“Holograms, All the Way Down”
Anyone who’s read Star Trek fan fiction has come across those stories that try to mash up as many elements from as many different series as possible, resulting in stories like “Checkhov commandeers the Voyager, and teams up with the Dominion to fight Q.” That’s what “Holograms, All The Way Down” feels like. This episode runs at a mile-a-minute pace, trying to fit in references to every series in what must be the shortest runtime of the any Very Short Treks episode. The problem with this is that it leaves no time for actual jokes. What passes for jokes here basically amounts to ‘Here’s a reference you’ll get.’
I hate to say it, but “Holograms” had the vibe of those Friedberg and Seltzer parody movies from the 2000s, such as Scary Movie and Disaster Movie. All it needed was Carmen Electra in a PVC miniskirt making fart noises.
But as Star Trek fans, we’re suckers for references, even if they’re just there, and not saying anything in particular. It did make me a little giddy to realize that Armin Shimmerman’s cameo as Quark was a reference to the Deep Space Nine classic “In The Pale Moon Light,” and that George Takei’s cameo contained a reference to the original series’ number one weirdest line of dialogue.
On the other hand, as fun as it is to rip on that infamous Enterprise finale, Lower Decks did it better.
Also, why was Neelix wearing a Starfleet uniform?