuBSG and those were good sci fi series. Consistent. Well written. Nice balance of character and plot. You could tell those writers had actually lived and infused in their writing human truths and relateable nuggets. Even more interesting was they had tighter deadlines, much smaller budgets and had to come up with 26 episodes a season and did better than kurtzman or other writers nowadays with half that many episodes and twice or three times the budgets
OmcronThetaDeltaPhi
Sat, Jul 18, 2020, 3:45pm (UTC -5)
@CaptainMercer

The Orville is certainly not for everyone.

I personally love it, but I can totally get why some people (and especially: some Trekkies) just can't stand it. It's really a matter of personal taste, and you can't please everyone.

At any rate, at least McFarlane is creating the show he wants to create. Like it or a hate it - it's his baby and his personal vision for a Trek-like show. It's his personal childhood dream to make this specific show, and you can feel it in every scene.

CBS-Trek, on the other hand, has no creative vision. Hence we get a dozen different shows with a dozen different tones. Some of it may be a good match for certain audiences, but it's still just a product.
Dom
Sat, Jul 18, 2020, 5:34pm (UTC -5)
@Startrekwatcher, I'd recommend The Expanse. It's a show that takes the science of "sci-fi" very seriously. The first few episodes are a bit slow, but there's great world-building and compelling character arcs.
Dave in MN
Sat, Jul 18, 2020, 6:38pm (UTC -5)
The people who knock Orville seem to only have watched an episode or 2 at the start of the first season or just the trailer.

That pilot episode is a completely different vibe than what The Orville becomes. (Remember, the show had to have a parodic veneer of Trek so they wouldn't get sued and FOX would greenlight it l. They recalibrated the drama/comedy ratio by Season 2.)
Startrekwatcher
Sat, Jul 18, 2020, 9:33pm (UTC -5)
I watched the first season of The Expanse and wasn’t much feeling it

Honestly I’ve not been impressed by most sff since this for last 20 years

Most of it follows the mystery box format which I can’t stand and just fails miserably at holding my attention—Vanished,Daybreak, Surface, Twelve Monkeys, Invasion, The 4400, Under the Dome, The Event, Fringe, Flash Forward, manifest, V 2.0, westworld , Star Trek discovery, Star Trek picard

The rest wasn’t very good either-star gate Atlantis, painkiller jane, the lost room miniseries , flashGordon reboot, Caprica, humans, the x files reboot, ascension miniseries

About the only ones I’d recommend as far as sff would be Jericho, sarah Connor chronicles, supernatural seasons 1-5 only, NuBSG’s first season and portions of season two, Enterprise season 1(really underrated) the xindi arc and season four. And Lost even though the mystery box format needs to go away permanently at least here it was fresh and seasons 1 and 3-5 were pretty entertaining
Startrekwatcher
Sat, Jul 18, 2020, 9:42pm (UTC -5)
Revolution, Andromeda and helix weren’t good either

I know some people love The Orville but for all the talk of it being an love letter to TNG-which is my favorite Trek series and may be my favorite show period-I find it to be an insult to TNG. To riff on a famous quote—I know TNG and the Orville is no TNG. The writing is bad. The humor is low brow and cringeworthy
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sat, Jul 18, 2020, 11:32pm (UTC -5)
@Dave in MN

"The people who knock Orville seem to only have watched an episode or 2 at the start of the first season or just the trailer."

Many of them, yes. But not all.

StarTrekWatcher gave it an honest chance, if I remember correctly. Booming (the brave brave soul) actually stuck with it for almost 2 seasons, and didn't really warm up to it either.

So it's obviously a matter of personal taste. Some people just don't like the tone.

It also doesn't help that the show has objective flaws. You gotta admit that the low-brow humor *is* cringe-worthy at times. The writing is also fairly uneven. It's just that the fans of the show can overlook these faults because they find other things that they like very much.

Many of these "other things" are different from Star Trek, and deliberately so. Things like the casual workspace atmosphere, or the general way interpersonal drama is played out.

In short, for good or for ill, the Orville a show with a very different feel than (say) TNG. It's just a fact of life that some people would end up liking one show and hating the other.

By the way, this also works in reverse:

I've heard of many people who never cared for Star Trek (thought it was too stuffy and/or too preachy) yet they are huge fans of the Orville.

Different strokes for different folks, as the saying goes.
CaptainMercer
Sat, Jul 18, 2020, 11:45pm (UTC -5)
In my opinion, Orville is Trek, and that surprised me more than anything. The first episode was boilerplate trek adventure stuff that leaned heavily on comedy in order to, as @Dave in MN said, still be a parody. Since then he has created characters that I like to spend time with talking about things I like. Mercer visits Bortus in his quarters to play a game and says "there is so much about your culture that I don't know about: I want to learn." No SFX, no crazy cameras or gimmicky dialogue.. that one like is more Star Trek than all of discovery. I don't care who owns the rights to the name. If my uncle created the hamburger fifty years ago and had the rights to the name hamburger but started making it out of something else, but you made an actual hamburger but couldn't call it a hamburger.. I wouldn't care.. yours would BE a hamburger
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Jul 19, 2020, 12:35am (UTC -5)
I don't care who owns the rights either.

The Orville is certainly a thousand times more Trekkish than the current "official" Trek shows. And I love it for both its Trekkiness and for many (though not all) of the things it is doing differently.

My point is that there are differences as well.

On the one hand, it's a show set on a bright spaceship, genuinely going where no one has gone before and exploring both the frontiers of space and the dilemmas of our inner souls. So in that respect, the Orville is Star Trek.

But it also has a very "homey" atmosphere, a very... ehm... "unique" sense of humor, and interpersonal drama of the sort you'd expect in a 20th century sitcom. In that respect, the Orville is almost the opposite of Star Trek.

And that's a good thing. The creator of a show should feel free to make the show he wants to make. Seth is a huge Trekkie which is why the Orville is so heavily inspired by Trek, but he is also putting his personal spin on it. There are places where you can practically hear his creative voice saying "Nope. I don't like how Trek dealt with *this* issue. I'm going to do it differently".
CaptainMercer
Sun, Jul 19, 2020, 1:06am (UTC -5)
@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi Very well said! Some of my favorite elements of Trek are there, from the kind of standard music, the act fade-outs, the style of the ship beauty passes, etc. But then it will surprise me with a one-liner or contemporary reference. I just feel happy watching what I call "new reruns". I'm not so eager to have be completely it's own thing because the Trek structure and feel works for me and I'm not likely to get this feeling from anything else.. though I don't mind elements that are unique (I welcome them). I love the physical comedy in "Krill" where they clearly don't know how to stand or walk like Krill. (they both enter the door at the same time) and that kind of thing feels so fresh after watching TNG reruns.
Booming
Sun, Jul 19, 2020, 3:05am (UTC -5)
Yeah, I still haven't watched the last three (?) episodes of season 2. I don't dislike the show but it has maybe a few too many flaws for my taste.

In an article the Orville was described as:" Your local cover band playing the greatest hits." For me it never quite reaches the heights of Trek in it's glory days. Another thing apart from the humor and some characters (especially sexual harrassment blob) is the world building. The Union seems to have no moral compass which for me is an important part of the world building. Another problem is that it never sucks me in completely, when I see these people on the bridge I never really forget that these are half a dozen people sitting on a film set.

But on the positive side. I liked the tone (people trying to be the best version of themselves) and some of the stories are solid, even the humor sometimes works which was probably the most shocking thing of it all.

By the way: I'm just watching Deadwood. Great show.

And to say something about current Star Trek.
- To me it seems that the creator don't know people.
The strong independent women we had highlights a fundamental problem. not giving up even though you are broken and bitter doesn't equal strong and certainly not independent. One of Roddenberry's rules was that there should be no interpersonal conflict which makes writing episodes very difficult because that is what most shows are about. That is one of the main reasons why NuTrek feels so different because now it is all about interpersonal conflict, fairly similar to Telenovelas. Drama happens because that makes it easier for a broader audience to connect with the show.
The trailer reminded me of the fucked up picture the creators have of strong independent women characters. The women in that trailer are cruel and condescending which are pattern that are probably the complete opposite of how a strong and independent person would behave. And then we have the right wing trope of the oppressed beta male which is a deep seated fear of many men these days, basically the fear of being controlled by women. That is what is so strange in NuTrek, it is a weird amalgam of right wing and left wing stuff, thematically tilted towards right wing (minorities are a threat; women, given power, are cruel; in such a world men are impotent).
In my view DS9 worked, even though it stumbled more often than TNG as a Star Trek show, because it actually had strong independent women and strong independent men and developed them nicely, a point were TNG was weaker.
In my opinion having actually strong and independent characters is the foundation a good Trek show stands on. That is why I liked Discovery more than Picard. Discovery had Pike, Saru, Tilly and to some degree Stamets. The only strong independent people in in Picard were THE HOUSEKEEPERS!
Tim C
Sun, Jul 19, 2020, 7:25am (UTC -5)
Sad to see you won't be on board Jammer, but I get it. There's only so much bandwidth in one's life for watching the firehose of content that streaming companies are blasting at us nowadays, let alone *professionally critiquing* it.

I would push back on this notion that Trek being "more mercenary" nowadays is something new though. Trek has been a tool for corporate exploitation since the 70's; The Motion Picture only got made because Paramount wanted to cash in on those sweet sweet Star Wars dollars, Star Trek 2009 was made to cash in on a recognised name, Voyager was created in part to try and launch a new television network, etc.

Does having more Trek make it less special? I don't think I agree, but I've long been a reader of Trek books so I've always been inundated with the stuff. I just pick and choose which ones I like.

I do think the amount of shows they're planning to spin out is unsustainable though. I think the only reason it's happening is that CBS is desperate to survive the sure-to-be-coming Darwinian winnowing of streaming services, and Trek is what they've got. Either CBSAA won't survive and the hyperactivity will slow down because they have to sell Trek to other services, or it will and they'll build enough alternative shows they won't need to milk Trek so much.

Of course I could be wrong; Trek obviously being in need of a television breather after Voyager did not stop Paramount pushing poor unloved Enterprise out the door anyways.

Either way, I intend to enjoy this "Cambrian explosion" of Trek while it lasts and enjoy seeing what weird shit gets pumped out.

I am greatly amused to see the usual suspects here harping on about how much they hate Lower Decks already without even having seen it. I will not be reading the comments section here when it airs, it's just too damn miserable.
Dave in MN
Sun, Jul 19, 2020, 9:10am (UTC -5)
@ Tim C

The negative reaction to Lower Dreck isn't limited to this board, nor is the criticism limited to the "usual suspects". The reaction throughout the fandom has NOT been positive.

Also, what's the point in telling us you aren't going to read anyone else's comments or reviews? Isn't that a bit hypocritical, considering you wrote multiple paragraphs (wiith the expectation your opinion would be read)? What's good for thee isn't good for me, eh?
CaptainMercer
Sun, Jul 19, 2020, 9:58am (UTC -5)
@ Tim C


I have CBS I will watch it. I'm hoping for something funny. I'll give it a try, despite loathing r & M and this animation style. I'll give it its due and watch.

I did that Orville.. I gave it a chance. Some time after it aired it clicked with me. I also gave Discovery and Picard a chance. From Disco, I liked the Eneterprise bridge, bearded Spock (Peck looks silly without it, but he was a good choice) and Anson Mount. There was a LOT I liked about Picard, but it never quite coalesced in a way I thought it could. But I will watch Lower Decks. Can't promise a whole season because the animation is horrid .

I did like the joke with the phaser at the end.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Jul 19, 2020, 3:53pm (UTC -5)
@Tim C.
"I am greatly amused to see the usual suspects here harping on about how much they hate Lower Decks already without even having seen it."

But that's the thing.

This time it's not just "the usual suspects". The fan response so far is overwhelmingly negative. It's gotten so bad that CBS actually deleted the comment section on youtube and even disabled the like/dislike buttons.

Also, it's just a response to the trailer. Maybe the series itself will surprise us. But a trailer is supposed to give a good impression, doesn't it? What's even the point of having a trailer, if it is "wrong" to form opinions based on the trailer?

I wonder if you would have said the same thing if the responses were positive. Would you then also say "it's amusing to see all these positive reactions when it's just a trailer"? Somehow, I doubt it.
Dom
Sun, Jul 19, 2020, 3:57pm (UTC -5)
"I am greatly amused to see the usual suspects here eagerly consuming anything with the label "Star Trek" slapped on it, no matter how bad it is. I will not be reading the comments section here when it airs, it's just too damn miserable to see Trek fans settle for mediocrity."

Fixed it.
Tim C
Sun, Jul 19, 2020, 4:21pm (UTC -5)
Dave in MN:

"Also, what's the point in telling us you aren't going to read anyone else's comments or reviews?"

I wasn't really telling the crowd so much as telling Jammer, as he mentions in his post that he'll be leaving a comments section open for Lower Decks. But I come to this site for his excellent, thoughtful reviews, not the lamentations of the forums, so it's kinda pointless for this particular reader.

Which is not to say that I don't enjoy putting my own opinions out there, but I have the feeling that without Jammer's reviews the comments are going to be just like so many other places on the Internet, full of negative nancies determined to hate anything that doesn't look like it was produced by Rick Berman circa 1991.
wolfstar
Sun, Jul 19, 2020, 4:49pm (UTC -5)
Hey Tim - I hope you enjoy Lower Decks. (I hope against hope myself that it isn't as bad as it looks.) I know discussions of the new shows can feel negative, but I think a lot of that (apart from the terrible writing, which is the root of the problem) is because people hold Star Trek in high regard, expect a lot of it and aren't used to it being bad. Certainly in my own comments, I gave a positive review to the Discovery pilot and the first episode of Picard, before then souring quickly on both series. I feel that you're fair and sincere in your comments too. I'd beware, though, of lumping those critical of the new shows under the label of "negative nancies determined to hate anything", because someone who's a super-fan of Discovery and Picard could easily throw that back at you - in recent comments you wrote that "Disco's first season failed" and "Disco season 2 fell apart" leaving you with an "empty, dissatisfied feeling" (I agree with all of that!), while you had "a ton of issues with" the Picard finale, including "painfully tedious cliched villain nonsense", a "boring-as-hell visual trope", "Yawn" etc. I'm only half-joking when I say that some die-hard Picard/DIS stan who's unable to tolerate criticism of those shows at all could come along and lump you under the same "harping on"/"miserable" category...
Mertov
Sun, Jul 19, 2020, 5:07pm (UTC -5)
Interesting that those who cry foul when what they deem as derogatory terms flow their way but remain in total silence (as in, crickets) when the insults flow in abundance the other way.

