Interview: Mike McMahan Talks ‘Lower Decks’ Season 2, Star Trek Easter Eggs, And Coordinating With ‘Prodigy’

Ahead of the arrival of Star Trek: Lower Decks on Blu-ray next week TrekMovie had a chance to talk to creator and showrunner Mike McMahan about the release, season two and more.

One of the features on the Blu-ray is a look at Easter eggs. As you know, our site (and others) did weekly Easter egg articles for each episode…

Yeah, we must have kept you guys busy. Sorry about that.

I guess that’s my question. How did we do? Are there many Easter eggs no one spotted? 

It’s funny. It’s kind of a combo. Some of my artists slipped some in at the last minute because we’re working on stuff till the very last second. So my artists slipped in stuff that I didn’t catch until broadcast, and I was like, ‘Oh, you fucking stinkers.’ All that stuff you guys caught, which was great. There are a few. You guys caught all the literal… you guys did an amazing job, and kind of a horrifying job as I make season two and three right now knowing that there’s an army of people smarter than me that are seeing my stuff at all times.

But I will say that the only thing you guys might not have been looking for is that when we’re writing, character motivations and turns and kind of things that come up as ridiculous. A lot of the time the most ridiculous stuff is grounded in Star Trek episodes other characters made a similar choice under lateral circumstances. And so there’s almost a way to deconstruct stuff about Lower Decks that’s in a character choice that’s based in stuff you’ve seen in Star Trek. It’s almost like echoes and fun things where you’re seeing it in a new way and seeing it through the lens of the character you’ve just met. But if you really dig through 700 episodes, you can find a person in Starfleet making a decision that isn’t completely unlike it. And that’s a way that we say, ‘Okay, we’re making a comedy. We’re bending the rules sometimes. But it’s been done before.’

Those aren’t really Easter eggs. And the stuff you’re finding, I don’t really think of Easter eggs either. Occasionally when we stick somebody in a closet, or if you’re in like a store, and you see like stuff in the background. There’s kind of fun stuff like that. We think of it as like reusing props from other Star Trek shows, which is what they did too! When you watch [Star Trek:] Generations it’s like, ‘I’ve seen all this stuff before.’ And we’re doing that to try to build out the world. A lot of what you guys are calling Easter eggs is us saying, ‘Hey, be okay with our show being animated and a comedy shorter and louder and faster and crazier because look at all this familiar stuff.’ It’s in 2380 and it’s on a Starfleet ship – a new Starfleet ship – and a lot of this stuff is familiar.

From Lower Decks premiere “Second Contact”

We often just say “references,”  but being that these “Easter eggs” are called out on the Blu-ray it’s kind of a highlighted feature of the show. Do you see these as a permanent feature of Lower Decks? Or do you feel that you may move further away from it these Star Trek references constantly coming at you?

I think that the reason it says “Easter eggs” on the Blu-ray is you need folks that maybe aren’t as deep as you and I to understand what one of the appeals of the show is. And I think “Easter eggs” in the vernacular is, ‘Hey, there’s going to be stuff here you recognize.’ And some of it will be fun because there are Easter eggs in there, too. For me, the show is always going to be a mixture of the familiar and the new. Every time we’re doing something like we’re creating a new alien race, you go through all of these different Star Trek episodes and there are aliens that end up popping that you like you want to see again. So like Exocomps didn’t show up again in Starfleet a lot. But I love them and I wanted to bring them back, and the same with the Pakleds.

So there’s sort of a fine line between what’s going to be the new stuff that you’re seeing – because we are creating new alien races as well – and what are the Easter egg-y kind of things as well. Like what does that sign say in Klingon in the background on Little Qo’noS and stuff like that. So I do think, from an Easter egg point of view, Lower Decks is always going to be playing with stuff that is familiar and celebrating it. And feeling like Star Trek like that while doing new stuff at the same time. So having the Easter eggs on the DVD is great. If you want to do you see that bonus feature and have somebody walk you through everything and you might see something you didn’t see, although you guys probably know all of it. It’ll just be like a greatest hits to you guys. But to somebody who’s not as well versed, it might make you want to be like, ‘Oh, I should go watch that TNG episode.’ That’s cool.

But, I want the show to feel different than a DVD bonus feature. Episodes aren’t made to be deconstructed. They’re made to be enjoyed and feel the stakes and live along with the characters and laugh. Then maybe on the second time through, it can be deconstructed and the whole buffalo can be picked apart a little bit and you can find all the Easter eggs and stuff we hid in there. And on DVD the nice thing is, if you’re just feeling like looking for Easter eggs, there’s a separate way to do it instead of kind of pausing as you are going through the episodes.

