Review: ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ Freaks Out In “Much Ado About Boimler”

“Much Ado About Boimler”

Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 1, Episode 7 – Debuted Thursday, September 17th, 2020
Written by M. Willis
Directed by Barry J. Kelly

SPOILER-FREE REVIEW

The seventh episode of Lower Decks brings a delightfully dark comedy that still keeps the show’s heart pumping away. While playing familiar Trek tunes, the show finds ways to strike new notes. And just like last week, the show is enhanced by introducing new characters, helped along with strong guest actor performances.

I can’t sleep with all this enthusiasm keeping me up

 

WARNING: Spoilers below!

RECAP

The Host

For the second week in a row Lower Decks continues its tour of Treknology gone wrong. Stepping into the role of Victor Frankenstein is Tendi, whose unholy assembly of leftover inert carbon and DNA fragments may resemble man’s best friend, but when “The Dog” starts crawling on the ceiling with glowing eyes, it’s clear something is off. And even after the nightmare of the Badgey incident, Rutherford has jumped back on that science horse, talking Boimler into playing lab rat to his marginal transporter improvement experiments, leaving Brad just “one millicochrane” off from fully materializing.

Boimler soldiers on in hopes that people will adapt to his new translucent lifestyle, but Dr. T’Ana isn’t having it, transferring the out-of-phase ensign to “The Farm” on Endicronimas V. Soon enough a terrifying Edosian from Starfleet’s “Division 14” takes Brad and The Dog (accompanied by Tendi) aboard his equally terrifying ship full of Starfleet’s unsolvable space illnesses and failed science mysteries. The assembled self-identified freaks are a Star Trek trip through the Island of Doctor Moureau with a stopover in Sid’s Room from Toy Story. And the Edosian medical specialist’s mad scientist charm with hearse-like ship hilariously add to the creepiness of it all.

The patients are a who’s who of Starfleet’s “dark abnormalities and the clinically obscene,” including an ensign in a Pike chair and devolved lizard Anthony. The half old-man/half boy leader of Starfleet’s hidden mistakes rallies them all under “Freaks fight back!” But the mutiny is short lived because – of course – Brad blabbed. His reward? He gets pushed into an airlock by the freaks.

One of us?

The Lost Boys

This episode lives true to the core premise of the show focusing on the ensigns and their crazy adventures, while the bridge crew deal with serious Star Trek stuff in the background. Captain Freeman, Commander Ransom and Shaxs are sent as an “elite team” on a covert mission complete with “Chain of Command” stealth uniforms. The vital mission everyone treats with deadly grim determination: to plant some Rulot seeds on some agricultural colony. Sure, the seeds were “highly volatile” and the colony was in “disputed territory,” but the brief check-ins with the senior staff felt like a fun commentary on not taking things too seriously, or a nod to the Bard’s Much Ado About Nothing, which inspired the episode’s title.

Our secret ingredient is… Rulot

The Thing

Picking up on the “Chain of Command” thing, Mariner is not too happy to find out the crew is about to get Jellico-ed. However, she is presently surprised to find out the substitute captain is her old Academy pal Amina Ramsey, and it doesn’t take long for them to reconnect, which includes (shockingly) Mariner accepting the role as Captain Ramsey’s first officer.

The crew of the Cerritos have some routine operations to handle while Freeman and her boys are away. However, Mariner quickly and uncharacteristically starts showing that she isn’t up to the basics when fixing a water filter on the bog planet Khwopa almost turns into a disaster due to her forgetfulness. Ramsey’s taciturn trio of lieutenants from the USS Oakland don’t get why their captain admires this goof-off of an ensign.

Things get even more serious when a simple rendezvous with the USS Rubidoux becomes a full-on creepy mystery as the ship seems abandoned, found apparently lifeless and drifting. With Mariner still bumbling about, Ramsey’s old-pal patience finally wears thin. Just as this episode starts peeling off more layers of the complex onion that is Beckett Mariner, they discover the freaking out Rubidoux crew hiding in the cargo hold. Their terror is justified when power is restored and the “it” they were so worried about starts tearing the ship apart from the inside out.

