Discuss Star Trek: Lower Decks (in Jammer's absence)

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.

Like this site? Support it by buying Jammer a coffee.

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665 comments on this post

Tue, Jul 14, 2020, 7:41pm (UTC -5)
New commenting section open.
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?!?!
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.
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..
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.
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.
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
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wed, Jul 15, 2020, 4:05pm (UTC -5)

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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.


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.
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 12:46am (UTC -5)

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.

"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
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.
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 2:11am (UTC -5)
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.
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 2:27am (UTC -5)

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

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?
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.
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?
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.
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 3:13pm (UTC -5)
"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.
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.
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.
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 4:39pm (UTC -5)
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?
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 5:02pm (UTC -5)

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


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
Thu, Jul 16, 2020, 10:00pm (UTC -5)

"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.*
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."


Ah, the golden days when Star Trek was actually good ;-)
(wait... whose side am I on?!)
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).
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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)

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fri, Jul 17, 2020, 11:52am (UTC -5)
"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)
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.
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.
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
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
Sat, Jul 18, 2020, 3:45pm (UTC -5)

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.
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.)
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
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
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.
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
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".
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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...
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"

(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.
Sun, Jul 19, 2020, 6:58pm (UTC -5)

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.
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.
Sun, Jul 19, 2020, 7:25pm (UTC -5)
@Dave in MN

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


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.
Sun, Jul 19, 2020, 7:28pm (UTC -5)

"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.
Sun, Jul 19, 2020, 8:06pm (UTC -5)
"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.
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.
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.
Mon, Jul 20, 2020, 12:36am (UTC -5)

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.
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...
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.)
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.
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'.
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.
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?
Mon, Jul 20, 2020, 6:11pm (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."

The problem is that there are some spoilers in these episodes for crucial earlier plot points.
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
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.
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)

"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!
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."
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)
Tue, Jul 21, 2020, 3:40pm (UTC -5)
(last word was supposed to be "anywhere")
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.
Wed, Jul 22, 2020, 12:48pm (UTC -5)

Totally agree with you concerning ORV: 'Sanctuary'. Brilliant well executed episode!!
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
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.
Wed, Jul 22, 2020, 2:47pm (UTC -5)

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
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?
Wed, Jul 22, 2020, 4:04pm (UTC -5)
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"
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
Wed, Jul 22, 2020, 4:27pm (UTC -5)
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)
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.
Thu, Jul 23, 2020, 1:40am (UTC -5)
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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
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.
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.
Thu, Jul 23, 2020, 5:47pm (UTC -5)
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.
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...


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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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"
Sat, Jul 25, 2020, 1:34pm (UTC -5)

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
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.
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.
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.
Sun, Jul 26, 2020, 10:34pm (UTC -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."

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.
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.
Mon, Jul 27, 2020, 3:12pm (UTC -5)
Who on earth would spend more than 6 seconds of their life watching this crap?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. ;-)
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 ;-)
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
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)

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

Alternatively, I consider this response equally valid:

Cody B
Wed, Jul 29, 2020, 9:11am (UTC -5)

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
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. ;-)
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)

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)

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.
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)

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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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".
Sun, Aug 2, 2020, 8:08pm (UTC -5)
Know what's worse than last place?


*Not even being nominated.*

Star Wars made it to nomination, at least.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Scott, but there will be no refit."
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)
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.
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.
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.

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.

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 😊

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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
Tue, Aug 4, 2020, 4:31am (UTC -5)
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.

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

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.
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.
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.


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


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


.....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 ....
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)

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

I watch Evil, mostly because I still view Michael Emerson as Harold Finch.
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.
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.
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;-)
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.
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.
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:

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

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
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 3:23pm (UTC -5)

maybe the people you are putting down here actually care about the franchise as a whole, that it was created with the intention to be better and more forward-thinking than other shows, and not be acceptable along side the shows meant for the lowest common denominator. Surely the people you are bashing have no passionate hatred to Barney the Dinosaur.. they might not watch it, but they know it's targeted to toddlers. This is using the name and nomenclature and maybe even the canon of one of the most forward-thinking mythologies of our time, and it is a canon people care a lot about. Don't put them all in the "haters" group.
Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 3:54pm (UTC -5)
People can obviously like whatever they wish, but in basically every way, Lower Decks is nothing like Picard or Discovery. It's episodic while they are serialized. It has very normal, Berman-Trek era shot composition while they attempted to be "artsy" with wobbly cameras and quick cuts. It focuses on low-stakes character drama while they focus on galactic-level threats. It hews incredibly close to TNG-era design while they purposefully tried to "update" things. Mariner aside, all of the characters on this show are very much normal Trek characters we could have seen on any earlier show, who work together to attempt to solve the problem of the week - while they featured casts with high drama who were often at one another's throats.

Basically the only thing you can say they have in common is they're both chasing more contemporary trends in TV. Those trends are, however, very different. Saying you don't like either, when they are very different (and comedy aside, Lower Decks is very, very much like a Berman Trek show) suggests you basically just don't want anything new done with Trek.
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 4:01pm (UTC -5)
@Karl Zimmerman
This is nothing like TNG. TNG actually focused on drama, acting, dialogue and line delivery. Even the lighting. This is "let's speak two lines of dialogue without ever taking a breath" hyper. This is not allowing anything to sink in. If anything.. what you described is what Orville is to a T, and that is because Seth was clearly a fan of the Berman era and got many of the same people BTS to work on his show.

To even put Lower Decks on the level of TNG is an insult
Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 5:30pm (UTC -5)

Mike McMahan is a huge TNG fan. He's said it's his favorite show of all time, and it's clear it's not bullshit, since he was behind the "TNG Season 8" project on Twitter. He said in a recent interview what he loved the most about TNG were not the high-stakes drama episodes, but little "slice of life" moments like Geordi trying to explain jokes to Data. His goal with this show was to turn these little bits of "Piller Filler" into the core plots of the show, relegating the "normal Trek adventures" to B, or even C plots.

I think the Orville is better than Lower Decks, but I'm not sure I'd agree that it was better at comedy. I think it became a much better show in the second season when it embraced that it was basically a drama with a little bit higher humor quotient than normal. I certainly found the jokes here more amusing than in the first episode of that series anyway.
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 6:03pm (UTC -5)
I like the Pillar Filler stuff, the life on a starship stiff, and I think Seth does too. If Lower Decks was an hour long live action show I can picture it working on that level as well. The story wasn't the problem. It was too fast. Pwople speak two sentences in a row with no pause, not even to breathe. It tries to cram too much in a frame. Trek needs to breathe. That's how the drama.. and the comedy, succeed. What i find funny in Orville are the bits most people don't even think are funny, like the holodeck (environmental simulator) announcing "YOU WIN" after a game, or Mercer saying to "take him back to his stupid lab". Why is "stupid" funny here? It's probably not to most people, but I laugh every time I play that scene
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 6:11pm (UTC -5)
Good news! You no longer need a Jammer Review of Episode 1 of Lower Decks!

Here's mine, and trust me; you don't need another one.

"Crashingly unfunny. Zero stars."
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 6:34pm (UTC -5)
I think Gene Roddenberry would have hated having his name on the opening credits of this mess.
Tommy D.
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 6:38pm (UTC -5)
If Gene Roddenberry would have hated this then it has a punchers chance at coming out okay.
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 6:40pm (UTC -5)
@CaptainMercer, I'd go even beyond your comment to note that many of us who are critical of new Trek do like other modern shows. The Expanse is a great sci-fi show on TV now. Heck, there are plenty of kids shows that I respect, like She-Ra, even if I know they're not made for me. I know what good writing is. I know what good Star Trek is. I know what good modern TV is. Disco and Picard just aren't. And as Trek fans that's fine to admit.
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 7:13pm (UTC -5)
I don't believe some of you have ever laughed at anything in your entire lives. Did Thatchers' government privatise humour while you were growing up?

Fucking relax, unfold your arms, exhale, cease the tooth-grinding and stop repeating the mantra of "I expect to hate everything, therefore everything deserves to be hated" in your head for a while, and your quivering* narcissism might dissipate long enough for you to actually enjoy yourselves for the first time in your lives, you toxic shower of bastards.

There was a lot of fun stuff here, some great easter eggs, and a lot of core Trek values on display if you'd actually bother to look for them.

*Probably literally as well as figuratively...
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 7:22pm (UTC -5)
Haters gonna hate, regardless.

I, personally, liked. I liked the visual, I liked the spirit. I liked that it felt like a genuine Trek show to me. Looking forward to next week!
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 7:40pm (UTC -5)
Sumple fact is that I didn't laugh. The Orville pilot had a similarly standard story, the difference was that I laughed. Humor is all about tinibg and delivery. If this episode was an hour long and allowed scenes to vreathe, then maybe the hunor would have worked.instead it was all on 2x soeed. If a character spoke two lines in a row not a single breath was taken between the lines.

Also hated the animation. On love action you have lighting, and talented actirs that have to gold the sfreen. Here its stick figures.

This story's plot, such as it is, might have been better than the time doohickey of the Orville pilot, but they squandered a better plot for cheap and hyperactive animation.
Cody B
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 8:12pm (UTC -5)
Okay first episode is now out. I’m going to write my thoughts as I’m watching.

Teaser- This is as bad as I feared. Fast talking girl is drunk and trying to get a guy who is making a fake captain’s report while in a closet to cause trouble with her. She grabs a bat’leth and says she doesn’t know the name of it but starts swinging it around and cuts the wanna be captain. Generic “fun girl” doesn’t seem to have much hope I hate this character two minutes in.

Intro and music- This is cool they did a great job I have nothing bad to say about it

Another character is introduced. A green skin girl idk if she’s supposed to be Orion. I think she might have said her species but they talk so fast and plus I don’t care. She meets fake captain who is assigned to show her around and they say how they love science. “I love science. It’s so sciency!”. Oh how hilarious. Is this supposed to be comedy? Fast talking girl then enters the scene and makes it irredeemable. She says how she hates the idea of being higher ranked and wants to remain on lower decks forever. Okay.

We meet a new character named Rutherford who has a tiny robot mask thing in his head like Kano from mortal kombat or the phantom of the opera. He says he has a date but his cybernetic implant makes him not nervous. Fast talk girl fiddles with it and he starts fast talking and saying “oh I’m nervous now!”. Comedy. He runs off. Wannabe captain explains they all have to sleep on the hallway in little coves like on a tour bus. People are walking around naked with towels covering them because the showers are right off of where everyone sleeps and lives. That’s just ridiculous I hope that wasn’t supposed to be funny. Fast talker wants to show green skin the holodeck.

Fasttalker chides a beach for the holideck. Green skin chooses Orion (guess she is a Orion), and wannabe captain chooses for the holodeck to show them the ships warp core. We are supposed to lol such a nerd I guess. Wannabe is called to the bridge and tries to flex like he’s important

Okay wannabe captain is named Brad. He is told by the captain he might have potential and if he ever wants to be captain his first assignment is to spy on fast talker and immediately report anything she does wrong. Fast talker name is Mariner and the captain telling Brad to spy is obviously a older relative to her and using Brad.

We jump to Rutherford’s date. It’s going good until his cybernetic face thing malfunctions and he says things like “you’re not being logical!” to his date (who has Trill spots). It’s played like he has tourettes. It’s not funny. Someone has got a virus and is killing everyone in the room while being shot at So Rutherford and his date continue on under a upturned table with chaos raging around them. Again this is supposed to be comedy.

Brad spies Mariner giving boxes to the species they all just made first contact with (and presumably where the virus came from). He jumps out and accuses her of selling starfleet weapons. It’s just farm equipment. The aliens run off scared and release a giant spider (?).

Brad and Mariner have a huge argument while hiding from the spider. Mariner says he needs to remember she’s been on five ships and is only on lower decks because she was demoted. Tells brad to not question what she does. She forces him to strip and so does she and they make a scarecrow out of their clothes for the spider to attack.

Green Orion girl works in medical and we are supposed to laugh when she ordered to pump a dying guy’s heart by hand as he screams everytime she pumps. Oh the lulz

When Brad and Mariner get back to the ship they see absolute chaos from the virus. The doctor says the slime he is covered in from the spider is the cure to the virus.The day is saved.

Brad decides not to tell on Mariner. We found at that yep the captain is Mariner’s mother. And her father is an admiral who calls the mother to basically tell her to chill out and not be hard on Mariner.

Orion girl asks Rutherford how his date went and he says he will never see her again because she wasn’t interested in some technobabble. Orion girl says omg how could she not find that interesting. So looks like Orion gurl and Rutherford could have budding romance

We end with Mariner finding out Brad didn’t tell on her and she does some of the worst fast talking “lul so random” sayings of the episode. She babbles off a bunch of famous Trek characters asking brad if he knows of them. Sulu. Kirk. Word. Deanna Troi. I guess we are supposed to find this relatable or something. Instead it’s annoying.

Overall I’d say this show comes close to being as bad as everyone feared. Watch it if you want there’s a lot of Easter egg sort of stuff with different species from all the series as background characters but also if you choose not to watch it you’re not missing a whole lot.
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 8:21pm (UTC -5)

"Humor is all about tinibg and delivery. If this episode was an hour long and allowed scenes to vreathe, then maybe the hunor would have worked."

The humour did work, just not for you. And I suspect that was because you went into it not wanting it to work. That's just confirmation bias.
There was no reason why the show needed to be any longer than it actually was - in the time it had, it introduced all the characters and the ship, established their role within Starfleet and managed to tell two main plots, one planet based, the other ship based, and throw in a sub-plot as well that also got resolved. It seemed to me that it achieved exactly what it set out to do in the format it has.

"On love action you have lighting, and talented actirs that have to gold the sfreen. Here its stick figures."

Are you actually trying to explain that animation and live-action are different things, as if people would otherwise not have realised? What response are you expecting to that, other than "No shit, Sherlock?"
The voice actors on this show did a damn fine job with this episode, they have talent in spades. I mean, it is their job after all. They didn't get the gig through a lack of understanding of charcacter, pitch and intonation did they?
And this animation style is far from "stick figures" - it might not be your personal cup of tea, but don't do it a disservice by describing it as "cheap" when it is anything but. That's just plain dishonest. Expert colour, fluid motion, consistent character design throughout. It wasn't like some churned out anime serial where there's a noticable drop in the quality of character design and animation even from one scene to the next.

"they squandered a better plot for cheap and hyperactive animation."

I don't think you understand how budget, animation and writing work as seperate concepts, let alone in concert with each other. What process do you think they follow when developing a show of this kind? The writers work to what their budget is, the animators then work to within the limits of what they are budgeted for, over the lengthy period of time it takes to pull off such animation. It's not the other way around, they can't animate first and then write the plot of the episode later.
Have you even bothered to look into how much money it takes to create a show of this nature, between writing, storyboarding, animating, colouring, the 3D ship animations, the voice actors' wages? "Cheap" is the last word you could use to describe this.

You disservice the obvious hard work that has gone into this, and I recognise these things despite the fact that I have never worked in animation, voice-acting, or writing of any kind.

Hell, I laughed quite a few times at this, and I'm sure I'll grin just as much when I rewatch it looking for all the easter eggs, while still being aware that my opinion of the plot and humour could vary enormously on the next episode, and then pivot back to praising it by the third, depending on their subjective content, but I'll never shit all over the hard working people who have clearly worked their asses off on the visual side of things, even if they let the occasional goof through (of which I saw none) because the other 99.99% of it will still never look as if it's been knocked up in under a week as a Flash movie.
Cody B
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 8:28pm (UTC -5)

The humor didn’t work. The one time a joke almost landed was when all that chaos is going on during Rutherford’s date and they say “let’s get out of here” and spacewalk on the outside of the ship while everyone inside is killing each other. The humor is that “lul so random lul so funny. Me talky fast!” style which just isn’t funny. It’s not well thought out jokes and I don’t think you can even argue they are.
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 8:42pm (UTC -5)
Man, was that ever stupid. Certainly tried to cram an awful lot into half an hour with every character talking at warp speed. The pacing was on steroids. The whole thing is an insult to classic Trek. I didn’t laugh once even though this is supposed to be a comedy.

As for the characters — can not even one of them come across as a normal person who could conceivably actually belong on Star Fleet, serving in something like a military or diplomatic capacity on a star ship?

And who is this show intended for? The show gets a warning for violence, nudity and mature subject matter so it can’t be intended for kids.

But it’s not quite fair to compare Lower Decks with classic Trek as it is an altogether different product being just half an hour and animated. It can’t tell in-depth standalone stories and can’t have stellar acting performances. The acting was actually terrible. It is basically a gimmick to profit from the rich heritage of the Trekverse.

There are some classic Trek episodes that I believe have done a massive disservice to the franchise and that should not have been produced. I tend to rate those episodes zero or 0.5 stars and so that’s where “Second Contact” would rate if I applied the same criteria.

One its own, if I think about the story told, the characters, any interesting themes or premises touched upon and what STLD is trying to achieve as a product, I still find it extremely disappointing. I suppose there are some seeds being planted like what to do about the Mariner character, Boimler’s and Tendi’s development and getting promoted. But should the senior officers and captain really come across as such jerks?

It’s only one episode, but what is particularly disappointing is that STLD doesn’t seem to have the respect and appreciation of what came before it and instead has as its modus operandi to use the Trekverse as a basis for cheap humour. That, to me as someone who has a deep appreciation for classic Trek, is just awful. I can’t identify with this style of humour. It’s like when I watched the ORV pilot I felt that the show was not my cup of tea -- granted I hear it has evolved from the mainstay of locker-room humour into something more thoughtful and classically Trekkian. Will STLD be able do that? Being animated and half hour in length work against achieving that laudable objective, but perhaps if the pacing slows down and we get less gore, there might be a drop of merit to be found. But so far I see none.
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 8:56pm (UTC -5)

"The humor didn’t work."

Again - it did work, for me. Which is why I laughed, several times. For differing reasons, depending on the situation.

I laughed at the 'blink and you'll miss it" moment in the shuttlebay when the name of one of the shuttles, (all named after Trek filming locations!) was partially obscured so the word "Valley" was hidden, and the shuttle appeared to be simply named "Death" and I immediately thought of "The Gallileo Seven".

I laughed at the moment of horrible realisation in the first officers' tone of voice when asking if he'd eaten flesh - that's dark, morbid humour, and I liked it. You might not - I did.

I laughed at the Admirals' manner of signing off to Captain Newsome, because it was a personally relatable moment of current day method of speech juxtaposed with the style of Trek where you wouldn't normally hear it - sometimes, it's the incongruance of things that makes me laugh.

I laughed at "That's my heart, it hurts when you pump it!" and I laughed at the fact that they had that operation taking place without any explanation of how the guy ended up having open heart surgery in the middle of that Rage Virus situation just to really throw poor Ensign Tendi in at the deep end on her first day.

I laughed at "Banana, hot." I don't really see the necessity of launching into an explanation of why I did, but I most certainly did.

"It’s not well thought out jokes and I don’t think you can even argue they are."

I appear to have just done exactly that. People on this board seem to have an utter inability to process the notion that other people might have a differing sense, or even range of senses of humour than themselves.

Fuck, I'll say right here and now that Commander Shax has already said "Detonate The Warp Core" enough for my ears after one episode and I hope it doesn't become a catchphrase, but I'm not slating the entire episode because of that one minor thing.
Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 9:01pm (UTC -5)
Jokes I genuinely smirked at:

* Banana hot
* "Computer show us the warp core"
* Rutherford and his Trill date attempting to try and continue their date small talk/flirting in the midst of the "zombie virus" thing was in general hilarious.
* Boimler getting attacked by the spider cow thing was also pretty funny...I mean "It will spoil the milk?" Watched the scene a second time and it still makes me smile.
* "Everyone, protect this slime!"

A lot of other jokes fell flat for me - particularly the opening and closing. But the show had "heart" in a way that I feel Discovery and Picard have not.
Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 9:04pm (UTC -5)
I understand the criticism that the bridge crew in LDS seem like jerks. However, IIRC, in the TNG episode Lower Decks we see our favorite characters from the perspective of the ensigns, and they come across as intimidating and even a bit jerkish. I think that's the point - not that they're objectively jerkish, but that the lens we see them through is that of the ensigns. They are authority figures, not our peers, and thus can be treated the same way that the average Trek series treats admirals.
Obvious Stunt Double
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 9:13pm (UTC -5)
Making a genuinely appreciative, positive comment on this board seems to be the equivalent of throwing a hand grenade into an unnecessarily boiling septic tank, so it's nice to see a few people's nicer opinions bleeding through, who obviously didn't go in with a pre-conceived hatred.
Cody B
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 9:21pm (UTC -5)
@Obvious Stunt Double

This conversation has been had many times. People are allowed to dislike a show. People are allowed to SAY they dislike a show. I don’t see anyone who says they liked it being attacked do you? Your line of thinking of calling people’s comments “a boiling septic tank” and “pre-conceives hatred” (I’m not seeing “hatred” at all. I’m seeing thought out points of view though) could be reversed to the opposite and one could talk of the people who always toe the Trek company line. Ready to praise whatever comes out of the conveyer belt no matter the non coherent plot or hastily slapped together shoddy comedy. If you like the show that’s great tell us why. If you don’t like the show please do the same.
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 9:28pm (UTC -5)
Let's not be disingenuous here. If I looked at the first Clone Wars movie and said that the animation made all the characters look like wood cuts would I be wrong? I say that despite what talent the animators had or did not have the characters in Lower decks are drawn to look like stick figures you'd see a fifth grader do. That was how they wanted them to look in the final product so me saying that does not diss their talent. In fact, it would not matter if it did. Most critics never make films, but they still call many films terrible just as a way of criticizing the work.. it's fair game .. they might even say a filmmkaer is a talentless hack when that filmmaker has at least MADE a film and the critic has not . To say I'm giving a disservice to the "hard work" that went into this is being disingenuous. It would be like me saying you are or doing disservice to all the hard work that went into the Orville because you did not like it and therefor did not watch all the episodes

As for the voice acting.. clearly editing was happening as people that would normally take a breath between two or three consecutive lines of dialogue would need to breathe and I would bet anything that those breaths were edited out in post, much the way a good editor like Jeremy Jahns can make his quick cut movie reviews where he does not SEEM to pause work. I find this style abhorrent for star trek. If you like it that is fine. I also felt that since set up and timing of jokes is often as important as the jokes themselves, the short run time did not offer the most comic potential that this episode has. Sure they cna keep it at 26 minutes, but instead of setting up and paying off the humor, they often rushed through it. It wound up not being funny to me. I guess maybe that is me. I laugh at Ed Mercer because the character seems like a human to me
Randall Graves
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 9:49pm (UTC -5)

Seen you repeatedly use the phrase "stick figures" for some reason - are you seriously suggesting that this:


is in any way comparable to the art style of Lower Decks?
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 10:08pm (UTC -5)
@Randall Graves I know that is the traditional stick figures, but your question is rhetorical. these are fifth or sixth grade human designs
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 10:14pm (UTC -5)

Agreed. I hope those comments do keep bleeding through, and I hope people have not been terminally cowed from making them. When the preconceived hatred started, I don’t know. The goalposts for what counts as “good” are moved as necessary to make sure that hatred of Amy new Star Trek is The One and Only Legitimate Reaction. 2+2=Alex Kurtzman sucks. Hang whatever Orwell metaphor on this hatred (which, alas. Is not limited to two minutes a day) you wish to.

In 2020, we are still debating When Star Trek Stopped Being Star Trek. The fact that the posters on this site who believe they are Our Betters cannot agree on an exact or even rough date shows there is room for disagreement as to what is good TV and good or “real” Star Trek.

The level of hatred for everything Star Trek filmed circa now...The attitude that “I say so, therefore it IS so...” it’s depressing. It’s a bummer. It sucks the air out of a room. There is no joy in it, and not much creativity (I used to love coming to this site for the creative commentary on actual episodes. Now, calling Alex Kurtzman “ghetto” or “rich boy” is considered Algonquin Hotel-esque, Moliereian wit). People are entitled to it, however informed or uniformed their opinions are, however spoken or unspoken their biases are. I respect, tolerate, and understand their arguments. They call people who disagree with them, brainwashed morons - based on nothing more than the fact the alleged morons have a different opinion (as opposed to trying to make an argument, which requires climbing down the steps of Mount I’m Right You’re Wrong, Moron, and engaging others’ arguments - an undignified task, I guess?) . This is uncalled for - especially with the degree of certitude with which it is proffered. It is not enough that these people have to be (and in their minds ARE) right, always. Everyone who disagrees with them must be name-called into oblivion and mocked to the Other Betters.

Having seen “Second Contact” (a claim half of the people who gave it no stars might not be able to make), I thought it was mostly a mess - like a record of greatest hits played at hyper speed. The only people who are likely to get all of the jokes are likely to find them uninspired. The mere utterance of the word “Bat’leth” is actually not funny. That having been said, I don’t think the show is or will be irredeemably bad. Maybe it will be, maybe not. I don’t have precognition, whether borne of confirmation bias or otherwise (or post-cognition, as in “somehow, I just knew it would be bad once I actually committed the slumming sin of ...watching it). Second Contact is one episode, which I evaluated by listening to and watching what was actually in front of me, with my ears and eyes instead of my mouth. This approach to criticism seems to have fallen out of favor, but I like its simplicity (simplemindedness?)

I’d like to know what the people who pre-hated the oven for this show actually find funny. Are they afraid to say, for fear they will be mocked for having a “sophomoric” or less-than-perfect sense of humor? Not only do they lecture on what is good Trek; now they lecture on what is and is not funny. Well, give me some examples from outside of Star Trek. Name a movie or TV show that whose humor was such that it made you laugh with it, not at it.

Someone once said, “vulgarity is less self-destructive than snobbery.” I believe some people on this site would actually do just that - self-destruct - rather than admit they were entertained by something vulgar, something that was trashy fun - Star Trek or anything else. Once you admit to having actually enjoyed something , to finding it honestly entertaining, vulgar or not, you admit that your superior judgment (I really like hearing the latest in arrogance (“arrogant presumption”’-posing-as-humility peroration: “Well, we are complaining because we see something we loved that stood for progressivism and for a positive future has been trashed” - The equivalent of a 24th-century courtroom speech by Colonel Brady, of Inherit the Wind) except delivered with hate)... is guided by the same (gasp!) thought process used by mere mortals.
Other Chris
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 10:39pm (UTC -5)
I turned it off halfway through. The ADD-induced style of comedy comes off as obnoxious. This wasn't made for me, and that's ok.
Thu, Aug 6, 2020, 11:48pm (UTC -5)
I just love how this show is so amazingly great, that it's biggest defenders aren't even interested in talking about the show itself.

What's even funnier, is how these warriors always talk in superlatives and absolutes. Like, you either hate a show with all your guts, or it's the most wonderful greatest thing ever.

Not sure where all these guys come from. Are they payed shills? Bored kids who come to troll and raise a reaction? Genuine fans who misguidedly think that this kinds of exaggeration and aggression is needed to show their "allegiance"?

Dunno know. But whoever these guys are, they are making a terrible impression.

Thankfully, we've also had plenty of genuine positive comments by people who enjoyed the premier and just came here to talk about the show. Hope we'll see more of these in the future, and less war-mongering garbage.
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 1:55am (UTC -5)
I thought this was great. The colors, the acting, style and storytelling. If you enjoy suffering, you will love this.

And to the people defending this product I just want to say that the first part of this vid is for you and the second part is for "the hater rest".
Randall Graves
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 2:56am (UTC -5)
"I know that is the traditional stick figures"
I don't think you do?

Unless you've been talking about some "non-traditional" form of "stick figures" all this time and just didn't bother to provide any other comparative examples of whatever that might look like.

"but your question is rhetorical."
It really wasn't rhetorical, I genuinely wonder how you can repeatedly make such a comparison when there is no logic in doing so?

"these are fifth or sixth grade human designs"
You keep saying that, but it's just manifestly, demonstrably not true?
I mean for a start, it's an art style that would have been chosen by a committee of adult working age artists from a range of probably many different concepts, then ok'ed by the equally adult show-runners, and the probably at least somewhat older than "fifth or sixth grade" people in charge at CBS?

It's like you've found what you think is a phrase that works, obvious factual innacuracy be damned, and are intent on repeating it in the hope of it becoming a popular soundbite among detractors.

I mean if you want to see a simple art style closer to "stick figures", take a look at Space Argument:


Again, made by a team of adults, for adults, in an intentional style despite the fact that they could have chosen another.
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 3:02am (UTC -5)
This is going to be a boring take, that leaves me looking like I don’t want to pick a side, but I thought it was...not bad, but not great. Like, say, 2.8 stars on Jammer’s 4 point scale.

I definitely laughed several times. But the joke density was a little low, and at least as many jokes missed as hit. I like the characters reasonably well and I was not bored.

But I want to say for anyone who assumes that, since this creator was a writer on Rick and Morty, that they have an idea of how good that show is. They definitely do not. Rick and Morty is pretty much four stars every time, although you would probably have to give some episodes 3.5 just to indicate which ones are your favorites.

I will probably not continue with the show, but not because I dislike it. There are just way too many good TV shows and movies out there, plus a lot of other aspects of life to live. If I were in a doctors waiting room and there was the typical assortment of TV shows on but also this, it’s likely this one would win out. But if I had the nearly unlimited choice of everything else on various streaming services, then it would not. Even if I had just CBSAA, I might be more likely to catch an episode of The Good Wife (I’m still in season five) or Young Sheldon (I have only watched four or five episodes of that and I’m starting to realize it’s actually a really good show).

So, TLDR: shrug emoji.
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 3:11am (UTC -5)
I thoroughly enjoyed “Second Contact,” more than the pilots of the last two series. Most of the humor landed for me. “Banana, hot” was wonderfully absurd and got the biggest laugh.

I already find myself caring about most of the characters. Mariner was kind of annoying, but there is also clearly the most developed back story of the show with this character that we’ll get to eventually.

The pacing was indeed an issue. So rapid fire. Not necessary. I don’t know why this has been a hallmark of CBS All Access Trek. However, it was also the pilot. Lots more info the convey. I hope that calms down.

I adore the ship. The attention to detail is fantastic.
Tommy D.
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 3:41am (UTC -5)
I do love the ship. I hope they release it in STO or at the very least I wouldn't mind a Hallmark Ornament.

Yes, I collect those :)
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 6:20am (UTC -5)
I won't pass judgement just yet, it's too early, but a few impressions...

-It looks very nice. I like the design aesthetic much more than the other recent series.
-I hope the characters develop more distinct personalities. Yes, on paper, there's the rebellious one, the underling ensign who looks up to his superiors, the tech nerd who's more interested in science than romance. But they all talk the same way, and when a character's supposed to be say nervous or afraid, they don't talk like they are. I would say it's the actors fault, but somehow I think it's intentional and I don't think the creators care.
-I feel like I watched a highlights reel. There's no buildup to anything, just bam bam bam one thing after another. This applies to the theme music as well.
-Yes, everyone talks too fast, excess is the rule, and nothing is subtle. Again, intentional.

I think people generally want this kind of show. It's Rick and Morty Trek. It's not what I particularly want, but I have to accept that expecting Trek to go back to the TNG era is like expecting classical music to become the best selling music genre again. No big deal. If I don't continue watching, at least I'll save a bunch of time to spend on other things.
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 6:38am (UTC -5)
Sure, it was made by adults for adults. Sure, but the drawings still look like kid drawings.. intentionally. I mena I love Ren and Stimpy and they look like kid drawings.. but if you have watched and Stimpy there is an extra edge to the art style that was most certianly unique, as shown by the closeups. This looks possiitively cheap. This is just my opinion, by Star Trek is, at its base a drama.. in fact the reason Star Trek comedy episodes work is that they subvert the fact that it is a drama at base.. it's a relief from the heaviness, often shot in the same style as the heavy episodes. That's why it's funny. That's why I objected to the gimmicky editing (the swoosh pans accompanied by sound effects, and the sound of beeping horns) in the original Orville trailer, because the actual show does not have that kind of editing. Star Trek doesn't either.. how it is shot and filmed is very much an important aspect of the show. In one half an hour, so much happened here that my eyes started to glaze over. I guess it's just not for me. Thinking about it, my favorite joke was the "Sulu" reference with regard to maneuvers
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 7:33am (UTC -5)
In case others didn't see. Discovery S3 is premiering on OCTOBER 15th.
Karl Zimmerman
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 7:53am (UTC -5)
The animation style that Lower Decks is done in is very popular now. It's thin-line animation, sometimes jokingly called "CalArts." Examples include Adventure Time, Stephen Universe, Gravity Falls, etc. You could go broader and say it's part of the same "family" of western animation used for The Simpsons, Family Guy, Bob's Burgers, etc.

