I’m more than a casual fan of Star Trek, but don’t consider myself a Trekkie. The creator of Star Treks: Lower Decks is a bigger Trek nerd than me.
Have never gone to fan event or cosplayed, I simply loved the original season and The Next Generation. I also enjoyed some of the movies (mostly the even-numbered ones, including the immortal Wrath of Khan).
I haven’t researched Mike McMahan’s career in great depth, but what little I’ve seen and read about him is that he sounds like a bigger Star Trek fan than me. In that regard, his writing, if not poisoned and diluted by too many overzealous producers, should yield at least some good Star Trek.
McMahan is the ideal candidate to captain Trek’s foray into comedy. After assistant roles on Drawn Together and South Park, he became a writer-producer on the first three seasons of sci-fi sensation Rick and Morty, then went on to create Hulu’s Solar Opposites. He was also the thumb behind the @TNG_S8 Twitter account, which blurted out loglines to a make-believe extra season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.Lower Decks creator Mike McMahan to Star Trek purists: I’m on your side – Polygon
In fact, after enjoying so far season one of Rick and Morty and finding the first episode of Star Trek Lower Decks entertaining — not great, mind you, but entertaining (see: Star Trek Lower Decks: S1E1 REVIEW) — I’m interested more in McMahan’s other work. We have Hulu, and now even more Solar Opposites is on my radar.
I disliked episode 2 of Lower Decks (see: TV SERIES Review: Star Trek: Lower Decks S1E2 – Envoys), so maybe McMahan’s committee of producers around him, possibly providing too much creative interference and influence, will be the show’s undoing.
Another dig at Lower Decks is that those who saw episodes ahead of the rest of us felt it was so bad that no other streaming companies wanted to take a chance on releasing it internationally. Netflix has the international rights and allegedly passed as well as Amazon, which licensed Picard internationally,.
This rumor I don’t completely believe is accurate. Maybe Viacom placed too high a price tag for the Lower Decks international distribution because they want to release it themselves when they release their international super streaming service (no name provided yet) in 2021. They’ve been upgrading CBS All Access, so why not when you launch your new, beefed-up streaming service, have more titles to release at launch globally. That makes more sense than them wanting to see another company release Lower Decks and then having the licensing reverting to them.
We’re in an era of heavy streaming channel competition and licensing is going to get even more prickly going forward. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see more streamers holding onto their own originals and promoting exclusives to improve subscriber retention.