HomeSerious Star Trek PodcastLARRY vs. STAR TREK #2: October 2nd, 2017

LARRY vs. STAR TREK #2: October 2nd, 2017

Looking forward to the premiere of Star Trek: Discovery season five from just a thank-god-it’s-finally-out-of-its-misery as the biggest off-brand misfire of Star Trek in its 108-year history of scifi entertainment? Me, too. Here’s the second Spunkybean article, for posterity, talking about the first streaming-only ep:

Look. You can’t have site-to-site beaming in your story and tell people with a straight face this takes place ten years before Kirk-and-Spock.

Look. You can’t hang your show on a Starfleet mutineer because Spock said in “The Tholian Web” there was no record of one. So, sure, you can say everything Burnham did was scrubbed from history, but you can’t tell me some angry U.S.S. Europa relative didn’t keep that story alive. So then we’re looking at a Q or a primetime divergence or a chronokinetic handwave or Riker and Troi on another holodeck date and your show doesn’t mean anything like Enterprise doesn’t?

Look. CBS blew the first rule of entertainment, because they were dying for a new franchise to milk. They forgot or never knew what audience they were pitching this stuff to, and so missed everyone. 

Yeah, it’s not your father’s Star Trek. That’s The Orville, and it’s blowing this Discovery crap out of the sky.

Look. All I know is that audiences always give TV and movies higher scores than critics because that’s a self-selecting thing. Audiences sample you because they expect to be entertained by brand or genre or actor or whatever. 

When the audience says you suck, you can believe it because they were rooting for you.

Look. I suppose I’m OK with last night’s Saurian brandy Christmas party, but there is no way breathing into a door lock is a viable thing. I suppose the thing that upset me the most is that Dr. Blond Mushroom guy had to bend over to give his sample. If this was really a thing, there would have been four sensors at three, four, five, and six feet to accommodate crew. It’s an ergonomic thing. Unless they were making fun of the jackass RFID badges SDCC makes you use to get in, which makes you bend over to swipe the sensor… then I’m fine with that. Make that joke, because it’s hilarious. But I don’t think you were.

Look. That giant, out of proportion tribble in Captain Lorca’s quarters? They’re going to cross tribble DNA with the mushrooms to win the Klingon War and David Gerrold is going to lose his goddamn mind when they don’t pay him for that.

Look. Starting your fifteen episode show with two episodes of backstory that literally does not matter is unconscionable in today’s entertainment landscape.

Look. I said three times in their forty-eight minutes, “I would love this show if it wasn’t called Star Trek, just like I love The Orville which isn’t called Star Trek but is Star Trek nonetheless.”

Look. I like the show OK (I’m not sure that’s what CBS is going for), but anyone who likes this show because they think this is good Star Trek is seriously deluded and demonstrably wrong.

Look. I mean, with your own eyes, like Captain Lorca wants to do. He didn’t turn on his ready room lights when he first met with Burnham, because of some space injury and he “wanted to keep his own eyes.” This wasn’t as subtle as the Discovery writer’s room thinks, because half the crew of the Shenzhou had some kind of cybernetic augmentation. The Secondary Tactical Officer was shown so quickly, most folks thought she was a robot. Of course, she had human hands, so it was obvious to me she was jacked in to the ship’s weapons banks. But nearly everyone on the bridge crew had a plug-in. What’s going on there, ten years before Kirk and Spock?

Look. It’s obvious this show… this dark and gloomy and uncomfortable and depressing show has to answer how they went from this Star Wars -kinda universe to the triumphant utopian paradise of Star Trek in ten years.

Because, look. Discovery obviously isn’t Star Trek.

Larry Young
Larry Young
Larry Young is a writer: non-fiction, graphic novels, and pop culture criticism. His work has appeared in ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, VARIETY, and THE YEAR’S BEST SCIENCE FICTION. A frequent guest on the video podcasts MILLION DOLLAR MAILBOX and WORD BALLOONS, he’s also co-host of SERIOUS STAR TREK and the sister YouTube channel of this website.


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