Honestly thinking of a modern 2D animated series which doesn't use this style (other than those heavily influenced by anime, and series explicitly created to be retro like Archer) is difficult.
Guiding Light
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 7:56am (UTC -5)
Amazing start to a sitcom. Knows its Star Trek and dares poke fun at it while still being clearly Star Trek. It's great to have something genuinely fun in these trying times. Say what you will, but between Discovery, Picard and this we're living in a golden age of Star Trek.
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 9:08am (UTC -5)
I guess my problem with LDS is that i just don't care for the type of humor on these adult animations of the past decade. I'lle give the exception to South Park and Rick and Morty, wich are on a whole different level from Family Guy and such.

But i am happy to say that it is not bad, it's just not for me. At least it doesn't insult my intelligence like DIS or depresses me like PIC does.
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 9:33am (UTC -5)
Mainstream reviews dont seem to be too kind.





James said: "I think people generally want this kind of show. It's Rick and Morty Trek."

"RICK AND MORTY" has Dan Harmon, creator of the excellent "COMMUNITY", showrunning it. Both shows were fresh, inventive and broke new ground. Meanwhile, you sense that Trek, once a trailblazing franchise, is now constantly playing catch up, emulating other shows and tropes rather than being its own thing. Kurtzman-Trek in particular is a grab-bag of other people's ideas - done better elsewhere - recooked. A kind of mediocre dabbler in
all areas, master of none.
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 9:43am (UTC -5)
Well, since Star Trek has given up entertaining me with new material, I've gone and had some fun with the old stuff:

Worf: Tell me what you think.

Dax: Okay, but you're not going to like it.

W: Tell me.

D: I think this situation with [Lower Decks] is a symptom of a bigger problem. [StarTrek] is dying. And I think it deserves to die.

W: You are right. I do not like it.

D: Don't get me wrong, I'm very touched that you still consider me a [trekkie], but... I tend to look at the [franchise] with a little more skepticism [...]. I see a [franchise] that is in deep denial about itself. We're talking about a [sci-fi series] that prides itself on maintaining [decades]-old traditions of [optimism, betterment, equality, thoughtfulness] and integrity. But in reality, it's willing to accept [nihilism and greed] at the highest levels.

W: You are over stating your case.

D: Am I? Who was the last [showrunner] that you respected? Has there even been one? And how many times have you had to [ignore the undercutting of Trekkian principles, meaningless violence and reductive, tawdry & shallow writing in new shows] because you were told it was for the good of the [franchise]? I... I know this sounds harsh, but the truth is, you have been willing to accept [series] that you know are [of mediocre quality]. [Lower Decks] is just the latest example. [Trek fans], you are the most [passionate, thoughtful, intelligent, caring, optimistic and hopeful people] that I've met. And if YOU'RE willing To tolerate [shows] like [Lower Decks, Picard and Discovery], then what hope is there for the [franchise]?

To be honest, that exchange has been ringing in my head since mid- season 2 of Discovery. Alas, how sad Ezri's speech in "Tacking into the Wind" has become a metaphor of the franchise itself... ah well, at least it made me chuckle while writing it... and then practically cry at it's accuracy once I finished.

Also, here we again have new Star Trek showing how diverse it can be and yet again making the female black woman protagonist a purposely annoying screw up who mocks people with aspirations, and only got where she is through nepotism and not because she's smart, determined or driven, which frankly is not really a great role model for anybody. New Trek is 0 for 3 here.

Do you guys realize that there hasn't been a Trek since Enterprise where one of the main characters wasn't just HANDED authority despite having hardly any merit? (And though I AM an Enterprise fan, Archer has shades of nepotism as well) Despite previous series showing just how incredibly hard it was to even get into Starfleet Academy?

I'm so sick of having to hear the people in charge of this franchise talk about how great it is when the truth is, this is just s paycheck for them, and they end up writing shows that have the veneer of Trek but ultimately that sheen only goes as deep as shallow references and mere lipservice to the values Trek used to espouse, while in reality ignoring all of them, and often doing the opposite. Add on top the covoluted and nonsensical writing and I just find myself absolutely bewilder that people actually LIKE this stuff. I mean, more power to ya, but I just don't understand as I don't see any quality in these entries to the franchise, either as Trek series or even as shows. (Although I admit, if Lower Decks wasn't associated with Trek, and therefore what Trek used to be, it may be passible - Futurama IS one of my favorite shows, and that DEFINITELY has that Trek parody DNA in it, so I'm not adverse to the concept - so long as it doesn't undercut the meaning of Trek.)

As it is, Ezri is right, Trek is dying. It gave up what made it strong and significant, and sure it may have entered an era of remarkable expansion, but without the core tenents that have guided Trek for 50 years, that expansion is untenable in the long term, and I fear the franchise will crumble quickly.
Guiding Light
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 9:54am (UTC -5)

"Mainstream reviews dont seem to be too kind."

If you want to focus on the people who are paid to be negative. There are tons of reviewers who loved the show. I don't think that what reviewers think tells you anything about a show, it just tells you about the reviewers. And the ones you linked seem a sorry, joyless lot.

Reviews that are much more objective:





"Add on top the covoluted and nonsensical writing and I just find myself absolutely bewilder that people actually LIKE this stuff. "

I'm sorry that modern Trek isn't for you, but that's not Trek's problem. This is Trek that catches an entirely new audience and it should: Trek cannot be just for men who are 50 and older. This new Trek is quirky, vibrant, diverse, fun... and most of all: It feels like these are real people acting like real people would. Whereas the old Trek captains and crews always felt stocky and unrealistic.

What I want to say is: This is a franchise that is at this point at an all-time high water mark in terms of quality and being recognized by wider audiences. So why should the producers change that, just because a tiny fraction of the 'old guard' of fans cannot cope with change?
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 10:04am (UTC -5)
"Also, here we again have new Star Trek showing how diverse it can be and yet again making the female black woman protagonist a purposely annoying screw up who mocks people with aspirations, and only got where she is through nepotism and not because she's smart, determined or driven, which frankly is not really a great role model for anybody. New Trek is 0 for 3 here. "

I want to comment here. After 26 minutes it would be unfair to assume we know who Mariner is, but so far she seems both smart, determined and driven, but also cynical and mocking - most likely because her mother is captain (which leads to the question why she chose that ship, although it's a possibility she was assigned there).

If that is where they are going with the character, there's room for exploration there. Whether they will go there, or whether they are even interested in exploring characters rather than just using them as a comedic vehicle, is yet to be seen. I don't know if I have the patience to find out, but maybe it shouldn't be ruled out so soon.

What I think I can say after 26 minutes is that this isn't a show that's worth my time to watch just for the laughs. The comedy isn't my cup of tea, and frankly it's pretty awful. If there isn't any typical Trek content or themes to go with it, then I don't see myself sticking with it.
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 10:45am (UTC -5)
@Guiding Light

... I'm only THIRTY. And old Trek captured my mind just fine when I was 13. It didn't have to be "made for me."

And frankly, I find a strict adherence to "relatability" to be something too many shows try and fail at. Sure, I DID relate to Geordi because he also had vision problems, but that was it, so it obviously plays a role, but it's not the be all end all. Geordi didn't encounter the same issues as me, and he didn't behave like me. He was better than me. He was an ASPIRATIONAL figure. He showed me who I could be. Who I should strive to be. And he did that by NOT coming down to my level. The same is true for every Trek character of that era. Trek was ALWAYS about striving to be better, not just accepting youself and being fine with it.

And old Trek was also quirky, vibrant, diverse and fun... Check out TOS's "I, Mudd" for all that in abundance. It's a comedy episode too.

You also clearly skimmed my comment, as you would have noted my assertion and critical opinion that the writing of the current shows LACK quality. Need I point out the jumbled writing of Picard's plot, the inability to successfully juggle all it's sub-plots and dropping many of them, the weak character motivations, the unearned emotional beats that are only momentary and carry no thematic weight, and rather obvious and transparent narrative cheats. So we obviously disagree on this fundamental point.

And frankly "recognized by wider audiences?" You mean the audience made up of pay-to-view streaming service subscribers? Who wouldn't be paying unless they already wanted to watch the shows? There's plenty out there that still don't give a toss about Star Trek, and no amount of genre bent shows are gonna bring them in. As for those that ARE interested, they're already invested in geek culture and would've likely ended up checking out the old shows eventually anyway, and would've gotten a better sense of what Trek was about. The only impetus they have to check Trek out now is because there is new stuff being advertised, grabbing people's attention and the producers didn't need to change what Trek was to do that. But that would've been harder than just doing their own thing and slapping the Trek brand on it, so they didn't.

And of couse, we don't know about viewing figure numbers because streaming services don't release that info publically, so you're "fraction of the 'old gaurd'" assertion is as likely a result of your filter bubble and echo chamber (real academic terms, FYI) as my saying that hardly anyone likes these shows would be.

What WOULD be nice, is if they shoved all this new stuff into its' own continuity, kept making it, then got someone else in to make a more true to Trek show that better represented the values of Trek. There'd probably be a lot less inter fandom bitching that way.
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 11:24am (UTC -5)
Putting aside the whole debate of what is and isn't Star Trek (because it quickly becomes circular and rarely leads anywhere productive):

Guiding Light... you know, there are lots of women who dislike "modern" Star Trek too. And most of my gay male friends still say Voyager is their favorite series (mine's DS9) and that they prefer it to Discovery. About half of my gay friends (all millennials) like Discovery, half dislike it, and all but one of them disliked Picard (a couple really liked it at the start, but thought it was terrible by the end of the season). The female characters of Voyager and DS9 are far better written than those in modern Trek. The writing for women in contemporary Trek is atrocious. B'Elanna, Kira, Seven, Ro, Winn, Guinan etc. were vastly better-written and far richer characters than any of the women in any subsequent Trek property. I'd say the same too of the slightly less-strong female characters like Crusher, Troi, Jadzia/Ezri - although they didn't get many good standalones, they were used excellently as part of the ensemble. Compare that to contemporary Trek - Burnham is barely given room to breathe or develop naturally as a character because all of her actions are determined by the needs of the plot which utilizes her as an avatar for the viewer (Discovery being a "ride" show). Mirror Georgiou is a one-dimensional pantomime villain, Captain Georgiou was great but they killed her off in the pilot. (Imagine the rich female characterization and wonderful performance we'd have been denied if DS9 had killed off Kira Nerys at the end of Emissary then made the Intendant a main character in her place - that's essentially what Discovery did to Georgiou). Tilly was promising when first introduced but ever since has basically been treated as Neelix- or Rom-style comic relief (except without even their backstory and development). Airiam got one great episode and the rest of the bridge crew are almost completely undeveloped two seasons in. The Abrams films reduced Uhura to a love interest for Spock (Beyond thankfully utilized her in a more professional capacity), and Picard made its only African-American character an embittered drug addict living in a trailer. The writers of the contemporary Star Trek series can't write women because they can't write people - these shows are not interested in character. I don't care about the optics and semantics of whether they are or aren't Star Trek, whether the Klingons look right or whether the technology is too modern, I care about the fact they're bad drama. (Or in this case, bad comedy.)

As to those reviews being "objective" - both Collider and Trekmovie are notorious shills, Collider in particular have been mocked and called out for it numerous times (mainly in relation to Star Wars) - they won't negatively review major studio properties because they don't want to lose perks and access. Same goes for Trekmovie. If you want to get an overview of how Lower Decks is being received, look at the professional reviews collated on Rotten Tomatoes (by writers who review TV for a living, most of whom aren't Star Trek fans).

"Trek cannot be just for men who are 50 and older" is no argument because it's a statement that's impossible to disagree with. Of course Trek can't be just for men who are 50 and older! Everyone knows that - in fact, far from the rhetorical specter of the stale male gatekeeper you're invoking here, a huge part of the reason many people (women and men of all ages) dislike modern Trek is precisely because it's no longer a family show, one that kids can grow up with and that three generations can watch together, due to the use of sensationalized violence and gore as titillation. I know there are a lot of TNG/TOS nostalgists out there (I'm not one of them) and I very much agree that modern Trek series shouldn't try to be TNG/TOS - that conservative studio approach led to diminishing returns on Voyager and Enterprise, so the fact that the modern series are at least taking risks and trying to do something completely different is great, were it not for the fact that the writing quality has been largely abysmal (with the exception of Star Trek Beyond and about 4-5 Discovery episodes across two seasons). The fact that the modern series aren't TNG/TOS isn't most people's problem with them - it's that they're vulgar, chaotic and violent, with poor characterization and no ideas. They're not about anything, and any topics they do address are either terribly handled (partly due to the shows' poor internal consistency, owing to inexperienced writing teams, behind-the-scenes recutting and changes in showrunners) or are so barely developed that they're essentially window dressing. As to modern Trek being "diverse", to pick out one example, many episodes of DS9 articulate different aspects of the African-American experience in rich, nuanced, complex ways in a future sci-fi context (both filled with hope and fraught with difficulty) with a quality and legacy that remains unparalleled within Trek. Sisko is a hero to a lot of people to this day for the richness of his character, his arc, Brooks's superb portrayal, and the depiction of his family life, just as TNG Picard is a hero to so many people for being the opposite of a conventional gung-ho captain/action hero - instead reserved, thoughtful and someone who leads by listening to others and taking action based on consensual decision-making - an absolutely fantastic role model for men in our present era of political strongmen. So in relation to Sisko and Picard in particular, I won't hear it said that "captains and crews always felt stocky and unrealistic". The new series have absolutely no idea how to approach diversity. On earlier Trek series, diversity was baked into the fabric of the show - TOS/TNG/DS9/VOY understood that diversity was just a starting point, a necessary tool for good storytelling, whereas now, the show creators seem to think it's an end point, an achievement in and of itself. Diversity and representation have been placed on a pedestal to the point that some writers and creatives increasingly don't think *beyond* them: they think representation alone is enough, that as long as you tick all the right boxes, viewers will automatically be happy at seeing a member of their identity group on-screen and will enjoy the show merely on that basis - to see themselves represented - so you don't have to bother with decent writing, characterization or storytelling, or to properly flesh your characters out and give them depth, relatability and compelling motivations. The new Treks series seem to think it's enough to create a cast with female, non-white and LGBT characters, then give them almost no character development and consistently show them as unprofessional, impulsive and irresponsible. I would trust Sisko, Kira, Geordi, Beverly, Guinan, Seven, Tuvok etc. with my life. I wouldn't trust Michael Burnham or any of the Picard or Lower Decks characters to make me a cup of tea.
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 11:40am (UTC -5)

"It feels like these are real people acting like real people would."

What world do you live in?

Could not disagree more with you on this.

These are characters on steroids in a show on steroids trying to cater to the lowest common denominator.

It's a shame the appreciation for real acting, solid writing, intelligent ideas and premises seem to have vanished from this new iteration of Trek. Just because it's an animated half hour show doesn't mean this is how it has to be.
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 11:51am (UTC -5)
Some of you really should get that stick attended to. Also, the part of your brains that determine "what is and what isn't Star Trek" seems to have ossified. I have news for you. It's all Star Trek. All of it. You who consider yourselves the arbiters of what is and what isn't proper Trek are growing more irrelevant every day, along with those who write ever-more caustic, sarcastic and arrogant reviews. The rest of us out here are enjoying this ever-expanding Trek universe. Some of it is good, some not so good, but it's all "Star Trek", and I welcome each new iteration.
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 11:56am (UTC -5)
Is it just me or do a lot of these Nu-lings sound like PR people?
But would a 30 billion $ company really hire a huge number of PR people to post positive reviews everywhere and harass anybody who isn't in love with the new stuff?
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 12:16pm (UTC -5)
Disagree. just because someone owns an IP and can slap the logo on something, doesn't make it that thing.
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 12:22pm (UTC -5)
"Is it just me or do a lot of these Nu-lings sound like PR people?"

Hmmm....probably because they say things like this:

"This new Trek is quirky, vibrant, diverse, fun... and most of all: It feels like these are real people acting like real people would. Whereas the old Trek captains and crews always felt stocky and unrealistic.

What I want to say is: This is a franchise that is at this point at an all-time high water mark in terms of quality and being recognized by wider audiences."

Same dude on 1985:

'This New Coke is quirky, vibrant, delicious, fun... and most of all: it tastes like a real soda for real people should. What I want to say is: New Coke is a soft drink that is at this point at an all-time high water mark in terms of quality and being recognized by wider audiences."
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 12:30pm (UTC -5)
Ok, so it isn't just me. Yeah there are quite a few sentences that sound like typical PR speech.
Guiding Light
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 1:17pm (UTC -5)
If there are people out there who enjoy these shows and like that Star Trek has firmly arrived in the 21st century, they *have* to be corporate PR shills?

That's conspiratorial thinking par excellence. But you do you.
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 1:20pm (UTC -5)
Guiding Light said: "Reviews that are much more objective..."

Trekmovies.com isn't "objective". Their reviewers adore everything from "Nemesis", to "Picard" and "Disco's" goofy finales.

Guiding Light said: "it just tells you about the reviewers. And the ones you linked seem a sorry, joyless lot. "

But one can equally flippantly claim the opposite. That they get more happiness and joy from the better writing they've seen elsewhere.

Guiding Light said: "It feels like these are real people acting like real people would."

This is a bizarre claim. A lead character commits A COURT MARTIAL-ABLE OFFENSE within the first 5 minutes. The rest of the episode is clearly not attempting to portray how real professional crewmen and command staff would act.

Guiding Light said: "Whereas the old Trek captains and crews always felt stocky and unrealistic."

The captain on "Lower Decks" is literally a stock archetype; a Zapp Brannigan/Kirk-esque matinee idol pushed to comedic extremes. Are you arguing that this is realistic?

Or are you trying to take pot shots at TOS and TNG, which went to great pains to add a degree of verisimilitude, was oft written by those with experience in the military and/or on ships, and which did well to pepper their episodes with nautical minutia?

Guiding Light said: "This is a franchise that is at this point at an all-time high water mark in terms of quality and being recognized by wider audiences."

To claim Kurtzman-Trek, and the pilot to "Lower Decks", is the ALL TIME HIGH WATER MARK of TREK is laughable and nonsensical. And whilst "popularity" rarely dovetails with "quality", the popularity of Kurtzman-Trek has typically lagged behind the older shows...


Guiding Light said: "So why should the producers change that, just because a tiny fraction of the 'old guard' of fans cannot cope with change?"

Surely it is Kurtzman-Trek that cannot cope with change, and which bends over backwards to drag in the Enterprise, Pike, Talos, Spock, 7of9, Picard, Data etc etc. It cannot conceive of anything new. It parasitizes upon itself and rips off others, aesthetically and narrative-wise. Whilst Roddenberry and Berman Trek were radical in the context and TV-landscapes of their times, Kurtzman Trek is not.

Booming said: "Is it just me or do a lot of these Nu-lings sound like PR people?"

Whether that is true or not, the "arguments" from those who adore Kurtzman-Trek are always similar: old Trek had lots of bad episodes, old Trek was stuffy and boring, and Kurtzman-haters are old, afraid of change and/or Alt-Right bigots.

Good writing is good writing. Great writing is great writing . Bad writing is bad writing. You don't need to drag ancillary issues into it.

"Picard's" magical-ipod thing, its incest-Romulans, and "Discovery's" various shenanigans (particularly the whole spore-drive-space mushroom-camouflage -fungus-to-avoid-decomspoision thing), are bad writing. An aversion to that is not a failure to embrace change, its an unwillingness to praise bad writing.

James said: "If there isn't any typical Trek content or themes to go with it, then I don't see myself sticking with it."

It has big shoes to fill, in that it lives in the shadow of both "RICK AND MORTY" and "TNG", both of which could cook up a very clever SF hook. The showrunner for "Lower Decks" has written at least two "RICK AND MORTY" episodes which I consider clever, so fingers crossed. The issue is whether the kind of nihilism and violence common in "RICK AND MORTY" suits the Trek ethos. This pilot was awash with crewmen stabbing and gunning down fellow crewmen, all played for almost sociopathic laughs.
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 1:33pm (UTC -5)
Karl said: "....thin-line animation, sometimes jokingly called "CalArts."

Yeah, the Cali Institute of Arts is to animation what like MIT is to engineering. You go there, and you're instantly employable, their "favored" clean lines aesthetically pleasing and relatively easy to animate quickly.

The style always reminded me of old 1950s cartoons, meet classic Tintin (minus Herge's elaborate landscapes/backgrounds). IMO it's quite suited for TNG's equally minimalist aesthetic.
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 1:58pm (UTC -5)
Wolfstar said: "Most of my gay male friends still say Voyager is their favorite series"

I wonder what the gay-appeal of "Voyager" is. It has a big gay male and female fanbase (Janeway and 7 were heavily shipped by early fans). I know I started watching "Voyager" because of Elliot's defenses of the show many years ago, one of the gay posters* on Jammers boards, and who I enjoyed reading.

*sounds weird typing that. Elliot, if you're reading this, I'm sorry to have reduced you to the Gay Voyager Dude.
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 1:59pm (UTC -5)
@Guiding Light
"they *have* to be corporate PR shills?"
I wouldn't say have to be.

"That's conspiratorial thinking par excellence."
par excellence is maybe a little much.

And maybe you are right, I mean why would one of the biggest media conglomerates on the planet use it's gigantic financial reserves to turn it's extremely important streaming project into a success.

Now tell us more about the wondrous, inspiring and diverse story opportunities that a more modern version of Trek can bring children and people young at heart. Tell us of how many amazing vertical integration possibilities this thoughtful franchise universe provides. And Let us thank all those hard working people who poured their hearts, and yes, souls into this project to create something really special, that hopefully inspires many generations to reach for the stars. Thank you. *applause*
Then Commander Riker makes pizza.
Tommy D.
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 2:14pm (UTC -5)

Krad has always given fair Trek reviews.
Guiding Light
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 2:28pm (UTC -5)
Booming, if you need to believe that CBS actually pays me to write that I like the show, because you cannot cope with people having different opinions, go ahead. I'm sure that's a healthy and normal reaction to the fact that people dare enjoy something...

It's also, by the way, Trent who brought up the fact that some people here sound extremely like the alt-right, not me. But, hey, build your strawmen. I'll be over here enjoying the new iteration of Star Trek that's accessible for everybody.
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 2:28pm (UTC -5)

You probably know this, but the term you're looking for is "astroturfing."

Per Merriam Webster:
"organized activity that is intended to create a false impression of a widespread, spontaneously arising, grassroots movement in support of or in opposition to something (such as a political policy) but that is in reality initiated and controlled by a concealed group or organization (such as a corporation)

Classic astroturfing is the practice of disguising an orchestrated campaign as a spontaneous upwelling of public opinion. … The term itself appears to have been coined in 1985 by then Texas Senator Lloyd Bentsen, who noted that the mountains of letters he received about legislation on insurance originated with insurers. — New Scientist, 10 Feb. 2007

The modern form of astroturfing uses the Internet, and corporations, religious groups with a social agenda, and public interest groups can flood an in-box in an hour with e-mails that may come from a single source using many accounts.— Alan Boraas, Anchorage Daily News, 4 Apr. 2009"


Now, I'm not necessarily saying anyone is being a part of this here... but it's an observed, recorded phenomenon (there are several cited examples on wikipedia if anyone is so inclined to look) and therefore isn't out of the realm of possibility that it's occuring within Trek fandom.
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 4:15pm (UTC -5)
@Guiding Light
"if you need to believe that CBS actually pays me to write that I like the show"
I don't need to believe that. It just makes so much sense. Live long and prosper (That is from Star Trek) ;)

" I'll be over here enjoying the new iteration of Star Trek that's accessible for everybody."
If you really talk like that then maybe you are not the best person to judge who is normal. Oh and by the way it is not accessible for everybody, isn't it.
And by the way you came here to insult people. Let's have a look at your very first post:

- inbred community of nerds (a good start)
- I know people loved TNG in the 1980s, but it was always a silly and honestly pretty bad show. (Seems like you hated Trek)
- And shows like TNG, with their disregard for the views and interests of minority communities, with their baseless techno-utopianism are what made Trump and Brexit and all the other things possible that happen today. (oh, so TNG is responsible for Brexit and the Trump presidency and "all the other things")
- Picard goes into a preachy rant about "humanity" that is obviously intended to mock the high-faluting speeches Picard gave in TNG. Because that's all he did: Give speeches and then never act, never help those in need. (Yeah Picard was a total armchair admiral. Sitting in his ready room, filing reports, sipping tea)
- Punishing those who need punishment. (Kill those that you think deserve it. Nice)
- SHE is the moral center of this episode while Picard still is a nostalgic old fool who has to learn that he and his speeches are part of the problem, not of the solution. (Murdering your former lover in cold blood and being the moral center as well. Groundbreaking. How much more leftist could you be than turning her into a female Dirty Harry killing all the baddies)
- And I just hope we get a spin-off show of Annika Hansen travelling through the galaxy and making people pay who deserve it. (Sorry but at the end of Picard Seven said "that she now understands that killing people just because it feels right is bad". Powerful stuff)
- . This is Star Trek for a modern age and I'm glad it makes people uncomfortable instead of just feeding priviledged fourty and fifty-year olds the same comforting lies they have been fed by this franchise for 50 years. (I'm not even 40 and part of a minority. I have probably eaten more shit then you can even imagine)

All these quotes are just from your very first post.
It seems like you really hated Trek and somehow think that Star Trek is responsible for the rise of the alt right and crumbling of western democracy.
I have a degree in political science so let me assure you, that is not so.

@ Nolan
Yeah. I think most people have not the faintest idea what legions billionaires or mega companies can field. And these people talk like PR people.
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 4:58pm (UTC -5)
I can't believe nobody noticed...

No lens flares!!!!

Guiding Light
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 5:35pm (UTC -5)
Boomer, actually I came here to say that I love that Star Trek is finally doing new things and is willing to question the very problematic foundations it is built upon. (Colonialism, machismo, a mostly white, mostly male, mostly straight, mostly binary world-view.)

I'm sorry that this makes you mad, but I certainly don't hate Star Trek. Otherwise I would hardly be so positive about all the wonderful shows we've been getting in the last few years and the shows they're still working on (Section 31, New Frontiers).
Dave in MN
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 5:52pm (UTC -5)
I haven't watched it (yet), so I haven't checked the comments stream in a couple days. I'm trying to be as fair as I can and avoid spoilers.

I had to scroll down to find the comments box (you know how it is) and I'm surprised by all the names I didn't recognize.

Either this show is bringing in a while new crowd of commenters or there's some kind of organized campaign going on. It'll be fascinating to find out which logical possibility is the truth. (If Lower Decks does actually suck, then that's my consolation prize: at least here, the comment section drama is guaranteed to be entertaining/hilarious).

I'll try to watch it tonight.
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 8:26pm (UTC -5)
Just want to add one personal reason to the many great reasons noted above for not watching this show: there is a zero chance that this show’s timeline will intersect that of Keiko O’Brien, missing the opportunity for the show to do some fan service by killing her off.

I’d subscribe to CBS all access if they create ST:OB (O’Brien), where some terrorists kidnap Keiko, and Miles and Molly get commissioned by star fleet to save her. They spend the first few episodes trying to find her, then realize they’re happier without her, and use that star fleet resources and ship to go exploring the universe. Each episode would start and end with shots of Keiko wasting away in a dark, dirty cell, getting skinnier each episode, while Miles and Molly create fake progress reports to headquarters.

Miles would have to shape up and lose a whole lotta weight, though. I don’t think anyone wants to see some fat dude stretching out his uniform episode after episode (was hard enough seeing fat Riker in ST:P).
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 9:16pm (UTC -5)
I’d watch ST:OB
This place still sucks
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 10:37pm (UTC -5)
Bummer y’all can’t enjoy shit. The first ep was fantastic fun. Absurdist humor in the Trek universe is a fantastic angle to take and lends itself to a lot of fun “what if?” scenarios I’ve wondered about watching Trek for years.

Such a sad, miserable existence y’all have, or Jammer for not even being willing to check it out.

Dave in MN
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 11:19pm (UTC -5)
If I don't like something, I'm not upset that others like it.

So .... why do you get worked up that others dislike what you like?

I never understood that thought process: "They don't like this?! How can this be? Why ... there must be something wrong with them. Maybe they have no soul or no joy? Hmmm, yeah,, that's it. They're bad human beings, I bet! Now, armed with nothing but that assumption, I should vocally denounce them (while also attacking the man providing the space for debate)".

Ad hominem attacks might be trendy right now, but I don't think people are impressed by them anymore.

Anyone can be rude as fuck, just saying.

Must be a very polarizing episode. I'm dreading this, haha.
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 11:24pm (UTC -5)
Frankly as far as ST pilots go its probably top 30% imo

Under "The Emissary" and "Where No Man..."

I'd put it over Caretaker, Farpoint, The Cage, and probably Broken Bow

And if nothing else it was easily the most endearing of the bunch. I think I'm sold on modern cartoon ST, even if I'm in the minority. Very excited and I wish I could just binge the series now.
Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 1:16am (UTC -5)
This comment section has been an even better read than normal. Wolfstar, I want to particularly give your comment a shoutout because although I didn’t necessarily agree with everything you said, it was extremely thought-provoking and very well written.
Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 3:11am (UTC -5)
I second that; I feel like I should never comment on new Trek again because I could never top that post.
Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 3:24am (UTC -5)
I laughed until my feet hurt and I couldn't inhale.

But somehow, in only 26 minutes (which felt like 8) this episode managed to also convey the grandest parts of 55 years of Star Trek world-building, while also poking justified fun at nearly all of it, nearly all the time.

Possibly the most innovative take on the franchise ever.

Definitely the cutest Star Trek series.

A near perfect premiere.

...People with poor social skills will probably hate it.
Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 3:26am (UTC -5)
P.S. @Lee: agreed
Guiding Light
Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 3:55am (UTC -5)
@Lee: I don't get it. It is Star Trek and this is a Star Trek review site. By not reviewing it, Jammer - involuntarily, I'm sure - just needlessly opens up the "what is and isn't Trek" can of worms. I wish he'd reconsider and maybe find somebody who reviews the series so that it is represented here on the site properly.
Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 4:00am (UTC -5)
Maybe the Nu-Trekkers should just move to some reddit safe space. You come in here insult people, insult the guy who made this page just for not reviewing it, and then say that your life was changed forever by this stuff.
Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 4:43am (UTC -5)
Maybe the reason some posters have suspicions of the new posters who have suddenly appeared with high praise for the episode, is from comments like "it appeals to a wide audience". That is how executives and corporations think. And what's with all the personal attacks? I can't think of a single reason to be so defensive about the first episode of a show you have no investment in.
Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 4:52am (UTC -5)
Yeah, I thought us Classic Trek Only fans were supposed to be the entitled, never pleased, angry and rude crowd. While the nuTrek fans were accepting, always pleased and understanding? What the heck guys, don't assign us a broad stereotyped view and then walk all over the turf you just gave us. I mean geez. Pick a lane.

Jammer's had a busy life since before the Kelvin movies. This is a HOBBY for him, one that he finds hard to make time for. It's his choice and his site. Ya can't bully him (yes, bully) into reviewing the show you like because "but it has Star Trek in the title." That's not how the world works. Just because something is labelled a certain way does not make it worthy, worthwhile, or good. It has to have the credentials and have done the work to back that label up. Plenty obviously think that Lower Decks, and even nuTrek as a whole, doesn't have much behind it's label.
Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 5:57am (UTC -5)
Funny how things have changed. "You have no social skills" and "you have no sense of humor" and "get a life" have all been used to attack Trek fans in decades past.

Which makes you think.. maybe things haven't changed much at all?
James White
Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 7:59am (UTC -5)
Haven't been here for awhile. New show, corp shills, us vs. them bullshit. Kurtzman is still terrible. Nothing has changed. Except Jammer finally took a stand. The man with some of the best Trek commentary ever has said "I'll pass" to this dreck.
Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 10:17am (UTC -5)
Jammer hasn’t been relevant since he submitted half baked mostly lifted scripts to the voyager writers. He’s been in some bullshit mode of half hate for almost 3 decades. This site is a high school reunion of old writers, staff, fans, and alcoholic wreckage from prior times. It reads like the left over cheerleaders from your highschool yearbooks. Being stuck T a reunion 25 years later at one of their tables as they make fun of anyone successful.
James White
Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 10:51am (UTC -5)

I'm extremely successful, and I find Jammer's reviews both intelligent and fair-minded. Most of the people that comment here are extremely intelligent. And most do not resort to petulant name-calling. Since you called out Jammer, why don't you tell us specifically what works you've published or were adapted to TV/film. Provide your name and give us some means to verify it independent of you.
Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 11:11am (UTC -5)
Don't bother that guy is clearly a troll.
Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 11:35am (UTC -5)

"...People with poor social skills will probably hate it."

Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 12:55pm (UTC -5)
OK so I watched it a 2nd time while doing laundry... and I have a more nuanced take than my initial impression.

I think the key thing about STLD is that it needs to be understood as a parody primarily, though I don't think it was marketed as such -- at least that was not my expectation when I first started watching it. Strictly as a comedy, it does not work for me. When observed through this parody lens, it's better than a zero-star experience for me even when evaluating it like I would classic Trek, though that's where I was leaning after my first viewing.

I could see a non-animated parody of Trek being successful provided it was still done with a measure of class, which STLD isn't. Nevertheless, I still feel this type of show isn't good for the Trek franchise given its ethos and I think on its own merit as a parody, I think 1 star is an appropriate rating -- still pretty terrible.

I definitely think they went way overboard with the rage illness and medical response and the characters on steroids. For example, did we really need to see the Orion chick pumping the guy's heart? No. Did we need to see infected crew furiously spewing black stuff all over? No. The couple dating was pretty forgettable. And the bit with the giant spider attacking is again way overboard.

As for Mariner going off on her own to help the alien farmers and circumventing Star Fleet bureaucracy -- that's a good idea to show. The macho camaraderie between the commander and another senior officer -- that's fine as well. The captain taking credit for curing the rage illness and not crediting junior staff was also good from a parody standpoint. But the idea that a miracle cure is found in the nick of time -- that much is typical classic Trek.

A couple of other comments would be that I noticed the episode title and credits are in the same font/color as TNG -- so that's a nice touch. At least we get an episode title on the screen, which nu-Trek shied away from. Why I don't know. And as for the animation, some of it was pretty cool -- like the ship's panels and the ship itself -- some nice details. But I don't get why the animation for the characters is so simplistic. Pros and cons to the animation.
Peter G.
Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 1:01pm (UTC -5)
@ Rahul,

"I think the key thing about STLD is that it needs to be understood as a parody primarily, though I don't think it was marketed as such -- at least that was not my expectation when I first started watching it. Strictly as a comedy, it does not work for me. When observed through this parody lens, it's better than a zero-star experience for me even when evaluating it like I would classic Trek, though that's where I was leaning after my first viewing."

The thing about parody is that to be one it would need to do some very particular things. Spoofing a genre, and in particular one show in a genre, requires some pointers towards actual details in the original that you're making fun of. A good example of a TNG parody - probably the gold standard in my book - was MAD Magazine's TNG special back when TNG S1 was on the air. They include several vignettes making fun of TNG, including a funny segment lampooning Justice where a monster is eating the crew and Picard says that they can't interfere with its local customs and so have to let it continue. Not just anything silly or stupid can be parody, it has to actually parody *something*. Just doing anti-Trek in the style of South Park isn't a parody or a spoof all by itself; the content must be pointed. Otherwise it's just a zany childrens' version of the show, not while I would call a parody making mock of the actual content.
Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 2:05pm (UTC -5)
@ Peter G.,

Hey, I never said it was good parody. Fully recognizing that parody is what STLD was going for (at least in "Second Contact"), I'd still only rate it like 1*.

As for being pointed about what it wants to parody, I think it was done more generally in this pilot -- not targeting a particular episode but rather broad topics like the underlings' views of senior officers, senior officers being obsessed with covering their asses and taking credit for underlings' work, miracle cure etc. So there were definitely specific aspects of Star Trek that were parodied -- at least the wheels in the minds of the showrunners were turning as to what they wanted to spoof. But any intelligent spoofing was lost amid the furious pacing and excesses which I already talked about.
Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 3:01pm (UTC -5)
Saw this just now, it wasn't bad. One thing I'll note is this is geared for people with short attention spans; there's a joke or graphic scene every other second. So, basically this is tailored for Millenials and that's fine.

I do like how it takes place in the TNG universe and uses familiar technology/races from the Berman era. The jokes themselves were pretty run-of-the-mill or extremely over-the-top. The animation and voice acting on the other hand is really polished -- and I think that helps keep this ship in orbit. I may watch Lower Decks on occasion, but I have the feeling it's not really made for me.
Louis B
Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 9:27pm (UTC -5)
STLD was awesome. You're missing out, Jammer!
Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 9:28pm (UTC -5)
STLD was laughably bad. Like lowest common denominator waste of time.
Sun, Aug 9, 2020, 12:57am (UTC -5)
@Nolan, great post ;-)


Lower Decks really is a symptom of a much more fundamental problem.


Star Trek was never able to transition into the 21st century. It's been running on auto-pilot for the past 20 years.


I suppose that is a testament to capitalism.


You can make a boatload of money putting out mediocre drek year after year, decade after decade. People will buy pretty much anything. I hear The Bachelorette is in its 15th season.


Why bother working hard, with passion and integrity, to put out one of the most aspirational shows ever made by man?? It's far easier to slap together some garbage, throw on the name of some established IP franchise, pump out the promotional PR, and sit back and cash the checks.


We seem to be further from Star Trek's future than ever.


Twice before we've appeared on that track for that future. Twice before we were able to come together to create the greatest of great Star Trek.


Once as man was racing for the moon (TOS).


And then again at the at the end of the Cold War when the hope was we could once more turn our gazes back to the stars (ST VI, TNG S4).


TNG laid the groundwork for DS9, and VOY provided the cover fire so DS9 could do its thing. But once DS9 was gone, and Ronald D Moore was gone, and Joe Menosky was gone, Star Trek was dead.


But Star Trek has died before (after S3 of TOS). And Star Trek has been debased before (TAS). And Star Trek has had false re-starts before (TNG S1, ST:2009). And Star Trek has come back from the dead before (TWoK).


So let the current string of debasement (Lower Decks), and false re-starts (Discovery, Picard) burn themselves out. Eventually there will be a, er, um, Restoration...


And then maybe we'll be able to do the impossible once again.

Sun, Aug 9, 2020, 2:02am (UTC -5)
You guys are wrong. It's a great show. Christian Blauvelt's review on IndieWire says it may be the most Trek series ever.
Sun, Aug 9, 2020, 2:11am (UTC -5)
Well, it definitely wasn't funny. As I suspected, the humor is very hyperactive and fast-talking but lacks any actual wit; it's the way """"quirky""" white people act in TV commercials. Also I thought we learned from Family Guy that references alone do not count as jokes.

That said, I didn't completely hate it. It looks really nice. I kinda like the dynamic between Mariner and Bueller, the green girl and the cyborg not so much (see above). I like the cat doctor, kind of a Bones-y vibe.

I like that there's a plot that's spread out between an actual cast of characters, instead of everything revolving around a fucking Micheal Burnham. I like that it's a serialized format that doesn't hinge on taking a massive dump on established canon and characters like STP, though there's plenty of time for that.

I definitely don't like many of the comments I've seen from people who like the show. Anyone who doesn't like it "lacks social skills"? What a petty, childish thing to say.

Anyway for a comedy show the humor falls completely flat and as a parody it mostly boils down to "hey remember WORF!?" so that's a pretty terrible foundation for a Trek show. I'm willing to concede that there might be a couple of legitimately good episodes tucked away in the season but I sure as hell wouldn't pay to watch it.
Sun, Aug 9, 2020, 4:04am (UTC -5)
"Anyone who doesn't like it 'lacks social skills'? What a petty, childish thing to say."

Well, we're Trekkies, aren't we ;-)

We are also snobbish nerds who never laugh at anything, live in our parent's basement and need to get a life.

Seriously, though, these remarks tell you everything you need to know about the current state of the franchise, doesn't it?

@Dave in MN
"Either this show is bringing in a while new crowd of commenters or there's some kind of organized campaign going on. It'll be fascinating to find out which logical possibility is the truth. "

It's probably a combination of both.

But who cares, really? Either way, it is obvious that the vast majority of these commenters is not interested in an actual discussion. 80% of their stuff is personal attacks and the other 20% of their stuff is empty praise of the kind of "this show is the greatest thing evar!!!!!".
Sun, Aug 9, 2020, 4:22am (UTC -5)
"We seem to be further from Star Trek's future than ever."

Star Trek always postulated that things need to get far worse, before they will get better.

So now things are getting worse. Which just means that it's even more important to remain hopeful and remember Trek's original vision for humanity's future.

After all, in the Trekverse, humanity suffered through a Eugenic War, an economic collapse, Sanctuary Districts, The Bell Riots and World War III, yet everything ended up okay in the end.

If they could make it to the bright future shown in TOS and TNG, so can we.
Karl Zimmerman
Sun, Aug 9, 2020, 7:12am (UTC -5)
I do not understand the argument that Lower Decks is "not canon" or "not Star Trek."

First, there's of course the distinction to be made between canon and continuity, which people often confuse. Canon just means whatever the licence holder says counts. This is why Star Trek books have never been canon, and TAS became non-canon during the TNG era (and seems to have slowly been embraced once again). A story can make logical sense within the Trekverse continuity without being canon. Elements of the Trek timeline also outright conflict due to writer error (like say Chekov knowing Khan in TWOK) but it doesn't screw up the canonical status of either work, Or I guess you could bring up the entire Kelvinverse, which clearly isn't in the Prime Timeline, but is still part of canon.

So the real question is if Lower Decks is within the continuity of earlier Trek shows. I don't see an issue here either. Unlike say the Short Trek Ephraim and Dot there is no Looney Toons style physics on display. I didn't see any breaking of the fourth wall either. It's a bit silly, but is it any sillier so far than a giant amoeba that eats planets, meeting the literal god Apollo, a giant glowy hand in space, Rumpelstiltskin, etc I don't see what stretches credulity here.

Unless, I suppose, people are angry at how the crew acts. I find this aspect of the show completely believable however. Comparing the show with TNG in terms of crew competence is not fair because The Enterprise was/is the flagship of all of Starfleet, and thus should have the "best of the best." The Cerritos is purposefully made out to be a smaller, fairly insignificant ship, so having a crew which is a bit less exemplary is understandable. Add to this that the show is from the POV of the ensigns. Much like the TNG episode Lower Decks recast the crew we love as distant and somewhat intimidating figures, we're not seeing the bridge crew here (yet) at their best. The ensigns themselves are assuredly not nasty or nihilistic people either. They have personality quirks, but they're competent and do the best they can to support one another.

So yeah, I can understand how someone would not enjoy the show for its pacing, or humor. I can't understand saying it's "not Star Trek."
Sun, Aug 9, 2020, 10:53pm (UTC -5)
McCoy: "Jim, I think I liked him with a beard better. It gave him character. Of course, almost any change would be a distinct improvement."

Kirk: "What worries me is the easy way his counterpart fitted into that other universe. I always thought Spock was a bit of a pirate at heart."

Spock: "Indeed, gentlemen? May I point out that I had an opportunity to observe your counterparts here quite closely. They were brutal, savage, unprincipled, uncivilized, treacherous...in every way, splendid examples of homo sapiens. The very flower of humanity...I found them quite refreshing."

(Spock mans his station)

Kirk: ...
McCoy: ...
Kirk: "I'm not sure, but I think we've been insulted."
McCoy: "I'M sure." >:/

... Which is an actual, layered, written joke. Unlike Lower Decks, which is just 25 minutes of people being idiots and doing stupid things and saying stupid things.
Sun, Aug 9, 2020, 10:56pm (UTC -5)
It's not Star Trek because Star Trek is actually about something it's a bunch of different departments working very hard to bring a story that actually really attempt to examine the human condition while having some fun and action and drama along the way lower deck is a cheap cash grab a desperate Creator in a desperate studio just hoping to quickly give some good numbers to the investors. You can call it starts like all you want because have a name and logo plastered on it but that means nothing
Sun, Aug 9, 2020, 10:58pm (UTC -5)
If the show was called Star Trek: Lower Ducks and it starred a bunch of anthropomorphic ducks in Starfleet uniforms, it would be no more canon than this shit show
Mon, Aug 10, 2020, 1:44am (UTC -5)

In my view, the question of how enjoyable Lower Decks is, is totally different from the question of whether we should accept it as part of the main continuity.

Here are my problems with accepting this show as part of the main continuity:

1. Enjoyable or not, it's a silly animated comedy. Can you imagine adding events from Lower Decks to any "serious" Star Trek timeline? I mean, if the show doesn't take *itself* seriously, why should we?

2. If, as you say, the science realism level is on par with giant starship-clutching hands and planet-eating space amoebas, that's not a good sign. Just because TOS did it in the 1960's, doesn't make it any less goofy. Trek has marched forward in the following 40 years, and the standard we've expected from it have risen accordingly.

3. We've already had two new series that don't fit the established continuity at all. To put it bluntly: The trust is gone, so accepting new material as "official history" is no longer the default.

If TPTB want us to reopen our Trek history books and add new material, they'll have to give us a compelling reason to do so. And let's be honest: a light goofy cartoon is not a compelling reason.

I'll admit to one thing, though:

Unlike DIS and PIC, LDS at least feels like it is set in the Star Trek universe. It's a goofy animated comedy set in that world, but there's no doubt about the setting.
Mon, Aug 10, 2020, 5:05am (UTC -5)
Thanks SlackerInc and Sen-Sors, appreciated.

Trent, I think it has quite a lot to do with Kate Mulgrew's slightly camp, 1940s-influenced acting style - she plays the role like she's in a Sirk melodrama. Plus the general lightness of the show and the focus on "fun" from season 3 onwards, as well as the female soap-opera villains (Seska, the Borg Queen). The lesbian fanbase for Seven (and Janeway) is self-explanatory, but I think for gay guys, the fact that (certainly in my case) we never noticed or thought about Seven's body or outfit made it easier to appreciate the character and performance. The narrative of Seven recovering from trauma and carving out her own identity on her own terms is also very appealing and resonant.
Mon, Aug 10, 2020, 5:09am (UTC -5)
At least TOS' giant hand in space served a purpose: it was an exploration of Arthur C Clarke's idea that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Apollo's power in the episode came only from his race's technology, and they were worshiped by ancient Greeks for it, with Kirk's crew still in awe of what he could do. The whole idea was for it to appear scientifically impossible, for it to appear as magic.

In the first episode of Lower Decks, we have a disease turning people into bile-spewing zombies, and a giant spider which attacks a crew member. For what purpose? Presumably to acquaint us with the crew. That doesn't make it a good use of the sci-fi premise. There's no reason it couldn't have been done in the Stargate or Firefly or Battlestar universe, or any other fictional universe.
William B
Mon, Aug 10, 2020, 10:34am (UTC -5)
@wolfstar, that makes sense to me re: Voyager. I think that viewing the show as a Sirkish self-aware melodrama enhances it. It reminds me that Angel/Firefly writer Tim Minear has said that he and Whedon had discussed the Mutant Enemy (Buffy/Angel/Firefly/etc.) house style as being Sirkish, stylized, colourful, grandiose, a bit cheeky, and that's another set of shows with a big queer following.

In terms of classic Hollywood movies with a queer following, I was just thinking about Suddenly, Last Summer and I can somewhat imagine the Voyager-era Melgrew, Ryan and Picardo in the Hepburn, Taylor and Clift roles. I'd sure like to see that.

It will probably come up at some point in the discussions surrounding Elliott's commentary (when he gets back to it), but the differing responses to Voyager are probably worthwhile to check into. I feel like I'm kind of on the edge of appreciating Voyager's pleasures and being put off by its numerous, well-documented (c.f. Jammer's reviews, Ron Moore essay, etc.) flaws.


"In the first episode of Lower Decks, we have a disease turning people into bile-spewing zombies, and a giant spider which attacks a crew member. For what purpose? Presumably to acquaint us with the crew. That doesn't make it a good use of the sci-fi premise. There's no reason it couldn't have been done in the Stargate or Firefly or Battlestar universe, or any other fictional universe."

I don't know about Stargate, but I can't see this happening in Firefly or Battlestar (at least the modern iteration), at least not in the way it sounds. I guess if it's a specifically engineered virus (by the Alliance or by the Cylons) and a...robot giant spider, maybe, but both of those universes were deliberately excavated of alien elements and tended not to do the "wacky disease" trope too much. Both are precedentedly Trekkish though, which is not to say that they are good Trek tropes.
Karl Zimmerman
Mon, Aug 10, 2020, 11:02am (UTC -5)

While I admit historically exploration of the human condition was core to Star Trek, I'm not sure I'd agree that it was core to Star Trek comedy.

The best Trek comedies are either from TOS (Trouble with Tribbles, I Mudd, and A Piece of the Action) or DS9 (Little Green Men, the Magnificent Ferengi, In The Cards, Our Man Bashir, Trials and Tribble-ations, etc). I think TNG had humorous moments, but no true comedy episodes, only "lighthearted" ones. VOY's few attempts were awful (Bride of Chaotica was okay, but not really funny), and ENT really lacked them entirely.

When I think about the best Trek comedies, I really don't see a deep exploration of themes and character. I'm not saying it can't be done - comedy can be deep and incisive. But that's not what Trek has done typically. If anything the standby in Trek "humor" tends to be to try and take references from some other setting (mobsters, James Bond, 1950s B movies, Flash Gordon, etc) and work them into the plot somehow, even if the explanation is ridiculous. And honestly, this makes sense, because the key component of humor is something being out of place. People have to either act in an unexpected manner, or have something unexpected/absurd happen to them.

Regardless your argument seems to boil down to "I don't like CBS, and therefore it's not canon." This is silly, because fans can decide what they like or don't like, but fans cannot decide what counts or doesn't count. Canon was after all originally a term for official religious texts which had the sanction of authorities. CBS gets to decide what is canon, not you. You can just decide what you want to watch.
Karl Zimmerman
Mon, Aug 10, 2020, 11:15am (UTC -5)

Going through each of your concerns.

1. The tone doesn't really matter to me. It's pretty clear to anyone who watches it Star Trek is not intended as a literal documentary of the Trekverse. The Universal Translator probably doesn't automatically fix the mouths of aliens so they are speaking English - and shouldn't be working when no humans are around. Recast roles don't mean the individuals got plastic surgery between episodes. The sometimes stylized lighting and sountracks don't exist within universe. Some episodes outright explore the question of an unreliable narrator. And of course there's the extremely lo-fi effects of TOS. The way I have always taken Trek is the events show onscreen actually happen, but the visual depiction of them cannot be trusted to be literally true. Thus one could see Lower Decks as a comedy simply because we're seeing a "cut" of reality which focuses on the few funny moments which happen over the course of a day.

2. The actual science-fiction part of this episode was honestly not that outre. I mean, a zombie virus and a giant plant-eating spider? What's that ridiculous about that by past Trek standards? Regardless, even if you discard TOS, there is plenty of crap which wouldn't be considered to be "hard sci-fi" by any means in all eras of Star Trek.

3. I had major problems squaring away Discovery with the existing Trek timeline, as would anyone with half a brain. It seems to have suffered heavily from Fuller initially wanting to do a total reboot, then getting shitcanned, then developed by committee as it lumbered forward Frankenstein-style since CBS was dead-set on new Trek. Picard made some questionable calls, but aside from some concerns with visuals, I don't see how it outright conflicts with canon (particularly since it's not a prequel in any way). As you noted, this series looks/feels like a Trek show, which makes sense, since the showrunner is a gigantic TNG fanboi.

In order to presume this isn't in continuity, you basically have to give me something concrete that they fucked up. And aside from maybe the argument that we wouldn't have fuckups like these in Starfleet, I'm just not seeing - so far - what it could be.
Mon, Aug 10, 2020, 1:36pm (UTC -5)
@Karl Zimmerman
"Regardless your argument seems to boil down to 'I don't like CBS, and therefore it's not canon.' This is silly, because fans can decide what they like or don't like, but fans cannot decide what counts or doesn't count."

Sure we can.

You're not seriously suggesting that the fans should give CBS an absolute authorative power over us when it comes to Star Trek, do you? We're intelligent consumers of entertainment, not members of some cult.

So yes, when CBS decides to throw everything that made Trek "Trek" and start making offensive garbage like DIS or PIC, we most certainly *are* allowed to say "no, I'm sorry, I can't accept this sh*t as canon".

Among other things, I don't accept a war criminal (Burnham) becoming the savior of the universe, Unklingon klingons, Starfleet planting bombs to kill mourners, Starfleet threatening mass genocide for absolutely reason, Icheb being tortured to death, Seven becoming a serial killer, the Federation just forgetting about the Dominion war yet still managing to collapse into a dystopia, pineapple-only replicators, and Picard ending up as a gibbering idiot that everybody love to ridicule.

And while Lower Decks isn't (yet?) as offensive as the above examples, I don't see any particular reason to accept it as canon either.

In short: I personally love pre-2009 Trek too much to contaminate it with this stuff. If you feel otherwise, that's perfectly fine. You, too, are free to view Star Trek in any way you see fit. It's a TV show, for God's sake.
Mon, Aug 10, 2020, 1:41pm (UTC -5)
@Karl Zimmerman

Star trek is a drama/ adventure.. and the reason those comedy episodes work is that they are a relief form the drama.. and often times they seem to start out and play like regular episodes.. and then you realize that they are using all the tools they have used for dramatic storytelling to make these comedies.

I would argue that the best Trek comedy that you did not mention is "House of Quark".. a perfect comedy because it actually compares and contrasts two different cultures by smashing their idealisms against one another.

Please don't lump me in a category.. even if it is "I hate CBS".. because I have not done so for you. I think Pike is a good captain on "Discovery" and seeing him got me invested in the show. i like Picard MORE than I hate it, as it beautifully shot,, produced and acted and did a lot of challenging things. I just don't see what the point of LD i except to copy another show (Orville) which is copying (or, in my mind, continuing in all but name only) Star Trek. The key tom Orville's success is the same as what I mentioned above, it's really a drama starring good characters and facing real dilemmas.

With Lower Decks, we see htat philosphy being betrayed.
Karl Zimmerman
Mon, Aug 10, 2020, 3:19pm (UTC -5)

Stepping outside of Trek for a second, let's talk Game of Thrones. I was a big book fan prior to the series, and the first four seasons were some of the best TV ever made. And then D&D famously ruined the show, completely and utterly, once they no longer had GRRM's books to work off of and had to write without a net.

That sucked for me as a fan. It almost sucked enough to invalidate the enjoyment of the earlier seasons. But that doesn't mean I get to say that the seasons didn't really happen. They did, and it ruined the series. Reading occasional (much better) alternate season outlines from fans is a fun exercise, but it doesn't change what happened. Reality is reality, unless HBO says "nope" and reshoots the damn thing - which isn't gonna happen, because I'm not entitled to anything from HBO.
Karl Zimmerman
Mon, Aug 10, 2020, 3:26pm (UTC -5)

First, I'm sorry for putting words in your mouth. I don't think we disagree that much about DIS and PIC, to be honest.

The one thing I'd push back on is there's a very clear character focus/arc in the first episode, which deals with Ensign Boimler.

Boimler starts the episode being the perfect Starfleet nerd/suckup. All he wants to do is impress the Captain and the senior staff and make a good impression, so that he can eventually reach command. He begins the episode loathing Mariner, and rightfully so. But when the captain doesn't know his name - and doesn't recognize that anyone other than the senior bridge staff took any of the credit - he decides not to tell on Mariner, deciding that camaraderie with his annoying coworker is better than sucking up to an uncaring boss. He becomes slightly more cynical in the end.

Now, you can argue that this character arc is an inversion - perhaps even a perversion - of anything Trek has shown before. I'd argue no however, it's just that normally our window into the Trekverse is captains, so the Admirals are the ones who are insane and/or evil when you want to introduce conflict in the ranks. Either way though, it is a relatable character dilemma, and shows something is there beyond just goofy jokes.
Mon, Aug 10, 2020, 3:48pm (UTC -5)
@Karl Zimerman I don't totally disagree with your assessment of the Lower Decks 'character" though I think it speaks to just the opposite of what Trek is usually about, seeking scientific and personal truth and not protecting lies or misdeeds (as this short short video points out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1Whdw9HIz8&feature=youtu.be)

My problem is that the show is frivolous in its approach, filled with unfunny gags instead of actual drama.. and the terrible art style doesn't help.
I mean it literally is, guy gets bit, turns crew into zombies, but spider on the surface has the cure. That's literally it. This is what Star trek is now after 50 years of trying to create a kind of verisimilitude in the franchise, after many years of characters trying to solve problems, it's all now a big joke?
Mon, Aug 10, 2020, 6:01pm (UTC -5)
@Karl Zimmermann
"But when the captain doesn't know his name - and doesn't recognize that anyone other than the senior bridge staff took any of the credit - he decides not to tell on Mariner, deciding that camaraderie with his annoying coworker is better than sucking up to an uncaring boss. He becomes slightly more cynical in the end."
But isn't that another sin not unlike what STP did? STP basically said that what we saw on TNG (or DS9) was one side of the coin, the ruling class, the elite, who live nice lifes doing meaningful things, while there are poor people with shitty replicators with high risk of getting shot by creepy robots. Let's not forget, that were the workers at the most important shipyard in the Federation. Can you even imagine how a worse post would look like...

Now this show makes this even more extreme. It says, hey guys it is really just the bridge were power hungry glory hunters try to secure their claim stomping on the lower ranks.
As you say:" He becomes slightly more cynical at the end."
And isn't that Star Trek is really about. :)
Karl Zimmerman
Mon, Aug 10, 2020, 7:25pm (UTC -5)
As I said, I could see considering Boimler's arc an inversion/perversion of what we are trained to expect from Star Trek. However, in another sense it's the same as older Trek.

Trek, after all, has always basically said "respect the chain of command - unless it's someone higher up who is an antagonist, in which case, feel free to flout the rules, or openly defy them." From Decker in TOS, to Satie in TNG, to Leyton in DS9. Hell - wasn't the whole point of the TOS movie serialized arc from TWOK through TVH that Kirk chose comrades over duty?

Regarding the issue of the "simple plot" that CaptainMercer brings up - it's sort of baked into the concept of the show. If you follow around a bunch of ensigns they aren't going to be "saving the day" every week. Frankly I find it refreshing after two seasons of Discovery and a season of Picard with ridiculously high states (save the entire multiverse, then all life in the galaxy, then perhaps all life in the galaxy again) we have a show with very low stakes interpersonal drama instead.

Regarding this episode in particular, the zombie plague thing was really the c-plot of the episode, after Boimler's personal arc and Rutherford's date. And the spider slime thing was one of the funniest elements of the entire episode, because it was directly spoofing how frequently pat solutions to problems (often via technobabble) are suddenly discovered in the third act of Trek episodes.
Mon, Aug 10, 2020, 9:39pm (UTC -5)
@Karl Zimmerman
I guess I could go with that. It had a cohesive plot and a cohesive story. But I think if it was allowed 45 minutes to breathe.. and if it was filmed live action.. hell it would have been a passable episode for me. The aesthetic presented here.. like all tripped out on FunDip so everyone talks superfast, doesn't really HELP the humor for me. And it might be personal, but it is hard to take these drawings seriously. Yes, even in comedies, you gotta take the people on screen at least as seriously as you can. haha

Sure, I grew up with Bugs Bunny, tom and Jerry and I loved Ren and Stimpy, but I think I just can't "connect" with the art style or the frantic vocal style here. It's like watching those YouTube channels where they do lots of cuts to eliminate pauses. I hate it, even though movie critic Jeremy Jahns is so good at it that it works for his channel.. any time he pauses or takes a real breath he cuts that out of the final video.. it's like they edited out any signs of people breathing in this show. That means - to me - that they are not human. So I become disconnected.
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 1:37am (UTC -5)
In the military (of at least western democracies), and I speak from personal experience, it is not only allowed but encouraged to disobey if you think an order is unlawful. Disobeying Leyton (coup), Satie (crazy) would be fine even today (don't know about Decker). You are right about Kirk and one could argue that it destroyed his career. To me it looked like Starfleet command let Kirk keep his old ship because he was such a popular figure. He saved the Federation half a dozen times and still retired only as a captain. Any half reasonable person would have become a four star admiral.

But here it seems it is just about the superiors being douchebags. As you say it is a perversion. I find it all only justifiable if you say that it is just a silly comedy show that uses the name as a prop.
Karl Zimmerman
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 8:14am (UTC -5)
As I said upthread, I do think this should have been a "double feature" like most Trek pilots (meaning around 45 minutes or so). After all, the point of a pilot is to introduce you to all members of the main cast, and I think this episode failed at that, really only giving us insight into Mariner and Boimler.

Regarding the pacing, I felt it was a bit too rapid fire in a couple of situations as well. The opening cut with Mariner didn't work at all, and I wasn't really a fan of the ending of the episode either. That said, it's the pilot, and series typically get better as a season builds up steam. Hell, the first episode of The Orville was pretty painfully unfunny and one of the weakest episodes of the entire show.

Regarding Booming's point about the characters being kinda douchey - I agree. But if you want to show character growth across a series, you need to have them start in a somewhat unlikable place. Look at how Bashir and Kira were pretty unlikeable individuals for the first few seasons. So far the command crew seems competent, but with personality quirks and distant/uncaring about the individual ensigns (which makes sense, considering a fairly large crew and frequent crew rotations). I don't think we can say yet if they're going to stay douchebags or they will come to work together. I'd guess eventually they'll pivot to the latter, because there's only so much comedy you can get out of a static interpersonal dynamic.
Luiz Castanheira
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 11:11am (UTC -5)
Jammer does what he wants with his free time...

I neve quite understood why he reviews Orville though... That one I think is a dreadful show... If I want Berman Trek I will watch the hundreds of episodes on Streaming... Orville makes no sense at all to me..

Why not review The Expanse instead?

Why not review Ricky & Morty?

Why not review ... ?

I can go on forever and never think of Orville... Strange...
The Chronek
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 11:51am (UTC -5)

So, I'm a Kurtzman apologist simply because I enjoy the new stuff? Am I a paid CBS shill, too?
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 12:03pm (UTC -5)
I guess there is the possibility that somebody could, under certain circumstances, enjoy this product and not be motivated by other sources. :)
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 12:35pm (UTC -5)
@Luiz Castenheira
Maybe because Orville is a good show, and it's Berman Trek in all but name.. even the same people are behind the magic. It can poke fun of a few things that didn't age well, while in most other ways it handles themes and ideas much in the same way without worrying about smearing legacy characters: the nostalgia is about the types of stories being told and how they are told, not the individual characters involved. so, while I might convince you to like it, to be dismissive of it out of hand is a bit odd.
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 1:26pm (UTC -5)
"I never quite understood why he reviews Orville though... That one I think is
a dreadful show."

Because Jammer reviews everything Trek and the Orville is close enough.

I'm sure he would have reviewed Lower Decks as well, if:

1. CBS didn't insist on throwing us a completely new Trek show every year, turning the notion of "reviewing every Trek series in real time" into a complete nightmare.
2. He didn't have to pay specifically for it in order to watch it, and therefore to review it.
3. Items #1 and #2 weren't a part of a long-term trend which sucks all the fun of watching and reviewing Star Trek.

On the other hand:

1. The Orville is a single show that has about 15 episodes per season, and is in no danger of spawning a gazillion spin-offs that might overwhelm a reviewer's time.
2. First two seasons were free on broadcast TV. 3rd season is on Hulu which Jammer probably pays for anyway.
3. Jammer actually enjoys the Orville, as you can plainly see from his reviews.

Does that answer your question?

@The Chronek
"So, I'm a Kurtzman apologist simply because I enjoy the new stuff?"

You enjoy the new stuff? That's news to me.

So far, you're sole contribution here was to storm in, call us "douchebags", tell us to "get a life", and then storm out. As for the actual show, which just premiered last week, you haven't said a single word.

So tell me: What exactly are we supposed to think?
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 1:56pm (UTC -5)
I'm pretty sure Jammer would have reviewed Lower Decks if it was an hour long show.
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 2:07pm (UTC -5)
When those "Roddenberry" shows like Andromeda and Earth Final Conflict came out, they were just not itneresting to me, and not just because Roddenberry had literally nothing to do with them despite the name. They just seemed a bit flat to me, but I never minded the fact that they aired or that Jammer reviewed them.

Also, if Orville came out in the 90s I wouldn't put it in the same category as those shows.

