Star Trek: Discovery Incomplete Review

downloadOf COURSE I’m going to write about the new Star Trek show. I’ve been watching some iteration of Star Trek most of my life. And re-watching. And nerding out over…

This is a super incomplete review because we are in a new world of television and I’m still figuring that out. So part of this review is the actual show. Well the first half of the first show that I was graciously allowed to see by CBS. The rest of the review is of CBS’s new programming model.

The first episode (well half–it was part one of a two parter but I haven’t seen the second half yet) was…okay enough that I’ll put the show on my list of shows to catch up on someday.

The good: you can see all the money and work put into this on every frame (I know, “frame” is old school, but you know what I mean). It’s been called “cinematic” and they’re not kidding. It has the look and feel of the re-booted movies.

Michelle Yeoh is an awesome captain! Doug Jones gets to play a cool alien! Our star is Sonequa Martin-Green is a determined and flawed main character! I mean just watching Yeoh and Martin-Green in the opening bit was enough to make me tear up about how far we’ve come with the diversity in television, and how Star Trek has always been an important part of that.

The space suit absolutely rocked!

The meh and the bad: Yeah it looked cool, but was it more style than substance? I could do with less lens flare, wacky color correction and weird 30 degree filming angles and less clunky exposition. When people who claim to have been working together for seven years explain that they are arguing about the same things they always do it’s just annoying. And what was going on in the opening? Was it me or were they violating the Prime Directive right off the bat for no apparent reason?

But mostly, it was a perfectly fine, if a bit action-y first half of a two part episode. I’m not going to complain about the Klingons who look like Orcs. They keep changing the way Klingon’s look, fans keep crying about it and if the show is any good they get over it (and it led to this great joke on DS9). It seems like an odd choice to me, putting this in between the the Enterprise series and before the original series. It looks SO different it just seems like they could have made it in the future (beyond Next Generation) and called their Orcs something new and not had to worry about the timeline confusion. I mean this lady is a kind of half-sister to Spock we’ve never heard of? C’mon. Don’t bother with that.

So yeah, I’ll watch the rest of it someday. But I’m not jumping on the CBS ALL ACCESS! bandwagon. I have an HD antenna so was able to watch that one on the air (almost a half hour late for some reason, probably football.) I pay $10 a month for Netflix and we use the heck out of that service.  I pay $99 a year (so $8.25 a month) for Amazon Prime. Included with that is Amazon Prime Video which also has many TV shows and movies available and I can pay a little more to buy episodes of shows (or whole seasons even) or rent or buy other movies. I don’t mind paying for the occasional show because they usually end up being less than $2 an episode and there are no commercials and I can watch whenever I want.

But now CBS (and Disney and DC and many more) want to get on that action and create their OWN streaming sites. The CBS ALL ACCESS! streaming thing is $6 a month but you still get commercials! You have to pay $10 a month for the ad free experience. That ends up being around $2.50 an episode. I’m not paying for that, especially since I’d be hard pressed to name more CBS shows and have a feeling that the ones I could name wouldn’t be available. Or something.

I’m not angry at CBS. They can try to get money how ever they want. So can all those other outlets. But I’m going to stick with what works for me. In this new cord-cutting landscape I’ve learned to be patient. I don’t mind waiting for a whole series to come out, then come to Netflix or rent it on DVD or pay for it on Amazon or something. But I want it to finish it’s run and know what I’m getting. I wouldn’t have been happy paying for the first two and a half seasons of Next Generation. I wouldn’t have been happy paying for Enterprise. But heck I’d pay out the nose for Deep Space Nine. That was a great show. But I only know that now.

I am a little peeved they only broadcast half of a show. I was expecting them to end on a bit of a cliffhanger to gin up more interest for their streaming thing but that was silly, cutting it off with the beginning of a generic Star Trek space battle. I hear that even if you watched both halves they still haven’t gotten the main character to the, you know, Discovery and her crew. So that doesn’t make me want to rush out and sign up for anything until I know what I’m getting.

That’s okay! I have plenty to watch! I just bought the second season of The Expanse on Amazon and so far it’s AMAZING. Oh, and it was $22.99 for 13 episodes which comes out to about $1.76 per episode which I am free to watch ad free at will. I’m also still way behind on Doctor Who. It left Netflix but is now on Amazon so I’m good there. If it went away from there I’m sure I could rent the discs and keep on going. I wouldn’t have to pay for a whole seperate service for that one show.

Just sayin!