Finally Watching Discovery - Was I Supoosed to Hate This?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by Mysterion, Nov 17, 2018.

  1. Rahul

    Rahul Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If I had to sum up my feelings about DIS: It feels like a lesser 90s TNG spin-off show. Better in some places like characterisations and vfx, worse in others, like plots, stories and coherence. But with special points reduction for the disgusting gore-shit.

    That's not hatred. That's just expectations not being met.
     
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  2. eschaton

    eschaton Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My general feeling on DIS Season 1 summed up in a single sentence: Not boring, but frequently stupid.

    The good: Discovery has a great cast without really a single weak link - a rarity for a Trek show. The cinematography, choreography, and some of the VFX (aside from the crappy Season 1 external ship shot) were all great. While I was watching the individual episodes, I was almost always (up until the last three) entertained at least.

    The bad: Almost everything related to the writing. Characterization was inconsistent for Burnham, and almost absent for everyone else (they seemed at times to literally only exist to move the plots along). The season was overstuffed with plot twists (often heavily telegraphed) which made little sense upon examination. Dialogue was unnatural (too much long-form speechifiying), and almost never contained something which wasn't plot-critical. Yet at the same time, while the characters were given these long monologues, very little which was profound was ever said. Episode themes were very hazily sketched out compared to earlier Treks - basically just briefly touching upon issues, then dropping them entirely to get back to the big plot. Worst of all, the payoff for the season never really arrived, with the end of the last episode pretty much amounting to a "LOL, we fucked up, LOL - next season will be better!"

    I think it's unquestionably more entertaining than TNG, VOY or ENT were in their first season. At the same time, there were some stunning rookie-level mistakes which were made in terms of plotting and characterization which meant that I was not able to enjoy the first season uncritically.
     
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  3. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Admiral Admiral

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    I hardly describe DSC being anything like that.

    There are way worse shows/movies out there that deserve those descriptions. DSC is relatively tame.
     
  4. Reyman

    Reyman Commander Red Shirt

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    That's a pretty accurate summary. They went too big too soon, but I guess they probably needed to given that they couldn't have been sure if they'd get another season back then. Hopefully season 2 will have a better flow.

    I wouldn't even mind if they had a bit of a reset and had a couple of episodes to clean up the events of season 1. They could also concentrated more on a few side stories to develop characters like they did with Saru in episode 8.
     
  5. Rahul

    Rahul Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not the entire show of course.
    But every. single. episode. after the premiere two-parter featured some excessive gore. Some of it was justified (the melted bodies on the Glenn), but most of the time itwas just used for violence fetishization - (say when they were melting the Lorca co-conspiratorator, or really half the stuff in the MU).

    Of course there are "less tame" shows out there. The problem is that it served absolutely no purpose. In a show called "Hannibal" that level of gore has to expected, in fact it even has to be there. On such a shallow childish show as DIS? Not so much. On BSG (which was overall a much more mature show than DIS) it served a purpose - to actually show real violence. They never shied away of showing the consequences of violence for the characters. On DIS - it was there for fun. Serving no point. Nobody ever had to deal with any consequences. The absurd violence was always only ever aimed at redshirts and mooks. As an entertaiment purpose, for people who get arroused by that. To see people horribly get violated without ever caring for any one of them.
     
  6. Sakonna

    Sakonna Commodore Commodore

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    I was using scripted shows on major outlets/networks as the count. 487 is the actual number for that in 2017.

    If you think there are only 6 shows in this tier annually, you're missing quite a bit. :bolian: Which I imagine is probably a nice way to live through this era of peak TV. For me, we've reached the point at which the avalanche of content is becoming an active negative.

    Your points about the violence are interesting. I'm not really bothered by the violence and gore itself -- what I'm bothered by is the disconnect between that and the writing. Like all Star Trek, Disco has many instances of ST logic -- things that would be ridiculous in the real world, but in this universe let's just go with it. Until Disco, I never realized how much that plot-convenient logic was actively supported by the way the Trek world was realized (the solid, bright, primary colors, the white noise of the ship, the smoothness of the sets, the obvious makeup of the aliens, etc). I never cared about the plot holes because it was obviously a universe of metaphor and allegory anyway.

    But, pair hyper-realistic violence and high-end visuals with the same kind of abstracted, shoddy logic, and suddenly all those writing flaws are cast in high relief. If the world is going to look this real, I want the writing to conjure a similar believable spell of reality, and that is just not happening. Neither direction is wrong, but the physical production and the scripting are just not in sync. For this show to really achieve it's potential, they need to figure out a way to bring these components into better harmony. (Which I am cautiously optimistic season 2 is doing, from what I know of it so far)
     
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  7. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

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    There wasn't anything shown, in terms of violence, that hasn't been shown previously in other Star Trek series, except perhaps the Voq/Tyler surgury, which was gruesome. But I felt they had to do that to get the impact of just what was undergone (still not sure who underwent what.. TyVoq confuses me, but he seems to be confused, himself. I digress) to get that point across, and in that regard it was not gratuitous. I don't care for violence for violence' sake.

    But in terms of gratuitous stuff:

    Malshappen bodies after a technology failure: TMP did that so well. But TNG did it too.