Here are some of the labels under which fans of Discovery, Picard, or people who look forward to Lower Decks have been lumped under (to steal wolfstar's expression) in recent times, including in this very page:

"Lowest Common Denominator"
"Nihilists"
"Masochists"
"Dumb"
"Juvenile"
"Stupid"

(not to mention "Fuck Kurtzman," "Fuck Star Trek writers and producers" have explicitly been stated before)

... to any of which the same people showed no reaction or provided zero criticism (well, couple in the list have been said by the very same people, so not a surprise I guess). It seems that the insults or derogatory designations only bother them when they flow in one direction. Otherwise, it's crickets...

TIm C's nancy characterization is uncalled for but what he is saying about people being determined to hate anything that comes out of this era of Star Trek is on target (as are most of Tim C's observations in general), and the fact that vitriol begins flowing passionately before even shows begin makes that obvious.
Dave in MN
Sun, Jul 19, 2020, 6:36pm (UTC -5)
I'm sure CBS is happy that someone has stepped up to the plate as Lower Deck's white knight.

Oops, did I post too much? I guess what's one more post amongst "hundreds", right?
Patrick D
Sun, Jul 19, 2020, 6:42pm (UTC -5)
Trek has been soulless and visionless since 2009.

It hasn't been a major cultural force since 1996.

I don't see a turnaround here, sadly.
Nolan
Sun, Jul 19, 2020, 6:58pm (UTC -5)
@Mertov,

Except those aren't really directed at anyone, ESPECIALLY the "Lowest Common Denominator" - it just means appealing to the widest audience possible. That's not an insult directed AT specific people, it just means a piece of media is created to appeal to as many people as possible - the criticism of that being that by trying to appeal to too many people it's not trying to be its best self. People-pleasers get this all the time - they end up miserable when they can't keep everyone happy, and infact building self-worth solely on the assessment of others is seen as a negative that can negatively impacf metal health. Star Trek had a dedicated niche that loved it for what it was, but now that it's broadening its appeal over potentially six (SIX!) shows, it's losing it's identity and driving away those that knew and respected what it stood for, before it started trying to hang out and appeal to the popular kids.

As for the others, unless someone says something like "I can't see this appealing to anyone but _______ people" (which is itself more a communication of not understanding the appeal the shows ARE having IN SPITE OF the characteristics that fill that blank that the speaker can't get past), criticism using those terms aren't about the audience, but the content. Hell, I grew up watching and loving Red Dwarf, which is a sci-fi show with astoundingly juvinile humor. But I don't get insulted by the show being labelled as such because it IS juvinile in most of its humor. But that sure as hell doesn't mean that my enjoyment of it makes ME juvinile. Or at the very least, that's not all my enjoyment of the show says about me. And it certainly doesn't behoove me to associate my identity with the labels/descriptions attributed to what I watch. I'm not juvile because I watch the juvinile Red Dwarf anymore than I'm intelligent because I watch intelligent Star Trek.

Discovery, Picard and now it would seem Lower Decks can be said to have moments of nilihism, masochism and juvinilism, and at least to my perspective rely more heavily on moments of pure spectacle that carries no meaning for me, and is therefore dumb/stupid because there seems to be no thought behind its use in any given scene apart from being spectacle for spectacle's sake. However these attributes I would not have considered as part of the identity Star Trek had built for itself, and as such when I talk of such things appearing in the series, it is an indictment on the quality of the media itself, and not an assessment of the viewing audience.

Compared with name calling and generalizing against those who express their negative opinions - which ARE direct indictments against that audience member for their SUBJECTIVE opinion on a SUBJECTIVE piece of media.

You can comment on how much you like the shows all day. Fine. If I then go an post a comment like "Well, I can see there are SOME out there who are naive and stupid enough to enjoy this tripe." Then heck yeah, I'm being an asshole and you'd be correct to give me what for. Nobody that I've seen is doing that.

If I post a comment to you refuting some of the points you made such as: "Hmm, interesting perpective, but I don't see how Raffi and Seven's hook up is anything but a cheap tactic to entice viewers to watch the next season," I'm attempting to initiate a debate to hopefully gain perspective on how others might not see it the way I do.

If you want to engage with posts about the nihilism, masocism and juvinility some posters see as inherent to these seriers, then the onus is on you to initiate that debate and explain your perpective on why those aspects AREN'T inherent or don't matter. Don't just engage with someone to tell them their a dick because their opinion of a show contains words you interpet as a direct insult. Or at the very least, EXPLAIN your offense so some meaningful back and forth can occur rather than some tit-for-tat, "I can call you names because your post made tenuous insinuations that I interpreted as labelling me ________" that merely acts as a tactic to lessen the value of the opinions you don't agree with in your eyes.

You like the shows. You give them a chance. Great. You have a whole comment section with which you can debate the merits of Lower Decks and the value you see it bringing to Trek, while we debate the ways it damages Trek. Lets have some mother-lovin' DISCOURSE. Tell me WHY it's not nihilistic, masocistic or juvinile please. Or you can post your opinion and leave it at that, that works too. Me? I'm gonna drop a paragraphs long comment espousing the difference between critisizing a show versus it's audience, hope it sounds sage and not insulting (apologies if it does) and hoefully not bounce back outta here for another month long stint.

(And yes, I'm aware I made a big comment awhile back about commenting on comments, but I got tired of seeing this cyclical arguement cropping up all the time and felt I had to speak up. Hypocricy, thy name is "Nolan")

And for the record, I see this show as completely unecessary given the already excelent sci-fi parodies out there that lovingly spoof Star Trek, like Red Dwarf (which Patrick Stewart is on record as loving) and Futurama. Trek poking holes in ITSELF seems counter intuitive to me.
CaptainMercer
Sun, Jul 19, 2020, 6:59pm (UTC -5)
I try to evaluate each series on it's own merits. There is so much about Picard I truly enjoy. For the most part, the directing and the performances were excellent. When Picard gave that news interview, I was blown away by Stewart's performance. When Anson Mount played Pike (who was basically just portrayed as a more seasoned version of Kirk, but that was ok) the show shined, until Michael Burnham was on the same set as him, and the writers have him defer to her advise in all cases. I also judged the Orville and found it to be largely exactly what Trek as.. and as a show to come home and have a beer to, it was fantastic. I loved the characters.

I try not to prejudge a show.. I really do. But look at Lower Decks, the animation and the humor style. Again, even there, I have said that the last joke actually WORKS as smart ST-based humor, but so much of it seems so much like a shmarmy put-down of its own franchise. I think that the most surprising thing about Orville is that it was NOT a schwarmy put down of the Star Trek franchise.
Nolan
Sun, Jul 19, 2020, 7:25pm (UTC -5)
@Dave in MN

*sigh* Way to undercut my big post there with that crack. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

@Captainmercer

Interesting points. For me, I see each show in the franchise as having its own merits and identy, but it's always important for me how each show fits in with the others, which for the most part they do. For that reason, Discovery and Picard had more to overcome because they were less concerned with fitting in with what came before, so they REALLY needed to work that much harder to win me over. Which unfortunately they did not.

Frankly, I agree with you about the two specific exaples you gave. The interview NEARLY won me over, but it wasn't enough to overcome all the negatives I saw.

I also DID, like Pike, but the rest of the show still not fitting with the rest of the franchise kept me from embracing the flaws I felt carried through in Season 2.

I've yet to see The Orville, but agree with your assessment of Lower Decks.
Mertov
Sun, Jul 19, 2020, 7:28pm (UTC -5)
Nolan:

"You can comment on how much you like the shows all day. Fine. If I then go an post a comment like "Well, I can see there are SOME out there who are naive and stupid enough to enjoy this tripe." Then heck yeah, I'm being an asshole and you'd be correct to give me what for. Nobody that I've seen is doing that."

"Except those aren't really directed at anyone, ESPECIALLY the "Lowest Common Denominator" - it just means appealing to the widest audience possible. That's not an insult directed AT specific people, it just means a piece of media is created to appeal to as many people as possible - the criticism of that being that by trying to appeal to too many people it's not trying to be its best self."

------------------

No Nolan, sorry. It's been explicitly stated that people who watch/like Discovery and/or Picard were too stupid to understand what they watch, it's been explicitly stated that they are nihilists, that the show appeals to the lowest common denominator (more than once over the last three years, including in this page), etc. They have also been lumped up under the label of "lowest common denominator" not just in this page but in the past too. And no, it's not on me to initiate debate on insults, it's on those people to show respect and not insult or debase others. Surprised you missed them, because there are quite a lot. I am not going to go back and look them up but they are not too long ago, just go back and look and Discovery and Picard's message boards. If I had the time, I'd look it up. But rest assured that I don't bring up just "innuendos." If I included innuendos or conjectures, the list would quadruple. None of this is my point anyway. My point was the double-standard of the people only crying foul when those snarks or insults go one way anyway.

----
"If I post a comment to you refuting some of the points you made such as: "Hmm, interesting perpective, but I don't see how Raffi and Seven's hook up is anything but a cheap tactic to entice viewers to watch the next season," I'm attempting to initiate a debate to hopefully gain perspective on how others might not see it the way I do."

Of course. No disagreements there and those types of criticism were not at the heart of my reply. There are a couple of posters whose opinions I don't agree with at all on the shows but we have had civil debates without trouble (Dom and Hank are the first two that come to my mind), but don't put it on me to initiate debate with expletives, insults, and snarks. Respect should not be earned only after a debate about insults. It should be the starting point.
Example: See CaptainMercer's post right above mine. I don't agree with everything he says (agree with most) and I'd be glad to have a debate on those points, but that's because disrespect and insults are not his starting point.
Mertov
Sun, Jul 19, 2020, 8:06pm (UTC -5)
Dave:
"I'm sure CBS is happy that someone has stepped up to the plate as Lower Deck's white knight."
----
Nice Dave... I'm not even exactly sure what that means I understand it enough to know that you illustrated the point I'm trying to make fairly well.
Tomalak
Sun, Jul 19, 2020, 9:16pm (UTC -5)
"I'm happy to watch a Trek comedy, I just can't stand the frenetic, hyperactive, hysterical style popular in animation nowadays where everyone's lines have to be read at 10x the speed of how normal people talk, as if every character has just had 6 cups of coffee and snorted a line of meth, ice and coke."

Very well said. I wonder if it's a way to cover up the awful humour - and the jokes in that trailer really are awful.
Mertov
Sun, Jul 19, 2020, 9:54pm (UTC -5)
Agreed with Tomalak. He quotes Frank's post with which I also agree in its entirety. That is why I won't be subscribing to AllAccess for Lower Decks either as I said before. I'll check it out when I eventually sign up for Discovery season 3 but animated shows are usually not my thing. I never got into the Animated Star Trek series in the 70s either.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Jul 20, 2020, 12:36am (UTC -5)
@Nolan

You're wasting your breath. Mertov isn't interested in discourse. He is interested in terrorizing people with certain opinions into silence.

He has been doing this for years. And the more you try to reason with him, the uglier his replies get. We both know this from experience, so why even bother?

I suggest we concentrate on the 99% of the people here who *are* interested in a civil discussion, and stop letting a single aggressive person ruin our stay here.
Mertov
Mon, Jul 20, 2020, 1:02am (UTC -5)
Oh please... Nice try with your usual "I'm the victim" discourse and your quintessential use of "we" with you supposedly representing all concerned citizens. Move on...
Mertov
Mon, Jul 20, 2020, 1:12am (UTC -5)
And the "aggressive" and "terrorize" accusations toward me is quite thick in hypocrisy coming from the person who copyrighted "the lowest common denominator" insult for people who watch Discovery, and slamming shows he never watches a minute of at the rate of dozens of posts per Jammer's posts.
Nobody is silencing you from posting your opinions. Each one of your posts is proof of that. Like I said, move on...
Tim C
Mon, Jul 20, 2020, 2:16am (UTC -5)
wolfstar, perhaps my quick throwaway there was a little uncharitable towards the more thoughtful critical voices here, yours amongst them. Since you've obviously being reading my comments here thoughtfully you can probably tell that I get a bit grumpy with the more aggressively negative voices sometimes. Internet comment spaces just make me despair sometimes; so many seem to react badly when an established franchise like Trek does not tailor its new output exclusively to their own personal tastes. Sci-fi universes in particular seem to really cop it.

As I've banged on about here before, I have a long memory with Trek. I remember how utterly despondent I was about the future of the show when we were slogging through that terribly mediocre second season of Enterprise, right after Voyager had so sadly refused to engage with its own premise for so long. God, I wanted so very badly to see some new approaches.

It's 2020, and my wish has been granted. I do miss many aspects of the Berman era, and the Roddenberry era before that. Disco and Picard so far have disappointed in some ways, but also absolutely delighted me in others. I'm genuinely looking forward to engaging with Lower Decks on its own terms.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Jul 20, 2020, 3:59am (UTC -5)
@Tim C.
"so many seem to react badly when an established franchise like Trek does not tailor its new output exclusively to their own personal tastes."

Now that's not particularly fair, is it? You make it sound like we're just a bunch of whiny narcissists who throw a tantrum because we didn't get what we want.

And you know that's far from accurate, right?

We react badly because we feel that Nu Trek took something unique and special and cheapened it into a mass-marketed product. It also doesn't help that CBS is treating Trekkies as hopeless addicts who will gobble up anything they throw at us as long as it is called "Star Trek".

