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Star Trek: Picard (CBS All-Access)


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3 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

... and you have to wonder where all the money went.

The snarky side of me wants to say that it went under the table to cover Discovery's production costs.

However, if they're doing a lot of location shooting, that's probably where it went.  Not just logistics and hotel fees, but renting the facilities.  One wonders if they forgot to do a "Blue Harvest" and got fleeced...

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7 hours ago, sketchley said:

The snarky side of me wants to say that it went under the table to cover Discovery's production costs.

I've heard that rumor a number of times, in connection with the news reports about Netflix's dissatisfaction with Kurtzman's constant overspending on Discovery's first and second seasons.  It would not surprise me.

 

7 hours ago, sketchley said:

However, if they're doing a lot of location shooting, that's probably where it went.  Not just logistics and hotel fees, but renting the facilities.  One wonders if they forgot to do a "Blue Harvest" and got fleeced...

Picard's second season was filmed while we were still more or less at peak pandemic.

All in all, I can't imagine that filming on location was that expensive when most locations would've been desperate for ANYONE to show up.

Likewise, I'd have a hard time believing they paid out significantly for hotel reservations given that Picard was filmed at Santa Clarita Studios in Santa Clarita, CA and all of their on-location filming was within easy driving distance of the studio:

  • Chateau Picard was the Sunstone Villa and Winery in Santa Ynez, a two hour drive from the studio (171km)
  • Vasquez Rocks, playing itself, is a mere 30 minutes from the studio (31.1km)
  • Starfleet Headquarters was the Anaheim Convention Center, an hour and a half from the studio (112km)
  • Starfleet Archive Museum was the College of the Canyons campus in Santa Clarita, not even ten minutes from the studio (<5km)
  • Daystrom Institute interior shots were the Sony Pictures Plaza in Culver City, about an hour's drive from the studio (58.8km)
  • Daystrom Institute exterior shots were filmed at Golden Cove beach in Rancho Palos Verdes, about an hour and a half from the studio (91.5km)
  • Vashti Colony was the Mexican Street backlot at Universal Studios, half an hour from the studio (44.8km)
  • Stardust City exterior shots were also filmed at the Hollywood CityWalk right next to Universal Studios, half an hour from the studio (45.5km)
  • The Nightbox Bar was Jillian's Bowling Alley at the Hollywood CityWalk, half an hour from the studio
  • The Troi-Riker household was on the Universal Studios backlot, a log cabin originally made for The Great Outdoors, half an hour from the studio (44.8km)
  • The world where The Admonition was located (Aia) was the Blue Cloud Movie Ranch in Santa Clarita, less than 20 minutes from the studio (12.4km)
  • Coppelius Station, A.I. Soong's residence, was a private residence on Rambla Pacifico Street in Malibu, an hour's drive from the studio (73.6km)

Santa Ynez was the farthest-afield they went by a pretty significant margin.

The only one who had to leave California for filming was Jonathan Frakes, since the Zheng He's bridge was a redress of the USS Discovery bridge set at Pinewood Toronto Studios in Canada, on the other side of the continent.  Even that was cost-economized because it was done while Frakes was present there to direct an episode of Discovery's third season.

EDIT: I should add that this is not an indictment of their method... if anything, I'm actually quite impressed by the efficiency of their operation here in terms of finding all the locations they needed within two hours of the studio.

 

 

3 hours ago, sh9000 said:

E685E58E-6464-40DD-A096-05C029F74941.jpeg.22c2503b84a6d68c758991a2a814e361.jpeg

$25 a head to eat literal food truck food in a hastily-assembled, blue-tinted, TGI Friday's knockoff as part of a two-hour sales pitch for Star Trek: Picard's lackluster wine collection with "photo ops"?

Seriously.  Food truck food.  We can't make this sh*t up.

Quote

Participating restaurants

  • Thursday, March 10, 2022: Lime Truck
  • Friday, March 11, 2022: Richeeze
  • Saturday, March 12, 2022: Son of a Bun
  • Sunday, March 13, 2022: Philly Jay’s
  • Monday, March 14, 2022: Pinch of Flavor
  • Tuesday, March 15, 2022: East Los Tacos
  • Wednesday, March 16, 2022: Green Truck
  • Thursday, March 17, 2022: Made in Brooklyn
  • Friday, March 18, 2022: Aloha Friday’s
  • Saturday, March 19, 2022: Cousins Maine Lobster
  • Sunday, March 20, 2022: Love Bird
Quote

With a different food truck every night, you will be spoilt for choice. Live long and prosper!

Someone at Paramount is taking the piss.

Possibly the entire company.

 

Edited by Seto Kaiba
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1 hour ago, Seto Kaiba said:

I've heard that rumor a number of times, in connection with the news reports about Netflix's dissatisfaction with Kurtzman's constant overspending on Discovery's first and second seasons.  It would not surprise me.

As have I; part of me wonders how true that really is, given the disparity between the two series' productions.

 

1 hour ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Picard's second season was filmed while we were still more or less at peak pandemic.

All in all, I can't imagine that filming on location was that expensive when most locations would've been desperate for ANYONE to show up.