At this rate, Starfleet is going to run out of California-class ships soon

The Fly

Back on the Division 14 ship, things turn out pretty well for Brad and the Freaks. Sure they shoved him out the airlock, but it turns out they had landed at “The Farm,” which is actually a lovely spa for these poor afflicted souls to rest, recuperate and maybe even be cured of their various freakishnesses. And even though he was a total fink, Brad was proved right as the Division 14 operative admits they should have just talked it all out. Oh, and his maniacal laugh? That’s just his way. So, not evil after all.

And The Dog loves The Farm. Tendi was sorry to see her go, but they had a nice chat. Oh yeah, The Dog can talk and fly. Turns out, Tendi can cook as good as Carol Marcus when it comes to making life. Brad loves The Farm too and wants to get some time by the pool, with attendants, but now that Rutherford’s delayed transporter phasing has passed, he is again rejected by the freaks and sent back home. Brad just can’t win sometimes.

As for Mariner, she switches back to kickass space adventurer mode to deal with the crisis on the Rubidoux, helping Ramsey take control of the situation to save the crew. And her former friend and temporary captain figures out that Beckett has been phoning it in because she is still dealing with her issues and isn’t ready to “rank up,” and for now just wants to keep exploring being “a super-great ensign.” So, all is forgiven on that front as well. As for the terror on board the Rubidoux, it turns out the ship had become the vessel for the birth of a peaceful – and familiar – space creature.

In the end with all the scares and darkness and frights, the only actual harm delivered in the episode was on Commander Ransom, returning to the Cerritos with an ill-advised attempt to hook up with Captain Ramsey resulting in some impressive space-jujitsu and a broken table in the bar. But he’s okay too, or so his ego claims.

“Let me be that I am and seek not to alter me”… Sorry, I mean welcome to The Farm

ANALYSIS

Playing the hits

In a panel last month, Lower Decks creator Mike McMahan said the show is going to be “playing the greatest hits” from Star Trek (especially his beloved TNG), and as we are now wrapping up the mid-season of the series we are seeing that nicely come to fruition. But “Much Ado About Boimler” wasn’t just playing air guitar with “Chain of Command” and “The Next Phase.” Lower Decks continues to find ways to do familiar stories, but in clever and funny new ways.

And even with 2 ½ story arcs, the seventh episode still found time to work in some character development. We got to see Tendi show off her strong grasp of science, combined with her delightful and blissful ignorance of domesticated Earth companions. Rutherford’s seemingly dangerously pointless transporter tinkering actually turned out to save the day. Brad learned another painfully funny lesson that trying to take shortcuts to get a promotion will not end well. And we pulled up at least a colorful bucket or two from Mariner’s endless well of complexity.

Did you see a fly? Ah, don’t worry about it

The Dark Side is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be hilarious

I like my coffee like I like my comedy, dark and sweet. And this week’s cup of Trek woke me right up. The episode was not afraid to take the show into some of the darker corners of Starfleet, exploring just what happens to all those officers affected by weird science, dangerous anomalies and other space strangeness. Sometimes it takes more than throwing Tuvix back into the transporter to reverse the polarity, and that is where the fun idea of Division 14 comes in.

Writer M. Willis came to Lower Decks after working on shows including The Exorcist and Helix, and a taste of the macabre shown through, without turning into genuine horror. During that Lower Decks Metaverse panel last month it was revealed that she is the one in the writer’s room pushing the envelope for the show, with some of her ideas being rejected as too dark or nihilistic and certainly “Much Ado About Boimler” could have gone in that direction, but she pulled it back to be the heartwarming show that it truly is. The Edosian Division 14 Specialist played that dark to light arc with the funniest moments of the episode with a character introduction rivaling Badgey.

Wear a mask or get sent to The Farm!

Heading into the home stretch

Star Trek: Lower Decks moves from strength to strength with “Much Ado About Boimler.” The mid-season wraps up with what may be the best episode yet. The humor is more and more character-based. The Trek references are more seamless. And the show is willing to explore and comment on some head-scratchers from Star Trek, like what do they do with all those suffering from crazy space science and why would Starfleet ever use the captain of a starship as a covert operative?

The episode was also much enhanced by the voice talent. A particular delight was hearing legendary voice actor Maurice LaMarche as the Rigelian Lt. Drew Prachett. This was the Star Trek debut for the founder of “Talk Like William Shatner Day,” who also voiced many of the character’s in Futurama’s Trek tribute “Where No Fan Has Gone Before,” including Melllvar. Shaxs voice actor Fred Tatasciore also impressed, taking on the role of the Division 14 Specialist.

