Spoilers Is Picard season 2 a failure?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Picard' started by Ometiklan, Apr 26, 2022.

  1. The Emissary

    The Emissary Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    Location:
    The Celestial Temple
    It's more important to resolve the plot lines then to have plot lines that weren't all over the place and overcrowding in a 10 episode span?

    I'll agree to disagree...
     
  2. gvn2fly

    gvn2fly Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2016
    Me too. It's really hard to take anything serious after that. I also don't see anything in Picard trying to be "edgy" like the poster said (I'd guess that word was taken taken from the article by the OP). Complaining that Season 2 is trying to be "too edgy" is what I'd expect from someone who hasn't seen the show.
     
  3. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    Location:
    fireproof78
    Well, I like resolution to plots.

    I know, it's weird.
     
    Jack Wolfe likes this.
  4. Jack Wolfe

    Jack Wolfe Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    The ranters fall into two main camps: those that base their rants on rants they watched on YouTube, and those that have already decided how the story should be told (usually down to the last detail) and blow a gasket when said story unfolds in a different way. Both camps come away sounding like they didn't really watch the episode they seem on the verge of a coronary over because, well, they didn't.
     
  5. gvn2fly

    gvn2fly Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2016
    I don't think it's a failure. On an episode by episode basis I'm mostly really enjoying it. I think my issue is that after the first half of the season, I'm just not as interested in some of the overall plot points as I was in the beginning. Some episodes were really short, that I felt like that time could have been used for better character development. It's also seemed to have lost focus. We'll see how it all comes together though.

    Some things I *really* haven't liked.

    -The concept of "The Watcher" and it looking exactly like Laris.

    -The Borg Queen conveniently saying The Watcher was at Guinan's bar.

    -The entire sequence in Picard's mind. I would have liked a more natural way to develop his past than literal cheap looking monsters in his mind.

    -Poor development of the Seven/Raffi relationship/these characters not having much to do

    -Dragging on the mystery of what was going on with Q and what he wants/why he changed the timeline.

    -A 35 minute episode that just took place at the Gala so hardly moved the plot along - felt like this could have been combined with the previous short episode. This episode having Agnes conveniently placed in the surveillance room when she was discovered. Same complaint about the plot not moving/nothing interesting happening about the episode in Picard's mind.

    -Mysteries for the sake of mysteries, most of which still haven't been answered as of the beginning of 2.9 (What Q wants and why he's doing what he's doing, how did history change, What Soong's involvement is, what his daughter's involvement is, why is Q helping Soong/his daughter)

    -Guinan screaming into a bottle she conveniently has in order to summon Q

    What I've liked to varying degrees:

    -Everything else

    Edit to add: Am I really still looking forward to the next episode each week? Yup! So I guess that means the show is still overall working for me.
     
  6. gvn2fly

    gvn2fly Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2016
    Different writers/showrunners though. Most of last years writers have not written for this season. The showrunner that said he didn't want this to be TNG season 8 is no longer showrunner of the show and the new shorunner seems to want to go into a different direction, especially with what may be the last opportunity to have all these characters together on screen. Also, I think just because the TNG case will be in season 3 doesn't mean it's going to be TNG Season 8.
     
    Jack Wolfe and Ray Hardgrit like this.
  7. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    Location:
    fireproof78
    No, it's actually called people changing their f***ing minds, like humans do. Matalas is in charge, not Chabon, and even Stewart has soften on Picard not being in Starfleet any more since doing season 1. So, yeah, things change.
     
  8. dinzy

    dinzy Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2015
    Location:
    Drinking Jippers on a beach somewhere in MD
    The pacing sucks. In 10 40 minute episodes they need to keep the plot moving forward. It seems like it digs into peripheral details too much and only sprinkles a little bit of info that moves the story forward. 8 Episodes in and they need to start wrapping it up so I suspect the last 2 episodes will be more intense.

    I have enjoyed the anticipation and want more, I just feel like I am being given a low fat, low sugar, low carb version of the story. Maybe it should have been 6 or 7 episodes long and dropped all at once for binging.
     
    Mechanoid1 likes this.
  9. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    Location:
    fireproof78
    Healthier for you than binging. Bad for your health.
     
  10. The Emissary

    The Emissary Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    Location:
    The Celestial Temple
    Right ... but why these particular changes?

    I'm not really buying that the new S2/S3 writers/showrunner just wanted to randomly change course and it happens to address/correct a lot of the issues that critics had of season 1 or critics of the news that PIC was going to be as non-TNG as possible.

