Ah, your season 1 assessments, your Glennies, your Valerieseses… so much fun! Am again reminded about how lucky I am to have found Lower Decks. Your podcast and forums truly have made watching DIS twice as much fun :) It is required listening/reading, as far as this Trekkie is concerned!
Was interested to hear you guys give further discussion to the rumor that this series might not be set in the Prime Universe. I personally believe it’s just a rumor - or maybe I simply hope it is. The day they ever reveal DIS is not in the Prime Universe is the day I'd probably start to tune out. It’s one reason I’ve never much invested in the Kelvin Universe movies or comics; as I've written here before, Star Trek’s sprawling, longheld continuity is one of this franchise's biggest draws for me. So fingers crossed!
In listening to you guys pick what you loved/hated about season 1, I’ve tried to do the same. Tbh, I’ve really loved most of it! (except for the guy mentioned in the paragraph beneath this one.) My favorite episodes have been “Choose Your Pain” - especially for the excitement of Lorca’s imprisonment on the Klingon ship, plus the intro of Harry Mudd and 'Ash Tyler,' both of whom I’ll love - and “Magic To Make The Sanest Man Go Mad” - especially for more merrily mad Mudd! Very episodic shows, I know. But right under those, I’d pick “Despite Yourself” and “Will You Take My Hand?” - the gripping start and stunning finish of a great serialized multi-episode story arc. Honestly though, DIS has given us so many wonderful characters, moments, settings, effects, and situations spread across all its episodes… and possibilities for so much more.
There’s only one episode I recall not liking much. “Lethe.” And my dislike for it stems from the only element I’ve not liked about this entire series: Sarek. Forget about his dubious starting/ending roles in the Klingon War - my beef with him began even before the pilot. And while I’ve given DIS an entire season to change my mind? I still regret Sarek’s forced, unnecessary and (still) problematic relationship with Burnham, all in regard to Spock’s continuity. I’m eager to see how s2 massages or inflames this. Spock is the most important character in all of Star Trek from where I sit, he is sacred ground - so I am beyond wary of any new plot element which suddenly muddles his unique, established background. I love Burnham, otherwise! I just wish she’d been raised by any other Vulcan family besides Spock’s.
[AND NOW, STRANGELY: SPOILERS FROM “THE LAST JEDI” OF ALL THINGS! Lol]
Lastly, I gotta mention something I call the TLJ effect, and how it may have helped me to enjoy our new Trek series even more. In December, I had one of the few loves of my life, the Star Wars saga, dump me out of nowhere. To say I hated “The Last Jedi” would be grand understatement; it was more like acid on my soul. And this acid was so corrosive, it burned the connection I had to a franchise I’d planned on being with for the rest of my life. But what's relevant here, is that it also tweaked my perspective on how I take in all of my most cherished entertainment. Maybe it made me.. go easier on DIS? Instead of letting things like my Sarek issues snowball into the 2nd half of this season, magnifying smaller complaints and souring my overall experience… I had this new barometer. “Okay,” I’d ask myself, “is the Sarek/Burnham connection as awful as the trashing of Luke Skywalker’s character? Is the apparent death-for-now of one of at least two gay characters as deeply insulting as the unwanted, unnecessary killing off of Luke, who’d become the last longtime hero you had left in this Star Wars franchise?” I’d ask myself: “is the abrupt, simplified conclusion to Lorca’s story as enduringly offensive to you as Luke’s own will be - or as an entire Star Wars film packed with contrived, badly written, wasteful subplots?” Or I’d ask myself: “is the thin characterization of Emperor Georgiou as awful as TLJ ignoring Star Wars’ history just to give a great sendoff to a character we’ve known for 10 minutes?” You get the point. Star Wars and Star Trek have been running alongside each other for most of my life. They’ve been my two uber-sagas of pop culture. So when one of them suddenly tells me that it would rather see younger fans? I can’t help but look kinder on the other - which may let me down here and there, but overall, it still clearly appreciates me a lot.
It’s yet another reason I still appreciate Star Trek - and why I love everything that “Star Trek: Discovery” is trying to do <3