But Orville literally has the same premise as Trek, only it's let loose from the ever-convoluted shackles of canon. It is let loose of having to figure out where the timeline we are, or whether it is an alternate universe, or whether it honors the significance of the legacy characters. In my mind, Trek has gotten so big and so OLD that it forgot how to be Trek. Imagine a show about cops, where the cops originally chased down bad guys, had short gunfights, and did the cool stuff.. but then that show lasted for many years and the original characters were being brought back constantly and the stories just seemed to feel less exciting as it went along. Instead of being about the cool cop action stuff, it is more concerned with it's own legacy or subverting that same legacy. That's where Trek is... but with the Orville I can watch episodes where:
- one type of society lives on a planet
- where the non human character looks again at humanity
- where an alien culture holds a trial for the someone's rights
- where the crew interferes an creates a religion
- they mediate a dispute between warring factions
- the crew must rescue someone
- a time traveler is trying to trick them
etc etc. all the reasons I loved to watch hour long Star Trek episodes is back on the Orville, instead of these new so called Star Trek stories as released by official IP holders, which features everything from sacrificing babies to incest, and depends on ever more convoluted storylines that can never be satisfying . it's like going back to anew cop show that is simple again, about the chases and escapes
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 8:14pm (UTC -5)
Great, description, CaptainMercer. I was really sceptical of the Orville but came to love it in spite of myself.

There seem to be two groups of Star Trek fans when it comes to the Orville:
Those who have seen more than a few episodes and think it's a decent show.
Those who have seen one or two episodes at most and dislike it.

I await the day I actually find a Trekkie who has given the Orville a real chance and still dislikes it.
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 8:44pm (UTC -5)

"I await the day I actually find a Trekkie who has given the Orville a real chance and still dislikes it."

It happens. There are a couple of examples higher up on this page.

And it's okay. The Orville has several unique features which might be deal-breakers for some Trekkies. Some don't like the somewhat-goofy crew, and others are simply bored to death by all the sitcom-style drama.

Personally I love these things. I think they serve to make the show unique and fresh. But others may disagree. It's a matter of taste, and there are perfectly legitimate reasons for Trekkies to dislike this show.
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 9:24pm (UTC -5)
Thanks @ Tomalak
I'm not saying that "Orville is BETTER than Star trek.. (though it is better than 3rd Generation Trek.. It just has the kinds of stories and conversations I want to see when I turn on my TV. It just seems to "get" 90s Trek
Tue, Aug 11, 2020, 11:17pm (UTC -5)
@The Chronek

I was seeing a lot of accusations of that upthread thrown at people, that accounts they didnt recognize liked the episode were possibly/probably outside actors

I think people need to realize this is a, uh, fairly niche corner of the internet and odds of a CO-ORDINATED MARKETING ATTACK (tm) seem kinda low.

The real reason for the new faces might be, i dunno, a new Star Trek series and people looking for a place to discuss it.

CBS spending money trying to co-opt this board would be a waste of time anyways. They should know better than to think they can sway any of you curmudgeons ;p
Wed, Aug 12, 2020, 5:51am (UTC -5)
"The real reason for the new faces might be, i dunno, a new Star Trek series and people looking for a place to discuss it."

Easy way to tell the difference:

New faces who come to discuss the show, discuss the show. To all these new guys and gals: Welcome aboard.

Those who come here for other reasons, do.... well, other things. Whether it's attacking the old fandom or voicing empty superlatives that are devoid of any actual content. Somehow, these people never find the time to actually talk about the show they claim to be a fan of.

In short: If you sound like a marketing bot, don't be surprised when you're treated like one. It's really that simple.
Wed, Aug 12, 2020, 11:54am (UTC -5)
I just don't like Seth Macfarlane's style of humor. "A Million Ways to Die in the West" pretty much ended any shot of me tuning in to anything he produces.
Wed, Aug 12, 2020, 12:02pm (UTC -5)
I am not a huge fan of it wither, but he reogned it in after the first two episodes of the Orville. For example, in family guy and his Family Guy Star Wars spoofs, he mastered the art of the prolonged joke.. something that starts as kond of funny but he thinks it will be funnier by virtue of it lasting longer than its breaking point. He only teies this ONCE in Orville, in the first minites of the second episode, when Ed's parents call him from an alien ship. I think that is still the kind of humor from the pilot. After that point, the humor in the show overall becomes much much smarter
Wed, Aug 12, 2020, 12:29pm (UTC -5)

The Orville is completely different beast from anything else McFarlane has ever produced, though.

I personally can't stand any of his other stuff, but he really toned down both the humor and the irreverent tone for the Orville. To me, it was toned enough to be an acceptable evil in the first few episodes, and later on it actually became a positive spice on an otherwise decent story.

So you might want to give the show another chance. It just might surprise you.
Wed, Aug 12, 2020, 2:32pm (UTC -5)
Yeah I am another one here who really doesn't like Family Guy or find it funny - but likes the Orville, including for its humour.
Wed, Aug 12, 2020, 6:05pm (UTC -5)
Seth has written almost all of the Orville's episodes, and has only written about 3 episodes of Family Guy, so maybe the former is more indicative of how he prefers to write.
Wed, Aug 12, 2020, 9:34pm (UTC -5)
I didn't know that! What I've seen of Family Guy is a lot of absurd, over the top and often out of context jokes delivered in dream sequences.

Whereas the Orville is more full of subtle amusing moments - like the subtle reactions of crew when the interim security chief was eating smelly meals on the bridge. Not crazy funny (then again FG isn't crazy funny either) but finding humour in a realistic, relatable way.
Thu, Aug 13, 2020, 2:19am (UTC -5)
Even if Seth didn't directly write most of the epsiodes of Family Guy, he was a very active show-runner for many years, and he set that show's tone.

Many avid Family Guy fans say that when McFarlane stopped doing that (which was years ago) the show lost its way. Lost its edge, if you will.

Kinda like the Simpsons. Or Star Trek, come to think of it.
Cody B
Thu, Aug 13, 2020, 4:37am (UTC -5)
Just watched episode two. They did slow down some of the fast talking and making everything quick quick quick. That’s a good thing but there’s still no real substance and most of the comedy just does not land. I’m also catching some annoying things like how they pause on the giant Horgahn (Rosa statue) in this episode. That is not a “Easter egg”. It’s in the middle of the screen and is the object of focus for 5 seconds. The show is just screaming “aren’t we cool? Remember this?”.
Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Aug 13, 2020, 7:13am (UTC -5)
IMHO, Envoys is slightly better than the first episode. This is for several reasons:

1. They slowed the show down considerably. Aside from a few scenes, the episode's pacing does not feel that different from the average Trek episode.

2. There were coherent character arcs in both the A plot and the B plot this week. Not only that, but they both actually shared a common theme - the sacrifices people will make for the sake of their friends.

3. There were notably less attempts to make jokes. I only really laughed at one thing this week - the "Janeway protocol" - but it was way, way funnier than anything in the first episode. Aside from that though the episode was lighthearted but not trying to make us bust a gut. Which was fine, because it had heart in spades.

I'd also say the "memberberries" this time around are more visual than dropped in exposition, which would probably make the show a bit less annoying to people who hate that stuff.
Thu, Aug 13, 2020, 9:26am (UTC -5)
I might not ever get into this show. The stories are ok.. nothing great. But the animation and art style is hideous, and the fact that they still talk too fast, responses from other characters literally given within a second after a line was delivered, no pauses for even a breath when a character has two or more lines. Mariner is the character that will not only cause all the trouble in every episode but will also save the day, which means she is going to be annoying. Just because she is the show's "strong female character" does that mean she has to be annoying? I noticed that Boimler lost his pants near the end of this episode, and I guess I should thank my lucky stars that I didn't see how. I guess him being nude or almost nude is going to be a running joke. Star trek used to be a drama with comedy that came out from character or situations.. but it has sunk to incredible new lows. The teaser was clever.. I'll give it that. But clever here and hyperactive everywhere else is not enough to sustain a Star Trek show or any show.
Thu, Aug 13, 2020, 10:39am (UTC -5)
I'm pretty much in lock-step with Karl Zimmerman.

I enjoyed this one more than the last one.

Star Trek funny is better when they aren't trying to be funny.

Is more "organic" the right term?

Well done here.

Onward and upward!!
Thu, Aug 13, 2020, 11:57am (UTC -5)
I too watched the second episode. I liked the new engineering set, and the new shuttle design, with the beautifully curved engine pylons. Like the first episode, I also like how this series spends time on alien planets, our heroes rummaging about new worlds. It's as aspect of Trek which nu-Trek has neglected.

I also like the way the cyborg character (Rutherford?) was supported by all the different department heads. Very Trekkian. Some good stuff with a Ferengi, and hints of a romance, in the last act too.

But the characters all still seem annoying to me, all relentlessly manic, wacky and "wannabe cool". I also agree with Karl, in that the show works best when its not trying to be funny; it's jokes are pretty lame and obvious. In this episode, only the "easy-mode simulation" made me laugh.

The show also seems to be aiming for a very odd demographic.

With "RiCK AND MORTY" or "SOUTH PARK", you never mistake the scripts for "children's TV". The jokes and scripts are adult, and made funnier by the self-consciously childish aesthetic. "LOWER DECKS'", though, gives you plots sited for maybe 7 to 12 year olds, but with little bursts of 14-16 year old humor (shock violence, sex jokes etc) sprinkled about. It's a weird, almost pointless zone the show occupies. Too esoteric for little kids, or non-Trek fans, and not edgy and funny enough for teens and adults.

Apparently there's going to be a new Trek cartoon - "ST: Prodigy" - aimed for 8 year olds and under. Kurtzman seems to be methodically ticking boxes, "Prodigy" for babies, "Lower Decks" for young teens, "Disco" for action junkies and "Picard" for Berman-Trek fans.
Thu, Aug 13, 2020, 12:40pm (UTC -5)
First I thought you were making a joke about ST: Prodigy.
This is amazing.
Thu, Aug 13, 2020, 3:02pm (UTC -5)
I liked the second episode a lot more than the first, which seemed a little mean-spi­rit­ed to me. But in “Envoys”, the cha­rac­ters are much more like­able; but in the sec­ond, really no one be­haved dickish (except Boimler at the end, which was probably Mariners plan all along). I saw the twist com­ing and really liked it — in this single scene, Mariner has shown more lo­yal­ty and com­pas­sion (at the cost of look­ing not cool) than an­other lead of 3ʳᵈ ge­ne­ra­tion Trek in two seasons. She grows on me.

The fan service was adorable and genuinely funny (I par­ticu­lar­ly smiled at the Ven­dian in the An­do­ri­an bar). I laughed at most jokes, because they were either in-jokes for fans (err, my weak­ness) or arose from the charac­ters. For­tu­nate­ly, most of the slap­stick ele­ments in epis­ode one are gone.

However, thy hyperactivity remains; I watched the video at 75% speed and still con­­si­der­ed some of the dia­lo­gues too fast, while only a few had be­come un­natu­ral­ly slow. I won­der what they snort in the pro­duc­tion team, or maybe I am a Pakled by heart?
Thu, Aug 13, 2020, 3:26pm (UTC -5)
After two episodes, I think I'm in for Lower Decks. It's stupid-fun, with a sly edge.

I see the *constant* references to Trek lore as a running meta-joke, more so than the desperate attempt to show cred that some interpreted at first. I kind of loved the throwaway line from the captain about needing something "cool" to say when going to warp.

The plot-pace of this second ep was 'slower' in the A story, but then in overdrive for the B. The pace itself is a big part of the joke. Rutherford dresses for, trains in, and then moves on from several new careers in the time of Boimler and Mariner's hours on the planet? And everybody just cheers this ridiculous breakneck self-actualization journey? Come on, that's funny.

I was hoping they would leave Mariner's self-deprecating sacrifice for Boimler as an inference from what we (already!) know of her, and the look as she leaves the bar, but they threw in the explicit reveal. So I guess it's not *that* sly.

Anyway, FWIW, I've been watching Trek long enough to have seen everything from Motion Picture onward in first release, and I legitimately enjoyed this for what it is.
Thu, Aug 13, 2020, 5:44pm (UTC -5)
"I liked the second episode a lot more than the first, which seemed a little mean-spi­rit­ed to me. But in “Envoys”, the cha­rac­ters are much more like­able; but in the sec­ond, really no one be­haved dickish (except Boimler at the end, which was probably Mariners plan all along). I saw the twist com­ing and really liked it — in this single scene, Mariner has shown more lo­yal­ty and com­pas­sion (at the cost of look­ing not cool) than an­other lead of 3ʳᵈ ge­ne­ra­tion Trek in two seasons. She grows on me."

Mariner swallowing her pride to help Boimler grow his confidence a bit is probably the most adult thing she's done so far. I don't mean that negatively, more in that she's tries to come off as such a badass that her actually trying to help out and mentor a colleague instead of blast him when it could serve her really speaks numbers.

Good episode, enjoyed it a lot.

Also, I wonder if Jammer would ever be so inclined to post episode threads, just for discussion's sake. He doesn't need to review it but it does get kind of annoying to scroll down the the bottom of an extremely long page to see what people thought of the new episode.
Thu, Aug 13, 2020, 7:22pm (UTC -5)
I've decided that I pretty much have nothing in common with Trek fans. I'm starting to wonder if Trek has always sucked and I just never realized it.
Thu, Aug 13, 2020, 8:52pm (UTC -5)
Obviously STLD is predicated on a very superficial, lowest common denominator humour but what I also find disappointing is the stories seem to be too obvious. I suppose being only 1/2 hr long will do that. But it was so evident the “Ferengi” and Mariner were in on a plan to boost Boimler’s ego — did it really need to get spelled out with their video chat at the end of the episode? The Rutherford plot was also too obvious (that he's meant for engineering) but at least it got various senior staffers involved in the episode.

The general idea that Mariner is so bad ass but superior to Boimler in every situation is going to get pretty tiresome. It had already gotten that way during this episode — does everything have to leave no shades of grey like Boimler screwing every thing up despite his diligent training? I don’t think this is good parody.

I will say I chuckled at some of the humour like the teaser where an entity boards the ship and Mariner makes it produce a tricorder etc. The writers screwed up with the “the man wants hot worms” for Klingon gagh — should be “live worms”.

I have massive issues with STLD and am disappointed it is now a part of the Star Trek franchise — or that Star Trek has gone in this direction. But what interests me is what the show will parody and what “name-dropping” it will do. I am curious if it comes up with just an iota of an intelligent narrative about a given race or planet or event. Like I would love to see a parody of Kolrami’s race (Roy Brocksmith was a blast in this role). I just don't see it lasting for multiple seasons with this schtick.

I guess I would prefer "Envoys" over "Second Contact" -- just wasn't as over the top but it's still got a blistering pace, characters talking too fast. I can see how some folks can enjoy it but can't see how it can be considered good TV when looked at critically -- even as a comedy/parody.
Cody B
Thu, Aug 13, 2020, 8:56pm (UTC -5)
Lol what do you mean Marlboro? Didn’t care for episode 2? Me either. Atleast it’s a step in a better direction though. At the very best Lowest Drecks will be passably decent absolute filler to string subscribers through until the next season of CBS All Access’ live action Trek. And they seem to be cooking up plenty. Heard that Section 31 show got cancelled Atleast. Thank God.
Joe Menta
Fri, Aug 14, 2020, 12:35am (UTC -5)
C’mon, Jammer. You started a Trek review site... one that fans really like... so REVIEW Trek. If you pick the limited ads option, CBS All Access is $5.99 a month. Six dollars. Once a month. Take some credit for getting us all attached to your well-designed and immersive site... but now do your job. Review the new Trek. You don’t have to do 2500 words per episode if animated, humor-oriented Trek isn’t your preferred thing (myself, I’m kind of finding it fun so far). But after each episode you can knock out a fair and even-handed 800 words with no sweat over your morning coffee, then let the rest of us chime in and continue enjoying the site. Do your job. You created this site and you need to keep doing its mission.
Fri, Aug 14, 2020, 1:24am (UTC -5)
No Jammer here is my pitch.
Write a one sentence review for every episode.

Now is the winter of our discontent!
A man can die but once!
If you prick us do we not bleed?!

and so on.
Fri, Aug 14, 2020, 3:47am (UTC -5)
@Joe Menta
"You created this site and you need to keep doing its mission."

This isn't the mission Jammer signed up for, though.

He signed to review a franchise he enjoys, with episodes coming out at a sane pace and a nice breather between seasons.

He has zero interest in Lower Decks, and it is clear that "reviewing all Trek" today means committing to doing reviews all year round. Now there's Lower Decks. Discovery Season 3 starts in October. Then ST:Prodigy, Picard S3, The Pike Show, The Section 31 Show...

Saying that Jammer somehow has an "obligation" to commit to such a mammoth project is downright crazy. Doubly so, when he has zero interest in half of this stuff.
Joe Menta
Fri, Aug 14, 2020, 9:20am (UTC -5)

Actually, Jammer took on a fairly daunting task right from the beginning: filing reviews of the hundreds of episodes of Trek already produced while also doing reviews of all the new episodes moving forward. It was a huge job and it took a while, but he did it. So why quit now?

And all he has to is add Lower Decks, and yes the other shows when they come out, to the list of series to click on at the top of the main page. Then, if you are right that he has zero interest in the show (And maybe the future ones), or wants to make some kind of editorial statement about there being too much Trek or something, he can take Booming’s suggestion above and write extremely short reviews, ones that are more overview than opinion (though I think one sentence would be a bit miserly, lol).
This will at least let the readers still have their areas for each individual episode for their own comments.

Hey, once again, my position is actually a compliment: this is a great site for the fans and should remain so. And, to be snarky for a sec, I completely don’t understand that the advent of a period when we’ll be getting all kinds of Trek is in any way a bad thing. And it can be easily manageable to keep covering all that Trek on this great site.
Fri, Aug 14, 2020, 10:16am (UTC -5)
@Joe Menta
"So why quit now?"

Because he doesn't want to do it.

That's all the reason he needs. It's not like he owes us anything.

I'm also not quite sure why anybody would want Jammer to grudgingly review a show he doesn't even want to watch, out of some sense of obligation.

"This will at least let the readers still have their areas for each individual episode for their own comments."

You can ask him (there's a contact form) if he is willing to set up such pages for fan discussions. Maybe he'll agree.

Best of all: He doesn't need to either watch or review the show to do that.
Chris Lopes
Fri, Aug 14, 2020, 10:42am (UTC -5)
I watched the first episode and it is quite silly, but not entirely unwatchable. For those who want to play in the TNG universe, this could be comfort viewing, with jokes. It's not quite my cup of Earl Grey hot, but I can see why others might like it.

As to Jammer not reviewing it, it's his blog and his life. He kept this thread open as a courtesy, and that's more than he really had to do. He owes us nothing.
Fri, Aug 14, 2020, 11:27am (UTC -5)

"Now there's Lower Decks. Discovery Season 3 starts in October. Then ST:Prodigy, Picard S3, The Pike Show, The Section 31 Show... "

Picard Season 3? Did we enter a time vortex sometime in the last few months, or a parallel dimension where Season 2 never exists? Or maybe Data removed all instances of the number 2 when I wasn't looking, to stop the loop! Or course!
Fri, Aug 14, 2020, 11:58am (UTC -5)
Picard season 2 was so poorly received by test audiences that they scrapped it and went straight to season 3. Like with Windows 9.

Nah. I think it was a typo.
Fri, Aug 14, 2020, 12:32pm (UTC -5)

Wait. Let me get this straight. Windows 9 was never released by Microsoft...because it was somehow WORSE than Windows 10? Yikes.

No, my guess is that CBS will release season 3 first, and then make season 2 to explain any of the story problems from season 3 that were never explained. It'll be Star Trek: Picard's Memento.
Fri, Aug 14, 2020, 1:14pm (UTC -5)
Booming said: "No Jammer here is my pitch. Write a one sentence review for every episode."

That would require him to watch the episodes. I don't think he has interest in a kid's show. Most here watching it seem to be doing it as a kind of weird anthropological study.
Fri, Aug 14, 2020, 1:35pm (UTC -5)
I trust that Jammer can write a great review without watching the episode.
Fri, Aug 14, 2020, 3:31pm (UTC -5)
CBS just posted the first episode for free on Youtube:


This and the fact that no international distribuitor was announced hints at the lack of interest for new Trek, in my layman opinion. Outside our little bubble here, few people even know about these new shows. And if there isn't a consensus even among the fans, then really, are these shows making any money at all? I get that "netflix paid" and "amazon paid", but they might not be so willing to pay more if the viewership numbers aren't good, as the fact that Netflix passed on Picard would suggest.
Fri, Aug 14, 2020, 3:45pm (UTC -5)
There are other Trek review sites, folks. Try out some podcasts too.
Fri, Aug 14, 2020, 3:54pm (UTC -5)
As far as I can see it Lower Decks is not on amazon or netflix.
Fri, Aug 14, 2020, 4:46pm (UTC -5)
Only on CBS All Access. (US)

They haven't worked out the international distribution plan to show it yet.

Tommy D.
Fri, Aug 14, 2020, 5:01pm (UTC -5)
From what I have read apparently Discovery S3 was supposed to air first but due to the pandemic was pushed back and Lower Decks was moved up a couple months. So they're behind on the International deal due to bouncing the schedule.
Fri, Aug 14, 2020, 5:26pm (UTC -5)
Hmm what a fluff piece. Seems like netflix and amazon are a little hesitant and cbs is maybe not willing to sell it for a dime. Maybe they hope it takes off in the North America to get a little more.
Fri, Aug 14, 2020, 8:41pm (UTC -5)
The pilot I would have begrudgingly given a 0.5/4, the second episode gets a 2 from me. I'd say it was more entertaining than any of the Discovery or Picard episodes, and that's because while those shows are big jokes, at least this show is aware it's a joke. I also have to admit it has the feel of 90s Trek, with the A and B plot structure where by the end we know something about the characters we didn't at the start. So, yeah, it's a step up from "unwatchable" to bordering on unwatchable. Take that as you will.
Fri, Aug 14, 2020, 10:24pm (UTC -5)
I lost interest in reading new jammer reviews after he gave Into Darkness 3 stars. In my view any inability to recognize that movie as pure unmitigated shit disqualifies even a literature nobel prize winner from ever writing again.
Sat, Aug 15, 2020, 2:57am (UTC -5)
One reason I don't totally buy that there was no time for international distribution deals is that here in Canada, our Sci-fi channel snapped up broadcasting rights *months* ago, possibly even last year. And they seemed to not have *any* trouble with moving the premiere dates up. (Although, the channel is mostly reruns and movies at this point) And then slapping Disco S3 right after with the tag line "23 continual weeks of Trek!" to my comms grad ears like typical PR manuvering of either, "It's not a bug, it's a feature!" or an attempt to look more productive/successful than they are. I'm getting a very much "sunk costs fallacy" vibe from Trek right now. There's also the obvious hope in that marketing strategy for continued engagement and subscriber numbers on All Access, rather than the likely peaks and valleys of people subscribing for Trek then cancelling.
Tommy D.
Sat, Aug 15, 2020, 4:35am (UTC -5)
The deal in Canada was announced in late June, maybe six to eight weeks ago.

I'm sure there's plenty of PR and spin to every show on every network, but the idea that our current situation with the pandemic may have altered some of the plans in regards to premier dates and distribution deals is certainly plausible and not necessarily indicative of productivity or success or a lack thereof.
Sat, Aug 15, 2020, 5:01am (UTC -5)
You have to start early with speculating about when the downfall started. So in two to three years you can say that you said it all along.
Negative bragging rights.
Dave in MN
Sat, Aug 15, 2020, 10:05am (UTC -5)
Ok, I watched both episodes and now I have a headache.

Manic, loud, annoying, unrealistic, the character design is ugly. Half these characters should have already been court-martialed out of Starfleet (if they even made it though the Academy).

I think my biggest pet peeve is watching characters routinely break professional protocol and violate Starfleet rules. Ensign Mariner is just the worst ... her racism isn't funny or endearing and her Mary Sue I-know-best attitude is frustrating beyond belief. And why she's serving under her own family member is beyond me.

Also, is there a reason every male is written to be an oaf or ineffectual? Who exactly is the target audience for this?

I could go on and on, but I genuinely tried to have an open mind. Within 2 minutes, I was cringing and massaging my temples.

Yeah, I think I may dislike this more than Picard or STD. On the bright side, Icheb's murder isn't my least favorite Trek moment anymore.... so that's something.
Dave in MN
Sat, Aug 15, 2020, 10:11am (UTC -5)
Re the discussion about international rights

Wouldn't the current situation make it MORE likely the show should be picked up for distribution? It's not like there's anything currently being filmed and these streaming services need to have new content to keep their subscribers content. It would seem to me that limited competition would make a pickup all the more likely, not less.

CBS wants a streaming service to foot the bill for production of this series and THAT'S why it hasn't been distributed. No service thinks this show is worth the cost.
Sat, Aug 15, 2020, 1:07pm (UTC -5)
@Tommy D.

Only June? Sheesh, this pandemic has me in a time warp. "Going by the book, minutes would seem like hours, hours would seem like days..." and Days would seem like months apparently.
Tommy D.
Sat, Aug 15, 2020, 7:31pm (UTC -5)

June definitely feels like a longer time ago than it actually is.
Mon, Aug 17, 2020, 3:52am (UTC -5)
Wow, could it be any more obvious? Mariner is Rick and Bolmer is Jerry. This show is Rick and Jerry. Way less wit than the original and way more will-they-won't-they.
Mon, Aug 17, 2020, 10:03am (UTC -5)

I humbly accept the title.

@William B et al.

I have not one but two ex-boyfriends who wouldn't watch Trek with me unless it was Voyager. I would say 80% of this is because of Kate Mulgrew. I might take a deeper dive at another time, but I'd say that the combination of the Berman-era hyper, borderline toxic masculine writing coupled with a cast whose primary characters were two extremely strong women and one flamboyant, opera-lover leant the show and unintended queerness.

DS9 actually has more positive representation in the text, and of course by the Kurzman era, we have actual representation (not something I'm prepared to lavish praise over since there's nothing brave about it in 2020). But Voyager has a decidedly gay aesthetic.
Mon, Aug 17, 2020, 11:19pm (UTC -5)
To expand on my half-drunk 4AM comment for people who don't watch Rick and Morty, Mariner is essentially Diet Rick. Like the titular mad scientist from that show, Mariner is cynical, manipulative and effortlessly good at everything. Her battle-buddy relationship with the Klingon warrior parallels Rick's numerous relationships and credibility with all manner of unsavory warrior-types on that show; just like Rick, Mariner is a badass. And just like Rick, she engages in plots that make the patsy characters think that they have won until it's revealed that it was all part of Rick/Mariner's plan.

The key difference between Mariner and Rick is that, well, Rick is funny. His humor is based on caustic wit, constantly poking holes in the other characters as well as sentiments, trends and attitudes from modern day. Mariner's humor is based mostly on using modern-day slang in Star Trek. Rather than criticizing, she __exemplifies__ the sentiments, trends and attitudes of the modern day in a play for """relatability""". She's basically Floe from the Progressive ads but more aggro.

Bolmer, the Starfleet ensign who actually tries to act like a member of Starfleet, is Jerry. And just like Rick's stepson, Bolmer is an awkward, bumbling idiot who is not nearly as smart as he thinks and whose motivations are often more selfish than well-meaning. For example, correct me if I'm wrong but Bolmer's big moment in this episode is him gloating about being "right" after projecting racial stereotypes? I understand that this was all part of Mariner's brilliant plan and the Ferengi was playing into said stereotypes so that... Uh .. Bolmer could feel good about himself...? Is there an anti-racism message in there somewhere? Because all I saw was a group of Starfleet crew hooting and laughing over racial stereotypes. And Bolmer is supposed to be the most Starfleet of the cast! Seems to me he's on the same level as the frat guys bro-ing it up on the bridge. I'm not saying "that's not Trek"; I'm saying that is the polar opposite of Trek.

Considering Mike McMahan worked on R&M it's not surprising they share the same art style or even the same general structure. But R&M has wit, imagination and vision; after the first season fans were clamoring for more on Rick's backstory and there was an expectation of grand character arcs and season-spanning conflicts with recurring villains. Instead the show has devoted multiple episodes to taking a huge dump all over those concepts, subverting people's expectations while still maintaining the levels of quality humor, imagination and high-concept sci-fi. It certainly never needed to resort to obnoxious pandering will-they-won't-they gimmicks, but this is Kurtzman Trek and you gotta have that schmaltz.

So far Lower Decks is a Trek show that thinks it's too cool and funny for Trek. Haven't you heard? It's 2020 bro! Starfleet is lame and ethics make you boring. Like, literally.
Mon, Aug 17, 2020, 11:35pm (UTC -5)
It's relatable. Boimler wanting to be right, and Mariner giving him that. You could say that's the most important priority of current day viewers. You don't have to go past this forum to see that.

But yeah, it's hardly Trek in spirit. Though, from the few episodes of R&M I saw I didn't see any major lessons from Rick's manipulations either.
Tue, Aug 18, 2020, 1:36am (UTC -5)
Rick and Morty has never been about lessons. And to to be fair, there are many, many episodes of classic Trek that aren't either; sometimes you get a Measure of a Man, sometimes you get Dr. Crusher doing it with a ghost. Or everyone on the ship getting hammered and horny.

And Lower Decks wants to be a comedy, so there will probably be less of an emphasis on themes of morality and ethical dilemmas. And that's fine! But when a major plot point of a Star Trek episode (even a comedy Trek) is one character making another character feel good about themselves by validating their racism... I think that's kinda fucked up.
Tue, Aug 18, 2020, 2:00am (UTC -5)
Racism? Well sure, but then you'd have to call marine biologists racist for being able distinguish between a whale and a shark.

Anyway my point was.. Rick and Morty is kind of shit, even as a comedy (I find Rick even less funny than Mariner) and this is too. No big deal.
Tue, Aug 18, 2020, 10:15am (UTC -5)
If they're setting up for a revelation that Mariner is actually half-Q or the like (a 'Mary Q'?) her behaviour so far would at least make a kind of sense. A main character that overpowered would be a problem for most shows but I could see it if LD really is trying to be Star Trek: Rick and Morty.
Tue, Aug 18, 2020, 12:07pm (UTC -5)
I just picked up TAS on Blu Ray. It's pretty good. The animation is dated, of course, but many of the episode's scripts would have worked just fine on TOS.
Tue, Aug 18, 2020, 12:30pm (UTC -5)
Marlboro said: "I just picked up TAS on Blu Ray. It's pretty good. The animation is dated, of course, but many of the episode's scripts would have worked just fine on TOS."

TAS works good as a radio play. The "Yesteryear" episode by DC Fontana is pretty good too. The fan series ST: Continues is also worth checking out if you're starved for TOS; it's better than nu-Trek IMO.

SenSors said: "Mariner is essentially Diet Rick. Like the titular mad scientist from that show, Mariner is cynical, manipulative and effortlessly good at everything. "

Yeah, Mariner is blatantly Rick in a starfleet uniform and with the nihilism/sociopathy toned down. But Rick's personality - super genius, mad, 200 steps ahead of you, cynical, burnt-out, rude...a kind of evil Dr Who - just seems incoherent when placed in a young Federation officer like Mariner.
Tue, Aug 18, 2020, 5:02pm (UTC -5)
"Racism? Well sure, but then you'd have to call marine biologists racist for being able distinguish between a whale and a shark."

Mmmm I dunno man, that's not what was happening in the scene. Bolmer wasn't identifying and classifying organisms based on biological characteristics, he was ascribing negative behavioral qualities to an individual based on that individual's race. Seems like a pretty cut-and-dried example of racism to me, but YMMV.
Tommy D.
Tue, Aug 18, 2020, 5:57pm (UTC -5)
Its taught at the Academy, according to Harry Kim.
Tue, Aug 18, 2020, 6:21pm (UTC -5)
What is, distrusting the Ferengi? Well, fair enough. I'm still not comfortable with it. Perhaps they should make DS9 required viewing in the Starfleet syllabus.
Tommy D.
Tue, Aug 18, 2020, 7:01pm (UTC -5)
Since its the best of Trek, DS9 should be required viewing for all :)

This show takes a lot of cues from TNG, and I think its poking fun at its problematic portrayal of the Ferengi, and then dismissing that portrayal at the end when Mariner contacts the Ferengi, who is a friend. I just took the bar scene as Boimler having his day, but we as the audience know he still has lot to learn outside of his by the book mentality.
Tue, Aug 18, 2020, 7:53pm (UTC -5)
That's fair. I want this show to hold onto some of the aspirational foundation of Trek, and there's still time for that even if I found the execution of that particular plotline to be rather odd and muddied.