Likewise, I'd have a hard time believing they paid out significantly for hotel reservations given that Picard was filmed at Santa Clarita Studios in Santa Clarita, CA and all of their on-location filming was within easy driving distance of the studio:

  • Chateau Picard was the Sunstone Villa and Winery in Santa Ynez, a two hour drive from the studio (171km)
  • Vasquez Rocks, playing itself, is a mere 30 minutes from the studio (31.1km)
  • Starfleet Headquarters was the Anaheim Convention Center, an hour and a half from the studio (112km)
  • Starfleet Archive Museum was the College of the Canyons campus in Santa Clarita, not even ten minutes from the studio (<5km)
  • Daystrom Institute interior shots were the Sony Pictures Plaza in Culver City, about an hour's drive from the studio (58.8km)
  • Daystrom Institute exterior shots were filmed at Golden Cove beach in Rancho Palos Verdes, about an hour and a half from the studio (91.5km)
  • Vashti Colony was the Mexican Street backlot at Universal Studios, half an hour from the studio (44.8km)
  • Stardust City exterior shots were also filmed at the Hollywood CityWalk right next to Universal Studios, half an hour from the studio (45.5km)
  • The Nightbox Bar was Jillian's Bowling Alley at the Hollywood CityWalk, half an hour from the studio
  • The Troi-Riker household was on the Universal Studios backlot, a log cabin originally made for The Great Outdoors, half an hour from the studio (44.8km)
  • The world where The Admonition was located (Aia) was the Blue Cloud Movie Ranch in Santa Clarita, less than 20 minutes from the studio (12.4km)
  • Coppelius Station, A.I. Soong's residence, was a private residence on Rambla Pacifico Street in Malibu, an hour's drive from the studio (73.6km)

Santa Ynez was the farthest-afield they went by a pretty significant margin.

The only one who had to leave California for filming was Jonathan Frakes, since the Zheng He's bridge was a redress of the USS Discovery bridge set at Pinewood Toronto Studios in Canada, on the other side of the continent.  Even that was cost-economized because it was done while Frakes was present there to direct an episode of Discovery's third season.

EDIT: I should add that this is not an indictment of their method... if anything, I'm actually quite impressed by the efficiency of their operation here in terms of finding all the locations they needed within two hours of the studio.

I can imagine a big sign out front of Starfleet HQ: "Welcome to Starfleet Command. Friday: Mighty Ducks Vs. Starfleet Commodores. Sat: Tom Jones Live" 😛

Also: now we know why the Rikers have a force field around their house: to keep that bald bear out (hopefully you're familiar with The Great Outdoors!)

 

1 hour ago, Seto Kaiba said:

$25 a head to eat literal food truck food in a hastily-assembled, blue-tinted, TGI Friday's knockoff as part of a two-hour sales pitch for Star Trek: Picard's lackluster wine collection with "photo ops"?

Seriously.  Food truck food.  We can't make this sh*t up.

Someone at Paramount is taking the piss.

Possibly the entire company.

Just wow (on their part, not yours Seto!). 25 bucks to get sick off of food you'd find at a county fair? For that money, you'd be better off with a classier place, such as Burger King.

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13 hours ago, pengbuzz said:

As have I; part of me wonders how true that really is, given the disparity between the two series' productions.

Overall, I feel like Star Trek: Picard gives the impression of a series that's just going through the motions.  

Star Trek: Discovery, for all its many faults, feels like a series where the showrunners are actually trying quite hard but consistently miss the mark because they never took the time to understand their audience and its expectations.  They just keep plowing ahead with all the wrongheaded self-assurance of a conspiracy theorist.  For its part, Star Trek: Picard's presentation feels distinctly halfhearted.  The production values are shockingly low for a series with such a gargantuan reported budget, and it keeps showing up in bizarrely high visibility ways like the terrible visual design, the weirdly low-quality and poorly-composited CG effects, etc.  There's nothing quite so telling about how far standards have fallen in the time Kurtzman and Chabon have had stewardship of the franchise as fans getting excited about the series using Star Trek Online updates of TNG ship designs because they actually look like Star Trek designs.  (One has to wonder why they didn't just update the textures on the already well-traveled CG models of the actual TNG ship classes.  Starfleet doesn't exactly just usher working ships out the door... the Excelsior and Miranda classes were a century old during the Dominion War and still putting in good work.)

Aside from shifting funds from Picard to Discovery under the table or getting fleeced on location shooting fees, the only other possibility I can think of for why the show looks like complete arse most of the time is that they got Robert Beltran'd by actors who didn't actually want to appear.  (Robert Beltran made several attempts to get himself fired from his role on Star Trek: Voyager by maliciously demanding increasingly outrageous salary increases between seasons, only to be thwarted each time as UPN met his demands without any complaints.)  With so many Star Trek veterans, they can probably get away with some pretty outrageous demands for compensation.

 

13 hours ago, pengbuzz said:

Just wow (on their part, not yours Seto!). 25 bucks to get sick off of food you'd find at a county fair? For that money, you'd be better off with a classier place, such as Burger King.

Even in Los Angeles, $25 a plate is well into middle-tier sitdown restaurant territory.

