Jun 24, 2020

To Boldly Go... Star Trek Enterprise Review

I was raised on Star Trek and watched most of the 80's Star Trek movies as a kid with my family in the theaters.    I watched the original series but it was a little too dated for me as a kid.   I was all over The Next Generation but Deep Space Nine and Voyager are kind of a teen-age blur.   When they rebooted the movies recently I was excited again.  New Kirk, new Spock!  Let's go!  Now it's Quarantimes and CBS All Access had a free month deal.  I have publicly expressed my disdain for every damn channel having exclusive streaming platforms in the past.  I mean like, I pay for TV already, now CBS want's to be fucking Netflix?  So now that I've accepted my fate as a hypocrite,  I could finally watch Discovery and Picard.  It's been a couple months and the free trial has ended so I guess I have CBS All Access now.    I was boycotting Discovery on principal but it's a pandemic and who's got time to bitch.  Bring me the streaming content!   I'm even paying for AppleTV now like a fucking dick head.   I already  binged Picard.  Loved it!   I just finished both seasons of Discovery.  Loved it!   Then I was looking through the shows and found a Star Trek series I never gave much thought to when it was originally on.   Star Trek Enterprise.  I fully thought this came out in like 2009 or 10.  When it started I kept thinking that it looked like a 90's TV show. And then the theme song played.   So painful.  Why are they using late 90's power ballad music for a Star Trek show?  And the collage of American flight historical images blending into bad CGI of modern space flight was so folksy and Live Laugh Love I wanted to puke in chalk paint.  WTF is going on?  Watch at your own risk... 

Then I looked it up and the internet says this came out in 2001.   Woah.  I had no idea it was that old.  Kinda explains a lot but nothing can explain why a Star Trek series is bucking the tradition of a timeless orchestral theme.   At least the dumb Firefly theme song fits the cheesy folksy "Western in space" vibe they were going for.  This is Star Trek dammit!  Despite the 90's production and horrible intro, I pressed on.  I'm 7 episodes in and I'll say its tickling that Star Trek nerve but I have some issues.

First of all, not that they could know this in 2001 but... it takes place in 2156 or something. If they knew the backwards ass shit happening in 2020 they might rethink  the rate of our scientific progress.  I really doubt that in 100 years things will be that advanced.  But if what Chief Engineer, Charles "Trip" Tucker III says about humans overcoming hunger and war, then maybe there's hope.  Here's to hoping. 

In the second or third episode there's this dumb sub plot about a slug that the translator of the ship (not a biologist by the way)  took as a specimen from some new-to-them planet they visited.  It's all lethargic and they don't know how to treat it. The doctor keeps suggesting to feed it to his bat.  I thought this was a science vessel?   Anyway at the end of the episode they find another random planet that has the same atmosphere as the slug planet and set it free with happy ending music.  "there ya go little sluggo, you'll love it here"  But these "scientists" at no point considered the fact that  they just introduced an invasive species on a random planet they spent zero minutes studying beyond whether the atmosphere was compatible with the slug.  Now you have this one slug with no way to reproduce.  And if it was some asexual being that doesn't need a mate then, you're looking at a slug invasion in a world where it has no natural predator.  Or it does have a predator and it just gets wiped out right away.  Maybe I'm overthinking this but it just seemed really reckless, hasty and not very scientific. 

Doctor, translator, captain, engineer (which seems to mean, works on the engine) security, Vulcan science officer, navigator. 

Speaking of not scientific, hasty and reckless. Early into the series you learn that the captain has a pet dog with him. A fucking dog. On a star ship meant to "visit strange new worlds and seek out new life" they let you bring fucking dogs?  A dog that one can only presume based on the fact that the only scenes you see him in he is locked in the captains tiny private quarters.   Where does he pee? Does he go for walks? Is there a  doggy day care on the Enterprise? 

"there ya go boy, go piss on plants and shit
we've never seen or studied before".
A few episodes later they find a planet that, on paper seems exactly like Earth only there's no intelligent life.   So they get in the shuttle craft and zip down there to study the flora and fauna.  You know, scientifically.   So what's the first thing that pops out of the shuttle when they land?   His fucking dog!!!    So the one time you see the dog outside of the Captain's room is on a foreign planet they've never been to before.    Maaan who's fucking writing this show?

Maybe it was the intent of the show all along being that it's early on in Earth's warp capable era but it's annoying how dumb the Earthlings are portrayed.  Another thing that is bugging me is that it seems like when they say Earth in this show it actually means America because as far as I can tell there are no foreigners on the ship except for the Vulcan Science Officer and the Doctor who's a Denobulan.  Everyone else seems very American. Even the original series had a more diverse crew even by Earth standards. 

Come for the Sci-Fi, stay for the Vulcan tittays.

Despite this shit I'm gonna keep watching.  It's still Star Trek after all.  I'm surprised that I still haven't seen a "live long and prosper" hand gesture yet.  On the last episode I watched  I finally got a Vulcan neck pinch.  There's still three more seasons.  I'm hoping it gets better.  I doubt they'll change the theme song tho.   Woof, it's bad.  


UPDATE: I just read this again after discussing the show recently and it's more forgiving than I remember.  I watched more of it and it got worse and I quit because it got so bad.  I've been told that it gets better in the later seasons but I couldn't make it passed season 1.  That theme song might be the main culprit.  It's like one step forward with a good episode then 2 steps back because you have to hear it again before the next episode.  Discovery season 3 has got to be one of my all time favorite collections of Star Trek ever.  

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