A shot of a familiar creature in the season two teaser

You’ve previously said we will see more legacy characters from Star Trek canon in season two, like Riker who you introduced in season one. Many have noted how Riker is a bit different on Lower Decks. There is even a crazy fan theory that your Riker is actually Thomas Riker

Ha! Thomas Riker is a dork. He joined the Maquis, like, ‘What are you doing?’ Our Riker is the real Will Riker.

But let’s say you bring in Michael Dorn to play Worf or Gates McFadden to play Crusher. Can we expect the same kind of thing, a broader version of these characters where you pick some elements to caricature as your versions of them?

It depends. The easy answer to that is, yeah, of course. It’ll be my version of them because I’ll be writing them and directing them. But then, of course, they will be balancing it. Like when we work with [Jonathan] Frakes and Marina [Sirtis] and John de Lancie, it was like, “Tell me how your character would say this line.” Let’s rewrite this line in the booth. Let’s record in different ways. Let’s find a great middle ground.

Like when we were working with Jonathan Frakes He was like, “Gosh, it’d be great if I could go ‘red alert!’ here. I love how Riker says that so we rewrote the scene to make sure that he could start with the exact way he likes to do it. For me, bringing in a legacy character has to make sense diegetically. It has to make sense on the show. It has to make sense for where that character is in the canon and in the timeline right then. And if we’re going to exaggerate it or not, it’s never going to be the punch down on the character, it’s never going to be to make a mockery of them. It’s got to be to embody a certain element of them.

Q popped into Lower Decks episode “Veritas”

It’s tough because we don’t want to cartoon-ify or diminish anything that people have done, which is why it’s probably less likely that Sir Patrick Stewart is ever going to be on Lower Decks. How is our dinky ship going to run into him? And for a lot of the quote-unquote lower decks characters, it is a little easier to get them. For Frakes and Marina, they were easier because I had spoken to Jonathan before we pitched the show and he loved the idea and wanted to work together. But, I love all of these existing characters in canon, and I want to do right by them. And you got to be careful. You have to recognize who they are and feel like it’s a celebration of them as opposed to just utilizing them and disposing them and saying something in canon that isn’t true about them.

So, I would love to work with all of these folks – with Gates and everybody. I would love for the show to go seven seasons and for us to to do little check-ins on people as we’re going that makes sense. But I only want to write them in a way that it really feels worth having back. So it feels like our show changed to fit how they are and not the other way around. And on top of that, I wouldn’t want to write them so drastically, that you just aren’t feeling like you’re not catching them on a certain day. Like, this is a funnier day for Riker. This is what he’s like in this six months of his life.

At the same time, you see these characters shift and change when you’re watching the original shows that they’re on. Because the actors are finding different things to express with them. You don’t want things to be static. You want the characters to be reacting to stuff and changing. Sometimes you’ve got a funnier writer who is writing them a little more comedically. Like sometimes you have Worf and he’s a stoic warrior who’s trying to find his identity from growing up with human parents versus his place in his House back on Qo’noS. Those are heavy stories and at other times Worf is funny and Dorn gets to play him funny. The way I think of it, we are playing people funny. When they are on Lower Decks they get to do the funny stuff that inspired me to do Lower Decks in the first place.

Troi and Ransom in season one finale

Season two picks up with Boimler still on the Titan with Riker. Picard season one showrunner Michael Chabon had worked out a whole backstory for Riker and Troi on the Titan. Based on timing you guys could be running into some of that stuff, maybe even Deanna pregnant with their son Thad. So are you all coordinating? Could we see elements of Chabon’s Titan story in Lower Decks?

I don’t want to give anything away. I will say that I think Chabon is brilliant. And he’s a true Trekkie. I’ve hung out with him multiple times, with him and his wife. Secret Hideout has set up a showrunners meeting that we do where all the of the showrunners on the different Trek shows come together and talk about what we are doing seasonally and what we are doing with legacy characters. It’s to make sure that it feels like there’s a cohesive understanding of the timeline and what we think is important about the characters.

The way I’m handling Riker is the stories we’re telling on the Titan are a part of Riker’s history. They might be a little bit of an exaggerated version of it through our show, but the events that we’re talking about, definitely fit into where Riker’s journey is. Where he’s no longer on the Enterprise and he’s doing his own thing. Now the version of Riker we’re seeing is the kind of thing that I like about Riker. He is the larger-than-life jazz-loving, kind of mischievous Riker. Which is not everybody’s Riker, but it is a Riker you see every once in a while.

