Discussion in 'Star Trek: Picard' started by Ometiklan, Apr 26, 2022.
It did not remain so.
The only reason he was forced to move on in tng is because the writers didn’t have the freedom at the time to carry his trauma since everything had to be resolved neatly by the end of the episode. Even “family” almost didn’t get made as is because the executives wanted some kind of alien threat instead of Picard dealing with his assimilation.
A lot of people viewed this as not evolution but self-delusion and unnatural. I point to the story where Gene Roddenberry said that "humans no longer mourn the dead" which the writers justifiably said made humans of the 24th century into monsters not evolved.
i'll answer this question after the finale and then i'll review it overall.
Me too... but at 1 episode till the end... so far, my analysis goes like that:
Season 1 = boring
Season 2 = Super boring
Roddenberry seems like he was a little bit nuts.
Why torture yourself?
No, he's not. And it's kind of disturbing you would think so.
Even though we know he's not asexual or aromantic, and even though we know he longs for a family, and even though we know plenty of Starfleet captains maintain successful relationships -- when we meet him in "Encounter at Farpoint," Jean-Luc Picard is a 59-year-old bachelor. Throughout TNG, he displays a chronic fear of intimacy -- he gives mixed signals to Beverly for twenty years, he mostly starts only casual relationships, he cuts serious relationships off when he's forced to confront the consequences of commitment.
Jean-Luc Picard is, from the moment we meet him, a messed-up dude. I've thought so for years. PIC S2 is the first time the canon is explaining why he's always been so messed up.
The fear of intimacy was already present in TNG.
TNG also saw him being: Mind-melded with a Vulcan suffering a degenerative neurological disease; be tortured for weeks by the Cardassians; lose his brother and nephew; find out he has a clone whom he's forced to kill; being forced to watch his ersatz son Data die in front of him that same day; and, of course, be assimilated by the Borg Collective and struggle with PTSD afterwards.
Sadly, yes. But stoicism is actually a deeply harmful, toxic way of living.
He's not just "reserved." Miles O'Brien is reserved, but he was able to enter and maintain a successful relationship and raise children. Jean-Luc Picard is a messed-up dude and always has been.
Trauma does not just "get resolved" and go away. That's not an honest depiction of how human psychology works.
He was never depicted as "a man in constant agony" either. He was, for instance, clearly not in "constant agony" in INS, and he was not in "constant agony" in "The Star Gazer." He was, however, someone with unresolved intimacy issues stemming from his childhood that he has spent a lifetime avoiding dealing with. He wasn't in agony, but he wasn't totally self-actualized either.
Which was always bullshit, a dishonest form of writing that did a disservice both to the characters and to the audience. I'm glad they don't do that crap anymore. You can have an optimistic, progressive future without that level of dishonesty.
ST writers have been rebelling against the false utopianism of early TNG since DS9. Throwing out the false utopianism while keeping the positive progressivism is a good creative decision.
It is the foundation of fiction.
"The Cage" opens with Pike considering leaving Starfleet because officers under his command were killed during a mission that happened before the episode began. The very first captain in the very first episode of the very first series has trauma.
Hate to tell you this, but everyone has trauma of some sort or other. A realistic depiction of a brighter, more optimistic future is one in which people acknowledge this and take action to work on their issues and receive support for doing so -- not the ridiculous lie that there's a such thing as living without trauma.
I didn't even take it as, he was afraid of passing schizophrenia to his children -- I took it as, he has an attachment disorder and is just afraid of losing people he loves.
Yep. In addition to the false utopianism of Gene Roddenberry at his creative nadir, TNG was also handicapped by the arbitrary creative limits imposed upon the writers by the conceits of U.S. broadcast television at the time. TNG accomplished a lot in spite of its artistic limitations, but it was a deeply compromised, deeply flawed show that was never able to reach the level of artistic sophistication that DS9 reached, or which modern Trek has reached.
Modern day stoicism? Yes. Actual Greek Philosophy stoicism? It actually steers more towards Dialectical Behavioral Therapy than I thought.
They've been predicting its cancellation for the past four seasons now.
DISCO and PICARD's success undermines their belief they are the voice of the geek masses.
My stance on these seasons:
PIC Season 1 = Awesome. I wasn't a TNGer, but this made me one.
PIC Season 2 = Started awesome, ended up okay, still good overall, but could've done more.
DSC Season 1 = Fucking Awesome. The rockiness gave it a quality I love. Party like there's no tomorrow.
DSC Season 2 = I liked it and it showed Trek as a fork in the road. Setting up SNW, S31, and later-DSC.
DSC Season 3 = Took its time to set-up and establish the 32nd Century in Discovery's immediate area.
DSC Season 4 = Back to awesome again, but in a different way. It's more steady, long-term, and higher-concept. It knows what it is and wears it on its sleeve.
Being reserved is a character trait. Not liking children is not that uncommon. We’re so into trauma and damaged-ness now as a society that normal, valid traits must be shown as the result of horrific childhood trauma.
I find him interesting and amusing in S1/2 of TNG when he is more the grumpy old man. Will picks up the charming/personable angle.
This development of “Oh, yeah, uh, JL’s mom was bipolar and he discovered her dead body,” just seems like writers grasping for something to do, like … hey, Character X has a long lost sibling or (or twin); or shazam! characters X and Y are in love.
It’s just kind of rando feeling after knowing this character since 1987.
And the mental illness and depth psychology was handled so clunkily. Endless running through the gothic horror tunnels underground? The “crazy lady” locked away? The obligatory, white-gauze-bedecked, swinging body in the solarium we all saw coming. This was so, so, so bad.
And it started so well. So, so well. It’s like the Tigers take a 7-1 lead over the Yankees, then get beaten 24-7. A thing of potential beauty that died a horrid death like Kes’s flowers in the hydroponics bay when she learned how to bring the fire.
Disappointing after the strong start, for sure. Disco level plot holes, for sure. But still enjoyable in a lot of ways. Not a failure.
Tier 1: TOS, TNG, DS9
Tier 2: VOY, ENT, LD
Tier 3: DISCO, PIC, PRO
Tier 4: TAS
You might want to consider that a not insignificant number of this board's posters have dealt with mental illness and suicide in their families.
They're not exactly uncommon qualities in RL.
My reservedness is not due to trauma but that doesn't mean I don't find value in understanding people who have experienced it like that.
One of the biggest things I try to take from Trek is not assuming the background of characters but to find common ground in disparate backgrounds.
Give Picard twenty years. You'll be singing its praises.
Every show in tier two was trashed when they first came out (LD: "OMG! They're turning Trek into Rick and Morty!")
Funny how that works. I still remember all the baseless vitriol surrounding DS9.
DS9: "It's too dark! It's so depressing! It doesn't go anywhere!"
I will be genuinely amazed if Picard or DISCO are attracting regularly rewatches in 20 years.
Having done 20 years on this BBS, I'm happy to do another just to see whether this comes to pass
Plynch, you nailed it. Not everyone does have trauma or battle scars, and I enjoyed watching Trek when it preferred to describe people who were evolved enough to deal with bad things and for the most part, process them and move on without burden. There are hundreds of shows I can watch about damaged characters who are "just like all of us". Trek's USP was that it talked about a time when humans were a better version of themselves, yet still interesting.
As I say, fiction is full of relatable broken people. A huge pity that breaking characters that weren't is how modern writers seek to make them 'interesting'.
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