Now that I've finished Season One ... (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by Bad Thoughts, Jul 29, 2019.

  1. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 19, 2013
    Containment Area for Relocated Yankees
    ... I can honestly say I don't get what the brouhaha was about. I rather enjoyed it. Did I think it was perfect? No. Did I think it was Star Trek? Yes, although more like a Star Trek movie than a Star Trek TV show. Am I excited to watch season 2? Yes.

    My son and I watched the first batch of episodes when they were first put on CBS-AA. We weren't impressed enough at the time to keep paying for a subscription to watch week-to-week. Instead, we intended to binge once all the episodes were available. Unfortunately, we never found the time to get back in. I did follow the anger and discontent that grew around the series, and it seemed to me that most of the critiques were focused on trivial matters. I personally didn't care that it looked differently, that it seemed contradict what we know about characters and stories in other series, or that it seemed un-Trek. Indeed, I thought it was obviously setting up an arc in which the values of the Federation would be redeemed and the characters would reaffirm the mission for which they signed up. Unbeknownst to me, my son was following the criticisms as well, and he was convinced by them.

    What I didn't like, which was seldom reflected in the criticism, was the pacing and the focus on plot over character. It felt like the series was constantly driving to the next reveal or the next challenge, and we weren't learning about the crew and their relationships.

    We blitzed through the remaining episodes every night since Friday, finishing early this morning. It was really good. The latter episodes were much better than the first batch. We both still had a list of criticisms, but we felt that the general critique about claimed the legacy of the franchise was being co-opted (or whatever it was) was completely unfounded. There were hallmarks of Star Trek: as many building bridges solutions as there were technobabble solutions. I could have done without the Ash Tyler story, but I don't think there was some sort of conspiracy in it. OTOH, I think Michael Burnham is a great character, perhaps better a narrator than a central character, but nonetheless very interesting.

    My feelings about the series can be summed up by the story of Stamets wandering through the mycelial network in "Vaulting Ambition." The conceit of the episode--Stamets interacting with his mirror counterpart--was rather clever, and the last scene with Culber was incredibly tender. What made the story effective, I think, was that we got a modicum of buildup of Stamets' personality, his interest in the network, and his relationship. The story reminded me of several Star Trek stories, like Remember Me, Things Past, and Extreme Measures. Stamets' story could have been a great episode in that vein, but it wasn't an episode. It was one of three plots in the episode. And not having the depth of character development, the payoff is limited. Extreme Measures was not as good of a story, but it cashed out on years of development of the relationship between Bashir and O'Brien based on whole episodes, not just passing glances of their friendship.

    Going into the next season, I'm going to keep in mind that the producers are more likely to be making a cinematic experience writ small. Perhaps it was the third best 1st season of all the Trek series, but I think it makes sense to compare it to the films, being better than the Kelvin movies and probably half the TOS and TNG movies. I'm looking forward to season 2 (I already know things that will happen) and even season 3.
  2. NewHeavensNewEarth

    NewHeavensNewEarth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jan 16, 2019
    Glad you enjoyed it! Buckle up for season 2! It really must be binged, even more than season 1.
    Bad Thoughts likes this.
  3. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Nov 5, 2008
    King Daniel Beyond
    I'm amazed season one was as good as it was, with all the behind-the-scenes turmoil that went on. I think season 2 is even better.
  4. Amasov

    Amasov Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Nov 24, 2001
    Now that the dust has long-settled, I've really come to enjoy season one. At first, I was slightly put off by it because it wasn't like the other Trek shows; there was something up about the captain, weird shit was happening, and the crew wasn't very nice to Burnham -- none of them seemed likable AT ALL. I took all of this into perspective and realized it was because we were seeing this all from Michael's angle; after what she did, why WOULD anyone be nice to her?

    Season one was a real character to journey for her and I really enjoyed seeing her gain the respect of her piers. Might be an unpopular opinion, but, I think Green is a great actress and she really makes the show hers. Yes, I could have done without her near-constant emotional breakdowns (which increase in frequency in season two), but otherwise, I think she's a terrific lead. Really looking forward to seeing how she further grows for season three.
  5. CorporalClegg

    CorporalClegg Admiral Admiral

    Aug 23, 2001
    Nuevo México
    I don't understand the issues people have with Burnham's emotional outbursts. The core element of her character arc is that she desperately clings to the idea that she can be Vulcan and yet, no matter how much she wishes it, she'll never be.
  6. Amasov

    Amasov Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Nov 24, 2001
    I guess? I don't know. Maybe it's me, but, I never saw too much of a Vulcan/Human struggle in her or at the very least, it never seemed to be explored enough.
    Jadeb likes this.
  7. TrekkieBorg1701Z

    TrekkieBorg1701Z Lieutenant Junior Grade Red Shirt

    Aug 4, 2019
    I think season 2 is where the series rely takes off. I loved season 1, but 2 blew me away.

    I always saw her story as her trying to walk in two world's. Vulcan and human, just like Spock.
  8. DaveyNY

    DaveyNY Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    May 14, 2001
    But not having anywhere near the control of her emotions that Spock had, nor she thought she had.
    Growing up on Vulcan, gave her neither the cold emotionless logic she desperately tried to emulate, nor the temperament to handle emotional situations with humans.
    (or her own internal ones)
    She didn't fit in in either society, that is until she was forced to by Lorca and his (devious) plans to get himself back to the Mirror Universe and drag her along.
    Burnham was unknowingly at first, forced into a situation on board Discovery where having to interact and make friends would culminate in her finally figuring out how to survive her very unorthodox upbringing.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019