Star Trek: Picard has harmed the franchise in very unique and profound ways.
I harp on Star Trek: Picard a lot, more so than any other show. Why? Because it’s bad. Objectively speaking, it’s not a well-made show. The 39% on Rotten Tomatoes is just one example, as is the fact the show only lasted three seasons despite everyone saying they’d go as long as they were allowed to. Certainly series star Patrick Stewart wasn’t ready to walk away, as he is pitching film ideas to continue the story. The biggest issue with Picard isn’t its inherent “badness” but more the issue of unfilled expectations and falling victim to the god-awful concept of “subverting expectations.”
Just tell us you don’t know what the audience wants, you don’t need to claim you intentionally tried to disappoint the audience, and that’s what Picard did. Time and time again. If you like it, more power to you, but Picard is among the shows that Star Trek got wrong from the jump and has done very little to rectify.
While you can debate which was worse; Picard or Discovery, Discovery at least failed (or succeeded), largely on its own characters. Picard built three seasons around the idea of legacy characters getting more time and turning them into radicalized versions of themselves that we knew.
It didn’t just harm the current series, but retroactively harmed other shows. It’s a show many wishes would be retconned out of existence, and I don’t blame them. I won’t speak positively about this show, as there is nothing positive about it. In fact, I feel the show has damaged several core aspects of Trek that can’t be undone, or at the very least, can’t be undone anytime soon.
Three ways Star Trek: Picard has harmed the franchise
Ruined Jean-Luc Picard
His entire arc, the way the Federation was portrayed, the needless destruction of Romulus to appease the Kelvin Timeline, and worst of all, putting his brain into a living android body, that is designed to die of old age are just some of the many, many issues the show has. I’ll never get past the last one, as it was so unnecessary. Just let him be an old man, why go and make him a living golem?
Nerfed The Borg
You can argue until you are blue in the face when the Borg were ruined, but honestly, through the Next Generation film franchise, I thought they were the one alien race that Star Trek didn’t mess up. That was until Picard season two happened. Having a new Borg Queen was fine, even having another time-travel story involving her was fine. Yet, having Alison Pill play the Borg Queen to end the season, and having her look like a weird shaved cat in the process, slapped of everything wrong with this era of Star Trek. Some things in this world can’t be fixed, and having the Borg become “good” and want to join the Federation is among the dumbest things this series has ever done.
Killed Data for a second time
Data’s sacrifice at the end of Star Trek: Nemesis and the thought that maybe he lived on in some form in B-4 was actually quote touching; for a movie that was as pleasant as a sandpaper sponge bath. So to go through all of this, just to kill him off again, was so lame. His involvement was shoehorned in by someone in the higher ups and it was more than obvious. Thankfully his return in season one wasn’t nearly as dumb as the Borg finale in season two but it’s not good.