    Grisly violent attack so bad BBC bans it: TNG.

    Dealing with PTSD: TNG, DS9. (argument could be made for Commodore Decker, in TOS)

    Agony booths: TOS/ENT

    Other torture: TWOK, TNG

    Threat of torture: Captain Archer (we'll be seeing him again, shortly)

    Piracy of a ship by a starfleet captain: Captain Archer (told you)

    Genocidal Maniac Condemning an Entire Species to a Slow Death and then shrugging it off one week later like nothing happened: Captain Archer (Mirror Lorca is levitating saint compared to Archer)

    Deliberately making his non-human XO uncomfortable for his or her cultural mores: Obviously that would be Lorca...wait.. no.. Captain Archer

    Kicking a puppy down an empty corridor until it dies because the crew didn't applaud enough at your hq speech: Has never happened but most likely an unfilmed 5th season Captain Archer.


    Eating of Sentient Beings: it's been referred to, but as far as I know, it was never shown specifically until Empress Georgio dined with Burnham

    Underwear shots: Every time someone in a skirt moved or a fan blew in TOS

    Bad language: Let's get the hell out of here, and double dumb-ass on you, if you don't remember. Ok.. realistically, DISCO owns this one.
     
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  8. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm going to guess this is a person to person thing but there was not a single fun thing about any of those deaths. And I just watched the Lorca scene with the rebel. One of the few times I actually felt something from Lorca in a meaningful way. Was kind of surprised by it upon rewatch.

    "Oh shit!" No Data honorable mention?
     
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  9. guyute03

    guyute03 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Happy you're liking it. It's not perfect, but it's definitely the best first season of a Trek show barring the original series. Here's hoping season 2 just improves on it even more.
     
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  10. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

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    I honestly forgot.
     
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  11. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Admiral Admiral

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    No it didn't?
     
  12. Jadeb

    Jadeb Commodore Commodore

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    I kinda wish I had waited to watch like the OP. Between all the hype, the move to serialization, the talk of complex characters and mature drama, the huge budgets, bringing in Nick Meyer, etc., I was really hoping Discovery would be Trek's entry into the world of prestige television. Instead, as many have noted, the writing was comparable to mediocre Trek from 30 years ago. Had my expectations been lowered, perhaps my disappointment would have been less.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
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  13. Rahul

    Rahul Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    THIS.
    Pretty much this. You put it so elegantly and objective, I couldn't have said it better if I tried.
    Everybody here just read that instead of what I wrote!

    There is just SO much good stuff around, I just don't have the time in my adult life to watch even half of what's curently "in". I'd be happy to watch 6 entire shows a year. Maybe that's why I get so annoyed when DIS is just merely "mediocre", because I'm putting "Stranger Things", "True Detective" and lots of other good stuff to the back of my viewing list to make place for a new "Star Trek".
     
  14. KennyB

    KennyB I have spoken............ Moderator

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    Is this the same writing so many hold up as The Gold Standard now and want DSC to be more like? :brickwall:
     
  15. Jadeb

    Jadeb Commodore Commodore

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    We're not a hive mind here. People want different things. But I'd expect Discovery to be at least as good as the better stuff from 30 years ago. It hasn't gotten there yet, but maybe in season 2.
     
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  16. PiotrB

    PiotrB Commander Red Shirt

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    They aren't main characters so why do you want their development? Main characters are played by actors with names in title sequence. Those characters development was better than in any previous Star Trek series.
     
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  17. Serveaux

    Serveaux Fleet Admiral Premium Member

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    You're not "supposed to do" anything except form an opinion by watching it. Most of us have.

    No. Who wants mediocrity - the critical modifier in that remark - from any era? Sadly, it is what STD has achieved.

    Yes, this point was entirely clear in your previous post.

    I'd like it to be at least as good as decent contemporary TV, myself.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
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  18. BillJ

    BillJ The King of Kings Admiral

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    I think this is huge. It doesn't know how to achieve its objective: being treated as a serious drama in a universe that is at best pulp sci-fi.

    I'm not sure it ever can.
     
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  19. XCV330

    XCV330 Premium Member

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    Lorca specifically named both Detmer, Airiam, and Owosekun. (now you no longer have to refer to her as "The black woman") on screen at various points. If their names don't pop right up to mind, it's because essentially they ARE redshirts. The show is different and so far the bridge crew haven't been very important. That's just the way it is. There's a bit of knowing tongue-in-cheek reference to that when Mudd calls Bryce "Random communications officer guy"
     
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  20. eschaton

    eschaton Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think this is one of the biggest reasons DIS felt like a failure to me. Serious, critically acclaimed modern drama is rooted in the characters first and foremost. Discovery was not a character-driven show, it was a plot-driven show. Hell, I'd argue it was less character-driven than any Trek series since TOS - since basically every Berman Trek series threw out an occasional episode where the "plot" was really just digging deeper into a particular secondary character. DIS toyed with this a bit with Saru and Lorca, but ultimately dropped the idea entirely for things like "Stamets is the spore guy, and everything he says is spore related - unless he mourns his dead lover for five seconds."