The show does a good job trying. It certainly isn’t poorly made and rushed. That should be acknowledged. The acting is great, if at times under/overproduced, and the general design of the ships and crew outfits are pretty well done. It has a nice visual tone and it feels like a Star Trek show, even with the opening credit sequence. The opening music lands pretty well.
That’s where the good stops though.
The show fails to find a voice in its comedy. In Rick and Morty the general tone of the show is that everything is pointless and nothing matters. This is clearly lost on the creators of Star Trek: Lower Decks who try to make Beckett Mariner and Brad Boimler their Rick and Morty stand-ins. The only problem is that instead of going all the way offensive as Rick and Morty does, Lower Decks still tried to keep some of the Star Trek idealism injected in. This idealism doesn’t make sense considering the main characters are terrible people. Getting drunk and attacking someone for fun isn’t an altruistic move, it’s the sign of an unstable, unhealthy, and unfit for duty character. Yet, that same character is going to break protocol, commit treason, and allow her crewmate to suffer unnecessary horrors, and she’s the “good” guy? Keep in mind Mariner let Boimler get molested by an alien. Yet she’s morally righteous by attacking Starfleet’s bureaucracy? She’s a psychopath.
No one argues that Rick Sanchez is “the good guy” of Rick and Morty. Rick and Morty have no good guys, just like Lower Decks has no good guys. Rick and Morty can get away with not having likable people. Star Trek can’t. If you present Star Trek without people sacrificing for the greater good, then you’re not presenting Star Trek.
If you’re making a Star Trek show that doesn’t encompass what Star Trek is, then you’ve already failed.
Overall: 10/25 (40%)