TV I’m Not Watching: Star Trek Discovery

By Shamus
on Oct 1, 2017
Filed under:
Television

So the new Star Trek series is out. I’d like to watch it. Reportedly, the first few episodes aren’t bad. But it’s produced by CBS and only available using their own streaming service CBS All Access.

Now, this sucks because it means creating a new account and maybe downloading new apps or whatever. Will it play on my Phone? On my Roku? In my web browser of choice? Do they have enough streaming servers to handle the load, or will this be like watching YouTube in 2008? For the sake of argument, let’s just assume CBS has spent the money to build solid apps and infrastructure.

They’re asking for $6 a month. That’s shockingly high in today’s market. Basic cable – which includes CBS – is only about $40 and includes many channels, so asking $6 for just one channel is a lot. Netflix streaming costs double what CBS is asking and they have a comparatively massive library that includes many blockbusters.

This is particularly odd since you’d expect them to come in low with an introductory price and then jack the price up later once you’re hooked on the content. (And for some people, simply too lazy or distracted to cancel.)

And then you realize that the CBS deal includes commercials. If you want commercial-free streaming the price goes up to $10.

Commercials

ACTUAL DEMONSTRATION

ACTUAL DEMONSTRATION

It’s tough for me to articulate just how much I hate commercials. Sometimes they’re jarringly loud to the point of discomfort. Sometimes they’re cloying, obnoxious, or flagrantly dishonest. Sometimes they’re offensive on a moral or intellectual level. Sometimes they’re repeated several times in the course of a show, which I find maddening. And of course, they waste the precious moments of your life that you have available for entertainment.

On top of that, commercial television is often designed to be emotionally dissonant with the commercials. They want you to hang around through the advertisements, so they deliberately design the story to place the break right in the middle of moments of maximum emotional intensity. The camera will do a close up of a tense face as someone makes a profound revelation, suspenseful music plays, and then we fade out to a woman singing about fabric softener. When you come back to the show, the emotional energy is gone. Creating emotional investment is so monumentally difficult, it’s madness to destroy it the moment it appears. This isn’t an “interruption” to the show. It actively undermines the central thing a drama is trying to accomplish. It’s like a rollercoaster with all the downhill bits edited out.

I get that my reaction to commercials is not common. Some people are able to take them in stride and continue to enjoy their show. I could tolerate it when I was younger. But it’s been a decade and a half since I watched commercial television and I’ve been spoiled by the future. Back in the 70s we watched fuzzy black and white television at 480i that required you to stand up and mess with the antennae every couple of minutes. It wasn’t a big deal at the time, but it only takes a few days of having crisp color images and good reception before the old way is ruined forever. I’ve seen how good it can be. I can’t go back.

I understand that shows cost money to make and commercials are part of the way they raise that money, but I’m just comparing services. Hulu has a similar pricing scheme, and they have several channels worth of content plus a handful of movies, plus a bit of original content. Netflix is about the same price as the commercial-free version of CBS, and they have TV, movies, and a bunch of originals. It’s like CBS doesn’t know what the competition is doing.

I’d like to watch Star Trek Discovery, but this deal is not enticing at all. I’m not going to pay ten dollars a month for a single broadcast channel, and I’m not going to pay to watch commercials. I’m opposed to the latter on some sort of primal level.

I guess the optimal thing to do is wait until all the episodes are out and then subscribe for a single month so I can binge through the whole thing? (Assuming I remember and the show is still relevant.)

CBS All Access is the UPlay of streaming. They’ve shown up very late to the market, against entrenched rivals, with an inferior product, and they don’t have anything to entice consumers aside from exclusives. (And not even a lot of those.)

Ah well. At least Netflix still has TOS, TAS, TNG, DS9, VOY, and even ENT for some reason.

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A Hundred!20202017Many comments. 177, if you're a stickler

From the Archives:

  1. Alex says:

    Based on what I’ve heard about the first two episodes, the optimal thing to do is not watch the show at all.

    • Wide And Nerdy® says:

      And if thats wrong (I wouldn’t know) the real optimal thing to do would be wait till its all out and sign up for the 7 day free trial and binge it then. Cancel immediately so you don’t forget. I’m going to wait for a few more episodes to come out and then do the free trial so I can get a sense of where the show is going before I commit.

      For me 6 bucks a month would be worth it for new Trek IF AND ONLY IF its proper Trek. And to make matters worse, I’m getting my fix of new TNG-VOY era content from The Orville, which is free on Fox (with commercials sadly) so I don’t really need ST:D.*

      *I don’t care how childish people think that abbreviation is, I’m sticking to it. Its like when we learned that SyFy means Syphillis.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Its like when we learned that SyFy means Syphillis.

        Wait,really?You arent joking?

        *googling*

        Wow,you arent joking.And here I thought that name couldnt be any stupider.

        • Sleeping Dragon says:

          In Poland the syphilis reference is rather archaic but the word is still used. Nowadays “syf” means “a mess” or a general presence of something dirty, and “syfy” (which is a sort of plurification) can refer to a bunch of non-specific objects poluting or dirtying something (say “there are some ‘syfy’ floating in my tea”) and is pretty commonly used to refer to pimples. Much laughter was had. To be fair they stuck to the old “SciFi” logo in our networks but still, if you get your news from English speaking internet…

      • Echo Tango says:

        Children nowadays are being taught the acronym STI instead of STD, so only us old people will think it’s silly. :)

        • chiefnewo says:

          Car enthusiasts think this is hilarious because who wouldn’t want an STI, i.e. a Subaru factory-tuned hotted up version of the already damn hot WRX.

      • Iron Aquilifer says:

        I personally watched the pilot and instantly assumed that it was Kelvin timeline. If anything, I think it would have been better to just make it a sequel to the (Kelvinverse) movies since it seems to want to follow the same beats.

      • General Karthos says:

        This is what I recommend. Also, once you tell them you want to quit, they’ll give you a free month.

      • boz says:

        IF AND ONLY IF its proper Trek.

        It’s OK science fiction but it’s not proper Trek. But I might be a minority in that I am an orthodox when it comes to ST and only proper Trek is Roddenberry’s post scarcity utopic Federation for me. Sure it makes it hard for the storytellers to create drama but deep down inside I want to believe that humanity can be better in some utopic future of an alternate universe.

      • Hulu should also have The Orville. (not Netflix though as Fox and Netflix failed to reneg their deal for stuff)

    • Blake says:

      Yeah the first 2 episodes are ok but nothing great. But (from my understanding) everything from episode 3 onwards is based years later and has a heap of different characters so I think waiting a while then subbing for a month to watch it all is probably still the best bet.

  2. Alpakka says:

    Apparently this is one of the few cases where Finnish Netflix has content that the US Netflix doesn’t. At least my Netflix menu shows two episodes of Star Trek Discovery available, although I haven’t watched them.

    This reminds of another can of worms, where same services such as Netflix have different content in different countries, which can be quite annoying when your country’s version is missing something that others paying the same amount for the same service are getting.

    I pretty much agree with your feelings about commercials. When I moved away from my parents to study, I never bought a TV or even a TV card for my computer. Occasionally I think about getting one, but then I see one commercial break at a friend’s place or something like that, and decide I don’t really need a TV. Maybe if I one day run out of PC games that I have already bought and want to play, I’ll get a TV to use with a console.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Apparently this is one of the few cases where Finnish Netflix has content that the US Netflix doesn’t.

      Thats probably because cbs pay service is only available in the usa,so they made a deal with netflix to not broadcast there,but still sold them the rights for the rest of the world.

      • Lazlo says:

        From my understanding, this is a high-budget show, around $8M per episode. And of that, Netflix is footing about $7M in exchange for everywhere-but-North-America distribution. Which I find really interesting.

        As far as the show goes, I’ll reserve judgement. I haven’t seen anything horribly wrong with it yet, but the teasers for what’s upcoming seem like it might become something really interesting.