The stuff you’re going to be seeing in season two of the Titan is stuff that happened. It’s probably a little bit more ebullient. It’s told through our show’s point of view. And it’s probably a little bit before the stuff that Chabon wrote for Riker and for Troi as they are heading into where you find them in Picard. I like to think of it as the calm before the storm, this kind of era that we’re in for Lower Decks. It’s pre a lot of heavy stuff. It’s post-TNG, post-Nemesis, pre some pretty, big events that lead to changes in the Federation in his current life and everybody around him. So, we’re really careful that 2380 – which is where we’re telling most of our stories right now – it’s this little calm. What are people’s lives like when they’re stretching a little bit and when they’re exploring and having fun and before life gets a little bit more complicated.

Riker is back in season two teaser

One of the surprising things revealed about Star Trek: Prodigy is the setting in 2383, only 3 years after where you guys are. So is this coordinating making sure you are all on the same page for the late 24th century?

Yes. There’s a couple things about Prodigy. I can’t remember what they’ve revealed about their show and I don’t want to step on any toes. But there are some intrinsic storytelling details about their show that keep us from bumping into each other too much, both with timeline and location and characters and that kind of stuff. There have been a couple times where we’ll turn in a story area to Secret Hideout and I’ll get a call from an executive telling me the Prodigy guys were also talking about taking a look at this or that character. So then Hagemans and I will jump on the phone and we’ll talk about how are you going to be using this character? What timeline will it be? What’s important for you guys? Sometimes it’ll be like ‘Okay we’ll just make sure that when we’re using them, there’s an understandable reason that they could get to you guys in that way.’ And other times, it’s like, ‘Wow, I love the way you guys are using this character,’ or they love the way we’re using it and we’ll just switch out the character for somebody else. So it’s a little bit of like a dance.

We’re working together because we all love Star Trek. If you’re watching Lower Decks and then you switch over to Prodigy and watch that, we don’t want you to be distracted watching either show by being like, ‘Well, wait a minute, the other show says something else!’ It’s important to us that we’re respecting canon, but also respecting each other’s shows. I think that is there’s a lot of easy ways to do it. There’s so many characters in Star Trek and there’s so much to use and go around that sometimes we geek out about the same ideas, and sometimes those work together. But the short answer is: yeah, we’re talking all the time. We’re making sure that we’re both making the best show possible. Neither Prodigy nor Lower Decks is entirely dependent on legacy characters. They’re kind of a part of what’s fun about it, but the new characters and the new stories we’re telling is really the feature. So when you’re swapping that stuff out or making adjustments, it’s really just producing. It’s making sure that we’re being careful. That we’re trying to do things that make the audience feel like we are making sure not to do anything with a cavalier or flippant or dismissive kind of bias towards what we all love.

I know that you have a new security chief for season two that you’re very excited about. So I just want to squeeze something out of you as a tease. Can you say anything? Is it a new character?

It’s a new character… a species we’ve seen before, but not one who we’ve seen in Starfleet before.

Security Chief Shaxs in his final moment in “No Small Parts”

Lower Decks arrives home next week

The first season of Star Trek: Lower Decks arrives on home media on May 18th. You can pre-order Blu-ray edition at Amazon for $24.99. The limited-edition Steelbook Blu-ray set can be pre-ordered at Amazon for $29.99. And the DVD edition can be pre-ordered at Amazon for $25.99.

More from Mike on All Access Star Trek podcast

Check back on Friday to listen to the full interview with Mike McMahan on TrekMovie’s All Access Star Trek podcast along with our discussion and analysis of what he had to say about the past, present, and future of Star Trek: Lower Decks.

You can subscribe to the TrekMovie Podcast Network at Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotifyPocket Casts, and Stitcher.

Find more news and analysis on Star Trek: Lower Decks.

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While it’s still crazy for me to even say this, season one of LDS brought me back to Star Trek I haven’t felt since Voyager ended. I just loved it to death and really felt like classic Trek in so many ways that I don’t think DIS and even PIC ever captured (but they don’t have to either, just be better shows on their own). It was a great first season that only got stronger as it went and can’t wait for season 2! So happy we already know season 3 is coming and hope it does go a full 7 seasons!

I love that all the shows talk to each other. It must get more complicated by the day on how the old characters are used between all of them. And while Prodigy and LDS doesn’t align completely in the same time period, it’s still cool we have two shows running together in the 24th century again, only animated, hopefully for years to come. The 90s are back baby!!!!

Thank you so much for the interview TM. That’s why I been here as long as I have and due to amazing articles and interviews such as this. Can’t wait until August!!

I felt the same. I loved that first season from beginning to end.

LOL, finally one of these shows that even you love Bryant! When you liked it, that is saying a lot!

The new security chief will be a Gorn.

I was thinking a Horta.