It'd be one thing if this 10 Forward: the Experience were a recreation of the 10 Forward fans are familiar with from TNG or the TNG movies like the Quark's Bar in the now-defunct Star Trek: the Experience in Las Vegas... but this is just an utterly generic-looking American bar like the 602 Club set used in Star Trek: Enterprise.  It also might get a pass if those photo ops were photos with the cast members fans actually give a flip about.  Or even if Star Trek: Picard had a merchandise line worthy of attention beyond cheap wine sold at a huge markup because of a novelty "collectible" bottle, given that they're promoting "exclusive" merch.  But this is food truck food at a generic looking theme pub in a Los Angeles arts district rental office space.

At the hotel most SD Con attendees use in the Los Angeles fashion district, $26'll you get a steak dinner with two sides and a non-alcoholic beverage at the hotel restaurant.  The more upscale options nearby aren't significantly more expensive either.  Food truck food and cheap pub ambeance at hotel restaurant steak dinner prices?  Someone must be mad.

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5 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Overall, I feel like Star Trek: Picard gives the impression of a series that's just going through the motions.  

Star Trek: Discovery, for all its many faults, feels like a series where the showrunners are actually trying quite hard but consistently miss the mark because they never took the time to understand their audience and its expectations.  They just keep plowing ahead with all the wrongheaded self-assurance of a conspiracy theorist.  For its part, Star Trek: Picard's presentation feels distinctly halfhearted.  The production values are shockingly low for a series with such a gargantuan reported budget, and it keeps showing up in bizarrely high visibility ways like the terrible visual design, the weirdly low-quality and poorly-composited CG effects, etc.  There's nothing quite so telling about how far standards have fallen in the time Kurtzman and Chabon have had stewardship of the franchise as fans getting excited about the series using Star Trek Online updates of TNG ship designs because they actually look like Star Trek designs.  (One has to wonder why they didn't just update the textures on the already well-traveled CG models of the actual TNG ship classes.  Starfleet doesn't exactly just usher working ships out the door... the Excelsior and Miranda classes were a century old during the Dominion War and still putting in good work.)

I'll give you that: at least Discovery is making an effort (Strange New Worlds I still have yet to watch to give an opinion of); Picard just feels like they're doing it to humor someone who has a very distorted view of Jean-Luc Picard and is trying to rewrite him as an 24th/ 25th century "Space SJW".

 

5 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Aside from shifting funds from Picard to Discovery under the table or getting fleeced on location shooting fees, the only other possibility I can think of for why the show looks like complete arse most of the time is that they got Robert Beltran'd by actors who didn't actually want to appear.  (Robert Beltran made several attempts to get himself fired from his role on Star Trek: Voyager by maliciously demanding increasingly outrageous salary increases between seasons, only to be thwarted each time as UPN met his demands without any complaints.)  With so many Star Trek veterans, they can probably get away with some pretty outrageous demands for compensation.

Hmm... that would explain a lot. BTW: never knew that about Robert Beltran! I guess he ended up not liking being a character on Voyager...

 

5 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Even in Los Angeles, $25 a plate is well into middle-tier sitdown restaurant territory.

It'd be one thing if this 10 Forward: the Experience were a recreation of the 10 Forward fans are familiar with from TNG or the TNG movies like the Quark's Bar in the now-defunct Star Trek: the Experience in Las Vegas... but this is just an utterly generic-looking American bar like the 602 Club set used in Star Trek: Enterprise.  It also might get a pass if those photo ops were photos with the cast members fans actually give a flip about.  Or even if Star Trek: Picard had a merchandise line worthy of attention beyond cheap wine sold at a huge markup because of a novelty "collectible" bottle, given that they're promoting "exclusive" merch.  But this is food truck food at a generic looking theme pub in a Los Angeles arts district rental office space.

At the hotel most SD Con attendees use in the Los Angeles fashion district, $26'll you get a steak dinner with two sides and a non-alcoholic beverage at the hotel restaurant.  The more upscale options nearby aren't significantly more expensive either.  Food truck food and cheap pub ambiance at hotel restaurant steak dinner prices?  Someone must be mad.

I honestly thought LA was far more expensive than that (seeing as gas prices now are 5 bucks a gallon out there now)! Anyways, I agree that if they actually had something of explicit value to offer instead of the-present-masquerading-as-the-future,  it might be worth it.

And on that note: that's one of my biggest issues with Picard: it's a cheap-looking, flimsy effort that reeks of "we'll just get something that kinda looks the part". Discount locations, discount cast (except for the OG TNG guests), discount props, discount locations, Discount Spock. At the rate they're going, they may as well just change the name of the show to Star Trek: Dollar Tree!

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6 hours ago, pengbuzz said:

Hmm... that would explain a lot. BTW: never knew that about Robert Beltran! I guess he ended up not liking being a character on Voyager...

 

He was a very outspoken critic of the show's writing and direction.

He's stated(among other things) that after a few seasons he quit reading the scripts because he already knew nothing important was going to happen. He just memorized his lines and his cues and collected his (apparently lavish) paycheck.

Edited by JB0
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1 hour ago, JB0 said:

He was a very outspoken critic of the show's writing and direction.

