Star Trek: Lower Decks Annoys More Than Entertains, I’m Out!

The title art says it all, trust me!

Episode #8 is now out for Star Trek: Lower Decks, if my interest and excitement for the show was there, I would be watching and reviewing right now. Nope.

After struggling to find any merit behind Star Trek: Picard, I doubted the desire to ever review another live action Star Trek TV series from Alex Kurtzman.

I might make an attempt to watch the first episode or two of Strange New Worlds, if it ever sees a release date, but definitely am not a fan of Discovery. Kurtzman’s five year contract seems to have been a colossal mistake for CBS, at least in my opinion.

Basically, I’ve given up on new live action Star Trek for awhile. Am not alone, as even Paramount has — in movie form, at least. See: Paramount No Longer Making Star Trek Movies, Citing Not Enough Interest.

(UPDATE 9/24/23 @ 5:43am PT: there are disputing reports that Paramount ever said what’s rumored in the other article source (multiple articles claimed the same thing was said by Paramount, but in fairness can’t find any press release or official Paramount statement confirming this). Believe what you want to believe, I guess, but we all know right now very little movie production is happening, Star Trek or otherwise. I tend to believe the original report that Paramount doesn’t want to proceed with any more Star Trek films at the present time. They never said never and why would they? But the whole idea of Tarantino getting involved officially is a pipe dream. Why would he waste his 10th and final film — according to him his tenth will be his last ever film — on a remake of an R-rated episode “Piece of Action” from TOS?)

They need somebody else to come in as showrunner. Somebody that can mine what truly makes Star Trek great. Somebody that will do something like Jon Favreau is doing with Star Wars TV right now a la The Mandalorian (season 2 is coming next month, woot!)

What I’m missing from Kurtzman Trek is the humanity, the fantastic alien adventures that enlighten and help the crew develop their characters and interaction with each other and future stories. Heck, I’m just plain missing likeable main characters.

Currently, we’re receiving Star Trek: Lower Decks, a not adult enough animated show and I kept watching each week hoping to return to the world — at least the kindred spirit — of the original Animated Series with a modern twist. The one from the 70s that I grew up watching and rewatching (and soon will be excitingly reviewing here).

I thought maybe with a Trek fan like Mike McMahan from Rick and Morty (see: Hey Trekkies, Mike McMahan is one of you), we’d see that same spirit and energy, but with a 2020 freshness. We’d get adult themes, a la Harley Quinn, but instead we’re subjected to TV-14 weak humor that doesn’t appeal to adults and probably not funny enough for teens either. You’ll have to ask them, as all our children are grown up and the grandchildren are much too young to care about what’s going on with Lower Decks.

Instead of enlightenment, Lower Decks is a story about a woman who doesn’t want to be on a Federation space ship doing anything except bitching and moaning. She’s a terrible example of what strong women characters like Uhura or Nurse Chapell have done in Star Trek.

A piece of advice from a disgruntled viewer to Beckett Mariner, “QUIT!” Just leave Starfleet and go hang out on future earth or some alien world doing whatever it is that you enjoy doing. Why make everybody around you so miserable all the time? The Lower Decks on the Cerritos doesn’t need or want you — your own captain mother doesn’t want you there — viewing audiences certainly don’t and your “friend”, Boimler definitely doesn’t. If he were only smart enough to realize that, of course.

Boimler? Man, if there was ever a male character that needed balls, it’s him. This guy is about as spineless as Play Doh. I kept hoping in one episode he’d just tell Mariner he didn’t want to be her friend any more. How much verbal abuse can any one guy take anyway? You can choose your friends, Boimler, really, you can. Can’t always choose the a-holes you have to work with, but friends? Yes, you can choose your friends.

Rick and Morty is more fun than Lower Decks. I just feel too many producing hands were stirring the Lower Decks pot, ruining whatever stew Mike McMahan tried to cook.