So far Mike McMahan’s plan to do their fun versions of Star Trek’s greatest hits is working. And as long as they keep the kooky twists coming and don’t turn into just a cover band I say, play on.

On this week’s episode of The Deadliest Catch: Starfleet Anglers

MORE BITS

Today we learned

  • Stardate was 57752.6
  • Division 14 ship was called “Osler” with Designation NX-75300
  • USS Rubidoux was designation NCC-12109 and was California Class ship, named for Rubidoux, CA
  • Rubidoux was lost to alien infestation just like the California-class USS Merced (in “Moist Vessel”)
  • Presumably, the USS Oakland is another California class ship
  • Borg smell like “old trash bags”
  • Mariner got the “best grades” at Starfleet Academy
  • Brad has acid reflux

Laugh lines

  • “I don’t want some babysitter Jellico-type hovering over us when we are already going to a bog planet, which is already the worst kind of planet as far as planets go.”
  • “Boimler’s back baby. Time to kiss some visiting butt!”
  • “We osmose our most brackish gratitude.”
  • “No! I’m covered in freaks!”
  • “Normal dogs hover and spit lighting, right?”

Who’s a good spider-dog? You are. Yes, you are.

More to come

Every Friday the new TrekMovie.com All Access Star Trek Podcast covers the latest news in the Star Trek Universe. The podcast is available on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPocket CastsStitcher and is part of the TrekMovie Podcast Network. And on Saturday we will post our weekly analysis of Easter eggs and references for this episode.


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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There was a line about a “Saul Rubichek” which was probably a reference to Warehouse 13 actor Saul Rubinek who guest-starred in TNG’s “The Most Toys”.

Last edited 1 month ago by izbot

Best episode to date. This show goes from strength to strength. I’m over the moon it’s already got a second season order. Nice touch to have Commander Shepard feature to.

I like what I’m hearing. Getting FOMO right now!

They had two seasons before they started the first. Which is quite common in streaming circles.

Yes, I’m starting to find that out. My mindset is still for 22-26 episodes per season. That’s going to take a long time to break.

“That’s going to take a long time to break.”

Two seasons, minus two. Two years is the new one year. Clocks ticking slower now :/

Here too. I may never see 10 episodes as an entire season. Right now I see it as a “mini-season”. And to be honest, there is just no excuse for a mere 10 episodes in a season. I can see shaving it down to 18 or 20…. Maybe. If the circumstances support it. But going for 10 is just lazy. It’s kind of like 30 years ago pitchers were expected to go 7 innings if not the entire game. Now if they go 5 it’s considered a good outing. It’s pathetic.

If you knew anything about the animation process, “lazy” isn’t a word to be bandied around lightly. Takes eight months to a year from script to screen and all ten episodes being worked on in a pipeline. Give them a break.

And yet The Simpsons and Family Guy and Bob’s Burgers, etc. seem to be able to crank out 20 or so in less time.

Incorrect. Same amount of time, just longer production schedules done further in advance to accommodate a 20/22 episode season order. You shouldn’t call hardworking people “lazy” simply because you don’t understand how an animated production works.

Last edited 1 month ago by blackmocco

No, you are incorrect. They do much more work to crank out 20+ episodes a season. Whereas those other shows have seasons of 10 episodes and often take more than a year to get the next 10 out. You yourself claimed they take more time to do their 20+ episodes. You just admitted they do less work than their streaming counterparts.

You aren’t even understanding what you are writing. Let alone showing the wherewithal to claim someone else isn’t understanding.

Edit… They do MORE work than their streaming counterparts. oops.

Ok.

Last edited 28 days ago by blackmocco

I did not enjoy the Mariner taking a dive storyline. It just became annoying. I also was not a fan of the dog. It seemed odd the Tendi is a Starfleet officer and has never known the capabilities of a dog. Otherwise, it was ok.

Why would non-human Starfleet officers come into contact with dogs? Blind people in the 24th century have technology to make them sighted, eliminating the need for seeing-eye dogs on campus. And she isn’t from Earth. So it’s not at all surprising that she’d unfamiliar with the animal–just as Boimler would be unfamiliar with animals on Orion.

