When I sit down to write these columns, I take a look at my notes where I scribble stray observations and cool or funny lines and that will suggest a theme for my musings.
I stopped about ten minutes into this latest episode, “Temporal Edict,” because literally everything a character said was a cool or funny line. WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS INTENSE BASS the Klingon on the viewscreen screamed. HE’S GOT WOOD!, inappropriate within the context of the story and within the context of double entendre! This show is so funny, I can’t even call out all the funny lines because the entire show consists of funny lines.
So instead let’s talk a little about audience reaction to this. There are a whole lot of stiffs saying this show just isn’t funny, and I could take a break this week and just explain every joke and why it’s funny, but like Spunkybuddy Nancy Sen famously said, “Explanation is joke murder.” And, honestly, at the very best explaining a joke to somebody will only get you a dry, academic acceptance that sure, you can see how somebody might find that humorous, which isn’t really the intent of making people laugh.
I mean, honestly, modern Star Trek is sort of junior varsity mainstream in the first place, and then make it a cartoon, and then make it “funny”? You’re really dialing down the potential audience there. Of all the potential entertainments in the world, the subset of people who like funny cartoons about Star Trek is very small when looking at all the possible iterations of crowd pleasers. This thing is like the first Velvet Underground album. Perhaps apocryphally, it’s said that it only sold 3000 copies, but everyone who bought one started their own band.
Now this isn’t as groundbreaking as all that, and is almost certainly a response to The Orville, but you get what I’m saying, right? Star Trek has always been niche-y, and not in the “that which does not kill you makes you stronger” way. Every iteration that gets produced, further away from the “future world where Kennedy got two terms” remit of the original series and simultaneously expanded and watered down the concept until the current stewards of the property have mostly abandoned the whole “explore strange, new worlds” and “seek out new life and new civilizations” thing, so why not have a straight-up adventure show with earnest also-rans playing in the TNG universe doing their thing to a audio track that provides its own MST3K commentary?
I mean, if you can’t deal with a lead character at the point of crystal spears happily yelling “Who am I? Kirk? What is this, the 2260s?” you aren’t going to be the audience for this show in the first place so don’t bother pointing out that you don’t get obvious jokes