I'm guessing that you disagree. That's fine. But can you please stop presenting the opinion you disagree with in such a ridiculous manner?

As for Voyager and Enterprise: I agree to a point. Trek was definitely in need of a new direction. But does this mean that ANY new direction would be good? Does this mean that throwing away nearly everything that made the old Star Trek special, is the way to go forward?

I don't think so. Where's the optimism in Nu Trek? Where's the inspiration and the wonder and the awe? Where's the thoughtful social commentary? Where's the coherent worldbuilding and storytelling?

Here's the thing:

The Trekverse is huge. There are countless ways to take Trek into a new direction, without throwing out the strong points that always made Trek unique.

For example, the general story of ST:Picard. It's actually a great premise: Starfleet is not what it used to be. A refugee crisis which prompts the iconic Captain Jean-Luc Picard, now retired, to step in and fight one last time for what he believes is right.

If done well, this could have been a great Trek series. And a very unique Trek series too. There was absolutely no reason to throw away all the things that traditionally made Trek good, in order to tell this unique and powerful story.

I'd love to watch such a series. Unfortunately, it isn't what we've got.

Or take the premise of Lower Decks. An animated Trek comedy could be a *great* idea. A nice opportunity to put a new spin on things. But the trailer gives the impression of a goofy, silly, infantile show. So I'm supposed to cheer for it just because it is "different"?

In short:

I'm actually happy that TPTB are doing new things are shaking things up. I just wish they didn't have to sacrifice all the things I loved about Trek in order to do it.
Tim C
Mon, Jul 20, 2020, 5:04am (UTC -5)
OTDP, your schtick is exactly why I wouldn't bother to visit here (or anywhere on the Internet, really) to just comment. You are insistent on taking generalised statements as a personal attack and seem to feel a compulsion to respond in kind. It's just exhausting and not very fun. There is nothing more boring than Internet commenters cherry-picking one-liners out of each other's posts and arguing with each other about who attacked who first and who is misunderstanding what, and I really don't feel like being a part of it.
Booming
Mon, Jul 20, 2020, 5:52am (UTC -5)
@ Tim C
What did you find delightful?

My spiral into negative started with the interview where Picard has to explain to a FEDERATION journalist that Romulans are people.

I also wouldn't say that I demand a show tailored to my wishes, I wouldn't mind, but for me these shows are too generic. To me it is somewhat like we were all fans of a very original Nigerian restaurant, enjoying a plate of Ewa Aganyin or a nice bowl of Efo Elegusi. But then the restaurant closed and we were forced to cook Nkwobi ourselves. It was ok but oh how we longed for more of this great Nigerian food and then with great fanfare the "Nigeria Kitchen" opened up again under new ownership but now the dishes all taste vaguely European, gone are Ewa Aganyin and Efo Elegusi. Gone are the wonders of Nigeria. If you had the original and loved it, how can you love the watered down version?

Or in other words what delighted you?
Dom
Mon, Jul 20, 2020, 6:38am (UTC -5)
@Tomalak, It seems to me Lower Decks is using that style of humor because that's what's succeeded elsewhere, particularly with Rick and Morty. To me, one of the biggest warning signs is that Star Trek is trying to imitate other TV shows rather than doing its own thing or do something uniquely Trek. With Discovery and Picard, Trek followed shows like Expanse and BSG in going dark and violent instead of optimistic and peaceful.
Tomalak
Mon, Jul 20, 2020, 7:34am (UTC -5)
Personally I don't have a deep idea of what is and isn't Star Trek. And I don't have any sense of narcissistic entitlement that Star Trek producers make TV I like. They can do whatever they like.

I just reserve the right, when they make poor quality shows, to express my view. This one looks absolutely dire and juvenile. (And I am a big Orville fan, in case anyone thinks I'd say that about any comedy show set in the Star Trek universe, which the Orville comes as close as it can to without being sued.)
Mike
Mon, Jul 20, 2020, 8:33am (UTC -5)
There were things I didn't like about the Orville, and I'm no fanboy, but what endeared me to it and perhaps the only thing which kept me watching, was its authenticity. The characters had flaws but they genuinely wanted to improve, and wore their hearts on their sleeve. This is a big contrast to Picard where the flaws were there but no attempt or desire to change. So we have Raffi as a drug addict and others talking about their pasts, but no sense of moving on or honest owning up to these deficiencies. The flaws just seemed to be there to prove that the characters were flawed, and nothing more. I think Discovery possibly did better in this area, but not by much. I had the impression that the characters couldn't change too much because both series were intended to be "dark" and unburdening them would have gone too much against that aesthetic.
Trent
Mon, Jul 20, 2020, 2:15pm (UTC -5)
Brandon Adams said: "Science fiction is played out. All the popular tropes are done to death, and it was Star Trek that pioneered many of them, or brought them to the mainstream."

Science Fiction is not played out. Contemporary TV writers simply don't read science fiction, let alone read the cutting edge of the last 20 or so years of print SF.

A writer raised on TV and films, will give you Trek which rehashes TV and films. A writer uninterested in history, politics, economics, the sciences, and different cultures, will similarly be incapable of delivering you any kind of interesting script.

A Trek producer who has little incentive to actively cut through the monoculture and find original SF writers, will similarly not produce decent Trek series'.
Trent
Mon, Jul 20, 2020, 2:39pm (UTC -5)
If anyone's hungry for Trek, and on the fence as to whether to watch Orville (or was disappointed by its 1st season), try watching Orville's "Sanctuary", "Lasting Impressions" and "Deflectors", all of which Jammer rated highly.
Chris Lopes
Mon, Jul 20, 2020, 3:02pm (UTC -5)
Just watched the trailer all I have to say is that this had better be just a product of bad marketing. If the real show is like that, CBS really has a rather low opinion of Star Trek fans. The whole thing plays out as a badly written version of Redshirts. It won't sell any subscriptions, but it might some cancelled.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Jul 20, 2020, 5:55pm (UTC -5)
@Tim C.
"There is nothing more boring than Internet commenters cherry-picking one-liners out of each other's posts and arguing with each other about who attacked who first and who is misunderstanding what, and I really don't feel like being a part of it."

I agree 100%.

Now, do you have an actual on-topic response to my previous comment (which was not intended as a personal attack at all)? Or are you going to continue playing this silly "who attacked first" game, while making questionable assumptions on the intentions of other people?

Because I certainly agree with you that the latter is pointless.

Especially since this isn't a personal squabble. This isn't about you or me. It's about a considerable portion of Trek fandom who are *very* unsatisfied with the way Trek is going in the last few years.

Tell me:

How come millions of loyal fans, who stuck around for decades over 5 very different shows and 10 very different movies, suddenly decide to walk out the door in droves?

And why are they so furious? Why are they spending so much time and energy voicing their discontent?

Stop and think about that for a moment.

These are people who sat down through "Code of Honor" and "Threshold" and "Profit and Lace", as well as the large boring swaths of late Voyager and early Enterprise. The last you can accuse them of, is that their loyalty to the franchise can be easily shaken.

Yet here we are. How did this situation come about?

I've given my own answer in my previous comment, which you - apparently - regarded as a "personal attack". So what's *your* answer? Why do you think this is happening?
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Jul 20, 2020, 6:11pm (UTC -5)
@Trent
"If anyone's hungry for Trek, and on the fence as to whether to watch Orville (or was disappointed by its 1st season), try watching Orville's "Sanctuary", "Lasting Impressions" and "Deflectors", all of which Jammer rated highly."

The problem is that there are some spoilers in these episodes for crucial earlier plot points.
CaptainMercer
Mon, Jul 20, 2020, 7:07pm (UTC -5)
@omicronthetadeltaphi because even when Trek failed you can still see the vision the hard work and the attempt to honor the vision. The first season of TNG wasn't really good when it came out and has not aged well but they work so hard to create this vessel to create the idea of Technology Unchained were quality of life and Technology go hand-in-hand and every aspect of his design reflected that you can see the works every Show puts into creating its own world while keeping consistent with what Star Trek is. I'm sorry but lower decks reflects trendiness and lowest common denominator thinking
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Mon, Jul 20, 2020, 7:29pm (UTC -5)
That's more or less what I said in my own comment.

But I'd still like to hear Tim's own answer to that question. Or someone else with a similar opinion. Otherwise, it becomes a one-sided conversation, doesn't it?

I'm serious about this. I would really love to know how Nu Trek fans explain this situation. I mean, what, do they *really* believe that these fans are just a bunch of grumpy narcissist ninnies?

Because we constantly get this kind of offhand remarks here. And Tim is right: It's risky to tell what people really think by these kinds of offhand remarks. So I've asked him a direct question this time. Hopefully, he will give me a direct answer.
Cody B
Tue, Jul 21, 2020, 12:06am (UTC -5)
I’m sure this doesn’t apply to every person defending lower decks but I know sometimes when people spend their money and time on something they want to defend it even when it’s not good. I’ve seen this many times with movies. People might have had a good time getting together with friends to go to the theater but they don’t seem to be able to say the movie itself was bad. Could be similar with cbs all access. They’ve spent some time and money so they want to be solidly on that “team”
Peter Swinkels
Tue, Jul 21, 2020, 3:16am (UTC -5)
A new Star Trek cartoon for the first time in over 40 years? Interesting. A third season for Star Trek Discovery? I gave up on that garbage pretending to be Star Trek related after season two and thought it had been canceled.
Andersonh1
Tue, Jul 21, 2020, 7:28am (UTC -5)
I have to admit, I'm not interested in Lower Decks, and I've only seen one episode of Discovery. I did enjoy Picard for the most part, but that show revisited old characters, which was the main appeal for me. Despite enjoying Star Trek, it takes more than just a show with that name applied to it to get me to watch.
William B
Tue, Jul 21, 2020, 11:09am (UTC -5)
@OTDP,

"I'm serious about this. I would really love to know how Nu Trek fans explain this situation. I mean, what, do they *really* believe that these fans are just a bunch of grumpy narcissist ninnies?"

Without getting into the specifics of your conversation with Tim C, I wanted to comment on this point. I understand your concern about fans of the current Trek era who dismiss all fans who reject the current era as wrong. That said, personally, I think it is asking a lot for anyone to "explain" these huge demographic trends. I've been fans of unpopular things before (of seasons etc. that turned many, possibly a plurality of fans off) and putting the burden on the proponent to *explain* why everyone else dislikes it (and, by extension, why they like it) is not that pleasant for the proponent, in my experience. Probably some are up to the challenge of finding a judicious way to explain why the work they like has pissed so many people off, but it's a tall order IMO. While it'd be good to find out if someone *does* have an explanation, I think in general fans of something aren't the best people to talk to about why other people don't like it, and (again IMO) that's okay.

For what it's worth, I'm not a "Nu Trek" fan. I haven't seen much of the Kurtzmann era and I didn't much enjoy what I saw. (I also didn't make it far into Enterprise back in the day.)
Matthew Martin
Tue, Jul 21, 2020, 12:55pm (UTC -5)
I understand time is limited and I don't blame you a bit if you skip over this one. I probably will do the same.

That said, I would LOVE to see you go back and review The Expanse!
Trent
Tue, Jul 21, 2020, 2:00pm (UTC -5)
Trek just seems so manic these days. Here's a excerpt from Roddenberry's Writer's Bible (for TNG):

"If you're in doubt about a scene, you can apply this simple test: "Would I believe this if it was occurring on the bridge of the battleship Missouri?" If you wouldn't believe it in the twentieth century, then our audience probably won't believe it in the twenty-fourth. The people must be believable -- just as believable as if they were living in our 20th century. The crew of the Enterprise are intelligent, witty, thoughtful, compassionate, caring human beings -- but they have human faults and weaknesses too -- although not as many or as severe as in our time. They have been selected for this mission because of their ability to transcend their human failings. We should see in them the kind of people we aspire to be ourselves. STAR TREK is not melodrama. Melodrama is a writing style which does not require believable people."
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Jul 21, 2020, 3:39pm (UTC -5)
@William B
"I think in general fans of something aren't the best people to talk to about why other people don't like it, and (again IMO) that's okay."

Of-course it's okay.

I just want to discuss the matter openly. That's all.

I wish people were more aware of these complexities before they make offhanded remarks about entire groups of people. And discussing the matter directly is as good way as any to get people to think.

And this goes for both "sides", by the way.

I've seen some commenters who were quick to judge DSC/PIC fans as misguided brainwashed morons.

And I've seen enough here to realize that this notion is completely false. There are plenty of people, including Classic Trek fans, who genuinely enjoy the new shows (or at least some of them).

So it would be really nice if both "sides" stopped doing that.
(and *please* don't take this as an indication to start a war regarding which side is the worse offender. Two wrongs do not make a right, and squabbling about "who started it" is not going to get us anyway)
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Jul 21, 2020, 3:40pm (UTC -5)
(last word was supposed to be "anywhere")
CaptainMercer
Tue, Jul 21, 2020, 11:06pm (UTC -5)
Watching Orville "Sanctuary".. one of the best Trek episodes I've EVER seen, and yet it's not even Trek. It has a great debate, some humor, some drama, and just a near-perfect script. I mean Lower Decks might surprise me, I will watch, but it is incredible how much the Orville surprised me. It exceeded my expectations
William B
Wed, Jul 22, 2020, 10:38am (UTC -5)
@ONTP, sure. It's good to talk about things, respectfully. I just meant that it's expecting a lot for someone to explain others' reactions, or a lot for a Discovery fan to explain why Discovery non-fans dislike it so much. But I think anything is largely fair game to discuss.
Yanks
Wed, Jul 22, 2020, 12:48pm (UTC -5)
CaptainMercer,

Totally agree with you concerning ORV: 'Sanctuary'. Brilliant well executed episode!!
CaptainMercer
Wed, Jul 22, 2020, 1:14pm (UTC -5)
@Yanks Among the last great trek episodes. It's so Trek to me regardless of the fact that it's not the same IP. Even the village looks like a 90s stage set (and I mean that as high praise..believe me). It just feels so RIGHT
OmicornThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Jul 22, 2020, 2:31pm (UTC -5)
I don't think "looking like a stage set" (from the 90s or otherwise) is a good thing...