There was a novel by Diane Duane that featured a Horta (Hortan?) Starfleet ensign. His ability to eat through just about anything was put to use when they had him dissolve a neutronium hatch on an alien ship; iirc he complained that the substance was a little rich for his taste.

There was a time seeing a Klingon on a Starfleet bridge was just as crazy.




I’m calling Xindi.

Xindi was my first thought too.

Genetically engineered Tribble

Man, I was thinking the same thing! And I’d love to see a Gorn in Starfleet. Granted it seems a little obvious, having one be a security chief. Since this is Lower Decks, I’d suggest something super-unexpected, like a Gorn counselor (but of course the security chief is the role who needs replacing, and we’ve already met the counselor on the Cerritos).

ONLY seven years? I’m hoping it continues for decades like other adult animated shows like American Dad which just started their 18th season (with Patrick Stewart every season, no less — and I’m betting he would be more likely to eventually appear on LDS seeing how familiar with the labor of animation). The Simpsons are still going after 30+ seasons. There are a lot of benefits to doing animation instead of live action.

You make a great point and that is the beauty of animation, because it’s just so much cheaper to do these shows can literally run decades now. I just realized a few weeks ago watching the South Park Vaccination Special that that show has been on for over 20 years now. That’s insane, but that’s because costs just doesn’t rise to the levels live action shows do. I imagine the voice actors gets paid a lot more but everything else is a lot more controllable.

I think McMahan was just speaking in general, I think all these shows can probably go past 7 seasons in reality (maybe with the exception of Picard). So I think it will probably go for at least that because it’s probably the cheapest Trek show to produce at the moment. I imagine Stewart’s salary alone for Picard probably cost more than an entire episode lol.

And the show seems to have really positive word of mouth (for a Kurtzman Trek show ;)) with fans. I always have to stress not everyone likes it, but certainly seems to have much bigger goodwill and fanfare than DIS and PIC got by the end of their first seasons at least. Certainly for me personally.

The guy is obviously a fan. And it is great that they are working together with the other show runners. But I sorta feel like they have put the cart before the horse on this. First and foremost the show they are running has to work. Meaning, that a comedy needs to, you know, have funny gags in it. Nice he is saying what he is but there is nothing in the article about actually trying to make the show work better. It’s as if he is completely oblivious to the lack of laughs on his comedy show. I mean, is season one the show he wanted to make? A laughless parade of “easter eggs”? I love easter eggs as much as the next fan but first… How about working on the comedy before you start thinking about what obscure Trek reference to draw into your cells?

It works for a lot of people now, certainly me. I laughed a lot (but I don’t care if it’s all that funny, the stories they tell alone is worth it to me). And either way, the show in it’s first season, like ALL these shows they have time to improve. And in other interviews, McMahan has said they recognized their faults in the first season and making changes in season 2. But it probably won’t be until season 3 you won’t see any dramatic changes because that will be the first season they will have had a lot of feedback before any work starts on it. So I imagine season 2 will be a lot like season 1, with minimum changes but season 3 could see major chances IF the show calls for it. Maybe not throw the Cerritos 1,000 years into the future or anything, but some changes. ;)

Perhaps his being oblivious to your thinking the show wasn’t funny doesn’t exclude the possibility that, as the show’s producer, he sincerely DID think it was funny, and that others did as well.

(I personally make no judgements, not having seen the thing.)

Well… When Jet Reno in her 6 minutes of screen time in season 3 gets more laughs than 10 full episodes of Lower Decks… I think there is a problem. Let’s just leave it at that.

What he is trying to say is some of us laughed more than you did, a LOT more! You seem to assume for some reason because you didn’t think it was that funny, it’s a consensus or something. It’s not. Many people, including myself laughed nearly every episode.

But I know you didn’t, but we also know comedy is very very subjective. But the irony is you have people telling you they thought the show was funny because we DID laugh. Same time you can probably find others who feel like you did. The only point being it’s not an absolute one way or the other but it does work for a lot of fans if not everyone.

It’s up for McMahan to determine how much it did or didn’t and since he’s been making comedy shows for 20 years now, he probably has an idea how its working or what can be improved on.

I thought it was pretty funny, clever — and fun, The references got a little heavy, but I liked that the characters are Starfleet stans in Starfleet. I found the show thoroughly enjoyable.

Two things:
First, you missed the entire point of the discussion about easter eggs. McMahon refutes the idea that their goal was to populate the show with easter eggs. He even disagrees with the idea of calling them easter eggs other than to signal to the non-to-mild-Trek-fan that there are things they might recognize in the show. The entire point of these “easter eggs” is simply reusing props, characters, settings, historical events, that are already part of the Trek universe to enrich the show and make it just like any live-action show where elements are reused and revisited.

