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the Sioux season 1 of Star Trek Picard
finally staggered over the finishing
line the other night
after 10 painful episodes that ranged
from mediocre to confusing to downright
insulting and I was there with my pint
of rum ready to point and laugh as I
watched this train wreck unfold I think
it's fair to say that Patrick Stewart's
long-awaited return to his most iconic
role wasn't exactly the roaring success
the CBS and Alex Kurtzman were hoping
in fact if beyond and discovery killed
this franchise then Picard resurrected
as decaying corpse bent over a table and
had its way with it using the teddy bear
from my Doctor Who analogy for me it
pretty much proves that Star Trek as a
brand has basically exhausted its supply
of everything a show needs to be
successful it's out of good ideas out of
creative energy out of money and well
and truly out of fan goodwill and it's a
real shame because for awhile Picard was
toted is the sure that was going to save
Star Trek after the increasingly
disastrous movies and the expensive
waste of time that was Star Trek
discovery so what the hell happened well
know that I've had a chance to see
everything Picard has to offer I've been
able to ponder where and how it went so
badly wrong just as I do with my own
life so with that in mind I've put
together my top 5 reasons why this show
failed to connect with audiences ready
nah me neither
but [ __ ] you let's do this number 1 the
story the Star Trek of the past never
really got bogged down in continuous
season-long storylines and for a good
it's [ __ ] boring yeah there would
sometimes be overarching threads that
would crop up from time to time when the
writers wanted to move the universe
along but at heart Star Trek was always
an episodic kind of show each week was a
chance to start a different adventure
putting the characters in a new and
unique situation so that it never got
stale and dull yes some episodes were
more successful than others but even if
you had a shitty one you knew you could
put it behind you and move on to
something better next time
no we're stuck with the same basic
[ __ ] story episode after episode and
gonna have you sure focused on one
central story art you need to make sure
it's a damn good one unfortunately well
this isn't the premise of the show
centers on the conflict between organic
and synthetic life-forms and the fear
that the artificial beings we create
might eventually surpass us either
enslaving or wiping out their creators
it calls into question what sacrifices
might be justified to prevent such a
conflict whether organic and synthetic
life-forms can find a way to peacefully
coexist and even the nature of what
constitutes sentient life Wow I can't
think of any movies or TV shows that
have tackled this kind of subject matter
before the problem is not only has this
exact same [ __ ] been tackled far more
competently and intelligently in
previous versions of Star Trek be
prepared to condemn him and all who come
after him into servitude and slavery yet
on a star feat was founded to seek out
new life well there it says but this
short rise to lump these high fly and
philosophical questions in with a bunch
of other random crap that they think
will generate interest such as
government conspiracies mysterious
disasters and secret organizations
mindless action scenes the Borg
brushes with the criminal underworld a
roguish Han Solo character an epic race
against time across the galaxy it's all
been done before and done better more
important has been done far more
concisely this show takes the basic
premise and ideas of a single TNG
episode and stretches it into an entire
10 episode season but partner with a
bunch of generic stuff that we don't
particularly need or once the end result
is something that feels slow plodding
convoluted and self-indulgent something
that's all superficial style and no
substance which is the polar opposite of
everything Star Trek was supposed to be
number two the characters there are like
a dozen major characters in this show
most of whom have one significant thing
to do and then go into a holding pattern
for the rest of the season
there's Rafi who basically serves no
purpose except a facility a meeting
between Picard and Rios the rest of the
time she alternates between a comically
smoking junkie and I wanna be wise
mother hen character depending on what
the script needs are to do Agnes who's
so pathetically whiny useless and
irritating that I have to grit my teeth
every time her disproportionate face
appears on screen then for some reason
this script keeps making the actress
throw up like that's something we really
need to see before it makes for a bangin
techno remix
and ill Nora who can't decide if he's a
badass ninja assassin or a sheltered
goofy naive teenager who doesn't
understand anything going on around him
it's a truly awful piece of
characterization and it's made all the
worse because 95% of the time he has
absolutely nothing to do see having a
big ensemble cast is fine in an episodic
TV show like oh I don't know the next
generation because each week you might
be facing a different challenge or
situation and it makes sense to have a
large and diverse pool of characters to
draw on but as we've seen Picard is all
about telling one central story across
multiple episodes and the result is that
most of the time there just isn't enough
stuff going on to keep everyone involved
I'd like to bring you back to the golden
rule of screenwriting if you have to
start looking for things for your
characters to do you should probably
start killing them off or just not have
them in the show to begin with number
Picard himself Picard feels like a bit
player in his own story consistently
pushed into the background and forced to
take a back seat to the subplots of the
other younger characters around him in
fact this show feels like he really
should have been built around Shoji
rather than Picard and if I had to take
a guess I'd say she was actually the
main protagonist in the early drafts of
the story
she's the central plot thread that ties
everything together and she's the one
who undergoes the biggest and most
significant character arc so you're
probably wondering why even cold the
show Star Trek Picard if it's not really
about him
well Star Trek discovery proved that the
fan base isn't all that interested in
original characters at this point nobody
gives a [ __ ] but Michael Burnham
displayed the writers increasingly
desperate attempts to tire into
basically everything and every one of
note in the Star Trek universe so what
do you do when you've been told to make
a new Star Trek TV show but you're also
a useless talentless [ __ ] that doesn't
understand how to come up with
compelling interesting and sympathetic
original characters just like with Star
Wars you bring in a bunch of old
characters that still have a bit of name
recognition and fan goodwill and use
them as bait to draw people into your
