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

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by Bad Thoughts, Aug 5, 2019.

  1. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    ... I can say that I find the complaints about Discovery to be 25% more stupid than I did before (no secret license for this opinion). There were improvements across the board, including in areas that I previously expressed reservations. I am more excited for the third season than I am for ST:PIC or any potential Pike series.

    One of the biggest complaints I had about the first season is that it put plot ahead of character. The example I put forward was that Stammets' reunion with Culber in the mycelial network should have been a full episode. This season had a lot of great character moments, "If Memory Serves" being a standout in this respect. As good as these were, they were often presented almost at the last moment. They did not serve to build up the relationships, as they should. Project Daedalus had wonderful scenes showing the conviviality between many characters, especially those that tended not to be in the spotlight, but they came only as a framing device for Airiam's death. They should have appeared earlier in the season. Being an unabashed Niner, I think they need to look more to the Bashir-O'Brien friendship, which was built up slowly over years.

    Michael Burnham is a great character. I'm not sure if there was any particular improvement from season one in writing the character or in SM-G's acting, but I found myself feeling that scenes with her were more important than those without. The actress has a firm grasp on the character's duality, and it worked well with the stories. She is probably my second favorite female character, and SM-G is probably the best actress in the franchise.

    In general, the characters improved and felt more genuine. Mount was wonderful, and I'll be happy if he gets his own show, but I did not feel that Pike was moving the story along as much as Burnham. Conversely, this is the best version of Pike, and the only one about whom I want to see more stories. Ash Tyler is still a drag. Stammets was wonderful, and I feel invested in his personal life. Saru is good, but it feels like the character isn't as well filled out as it should be. Maybe the future will show more personal interactions for him. In spite of the scene where the Emperor tries to seduce Stammets, I think Michelle Yeoh is being misused.

    Serialization of Discovery is obviously a hot topic, but I have to say that Discovery isn't doing anything special with it. The series did slow down from its season one pace, which I appreciate. However, the story about Control trying to wipe out biological life was unoriginal and simple. As the narrative came more into view, it seemed that it was being drawn out unnecessarily (let's not forget Kirk outthought Nomad in less than an hour). Luckily, the season did not depend on the Control story. Control was really a wraparound for what were really smaller arcs and standalone episodes. Hopefully, the writers will build the third season around the characters and the challenges they face rather than imagine an ending and working towards it.

    All said, I really like the series: more than TNG, Voyager and Enterprise; less than DS9 and TOS. I wrote that Season One felt more like trying to translate the film experience to the small screen. Season Two felt more like great television, perhaps a series that fulfilled what Enterprise promised and more. The themes--sacrifice vs. compromise, being the change you want to see--are a bit broad, but they honestly are in line with Trek's ethics. I am almost a little sad that the series has left the 23rd century: I think it earned enough credit to play with continuity, although I guess that could still do that from the distant future as part of the Temporal Cold War.
     
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  2. KennyB

    KennyB Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I agree with most of your post but this last part sums it up nicely. I too kind of wish they could stay where they are but I am sure they are tired of having to triple guess and research EVERY SINGLE THING to make sure it doesn't violate canon and send the masses into meltdown mode. I am excited for season 3 and hope they can maintain the current level, we will know this time next year I guess!
     
  3. NewHeavensNewEarth

    NewHeavensNewEarth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    You got through that quickly after season 1! Well done!
     
  4. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, I was, as before, watching with my thirteen year old son, who was eager to watch. It was hard to stop him from watching three in a row.
     
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  5. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm sure appeasing the detractors is beyond tiring, but if I am not mistaken, didn't Bryan Fuller's original pitch have some element of a story that took place in various eras? Only in that case, there would be a different crew, not the same crew traveling time.
     
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  6. Tuskin38

    Tuskin38 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Allegedly his original pitch was an anthology series, each season would have a been a different time period.
     
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  7. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    So the writers might still be mining ideas left over from Bryan Fuller, merely using time travel to get Discovery to different sections of whatever he had imagined.
     
  8. Terok Nor

    Terok Nor Commodore Commodore

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    Season 2 was an improvement from Season 1 but I still don't care about the main characters. Pike, Spock, Number One, Vina, The Talosians, Control, Georgiou and the Enterprise were the best parts of the season. I literally couldn't care less about the crew of Discovery. After 2 seasons that's pretty bad.
     
  9. Jadeb

    Jadeb Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Yeah, I kinda agree. The best parts have all been taken from elsewhere. When it comes to Discovery’s original characters, the show is really relying on a likable cast to make up for the shortfalls in the writing. I find myself liking Stamets and Culber, for example, even though the poor actors have been given little to work with and spent the second season walking back a big mistake from the first. Like most of the crew, Stamets and Culber still feel more like ideas of characters — roughed-in summaries — than flesh-and-blood people.