Correct me if I am wrong. But she is an ensign in Starfleet, which up until the 09 movie meant that you had to go through Starfleet academy to then be placed on a ship. Starfleet academy is on Earth (unless there is an online Starfleet Academy that could be taken on Orion). It takes roughly four years to graduate. So in four years of being on Earth, she never came in contact with a single dog? Very hard to believe.

Why would we assume that Starfleet only has one college/academy, only on earth?

Because that’s the only place we’ve ever seen it. There’s no evidence that shows starfleet academy is anywhere else.

We have been told there are other annexes. Some of the screens of character bios also list other training sites.

I’ve seen bios that say they are from different planets, but not different academy sites. Starfleet academy has always been on Earth in San Francisco, CA. To what bios are you referring?

Mariner is an annoying character but not because of her characterization per se, but because of how her environment and the plots react to it.

She is
A) highly skilled and experienced
B) plays dumb to not get promoted (for how many years now?)
C) likes to goof around as an entry level employee
D) wants to do good stuff and take charge in these situations but has to be insubordinate to do so because:
E) she hates being promoted because she hates the obligations that come with it

Usually there should be a point where she gets called out on that and should just grow up and accept that she could put her abilities to better use in higher positions but no, she always gets away with it. Even in this episode where her charade is most egregious. First she complicates the mission to the mud planet, then she singlehandedly saves the day on the other ship. Typically, this would be a wake up call to accept her role as a leader and stop goofing around. Not here. She continues to slack until she chooses not to. It’s her choice whether to grace her environment with her competence or to let them deal with her intentional imcompetence.

Ya. It just seemed like an odd trajectory for an episode. I initially thought she was playing it off as being nervous around her super successful friend. We all have those. But then it was revealed she was taking a dive. So it just made me think, wait you’ve been sucking at your job on purpose? Why haven’t you been fired?

And here is the thing… If the show was, you know, funny these questions would probably not even come up. We’d be distracted by all the laughing. Hence the problem with the show is a lack of gags that land.

Yes, the dog thing was another bad joke. What could have been funny would have been the dog floated away but got quickly engulfed by some avian predator. We’ve seen such a joke before elsewhere but it still would have probably been the funniest joke of the season.

And the Mariner thing is just tired and old. I got tired of her act in the 2nd episode. Again, if the show was funny, I’d be completely down with it. But….

You want that happen to The Dog??? Dude, that’s cruel.

Context. Cruel things can be funny in the right context. See my response to webguest below…

OK, I understand, but it’s The Dog!!!!! She deserves life.

Not only context. Some find schadenfreude funny, others don’t

I would not find that joke funny at all. Humor is individual I guess.

Honestly, it’s the same gag we saw on The Simpson’s ages ago in the episode “Supercalifragilisticexpiala-D’oh-cious.” Sherry Bobbins was floating away with her umbrella while Lisa asks Homer “Will we be seeing her again?” and Homer answers “I’m sure we will honey. I’m sure we will.” Mid sentence Sherry gets sucked into the jet intake of a passing airliner which none of them see because they had their backs to it. It was quite funny.

Pretty sure we’ve seen that kind of gag elsewhere, too.

I don’t think I would have found that very funny either. The dark type of joke where the joke is on something good being killed or coming to harm doesn’t make me laugh. I rather find that depressing or somewhat cynical. Thinking about it, I’d say there’s also a little difference there: The Simpsons joke also makes fun of the contrast between nostalgic ideal world and modern. …:-D I’d really like to know how discussion goes in a comedy writers’ room and whether they just come up with jokes and vote like “funny or no?” or discuss actual humour techniques?

Such things, as far as I know, depend greatly on how each writer’s room work. Some spitball all kinds of ideas and jokes and go with what they all find funny. Others come up with stuff they personally find funny and run with it.

But in the case of the example I used above I felt the humor came from, as much of The Simpson’s jokes do, Homer’s obliviousness to the world around him. The act of Sherry getting sucked into the intake can be funny from an unexpected point of view (and the *thud* sound they used was quite funny, too) but I found it all the more funny because Homer was reassuring the kids they would certainly see her again when right behind them she was sucked to her death. This joke could have been echoed in LDX with Tendi turning her back to the flying dog saying something about how the dog would be just fine and… Well that.