Second, claiming that they put the cart before the horse because this is a comedy show and they didn’t put any comedy in it is, frankly, straight insult to the writers, producers, and actors. Just because you don’t think it is funny doesn’t mean that they didn’t intend to and succeed at making a comedy. If they had spent all their time and money creating fancy new sets and bizarre new make-up designs before developing their season-long serialized story (cough Discovery cough), or started filming a season long story arc about androids and terminal genetic conditions without knowing the end of the story (cough Picard cough), you might have a leg to stand on. Or even if you want to point to a movie that spent hundreds of millions of dollars on sets, special effects, and great actors without a coherent screenplay (Into Darkness), I would say you have a point. But not on this.

I don”t think ML 31 missed the point. Maybe he just don’t buy it. I don”t buy it. McMahan knows that fan service is considered low brow because it manipulates viewers, so he just pretends easter eggs are not just easter eggs. It is a clever move, but he does not get me.

I think you are missing the point. I really didn’t have a problem with the ‘easter eggs’ per se… If the show was actually funny such things might actually add to the fun. The problem is it very much looks like they went ‘easter eggs’ first, jokes 2nd.

Regarding your 2nd point, there is a difference between an insult and a critique. The potential for comedy is still there. They just didn’t go after it nearly as hard as they should have. I will admit there was a clever moment or two in the 10 episodes. But that was as good as it got. Regardless of their actual intent, the final product very much looked like their first thoughts were “how many Trek references do you think we can squeeze into this thing?” It is almost as if they knew they weren’t very funny so they tried to compensate with distraction. And yes, Lower Decks does indeed fall right on in with the other examples you mentioned. Perfectly.

Oradeck and ML31

Re: easter eggs. Yeah, I think that McMahon is straight up lying and really just went all in on easter eggs because that is the only thing that they could come up with and they know quality easter eggs are the one draw that they know will bring in a solid audience and will ensure that they can build a lasting series around. They know characters, comedy, and story don’t really matter to their potential viewers because Trek fans don’t obsess over every detail of character backstories and motivations. And in every interview with McMahon, I thing he never really seems invested in Trek, the LDS characters, or the potential of the first full comedy series for Trek. He just comes across as a cynical corporate shill just peddling whatever crap they think the “young people” go for these days, like catsuits, decon gel scenes, eye-gouging, and holo-deck finales (all of which I am sure he will include in season 2) and easter eggs are truly that. I bet he even spent those years creating that TNGSeason8 twitter account because he knew he would get those sweet Trek twitter follows, could parley those into a minor book deal, and then really hit those memberberries in a new animated Trek “comedy” series.

And, if you haven’t ever seen a comedic animated series, then you probably don’t realize that sometimes the ester eggs are put into the show by the graphical artists. I heard the LDS graphics team aren’t even fans of Trek and they just do it on double-secret orders from CBS corporate to up the easter egg level because McMahon and the writers weren’t hitting the focus-group-tested, minimally acceptable easter egg level.

And about the comedy critique, I did like how the problem you had with the so-very-few comedy “attempts” was well-couched with a relevant point of comparison and exploration of why they didn’t work. Not only did it help me realize how very few attempts there were at actual comedy, but your extensive notations on where LDS missed out on all the other numerous, obvious points of comedy, provided real depth. It really is a shame that they got distracted (probably by some gifs they saw were being traded around by the fans of BBC’s Sherlock) and just totally forgot to do the comedy bit – I would have liked to see that kind of show. But hey it did get us those totally sweet franchise-sustaining easter eggs. I have read some other posts you might enjoy where other people have expressed some nice critiques like that ‘Discovery and Picard are just total garbage, are total failures, and sure money losers’ (paraphrasing because they went really in depth with those). These kinds of nuanced takes on the new Trek shows really flesh out the universe giving some nice points of analysis to consider and I feel like i really understand the shows better. They really help me look at the new Trek, really dig into the good and bad parts and determine if it is garbage or complete and total garbage.

I know you are being facetious but in your attempt to make your silly little disagreement clever, you actually did hit on a few truths, weirdly enough. I do not care to write a novel like you did so I’ll just let you respond with another one about how I didn’t go over each and every instance one by one.

That said, I could very easily go over each LDX episode and point out where things didn’t work. But I don’t want to write a 50 page essay about it. When the episodes came out in those threads I pointed a few of them out. It’s not worth repeating them here. So if you are all bent out of shape because I didn’t point out in every circumstance why the attempts at humor failed, then perhaps you can be a little industrious and just go back to those threads and get my input there. But be warned… I very likely still didn’t go into the deep minutia it seems you are looking for. But there are examples.

