look what they’ve done to my Star Trek, Ma

That’s it.

I put up with the darker vision in Star Trek: Discovery throughout chapter 1 of season 1. I didn’t like it but there were some redeeming qualities.

After the hiatus and the start of chapter 2, season 1 in January Terry and I have had it. The movie reboot with the younger cast from the original series totally messed up the space-time continuum (the planet Vulcan destroyed, really?) but for the most part stayed true to the ideals and vision of Star Trek.

Discovery in chapter 2 of season 1 has gone beyond the pale. Violence. Brutality. Torture. The crew finds itself in a parallel universe full of all these things, and from what I can surmise, the final six episodes will all take place in this universe.

As Picard once said to Guinan, “Not good enough, dammit! Not good enough!”

CBS All Access: what have you done to my Star Trek? I’ve cancelled my subscription.


more Star Trek than Star Trek

The main character in the comic strip Candorville, Lemont, is an inveterate Star Trek fanatic. He was quoted in the strip as saying that The Orville, a new series on Fox, is more Star Trek than Star Trek: Discovery.

He’s right.

The OrvilleTerry and I began catching up on The Orville via Hulu. It is a sort of Star Trek parody, but at the same time it truly pays tribute to the spirit Star Trek. It was created by Seth McFarlane, apparently a big-time Star Trek fan. The crew of the starship Orville rather closely resembles the crew in Star Trek: Next Generation, while the plots in the two episodes we’ve seen so far have echoes of the original series: distress calls, deception, and a mirror on today’s society.

The twist is that the captain and the first officer are a divorced married couple, which is the source of a lot of entertaining laughs. There is the Union rather than the Federation. Why they have to use shuttles and don’t have transporters I don’t know. The captain has an office rather than a Next Generation ready room.

The Orville is true to the spirit of Star Trek. More true, I believe along with Lemont, than Star Trek: Discovery.


Star Trek: Discovery to date

We are at the midpoint of Star Trek: Discovery. Past it, actually. Episode 9 of 15 was released on 12 November. The series returns in January.

So where are we?

Star Trek DiscoveryThe series is true to the Star Trek ideal of diversity. They are trying to be consistent with the timeline of taking place 10 years before the original series and are working at keep things in context. (Why did Spock, whose parents were also the main character Michael’s guardians, join Star Fleet?) There are references to the original series, such as two episodes involving the scoundrel Harry Mudd.

However, the technology is all out of whack. They have holograms and holodecks, something that didn’t show up until Next Generation. And dark. It’s way too dark for the Gene Roddenberry Star Trek positive vision of the future. But each episode is intense with unexpected plot turns. And, of course, they left us hanging at the end of episode 9.

It’s not your father’s Star Trek. Hell, it’s not my Star Trek. Nonetheless Terry and I will be watching when the series returns in January.


why Marcela didn’t say goodbye

I recently wrote about Marcela Valladolid’s departure from The Kitchen on Food Network. I wrote that I was sad to see her leave and that I was disappointed that she did not have the opportunity to say goodbye.

The Kitchen logoMarcela writes all about this in a deeply personal and touching blog post. After telling us that her reasons for leaving are, in the words of former co-host Sunny Anderson, nunya business, Marcela tells us a lot. She tells us that the original decision not to say goodbye was hers. She goes on to say that she regretted that and that she wished she had pushed for the opportunity to tell her fans she was leaving the show.

She also describes what led her to leave. Marcela tells us that the recipes presented on the show do not reflect who she is or her cooking style. She describes how the monthly trips to the East Coast to tape the show were wearing her down. She writes about family, and moving from San Diego to Los Angeles, merging two households into one.

You might want to read the blog entry for yourself. But have a Kleenex nearby when you do.


our Roku

Terry and I knew that we were going to have to shell out for the CBS All Access streaming service after watching the one and only episode of Star Trek: Discovery broadcast on CBS television. Sitting at my computer to watch the show did not seem like an appealing idea. Ultimately we decided to buy a Roku device to plug into our smart TV. The problem is that Roku supports a lot of streaming services, so restraint is required.

Roku packageCBS All Access is a given.  In addition to Star Trek we can watch Stephen Colbert on demand, which is really cool. He is, after all, a favorite of those who can’t stand that guy with orange hair who lives in the White House, and I openly cast my lot with that group.

Then there’s Hulu which seductively offered a free one month trial. We’re keeping it. I have gone back to season one of The Mindy Project, and I am hooked. We can watch previous seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm and new episodes of Saturday Night Live as well.

The base Roku service offers movies from Fandango at a $1.99 and up rental rate. There’s quite a catalog there.

I guess we’ve been sucked into the world of streaming TV.


we will miss Marcela

As long as it has been on the air, The Kitchen on Food Network has been hosted by Marcela Valladolid, Geoffrey Zakarian, Jeff Mauro, Katie Lee, and Sunny Anderson. It is a program that Terry and I thoroughly enjoy. We have missed only a few episodes. We didn’t catch on in time to see Season 1, Episode 1, and perhaps we missed a couple of episodes when we were moving. That’s it.

Late last week Marcela announced on Instagram (@chefmarcela) that Saturday’s show would be her last. Terry and I were both sad, as we loved her presence on the program. She brought a Latina flavor that was otherwise lacking.

The sad thing is that they did not even say goodbye to her on Saturday. The show was certainly taped several weeks ago, and perhaps she made the decision after the taping. Unlike the other hosts she is West Coast-based, and with three kids the decision to stop flying to the East Coast for taping is understandable.

She will no doubt continue her social media presence, but we will miss her on The Kitchen.


Star Trek: Discovery

Terry and I are delighted. We have Star Trek on television again. Sort of.

CBS has brought the new series Star Trek: Discovery to the online pay service CBS All Access. Smart folks that they are, the people at CBS put only the first episode on the broadcast network. Sort of like drug dealers: the first one is free then you have to pay after that. They had Terry and me hooked.

Star Trek DiscoveryThe question was how to access CBS All Access. Neither our smart TV nor either of our two Blu-ray boxes (the second being attached to a dumb flat screen in the bedroom) has that as an available service. I thought we could sit in my office and watch the show on my computer, but the longer I considered the idea the sillier it seemed. Finally we decided to buy a Roku box (much more on Roku another time) which we attached to the smart TV in our Great Room.

The series takes place ten years before the original Star Trek, though the uniforms somewhat resemble those on Enterprise, which was set fifty years before the original series. That’s OK. If what we are told is correct the series remains true to the Star Trek timeline, unlike the current movie series that totally mucks up the space-time continuum.

It’s Star Trek on television honoring the timeline. Terry and I are happy to pay a few dollars a month for that.