Friday, May 5, 2023

Quick Sips 05/05/2023

In which I...

- Admire Morn's Little Face

- Give some updates

- Discuss Star Trek: Picard Season 3

Why hello there. Morn couldn't help but notice that he's directly on your chest, just inches from your face, and you aren't currently scratching his ears or telling him he's a pretty boy. How will you make this right?

Anyway, apologies for the judging Morn-face, but I came across it while looking through some older photos and had to share. I forget when this is from, but definitely years ago as that bench is somewhere completely different and the keyboard has been banished to one of the upstairs/loft rooms, along with the futon that I was lying on when I took the photo. Anyway, it's a great face for Morn, with the full weight of "why aren't you petting me?" going on and I hope you all appreciate it.

A week hasn't brought too much change to the world of Charles. I am still rather behind on a lot, and chipping away as best I can. I am actually in the middle of writing up the intro to this year's We're Here (with amazing guest editor Naomi Kanakia), which is always interesting. I'm normally tasked with sort of giving a state of the field with regards to queer speculative fiction (mostly good this year in terms of places putting out queer SFF but also it was a year where some ready and regular sources of queer SFF closed, so hmm). I admit that I am a bit starstruck working with Naomi, who picked out a fantastic ToC that I think will be public soon. She wrote "Everquest" (among many other amazing works), which was in the first We're Here, and which is still a story that fucks me up on the regular. There are stories that come along that really get you to look at the world and yourself differently, and that's one of them for me. Just wow.

That aside, I'm reading and reviewing and trying to stay sane. Husband (Matt) and I did manage to spend a whole day just lounging in bed binging the third and final season of Star Trek: Picard (which is not Star Trek: Picardo but I do think that would be a really fun show where Robert Picardo aka The Doctor plays every crew member). And my thoughts on the show in general and the third season in particular are...conflicted? I like the show a lot, in part because Picard himself is fascinating (and well acted) and because the show has a sort of nostalgic taking the toys out for a new adventure feel.

Something I'm a little ehhhh on is that they went the Star Trek 2 route and gave Picard a secret son (always a son). I'm never a huge fan of the trope and that they've done it before with Kirk (and Worf) means that I'm just not that impressed. That they also made Picard's son a Chosen One is...well, I guess to be expected but also not my favorite thing. I did rather enjoy the evil Changelings and their motivations (not agreeing to the peace because of the war crimes of the Federation), even if as my husband pointed out they made their "liquid form" decidedly...meaty. Maybe to show that these are more...fleshy Changelings? Who knows.

I did also like the work put in to Riker and Troi (less so Crusher and I was hmmm on La Forge because the thing that kept running through my head was "are his kids half hologram???"...Worf and Data were fine). Like the last two seasons, a lot of this one was about putting the past to rest, and here at least we get the family that Picard built on the Enterprise to help him do it (something that I do feel was missing from the last two seasons). That said, it also feels alternate season two rather than a season three, because thematically they hit a lot of the same points and because, well, they also use a lot of the same elements (the Borg especially but Q is there and all and etc).

Do I feel like making the Borg the main villains after using season two to kind-of redeem them was a good call? No. And I dislike especially that the fallout from season three's Borg attack would likely set the whole idea of integration/collection defense/etc way back, even casting it as dangerous in the face of what happened. Do I feel that making younger people brainwashed to believe collective action is good while murdering the older generations is a good move thematically? No, unless you want to cast hyper-individualism and "get back to the good ol' days" style messages as positive. Which...heh, no.

To put it another way: Season two gave us a Borg who could value consent and it was beautiful. Season three brought back the Borg as the bogeyman who would seduce the youth. Season two found Picard's legacy in his curiosity and his commitment to being open to new life and new civilizations even given his traumatic journey. Season three limited his legacy to a literal offspring who acts as something of a Chosen One. Season two shows that growing old doesn't mean becoming conservative. Season three seems to step back from that, insisting that some conservatism is necessary to defeat enemies who will destroy progress if left unchecked.

Which is way more negative than I want to be about the final season of Picard. Again, I did like it. Just...sometimes I can't turn off my reviewer brain. It is what it is. Maybe my opinions would change if I watched it again. Until then, though, feel free to tell me I got it way wrong. Otherwise, keep on being wonderful. Cheers!


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