“What could have been funny would have been the dog floated away but got quickly engulfed by some avian predator. We’ve seen such a joke before elsewhere but it still would have probably been the funniest joke of the season.“

Yeah, I don’t see that as funny at all in the context of the episode – even if it had been done the way you describe.

Well, I would have probably laughed and it easily would have been the funniest thing in the entire episode.

I have FOMO because I miss watching Lower Decks to be honest. It keeps getting better and surprising you every time.

Fear of missing out disease!

Last edited 1 month ago by Faze Ninja

So … watch it? This is a solvable problem.

He’s just starting university and trying to get his schoolwork done first.

It was great to see an Edosian again after 46 years. Hopefully they can bring them into the live action Trek shows too.

After the elaborate set-up of The Dog hopefully we will see more of that character too.

Its nice they are officially canon

Well, the Edosians have been canon for a while now. TAS is canon. I know it wasn’t considered as such back in the day, but at this point, with its ready availability and all the various references to the show on LDS & ENT over the years, TAS is completely canon.

Also, I love The Dog! It’s funny though, because I was initially worried that LDS would be “too cartoony” to work within the Star Trek universe, and yet my favorite characters to come out of these last couple of episodes have been Badgey & The Dog! Go figure!

really liked it. well-done!

Still no way to watch it in EU. Who said we shouldnt worry?

Trust me, you aren’t missing anything good. I know you feel the need to see for yourself but maybe that knowledge will help for the time being.

Mt. Rubidoux also sits near downtown Riverside….a short ride from home for me. Riverside shoots its fireworks from the top, invariably setting a brush fire every 4th of July.

I got some real trek apparel. Anthony, I have a poster for the 09 movie signed by LN himself. It says, ‘“Alex and Bob, look what you’ve gone and done.”

I wanna give it to someone worthy. Let’s set a date for a live chat and I will give it to most convincing fan.

There’s always a story floating around somewhere. The last time I was out in Boulder City, I got to talking to my BIL’s SO – turns out that her late husband was on the crew that disassembled ST:The Experience at the old LV Hilton. Apparently they didn’t catalog many of the display items. She’s promised I’ll get a peak at a decent amount of memorabilia that’s in storage the next time I’m out there.

Paramount sent me a box of goodies, being one of the guys who didn’t get into the STB fan event because it was overbooked. I just got the poster framed, and, man, it just pops on display.Good luck to whoever gets the poster, and don’t skimp on the framing. Trust me on this one, it makes a world of difference on display.

Last edited 1 month ago by Phil

Did you guys ever have plans for Edosians?

” I will give it to most convincing fan.”

I root for Faze Ninja already. He is the most likeable and enthusiastic fan on this board.

I agree odarek.

Ninja is just starting university, and hasn’t had a chance to collect a lot of Trek-related treasures. He’s an enthusiastic participant here, even as he’s been learning how to be on social media. I’m really appreciative of a younger voice and perspective here.

I wonder if salamander Anthony is one of Tom Paris and Janeway’s offspring.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jason

Ok this one was easily my favorite one!

I actually HATED last weeks episode. First one I didn’t like at all. But I loved this weeks. Just so many fun moments and you can spend an hour looking at all the deformed gags on the D-14. Tendi and that ‘dog’ man, hilarious. All that was missing was the ability to teleport.

I really liked the substitute crew. I was HOPING it would be someone we know but I forgot about they already released the images for this episode. BTW, did that one guy on the substitute crew look like he was from Jaylah’s species? That was the first thing I thought of at least.

And loved the plot saving the other crewmen on the ship. I lol when Mariner clocked the captain. All in all a great episode.

Oh and more Dr. T’Ana! Every time she curses I laugh.Love her deadpan humor.

Last edited 1 month ago by Tiger2

More of the same. Not very good. 70% in and I think it is time to classify this show as a disappointment. Occasionally clever the most fun we ever get is when there is a TAS reference. No joke funny enough to make me stop and back up or pause. A few noticeable chuckles. A handful of clever references. But the lack of comedy make the characters just sad. None of them have been any good. And the two leads are just terrible. If there were funny jokes weaved in it could be watchable. But those two are just as annoying as anyone on Discovery. And to call this an “adult” comedy is a misnomer. I would let a 5 year watch this with no hesitation. Sorry but a few bleeps and a comedic slice of flesh doesn’t make a show “adult”.