He's stated(among other things) that after a few seasons he quit reading the scripts because he already knew nothing important was going to happen. He just memorized his lines and his cues and collected his (apparently lavish) paycheck.

So apparently, he felt that there was very little for his character to do, with not much development then?

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21 minutes ago, pengbuzz said:

So apparently, he felt that there was very little for his character to do, with not much development then?

Not sure where to find some of his rants anymore. He was definitely unhappy with how his character was handled, but I seem to recall him being unhappy with the production as a whole rather than just his part.

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I’m not gonna trash the food trucks. There are quite a few really creative and good ones here in so cal. They’ve come a long way since the roach coaches of the past and some are better than a lot of good restaurants.

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1 hour ago, Big s said:

I’m not gonna trash the food trucks. There are quite a few really creative and good ones here in so cal. They’ve come a long way since the roach coaches of the past and some are better than a lot of good restaurants.

I agree. The food truck generalization is a bit passé.

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3 hours ago, JB0 said:

Not sure where to find some of his rants anymore. He was definitely unhappy with how his character was handled, but I seem to recall him being unhappy with the production as a whole rather than just his part.

Edit: woops, I thought you said Picardo, not Beltran. Mixed up the Roberts.

Edited by aurance
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12 hours ago, pengbuzz said:

I'll give you that: at least Discovery is making an effort (Strange New Worlds I still have yet to watch to give an opinion of); Picard just feels like they're doing it to humor someone who has a very distorted view of Jean-Luc Picard and is trying to rewrite him as an 24th/ 25th century "Space SJW".

The name of that someone is "Sir Patrick Stewart".

He's an activist and a very progressive one at that.  His views are actually quite well-aligned with the morals of Star Trek as a whole, which has always strongly advocated for social justice causes.  Unfortunately, the writers gave him a lot of creative input on Star Trek: Picard and that seems to have contributed significantly to the show's problems.  The show's first season is very much Stewart's ten episode soapbox diatribe about American and British xenophobia and isolationism, Brexit, and discrimination against minorities.  On a high level, it's 100% consistent with Star Trek's overriding themes and message.  They just did an absolutely terrible job with the delivery, to the extent that the show's moral is often at odds with the show's story, basic science, and/or common sense.

Spoiler

For instance, the whole Romulan refugee crisis makes no sense on the face of it. 

Supernovae are not sudden or unpredictable events, they're a normal part of a star's life cycle that gives millions if not billions of years of advance warning.  The Romulans are every bit as advanced, culturally and scientifically, as the Federation is.  That this could have snuck up on them is frankly ridiculous without the prequel novel's insinuation that it wasn't a natural phenomenon.  Even then, why would they be dependent on the Federation's assistance to evacuate?  The Romulans are a galactic power that's always been depicted as being approximately on par with the Federation and the Klingons.  They should have had little difficulty evacuating their home star system themselves using their own starfleet's resources.  Moreover, it's not like Romulus was their only planet.  It makes no sense for the Romulan people as a whole to be treated as dispossessed refugees in a foreign land when their own Star Empire surely had as many inhabitable worlds as the Federation did.  Nor for their government to collapse completely.  It'd be like if the entire state of Illinois were abandoned after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

The treatment of the ex-Borg is less problematic thematically, but it still runs into the problem that both the Romulans and the Federation had excellent reason to hate and fear the Borg.  It gets worse later on when Seven of Nine unintentionally demonstrates that the Romulan authorities were, in fact, completely justified in keeping the ex-Borg refugees in their space at arm's length and under armed guard when she uses the queen cell to activate all the Borg drones and turn them on their Romulan minders.

Likewise, the treatment of the Synths artificial lifeforms as a minority subjected to discrimination based on fear runs into severe story-based problems because the story just won't stop giving examples of why treating them with extreme caution is justified.  Maddox and Soong's androids have strength, durability, reaction times, and processing ability that far exceeds the capabilities of a human being, and around half of them seem to come packaged with the same smug superhuman arrogance that the augment children Soong's ancestor raised did.  If they feel threatened or are compromised by an external source, they're basically unstoppable killing machines.  The few times that Data went rogue in TNG and the TNG movies, he was all but completely unstoppable to a thousand of Starfleet's most elite.  When the non-sentient Soong-type android F8 was hijacked, it was able to effortlessly kill everyone around it without diverting its attention from hijacking the Utopia Planitia shipyard computer systems.  Dahj Asha was a bio-android and therefore nowhere near as robust as Data or F8, but she was still able to ruthlessly body an entire Zhat Vash hit squad with her bare hands... TWICE, and she literally did it blindfolded the first time.  Sutra jumped at the chance to exterminate all organic life in the galaxy the instant she got her hands on a way to do it.

It really REALLY undermines the moral that they're shooting for about the essential dignity of man and how refugees should be treated with respect rather than fear.

 

Since season two is supposedly angling to be an even less subtle diatribe about contemporary society, I expect the writing to be every bit as unworkable.

 

 

12 hours ago, pengbuzz said:

Hmm... that would explain a lot. BTW: never knew that about Robert Beltran! I guess he ended up not liking being a character on Voyager...

