Discussion in 'Star Trek: Picard' started by Timofnine, Apr 24, 2023.
I like Season 3 better, but I thought Season 2 had more social commentary.
'Mindless' is rather harsh.
I'd say very little social commentary, but plenty on the ideas of personal growth, how age changes people, the dynamics of family, etc.
I don't think it has to focus on macro issues to be judged mindful.
Agreed. Literal social commentary, much more overt than in TOS even.
TOS had the good sense to wrap it in sci-fi metaphors - i.e. true allegory. The sort of messaging that acts like a mind worm and gets people thinking.
PIC season 2 went for direct commentary, which is the storytelling equivalent of bashing your viewer over the head. And one would hope after the last few years we'd learned that shouting down the other side really doesn't work.
In that sense, I'd say neither season was truly allegorical. Whereas one could argue that season 1 had some - e.g. Guinan's fears of an android slave race writ large.
What did Season 2 have to say? The series plopped the characters into the same world of Past Tense, but instead of affirming that episodes lessons or finding new ones, showed the solutions to difficult problems in investment in technology. There's a miracle cure to the climate crisis, no need to re-think energy usage. Moreover, the detained immigrants turned out to be as much the lawless jackals that conservative talk radio depicts. Sure, ICE officials were shown to be abusive, but the corrupt, abusive cop is a generic type. Given that my family survived the forced repatriations of the 1930s, I was insulted by the shallow take on the so-called immigration problem.
This is why I quit the show. I'm not saying the UK climate is perfect, but when I watch Picard it's just Americans upset with each other an I don't want to sit and watch it for hours. And there's a selfishness. The original series had positivity even against the backdrop of things like the cold war. With the new series the writers were scared and angry and they push that into the show.
Season 3 at least moved away from that un-subtle and insulting 'commentary' at every turn.
And it's at times like this that you get called a racist (literally happened here at Trek BBS) or a Republican or a Tory or some such. Because heavens forbid you'd have contrary opinion. But the thing is I'm gay and liberal. But I like good storytelling and I don't want to feel the writer's hand so heavily force feeding me their narrative, and a very US-focused narrative at that.
As far as the reactions from the anti-woke crowd are concerned, this season was an allegory for the scene of Bob Belcher literally grasping at straws.
Let me add that Picard never dealt with the immigrant and refugee problems it set up in season 1, the Romulans and XBs
I think baby Guinan's tearful speech to Picard was really overt. The fighting between Raffi and Seven seemed to mimic a lot of what was happening between people at that time, Rios wanting to live where he felt he belonged vs. where time says he belonged or whatever. Just because a plot sucks doesn't mean there is no social commentary.
Agreed. It was like someone threw some news articles and a bad novel into a cookie cutter. Definitely no allegories in my actual literary opinion. But it was definitely political and I think part of the reason they opted for a showrunner change...
Bang on. There's more than one way to care about and address these things, and yelling and being angry generally solves nothing; it's an act of self-pleasure that makes the perpetrator feel good and usually emboldens and hardens the behaviour you're mad about. That people move into such binary camps where one must think and act one way or else be branded an opponent is most un-Trek like. Surely, infinite diversity in infinite combinations?
Certain things in Trek have never been about catering to all POV's. There are some subjects in Trek, from TOS through current, where it is very clearly said that certain policies and values are wrong
They definitely miscalculated by taking a setting that was supposed to be an exploration of "this is what's going to happen in 30 years if we don't do something about it" back in Deep Space Nine, and revisited it in a time when it was already contemporary, where the only thing you could take from it is the message that "yep, Deep Space Nine wasn't that far off, actually" (your mileage may vary of course).
But the actual really shitty messaging for me from that season came with the reveal that Renée's spaceflight brought home some magic space microbes that magically cleaned up pollution overnight. Which was something I was already afraid back at the start of the season that it was going to happen. Seriously, Star Trek portraying the message that we won't solve/mitigate climate change by learning to be more responsible for our environment or setting aside differences and cooperating with each other, but rather through a literal deus ex machina? Thanks, but no.
If it helps it is clear in Picard Season 2 and SNW Season 1 that Earth and the human species still have some really interesting times ahead
I said Season 2 had more to say about social issues. I didn't say it was good at presenting them.
Which is why I like Season 3 better. Season 3 knows what it is and goes all in.
In an era where literal fascism is emerging as a powerful political force again, I for one reject the idea that it's good to cloak your message in allegory. Sometimes messages need to be hammered home directly.
That's one way to interpret it. Another way is that it's saying even in the darkest of times, we need to invest in scientific research and exploration for doing so can pay unexpected dividends.
Yeah, those are offensive.
I'm not questioning the validity of presenting a message directly, I just think it didn't serve the season well that they took a setting that was a hypothetical exploration of the 2020s from a mid-90s perspective and tried welding it onto a recognizably contemporary 2020s. But what truly makes the commentary in Season 2 really weak in my view is that they attempted to provide a critique of a kitchen sink of contemporary issues, but instead of presenting them as different but interconnected facets of the same fundamentally broken system, serving as a critique of the neoliberal consensus as a whole, they criticized lots of different things separately, and ended up not giving any of them enough time to properly explore them or, as with the case of Rios and ICE, they avoided offering any commentary and instead used the contemporary issue to facilitate a straightforward rescue plot.
I mean, I thought that's what they did.
I'm sorry, but there was some clear commentary there.
Replace "rose" with "skunk", then the whole phrase takes on a shiny new meaning...
Note: that is not a dig at PIC season 3. It's just fun to take maxims, alter one word, and give them a shiny new meaning.
I think, for now, the season is just rip-roaring adventure with potentially too many nostalgia bits and/or music cues. Especially when some of those who made the ongoing whine of "old people made the problems" might also be the ones saying "old people now have to save the kids", this is getting ridiculous. The show is a rose. A cake is just a cake. It's that simple.
The story indeed does present a good sequel to the conflicts with the Changelings and Borg, in some refreshingly unexpected ways. The final episode wraps it all up a little too quick, despite a couple more jaw-dropper moments (such as the good one with JUPITER REVEAL is downright awesome, then later for the bad one where 1701-D becomes the millennium falcon, complete with unconvincing effects), but the journey and adventure, piecemealing back the crew, everyone is doing things that feel genuine with the story and not contrived fluff (e.g. the 90s movies, which still have a part to play).
A Jack Crusher show featuring Q I'd gravitate towards fast enough, if all involved wanted to make it. Q is mutable in appearance as well, so there are many possibilities...
Hell, a Shaw show would be good. And since we're now doing Orville humor en masse what with the Worf gags, let's do a one-up: if he lost his leg, the title would be an easy one: "The Shaw Shank Redemption".
There are too many music and visual cues. The season holds its own and is still recommended, but some of the references are too obvious.
That said, dayum, that soundtrack is sumptuous and makes the best use of old music cues from the 90s movies - cues that were strong in their own right, but done better here. There's a genuine passion that comes right through the speakers.
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