5 reasons why TREKKIE GRIEVANCE is just plain DUMB! (editorial)

“Tellarites do not argue for reasons. They simply argue.”

I thought about that Sarek quote from the TOS episode “Journey to Babel” as I pondered what I like to call TREKKIE GRIEVANCE SYNDROME. Those who suffer from TGS (or make the rest of us have to suffer THEM having it) say things like:

  • Star Trek is dead! CBS/Alex Kurtzman killed it!
  • The crap that CBS is putting out is NOT Star Trek!
  • I’d rather there be NO Star Trek than what’s on Paramount+!
  • Alex Kurtzman/CBS/JJ Abrams/Bad Robot doesn’t care about us longtime fans; they just want to destroy real Star Trek and replace it with Star Wars!
  • Anyone who likes these new shows is living in denial and not a true fan!
  • The ratings/viewership for Star Trek is way down, which is why Alex Kurtzman was/is about to be/has been/is being fired!
  • We fans have been loyal to Star Trek through these many decades, and we deserve better than this drivel they have the gall to make us pay for!

It’s that last item that led me to dub this Trekkie GRIEVANCE, as the fans complaining seem to take it quite personally that new Star Trek isn’t living up to their expectations. Fan “deserve” better! And maybe we do—but I gotta say, some of us are not acting very deserving!!!

Y’see, there’s a difference between critiquing, criticizing, and just plain bashing. Critiquing is what I do in many of my blog review editorials. There are things I don’t personally like in some Trek series and certain episodes, and so I analyze why something isn’t working—whether it’s STAR TREK: DISCOVERY‘s storytelling pace being too fast and not giving the characters a chance to breathe and develop or PICARD’s plot dealing with the suicide of Jean-Luc’s mother not feeling particularly compelling to me. I critique in a mature, measured way…nothing wrong with that.

I also criticize. Discovery‘s new Klingon make-up was a total misfire, and even the show’s creators realized it by season two. The last two episodes of STAR TREK: PICARD‘s first season were a rushed mess with a Federation fleet made up forty of the same class of starship and Romulan bad guys who would have twirled their mustaches with an evil cackle if they actually had mustaches to twirl. Some creative choices are atrocious enough that you don’t need to “analyze” in a mature and measured way. If there’s something you don’t like, you can certainly gripe about it. That’s fine, too. Fans have been doing that since TOS was first airing in the 1960s.

But there’s a difference between griping/criticizing and outright bashing. Bashing looks like this…

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If you didn’t love STAR TREK: PRODIGY, then you’re probably NOT eleven years old… (editorial review)

One of my favorite stories of “generational” Star Trek comes from novelist/comic book writer PETER DAVID. It was 1989, and he was doing the Star Trek comic for DC. Peter needed to do a little research, so he plunked Wrath of Khan into the VCR and started watching it. A few minutes later, his oldest daughter, Shana, walked into the family room and asked her daddy what he was watching. “I’m watching Star Trek, honey,” Peter replied.

Shana loved to watch Star Trek with her father, so she sat down next to him. After a few minutes, with the most bewildered expression on her face, Shana turned to Peter and asked, totally confused: “Daddy, where’s Worf???”

Back in 1989, with Star Trek: The Next Generation only in its second or third season, most fans had grown up raised on Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and an Enterprise without families or a bartender on board (well, I suppose the ship’s doctor sometimes doubled as a bartender). We liked Next Gen (mostly—it was still early on), but it wasn’t really “our” Star Trek. But for Shana David and other kids who grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, TNG became “their” Star Trek.

I decided to wait until the second week before writing a blog about the the new STAR TREK: PRODIGY because I wanted to see what the show was going to be like once Holo-Janeway was given some decent screen time. But I’m going to avoid diving too deeply into a review because most of my readers have probably already decided that you…

  1. Love it,
  2. Hate it,
  3. Want to wait to get a better idea of where they’re going with it, or
  4. Will never watch anything the CBS produces with the name “Star Trek” in the title because they are determined to ruin the franchise and screw over the fans.

I’m firmly in group #3, by the way. My initial reaction after the first two-part episode, “Lost and Found”—and I swear this is exactly what I thought when it ended—was: “Well, I liked it more than DISCOVERY.” And I mean that from a writing, pacing, and character development perspective—even though the first episode was only (very) peripherally Star Trek: a few recognizable aliens, a Federation starship, and of course, a few seconds of Holo-Janeway.

But in the end, it wasn’t really MY opinion that mattered this time; it was that of my 11-year-old son, Jayden. Usually, when I ask Jayden how school was or what he thought of dinner, he’ll say, “Good.” But when I asked him to give me his reaction to the first two-part episode of Prodigy, he was much more enthusiastic than usual. He said, “VERY good” with a long and drawn out “VERY.” That’s high praise!

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