For the record, I didn’t want to do this review, but I’ve had a few people email me and ask me for my opinion on it based on my Orville review… so apparently my input into this show is not voluntary.
I finally got to watch the pilot in its entirety last night. My wife just cancelled her All Access subscription because… well there’s nothing of interest on there… but I still had about a week left.
Let me preface this whole thing by saying that my fandom of Star Trek is akin to an on-again-off-again romance. There are things about it I love (TOS, TNG Season 2 onward, etc.), and there are things I don’t (Last Season of Enterprise, first four seasons of DS9… the Bajorans in general, etc.)
I started out on Wrath of Khan and went from there. I loved it and got hooked. So I am a fan, but not a super fan. Even so, I really wanted to like this show. I know I’ve posted criticisms before, but I really wanted this show to be good… like really badly.
Sadly… my overall impression of the show from the start was dead on. Most of the characters we meet are cardboard cutouts of actual characters. There was little to no development, and even the conversations were nothing like what real people would say to one another.
So what was wrong with it? Well first, let’s talk about Michael…
She was a human raised by Sarek after her parents were killed by Klingons. Though human, she at first acts like a vulcan, but as the show progressed, that quickly changed. However… the fact that she is the lead character is extremely concerning…
I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel about Michael… because frankly… she makes every stupid decision you could make. She should have taken a page out of George Castanza’s book and done the opposite of what she thought was right.
When you boil it down to the bare bones, she is the reason everybody gets killed. Her decisions and her… almost desire to fight the Klingons is what started the whole thing. Every decision, every action she made can directly be attributed to the deaths of literally thousands of people.
I’m sorry, it’ll be a shark-jumping moment if she ever gets her own command. That she’s actually going to be an officer on another ship has frankly breached my suspension of disbelief.
She has absolutely no common sense what so ever. The writers really fucked up here, because frankly, she’s completely unlikable. So honestly, her being sent off to prison after being convicted of several crimes is an excellent closer. You don’t really need to watch anything else.
I’d comment on the other characters individually, but frankly… they almost all died. So screw it.
Obviously a lot of money is spent on visuals in this show. It’s impressive… but for one, it doesn’t fit the time period, two it’s sensory overload. There was literally too much in each frame and each shot. It was waaaaay too much. Honestly the sets just looked like something out of Abrams JJ-verse. That wouldn’t be a bad thing if it took place there, but it didn’t.
These are not Klingons… I’m sorry, they’re not. Visually, they were so displeasing that I couldn’t stand to look at them for long. I found myself looking away when they were on screen. The Klingon language was tooth-grindingly bad…
The religion they came up with for the Klingons didn’t fit either… Klingons view dead bodies as empty shells after they let out there death roar. They didn’t embalm them nor did they have any sort of ritualistic funeral ceremony. It was one loud cry that was it.
So yeah… I can’t stand them…
Okay, the Federation ships I could kind of see because they look like Star fleet though they look like Star fleet from a much much more futuristic time. They actually look like they’d be right at home in Star Trek Online which takes place post-nemesis. The Klingon ships however were thoroughly unrecognizable. They don’t match up with Enterprise or the original series… or anything else for that matter. They look like Kilrathi ships from Wing Commander.
The story was dull and unimpressive. Everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong. Nothing was reasonable, nothing was relate-able, and worst of all, nothing was believable. It was a paper thin premise cloaked in effects, nothing more.
In short… I hated it. I’m not going to pay for CBS Access on the off chance that they’re going to improve things somewhere down the line. My suspension of disbelief has been breached. I’m done with this.
But Jim, if it’s so bad… how do you explain the good reviews on Rotten Tomatoes?
First of all, I’ve always found the audience scores to be far more telling. Secondly, I’ll explain them the same way the Ghostbusters 2016 reviews were. Given what this show was played up to be by Bryan Fuller, the politics that surround it, the agenda behind it, etc. The critics are far too spineless in this case. No one wants to be the critic who gives the show a bad review, because they don’t want to be at the forefront of the blow back that would result.
That’s not just a theory either. Go read their reviews, they go into detail about several of the flaws in the show, but they stop short of coming out and calling it bad. You can tell they’re trying to dance around it.
This isn’t Star Trek. I know it’s just my opinion, but I’m right here. This isn’t Gene’s original philosophy or views. This isn’t anything that anyone wanted to see. It could have easily worked had it been post-nemesis, but that’s not what happened. I don’t have any expectations for this show because frankly, I do not care. The opening was terrible and I’m out. I’m not paying to see what happened.
As far as I’m concerned it was a complete story, a rogue, incompetent, officer get’s a ton of people killed, she get’s court-martialed and locked up. I’m satisfied with that.
Anyway, what do you all think of the show? Was it good/bad/Do you not care? Let me know.
Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.
I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.
Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:
Catch you on the flip side!