Ah, yes... Robert Beltran was very unhappy with Star Trek: Voyager and his role in it.

His main reasons for signing up to play Chakotay were that he would be playing opposite celebrated film actress Geneviève Bujold, and that Chakotay was supposed to be far more aggressive and adversarial towards Janeway as the leader of the ship's Maquis contingent.  Bujold quit after just two days of filming because she was unable to adjust to the stricter, faster-paced production environment and her role was recast.  Executive meddling from UPN also completely declawed Voyager's premise.  The network wanted TNG 2.0, and so its premise was retooled to avoid the longer story arcs that'd worked so well for DS9, to lighten the tone considerably, and to remove the interpersonal conflicts between the Starfleet and Maquis members of Voyager's crew.  You can see some of the vestiges of the original concept in "Parallax", "Worst Case Scenario" and "The Year of Hell".  As a result, Chakotay was left in plot with little or nothing to do since he was supposed to be butting heads with Janeway on a daily basis as the leader of the Maquis.  Instead, to Beltran's disgust, they made Chakotay into glorified extra and Janeway's right hand man.

He's also gone on record a number of times to attest that he found the writing surrounding his character's Native American background often veered into racist territory.  UPN had hired Jackie Marks AKA "Jamake Highwater" as a consultant on Native American culture.  Where this became a problem for Voyager and for Beltran was that Jackie Marks was not a Native American.  He was a Jewish man of Eastern European descent born and raised in LA, who adopted a stereotypically Native American-sounding penname and falsely claimed Cherokee and Blackfoot ancestry in order to help his writing career and later to receive grant money earmarked for Native Americans under false pretenses.  He's been outed nine years earlier, but somehow UPN missed that little detail... and Marks's knowledge of Native American culture could best be described as an unholy mélange of early 90's new age spiritualism and things he remembered seeing on old western films and TV serials.  So, to his great disgust, Beltran was stuck reading dialog written with Marks's consultation and feeling every bit like he was wearing redface while doing it.

 

 

12 hours ago, pengbuzz said:

I honestly thought LA was far more expensive than that (seeing as gas prices now are 5 bucks a gallon out there now)! Anyways, I agree that if they actually had something of explicit value to offer instead of the-present-masquerading-as-the-future,  it might be worth it.

Oh, living there is outrageously expensive... but that's a function of property values (rent or mortgage), for the most part.  

The area differential between much of the midwest and SoCal in terms of rent/mortgage costs is easily 50%, and often more. 

 

 

12 hours ago, pengbuzz said:

they may as well just change the name of the show to Star Trek: Dollar Tree!

... well, either a Riker-centric version or the inevitable adult film parody will have a ready made title in Star Trek: Pound Town if they go that route.

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On 3/7/2022 at 3:15 AM, JB0 said:

You said the same thing twice.

... so I did. :rofl:

 

Credit where credit is due, Star Trek: Picard's second season is shaping up to be even worse than my most pessimistic imaginings.

That's... actually kind of impressive, in a "if you were half as committed to doing a good job as doing this, you'd sweep the Emmy's" sort of way.

With the Borg Queen on board and time travel back to the 21st century in the offing, I had suspected we were in for a lazy rehashing of First Contact since that was the last time our boy Jean-Luc Picard really got to shine as both a badass and a highly principled human being.  What we actually got was worse. 

MUCH worse.

Apparently the writers - Sir Patrick included - felt Picard was owed a Mirror Universe storyline because he never got one when TNG was on the air.  So we're getting an entire season of Mirror Universe bollocks.  It's not the Mirror Universe we know from TOS and DS9, though.  The timeline of campy scenery-chewing was getting its sh*t together in the latter half of the 24th century as the Terrans gradually learned to stop being awful to all and sundry while resisting the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance.  That bad future is apparently too rosy for the likes of us, though, since Star Trek: Picard decided to introduce a NEW Mirror Universe even more stupidly over-the-top grimdark than the sh*tshow in Discovery.

Spoiler

In 2401, humanity has successfully genocided or enslaved almost every alien race in its part of the galaxy including all of the regulars from past Star Trek shows.  Picard is a General whose office is full of the bleached skulls of his defeated foes including General Martok, Gul Dukat, and Sarek.  Seven/Annika is the President of the "Confederacy of Earth" and basically Girl Hitler.  Everyone else isn't much changed in their circumstances, except the token alien Elnor is now part of the resistance against the Confederacy's advance.  Even the Borg have been wiped out, with the Borg Queen being the last survivor of the Borg Collective disassembled and awaiting execution for her crimes.

Earth's environment is a mess, it's an ultranationalist hellhole, yadda yadda.  You can tell Sir Patrick thinks he's being terribly clever about this in the way that says that he should never be allowed anywhere near a script again.

 

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25 minutes ago, Seto Kaiba said:

... so I did. :rofl:

 

Credit where credit is due, Star Trek: Picard's second season is shaping up to be even worse than my most pessimistic imaginings.

That's... actually kind of impressive, in a "if you were half as committed to doing a good job as doing this, you'd sweep the Emmy's" sort of way.

