Review: ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ Ranks Up In “Moist Vessel”

“Moist Vessel”

Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 1, Episode 4 – Debuted Thursday, August 27th, 2020
Written by Ann Kim
Directed by Barry J. Kelly

SPOILER-FREE REVIEW

In a return to form, “Moist Vessel” brings the humor and the heart of a family sitcom set on a starship. In what feels like the most traditional Star Trek episode yet, Lower Decks shows it can deliver laughs without relying too much on fan service.

Come join us at the Phaser-Fun-ZoneTM

 

WARNING: Spoilers below!

RECAP

Rank has its problems

“Moist Vessel” eschews the cold open teasers of the previous episodes, and kicks off with a traditional briefing from Captain Freeman outlining the mission for the episode: towing an ancient generation ship full of dead alien mummies and a precious cargo of terraforming fluid that turns inorganic material into life. Think vats and vats of liquid Genesis Device: What could possibly go wrong?

The USS Cerritos is going to be working with the USS Merced (another California-class ship), under the command of Captain Durango, a Tellarite who previously served with Freeman, and it’s clear the two have an ongoing rivalry. Before things get too expositionally boring, Mariner lightens things up with some very loud yawning. “It is just so much information, I don’t know how you guys aren’t yawning,” she says. This triggers Captain Mom big time, setting up the real main arc of the episode.

Tellarites are renowned for staring contests

Nicely picking up on the complex family dynamics established in episode one, Captain Freeman is now even more motivated to figure out a way to get Mariner off her ship without raising the ire of her husband, who is also the admiral that transferred Mariner to the Cerritos to begin with. Ransom has the solution: Assign Mariner all the “nastiest jobs on the ship” to push her to request a transfer on her own. Brilliant!

But the scheming pair seems to have forgotten that this is Mariner, the same ensign who loves the brig. Sure, cleaning out the holodeck is gross, because we all know what people are doing on the holodeck. (Yeah… exactly.) But even though Boimler describes being assigned carbon scraping duty as “Klingon prison stuff,” Beckett figures out a way to turn the drudgery into a fun competition. Ransom is forced to report that Mariner is “finding little ways to inject joy into what are otherwise horrible tasks,” forcing the captain to come up with an even more cunning plan: promotion.

We’ve previously learned that Beckett is proud to have been demoted and prefers life as an ensign. After seeing the sheer boredom Lt. Mariner faces in Starfleet middle management, we can see why. There is no way to inject joy into auditing an audit, sitting through mandatory officer team building exercises, or playing a lifeless senior officer poker game that makes you long for the days of Data and Riker facing off across the green felt.

Meanwhile, poor advancement-obsessed Boimler is forced to watch all of this unfold from the sidelines, completely flummoxed as to why Mariner, and not he, was promoted. Lusting after her better replicator programs and nicer quarters, Brad is seduced by the dark side, and inspired by the notorious holographic baddie Moriarty. Taking Mariner’s offhand promotion theory that “bad is good” to his darkening heart, he begins scheming how he can fail upwards too. Boimler isn’t given a lot to do in this episode, but writer Ann Kim and Jack Quaid make every moment with him count for laughs.

Brad is making the banana uncomfortable

The Tendi shall set you free

As for our other two lower deckers, Tendi gets her own story this episode, all starting with her excitedly attending an “ascension” ceremony. With her usual unbridled enthusiasm, the Orion ensign is excited to watch Lt. O’Conner meditate and transcend the physical realm, but she gets distracted and disrupts the ceremony, which ends up transforming O’Conner into a ball of anger—directed at Tendi.

Now she is a woman on a mission, determined to get O’Conner back on the ascension track if he wants it or not. Declaring she is going to “blow him away with spirituality,” Tendi tries all sorts of things, including Tamarian bugs. It doesn’t help. Feeding into the episode’s theme of transformation, he gives her some tough love: “You don’t get to be the hero here because you are the villain!”

Dude, a hot Orion girl is obsessed with making you happy, do I have to draw you a map?