For all my criticisms I find this show to to be somewhat less offensive than STD and STP with all their retconning and awful choices for established characters. I suppose there's still time to bring in Jonathan Frakes to have Riker doing a kegstand on the bridge, but we'll see.

Q would be perfect for this show.
Tommy D.
Tue, Aug 18, 2020, 8:14pm (UTC -5)
" I suppose there's still time to bring in Jonathan Frakes to have Riker doing a kegstand on the bridge, but we'll see."

You know you'd at least chuckle at that.

I think the show has some charm, though the comedy has not really resonated with me for the most part. I think I actually enjoy being back in the look of TNG the most, which I didn't really expect.

And I agree, Q would be perfect. But this feels like a Wesley Crusher cameo coming.
Wed, Aug 19, 2020, 8:53am (UTC -5)
I haven't watched this yet, so I very easily could be missing something, but I take issue with describing TNG's portrayal of the Ferengi as "problematic." Races/species in Trek allegorise facets of humanity, not actual human races. Any person can be a capitalist--it isn't problematic to generalise about a group that is intentionally meant to generalise an idea or philosophy.
Cody B
Thu, Aug 20, 2020, 1:37am (UTC -5)
As I’m watching episode three I think the biggest problem is that this series revolves around comedy. I don’t think Star Trek lends itself to constant comedy especially in this quick fire style. I think they could have pulled off an animated series but it should have been more like the 70s animated series except more adult and better scripts. I’m sure they have unused episode scripts all over the place and animation would have made all sorts of scenarios possible. Anyway as far as episode three goes it’s more of the same. Not really funny. Extremely middle of the road. I’m only watching it because it’s 24 minutes and I’ve watched every other episode of Trek series. Meh
Karl Zimmerman
Thu, Aug 20, 2020, 7:52am (UTC -5)
The third episode is good, but not funny. IMHO this show succeeds more as a light drama than as comedy.

The good part of this episode is it inverts much of what was set up in the first few episodes. Mariner makes a legitimately bad call in this episode. Ransom turns out to not just be a dudebro, but a competent commander (if a bit full of himself). Boimler is shown to be able to thrive in certain situations.

However, I think a lot of people will have issues with how the Captain Freeman is portrayed. The central message (that she has high standards that she holds the crew to, which makes things much, much worse than before) is a good narrative core. However, in order to up the "comedy quotient" the show portrays the sleep-deprived crew without buffer time as constantly making mistakes. This means Freeman is shown to have a ridiculous level of obliviousness to how her own ship is falling apart. No Trek Captain other than Jonathan Archer has been portrayed in as negative a light as Freeman is here. Admittedly she "learns her lesson" by the end of the episode, but she's not new to command - she shouldn't be making rookie mistakes like this at this point in her career.

That said, it was a minor issue, because the episode itself worked from a dramatic standpoint, if not a comedic one.
Thu, Aug 20, 2020, 4:32pm (UTC -5)
Three episodes watched now. I gave it a fair shot. Did not go in with any expectations. Both the "haters" and those who unconditionally love everything Star Trek annoy me equally. I judge things on what they are.

I haven't laughed once is three episodes so I'm not watching anymore.
Dave in MN
Thu, Aug 20, 2020, 11:57pm (UTC -5)
You know an animated show is falling when the easiest way to improve it would be to delete the characters.

Honestly, if there was an option to watch just the background art, I would be more entertained.

Mariner is intolerable. I loathe this character.

Ep. 3 gets zero stars. Astonishingly unfunny.
Fri, Aug 21, 2020, 6:54am (UTC -5)
"Temporal Edict"

I didn't enjoy this one so much. Made the CO look like an idiot.

Mariner is getting really annoying. I thought she was much better in 'Envoys', but she's off the deep end in this one. She's getting hauled off to the brig, so maybe we'll see a change. She is incredibly talented.

At least Ransom put her in her place. I see a relationship-a-brewing...

Loved the classic 2-handed punches.

I guess a way to look at this might be if this were 1987, we'd have just watched 'Code of Honor'.

I'm not throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

2 stars from me.
Fri, Aug 21, 2020, 6:57am (UTC -5)
My negativity.. if that's the word you want to use to sum me up... stems form the fact that I actually care about this franchise. I've cared about it my whole life. I hardly remember a time when Star Trek 2 was unseen by me, and it is one of the best films I think I'll ever see. I remember then going to high school and college and really like TNG-era Trek.. loved the life on a ship stuff as well.. but even loving that stuff, sometimes the premises of episodes would feel like fluff pieces.. like.. I'd agree with Kevin Smith "Would you fire at a Klingon or something".. like I would miss the edge that TWOK seemed to have naturally. But even then TNG still took it's characters and situations relatively seriously, and the details added to the scope.. and it's for precisely these reasons that a 25 minute show where people are delivering lines at what seems to 1.5 speed, where everything is drawn to look so simple and childish..that I feel it's as far from from that kind of naval "edge" that tWOK had as you could go. The stories are ok actually, but just the execution is so unappealing to me personally . I do think.. despite me not liking the characters (Mariner, Boimler, and the senior staff) very much, this show could work as a live action series with 43 minutes, where the jokes can be paced well and the dialogue can feel more genuine. Here is my comparison: when Braga and Moore were first given the assignment to write Generations, which was to have Kirk and Picard meet, Braga said on the commentary that the first thing he does is create an image.. in fact.. and image of what a movie poster could be like, and he imagined one of the two enterprises locked in battle "kirk vs Picard.. this summer" but alas thaey didn't make that movie. Later in the commentary, during the scene where they are actually making eggs together and Braga said "I think [the audience] wanted something a little more high octane than hanging around the house, making eggs, and it's as far from the poster that he imagined. This series, LD, is just veering far away from Trek as it could be, mainly because of how quick it is, how it is drawn, how trivial it makes everything feel (from exploration, to first contacts, etc). Not to bring up the other show.. but the Orville managed to mix comedy that might not work for some people, but to me it never made the actual stories seems less substantive
Fri, Aug 21, 2020, 10:57am (UTC -5)
Oh, I missed the best part of the episode!

"Miles O'brien is the most important person in the universe"

HAHAHA.... true lower decks perspective!!
Fri, Aug 21, 2020, 2:53pm (UTC -5)
So far the whole "second contact" shtick has basically just been the opening credits gag from "Captain Star":


There's some griping about this above, but really just the whole idea of releasing a parody under the banner of the actual show is kind of innately strange--imagine Mel Brooks trying to release Spaceballs as an actual Star Wars movie. Making a travesty of the source material is, after all, largely the point of the exercise, so adding 'authenticity' in this way is kind of counterproductive and liable to rub a lot of people the wrong way.

On the whole I'm finding ST:LD to be less ST: Rick and Morty and more a Clone High knockoff set on a starship. The Clone High creators themselves are still on their game though, after all these years, and I imagine they'd have jumped at the chance to helm such a show if SH had approached them. Ah well.
Fri, Aug 21, 2020, 8:28pm (UTC -5)
CBS' management of the Trek Franchise is like someone secretly cryfarting through a stage production of the entirety of Season 5 of Happy Days. Just hand the series over to someone else if you don't care, guys.
Sat, Aug 22, 2020, 2:16pm (UTC -5)
Three episode's is enough for me. I'm bailing on this. It's just very lame, lacking the humor and edginess of "Rick and Morty", and most of the qualities I like from Trek. Every episode has had a few decent sequences, but it's not enough to compensate from the Attention Deficit Disorder dialogue and the annoying glibness of Mariner.

And here's more grim news from Manny Coto (from a interview he did this week):
"I do know somebody who's working on the next season of Picard. And some of the stuff I've heard is pretty disturbing. There's no way they're going to do what they're talking about. And if they do, there'll be a riot. That's all I can say."
Sat, Aug 22, 2020, 3:04pm (UTC -5)
". And some of the stuff I've heard is pretty disturbing"
Could you provide a link? (sorry couldn't find it)
Sat, Aug 22, 2020, 7:53pm (UTC -5)
I am now three episodes in. While it's much better than the awful trailer led me to believe, it just feels like Futurama with far worse jokes. Mariner is indeed painfully unfunny to watch.
Sat, Aug 22, 2020, 11:39pm (UTC -5)
"On the whole I'm finding ST:LD to be less ST: Rick and Morty and more a Clone High knockoff set on a starship."

Oh no, I can see it! But... Clone High makes me laugh. Consistently. I'm happy someone referenced Clone High but I'm sad it was in reference to Lower Decks. It's too apt. At least Clone High was very up-front about its parody elements, and it wasn't trying to sincerely be an official spinoff of Dawson's Creek.

God I love that show.
Sun, Aug 23, 2020, 8:37am (UTC -5)

Here it is, timecode 45:10-47:00

Sun, Aug 23, 2020, 3:21pm (UTC -5)
@ Burke
Thank you!
Sun, Aug 23, 2020, 4:43pm (UTC -5)
"everything is drawn to look so simple and childish"

Your opinions are simple and childish.
Sun, Aug 23, 2020, 5:00pm (UTC -5)

Simple and childish is the "I know you are but what am I?" retort you just used.
Mon, Aug 24, 2020, 5:40pm (UTC -5)
Now, it seems (slow news week) people are attacking others for being “trolls” on this site. Apparently, if you have a different opinion than the consensus-machers, you are a troll, meaning you post once, say nothing Star-Trek related, and then leave. Speaking as someone who has used this “handle” before, if someone wishes to post a contrary opinion, and it is cogent and well-thought out, that person has every right to not always post using the same name. Jammer is free to prohibit this, and he knows who is posting what, in any event.

People who are denouncing these sinners have themselves had portions, sometimes large ones, of their posts deleted by the site administrator. And they lecture others on Internet etiquette.

If we REALLY wanted to have “personal” conversations,some people here would have to realize there is another person to a conversation, then it will be all over.

If you care about this franchise, you must be negative. I’ve heard the argument iterated and reiterated. The contrapositive is that if you are not negative, you do not care.

It’s wrong to dismiss people’s viewpoints with this inherently specious logic.

I too take issue with the haters who reflexively hate Star Trek and with the people who love it irrespective of its merits. I also try to judge things for what they are. If the Star Trek franchise were put into the hands of a different production group/different ownership group, many fans would not like the end-product, irrespective of actual merit or lack thereof. They wouldn’t like it simply because it was not hand-produced for their individual consumption in their living rooms. This attitude is no worse or better than the attitude of fans who uncritically devour whatever tv or movie product has the name Star Trek on it.

I think Lower Decks is basically a two-Star show; I think one’s motor impulses need time to express themselves, and the show goes by way too fast to allow that or anything of meaning (or frivolity, for that matter) to sink in. This shows a certain contempt for the viewer, I think, in my opinion, intentionally or not.

As far as Discovery Season 3? I haven’t watched it yet, so I withhold judgment.
Tue, Aug 25, 2020, 8:25am (UTC -5)
I wrote lower decks off, but because CBS All Access was giving me a free trial for a month (which they subsequently charged me for anyway) I figured, what the heck.

I really enjoy Lower Decks. It take place in a near-TNG time, a time I've been arguing that new Trek show show pickup on. No more of the pre-pre-prequel-alternate-timeline BS.

Lower Decks takes full advantage that it's a cartoon and has a lot of fun while showing us new parts of the ship we've never seen. It's super-silly, we don't have to take it 100% serious or try to dove-tail it into being cannon. It's a cartoon. It's fun.

I respect that Jammer isn't writing review for it Lower Decks, but if he does, I'll read them!

I wish you all well!
C.T. Phipps
Wed, Aug 26, 2020, 6:33pm (UTC -5)
Lower Decks is awesome so it's your loss. Mind you, I find the idea of people wanting it to be a serious drama is about complaining about a dog not being a cat. It's meant to be fanservice and hilarity for hardcore Trek fans.

Love it for what it is.
Cody B
Thu, Aug 27, 2020, 3:19am (UTC -5)
Just watched the fourth episode and I do think it’s the best so far. Still nothing to write home about considering the series is filler this was a decent episode. There seemed to also be something different in the animation style. I don’t know enough about animation to say exactly but there is a clear difference in look from the other three episodes
Thu, Aug 27, 2020, 5:42am (UTC -5)
@Cody B
It seems that in episode 4 there were more shots where they were trying to "light" the characters and give them a hue on the edges of their faces due to external light. This is a terrible idea with flatly drawn characters
Cody B
Thu, Aug 27, 2020, 10:03am (UTC -5)

Yep I see what you’re saying. They played with the appearance of lighting more in this episode like when they are playing cards it’s dark and light is casted different places and then in another scene they make it very bright like doctors office when they are in a big room with fluorescent overhead ceiling lights. Also they did some pseudo 3d cgi effects a few times in this episode. Even the ship monitors look like rendered images or something
Thu, Aug 27, 2020, 12:34pm (UTC -5)
EP 4: "Moist Vessel"

SensOrs... lol (channeling Spock and Tuvok)

Best episode yet in my book.

I didn't have any issues with the animation.

We don't get to see Mariner inthe brig at all?

I actually laughed out loud a couple times at the end when Mom and daughter were getting their medal.

Under the umbrella of -everything is exaggerated-, this episode was fun.

I liked the "Genisis" ship... pretty cool. I liked the Star Trek story here.

The ENS Tendi story was revealing for the character... the ascension made me think of Star Gate (like the opening theme music does). She messes up someone's ascension thingy, then through surviving the idiot repercussions of the Tellerite Captain's actions, she figures out she just wants to be liked. I wasn't expecting him to actually ascend though.

I enjoyed Captain Feeman and "LT" Mariner working together to get through the same situation. They both come to the realization that they CAN work together.

I still think this show makes the Captain out to be an idiot. I think Ransom knows that.

The bit at the end when they get their medals was the funniest part of the show thus far IMO. I also liked how Mariner and the Captain were saying the same thing, the difference being the Captain was trying to respect the ADM's rank and position where Mariner has no filter.

3 stars from me.
Thu, Aug 27, 2020, 1:19pm (UTC -5)
Best episode of "Ow! My Balls!" yet!
Thu, Aug 27, 2020, 7:45pm (UTC -5)


Thu, Aug 27, 2020, 10:20pm (UTC -5)
@Cody B yea.. exactly.. but these kind of designs (which I personally don't care for, but that is just me) don't seem to lend itself the experimentation you are talking about.

If the show was live action, and they could actually LIGHT the characters.. as well as pace the dialogue better, I might actually enjoy it. Most of the stories, while they are B plot level TNG stuff, is at least sound and somewhat funny for the fans
Fri, Aug 28, 2020, 10:13am (UTC -5)
I don't care about logic or drama or story really. Those things can always be thrown out to play a joke up.

What I take issue with, is that I don't find any of this funny. Plots that require everyone to be a moron, at whatever time the script calls for them to be a moron, don't make me laugh.

I'm more of a fan of absurd satire, than rapid fire nonsense.
Sun, Aug 30, 2020, 11:50pm (UTC -5)
Show is actually OK i think this is the first Kirtzman show I can actually enjoy and seems vaguely star trek. Making the man girl Mariner a Rick ripoff was a horrible idea though. Just doesnt work for multiple reasons. Its basically an Orville ripoff.which is rly odd to say. I kind of wish they would try less hard to be funny tbh.Less jokes and more low key humor might work better
Tue, Sep 1, 2020, 5:07pm (UTC -5)
I'm conflicted about Lower Decks. Like many of you, I am not a fan of Mariner, and if the recurring jokes are all Mariner saving or being smarter than Boimler, I'm not going to be able to tolerate it long.

I do like Boimler on his own, and I do like Tendi and Rutherford, and that I already know Tendi's name means that the writers are doing something better than say ENT's writers did for Travis Mayweather.

I also like some of the gags, etc. And I think it does feel Trekky.

But it is missing something. Maybe it is just too fast paced for me, or perhaps I'm still getting used to Federation Officers who aren't quite acting like Federation officers. We've always had Barclay's though.

To compare my opinions: I don't mind Discovery, it just doesn't feel like Star Trek to me. Picard I feel started out well and ended poorly, but I did have a few moments of joy, especially in Nepenthe and with the arrival of the Zheng He (though I knew it was coming; not that specific ship but you know - sorry I don't know the spoiler rule on here). They just don't feel Trekky. Too movie like and cinematic, and not enough character study, or philosophy/ethics like the others had? I like that Star Trek made me think.

I don't mind a non-thinking Star Trek animated comedy. And this show does have its redeeming qualities, but it is missing that special something.

I'll see where it goes.
Wed, Sep 2, 2020, 3:05pm (UTC -5)
Apparently all our heroes throughout each series were actually supposed to be pursuing knowledge of a giant koala and everything else was a waste of time.
Wed, Sep 2, 2020, 11:47pm (UTC -5)
Wait... What? Knowledge of a giant koala?

I ain't gonna lie: you managed to grab my interest.
Cody B
Thu, Sep 3, 2020, 4:09am (UTC -5)
After last week’s episode being near good for what the series is, we’re back to terrible with episode five. And the previews for the next episode look like it could be the worst one yet.
Thu, Sep 3, 2020, 2:23pm (UTC -5)
>Too movie like and cinematic, and not enough character study, or philosophy/ethics like the others had? I like that Star Trek made me think.

This is exactly what I think of modern Trek. That and it's non-episodic nature.
Thu, Sep 3, 2020, 3:53pm (UTC -5)
S1 EP5: "Cupid's Errant Arrow"

I really enjoyed this one! I love it when Tendi and Rutherford team up.

Mariner was not so irritating this week. Trying to protect her friend (Boimler)

The Captain didn't come off as an idiot.

I chuckled many times. I'll have to watch it again to exactl recall a few.

3 stars. Good, fun episode.
Thu, Sep 3, 2020, 5:00pm (UTC -5)
You know what?

After digesting this episode a little bit, I'm upping my score to 4 stars.

Nothing really to dig it for.
Tommy D.
Thu, Sep 3, 2020, 5:06pm (UTC -5)

I agree. I thought it was much better than last weeks episode, which although it had its moments, I thought the first 5 minutes or so were almost painfully unfunny. This one was way more enjoyable throughout.
Icelandic Alliance
Thu, Sep 3, 2020, 9:26pm (UTC -5)
How could the pheromones have affected Barb if she and Boimler had never met in person before?
Dave in MN
Thu, Sep 3, 2020, 11:09pm (UTC -5)
Too many memberberries, too short an episode for a the content, everyone still speaks like they OD'd on caffeine and the episode title apes another (better) space show.

1.5 stars
Fri, Sep 4, 2020, 8:05am (UTC -5)
@ Icelandic Alliance
Thu, Sep 3, 2020, 9:26pm (UTC -5)

"How could the pheromones have affected Barb if she and Boimler had never met in person before?"

I believe they met (can't remember exactly where), then spent a month apart. Aparantly the exposure was long enough to snag her :-)
Boba Fett
Fri, Sep 4, 2020, 6:06pm (UTC -5)
Can we also get a post with "Jammer's plans for the review of Star Wars Episode IX" please?

Sat, Sep 5, 2020, 12:34am (UTC -5)
I tapped out after the pilot (which I thought was fine but nothing great), but then came back for episode four because I heard on a podcast that it was more like “Rick and Morty”, one of my favorite shows. How wrong that was! The person who said that clearly does not understand the comedic genius of “Rick and Morty” at ALL. Episode four was actually bad, not just mediocre like the pilot. I am definitely out now.
Sat, Sep 5, 2020, 1:54am (UTC -5)
@ Bobba Fett — I’m sure Jammer will have his review of “Rise of Skywalker” up prior to the next Star Wars movie. 🤨
Sat, Sep 5, 2020, 3:24am (UTC -5)
How would you even write a review about that movie?! I watched it with a few people and we all had no idea what had happened.
Let me try.
They needed a dagger to get to the emperor who was making a million star destroyers out of thin air, who could destroy planets and were controlled by one antenna and then the galaxy showed up and then the emperor shot them down and then... from here on I don't know anymore, something with horses and Rey channeling Jesus. I don't even remember how the emperor died.
Johnny D
Sat, Sep 5, 2020, 8:12pm (UTC -5)
I am enjoying it! (Braces for rage attacks)

Having a show with a comedic core allows them to view the Star Trek universe through a different lens, and I'm glad they are trying something new and different. Star Trek is for everyone, and if all the references to the other series get someone to got back and see what they missed, then its a win!

Its fun to see new ship designs, and all the other aspects of starship travel that never got explored during the TNG heydey. Looking forward to cetacean ops!

All the previous episodes of all the other series are still there to watch, so there is an incredibe library to view and enjoy if the new show isn't your thing.
Sat, Sep 5, 2020, 8:33pm (UTC -5)
"(Braces for rage attacks)"

Sun, Sep 6, 2020, 4:43pm (UTC -5)
Hah, I liked the homage to TMP with the whole ascension to energy being framed as both cool and mildly unsettling. There's an obvious reference to the Genesis Device from TWoK too. Lower Decks does have its moments.
Sun, Sep 6, 2020, 5:57pm (UTC -5)
Out of all the new trek still enjoying this one the most. Its basically The Orville animated series.

I agree w everyones criticisms of the show but I can still enjoy it for what it is. It doesnt offend me or disgust me like Picard or Disco often did.

Biggest thing they need to change is Mariner. Be8ng Rick lite doesnt work on this show for many many many reasons. The Moist episode is her best characterization yet though. And showing her flaws vs the Riker standin was also a momwnt she actually worked as a character
Chris Lopes
Tue, Sep 8, 2020, 12:58am (UTC -5)
"Can we also get a post with "Jammer's plans for the review of Star Wars Episode IX" please?"

If you can't say anything nice........ :)
Wed, Sep 9, 2020, 2:00am (UTC -5)
Ooo disco season 3 trailer is out!

After Picard plagiarized mass effect 3, looks like disco is taking its inspiration from that hit Kevin Sorbo show Andromeda.

The return of action hour is upon us friends. Long live the 90s
Jason R.
Wed, Sep 9, 2020, 5:34am (UTC -5)
"The Galaxy took a hard left..."

Aha! Marxism destroyed the Federation. I knew it!
Wed, Sep 9, 2020, 6:26am (UTC -5)
@ Jason
Ok ok, understandable conclusion BUT have you ever heard of the horseshoe theory? This theory proposes that the far left and the far right share certain similarities (hold you breath Trent:) and because the Federation was already far left and has now gone even further to the left then that means far right.

That's why the Federation is now xenophobic, racist and whatnot.
Wed, Sep 9, 2020, 6:49am (UTC -5)
Are they going to Sherwood Forest with Vash?
Jason R.
Wed, Sep 9, 2020, 8:43am (UTC -5)
"Are they going to Sherwood Forest with Vash?"

Step aside Romulans, Klingons, Borg, Q, Khan... Make way for the true puppetmaster, the archvillain behind everything, Trek's greatest antagonist - Sir Guy of Gisborne!
Wed, Sep 9, 2020, 12:16pm (UTC -5)
I am in the UK so note sure I am even allowed to watch this yet. All I can go on is trailers and Youtube clips.

From what I've seen, it's an abomination compared to the Star Trek I grew up with. It appears to be absurd and immature (for me to call something immature it's got to be REALLY bad). I see nothing but scenes of characters yelling at each other like a stupider and more obnoxious version of the Goonies. I see constant scenes of a black woman humiliating a wimpy, disrespected-by-all white man (the new TV trope?). I see a starship wearing Terran Empire colours.

It appears to be a failure on every level. It disrespects the source material; the canon; existing fans; human intelligence. It appears to disrespect and dislike white men. What, are we all racist, sexist oppressors? Maybe I am blanking out during these human rights atrocities I'm supposedly committing.

I really don't understand who modern Trek is aiming at. Clearly not men; clearly not long term Trekkies; clearly not people with intelligence or dignity.

I've gone back to ENT season 4 - later-season ENT is starting to look like Trek's last gasp, like an Indian summer that leads straight into the arms of a long and bitter winter.

I've gone back to BSG and will be starting The Orville soon. BSG does dark scifi without swearing or excruciating, violent horror, and inclusiveness without coming off as some kind of social justice crusade. The Orville apparently does exploration and humour without simply retreading old ground.

The best Star Trek you can see today is anything other than Star Trek.
Wed, Sep 9, 2020, 12:55pm (UTC -5)
Can we get through a single week without somebody complaining about the horrible injustices committed towards the suppressed masses of white men?
You, as you admit yourself, have only seen trailers. Maybe wait until you actually see the show before you call for UN peacekeepers.

Let's see:
- Discovery Captains are two white guys (Lorca and Pike) and gasp both are not humiliated by the BLACKS, actually the first season it is a black women who is hated by everybody.
- Picard. a white guy literally saves the galaxy in that show and again the black women on board is a drunk, a drug addict, she messed up her family and gets rejected by her son.

And why the hell would humiliating be part of a social justice crusade???

I'm setting the clock back to zero again.
Wed, Sep 9, 2020, 1:00pm (UTC -5)
@ Adam
Oh sweet crazy adam or whatever you like to call yourself here, look what I found in your comment stream
"Dismissing a show outright from a trailer is just silly."
I'm not angry, I'm just disappointed.
Wed, Sep 9, 2020, 3:18pm (UTC -5)
@ Boomer

Oh dear, I don't know what tangent you're off on, but let me clarify my point.

My comment was largely about Lower Decks. You know, this being the Lower Decks discussion. Your comments about Discovery/Picard have no relation to what I was talking about so I am going to ignore them.

A trailer is designed to give you an idea of what the show is about: its characters, its themes, its content. If you watched a terrible trailer for a film which in your opinion showed you nothing you wanted or expected to see, but which you found triggering in terms of being annoying/contrary to reasonable expectations/unfunny, what exactly is your motivation to watch that film? If the trailer trying to sell it to you is a chaotic mess, in my opinion you'd need a screw loose to reasonably expect anything better from the product. Yes, bad trailers exist for good films (cf. the entire 1980s), but the trailer failed its duty, try harder next time.

Perhaps grasp the point of my post before heading off in some other direction, please.
Wed, Sep 9, 2020, 4:01pm (UTC -5)
@ adam
Ok, let's revisit a few of your comments
"It appears to disrespect and dislike white men. What, are we all racist, sexist oppressors? Maybe I am blanking out during these human rights atrocities I'm supposedly committing."
- So if a black woman humiliates a white man that is automatically means disrespecting and disliking all white men.
- Your question is somewhat puzzling. If in a trailer a black woman humiliates a white guy then that implies all white men are racist, sexist oppressors, who commit atrocities?

"I really don't understand who modern Trek is aiming at. Clearly not men"
Clearly, maybe a few whimpy white soyboys, ey?!

"without coming off as some kind of social justice crusade"
- Again you whole diatribe is based on trailers in which you noticed that a black woman is humiliating a white man which means that the show is on a social justice crusade?

I hope my tangent is now a little bit clearer.
Let me ask you this. You talk about blanking out, do you have trouble breathing, tunnel vision and reoccurring headaches, if so then you should get checked for a stroke, mate.

And if you are ever scared again just watch this.
Cody B
Thu, Sep 10, 2020, 4:18am (UTC -5)
@Adam @Booming

Adam pointed out a white man was being insulted by a person of color and because of recent trends and direction of the Star Trek franchise voiced concerns. Booming heard the call to arms and rushed to save the world. Someone is out there not towing the far left line!!! Can only mean they are “on the right”! Only yet another cringe inducing never ending political discussion will help Booming save the world! Where Booming refuses to ever see middle ground and only puts people in convenient stereotypical boxes. I have watched all released episodes of Lower Deck I’m not a big fan but I can’t really say it’s “woke”, that’s not one of the problems. Adam I have to say you did judge this off the trailer and your assumptions were not correct. However you are not crazy for your line of thinking. Booming please calm down. Adam is not out to dismantle your world and everything you stand for.
Thu, Sep 10, 2020, 1:23pm (UTC -5)
You defending these comments is the least surprising since the nazis invaded Poland.
"Recent trends and directions of the Star Trek franchise."
Totally. It's like white genocide.

Great defense of his comments...especially considering that even you admit that what adam fantasized about was complete bullshit.

Oh and in your twisted brain you might not have noticed it but I never said anything about right or left wing or any of the other things you imagined.
But hey thanks for sharing.
Thu, Sep 10, 2020, 2:16pm (UTC -5)
and another thing.
You know cody it is starting to feel like that you don't love me more than anybody and that you are not trying to be sweet and nice. That hurts but now I can only ignore you again.
Thu, Sep 10, 2020, 2:23pm (UTC -5)
Im gonna wade back in to this hellhole to mention I wish Jammer would just post separate episode threads. No need to review or anything but it would be nice to have a place to discuss the new episodes individually.
Thu, Sep 10, 2020, 2:47pm (UTC -5)
Trek fans really are insufferable. No wonder the franchise has turned into garbage.
Thu, Sep 10, 2020, 2:49pm (UTC -5)
Why did the weapons go offline at the end? Did I miss something?
Thu, Sep 10, 2020, 4:27pm (UTC -5)
Six episodes in, I still find this show surprisingly palatable. It actually feels like Easter, with all the eggs lying around. Most recent exam­ple is “[the Holo­deck] is not just for hang­ing with Sher­lock Hol­mes and Robin Hood and Sig­mund Freud and Cyrano de Bergerac and Ein­stein and da Vinci and Ste­phen Haw­king and So­cra­tes”; it took me some time to solve the last re­fe­ren­ce, be­cause I had me­mo­ry-wiped my­self after watching “Darkling”.

I was not too enthusiastic about #1 (“Se­cond Con­tact”), but the worst of­fen­der was clearly #5 (Cupid’s Errant Arrow)— I get Mariner is some­what dri­ven to para­noia by her many ad­ven­tu­res (how old is she real­ly?), and she is heli­co­pter­ing around Boim­ler’s head to pro­tect him, but if anyone ever says “Yeah, I mean he is a dork, but he’s my dork” about me, I should ne­ver want to see that per­son again.

Today (#6, “Terminal Provocations”) was inoffensive rea­son­ably enter­tain­ing, though. This makes it the fourth en­joy­able epis­ode out of six, which is definitely better than TNG season 1 (something I’ll never ever going to say about DIS). I get that “Lower Decks” is ba­si­cal­ly a back­port of “The Orville” into the Star­Trek uni­ver­se, minus the body part jokes plus a lot more of ir­re­spon­si­ble and reck­less be­ha­vi­our by ever­yone plus half an isoton of fan­ser­­vi­ce per epis­ode. This sort of works for me.
Cody B
Thu, Sep 10, 2020, 5:06pm (UTC -5)

Saying Lower Decks is “better than TNG season one” is a little silly. They are vastly different shows. I could spend all day naming TV shows that had a better first season than TNG. Lower Decks is filler. It’s there to string subscribers along until the next live action season of Trek. The “Easter eggs” are very in your face and pandering. Like when Mariner rattled off a bunch of Trek characters a few episodes back, or now episode six mentioning all the famous historical figures featured in holodeck episodes, or a few episodes back when they showed a giant Hor’gahn (the Risa wooden figure) in the middle of the screen for almost ten seconds. It’s not smart or clever. I don’t hate Lower Decks but there’s no need to pretend like everything about it is middle of the road entertainment. It’s never going to be a classic must see series or matter in any way to the Trek universe (the way TNG season one does, even despite its shortcomings).
Thu, Sep 10, 2020, 5:37pm (UTC -5)
I'd also predict that TNG is going to age a tiny bit better. By the time the 24th century rolls around phrases like "hell yeah, that's what I'M talking about!" accompanied by high-fives are going to seem as head-scratchingly silly and hilarious as early 20th century visions of a future run by chrome vacuum-tube based monotone talking robots. Not that I think anyone would be the slightest bit interested in watching this in even 20 years time from now.
Fri, Sep 11, 2020, 3:35am (UTC -5)
I haven’t watched nor intend to watch Lower decks it’s probably as shitty as DIS and PIC but I just wanted to step in and defend the first season of TNG. I think it’s vastly underrated.

It has a wonderful sense of the unknown and exploration. It does a good job of introducing and giving the audience a feel for the 24th century There’s a lot of good to great episodes—conspiracy, the neutral zone, Datalore, 1101001, arsenal of freedom, skin of evil, last outpost, naked now, heart of glory, home soil.

I think people are far too hard on it. I think season two is weaker but I do find I enjoy seasons 1-5 the best overall and have the largest concentration of highly rewatchable and entertaining episodes
Tommy D.
Fri, Sep 11, 2020, 4:11am (UTC -5)
JG Hertzler!


