Star Trek: Picard
#1
Last week my wife and I finally paid for an annual subscription to Paramount+. We wanted to watch Halo but she didn't like the first episode, so before we cancelled the free trial we decided to check out Picard.

Amazon Prime users had the option of watching the first episode for free last year. I'm not sure if they still do. I did try to watch the episode but it didn't make any sense to me. I had a lot going on last year so I just abandoned the show.

This time around - perhaps because I already had some familiarity with the episode - I was able to feel more engaged.

We binged on the entire first season in a few nights last weekend and we really enjoyed it.

We began watching the 2nd season this week. As only 6 episodes have been released, we're now stuck in limbo along with everyone else.

I have to admit that I don't like watching shows on a weekly basis. Although I grew up in that world of entertainment scheduling, I'm much more comfortable with binging on my own schedule. I've occasionally thought about expanding my DvD/Blu-ray collection just to avoid signing up for all these streaming platforms. But for now we've joined the Streaming Generation.

I really enjoy the story-telling in Picard. I have to confess that they fully got me with all the inside references to past ST shows and movies. And I don't even catch them all. I see people mention stuff on social media and I have to admit they saw things I didn't see.

My wife is not quite as big an SF fan as I am, but she also loves Star Trek (probably a little bit more than me when it comes to the Next Generation movies) and she can follow along pretty well. If I point out some homage she usually gets it. So we're really enjoying how they tie all these past threads together.

Admittedly, there's a voice in the back of my mind that says, "Geeze, this is really corny. They're revisiting all the old tropes!"

And that is what they are doing, but at the same time they're bringing in some new ideas. I have a theory about what is going on with Q, for example, and if I'm even close to what they are doing, then that's a new direction for him (based on the shows I've watched - I have not yet watched Discovery, so I don't know if they've explored Q's character in any of those eps).

We're looking forward to the next episode.

My wife likes Elnor (Evan Evagora). He looks like an elf from the Peter Jackson movies, so she calls him Legolas. I can't help but wonder if the similarity in appearance was intentional. Even though Elnor is a Romulan, his name sounds pseudo-elvish.

We were quite pleasantly surprised to hear Alison Pill sing in SE2E06. Music has been a part of the Star Trek experience since the original series, and I'm glad they were able to work it into the storyline. Of course, that voice in the back of my head asked, "How did the band know to play THIS song ..."

But I digress.

Anyway, those are my initial thoughts. I'd like to hear how other people feel about the show.
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#2
Well, I've now finished season 2 of Picard. Can't say I enjoyed it as much as season 1. My wife feels the same way.

I don't want to invest a lot of time in analyzing the story. I think it was just a weak, bad story. It wasn't interesting. I've read a few critiques of the entire arc, but for me what undermines the latest Trek shows is this wallowing in nostalgia. And it appears that Picard season 3 is going to be even worse.

I can understand bringing characters back to tell new stories with them. I don't mind that. What bothers me is the way characters appear to be dropped into these plots somewhat gratuitously.

I enjoyed Ito Aghayere's performance as younger Guinan, but I wasn't convinced that Guinan really added anything to the storyline. She did perform a necessary function (necessary to the central problem of the plot), but I think they could have resolved that need in other ways.

And, frankly, I'm getting kind of fed up with all the Soong generatons looking exactly like Brent Spiner (and none of them explaining how this family propagates across the centuries). Brent Spiner is a fine actor and he adds a lot to any Star Trek show. But it just feels like he keeps playing the Soong family so the audience can have a kind of sick taste of Data (even though Data was diametrically opposite to just about everything the Soongs do).

It's been a disappointing season 2.
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