        And as for the distribution, I’m torn as to whether I love it or hate it. I hate commercials too, for all the reasons Shamus listed, but also because of how it quantizes payment. If a show is supported by advertising, then the only currency you can pay for it is your own two eyeballs. If a show is marginally better than doing nothing, it gets your eyeballs. If it’s life-changingly amazing, it gets your eyeballs. Which means that the market prioritizes breadth of appeal over depth of appeal, the quintessential example being Firefly. I think my eyeballs are worth approximately a dollar per hour. But there are shows that I’d be glad to pay twenty times that rate to watch.

        So… I don’t think CBS is stupid enough to think that their streaming service is anything more than people buying *this one show* for $10/month. And it’s entirely possible that this show is worth the approximately $2.50 people are going to be paying for it (or, the people who don’t wait for the end of the season and then binge-watch in one month). But I know the message would be much clearer if they just put the episodes on Amazon video and let people buy them for that price. Or just let Netflix fund the whole thing and get worldwide rights.

        Overall, the ways that we have available to pay for the things we enjoy are getting more diverse, and I *think* that’s a good thing in the long run, but in the short run, it can get a bit frustrating and confusing.

    • Somniorum says:

      The release of this show is kind of a mess, in regards to different countries.

      From what I’ve heard, US’ Netflix will get the first episode for free, and then nothing else (basically as a way to tempt people to buy the other service). Canada – where I live – unfortunately gets nothing at all on Netflix and has to either watch it on a particular conventional TV channel or has to buy a different streaming service we have up here (and I have neither that service nor regular cable service anymore – great!). The rest of the world, I’ve heard, just gets it on Netflix.

    • Nick-B says:

      I think I heard that the new ST:D was available on CBS regular, on normal over-the-air TV. They did that to try to entice people into forking over money for their walled garden that is their CBS streaming service.

      Like Candy Crush, the first taste is free.

      • bubba0077 says:

        Yeah, the first episode (of a two-parter, mind you) was broadcast OTA. And it started late because football ran over, so people who don’t like football were annoyed and anyone who attempted to DVR only got about half.

      • Binary Toast says:

        I was one of the people that sat down that sunday night, and told CBS to sell me on their streaming service. Wanna know what my opinion of STD is, having only seen that first episode?

        I went in with a mostly neutral opinion. I came out with a mostly neutral opinion, because basically nothing happened. Episode one is almost nothing but set-up for episode two. Imagine if episode one of The Expanse had ended as they entered the derelict freighter that kicked off the plot, none of the creeping dread of exploring an empty ship, no dramatic deaths, no proper cliff hanger ending.

        Oh certainly, Discovery tried to have a cliff hanger on episode one, but it didn’t hit the proper notes for me, because we’d been looking at the bloody cliff for the past twenty minutes (plus commercials) or so.

        So my opinions from watching what little of Discovery they gave us are the following:
        1) Seems okay? I guess?
        2) I’m not sold on buying into their streaming service.
        3) The Shenzhou is a pretty ship, I’d rather like to see it in Star Trek Online.

        • Fade2Gray says:

          Episode one is almost nothing but set-up for episode two.

          Ah, but here’s the kicker. Episode 2 is almost nothing but a setup for the real show, which is set 6 months after the first two episodes with an almost entirely different premise.

          That said. I thought episode 3 wasn’t bad. Better than the first two episodes at least. Not sure I’d say it’s worth the sub fee on it’s own yet. I’m just lucky I can borrow a relative’s log-in.

    • Blake says:

      It’s on Netflix in Australia too.

  3. KarmaTheAlligator says:

    It’s like CBS doesn’t know what the competition is doing.

    That reminded me of Games for Windows Live and the Windows Store. And the ads also reminded me of the dashboard on the 360 (and maybe the Xbone?), which had some ads for some maddening reason. Guess they’re trying to ape Microsoft?

  4. Mephane says:

    But it’s produced by CBS and only available using their own streaming service CBS All Access.

    Weird. Here in Germany, it is on Netflix, and actually got me to sign up for Netflix for the very first time.

  5. Redingold says:

    I use Adblock and don’t own a TV, so I almost never see adverts, but whenever I’m, say, round someone’s house and I see them on the TV there, I’m always boggled at just how weird they are.

    • I’ve started seeing internet videos that have ads in the middle of the video. I have never yet been able to tolerate this–the second your silly cat video stops and tries to make me sit through a thirty-second ad for Telecheck, I’m moving on.

      Advertisers still just don’t understand the internet. On a 60-second video, a 30-second ad is interminable. I wouldn’t mind watching the ads if they were TEN seconds. But they always use these idiotic long-form “story” ads on 60-second videos. WHAT THE WHAT. NO.

      • Echo Tango says:

        The thing that I’ve seen which is at least tolerable, is when a YouTube person has sponsored ads in their video, and they basically do the commercial themselves. The creator chooses who to get sponsored by, so it’ll actually be suitable for the target audience of the videos, and they also do the ad themselves, so it’ll match the tone of the normal videos. For example, when LindyBeige stops in the middle of his video to tell people to check out an educational website focusing on ancient history, it’s very appropriate because he creates videos about ancient history, and is an educational video creator! :)

        • Nick-B says:

          Honestly, I find that worse. It reeks of selling out, while commercials are – to me – seen as a necessary evil. It really bugs me, especially when someone like in a podcast starts gushing on and on about some stupid subscription service and says the site name like 10 times. I thought we shared interests, and this guy won’t shut up about some web hosting service? I don’t jump into a spiel about how great service “X” is and how it’s available NOW for only $5.99 a month! Oh, and get 10 off with coupon code “NICK”!

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            Why is that worse when A)They preface that its a sponsorship,so you know to take what is said with a grain of salt, B)They pick what they want to shill,so its connected to their interests,and likely to the interest of their audence and C)They are directly paid by the thing they shill,thus actually getting a significant percentage from those ads instead of regular non targeted generic ones.

          • Echo Tango says:

            That’d be an example of doing this poorly. The podcasts or YouTubes I’ve seen done well, the person says the ad once in the middle, and/or maybe once at the end, and actually uses the service, so they know what quality the thing they’re advertising is. What you’ve described seems like somebody just taking a random product because they don’t care, or are desperate.

            • Sleeping Dragon says:

              In the Co-Optional podcast Total Biscuit does those sponsor segments for some web hosting or web designing service. Not only are they clearly segregated but he does the narration himself in a full on cynical humour mode and they are just hilarious to listen to.

          • bubba0077 says:

            I hate the term “selling out”, as if these people don’t need to support themselves on the paltry advertising revenue they get from google (particularly since the Ad Apocalypse). As long as it is clearly indicated as a paid advertisement (and, ideally, at the end of the video), this is money going directly to the content producers, and you have the option of skipping it.

            • Fade2Gray says:

              If only we lived in a blissful utopia where hunger, need, and want had all been solved and nobody needed to be paid to do anything. Everyone would be free to pursue their dreams for the sake of their own self improvement and the betterment of mankind.

              See what I did there? ;)

              • Of course, what would be the purpose of self improvement–or anything–if everything was already solved? I’m going to get better at this . . . wait, everything’s already perfect. I’m going to enjoy this more . . . wait, already perfect.

                Um.

                • As Ayn Rand would put it, “sell out” is an anti-concept that tries to combine two contradictory premises under one heading. It is a combination of the concept of earning money to support yourself and the idea of lying about one’s true evaluations in order to get cash. It uses the disgust people naturally feel toward the second in an effort to discredit the first via guilt by association.

    • Echo Tango says:

      Nearly 100% of advertisements either are neutral to me, or actually annoying or offensive, so I have no problem using an ad blocker. Well, I do have one problem, in that I have no way to support things which do not allow me to pay directly, and only get revenue by ads.

  6. Mattias42 says:

    Heck, over here in Europe, Netflix has the new show too.

