And now a few words about “toxic fandom” and your overuse of the word “problematic.” Putting “toxic” in front of stuff you don’t like to shorthand your disapproval is the real toxicity. Using “problematic” to shorthand your disapproval instead of airing out a full thought is toxic, too. So let’s think quite a bit before you throw that one around. That kind of shortcut, catchphrase philosophy got voted out. Welcome back to critical thinking.
So, that said, I’m glad to see that in a thousand years, a holographic lie detector is still sporting some kind of Bill Nye the Science Guy bowtie. You know, like how policemen in 2021 still dress in the manner of Arnulf, French archbishop and illegitimate son of Lothair III who crowned Hugh Magnus, the son of Hugh Capet’s successor, Robert II, as co-king in the Capetian tradition in 1017. Arnulf held the see until his death in 1021, then the only direct male line descendant of the Carolingian family in the eldest living branch. So if modern security forces still dress in robe-like sheets from a thousand years ago, of course a holographic lie detector a thousand years from now will be de rigueur.
Which is to say, this show is still chock full of nonsense no one on staff thinks through. Those Old Scientists from TOS loved each other. There is no doubt in the audience’s mind about that because they showed it at least once an episode. Kirk slapping the spores out of his best friend; McCoy trying to quickly explain how Spock isn’t Lucifer to Cloud William. Any scene between Bones and anyone else in sickbay where they’re just talking to each other. Spock asking Kirk and McCoy to attend his wedding; man, you can even count Scotty telling Chekhov to settle down on K-7. They love each other.
Star Trek: Discovery has Michael and Book telling each other twice and you don’t believe it because there is no onscreen history of it. Even Ryn the Andorian talks about love but gets vaporized before you believe it. Stamets and Hugh have apparently officially somehow adopted Adira as he’s calling her his child even though that expression of ultimate love was not only just mentioned but happened off-screen. I guess this is as good a metaphor for the show as any; Kurtzman talks about Star Trek but doesn’t show us any.
It grapples with saying anything at all, honestly. Everyone is worried this week about the moral ambiguity of Wonder Woman buffing her Magical Boyfriend, but nobody cares that Star Trek, Star Trek OF ALL THINGS, only kinda nods at the theme of if the ends justifies the means in a show that throws in slavery and free will and what is the nature of identity and resurrection and accountability and self-delusion and and and…
…and doesn’t address any of it in favor of some pew-pew and dry exclamations of ‘love” between actors who have the chemistry of two pieces of cheese. At least that personal forcefield lifeboat put an expression besides sadness on Stamets’ face.