Star Trek Where I try to binge-watch all of Discovery, Picard, and Strange New Worlds in Seven Days (Paramount+ Trial)

Mercurius

Legend
OK, I don't expect to be able to do that, but I have a very open week coming up with kids on vacation with their mom, and very few other commitments.

So that's 55 episodes of Discovery, 20 of Picard, and 10 of SNW: 85 episodes in total, or 12 episodes a day.

OK, I can't do it - that would be about half the hours of the week, or two-thirds of my waking hours. I might be able to get through half of that, and only if I watch with it in the background while I work on various creative projects, but even that would be stretching it.

But this brings me to the next question: While I'm more excited to watch Picard and SNW than Discovery (which I watched the first nine episodes of, I believe, and was lukewarm on - but would re-watch as it was almost five years ago that I watched them), is there an order that I should abide by? Or can I just pick a series?

Or should I watch them chronologically, which according to this article, goes like this:

Stardate 2256 - Discovery 1 and 2
Stardate 2258 - SNW 1
(big gap)
Stardate 2399 - Picard 1 and 2
Stardate 3188 - Discovery 3 and 4

The nice thing about that is it changes things up a bit - two seasons of Discovery, SNW, Picard, then back to Discovery. What say you all? What approach should I take?

Another point of relevance is that my girlfriend showed interest in Picard, so I could watch the other two alone while she's at work, and Picard with her at night. That might be the wisest approach.

Side note: I've been meaning to binge Star Trek on Paramount and Star Wars and Marvel shows on Disney+ for awhile, but just haven't gotten around to it. Inspired by SNW and @Snarf Zagyg's Trek captains thread, I got a hankering for Trek, so am going with this first.
 

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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Or should I watch them chronologically, which according to this article, goes like this:

Stardate 2256 - Discovery 1 and 2
Stardate 2258 - SNW 1
(big gap)
Stardate 2399 - Picard 1 and 2
Stardate 3188 - Discovery 3 and 4

That, technically, is the in-universe chronological order of them, yes. I am not sure what you are gaining in this ordering. Aside from the overlap between Disco and SNW characters in Disco Season 2, these shows are disjoint and independent, and intentionally so.

The nice thing about that is it changes things up a bit - two seasons of Discovery, SNW, Picard, then back to Discovery. What say you all? What approach should I take?

If "change it up" is of value, then alternate individual episodes of Disco and Picard through their first two seasons. Then alternate Disco 3+ and SNW 1 episodes.

Another point of relevance is that my girlfriend showed interest in Picard, so I could watch the other two alone while she's at work, and Picard with her at night. That might be the wisest approach.

Most definitely, yes. However.....

Side note: I've been meaning to binge...

Hot take: I think binging these shows alone is actually one of the worst ways to experience them.

The Trek, Marvel, and Star Wars series were created to entice people to pay in a subscription model. They did this well, in that all of them have content and emotional impact designed for you to think about and process for the week between episodes. Now, I can understand not wanting to take a full week, but taking a day or two adds value to the experience.

I say this after comparing the experiences of binging some of this stuff on my own, and watching other bits at a more leisurely pace with my wife. Social and a little slower is better, imho.
 



MarkB

Legend
Watch SNW after you've watched Discovery S2 if you're watching both, but aside from that there's no particular need to watch any one series before another. But if you're short on time don't save Strange New Worlds until the end just because it's recent, because you really don't want to miss out on it.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Based on reviews, I'd skip Picard and Discovery, and watch SNW first. I've read it captures Trek best, and is overall best written.
SNW is a very welcome surprise, after seasons of underwritten Discovery characters, and an actual focus on intellectual and philosophical themes that to me separates Star Trek from regular sci-fi. The Original Series homages might give you an extra edge, but I was never a TOS fan, so I'm giving it high praise even though I can't identify each and every TOS Easter egg.

I quite liked the first half of season 1 Picard, but it did go down the senseless action drain in the last episodes, much like almost all other modern Star Trek. I started S2, but quit when I couldn't stomach the senseless actions taken by the characters.

So my recommendation is to start with SNW just in case starting with either of the two other shows turn you off Trek so hard you never get to the good stuff.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Side note: I've been meaning to binge Star Trek on Paramount and Star Wars and Marvel shows on Disney+ for awhile, but just haven't gotten around to it. Inspired by SNW and @Snarf Zagyg's Trek captains thread, I got a hankering for Trek, so am going with this first.

Whew. So, having been summoned (although, like Beetlejuice, you may not like the results), I will say the following:

1. Do not watch them chronologically in-universe. That's ... just a bad idea.

2. I would recommend watching them by series. However, if your SO wants to watch Picard with you, watch that at night with her. Because you're doing it together! And that's always more fun.

3. Are you really going to do all of them in 7 days? Look, Paramount+ is cheap. Let it ride for a month. Watch Beavis & Butthead Do the Universe. And the Halo series to. Then cancel. And you won't feel obligated to smash it all into a week. Which leads me to my next point-

4. Discovery is more bingeable than SNW. Because SNW is episodic, you might want to let it breathe a little between episodes. Maybe one a day? Giving you something to look forward to? Regardless, DO NOT WATCH SNW until you've completed season 2 of Discovery.

5. You didn't mention Lower Decks (the good animated series). If you like Trek, especially TNG-era, you'll like it. I know, I was surprised to.

Now, here's my thoughts.

Discovery is a good show, but flawed. It was the first show to go full "prestige TV" with season-long arcs. This is probably going to be an extremely unpopular opinion, but I think that it gets a lot of hate for creative choices that it makes that people would forgive other shows that were less ... openly ... modern (if you understand what I am saying). That said, it also shoots itself in the foot a lot, and there is a lot of deserved criticism mixed in. Personally, I think the show is worth watching, and I particularly enjoyed the last two seasons.