    Utter madness to push such a crap service at those prices for so little content, but I guess that’s corporations for you. Common sense needs not apply for the board-room.

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Reportedly, the first few episodes aren’t bad.

    They arent good either.They are just average,run of the mill random space action tv episodes.And I say random space action because other some names they say,one second shot of a communicator and the design of a few ships,theres nothing star trek about it.

    But if you dont mind that,this show is worth a shot.If you do mind,and want something thats actually star trek,watch the orville instead.

    • Joe Informatico says:

      They’re fine. Like every other mass media franchise that’s remained ridiculously popular for more than a decade, Star Trek’s become so concerned with its own continuity and how to update that continuity for new technologies and the new social media powered, instant feedback hordes of fandom who are now spoiled for choice in their genre interests. The probability of them doing something that isn’t safe and predictable is small. (And there’s my biggest argument for copyright limits.)

      Likewise, I’m enjoying The Orville more than I thought I would, but so far it’s literally recycling TNG plots and concepts from 25 years ago with occasional jokes.

      • DeadlyDark says:

        Actually, I’ve got an impression, that it’s more like TOS, if it would done today, rather than TNG. But main difference between Orville and ST series, that makes it somewhat unique, is that the team isn’t that great in a professional sense, not a flagship material. I liked, how in second episode, that novice officer was placed in a commanding position, how she struggles and learns the ropes. It looks organic and (for the lack of the better word for this context) very human (and I’m not trying to be rude to this fictional aliens, just can’t find a better word). Unlike, say, how incompetent Archer and his team (except Reed, he was the only good character in whole show, because he’s both competent and likeable in introvert way) was in 1st and 2nd seasons, we supposed to watch this so called super-competent flagship crew and be at awe of what they do. But what do we see? They screw up too often to be funny, and it’s just pathetic. And they are assholes to each others. Ok, I hate Enterprise. Except the Season 3, and half of the Season 4. In any case, Orville is good in my book, it tries somewhat different angle, and I can appreciate it.

      • bubba0077 says:

        Disagree on the point about continuity. I think one problem is that they *haven’t* been overly concerned with continuity. And I’m not saying that because I’m some neckbeard nitpicking the small continuity variances that are inevitable. I mean they completely violate established characterization (see Vulcans in Enterprise).

        Of course, the big problem is the shift in tone from discovery and moral dilemmas to action.

        Discovery isn’t terrible, and I keep watching for a while, but Orville feels more like Trek.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        but so far it’s literally recycling TNG plots and concepts from 25 years ago with occasional jokes.

        Its really hard to not repeat plots done by trek,since trek did so much already.Heck,tng already had a bunch of recycled plots.Orville did the smart thing of picking meh episodes and trying to build up on them.Plus,it cast a wide net,with doing one thing from tng and next time one from tos.

        • Falcon02 says:

          I kinda see Orville as a mix of Star Trek and “Baa Baa Black Sheep”

          Baa Baa Black Sheep was a TV show about a real US Marine Corps Fighter squadron in WWII made up of the “misfits.” At least in the TV show (and movie) they were portrayed as lacking a bit of professionalism, but collectively able to achieve excellent results…

          When I first saw Orville previews I was expecting Live Action Family Guy (or Ted) in a Star Trek spoof setting… But I have been pleased the “Star Trek” roots are stronger than expected. Despite lacking professionalism and general MacFarlane humor… the characters are shown to actually care and be competent at their jobs.

          Overall, I’ve been quite pleased…. is it true Star Trek? No, but it actually seems to respect it’s Star Trek inspiration, despite being written with greater focus on comedy as Star Trek.

          In otherwords… as far as comedy Star Trek homages go… The Orville >> Galaxy Quest… at least in my opinion…

      • What I find frustrating is the lack of imagination as they deal with the continuity issues.

        All we should need to say is “You know, the Enterprise tended to be stationed to the ‘west’, and in this show, we’re gonna go ‘east'” and in a universe the size of Star Trek, that should pretty much mean you get fresh new aliens, fresh new adventures, no need to keep re-referencing the Klingons or whatever over and over again because they’re over there and we’re actually over here.

        But that seems to be too hard.

        This is one thing that Star Wars is doing better than Star Trek, even from a purist’s sci-fi standpoint. Tatooine and Endor have overall appeared a bit too often in the Expanded Universe if you ask me, but the film epics have managed to escape from that trap and are not afraid to show a new planet.

    • Blake says:

      Yeah I’m going to give STD more time before I make a judgement, especially considering the first 2 episodes are based years before the rest of the show and might not be all that representative of the rest of the content.

      The Orville on the other hand is basically TNG with some humour thrown in there. I’m enjoying it far more than I expected, and am happy that none of my fears with the jokes came to pass.

      4 episodes into the Orville, and I’d recommend it to any Trekkie (well maybe not the purists who hate anything unofficial but any good Trekkie).

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        especially considering the first 2 episodes are based years before the rest of the show and might not be all that representative of the rest of the content.

        Thats one of the weirdest decisions.Why were these two chosen as a pilot?Why didnt the show start with michael in prison already?

  8. Rack says:

    It’s on UK Netflix so one of the few times we do well out of these deals. Also my reaction to ads is even more extreme than yours, given I realise they do actually influence my decisions. Working in Market Research that was an occasional issue because every time someone asked “have you seen such and such an ad?” my response was “no” long before streaming let that be a somewhat mainstream position.

    • Kathryn says:

      My sister works in marketing, and it is very different from my work in engineering, that’s for sure. She always says it does influence my decisions, but I’m skeptical that the influence is necessarily in the direction the companies want. Seems like most marketing is aimed at people who are very different from me – it’s much, MUCH more common for me to walk away from an ad determined to deliberately go out of my way to never buy the product than it is for me to think I might be interested in the product.

      For example, I love cheeseburgers and fries (yes I am American), but I will NEVER go to Carl’s Jr because I am so put off by their heavily sexualized commercials. If they just had a normal commercial that said, “Hey, we make good burgers, and we’re moving into your area. You can get a BOGO coupon from our website,” I would have been all over that, because I’m always looking for a better fast food burger. But instead, I’ve vowed to never visit any restaurant affiliated with that company.

      (The flip side of this is that if you actually DO market to engineers, I will likely buy your product…and that’s marketing too. For my son’s and my cochlear implants, I chose Med-El because their brochure included facts and sources, not just pictures of models who, much like the people in tampon commercials, are suddenly able to go horseback riding, sailing, etc.)

      • Droid says:

        Wow, Med-El made it to America? It’s basically our city’s pet “startup tech company”, not financially, but people always see it as one when it’s mentioned at our university. In fact, they talk about it as if it were their best buddy’s garage project. Really weird to see it being present in the US.

        • Kathryn says:

          Their market share isn’t very large (10%?), but my audiologist says that engineers, scientists, and musicians tend to pick Med-El over the other two. The longer electrode means (or should mean) better coverage in the lower frequencies, which are what my son and I have lost (we have a reverse curve, which is extremely rare. The specific mutation we have is even rarer – it seems to be known only in a Dutch family). I just had the surgery this week, so I don’t get activated for a couple more weeks, so I can’t comment much more yet…

      • Echo Tango says:

        Apparently the top Google search result for “Carl’s Jr commercials” is “top X hottest Carl’s Jr commercials”, which wanted me to sign in to verify my age. Second on the list was a commercial that had a woman in a bikini* getting a burger. The implication being that I, as a straight male, am…stupid enough to buy a hamburger from them because they’ve distracted me with tits? These commercials barely even show any of the burger, or describe how it tastes! “Tastes like freedom” is a useless descriptor; Other companies at least tell me if it’s spicy, smooth, tangy, etc! So, I guess I’m joining you in your vow to never eat at this establishment? :|

        * After I signed in, the other commercials all also feature women in bikinis. Zero men in thongs, though. There’s a parody of this trend. :)

        • Sleeping Dragon says:

          At its simplest the core concept behind this type of “sex sells” marketing is that you, as a straight male, would get a pleasant tingle when you see the model in the bikini, basically your animal brain going “yes! yes! good mating! yes!”. Later on when you are exposed to the brand name (or other related stimuli, like the colour theme or associated jingle) your animal brain should go “yes! yes! this action is associated with good mating! go there! seek out more!” Because by this school of marketing you are a bunch of instincts and all your actions are impulses that are later merely justified (or excused) by your conscious thought.