With the Borg Queen on board and time travel back to the 21st century in the offing, I had suspected we were in for a lazy rehashing of First Contact since that was the last time our boy Jean-Luc Picard really got to shine as both a badass and a highly principled human being.  What we actually got was worse. 

MUCH worse.

Apparently the writers - Sir Patrick included - felt Picard was owed a Mirror Universe storyline because he never got one when TNG was on the air.  So we're getting an entire season of Mirror Universe bollocks.  It's not the Mirror Universe we know from TOS and DS9, though.  The timeline of campy scenery-chewing was getting its sh*t together in the latter half of the 24th century as the Terrans gradually learned to stop being awful to all and sundry while resisting the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance.  That bad future is apparently too rosy for the likes of us, though, since Star Trek: Picard decided to introduce a NEW Mirror Universe even more stupidly over-the-top grimdark than the sh*tshow in Discovery.

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In 2401, humanity has successfully genocided or enslaved almost every alien race in its part of the galaxy including all of the regulars from past Star Trek shows.  Picard is a General whose office is full of the bleached skulls of his defeated foes including General Martok, Gul Dukat, and Sarek.  Seven/Annika is the President of the "Confederacy of Earth" and basically Girl Hitler.  Everyone else isn't much changed in their circumstances, except the token alien Elnor is now part of the resistance against the Confederacy's advance.  Even the Borg have been wiped out, with the Borg Queen being the last survivor of the Borg Collective disassembled and awaiting execution for her crimes.

Earth's environment is a mess, it's an ultranationalist hellhole, yadda yadda.  You can tell Sir Patrick thinks he's being terribly clever about this in the way that says that he should never be allowed anywhere near a script again.

 

What, did Patty-boy take writing classes from Gene or something?

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1 hour ago, pengbuzz said:

What, did Patty-boy take writing classes from Gene or something?

Star Trek's original series was able to be the success it was (in syndication) in part because the production had people who could, and often did, tell Gene "No" and rework or reject his crazier or more offensive ideas.  It probably wouldn't have been as successful without people like Dorothy Fontana and Gene Coon to rein in Roddenberry's excesses and make his ideas into something marketable.  TNG Season 1 was, of course, what happened when the network let Gene off the leash and it wasn't until his health forced him to bow out of the project that Rick Berman and others were able to salvage the series and grow the brand.

Maybe I'm being overly cynical, but I feel like Kurtzman and Chabon don't really have someone... or enough someones... around to tell them when they're workshopping a bad idea or a bad approach to an idea.  It was really telling that Discovery's second and third seasons were revivals of pitches for stories that Berman-era Trek showrunners had rejected as patently unworkable.  It's clear Sir Patrick has a lot of sociopolitical commentary he wants to work into the story, but the delivery is so unsubtle that it feels like self-parody instead of allegory.

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You know, I can imagine the pitch meeting where the Paramount exec went to Stewart:

Faceless exec: So, Sir Stewart, that's the general outline of the new show with you front and center, and we are proposing a generous $400K per episode.  What do you say?

Stewart: Let me translate this for you, you guys are looking around at the TV landscape, Netflix is way ahead of the pack, Amazon Prime is offering tons of goodies beyond TV, Apple has pockets deeper than God, Disney is ringfencing their content, HBO is coming out with edgier and grittier,  and at best, you bozos have some old shows that are on TV that you're going to flip onto streaming, and you really need an anchor that make you stand apart from whatever Fox or NBC is offering, a big name for your new streaming service, does that sound about right to you?

Faceless exec: Well, we actually think...

Stewart: shut up, here is my deal, take it or leave it, I get creative input, if the writers do anything I don't like, I get veto power, I set the direction of the show, and I do whatever the f*** I like, got it?  Oh, and I have a list of people I want on the show.  Frakes, he can cameo, so can Spiner, and Sirtis... ah, I know I also want Jeri Ryan as a regular, she's still pretty hot, and is a good draw for nerds with fantasies.  And I want it in the contract to have at least four seasons.

Faceless exce talk it over with his colleagues for a minute:  Alright Sir. Stewart, we agree to your terms.  You have creative control, you have the crew you want, and $400K an episode...

Stewart laughs: who do you think I am?  Orlando Bloom?  $750K or I walk.

Faceless exec: but... but... Mr. Stewart, we don't have that kind of budget.

Stewart: sell your first born, loan your family out as sweat shop labor In Shenzhen, does it look like I give a sh**?  Do you want the deal or not.

Faceless exec: ok...  you win.

The Faceless exec leaves, thankful for the deal that'll launch the new streaming service.  Meanwhile, Stewart cackles gleefully: at last, I will have the Star Trek I want.  The Star Trek the world deserves.

Edited by kalvasflam
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2 hours ago, kalvasflam said:

You know, I can imagine the pitch meeting where the Paramount exec went to Stewart:

Faceless exec: So, Sir Stewart, that's the general outline of the new show with you front and center, and we are proposing a generous $400K per episode.  What do you say?

