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kuhla

[TV] Star Trek: Discovery

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This thread is basically a giant note to myself to go check this out.

I still find it amazing that they are pushing this exclusively to CBS All Access streaming platform. It's so incredibly delusional to think everyone can have their own streaming platform "we want our own netflix! that's where the money is at with these kids!"

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The worst part is that for those on Broadcast Television you can only see the 1st episode and to watch the 2nd episode you need the all access...

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Even better, the entire leadership is basically jerking themselves off:

Quote

While it’s too soon to know if the show will hold up over time, the early numbers are promising, the network says today. According to CBS, the show’s launch has led to the highest sign-up day ever for CBS All Access, the streaming service that will be the exclusive home to the series following last night’s streaming and broadcast premiere.

https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/25/star-trek-discovery-debut-led-to-record-sign-ups-for-cbss-streaming-service/

Oh wow, they finally put a piece of gated content on their platform and they hit HIGHEST AND BEST ALL TIME NUMBERS EVER.  I hesitate to compare anyone to the terrible tangerine but this announcement reads like something he would say. 

I'll say the same thing I've said previously.  No one cares who makes the media, very few media companies have that level of brand power.  The idea that we're all going to suddenly pay them on a monthly basis for content is complete horseshit.  I expect we'll soon see more and more announcements about how "piracy is out of hand" and additional lobbying to stop people from stealing the content that they're locking behind paywalls.  Bonus points if their platform is a monthly fee and still includes ads. 

Bonus bonus points: They claim to be somewhere between 1.5 - 4M subscribers currently.  Netflix has them slightly beat... they crossed the 100M subscriber threshold last quarter. 

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Well... I do subscribe to HBO Now primarily because of Game of Thrones. I stay for a bit for Silicon Valley / Room 104 but once I catch up on those I cancel my sub. I mean $10/month * 4 months or so it takes me is not unreasonable for the quality of content that HBO provides.

This seems like the a-la carte pricing we've been asking for a while which is comparably cheaper than the previous option of going for a bundled cable service. I'd say people were spending $50+ /month for basic cable service which might have 2-3 shows they wanted with some premium channels missing some of the content they want. 

At $50/month you can swap that for 5 premium access networks (HBO Now, Netflix, CBS, Youtube TV, Hulu), and get mostly what you got before a-la carte. So I think we're ahead of where we were 10+ years ago but still not as good as it could have been.

I paid $20 or $25 to buy the entire Expanse S2 on YouTube for reference.

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HBO, Netflix and Disney are the only content makers that can live off of their name recognition.  CBS doesn't create enough good content to warrant $10/month, I sincerely doubt that star trek discovery will change that.  Netflix is spending $6B/year on content and I'm not sure it's sustainable but at least they're pumping out their own content helping them grow their subscription base. 

I understand the a-la-carte model, but you're conflating a few systems.  Youtube TV is $35/month and is attempting to be a basic cable replacement, I'd mention Playstation's Vue is another option for this.  Amazon Prime gets messy because they offer content from multiple providers, and their payment model is upfront (although they do offer monthly subscription).  Also purchasing an entire season of a show is basically buying the digital version of a bluray/dvd, except worse. 

I do think people can make better content decisions than 10 years ago, but as content providers continue to try and create their own walled gardens it's getting worse and worse.  This reminds me of the music streaming wars. 

We also have issues with value and content delivery options that are beyond the current system.  Should Netflix's full show release be the standard? Is HBO's weekly release acceptable or is it just a way to earn another $10/month because some people only sign up for individual shows?  Should buying an entire show be cost comparable to a service's monthly subscription?

Honestly, the more content delivery platforms that are created only further reinforces the idea that piracy is the best content consumption model currently. 