    Now S3 is bringing back the old TNG cast together for one last mission/adventure/whatever.

    I agree completely. It always irritated me that people think having the cast together again would just be repeating the old stuff because they've run out of ideas or whatever. With a good story, they can do something new with the original cast.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2022
  11. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    Location:
    fireproof78
    Because showrunners changed, and Stewart had a different idea.

    That's why.
     
    Richard S. Ta and Jack Wolfe like this.
  12. STEPhon IT

    STEPhon IT Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Location:
    Sunny California
    I agree, like DISCO, these streaming series feel like a connected set of motion pictures, mini-movies, and I feel they're conducted that way for that aim. When or if Viacom decides to promote those series into cinemas I think the transition will be seamless.
     
    Richard S. Ta likes this.
  13. Norad

    Norad Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2021
    Well, some people here say there are a lot of irrelevant side stories and shallow dialog. I guess that's right, but I think there is mainly probably another problem at hand.

    Traditionally, many stories functioned in a way that pretty early a goal is defined and presented to the audience and then the audience can accompany the protagonists while they try to accomplish said goal. In some cases, at the end it showed that the original goal maybe weren't actually the best idea after all and the protagonist found some meaning like "you already had all you needed all the time", but still the audience could join the journey naturally for the whole time span of the story.

    Then there were some clever stories that had some twists that only in the end showed to the audience that actually the whole story of the movie was completely different from what the audience believed it to be for the whole time. These worked because 1. the originally presented idea of the goal of the story was fully convincing up until the twist and 2. the reversed goal that the twist presented still made absolute sense with everything previously seen in the movie.

    Sadly, after that many people in the industry wanted to follow this "cool" approach (similarly like anyone wants to tell a serialized story without having any good story for it), but by looking at the twist these authors totally forgot about the original idea of the goal presented to the audience, changing it from a "twist reveal" to a kind of "don't mind why all this happens, we will explain at the end!" Now, even if this is done with a solution that is fully logical, it makes it impossible for the audience to accompany the protagonists on their journey. (e.g. Burnham having to work for Lorca without knowing what it is about) If executed badly, even the solution in the end doesn't make any sense, leaving the audience in the end with no explanation in the first place and then a "twist reveal" that still does not explain anything seen before (like DIS seasons 1 and 2).

    Now, in PIC season 2, there is totally still the possibility that they probably give a fully logical explanation what is going on and what the actual goal for the protagonists will have been the whole time. But like described above, until now (episode 8), it haven't been revealed and so for most of the audience it is just a random sequence of diversions, kind of stumbling around in scenes.

    Some people heavily look at the plot and its logic to follow a story and for these, this season is difficult to watch. Other people look more at other aspects and so they probably are super-satisfied with this season.

    I liked the Star Trek-asthetics of the Stargazer scene in the first episode (that finally gave me some Star Trek that actually felt like the future for the first time in PIC). But I belong to the first group and therefore, I really am not engaged by this season. I am still tuning in each week and I want to know how they try to resolve it in the end, but until now it is really quite boring and meaningless to me and it is difficult to see any possibility that this can really be redeemed in the last two hours in a meaningful way. One cannot just tell at the end something that magically makes all the eight previous boring hours into a super-fun time experience. Quite honestly, I am currently way more excited for the start of SNW than for the season finale of PIC - and that is really not a good sign in regards of a serialized season.
    Right now, I am wondering whether we watched 7 hours* of 2024 just because Jean-Luc Picard had to deliver one small motivation speech to Renee Picard (and everything else was just filler) - or whether the solution actually will be a very long, boring version of the twist from All Good Things... aka "You created the alteration in time yourself by your time travel.", which would mean that the crew really didn't accomplish anything at all, but killed buttloads of butterflies for 7 episodes and screwed themselves this way.

    * meaning: TV series hours (episodes 3 through 9).

    Nevertheless, I still think it is in some points a significant improvement to season 1: e.g. the fore-mentioned Stargazer-scene and that even the worst part of season 2 was way better then the worst part of season 1 (yeah, I mean that ridiculous 45-minute advertisement for cold-blood murder).

    We will have to wait for the last two episodes for the final verdict; my prognosis is that PIC season 2 (PIC.2) will be better than PIC.1, DIS.1 and DIS.2, but worse than DIS.4. So, I wouldn't call it a failure, but it definitely has a lot of room for improvement.
     