I think the weapons going out was just a gag on Shaxs finally getting his number called to fire away after being rejected, ala how Worf's mostly aggressive course of action suggestions in TNG were continually shot down by Picard and RIker.
Fri, Sep 11, 2020, 8:25am (UTC -5)

i do agree that the first season of TNG does an excellent job to inspire a sen­ti­ment of awe and won­der about the things that po­pu­late the cosmos, and it also suc­ceeds to give an im­pres­sion of what the 24ᵗʰ century looks like. Vi­su­al­ly, the season com­bines the sound­stage aes­the­tics of TOS with im­pres­sive pan­ora­mic views. That is some­thing that only a first season can do, and there is success.

But when we come to individual episodes, most don’t work at all. I have, un­like most re­view­ers, quite a high opi­ni­on about both the pre­mi­ere and the fi­na­le, but there isn’t much in be­tween. Sure, “11001001” is great be­cause it uses inter­esting aliens to tell an inter­esting story. “Con­spira­cy” sticks to the mind be­cause it is so un­ex­pected. Ho­nour­able men­tion goes to “Heart of Glory” and “Home Soil”, but that’s it; the rest of the sea­son falls flat for me, being either pedes­trian or deep base­ment level (“Angel One”, “Code of Ho­nour”, “Jus­tice”). So I’m speak­ing that ¾ of the season is un­remark­able or worse.

The main culprits are simplistic stories and weak cha­rac­ters. Troi is a pain to watch, Riker is social and gets the girls, Worf mostly lacks humour, Geordi is nice, Beverly is sweet and Wesley sucks. Yar was set up to be inter­esting but, alas, left the show. Picard behaves aristo­crati­cally, a lea­der dis­tanced from his sub­ordi­na­tes, and opens up only when alone in the Holo­deck. This leaves us with Data as the only cha­rac­ter of inter­est in that really large en­semble.

When it comes to the stories, than pretty much of it boils down to two types: Either, the human crew teaches some aliens or non-crew-humans (and the audi­ence) a les­son; or the crew (and the audi­ence) learns a les­son from some super-evol­ved aliens. That’s not a bad con­cept in principle, but the les­sons are often one-note and trite, and the story bends around the mo­ra­le it wants to tell; more­over, that con­cept can­not make an entire sea­son go. Several epis­odes try to do better, but fail in execu­tion (“Data­lore”, “Hide and Q”).

Lower Decks, on the other side, has some good cha­rac­ters; they are mostly de­fined by one or two traits, but I think that is a typical pro­blem for ani­ma­ted shows. There are some signs of cha­rac­ter growth, in par­ti­cu­lar for Mari­ner, who for the first time eschews her dickish­ness in #6 and even dis­cus­ses this ama­zing change with Boim­ler. The jokes are very often sim­plis­tic (like they were in early Orville epis­odes), and there is a lot of fan pan­dering, but then, I am a fan.

I think there is no chance that LD could ever come close to the great TV in later seasons of TNG (3–7). This is very much Star Trek light, but (for me) quite suc­cess­ful on this term. In con­trast, I find the dark and hyper­emo­ti­o­nal StarTrek shown in DIS ab­hor­rent, de­spite some good epis­odes in S2. With PIC, I still with­hold judge­ment, for there was so much light and so much shadow in its S1.
Fri, Sep 11, 2020, 9:45am (UTC -5)
I've realized I haven't watched an episode of STLD since the third one -- saw the teaser for the 4th one where Mariner is yawning during a high-level briefing and then turned it off. Enough is enough. I intended to watch all the episodes and approach it like I would any other Trek series, but it is truly fundamentally different and, for me, putrid. I just wonder if, for those who initially did not like it but who are softening to it somewhat, if the episodes are truly getting better in some meaningful way or if the viewers in question are getting accustomed to it and now unbeknownst to them just have lowered their standards. Is STLD undergoing an evolution like ORV did?

Interestingly there's a little discussion here about TNG S1, which I've said a few times is clearly, for me, the worst season of Trek including DSC and PIC. I won't include STLD in the comparison as it is totally different. So I think folks might increasingly give TNG S1 a pass based on its legacy and sort of looking at it through revisionist goggles. I generally agree with the comments Lady Galadriel made about it and can see where Startrekwatcher is coming from just as far as sense of unknown and exploration goes, given that it's the first meaningful Trek since TOS ended 18 years prior. But some of the episodes he/she lists as good to great ("Skin of Evil", "The Last Outpost", "The Neutral Zone") have way too many flaws to be anything other than at best weak and at worst terrible.

But it takes more than just ideas and a sense of freshness to be good Trek -- so many execution problems (bad acting, writing etc.) hampered TNG in S1. It didn't know what it wanted to be and, for me, didn't find it's identity until well into S2 and possibly S3. When TNG was trying to be TOS, it was a failure. Worse still, the Picard character was such a hardass in S1 and hadn't evolved to be the incredible character that it would become even by S2 ("The Measure of a Man" stands out, for example). "Encounter at Farpoint" was such an over-bloated mess and kind of sums up the season in a way -- a good idea: existential idea to hold humanity's feet to the fire, but ultimately it had its boring moments, poor acting, poor structure etc. Of course, we know how TNG turned out and of course it's a bit much to expect much improvement in DSC S3 and PIC S2 unless there's an overhaul of the showrunners.

Now, STLD, I can't see it evolving to something palatable given the constraints of being a 1/2 hr animated show. It is its own thing and will cater to an audience that can accept something different from non-animated Trek.
Fri, Sep 11, 2020, 9:46am (UTC -5)
Startrekwatcher, I agree with your main point but I am surprised you apparently didn't like season 6 of TNG? I'd say it's one of the strongest - if not the strongest.
Fri, Sep 11, 2020, 12:23pm (UTC -5)
I decided to have a look here after using the website a couple of years ago while I was watching Voyager.

Wow. What an angry and sad this part of the fandom is. Bitter enough so that they despise a cartoon series clearly not made for them. And any kind of show as long as it is "star trek".

I don't mind apparently there is a part of the fanbase that supports the series throughout the world so that they can expand while making a profit. Or they are being supported by fans that just feel that need to watch so they can complain more, who knows.

Anyway cheers to the creators. I wish I had their job despite all the bitterness it ensues.

I do find the episode reviews fair to be honest most of the time. But man, this hate is not healthy.
Fri, Sep 11, 2020, 1:16pm (UTC -5)
Tomalak, I felt season six was when the shoe first started showing its age

Michael Piller left jeri Taylor in charge who was a weak showrunner(look at TNG season six, seven and voyager tail end of season 1 and start of season
2, then season 3)

Season six decreased the number of outside story ideas and scripts leading to what I would consider a bad thing

The season felt like it loss the urgency and sense of purpose it had in the prior five seasons. Even the actors felt like they had gotten too comfortable and it hurt the show

I thought the number of bad episodes went up dramatically-fluff like Fistiful of Datas, Rightful Heir, Realm of Fear, True Q, Lessons, , the Birthright two parter to name a few

It just felt very different and whenever I do a rewatch I find myself skipping more episodes
Fri, Sep 11, 2020, 2:48pm (UTC -5)
"What an angry and sad this part of the fandom is. Bitter enough so that they despise a cartoon series clearly not made for them."

Cody B
Sat, Sep 12, 2020, 6:35am (UTC -5)
I can tell you why I continue watching it. I accept Lower Decks as a filler mid tier show. It’s only 25 minutes and I don’t think it’s garbage although I think there are about a million different interesting Trek shows that could have been made in place of it. I’ve seen every other episode made of Trek and it’s not like I find Lower Decks offensive or get angry. Basically I watch the 25 minutes each week, shrug, and go on with my life. That’s as good a summary of Lower Decks and the feelings it elicits as anything
Sat, Sep 12, 2020, 6:50am (UTC -5)
Forget Threshold and STV. This week's episode was the worst Trek I've seen by far. Just unwatchable.
Sat, Sep 12, 2020, 6:54am (UTC -5)
I keep hearing this statement "it's not made for you", but I really would like to know who it IS made for? It's too violent for kids and way too immature for adults.
Sat, Sep 12, 2020, 8:55am (UTC -5)

It is meant for people who enjoy animation like Rick and Morty, disenchanted and the Simpsons, maybe even the recent Glitch techs. All these animations are funny, employ banter and have violent elements. And they are some of the most famous worldwide as well.

I can give you a list of other shows that people living under huge rock formations are probably unaware of. Also the magic word is "teen".

Btw I wonder if all these Orville fans have any idea who Seth McFarlane is actually. .. I mean Star Trek is the greatest tv ever period, but you can watch other shows as well.
Sat, Sep 12, 2020, 9:25am (UTC -5)

Fair enough.

I agree with you that there are so many better things -- in principle -- that Trek could have done instead of this type of half-hour attempt at parody. Let's hope Strange New Worlds, DSC and PIC deliver on that.

Taking place in a period after TNG, there's such a rich canvas with which to tell stories, reference events, races etc. -- and still parody them -- that I held hope of some interesting bits here and there with STLD. But I've found it far too annoying to sit through. I don't think that if somebody takes a dispassionate, objective view of STLD, that they could call it good television.
Sat, Sep 12, 2020, 10:03am (UTC -5)
I'm really enjoying Lower Decks at this point, particularly since it's more about "Star Trek as a place". Often it does parody or subvert Trek tropes, but that's arguably been needed for a long time. And Badgey was great!

Some Trek fans definitely adhere to a rigid definition of canon, except that there is little to no consensus on what counts as "correct" canon vs "incorrect". Years ago when I still went to con panels, I remember encountering some guy who has harping on some inconsistency on DS9 vs TOS - I can't even remember what it was, something about Klingons? - and I had an epiphany that such arguments were pointless, petty, and nonsensical. I mean, who cares? When you have dozens of writers and producers involved over several decades, it's normal for some stuff not to make sense. Because they're still TV shows and movies. However much Star Trek may represent a certain kind of philosophy or progressive ideology, it's also an exercise in future world-building over 50 years that sometimes to collapse under its own inertia.

Watching Lower Decks I never get the sense that the writers don't have anything less than love and nostalgia for "legacy" Trek. I'm not sure why we need to define it as "mid tier filler". I do wish that we could have a Vince Gilligan written/paced Trek show... but this franchise has never been accepted as "prestige" television.
Sat, Sep 12, 2020, 11:51am (UTC -5)
I stopped by my Trekkie friend's (the only one in town) place for the first time since Coronavirus chaos began, and since he has CBS All-Access we watched episodes 5 and 6 together. I am waiting for DSC Season 3 to renew mine so I hadn't watched any Lower Decks (as I said before, animation-style shows are not my thing).

That being said, we had a ton of fun watching episode 5, bantered and laughed together quite a bit. I didn't think episode 6 was quite as funny but the amount of Trek references gave us plenty to chat during the watch. I agree with Josh above when he says, "Watching Lower Decks I never get the sense that the writers don't have anything less than love and nostalgia for "legacy" Trek." Mike McMahan and his crew truly love and know Trek, it seems. I am not sure how much non-Trekkies will get those references but it's not only targeted to Trekkies but also at people who like animation-style shows, in the visual style of Rick and Morty (I presume, seen very little of it in passing) and Archer, but rather in the tenor of Trek spirit.

I won't watch any other episodes, it's for me, not because it's not good but not my visual taste for a TV show. I think watching with my buddy (he loves it), and that we could marvel at the little throwbacks and easter eggs together, made it a better experience than it would be if I watched it alone. I certainly didn't laugh through episode 6 more than once or twice.

Characters seem to be established (according to my friend they did a good job with that in the first couple of episodes, he says his favorite so far is #2). I may revisit it in the future when I have All-Access, but only with someone else who enjoys Star Trek. For now, I am rather looking forward to DSC 3 especially after seeing the trailer and the panel on Star Trek day.
Chris Lopes
Sat, Sep 12, 2020, 12:50pm (UTC -5)
"I can tell you why I continue watching it. I accept Lower Decks as a filler mid tier show."

This. As I said in another comment, if you like hanging out in the TNG universe, this show isn't entirely unwatchable. Yeah the jokes can be stupid, and these folks are not behaving as "real" Star Fleet officers would, but there are enough Trek references to be entertaining.
Sat, Sep 12, 2020, 3:08pm (UTC -5)
An occasional reference is entertaining. Wall-to-wall references are annoying. And purely Star Trek-based humor really isn't a wide enough vein to sustain a whole series, a vein Farscape and Futurama largely mined out already. (I was waiting for Rutherford to blurt out "Nearly two million lines of BASIC!")

I tried watching Solar Opposites and have pretty much the same problems with its style of humor, logic and consistency get sacrificed in the pursuit of easy gags, which makes it hard to get particularly invested in the story or the setting.
Sat, Sep 12, 2020, 9:59pm (UTC -5)
Well according to these comments about who the show is for, I should like it. I like animated shows, I like hanging out in the TNG universe, and I'm not too bothered about canon or violence.

What I have noticed is that when people talk about animated shows that Lower Decks is "in the style of" they are never the ones I could appreciate. Largely quip or reference-based, mean people making fun of others, lots of fast-paced physical humor. The animations I like tend to have more emotional cues, subtle observations about society and people, and slow-burn themes or dilemmas that last the episode. I would have thought a Star Trek animated series is better suited to the latter style, but I'm not an executive so what do I know.
Sun, Sep 13, 2020, 2:51am (UTC -5)

I respect your point. I mean people like different things. Some like animations that are funny and provocative, some like them more sentimental, societal, most western audiences just like Disney fare etc. Saying that there is no audience for something you dislike is a different thing though. And I do feel there is a big audience for the series as it is even if I am not aligned 100% with that, my favorite animated shows being in the vain of "Future boy Conan" (which is an absolute masterpiece).

Also emotional resonance is something difficult to achieve in such a short timespan and format, especially since we have not seen the entire thing so far. I do feel the series will get to that point progressively but it is an achievement to be won over time rather than an instant gratification.

You can't expect the depth, societal critique and subtlety of a David Lynn movie anyways. I mean it would be great if they managed something like that but I do feel that If we go for such a high ground eventually we will probably be disappointed by virtually every Star Trek episode ever out there.

I would rather take what they give and see if they can elevate it further step by step than expect it will all come hit me instantly.

But maybe I am wrong, who knows, only time will tell...
Sun, Sep 13, 2020, 2:56am (UTC -5)
Apparently I meant David Lean of Lawrence of Arabia and other masterpieces but messed it up.

Damn these typos...
Tommy D.
Sun, Sep 13, 2020, 3:04am (UTC -5)
I don't find the show mean spirited at all, although of course, ymmv.


I'm actually kind of excited for season 3 of Discovery as well. I thought they were so close to figuring it out with the first half of season 2 before it kind of fell apart at the end.
Sun, Sep 13, 2020, 3:06am (UTC -5)
Watched the trailer for Discovery season 3, surprisingly hard to find, and I guess we can confirm that it will not be about a beam from the sky threatening destruction of EVERYTHING. No this time it will Burnham who single-handedly rebuilds the federation. I guess the others help. Oh oh and lots of cool new hairstyles!!! and flips and kicks and lots of shooting. NuTrek is certainly at the top of it's game.
It is not the show that we want, not even the show that we need but the show we deserve. Well, at least we have the cool hairstyles. I'm really looking forward to those.
Tommy D.
Sun, Sep 13, 2020, 3:31am (UTC -5)
Well, I'm just hoping the show evolves through hairstyles much like TNG's did through Worf. The better his hair, the better the season.
Sun, Sep 13, 2020, 3:42am (UTC -5)

"I respect your point. I mean people like different things. Some like animations that are funny and provocative, some like them more sentimental, societal, most western audiences just like Disney fare etc. Saying that there is no audience for something you dislike is a different thing though. And I do feel there is a big audience for the series as it is even if I am not aligned 100% with that, my favorite animated shows being in the vain of "Future boy Conan" (which is an absolute masterpiece)."

Just to be clear, I wasn't saying there was no audience for it. It was a genuine question, in response to someone earlier in the thread telling anyone who dislikes the show that they are not the show's audience.

"Also emotional resonance is something difficult to achieve in such a short timespan and format, especially since we have not seen the entire thing so far. I do feel the series will get to that point progressively but it is an achievement to be won over time rather than an instant gratification. "

Netflix's "Hilda" managed to do it in less than a handful of episodes. I was well and truly won over by the main characters by the 6th episode, and most likely a lot earlier. "Infinity Train" is another example.
Sun, Sep 13, 2020, 4:18am (UTC -5)
@Tommy D.
I hear ya and you are right. His hair did improve. The fairly bleh timid style at the end of season 1 to this lion like mane later on but there is a catch, in DS9 his hairstyle regressed into a pony tail. Sure when he untangled it then that looked nice but that barely happened. I'm worried. If Burnham has not at least three new great hairstyles per season then I'm out.
Sun, Sep 13, 2020, 7:26am (UTC -5)
Lower Decks so far is better than DIS and PIC combined. It may start off rocky, but unlike DIS and PIC it actually gets *better* with every episode. And by episode 5 is doing some quality Star Trek parody in only 20-ish minutes!
Chuck AzEee
Sun, Sep 13, 2020, 11:15am (UTC -5)
I personally love the show. Being that the original “Lower Decks” episode was so morose especially the ending, the campy humor of this series is a welcome surprise.
Tommy D.
Sun, Sep 13, 2020, 11:26pm (UTC -5)

This is true, though fortunately, Worf's decline in hairstyle prowess seemed to have an inverse effect on the quality of DS9.
Mon, Sep 14, 2020, 1:58am (UTC -5)
@Paralax You know, it's far healthier to hate a show than it is to condemn people for daring to not share your opinions.

Just want to chime in on the TNG Season 1 Talk, I have always had a soft spot for it. It is partially the sense of exploration and wonder which is stronger there than any other season of Trek. It's also the soundtrack, which is really strong and emotional in the first few seasons before it became the famous droning "sonic wallpaper music" of the later seasons.

I think that even many of TNG Season 1's "bad" episodes like Naked Now, Code of Honor, and Angel One are pretty entertaining in a cheesy sort of way. There's only a few episodes that are actually boring, like Too Short a Season which is my vote for the true worst episode of season 1 (the guest actor's acting is unbelievably bad!)

Personally I find TNG season 7 to be solidly the worst season, with a whole bunch of boring and/or ridiculous episodes. I actually enjoy episodes like Masks and Genesis for the same reasons as some season 1 episodes, but the environmental message episode Forces of Nature and the space indians episodes for me are worse than just about anything in season 1. A lot of the episodes just feel really half-baked and are less entertaining than anything before them.

Give me the enthusiasm and freshness of TNG season 1 any day! And that soundtrack!

(Also I don't know if anyone noticed, but the original version of the TNG theme song used for season 1 has more lively instrumentation and I prefer that version as well!)
Mon, Sep 14, 2020, 2:02am (UTC -5)
The show is for me worse than Picard or Discovery. While both of those shows suffer from nonsensical plots, Lower Decks is mostly boring. Main character is also like "Savior of the Universe Michael " quite unlikable.
Mon, Sep 14, 2020, 1:17pm (UTC -5)

I can't condemn anybody. It just happens strange to me to see all this negativity targeted at a franchise that already spans 3 wildly different series.

You can also dislike something, but fervently wishing it fails because ..insert reasons. You can judge how that sounds.


Yes, sure there are animated series that can work like that, maybe especially depending on the number of episodes. I have not watched Hilda yet, so thank you for recommending it :)

I also prefer gradually expanding themes than giving everything from the first few out takes because in animation, where there are no actors to somewhat carry a weaker story, it can lead to long stagnant runs.
Mon, Sep 14, 2020, 1:30pm (UTC -5)
Star Trek Lower Decks is as much a Star Trek show as Hot Shots is a Rambo movie.
Mon, Sep 14, 2020, 2:03pm (UTC -5)
the fact that Mariner isn't always saving the ship is the only saving grace. The stories are decent I suppose but the characters are annoying and the animation and style is disgusting. I guess the show is fine as a time filler, but really lowers the standards of Trek
Mon, Sep 14, 2020, 6:13pm (UTC -5)
I got caught up on this show recently. "Temporal Edict" was mostly obnoxious; the oddly bloodless slapstick fighting aboard the ship wasn't funny and most everybody came off like an idiot in this episode. That said, this was probably the best use of Mariner so far; they gave her something to do besides be smug and too-cool-for-Starfleet, and the dynamic between her and Ransom made her much more tolerable.

"Moist Vessel" was a mixed bag. The plot with Mariner and her mother was rote and tired, but the terraforming goo and "ascension" plots were the closest this show has gotten to decent sci-fi concepts. I really enjoyed the ascension scene even if the "universe is on a koala's back" part was a bit cliche; it was a fun twist to make becoming one with the universe a terrifying and painful transition for a mere mortal.

What I didn't like was Tendi's role. For one thing, manic enthusiasm on its own isn't inherently funny, which the show doesn't seem to grasp. Tendi is obsessed with making everyone like her, and when that doesn't work out she engages in stalking, harassment and even physical abuse. This is presented as charming and funny, perhaps even relatable, when really it's just deeply unhealthy. I realize I'm reading into the psyche of a character in a comedy show, and deeply flawed characters are often the point for comedy, but even so I'm baffled as to what the comedic appeal is supposed to be here. IMO her antics aren't funny, they're mostly just uncomfortable to watch; she comes off like someone with some pretty deep-seated issues, which the show presents as "cute". It's weird and off-putting.

The sen-sors bit at the end would have been funny if it was much shorter and didn't involve Mariner. I should have named myself Space Abe when I had the chance.

"Cupid's Errant Arrow" was a big eye-roll the whole way through, but the reveal of the sweet-talking parasite was pretty funny.

"Terminal Provocations" was mediocre. It was funny how "Temporal Edict" went out of its way to make the fighting aboard the ship completely bloodless and in this episode Badgy is just pulling people's heads off.

The idea of negotiating with aliens whose position is "fuck you" is prime Trek comedy fodder, I wish they would have done more with it instead of whatever the hell the Fletcher plot was about. He's introduced as a model Starfleet mook, level-headed and diplomatic, until he is suddenly a lying, wigged-out incompetent moron? What? The AI monster shouting "DON'T TALK ABOUT MY DAD" before getting blown out the airlock was funny, but that's it.

At this point I freely admit I'm only watching to participate in this comments thread. The show just isn't very funny, and the couple of chuckles I get from each episode are almost always due to the animation or the actions of a side-character; I don't really like any of the main cast and I definitely don't find them funny. The show revels in fan-service easter eggs but seems to resent the larger ethos and themes of Trek as a whole, which points to the dissonance of being a Trek parody and an actual Trek show at the same time.
Mon, Sep 14, 2020, 8:12pm (UTC -5)
"Terminal Provocations" - S1, E6:

Another very enjoyable episode.

The incomparable J.G. Hertzler makes an appearance!

The "Badgey" bit with Tendi and Rutherford was hilarious!

Mariner and Boimler continue to grow their relationship. Mariner has turned into a likable character and Boimler isn't the village idiot anymore.

Tons of Trek eggs sprinkled throughout.

Not quite as good as last week, but 3.5 stars from me.
Tue, Sep 15, 2020, 3:14am (UTC -5)
As Sen-Sors points out, this is a parody not an actual Star Trek show and should be seen as such.

Merriam-Webster has two definitions:
- a literary or musical work in which the style of an author or work is closely imitated for comic effect or in ridicule
- a feeble or ridiculous imitation

This show only exists to make fun of Star Trek which is fine but it is not Star Trek.
It is an imitation for comedic effect, I guess, for parts of the fans, people who like the art style, sense of humor.

Again Hotshots is not a Rambo/Top Gun movie.

Of course there is "the corporate overlord is always right" view that boils down to everything called Star Trek by CBS is Star Trek. For these people I hope that we will get Star Trek: Kardashians or Star Trek: Saw and have them defend that.
Tue, Sep 15, 2020, 3:47am (UTC -5)
"but it is not Star Trek"

Tue, Sep 15, 2020, 4:23am (UTC -5)
Great argument, did you come up with that yourself? Universities might reject you but I think that you are a gut genius aka the perfect NuTrekker.
Jason R.
Tue, Sep 15, 2020, 5:44am (UTC -5)
I'm usually with the ctothels of the world on the whole "this is not Trek!" debate but this time it does seem different with Lower Decks. I mean is the Family Guy "Blue Harvest" Star Wars parody a Star Wars tv movie? What about Robot Chicken?
Tue, Sep 15, 2020, 7:06am (UTC -5)
Exactly. A parody by the very definition cannot be what it parodies.
Discovery is a very poor Star Trek show, Picard is a zombified Star Trek show but Star Trek Lower Decks is a straight up parody and therefor not actual Star Trek.
Tue, Sep 15, 2020, 5:44pm (UTC -5)
I dunno. I agree that you cannot be a parody of X while also being an official offshoot of X, which is what this show feels like. But I think if you were to ask the people who write this show they would say it's not a true parody, but a "light, comedic" take on a real Star Trek show. Okay, fine.

But I keep thinking about how the spear-wielding species in "Temporal Edict" was granted recent membership in the Federation. Really? They're spacefaring, sure, but their culture also features gladiatorial trial-by-combat and they're currently at war with another species under questionable circumstances. How exactly do they qualify? Lighthearted comedy or not, if this is a legitimate Trek show this seems like a fair question.

I think the case can be made that this show functions as a parody regardless of the creator's intent, which is a problem because you can't parody Trek while also being Trek. And if the show runners want this to be a legit Trek show they're doing a pretty piss-poor job of it while leaning hard towards parody.

I dunno. I feel like I'm engaging in meandering navel-gazing without much of a point, I'm just trying to parse out what this show's angle is in theory and in practice. Mostly I think they're trying to have it both ways, using the recognizable Trek brand to appeal to people who would never actually watch Trek because it's lame and boring while putting in enough easter eggs to make Trekkies feel respected.
Wed, Sep 16, 2020, 6:14am (UTC -5)
One thing that everyone forgets about the "Orville" that makes it brilliant and unique is that it does something that I haven't really seen done before: it can turn a JOKE into the source of serious drama later. Think about that.

Yeah.. Mr. Potato Head Pieces.. let's prank the robot and decorate his head with them.

Cut to next season, that Robot Race found out about it. Oh i could be one of the reasons they want to destroy the Union.

The first episode had a lot of quippy humor about Bortus, the fact that he urinates once a year and comes form a species with only males.

Except that they are not only males. The government of that race wants everyone to THINK that, and it could jeopardize their relationship (in terms of values) with the rest of the Union, and it might affect the power balance in the .. area.. quadrant.. galaxy.. going forward.

I could give other examples. As simple as Seth and his team make this look, turning a joke early on into drama later on is something i'd not really seen before that I can immediately recall.

Trek.. particularly LD.. needs to actually get talented people who are not inspired by Trek, but literally have their own take ON Trek and WHAT KIND OF APPROACH THEY WANT TO TAKE TO HUMOR AND STORYTELLING in order for this to work.. it's NOT enough to make simple Trek references.
Tommy D.
Wed, Sep 16, 2020, 10:53pm (UTC -5)

I don't care much for seasons 1,2, or 7 of TNG. However, 100% agree about the soundtrack of the early seasons. Its fairly incredible.

Thu, Sep 17, 2020, 1:34am (UTC -5)
Lower Decks...

Whether it's Trek or Not Trek, satire, parody, or whatever...none of that matters to me.

It's clearly intended as a comedy. I just don't think it's funny.
Thu, Sep 17, 2020, 1:38am (UTC -5)
"[...] My theory of film is, nobody cares what the movie's called, nobody cares what the movie's about, and nobody cares who's in the movie. They only care about one thing: 'Is the movie any good?'"

~ Nicholas Meyer, "Star Trek Movie Memories," p.167, on the renaming of Star Trek II that happened without his permission

"And if I think Lower Decks sucks... well, that's my opinion, too!! Ha ha ha ha ha"

But seriously, this show sucks. I'm sorry to not be able to say anything further, really. I can't watch it. It depresses me.
Cody B
Thu, Sep 17, 2020, 3:06am (UTC -5)
I don’t know why they insist on playing Boimler snitching on everyone each week as comedy. It’s not funny it just makes him more hateable. I don’t think “what a teacher’s pet brown nosed! LULZ!”, instead I think “man I would hate this guy irl”. They make all the characters unrelatable. It’s sad when Mariner seems to be the most fleshed our realistic character
Thu, Sep 17, 2020, 11:26am (UTC -5)

“‘But it is not Star Trek.’


Also yawn.
Thu, Sep 17, 2020, 2:02pm (UTC -5)
It is relevant though to want a show to be more "Star Trek", and we know what that means. Since the last three shows have felt nothing like Star Trek, it would be nice to have something that actually feels like Star Trek, with that sense of optimism and professionalism. Especially in this day and age, a show like that would be refreshing.

In the same vein, I actually found the new Bill & Ted ultra refreshing just because of it's rare sense of positivity.
Thu, Sep 17, 2020, 2:40pm (UTC -5)
Yes, words are difficult. Parody. I didn't say anything about the quality of this show. I see it on the same level as the Orville which is more of an homage, though.
Again parody ie a show that makes fun of something can not be part of that something. Is that such a hard concept to grasp?
Is this part of Star Wars?
Thu, Sep 17, 2020, 3:23pm (UTC -5)
I just caught the Discovery S3 trailer. It seems like "THE BURN!!" is the new "RED ANGEL/SIGNAL" mystery box. Probably it has something to do with the mystery boxes in "Picard" (super powerful AI, or Control, or the Omega Molecule from Voyager).

It's a new showrunner, so hopefully this season will be different, but the trailer makes things look as manic, emotionally manipulaive and wildly melodramatic as what came before.

You just don't feel like this Discovery crew - and Kurtzman Trek in general - is an actual collection of highly trained scientists and navy-persons. They feel like they've stepped off of CSI Miami or a Tony Scott movie.
Tommy D.
Thu, Sep 17, 2020, 4:44pm (UTC -5)

I would bet on the Omega molecule. Hopefully having one showrunner for a full season will give some consistency to the show. I really liked the concept of the red angel in season 2, but it fell apart in the middle and didn't really recover.

"You just don't feel like this Discovery crew - and Kurtzman Trek in general - is an actual collection of highly trained scientists and navy-persons."

Its funny, but this is one reasons I can't fully immerse myself fully in The Orville. I know its part of the nature of the show but it bugs me. On Discovery, I don't feel like the crew lacks competence, but it feels like they lack discipline, which also irks me at times.
Thu, Sep 17, 2020, 6:22pm (UTC -5)
I too would be surprised if it wasn't an Omega explosion. Good way to make Discovery and its spore drive needed in the 31st century.
Fri, Sep 18, 2020, 2:14am (UTC -5)
I think people who are boycotting "Lower Decks" are missing out. it's good trek. really honest and true to the show. with a lot of good comedy layered in. In fact i'd say it's better comedy than the average star trek "funny" episodes. It's good.
Fri, Sep 18, 2020, 12:28pm (UTC -5)
"Boycotting" is too strong a word, Jordan. It's been 20 years since the franchise was consistently good, imo. I'm just tired of waiting for things to get better. So, I'm not boycotting so much as I'm just giving up on new Trek.
Fri, Sep 18, 2020, 12:54pm (UTC -5)
I cannot hear these stories anymore of how much this or that showrunner loves Star Trek sooooooo much.

As most here,I have just no interest in this show. There is so much great stuff to watch. I can barely keep up.
I'm watching maybe 8 shows right now. NuTrek doesn't make the cut.
Fri, Sep 18, 2020, 6:00pm (UTC -5)
"Much Ado About Boimler" - S1, E7:

I enjoyed this one as well. I definitely got the "Chain of Command" vibe early on. The episode made me realize just how long Mariner has been an officer. Her best bud is now a Captain! I'm even more interested in learning more about her past. More nutty Star Trek fun I've come to very much look forward to in this series.

