Why I Won't Pay for Star Trek: Discovery

Why I Won't Pay for Star Trek: Discovery

I grew up watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. I consumed Voyager and DS9 as they were released, gave Enterprise a fair go and later binged it all when it was no longer on air, and while the Original Series was not my cup of tea, I've loved the reboots of the movies. Like many of you, I was saddened when there was no longer a Star Trek series on the air. 

To say I was freaking excited to hear about CBS's new Star Trek was an understatement. I watched the Youtube trailers as they were released; I read the theory articles as they came out. I was frustrated that there was not a better advertising campaign for the show that was such an iconic piece of our culture. 

The Paywall

Let's just get this out of the way now: 

If you live in the US, you can only watch Star Trek: Discovery via the CBS All-Access platform. If you live outside of the US, you can use your existing Netflix subscription to watch the show. This was my first wince. I'm already paying for Fios, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and a Project Alpha subscription; I don't want to pay for something else. 

I was instantly iffy on this aspect. Luckily, CBS offered a 7 day free trial of the service so I could suck up the first two episodes. 

The Actors

Michelle Yeoh and James Frain were both draws for me, and I'm disappointed that Frain is only credited with one episode. Sonequa Martin-Green is not a name I knew, as I'd stopped following Walking Dead years ago, but she performed well in the series and I'd certainly watch something with her in a lead role. 

I found the acting from the Klingons, which are set to be a major antagonist from what I can tell, to be awkward. 

 

My favorite bit of acting though was Abe Sapien...I mean, Lt. Saru, played by Doug Jones, interacting with Sonequa Martin-Green's Michael Burnham. I really enjoyed the dichotomy between her fearless approach and his 'death is around every corner' caution. 

 

 Is it just me, or does Saru look a lot like Lorien from Babylon 5? 

Is it just me, or does Saru look a lot like Lorien from Babylon 5? 

The Title Sequence

One of the big wins of the show, for me, was the title sequence. Not only did they revert back to an all instrumental sequence that the series has been known for (let's forget Enterprise, shall we?), but they added some awesome schematic/line art with it. This really helps capture the early days of Starfleet for me; to see them depict the ships with the schematic just makes it seem like it's more of a fledgling state. Big props here, CBS. 

The Script

This is where things start to fall off, really. I mean, the paying aspect aside, the script is what was going to make or break the show. The characters were just poorly written and flat. The dialogue was at times atrocious, and the exposition was copious. 

Honestly, the tried to pack too much into the first two episodes to make you have feelings for characters that aren't going to be around for the whole show. It's a cheap way to try to build some emotional punch, and at least one of the actors could carry that emotional punch on their own. 

The Conclusion

I won't pay for it. 

I mean, you knew that already from the title of the blog. I'll gladly watch it if it's all on NetFlix or if I could pick it up through regular On Demand services, but I won't pay extra for it. I think this is a bit much for CBS; there's nothing else in their All Access system that I want to watch. 

What's worse? I've been trying to cancel my subscription for two days, using four browsers across two computers, and the system refuses to let me. It's been over 24 hours since I put in a ticket with CBS and no word there.  

A "meh" on the show, and a "grr" on the service have all brought me to this blog. Good luck, Star Trek! I have hopes you'll pick up and the writing will all come together! 

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