A Star Trek: Picard season three review may have nailed the biggest issue with the new era of Star Trek.
Star Trek: Picard has been a pretty bad show for its first two seasons. Only 52% fans liked season one and only 28% of fans liked season two. Currently, season three is trending well with 89% of the fans liking the season, but only one-third of the usual number of fans have voted on it as of right now, so we’ll have to see what happens with the show as it goes on.
Currently, the show is the end of Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard, and a lot of nostalgia is being used to help bolster fan support. Yet, not all fans like the show, so far, and some are thinking that it’s too steeped in old lore. So much so that it makes the show unable to gain new fans. This is probably true, as the series is ending on season three, despite a desire to do more seasons, and even Stewart himself saying he’d like to do more with Picard.
Yet, season three is it. Andrew Cunningham of Arstechnica.com may have nailed one of the biggest issues with the Nu Trek offerings, besides the desire to be more like Star Wars. Cunningham pointed out that the biggest issue is that the show is so in on telling Picard’s story, that it misses out on everything else.
"The show’s biggest problem, its (pi)cardinal sin, is its Picardocentrism: groups of impressionable Academy students gather ’round a restaurant booth to hear Picard speak (after he gently, unconvincingly insists that he doesn’t want the attention). Picard is being chased by the bad guys and the putative good guys. Picard is always right, all the time, about everything, even when it briefly appears that he may have been wrong. Picard somehow manages to serve as both protagonist and MacGuffin. The show desperately needs more scenes where any two non-Picard characters have a conversation that isn’t about Picard.This is true of every modern Trek show except maybe Strange New Worlds, but Picard is a for-fans-only affair that newbies or even casual TNG viewers won’t get much mileage out of. In past seasons, that “why would a non-fan care about this” vibe has clashed with the show’s other decisions, like “using a mostly new roster of underdeveloped characters” or “setting the show in a lightly altered version of the present day instead of in the future in outer space.” The third season, at least, is better at showing the people still watching more of the things they want to see. That doesn’t make it a great show, but it does make the whole enterprise feel less pointless."
Should Star Trek: Picard have been a fans-only show?
Despite Picard being a show for fans-only and diehard ones at that, a show like Picard only works in that element. Picard was supposed to be their magnum opus, their Logan, but with Patrick Stewart doing something different, having him play a dying and bumbling old man who can barely move. Oh, that’s basically just like his character in Logan.
Picard was created as a make-good for the fans’ dislike of Discovery, but that didn’t work, because every issue the first season of Discovery had, the first season of Picard had, as well. The shows were dark tonally and in production. The bright and optimistic view of the Federation was killed so that Big Brother was the real enemy.
Everyone was depressed and doing drugs because that’s what Gene Roddenberry wanted Star Trek to be; steeped in real-world depression. And none of the characters came off as truly likable.
Picard never should’ve been made in the first place, but if it was, it should’ve been a love letter to the fans about all the good The Next Generation did. Instead, it reeked of cynicism and felt like a property that was so in love with Rion Johnson, that they wanted to make a television show that he, and only he, would love.
Considering how many fans didn’t like Picard, I’d say they got pretty close to their target goal, because it feels like only a select few people, maybe Johnson himself, loves this show.