Saved by the gas, again

With all the fun character stuff going on, it takes a while for the Star Trek plot to unfold, but once it does, it literally gushes in like an unstoppable torrent of sci-fi crises. His rivalry with Captain Freeman clouding his judgment, Captain Durango moves his ship to be in the closer position to the derelict ship, causing a breach and unleashing the terraforming goo into space and up the tractor beams.

Both ships are hit with the fluid, and onboard the Cerritos everything starts dissolving and evolving as if Carol Marcus was cooking up a whole new Genesis Cave inside the ship. Unhelpfully, the ship’s computer lets us know there’s an “unauthorized terraformation” happening. No sh-t, Shiplock.

Just as the red alert is sounding, Boimler chooses his moment to go bad, “dropping” scalding hot coffee onto Commander Ransom’s lap. Needless to say, the “bad is good” plan didn’t work as he expected. No pip for you, Brad.

The crisis turns the mother/daughter cage match into some effective command team bonding, as they literally dig their way through to a station where Mariner comes up with a plan to save the ship with a gas, which was actually how the ship was saved in episode one. But that gas was purple and this gas was more of a blue, so totally different. They did sneak in some classic Treknobabble here including stuff like “trigger a reversion with radiation from the main deflector.” Is there anything the deflector can’t do when you need to tech the tech?

The family that digs their way through a ship transforming into organic matter together, stays together

The transforming ship also had the bickering Tendi and O’Conner stuck together in engineering, which was being altered into a nice coral reef that periodically explodes and is also drowning them, so there were downsides. Some since-we-are-about-to-die truth-telling leads both to some more nice bonding. And the ever-delightful Tendi declares, “I am about to die with my best friend!”

After some heroic escaping and selfless live-saving, the pair shares a kiss before O’Conner’s ascension finally kicks in, surprising him as much as it does her. He should have read the energy being fine print, as it turns out the process is painful AF. In one of the funniest bits in the episode, he is eventually rewarded by learning the universe is balanced on a giant smiling koala. There are so many questions about this koala, but they’re all going to have to be left to the next book on the Metaphysics of Star Trek.

Is engineering supposed to look like this?

I second that demotion

Safely back at the Starbase with the generation ship, the previously transformed Cerritos gets cleaned up pretty quickly. And speaking of reset buttons, Mariner mashes on her own hard by insulting an admiral. Some lessons may be learned, but this show is episodic. So with Tendi back to obsessing over who on the ship doesn’t like her and Mariner declaring, “I’m pretty good at getting demoted,” our four ensigns are right back to where they started, just as it should be.

Keeping the boots is only a little creepy

ANALYSIS

Getting meta right

In many ways “Moist Vessel” felt very traditional. We had a standard teaser with some captain exposition. There was a crazy sci-fi crisis, with a tech solution. We had characters in conflict finding ways to bond and work together towards a common goal. It was perhaps the most Star Trek episode of the series so far.

And it was still another funny episode, which is important because this is supposed to be a comedy. But unlike last week, the humor was organic and mostly character-driven, plus the characters’ actions and situations all still felt well within the franchise. More importantly, this episode toned down the reliance of winks and nods to Star Trek. Sure there were references and plenty of Easter eggs for us to do our weekly deep dive into that sort of thing, but they were more subtle, and more naturally woven into the fabric of the episode instead of being in-your-face literal shout-outs like some past episodes.

A good example would be the gag about the Mariner having to clean up the holodeck. How many times have fans joked about what really goes on in there? Sure, Next Generation and Voyager hinted at some fantasies, but Commander Ransom finally spoke the obvious truth, “It’s mostly that,” and by that, he means the kind of thing that creates some seriously gross waste to clean up.

Another good gag that also worked on a deeper fan level was Mariner’s confrontation with the admiral, insulting the way he pronounced “sensors.” He was an obvious pompous blowhard, but his “sens-ORS” pronunciation was straight out of Spock’s vocabulary, a curiosity that many fans have pondered for decades.

“Moist Vessel” showed that you can get the Star Trek laughs, even ones some only fans will catch, without having to get too meta.