A few Lower Decks episodes watched to date have had brief moments, but the two main characters, the very weak Brad Boimler and overbearing, boisterous and whiny lower decks friend, Beckett Mariner were not characters I want to spend time watching any more. Today, with so many movies and TV shows to watch — and some that are ground breaking good — it’s just not worth it following any show that becomes a struggle to watch.

There are some characters in Lower Decks I would like to watch more of, but they are bit players. Ransom, that is number one, voiced by Jerry O’Connell, stands out. Also the head of security with the itchy trigger finger. That character might seem one-dimensional, but he has potential in the Trek universe for some fantastic stories. Even the captain of the Cerritos, the conflicted significant other of the admiral, with her doomy, gloomy daughter, seems like more fun to spotlight than the broken viewer interest Boimler and Mariner saga.

I realize the series is supposed to be about the lower decks characters, but I’d rather follow any other lower decks characters than Boimler and Mariner. There are moments we do get to see other lower decks characters, and some of them have semi-meaty stories, but it always goes back to the unlikable mains: Boimler and Mariner. Sigh.

Since the new half-hour animated series Lower Decks focuses on the lowly support crew of one of Starfleet’s “least important ships”, this could be a great opportunity to add some interesting characters to the Star Trek canon just like the original cartoon did with Arex and M’Ress.

Love Star Trek: Lower Decks? Give the ’70s Star Trek: The Animated Series a try – CNET

Read that entire article linked, because it’s a shining example of what Star Trek: The Animated Series did for those of us that are long time Star Trek fans. I don’t consider myself a diehard Trekkie or anything, but love the original series and animated series and enjoyed TNG. A few of the movies have been really good (KHAN!) and some of the other TV that followed TNG (DS9, Voyager). Maybe my comparison of Lower Decks to any of this was unfair. It wasn’t the original animated series and it wasn’t as edgy or smart as Harley Quinn, it was just some sort of in between half-baked concept that didn’t work.

Don’t want to assault readers with too many episode reviews for any TV show of “I hate this” because what’s the point? If someone dislikes something and it’s not his/her job to review it, then the smart play is to bounce. That’s was Picard and now, that’s Lower Decks. I wanted to love this, really I did, but it just let me down too many times to continue.

There is another alternative for both us: find something we enjoy better. The final four episodes of Lower Decks will be labeled as NR. I’m not watching them or reviewing them, maybe never. They might be the best episodes of season one, and will likely never know. I watched episode 7 multiple times, but it kept bringing me back to Beckett Mariner being the most unlikable female animated main character I’ve ever had the displeasure of viewing. Her weak male sidekick, Boimler is right up — or down, depending on your perspective — there.

No, I’m not recommending watching Lower Decks or any other Kurtzman Trek to anyone. If someone reading enjoys Lower Decks or Picard or Discovery, that’s awesome, these shows didn’t work for me. Doesn’t mean I’m totally giving up on watching any Star Trek going forward, but can’t remember a time I’m more disinterested in the current era of Star Trek than right now. I’m going back to a warmer, friendlier Star Trek era.

CBS, fire Kurtzman and hire somebody else. Anybody else!


4 thoughts on “Star Trek: Lower Decks Annoys More Than Entertains, I’m Out!

  1. I have never been disinterested in Star Trek until now. Season One of Discovery was bad and I got convinced to give Season Two a shot and it is bad in a whole different way. The idea of animated Trek has an appeal and potential but what I have seen of the execution looks halfhearted. This is largely Star Trek made by people that prefer Star Wars-or at least looks like they do. I have only caught bits and pieces of Lower Decks but what I have seen is unappealing and feels as if it does not belong among Star Trek.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lower Decks would have been better if they went all the way adult, more raunchy like Harley Quinn and made it more a story of the week type situation focusing on different lower decks crewmates. Focusing primarily on the two main ones and censoring themselves (literally, they bleep out profanity), was a mistake.

      Something new that’s neither edgy or smart or likeable. It was like a recipe for failure. I’m not even sure how they greenlighted this to begin with. Too many hands in the cookie jar here.

      Liked by 1 person

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