Stewart: Let me translate this for you, you guys are looking around at the TV landscape, Netflix is way ahead of the pack, Amazon Prime is offering tons of goodies beyond TV, Apple has pockets deeper than God, Disney is ringfencing their content, HBO is coming out with edgier and grittier,  and at best, you bozos have some old shows that are on TV that you're going to flip onto streaming, and you really need an anchor that make you stand apart from whatever Fox or NBC is offering, a big name for your new streaming service, does that sound about right to you?

Faceless exec: Well, we actually think...

Stewart: shut up, here is my deal, take it or leave it, I get creative input, if the writers do anything I don't like, I get veto power, I set the direction of the show, and I do whatever the f*** I like, got it?  Oh, and I have a list of people I want on the show.  Frakes, he can cameo, so can Spiner, and Sirtis... ah, I know I also want Jeri Ryan as a regular, she's still pretty hot, and is a good draw for nerds with fantasies.  And I want it in the contract to have at least four seasons.

Faceless exce talk it over with his colleagues for a minute:  Alright Sir. Stewart, we agree to your terms.  You have creative control, you have the crew you want, and $400K an episode...

Stewart laughs: who do you think I am?  Orlando Bloom?  $750K or I walk.

Faceless exec: but... but... Mr. Stewart, we don't have that kind of budget.

Stewart: sell your first born, loan your family out as sweat shop labor In Shenzhen, does it look like I give a sh**?  Do you want the deal or not.

Faceless exec: ok...  you win.

The Faceless exec leaves, thankful for the deal that'll launch the new streaming service.  Meanwhile, Stewart cackles gleefully: at last, I will have the Star Trek I want.  The Star Trek the world deserves.

It's there already a dude who does Pitch Meetings (with the HUGE eyes in his thumbnails)?

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6 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Star Trek's original series was able to be the success it was (in syndication) in part because the production had people who could, and often did, tell Gene "No" and rework or reject his crazier or more offensive ideas.  It probably wouldn't have been as successful without people like Dorothy Fontana and Gene Coon to rein in Roddenberry's excesses and make his ideas into something marketable.  TNG Season 1 was, of course, what happened when the network let Gene off the leash and it wasn't until his health forced him to bow out of the project that Rick Berman and others were able to salvage the series and grow the brand.

Maybe I'm being overly cynical, but I feel like Kurtzman and Chabon don't really have someone... or enough someones... around to tell them when they're workshopping a bad idea or a bad approach to an idea.  It was really telling that Discovery's second and third seasons were revivals of pitches for stories that Berman-era Trek showrunners had rejected as patently unworkable.  It's clear Sir Patrick has a lot of sociopolitical commentary he wants to work into the story, but the delivery is so unsubtle that it feels like self-parody instead of allegory.

That's what I'm driving at here: there's no one to hold them back like there were people to stand up to Gene.  It reminds me of a forge where the original raw material is forged, then refined, shaped, polished and detailed. It would take others alongside Gene to shape and refine Trek from a crude blank, removing all the "dross" that simply was unworkable and polish and detail it to a viable item.

With Picard, all we're getting is crude material that is ineptly shaped, with no one to refine it by telling Stewart and Kurtzman that their ideas won't work the way they were presented. My comment about "Stewart getting writing lessons from Gene" was a lazy way of poking at this.

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I must be watching the show through a different lens, cause so far it doesn't look that bad. Maybe I'm watching it just for the entertainment value* but it looks and sounds little different from most other ST shows, alternate history plots and time shenanigans that they've done before.

So far, I'm still having more trouble with STD(😁)

 

 

* go ahead, you can chuckle.:p

Edited by Thom
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21 hours ago, kalvasflam said:

You know, I can imagine the pitch meeting where the Paramount exec went to Stewart:

Considering Picard was the network's saving throw to win back the Star Trek fandom after Discovery bombed... I feel like the meeting probably went the other way around, with the network showing a Ferengi-like willingness to agree to anything as long as Patrick Stewart would consent to come back and save them from themselves.  He probably didn't have to twist any arms at all.  

 

15 hours ago, pengbuzz said:

That's what I'm driving at here: there's no one to hold them back like there were people to stand up to Gene.  It reminds me of a forge where the original raw material is forged, then refined, shaped, polished and detailed. It would take others alongside Gene to shape and refine Trek from a crude blank, removing all the "dross" that simply was unworkable and polish and detail it to a viable item.

With Picard, all we're getting is crude material that is ineptly shaped, with no one to refine it by telling Stewart and Kurtzman that their ideas won't work the way they were presented. My comment about "Stewart getting writing lessons from Gene" was a lazy way of poking at this.

Ah, yeah... that's definitely what it feels like.  There's no subtlety, there's no pacing, the whole concept of an ensamble cast seems to be dead as Patrick Stewart and Sonequa Martin-Green dominate their respective shows to the point that everyone else is just sort of "also present", etc.  It's really evident in Picard, where they all but completely abandoned the new characters in favor of walk-ons for TNG veterans because nobody liked them.

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As someone who couldn’t  get past…I think Ep 3 of season 1 of Picard nor was thrilled with what I read and watched about the rest of the season, I have to admit I have liked the first 2 episodes of season 2 so far. Yes, there are things that aren’t great or that I personally don’t care for, but overall I like it. Since I didn’t really get too much of the new characters introduced in season 1, and thus missed most of the “angst”, they seem far more likeable now in season 2 and I kind of like them now so far. Now I am sort of concerned where the season will go…especially once they go “back” to 2024….as that is when Sir Patrick and co may start “Soap Boxing” but we shall see. STD is a lost cause for me. Stopped a few episodes into S3 and haven’t looked back.

