Ultimately, the series seemed... careless. Like the people making it didn't care about Star Trek and its history, and they also didn't particularly care about telling the stories that they put out there.
Before the show came out, people related to the show spoke about how they drew inspiration from our world and our politics, and played up the idea of these characters representing Trump supporters, or those characters representing North Korea. And that was bullshit. The writers didn't put enough thought into the motivations or the politics within the show for me to find any sort of meaning in it. Even when they put in the "Make the empire glorious again" line in the mirror universe, I couldn't be bothered to care about yet another Trump jab by people who love them some Nazi solutes (which I imagine is just part of the union agreements in Hollywood at this point).
When they did the repeating day episode, it was halfhearted. Like they knew that the audience got which trope they were going for, so they didn't have to put much thought into it. Same with most of the other storylines. They give us a quick reference to which story they're playing with, and then fill out the hour without really exploring the stories very deeply. A Klingon grafted into a human body... okay. Sure. I'll go with that... if they actually bother to do something with that story. But they didn't. They wanted us to feel the emotional reaction, but they never invested in the story or character itself. I still don't even know what the hell they were talking about. The "Klingons" opened people up, crushed their bones, chopped up their insides, and... what the hell does this mean?! The guy passed a physical, so he obviously doesn't have an actual Klingon living inside of him.
And it doesn't matter, because that story ultimately went nowhere. He threw a couple of punches, spoke some synthetic Klingon words, and that was pretty much it. That was the grand plan.
Oh... then he ran off with the woman who brutally raped him in ways that we can't even imagine (and apparently the writers can't either). Because that's totally reasonable.
And right around the time that we discovered that he was a Klingon mole type sleeper agent type thing, we also learned that Lorka was a mole for a totally different cause. So now this is like 24, and everyone is a damn mole. And the one human male who wasn't written off of the show is the only one who I actually wanted written off of the show!
The show has a lot of interesting characters. The problem is, they have no interest in exploring them. They do nothing to balance big action stories with personal stories in the way that Trek shows normally do. So now we have a show that is set during a war, which they don't bother to explore. With technology that is ultimately a dead end, story-wise. And characters who they don't bother to explore (aside from Burnham, though I still don't get why everyone blames her for the war. She committed mutiny, but her actions didn't cause the war).
Going forward, I'd love to see more of Keyla Detmer. They could have explored her reaction to Burnham being there a bit more, as someone who was severely injured during a battle in which Burnham betrayed her people and lied to them. Yet, they didn't do that. They showed an odd moment where Detmer was happy to see (the fake) Captain Georgiou return, giving us the impression that she didn't know it was a fake. Yet there was no payoff to that beat.
Airiam is another interesting character, despite the fact that she looks a lot like Nebula, from Guardians of the Galaxy. I'd like to see more of her too.
Is it weird that a lot of the characters that I'm the most interested in are just recurring background characters?
The mirror Georgiou is pretty much just mirror Kira. I wonder if the writers genuinely think that they're exploring new ideas here, or if they just think that we won't remember the 500 hours of TV that came before this...?
The show has some potential. Most of the cast is fine (when they're not killed off or sent to live with their rapists), but I just don't feel like the people writing the show or making the design decisions actually care about it. It's like the show is being produced as a way to hold onto a licence, but nobody actually had an idea for it. But then again, some of the bad decisions seem deliberate. They didn't accidentally recreate the entire Klingon look and culture. They chose to take one of the most developed, fleshed-out species in Star Trek canon, throw them in a blender, and then dress the resulting mess in the Pennywise costume from the new It movie.
I'm trying to make sense of what was put on screen, and I just don't get what the point was. I had the song "Going Through the Motions" from the Buffy musical episode floating through my head through a lot of it.
I don't know. I'm still trying to decide whether or not I think it's a worthwhile series, but I'm pretty sure that it's not registering as "Star Trek" in my brain. It's probably not something I'd gather the family for, like when I watched TNG as a kid.
Okay, I'm going to to back and read through the rest of this thread when I get a chance.