      • Shamus says:

        I’ve never seen a Carl’s Jr. There aren’t any in this corner of the world. So I haven’t seen any Carl’s Jr. ads. I only know them by reputation. When I searched for Carl’s Jr. Ad I got this:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6VbJnN8l3A

        Which I found pretty entertaining. It shows “Carl Sr.” coming home to the company and getting rid of the sleazy ads, which were the work of “Carl Jr.” It looks more like the setup to a sitcom than anything else. Carl Sr. has a kinda Ron Swanson thing going on.

        Of course, Carl’s Jr. ads can’t be blamed on some young kid because they’ve been at it since “Carl Jr” was 12. But still. It’s a funny way to handle a marketing pivot like that. I have no idea how well it will work, but it’s interesting.

        (Personally, I think their burgers look too big. Like, how do you get that into your mouth? I’m not a snake and I can’t unhinge my jaw. It feels like I’d get about two bites into it and I’d be left holding an empty bun over a plate of meat salad. )

  9. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I get that my reaction to commercials is not common.

    On the contrary,its rather common.Thats why adblocks are so popular.

    • Mephane says:

      Well, while ads on TV etc. are “merely” highly annoying interruptions, ads on websites can become downright dangerous when some some ad-server is infested with a virus.

      And there is also a big difference between putting up ads to pay for content that is delivered for free, and putting up ads on content that the users already had to pay for in the first place.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Thats the thing:People arent willing to put up with ads even on free content if they arent forced to,let alone paid one.Some are even willing to pay extra just to be able to skip them.

        • Syal says:

          The ads on free content are the most annoying ones. I finally got adblock due to one 30-second unskippable political ad running at the beginning and end of every Youtube video, and one Navy ad that never loaded correctly and routinely made it impossible to watch the second half of a show.

        • djw says:

          I installed ad blocker because I like running lots of tabs in chrome (or whatever I am using) and the ads slowed my browser to a crawl.

          If there were some ad standard that a site could sign on to that would prevent the ad from affecting my overall experience (including, but not limited too: no autostart audio/video, no egregiously unoptimized ads that slow me to a crawl, no pop-ups, etcetera) then I would remove ad blocker for that site.

      • Nick-B says:

        What gets to me, is why we allow ad companies to inject code into our websites that can run exploits. Why can’t we settle on a graphic container that works in browsers (.gif?), allows simple animations (for those companies that seem to think static ads are the DEVIL), and has been proven (or rigorously tested) to not have the ability to inject code? Then we demand that ad companies ensure that THEIR customers (the companies that pay to do advertising) are not giving out code, by hosting the ad itself.

        Basically, why are we letting companies write code and have that code be given to ad companies without review or security, then let this code be injected into sites for viewers? What is so damned important that we can’t use simple graphics and a “clicked” variable?

        • Mephane says:

          Well, one big part of it is tracking – how often an ad is viewed, clicked on, by whom, coming from where etc. Which on the other hand is even more reason to block ads, because that is none of any advertising or product-selling company’s business what websites I visit.

  10. Infinitron says:

    Reportedly, the first few episodes aren’t bad.

    What reports are you reading

    • evileeyore says:

      They’re actually really good as long as you aren’t a nit-picking Trekkie.

      • silver Harloe says:

        “…not a nit-picking…”
        Yes, but this is website almost, but not quite, entirely devoted to nit-picking :)

        • evileeyore says:

          Is it? I rather think it’s primary focus is rooting out flaws. ;)

          Is STD flawed? Yes. But most of those flaws are things you either accept as a part of Trek (inconsistent canon, ever changing Klingons, etc) or don’t.

          For instance, the Klingon decriers: there are now five distinct ‘look and feel’ phases to Klingons. STOS, Motion Pictures, TNG-STV, STE, Abrams’ Trek (the ‘Kelvinverse’ for some reason), and STD. Some are close to others, some are ‘radical’ departures*. IMO declaring STD “not Trek” because “they got the Klingons WRONG!” is nitpickery of the utmost degree.

          I would almost go so far as to declare it badwrongnitpickery, but I’m not sure they’re wrong (even if I disagree with them on principal, but yeah, they got teh Kilgnons WRONG!11!).

          * With all things, but especially Trek Klingons, Your Mileage May Vary.

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            I dont mind that klingons are different.I mind that they are bad.Bafflingly bad.The makeup is horrendous,yet it doesnt even have the excuse of “its low budget” or “it was the 60s” of the original.Worse,the opening shot is a tight focus on that horrible thing.

            Compare it to the other prominent heavily made up alien on the show:saru.He looks just fine.So its not that the makeup department lacks skill,its a deliberate decision to make klingons glossy and plasticy.

            But the worst problem is that the klingons of earlier trek that had pointed teeth did not sound this horrible.Its not the problem with the actors,because every klingon sounds lispy,and its not the problem with the language,since they lisp in both klingon and english.So it has to be the false teeth.How did they manage to screw up false teeth 20 years after than those things were first used?

            This is not a nitpick,because a big chunk of the first two episode is close ups of klingons speaking.

            • Mephane says:

              I think this is purely a matter of taste. A friend of mine who is also a long-standing Star Trek fan found them the best Klingons ever.

              Personally, I do like that they speak among themselves in their native tongue and did not even bother thinking about whether they sound lispy or anything like that. I hope the new show will stick to that and have all the aliens speak among themselves in their own language, with subtitles.

              • Daemian Lucifer says:

                Its a matter of taste whether you can tolerate it or not,but the fact is that they botched the prosthetics for their actors,and did not bother to fix it.For a big budgeted show thats not a good sign.

              • Joe Informatico says:

                The Klingons are the only thing I don’t like about Discovery. But they were always going to be a hard sell for me. I might be in the minority among Trekkies, but I stopped finding the Klingons interesting around season 5 of TNG. And the new Klingons haven’t changed that.

                They look like orcs, which I could live with. But insisting all their dialogue be in actual Klingon is killing the impact of their scenes. These actors are already doing amazing work trying to emote through all that makeup, then they’re forced to deliver line readings in a made-up language they’re not familiar with. It’s painful to watch.

            • ehlijen says:

              I didn’t mind the lisping. Accents and pronunciation issues are a thing for foreign speakers, so it could be deliberate.

              What annoyed me was the many pauses for breath in the klingon language (every other syllable or so). It made the scenes slower than they needed to be and did not sound like a naturally developed language. Still, as 90% of the klingon was delivered by a space pope equivalent, that’s also possibly deliberate.

              Still, I liked it overall.

          • MichaelG says:

            Sorry, but there are no interesting characters in the first two episodes. No Trek optimism either. Compare it to any of the other series, and this one just doesn’t feel friendly. Just nasty soap opera and battle sequences.

            The Klingons are ugly and expressionless. Making all the actors speak Klingon while we read subtitles is silly. The ship is dark and angular. Having the two main characters attack each other during the episode was bizarre and out of character. The plot was stupid and boring.

            I won’t be watching the next few episodes.

            BTW Shamus, you can always download it off Pirate Bay. Buy a DVD later if you feel guilty.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              Its not a good idea to advertise piracy to normies from the usa,due to how tracked their web traffic is.At least get them used to anonymous browsing first.

            • Alex says:

              No Trek optimism either.

              Understatement of the year, there. Shamus disliked how much the tone of Shadows of Mordor clashed with Lord of the Rings, but ST:D is far worse. If you don’t like political arguments on your website, you’ll hate a show written to excuse domestic terrorism.

