Strange New Worlds. it’s pretty good 😔

So I guess I owe Alex Kurtzman an apology.

I was reading an article somewhere by someone that ranked all the Star Trek TV series. They placed placed SNW at #3.

Already.

Only four episodes have aired.

But here’s the sad part: I’d rank it there too 😔

Yes, SNW is pretty damn good. I’m ashamed to admit it. The nerds may nitpick the series to death. They may question its science or its adherence to canon. They may bitch about nuTrek being too “woke” (Star Trek’s always been woke). They, like me, may never want to admit Alex Kurtzman finally did something right. But they know in their hearts: SNW is quality Star Trek.

I knew Star Trek had a JJ Abrams/Alex Kurtzman problem when Into Darkness went into production a little late because, it seemed, they just straight up forgot about it. And the final product was predictably shit.

That’s when I came to the conclusion that Star Trek should have died with the ending of Enterprise. OR they should have waited longer than 5 years to reboot the franchise.

ST just wasn’t out of the public consciousness long enough to make much of an impact, I felt. And to be honest, I still kinda feel that way.

Can you imagine if Paramount waited until NOW to reboot Star Trek?

We probably would have been given an “R-rated” treatment directed by Denis Villanueva, where the 24th Century would have been presented as completely alien to the 21st Century audiences. Probably graphic violence and nudity galore as Starfleet officers take it all in stride due to Vulcan, stoic ideals permeating the Federation.

It was a missed opportunity tbh because Paramount wanted to continue exploiting the pockets of Trek fans.

But, finally, 13 years after ST09, we finally get quality Star Trek. 👍

tapping into the Roddenberry box

We can all agree: Kurtzman era Star Trek has been godawful. There was no reason to think that Strange New Worlds would be any different, but then the first episode became available on YouTube. So I thought: “fuck it, I’ll give it a shot.”

Whoever’s running SNW had the right idea: just tap the ball into the hole. Don’t try to do too much.

It’s common to assume that Trek fans are notoriously hard to please . This is false. In fact, they’re a little too easy to please. Furthermore, I’d say that Star Trek is stupidly easy to write: minimize drama between the main characters, the Federation humanistic…almost utopian…ideals always win out, the “alien of the week” is analogous to current events, and everything can be solved using science…even if the science is totally pulled out of your ass.

This is also called the (Gene) “Roddenberry Box.” TNG writers initially struggled with it until Michael Piller turned staying within it into an art. The Next Generation is now considered one of the best shows in the sci-fi genre. It’s also the benchmark for which all other Trek shows are evaluated.

Hollywood writers, especially ones that aren’t familiar with Star Trek, might think they have to do MORE to make the story interesting. But they really don’t. You can “challenge” the box every now and then, but the optimism and science MUST win out.

So using this criteria, based on the first episode, Strange New Worlds is Star Trek…which is more than I can say for Discovery and Picard. Yes, that’s a low bar to hurdle but I guess third time is a charm. Maybe the rest of it will be shit, but as long as the show runners don’t try to do too much, they might have a pretty good show.

Still not paying for Paramount+ tho.