So, what are everyone's ratings?
Season 1: Three out of five stars?
Season 2: Four out of five stars?
I know I'm probably going to get some hate with my answer to this question, but...
- Season 1: 2/5 Stars (Maybe 2.5 out of 5 if I'm being really generous because of the fairly awesome second half)
- Season 2: 3–4/5 Stars
My reason for potentially ranking season 2 so scathingly low is all about the writing and that thing they keep trying to pass off as the Enterprise. (The updated aesthetic bugs the hell out of me, especially since they had an outright perfect plot–point that could have explained the TOS retro aesthetic if anyone in the writers room had been thinking.) Pike was awesome, but that's because Anson Mount is awesome. I almost wish they had made him a new character though since he could have easily carried DSC forward if they'd done so and kept him around. While the season as a whole was exponentially better than the first season, it still suffers from some really botched plotlines that just hurt it for me overall.
The writing did improve this season, despite my complaints above, but it could still be so much better. I felt like the season was solid overall, but they fumbled at the last second in the finale, which hurts my overall view of the season. It was still pretty good, but the more egregious screw–ups ruin an otherwise awesome season.
Speculation about season 3:
I know I need to watch the finale again, maybe some of the things that irked me the first time through won't get to me on a second viewing and it'll be a firm 4/5 star season for me instead of a 3–4/5 star season.
Also, (and this is just a side–irk of mine,) why the -insert colorful metaphor or choice here- can I not pre–order DSC S2 on Blu–Ray yet!? Seriously, The Orville hasn't even shown its season finale yet, but I can preorder the DVD release of season two right now, and could have done so at least as early as last weekend. Meanwhile DSC S2 is over and I still can't even preorder the Blu–Ray set. I "get" not having it ready to go yet, and I wouldn't even mind another November release date, but at least let me order the thing now while its fresh in my mind. The DVD and Blu–Ray releases should go live for preorder within a week of the finale airing, not months later. If you didn't sign up for CBS All–Access to watch the show when S2 premiered, you're probably not signing up now, and even if you were, the Blu–Ray/DVD release could still be set for so much later in this year that you'd want to sign up to see the show sooner and then grab it on disc later. Not being able to preorder it now though is irritating, and I was equally irritated with the way the season one release was only announced months after the finale had aired. I know this is a minor complaint, but its irritating, and I would think you'd get more sales if you could run an add at the end of Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2 that just says something like "pre–order DSC S2 on DVD/Blu–Ray now, coming this November" effectively giving fans an incentive to do just that while the finale is fresh in their minds.
One last minor complaint: I hate the 2:1 aspect ratio! I get it, DSC is locked into this ratio for the long haul now, but I really hope that the Picard series uses a normal 16:9 aspect ratio instead. I know this is a minor thing that's not a huge issue, but it's the one technical aspect of the show that drives me crazy for multiple reasons.
- 2:1 is a nonstandard ratio! Just because Netflix is stupid and decides to use it doesn't mean that CBS AA should emulate their bad behavior.
- Because of the point above that 2:1 is a nonstandard aspect ratio, it effectively forces the show to be arbitrarily letterboxed even on a "normal" widescreen TV. There are no TVs that use the 2:1 aspect ratio for the aforementioned reason, nor are there any computer monitors that use this as a native ratio. There are also no plans to ever make 2:1 a standard aspect ratio, to produce 2:1 TVs, or to produce 2:1 computer monitors.
- 2:1 is just irritatingly slightly off an actual aspect ratio standard to be annoying. 1.9:1 is the standard used by Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) cameras in various resolutions. It was chosen specifically because it crops well to 16:9 (A.K.A. 1.78:1) and 2.39:1, which is what's used for most 35mm film releases in the United States, as well as virtually every other widely used aspect ratio that's treated as a standard.
- The show doesn't need to be any wider than a normal widescreen TV. ENT was frequently viewed with black bars because it had to be letterboxed to fit on our standard definition TVs, but it wasn't the desirable way to view the series. It was letterboxed because ENT had embraced a new standard. DSC is not doing that, (see above comments,) it's being different for the sake of being different.
- Because DSC goes from deep blacks to bright whites, it draws attention to the edges of the image where the letterboxing occurs unnecessarily, which also takes away from some of the tighter shots.
Again, I know it's minor, but I just hate this oddball aspect ratio that wants to be 1.9:1 but isn't. I could actually live with the show being 1.9:1, as that would suggest that the people involved in the production wanted to use the full image without cropping anything, but for the true 2:1 that this show is shot in you pretty much have to crop the image anyway. I'm not even against letterboxed widescreen Trek, and would be fine with 1.85:1 or 2.39:1 if you really wanted to go with motion picture ratios. My beef is specifically with 2:1 and the people who keep trying to make it "a thing" when it's not.