3.5 stars from me.
Sat, Sep 19, 2020, 12:55am (UTC -5)
Lower Decks isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I don’t like the juvenile snarky vibe but as a comes it can work, and there are some really trek worthy stories in there . If they can slow down the dialogue and get a more mature tone I could get into it. It feels more like real Star Trek and less like kurtzman/grim dark/nutrek than all the other Star Trek shows on right now. And what was that creature? I have to rewatch now but I think that was the jellyfish creature from Encounter at Farpoint? And definitely felt the Chain or Command vibe, right before Mariner makes a reference to Jelico.
Sat, Sep 19, 2020, 12:57am (UTC -5)
And Arix from TAS! Or at least same species. Although Tendi and her dog were super annoying. If they could jettison some inane stuff like that it would be a better show.
Sat, Sep 19, 2020, 4:21am (UTC -5)
Could someone who is familiar with how these type of animated shows are made answer this: Is there a minimum page length for the scripts? Because that would explain why the voices sound like they were recorded at double speed and crammed into every bit of space available in each 25 minute ep. I wouldn't be surprised the average Lower Decks ep is longer than the average TNG episode, which is of almost double length. Either the writers or the people vetting these scripts need to be made aware of that and cut down the damn dialogue.

Or have the producers done some kind of calculation where they found out how fast the dialogue needs to be before the viewer is too distracted to be able to determine whether they are actually enjoying the show.
Sat, Sep 19, 2020, 6:21pm (UTC -5)
Probably the latter.
Cody B
Thu, Sep 24, 2020, 4:51am (UTC -5)
Episode 8-Worst episode yet. This week we are taken into filler inception. A show that is nothing but filler gives us it’s own filler episode. I’m sure someone will try to defend this episode because “Easter eggs dude!”. Yes they mentioned Kirk and shown some Gorns oh boy. #Clever #EasterEggs #FanService
Patrick D
Thu, Sep 24, 2020, 12:47pm (UTC -5)
I can't believe they've actually made a good Star Trek series in the 21st century! Lower Decks really surprised me. I was all set to hate it, but it's grown on me. The humor is cute and chuckle-worthy. Is it Rick and Morty-level good? By no means, but it's actually respectful of the Trek mythos which Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek: Picard can't begin to claim. The newest episode, "Veritas" is delightful. (With an awesome special guest star)

Jammer, I hope you get a chance to watch this show. It's delightful.
Thu, Sep 24, 2020, 9:05pm (UTC -5)
Really not bad. I liked the latest episode. It continues to feel very close to the next generation. It’s a little clumsy comparing this to the Orville but it’s probably the best analogy. It’s lightheaded and silly but keeps true to the concept of Trek.
Fri, Sep 25, 2020, 2:55am (UTC -5)
The season is nearly finished and it’s been an incredibly strong first season to a Trek series.

The level of detail and care put into the background for a Trek sitcom is incredible. I really can’t believe how much they pack in. The humor continues to work. Would love to see Badgey, The Dog and D14 all return some day.

It’s easily the best and most involving of the streaming era Trek shows.
Fri, Sep 25, 2020, 10:21am (UTC -5)
"Veritas" - S1, E8:

I enjoyed Kurtwood Smith and John de Lancie in this one. This was fun, but I won't rate it quite as high as the last few; I guess I've become accustomed to having part of the show centered on one of our main characters. I liked the twist of this turning into a party at the end. All our leads were in character and Tendi showed once again she can fight! TONS of trek references, and I mean TONS of them! I'll go 2.5 stars for this one. Still enjoyable, just not as high as recent episodes.
Fri, Sep 25, 2020, 1:32pm (UTC -5)
Really seems like the Family Guy of Star Trek. Just like Family Guy it's very reference heavy and polarizing, people either love or hate the humor. For me, I never cared for Family Guy and I dont care for the writing in this show either.
Patrick D
Fri, Sep 25, 2020, 1:46pm (UTC -5)
"Roga Danar? Get the f*** out of my face with that."--Ensign Mariner
Fri, Sep 25, 2020, 8:39pm (UTC -5)
Sxottlan - If they do bring Badgey back at least the show will be conforming to a Trek tradition, along with Keiko, Alexander, Wesley, by having at least one incredibly annoying character. Unfortunately Lower Decks also deviates from tradition in that most of the other characters are annoying.
Sat, Sep 26, 2020, 11:24pm (UTC -5)
If you watched Disco or Picard and liked them, then this series is 100% your fault. Do you feel ashamed yet?
Tommy D.
Sat, Sep 26, 2020, 11:53pm (UTC -5)
I'm sorry but thats an awful comment not in the spirit of IDIC.
Mon, Sep 28, 2020, 10:27am (UTC -5)
The release of this series just seems like really bad timing for the new season of Discovery.

At the bottom of it all, this series seems like it’s written by a bunch of people who just want to make fun of nerds. Hell, one of the latest episodes even made fun of Galaxy Quest. If it were truly serious about being a comedic take on Star Trek, I doubt they’d have pissed on one of the best comedic takes on the franchise.

All in all, this show has no business bearing the “Star Trek” name and should just be a separate animated comedy.
Mon, Sep 28, 2020, 2:31pm (UTC -5)
I've always found Family Guy lazy, and I tend to not like modern comedy writing, so maybe this just isn't for me. Even Rick & Morty feels like it's not as strong as it was in the first couple seasons.

Now Galaxy Quest was probably the best comedic take on Star Trek I've seen. It used it's fictional setup to take some pretty hilarious shots at Star Trek tropes, while not feeling overly "reference-y." Maybe something like that would have been a better take than a show like Lower Decks which wants to exist within and "respect" Star Trek canon while satirizing it as well.
Mon, Sep 28, 2020, 5:33pm (UTC -5)
@Flipsider, what really made Galaxy Quest special was that it managed to poke fun at Star Trek tropes, and yet never felt like it was making fun of Star Trek or the fans. I never liked Big Bang Theory in large part because it seemed to center around showing how weird the nerds are.
Thu, Oct 1, 2020, 2:19am (UTC -5)
Roga Danar? Sent me to Memory Alpha and then to rewatch The Hunted. Roga Danar did kick some ass.
Thu, Oct 1, 2020, 2:22am (UTC -5)
And Samuel, I did watch Disco and Picard and did not like them. But I did like this.
Thu, Oct 1, 2020, 9:33am (UTC -5)
"Crisis Point" - S1, E9:

If you didn't thoroughly enjoy this episode I question why you are watching this series. Should this have been season one's last episode? ... with the STVI signature sign-off and all... My favorite episode to date! TMP ship fly-by with tears..., lens flares, ST movie theme music, and a ton of other great Star Trek references were all done really well. But what makes this episode for me is Mariner finally comes to terms with herself. Maybe we can finally get past this mother/daughter feud. Love how all our main characters get to bolden their characters. Great fun, I found myself cracking up on multiple occasions. No chocolate for the Captain!

4 stars from me.
Cody B
Thu, Oct 1, 2020, 11:38am (UTC -5)
WTF?! 20:00 into this latest episode, “Crisis Point”, the doctor is CLEARLY using a slur. I rewatched it six times that is not the four letter f word. My jaw actually dropped.
Patrick D
Thu, Oct 1, 2020, 11:50am (UTC -5)
As far as Lower Decks goes, this is a 4 star episode. The humor is clever and the characters are developing depth!I never thought I'd love a Trek show under the auspices of Alex Kurtzman, but here it is! I'm looking forward the season finale next week!
Thu, Oct 1, 2020, 3:43pm (UTC -5)
The glamour shot going on like 40 seconds too long had me absolutely dying. Easily the best of the series so far IMO.

Also @Cody, pretty sure she says "Fucks," If you listen close you can here the "-cks" pretty distinctly.

Anyways, great emotional beats in this one. Great to see Mariner work through her shit.
Thu, Oct 1, 2020, 6:38pm (UTC -5)
#9 (“Crisis Point”) really hits the high notes. Its has the obligatory Easter Eggs and fan com­men­tary (“It's a movie. You can beam what­ever you want” is my fa­vourite), it has a lot of fun, car­toony over-the-top action, cha­rac­ter ana­lysis and even cha­rac­ter de­velop­ment. And most sur­pri­sing­ly, it achie­ves all this in­side the holo­deck (which doesn’t mal­func­tion this time). The epis­ode was out­stan­ding, and I don’t think a 25-min ani­mated show can do much better.

This was highly refreshing after 8 episodes that oscillated between “some­what amus­ing” and “some­what of­fen­sive”. #9 would have made a good fi­na­le, es­pe­cial­ly with all the auto­graphs (did you notice the i dot on ‘Boim­ler’? Well chosen). On the other hand, it also could have come ear­lier, to give all the holo­deck-ana­lysis time to dif­fu­se into the real life.

With only one episode left, I wonder about the timing. The first 8 epis­odes did not show much pro­gres­sion for Ma­ri­ner and her se­ve­re cha­rac­ter pro­blems, and none at all for Boim­ler. Now, pen­ulti­mate the the season, we get a deep ana­lysis for/of/by Ma­ri­ner, which gives rea­son to hope that she will find some heal­ing in the fi­na­le. Un­for­tu­nate­ly, this lea­ves no space to do any­thing with Boim­ler, who more and more seems even more trou­bled a per­so­na­li­ty than she (and he does not even rea­lize it). I see no hope for him, at least in this season.
90s Rewatcher
Thu, Oct 1, 2020, 11:38pm (UTC -5)
Lower Decks is fantastic. Strongly recommend for anyone who loves 90s Trek. Absolutely a blast.
Fri, Oct 2, 2020, 11:14am (UTC -5)
Star Trek fans will truly watch anything. Pathetic.
Patrick D
Fri, Oct 2, 2020, 2:53pm (UTC -5)

I'm a massive Star Trek fan. I couldn't finish Star Trek: Enterprise, I despise the JJ Abrams Star Trek movies, and I can't abide Star Trek: Discovery or Star Trek: Picard, but I really dig Star Trek: Lower Decks.

How do I fit into your formulae?
Sat, Oct 3, 2020, 6:44pm (UTC -5)
How about we just have the opinions that we have, and that's it? Is that alright?
Sun, Oct 4, 2020, 5:49am (UTC -5)
The first time I watched, I thought T'ana's line was "Godspeed, ya crazy freaks," unbleeped. Which made more sense.
Sun, Oct 4, 2020, 7:26pm (UTC -5)
I just dont get those who hate most Star Trek post-1997

Insurrection and 1/3 of Voyager and Enterprise were stinkers and Beyond bored me but the rest has been amazing.

Maybe the common denominator is people who're at least a little flexible like most Trek but those who aren't are the ones stuck in the 90s (and complaining about everything after that period instead of just watching it or not watching)

Latest Lower Decks (Season 1, Ep 9) is absolutely a hoot and worth a watch IF ONLY for the 80s/90s Trek movie send-ups https://www.denofgeek.com/tv/star-trek-lower-decks-episode-9-review-crisis-point/ though in my opinion the episode transcends what it's parodying as an homage and is great on it's own merits.

Ironically - and, perhaps, impressively - this 26 min cartoon episode is the grandest Star Trek has been in some time (between the extended-starship-beauty-shots, and epic finales) and for me, that's saying a lot.

Did anyone else think the ship's counsellor was the actor who played Dr Phlox in Enterprise?
Mon, Oct 5, 2020, 1:20am (UTC -5)
@PM (or whatever)
"I just dont get those who hate most Star Trek post-1997"
You do realize that by clicking on your name one can see your other posts, don't you?

What can we find there? Sentences like these:
"CBS' management of the Trek Franchise is like someone secretly cryfarting through a stage production of the entirety of Season 5 of Happy Days. Just hand the series over to someone else if you don't care, guys."

I will now facepalm for an hour.
Cody B
Mon, Oct 5, 2020, 2:47am (UTC -5)

I listened to it over and over. She IS NOT saying the four letter F word. Freaks would not be bleeped. It’s a really bizarre thing in context of the scene. It really should have been changed. I can tell you I was looking at my phone when that line was said and my jaw dropped and I looked up at the screen like did I just hear that? Played it again multiple times. Yeah.
Tommy D.
Mon, Oct 5, 2020, 3:12am (UTC -5)
I heard "Godspeed you crazy f*cks". Listened with headphones multiple times.

Mon, Oct 5, 2020, 2:55pm (UTC -5)
The "F" word is bleeped out. I just went back and watched it.
Wed, Oct 7, 2020, 11:26am (UTC -5)
I agree that the doctor probably said a slur, but we haven’t ever seen her in a good mood. And she was a computer-generated character based upon her “private” logs, so it’s possible that she is secretly homophobic.

I think it’s poking fun at the long tradition of ship doctors being brusque, yet lovable. And, honestly, Bones always gave off a vibe of casual homophobia to me.

I guess the LD season finale is tomorrow. Overall, I would say that the strongest episodes so far are Much Ado About Boimler and Crisis Point.

I think this show is really walking a fine line. Because, in the future, if class distinctions and castes are completely abolished, then what divides the senior officers from the junior officers? Picard Stewart would probably say, “they’re just not as civilized as us.”

It would be really easy for one wrong line in this show to create the impression that lower deck folk are all happy, lazy, carefree. And sometimes Mariner does act like that, but it’s shown in almost every episode that it’s just a facade and she has issues.

Each episode contains something that makes you say, “ok, I can see why they’re not a senior officer,” but it’s generally something that makes sense. For example, Tendi is smart enough to genetically engineer a dog, but she’s also suuuuuuuuuuuuuuper naive. But the strength of the show is that you’re usually not even thinking about junior vs senior differences unless it’s pointed out, you’re just enjoying the adventures of the characters.

Overall I do think it’s a worthy addition to the Trek franchise, and there are things from this show I wish would be in other Trek series.

For example, they never name the species of the alien or associate their species with personality traits. When a Tellarite blows up at them, it’s just, “oh, he’s just an angry fellow,” not, “tellalarites are angry fellows.” They don’t even say the word tellalarite, leaving it up to the fan to fill in the blanks.
Wed, Oct 7, 2020, 12:32pm (UTC -5)
"Overall I do think it’s a worthy addition to the Trek franchise, and there are things from this show I wish would be in other Trek series."
No, it is not. The very scene that is discussed is a perfect example, which is not homophobic by the way, the guy who makes the show posted an unbleeped version and it is not fags. It is silly to even point this out but STARFLEET OFFICERS don't talk like that. Goodspeed, you crazy fucks (to a gay couple). I cringe watching it. How can people see this as star trek. And now I lie and wait for the great argument that star trek is anything now, you crazy fucks.
Virtual Machine
Wed, Oct 7, 2020, 2:20pm (UTC -5)
Is Vindictia's outfit supposed to be a tattered and grimy version of Queen Emeraldas's, or am I giving them too much credit?
Wed, Oct 7, 2020, 7:26pm (UTC -5)
Jesus Christ the comment section is a mess, I don’t blame Jammer for not wanting to engage with this crap lmao
Thu, Oct 8, 2020, 2:49am (UTC -5)
Sure, Jammer made the decision to not cover this show before this comment section even existed but apart from that, good point.
Thu, Oct 8, 2020, 10:45am (UTC -5)
"No, it is not. The very scene that is discussed is a perfect example, which is not homophobic by the way, the guy who makes the show posted an unbleeped version and it is not fags. It is silly to even point this out but STARFLEET OFFICERS don't talk like that. "

You understand that scene was a simulation, right? No one actually said that. Did you watch the episode?
Thu, Oct 8, 2020, 12:05pm (UTC -5)
"It looks like they're not a joke any more."

Hmm. This finale was a pretty complete, mostly serious episode of Star Trek. With development and apparent consequences for major characters!
Thu, Oct 8, 2020, 12:09pm (UTC -5)
I mean, it's full of jokes. But the plot is a pretty straight Trek drama.
Thu, Oct 8, 2020, 1:07pm (UTC -5)
"No one actually said that. Did you watch the episode?"
BUT I have these quotes from the "real" character *cough*
- You'll be fine. Want me to clean up those disgusting scars?
- Congratulations, you look like a *bleep* scratching post.
- Is he *bleep* serious?
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dccWrg2VtYk

I rest my *bleep* case.
Thu, Oct 8, 2020, 2:20pm (UTC -5)
I've not seen the final episode, but it seems to be annoying people...

"Only the Star Trek: Lower Decks season finale can turn the mass slaughter of sentient beings, and deaths of the mentally deficient, into some wacky comedy. But who cares, as long as we get some nostalgic cameos, endless knowing references and wacky comedy, right? Just offensive." - Robert Meyer Burnett

...what exactly happens in the episode? By "sentient beings" does he mean exocomps?
Thu, Oct 8, 2020, 2:46pm (UTC -5)
So then, this is the finale “No Small Parts”. I found it great. Great enough to be a very good TNG episode, which is more than I thought possible for the 27 minute animated format.

The episode is thrilling, epic and violent — we start with a mass casualty and end with the loss of a main cha­rac­ter. There are high stakes, and this does not always mix well with the co­me­dy. So, LD suf­fers from the same pro­blem as the first season of The Orville, and while both shows have ma­nag­ed to find a better ba­lan­ce over their first seasons, it’s still a fly in the oint­ment spoil­ing a small part of the othe­rwise ex­cel­lent sea­son finale.

There is a TOS reference (“those old scientists” — LOL!), Mariner’s family secret is blown by a stu­pid Boimler, we see Star­fleet’s most in­com­pe­tent cap­tain hav­ing her ship blown apart by a group of me­nac­ing rogue Pakleds, Badgey is back (and still as evil as Clippy ever was), and the never-seen-be­fore U.S.S. Titan com­man­d­ed by Wil­liam Freaking Riker (who is of course friends with Mari­ner, be­cau­se how could it be else­how) saves the day whi­le being scored with the TNG the­me song. That alone would have made a good episode.

The subplot with the sentient exocomp did not work at all for me, another fly that un­for­tu­nate­ly wastes a lot of screen­time. Came out of no­thing, did no­thing, went into no­thing — why should I care? And frank­ly, there are bet­ter TNG epis­odes that “The Qual­ity of Life” to follow on.

Yet what makes the episode great instead of good was the cha­rac­ter de­ve­lop­ment, be­cau­se every­one ex­cept Tendi gets a boost. Ma­ri­ner and her mo­­ther come to terms and ap­pre­ci­ate each other’s strengths. Boimler gets what he al­ways has wish­ed, though he should re­mem­ber the say­ing “Whom the gods want to de­stroy, to him they grant his wishes”, I feel there is so­me­thing ap­­proach­ing to haunt him in sea­son 2. This is also a cru­cial epis­ode for Ru­ther­ford, al­though I am not sure I like the direction.

Looking back, i see that much of the sea­son was care­fully craf­ted to lead into the fi­na­le. Ma­ri­ners re­la­tion to Free­man, which was frus­tra­ting­ly me­an­der­ing for the most part of the sea­son, now en­ters a new phase; on the other side, the two had been at near­ly that point be­fo­re (“Moist Ves­sel”), and then re­ver­ted back to Un­heal­thy Nor­­mal. Yet the last two epis­odes co­oper­at­ed nicely to bring them to a bet­ter un­der­stan­ding of each other. It felt na­tu­ral and earned.

I particularly appreciate that after all the bloody action se­quen­ces, the epis­ode de­vo­tes more than 5 mi­nu­tes of its pre­cious screen time to re­flec­tion and dis­cus­sion and con­se­quen­ces (sort of BoBW and Fa­mi­ly in one, al­though not nearly at that le­vel). The cha­rac­ter pie­ces there were par­ticu­lar­ly effective.

I am not at all a NuTrek fan — I found the first two movies really bad, and the third just en­ter­tain­ing. I am an out­spo­ken critic of DIS, al­though I plan to watch again next week, if only out of cu­ri­o­si­ty what they are go­ing to f…up this time. PIC I did like in parts, but there is still a lot to cri­ti­ci­ze. With LD, I just hope the next sea­son ar­ri­ves soon, an will be lon­ger. I have faith in the heart regarding this pro­duc­tion team.
Thu, Oct 8, 2020, 3:01pm (UTC -5)
@Trent: No, the exocomp thing is just a disposable C plotline.

The „mass slaughter“ refers pro­bab­ly to the loss of the U.S.S. Solvang, a Cali­for­nia-class ship that gets blown up with all hands by a com­bi­na­tion of Pakled pirates and her cap­tain’s spec­ta­cu­lar stupidity (which is played for laughs just seconds before the Pak­leds show up). That in­ci­dent takes place just at the be­gin­ning of the 1ˢᵗ act, yet the Cer­ritos ar­rives later in that place and has to deal with the Pakleds; at the end, the Cerritos crew manages to destroy the really big and impressive Pakled vessel (again, with all hands on board).

TNG probably would have spent some time with the crew of of the Enter­prise show­ing shock and com­pas­sion about that mas­sive loss of life; in the more hectic and hyper­tachic (is that a word?) LD format, there is no time for such som­ber mo­me­nts. It did feel so­me­how jarring, but I don’t consider it a big pro­blem. At the end, we also get a short me­mo­rial ce­re­mo­ny for a lost crew­mem­ber, so the epis­ode has not for­got­ten that life is valuable.
Cody B
Thu, Oct 8, 2020, 7:01pm (UTC -5)
Does this mean Riker and Troi will be permanent parts of the show now? Only other choice is to write off Boimler which I wouldn’t mind.
Thu, Oct 8, 2020, 7:56pm (UTC -5)
"No small parts" - S1, E10:

I really enjoyed this once they got past the "hard" bit... not my cup of humor in Trek. Other than that, this is ANOTHER fantastic episode!! Landu?! ... TOS (Those Old Scientists)... HAHA!! So I think we all knew that Boimler was going to reveal the mother-daughter secret. Quite funny watching Mariner become all squared away in an attempt to get a promotion and get off the ship so she can be a nobody again. I certainly wasn't expecting the Pakled but I think it played well here. Nice to see Freeman and Mariner team up again and I like the fact it appears they will be working together in the future. I really got a kick out of Rutherford in this one. His flipping through the different modes was hilarious. I hope they find his or they get another implant thing for him. What's not to like about Tendi??? ... EVER!! She is the most positive thing I think I've seen on TV in, well forever! Ritherfod loses his memory and she makes a positive out of it! I was kind of happy they left the X-comp (Peanut Hamper :-) ) floating in space... I wasn't expecting it to choose not to help for sure. So Rutherford gets to revive Badgy which I think was fantastic and Shaxs of course plays the aggressive stud and delivers him to complete his mission. I was really surprised and shocked to see Shaxs die!!! Damn!!! Bummer, I think the show will be missing a bit of its identity without him. Then we get the Titan with Riker and Troi?!?!?! I didn't think it was possible to keep a secret like that nowadays!! Well done! TNG theme music!! I'm quite disappointed that Boimler got the promotion and now is on the Titan?!?!?! He's got to return, right?!?!?! Good lord, I'm a little long-winded here, but all this happened in 28 minutes!! This series was AWESOME!! HUGE kudos to the creative staff, they really hit it out o the park! I have to give this 4 our of 4 stars! (again!)
Patrick D
Fri, Oct 9, 2020, 1:43am (UTC -5)
"I'm going to feed you to an Armus!"-- Mariner
Fri, Oct 9, 2020, 2:37am (UTC -5)
Such an incredible season finale. One of the best in ages.

Best first season of Trek after TOS S1. Please give it a try.
Fri, Oct 9, 2020, 3:20am (UTC -5)
In 2380 all the Federation ships look the same.
Patrick D
Fri, Oct 9, 2020, 7:05am (UTC -5)
WOW! What an amazing way to wrap up the season. The show really came into its own these last 2 episodes. I started watching this show with a morbid curiosity and expecting to hate it, but it won me over. "No Small Parts" is a solid 4-star outing and feels like actual Star Trek with witty, Futurama-style humor. The humor and drama balance each other nicely in a way I haven't seen since Joss Whedon's heyday. I'm really looking forward to the next season (hopefully they'll be a next season despite the pandemic).

Jammer, I totally recommend this to watch even if you don't review it. This is great stuff!
Cody B
Fri, Oct 9, 2020, 7:10am (UTC -5)
Some of you guys are really laying it on thick. This show can not be compared with any other Trek series. It’s a different animal in every way. Saying it’s the most successful first season of any trek show and giving every episode three or four stars? Come on. It’s a silly cartoon. None of the 25 minute episodes of this cartoon will ever come within a mile of real classics of some of (real?serious?) Trek’s first season masterpieces. The Devil In the Dark, City On the Edge of Forever, 11001001, The Long Goodbye, Vortex, Duet. Not one episode of this cartoon came close. Really it’s insulting to even try to say. Of course opinion is subjective but I think giving most of these episodes three or four (!) stars damages your credibility. Or maybe you guys type out your takes immediately after watching and are in a sort of happy afterglow and not really digesting what it is you’re saying. I will say lower decks is better than what it appears to be if you only saw the trailer and I think a lot of the people writing it off would like at least two or three of the episodes but again lower decks is just such a different thing you can’t compare it to the older shows
Fri, Oct 9, 2020, 9:11am (UTC -5)
Overall, Lower Decks got the strongest first season since TOS. Pretty solid. They knew what they were doing and were very careful on details. Season finale was awesome! Titan kicking some Pakled butts with the TNG theme song on background was a sight to behold. Great episode. My favorite is still Crisis Point, but this one comes close second.
Sat, Oct 10, 2020, 1:13am (UTC -5)
While the show is smarter than expected (I still cannot get past the animation) simply being clever is not enough to sustain a new series. a new Star Trek should CHALLENGE the old Star Trek.. and they should do it IN UNIVERSE.. not in a way that is dependent on the audience recognizing that they are being had. Like in LD they make a Roga Danar reference that was clever. But "The Hunted" was FAR more than Roga Danar.. in a sense "The Hunted" set up DS9 long before they even thought UP DS9. Think about it. At the end of that episode there is a battle.. teh soldiers are gonna swarm the capitol.. and the Prime Minister James Cromwell begs Picard to call his ship for help, and Picard says sure, and just beams up.. and the Enterprise leaves.. not knowing if the government will survive. DS9 challenged this whole thing by doing something similar and having the Crew STAY.
I guess I can say it this way.. when I was growing up you could always find like 30 Trek books you've never seen before for every episode that had come out. Go to a used book store and shelves are lining up with these books. these are new adventures.. someone imagined. If Trek was just a show that got off on referencing itself than it would not have inspired so much love to create NEW stories like this. Now.. some books probably got off on referencing as much as they could from the shows to seem smarter - the Rise and Fall of Khan duology especially.. those two books used almost every episode and all the little "plot holes" to explain how Khan ruled the entire planet and we never saw it happen.. but even with all those references it was actually telling a story.. or at least trying to. I am not sure if Lower Decks is interested in telling a story. Maybe (and this is not all bad) it's using story to "tell characters".. or using story to "tell why Trek is old and doesn't work anymore" (to understand that last sentence use the Plinkett voice in your mind when he said "[Orson] Welles used special effects to extensively tell a story, and Lucas used a story to extensively tell special effects" (with regard to the prequels).. so my question is WHAT ARE THEY GETTING AT with this show? the stories are not bad.. and would make good episodes.. but the writers are clearly not interested in the stories themselves.. they don't care about the stories themselves.. they are just hanging their gags, references and characters on those stories.. and I fear that is wrong with many franchises that are getting past thirty years old
Sat, Oct 10, 2020, 3:00am (UTC -5)
Hey folks, long time lurker, first time poster here. I notice a lot of non-regular posters tend to only jump in to make a snide remark or powerfully opinionated statement and then just vanish back into the ether never to be heard from again. So I'm going to avoid being that and aim to approach from a position of mutual respect and fandom camaraderie. While I generally feel much of what needs to be said has been said (in ways much more eloquent than I can manage) about the vast catalog of Star Trek episodes, I hope be able to participate more in the conversations for the new shows from here on out.

Secret Hideout is working on seven some Star Trek shows. While it can be debated if it's actually good for the franchise to have so many shows going on at once, even Kurtzman acknowledges that each show will have to be doing Trek in a very different way. I agree that the first new Star Trek show from them should have been challenging the old Star Trek, and they would probably claim that's what they did, even when very few people liked it. But with seven shows, do they really ALL need to be challenging the other older shows? Or perhaps by being new they inherently challenge all that came before? I'm beginning not to understand what challenging even means here.

I started off as very critical of LDS. The trailer made it look horrendous. The first couple episodes seemed to confirm my fears, but it was Star Trek so I had to keep watching. And by episode four I was won over. Season one of Lower Decks turned into a decent show. If the comedy doesn't land with some people or they don't care for animation, that's fine: they can watch a different show. LDS is not what Star Trek has become. It is one offering among a slew of offerings that are purposely crafted to be different from one another and not appeal to the entire audience.

I think we need to remind ourselves that LDS is NOT the new direction of Star Trek. It is an animated comedy spin-off show made by people who clearly care about Trek and seemingly (read thankfully) has very little involvement from Kurtzman. It's the first thing from Secret Hideout I actually like and I am happy about that. Let's hope their future offerings are similarly decent.
Patrick D
Sat, Oct 10, 2020, 5:17am (UTC -5)

Seconded. Lower Decks might be an animated comedy, but despite its irreverence, it actually FEELS like TOS/TNG--they're *actually* exploring the universe--what a concept! (This goes for The Orville as well) In fact, it's the only Trek show under Kurtzman that's halfway respectful to the mythos. The humor gets wittier as it goes along (especially the last two episodes) and the characters are finally beginning to get some actual depth (especially the last two episodes). Believe me, I've had antipathy to most everything post-TNG, DS9 was great television despite it taking a wrecking ball to Gene Roddenberry's vision ; Voyager had it's occasional stand-out episode despite it being a borderline disaster of a series; Enterprise was the most mediocre Trek show in history; the Kelvinverse movies are appalling; and I couldn't get into Discovery or Picard (and when a hardcore TNG fan can't get into Picard, there's something wrong). I went into Lower Decks expecting to hate watch a flaming train wreck of a series. Instead, it also won me over! Lower Decks is an ANIMATED COMEDY. Don't go into it expecting "The Inner Light" or "Duet". It's not really canon and it still has more respect for the Roddenberry mythos than most anything that came after Enterprise. It's a romp. It's a lark. It's FUN--something that Trek hasn't been in decades (at least for me). I say: bring on season 2!
Sat, Oct 10, 2020, 5:52am (UTC -5)
Well... I could go with "decent". It's the first new show that, however borderline unwatchable it is for me because of the frenetic pacing, also has the first piece of character development that I could relate to, in the character of Mariner. Having to share space with an overbearing mother while trying to maintain a respectable image and the temptation to self-sabotage? Shit, I've been there. I've liked other characters, Pike and Saru, but not much was done with them.

It probably should be noted that this isn't exactly the highest praise. The sci-fi of all three shows has been universally forgettable, the visual style unattractive and video game-ish and a lack of inspiring ideas all round. The comedy works for me probably less than 25% of the time. And the other characters aren't much. But it's something to build on.
Sat, Oct 10, 2020, 8:03am (UTC -5)
I was very skeptical of this show. I didn't want to like it. The trailers looked terrible.

I ended up giving it a chance and it was pretty good! Not quite *good* but decent enough. I have to admit I enjoyed it.

It felt like Trek. It got better as it went along. The characters are pretty good.

The cahracter of Mariner could use some workshopping still. She started out terrible when she was just a Rick from Rick and Morty clone. I think they must have realized she was off putting trying to copy Rick because they started to fit her with character flaws but the end of the season.

Overall, miles away the best of Kurtzman Trek. Watchable. For me it was as good as Orville. I hope this is a sign of the things to come, although Im not exactly holding my breath.
Sat, Oct 10, 2020, 8:44am (UTC -5)
A lot of people raved about the finale, so I watched it to see what the fuss is about. IMO all the same problems, apparent in the early episodes, are there. I also didn't like how, like Discovery and Picard, the show resorted to another last moment character walk-on to hook audiences. Spock, 7of9, Enterprise, Riker...the way nu-Trek dangles this stuff to generate fan-chatter reeks of cynicism.

I noticed this episode makes the same mistake Discovery and JJ Trek makes. Warp is treated like the hyperdrive in Star Wars, ships "dropping suddenly out of warp" and then "shocked" when they suddenly find themselves nose-to-nose with an enemy or amidst wreckage, which they must quickly dodge.

