This show is so densely-packed with Star Trek goodness, it’s a goddamn joy to look forward to watching good Star Trek again. I loved that the USS Vancouver was named for Hollywood North. Not only was that thematically mirroring the California class Cerrito, but it made Boimler’s maybe-pretend girlfriend a Canadian girlfriend for a couple minutes. And that was nothing but great.
He’s a Kirk sundae with Trip Tucker sprinkles!
Lots of observers of the scene, if they have anything critical to say about this show at all, is that it reads like it’s doing its own MST3K soundtrack, and they mean that like a dig of some kind. Leaving aside that MST3K works because it has a profound reverence for the movies it is making fun of, I somehow think that the people making this claim, if they are Star Trek fans at all, are the kind of fans who sit home and watch it themselves.
When I was a kid, I would make my sister watch it with me, and in college I would throw watch parties or get together with a couple pals at least to watch the latest. One of the main points of fun was providing our own running commentary, and it seems like Mike McMahan was one of those guys, too. Having the characters constantly referring to legacy characters and weirdo, one-off aliens or some almost-arch meta-commentary on the show itself is a proud tradition of Trekkies and seeing characters do this in-universe is beyond awesome.
I know it’s been five episodes already, but boy is this show humming along. It is so tightly plotted, it’s a joy. There’s a main Star Trek problem to solve, the A-story characters address the conflict by kicking ass and taking names and the B-story is frenetic and hilarious all in twenty-two minutes. It’s a Wallenda walk of deft narrative and belly laughs and is way, way harder than they make it look.
Some house keeping:
• I don’t know how anybody can argue this show isn’t canon. Everything about this show is canon, from al the in-story references to legacy characters and events, to spot-on set design and uniform callbacks.
• No, Mariner isn’t a “Mary Sue,” and you people need to look up what that means or stop using it. If anything, she’s a metatextual Star Trek fan living in the Star Trek universe, dreaming about the events of Wrath of Khan and the like, but Boimler hums the TNG theme when he turbolifts, so there’s that. The characters are like Frankie Muniz in Malcolm in the Middle or Deadpool, in the story and aware of it, but not overtly breaking the fourth wall like those examples.
• No, Tendi and Rutherford aren’t getting “side-lined,” this observation is in reaction to John Boyega or something because this show is twenty-two minutes long and is only on episode five. I don’t see how you think every character is going to be fully fleshed out so early on. This is like expecting Chief O’Brien, the most important figure in Federation history, to be so by the time of “The Last Outpost” even though we don’t even know his name until the second season. Come on.
• Love that Salt Vampire appearance when Mariner is going Full Mulder on the shape changer theory.
• Loved that Boimler’s Canadian girlfriend was voiced by Gillian Jacobs, and the Nemesis-era uniforms in the flashback. See? It is too canon.