Star Trek: Lower Decks – TV Review

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Ok. I have found a new favorite show. This show is ridiculous, it’s over the top, it’s animated, and it’s just my cup of tea. It pokes fun at all the Star Trek tropes and plots that run through each of the series rather predictably (I say this with love and affection for my favorite SFF world outside of Discworld).

This is a comedy at its heart and there have been a few laugh out loud moments for me, but mostly, it just has me smiling the whole way through. That’s a tough thing to do during these times. I find myself needing an outlet where I can just ignore how terrible things are right now and just have an hour or so to myself in my head where things are okay for a little while. This is that show for me. Other newer Trek shows like Discovery and Picard have darker overtones to them and it’s pretty obvious those won’t be shows you go to seeking joyful escapism.

The main characters are not part of the officer class like they are for the rest of the Trek Series. There’s no Chief Engineer, or Chief of Security… these are the stories of the people who change the filters, first to die on missions, and are living in group quarters bunkbed style in the lowest most deck of the ship – I love the change of pace.

I think all these characters are great, but I most especially love Ensign Beckett Mariner. She does not give a flying fuck about anything – she’s the daughter of the captain and she intentionally does not want to move up in rank and does a purposefully mediocre job at every task assigned to her. She doesn’t like having extra responsibility, going to important meetings, or having stress. She just likes to kick back, relax, and have fun with her friends.

Her polar opposite is Ensign Brad Boimler. He is essentially Dwight from The Office, but without the extreme need to be dominant over his peers. He just enjoys mundane menial tasks, does them with enthusiasm, and has a deep need to rise in the ranks and be recognized. Like Dwight, he’s lovable even through his stickler like antics.

I’m also a sucker for odd ball duos, and this is definitely that. Trek has always had one pairing somewhere among the crew who are just oil and water and bounce off each other in entertaining ways. Spock and McCoy, Quark and Odo, Garik and Julian, Tuvok and Neelix etc. I was excited to see this was no exception to that rule. I feel like they pair each other nicely.

Being animated brings on a different dimension to the characters, I think going animated for a comedy series was the right way to go. The over exaggerated animation for the facial expressions, the predicaments they get themselves into all play better when it doesn’t have to be acted out in real life and gone over with CGI.

Now, IDMB has rated this really low – at a 6.1/10 which honestly surprises me. No, this is not like some award winning show that’s going to rival some of the best made adult animated shows…but I think it holds its own and deserves a solid 7/10. It may be that this is just super niche and relies heavily on the people watching this show already being Star Trek fans.

One of my favorite jokes: