Poll All-season arcs or 1-2 episode stories?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by NewHeavensNewEarth, Mar 24, 2019.

?

Do you prefer all-season story arcs or 1-2 episode stories

  1. All-season story arc

    40 vote(s)
    63.5%
  2. 1-2 episode stories

    23 vote(s)
    36.5%
  1. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Location:
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    Conversely, TOS stand alone episodes limit development of the characters and after a while, the episodes begin to look repetitive.

    I agree that sci fi has far more potential for plot driven or character driven arcs. Farscape is a good example.
     
    Lance likes this.
  2. Alan Roi

    Alan Roi Commodore Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2019
    Fundamentally, This is the sort of thing that people who aren't fans of a show star sentences with and their thesis tends to fall down from there, as these sort of critiques often lead to reductive conclusions that are pretty much just personal speculation from limited fragments of information.
     
    PiotrB, Cyrus and Turtletrekker like this.
  3. Ricky Spanish

    Ricky Spanish History’s Greatest Monster Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    BillJ
    I'm hoping Michelle Paradise can give us a stable, unified vision of what they want the show to be. They've been all over the place the first two seasons.
     
    Lance and eschaton like this.
  4. Alan Roi

    Alan Roi Commodore Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2019
    Unified visions can be pretty underwhelming and tonally beige, as we've seen in past Star Trek series that suffered under 'unified visions'. IMO, this is a 'be careful what you wish for' kind of hope. I'm hoping the show continues to let things grow wild. Creatively, the series has always benefited from its WTF?! left turns.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2019
    PiotrB, Cyrus and Turtletrekker like this.
  5. gblews

    gblews Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Location:
    So. Cal.
    Frankly. I don't care if there is a single vision guiding a show, or a gaggle of folks as long as I enjoy the show. If the vision for the show isn't working, the fact that it is a single vision isn't going to save it.

    So far, I I've enjoyed DSC despite the multiple show runners. That may have to do with Kurtzman's overall stewardship or maybe we've just been lucky. When Michelle Paradise takes full ownership of the show's direction next season, I hope the streak continues.
    I think you're confusing "building on an arc" with "continuation of an arc". Early last season the writers told us that the Klingon war arc would not continue into season 2. Thus, there was never any intention to "build" on the Klingon was arc.

    So, the fact that we are getting a different arc in season 2 came as no surprise. The show is not doing an 'overall" arc format like the X-Files. So far, they're doing seasonal arcs which wrap up at the end of the season, like Buffy.
     
    PiotrB and Lance like this.
  6. Starflight

    Starflight Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2017
    It feels like the current writers of Discovery can't really deal with season-long arcs. Just my opinion, obviously, but Season 1 was a total write-off and the Red Angel stuff in Season 2 is uninteresting and has been fairly awkwardly paced so far, with the constant Spock-teases through the first half and then the abrupt resolution to many of those plot threads.

    The writers have, however, shown skill in creating single episodes. Brother, New Eden, Charon and The Sound of Thunder have all been good. It seems like having them write season arcs isn't playing to their strengths.

    I always preferred episodic television anyway, though, and couldn't stand how convoluted shows like Babylon 5 and post-season 5 DS9 got, so I would say that.
     
    Jadeb and Lance like this.
  7. NewHeavensNewEarth

    NewHeavensNewEarth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2019
    I would say that seasonal arcs qualify as a unified vision. Isn't it more "all over the place" to have seasons made up of almost entirely stand-alone episodes, as seen in previous ST series? The themes of these 2 seasons of DSC could be summed up in a few words, which sounds unified to me. Questioning how well it's been executed, to me, would be the real debate. But I think we're so used to past ST being all over the place that we have difficulty enjoying seasonal arcs that have so many loose ends that are meant to be tied at the end.
     
    Lance likes this.
  8. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Unfortunately not when there's different showrunners with different ideas on where to take the story. Take season 2 for example, the Red Angel was meant to be some sort of possibly-religious entity with an intended story thread of faith vs science. Then a change in showrunners and suddenly the Red Angel is definitely not religious and has nothing to do with religion (making New Eden stand out like a sore thumb) and suddenly its MO to protect Michael Burnham at all costs.
     
    Lance likes this.
  9. NewHeavensNewEarth

    NewHeavensNewEarth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2019
    The instant that the RA was identified to be wearing a mechanical suit, there was no possible reason to continue the "faith" thread of the RA being divine in any way, so it was natural that the "faith" thread would go by the wayside. But for the purpose of giving Pike some context and depth, I thought it was useful. I know about the showrunners situation, but I don't think it's wise to render a verdict until after the season finale, given how much has depended on suspense and not laying everything out at once.
     
    Lance likes this.
  10. Alan Roi

    Alan Roi Commodore Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2019
    We don't know this at all. IMO, New Eden doesn't stick out like a sore thumb, because those people's reactions were the same kind of reaction Apollo and his pals got when they visited humanity as well. Human beings like ascribing "miraculous" rescues to divine intervention, even if they are proven not to be the case. As such, its a good start to a storyline featuring references to Clarke's Law.
     