IMO it felt right because the designers took care to make it look like a village, rather than like a stage set. I suppose one could see the seams if they really looked for them, but to a casual viewer - at least - it looked realistic.

Which is more than I could say for the modern video-game aesthetics that is so common in TV these days. Sure, it's eye catching. It is often beautiful and/or breathtaking. But it seldom looks realistic.
CaptainMercer
Wed, Jul 22, 2020, 2:47pm (UTC -5)
@OmicornThetaDeltaPhi

Trek in the 90s somehow was able to tell stories on small soundstages and backlots because Paramount kept their purse-strings tight. Even if we all knew it was stage 18 and could practically see the soundstage walls, it somehow became part of the aesthetics of Trek.. that they had to color within the lines. If they wanted to, they could have shot this village in a real location with a huge budget, but Seth wanted to evoke 90s Trek without crossing the line.

Another related topic: notice how the Moclans all kind of have the same wardrobe? This dates back to TOS.. give a culture a single kind of clothing.. it's a visual shorthand to represent a culture and it also worked because they could not afford to treat the culture as totally real which, in our culture, would mean people wearing what they wanted. This continued to TNG and others shows (think of "The Hunted" and many examples.. and how it started to look TERRIBLE in VOY "Time and Again" yet it is so much a part of Trek that you would not think work on today's screen where the production design has to be so high. Yet Seth doens't want to pour in resources into that.. he thinks 90s Trek use of mono wardrobes etc helped to give that visual shorthand.

It all just "feels" right..it's both nostalgic and sensible that the village kind of looks sorta kinda like a set. It puts us right back where we were in the 90s
OmicornThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Jul 22, 2020, 3:54pm (UTC -5)
I suppose these design choices work on that nostalgia level too.

But my point is that '90s Trek did this because it WORKED. And the Orville is also doing this (at least in part) because it's the most efficient way to get passable results. Usually, filming such scenes on location simply doesn't make sense. This is as true in 2020 as it was in 1990.

Speaking of which:

I'm curious how STP and DSC do these things. When they have to show a village or the like, do they film on location?
CaptainMercer
Wed, Jul 22, 2020, 4:04pm (UTC -5)
@OmnicornThetaDeltaPhi
I'm sure whenever possible they film on stages to control the costs.. but they are so ramped up from what Trek used to be, because modern films and shows demand it. Yet because Seth is making a show that emulates so much of the style of 90s Trek in so many way s (even the beauty passes of the ship that you see fading after a commercial break feels so 90s) that he is able to actually make his sets look not "real" so much as to look "90s Trek".. and that is almost better for his goals than "realism"
Booming
Wed, Jul 22, 2020, 4:15pm (UTC -5)
In Picard the earth stuff was filmed partly on location. The vineyard, which by the way, looks nothing like the Picard vineyard in TNG and the scenes at vasques rocks and the building (and top) dash dragged 90 year old Picard on for no reason. This didn't work for the show, I thought, the buildings often looked contemporary because they were. It looked so non trek
CaptainMercer
Wed, Jul 22, 2020, 4:27pm (UTC -5)
@Booming
The vineyard looked fine and worked in continuity as the original home burned down (Generations) . Also you go to any location today of a film made 35 years ago and they will invariable look different (with the exception of the McFly house)
Trent
Wed, Jul 22, 2020, 7:39pm (UTC -5)
At their best, the "cheap" sets of TNG and TOS have an elegant, minimalistic quality. They're still my peak Trek aesthetic (with Nick Meyers' aesthetic a good middle ground between the two). I think this abstract style ages well.

DS9 begins pushing the show into a more "naturalistic" and "realistic" aesthetic, but its three main races each have a nice aesthetic; the Feds uphold that TNG look, the Bajorans have that dusky, Tibetan vibe, and the Cardassians that ribbed, reptilian style. What dates DS9 is all those goofy display panels. I wish Miles had installed LCARS displays on the station.

Enterprise's aesthetic was good in theory. The "submarine in space" idea for Archer's sets gels well with Kirk's era, and you really believe one ship evolves into the other. But otherwise, all those TV displays on the bridge, and the washed-out early 2000 CGI, really dates the show. A few episodes - Dear Doctor etc - show what all Trek can look like when shot with restraint and elegance, but this is rare, and Trek as a whole seems to get more busy, insecure and desperate for attention as time goes on.

Discovery and Picard haven't impressed me with their sets and planets. Disco's too busy and cluttered, Picard too generic, thought I liked its glimpses of Earth; the Earth of Picard gels well with TNG/DS9's glimpses.

IMO Orville's aesthetic mostly gets everything right, right out the gates. It's got that TNG minimalism, its holo-viewscreens (projected but opaque and flat) are better than Disco's holos, and the Union has a distinct look. The Krill - their bodies and ships - are pretty generic though, and probably best played for laughs.

My fave Trek sets are probably in TOS. There are a good dozen or so iconic little sets in that show. Sometimes you'd land on a planet with a simple ancient rock arch, or plinth, or futuristic homestead, or weird matte painting. All very simple, but clean and distinct.

I think the Federation - its sets and ships - look at their best roughly from Search for Spock to TNG. Those blue-tinted spacedocks in ST3, those elegant flybys of Galaxy and Excelsior-class ships in formation...it's just beautiful and classy.

Less is often more. It also gives you nowhere to hide, and forces you to be original and creative.
Booming
Thu, Jul 23, 2020, 1:40am (UTC -5)
@CaptainMercer
I didn't like the bombastic palace he had. The version in TNG was a wooden building that didn't look that pompous. It also makes the entire Raffi I'm poor speech completely idiotic. The entire building is replicated, as is his heirloom furniture...
Even though I wonder how he convinced starfleet to build him such a monstrosity. Back then he was only a captain. It also doesn't look french at all.

From the website of the vineyard "the !Tuscan-inspired! Villa boasts 8,500 square feet of luxury living space.The Villa has five master suites each replete with its own private bath, fine linens and bedding. It also includes eight fireplaces, a billiards room and numerous terraces and patios with views of the mountains and vineyard." and hey boys wedding packages start at 50.000$ what a bargain!

And while the utopia planetia workers eat from shitty replicators, Picard sits in his new gigantic villa, watching his modern machinery from one of his five master suites. Man, I hope Kutzman burns in Klingon hell.
Transhumanist
Thu, Jul 23, 2020, 4:25am (UTC -5)
I agree @CaptainMercer. Why couldn't the new series (or one of them) have had that discussion? Private property still exists in future. JL was handed down this huge property from his family. The world now has, I assume, many tens of billions of people with some like Raffi in near-poverty. JL is off fighting crusades for others, for refugees and AIs but back home he's happy to retain lordship of property he's lucky enough to be born into. That's a discussion that's relevant to us, and if "sheer f*cking hubris" is too harsh a criticism (he has refugees living there, to be fair) and if we don't find any answers, at least it would raise some important economic questions.

Sci-fi is supposed to be relevant, it's supposed to make us think about the future we might have and the future we might want. New Star Trek has failed on both counts, with its time-traveling angels and space orchids and apocalyptic octopi. I would say a cartoon satire is no less likely to succeed.
Booming
Thu, Jul 23, 2020, 4:48am (UTC -5)
(he has refugees living there, to be fair)
Yeah as unpaid housekeepers...
Jason R.
Thu, Jul 23, 2020, 5:25am (UTC -5)
@Trent have you watched 1010010 recently? The Starbase in that episode is stunning. Watching the Enterprise dock with it was a real treat that ironically, I didn't care much about back when I was a kid in 1987, but now enjoyed far more as an adult in 2020. So much nicer than the muddled ugly mess we get from Disc and Picard. If they did a starbase scene now I probably wouldn't even be able to tell what it was or even what race it belonged to. The effects now are incomprehensible visual gobbledygook to me.
CaptainMercer
Thu, Jul 23, 2020, 9:46am (UTC -5)
I wasn't defending the actual new design of the vineyard itself, except that it was beautifully photographed in the first few episodes of the series. Also Raffi living in a mobile home doesn't mean she is living in poverty. I mean I can see her leading a minimalist lifestyle.. but the series sidesteps why she lives there, as Trek has always done.

What I am saying is that these new Trek shows adhere to the production design and filming techniques that all modern shows and movies seem to strive toward, while the Orville can continue to look feel, and be designed and shot and shot like 90s Trek, with a few updates here and there. I never would have suspected this could work.. yet it somehow really puts me in the episodes..
Booming
Thu, Jul 23, 2020, 10:38am (UTC -5)
"Also Raffi living in a mobile home doesn't mean she is living in poverty. I mean I can see her leading a minimalist lifestyle.. but the series sidesteps why she lives there, as Trek has always done."
Raffi says to him:"I saw you sitting back in your very fine chateau. These big oak beams. Heirloom furniture. I'd show you around my estate but it is more of a hovel. So that would just be, you know, humiliating."
I find that very clear: Picard rich, Raffi poor.
Class is back on earth. Because DRAMA!!!

Maybe it is meta and it is Patrick Stewart accusing himself because he felt he had done too little about brexit.
Dave in MN
Thu, Jul 23, 2020, 11:05am (UTC -5)
How can there be class warfare when everything is free?

There's no currency. There are no taxes.

Anything you want or need can be replicated. There are no bills because energy and food and shelter and medical care and schooling are provided at no cost. You can pursue a career in whatever you wish or have no career at all. You can travel the galaxy or go to a holosuite or just sit around your house.

Raffi's guilt trip made no sense to me, but I suppose that could be blamed on her being drugged out at the time.

Truly, it's tone deaf scripting stemming from a lack of understanding of the source material.
Booming
Thu, Jul 23, 2020, 11:25am (UTC -5)
"Anything you want or need can be replicated."
Not really. The utopia planetia workers had to eat what starfleet ordered. So either the workers got shitty replicators or the federation is just forcing certain meals on people. In Germany even many mid sized company have a cafeteria with several meal options, salad bar and so on. In the military we had three meals and a salad bar. Working at the !utopia! planetia shipyard is far worse food-wise then at many companies today.
Helmus
Thu, Jul 23, 2020, 4:39pm (UTC -5)
I also won't be watching this series. For me, this is not what I'm looking for in a Star Trek series and it has no place in the Star Trek universe. I'm very disappointed in the direction this franchise is going to. Maybe I'm just getting old or having some false nostalgia for the old Trek. I'm rewatching TOS and it amazes me that I can watch a 50 year old low budget series and still love it. I wonder if these new series have the same rewatchability after 50 years. Now they're just mass producing Trek no matter the quality. I wouldn't have mind a new TAS though. Or a parody cartoon series. But please keep the Star Trek name for serious television. Not for mass producing whatever garbage may be popular nowadays.
CaptainMercer
Thu, Jul 23, 2020, 5:47pm (UTC -5)
@Helmus
I agree. this seems like a quick buck. I liked aspects about Piccard and Disco, but they had sloppy narratives that did not ensure a solid foundation for Trek's future. I am really enjoying the Orville and will stick with that and the many hours of Trek reruns
Cody B
Thu, Jul 23, 2020, 10:44pm (UTC -5)
Any of you guys seen this show Other Space? It’s a comedy but then again so is Orville and Galaxy Quest. Idk I only saw an ad for it don’t know much about it but it looks better than lower decks regardless.
Nolan
Fri, Jul 24, 2020, 7:28am (UTC -5)
So. We now have word of a new nickelodeon produced Star Trek cartoon for kids called Star Trek: Prodigy. Cause a) prodigies in Trek hae gone over SO well in the past, and b) why do we need a show to introduce kids to Trek? Right, because all the new shows are "mature" and totally innappropriate for kids. Bravo, lets dilute the brand to the point we have watered down shows for everyone!

You know, on Twitter there's a lot of "Trek positive" types. People that do enjoy the shows and, though I personally don't see it, see identifiable characters and optimism in them. Which, great for them, I guess

What many of them ALSO like doing is making out that the majority of the fans that DON'T like the new shows are killjoy stick in the muds too overly concerned with nerdy details like timelines and continuities and canon. Often calles "old fans" and with words like "gatekeeper," "toxic fandom" and "haters" bandied about. Y'know, to other us inorder to more easily make out as in the wrong.

The image they portray of those that aren't on board the new direction is one of dork that won't "let [them] have fun." And that phrase rang a bell in my head it took me awhile to figure out, and when I remembered what that phrase was calling back to, I found myself unsure if I was on to something, or way off-base and definitely dipping into dangerous territory involving raciL politics...

The long and short of it is that the phrase "let us just have fun" is a common arguement used by culturdl appropriators. That's why it rang a bell. It remindes me of the class I had about it in University.

Having made the link, I spent most of the day noodling it in my head. Is cultural appropriation applicable to the situation? Is it applicable to Trek? To any pop culture artifact? Is invoking that term overstating things, or worse, racially insensitive? Big questions. And certainly something one does not wish to be wrong about.

What is cultural appropriation? It's largely involved in racial relations and power dynamics. It carries racist undertones, though is more cghalked up to lack of understanding rather than intentional malice. But it is essentially when aspects of a marginalized groups culture is taken in and adopted by a ggoup in power and stripped of meaning and cultural significance...

Hmmm....

To look at it, cultural approriation wouldn't be applicable to Star Trek. Trek was, afterall, created by a white man - an individual belonging to a group with the most power (others may disagree, not the point right now) and for a long time Trek carried the stigma of being enjoyed by nerds, typically white guys that today's culture would label as "entitled 'nice guys' and creeps" (not 100% wrong there, I think, though not totally accurate either). Trek is also a part of pop culture, that is, popular culture - made for the masses.

But then, let us also look at how Trek is considered a significant cultural artifact. The spread and importance of Trek is well dicumentd, as it it's influence and impact. Let us also consider that it is only recently that "nerd culture" has gained popularity and power. For a long time society looked down on nerds and nerd culture. Nerds were not as valued as jocks and their various sports and athletic powress. Nerds were considered "beta" and lesser than the non nerds. Nerds got beaten up, bullied and stereotypically subjected to wedgies on the schoolyard. Nerds, and nerd culture, was marginalized.

