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Old 13th-February-2018, 05:12 PM   #1
Jennywocky
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Default ST: Discovery

Season 1 ultimately was a disappointment, which is a shame.

There has been lots of bitching from everyone and various factions -- the purists vs the explorers/realists, etc. Setting all that aside, typically I just care about the writing (whether the story makes sense, whether it is worth telling, whether it is interesting) and about the characters (are they intriguing, do they command interest, are they unique, do they feel "alive").

I can only speculate on what Fuller's departure as showrunner meant for this show, but the uneven and MPD-style tone of the first season suggests there was confusion about what they wanted to do and what their overall aims were.

PRO's
1. Doing something different, it's not the "same Trek".
2. Great character concepts.
3. Great casting, in general.
4. Darker/Moodier
5. Decent production quality
6. A few great plotting twists

CON's
1. Focus on paper plotting to the detriment of character
2. Rushing important storylines
3. Sloppy / incompetent writing at times
4. Confusion over the show's vision
5. Shitty finale (in most ways) that also seems to negate the entire season


Which is a shame because of all the pro's. There were some really great ideas here that either were only partially realized or undermined by rushed plotting or lack of follow-through. There was really no one to sit back and make sure that all the episodes clearly contributed to an over arcing storyline.

Also, some of the plot "twists" simply were not as effective as they should have been because the audience had no time to warm up to the characters. The first season should be about building something and establishing everyone, and getting the audience to care about the characters -- then when you flip something or destroy something, people have had time to care about it. It was hard to invest in anyone on this show (aside from the strength of the acting) when things were constantly being changed, characters removed, etc.

And the finale. Hoo-boy. This was a huge disappointment.

Spoiler:

- Talk about "pie in the sky." You spend a whole season talking about how horrible the Klingon Empire is, how ruthless and how they have almost eradicated the federation. So it's a "do or die" moment... and instead there's an appeal to idealistic values that everyone immediately capitulates to. And somehow this all works. And the war ends. And everyone is hunky-dory. The realistic outcome of this movie if Burnham pulls that stunt is that the Klingons blow up Earth and there is no more federation. So good job, you die with your values intact; and when you all die, your way of life and idealism ceases to exist. You won the battle and lost the war. At some point, you choose to fight. This was god-awful. Fine, find another way ... but NOT what happened here.

- The entire finale throws away everything that made the show interesting and different. It felt like a huge reset to a conventional series... and so much done unrealistically and out of convenience. Did CBS just get cold feet? And then it harkens to Pike and Enterprise. Really? I'm sick of the Enterprise. Just stop with all the callbacks. Do something else. There was a storyline here that preserved Burnham's newfound idealism without undermining the season and would free up the Discovery.

Honestly, it felt like there was some kind of executive directive shift on the series, and they were out of budget and time to resolve things properly, so we got THIS crappy finale instead.

Also, the Jason Isaacs bit looks great on paper plotting (the idea is cool) but it undermines one of the things that made the series interesting. Nope, the Federation is still exactly what we thought it was all along. Oh well.
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Old 13th-February-2018, 08:59 PM   #2
Niclmaki
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Default Re: ST: Discovery

The only character I really enjoyed seeing was Phillipa Georgoui. In the pilot it was awesome seeing a female captain that was actually competent.

Spoiler:
Itís a shame they killed her off so quick, but they did bring her back nicely as the Emperor. I can also NOT see this as part of the canon PRIME time-line. Too many things just donít make sense now. They can get out a lot of it if they just say they are in a new timeline when they returned 9 months too late.


I also had a very hard time rooting for our protagonist because of how behaves in the first few episodes. Really makes you hate her. Honestly, they should have just started on episode 3, and told of her actions in Ep1/2 through flashbacks. Let us warm up to her instead of hating her right out of the gate.
Spoiler:
She also seems to have the magical ability to solve problems through the power of love. Rolling nat 20s to win arguments and convince people to do things simply because she is Micheal Burnum.


Iíve got more to say, but Iím just hastily writing this on my phone. Overall I thought it was alright, ending was a bit non-sensical they should have ended it on a much better note.
Spoiler:
eg, once they left the mirror universe and returned to their time. They really, really, really need to get rid of the spore drive. The spore network should have been destroyed at the end of the terran empire arc. It is too powerful to be left in the prime timeline.