Hope you didn’t hurt your arm patting yourself on your back.

Nah, I just get really annoyed when people argue about pieces of art, particularly comedy, in absolute terms allowing little to no nuance. And claims that are directly opposed by the text of the show or the explicit intent of the creators are additional sticking points for me, so I felt like calling those things out.

As for my attempt at humor, I didn’t really think I was that funny, I just didn’t feel like there was much further point in arguing straightforwardly when it was likely all the relevant counterexamples and logical progressions wouldn’t result in anything different or generate any real mutual understanding. And implying the only valid critiques would be those including a thoroughly nuanced breakdown with extensive supporting examples was, ultimately, just a way to call out the absolutism of your arguments. I don’t really expect a detailed, and well-supported critique of how LDS forgot to try to be a comedy.

But you know, acknowledging that there were “attempts at humor” which failed, could be a step toward acknowledging that it was a comedy, however subjectively poor you feel it was. But I am assuming these apparently few attempts at comedy per episode will still be chalked up as comedy taking second banana to the extensive list of easter eggs they wanted to cram in, so I doubt any real progress has been achieved.

Then why go after me? There are plenty of posters who said the exact opposite I did and didn’t even bother to point out the why. Surely that would be the kind of post that would earn your annoyance even more. The only difference is you agreed with the premise. Therefore, those posts arguing in absolutes offering no nuance in the slightest don’t seem to rouse your ire in the slightest. And I think we both know why.

Because someone fanning out about LDS saying “it’s the best Trek evar!!!!” isn’t insulting to the creators and the fans of the series. Kind of along the lines of “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything” but it’s “if you don’t have something nuanced to say, at least be kind”. That and the complete refusal to acknowledge that the interpretation of comedy is subjective and that the showrunners did produce a (commercially and critically) successful comedy – one that you just don’t happen to like – that is why I take exception to your post (and posts like yours).

Again, you are being extremely selective. There are plenty of posts that rip on the shows. You have a problem separating critiquing something with insulting it. I would hate to ever made a suggestion to you!

You claim the show was commercially and critically successful. But there is little evidence of either. And “successfulness” itself is subjective. You have just refused to admit that interpretation of success is subjective. You just broke your own rule. Are you mad at yourself now?

Sorry, but you are full of inconsistencies which undermine any point you might be trying to make.

I think the show being renewed for a third season before season 2 is out kind of does prove it was at least successful commercially….other wise why renew it again so soon? ;)

It’s rather simple, just because you didn’t find it funny, doesn’t mean it wasn’t funny. Comedy is highly subjective, and it is perfectly fine that the comedy in Lower Decks fell flat for you. However, for myself and countless others, the comedy in LD hit the exact right mark – funny and silly without ever making fun of Star Trek.

You can absolutely express your opinion that you didn’t find LD funny (or just straight up didn’t like it), but to take the approach that writer’s don’t know what they’re doing because YOU didn’t find it funny, is the text book definition of hubris.

Incorrect. If I don’t find it funny it means it wasn’t. As you said… humor is subjective. I didn’t see any good humor. Therefore, it wasn’t funny. And because of that, it very much appears like McMahon was just too afraid to poke fun at Trek. It is very possible to poke fun at it without MAKING fun up it. Family Guy’s Blue Harvest episode was a perfect example of how you can be very funny poking fun at a beloved franchise but it never MADE fun of it.

And for the record, hubris works both ways. There are people who posted how funny the show was. Yet for some reason that doesn’t qualify as hubris to you. Weird how you only apply that to people who hold a different opinion from yourself.

Well I’m struggling with how to respond to this. It seems that you either don’t understand that your opinion is your own and does not reflect the opinion of others, or you are simply being obtuse for the sake of being difficult.

As such, I will reiterate, but with slightly different language. You found LD not funny, as such, LD was not funny for YOU. I found LD funny, thus LD was funny for ME.

The hubris comes in to play in that you don’t seem to recognize that your opinion isn’t a universal fact, whereas myself (and countless others) are fully aware that our opinions are our own, and not reflective of everyone.

You are making a very bad assumption. That assumption is that I am unaware of what is subjective or not. Since you are wrong your entire premise has been rendered invalid.

And again, you still fail to point out the hubris in others for saying what you personally agree with. Is it not hubris to you if you agree with what was said? You are being inconsistent when you only point things out one way. It’s insulting that you think I am unaware of what is subjective but others, who happen to share your opinion, ARE aware of it. You have no reason to think they are aware while I am not.

That is the height of arrogance.