And Trek was and is, I think it's safe to say, a foundational part of the nerd cultural identity. Star Trek was a safe space for nerds, where the hallmarks of their sub-culture was found: intellectual debate, problem solving, a sesire for an equal society where intellectualism was just as valued as brawn, teamwork and respect and a deep, scientific curiousity and inmagination.

Trek became a cultural signifier for nerds, and was representational of a nerd's identity as a person. People hsve literally worn it as a badge of pride.

And suddenly it becomes SO clear why there has been such a divide in fandoms over how pop cultural artifacts were treated... The nerd has risen in power and influence, so of course the business side of Hollywood is going to try and mdke money off the situation. So nerd cultureal artifacts are appropriated. But many argue at a superficial, surface level, containing none of the ideas that made them culturally relevant. Batman kills, Star Wars mucks with the hero's journey, Doctor Who alters the rich history it built and Star Trek presents the future as a reflection of who we are rather than who we ciould and should be. Not that I agree with everyone of those, but it's not to hard to see how nerd culture is being dismantelled for the masses to have "fun" and the corperations to make cash.

Now, is this as bad as a white celeb wearing a hijab in a music video with similarily culturally significant music samples they're making money off of? Obviously the appropriation of Trek doesn't contain racial undertones. Plus, the rise of nerd culture in stature dimishes the "marginalized" aspect of appropriation. So I think, no, it's not as bad as the more racial examples. But I'm sure as heck not satisfied with the dismantelling and misappropriaton of my identity in the name of your fun either.

Is it trying to protect a part of my identity, my cultural identity, from missappropriation, or is it gatekeeping? It it defending the traditional ideas of a cultural artifact, or is it toxic fandom? Is it showing respect to the meaningful "true" examples of Trek, or is it just "hating?"

So yes, I've spent a day with these thoughts running around my head and I still can't really tell if I'm on to something here, or way off-base, overstating the issue and worst, disrespecting cases of cultural appropriation that do have that race relation/power dynamic to them.

It is just a show after all. Except it isn't. It's important culturally and personally. Thoughts?
Dave in MN
Fri, Jul 24, 2020, 10:45am (UTC -5)
I used to watch The Animated Series when Nickelodeon reran the repeats in the 80s. TAS was one of the reasons I got into Trek.

I feel bad for the kids today: however this Mary Sue Nickelodeon cartoon pans out, it won't be a good primer for what Trek actually IS supposed to be.

Death of a franchise.
Dave in MN
Fri, Jul 24, 2020, 10:55am (UTC -5)
By the way, the premise (child overachievers stealing a starship) runs explicitly against Gene Roddenberry's precepts for the franchise. He (quite forcefully) nixed a nearly identical series proposal in 1986.
Jason R.
Fri, Jul 24, 2020, 11:40am (UTC -5)
Nolan I do get where this sense of resentment over "appropriation" comes from. You've got this subculture that was traditionally mocked and scorned by the mainstream that carries the torch for a franchise for decades in the wilderness. Then they arrive at the promised land - mainstream recognition - and get denounced as "toxic" and worse, have to step aside for people (especially women) who never once showed the slightest interest- and even mocked them - for their love of this show. Suddenly the clubhouse isn't so exclusive anymore and the people who built it are kicked out.

I get the impulse behind this resentment but that doesn't make it less toxic than it is. There is no constructive purpose to trying to wall off a subculture from outsiders. Older Trek fans need to let go of the resentments and insecurities of their youth because holding onto them is self-defeating and pointless.

That said, if you don't like the new decor in the clubhouse you can always leave I.e. not pay more money for to CBS. I for one always have the old shows that I can watch on Netflix.
Booming
Fri, Jul 24, 2020, 12:31pm (UTC -5)
The terms are a little mixed up. It is not cultural appropriation, I think.
Nerds, and I'm really not a nerd how you described it, are not a suppressed culture or subculture. School bullying can certainly be a scaring experience but it is not comparable to a suppressed minority taking shit on all levels from start to finish. You also have to keep in mind that NuTrek really only shares the name with older Trek. So what was actually appropriated? If some star wears a hijab because "something, something" then that star is wearing a real hijab not a skirt called hijab.

Let's assume that these twitter people are not unpaid cbs interns but actual fans then the statement:" can we not just have fun." reveals an autocratic mindset because the thought alone that there are people out there who dislike what they enjoy is something these people cannot bear.

Coming back to your cultural appropriation hypothesis. In other words who owned it and who took it. Does CBS own Star Trek or do the fans own Star Trek?
If CBS changes the formula to make it more successful then it will piss off the old fans because we liked what came before. The blame is on them. They changed something we liked into something we dislike for money. What are we supposed to do here? Like something we dislike??

They took everything out of star trek that made it unique and now these are just mediocre sci fi shows. These shows are bad in their own right. We wanted HBO (minus Game of Thrones). Three dimensional characters, good stories and cerebral debates. We got none of those. So Nolan it is sweet that you think about this so deeply.
You are a real Trekkie. :)

Never let them take that from you.
Nolan
Fri, Jul 24, 2020, 4:58pm (UTC -5)
Thanks for the thoughtful responses. I myself wasn't entirely comfortable outright labelling it "Cultural Appropriation" as that involves a larger can oof worms than I think the issues deserves. But I was curious about the similarities, in the production of these new shows, the response of the fans against them, and the response to those fans by the ones that do like the new shows.

Your responses helped me better organize my thoughts on this, and gave me a better idea and understanding of just why this fracture in the Trek fandom was taking place, the dynamics involved, as well as my own resentment towards the current direction of the franchise.

I think if we ever would like to get a Trek back that better represents what we valued about it in the past, that understanding will be vital to taking the first steps towards that more than any amount of purely emotionally driven bickering will, no?
Booming
Sat, Jul 25, 2020, 3:15am (UTC -5)
I think people understand fairly well what star trek was. That is why people are attacked for stating it because NuTrek is nothing like that. I really get why people had problems with DS9 and said this is not Star Trek. It deviated sometimes from the trekkish core (Sisko gassing planets, section 31) but NuTrek doesn't deviate. It is just a different thing altogether. TNG was 95% Trek ideals, DS9 85%, Discovery 15% and Picard 5%.

I'm not sure if we will ever see an actual Trek show again. First, the concept of Star Trek will be severely damaged after the NuTrek avalanche. Second, producing a sci fi show is very expensive and the audience for smart... well everything is fairly limited. Look at the Expanse, a good show, beloved by many sci fi fans but almost canceled. Fast food beats good food. Same goes for media products.

So understanding what trek is, is not the problem. I have written that quite often but to repeat it. CBS or ViacomCBS is a media giant with a revenue of 27 billion $ but substantial parts of that revenue is created by segments that will not be profitable in 20 years (TV and payTV). They have to make CBSallaccess successful and STar Trek is the only thing that pulls. All these new Trek shows will be broad copies of successful concepts. This is not for Trek fans. It is about the guy/gal who wants entertainment and sees a flashy sci fi show as a reason to get CBSallaccess and often people, when they have signed up with a streaming service, will keep that service. It's just 6 bucks after all. Sure old trek fans will cancel partly in protest but the non trek fans probably wont.

The fans of actual Star Trek are a problem because most of us dislike NuTrek and state that fairly openly. That is a problem for this media giant who had a netincome of 3.2 billion $ last year. If CBSallaccess fails ViacomCBS fails. Who knows what these people are willing to do to drown out negative voices and create positive buzz?
John Harmon
Sat, Jul 25, 2020, 3:24am (UTC -5)
This is what I expected. Couldn’t agree more with everything you said regarding Trek just being a soulless product now.

There’s nobody at the helm trying to preserve the soul of Star Trek and keep it going. It’s all money men looking to make as much cash as possible as quickly as possible before the audience burns out on this era of Trek. That’s all that matters. Anything else these producers and execs say is a lie.

The Lower Decks trailer was painfully unfunny. I don’t blame you for not wanting to review it. I do hope that you’re able to review something else in the near future. Your reviews are just as entertaining to read and interact with as the thing you’re reviewing, sometimes more so. Whether Trek related or not, it’s always great to have something new to read on this site.
Trent
Sat, Jul 25, 2020, 5:47am (UTC -5)
Worth remembering that Kurtzman was also hired to kickstart the DARK UNIVERSE, a "sprawling, interlinked franchise" utilizing Universal's line of Classic Monsters (The Invisible Man, The Mummy etc). Decades worth of DARK UNIVERSE films are already planned.

The goal with Trek is similar: to primarily a mainstream shared universe, brand and achieve market saturation like Marvel has.
Trent
Sat, Jul 25, 2020, 5:55am (UTC -5)
Typo above. I meat "to promulgate a kind of mainstream, shared universe, and achieve market saturation like Marvel has".

And we know from the Marvel franchise that it lets in auteurs and idiosyncratic directors, and makes reasonably competent films. But this has always been a kind of fake edginess. Ang Lee, Joss Whedon and Kenneth Brannagh might be hired to make Marvel films, but the result never seems an Ang Lee, Whedon or Brannagh film, but instead a cookie cutter thing with only slight quirkiness.
Tommy D.
Sat, Jul 25, 2020, 6:41am (UTC -5)
Nearly 30 Million views between YouTube and Twitter. Thats kind of incredible all things considered.
Dom
Sat, Jul 25, 2020, 8:08am (UTC -5)
I never thought I'd say this, but I've gained an appreciation for Berman & Braga. I don't agree with all of their creative decisions with 90s and 2000s Trek, but at least they had a vision for Star Trek as something more than a cash cow.
Bill Adama
Sat, Jul 25, 2020, 11:44am (UTC -5)
Dismissing a show outright from a trailer is just silly. If you are a real Star Trek fan you have to give it a chance even if it looks and sounds different than what you are used to.
CaptainMercer
Sat, Jul 25, 2020, 11:56am (UTC -5)
@Bill adama I can't agree. This trailer has a crappy art style, crass humor, and is everything Star Trek isn't: visionless. Sure in most situations you are correct, but at what point do you stop giving them leeway just because they can slap the logo on an obvious "product"
Eversisk
Sat, Jul 25, 2020, 1:34pm (UTC -5)
@Trent

I agree with your remark about how Marvel seems to root out individual diredtors' style (Branagh is skilled at creating melodrama that is still rooted in reality; Ang Lee is skilled at capturing a sense of outsider loneliness, but Hulk and Thor play like they could have been made by anyone). To me, it doesn't make sense, this extreme sanitization for tentpole movies. If you are The Avengers: Endgame, you will make money no matter what. Will people walk out of the theater because of a stray line of wit or a clever visual flourish? Maybe I am too naive about just HOW greedly theconglomerates can be.. Thia stamping out of good storytelling and directing is a disservice. Is it what "the masses" want? The masses used to flock to movies like Bringing Up Baby and His Girl Friday, skillfully made movies that were built to have universal appeal. Would they today, if given a chance? I would like to think so, but am not sure
majerus
Sat, Jul 25, 2020, 4:16pm (UTC -5)
New show set in the Star Trek universe from the same guy who is a longtime Trekkie and who created Solar Opposites? I'll be tuning in thank you very much. No need to see the trailer.
Cody B
Sat, Jul 25, 2020, 4:37pm (UTC -5)
Anyone else feel like now that time has passed and the dust settled Discovery is the better show than Picard? It’s kind of like one side is a show that does feel like Star Trek but is neurotic and has way too many plots vs a show that doesn’t feel like Trek at all but has TNG actors. Idk Discovery still feels redeemable while Picard doesn’t.
Booming
Sat, Jul 25, 2020, 5:57pm (UTC -5)
I would say Discovery is better. While it used spock (as the only well known character) it mostly did it's own thing and had a few good episodes. The worrying part is that all the good ones were made before Kurtzman took over after the half point of season 2.

ST:Picard on the other hand actively destroys star trek.

The animated shows... in these Star Trek is just a reference. Little more than a color palette.
wanderer2575
Sun, Jul 26, 2020, 10:37am (UTC -5)
Some people would pay to watch a Herbalife infomercial if it had the Star Trek name on it. I really think that is what CBS and Paramount are counting on.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Jul 26, 2020, 10:34pm (UTC -5)
@Booming
"I'm not sure if we will ever see an actual Trek show again. First, the concept of Star Trek will be severely damaged after the NuTrek avalanche. Second, producing a sci fi show is very expensive and the audience for smart... well everything is fairly limited."

It's true that we'll probably never get it from CBS or any other mega-corporation.

But the soul of Trek is bigger than a single franchise. Inspirational, optimistic, thoughtful sci fi is an immortal concept. All that is needed to reignite that spark, is another creator with the vision and the will and the ability to make it happen.

It doesn't even need to be expensive. You can make decent sci fi on almost any budget. You can even make it look good. These aren't the 1960's, where everything that wasn't ultra-expensive has to look cheesy.
Burke
Mon, Jul 27, 2020, 8:39am (UTC -5)
I have tought for a time that what Trek really needs to appease the old fans is a low budget limited series/movie, maybe set entirely on a bridge of some federation ship, dealing with some diplomatic/first contact situation somewhere. No over-the-top SFX, no battles, just talking, rationalizing, dealing with situations that makes us think on what we would do. Get some true sci-fi writers and let them do the work. Give us plain old boring science fiction. Please.
Dexter
Mon, Jul 27, 2020, 3:12pm (UTC -5)
Who on earth would spend more than 6 seconds of their life watching this crap?
Dom
Mon, Jul 27, 2020, 5:13pm (UTC -5)
@wanderer2575, I literally laughed out loud at that comment!

