“overwrought California hippy shit”?
You’ve seen Star Trek, right? I mean Let That Be Your Last Battlefield is an episode about the stupidity of racial hatred and violence and tit-for-tat escalation to the point of total social destruction. And that’s just one of many episodes that dealt with social issues. Most of them were parables of some sort or another.
The original bridge crew included a Black woman, an Asian man, a Russian (during the high-point of the Cold War), a half-alien, etc. And let’s be honest, Sulu (played by a gay man) was probably gay. I’ve been rewatching the original series and Sulu is pretty queer, in my view. But it was the 1960s and nobody could think about it in those terms. Mad Men had an entire gay character that, to our modern eyes, was OBVIOUSLY gay before he was outed, but none of the other characters noticed. With Star Trek, other queer people probably noticed, but straight folks didn’t.
Trek has ALWAYS been “overwrought hippy shit.” It has always been social justice oriented. That kind of criticism of Discovery misses the mark. My problem with Discovery is not that Michael’s identity is complex, or that Tilly is neuro-atypical and not “Hollywood attractive” or that Stamis’s relationship is overt and on-screen versus the implications or hints we’ve had in other series, etc etc.
My problem with Discovery is that I don’t feel the narrative structure, pacing, and visual style is in keeping with past Star Trek series. As I have said before Enterprise took place before TOS, and while visual effects and quality had changed dramatically, it still looked like pre-TOS, post-20th century technology. Discovery looks post-TNG/DS9/VOY, it’s not episodic, it doesn’t have any fun episodes or wacky episodes (which are some of my favorite), etc. etc.
But social justice hippy shit? Without that, it’s not going to be Trek anyway.