What a contrast… After watching this episode I watched the premiere of Archer. That first episode had more laughs in their one 22 minute episode than LDX has had in 7. And, that is a a TRUE “adult” comedy.

Very disappointed in Lower Decks. Was so looking forward to it but it’s just ridiculous unfunny refuse. Secret Hideout’s trend of each product getting a tad better seems to have ended. This show is worse than Picard.

Hopefully before 2025 comes, there will be one Kurtzman show you will fall in love with! ;)

I was looking forward to SNW as well. At this point I think it better if I just expect whatever Secret Hideout produces will be garbage. That way the bar will be set so low it will take a minimal positive effort to clear it.

SH is 0 for 3 at this point. And going by seasons they are 0 for 4. IMHO it is time to sever the SH contract with CBS. They have proved to not be up to the task. Either that or CBS needs to demand we get more diversity from SH. Not in terms of ethnicity but in terms of a broader array of talent. The incestuous overlapping they have from show to show should be obviously be seen as a major weakness to all by now. If they want to continue it is imperative that no more than ONE producer overlap shows. Each project needs it’s own voice and it’s own people.

Well as you know, our views aren’t that off with the new shows. I seem to like them all more than you do, but just a little more lol. BUT I do generally like LDS so that is a big difference.

But I think its a bit hyperbolic to want to fire Alex Kurtzman or end the relationship with Secret Hideout. I say this ALL the time, all these shows are still brand new, they are all going to take time to get on their feet. I had the same issues with TNG, DS9 and ENT when those first started too…a lot of us did. They all improved greatly for me. And even then most didn’t until their third season. And of course the difference is those shows took a lot longer to get on the air. TNG was the only Star Trek show for 6 seasons before we even got DS9. In this situation we now have 3 Star Trek shows on in literally half that time.

Obviously I’m not saying you’re going to love any of them later but its still very very early. I may not love them either but I can’t really judge that now. Where was TNG by episode 30 where DIS is now? Not in a great place, that much I know. ;)

But it is funny how some people forgot that. I was on Youtube the other day arguing with someone who said the last Star Trek show was Enterprise and everything else after that from the Kelvin movies to the new shows were, in their words, ‘garbage’.

I tried to remind him there was actually a time many people felt that way about Enterprise and some still do today. That the things said about that show wasn’t that different than what is being said about Discovery and Picard. It was like I was talking to a wall and they kept telling me Enterprise is a great show and was always considered a Star Trek show. I kept saying you’re on the internet, it doesn’t take much time to see how the views were back in 2001 compared to today. Maybe he was much younger and don’t remember those times but he was almost offended comparing Enterprise to these new shows lol.

It’s just so odd. That’s the same thing is happening with the Star Wars prequels and the new movies today. Its that same disconnect that people seem to think the prequels were always loved and accepted when at one time they were talked about just as bad as the Disney films, in many ways worse. Really people don’t remember the time the prequels were so bad they literally wanted George Lucas off of Star Wars? And then they got their wish only to now want the man back in charge of it lol. Fandom, right?

But it all goes to my point, all this stuff has ebbs and flows. Yes maybe the new stuff suck now but in a few years people may be defending its just as much Star Trek as everything else just like how all of classic Trek is considered good Star Trek by many in the base today. But as we know, that wasn’t always the case and that can literally start with TNG.

Sorry for being long winded lol. TLDR: Give it more time, maybe it will improve and be accepted for you like the others while making it clear you don’t have to like any of it now.

Last edited 1 month ago by Tiger2

OK. Well my first comment is, and I’ve said this before, given the paywall nature of streaming services and the fact that their shows have no real deadlines or hard schedules to meet… And that they have a limited number of episodes and the effort going into them have often been comparted to feature films it is not unfair to treat these series’ like one would treat a feature film. There really is not excuse not to be good out of the gate. It is more reasonable to give over the air shows like TNG or DS9 a lot more slack as they never asked anyone to fork over money for their episodes and they were under considerable restraints on many fronts.

I get what you are trying to say here. I really do. But I do not think it reasonable to give them some 30+ episodes “to really start to gel”. They really needed to get this right out of the box. I feel like I have been pretty patient with some 36 episodes of Trek shows. There is so much production overlap that none of the shows really feel much different from the other even though they claimed they would. Only LDX has a different feel and that is obviously due to being animated and they seem to have the fewest producer overlap.

