Hi, I'm new here.
I've mentioned that I wouldn't call myself a big Star Trek fan, but I'm also here on this forum because I need people to talk to about how much the franchise is upsetting me these days.
According to this artcile: https://www.cnet.com/news/love-star-trek-lower-decks-give-the-70s-star-trek-animated-series-a-try/
Star Trek: The Lower Deck's is not supposed to be 'punching down' nor 'making fun of Star Trek.'
Yet, since the first episode, that's exactly what I thought Star Trek: The Lower Decks was doing. However, now, with episode 6, I've come to realize, it's also making fun of the fans. And that's when I got upset. (So much for not being a fan?)
I know that Star Trek has been trying to get more edgy these days, and while things like Star Trek: The Lower Decks using swear words from the 20th and 21st Century seems out of place to me in the Star Trek Universe, there's a lot of other things that really upset me about the show's attitude.
Possible Spoilers Ahead
Many of the characters in the show are Caricatures (not characters) of fans. They're fan-boys-and-girls of the characters from the other shows. They discuss the events of other shows, but not just in ways that the characters from the other shows are celebrities, though it is veiled that way.
The characters don't care about the safety of their fellow crew members.
The characters only respect other cultures because the book, the law, requires them to. Some characters follow the regulations, others don't follow the regulations, but all but two act like the regulations are a burden that they only follow so they don't get in trouble and lose their jobs. One loves regulations, and is clearly setup to be the biggest Star Trek fan caricature, and the other is that character's foil, and breaks the rules all the time, and gets away with it. Everyone else is so stressed out about losing their job, and stressed out about being perfect, and following regulations, and all about image and status among their piers.
I can understand if someone wanted to create a show as a commentary on Star Trek, and try to make the statement that a society without money, where status is more important than money, would degrade into one where everyone is overly concerned with their image. The Orville could easily get away with that. However, Star Trek should not be arguing with itself. Star Trek should not be undermining it's own image this way, because Star Trek has been making the argument that a society without money would be better. Now, it's undermining it's own argument... It's arguing with it's self, and a house divided can not stand.
Further, while people will argue otherwise, I fully see the characters as (I previously mentioned) caricatures of the Star Trek fans. They are stand-ins, and then the show punches them. Those who aren't Star Trek fans are seeing these characters and saying, "That's exactly how Star Trek fans behave! Hahaha!" - I know this, as someone who's been both on the inside and outside of nerddom. If it's not what Star Trek: The Lower Decks intended, then in my opinion they failed.
A beloved franchise takes a risk when it makes fun of itself, which, I don't care if that article says otherwise, it's exactly what I see happening in The Lower Decks (so, again, if it isn't their intent, they've failed, IMO).
A beloved franchise commits franchise-suicide when it makes fun of it's fans.
It took me four episodes to notice it, because it's subtle, and maybe it is unintentional. However, as someone who's gotten in a lot of trouble over my lifetime for accidentally insulting someone, or accidentally hurting someone else's ego, I've not only become adept at spotting it, but now have strong feelings about that sort of behavior. I know that I have often not been forgiven, even if the person I offended said they forgave me, when I accidentally hurt someone's feelings. Maybe it's intentional, maybe it's accidental, but I bet that, and wonder if, a lot of Star Trek fans are feeling the insult. Even if, they're being told that's not what is happening.
It's subtle, a series of events, some more obvious than others, but put together, it's clear to me. Does anyone else see it? Or am I crazy?