Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is not hitting the same notes as the first season.
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds has not been having a good second season. The episodes are hit or miss, and the concepts have been so wide and out there that fans are turning away from the product. This is concerning, especially considering that all of the goodwill the franchise got in 2022 is seemingly being undone week after week.
Strange New Worlds, Picard, and Prodigy did great for Paramount+, but considering how poor the brand is seen against its competitors, and how much debt they currently have, shows have to be canceled, so they can get a government handout in the form of a tax write-off.
And now, that goodwill is fading with Strange New Worlds’ second season. The show’s actors and actresses promised that the series would have “big swings” this year, and those big swings haven’t paid off. While the show is riding high on the popularity that Picard helped establish for the brand in its waning episodes, fans are finding the quality to be lacking.
Now, the end of the series isn’t anywhere near to happening, these are still good scores, but they are declining for a reason. That reason may be down to the quality of the second season’s episodes. Namely the premier and the latest musical episode.
On IMDB, where the second season is up slightly on average over season one (S1-7.87/S2-7.9), you start to see more of the picture. The two least-liked episodes in the series so far are the ones where they went the furthest away from the core concept of Trek; season one’s “The Elysian Kingdom”, and season two’s “Subspace Rhapsody”.
“The Elysian Kingdom”, which has an IMDB score of 6.1 and is among the worst-rated episodes in Trek’s history on the site, is the episode where everyone is in a fantasy setting. Some people loved the work on the episode but many did criticize its writing, and for generally having no interest in catering to Star Trek fans.
The same can be said for season two’s “Subspace Rhapsody”, which has just a 6.9 score as of this writeup. The same issues with the first season episode are the same reason many are giving to this second season episode. That it was too far from what Star Trek is meant to be, and yes, Trek is not able to be all things for all people. Least of all not in a singular series. Yet, Strange New Worlds continues to promise “classic Trek” but then veers from it as far as possible.
The producers have got to listen to the fans, as they’re telling you what they want. IDMB doesn’t get “review-bombed” like Rotten Tomatoes, and the fact people dismiss that entire concept is troubling. There’s no such thing. Fans are allowed to not like how something looks in the trailers, that’s the whole point of them. To determine if you like something or not, so even if someone was “review-bombing” Star Trek, that wouldn’t make it an invalid expression.
It would show you that there are fans who don’t like the changes being made.
Moreover, when it comes to Strange New Worlds, fans aren’t just thumbing their noses down on the entire series. IMDB users gave “Quality of Mercy” a 9.1, as well as “Those Old Scientists”, though how that one got such a high score boggles some.
Clearly, Trek fans want Trek to be Trek. They don’t want musicals or cosplay episodes. They want Trek. Who knows what’ll happen if they give fans what they want? It’s almost like if they do, fans will tune in and enjoy the product.
What a wild concept.