  14. Ometiklan

    Ometiklan Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2003
    Location:
    Silver Spring, MD
    Eh, I was surprised as anyone to see the title and checked it out on a whim. They made some good points that I found myself, unfortunately, agreeing with.

    Unfortunately, the 2024 arc is basically the entire season - or about 75% of it so far...doesn't speak well for the season at large.

    I don't think it has to betray everything else to be a failure. There are many ways it could be a failure. For me, I have found myself growing increasingly bored by this season and let down. When I think analytically about the story and plot (as opposed to just enjoying it as entertainment) I find that it doesn't look much like Star Trek to me - certainly not like TNG (my sentimental favorite series, and the one I think is second best in quality overall). But then again, this season does kind of feel like a rather mediocre two-parter episode of TNG that would have been at home in season 7 when the writers were running out of ideas and the stories occasionally sagged.

    Wow, so many things I feel exactly the same way about, but also so many I feel exactly the opposite about. I love time travel stories, I love Star Trek IV, and I have largely enjoyed the Borg Queen (even if I didn't like many of Voyager's Borg storylines). I agree that like most of modern Trek, the actors are almost uniformly great (except Isa), the show looks great, and Q and Picard are always welcome/great characters. It's just all the actual plot that falls down for me.

    I agree with almost everything you said. Again, there are different definitions of "failure", but I would have to agree a better description of it would be "disappointment". After the amazing quality of the first 1.5 episodes, I have really felt let down since.

    If the final two episodes are as good as the first, and wrap up the storyline well, I probably will only think of this season as really being 4 episodes long with a bunch of boring junk I can ignore in the middle.

    Actually, I don't watch any of those crappy video reviews of modern Trek. I agree that they generally seem to just be trashing the new Trek because it isn't the old Trek. And believe me, that I have tried to watch and just enjoy this whole season without overthinking it. Just as I tried to with seasons 3 and 4 of Discovery before this. But partway into these seasons I start to get really bored and unengaged by the mediocrity. And then, the minute I sat down and think to myself "why am I not enjoying this season as much as I was in the first couple of episodes?", all this analysis just falls out of my head and I felt I needed to purge it somewhere. Also, I'd say 95% of my complaints were my own, supplemented by a few cogent thoughts I noted in others' reviews.

    I think this is spot on. If this were a 3-partner, there would have been (for good or bad) some momentum, some coherency to it all. But, so far in 8 episodes there is not. It does feel like they had 8 different story ideas - ideas that might have made for 8 individual episodes of Picard, but instead they chopped them all up, spread them all out over 8 episodes with no thought to connecting them in any way. And in the end the story logic ends up poor, many characters (and actors) are underserved, the justifications for any given episode or character decision is poor, and it just doesn't work well. (Again, for me.)

    To top it all off, I am not even sure this is really science fiction. Maybe once the Picard/Renee/Q/Borg storyline is wrapped up, there might be some arc about how "time travel can help us view or participate in other people's lives and thus help us to examine our own", but I think this kind of thing was way better done in "Tapestry" (or many of the other previous Trek episodes that Matalas clearly is referencing this season).
     
    The Emissary likes this.
  15. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    Location:
    fireproof78
    That's a feature, not a bug. It is not TNG. Nothing will be TNG, for a long, long, list of reasons.
    Time travel, mind reading, nanobots, and spaceships. This is the weirdest Western I've ever seen. ;)

    More seriously, yes, this is science fiction, perhaps a bit softer but science fiction none the less.
     
    JoaquinSlowly and Richard S. Ta like this.
  16. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Location:
    Aug 10, 2399
    Today's Tuesday, right? And Episode 209 is coming out Thursday, right? Episode 210 the Thursday after that? Let me do some math in my head...

    ... and, yeah, we can talk about whether or not Picard Season 2 is a "failure" in nine days' time. It'll be here before you know it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2022
  17. STEPhon IT

    STEPhon IT Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2010
    Location:
    Sunny California
    PICARD doesn't have to be compelling; it just has to finish its course for what Viacom All Access + is prematurely advertising. The Return of Star Trek: The Next Generation in season 3.
     
  18. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    Location:
    fireproof78
    [​IMG]
     
    Reanok, Richard S. Ta and Lord Garth like this.
  19. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Location:
    Montgomery County, State of Maryland
    Absolutely not. "The Star Gazer" was the kind of story that can only come after you've previously going through hell. PIC S1 needed to go through darkness and end in light on order to earn the kind of optimism that "The Star Gazer" depicted.

