The Modern Star Trek TV Shows are So Divisive

Why Modern Star Trek TV Shows Are So Divisive

Modern Star Trek has become strangely divisive – which factors made it so? Charting a course across screens big and small, Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek endured where so many others sank, but at no point has the good ship Star Trekbeen invulnerable. Star Trek: The Original SeriesSeason 3 and Star Trek: The Next GenerationBoth season 1 and 2 were able to weather stormy seas. However, there is a legend that odd-numbered movies are cursed. Enterprise They were met with widespread indifference.

2013’s Star Trek Into Darkness was arguably the first example of modern Star Trek division. Despite strong reviews and a predecessor that successfully reignited mainstream fortunes, Star Trek Into Darkness is frequently voted among the franchise’s very worst cinematic endeavors by fan polls. This same spirit also permeates TV. Star Trek: DiscoveryStar Trek: PicardAnd Star Trek: Lower Decks all coming under fire. Only Star Trek: Strange New Worlds evaded the cruel sting of audience ire.


Related: Strange New Worlds Fixes A Modern Star Trek Problem

Modernization: The division Star Trek can be partly attributed to a far wider culture chasm. Amusingly, right-wing media are accused Star Trek: Strange New Worlds of going political, and as the franchise makes efforts to increase cast diversity and representation, a vocal minority will always seek to devalue progress by crying “wokeness.” It is also true that social media has exacerbated toxicity in fandoms. Look no further than Moses Ingram’s. Star Wars backlash, The Rings of Power comment sections, or Snyder cut hashtags to see how quickly fires can catch. For Star Trek specifically, however, why have modern TV shows proven so divisive?

Star Trek’s Modern TV Shows Are Very Different

Picard and Q Season 2 Finale

Addressing Star Trek: Discovery backlash at SDCC 2022, Sonequa Martin-Green struck upon a crucial truth, underlining the biggest factor behind modern Trek criticism. The Michael Burnham actress graciously accepted the criticism.Let’s be honest, we are quite different from other iterations. And that is why we had to figure out ourselves.. We needed to identify our identity and find a way to settle into it..”

From Star Trek: The Original SeriesThrough to EnterpriseThe core of Star TrekThe franchise largely remained unchanged. Although the franchise changed, evolved and was updated, quality remained largely unchanged. Star Trek felt like Star Trek. Launch of Star Trek: Discovery in 2017 verged upon a wholesale reinvention. Tonally darker and intentionally more mature Star Trek: DiscoveryDropping the swashbuckling of the franchise, it emphasizes the interpersonal drama and replaces weekly episodic adventures by long-form serialized storytelling. Star Trek: PicardUncle Gene’s original recipe has been modified to include a doubled-down on serialization and a more pronounced tone. Star Trek: Lower Decks heads in the opposite direction by channeling outright comedy for a totally alien experience.

Modern Star TrekTV shows have redefined what the “Star Trek” label means. The overwhelming positive reaction to Strange New Worlds is the exception to prove that rule, as Pike’s Enterprise strikes a happier light-dark blend and heralds a return to the episodic days of yore.

Related: Strange New Worlds Brilliantly Reverses Star Trek’s Oldest Trope

Sonequa Martin Green eloquently explains the problem as: Star Trek: DiscoveryFinding your niche is not necessarily a bad thing. Heading into season 5, the Disco gang command a loyal following comprised of preexisting fans who enjoy Star Trek: Discovery on its own merits, and newcomers who maybe didn’t enter with any strong preconception of what Star TrekShould be. Serialized formatting must be at least allowed Star Trek: DiscoveryAvoiding feeling derivative. The tonal switch has allowed stories covering mental health and grief as well as family with depth and nuance. Boldly going wherever Star Trek hasn’t gone before isn’t always a bad thing.

Modern Star Trek Has Broken Canon

Changes to established canon are sacrosanct for any movie or TV franchise, but with over half a century of lore to consider, modern Star Trek poses an especially tricky continuity nightmare. Star Trek: Lower DecksIts madcap comedy stylings can make it difficult to exclude, but Star Trek: DiscoveryAnd Star Trek: Picard have both played fast-and-loose with fictional history.