As for the Discovery vs Picard debate... I've only seen the first seasons of Discovery and Picard. I remember the writing on Disco being a mess. I felt like the writers had no idea what they wanted to do or say. the lot just swung around wildly. By contrast, I think Picard actually had some coherence as a story with character arcs, even if I didn't love it. Put "Picard" in another franchise, remove the baggage of having the titular character Picard, and you've got a decently watchable if uninspired sci-fi TV show.
Sen-Sors
Mon, Jul 27, 2020, 5:29pm (UTC -5)
The tweet that wolfstar linked to is on point. https://twitter.com/nsilverberg/status/1140300647922831361?lang=en It

It's painfully true that the vast majority of humor in the mainstream media boils down to quirky white people being "awk-waaard". This is usually accomplished by having one character exhibit the cardinal sin of enthusiasm (or a personality in general) and then another character looking away or directly into the camera like "get a load of this guy!" Or it can be done by having characters talk like quirky white people during fantastical situations. "Well, THAT just happened!"

This is ubiquitous. The humor in Marvel movies is functionally indistinguishable from the litany of crappy Progressive ads, and people eat it up.

Some people blame Joss Whedon, personally I blame The Office, the show where average-looking people are all inept buffoons while the conventionally attractive characters look knowingly into the camera and play will they/won't they. I am half-serious about this.
Marlboro
Tue, Jul 28, 2020, 11:18am (UTC -5)
Very insightful comment, Sen-Sors. I agree 100%.
Dave in MN
Tue, Jul 28, 2020, 2:59pm (UTC -5)
CBS posted a video called "Star Trek Lower Decks: First Look" five days ago and left the likes/ dislikes and comments on. This video isn't being used as an embedded ad.

So far it only has 109,000 views, 1.6K upvotes and 2.1K downvotes.

Looks like there isn't much interest in this new series (besides trashing it).
Dave in MN
Tue, Jul 28, 2020, 3:03pm (UTC -5)
Excuse me, 1.8K upvotes, 2.3K downvotes.
MidshipmanNorris
Tue, Jul 28, 2020, 7:11pm (UTC -5)
Dave in MN said:

"1.8K upvotes, 2.3K downvotes."

Looks like their astroturfing dept took the week off

Maybe they hate the whole idea of this show too
Tommy D.
Tue, Jul 28, 2020, 7:32pm (UTC -5)
The fact that people who probably already brigaded the first video comments and vote section came back for another video lets me know more about the individual rather than a show that has yet to air an episode.
Dave in MN
Tue, Jul 28, 2020, 7:41pm (UTC -5)
Actually, Tommy, I was hoping the "first look" would offer something more Trekkish than the first trailer ... alas, it's just more of the Hyperactive Morons in Space routine.

But a boy can dream ....
Tommy D.
Tue, Jul 28, 2020, 8:22pm (UTC -5)
If thats truly the case, my apologies to you individually, Dave. However, I'm skeptical of a lot of the criticism for this show, not that it looks great mind you. When I see posts invoking The Orville, whose trailer was basically as you described, Morons in Space, it raises questions in my mind what goes into evaluating a show as watchable before an episode ever airs.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Tue, Jul 28, 2020, 10:18pm (UTC -5)
The job of these teasers is to wet your appetite towards the new series.

The trailer of the Orville did that well. It got me hooked from the very first second. It got me totally excited about a new TV show, in a way that I haven't felt since Enterprise.

Was that trailer full of stupid jokes? Well, probably. I honestly don't remember, because my attention was focused on "ooooh, shiny! Finally we're getting a bright optimistic somewhat trek-like show!".

So as a trailer, the Orville's trailer got the job done.

Can you say the same thing about the Lower Decks trailer? Or this "first look" clip? Does it wet your appetite? Does it make you want to see more?

As a side note:

I've just found out that the official abbreviation of Lower Decks is going to be LDS. How strangely appropriate. Sure seems like TPTB had a little too much LDS, if you get my drift. ;-)
John
Tue, Jul 28, 2020, 10:34pm (UTC -5)
Latter-Day Saints? I hope you're not referring to LSD, because if anything, the creators of this show would certainly benefit creatively from a few tabs.
Tommy D.
Tue, Jul 28, 2020, 11:17pm (UTC -5)
YMMV, but who leaves the Moclan toilet seat up and anti banana ray jokes don't really whet my appetite in a trailer, regardless of the nostalgic look or feel. The pilot episode didn't help either. If we're talking about being turned off by a morons in space vibe, thats exactly what that trailer showed me.

And yet eventually, it becomes a pretty good show overall.

Will the same happen with Lower Decks? I don't know, but I'm not going to actively root against its success, even if its not really my thing either. I very rarely watch animated television as it is.

"It got me totally excited about a new TV show, in a way that I haven't felt since Enterprise."

It all becomes clear now ;-)
CaptainMercer
Wed, Jul 29, 2020, 3:06am (UTC -5)
To be fair about the Orville trailer.. he had to weigh heavily on silly comedy in order to advertise the show as a parody to avoid lawsuits. The trailer for season 2 showed a much more representative tone as to the show. Other than the "Oh crap!" line when the guy pulls a shotgun on mercer, and the joke about the villain not being in the center of the viewscreen (both jokes worked for me a lot) the trailer was rather meh. In fact, I hate the sweeping editing tricks (like when it would zoom in and out with sound effects, something studios do with movie comedies too.. thankfully these things are not in the trailer. also, when Gordon acts like he is drunk, the actual episode does not have the other docking vessels honk horns at him.. these are editing tricks that I hate. Again, the show mainly avoided these tricks for the season 2 trailer
CaptainMercer
Wed, Jul 29, 2020, 3:08am (UTC -5)
I meant, those sweeping shots (with sound effects are not in the "actual episode" just in the trailer
Jason R.
Wed, Jul 29, 2020, 5:41am (UTC -5)
"https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://m.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DiTrydyyJVTc&ved=2ahUKEwic2ZLdn_LqAhXBnOAKHXI7AwQQo7QBMAR6BAgEEAE&usg=AOvVaw1v--fE4oXAUJpEMDhWkL1I"

I believe this video channels my emotional reaction to the trailer quite well.

Alternatively, I consider this response equally valid:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://m.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DH6yQOs93Cgg&ved=2ahUKEwjfpfP1ovLqAhVmlXIEHUNDAvUQo7QBMAB6BAgAEAE&usg=AOvVaw0DazHdPkX2qF1ghePhUSEf
Cody B
Wed, Jul 29, 2020, 9:11am (UTC -5)
@Dom

Oh I disagree quite a bit. I think Picard DID NOT have a complete coherent story. Yes Discovery had a lot of plots that were confusing or ended poorly or weren’t really dealt with at all but Discovery is quite a bit more based on individual episodes than Picard. Which makes it easier to excuse when a plot isn’t wrapped up well. Although there still shouldn’t be an excuse for the poor writing, you can kind of feel like “well we’re into a new episode so whatever”. Where as Picard really tried (failed horribly) to be a show where each episode tied into the next and made one long movie. If there was some sort of way to view both shows without knowing if they were Trek shows, Discovery definitely is a Star Trek series. Picard is just some bizarre bad sci fi show
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Jul 30, 2020, 9:54pm (UTC -5)
"It all becomes clear now ;-)"

You mean, you're finally beginning to realize that different people have different tastes? That just because somebody likes something you don't (or dislikes something you do) does not necessarily mean that they are hypocritical, unfair or stupid?

If so, than congratulations for finally getting clarity on this point. ;-)
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Jul 30, 2020, 10:07pm (UTC -5)
(forgot to mention that my last comment was a direct reply Tommy D.)
Tommy D.
Thu, Jul 30, 2020, 11:34pm (UTC -5)
@Omicron

I hope you're being facetious here. Otherwise this is the ultimate version of the pot calling the kettle black.
Tommy D.
Fri, Jul 31, 2020, 12:38am (UTC -5)
@CaptainMercer

I will say that Bortus' deadpan response to Ed in the cargo bay was funny. But I also think Bortus is the best character in the show.
CaptainMercer
Fri, Jul 31, 2020, 12:52am (UTC -5)
@Tommy D
Bortus is great.. he is basically the "Good tea, nice house" Worf for this show.. and it's comic gold. My point is neither an attack nor defense.. the first Orville trailer was a bit more complicated affair.. they had to lean on comedy, editing gimmicks and some falisities in order to pass the show off as a strict comedy at first. the Season 2 trailer (comic con) is more representative of the comedy/ drama mix the show became
Tommy D.
Fri, Jul 31, 2020, 1:08am (UTC -5)
@CaptainMercer

I thought your response was fair. I've never much been into the humor of McFarlane so a lot of that trailer fell flat for me. Bortus, however, is definitely comic gold.

Luckily, I went back on Hulu and gave it a shot. Overall its much better than the trailer showed, even if I still find a lot of the humor still makes me cringe. And while I don't think the stories or world has a ton of depth, I think the cast and characters are pretty good. Episodes like "Lasting Impressions" are where I think its at its best.
Susie Rose
Fri, Jul 31, 2020, 5:31pm (UTC -5)
Jammer, your decision makes sense. I miss reading your reviews, it's been a while (more on that below). I don’t see either the appeal of writing or reading reviews of half-hour shows. I’ll take this occasion to also thank you for years’ worth of Trek reviews full of insight. I have mostly been a lurker for 15 years. I wrote only a few times since the 00s. I often stop by to read your review if I watch an episode again.

I don’t have the CBS streaming subscription so I haven’t seen Discovery or Picard. In my forties now, I was indoctrinated to Star Trek by my parents with TNG. It continued into my teenage and college years with DS9. Voyager had me excited for the first female captain in Trek, but the redundant scripts and the introduction of Seven of Nine which meant that Trek was willing to resort to testosterone-appeal for ratings, gradually pushed me away and I never watched the last two seasons. Enterprise’s erotic body-oil show in the pilot had me roll my eyes once again and I never made it to more than a few episodes after that. The few I saw were unoriginal filled with dull performances.

All that said, I am excited to come back to Star trek world thanks to Lower Decks. My husband and I are also bringing along two newcomers, my 18 year-old twins, to the Trek universe. One of our favorite family pastimes is watching TV together in the evenings and we are avid consumers of “Rick and Morty” and the other McMahan show “Solar Opposites.” I am not sure why some people, not meaning you Jammer, think it’s only for kids. They were both marketed for adults. If liking one or both makes us juvenile and “dumb” (I stopped reading comments after that, sorry if I missed good ones) as a family, so be it. Both shows enjoy success so I know we are not the only dumb adults liking them. Sci-fi and humor mesh tend to mesh well. I am finally happy to have a similar show, this time set in the familiar grounds of Trek. It certainly helped us convince our twins to give Trek another try. I say ‘another try’ because we tried with TNG and they did not like it. We tried several formulas, I even thought we succeeded when they liked “Q Who” and the Best of Both Worlds two-parter, but that was it. They thought TNG was boring. I confess myself that many TNG episodes that I’d loved as a teenager and in college have not aged well. Just last weekend, I ran into “Pen Pals” on some free streaming service and I could barely make it through the hour. We never considered testing the Original Series on our twins after that. Truth be told, we even find those syrupy ourselves.

As for Lower Decks, it was rather our twins twisting us into getting All-Access subscription after we saw the trailer. Admittedly, I didn’t put up much of a fight (ha!) but I made a deal with them that if we subscribe, they have to watch Picard and Discovery with us. With a bit of hope and luck, that’ll be two Trek fans added to its fandom. Moreover, our twins may ultimately get curious enough to try an older series (DS9 is next in line, my husband and I are optimistic!) Today’s young audience is different than during my youth and even older adults’ tastes and habits of TV consumption are changing. If this is a smart way strategy to grow the fanbase, it certainly worked for us. My children have never been this excited to watch a Trek series (any Trek really) and I know I have not been more ready than now to start watching Trek again since the early 90s.

On another note Jammer, it also marks the first time I’ll get to read your reviews with my original watch of a Trek series. Make that two, Discovery and Picard. I’m looking forward to that experience in earnest. I discovered your site close to 2010 and I only read your reviews after doing a rewatch. I haven’t even taken a glimpse at your reviews for those two. I want to avoid spoilers. I’ll be here at warp speed once I begin watching them. For now, I’ll await recommendations from anyone nice enough to tell me which of the two series I should start with. But no spoilers please!!
Cody B
Sat, Aug 1, 2020, 12:15am (UTC -5)
@Susie Rose

I’m glad you found a Trek show that can seemingly be enjoyed by your entire family but the thing is.... you haven’t seen it yet. All signs point to it being a stinker. The real obstacle is getting your daughters to appreciate TNG or TOS or DS9. All of which are on CBS All Access. I have no idea how one would go about getting them into those series but I’m sure like most people it’s just a matter of seeing enough episodes. In TNG I probably wouldn’t go chronologically. Hmm maybe try First Contact (the movie)? It has everything and would be a great introduction to TNG without being confusing or needing to know hardly anything about the series. As for Discovery and Picard. Well if you read what people are saying on here (or anywhere) neither one of those shows are very loved. Discovery is much more Trek-like and “fun” but there are a few moments that might be a little awkward with the whole family watching but certainly nothing major. I just think if you want them to really love Trek it’s going to have to a legitimate quality series and that can only be TOS/TNG/DS9 no matter how you slice it.
HaveGunWillRiker
Sat, Aug 1, 2020, 11:21am (UTC -5)
I think some people here are a little too invested in the "sanctity" of Star Trek. I think that's a fine standard to hold for the mainline series and there is definitely a standard of storytelling and ambition that needs to be maintain... But this is a cartoon comedy spinoff!

It may not be for you, hell it might not even be very good, but the people in here saying the producers have "crossed the line" like they've literally spat in their faces... might just have to get over themselves a bit.
Booming
Sat, Aug 1, 2020, 4:24pm (UTC -5)
Who are you to tell people when they have enough or how they should deal with this thing.

I think they have crossed the line with STP but everybody needs their own time to realize that Star Trek is dead. Really the only big sci fi franchise that viewed the future hopefully.

No more. Now it is all dark, dirty and disgustingly nihilistic AND I AM A NIHILIST but even I can't accept this shit.

Just watching the Expanse again. It is dark and gritty at times nihilistic but it is also well written, often smart. The world feels real, the motives and actions of people are understandable. Even little sprinkles of hope and humanity.