That's not how warp and sensors traditionally work. When in warp, you know where you're going, what's ahead, you can detect ships and stuff light years away, and can course correct well in advance.
Sat, Oct 10, 2020, 9:47am (UTC -5)
I watched and reviewed all ST:LD episodes, which you can read here:


IMO it was the first Nu-Trek that most aligned with what I want from Trek: optimistic outlook, episodic adventures, a healthy knowledge of the lore, and that lovely lived-in slice-of-space life. I don’t want to live in the worlds of Disco or Picard, but I would love to live in the land of Lower Decks.
Sat, Oct 10, 2020, 9:47am (UTC -5)

I'm sick of the "it's animated filler and only 22 minutes" as an excuse for the problems when they stamp the Star Trek logo on it ... The show irks me. It's written for people "of today".. its sensibilities are all wrong and it will date itself once you get past all the references and how clever it is and down the road everyone will realize they've been had and buy that time Trek will never be able to tell any story without winking at the 21st century audience
Sat, Oct 10, 2020, 9:55am (UTC -5)
I don't care how long it is.. or what medium they chose... it should still be Star Trek. It should still be aspirational. I kind of wish that when I see a new Star Trek show, I'm seeing some real effort put forth to put out a vision. like I won't watch much of S1 of TNG anymore aside form a few episodes.. but they worked overtime to create the E-D, the idea of "technology unchained" (merging technology with quality of life) and they IMAGINED the future and the stories that would that would happen there. Now like Star wars, when you get three generations removed from source the writers forget that actually creating STORIES that are both created and solved in-universe should not just be referencing that you've seen the old stuff
Sat, Oct 10, 2020, 1:17pm (UTC -5)
I find it hard to compare this to any other Trek... #1, it's only 10 episodes and it's an animated humorous spin. I put it into its own drawer. A thoroughly enjoyable ride. You can't really compare this season closer to something like AGT or Endgame, you just can't. I also have a hard time comparing DSC and PIC to the complete 1st seasons of all the others too. Different all around, in the number of episodes and in storytelling format.

It's really incredible what they did in ten 1/2 hour episodes. I've grown to enjoy all the characters and looked forward to what they had to deal with every week. A great example of this is the huge character growth of Mariner. She's gone from selfish and hiding, to joining her mother as a valued member of the bridge crew.

It was just alot of fun to watch. Can't wait for season 2!
Sat, Oct 10, 2020, 1:18pm (UTC -5)
For me, I think it’s more fair to compare this show with TAS. I think that, compared with that show, LD does a better job of pacing out the short episodes. Sometimes TAS episodes feel unfinished because it was like the TOS writers were trying to cram 50 minutes into 25.

Personally, I think it’s a matter of taste. There are some people who name Voy or even Enterprise as their favorite Trek. Other people (like myself) won’t even give Picard the time of the day because they dislike the character. When all is said and done, I would much rather have “too much Trek” on the air than “not enough Trek”. It’s like they’re making up for all the times the show went on hiatus for a decade or more.

Speaking of cartoons, does Jammer simply dislike cartoons? I noticed that the only other Trek he hasn’t reviewed is TAS.
Sat, Oct 10, 2020, 1:20pm (UTC -5)
Wolf 359 was an inside job... changlings arent real and the Dominion War never happened!! ... lol
Chris Lopes
Sun, Oct 11, 2020, 4:27pm (UTC -5)
LD is entertaining enough for what it is. It's not the greatest thing since Raktajino, but it's fun.
Mon, Oct 12, 2020, 4:45am (UTC -5)
Robert Meyer Burnett summed up his dislike for the show as simply coming from the fact that he takes Trek very seriously. I think what he really means is he takes it too seriously. He takes it so seriously that there really isn't room for an animated comedy in his conception of what Star Trek is. So when an entire ship is destroyed and everyone dies, even if it IS mourned and taken seriously in the show, it's still a comedy show and that drama is surrounded by too many jokes. It's OK when a ship is destroyed in TNG because, while similarly taking the time to grief over the tragedy, that drama isn't sandwiched with jokes. The jokes are heavily outnumbered by the moments of drama and the day-to-day. If you take it very seriously then it's easy to get hung up on details like that and not enjoy the ride for what it is.

Or pehaps it's just the brand of comedy that doesn't sit well. I agree that the style and humor, of which some is admittedly cringy, do have a very current-era feel to them that probably won't stand the test of time. Not a lot of comedies age all that well. While I also love the Orville, I wonder if that show would receive the same kind of criticism from detractors if it was labeled Star Trek: Orville, even if the jokes are cleverer and it has a more even comedy-drama ratio.

I take Star Trek seriously as well, that's why I don't put up with the lazy writing in Star Trek Picard. Picard also showed me Icheb getting his eye ripped out. That's infinitely more offensive to me than a ship blowing up in a cartoon comedy or the overuse of contemporary vernacular both in Picard and LDS.
Mon, Oct 12, 2020, 6:33am (UTC -5)
I don’t know why people are arguing. All of Trek with Abrams and Kurtzman has been utter shit. Incoherent. ADD pacing, laying on gratuitous namedropping with no subtlety or organic integration to story itself, convoluted storytelling, low brow humor.

Even at its worst VOYAGER and ENT were light years ahead of PIC, LD, DiS
Mon, Oct 12, 2020, 7:40am (UTC -5)
I was really pleasantly surprised - I enjoyed it pretty much start to finish. And any little bits I didn't like were far easier to overlook than the various misses of the older Trek series, because it's just a silly cartoon (so, Mariner carelessly nearly killing Boimler is not really on the same level as anything like that awful medical/evolution/Prime Directive episode of Enterprise, because I don't feel any obligation to take it seriously)

I found Mariner a very engaging & likeable main character. I really wanted her to get back on track. I thought the Vindicta stuff was excellent (as well as being an entertaining send up of all the Trek films). Her arc was great for what is fundamentally a silly Trek-parody cartoon - so much better than anything in DIS or PIC (though that's not saying a lot, unfortunately). And the other characters were all great, too. I liked the mix of new, new-on-screen and revisited characters/locations/aliens/ships/etc. - it's exactly what I'd want in a short animated series set shortly after VOY

Jammer, if you have some free time, I really think you should give it a go! I'd love to read your reviews if you feel up to it, but even if you don't, I think you'll enjoy just watching it! It takes a few episodes to lay out its setting and settle on its tone, but it really picks up after that. I was really gripped by the finale!
Mon, Oct 12, 2020, 8:35am (UTC -5)
Yeah, like some have said, it would have been better if they just called the show Lower Decks but we all know why they didn't.

It seems to be on the same level as the Orville but I can more easily overlook the shortcomings of the Orville because it isn't taking a huge dump over one of the very few positive sci fi universes.
Mon, Oct 12, 2020, 9:14am (UTC -5)
Well, this series wrapped up in a dramatic fashion bringing an end to the first animated Trek series in decades. It was overall a low-key satire of Star Trek with both the positive and negative connotations that infers. First, I'll go into the positives. Most of the voicework was superb with Dawnn Lewis (a Simpsons veteran) and Tawny Newsome in an energetic and perhaps breakout animated role. The guest actors like Jack McBrayer were delightful and of course the Trek actors themselves cameo at times. In terms of content, the majority of the episodes were very optimistic in tone which added to the levity needed to make a comedy Star Trek work. True to Kurtzman-Era production values, the animation was spectacular - particularly in the finale. Though most episodes seemed inconsequential, the later episodes did well to move the story forward. In fact, they shook things up so much I worry that Season 2, Episode 1 is going to have a teaser where Boimler is promptly removed from the Titan -- reversing what progress the finale made.

Despite these strengths, the show would've benefitted more with some straightforward character arcs; Lower Decks only started getting semi-serious in the last two episodes. The show is trying to be episodic and satirical, but that shouldn't mean Lower Decks must settle for 25 minute popcorn munchers soon to be forgotten. Take The Simpsons, for example, with a vibe satirically similar to Lower Decks. The main difference is The Simpsons focuses entirely on satire and it hits the mark on contemporary commentary most of the time. Oh, and the Simpsons is actually funny. It's hard for a show to succeed with satire alone if it can't land the jokey references it's making. To be fair, Lower Decks did have its comedy moments ("The Galaxy is a small place! I'll hunt you down and feed you to Armus!"). But if the satire is going to work as the primary focus, we need more hits like that!

Lower Decks also doesn't quite succeed as a sincere story-based series like DuckTales. In a way, Lower Decks is trying to achieve the same greatness as that show - i.e. take a product of mostly 80s nostalgia and repackage it for Zoomers. Contrary to Lower Decks, DuckTales refuses to venture down the low path of source-tainting crass humor. Instead, it proudly shows that animation can be edgy and different with old material and still tell a sincere story. Lower Decks is probably somewhere in the philosophical middle of Simpsons' satire and DuckTales' sincerity but it only adequately succeeds with either.

So, it wasn't the best Star Trek or even the best contemporary animation series, but no one ever said it needed to be. While I tentatively give this a positive rating, the competition shows that contemporary animation can be a lot better and maybe we should expect better for our $5.99/month.
Mon, Oct 12, 2020, 6:58pm (UTC -5)
I got back on board CBS AllAccess since Discovery Season 3 is about to start, and my daughter (who is with me for the fall) and I watched the last two episodes of Lower Decks. This is my third and fourth episodes of LD watching, and I enjoyed even better than the first two (eps 5 and 6 - see above for my comment after watching those). The finale was 4 stars (I think Yanks said it above, and I agree with everything he says), well done, thoroughly entertaining.

As several have said, this is not a show to be compared to any other series of Star Trek, has a different target audience. My daughter who is not a fan of any Star Trek series before DS9 enjoys it very much, saw the whole series. I will only watch it with her or another Trekkie, that is as far as my love for animated shows go. But we laughed our butts off watching the last two episodes, especially the finale. Well done by showrunner McMahan, at least in three of the four episodes I watched, whose love for (along with his team's) Star Trek squeezes through every frame.
Tue, Oct 13, 2020, 5:07pm (UTC -5)
I'm a hardcore TNG, DS9, VOY and ENT fan and I despise the Abrahms and subsequent DIS and PIC "new trek" that's all pew pew lasers and dark forboding story lines that crap on everything that a lot of of cherish.

That said, I liked Lower Decks- like wayyyyy more than I was expecting. Tonally it holds to its source material well and in the context of a comedy it works in a way that normal Star Trek comedies have not. I don't think its reviewable under Jammer's paradigm but if I knew the man I would deffinitly recommend it to him and to anyone else who also enjoys "old trek".

I didn't laugh out loud very much but I gotta say the sequence with the Paclids really cracked me up, "oh no, another Enterprise! Make it go!" hahaha
Thu, Oct 15, 2020, 10:41pm (UTC -5)
Wolfstar: I saw several people referencing your original post so I had to look for it and I’m glad I did - in a few paragraphs you managed to nail how I feel about the newest incarnations of Trek. Bravo sir.
Fri, Oct 16, 2020, 11:06am (UTC -5)
Thought I'd share my STLD Season One ratings, then I ranked all the ST Season One's for the hell of it.

Episode Name / Rating / EP#
Second Contact / 2.50 / 1
Evoys / 3.50 / 2
Temporal Edict / 2.00 / 3
Moist Vessel / 3.00 / 4
Cupid's Errant arrow / 4.00 / 5
Terminal Provocations / 3.50 / 6
Much Ado About Boimler / 3.50 / 7
Veritas / 2.50 / 8
Crisis Point / 4.00 / 9
No Small Parts / 4.00 / 10
Total points: 32.50
Average points per episode: 3.25 (my highest numerical rating for an season of Star Trek. (I haven't done TOS yet)

1. TOS
3. ENT
4. VOY
5. STD
6. TNG
7. DS9
8. STP
9. TAS

STLD was such a success at what it set out to do I think it's earned the high spot on my list.

What say you?

On a side note, if someone could please let me know how to get tabs to stay in this posting environment I'd appreciate it.
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 7:34am (UTC -5)
Best to worst

Henry O.
Sat, Oct 17, 2020, 8:03am (UTC -5)
You thought TNG had the best Season 1? That's a ballsy choice.
Patrick D
Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 11:19am (UTC -5)
I'm a hardcore TNG fan, and even I'm like, "TNG's first season is the best? REALLY?"

I'd rank the classic shows' first season thusly:

Sun, Oct 18, 2020, 7:25pm (UTC -5)
I'd agree that TNG's first season is a hard pass, it gets even worse over time with each viewing. In good competition with ENT's first season.

First seasons for me (only saw four episodes of Lower Decks):

1) TOS
2) PIC
3) VOY
4) DS9
5) LD
5) DSC
6) TNG
7) ENT
Mon, Oct 19, 2020, 5:35am (UTC -5)
To each their own.

I thought tos TNG and Ent had the most consistent and best first seasons. All three did a great job introducing their respective century and setting and introducing new races. The casts immediately clicked with me

Tos is a solid season but it is a tad uneven. Some good episodes and some not so good episodes

I like TNG best cause I enjoyed more episodes, the sense of awe and wonder, the action adventure mixed with high concept sci fi

I enjoyed Naked Now, Datalore , when the bough breaks, last outpost, where no one has gone before, the neutral zone, conspiracy, heart of glory, coming of age, 1100101. Even the lesser episodes I find watchable even code of honor. The only true weak episodes I thought there were big goodbye and we will always have paris bI won’t go into why I like these episodes. I commented in detail why in their respective episode threads

For all the bashing ENT takes I find it had the right idea and tone in season one. And more of a confidence in what it was doing than voyager or DS9 or Kurtzman “trek”. It told simple standalone stories from the perspective of a novice crew experiencing what other crews saw as commonplace. The stories were simple. Some recycled. But held my attention and were entertaining—broken bow, fight or flight, Andorian incident, civilization, breaking the ice, cold fromt, fortunate son, dear doctor, shuttlepod one, detained, acquisition, fallen hero. I appreciated that things were small and intimate. The most epic it got was with the Temporal Cold War. While TcW would lose its center here it was at its most eerie and intriguing. I think of they kept doing this in season two but punched up the plot and introduced more ToS aliens even as just aliens of the week like on TNG it wouldn’t have gone off the rails as it did

Up until discovery and PIC I thought ds9 was worst freshman season Ds9 relied way too much on TNG speaking as a TNG fan. A lot of stories were awful and could barely sit through—the storyteller, the forsaken, battle lines, of wishes were horses, q-less, move along home, personae etc

I do finding myself enjoying it more now than originally and in retrospective its first season truly felt faithful to the idea of an outpost on the unexplored wild frontier. After the first season it felt like Ds9 was in the middle of well explored space surrounded by well knowns. It did have some good standalones in the vein of TNG—the passengee, Babel, a man alone, past prologue, dax, vortex, and its season finale was strong and made the bajorans and prophets very mysterious and alien. Sadly as the series went on that mystique was lost which was a disappointment

Voyager was mediocre. It had an excellent pilot. One of the best trek episodes ever. But then that sense of wonder and strangeness was rarely experienced rest of the season. Lot of mediocre episodes like the cloud, Jetrel, learning curve to name a few. I will say the ensemble and the characters were at their best here before everyone but janeway seven and the Doctor had their characters assassinated or reduce to cyphers

There were some good episodes like the phage, time and again, state of flux,, faces. And I thought the Vidiians was one of the best new trek races conceived. But in season ones favor, due to Michael
Piller being involved it and season two felt the most trek like of voyagers seasons which was a good thing even of writing hit or miss

Discovery was just a hot mess. Unlikeable characters, convoluted storyline, dramatically flaccid klingon war. Mediocre payoff

Picard started out with some promise but by the end all the good elements introduced in the beginning were squandered in such a criminal fashion, the Borg, a possible tie between Borg origin and Romulans, Seven of Nine. Hugh treated like a plot device unceremoniously killed off by the demands of needing a shocking demise. An abrupt and underwhelming season finale which couldn’t make up its mind whether it wanted to say something about the essential ness of mortality and dying via Data’s death scene only to be undermined by a most un Picard like decision to chest death in an artificial body. Totally gutting whatever point the writers were trying to make as well as wasting what could have been a series spanning arc surrounding Picard’s final days years and saying goodbye to those in his life along the way ievTNG cameos
Neelix's spots
Mon, Oct 19, 2020, 5:49am (UTC -5)
Okay, I'm going to give this ranking thing a go. I also thought ENT had a strong first season. It was later on I got bored with the Xindi and time travel stuff. And I absolutely loved VOY's first season, the potential was staggering and only when you think about how they wasted it does the show sink in my estimation.

1. VOY
2. DS9
3. ENT
4. TOS
5. TNG
6. LD
7. DIS
8. PIC

It's been way too long since i've seen TAS but I like the animation better than LD so I'd probably put it just below TNG.
Mon, Oct 19, 2020, 7:40am (UTC -5)
I went back and took a look at my numbers and I need to change things a little but. DS9 had the worst rating average over the first season (I almost quit watching it). I haven't rated TNG or TAS yet.

1. TOS
3. ENT
4. VOY
5. STD
6. TNG
7. PIC
8. DS9
9. TAS

It's interesting to see the diversity in opinion WRT to these season 1 rankings. I honestly wasn't expecting to see that much of a difference.
Mon, Oct 19, 2020, 9:03am (UTC -5)

Yeah, I think TNG has a pretty good first season as far as first seasons go for Star Trek. Even the "bad" episodes like "Justice" and "Skin of Evil" are iconic and memorable in their own right. The only downright bad episode is "Code of Honor", but it's infamy is more for aesthetic casting reasons whereas the story itself had an interesting ending that flipped the script on the classic Harem trope.

I can't really rank each series, though DS9 and TOS are remarkable for having some series highs in them. PIC was great in my opinion, but I get that it's also wildly different than other Trek shows.
Patrick D
Mon, Oct 19, 2020, 3:32pm (UTC -5)

I never thought "Skin of Evil" was that bad an episode. In fact it was a pretty compelling story. Sure the ending with Tasha's funeral is maudlin, but it was otherwise pretty solid, though campy.

I agree with you though, season 1 of TNG is unfairly maligned for the most part. Episodes like "The Big Goodbye", "11001001", "Heart of Glory" and "Conspiracy" acquit it well. And there's a sense of wonderment in the first season of TNG that no other Trek series that came after can come close to touching.

Star Trek: Enterprise's first season was so appallingly mediocre and forgettable, that it was the first Star Trek series that I gave up on watching.
Tommy D.
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 3:14am (UTC -5)
I think time, streaming services, and binge watching resulting in many repeated viewings have become very kind to a lot of Trek's mediocre and poor outings. Not that I think thats a bad thing in any way, but its just more of a personal observation when I read across different boards.
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 3:51am (UTC -5)
I would have expected the opposite, and it surprises me that anyone becomes a new fan of some of the older Trek shows anymore. I don't know anyone who hasn't already seen the whole of, say, Voyager or Enterprise, would have the patience to sit through them today. At the time when they were released you had to wait for the weekly episode, there were slim pickings when it came to sci-fi TV. The weekly anticipation was a big part of why you watched them - you set aside an hour of your schedule at a certain timeslot each week and generally stuck to it. If I was streaming Voyager today for the first time, by season 3 at the latest I'd be such saying "screw this, there are better things to do/watch". It's highly likely I wouldn't have got past S1 of TNG either.
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 10:50am (UTC -5)
Well John, I've seen both VOY and ENT all the way through (DVD's and binging) at LEAST 6 times. Thoroughly enjoyable each time.

In fact, I find the MOST enjoyable Trek to re-watch is Voyager. The least is TNG.

And in case you need to know, I've been a Trek fan since the 70's.
Patrick D
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 10:54am (UTC -5)
This is purely anecdotal, but the Trek show--indeed the TV show, in general--that I've had the worst time talking people into watching was Deep Space Nine. All the people I've tried to talk into watching the show are deeply intelligent people with otherwise good taste, but there's never been a person who seemed enthusiastic about watching it and some have voiced disdain. In some ways it's the most critically acclaimed Trek show, but it is also a HARD sell.

On the flip side, Firefly was the easiest show I've ever got many people to watch and love. Go figure.
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 11:51am (UTC -5)
It just goes to show the diversity of Star Trek's content and consequently the diversity of the fanbase. "Lower Decks" is actually a really a great example of a show that will divide the fanbase. On the one hand it's absolutely got some familiar Trek aspects like episodic space aesops, the TNG-styled ships/uniforms and a plethora of alien planets. But on the other hand, it's an animated series loaded with edgy humor which understandably turns off some fans regardless of the quality of the show.
Jason R.
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 11:51am (UTC -5)
"This is purely anecdotal, but the Trek show--indeed the TV show, in general--that I've had the worst time talking people into watching was Deep Space Nine. All the people I've tried to talk into watching the show are deeply intelligent people with otherwise good taste, but there's never been a person who seemed enthusiastic about watching it and some have voiced disdain. In some ways it's the most critically acclaimed Trek show, but it is also a HARD sell."

I love DS9 but I never watched it on its first run and didn't discover it until it was off the air. This is odd because I grew up with TNG as a child of the 80s and DS9 came right off TNGs success at the height of the Berman era. I also did watch Voyager when it first aired for several seasons even though I disliked it almost immediately yet continued to watch.

So why is DS9 such a hard sell even to fans of Trek?

Some will say the first season was weak but that is a cop out - Voyager's was even worse. I remember hating Voyager's first season especially the dreary Kazon who I never wanted to see again after Caretaker but kept coming back. But I just kept watching anyway, week after week!

Trying to put myself back in my younger self age 13 when Ds9 came on the air? The word "dark" comes to mind, but not tonally - I mean aesthetically.

I think DS9's hard sell is due to a couple of very superficial factors: the title of the show and the art design. The title has a certain hard scifi edge to it that I think puts people off. It reminds me of Moon44. It is gritty. It is utilitarian. It sounds like an Interstellar bus terminal.

The art design is very "dark" with an ugly utilitarian Cardassian designed Station. The opening sequence is just this ugly station round and round - it is dark and monotone.

Note I am not taking issue with the opening or the space station design insofar as I don't hate them on an artistic level - quite the contrary - but the off the cuff feeling you get could be slightly offputting and alien / uncomfortable. It is anything but warm and fuzzy.

Compare this to Voyager which was a simple uncomplicated title and a sleek pretty space ship design that evokes optimism and wonder. The Voyager opening showing a pretty iconic Trekkian style starship sailing through pretty alien vistas with its booming orchestral notes evokes wonder and optimism and "light" - the total antithesis of DS9's opening.
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 12:49pm (UTC -5)
@John said: "I would have expected the opposite, and it surprises me that anyone becomes a new fan of some of the older Trek shows anymore. I don't know anyone who hasn't already seen the whole of, say, Voyager or Enterprise, would have the patience to sit through them today."

And you would probably be right John. The viewing habits have changed, as well as the audience.

In my observation of interacting with multiple dozens of college students every semester through a decade now (and the first thing they know about me is what a Trekkie I am :)) ) what I notice immediately, when it comes time to talk media consumption habits in the US vs internationally, and I bring in the Star Trek topic, is that none of them cares to sit through the Original Series or TNG. It's simply not in their area of interest. For them, they are shows that their parents watched so they caught some of it in "the living room" with them. I have yet to see a college student become a Trekkie today because of TOS or TNG. They think much of it is corny and cheesy. I have been able to convince some to give DS9 a try and had some success with it, but the biggest trend I have noticed over the last 12 years of being around them, in terms of becoming a Trek watcher, is the impact of Voyager, Star Trek 2009 movie, and Discovery (not so much Picard, again, they are reluctant to watch it due to the TNG background of the main character). For example, I even had a few who were telling me about the third season premiere date earlier in the semester and expressing their excitement for it. Not a single one is even remotely interested to hear me every time I say "hey, you should start / try out the Original Series / The Next Generation first."

I see frankly where they are coming from, I like rewatches of all Trek shows (except Enterprise, I tried it two years ago and it was painful, as painful as the first time around), but I agree that many of the TOS and TNG episodes (and DS('s first two seasons) are now hard to sit through - and some downright terrible, not getting better with time either like DS 9 is for example. You can criticize these youngsters or attack today's audience for being "superficial" or "stupid" or "dumb" if you wish, but I think anyone who does that would be advertising their self-centered nature for thinking they belong to some intellectual higher ground over a whole generation of bright people (and yes, they are bright).

The viewing habits and audiences have changed. Two long-time Trek novel writers had a podcast about that and a fruitful discussion on how they have evolved themselves as viewers too (I can't remember who, one of them was David Mack I believe, but I could be wrong) and that they like the old series for what they were at the time and that they enjoy still watching them because they bring back nostalgia and how they felt when they first watched it, but they do not believe they would make good viewing as a first Trek show for today's audience including themselves. I found myself agreeing with them too. And that is what John also says below, if I understand correctly:

"If I was streaming Voyager today for the first time, by season 3 at the latest I'd be such saying "screw this, there are better things to do/watch". It's highly likely I wouldn't have got past S1 of TNG either."

With Voyager during its original airing, even I was beginning to get tired of the formula by its 6th and 7th seasons, and maybe that is also why I was probably never truly captivated by ENT (same formula again, never mind that it rehashed old stories with boring narratives, and had ridiculous acting moments by multiple main-cast members) although I stuck with it (during its original airing). It was "meh." But when I tried a rewatch a couple of years ago, it was even worse I skipped some episodes to even make it bearable to finish a rewatch (never again).
Tommy D.
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 12:50pm (UTC -5)

I really think the format of old or "classic" Trek lends itself really well to streaming and binging. And while it may seem surprising that someone would latch onto a random Trek this way, I think we're likely biased from having watched them in order of appearance, rather than starting at a random point.

Personally, I've enjoyed VOY and ENT far more upon rewatch than I ever did when they were running weekly. I'm far less critical of them than I was 20 years ago. I can watch blocks of DS9 no problem, but I am less enamored with TNG than I was as a kid. I rarely watch TOS anymore, but will watch the movies from time to time.

@Jason R. and @Patrick

I have a friend who absolutely refuses to watch DS9. Went from TNG right to VOY and ENT. Hates that it takes place on a space station and doesn't like The Defiant. Also a big fan of Bakula and Picardo. Tough sell indeed.
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 12:53pm (UTC -5)
Tommy: "I think time, streaming services, and binge watching resulting in many repeated viewings have become very kind to a lot of Trek's mediocre and poor outings. Not that I think thats a bad thing in any way, but its just more of a personal observation when I read across different boards."

Yes Tommy I agree, Imagine if we had some of the early TNG episodes air today and people had a full week to dissect on multiple youtube shows, podcasts, and message boards an episode like "Code of Honor" or "Aquiel" or "Justice." Oh the insanity :)
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 1:24pm (UTC -5)
"Well John, I've seen both VOY and ENT all the way through (DVD's and binging) at LEAST 6 times. Thoroughly enjoyable each time.

In fact, I find the MOST enjoyable Trek to re-watch is Voyager. The least is TNG.

And in case you need to know, I've been a Trek fan since the 70's."

Yanks, for what its worth, like you I have been a Trekkie since early 70s also. Pluto TV has been showing reruns of TNG's first couple of seasons (mostly) in a loop on one of their channels, and it's the first time in my life I believe that I no longer have Star Trek reruns on the background as I am doing things around the house. In the past, if a TV channel had reruns of Trek, I would always have it on unless there was something else specific that I wanted to watch on TV elsewhere. But those early episodes are just not aging well. In fact, BBC America is showing reruns of TNG's late seasons and DS9 on selected times and I have those on all the time, if I am not watching anything else in particular. Those are good. That is why I believe DS9 has great staying power. Voyager reruns ahve not lost their magic for me either, if a channel had them on reruns, I would also put it on.
Patrick D
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 1:48pm (UTC -5)
I guess I'm alone in this arena. I've been watching TNG for decades and I still love it. Even seasons 1 and 2 are more watchable *to me* than most of of Voyager and Enterprise. Part of it might be nostalgia. Part of it might be than I know that some of the weaker episodes of those early seasons (like "Hide and Q" and "Datalore") lead to bigger and better things down the road. Even at its worst, TNG strived to be a thoughtful show (with exceptions like "Sub Rosa" and "Genesis").

I don't need Trek to be ultra-jaded like The Sopranos and I don't need it to be paced like a Fast and the Furious movie. Just let it make me think, feel, experience something unique and wonderful and help me see the world in a different way. And would it kill Trek to be cultured, inspiring and humanistic again? Can't they give us one new spin-off in the true spirit of the first two Roddenberry-created Trek shows? Just one?
Tommy D.
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 2:03pm (UTC -5)

I agree. I think it would be difficult for a lot of episodes to withstand the 24/7 cynicism and scrutiny we see today.
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 3:30pm (UTC -5)
I think DS9 is hard to get into because it jettisons for the most part the action adventure and high concept sci fi.

It is more dense and political a series. I enjoy DS9 but it’s increased reliance on romance and comedy hurts it. I don’t tune in to trek for episodes like Family business , Fascination, meridian, let he, change of heart, crossfire, Melora, second sight, looking for parmach in all the wrong places or Dax/Worf, Kira/Bareil, kira/shakaar, Rom/Leeta, moogie/Zek

Also some of the main cast is weak like dax and bashir. The more interesting characters on the show weren’t main players and only came along halfway through the series. Then when the series hit it stride with the dominion war it spun its wheels after occupation arc til
The the start of the final Season
Tue, Oct 20, 2020, 3:36pm (UTC -5)
As far as rewatchabilty I find all five trek series rewatchable. I’ve seen most episodes 40-50 times.

I actually like the episodic format. The way it treats the viewer to a new story. You never knew what each episode was going to be about as opposed to an ongoing arc. It also allowed viewers to see how the episode would take shape and it forced the writers to provide a payoff rather than dragging it out which I think made for better payoffs in the episodic shows than the modern mystery box programs like lost, bsg and discovery/Picard
Ben Sisko
Fri, Oct 30, 2020, 12:36pm (UTC -5)
Has anybody here actually watched all 10 episodes and still doesn't like it?
Fri, Oct 30, 2020, 7:27pm (UTC -5)
No @Ben Sisko, we're far more efficient than that - I decided the show was garbage after just 1 episode, and some people decided it sucked without watching it at all :-)
Sat, Oct 31, 2020, 8:28am (UTC -5)
I'll tell you this: after three doses of Discovery's puzzle boxes, I sure miss having this show around.
Paul M.
Sun, Nov 1, 2020, 6:17am (UTC -5)
Okay I just watched the first 5 episodes of Lower Decks and man is this show a blast. I started watching because hey it is Trek so I kinda have to, but it surpassed all my expectations by a mile. Funny, steeped in Trek lore, oozing love for the franchise out of every line of dialogue, positive and optimistic... A joy to watch!

On to episode 6 I guess!
Thu, Nov 12, 2020, 2:54am (UTC -5)
Enjoy! The show gets stronger and stronger in the second half of the season.
Sat, Jan 9, 2021, 10:09pm (UTC -5)
I watched the first episode of Lower Decks tonight over at a friend's house, and I have to say I found it to be juvenile nonsense, and painfully unfunny. It was a real struggle to make it through the episode. If you're entertained by it, good for you. I won't be watching again.
Latex Zebra
Wed, Jan 27, 2021, 5:39pm (UTC -5)
Just burned through 3 episodes on Amazon and this is very silly, a little annoying, but fun. I'll definitely see out the series based on this.
Thu, Jan 28, 2021, 5:18pm (UTC -5)
I watched the first 8 Episodes on Amazon so far and I am absolutely loving every minute of it. I enjoy the references and find the humor great most of the time.
My favourite animated series right now and one of my favourite Star Treks shows. Also, it gets better and better.

You are missing out, Jammer.
Bok R'Mor
Sun, May 9, 2021, 3:12am (UTC -5)
Ah, I forgot we could comment on Lower Decks here.

After what NuTrek has wrought upon us, I was initially sceptical to Lower Decks - well, outright hostile, in fact. An animated 'comedy' series? Good grief, no. The trailer was woeful. No, no, no. It felt like the spore drive, Icheb's eye and Admiral Fucking Hubris all over again, only played for smug laughs this time. After JJ, DIS and PIC I simply couldn't bear any more wanton vandalism of the essence of Trek. So I decided to simply ignore Lower Decks.

But then I increasingly noticed over time that reliable sources were suggesting that Lower Decks was actually knowledgeably and lovingly done, respectful of Trek continuity and the Trek ethos, well-written, plotted and voiced - essentially the polar opposite of JJ Trek, DIS and PIC. So a few months ago I reluctantly took the risk and watched all of Lower Decks in one go.

I was impressed, I admit it. While Lower Decks takes a couple of episodes to settle and the humour isn't always funny, it is definitely put together by people who fully understand and love pre-NuTrek Trek. There are endless, surprisingly detailed and obscure references that are all very skilfully done and offer very rewarding viewing. The cast does well, although as an animation series Lower Decks is a little brasher and breathless in its characterisation. But overall Lower Decks a great, if lightweight, effort that is far far better than its trailer and style might suggest. It isn't a world-changing series, but it is a worthwhile watch.

So if you're looking for an antidote to DIS and PIC and NuTrek in general (and who isn't?), Lower Decks certainly goes some way to recapturing the feel of true Trek. Give it a go.

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