What happens in the holodeck, unfortunately, gets stored in the holodeck

It’s a family show

Once again Lower Decks shows its strength as a solid family/workplace sitcom that happens to be set in the Star Trek universe. The show works best when it comes from the heart, and this episode features some nice themes about the characters learning to accept each other as they are. The humor is coming from this crew, who are slowly but surely being developed into our new multi-dimensional friends.

Writer Ann Kim seems to have a good grasp on these characters, especially the core complicated relationship between Mariner and her mother. Unlike the last episode where Captain Freeman seemed out of control, her conflicts in this episode felt more understandable, making it easier to follow and laugh along the way.

And even though “Moist Vessel” hits the reset button as a good bottle episode should, we are still rewarded with some character growth and serialization with threads being picked up from the previous three episodes. Lower Decks is in a good groove, setting up anticipation as we move towards mid-season.

You will play poker and you will like it!

UPDATE: All Access Star Trek podcast discusses “Moist Vessel” and more

Every Friday the new TrekMovie.com All Access Star Trek Podcast covers the latest news in the Star Trek Universe, including a discussion on the latest episode of Star Trek. This week we cover “Moist Vessel.” The podcast is available on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPocket CastsStitcher and is part of the TrekMovie Podcast Network. See show notes for more details or to listen on the web.


New episodes of Star Trek: Lower Decks premiere on Thursdays on CBS All Access in the U.S. and on CTV Sci-Fi Channel in Canada, where it’s also available to stream on Crave. It has not yet been announced where and when Lower Decks will be available outside of the USA and Canada.

Keep up with all the news and reviews from the new Star Trek Universe on TV at TrekMovie.com.

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Looking forward to this episode. Great review!

Last edited 1 month ago by Dr Beckett

Same. Great review that is spot on!

Really? I didn’t see nearly anything in this episode the reviewer did. The koala was funny? Really? Boimler continuing to be a moron was funny? (well it could be if he actually did funny things which spilling coffee on Ransom was NOT) Why was the Captain’s behavior in this one more acceptable than the last one? She seemed just as out of control and crappy as before. Nothing changed. There was character development? Nope. No one learned anything and they ended up exactly where they were in the first episode.

We could look up to characters in TNG and TOS, would you wish for the Captain to be more like this? For me, some of the humor in Lower Decks comes from characters having flaws that deviate from being the best of the best in Starfleet. Another reason for having a less than exemplary Captain is that the show is siding with the lower deckers including elements of workplace comedy. Imperfect bosses are probably among the number one calamities many people have faced at work. I don’t think the Captain’s behaviour is supposed to be fully acceptable but kind of a challenge to her subordinates. I suppose it’s not unrealistic that even a renowned quasi military organisation like Starfleet includes the odd bad apple and humans with human flaws. By the way I don’t think this means the show glorifies bad leadership, because showing how NOT do it can be another way of making a statement on good management principles, kind of taking the Paul Watzlawick approach. Lastly, the Captain’s personality functions to explain Mariner’s character. So although I get why you criticise her behaviour I think it can be explained from the different angle the show is taking. Mostly agree with other points made in your comment.

Last edited 1 month ago by Webguest

I never asked the Captain be like other Captains. In fact, I wasn’t really complaining about her, only the inconsistency of the review. The reviewer didn’t like her actions in the previous episode but did when she displayed similar attitudes in this one. I was merely asking what was the difference. I never had a real issue with the captain. She’s a side character. Not even the main one. I’m glad you find humor in this. To me, I honestly do not care where the humor comes from. I only care that it exists. In this episode, it was absent. That is all I was really on about. Just the inconsistent review and the lack of comedy in this comedy show.

Funny how the captains have been side characters in the last THREE Trek outings. Well, no, it’s not funny. Kinda predictable.

I really like Lower Decks though, so far. Just seems like New Trek is just different colored Play Doh shoved into the same mold, and saying, “Look, we’re exploring different corners of the Trek Universe!” But it’s just the same molded giraffe in a different hue. They even taste the same. Yum!