Honestly I would probably be fine if Kurtzman remained so long as he stopped the staff overlap of the shows. If they are to have their own voice they can’t have the same people involved in every show. Yes, I know the staffs aren’t 100% duplicated. But there is a lot of overlapping going on. Far too much and it shows.

For the record I hated the SW prequels when they came out and still hate them to this day with only ROTS being watchable. But some of the casting done for those films was just gawd awful. Particuarly for Anikan. From my point of view Disney’s only real misstep was not mapping out their sequel trilogy in advance. Not knowing what they were going to do allowed Johnson to do his thing and put them in a rather tight spot for Ep. 9. And while there were elements in TLJ I did not care for overall I thought it pretty good. Certainly better than the been there done that TFA. And I think Rogue One was easily the best SW movie Disney made. Far better than any of the prequels. But that’s for another place. This is about Trek.

Reading the reviews and comments here week to week, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything not seeing Lower Decks now. It’s a shame it doesn’t seem to be actually funny – I didn’t think the first episode was when it was offered on YouTube. I’ll catch them all in a row whenever I sign back up for CBSAA, date/year to be determined. It’ll probably be called Paramount + by then. And yes…Archer, that is one funny animated show.

Last edited 1 month ago by Danpaine

Danpaine, I suggest giving it a try. Frankly, I find more of us like it than not.

If one is looking for a certain kind of American adult comedy the way ML31 was, Lower Decks isn’t it. But that doesn’t mean that it won’t be funny for you.

In fact, the show employs a fairly wide range of humour, from broad to subtle, physical, visual and wordplay. So, they are trying to reach beyond one culture or idea of humour.

My spouse hasn’t laughed out loud as much for any television series in more than a decade. I find it humorous and engaging but not “laugh out loud funny.”. Our kids find other things to like in it, but are watching as well.

Why did you say “American” in front of adult comedy? That’s got nothing to do with it. The key word here is Comedy. Comedies are supposed to be funny. If it’s not funny it won’t work. And I honestly don’t care if it’s Canadian or British or Russian. Funny is still funny. And for the record there is a lot of very funny NON-American stuff out there.

Apart from the lack of humor in it part of my beef is CBS calling this an “adult” comedy. There is very little adult content in this at all. In fact, I would say it’s pretty non-existent. I would have no problem with anyone allowing a 5 or 6 year old to watch this. The humor is that weak. But I would think twice before letting an 11 year old watch Archer. (Because unlike LDX, Archer IS adult comedy) This is yet another example of CBS categorizing their Trek to be something it is not. And it’s getting tiresome.

ML31, first by adult, I was contrasting with the shows that are destined for middle schoolers and teens. Disney and others seem to have an entire genre that I was obliviously unaware of until our kids discovered them.

In terms of “American” , perhaps we see this differently, but the norms of comedy varies a lot across cultures and languages, and even between English-speaking countries, or between Quebec and France.

e.g. “Monty Python” and “Black Adder” have their fans in the United States, but it’s not the kind of thing that would fit with American adult comedies.

You seem to take the position that there is only one kind of funny and it’s whatever is funny to you. However, we know you’re an IDIC kind of guy. Can we agree that others of us are seeing something in it you don’t?

Last edited 1 month ago by TG47

So the difference is that a show geared for adults will likely contain material that perhaps might be a bit much for pre-teens and below. However you can easily produce a show that is suitable for most ages. LDX would be in that category. But it certainly is not an “adult” comedy. Far from it. It is not aimed directly at children but still is soft enough to be family friendly. As opposed to the mentioned earlier “Archer”. Which is directly aimed for adults.

Comedy is also less a cultural thing and more of an individual thing. That is not to say that culture doesn’t play a role. It can. Just not as large as you might think. It’s why Hollywood comedies can do well outside the USA. Even though they might be aimed for American markets.

And this is a bit a pet peeve with me. Just because I say something is not funny does not mean I feel there is only one kind of funny. That’s absurd. If someone says something that is obviously subjective I find it redundant to clarify it as subjective.

Also, I am not limited to one kind of humor. I can find slapstick just as funny as the cleverest witticism. It just depends on the context and the nature of the gag.