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Back on topic

I watched the first two episodes.  Having recently started watching Star Trek: Deep Space 9, I can say that the first two episodes of that show were fairly bombastic and action oriented so I didn't think this was too out of the ordinary.  I'm genuinely surprised they're having the klingons speak... klingon, I can't tell if this is a bigger trend of having shows with subtitles be acceptable but I'm just surprised. 
I have very mixed feelings about the main character, there are some interesting elements that I can appreciate but it feels eerily similar to the recent star trek movies version of captain kirk, I hope they do a bit more to flesh out her character.  
I personally think that these two episodes were basically a made for tv movie/mini-series, and while I initially thought the quality level was way too high to be sustainable, I'm now unsure - looking back at the old trek tv shows, they had huge budgets and often pushed the limits on CGI at the time.  I'll be interested to see if this series gets enough attention to warrant the big budget being thrown at it, or if the weird streaming only platform is sustainable. 

EDIT:
Oh one of the reasons why this show has a huge budget is that it's not CBS spending all the money on it.  It's Netflix.  In fact, all the international streaming rights belong to Netflix.

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Watched 2 episodes. What the hell is this? Another alternate timeline? Why are so many things different? Production values are nuts; easily movie quality.

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All caught up now through episode 4.

This is NOT Star Trek no matter how many names and ideas they borrow. I have starting thinking about it as some other space opera. It's more enjoyable that way.

Production value still seems unsustainably high.

 

 

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I think I'm just classifying this in the same vein as the star trek movies, heavy on the action and handwavy nonsense but still enjoyable. 

I think star trek has shied away from the more war focused storylines because that's not what the creator had in mind and they tend to be too black and white to make a good show about.  This series is clearly going to focus on the klingon war and seems to be leaning heavily on "what would you do in a time of war to save your people?" which is a really terrible premise because it's got about as much depth as a reflecting pool. 

I'm of the opinion you should never name drop people that are still alive in a sci-fi setting, even with a near future setting it would be in bad taste.

It's a weird juxtaposition to have the quality of actors and their enormous budget compared with really mediocre writing and a terrible plot.  Most of the time it's been the other way around - but I shouldn't criticize too harshly, Star Trek has suffered from poor writing before.

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Not really thrilled with that mid-season finisher. Felt weak.

Spoiler
  1. Walking away from the explosion? I guess we needed more convincing that he is a man more appropriate for an action movie and not star trek.
  2. I wish they had not shown the Captain inputting that override since it really robs the next season of some mystery.
  3. Minor nitpick but can someone introduce Rapp to some whitestripes? Everyone has white teeth and his are very yellow to the point of being distracting.
  4. I really don't understand what they are doing with that female klingon prisoner. I'm sure there is a twist coming but every twist option I can think of feels lame.
  5. I heard you guys like alternate timelines so we put an alternate universe with an alternate timeline in your alternate timeline so you can tell different stories in your different stores.

I'll probably continue watching mostly to enjoy the visuals but there is not much of the story that is interesting to me....

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The last few episodes were incredibly lame. 

Spoiler


  1. The walking away from the explosion is even more stupid because he specifically uses his eyedrops right before it happens so he can watch the explosion...
  2. The captain is clearly meant to be neutral/evil.  He does shady shit, he disobeys orders... but he gets stuff done.  This is a terrible trope and I hope the follow up on the admiral plotline because otherwise it's just crap writing. 
  3. Lol
  4. I think it's a weird combination of PTSD/rape that they're trying to play with, but I feel like this show doesn't have nearly the finesse to handle those topics without falling over itself. 
  5. This seemed obvious from the very beginning when they introduced the mycilial network  - I'm not thrilled with the idea of spending half a season dealing with it but I expect they need a way to close off their special jump technology otherwise it totally shits on the entire established star trek universe. 

 

I'm more interested in what they do with the main character.  I actually think she's got enough complexities to be interesting, and I'd like to see where they go with her.  Unfortunately the show clearly doesn't have great writing and I wonder if they're trying to pump the action up to cover for it (also desperately trying to tap into the recent movies success).  I really loved the part where they FOR NO PARTICULAR REASON mention that the first officer's species can run at 80kph, I wonder if he's going to need to run fast in this episode? Atrocious writing.  The supporting cast is utter shit, I felt more attached to Michelle Yeoh's than the entire rest of the cast combined. 

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On 11/15/2017 at 11:59 AM, kuhla said:

I'll probably continue watching mostly to enjoy the visuals but there is not much of the story that is interesting to me....

