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Guiding Light
Sat, Aug 8, 2020, 3:55am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@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.
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Guiding Light
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 5:35pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

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).
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Guiding Light
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 2:28pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

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.
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Guiding Light
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 1:17pm (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

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.
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Guiding Light
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 9:54am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

@Trent:

"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:

https://trekmovie.com/2020/08/06/review-star-trek-lower-decks-goes-for-the-laughs-and-finds-the-heart-in-second-contact/

https://collider.com/star-trek-lower-decks-review-cbs-all-access/

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@Nolan:

"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?
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Guiding Light
Fri, Aug 7, 2020, 7:56am (UTC -5)
Re: Star Trek: Lower Decks

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.
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Guiding Light
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 4:24am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Booming: I'm not trying to pick on TNG especially. But since this is a STAR TREK site that's just what happens. TNG is not the worst offender and TNG is not "ideologically bad" like shows such as 24 or HOMELAND were. But as a show of its time that did not actively break out of the social norms, yes, it helped to solidify these structures. And that does not make the show "regressive" in its time. It was a product of its time, but that also means that it carries all the baggage that was implicit in any mainstream cultural product of that time and we should be able to address that 30 years later.

(Like we should be able to address the implicit racism and sexism in TOS that was just part and parcel of being a show made in 1966.)

Even if that was not its intention.
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Guiding Light
Sun, Feb 23, 2020, 2:45am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Booming:

> First of all Star Trek was always more or less American and it
> may come as a shock to you but I'm fairly certain that
> Chinese science fiction does not feature Mozart often or
> many white detective books.

But even America is not the same as "white Anglo-Saxon culture". And that was true in the 1980s as well. The fact that we have to discuss this in 2020 is telling for how warped our views on that are.
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Guiding Light
Sat, Feb 22, 2020, 5:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Descent:

Okay, let me try to explain and I thank you for keeping this civil, as I will also try to do:

The shows always had 'white western culture' as its baseline, even when Avery Brooks had top billing. Let's stick with TNG: The name of the ships, the structure of the Federation, the amount of white people in every Starfleet thing we have seen. What music has survived in the 24th century? Classical music. Mozart. Beethoven. Some folk songs. What is the culture that's referenced? James Bond. White detective novels. Westerns. Shakespeare.

The show contributed to the idea that 'white' and 'western' should be the default setting for mankind. Of course it talked about 'equality' and a shared humanity, but it never veered out of the western mold. So it gave its audience, mostly white men, the chance to feel progressive while actually cementing power structures. And the fact that you had some POC in the roles of Admirals is nice, but it does not stack up to the close-minded whiteness of the rest of the show.

That is one of the reasons why people go for Trump, because they feel that this society, that even 'progressive' shows like TNG promised, is now under attack: White culture from the past may not be the baseline anymore.

And there is also the way problems are solved: Picard shows up, gives a big speech and then people agree and we move on. But that is not how these things work. This is how you present it from a priviliged position that assumes that everyone always has to listen to you. In reality, it's activism, hard work and a constant struggle to move a society into a better future. Not just a few well-chosen words. But TNG postulated easy activism.

And it presented characters spewing platitudes about inclusion and working together while I.) never showing the reality of that and II.) never showing that 'uplifting others' often means 'taking a step back yourself'. The show presented this as a utopia, so social improvement came without a price. In reality, that is not how this worked: Social improvement has a price tag. And many are not willing to pay that, so they support Trump, so they support Brexit.

The core idea of the show was surely well-intentioned, but in 2020 we have to move away from comforting lies and I congratulate PICARD for be willing to do just that.

Concluding, I totally accept that people feel that this is not their Trek. That is their right. But why come back over and over again if they realize that it's not for them and why tell the others here repeatedly that their opinion is wrong? If I dislike the new direction of restaurant - even though I enjoyed it in the past - I maybe leave a bad rating on Yelp, but then I move on with my life and don't tell people who like the restaurant that they are all misguided dullards.
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Guiding Light
Sat, Feb 22, 2020, 2:06pm (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

@Descent:

I am not trolling, thank you very much.

But: Yes, Jeri Ryan tried to make the most of the character, but the camera still lingered on her curves in a creepy fashion. And that counteracted anything they may have done with the character.

Having her in sensible clothing acting in her own interest and not in the way an old guy tells her to behave is actually subversive.

The thing is: People here constantly say "this is not Star Trek", as if they own it. People want a simplistic, morally myopic, naive Star Trek, full of nostalgia? There were five shows for people like that.

They should let other people, who want a more grown-up Star Trek that tackles real issues instead of just saying "oh, we've solved that", have these shows and let them enjoy them.
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Guiding Light
Sat, Feb 22, 2020, 11:02am (UTC -5)
Re: PIC S1: Stardust City Rag

It's depressing that so many here can't deal with the fact that this is not "your Trek" and that this no longer just for an inbred community of nerds but instead a show that boldly wears its modern sensibilities on its sleeves.

I know people loved TNG in the 1980s, but it was always a silly and honestly pretty bad show. The fact that something like this can spring from it is a testament to how good the producers are.

It looks at a show like TNG - that is an artifact of an era when all of TV was based on straight, white male privilege - and it looks at the current reality and asks: How did we get here? 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. These shows never demanded that the viewers question their priors, they always just re-affirmed them.

And that is why this is so great:

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. He gave speeches and then went home and felt his job was done. And look at the world that has come out of that mind-set. Look at what the Federation has become.

That's why its so amazing that Annika - who has reclaimed her name and her humanity - listens to his bullshit and then goes back to doing what needs to be done: Taking action. Punishing those who need punishment. Righting wrongs and not letting people get away with their disregard for others.

The writers have taken a character that was always objectified, that was nothing more than eye candy to satisfy the male gaze of its audience and they've turned her into a feminist icon: A woman who decides how she looks, what she is called and who will not let evil people trample over the lives of others any longer.

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.

I salute a show that dares to take its source material, deconstruct it and tell people why that source material was problematic. And I just hope we get a spin-off show of Annika Hansen travelling through the galaxy and making people pay who deserve it.

It may not be "your Star Trek", but your Star Trek was never as good as you think it was. 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.
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