What do older fans think?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Discovery' started by Admiral Jean-Luc Picard, Mar 9, 2020.

  1. Spot

    Spot Ensign Newbie

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    My first Trek was TNG and DS9 in the 90s which still remain my favorites. Discovery is currently third. I've only seen season one so far. Just got word this morning that the season 2 DVDs from the library are ready to pick up and watch. I've never minded the darker side of Trek. I love that "new" Trek has fully embraced serialized storytelling. It was one of the best things about DS9. VOY and ENT always felt like a big step backwards in not embracing it. The return to the focus on the "big three" after the ensemble of DS9, later TNG, and early VOY also felt like a huge step backwards too. One would think then that Discovery's decision to focus on a single main character, Burnham, would annoy me but I actually find it a good vehicle for "new" Trek with it's shorter seasons and serialization. And it seems to be working since Picard is doing the same. But I can see how one's enjoyment of the new shows can be restricted by how one feels about the main character. For me, I like Burnham a lot. She has grown on me, and I am enjoying her journey. I love Tilly too. And I will watch just about anything with Michelle Yeoh. Discovery has the best female relationships in a Trek series since VOY imho. And while I have come to seriously resent Trek's overreliance on the Mirror Universe (it outplayed it's welcome long before the end of DS9) season 2's plot already sounds more interesting to me with the return of Pike and Spock.
     
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  2. Jadeb

    Jadeb Commodore Commodore

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    I love TOS and the TOS movies. I like TNG. I never finished DS9, Voyager or Enterprise. I'm a pretty diehard Trek fan, but I eventually lose interest when it's bad or consistently mediocre or just not my cup of tea.

    I thought Discovery season one was bad. Not just bad Star Trek but badly written television. Good cast delivering poor material. Season two was better, though the Control arc proved to be a complete waste of time. I'm happy that Picard is convincing me that Trek can work well as an arc-based show, because I was becoming skeptical.

    In fairness to Discovery, part of what makes it modern is that it embraces many of the storytelling trends of today. Big tears, big explosions, the end of everything, more, more, more. That doesn't really work for me -- the big tears often strike me as hollow and unearned -- but it does seem to work for a lot of people, so I can't blame them for doing it. But I came away from the first season, and to a lesser degree the second, feeling like I'd seen it before and seen it done better elsewhere.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2020
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  3. Nenya

    Nenya Commander Red Shirt

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    And the desire to never see it again.
     
  4. SpocksOddSocks

    SpocksOddSocks Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I'm definitely with you on this often feeling unearned. It doesn't always gel for me either, but I felt Disco had a bit of a mix of the unearned and genuine, so I'm still more forgiving of the first season than most.
     
  5. Jadeb

    Jadeb Commodore Commodore

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    I might watch If Memory Serves again, and maybe the Mudd episode. But that's it so far.

    I like small-scale character drama much more than the impossible stakes stuff. I really can't see the appeal of the threats to the entire universe when we know that won't happen. It feels like something I have to endure to get to something else, only to be rewarded with the same thing all over again.
     
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  6. Nenya

    Nenya Commander Red Shirt

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    Some of those reasons are why I'm not thrilled about a "secret to break the mind" in Picard. I just know it's going to be disappointing.
     
  7. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    That's almost all fiction. Ultimately, the big bad thing doesn't happen and the story continues on.
     
  8. Jadeb

    Jadeb Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, I rolled my eyes when planets started exploding. Did anyone really need that to find the story engaging and suspenseful?

    It feels almost universal in blockbuster-ish entertainment. It's exhausting. But when you tell a story correctly, the bad thing _can_ happen and the story continues on. Kirk may not die (until he did), but his son _can_ die, Edith Keeler _can_ die ... and that has meaning, for him and the audience. I just don't see the drama in a pre-ordained outcome.

    I was excited when I first heard about Discovery precisely because I thought this was the first time when characters could be in real peril. So far, the show has taken the wrong lessons from Game of Thrones and none of the right ones.
     
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  9. Nenya

    Nenya Commander Red Shirt

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    Spot on.
     
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  10. Go-Captain

    Go-Captain Captain Captain

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    My first exposure to Star Trek was with TNG in its first run starting in 1987 and watched everything all the way to the end of Enterprise, and all the movies ending with Beyond. It's kind of weird to realize the difference in time between ENT and Picard is the same as between TOS and TNG.

    I recently watched all of Discovery, thanks to signing up for PIC, and I have a mixed but generally positive opinion of DIS. I like that it is willing to try new things, and some of the the characters and plots are genuinely good, but it is severely hampered in a few ways.

