Star Trek: Picard – TV Review

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I have been wanting to watch this for a while – it’s basically a dream of mine to have Captain Picard back in action with the old crew, warping around the galaxy saving people and exploring and whatnot. So, when I heard this was coming back I was both excited and terrified. I really did not want to hate this, I didn’t want to be disappointed so I put it off. If it had been on Netflix or Hulu, both of which I have a subscription, I probably would have tried it before now. However, I really did not want to have to get a new fucking subscription just to watch a new set of shows. I did it anyway because I needed new stuff to watch and I felt like I’ve drained Netflix of content I have any interest in. So, for 6 bucks a month I signed up for the lower end subscription of CBS All Access. It was worth it since I can cancel the subscription at any time. For 6 bucks I got to watch all three Star Treks and I’ve got some interest in other shows that I can finish before the next subscription fee would go through. I think this is how I’m going to treat these every growing number of tv streaming services from now on, use it for a month, watch what I want, and then cancel.

Ok, so Patrick Stewart was on point for the first episode of this show, he delivers some really good lines, he gets really into his role – but throughout the season he sort of waxes and wanes with his performance. I’m also not a huge fan of some of the side characters they had for the show. A few of the actors just weren’t all that great and it took me out of the moment many times when a line was under or over delivered. I understand that Trek has never been the pinnacle of acting, but when you have talent that’s so divergent it’s jarring to watch.

The premise of this show is that Picard has quit Starfleet some time ago, decades ago actually, and has been living a quiet life in France ever since. There was an incident where the Romulans were going to be wiped out by a supernova star and they needed mass evacuations. Picard tried to rally the Federation to come to their aid but Starfleet dropped out and he quit citing that it’s not the same Starfleet that he joined. He went and started living his best life in Farnce… he’s got a dog named Number One, he lives with two Romulans, and things are just peachy keen until some girl shows up saying that people are out to kill her. The audience knows this is no joke, the first scene with her in it is when her boyfriend is murdered in front of her and some dudes try to black bag her to bring her to god knows where. Turns out those guys are Romulans, and of course it has to do with the Tal Shiar. The only other thing I’ll say about the plot is that the girl who shows up may be “related” to Data, and this has Picard interested enough to help her.

This had a much more contiguous feel to it and much less like a bunch of self contained stories like they had in Next Generation. You really have to watch from the beginning and can’t just skip an episode. It’s a much more involved storyline that’s sequential and complicated. I loved that some old cast members show up, and not just from Next Gen. Seven of Nine takes up a good amount of screen time once she’s introduced, Commander Riker has brief appearances, and Data shows up in a number of dreams and Brent Spiner makes more appearances as other characters other than Data as well.

I’m not sure what’s in store for season 2. Personally, I’m hoping we get to see more of the ex-borg culture, I’d like to see more cast members return, and I’d like to expand on some of the newer side characters that were introduced. I’d love to get some flashbacks of the Romulan event but I think this series is going to move forwards in time rather than backward. There were some drawbacks other than the acting. Actors can only deliver the lines they’ve been given, and sometimes they were really bad. Again, Trek has a reputation for being a little cheesy and ridiculous at times, but the tone of this show was as such that those moments felt out of place. This isn’t the Next Gen tone where you can put picard into a Robin Hood outfit and have him hop around in tights. This had a much darker tone to it, a more ‘mature’ and serious writing to it than I’ve seen with Trek in the past. To have some of those light hearted one-liners thrown into the mix just felt a little off. Pick a tone, Star Trek: Picard. One of the other drawbacks were some of these twists were SO PREDICTABLE. There were some things I truly didn’t see coming, and other things I thought I knew but was just slightly wrong about. But, there were a handful of plot points or character developments that were so transparent and I don’t think they were supposed to be.

IMDB gave this a 7.6, and I’d agree. Overall, I liked this and would give it a 7.5/10. I didn’t love but, but I definitely enjoyed my time with it as an overall experience. (If you’re confused by me giving Star Trek Lower Decks a lower score than this one, but raving about Lower Decks… I can acknowledge a thing I love is popcorn and not necessarily everyone’s cup of tea) I liked it enough to come back to it when there’s a season 2, and I hope that some of the issues I took with season 1 are either not repeated, or worked on. We will see!

PS: This is the first Star Trek I’ve ever heard use the word fuck – that was exciting.