Well, this is going to be a hard topic to put into words for many reason. At one point it breaks my heart to realize this, but I also get a sense of relief as well getting this out of my mind and putting it out there to the world to read about. Or just that two person who will be reading it at the end... or even if no one will, at least I had a chance to sit down and think about my relation to Star Trek. Who knows, I might end up losing people because of this, but I guess that is fine... we don't have to agree on everything.
I think this whole process started with Picard to be honest - I bet you scratch your head now that I did not say Discovery. Remember, by the time Picard came out we been getting trailers for Season 3 and also for Lower Decks. Yes, it has started with Picard, but of course DSC have done the initial work on setting up the world for this "new golden age" of Star Trek.
Warm Blanket, No More
I genuinely loved the first episode of Picard. It was sweet, a lot of call backs and a good amount of reminiscence that got poured into the episode. But the following nine chapters really came out weird, flat and two dimensional for me. I did not feel my "warm blanket" at all during the season. I have never felt that during Disco either... everything was just distant and different. A Game of Thrones style Star Trek show that did not touch my soul in any level. Season 3 had a promise to show us a different era, but it turned out to be alien all along. I know we talking about a 1000 years or so, but in my mind that was a very big jump from where we almost got used to by the end of Such Sweet Sorrow.
I have had fait in - the heart, lol and - Lower Decks despite that aside from US/Canada we could not see it here in the UK, wink-wink. The show was good, it was fun but way to different in terms of style I've got to know from the shows I've grew up with. Yes, Lower Decks was much better and I might re-watch that at some point when it will be officially available, but still... it's not "my Star Trek." It's not mine any more...
Star Trek, No More
I'm not going to trash any of these new Star Trek shows, NO. I've never really "trashed" any of them. As a matter of fact I've tried very hard to see the good things in these shows, but for some reason I was just forcing myself. You know the kind of feeling that Tom Paris got after getting Neelix's Leola Soup... you can force yourself to like it, you can try adding extra pepper or salt into it, it's still going taste bad.
The Star Trek I fell in love with showed me an example how to be a better human. The show really changed my life around for the better. When I was a kid I was a bit of a rascal, was not a Wesley Crusher in school, but getting introduced to Voyager, then DS9 and TNG definitely showed me a standard of what a person should be. The "starfleet way" I called it sometimes and it constantly reminded me of something that I wanted to reach as an individual. My grades improved light years compare to what it was, my mind got into the right place and I became a better person... I still have a long way to go though. :)
The new Trek does not feel this way for me. It does not inspire me, it does not make me feel good and it does not spark joy in my eyes. When I watched an episode of Voyager I was talking about it for a weeks and on, and been re-watching the episodes one after the other before the new episode - my parents and brothers hated me for occupying the TV all the time, bless them. With Discovery, Picard and even Lower Decks I have not watched an episode twice... just did not feel right. Every show and season feels like we have a "universal scale threat" to deal with and only the hero character can deal with that. In the "old days," it was more about getting out there and telling stories, testing humanity and ourselves... here we are fighting for survival in every episode and season.
The actors are fine, they do a great job, but the characters don't feel like the ones I could get attached to. Let's see, with Dax, the EMH, Data or even Neelix I have a much stronger connection than what I have with Tilly, Jurati or Mariner. Also the way how they "act" on screen does not feel as authentic either.
You remember I said that this whole "realisation" started with Picard? Yes, the last time I've seen Jean-Luc it was in Nemesis and that's where I left him. Patrick Stewart has become Patrick Stewart ever since and even though he came back to his role, he did not feel like Picard at all to me. Nor Data or Riker or Troi. They felt like Stewart, Frakes, Sirtis and Spiner... and how could I forget about Seven of Nine? I know, people change in a course of 10-15-25 years, we all do. However these characters became something different for me. And the occasional cameos and so called "fan service" does not make this up for me either. I mean it was nice to see Leonard Nimoy as a cameo in Discovery, but aside that the episode did not bring it to me.
The Changed Fandom
If you think the shows were the only reason to come to this conclusion, than I have a final point to make and that is comes down to us, fans. I generally love talking about Star Trek with anyone. Yes, I occasionally get that remark that I am a "loser" that I love Enterprise just as much as I love Voyager or TNG, but that is fine. I do not understand, but as I mentioned, we do not have to agree on everything.
2020 was a tough year for all of us, and because of that or because of other reasons I have had a few breaks from social media myself. I have never had to deal with anxiety or any mental issue fortunately, but the twitter Star Trek community just changed a lot around me. Not everyone to be fair and I am constantly working on selecting people I do want to follow - I realise that might sounds a bit "snobbish" but if someone does not add value to my life I don't see the point of following along.
My main concern is though is the new era of fans that came with Discovery and Picard. Now, just to be clear, I have no issue with what people like or what they love, but I did notice - and I'm not alone with this - that if we don't like Discovery for a reason that has nothing to do with the cast, their gender, race or sexual identity we can be easily labelled as sexist, racist, bigot and sjw and the other labels that people throw around these days. Now again, just to be clear, I am a Star Trek fan and I watch the show for it's core value and for its purpose, to see that there's a better tomorrow. I've never seen colours, races or gender issues in Star Trek. The show for me always been about a fine group of people aboard a ship or station living their life and working for a better tomorrow. Now, if I say I don't like Burham, I instantly get called racist and sexist and also being called out "a white male" who does not feel himself represented and that must be the reason why I don't like the black hero character.. In reality she betrayed two of her captains, she went against orders, started a war with the Klingons and none of these actions - at least for me - does not ring a bell of a decent starfleet officer I could be inspired by. I judge her character by her actions, not because of her skin colour or gender, but that generally gets lost in the "conversation" pretty much every time.
Fans got divided with this new era of Star Trek and a reasonable conversation these days are hard to come by without getting into a heated fight, not to mention about the "netiquette" when it comes to posting spoilers, but that is an entirely different topic to discuss.
I hope that my mumbo-jumbo made some sense in some way and you kinda get the picture of what is the reason I leave the new Star Trek behind. It is not my show any more and I don't think it will ever be part of my "warm blanket." That so called warm blanket however is still warm and cosy filled with 50 years of Star Trek including 10 gorgeous movies, TOS, TAS, TNG, DS9, Voyager and Enterprise. As a sci-fi fan I will watch the episodes still and will be following what will happen, but that's it. No reviews, no discussions, no comments... I'm just not as excited any more about the new era as I was before.
There are other shows I'm however investing my time into more these days and I feel much connected to. Away is a great example that I'm about to finish this upcoming few days and will be writing about it in my other blog. The Orville is another show I look forward too and of course to continue my re-watch of Deep Space Nine.
This blog will be changing as well. Finally I have a better idea to embrace who am I as a fan and write about things that I love and I don't have to force myself for. I really hope that this post made sense and did not upset anyone. As I mentioned a few times, you love what you love and I am happy with that... all of us has a very personal connection to Star Trek, that connection makes it our own. I encourage you to find your Trek and to never loose touch with it, that's what I'll be aiming for myself. ;) _\\//