    I had to completely ignore external continuity to allow this show work for me. Trek has always suffered in the realm of continuity, which is why I am willing to actively ignore it, but it is particularly glaring in DIS. In other Treks the continuity errors can be reconciled with some ease, but not in DIS. It is actually a bit shocking, because it suffers poor internal continuity as well, which is weird for a show with a tight arc and which is likely intended more for binging rather than a serialized pace.

    The weakest aspect of DIS is unfortunately the protagonist, Michael Burnham. Her being a godly figure is not really an issue, Kirk can be that way occasionally, but it doesn't help. The real issue is if she is present no one in the same scene can form a complete idea, act morally, make a decision on their own. If Michael Burnham says something has to be done a certain way it is almost certain it will be done that way before the episode is over. This kind of power over the plot and characterization of other characters should place her as captain, or at least the first officer, yet in the first season she is without rank, and in the second she is a commander but still not first officer. Thanks to her DIS wastes half its ensemble cast.

    This inadvertently makes the best scenes the ones without Michael Burnham, because it allows the other characters to act and think on their own. But even then, it is not until season 2 that the show seems to realize there are people other than Michael Burnham, the captain, Saru, Tilly, Stamets, and Dr. Culber. Episode 1 of season 2 the two women at the front of the bridge seem to double their lines over those of the first season.

    Lastly, it does not earn its emotional moments. When ever there is a scene where Michael Burnham is supposed to be sad about someone's death, or impending death, it is always unearned. The best examples are the first episode where Burnham mourns the loss of her captain, who we just met about an hour ago. We have no familiarity for the character so it falls flat. Same thing happens again when the cyborg woman dies, because in all of two seasons we never learned anything about her except at the last hour before her death. It happens again when Saru calls Burnham his best friend even though he had repeatedly called her a dangerous predator, and again in the second season episode 12 where the entire episode is people writing loved ones we have never seen.


    So what are the highlights? Stamets and Culber are not only individually good characters with well handled arcs, they are good characters as a couple. I think they epitomize the show-it-as-unremarkable ethos of TOS in how their relationship is handled. I got really involved in their story, far more than anyone else's and would have been happy to have more focus on those two, which is part of why I'm pleased with season 2.

    Saru is an interesting character, with a significant and fairly well handled change to his characterization in season 2. He also comes from an interesting personal background, and his species as a whole has a history which I would call very Star Trek.

    Tilly is not my favorite, she is kind of a Wesley Crusher, except I like Wesley Crusher. The twist is, by the end of the first season she mellows out as part of her arc, and gets some confidence, which combined make her rather likeable. But she becomes annoying again in new ways in season 2 which kind of ruins her progress from season 1. I like her more than I dislike her, in part because she is allowed to do interesting things away from Burnham, and she has built up a believable relationship with Stamets.

    Jet Reno, an engineer they pick up in the first episode of season 2 is criminally underused given how she dominates in her scenes. She shows up maybe 3 times in 13 episodes, and is critical to the final episode. Hopefully she is used better in season 3.

    Last but not least is Vice Admiral Cornwell. Something about her is spot on as an admiral. I don't know what it is, but she really works well in her role, and I wish the material she had to work with was a little better.

    Spock is a huge highlight. I was worried for his character, and while he does have one idiotic line, "I like Science," for the most part he is in character and the only one able to hold onto his personality in the presence of Burnham. He's seriously great, and Baby Spock is too cute.


    So there were complaints about the show being this and that, and I half expected to see gay sex on the bridge, and men being cut off mid-line all the time. None of that panned out, but the second season just about bends over backwards to put women forward, and the only straight white men with real presence either get unintentionally undermined as characters (Pike, who is at least bookended perfectly by his TOS story), or are villains (the two Section 31 men). Also the douchbag scientist who dies by asteroid because he disagreed with Burnham in episode 1 of season 2. Fortunately this is fairly minor, even if it is really obvious.
     
  11. Agony_Boothb

    Agony_Boothb Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Of course it didn't do anything for you. Your beloved husband wasn't in it :D
     
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  12. unimatrix7

    unimatrix7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    My dad is in his 60s. He loves his TOS, TNG, DS9 and Voyager. He was fine with Enterprise but never developed any affinity for it. He came to stay with me for a few months recently and I showed him Discovery. He was preparing to not like it, but he loved it!
     
  13. plynch

    plynch Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    As a baby I watched TOS. I am conscious of watching reruns first in 1971-2. Huge Trekkie kid with my Donmoor shirt and Star Trek curtains. And many failed AMT Enterprises. But let's not go there.

