OTOH, I've heard it described as Trek's response to the Battlestar Galactica remake, which really turns me off. While BSG had incredible production values and direction, and I enjoyed the fleet politics elements, overall it felt too cynical and "forced dark and desperate" (which I don't equate with "realism" as the critics exulted), and for all its evocative gesturing, the through-line plotting just never really managed to pull its weight. To be brash, I'm hoping Vanguard is more than just "let's skew darker to cater to a jaded audience" and has a meatier story and purpose at its core.
Well, don't be too quick to give up on it. The series starts out with most of the characters in pretty bad places in their lives and the story is largely about their journeys of redemption or healing. So the first book is in some ways the darkest. I share your views of Galactica
and of the tendency to equate darkness with realism or quality, and I initially found the first Vanguard
volume too dark for my tastes, but as I read the subsequent books and came to see it in context, I gained a greater appreciation of it.