Picard hits rock bottom

“This is your Star Fleet Pizza delivery service- who ordered the meat-feast?”

Well its over.we can be thankful for that, at least, but frack me, it somehow managed to get even worse with its grand finale. The crass stupidity of the writing and direction, well, it beggared belief, frankly, and at the end I actually felt insulted. There’s no other word for it, as a Star Trek fan since a young kid, this current incarnation of the show was actually insulting- insulting my own intelligence as a viewer and insulting the history and legacy of the Star Trek franchise itself. The writer/s, producers and director/s have mugged everybody: I was shouting at the screen at several points, and actually stopped and rewound sections just to be sure I was seeing what I was seeing and hearing what I was hearing. If I had the time I would re-watch the whole thing again just so I could run through it and record here all the magnificently farcical stupidity for posterity.

Biggest example of the stupidity: that bloody magic gadget they had to instantly fix the engines by thinking about fixing the engines and also able to create a vast fleet of projected spaceships to fool EVERYONE by just thinking about a vast fleet of spaceships. I couldn’t quite figure out why, when Picard finally collapses, dying in some vain attempt by Patrick Stewart to finally get off the show, the dumb doctor didn’t just use the magic gadget to miraculously cure him (instead Picard is transported down to the surface for an interminably long death scene infront of his crew who wail like lifelong freinds but who mostly only met him a few days before). And of course, Picard is then dead and then he isn’t. Its quite the pathos of Pantomime. They aren’t telling some grand emotional story, they are taking the piss.

It was the sheer stupidity that angered me. The crass self-confidence that whoever wrote this rubbish thought they could get away with it by frantically rushing through the scenes and distracting viewers with flashy effects- its all smoke and mirrors, no substance at all, like most JJ Abrams stuff. If I were the studio, I’d have sacked these clowns from the show mid-season, and certainly never let them work on one again.

The dialogue made George Lucas’ writing on the Star Wars prequels seem genuinely Shakespearean: at one point a character yells “Planet sterilisation pattern number five!” 

Who. Writes. This. Shit.

They even get Riker away from his retirement cooking pizza to actually put him in command of a rescue mission (they literally reprise the hoary old chestnut of the cavalry saves the day); its some of the most crass and blatantly moronic fan-service I’ve seen in years, and God only knows we’ve seen some fan-service in geekdom lately.

Are audiences so mindless now that they just accept this rubbish (I see a second season has somehow been greenlit, presumably with the same creative team of talent-less jerks behind it)? How is anyone actually still watching it? I mean, other than us sad fools whose morbid curiosity saw us through to the very bitter end, who else actually managed to watch all ten episodes? I wonder what the drop-off rate was as the season progressed? Who was left watching at the end? And how many even cared?

Scariest thing of all- did someone actually watch this feast of garbage and actually like it?

8 thoughts on “Picard hits rock bottom

  1. Matthew McKinnon
    1. I’m familiar with the books (never read one, but I’ve seen the art) but had no idea a series was coming. Just watched the trailer and it looks very interesting, definitely one to watch.

      Regards Picard season two, I actually wouldn’t be surprised if we never actually see it. There’s plenty of excuses they can use by way of delays etc. as I’ve read that viewing figures have fallen through he floor as its progressed. Then again, somehow ST: Discovery is coming with another season- the sheer hubris and ignorance of the creative teams would only seem to be matched by that of the studios making shows that nobody is watching. Strange world: had Firefly been made today, it would have probably run for years.

  2. Well, I didn’t hate it, but nor did I love it either. There were some narrative leaps, romances that I’m ok with but came out of nowhere or moved too fast, and that magic tool…please.

    1. I think its some of the little things that bugged me most: that late throwaway shot of Seven of Nine romantically holding hands with Raffi: its the tv show equivalent of click-bait and just as cynical. In all its ten episodes, Picard never once, as I recall, suggested that either character was gay or bisexual (didn’t Raffi flirt with Picard at one point?) and yet they cannot resist chucking in that shot. If you’re going to do that, at least earn it, lead up to it, work it into the arcs. But no, they just chuck it in there like they are just ticking a box or something.

      I’m not against gay characters or strong representation of women- nobody ever complained about Ripley in Alien or Sarah Connor in Terminator, and Seven of Nine is clearly one of the few positives about Picard (albeit when you really get down to it, shes actually quite one-dimensional just like everybody else- its just that she actively does something when she’s featured in episodes). Its just that one silly shot, it just comes out of nowhere like so much of that series.

      1. I finally finished it today! More thoughts in my next TV column, but overall… well, it’s a funny one. I think it’s fundamentally not bad, but it’s absolutely littered with individual lines / moments / scenes / decisions of utter stupidity. Riker’s in charge of the entire Starfleet fleet because he fancied it after hearing Picard’s message just a day or two earlier — what the merry fuck?! Fan service indeed. And all the other points you mention (I honestly didn’t know what to make of that moment between Raffi and Seven because I don’t remember a connection between them being established at all). But I think if someone was able to go back over it all and give it a polish — to straighten out all those many, many kinks — then it wouldn’t be a bad series. Unfortunately, that’s not how TV works.

        I haven’t followed its production history closely, but I believe some of the senior writers of this season are leaving, so maybe that will be to season two’s benefit. Or not, who knows.

      2. I really hoped for the best when it started, but it quickly collapsed into a mess of too many ideas/twisted logic and character beats that didn’t feel honest. A part of this is simply having writers who either don’t ‘know’ Trek or are ill-suited to the project, in just the same way as a lot of the writing on the Disney Star Wars films doesn’t ring true. Studios seem to think ANYONE can write this stuff, and the people that do fail to have sufficient respect, like JJ Abrams teleporting people across the galaxy and to ships in Warp; he likely doesn’t see the harm, but it breaks ‘the world’ set-up by predecessors. The fact that he does it just to facilitate the needs of his script in that moment, without doing it the honest way, just winds me up no end. Its ham-fisted ignorance, in just the same way as Riker putting down his apron and suddenly leading a space armada: absolutely taking the piss. I could rant for hours.

  3. Pingback: The 2020 List: March – the ghost of 82

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