Felt like a Star Trek episode with the whole save the ship from a floating artifact that wants to transform the ship. Also let’s use a ship of the same class just to show how disastrous the effect can be. Great episode! It finally answered the question of what happens with holodeck clean up, especially after certain uses. I’ve never posted here, and I can’t believe I’m the first today!

I would think they could just molecularly dissassemble the… um… protein matter… and recycle it. Like, automatically. Just beam it into a pattern buffer and make it into carbon, phosphorus, glucose, and I forget all of the other highly nutritional elements in there.

Key word being automatically. Like dumping a food tray in a recycler.

No, but that’s part of the kink. The senior officers get off on the thought of the lowlife ensign having to cum in and clean it all up!

That’s what I thought, too. With all that dematerialisation and replication technology I’d have expected a technological solution to be in place, so the joke though it was a funny idea did not quite land. Plausibility is still an imperative and I’d really like to hear a good reason from the writers why this is not so on this holodeck (…hello, hello?) :-) For example: Could it be too dangerous to disassemble organic matter from a place visited by live people, instead transferring it into waste disposal tanks to be recycled at a central point? But this can’t really be the explanation, can it, because accidentally beaming people into a waste disposal tank wouldn’t be a good thing either? Or a first generation holodeck on the Cerritos, but why should this not have had molecular disassembling technology? Is there a reason why molecular disassembling would happen in centralized places on the Cerritos? This being Trek comedy, make your jokes but take care so they won’t clash with the existing Trek world.

I enjoyed this episode more than the last one. Lower Decks is starting to get its act together. This is the most traditional Star Trek episode again, I agree.

I want to rewatch it again. The episode is fun and funny. A family or workplace sitcom set in the Star Trek universe. Well written with more character development.

Mariner and her mother have a fascinating relationship. It reminds me of the relationship I have with my family. Very relatable stuff.

Tendi and Mariner steal the show.

The entire series should concentrate on Boimler and Mariner surrounded by the senior staff.
Rutherford and Tendi are unnecessary and cost time!

Last edited 1 month ago by Tim

Tendi and Rutherford matter you know. Boimler is the most boring character on the show.

I quite like them all. Rutherford’s such a happy laid-back guy. Tendi seemed to be on speed though in this ep

Lemme guess: much of the “humor” consisted of her yelling louder than Kimberly Guilfoyle?

Tendi seemed to be on speed though in this ep

Yeahhhhh I think they need to tone her down just a bit, I found myself feeling annoyed and uninterested during her bits

She was on Mariner level speed this episode.

This one is definitely my favorite so far. Felt like a classic Star Trek adventure.

I don’t know if anyone else related ,but something else I appreciate is that the color palette used for this show feels like Star Trek.

Star Trek has a look and feel in its designs and color that is lacking in Discovery and Picard which makes them feel more disjointed to me. Sure they are more cinematic, but visually they belong in a different universe.

Really enjoying this series so far. In the meantime I’m going to be giving DS9 another go and see it all the way through. The Dominion War definitely has me intrigued.

Did not find this episode funny. Loved the last one though. Seems like I am being individual

This episode is funny, the last one was a total dud.

Had a similar reaction to Faze, but, my Trek friends who did not care for the first couple loved episode 3 and were blah about this one.

It’s almost like appreciation of art is inherently subjective or something…

I’m starting to get why I once read comedy is once of the hardest genres to do :)

Did not like the many implausibiities (Durango abandoning all prudence after having been all about the nitty-gritty detail of tractor beams in the beginning; the Captain and Mariner hacking a whole tunnel through stone with stones in minutes, Kosmic Koala…really??). Tendi seemed out-of-character and quite over-the-top to me in this episode. The story did not seem to carry a lot of meaning apart from basic standard stuff such as “not everyone can like you” though I did not get how ascension should have made Tendi realise that. The only two parts I liked were the gangsta vulcan salute and how the Captain took up Ransom’s idea as her own…I actually enjoy how the Captain being self-righteous & vain is the same as the Captain of the fantasy spaceship we had as kids :) I guess it’s good the episodes differ so there is something to ike for eeryone

I actually enjoy how the Captain being self-righteous & vain is the same as the Captain of the fantasy spaceship we had as kids”

That to me is why this show works so well as a comedy – that realization being a powerful message in and of itself.