Picard ... is fine. Of interest to you is that the person I was watching it with, who is a casual (at best) Star Trek fan ... but only knows TNG, really liked the second season.

SNW really is all that.

If you have the time, I'd do it like this-
1. Binge Discovery by yourself.
2. Watch Picard at night with your SO.
3. When 1 & 2 are done, watch SNW at leisure with your SO.
4. And watch Lower Decks! :)
 

payn

Legend
Take another look at P+ in November. If you have prime they were offering a black Friday deal of two months of the service for 2 dollars. You should be able to catch up on anything you miss with your 1 week trial here.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Personally, I think the show is worth watching, and I particularly enjoyed the last two seasons.

So, I would up with a problem with the most recent season of Discovery, such that I haven't finished it yet. While usually I have found the modern short season prestige format to be positive, I think 4th season Disco hits one of the format's failure modes.

Which is this - drama requires characters face adversity. So, bad things happen to characters you like. That's okay. In long-season formats, these bad things can be spread out over time, but short-season formats must condense them. Which tends to lead to a whole bunch of bad things happening to several characters you like at the same time, and it turns into a misery-fest. I am sure those things get resolved, but it was hard to watch all that pain at once.

YMMV, of course.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
So, I would up with a problem with the most recent season of Discovery, such that I haven't finished it yet. While usually I have found the modern short season prestige format to be positive, I think 4th season Disco hits one of the format's failure modes.

Which is this - drama requires characters face adversity. So, bad things happen to characters you like. That's okay. In long-season formats, these bad things can be spread out over time, but short-season formats must condense them. Which tends to lead to a whole bunch of bad things happening to several characters you like at the same time, and it turns into a misery-fest. I am sure those things get resolved, but it was hard to watch all that pain at once.

YMMV, of course.

Fair. It was rough sledding for a while (and I understand your reaction) but the payoff was worth it. IMO.

That's why serialized seasons are a tougher match for classic Trek - you almost have to trust that the optimism of Trek will be apparent by the end.
 

As long as you watch the first two series of Discovery before SNW it doesn’t really matter. You may want to watch the pilot of the original series (The Cage) before Discovery S2
 

MarkB

Legend
So, I would up with a problem with the most recent season of Discovery, such that I haven't finished it yet. While usually I have found the modern short season prestige format to be positive, I think 4th season Disco hits one of the format's failure modes.

Which is this - drama requires characters face adversity. So, bad things happen to characters you like. That's okay. In long-season formats, these bad things can be spread out over time, but short-season formats must condense them. Which tends to lead to a whole bunch of bad things happening to several characters you like at the same time, and it turns into a misery-fest. I am sure those things get resolved, but it was hard to watch all that pain at once.

YMMV, of course.
Yeah, that's perfectly fair, plus some of it wound up feeling rather forced. And while I do like the show, I wish they'd try making a season or two in which the fate of the entire Federation / quadrant / galaxy isn't at stake.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Yeah, that's perfectly fair, plus some of it wound up feeling rather forced. And while I do like the show, I wish they'd try making a season or two in which the fate of the entire Federation / quadrant / galaxy isn't at stake.

In fairness, that's a common problem for a lot of shows!

Heck, I just binged all of the Marvel Shows, and ...

4/6 of the miniseries had the earth/universe/all of time itself at stake.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
In fairness, that's a common problem for a lot of shows!

Heck, I just binged all of the Marvel Shows, and ...

4/6 of the miniseries had the earth/universe/all of time itself at stake.

Well, if stakes are small, it takes a lot of work to justify a sane, basically good person getting into violent clashes that might risk death. Putting your life on the line for tens of thousands of people or more? Easy to justify. Putting your life on the line for a stack of stolen laptops from Best Buy? Not so much.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Well, if stakes are small, it takes a lot of work to justify a sane, basically good person getting into violent clashes that might risk death. Putting your life on the line for tens of thousands of people or more? Easy to justify. Putting your life on the line for a stack of stolen laptops from Best Buy? Not so much.

Yes, but you can have stakes that are between stolen laptops and the fate of the world! The Netflix Marvel series (for example) regularly did this. Heck, part of what made Hawkeye charming was the lower stakes. They were serious, but it wasn't the fate of the whole world (again).

And Star Trek regularly can have reasonably high stakes without having to go "full universe" or "full time line" or "the fate of the Federation."

Even "fate of the ship," or "violate the Prime Directive?" are pretty high stakes.
 


Mercurius

Legend
Good stuff, folks, and thanks @Snarf Zagyg for the extensive reply.

I started D1 last night - watched the first three episodes. It was better than I remembered from when I watched 4-5 years ago. Not great, but good enough to be quite enjoyable.

I'll watch seasons 1-2 first, then check out SNW and see if the lady wants to watch that, while I could continue with Discovery on my own time (like soon, as I continue to learn how to make fountain pen inks).
 

GreyLord

Legend
I'd skip most of Discovery. Watch Picard first , then SNW. After, Watch Lower Decks.

If you have time, then skip through various episodes and highlights of Discovery.

At least that's what I would do. If you must, watch the first, middle three, and last episode of each season of Discovery. The only one really worth watching I feel is Season 3 of Discovery. Haven't finished Season 4 though, but it seems to be pointless so far.
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
We really liked the first two years of Discovery. Season 3 was interesting and had some really good stuff, but like what comes in 4, we would have preferred some different story choices. We did not like the last season as much, because we didn't like the story decision (we both thought they were well written and acted, but we would have preferred a much different story).
 

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