Star Trek: Discovery‘s biggest bug-bear is the Klingon Empire, as the veteran baddies undertook a physical and cultural makeover that went down about as well as a tribble’s furball. The Klingon Empire was not only a nuisance, but also a source of many problems. Star Trek: DiscoveryKlingons today are virtually unrecognizable as their predecessors (or descendants?). But the species’ whole aesthetic was changed and their culture transformed into a hyperreligious cult. Star Trek: Discovery made efforts to explain these changes, but more canon wrinkles kept arising – the Federation war, Spock’s secret sibling, knowing what the Gorn look like, etc. Eventually, Star Trek: Discovery took the wise decision to relocate itself 900 years into the future where canon eggshells aren’t as easily stepped on, and seasons 3 & 4 are vastly improved as a result.

Star Trek: Picard finds itself tripping into similar pitfalls. Jean-Luc’s bleak season 1 characterization feels far removed from his traditional persona, the Federation is almost dystopian, and Star Trek‘s traditionally optimistic ideals have been replaced by hopelessness. Star Trek: PicardThe second season reshuffles World War III and Eugenics Wars in the franchise timeline and tries its darnedest to forget JeanLuc Picard was a brother (even though it makes passing mention to poor Robert).

Related: Strange New Worlds Just Debunked Star Trek’s Oldest Kirk Criticism

Many viewers, even those who are unhappy, can see how it is impossible to adhere to nearly 60 years worth of canon. Even the beloved can’t understand why. Strange New Worldsa TV series that manipulated continuity to suit his needs. A TV series such as Star Trek: Discovery rolls along promising to completely redefine the brand, however, obvious (sometimes pointless) canon changes like giving the Klingon race an all-over wax only deepen the disconnect between past and present. It can be easy for audiences to feel that the imaginary universe in which they are invested is irrelevant.

Star Trek Backlash: Is it Really Worse… or Just Louder?

The cast of Star Trek Voyager in a photo for season 4

A quick look at internet discourse will show you how easy it is to assume. Star Trek: DiscoveryStar Trek: PicardAnd Star Trek: Lower Decks are a three-way affront to good taste – a corporate conveyor belt of content to keep Paramount+ afloat with no regard for quality or respect for history. It is amazing how much of everything was pre-Internet.Enterprise is discussed with reverence, you’d also be forgiven for believing backlash to modern Star TrekTelevision shows are a new phenomenon…

Declaring here in 2022 Star Trek: The Next Generation The best Star Trek TV series is not an especially controversial opinion, but when Jean-Luc Picard’s crew first set sail in 1987, audiences were singing a very different tune. Viewers compared this bold newcomer unfavorably against Star Trek: The OriginalSeriesThe new cast was criticized by the critics, who were generally skeptical of the franchise’s expansion. Only in Star Trek: The Next GenerationSeason 3 saw winds blowing in Enterprise-D’s favor. Deep Space Nine was shunned initially too, dismissed as unnecessarily dark and not “in the spirit” of Star Trek– Eerily similar to the criticisms directed at Star Trek: Discovery. And until Alex Kurtzman took over, Star Trek: Voyager was the TV series everyone loved to hate, before those opinions gradually softened over time.

Modern technology is a good idea. Star TrekIt is because the medium through which these opinions are expressed feels more divisive. Criticisms Star Trek: The Next GenerationDeep Space NineAnd Star Trek: Voyager were limited to the slow grind of print media, strongly-worded letters, and early dial-up internet. You can find them here. It is really need to hate a TV show to wait until your mother finishes her landline phone call before typing out a blog that takes 3 hours to upload. Somewhat ironically, technological advancements have been to Star Trek‘s detriment. Each viewer now has the ability to share their immediate reactions by simply clicking a few buttons. The nature of social media favors stronger, more partisan viewpoints than balance, creating an echo chamber where negativity is amplified. Star TrekIt has been a decade since its original style was changed; the modern version Star Trek backlash, however, isn’t fundamentally much different to 30 years ago.

More: How Voyager Killed Star Trek’s Most Annoying Character Trope

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