TV Party Tonight! #115

TV Party Tonight! #115

Monday, 17 October 2022

Picard – Season 2

I’ve got my answer locked and loaded when/if someone asks me which Star Trek series is the best. It’s the Original Series, simply because it was my first taste of the franchise, and it will always hold a special place in my heart. However, I know that the correct answer when someone asks which series is the best or where they should start, the answer is probably The Next Generation. I’m currently in the middle of a rewatch and it’s truly remarkable how well the show was firing on all its cylinders once it found its groove. The story lines, characters, and arcs will probably never be matched in any other Star Trek series. That’s why hopes were so high with the Picard reboot. Not only because it would be the furthest the series would have gone into the actual future (before Discovery blew up that concept, or whatever you want to call what they’re doing), but also because it would be a chance to revisit and hopefully do more world building.

However, the Picard series is where it finally dawned on me that something is terribly wrong with the current state of the franchise, and unfortunately, season 2 got much worse.

The trouble with the Picard series is basically that it’s written in such a way that all the characters we’re supposed to know are basically unrecognizable, either because the writers have them act in ways that seem inconsistent with how we’ve gotten to know them or, just as possibly, because the writers themselves have no idea who these characters are. And, if that’s the case, Picard is a continuation of the TNG world in name only. In Season 2, it’s as obvious as ever that the writers and showrunners are more interested in presenting grueling trauma and broken individuals than actually telling an enriching coherent story. They simply have nothing new to say. The serialized format that has plagued #newtrek is in full swing here in their favorite format: alternate universes and character callbacks. The writers seem uninterested in having their characters react accordingly to the things happening and instead keep redefining who they are at every episode. Add to that a series of confusing choices, like having the predecessors look like their current versions, and Picard Season 2 is probably the most confounding and frustrating this franchise has ever been. At no point is anyone enjoying themselves and instead only delve deeper into the broken individuals they are. Everything is dismal and grim and sad. Where is the bad-ass Picard we admire? Where did this fragile, existentialist, pep-talking, sad sack of a geezer come from?

Picard Season 2 might be a low point of the series and is an indictment of everything breaking the show: cringy and poor dialogue, unintelligible overly-complex story, one-dimensional characters, and sheer lack of vision. It’s simply trying to play the hits without knowing what they are.

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