We’ve been watching a lot of Star Trek this winter. And in line with the traditional airing of grievances, here are my complaints about “new” Star Trek, aka Picard and Discovery.
This list contains spoilers.
This list is opinion, not fact.
Make it so.
Picard Season One
Okay. Let’s get sloppy.
- Picard, who has been sitting on his ass for ten years feeling sorry for himself, procedes to zoom around the universe giving weak-sauce moral lectures to everyone he meets, ignoring the fact that most of them know the world better than he does.
(old man shakes fist at stars)
Picard’s cook/personal assistant conveniently has information about a vast intergalactic conspiracy the second he needs answers. After she’s served her expositional purpose she goes back to… cooking, I suppose?
Characters “speak aloud” their tragic backstories in 5 minute monologues. Nothing is given time to develop, it’s all just shoehorned in.
Let’s burn some canon! Two SNG/Voyager-era, carefully developed characters are killed off as cheap “feels” while the new plot bumbles around. One death happens so fast it will send you scrambling to Wikipedia to figure out why Seven is crying.
Copycat characters abound! Space Legolas. Xerox Han Solo. And I’m pretty sure those two Romulan spies are doing scenes from Cruel Intentions in the hallway.
Absent any time for character development, everyone gets a trauma story. Everyone shares their trauma story in tearful, complete sentences. Pull up a chair, everyone! We haven’t seen Troi in an age, so let’s learn about her dead child and partake in her grief!
Are we having fun yet? Noooooo….
I am not having fun.
Counterpoint: Jeri Ryan is a treat, and I’d watch her be a Space Ranger all day long.
This may be a controversial opinion, but…
Michael Burnham is the wooooorst! I like her as a character, but she’s a shit leader who constantly makes everything about herself and who takes irresponsible risks with her ship and crew.
Most of the show consists of MB doing something insane, her narrow and improbable victory, then her return to an authority figure to say SEE I WAS RIGHT YOU GOTTA BELIEVE ME SPACE MOM/DAD!
Space Mom/Dad eventually agree she was right the whole time. Seriously, they should call this show “Burnham’s Emotional Validation, a play in 50 Acts.”
Somehow SNG managed to show a crew that was supportive, hard-working, and caring without self-congratulatory victory laps every five minutes. Anytime the crew of Discovery does something faintly positive we have to listen to the swelling music and watch them grin at one another like they’re the hottest shit in the universe.
Crewman: “excuse me”
swelling triumphant music plays
bridge staff beams at each other, taking profound personal pride in this moment of excellence
Crewwoman: “Shall we, Captain?”
Burnham: “We shall, crewwoman who we barely know after three seasons. We shall!
Ugh. UGH! Discovery has a lot of imagination and many likable characters. I want to like it. But I hate-watch it because… it’s so dang cringey.
Counterpoint: Saru is everything a captain should be.
Hate-watching is itself a form of entertainment, therefore I must confess to being entertained with new Trek. But now that I’ve completed my airing of grievances I will soothe my salty Gen-X heart in SNG/Voyager reruns. They’re much more my style.
Happy festivus, Trekkies.