So if they had to destroy the core of Star Trek, which is what STP did, because they were tired to write around Star Trek's limitations, then they could have at least made something good. But no, the motivations are nebulous, the characters are shallow, the story is simplistic in the worst way possible and the message is at best a mess. Be nice to refugees OR THEY WILL KILL YOU.
Powerful stuff.

And what is it with people trying to bring people into Star Trek? Quite a few have said that already. What is Star Trek? A cult? And them becoming Trekkies by watching Discovery and Picard. Good luck with that.

Also this notion that young people like other things than older people and that explains why they don't like something. Maybe they just don't like it and would have never liked it. Back in the 90s more than enough people disliked Star Trek and in the 60s as well.
Mal
Sun, Aug 2, 2020, 12:31am (UTC -5)
Thanks for your comment @Susie Rose. I really hope that Star Trek Lower Decks turns out to a pleasant surprise that your whole family can enjoy together.

The best case scenario is something like the trajectory for Orville laid out by @Tommy D. The Orville had a lot going for it right off the bat. But frankly at the start, the "humor" was hard to take.
Those who stuck with it have been rewarded with the purest Trek since TNG - and I say that has a huge DS9 fan. But let's be honest, while DS9 might have refined Trek to a remarkable crescendo, it was TNG that nurtured the soul of Trek.

And not to get all Ferengi on you, but perhaps Trek died when people stopped trying to make Trek true to its soul, but wanted to make Trek popular for profit.

Because @Boomer is so right about one thing: Trek is not for everyone.

Most people, frankly, do not want to spend their time watching a show about competent professionals who solve problems without resorting to violence or trickery, but rather with intelligence, bravery, and honesty. That is always going to be boring to large swathes of the audience. It is much easier to swear & curse, resort to sexual titillation, violence, or perhaps most annoying of all - that mild cruelty we call sarcasm.

Just imagine if Data or Spock was introduced on a contemporary Trek, the attitude with which their genuine superiority might have been met.

Data: “I am superior in many ways. But I would gladly give it up to be human."

Troi: “We have received several complaints from crew-members about you Mr. Data. You have been asserting your superiority which is in violation of Federation HR guidelines. Please report for mandatory counselling once a week until further notice. Now fuck off. I’m late for a threesome with Ensign Sonya Gomez and Mr. Mott.”

Or imagine Nog dreaming about joining Starfleet on Star Trek Lower Decks.

Nog: “Captain’s log… . First contact is a delicate, high-stakes -”

JAKE: Hey, that was a pretty funny joke you pulled on my Dad this morning.
NOG: What?
JAKE: You know, about wanting to join Starfleet?
NOG: I wasn't joking.
JAKE: Come on, Nog. You don't really expect me to fall for that one.
NOG: Did you tell your father I was joking?
JAKE: Yeah. Kind of.
NOG: How could you do that to me? I want you to go back to your father and tell him that you were wrong.
JAKE: All right. Calm down. I mean, how was I supposed to know you were serious? You never said you wanted to join Starfleet before.
NOG: I'm saying it now.
JAKE: So what brought this on?
NOG: I have my reasons.
JAKE: Okay, name one.
NOG: Why should I?
JAKE: Because I'm your friend. And friends don't have secrets from one another.
NOG: It's not a secret. I just don't feel like talking about it.
JAKE: Why?
NOG: Because it's personal. Now stop asking me.
JAKE: All right. But my father's a pretty smart guy, and if this is some kind of trick, he's going to figure it out.
NOG: There's nothing to figure out. I'm joining Starfleet, and that's that. Now, if you don't mind, I have a lot of work to do.

Somehow I doubt Star Trek: Lower Decks will treat its young protagonists with the respect we saw that
- Geordi & Data gave to Wesley
- Sisko & O’Brien gave to Nog
- Seven & Neelix gave to Naomi Wildman
- Beverly gave Nurse Ogawa
- Worf gave to Ensign Sito in TNG’s Lower Decks, and that each Lower Deck officer gave to each other in that episode - ever though, in one case, they were competing for the same promotion.

Instead, I fear what we’ll see is more along the lines of innocent wonderful Hugh slaughtered for no reason (ST:Picard); young Icheb cruelly tortured before he is killed (ST:Picard); fuck-yeah Science! Tilley (ST:DISC); and zero-growth Ensign Travis Mayweather (ST:ENT).

These are the models of the young and the innocent in NuTrek. Playthings to be teased and humiliated and destroyed by sadistic writers.

So, @Susie Rose, since most of us won’t be watching Lower Decks, maybe you could post your reviews, episode by episode, and if it turns into a show that you and your whole family can enjoy together, no one will be happier than us die-hard trekkies :-)
Cody B
Sun, Aug 2, 2020, 1:53am (UTC -5)
@Mal
Enterprise is not “nutrek”. Although Mayweather was not given much screentime and development, there are a lot of episodes where the underlings were praised. Tripp went through hell having to write a letter to the family of one that was killed. And bringing up Mayweather wasn’t really apt anyway since he was not any sort of underling but an actual member of the senior staff. Maybe Harry Kim never being promoted on Voyager would have been more apt.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Sun, Aug 2, 2020, 12:22pm (UTC -5)
Mayweather was not given much development because the production staff discovered belately that Anthony Montgomery just wasn't a very good actor.

At any rate, there's a huge difference between merely not putting a character in the spotlight (for whatever reason) and turning them into "playthings to be teased and humiliated and destroyed by sadistic writers".
MidshipmanNorris
Sun, Aug 2, 2020, 8:08pm (UTC -5)
Know what's worse than last place?

https://io9.gizmodo.com/here-are-the-2020-hugo-award-winners-1844579368

*Not even being nominated.*

Star Wars made it to nomination, at least.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Scott, but there will be no refit."
John
Sun, Aug 2, 2020, 8:24pm (UTC -5)
Isn't the Hugo awards about science fiction?
Dave in MN
Sun, Aug 2, 2020, 8:32pm (UTC -5)
Zing!
majerus
Mon, Aug 3, 2020, 2:01am (UTC -5)
@Susie Rose
Hoping your plans work with Lower Decks. I was excited for it too until I heard it's not available outside U.S.A. I don't know where you are and if that's an issue. I'll have to wait until it's available on this side of the Atlantic. Regarding the new shows, try Picard first because you and your spouse could answer any questions your twins may have about past characters. Borg and Romulans show up, as well as Data, Hugh, and Seven (not in a testosterone-y way either). Watch TNG's Measure of a Man and last TNG film Nemesis for a refresher. DIS is related to the TOS era and the Klingons, I didn't like it much personally. I'll even go as far as to say that the first season is dismal. Picard's first season is heaps better. When all is said and done however, DS9 is the one with the best shot at turning them into certified Trek fans. Good luck.
Glom
Mon, Aug 3, 2020, 3:31pm (UTC -5)
I feel dirty. I gave in to temptation and watched a few Midnight's Edge videos. *shudder*

They certainly paint a bleak picture. Amazon upset with the poor performance of Picard as Netflix were with Discovery. Discovery season 3 going through rushed reshoots to cap off the show, since it won't be getting a fourth season and now the sets have been dismantled. Unable to find distributors for their other projects, which is why Section 31 is stuck in development hell.

But upon their request, I'll take what they say with a heap on salt.

Anyone else heard anything different? Any random anonymous comment to the contrary would be at least as credible.
Sen-Sors
Mon, Aug 3, 2020, 5:39pm (UTC -5)
I haven't but anything that stops that Section 31 show is fine by me. Yum yum
Susie Rose
Mon, Aug 3, 2020, 5:54pm (UTC -5)
@Cody B
Thank you for replying. You’re right I haven’t seen it yet, but nobody else has either, so nobody can claim it’s good, or a stinker. I am simply banking on our enjoyment of two other McMahan-led shows and finding it likely that we will enjoy it together as a family, we could turn out right or wrong of course. It’s fine if the twins don’t like every Trek series, I don’t either. We already tried some TNG with them and it didn’t go well if not for the three Borg episodes as I explained in my first comment. And my husband and I are not willing to sit through TOS for reasons also mentioned. If we run into it while channel surfing, fine, but that’s it. DS9 is our second favorite Trek series after TNG and we plan on doing a rewatch soon with them, but for now, with the subscription that we don’t plan on keeping forever, we prefer to move along to the new shows none of us have yet seen. The older shows are available on Netflix anytime. For the movies, we all like First Contact as well.

@Booming
You seem angry. Sorry that our desire to “bring into Star Trek” our children bothered you this much. Fyi, we are not a ‘cult’, just an insignificant family of four living in an insignificant state, no need for you to worry, rest easy.

@Mal
Thanks for the reply although I made a request not to reveal spoilers, but ok, thanks anyway 😊. We like the Orville, but unlike you I suppose, we are in it for its funny takes, its humor as you say. As I pointed out in my first comment, I was more specifically asking about the two new Trek shows and which to watch first because we want to take advantage of the subscription. For the comment about Trek dying, I guess it’s a personal view and it’s your choice if you feel that way, but I don’t buy that view. I’d also challenge your “Trek is not for everyone,” with “there is a Trek for everyone,” in line with IDIC. With Lower Decks, we are looking forward to a show where we can laugh together as a family and have fun watching a show. We have that with Rick and Morty and Solar opposites, and I am hopeful we will have it with Lower Decks too. Star Trek being the background for the show is just the icing on the cake. Lastly, I’ll stop by here at some point in the future and let you know if we enjoyed it or not, but I don’t review episodes, I’m no Jammer 😊

@Majerus
Thank you so much for addressing my question, this is very helpful. You may have convinced me to begin with PIC instead of DIS. The idea of moving forward in the timeline is more appealing, it’s another reason why I never liked Enterprise. We’ll begin with Measure of a Man as per your recommendation. We’ll probably finish PIC within a couple of weeks between Lower Decks and move on to DIS afterward. Sorry about your location issue, it’s weird. We don’t have your problem as a southern-American family through and through 😊 residing in Birmingham, Alabama! I hope your broadcast problem gets resolved soon.
Booming
Mon, Aug 3, 2020, 6:33pm (UTC -5)
@ Susie Rose
I'm not angry, at least not about people bringing others into Star Trek. I just find it strange. What 18 year old teenager wants to watch 30 year old shows with mommy and daddy? I would even argue that having it so glowingly recommended makes it harder to enjoy it because it is stressful to know that a positive reaction is wanted. I guess, you know your children best. We had teachers, professors, friends and family members and whatnot here and they all sound a little like the witch in Hansel and Gretel.
Who here was initiated like that? I just watched it and liked it.
Marlboro
Mon, Aug 3, 2020, 7:16pm (UTC -5)
"What 18 year old teenager wants to watch 30 year old shows with mommy and daddy? "

Kids with decent parents?
Susie Rose
Mon, Aug 3, 2020, 7:48pm (UTC -5)
@Booming
I don't even what to say to that question. I'm sure I watched several shows with my parents when I was 18. Apparently neither my kids nor myself fit your bill. Have a good day.
Sen-Sors
Mon, Aug 3, 2020, 8:08pm (UTC -5)
Jeez Booming, I'm sure Susie's kids can just say no if they don't wanna watch it. Or maybe they just put up with it cause they're hanging out with their folks; that's what I do whenever I have to watch goddamn Guy Fieri shows back home.

Or worse, American Pickers. So many garages filled with crap, WHO CARES

Maybe I'll go home and turn the tables, force them to watch "Profit and Lace" or the one where Bones slaps a pregnant lady.
James T. Shatner
Mon, Aug 3, 2020, 8:38pm (UTC -5)
Sorry, what was the reason for not watching TOS through? I missed that.
Booming
Tue, Aug 4, 2020, 4:31am (UTC -5)
@Marlboro
Sure, but with 18 most people try to become more independent from their parents. Decent or not. And the kids already said that they find TNG boring which is a legit viewpoint, especially at that age. Again for me it is just peculiar that so many people try to make new Trek fans. If it is a nice and pleasant experience for her family. Good for her.

@Susie Rose
Didn't mean to startle you. Just an observation about people trying to make new Trek fans. Have a good day, as well.

@Sen-Sors
Please, PLEASE watch the three worst episodes of Trek with them, tell them that these are the best episodes EVAH and see what happens.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Wed, Aug 5, 2020, 7:25am (UTC -5)
@Glom

To be fair, due to the COVID-19 situation, many live TV shows are having trouble getting their new seasons produced.

That's why TPTB are concentrating on Lower Decks and that Nickelodeon Kid's Trek show (forget it's name): Animated is pretty much the only to go forward right now.
The Chronek
Wed, Aug 5, 2020, 12:11pm (UTC -5)
I'll watch Lower Decks, but I'll wait on it. If I resubscribe to All Access for Discovery season 3, I'll binge it then. Or, if by some miracle, we get a definitive premiere date for Picard season 2, I'll wait until that premieres, then binge it all.

Gods. Why do so many "real" Trek fans feel a need to be douches to those who are fans of the new stuff? Get a life.
Marlboro
Wed, Aug 5, 2020, 12:51pm (UTC -5)
"Why do so many "real" Trek fans feel a need to be douches to those who are fans of the new stuff? "


Imagine you are a fan of classical music. Now imagine your favorite orchestra slowly phasing out the classics for "A Night of Nickelback" or "Biz Markie sings Puccini." Nobody likes seeing the things they love subsumed into something they dislike. If some people like Nickelback, that's fine. Just don't expect me to applaud when my local NPR station changes formats and starts playing bro rock.
Dave in MN
Wed, Aug 5, 2020, 3:11pm (UTC -5)
A very good analogy, Marlboro.

It reminds me of when Smashing Pumpkins decided they were no longer a grunge band but am electronica outfit. Billy Corgan and Co. had the artistic license to do whatever they wished, of course, but the fandom evaporated when they heard the newer stuff. It wasn't the genre or style they were accustomed to and been conditioned to anticipate (hence the band going from selling 15 million albums to barely cracking a million).