Hubris = I didn’t find LD funny, so it clearly wasn’t funny. Those who disagree are just wrong.

In other words, my opinion is right, everyone elses is wrong.

Not hubris = I find LD funny, as did others. Thus, LD did succeed in its mission for some of us, but not all.

In other words, my opinion is my own, and other peoples opinions are just as valid.

It kinda feel like you’re just trolling at this point.

Trolling? Hardly. I’ve never made a trolling comment in my life. You found an opinion you didn’t like and decided to hold it to a different standard than one you do. You’ve been outed on it and instead of owning up to the inconsistency you doubled down instead. Further digging your own hole.

Here is your latest mistake. You implied that my comment read like “I didn’t find LD funny, so it clearly wasn’t funny. Those who disagree are just wrong.” Which is incorrect. You jumped to a conclusion based on faulty logic. I never said or implied that everyone else is wrong. You concluded it because you incorrectly assumed that I was too ignorant to understand the concept of subjectivity. Which, I as I said above, is insulting. Worse, you implied that you were correct just because you had a few here in this thread who agree with you.

Further, there are plenty of other posts that just say that LDX was funny but didn’t go on to say how it was only funny TO THEM. Since they said something you agreed with you didn’t insult them by telling them how ignorant they are to the concept of subjectivity. No. That was reserved only for a comment like mine that went against your personal opinion.

This is a classic double standard. One that sadly has become all too common in today’s society. Ask yourself again where the hubris REALLY is.

In the future, it would be best to NOT assume that a poster is ignorant to basic concepts like the difference between what is subjective and what is objective.

Ugh, and I quote:

“[Your statement is] Incorrect. If I don’t find it funny it means it wasn’t. As you said… humor is subjective. I didn’t see any good humor. Therefore, it wasn’t funny.“

You missed a rather major point in that statement, a point you still fail to fully grasp (emphasis mine):

“If I don’t find it funny it means it wasn’t FUNNY TO ME. As you said… humor is subjective. I didn’t see any good humor. Therefore, it wasn’t funny TO ME.”

We’re just talking in circles at this point. You claim I’m not grasping what you’re saying, I claim you’re not grasping what I’m saying… it’s become quite tiresome, so I’m just gonna end it here.

Just as you made mistake in making assumptions It seems I made the same mistake. I made the assumption that the reader understands the concept of subjectivity and there is no need to constantly inject tiresome qualifiers like “in my opinion” in front of every single subjective comment. The difference is my assumption gives the reader far more credit than yours does. I assume the reader understands a subjective comment when it so very obvious while you assume the poster does not understand what is subjective only because they didn’t say so.

Whatever you need to tell yourself to save face. 🤦‍♂️

If that is how you justify your errors, transfer them to others, then so be it.

Considering I am not the only person to “misinterpret” your post, I would say the fault lies squarely with you.

I purposely put “misinterpret” in quotes because I don’t think I, or others, misinterpreted anything. I think you truly felt/feel that objectively LD isn’t funny, period, full stop. When it became abundantly clear that not only do other people find it funny,; that those who don’t find it funny were able to express their opinions as exactly that, opinions, and not some universal truth; and that your own words came back to haunt you, did you suddenly changed your tune to: “of course it’s only my subjective opinion, I can’t believe you saw it any other way!”

With that being said, I’m more than happy to admit fault in my interpretation of your posts, but you have to recognize how the language you used in your posts came across as purely objective and not subjective, which is why some were turned off by your tone.

No, you are not the only person to get all irritated because someone doesn’t clarify obvious subjective comments with “in my opinion” or some other similar qualifying add on. But that doesn’t mean your misinterpretation was correct. It only means you are not completely alone in your mistake. The fault still lies with people who assume those who say subjective things they disagree with are somehow unaware of the concept of subjectivity.

You may not “feel” you misinterpreted the post. But the fact is you did. I can say that in complete confidence as the author of the post you insulted. Feelings are NOT facts. Just because you “feel” something does not make you right. It should be painfully obvious that should someone say, “cucumbers taste terrible” that it is indeed a subjective comment. Most people understand that. It’s the height of arrogance to think the person saying that is unaware that it is not. Even worse to say that the person who says that is unaware it is an opinion but people who say “cucumbers taste great” are somehow aware of the subjective nature of the comment only because it is a take that is agreed upon by the bystander reading both comments.

Speaking of tone, yours is arrogant and insulting through this entire exchange. You don’t get to speak for others. Only yourself. Once again you are projecting your own interpretation as that of many others. You don’t KNOW that. And if by some stroke of luck someone agrees with you that doesn’t justify your arrogance. It is still wrong.

