ST: Picard Season 1 Finale, for better and, unfortunately, for worse

NOTE FROM LB: I’ve enjoyed watching Star Trek: Picard on CBS All-Access, but have to admit feeling guilty about doing so. In fact, I’m often truly ashamed of myself.

I love seeing so many Next Generation and Voyager characters again, but I hate seeing the way the stories (actually only one overarching story) treat them. And, in the process, treat Gene Roddenberry, creator and Great Bird of the Universe.

I’m not objecting to the way the characters are portrayed, per se, but to the context we see them in. This ain’t a Roddenberry universe, my friends, not by a longshot. As far as I’m concerned, Michael Chabon and company have royally screwed my early ’70s mentor, the aforementioned Great Bird.

Which is why I’ve taken quite a fancy to the following review.

“Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2” — Episode #110 — Pictured: Brent Spiner as Alton Soong of the the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: PICARD. Photo Cr: Aaron Epstein/CBS ©2019 CBS Interactive, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

by Christian Blauvelt

You gotta love “Star Trek: Picard” in theory.

It’s a show that flies in the face of fan service, that rejects nostalgia, to push its beloved character into uncharted territory. It’s meant to look different from any “Trek” that’s come before, feature characters like we’ve never seen before, and feature a level of danger like we’ve never seen before.

In theory.

But in practice, the reality of “Star Trek: Picard” has missed the mark of its intent. Instead of looking different from any other “Trek,” so much of this show has just looked ugly: sets that are just different shades of gray. It looks like any of the now-canceled Marvel Netflix shows. We have indeed gotten ourselves new characters, and for the most part they’ve been enjoyable — when their arcs actually go somewhere — but it’s hard not to think Picard himself is now the least interesting personality we’re watching. We did have big stakes, down even to Picard himself on death’s door from a “brain abnormality” — but the show pulls its punches.

By trying to be so different from the “Trek” that has come before, “Star Trek: Picard” has dispiritingly ended up looking like most other serialized shows in the streaming era: overlong and overplotted with a sense that everything is forgettable. And it’s not even that different from some more recent “Trek”: the J.J. Abrams reboot films are bright and candy colored, while “Picard” is dark and gloomy, but both “Picard” and “Star Trek Into Darkness” end the same way — with the resurrection of a character whose “death” is meaningless as you’re watching it because you know he’ll be revived five minutes later. And he is….

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