    DSC:

    1. It's not my cup of tea in general.
    2. I find the lead dull.
    3. Epic-creep
    4. S2 had promise and got stupid-generic-sci-fi.
    5. They ruined the best things (not sure on spoiler rules, so mum's the word, but one rhymes with Orca).
    6. If a plot is weak/holey, you're stuck with it a whole season.

    Yeah, not a fan. Plus I HATE mystery-puzzle box plots. Have I mentioned that lately? said the old man yelling at cloud.
     
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  14. Therin of Andor

    Therin of Andor Admiral Moderator

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    Nothing wrong with that. Better than being the fan that says, "Let them die!".

    Every new Trek speaks to brand new fans and, of course, many of the previous ones.

    Likewise, I have friends who were avid TOS, movies and TNG fans, then got jaded by DS9 and hated VGR, then got totally hooked on ENT. Always hard to pick what will appeal to whom and when.
     
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  15. MrPicard

    MrPicard Jean-Luc's Loving Husband Fleet Captain

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    To be fair, Lorca managed to become my second favorite captain in mere SECONDS and I adore Anson Mount's Pike, I've always been a Pike fan... but you're correct nonetheless... no Jean-Luc means no real incentive for me to become truly invested or interested. ;)
     
  16. Pindar

    Pindar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I have been watching since the 70's and love DSC and Picard.

    My dad who is in his 70's loves DSC and has no interest in watching Picard.
     
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  17. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Vice Admiral Admiral

    Not my thing.

    Like ENTERPRISE (ENT) was, prequels often serve to answer questions or backgrounds that are often unasked or not a concern or interest (YMMV). Fans can guess whatever made a character that way, whether it's a genetic trait, environmental, both, and/or other. It wasn't even thought of in the 1960s, people are just archetypes and the creativity of scripting around those began there.

    Do I need to see Kerr Avon's backstory? No. We're told enough in a series 3 episode of one event, but does that need to be turned into a big 10 episode epic? Not really. The summary Avon gave was more than encompassing and satisfactory. Some would probably enjoy that, regardless of how the setup and carryout are written.

    Darth Vader's childhood didn't need to be explained, but some liked it. YMMV. Could they have been more creative? Perhaps. Did they resort to the cliche "Was a bad boy"? No. But 3 movies to set him up? Like sand, it gets everywhere doesn't it?

    Did Spock need to be a psychonutter slaughtering psychiatrists?! Not when it's a prequel, it's too big a leap and we already know how it ends so there's nothing to subvert or surprise people with except a hollow shock moment. But some people yummed it up. It's okay either way.

    Sequels allow so much more and are comparatively forgiving since there's no past to fill in on a whim or risk mucking up or making too jarring to actually fit into the continuity of the saga up to that point.
     
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  18. Spock Must Diet!

    Spock Must Diet! Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    I am halfway through season 2. I like it. I don't like every story choice, and I don't like the idea of squeezing the series between the lines of established continuity. But I do like it overall, and I love the updated visuals. I'm especially glad to have another series in HD widescreen format.
     
  19. TimeIsAPredator

    TimeIsAPredator Commodore Commodore

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    I have no problem with the idea of new Trek and really gave this a go but there was the issues kept mounting.

    Firstly Burnham is Spock's sister, s
    . best buds with the Terrain dictator, sleeping with the Klingon leader, daughter of the red angel and started the Klingon war after a mutiny and was just let off with a slap on the wrists

    Also can't stand Georgiou, any of the Klingons and ginger Wesley.

    On top of all that I don't mind a change in art direction but if you wanna do fancy new tech don't do a prequel. There's no way that ship should exist I don't care how they explain it.

    On the plus side I loved Stamets and Culber, Saru is fine and some of the bridge crew when they get some time are good characters.

    As for Captains Pike was really well done and one particular scene with him and a Klingon was the shows best moment.
    Early Lorca as the grey area captain willing to do whatever it takes was great but they ruined him later on
     
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  20. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Admiral Admiral

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    Since parents were mentioned upthread, my father is 68 (my mother would've been 72, but she died in 1997). He used to watch TOS in Iran in the '70s. He was interested in TOS and the TOS Movies. Not really TNG, DS9, or VOY, but he'd watch it with us if he was around, but he wasn't that interested. He's also seen the 2009 Film. Nothing else. So I'd say he was a fair-weather TOS viewer (I wouldn't go so far as to call him a fan, my mother was really the one who was a fan) and that's about the extent of it.

    I don't think he'd like Discovery or Picard.