I highly suggest you give posters a little credit. Some things are just inherently obvious. Example, when someone writes that “Lower Decks was really funny” I don’t give them a ration of crap about how they are too stupid to realize that what they said was subjective and how it comes across as arrogant. If I responded like that the opposite would be true. So please, better to treat people like they know definitions of basic concepts rather than like they are too ignorant just because you “felt” something but have no actual evidence to back it up.

Well, I’ll say this again, if multiple people are misunderstanding you, then the fault lies with you.

Regardless, this discussion has since passed the talking in circles phase to just being tedious.

Oh good, another season of relying exclusively on easter eggs and Trek references every twelve seconds, instead of making Lower Decks its own show with its own identity…

Agreed for the most part. It seems like the priority is to squeeze in as many fangasms per episode as they can. Comedy and character is obviously NOT the priority of that show.

One thing that I have been trying to put my finger on about the new Trek shows (Discovery and Picard) was finally clarified for me when I read the bit in this article where McMahon talks about not wanting to punch down on their characters.

In a comedy like this you don’t want to make fun of your characters in a mean way. You do it lovingly, acknowledging the actually funny parts and the weak parts of the shows you love. Similarly Galaxy Quest did this successfully with Trek in the same way.

Now getting to Discovery and Picard, they don’t punch down comically at the characters and settings because those aren’t comedies, but i feel like they are doing whatever the equivalent is in drama. Those shows seem to take pleasure in punching down dramatically. Have a character get their eyes ripped out while awake for no real reason. Have endless graphic torture and rape scenes for no added benefit. Have the federation plan genocide against an alien race and then have those same admirals give medals to officers who subverted that plan. Treat a mass-murdering Hitler-like character as redeemed because she no longer favors slaughtering everyone in sight (but who is still okay with causal murder and rampant brutality).

These shows, while they have good parts, and try to maintain elements of Trek, they still enjoy punching down dramatically just because they can. Because it makes the shows more “real” or “impactful”. When really, i feel like all it does is cheapen the drama they are trying to create. It goes from trying to be realistic to actually just being “edgy”.

Anyone else feel this way?


Nope, me neither.

said officers showed admirals the error of their ways so it was good that they handed them medals for stopping their plan.
not the first time officers have opened their superiors’s eyes.

I was more commenting on the Admirals still being around and not getting in any trouble for planning genocide. Of course, I agree that our heroes on Discovery should have been recognized for their good efforts. Did Starfleet in Homefront/Paradise Lost just shrug and say to Admiral Layton “I hope you learned a good lesson about not subverting democracy and attacking Starfleet officers?” I know that isn’t a 100% parallel, but Layton wasn’t committing crimes for his own benefit, but because he thought it was the only way to protect the Federation. If it was “the highest level” of Starfleet that authorized the attack on Q’ronos (which you would assume it would be, then that would be “authorized” by Starfleet and thus officially OK, but then I would think the Federation Council would hopefully have something to say about Starfleet and genocide? It just felt too easily and non-consequentially wrapped up for as serious an event and as serious a potential outcome.

but admiral ross and others turned a blind eye to s31 using a virus to wipe out the founders and no one got a slap on the wrist.
and what about the events of ‘insurrection’ as well.

remember the latin title- in time of war, the law is silent.

Regarding your 2nd paragraph…

For a supposed comedy like Lower Decks what you want to do is MAKE fun of Trek stuff. Not POKE fun at it. There is a difference. The jokes from Orville’s first season worked pretty well at that. Family Guy’s Blue Harvest episode did a REALLY good job of that. Lower Decks? Not so much.

Oops… Apologies. Got that mixed up. That would be one would want to POKE fun at rather than MAKE fun of.

Well I feel that LDS is successful at poking fun and not making fun. I think DIS and PIC are less successful at crafting big drama that isn’t edgy for edge sake.

Fine. I see them all as failures. Star Trek Discovery and Picard both came up very short for a number of reasons. Some of them mutual. However, LDX failed for entirely different reasons.

If I was the Prodigy production team, I would stay as far away from Lower Decks as possible while still being polite to McMahan.

I really, really, really, really, really like Mike McMahan.


I am looking forward to this, however the “repeating ridiculous choices and turns from elsewhere in Star Trek” is where things get maybe too meta for me…because when this kind of reference is not obvious, it will possibly make it look like bad writing

Good to hear that the different writing teams keep communicating and comparing their notes with each other!
(Reminds me of that old trivia tidbit about how they wanted to destroy the Defiant in First Contact, and the DS9 writers said: “Uh… How about no!? We still need that ship!”)

You’re misremembering, they didn’t want to destroy the Defiant, it was that the script didn’t make it clear that the Defiant survived.