              • Viktor says:

                I mean, it’s Star Trek. TOS had a Russian and a Japanese man on the bridge of a military vessel captained by a white dude from Kansas who made out with a black woman. In 1965. TNG made the Federation explicitely socialist and focused heavily on xenophobia, diplomacy, and the justifications for force. Even damn Enterprise tried to say something about the world, even if it was usually insulting gabbling.

                Star Trek has been explicitly political since it was created. Now, I’m not saying that it always succeeded at it’s politics, or that it was politics that I agreed with, but ST was always old-school sci-fi, the sort that uses the future as a way to talk about the present. If the show can be talked about without talking about politics, it has failed as Star Trek. *cough*Abrams*cough*.

                • ehlijen says:

                  It’s not just being political. It seems to try to show off the character who mutinies in order to open fire on a superior vessel during a tense standoff that her superiors want solved peacefully (aka the Fedeation way) as justified.

                  I say ‘seems’ because the show hasn’t yet told us how this character is going to stay in the show after how ep2 ended.

              • bubba0077 says:

                1) Calling it justifying terrorism is a big stretch
                2) It wouldn’t be domestic terrorism anyway
                3) If you want Trek justifying terrorism, see DS9

                • Alex says:

                  The entire plot of the first two episodes is about how preemptive violence against the Klingons (who represent Trump supporters) is the right course of action. It’s why they put the warmongering in the mouths of the pacifistic and inhumanly logical Vulcans – giving that role to the Andorians would make far more sense in-universe, but it would not achieve the goal of sugar-coating what they were selling.

              • EwgB says:

                Sorry (not sorry) for nitpicking, but this is not terrorism in my book. It is certainly disobeying of an order from a superior officer, mutiny, assault on a superior officer and an attempt to attack a foreign vessel, though the Klingons arguably attacked first (the assault on Michael outside the beacon) and entered Federation space without authorization. Doesn’t make it right, but see also the recent (2015) shootdown of a Russian plane by Turkey for a border violation as a real life example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_Russian_Sukhoi_Su-24_shootdown

            • Viktor says:

              “Making all the actors speak Klingon while we read subtitles is silly.”

              I haven’t seen it yet, but I HATE that objection. If you’ve got multiple languages being spoken, actually have the actors speak in those languages and just translate it for us. I don’t want a pair of Russians speaking to each other in badly-accented English, because then what language am I supposed to assume they’re speaking when they talk to a brit in badly-accented English? Subtitles and actually showing the correct language is far clearer, and actually opens up further ways of conveying information(such as showing a broken translation if you have a non-native speaker).

              Also, it sounds silly.

              • MichaelG says:

                I have no problem reading subtitles — I watch a few foreign films a year — but think of what the actors are being forced to go through. Memorizing all that dialog phonetically, just for that tiny gesture towards realism! It makes it that much harder for them to convey any emotion. With the heavy makeup, they can’t really use facial expressions much either. I cringed.

                And for the viewer, listening to Klingon gets old really quickly.

              • Steve C says:

                Here is why you should rethink that objection:
                The actors are attempting to act in a language they don’t know. They are doing it very badly. So badly that they can’t act. It is not like a pair of Russians speaking to each other in badly-accented English (with no subtitles). It’s like a pair of Americans speaking to each other in badly-accented Russian then subtitling it back into English. With 50kg of makeup on top. By extras.

                What you are describing having no problems with is Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. None of the actors in that movie knew the language they were speaking. None of the audience knew the language either because it was ancient Mandarin. It was 100% subtitled in every country. You are right not have any objections. They did a fantastic job in that movie.

                ST:D is no Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

                ST:D is trying to do the exact same thing with Klingon instead of ancient Mandarin. They can’t. It sucks. Not only that, but the dialogue is awful and the subtitles flow like shit. It’s not that the fundamental premise is silly. It’s that they failed so horribly at something they didn’t need to do and it’s terrible on screen. That’s silly.

              • Daemian Lucifer says:

                because then what language am I supposed to assume they’re speaking when they talk to a brit in badly-accented English?

                Wasnt this solved in red october(I think),where they show the russians speaking russian in the beginning,but then phase it into actors speaking english,while still maintaining that the characters are speaking russian?Thats a nice way to deal with the problem.

                Or,you can use the more comedic route of alo alo.

                Anyway,the reason why star trek introduced the universal translator is to specifically go around this.The assumption is that everyone is speaking their own language,but due to the universal translator,the audience hears english.

                • Perhaps more topically, IIRC Star Trek 3 did the same thing. Klingons are established as speaking Klingon, then they switch to English for the bulk of the movie, with the cinematic language clearly showing that they’re still speaking Klingon.

                • Alex says:

                  Yes, Red October did it very well – they changed from Russian to English on a loanword that is the same in both languages and carried particular significance to the plot: Armageddon.

            • Agammamon says:

              Pirate Bay, is, apparently, inserting code into their website that turns your computer into a botnet for their cyptocurrency mining system – at least for as long as you keep the page open.

              http://www.zdnet.com/article/how-much-does-the-pirate-bays-cryptocurrency-miner-make/

          • SupahEwok says:

            It’s called the Kelvin-verse because the destruction of the USS Kelvin (Kirk’s daddy’s ship) is the point of divergence for the timeline.

            But it sounds pretty stupid. My first thought when I read it the first time is “what does temperature have to do with anything here.”

          • neolith says:

            Oh, come on – that is not nit-picking. CBS promised us a show in the spirit of the other series and in the original universe and just plain didn’t deliver. And the Klingons are only the most critiqued part because they are the most obvious mismatch. Even someone who knows little about Star Trek recognizes the discrepancy.

            If you make a new SciFi show and claim that it is not only Star Trek but also fits in with the earlier productions, then why change practically everything except for the name? CBS would have to take a lot less flak if this was just some new random show. But not only did they not make that decision, but they also managed to screw up practically everything that makes a Star Trek show a Star Trek show and change almost everything that would make the setting proper canon.

            But even if this wasn’t named Star Trek it would still not be a good show.
            Without delivering any spoilers:
            The overall plot is incredibly weak. All the characters are one-dimensional, overdrawn and unfortunately more or less forgettable. Several of them act irrationally, against common sense and – even worse – against how their character is portrayed or described just minutes before. And for many of them their motivations remain a mystery to the viewer (and not in a good this-is-creating-suspense kind of way). For the main character the show tries to catch that by constantly showing flashbacks disrupting what little flow there is in the story only to have her act against it at the next possible opportunity. Most dialogue is laughably bad because of how pointless it is, not a single piece of it is memorable. There are plot incredible holes every odd minute. The visuals are of too much contrast and saturation. There is an abundance of lens flares and Dutch angles. While the overall SFX are okay, their quality drops immensely the moment the big pew-pew starts where they would be needed the most. That includes the sound. Other than that space seems to cramped with brightly colored stuff whenever it is convenient. Subtitles for everyone speaking klingon are displayed not long enough and therefore are not easily readable. Why a woman is named Michael remains a mystery (at least to me, but then again I am not American – someone please enlighten me if that is a name for women on your side of the pond).
            Many of these are not just flaws – they are bad design. And they are recognizable from the introduction to the very last scene just before the credits roll.

            Take all that, throw in the Kelvin-limeline-look and add the fact that the show breaks canon with the old shows/movies on practically every topic that comes up and you get the kind of critique from Star Trek fans that you can see now wherever a discussion takes place.
            STD does a really bad job at being a Star Trek show, let alone one that fits in with the previous ones. It is also not even a good show in general for the reasons mentioned above. In my opinion, it is actually pretty bad.

