“Roga Danar! Get the [beep] outta my face!”
It’s so hard to sit down and write a coherent column about Lower Decks right after we finish screening it, because my son and I are so fired up at the hilarity of it all. It’s like we all got invited over to Mike McMahan’s house and we just riff at the screen together. He and his team are ONE OF US ONE OF US ONE OF US, that’s for sure.
“Who cares, man? Bug alien. Just roll with it.”
Lower Decks is the perfect antidote for the shelter-in-place COVID-19 aspect of our lives. It’s not just that it’s new content to consume, nor is it just the best new Star Trek in twenty years. It really promotes what everybody loves about Star Trek, deep down: that there is a crew of people working together towards a common goal who just want to help. Who doesn’t love the idea of that? And they get really cool uniforms to wear, like firefighters, or Oakland Raiders fans.
It really is an amazing achievement that they can hang a flimsy excuse for a plot on the wall and just fire deep-cut references, one-liners, and assorted hilariousness at it and the whole thing resonates as a coherent thing. Not just providing laughs or MST3K-type commentary, but shining a light on actual Star Trek themes of mutual understanding, labor, race, the cost of war, colonialism, the dangers of automation, whatever. This show is killing it while throwing it at two unconscious Vulcans and saying “Tell that to Spock and Spock.”
“Gorn wedding!” Two words I never expected to hear right next to each other in dialogue.
“I’m done with your random Q bullshit for the day” = the difference between the post Gordon Gecko 90s and the Rona-filled Roaring 20s.
But my two favorite references were Boimler calling for a “Crazy Ivan” and the appearance of the dust from the Rura Penthe trial from Undiscovered Country. I mean: they animated the dust in the air above the witnesses. That’s a deep cut, even for this show. Don’t wait for the translation!
…but the best note I can give about this show is that my son woke me up first thing so we could watch it together. First thing in the morning, with us still in our pajamas! …and we were thrilled, and laughing historically, and loving the shoutouts and just revelling at the Star Trek of it all and it was over too quickly and we looked at each other and my kid smiled so broadly and said…
“Daddy, I hope this show goes on forever.”
Me, too, Little Dude. Me, too.