    Also, frankly, I found "The Star Gazer"'s unabashed celebration of institutionalism kind of disappointing. PIC S1's distrust of large institutions was a breath of fresh air in a franchise that is normally stifling in its unquestioned depiction of space military service as the highest virtue.

    A lot of those "pointless fetch quests" are rather obviously about reminding the audience that the world they live in today in real life is one that could easily lead to the totalitarian nightmare of the Confederacy of Earth.

    This makes no sense. People with mental illnesses sometimes have episodes where they get better or worse, and the events of the last few episodes of PIC literally take place over the course of maybe 24 hours. The point of the whole thing was to make sure Renee would be okay long enough to go into quarantine with the rest of the crew.

    These storylines are not meandering, and the fact that the show does not hit the reset button at the end of every episode is a good thing. They are advancing at a pace that is appropriate for a serialized ten-episode season.

    Also, Rios and Teresa are wonderful.

    I actually do agree that the crew should have taken more safety measures towards controlling the Queen. In fairness to the crew, however, their resources are extremely limited -- there's no reason to think La Sirena has security field technology, for instance. The bit where Jurati decided to just leave the ship ungarded was bullshit though.

    Nope. The crew need to stay split up. This part is appropriate plot-wise.

    It is also a necessity, because COVID procedures required that the cast spend most of its filming time divided up into smaller groups to mitigate potential COVID spread. I'm sorry, but if we want the luxury of entertaining television during a worldwide pandemic the likes of which no one has seen since the Spanish Influenza, then we have to just suspend a certain amount of disbelief for things like dividing the crew up most of the season.

    These are not plot holes. They're nit-picks that mostly demonstrate you weren't paying attention.

    Presumably because he needs money and equipment and cannot run everything himself.

    I think this is an example of Trek fans needing to remember that this show is also being made for people who are not hardcore fans who remember or care that "Space Seed" in 1966 established the Eugenics Wars as happening from 1992-1996. The writers are handling this bit perfectly: It's not strictly important to the PIC story so they're not overtly referring to it, but if you know the backstory it adds a nice bonus to seeing the scenes.

    That's not a problem. That is a good thing.

    That is not a problem. That is a good thing.

    I don't even know what you mean by "no other impacts."

    And PIC S2 makes it clear that Adam Soong's innovations have been secret and that the Europa mission is a big deal because it appears to be either the first such mission or one of the first such missions.

    As I said, there is some level of suspension of disbelief you have to accept if we're gonna get our fancy TV shows during a pandemic.

    It is indeed a fundamental conceit of PIC S2 that the 2024 of the Star Trek Universe is almost exactly like our own, to make a point about how the world we live in today can either become the utopia of Star Trek or the totalitarian nightmare of episode 2.

    The entire point of that episode was that at some point, you have to trust people instead of trying to manipulate them.

    I fundamentally disagree with a lot of your criteria for what makes a show "bad." I think PIC S2 would be far weaker if its vision of 2024 was full of sci-fi bullshit.

    God I am so tired of this "heroic best officers in our wonderful space military" institutional reverence bullshit Trek has spent 60 years peddling.
     
    Tommy D, 777, Turtletrekker and 2 others like this.
  20. FederationHistorian

    FederationHistorian Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2020
    Location:
    The Kelvinverse
    Its fine the cast are broken off into smaller groups to protect themselves from Covid during filming. The entire cast isn’t needed together in order for Raffi and Seven to discuss Elnor, or Teresa being aware of the Europa mission being imminent and thinking Rios is related to the mission as someone who works in outer space. Or Soong briefly discussing the significance of the Shenzhen Conventions with Kore or that board of doctors that took his license away. This is really more a case of editing, which as noted, isn’t very strong this season. And indirectly shows how Short Treks is beneficial to the shows currently airing, by weeding out the weak writers from the stronger writers.

    For all the critiques regarding not hiring superfans, at least superfans would have at least tried to aim for stronger writing. Largely because superfans tend to be critical of Trek in order to have a deeper understanding of the stories and characters presented to them. And consider how to create more challenging situations and critical dialogue to challenge what been established so far.

    What was written instead was something that was more pop in nature in order to not lay a bunch of lore onto viewers. Although I don’t think long times fans would have been bothered, and good writers know how to appeal to both the superfans and those that are new fans.

    And it suffers from a lack of stronger editing around eps 5-7 – the episodes that could have been condensed from three shorter episodes into two longer episodes. Episode 6 should not exist as is, although I do appreciate the effort for a story occurring real time.