Help me out with the message, I’m being obtuse: that bosses like that exist, we’re all kids at heart,…?

#1) When your a kid you think people in authority know exactly what’s going on and what to do.
The reality – people in power range from snake oil salespersons to just lazy and incompetent and no one really wants to do anything because they don’t know what to do and if they do nothing, they really can’t be wrong then. Everyone loves to just talk the talk. The Emperor has no clothes. Actual leadership is hard to find, and when found they are often demonized because they are asking people to do something.
2) When you are a kid – energy is for free and you don’t need to work hard to anything because.. robots. Reality – You will never have enough energy to do everything and nothing is for free. And if you have enough energy just wait, because the universe is always moving to a lower energy state that will ultimately end with heat death. The clock is ticking. (And appearently the Higgs field is metastable where it could all just self destruct?!?)
#3) If everyone knew what to do and was already the best – what do you then bring to the table? If everyone is the greatest leader, then no one is really exceptional. If energy was free, would we really all just play holodeck because life is so boring? If everything is explored, then what is there to explore? If everything is known, what is there to learn? Be careful for what you wish for. Embrace the imperfect, surround yourself with good people and have fun doing so to keep sane.

Last edited 1 month ago by Cmd.Bremmon

That’s great to find your answer. Thank you for taking the time to reply!

On second thought, I’ll admit there’s a bit of food for thought where your place is in an organisation and that rank is not everything. Works better in a world without money though…if money does not matter, where would you be working? Would you want to stand out?

Last edited 1 month ago by Webguest

For the record, in a world without currency if I could still live a nice life (decent home, family, etc) I just wouldn’t work. There would be no incentive to.

Drinking with Klingons, getting in fights, helping farmers on distant worlds, sticking it to the man… I mean, sure, you could live in a shack at Vasquez Rocks if you want.

The action’s all Out There… (improperly capitalized for emphasis) Earth is safe and boring.

I’d take safe and boring any day of the week. Relaxing in a nice home… Kids playing. Wife at my side. And able to just relax and do whatever I want… Sounds good to me. Where do I sign up?

I want to like it. It’s good except for when they try to be funny, which it’s not, which is all the time. TAS was better in many ways. The Orville started out trying to be funny, but not so good at comedy and toned it down and became so much more likable. I imagine we’d have to wait to see if season 2 would be adjusted based on feedback. It has potential, but tone down the stupid humor or this Star Trek will be the Lowest.

This episode made me laugh. I really like Mariner and Boimier, the chemistry between the two. The whole Lower Decks Team. The 4 of them are unique and hilarious, in their own way.

This one had my spouse laughing out loud…once again.

The this show really has a lot of archetypes of people we know and work with.

I enjoyed it too. Still endearing but with an edge.

The mother-daughter conflict is classic. I also liked how we finally saw the strongwilled female Orion dimension of Tendi’s character.

Was that a Bajoran prayer Tendi was throwing at O’Connor just before she unleashed the bugs?

Strange that Shaxs and Ransom both have 2 of Spades in their hands in the last picture. Is that an actual animation error?

This was my favourite episode so far.. loved it… but I did notice some other continuity errors with episode also….namely Colored sand in the replicator before Tendi asks for it…… Lt Shax has 3 commander pips on his collar in the conference room, and then in the same scene back to 2 pips….. Beckett has her arm over her mother’s shoulder and next sentence, does not….. The Vulcan Ensign in the Lower Decks crew quaters of the USS Cerritos, becomes a member of the USS Merced when beamed onto the Generational ship at the end…..

But even though the geek in me noticed these things, it did not spoil the episode at all… Cant wait for next week…

Yeah and “It’s too late to switch off the tractor beam” when visually matter on the beam had not yet reached the ship

This sounds like continuity errors you might see in a life-action show (the pips, the arm, etc.) Maybe they’re doing it on purpose.