I’m sure there are some out there who find LDX funny. I’m not one of them. I find the jokes to be mostly groan inducing rather than laugh inducing.

Yeah, it is logical to assume when one says that a comedy is not funny that that is subjective opinion, but when you repeatedly post “This show is not funny.” and “if only this show were funny” over and over again, it begins to sound like don’t you agree that it is only not funny for you. If you instead wrote “I don’t find this funny because…” or “I don’t feel like this part worked…” there would be more room for polite disagreement and discussion. But your comments don’t tend to be like that; they tend to sound like there is no space for different opinions. It makes it frustrating to read your posts, and (i am assuming) causes some friction with other posters.

I have a IRL friend who always states his (obviously subjective) opinions about movies, games, tv shows, or books something like this: “This movie is totally ‘pants’ ” (he’s Irish), and always in such an absolute and unyielding way that i find it hard to engage in a discussion with him about those topics. Even though he is my friend and I would like to discuss these things with him, the way he approaches it leaves little respect/room for others’ options. Not that he ever says so in so blatant terms, but it comes across as “no reasonable person should disagree with this position.”

I disagree. If a reader has an issue with someone stating an obviously subjective opinion that’s on the reader. Not the writer. Saying why one likes or dislikes something that is little more than a preference doesn’t really work. You ask someone why they don’t like radishes for example. It is very difficult to come up with why exactly. You can be vague about texture or something but it’s still not a clear picture. It ought to be enough to know that the person doesn’t like radishes. Now this only works with instinctual preferences. Like why someone finds one person attractive and not another. You don’t know why you like eyes a certain way. You just do. (this is also true of what one find’s funny obviously) This is not universal. There are instances where one’s opinion can indeed have reasons behind it. Like a movie or a political view. Those can have evidence that a person has weighed against their own personal tastes and leanings and they arrive at an opinion. And that opinion can be backed up. Subjectively, sure but there are reasons behind it unlike just preferring an eye color in a potential mate.

This one didn’t do much for me, unfortunately. Ah, well, better luck next week!

I enjoyed this one, but I can’t say it was my favourite.

I’ll be interested to see how other members of the family react and rate it.

That said, it was interesting to have it confirmed that Mariner is from a much earlier Academy cohort. Definitely, some kind of darker backstory there to keep revealing.

It seems that she really does have something serious to get over, some loss of faith in Starfleet protocol and an unwillingness to be responsible for the lives of subordinates unless pushed into by circumstances. It also may explain why Starfleet is willing to let her plod along as an ensign until she sorts it out.

Lower decks still hasn’t grabbed me yet. I just don’t like anyone! But I’m happy to see the comment section so decent today.

According to Parrot Analytics, the demand for Lower Decks is going up steeply since the beginning of September in both Canada and the United States.

So, it sounds as though it’s finding its own audience.

Loved this episode overall. It was one of my favorite “comfort food” kind of stories that had a solid plot and some nice references to previous Treks, but I did have a couple of things that bugged me a bit:

Lots of stories happening at once. It’s a pretty short show to have so much going on. You had the random plant mission that sent the senior staff off the ship (1), which I know paved the way for Mariner’s story (2), the Boimler transporter accident story (3), and the Tendi dog story (4). Totally get that this show is supposed to be fast-paced, but with only 20-25 minutes to get things done, they may want to keep things a little less complex. I’m a big re-watcher in general, but I usually do it for fun and background noise. With some LD episodes, I feel like I have re-watch to so that I understand everything. Since there are only 10 episodes, I guess it’s like having 20. :)

Starfleet registry numbers continue to baffle me. The USS Rubidoux’s number is NCC-12109, which would normally indicate that it’s likely an older ship. Ships appearing in modern Trek with those registry numbers were typically Excelsior, Miranda or Oberth class ships, meaning they were from the late 2200’s. The design of the California class is clearly derived from the Galaxy class, which was launched in the late 2350’s. Most ships from the TNG era carry registry numbers in the 70,000 range, so it was really odd to see a sister ship to the Cerritos have such a low number without an -A/B/C designation.

Last edited 1 month ago by JBX

Who voiced Capt. Ramsey? Sounded like a Brit, but can’t find it anywhere!

I’m really enjoying this show and all the references for us long time fans.

And being less than 30 minutes, I can easily fit in watching an episode each week.