 

On 1/12/2018 at 1:36 PM, kuhla said:

Note to self, this started back up.

All caught up now. Production value still seems very high. Still not doing a lot for me though.

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The production value is high, most of the acting is fairly good, but the overall plot is very boring. 

I am giving them as much runway as I can, because every single star trek series tends to get better over time, except enterprise that show was utter shite.  Considering I'm also watching through Deep Space 9 right now, it's obvious how much better seasons 4+ are compared to the first season or two.  I hope that Discovery hits it's stride a bit sooner, especially since they have the advantage of creating a less self contained / episodic show. 

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The show ended it's first season.  It wasn't particularly good, and the ending had plenty of self-aggrandizing bullshit that just fell flat.  I do hope that their exceedingly large budget is spent on some actual writing rather than flashy effects and mediocre action scenes.

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Finished this season.

That last episode feels a LOT like they actually intended to end with episode 14 but then were asked to do a 15 to "tie it up". The whole last episode just felt like this rush for closure.

I also hope for a bit more out of a second season (which has already been confirmed).

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I have nothing to add other than to comment that it has been a while since I have heard some Lenny Kravitz.

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Season 2 started and alongside it there are 4 short standalone episodes that were released.  I have watched all 4 shorts - they're not particularly good, only one had a halfway decent storyline all the others were forgettable and one has a character I find particularly obnoxious. 

It looks like they haven't made any changes to fix the issues I had with season 1.  The show is still gorgeous and is the best star trek has ever looked (I think this show looks better than the recent films at times).  Unfortunately, they also feel the need to cram as much pointless action sequences into the show as possible "oh no we only have 10 seconds until something terrible happens *random explosions going off* - oh man I'll talk really fast and then solve the issue right before a main character gets killed."  The writing doesn't seem any better this season and some of the plot threads they're starting up make me question where they plan on taking this show.  Also I had to pause the show and laugh at the fucking power rangers outfits they were rocking in episode one - they just needed the green ranger with his dagger/flute to complete that lineup. 

Spoiler

The preview for this season teased section 31 and *evil* Captain Georgiou being a member - that's the only plotline I'm remotely interested in.  The fact they're actually having spock come into this series is fine, but the idea that he's also a love interest to Michael is shit.  I'm not opposed to romance elements in star trek, but I really dislike the trend of the main character bouncing from one romance to another every season - it seems tacky and takes away from her character (it oddly reminds me of Kirk banging every green alien he came across). 

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On 10/10/2017 at 8:58 AM, kuhla said:

This is NOT Star Trek no matter how many names and ideas they borrow. I have starting thinking about it as some other space opera. It's more enjoyable that way.

After watching some of this new season, I think I will have to continue this same mental exercise if I want to at least partially enjoy what I am watching.

On 1/28/2019 at 9:26 AM, Malaphax said:

Season 2 started and alongside it there are 4 short standalone episodes that were released.  I have watched all 4 shorts - they're not particularly good, only one had a halfway decent storyline all the others were forgettable and one has a character I find particularly obnoxious. 

It looks like they haven't made any changes to fix the issues I had with season 1.  The show is still gorgeous and is the best star trek has ever looked (I think this show looks better than the recent films at times).  Unfortunately, they also feel the need to cram as much pointless action sequences into the show as possible "oh no we only have 10 seconds until something terrible happens *random explosions going off* - oh man I'll talk really fast and then solve the issue right before a main character gets killed."  The writing doesn't seem any better this season and some of the plot threads they're starting up make me question where they plan on taking this show.  Also I had to pause the show and laugh at the fucking power rangers outfits they were rocking in episode one - they just needed the green ranger with his dagger/flute to complete that lineup. 

I agree with everything said here. Thinking is not allowed in this show. Nonstop explosion/flying/shooting crisis punctuated by really fast talking to sound as smart as possible. Everyone seems incredibly in love with the sound of their own voice.

Even Star Trek: Enterprise (which was not very good) felt more proper Star Trek than this.

I will continue to watch it because the production value is ridiculous and it's sci-fi. If this show as not associated with Star Trek I would have a not-as-negative perspective on it.

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