It looks like they are both holding the exact same hand, i.e. all four cards. Could be a hidden in-joke or an artist taking a short cut. I mean, nobody would notice unless they freeze-framed it.

OK. Getting late. Just watched it. Forgot it was available! This episode was EASILY the weakest one. No laughs whatsoever and only one or two slight grins. Mariner continues to be irritating as hell. This is most unfortunate. This has been the SH show with perhaps the most potential and we get low grade “safe” multi-camera network family type comedy. Still 6 episodes to go so still holding out hope it will get better. I mean, this episode was monumentally dull. Mariner yawning was foreshadowing the episode for the viewer! But we are 40% through this already. Statistically it is unlikely to get better. Sometimes bleeping out curse words can make the joke funnier but I think in this episode they ought to have considered leaving them in. It would have woken up the audience and perhaps give the jokes a better chance at landing.

Clearly ML31, the comments here are reflecting that the audience, even the small sample of this board, has wildly different ideas about humour.

There definitely seem to be those who found episodes one and three less appealing and not their taste in humour and others liked 2 and 4.

My spouse was laughing out loud pretty much constantly throughout this one as for the pilot. I found this one about equally funny to the others but in a different way.

Bottom line is that they seem to be trying to cast a wide net for the audience. It’s not the Adult Swim crowd that they are exclusively targeting. For this to succeed and keep everyone watching, they are going to need to keep some kind of mix of humour styles across the episodes.

But that’s the thing. There really isn’t much of a mix of humor here. It’s all pretty low key and safe. They are taking ZERO risks here. This show has more in common with LaVerne & Shirley than anything else. The Orville’s season two had episodes with more laughs than this one. I’m suspecting that their season two (which abandoned the comedy) will end up having more laughs than the entire season of LDX (which IS a comedy).

I am honestly perplexed by how many posters are claiming they thought this was funny. It’s a head scratcher because many have listed funny things in the past and many of examples WERE pretty darn funny. Not all of course. Everyone’s comedy does not overlap 100%. But still…

Anyway this is starting to shape up as yet another Secret Hideout Trek miss. Unfortunate. I was really looking forward to it. But they can still salvage it with the final 6 episodes. But with a 40% sample the odds of improvement are not good.

They took risks with Discovery and Picard. It’s about time they reeled it in just a tad and reconnected with someone… ANYONE… who appreciates the Star Trek of old (at least, those that don’t resonate with the latest iterations for whatever reason). I like the general direction they’re going.

What I was saying with risks was taking risks in the comedy. The mere fact this show is animated comedy is a decent risk already. And a greater one that Picard I might add.

Plus those who liked 3+2 ;)

This “misfit ensigns, lawless teens” (who are basically about one and the same) trope never had potential; it should have been left on whiteboard in the writers’ room, along with the empty bottle of vodka they quaffed that day.

This has been the SH show with perhaps the most potential “

Prodigy and Lower Decks are two different shows. I still consider LDX as having the best potential including Prodigy.

This episode is my second favorite behind ep 1. Ep3 comes in third and then ep 2.

Loved it. I think I can see the groove and niche they want to fill in Trek

I’m just glad it had a Tellarite! We need more Tellarite representation. I think they are the most under-used aliens in Star Trek, which is weird since they come from TOS. Maybe Strange New Worlds will have an episode on the Tellarite home planet and do a deep dive into their culture. Here’s hoping!

Oh, and I may be in the minority but Mariner is my least favorite ensign. I wish we got more of Tendi and Rutherford. Tendi’s arc was weird this episode but ok. I loled when that guy ascended and said his skin was burning.

That was a little bit clever but it didn’t evoke a laugh. I was just sitting there wondering what the hell was going on.

“I was just sitting there wondering what the hell was going on.”

Well, in all fairness, they didn’t really bother to explain it at all. Nobody seems to care that this guy just ascended except for Tendi, and for her it was only because she didn’t want to lose a friend.

I’m sure next week they’ll do a deep dive into the science and metaphysics behind O’Conner’s fantastical disappearance, and delve into the philosophic implications of it all and reveal the true meaning behind the all knowing koala…. Or not. Probably not. Spoiler alert: We’ll never hear about him or his transformation ever again.