Argh I typed much more than I meant to. Iíll be going now.
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Old 13th-February-2018, 10:10 PM   #3
Jennywocky
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Default Re: ST: Discovery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Niclmaki View Post
The only character I really enjoyed seeing was Phillipa Georgoui. In the pilot it was awesome seeing a female captain that was actually competent.
I liked her... and I really liked Lorca. He was fascinating, until late in the series after various revelations.

But hey you also have some great caliber of actor involved with both of them. Yeoh and Isaacs are very seasoned and versatile.

Quote:
Spoiler:
It’s a shame they killed her off so quick, but they did bring her back nicely as the Emperor. I can also NOT see this as part of the canon PRIME time-line. Too many things just don’t make sense now. They can get out a lot of it if they just say they are in a new timeline when they returned 9 months too late.
Spoiler:
I saw a lot of purists arguing that the idea of "alternate reality" versus having one continuity is a bastardization by Abrams and now Discovery, since it removes responsibility for one's actions if only one timeline exists.

It's not really clear what is going on or how any of this syncs up with STTOS in ten years' story time.

I have always been a Yeoh fan, and she was good here -- although she was also just a caricature of evil much of the time, albeit fun to watch, and then her whole last encounter with burnham just rang false. Oh well. So now have the option to let her guest star like Harry Mudd whenever they feel like doing an "Emperor" storyline. Wheee.


Quote:
I also had a very hard time rooting for our protagonist because of how behaves in the first few episodes. Really makes you hate her. Honestly, they should have just started on episode 3, and told of her actions in Ep1/2 through flashbacks. Let us warm up to her instead of hating her right out of the gate.
Spoiler:
She also seems to have the magical ability to solve problems through the power of love. Rolling nat 20s to win arguments and convince people to do things simply because she is Micheal Burnum.
I warmed up to her just fine and seemed to be one of just a few who wasn't put off by her behavior in the first episode. The facts are that (1) her captain was picking the wrong solution that would kill everyone, so (2) she violated her command / oath to do something she thought would save everyone, and (3) it failed big-time anyway, so she was blamed for the war that resulted. But the impression I got on first watch was that all that would have happened anyway and she made a convenient scapegoat. so I never really disliked her. It made her interesting, and especially to see how she was being treated by everyone else even if wasn't as terrible as everyone had made her out to be.

Spoiler:
Yeah, the starry-eyed idealist bit to me simply doesn't ring true in how the world works, and Burnham gets away with that because I guess they wanted to create an idealistic show after all.

The actual outcome to what she pulled in the finale to me would be either, the destruction of k'Ronos anyway (with Yeoh killing her, then blowing the place), or the destruction of the Federation, or the Federation turning on her. Instead, her "noble stand" immediately results in a best-case scenario option where the enemy suddenly quits, no one dies, no one gets fired, and she gets a commendation, and everyone is thrilled. None of the behavior rang true to me in alignment with the characters, the political forces involved, or the actual range of outcomes when you try to bring a peace talk to a knife fight where the other side has already been mercilessly killing your gang and obviously has the upper hand. I have trouble believing that solution was enough to solve everything.


Quote:
I’ve got more to say, but I’m just hastily writing this on my phone. Overall I thought it was alright, ending was a bit non-sensical they should have ended it on a much better note.
Spoiler:
eg, once they left the mirror universe and returned to their time. They really, really, really need to get rid of the spore drive. The spore network should have been destroyed at the end of the terran empire arc. It is too powerful to be left in the prime timeline.
The spore drive isn't being used, although it's more like if Marty had just mothballed the DeLorean vs it getting plowed by a train. It's still an option if the writers decide they want to play with it. But it doesn't exist in the current continuity, so... it's either apparently under wraps or is destroyed.

But pretty much I'm feeling like the first season didn't have to happen. I guess we know Burnham's story now, of a poor misguided girl who makes a bad call and is punished for it, then learns the error of her ways, and now everything is right with the world again. But I kinda don't really much care about it.
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