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Old 11-18-2017, 10:14 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Tanngrisnir
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Do you know how Saru feels in the forests of Pahven early on, when he's desperate to get off the planet, can't appreciate what it has to offer, and can't even sleep because of the infernal, constant noise, tormenting him every second?

That's how I feel about Discovery every week. It is offering something. I can tell it's offering something. There's good in it, and I can occasionally establish enough objective distance from it to identify the good -- although never enough to actually judge whether the good justifies the bad. But, every time I try to just relax and enjoy the show, Discovery resumes its infernal, constant noise of hideous design and shattering continuity.

I watched Enterprise kick over some of Trek's canon idols and made my peace with it, even fell in love. I watched the Abrams movies, which was not as easy, and wrote Eleven Is Prime as a testament to how I forced myself to make peace with it. (I did not fall in love, but that was Into Darkness's own fault for being bad, not mine for being closed-minded.) But it's as though the past twenty years of Star Trek have been all about gradually ramping up the pressure on continuity buffs.

Discovery isn't just determined to ignore canon; if they wanted to do that, they would have just set the darned thing in the 25th century with no problem. No, Discovery has set out to deliberately touch bits of canon and then throw them back in our faces, shouting "nyah nyah look what I can do to your precious TOS!" I can't stop thinking about Discovery's canonical recklessness because every time I try to bracket it they throw some new retcon at me like "Harry Mudd is a mass murderer" or "Sarek is a damned liar" or "these 23rd-century communicators make 24th-century noises because our sound library is garbage." (Seriously, as an audio producer, the sound design of this show makes me want to throat-punch everyone.)

Even in those rare moments when I'm able to get away from wondering where the devil all the TOS Klingons without ridges are hiding or why Kirk was so surprised about cloaking devices in "Balance of Terror" when the KLINGONS had the technology ten years earlier... I then find myself thinking, "Boy, isn't it a shame that the ship, uniform, computer designs, and camera work all look so offensively bad?" People used to joke about the Abramsprise bridge looking like an Apple Store, but I hate the appearance of the bridge so much I would much prefer the bridge be an actual Apple Store.
And... I can't get past it. I just watched "Si Vis Pacis, Para Bellum," and I don't know whether it was good! I suspect it wasn't. For a Saru character episode, we got way too little time with Saru setting the stage, dealing with his crisis, or cleaning up the aftermath, and as a result Saru just seemed mercurial and untrustworthy. Presumably those scenes were all cut to make room for More Klingon Nonsense, in a subplot where I genuinely do not know what happened. Is the Admiral dead? Alive? Escaped? Still jailed? Find out next week, because this week didn't bother telling us!

But I'm too busy sitting here looking at the Gagarin bridge and asking whether there are any ships in the fleet besides the Enterprise that actually look like the Enterprise right now. (The Gagarin has, like, the fourth hideously ugly Starfleet bridge in a row.) Did CBS writers read Eleven Is Prime? Or am I just supposed to accept this?

Call it rigidity, but I cannot convince myself to enjoy this show, although I keep trying every week.
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