    That said, the show made a good effort with Saru this year. Hopefully that sort of character focus continues next season. I’d gladly forsake another epic storyline for something more intimate that lets us finally get to know these people.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
  10. Rahul

    Rahul Commodore Commodore

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    To be honest, DIS is to Star Trek kinda' what "Man of Steel" and "Batman v. Superman" is to DC comics. They obviously tried. But I think they bit off more than they could chew: There is a shit-ton of lip-service to larger philosophical themes. But it's all surface level. And, worst of all, it get's betrayed by the actual narrative. Because the narrative is so simple - stop the badguy with violence - all these themes feel so... tacked on?

    And the structure is even worse - because the main conflict is essentially all-or-nothing, there are no measningdfull confrontations besides the very last one, which solves the main plot. It's like a movie, where the 1st act is dragged out over 2 hours, and then jumps straight into the 3rd one, the resolution, without actually ever establishing the 2nd one - which is supposed to be the main confrontation and actual meat of the story, where the themes of the story get explored in praxis.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
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  11. KennyB

    KennyB Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Didn't you just describe 90% of Trek from the past 50 years?
     
  12. Rahul

    Rahul Commodore Commodore

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    From the last 20-30? Definitely. The last 50? Absolutely not. It you watch TOS and TNG - violence was very rarely the solution.

    That trend started with DS9's endless war stories. And since the last few seasons of VOY and most of ENT, the TNG movies, the Kelvin movies, and DIS - Trek had primarily become a stupid action franchise, with SF concepts suddenly being secondary. Incidentally - that's also the time frame Star Trek stopped being a mainstream experience, and into a niché show. You can get action anywhere, and often times there are better alternatives.
     
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  13. Jadeb

    Jadeb Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I thought they did much better this year, mixing in the Pike plotline and the business with Saru's people, even if the Kelpians' appearance in the finale made me roll my eyes. These smaller stakes are much more effective, for me, than the overwrought "universe is ending!!!" stuff.

    I dunno. I tend to think that shift to the generic action-comedy template is what *made* the franchise go mainstream, if only briefly, during the Abrams era. It just wasn't sustainable. People saw it, had enough of it, moved on. But it made a lot of money, so the powers-that-be are sticking with the blockbuster format in hopes of bottlng lightning twice, and that's really unhealthy for the franchise in the long run. I hope the Picard show diversifies the storytelling.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
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  14. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The question of how much Star Trek reflects the level of violence in media in general has been debated for a while, and it's not likely to be resolved here. I would note that TNG certainly upped the ante when it came to the presentation of conflict on TV during its era, and technically speaking, violence was never ultimately the solution to any conflict in Discovery or DS9. Indeed, Season One of Discovery ended rather quietly, with the crew choosing to trust the Klingons to turn over a new leaf. (Unfortunately, the build up to that ending wasn't well developed.) On the other hand, there are few tools to combat eliminationism ITRW, and genocide what not a topic that Roddenberry actively avoided.

    The big problem I see is that these so-called arcs (and I regard season 2 as united more by a wraparound than a singular story) is that they are epic without being relevant. People fighting to prevent their imminent extinction is not as compelling as it is obvious. The threat of Control was presented in such a way that the most extreme reactions were the only ones that could be taken, and there was little discussion about the role of artificial intelligence in the series in general.
     
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  15. Noname Given

    Noname Given Admiral Admiral

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    ^^^
    Seriously, I think you really need to rewatch TOS.
     
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  16. KennyB

    KennyB Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    I think you should check again...........:guffaw::lol::guffaw:
     
  17. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Admiral Admiral

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    That's why we have a manual on Kirk Fu. Because violence was rarely the solution.
     
  18. KennyB

    KennyB Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Best scene ever......the end of Wrath of Khan when Kirk says "Let's hug it out bitch" Khan embraces Kirk....fade to black...closing credits.........
     
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  19. Bad Thoughts

    Bad Thoughts Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Actually, the better example is Omega Glory, an episode Gene Roddenberry wrote as a potential pilot for the series: although jingoism ended up being the solution, violence was nonetheless part of the process.
     
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  20. starsuperion

    starsuperion Commodore Commodore

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    OMG... There are no generalities anymore. Its all or nothing. Seriously..
    Yea Kirk was quick,with a fist when needed. But also would look for a solution outside of violence on occasion. The rock Monster episode was definitely one where Kirk shows enlightened compassion towards an alien species, unlike anything humanity had seen.the Horta Probably became a great mining tool for colonizers as pets or companions to under developed colony worlds.

    TOS had a good message, and TNG took that to another level. Modern Trek is about politics, big explosions, and superficial meaning. Its lost the philosophical element that made it interesting. Asking the bigger questions of why, and who arw we as a people as we surf the stars. I missed the sci-fi trope and big ideas of the Asimov, Jules Verne and Ray Bradbury kind. Now it's just junk story writing.

    Stupid lines like "I like the Science!" Seriously...Spock is a science officer. Isnt that a given??? Cringe...SMH. So classic Trek is a product of its time. Modern Trek is a product of the licenses the holder has to work with. In my opinion, the 25% difference is that magic that was lost.
     
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