Discovering “Rosetta” and “The Star Gazer”
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Because my love of the Star Trek story and the modern mythology it has become in my life, I will continue to watch Discovery although the last 3 seasons have been an endurance exercise and season 4 has been no different. My, oh, my, these last 4 seasons had some of the most aggravating, weak, infantile and spoon-feeding storytelling in Science Fiction Television.
In fairness, I have enjoyed moments of greatness and engagement from time to time. And I have defended Discovery in hopes that each season would set us on a course with a mature account of the Star Trek chronical. Once again I grow unimpressed with the feeble writing and characters, frankly, the crew and themes of Prodigy are more adult.
I find the recycling of the season long “galactic disaster” narrative season after season, boring, frustrating and sophomoric. The lack of character development has gone from interesting to pathetic to nonexistent. I cannot say with any confidence much about the bridge officers or even their names.
I have watched with unrealized hopes that the lead character Michael Burnham at least would have a strong character arc; however, we find the Star Fleet officer has a new identity each season. Each Michael we meet has the makings of a good story line but they never come to fruition. There is one bright moment at the beginning of season 3 when we find she is free from trying to live up to expectation of Star Fleet and of gaining the approval of her adopted Vulcan father Sarek. Alas, it is short lived. She becomes uncertain, weak-willed and wishy washy of her role, if any, in Star Fleet yet somehow ends up in the captain’s chair with a boyfriend in tow no less. The Burnham character has been like watching a garter snake worming it way through a garden. Maybe this is a new way of developing a character, never knowing what you will get and unpredictable but I find that the strong well coursed growth of a main protagonist is what makes for a great story. I would have preferred Michael to have carried out the role of mutineer and become the anti-hero than the unsure, unconvincing and shaky captain of the most unique star ship Discovery that we have now.
This lack of continuity leaves me cold, indifferent and nearly emptied of any arguments to defend. Yet, I bolster myself, consider the Story as a whole and watch on.
Hi Jane – thank you for these excellent and insightful notes about your Discovery experience. I always want to carefully weigh out the positive and negative feedback on the show (since there is a line of criticism that isn’t as thoughtful). Yours falls closely to mine, and I do find that many elements of the story and character development are, shall we say, taxing.
That said, I do find moments that I appreciate (and sometimes wonder if I appreciate them more simply because the build-up has left me wanting). When DISCO’s writers hone in on character moments, they often do an excellent job. Unfortunately, it also feels sometimes like there is a stopwatch nearby dictating the appearance of the next action scene or “mystery” moment, and that breaks my enjoyment too.
I’m always curious how I’ll end up at the end of a season but then especially how I’ll look back on DISCO overall when the series has wrapped and we have time to look back overall.
Thank you for your continued excellent input!