            The sad thing is, ‘The Orville’ does better in almost every department. On the other hand… maybe that is not sad at all.
            I’ve started watching that show because I saw it being mentioned again and again when people criticized STD and claimed that The Orville ‘got’ Star Trek. I was sceptical because I have never watched anything form Seth MacFarlane that I liked. I think ‘A Million Ways To Die In The West’ was an exceptionally bad movie and I didn’t even make it through the trailer for ‘Ted’. However there seems to be none of that silly nonsense of those in The Orville. Yes, there is an overly tongue-in-cheek joke in every episode so far, but it doesn’t ruin the experience, at least not for me. And while I found the first episode a bit weak, the second one was much better and the third one I actually really liked. It was much more Star Trek than STD, it had much more depth and it had none of the ‘problems by design’ STD does. I am curious to see how that show continues.

            That being said – I’ll watch one or two more episodes of STD to see if they can turn their ship around. I don’t have high hopes though.
            As it stands now, I’ll most likely stick to The Orville to scratch my Star Trek itch. And I can only recommend everyone to give it a try and watch the first three episodes.

            • MichaelG says:

              Calling her Michael is minor. After all, Leslie is a girls’ name in the U.S., but male in Britain. And my French teacher insisted I pronounce Michael as Michelle when speaking French.

              • neolith says:

                Well… the more you know. Thanks for the info. :)

                You are right though, her name is a minor. I just mentioned it, because I found it so irritating and that really was the icing on the cake for me. All the way through the two episodes I was waiting for some clever explanation to be given for her name – and I didn’t get it.

              • Cubic says:

                He probably meant Michel, which is the french version of Michael.

            • RobS says:

              Why a woman is named Michael remains a mystery (at least to me, but then again I am not American – someone please enlighten me if that is a name for women on your side of the pond).

              I think I read somewhere that the backstory is her father wanted a boy. But, no, Michael is not a common woman’s name in the US. The real reason is that it makes things “edgy” or something, I guess?

      • EwgB says:

        I’m not a nit-picking trekkie, but I know several, and they also say it’s pretty good. As do I. So YMMV.

  11. Agammamon says:

    I was thinking about this the other day – its the product of thinking like a ‘channel’ when in reality there are two different things going on here. Content creation and content distribution and they’d be better off separating the two.

    Right now CBS makes content and distributes it on one organization – like tv channels of old did to create the content to fill up the channel to sell ad space. Instead they should split into two business with some cross-pollination (like timed exclusivity of content to lure customers to their content distribution platform). One side makes content and gets it distributed however it can – CBS, Netflix, Amazon, whatever. The other is just a content distributor and distributes content it gets from all over.

    As it is, they’re chasing a small niche – the people who like enough of CBS’ content to subscribe for the whole channel – and leaving a lot of money on the table from those who only like one or two shows and couldn’t care about the rest.

  12. Penn says:

    Looks like here in Canada it’s not available on Netflix (which I do have) because it’s on broadcast television, CTV and Space channels (which I do not get).
    I’m unwilling to get cable TV again, so no Discovery for me.

  13. Galad says:

    Nifty new mouseover thingamajigs in the last phrase, I approve :)

    “It’s tough for me to articulate just how much I hate commercials”

    Not in front of your audience, it isn’t. I’ve never looked at another person as if they were a weird-looking, 6-armed, 3-footed alien monstrosity, as when I noticed a former coworker of mine was watching ads on youtube.

    • Droid says:

      It’s easy to be guilt-tripped into doing that if you really like the YouTuber in question. That is, until you realize you’re vastly underselling your own time and are just so much better off giving the content creator a single dollar every once in a while (afair, even one cent per video is much, much more than they would make, and 1$ every 100 videos is not going to kill you).

      • Thomas says:

        I think the time and mental effort of remembering to donate consistently to youtubers I watch probably isn’t worth the time the adverts take for me.

        Id stress out about the smaller youtubers losing out and not being fair, that kind of thing. I’m sure most youtubers would prefer the donation though

  14. emptyother says:

    You are not alone in hating ads. And while TV ads on US tv-channels are a lot worse than my own country’s channels, that was still one of the prime reasons that drove me away from TV and over to downloading TV shows and movies back when i finally got fast enough internett access.

    They killed themselves with ads back then, they will kill themselves with ads now. And will probably blame the millennials (or maybe Generation Z, when they find a catchier name for them).

    • BlueHorus says:

      Have to agree here. In my experience, TV commercials in North America are especially bad.

      At home, a 30-minute show has one, 5-minute commercial break. When I went to Canada, it was three breaks, and dammit they felt longer.
      They commercials are just worse, in ways I can’t quite articulate. I swear I felt my brain rotting while I was watching them there – whether it was just the way it felt like an assault on my senses or the lack of a coherent message beyond ‘BUY BUY BUY’, or the sheer volume of them…

      The thought of paying for that would offend me on a primal level, too.

  15. Chris Wolf says:

    This guy analyzes Discovery in a very Twenty Sided way…I am not sure how I stumbled onto his blog exactly (I might have even heard about it here) but you all might enjoy his take.

    He mainly talks about the lack of internal consistency in the timeline and character motivation. Warning, the actual blog post is chock full of SPOILERS….SPOILERS…..SPOILERS.

    https://johnswritersblock.com/2017/09/27/star-trek-discovery-wait-whats-happening/

  16. Adam Field says:

    coughbittorrentcough :p

  17. Grampy_bone says:

    I agree with Shamus. My entertainment has been commercial-free for years now, to the point where I find sitting and watching anything with commercials pretty much intolerable.

    As for the show, naming a female character “Michael” pretty much tells you everything you need to know about it. It’s a message that clearly says, “This show isn’t for Trek fans. This is different. We don’t care if you like it. In fact, we’d rather you didn’t.”

    Fair enough, no need for me to watch it then.

    • ehlijen says:

      How do you figure that? How is one name indicative of this show not following the trek idea? And what is the trek idea?

      DS9 got a lot of flak for not being as bright and optimistic, but it delivered some of the best storytelling in modern trek. Meanwhile Voyager married the reset button and didn’t invite potential to the party.

      This show was never going to chain itself to old canon, and it shouldn’t. It wants to, and needs to be its own thing to be interesting.

      There is plenty to criticise, starting with how it seems to portray a desire for peaceful co-existence as foolish, but a character’s name? We got a robot named ‘data’ and he became a fan favourite, after all, and a doctor named ‘crusher’. A designated pretty girl named ‘troy’. And a space marine from a pirate planet named ‘yarrr’ (ok, that last one is a stretch, I admit).

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        DS9 is far more optimistic than people give it credit for.It deals with a naturally bleak subject of war,but it still manages to shine through the hopes and striving for peace and unity through it.

        • Commento says:

          DS9 had 7 seasons, the dominion arc occupying 5 of them, over a hundred episodes, to establish it’s tone and explore its messages. I think its a bit early to judge how Discovery is going to shape up in comparison on just the pilot. I had the same impression that this was just going to be a grim bleak brain-dead action flick, after the abysmal trailers but seeing the show has turned it around for me, there was plenty in there that shouts “this is star trek, we’re going to do some star trek stuff”

          • Daemian Lucifer says:

            Compare just the pilots then.TNG had an omnipotent being and saving of a planet.It had some tension,but overall it was bright,and spread the ideals of federation.

            DS9 had the coming to a ruined station,threat of annihilation,and omnipotent weird wormhole aliens.It had some tension,but overall it was bright,and spread the ideals of federation.

            Voyager had a weird (omnipotent?) alien,a ragtag crew mix of star fleet and terrorists,saving a planet of weirdos,and being stranded in the ass of the galaxy.It had some tension,but overall it was bright,and spread the ideals of federation.

            ST:D has war,killing,mutiny,killing,religious zealots and killing.Its all dark and bleak,and goes against the ideals of federation.

            The only time it comes close to actually being trek is down on that planet when they break the prime directive,which is what kirk would do.But then,when exploring a weird thing in space,finding the guardian of the thing wanting to protect their property,our main character does not back off but rather rushes to kill them.And then when the captain wants to establish contact and try to resolve the conflict peacefully,our main character knocks her out and wants to wage war.

