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Star Trek: Picard - Third time's the charm!


layten
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I don't think you have to be some super diciplined future person with special sci-fi training. You wouldn't expect, say, a doctor, or a fireman, or a paramedic, or any other professional working in a high pressure life or death...etc to constantly lose their shit like the clowns on Discovery and this.

 

I'm watching old epsiodes of Stargate SG1 as it happens to be on Sky when I eat my tea. That show was always cheesy as all hell (but still enjoyable all these years later), but the cast/writing in that at least convey a modicum of belivability that these are elite trained military officers

 

Kutrzmann projects seem to understand that people respond to emotional moments but not understand why. Take the death or the robot woman in Discovery. Kurtmann knows that people love the Spock funeral scene in WoK where Kirk's voice breaks, but he has no appreciation of why. Kirk and Spock had decades of hoistory to their friendship that the audience had shared. Kirk's voice breraking is powerful becuase he's usually so in control. Robot Lady on Discovery had about 4 lines before the episode she died, but in a cargo cult move Kurtz-Trek thinks that having a funeral but making it BIGGER with more people and more histrionics will make it even more emotional, despite her death having about as much impact on the audience  as any given redshirt in one of the old series. The crew all being blubbering messes means fuck all when it feels they spend half of any given epsiode crying anyway.

 

See also the hanfisted attempts to recreate the end of WoK in Star Trek Into Darkness.

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Raffi having a breakdown over Legolas just made no sense. Sure, she'd be sad because she's a human being, but she's also Starfleet and must have lost way more important and closer friends and colleagues in more frequent and horrific ways.

 

Also, she said Legolas died because Picard chose to save the Borg Queen instead. Well yeah, Raffi, but she's also your girlfriend's mum so...

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This feels like each character is in a different holodeck at the same time. If you want detachment, watch either this or the Spring Budget announcement today. 

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The RLM summary articulates my feelings on this better than I can. The overly emotional responses to situations to create cheap drama, rather than drama being something earned from writing and characterisation, is a perfect illustration of the problems with the show.

 

A good Trek show would show a muted sombre reaction to death, because you know that under the facade the character is having to suppress their feelings. In Picard, we need to be explicitly shown that a character is feeling angry, because they do not have the writing skills or enough respect for their audience to do so subtley.

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One thing I will give a little credit to is trying to use the format for social commentary. I've not seen much Discovery, but what I saw felt like it was just trying to create flashy spectacle rather than anything deep and meaningful. For its flaws, Picard is trying to address themes of ageing, environment, and race.

 

The problem is that it does it so bluntly. Age, for example, is an issue covered by the films extensively. Kirk unable to accept that he needs to step aside for a younger crew, Picard dealing with mortality and his legacy, and so on. Race is also covered all the time - from the diversity of the original Enterprise and the treatment of refugees from Bajor to O'Brien's attitudes of the 'bloody Cardies'. Even the environment gets covered, with Kirk saving the whales and Starfleet limiting ships to warp 5 protect their 'environment' in TNG.

 

In contrast, Picard shows us that in 2024 the world is burning, migrants are being banged up by ICE, and so on. Its not subtle, and it fails to take advantage of opportunities to use the sci-fi setting to explore these issues in a 'safe' way. Instead, its just a bunch of starfleet officers dropped into present-day LA to complete a mission. Why even bother wrapping the plot in a sci-fi package?

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I must admit that I do like that a major US drama can have what seems to be a sizeable theme of "ICE are sadistic bastards", and nobody blinks an eyelid at it. The best you got in 2002-3 were a few brief scenes of McCoy struggling with his new legal powers in Law & Order.

 

I think you're definitely onto something, BossSaru! I do think that maybe ageing could have been dovetailed better in the first series if it had taken a different view of the Federation. As we all know, Trek tends to reflect the actual era of production, and one thing that is common throughout all of Trek from TOS to the end of the TNG film cycle is Pax Federation/Americana. Aside from a brief period in the Dominion War, the Federation has always been the major power in the Alpha/Beta Quadrants. It may not have the military might to take on all its rivals at once, but you'd bet on the power that's taken down multiple Borg cubes against anybody else. What if you had a series where the Federation isn't that power any more, and both Picard and Starfleet have to come to terms with that? You could reconfigure a lot of Series 1's plot to that effect - a new power of synthetics, say, and end the series on a Trek-friendly note of the Federation pushing back to exploration with a new Stargazer in deep space and what not…

 

(although I love DS9 dearly, I think the series has cast a shadow over Trek since that it would do well to escape)

 

 

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2 hours ago, Peter St John said:

I must admit that I do like that a major US drama can have what seems to be a sizeable theme of "ICE are sadistic bastards", and nobody blinks an eyelid at it. The best you got in 2002-3 were a few brief scenes of McCoy struggling with his new legal powers in Law & Order.

