Monday Morning Check-In: New Trek

Good Monday morning everyone!  Well, this was a political weekend…  All kinds of fighting on social media. I must confess I came out and supported those exercising their first amendment right to protest.  Not going to go into it further here.  Anyway, it was another big weekend for me as Sunday was the day that Star Trek returned to TV briefly before being sequestered away online where CBS has decided to solicit money in order to access the show henceforth.  I, of course, coughed up my $$ in order to have access to future episodes, but I would be lying if I didn’t acknowledge that I have mixed feelings about it all.   So today I have decided to sort out my opinions on Star Trek Discovery and CBS’s plan to only offer the show online on my blog.  Because I can.  Warning: if you’ve not seen the show there will be spoilers ahead.

First off I think it should be mentioned for those who don’t know I am a huge Trekkie.  I love everything about Star Trek, the message, the movies, the shows.  I tend to not be too critical of the different interpretations of the franchise as well, for instance, I enjoyed the rebooted movies.  I thought they were great fun and appreciated the nods to the established dogma and the changes made to bring in a new audience.  So I anxiously sat down on Sunday night to see what Star Trek Discovery had to offer me as a lifelong Trekkie.  

The show started off good.  Sure, it felt different but there were pieces of old Trek in there.  The first episode felt more like a movie than one of the tv shows.  Fancier camera angles, which got to be a little annoying and made me a bit dizzy.  I get it, they are in space no need to constantly rotate the screen.  The action was focused on only three main characters and I kept waiting for us to be introduced to the rest of the crew.  Yes, the first TV show was centered around Kirk, Spock, and Bones but at its heart, it is an ensemble show and we got to know the rest of the cast.  I can’t say that we were even told any of the other bridge crew’s names.  I tried to let it go and attempted to figure out other pieces of the show.  I did like the styling of the new show, the set design if you will and the uniforms.  The new show sure looked slick.  First Episode thoughts: We liked it and wanted to see more.

The husband and I decided to subscribe to CBS Access and watch the second episode that was already available for viewing.  Of course, the first episode left off on a cliffhanger and having finished our chores earlier in the day decided to dive right into the next.  This is where I started questioning things.  Both of us were yelling at the characters on the screen and wondering just what the hell was going on.  THIS did NOT feel like Star Trek.  It was way more aggressive than previous incarnations of the show.  With possibly the exception of Deep Space Nine which dealt with the topic of war and the federation, but in that case, there was still plenty of fun to be had.  There was little to no joking on this show it was way too serious for typical Trek.  Up until the end, however, I was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt though.  New show, new direction and I had only seen two episodes so far.  It wasn’t until we get the sneak peek at the upcoming episodes that I started questioning my decision to buy the full year subscription to CBS Access…  What they were showing looked nothing like the Star Trek I know and love and I’m not quite sure I want to continue with this series.

I’m torn.  If as a Trekkie I don’t support the new show how will CBS ever justify bringing us new Trek content?  If they don’t make money they will kill the franchise.  BUT as a Trekkie should I support something that feels so bastardized from everything I love about Star Trek simply to save the franchise.  If the show has very little in common with Star Trek beyond the name what is the point?  I’m not sure I like the new look of the Klingons and I don’t like that I have to buy a subscription to watch the show.  And if the main people who are going to be buying access to view this show are Trekkies why the hell would you revamp the series so heavily and alienate the fans?  I’m going to watch the first season, I paid for it already, but I am also going to be judging the show heavily.  I sincerely hope I’m wrong and the series stays in line with Trek of the past.  But I have to say I’m worried that it won’t live up.  That it is going to be much more violent, much darker, and give little hope for the future of humanity.  Roddenberry wanted Star Trek to be an example of what humanity becomes.  Show us what life could be like if we set aside the racism, nationalism, sexism, and are freed from economic suppression of today.  I’m not sure that Star Trek Discovery is going to live up to that legacy.  Episode Two thoughts: Disappointed and worried about the direction of the show.

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