    PiotrB and Lance like this.
  11. Reyman

    Reyman Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2017
    Season 1 of Prison Break vs the rest of the seasons is a great example of how important a good arc can be to a show.

    Without it the show wasn't half as good despite the episode to episode character continuity.
     
  12. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Location:
    The Enterprise's Restroom
    The trouble with serialization is that whole thing of 'escalation'. There has to be a continuing wtf factor, moments that take a previous high and smash it. Unfortunately, in many cases that ends up becoming a millstone in itself. If everything has to keep getting bigger and bigger, then it risks going completely over the edge into melodrama. Certainly I believe that is what happened with Buffy. Ironically, in hindsight, for a show that many claim exemplifies how to do serialized story telling right, the seasons that are more fondly remembered are 1 to 4, when the show much more distinctly straddled a line between episodic and serial elements, rather than the serial-heavy later seasons that became more and more ridiculous as they went along.
     
    eschaton likes this.
  13. Lance

    Lance Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Location:
    The Enterprise's Restroom
    I wonder about Fuller's format. By all accounts it feels like it'd have been very different. It's also telling that in a few significant ways, season 2 feels like it's been crabwalking away from all that stuff which is now... shall we say, legally questionable, and leaning more heavily into Star Trek mythology and existing characters, lol.
     
  14. Pauln6

    Pauln6 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Location:
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    There are several ongoing arcs in Discovery. The Klingon war may be over but you still have Burnham's troubled relationship with her family, the spore drive's fall from grace, Klingon politics, Georgiou's integration into Starfleet, and the Red Angel. Some will resolve and some will continue to develop.
     
    NewHeavensNewEarth likes this.
  15. Cyrus

    Cyrus Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Michelle Paradise is not taking full ownership. She will be the co-showrunner along with Kurtzman. Kurtzman is still the big boss.
     
  16. cultcross but on halloween

    cultcross but on halloween Every lie incurs a debt to the truth Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2001
    Location:
    cultcross in the EU still
    Very much this. I'd love to see a season of this show with just one, consistent, creative vision. These behind the scenes dramas are translating into the show as inconsistent plotting and bizarre twists and turns.
     
    eschaton and Ricky Spanish like this.
  17. NewHeavensNewEarth

    NewHeavensNewEarth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2019
    It's "one, consistent, creative vision" in that it's been RA every episode, all season long. And the fact that it's had unpredictable twists and turns is a positive thing, not a bad thing. Do you really want to have it all figured out after 5 or 6 episodes? I like that they haven't put everything out there at once, still encouraging imagination & theorizing, but ultimately still relying on reveals that keep the audience guessing.

    I do think it's a risky way of writing, because of whether those reveals pay off. Whatever the story arc is for season 3, I think they should feel more free to do stand-alone episodes that don't need to be tied to the seasonal arc, and can stand on their own. The trick is to be able to do it all within a season that is significantly shorter than other Trek series.

    But just as a reminder about "unified" writing, here's a list of part of season 5 episodes of TNG. Please tell me how these represent a unified theme. We can either idealize past ST series, or acknowledge that it will always be a tricky balance for any series.
    - The Perfect Mate
    - Imaginary Friend
    - I, Borg
    - The Next Phase
    - The Inner Light
    - Time's Arrow
     
    Turtletrekker likes this.
  18. Ricky Spanish

    Ricky Spanish History’s Greatest Monster Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2001
    Location:
    BillJ
    TNG was episodic, it was never meant to be a unified narrative beyond the crew being there week-to-week. When you're doing a season long arc, I imagine a unified writing staff makes things better and we wouldn't end up with episodes like "New Eden" that no longer make sense within the context of the story they are telling.

    As far as TNG goes, season five was when the show was beginning to be parted out to other series. Berman and Piller were creating Deep Space Nine.
     
    Lance likes this.
  19. Sarxus

    Sarxus Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2018
    Location:
    Germany
    I'd prefer 1-2 episode stories for Discovery. I just wrote more about this in the thread for the new episode, in my opinion it doesn't work so well anymore in season 2 to follow a whole season arc. Season 1 had this too, but there I found the arc more interesting to be honest.

    In the first half of season 2 they had a solution which was nearly perfect in my opinion: Almost each episode had its own story, but at the same time those contributed all to the Red Angel main arc. It was a good mixture that gave us some really great Star Trek episodes which are part of something bigger but can also be watched as stand-alone episodes. Would have been nice in my opinion if they had kept up this concept for the whole season. The last few episodes didn't really have this episodic part anymore, they seemed to focus only on the main arc. I still enjoyed them. But I liked the first half's concept better.
     
  20. gblews

    gblews Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2004
    Location:
    So. Cal.
    I believe every episode this season (and last), has had a complete and self contained story with a beginning, middle and end, including the most recent two parter. Doesn't really matter that the show has been presented in serialized format, it is pretty much a TV storytelling fundamental.

    Which episodes do you not think fit this description?