            Yes,the federation started the war with the founders,but they did not want to,they constantly tried to broker peace with them.Even kirk,who hated klingons,still managed to broker peace with them.But here,the main character is eager to wage war with klingons.Thats why this show is completely at odds with the ideals of star trek.

            • evileeyore says:

              The main character is at odds with the Federation standards. The Main Character.

              Everyone else was all “Eh? WTF Micheal? This be teh Fed, that’s not who we roll girl!”

              I’m interested to see where they go with someone who doesn’t fit into the make and mold of the Fed, after the dismal manner in which they handled the Maquis in Voyager.

            • Commento says:

              Disco has wonder, compassion, exploration, friendship, love, idealism in the face of aggresion. Yes the main character wants to be aggressive instead, but the captain doesn’t. The admiral doesnt. Everyone is against it and for trying to force the issue the main character is court martialled and sentenced to prison, and then ends with a speach about how she was so eager to save the federation from an enemy that she became an enemy to what the federation stands for. They’re spreading the ideals of the federation and setting up for a redemption arc (I think, I guess we’ll see how it goes). It’s Trek the whole way!

              • Daemian Lucifer says:

                Disco has wonder, compassion, exploration, friendship, love, idealism in the face of aggresion.

                Yes,while they are on the planet.But as soon as they meet the klingons that all disappears.

                but the captain doesn’t. The admiral doesnt.

                Both of whom die and are never going to be seen again.But you know who will be?(Not)Sarek of vulcan,an ambassador praised for managing to make peace in the old episodes,yet is now as war hungry as the main character.And he must be correct because vulcans are logical.

                setting up for a redemption arc

                If they pull it off,that would actually be a good thing.I hope they dont drop it like voyager did.

                • ehlijen says:

                  Vulcans have actually been getting the short end of the presentation stick for a while now:

                  DS9: the most prominent vulcans were a serial killer and a bully (the baseball episode)
                  Voyager: Tuvok was uptight and bad at security, the other vulcan was a pon-far-rapist.
                  Enterprise: Vulcans are the overly strict parents trying to keep mankind from the stars.
                  Movies: the vulcans bully spock and mess up saving romulus
                  Star Trek away team (game): The big bad turns out to be a mad vulcan

                  The days of vulcan->logical->ethical are long past. They are not wise tolkien space elves anymore, but rather arrogant snoot elves.

                  • Daemian Lucifer says:

                    Vulcans have actually been getting the short end of the presentation

                    That is a sad truth.Still,that doesnt mean every show has to follow that bad trend.For example,when introduced ferengi were sniveling idiots,but ds9 managed to do something good with them.This show took sarek,one of the vulcans that has been shown rather prominently in the past,yet decided not to follow those.

                  • Steve C says:

                    The most memorable vulcan from DS9 for me was the one who went to Quark to buy weapons. Quark convinced her to ‘buy’ peace. She was a good, well acted vulcan.

    • Commento says:

      How did you make it past the first episode of TNG? Which featured the absolute horror of horrors; men wearing skirts?

  18. BlueHorus says:

    They’re asking for $6 a month. That’s shockingly high in today’s market…And then you realize that the CBS deal includes commercials.

    I very nearly did a spit-take there. I did laugh.
    What kind of brain-dead monkey looks at the competition and decides to do that?
    ‘Let’s offer a worse version of what someone else does, and fence off content to force people to buy it! This plan is genius – everyone will love us!”

    Oh wait…Ubisoft, and EA, and Microsoft, just like Shamus said. Also one of the only reason for different game consoles.
    And by far the worst is that it works…sometimes I despair of humanity.

    Oh, so since I don’t live the States I can apprently watch Discovery on Netflix?
    Hmm…

    • Echo Tango says:

      Hurrah for branded lumps of plastic! Huzzoi for locked-out games!

    • trevalyan says:

      You know, I just realized I haven’t bought an Ubisoft game since Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Or an Origin game since Dragon Age: Inquisition (and that because of the human character name, however mispelled).

      We can resist corporate idiocy, and in a world of 75% off Steam sales that’s exactly what I’ll do.

    • Falcon02 says:

      To be fair, the subscription plus commercials is also something Hulu does as well… which has gotten on my nerves…

  19. Oscar says:

    I really liked the first two episodes. Visually, it’s a bit too heavily influenced by JJ-verse movies, but I can live with that.

    However, the CBS All Access service is horrible. For $6/month you get lots of commercials which completely interrupt the flow of the show(s). The worst thing, though, is that they *only* stream in stereo. Even brand-new shows like Discovery only stream in stereo. I hadn’t appreciated how much I’d grown used to surround audio until I tested playing stuff on CBSAA and it all sounded so flat and tinny.

    Netflix users outside the U.S. get Discovery with proper audio and commercial-free.

  20. Michel says:

    Never thought i would have any advantage over Us netflix

  21. AdamS says:

    It’s not bad exactly, but it feels a lot like the ME2 to Enterprise’s ME1. Overall similar quality, but feels very different, and it’s doing (at least in the episode I watched) something that this universe wasn’t really written for. The Klingons are religious zealots now, and look to be starting some kind of holy war.

    Definitely not worth what CBS is asking for it, though. Fuck that noise.

    • Henson says:

      You compared Star Trek: Enterprise to Mass Effect 1. Now I’ve seen everything!

    • Commento says:

      Unsurprisingly when your antagonist is a religious extremist you’re going to see a lot of fanatics, but they’re all like that? I dont think that’s a reasonable conclusion. There’s a flashback in which the big sacred shippy thing is seen abandonned and desecrated. Kids run around vandalising it for fun. When the other klingons turn up they start out overtly hostile and call these people outcasts and even vermin, its only at the promise of an invisibility cloak and power that they start listening to him, but not all of them, atleast one is shown hanging up on him.

  22. King Marth says:

    At least television commercials have the decency to break in at the end of a scene. Crunchyroll’s commercials, despite being on anime which have been designed with commercial eyecatch entry/exit points, almost exclusively start mid-dialogue-line (aside from the one break that is actually timed to the end of the opening song). Did you think waiting after a cliffhanger was bad? Try picking up your train of thought when someone resumes speaking after a two-minute break of the same 30-second ad four times in a row.

    A while back, standard ad-blocking broke for them and I decided that I could watch the ads if I didn’t want to pay for their service (almost tried their free trial, but it’s one of those which will charge you if you don’t cancel, which I detest. Wouldn’t mind binding to a credit card to avoid people double-dipping, but relying on stealing from lazy customers is disgusting). I tolerated the breaks for a little while up until one of them crashed the video, and it wouldn’t let me skip back to the point I was watching until it showed each commercial break I had already passed, at which point it crashed again. I then decided that I would work around ads, but only using the time they were playing commercials to look up solutions. Ads were blocked by the end of the episode.

    • Droid says:

      a two-minute break of the same 30-second ad four times in a row

      Are you actually serious? This is so bad it’s basically its own satire of bad video ads…

      • King Marth says:

        Actually serious. It’s almost as if they have difficulty getting advertisers, so the slots all go to the one or two which don’t realize how little they’ll be watched for their payment.

        Doubly amusing when the single ad that runs is for Crunchyroll itself. Y’know, in case the person using your service doesn’t know about your service.

    • Echo Tango says:

      The ads crash the video player forcing you to rewatch the ads…this sounds like something dreamed up in a dystopian piece of fiction.

    • Xeorm says:

      Yea, there’s a good reason I stopped watching them. Don’t watch enough anime anymore to want to pay for another service, but their ads made watching a chore. I don’t mind watching some ads, and could understand if the service works, but that seemed a bit much.