There comes a point where something can become so unrecognizable as to no longer be what it purports to be.
Trent
Wed, Aug 5, 2020, 3:51pm (UTC -5)
Treksplainer: Dave, you just don't like modern, updated Trek. Kurtzman Trek is hardly unrecognizable.

DAVE: The issue isn't that Trek is unrecognizable, it's that Kurtzman Trek is recognizably total generic sh*t.

Treksplainer: You're stuck in the past! And the past wasn't so hot anyway!

Dave: Nah, Kurtzman-Trek is the kind of storytelling people used to watch Old Trek to avoid.

Treksplainer: Well I'm enjoying it. Maybe you should stop gatekeeping and dictating to fans what's good and what's not.

Dave: *bashes head on wall repeatedly* PICARD LITERALLY ENDS WITH THE FEDERATION'S GREATEST CAPTAIN STOPPING A ROMULAN ARMADA WITH A MAGICAL IMAGINATION IPHONE.

Treksplainer: Trek was always silly. Did you forget about Spock's Brain!

Dave: No. BUT I DON'T WANT AN ENTIRE SEASON OF IT.

Booming: *walks by* Guys, what's up?

Dave: F*CK OFF BOOMING!


.....is how all Trek debates will go under the Kurtzman Regime™.
Dave in MN
Wed, Aug 5, 2020, 6:29pm (UTC -5)
^

I'm not big on emoji, but this deserves a 🤣😂

I'm steeling myself for the first episode of Lower Ds., but I won't deny that a part of me is interested to see just how bad it gets.

Will it be worse than Cats The Movie? We shall see ....
CaptainMercer
Wed, Aug 5, 2020, 8:21pm (UTC -5)
I might as ae watch Lower Decks.
I have CBSAA.. for Ren and Stimpy
Tommy D.
Wed, Aug 5, 2020, 8:31pm (UTC -5)
https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2020/08/star-trek-lower-decks-review-comfort-food-with-a-comic-twist/?comments=1

A generally positive (spoiler free) review of the first two episodes.
Tommy D.
Wed, Aug 5, 2020, 8:33pm (UTC -5)
@CaptainMercer

I watch Evil, mostly because I still view Michael Emerson as Harold Finch.
Trent
Wed, Aug 5, 2020, 9:22pm (UTC -5)
The RICK and MORTY connection might be promising; RICK and MORTY has always been very science fiction literate, and has pushed both familiar and obscure SF tropes to some pretty weird and interesting extremes. Remove the nihilism and sociopathy of RICK and MORTY, and add some Trek decor, and you might have a neat cartoon.

But unless you're a director like Miyazaki, I can't see a comedic Trek cartoon having the weight, gravity and audience-investment of a good live-action Trek series. And IMO that's what many have been waiting for since Voyager ended.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 1:35am (UTC -5)
Funny thing about Lower Decks, is that I might actually enjoy watching it as some kind of parody on the current state of Star Trek.

If somebody posted exactly the same material on youtube as a spoof on how shallow "modern" Trek is, I'd probably love it. The fact that TPTB themselves are publishing this as an official Trek series with a straight face, somehow makes the entire thing even funnier.

It's impossible to treat Picard or Discovery in this way, because they are so darn serious all the time. But with LDS (ha!) this approach could actually lead to a cathartic experience.
OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 1:56am (UTC -5)
@The Chronek
"Get a life!"

The one and only James T. Kirk said it first, on that SNL sketch;-)
Booming
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 2:17am (UTC -5)
Yeah, I'm enjoying all this quite a bit as well. NuTrek is like a rich sheltered white guy gangsta rapping. You can't look away...

And the Kurtzmanistas like Chronek are really the cherry on top.
CaptainMercer
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 2:28am (UTC -5)
Just watched Lower Decks "Second Contact ". Painful. Hard to watch. Hated the story and the animation. I mainly hated the voice acting. People speak two sentences, literally one after the other, not even a breath between words or pauses. It annoyed me.
Maxim_7
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 6:39am (UTC -5)
Gave this a watch just now, and i would like to hear the opinion of this forum:

Who is this made for?
Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 9:17am (UTC -5)
Personally, I thought the first episode was genuinely good...much better than the trailers let on. Very different in terms of tone/composition from DIS and PIC. I'd rate it three out of four in Jammer's rating system, and say it was one of the better Trek pilot episodes.

The show is not - as some feared - about a crew of mean-spirited fuckups. Both the bridge crew and most of the ensigns are well-meaning, hard-working Starfleet officers who are doing the best they can to come up with collective solutions to difficult problems. The one main exception of course is Ensign Mariner. The backstory they've given her is interesting - she's the daughter of the captain and an admiral, who has had a relatively long amount of service, but keeps getting demoted. She's basically stopped trying to live up to her parents expectations, and despite her obvious intelligence and skill, is lazy and insubordinate. But she still can be a classic Starfleet officer when the situation requires.

The comic tone is fine. There were some genuinely funny jokes (unlike the trailers) which fortunately mostly revolve around absurd circumstances or jarring changes in tone. I wouldn't say I laughed out loud, but I smiled in more than a few cases. Certainly it was better than the humor in the first season of The Orville.

My biggest issue with the episode is I think it failed as a pilot. The other two "mains" - Rutherford and Tendi - were not introduced well enough for it to work as a true pilot. Rutherford gets an entire B plot, but what we apparently learn about him is...he's nice and he's boring? And Tendi is just portrayed as overeager and wide-eyed. Similar to how one-hour dramatic trek often has two-hour pilots, I think that this series could have done with a one-hour premier which padded out their own story elements a bit.
Troy G
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 9:44am (UTC -5)
Mini-Reviews on Lower Decks and the other three so-called Star Trek shows:

Discovery:
The Good: Good visuals, Saru, Stamets, Pike.
The Bad: Nothing is period-correct, confusing and rushed plots, aimless seasons-arcs, magical Spore Drive

The Orville:
The Good: looks and feels like a continuation of the Rick Berman Trek years, light and breezy tone
The Bad: Un-even early episodes, Mercer/Kelley

Picard:
The Good: the first episode
The Bad: foul language, contemporary speech, the show generally doesn’t feel like a continuation of Earth and Star Trek Voyager, silly nonsense such as androids learning Vulcan Mind Meld

Lower Decks
The Good (so far) Visually fits the canon Universe,
sometimes made me laugh, episodic structure, funny opening credits, good comic timing
The Bad (so far) it’s not canon Star Trek nor should it be seen as such

It’s one episode in, but I don’t hate what I’ve seen in Lower Decks
Yanks
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 10:08am (UTC -5)
Well, that was interesting...

The music made me think of Stargate.

Not bad, maybe even better than I was expecting.

I'm still tuning in...

What crowd is this aimed at? After one episode I would guess teenager to early adult?
Trent
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 11:23am (UTC -5)
I watched the first episode. I liked the TNG decor, and the fact that the franchise once again has a nautical feel: you get the sense of a big ship, a vast organization, with its various departments and hierarchies.

I thought the episode was far too busy, its short running time busily zipping from its A to its B to its C to its D plot. I thought most of the dialogue was bad, too manic and snarky, too "contemporary cool", the ADD-inflicted characters all hopped-up on cocaine. I liked the lead duo in theory - essentially Tom and Harry Kim, only now with Tom as a girl - but they're far too zany.

The big cast may become a problem. Juggling all their stories may lead to something more manic than even RICK and MORTY, which worked because it tended to focus on a smaller group, and a literal sociopath. Rick acting nonchalant, fast and deranged made sense - he's a super-smart, murderous Dr Who/Doc Brown - but Trek characters spouting rapid-fire craziness, while pretending to be "normal" and "utopian", just makes them seem like meth-heads.
CaptainMercer
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 12:22pm (UTC -5)
Having slept on it a bit, I woke up still not liking it. Still it had a story and plot that was at least as serviceable as the Orville pilot, and ine that was solid, unlike Discovery .. it just moved way too fast.
ORVILLE PILOT
STORY: Ed takes command but has to work with his ex wife, who cheated on him. She put his name up for the position, actually.
PLOT: Bad guys want MacGuffin that Orville has.
LOWER DECKS
STORY: Ensign wants to play by the rules but is told to report on misbehavior on the ensign who doesn't, as she is the captain's daughter.
PLOT: strange disease/ cure plot

I actually respect the attempt at simple straightforward storytelling here. If it was 46 minutes and live action it would gave been solid , if not classic, Trek episode
Mal
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 12:28pm (UTC -5)
Star Trek: Lower Decks episode 1 “Second Contact”

Mal’s review

* 1/2 (one and a half stars) out of 4

“Did I eat flesh?”

- Commander Ransom asks after being cured of the Zombie virus.

A Star Trek show about four young ensigns on a starship sounds like gold. Who wouldn’t want to see a show that revolves around someone like Chekov, a 19 year old Ensign with a bright future? Or how about Ensigns Nog & Dax, maybe sent off on an away mission before Ezri’s promotion came in?

Over the 50 years of Star Trek, we’ve been treated to a whole host of wonderful young junior officers - teenagers - from young acting Ensign Wesley Crusher, to sweet Ensign Sito. From fresh from the academy Ensign Harry Kim to cynical and broken Ensign Ro Laren. Ensigns have been a rich vein for Star Trek lore.

Anyone expecting something remotely like that from Star Trek: Lower Decks will be sorely disappointed.

The first episode follows a roughly A & B story pattern.

The “B story” revolves around the crew turning into zombies, spewing black vomit on each other, and eating human flesh. It is literally as bad as it sounds.

The “A story” betrays everything that Star Trek holds dear.

I suppose it does this for laughs, but honestly, I didn’t find any of it amusing.

Ensign Mariner violates regulations and gives Starfleet technology to some farmers belonging to a newly admitted race, because she feels Federation bureaucracy might take too long to approve the technology transfer. The “joke” is that the technology is a shovel and a hoe.

Why is the Federation giving membership to a race that does not have shovels and hoes?

You’re telling me that Bajor was not ready for membership when Kai Winn and Shakaar were fighting over reclamators (see DS9 "Shakaar“), but 10 years later, this backwater world - without shovels - has been granted membership?

No wonder Star Trek Lower Decks cannot be considered canon.

The “A story” gets worse. When one of the farmer’s animals starts inflicting excruciating pain on a fellow Ensign Boimler, his crew mate Ensign Mariner refuses to stun the animal and render it unconscious because that might spoil the flavour of the milk. And so she allows Ensign Boimler to suffer for many, many more excruciating minutes. When the animal finally tires of inflicting pain, poor Boimler is hurting right down to his very bones. This too is supposed to be funny.

I’m not laughing.

I cannot imagine Nog and Ezri on an away mission where Ezri allows Nog to suffer excruciating pain just because stunning the animal causing the pain might ruin the milk. That would be insane, and a violation of everything we have seen Star Trek stand for over 50 years.

There are a few other vignettes in the short first episode. A young Orion Ensign who works in sickbay is covered with black vomit which is sprayed on her repeatedly by her boss who has been turned into a zombie. She is assigned to pump the heart of a ailing lieutenant, but she does so without any anaesthetics, so the lieutenant calls out in pain “That’s my heart, it hurts when you pump it!” The green Orion Ensign continues to pump it. The lieutenant continues to cry out in pain. This is supposed to be funny.

Finally, a cyborg Ensign and a Trill Ensign are on a date as the crew descends into chaos, turning into zombies, shooting each other, attacking each other while the two Ensigns continue to chat and flirt, without making any effort to stem the violence or save their crew mates. “So, where are you quartered?” he asks as the phasers fire around them and the ship is at red alert. “Deck nine, by the squash courts,” she answers as a medical officer exclaims that “this is happening all over the ship.” The two Ensigns continue to smile obliviously and chat about playing squash sometime, while the medical officer darts away to tend to the emergency. This is supposed to be funny.

Will the next episode be any better? The preview tells us that one young ensign will recommend evasive pattern 88. The Chief Medical Officer will reply, “is he fucking serious?”

There are so many insults to the viewer’s intelligence packed into these 20 odd minutes, that is almost not worth listing them. So let’s just take one example: the Starfleet briefing officer down on the planet cannot pronounce the name of the race that has just been admitted to the Federation. He mispronounces the name of the race right in front of a representative of the race - actually struggling to read the race’s name off a padd. All the years we saw officers prepare and practice alien names and greetings to make them feel welcome and appreciated - all of that up in smoke - for a “joke”.

So will I be watching next week? Are you fucking serious?
HaveGunWillRiker
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 1:50pm (UTC -5)
I think some of you guys will have to come to terms that not everything is made for you. Judging this show by TNG standards doesn't make sense for a animated comedy spin-off targeted at teens and twenty-somethings.

The actual anger in here at a literal cartoon is just staggering to me. A lot of you really need to take a walk and decompress. If you don't like it, just accept it and move on as Jammer has done preemptively. The people that hate-watch these shows just to spew vitriol are letting the writers live in their heads rent-free.
Yanks
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 1:59pm (UTC -5)
To elaborate a little more...

I don't look at this like a normal trek episode.

I like the "A-plot" being conducted in the background as these characters are kind of watching from below. My animated reference in Trek was 'The Animated Series', so I had to "catch up" with the speed of it, but when I did I kind of enjoyed it.
Squiggy
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 2:17pm (UTC -5)
Honestly I got bored about halfway through it, none of it seemed funny to me, the jokes were all dumb and I hated how hyperactive everyone was. I'm really tired of this Family Guy style animation too. Nothing about it seemed like Star Trek to me, at all. They're obviously just milking the name, it really could have been called "Wacky Space Tales" or anything else and nothing would have changed. I probably won't bother watching next week.
GreenBoots_
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 2:34pm (UTC -5)
I thought the first episode was fun. Nothing amazing, but I laughed a couple of times. The crack about the crew's quarters inexplicably being musky, despite the showers being sonic, and the joke about the Klingon stealing the girl's shoes just to be a dick were both pretty funny. I see potential in these characters, though I do wish the pacing wasn't so breakneck. It's an online show, so I don't see the need to cram everything into 26 minutes, and I think the overall episode would be better if it was a bit longer and had more time to breathe.

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