The point is, if it was funny I wouldn’t be sitting there wondering what was going on. I’d be too busy laughing. But… It wasn’t funny. It was just weird and perplexing. Sorta odd for a comedy.

Agreed about Tellarites. They were kind of tied with Andorians until Enterprise had its multiple Andorian arcs and fleshed them out a bit. But the Tellarites got… what… a couple of freighter captains and an Admiral. That’s it! They totally went dark after the 2250’s for cryin’ out loud.

I really liked Harry Judge as the Tellarite merchant captain wrangling with Harry Mudd in the S1 Short Trek “The Escape Artist”.

That short was written by Mike McMahan (his first live-action credit), so McMahan definitely has a great sense of how to write Tellarites.

As a side note, actor Harry Judge (who has also played some Tellarite admirals on Discovery) had a feature article/interview on the StarTrek.com official site recently. He says he’s really like to play more Tellarites. Here’s hoping he’ll get the opportunity.

Apparently the “Lower Decks” style animated spin-off featuring “the little people” behind our favorite franchises is becoming a genre unto itself. Very creative, Fox… (sigh)…

From Deadline:

FOX DEVELOPING ‘THE X-FILES’ ANIMATED COMEDY SPIN-OFF

28 August 2020 by Peter White

Fox is developing The X-Files: Albuquerque from Rocky Russo and Jeremy Sosenko, writers of Comedy Central’s Brickleberry.

The new iteration is an animated series about an office full of misfit agents who investigate the X-Files cases too wacky, ridiculous or downright dopey for Mulder & Scully to bother with. They’re basically the X-Files’ B-team.

The show comes from 20th Television and Fox Entertainment with Bento Box as the animation studio. The network has committed to a script and presentation with The X-Files creator Chris Carter and Gabe Rotter on board to exec produce.

It’s probably because its easier to put together an animated series, since the artists and voice actors can essentially work from home….

So, once again I’m 0 for 4 in finding any of these episodes funny, but this was the first episode I actually enjoyed. And, if that’s because, like Anthony Pascale said, this was the most Star Trek like of the episodes so far, then that would explain why I actually enjoyed it. I still have yet to find anything funny in this show, and I know Star Trek can do comedy (“The Trouble With Tribbles”, “A Piece of the Action”, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home), but I guess I don’t find this type of humor funny; at all.

Oh well, I’ll keep watching it until the season ends or I give up on it (like I did most of Enterprise and a lot of Voyager). There is a lot of good Star Trek out there (TOS, TAS, TNG, DS9, DIS, PIC, most of the movies, The Orville) so I won’t give up hope yet on this show, I just might have to accept that I’m not the target audience when it comes to this type of humor (for example, while I love comedies and sitcoms, I never found The Office or Curb Your Enthusiasm to be funny at all). But as long as it is good Trek I’ll keep watching.

I find most of the “humor” stupid and unfunny, but I did laugh out loud once, when the computer announced that it had detected unauthorized terraforming. The idea that the computer is set up to detect terraforming inside the ship … I found that hilarious, whereas Boimler dumping coffee in someone’s lap just seemed ridiculous.

Boimler dumping coffee in Ransom’s lap was supposed to be ridiculous. That’s the point. He’s trying so hard to rebel against The Man, but he’s clueless as to how to do it. The poor timing of his rebellion was the icing on the cake.

I got the joke. The timing, the ridiculousness of it… Problem was it just wasn’t funny.

Glad you found something to enjoy Corylea.

My spouse laughed out loud at the computer warning, and it made me smile.

In fact, my spouse is laughing out loud more than I heard them do for anything we’ve watched together in a very long time.

My sense Corylea is that Star Trek fans have such widely variable senses of humour, even with North American audiences, that the writers are going to need to have a bit of a scattershot approach with different kinds of jokes to appeal to more than a super narrow market niche. And that’s not even considering how different humour is outside North America.

Last edited 1 month ago by TG47