  23. Thomas says:

    The first thought I had when I read a Discovery review was ‘Wow, I bet Shamus would hate this’…

    Someone sold it to me as giving a good sense of awe at Space. But not sold enough to watch it even when I could for ‘free’ on UK Netflix

  24. Matt K says:

    Well apparently, the purpose isn’t to get subscribers (that’s only a secondary goal) but as a tool to bludgeon the cable providers with to make them pay more.

    See http://www.tvgrimreaper.com/2017/09/19/cbs-access-isnt-real-business-negotiating-leverage/2983/

  25. Tektotherriggen says:

    I wonder how long the commercial-free services will remain that way. People make a lot of money by using advertising to give their business an advantage (probably much easier than raising efficiency or quality), and I suspect they will eventually make a good enough offer that Netflix etc. give in and show them. I’m just extrapolating from how web adverts are ever-increasing.

    • Commento says:

      It wouldn’t surprise me, I feel like Netflix’s service is getting steadily poorer. The autoplaying trailers are already a kind of advertisement and they’ve wrecked their recommendation engine for an extremely aggressive pushing of their ‘original content’. Its still better than the competition but that really isnt saying much.

  26. Scerro says:

    These things similarly drive me nuts. I have no patience for ads, because typically the ad pool is small so you see the same one multiple times a commercial break.

    It always just feels like a waste of my time. If they were 2-3 5-10 second clips interspersed every 10 minutes I’d see who sponsored the show, mentally give them props for sponsoring such a good show, mentally catalog it, and return to the show.

    Youtube does it smartly. The 5 second skip timer reduces annoyance enough that their service and ads are bearable.

    • Viktor says:

      Why has every ad agency in the country not hired a bunch of former Vine stars? Seriously, the mediocre ones managed to get entire 2-minute sitcom jokes down to 6 seconds+a title on a regular basis. Grab up a handful of the really good people from Vine, give them a product and a dozen or so selling points, and tell them to give you 3-4 scripts that each hits 2 of those points and is memorable in 10 seconds or less. Congrats, advertising is suddenly a lot less intrusive and a lot more interesting.

      • BlueHorus says:

        Related question: why are ads so damn samey?

        Every now and then you see a different, amusing or slightly creative one, and it really sticks with you (well, me, YMMV).
        But 98% of them are so damn similar to each other that they go in one ear and out the other – you’ve already forgotten it a second later.

        Hey company, if you’re gonna pay a TV channel/content provider to advertise your products, couldn’t you at least try and make an impression with your time? Just be the slightest bit creative or entertaining? It seems like it would serve your interests, too…

  27. RCN says:

    Huh… weird. Here in Brazil Discovery is being streamed by Netflix. I guess CBS allowed it because they don’t stream to us.

  28. Jordan says:

    So long as you have access to all episodes and not just a week or two (that would be awful). You at least have the option to just binge the show over a month at which point $6 really isn’t that bad at all.

  29. Gawain The Blind says:

    But why are the klingons so MOIST?

    It’s okay. Just okay. Certainly not worth the price of admission.

    I can only assume CBS is selling their service for so much money because they really would prefer everyone go back to the non-streaming cable/broadcast model. It’s like they’re grudgingly saying “hey look, we have a streaming thing too” except they hate that they have to have a steaming thing too.

  30. trevalyan says:

    I love complaining about shows I haven’t seen yet, as do we all, so the only reason I haven’t started is because STD doesn’t motivate me to download it the way GoT used to. And I would rather punch a kitten than download a new app specifically for the privilege of watching it, much less one with a costly subscription package.

    I can’t imagine what CBS is thinking from a business perspective: if you’re going to invest in a “reboot,” you’d think STD would be a primetime show to help build the fanbase. If you were trying to make it the backbone of an overpriced new channel by bringing in hardcore Trekkers, then you remember those people followed the old series and most pan the reboot as a subpar space opera. If the new show really IS set 100 years after Voyager but thematically looks like the movies, remaking the Klingons- again- smacks of pure idiocy.

    Already, reviews have words like convoluted, gloomy, uncomfortable. Setting aside the political talk around the show, which might leave it more dated than Murphy Brown, this has the makings of a farce worse than Freaks and Geeks. And I LIKED that show.

  31. Nick says:

    Luckily for me I don’t live in the US so I can just watch it from Netflix. But yeah, I don’t think I would sign up to CBS either

  32. Christopher says:

    That’s one Normandy-looking bridge.

  33. Shas'ui says:

    It’s scary how thoroughly adverts can embed themselves in your brain if repeated enough. I listen to a lot of old radio shows, put up as podcasts by various preservation societies, who often leave the original adverts in. Even though I know the products, or even the company itself no longer exists, the adverts are still effective: given the right mental prompting, I can recite the jingle and the limited-time offer of a fifty year old brand. There’s a reason adverts pay big money.

  34. Rymdsmurfen says:

    I’m 100% with you regarding commercials. I can’t remember the last time I watched traditional scheduled TV at home, but (with the exception of some major sports events like the olympics and the world cup) it must be over 10 years by now. When I hear friends and coworkers mention some commercial they’ve seen I’m always so glad that I have no idea what they are talking about. It baffles me that some people still put up with it.

  35. Hal says:

    I only watched the first episode, so my take kind of diverges from a lot of what I’m seeing here.

    I thought it was interesting. I’m watching it like it’s a fresh reboot of the series (which sounds like something that was not intended, but I went in knowing very little, so there’s that.) The Klingons are presented like religious fanatics, which is an interesting take; it’s certainly a departure from previous incarnations, which seemed to present a future where no one was religious at all.

    The design and aesthetics are definitely modern, but they look expensive to produce; I don’t know what CBS is thinking, but it seems like the show might collapse under its own weight on production costs alone.

    On a different angle, the show still has a lot of the tropes of Star Trek: Sending the command crew on dangerous missions, the officers being better than the technical staff at their own job, ready room asides.

    I don’t know what to think of it besides this, at least for now, but we’ll see how it goes.

  36. droid says:

    There’s an ill-advised rant by Johnathan Blow on how the pricing model of a medium restricts what messages can be expressed.

    According to him having advertisements on TV inserts pointless cliffhangers to convince the viewer to stay on the channel during commercials.

    Also he isn’t a fan of micro-transactions.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      “ill-advised”? Broadcast television has been obsolete for at least a decade and microtransactions are literally poison for the games that include them. What’s ill-advised about stating the facts?

  37. slipshod says:

    Exactly why I feel like HBO Now/HBO Go is the best deal available out there. Brilliant library in terms of content, unlike some others (looking at you, Netflix), and no commercials.

  38. Dev Null says:

    It’s interesting to me how much the presentation makes a difference.

    I first read this and shared your annoyance. $10 a month? For this one maybe-decent show? But then I thought about the number of shows that Amazon has sold me by giving me the first episode free, and then charging me $2 an episode with no ads. And I’ve been ok with that. Yet those two price points are nearly the same; if I wait until half the season is over and then subscribe, it’s actually probably cheaper. I wonder why the one bothers me and the other doesn’t? Because it’s true; it does.

    I expect I’ll wait til half-a-dozen eps are out – science fiction shows are notoriously slow to find their feet, since they’re trying to back-fill you on a whole universe worth of setting – then sign up. If they can convince me that it’s a decent show in the free week, I’ll pay for the rest.

  39. Corylea says:

    Intelligent science fiction doesn’t appeal to the lowest common denominator, which is why we rarely find intelligent science fiction on TV. If it’s on a pay channel, those of us who like intelligent SF can pay for it, whereas if it’s broadcast over the air, intelligent SF would never get high enough ratings to last.

    There haven’t been enough episodes of Star Trek:Discovery yet for me to be able to tell if it will actually BE intelligent SF. But the potential is there, and I’d much rather pay $2.50/episode and get SF that’s actually smart than get it for free and have it be stupid.

  40. Andrew Blank says:

    In case no one else has mentioned it. The correct thing to do is wait until the whole thing is out and watch the entire show during your free trial week.

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