Chris

Edited by Dobber
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2 hours ago, Thom said:

I must be watching the show through a different lens, cause so far it doesn't look that bad. Maybe I'm watching it just for the entertainment value* but it looks and sounds little different from most other ST shows, alternate history plots and time shenanigans that they've done before.

 

1 hour ago, Dobber said:

I have to admit I have liked the first 2 episodes of season 2 so far.

Same.

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18 hours ago, Thom said:

I must be watching the show through a different lens, cause so far it doesn't look that bad. Maybe I'm watching it just for the entertainment value* but it looks and sounds little different from most other ST shows, alternate history plots and time shenanigans that they've done before.

So far, I'm still having more trouble with STD(😁)

 

 

* go ahead, you can chuckle.:p

No worries bro; just not my cup of tea. But if you enjoy, have at it!

 

17 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Considering Picard was the network's saving throw to win back the Star Trek fandom after Discovery bombed... I feel like the meeting probably went the other way around, with the network showing a Ferengi-like willingness to agree to anything as long as Patrick Stewart would consent to come back and save them from themselves.  He probably didn't have to twist any arms at all.  

I wonder how that would look as a skit! lol

 

17 hours ago, Seto Kaiba said:

Ah, yeah... that's definitely what it feels like.  There's no subtlety, there's no pacing, the whole concept of an ensamble cast seems to be dead as Patrick Stewart and Sonequa Martin-Green dominate their respective shows to the point that everyone else is just sort of "also present", etc.  It's really evident in Picard, where they all but completely abandoned the new characters in favor of walk-ons for TNG veterans because nobody liked them.

My personal opinion: they really didn't do much to make the characters any sort of likeable. The shame is that there was definitely room for them to do so and show some humanity from them. And you're right about the pacing: this feels crammed at times, and dragging at others.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just started watching PICARD on Paramount+ and can understand where it earns some hate. Only a few episodes in and Raffi is really pissing me off by referring to Jean-Luc as 'JL'. Don't know if it was the actress's idea (probably was) or what but it seems so disrespectful because of military bearing, age and fans of TNG. I can also tell Patrick Stewart isn't digging it either.

Paramount+ is doomed if they keep making stupid production decisions like it has this year but I think its too late IMHO because first impressions matter. Glad I'm only paying a few bucks for a three months subscription.

Edited by TangledThorns
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2 hours ago, TangledThorns said:

Just started watching PICARD on Paramount+ and can understand where it earns some hate. Only a few episodes in and Raffi is really pissing me off by referring to Jean-Luc as 'JL'. Don't know if it was the actress's idea (probably was) or what but it seems so disrespectful because of military bearing, age and fans of TNG. I can also tell Patrick Stewart isn't digging it either.

It's all in the backstory... that the writers and showrunners couldn't be arsed to put in the actual show.

Like the 2009 Star Trek (XI) film, the backstory for Star Trek: Picard was dispensed in the form of a limited comic series that was so poorly advertised its existence was unknown to most of the fanbase until long after it ceased publication.

The TL;DR version is that "Raffi" - formerly Lt. Commander Raffaela Musiker - was aide de camp to Admiral Jean-Luc Picard for the approximately four years between his promotion to the admiralty in 2381 and his resignation-in-protest in 2385.  She was, for all practical intents and purposes, Admiral Picard's right-hand man for those four years of coordination work on the Romulan evacuation.  Musiker was also apparently such a problematic officer that Starfleet was planning to hit her with a bad conduct discharge, and once Picard had resigned there was a bootprint on her backside so fast she was convinced it was a conspiracy rather than a result of her substance abuse problem.

 

2 hours ago, TangledThorns said:

Paramount+ is doomed if they keep making stupid production decisions like it has this year but I think its too late IMHO because first impressions matter. Glad I'm only paying a few bucks for a three months subscription.

Well, they did confirm in their Q4 earnings call that they're losing upwards of a billion dollars a year on it.

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1 hour ago, TangledThorns said:

Hmmmm, makes me wonder if we're seeing streaming bubble that will burst eventually.

All in all, I suspect so.

The infrastructure costs for a streaming service are quite expensive.  So much so that any newly-launched streaming service is more or less expected to be in the red for its first couple years.  It's not a great sign for Paramount+ that the 2021 Q4 earnings call included a prediction that they expect the losses to increase year-to-year for the next few years.

IMO, I think we are seeing a streaming bubble that's going to burst in the next couple years.  Streaming was convenient because there were only a few streaming services on the market that had everything.  Cord-cutters made the cable industry feel threatened, so now the networks are Balkanizing the streaming industry in a bid to claim a portion of what third-party streaming services were making by consolidating all that material previously.  Eventually they'll hit the point where a lot of them simply won't be profitable because of how few shows the networks have that draw subscribers when their streaming service mostly just means paying a premium for what's already on broadcast.

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