Star Trek: Strange New Worlds will have a musical episode and yikes.
There’s a limit to the things you can do with a show. While Star Trek can be a lot of different genres in a single series, what it can never be is something totally off-book. When you deviate so far from the plot and the purpose of the show, you become something you’re not. There’s a reason shows try not to deviate far from the center like that.
Yet, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds may dip into a new level of cringe when they debut their musical episode, “Subspace Rhapsody” near the end of the season. It’s a musical episode, and there are so many shows that try this, and so many of them fail spectacularly.
The worst offender may have been Psych, a total botch job of an episode, whose music has not been deemed memorable at all. Sure, you have some that succeed, like Scrub’s and Supernatural’s, but those work for different reasons.
Scrubs’ works because the music is amazing. Supernaturals’ works because it’s not a musical, but an episode that takes place in and around a high school play, which happens to be a musical. Alex Kurtzman has been pushing for a nonsensical musical episode, a first in Star Trek’s history as far as I remember, and he finally got it.
And it may kill the series.
Does Star Trek even know what Star Trek fans like anymore?
There is going to be a portion, a very loud portion, who will like this idea. Because everything needs to be the same, and despite it being a wildly different show and franchise from the likes of other shows that do a musical episode, fans will be vocal about their support of this.
A lot though will roll their eyes at the showrunners and franchise creators forcing this on fans, turning a once beloved sci-fi epic that dealt with topics that were complex and nuanced, into something so not Star Trek.
It’s cringe, and it’s so poorly time. Paramount+ just canceled a full-on musical series in Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies. Hardly anyone watched it. Want to know why? Because most people don’t watch television shows for musicals.
People will likely claim to enjoy it, mostly out of spite, and that’s fine, but like with the fantasy story episode of season one, it will largely be embraced by Trek fans who want to watch anything but Star Trek.
The success of the episode, in our eyes anyway, will depend on the music. If it’s catchy and leaves an impact, the episode will be fine. If, like so many other musical episodes that came before it, ends up leaving fans feeling unfilled, it may very well be the downfall of the show.
Considering how quickly Paramount has been canceling shows as of late, Strange New Worlds can’t risk alienating a large portion of their fans. After all, Prodigy had higher engagement than Strange New Worlds, and they canceled Prodigy.
Don’t think they won’t cancel Strange New Worlds.