crappy bland generic
like remember when Ryker and Troy showed
up for one episode that felt totally
disconnected from everything else and
Jonathan Frakes basically admitted that
the whole thing was done as a reshoot
just so he could have a reunion with
Patrick Stewart that's exactly what I'm
talking about here in fact I like to
think the creative process went
something like this
Oh Alex we love your pitch but we're
slightly concerned that no one's gonna
care about this show no I'll be fine all
we need is a hook let's just throw in
some classic Star Trek characters you
mean like Captain Kirk and the original
crew now we've done that already plus
the original actors are too old and the
new movie ones are too expensive I know
what about the next generation none of
them are doing much these days that's
not bad people love TNG right exactly
we'll use them in little cameos so we
can do people into thinking this is a
TNG reunion but we'll keep their
involvement in actual events to a
minimum so we don't have to restructure
the story too much because that would
require hard work and creativity I love
it but we need Patrick Stewart he's the
one people really care about and he
already said he doesn't want to do Trek
anymore no I'll be fine we'll just throw
a [ __ ] ton of money at him and pitch it
like he's going to be the centerpiece of
the entire show we'll even call it Star
Trek Picard and we'll give him some
[ __ ] creative control in his
I mean that worked great for nemesis
right remember the dune buggy chase yeah
we sure do
great work as always Alex keep up the
good work the point is all of these
legacy characters feel like they've been
included simply because they have name
recognition and the actors were
available it's the same story with seven
of nine who's gone from being a cool
logical reserved character to a
hard-drinking sarcastic cynical
mercenary because it fits the needs of
the script oh and she's gay now for some
reason because I guess her relationship
with Chakotay and Voyager was just an
act or something we've got to have that
representation even if it means totally
altering characters we've known for
decades but the undisputed king of
[ __ ] mountain in this case is Picard
this guy doesn't Act talk or think
anything like the
card we used to know he gets
disrespected belittled and chastised
everywhere he goes I did everything I
could and then you gave up sure
[ __ ] hubris any accepts it like an
absolute [ __ ]
they never asserts his authority or
takes command of a situation he never
stands up for himself or bites back at
people when they get out of line he
never makes use of his decades of
command tactical and diplomatic
he just shambles her own from place to
place apologizing to everyone taking a
back seat in every situation he's
clueless and out of his depth and
totally unprepared for the situation he
finds himself in he's easily frightened
and shocked by things he's experienced
countless times before and sure this
version of Picard is a [ __ ] dumb
cowardly submissive irrelevant old wimp
there's nothing here to suggest this man
could have commanded a starship
never mind save the entire galaxy and
it's just kind of sad to see a once
great man reduced to this number four
this isn't Star Trek there's no easy way
to say this
Star Trek Picard doesn't feel like Star
Trek anymore yeah a few familiar
characters and actors have come back
there are some references to well-known
ships and locations and species but
that's where the similarities end
it's like the makers of this show
watched a few episodes of TNG with the
volume muted and just kind of formed
their own opinions of what the show was
supposed to be about the world they've
created as a result feels like an
entirely different universe with a Star
Trek veneer awkwardly slapped on top
characters talk and act like people from
the present day dropping f-bombs calling
each other dude watching TV drinking and
taking drugs playing on the [ __ ]
smartphones honestly I'm surprised they
don't show people getting into pointless
arguments on social media and using
dating apps to set up awkward sexual
encounters when did Star Trek become so
[ __ ] mundane and Perry the whole
point of the show was to present a more
evolved enlightened version of humanity
that had moved beyond the stupid [ __ ] we
obsessed over today and turned its eyes
towards the stars it appealed to our
aspirations to be more than we are to
reach for higher and more noble goals to
explore the boundless potential that
exists within us it is the struggle
itself that is most important we must
strive to be more than we are law it
does not matter that we will never reach
our ultimate goal the effort yields its
own rewards it wasn't a perfect world
and things like jealousy personal
ambition and moral flexibility could
still cause problems and conflict but
Jesus it was better than this the world
of Star Trek Picard is basically our
present-day culture with all its angst
and hang-ups and fears only with better
technology and that's just [ __ ]
depressing number five here
[ __ ] hubris just like Star Trek
discovery that threat - awkwardly insert
is vapid preachy soulless and unlikable
characters into the backstory of classic
Trek legends thus retro actively taking
credit for everything that happened
Star Trek Picard sees fit to alter the
fundamental nature of the Federation
Starfleet and basically everything else
in this world it's turned Starfleet
itself into a diversity hire paradise
where every single senior officer is
female it takes established and beloved
characters that we grew to know over
years or even decades and deconstructs
them into obscene parodies of themselves
and undermines the basic message of hope
and optimism that inspired the best
aspects of human nature presenting
instead a bleak hostile greedy dystopian
version of the Star Trek universe it
plays on small minded human fears of
advancing technology instead of
embracing and championing it as a means
to improve our lives it revels in gore
torture violence and destruction in a
show that was once have I taken a higher
path using rationality understanding and
diplomacy to solve problems it does all
of this and for what
to tell a story that nobody wanted in
the first place to explore ideas that
have already been handled by other
better writers to
seamlessly forcing the creators
political views that none of us asked
for or caribou or just to squeeze the
last remnants of fun enthusiasm from a
franchise that pretty much has been
running to the ground by people who
don't know what the [ __ ] they're doing I
don't know I nor do I particularly care
Star Trek Picard is just another sad
example of what happens when arrogant
talentless shameless hacks try to
elevate their own mediocre work by
standing on the shoulders of giants and
in the ends o at minions is an even
longer drop when they inevitably
overreached themselves and fall to their
doom anyway less I've got for today go
away now