 

I think you're definitely onto something, BossSaru! I do think that maybe ageing could have been dovetailed better in the first series if it had taken a different view of the Federation. As we all know, Trek tends to reflect the actual era of production, and one thing that is common throughout all of Trek from TOS to the end of the TNG film cycle is Pax Federation/Americana. Aside from a brief period in the Dominion War, the Federation has always been the major power in the Alpha/Beta Quadrants. It may not have the military might to take on all its rivals at once, but you'd bet on the power that's taken down multiple Borg cubes against anybody else. What if you had a series where the Federation isn't that power any more, and both Picard and Starfleet have to come to terms with that? You could reconfigure a lot of Series 1's plot to that effect - a new power of synthetics, say, and end the series on a Trek-friendly note of the Federation pushing back to exploration with a new Stargazer in deep space and what not…

 

(although I love DS9 dearly, I think the series has cast a shadow over Trek since that it would do well to escape)

 

 

 

But has it? Either Voyager or TNG were on concurrently, and Voyager went on for two seasons after DS9 finished. Then we had Enterprise. Then a long break. And then the reboot movie universe. That is 17 years or so with nothing DS9-like. And in that time TV in general has evolved considerably.

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26 minutes ago, drmick said:

 

But has it? Either Voyager or TNG were on concurrently, and Voyager went on for two seasons after DS9 finished. Then we had Enterprise. Then a long break. And then the reboot movie universe. That is 17 years or so with nothing DS9-like. And in that time TV in general has evolved considerably.

 

What I meant was things like Section 31 suddenly being everywhere and the darkening of the Federation that DS9 brought. All great things within DS9, but they do get a bit tired.

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I thought Guinan having a bar on 10 Forward avenue was just going to be a brief bit of cloying memberberries fanservice. Do the writers actually know why the bar on the Enterprise was called 10 Forward? It was at the front of of Deck 10. Does Guinan spend decades searching for locations where she can get a barmaid job at venues with a very particular name. 

 

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2 hours ago, Harsin said:
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I thought Guinan having a bar on 10 Forward avenue was just going to be a brief bit of cloying memberberries fanservice. Do the writers actually know why the bar on the Enterprise was called 10 Forward? It was at the front of of Deck 10. Does Guinan spend decades searching for locations where she can get a barmaid job at venues with a very particular name. 

 

 

Spoiler

I may be misremembering, but I thought she and her race of people did not experience time in a linear fashion like humans. So for her, 10 Forward on the Enterprise could have occurred before, at the same time, or after 10 Forward in 2024.

 

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15 hours ago, Peter St John said:

 

What I meant was things like Section 31 suddenly being everywhere and the darkening of the Federation that DS9 brought. All great things within DS9, but they do get a bit tired.

I agree. TBH, I blame less DS9 and its creative team than the modern Trek writers and fans believing the popular (mis)conception that DS9 was a grimdark, ‘gritty’ Trek series. It wasn’t. It was ‘dark’ in the sense there were story arcs and actions had later consequences, unlike the content status quo of the other pre-Discovery Trek series, but tonally it wasn’t for the most part a big departure from TOS or TNG. More an evolution, really. (I’d argue ENT was a darker series of the original five, with its much more tasteless war storyline.) Again though, I find it depressing that 21st century Trek creatives has basically ignored most of DS9 other than the fact the Federation had a Space CIA which appeared for all of three episodes…

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It’s simply far easier to manufacture drama from a grim and hopeless future than it is one in which our society, while always aspiring to be better, still has its problems. Properly written, ethical and moral dilemmas deal with timeless human issues, so they don’t need to ham-fistedly say ‘look at this bad shit we’re doing right now!’ but rather ‘we may always struggle with this, but that doesn’t mean we should hide from it.’ 

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I like how the recap is pointing out how much of a fuckup Rios is.

 

"What the hell happened here?!"

 

"Nothing good."

 

Great dialogue. Yes immigration raids bad m'kay

 

It's all about the Ice Ice, baby.

 

"Computer! Play the most stereotypically French music possible!"

 

Pretty ridiculous logic leap there about the meaning of a number. At least Pat Stew is sounding a bit more Picard like in this scene. Stick him in a run down mansion with some wine away from the pew pew and he can relax.

 

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Oh God, no. Stop referencing good Trek. Yes we've all seen the one with the Whales.

 

It doesn't even make sense as a gag, it's 2024. The punk worked in the film its referencing because they were an organic part of the world Kirk and Spock found themselves in. And the tone of the rest of it surrounding it isn't as knockabout fun enough for it to even fit in context, as after the gag is over it's Rafi upset and serious music time again.

 

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Jurati is a loner nerd shut-in and prime cult fodder, yes we get it already.

 

Wait, what, why is Guinan a different actor? She's an immortal, they can use another wibble explanation as to why she's decided to be older looking.

 

Also, why is everything in 2024 shit? Why is Guinan grim dark and pissed off?

 

I mean I'd be pissed off too tbh because of all the racism. Because this episode is going to be aaaaaall about that.

 

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Did Picard just make a comparison between that dog and Guinan? Stay classy Mon Capitan.

 

"Facts aren't even facts anymore"

 

Guinans speech is so on the nose I think I clawed my own face off.

 

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Said completely straight:

 

"we're looking for male, Hispanic, female, Hispanic. My God there's so many..."

 

I laughed all the way to Tanagra and back :lol:

 

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Maybe a bit nit-picky, but would a Federation officer from the future really use a phrase like "road kill"?

 

All of this is so inconsequential. Nothing of any importance is actually happening.

 

Guinan goes "and humanity?" Gestures down a street where some people are just going about their business in the sunshine. (Look, yes I know it's showing the homeless but it's shot so glossily and there are like two guys in the shot)

 

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  • layten changed the title to Star Trek: Picard - Third time's the charm!

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