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Jeff Chapman
Fri, Jan 31, 2020, 7:50pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

It's nice that there are writing and production teams that are still trying to hold the flag of Star Trek high. It's a worthy franchise.

I'm sure it's also quite lucrative for them as well. They deserve to make a living for their work.

That said, with both ST: Discovery or ST: Picard, I find none of the story lines so far to be memorable. The visuals are terrific, but the story line is seriously wanting.

The obvious emphasis in both ST:PIC and in ST:DISC is on serial story arcs, and even those arcs are now generally so absurd that they fail to evoke an emotional reaction. Week after week, the absurdity builds, and we keep hoping for substance over style. Eventually, the writers face a big blow-out at the end (as they did in the first and second seasons of DISC), but they fail to make us care.

After all, it's not us up on that screen... and that is the problem. We don't feel we are there. We are simply being entertained, and it has no relevance to us after it's all over.

It's not working.

I continue to watch ST:PIC and Discovery mainly out of the hope that the writers will actually do something to redeem the story and make the best use of the characters. At this juncture, I'm beginning to feel that my lunch breaks would be better spent on reading an actual story that means something.

I feel that with the ST franchise now, there is a constant battle being waged between "jerking the viewers off" with a temporary thrill via the presentation of astonishing and expensive special effects (eye candy), versus actually telling a gripping and believable story that we can relate to and want to see again. The best film and TV work should do both.

I've wanted to watch quite a few episodes of ST:TNG, DS9, VOY and even ENT over and over again, because much of that work represented a real effort to write good stories. So far, I haven't even felt the need to go back and rewatch a single DISC or PIC episode. Quite frankly, my feeling is that there isn't much rewatching value there so far. The wrriters aren't telling stories that make me feel anything at all.

Big, bold themes are wonderful and welcome in works of science fiction and all visual, musical and literary art. The problem that I see now with ST:PIC is that the viewer is dragged along with each episode, without getting a payoff in terms of seeing the characters at their best, in a storyline that actually challenges the characters and poses interesting moral, ethical and intellectual questions for the viewer. The stories of both PIC and DISC seem to just endlessly plod on forward, never showing any sense of growth, resolution or progress in terms of character development. The villians are detestable, the heroes are predictable, and we never really know why, what really motivates them, and how it relates to us.

It's just a show and I mean that in every sense of the word. A "show," meaning a fanciful display. Peacocks strutting their feathers. Same-old stories told with fresh new packaging and dollops of babble. The strict adherence to the serialized format makes the whole thing more detestable.

In the end, I want to be entertained, but I also appreciate seeing some humanity in the whole thing. The second episode of ST:PIC contained a huge proportion of glib technobabble and forced political intrigue that became painfully dull to watch, at least for me. Cool little effects like the transporter doors or the virtual "knobs" on the wall panel displays at Utopia Planitia are briefly entertaining, but they do not hold the story. None of the characters are being used to best effect so far, and too many tired sci-fi cliches are becoming tedious as well. Patrick Stewart is doing his best with his role, but the fact is that the whole balance between effective story-telling and giving the watchers a thrill is terribly off.

In short, I think the writers have a story and plot that stretches too little content, too far. The special effects, post-coitus scenes with hot young actors/actresses, dramatic murders and occasional foul language are then used to fill in the gaps of the lack of substance.

Let's hope for better. I'm beginning to think that this franchise is not capable of it anymore.
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Jeff Chapman
Fri, Jan 31, 2020, 7:49pm (UTC -6)
Re: PIC S1: Remembrance

It's nice that there are writing and production teams that are still trying to hold the flag of Star Trek high. It's a worthy franchise.

I'm sure it's also quite lucrative for them as well. They deserve to make a living for their work.

That said, with both ST: Discovery or ST: Picard, I find none of the story lines so far to be memorable. The visuals are terrific, but the story line is seriously wanting.

The obvious emphasis in both ST:PIC and in ST:DISC is on serial story arcs, and even those arcs are now generally so absurd that they fail to evoke an emotional reaction. Week after week, the absurdity builds, and we keep hoping for substance over style. Eventually, the writers face a big blow-out at the end (as they did in the first and second seasons of DISC), but they fail to make us care.

After all, it's not us up on that screen... and that is the problem. We don't feel we are there. We are simply being entertained, and it has no relevance to us after it's all over.

It's not working.

I continue to watch ST:PIC and Discovery mainly out of the hope that the writers will actually do something to redeem the story and make the best use of the characters. At this juncture, I'm beginning to feel that my lunch breaks would be better spent on reading an actual story that means something.

I feel that with the ST franchise now, there is a constant battle being waged between "jerking the viewers off" with a temporary thrill via the presentation of astonishing and expensive special effects (eye candy), versus actually telling a gripping and believable story that we can relate to and want to see again. The best film and TV work should do both.

I've wanted to watch quite a few episodes of ST:TNG, DS9, VOY and even ENT over and over again, because much of that work represented a real effort to write good stories. So far, I haven't even felt the need to go back and rewatch a single DISC or PIC episode. Quite frankly, my feeling is that there isn't much rewatching value there so far. The wrriters aren't telling stories that make me feel anything at all.

Big, bold themes are wonderful and welcome in works of science fiction and all visual, musical and literary art. The problem that I see now with ST:PIC is that the viewer is dragged along with each episode, without getting a payoff in terms of seeing the characters at their best, in a storyline that actually challenges the characters and poses interesting moral, ethical and intellectual questions for the viewer. The stories of both PIC and DISC seem to just endlessly plod on forward, never showing any sense of growth, resolution or progress in terms of character development. The villians are detestable, the heroes are predictable, and we never really know why, what really motivates them, and how it relates to us.

It's just a show and I mean that in every sense of the word. A "show," meaning a fanciful display. Peacocks strutting their feathers. Same-old stories told with fresh new packaging and dollops of babble. The strict adherence to the serialized format makes the whole thing more detestable.

In the end, I want to be entertained, but I also appreciate seeing some humanity in the whole thing. The second episode of ST:PIC contained a huge proportion of glib technobabble and forced political intrigue that became painfully dull to watch, at least for me. Cool little effects like the transporter doors or the virtual "knobs" on the wall panel displays at Utopia Planitia are briefly entertaining, but they do not hold the story. None of the characters are being used to best effect so far, and too many tired sci-fi cliches are becoming tedious as well. Patrick Stewart is doing his best with his role, but the fact is that the whole balance between effective story-telling and giving the watchers a thrill is terribly off.

In short, I think the writers have a story and plot that stretches too little content, too far. The special effects, post-coitus scenes with hot young actors/actresses, dramatic murders and occasional foul language are then used to fill in the gaps of the lack of substance.

Let's hope for better. I'm beginning to think that this franchise is not capable of it anymore.
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