I just finished the first two episodes of Star Trek: Discovery.
The short, unspoilery version: I had a lot of doubts after the first episode, because the main character was just super unlikeable, but it picked up a little in the second episode. Not enough for me to actually say I really liked it, but enough for me to want to keep trying it. Of course, the teaser for all the stuff to come did a much, much better job of enticing me. Because mostly? These episodes committed the sin of being deeply boring for at least 75 percent.
Spoilers from here on out.
Now, it should probably be noted that I’m still running a little bit on the high/bitterness of Star Trek: Enterprise, and that works both to the favor and detriment of Discovery. Because the first thing I have to say, is that Discovery has amazing opening credits. It’s like somebody opened a hole in time and space and swapped out what should have been Enterprise’s credits with that song.
I really want to make fan credits with this music and Enterprise footage. But that’s veering us too far off course.
After Episode 1, The Vulcan Hello, I had a loooot of problems with Cmdr. Michael Burnham. Sure, she’s smart and fiery and strong and beautiful. But I just find it really, really hard to like people who assault their perfectly reasonable captain, deceive the crew and try to fire on a ship that, at present, is being pretty passive. Call me crazy.
And yet, I can’t say it worked out for her, but clearly her instincts weren’t wrong. I think I’ll grow to like her, but for the people watching on TV at home? Who only saw the first episode before being told to buy CBS All Access to watch the rest? If I were one of those people, there’s no way I’d have been back for episode two.
Also? I do not like Discovery’s take on Klingons. It’s not just the look, which matches nothing from TOS, TNG or ENT, it’s…look, Trek’s been doing Klingons for a long time, you’d think someone could have taught those actors how to talk around their teeth. Or sound the slightest bit menacing.
But nobody did, and everyone talked really, really, slowly, and it was just so BORING. I’ve never heard Klingon sound boring! Sure, it may be the hip thing to be all “ooh, we’re not afraid of subtitles!” but nothing about this worked. (I didn’t even think the ALL CAPS font particularly promoted readability.)
But, I adored Lt. Saru, the kind of cowardly science officer. I’m giving James Frain’s Sarek a chance, and I really hope we get some flashbacks or something to keep Capt. Georgiou’s character alive and explore her relationship with Michael, because they really were great.
And, if you didn’t guess by my love of Enterprise season three, I like that Discovery doesn’t seem like it’s going to shy away from taking Starfleet into a giant war. Not that anybody will credit Enterprise, given that professional writers on the TV beat completely ignore its precedence when it comes to serialization. What? I’m not bitter, you’re bitter.
Also on the list of things that just have to be gotten over because nobody really wants a bridge that looks like you could fold it out of a cereal box: Everything looks too new. The effects and sets are absolutely lovely, but all this high-end touch-screen technology and full-body, walk-across-the-room holograms don’t mesh with anything, and we’re supposed to be 10 years pre-TOS. This is 100 percent why this show should be set in the post Next Generation time period.
But, I’ve gotten over worse on many a show. And if that season teaser is anything to go by, I’ve gotten over worse on worse shows. Let’s just hope the rest of the season can live up to that teaser.
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