4 Things CBS Could Do to Improve Star Trek: Discovery [No Spoilers]

I am loving it. But there are things I would fix.

Just so everyone knows, I am supremely thankful to live in a time when there is such a wide variety of Star Trek options on my streaming services. Me SO happy! However, I just wonder if anyone else out there finds themselves rolling their eyes at a few things on Star Trek: Discovery?

(I secretly have this fantasy where a writer or editor on the show will see this and be like, “I can easily fix that” and then the show will be fully baked and really capture all audiences. So, bear with me. It took me three seasons of Discovery to formulate my opinion.)

Star Trek Discovery: Michael Burnham's Season 3 Mission Explained
“Michael Burnham’s log: I swear the universe is laughing at me and all I can do is sit by like a shattered child crying and holding onto any hope that my beloved friends are out there looking for me. I long to see them, like a weeping lamb seeks its panicked mother. I want to cry. But I can’t. I want to dance. But that would be wrong. I want to end this log, but that would be too merciful.”
  1. What’s with Commander Michael Burnham’s mission logs?

    Star Trek would not be Star Trek without the patented mission logs, normally launched at the beginning of episodes but sporadically interspersed throughout the show. However, is it me or are Michael’s logs extremely looooooooong? If I was a Starfleet Admiral conducting an investigation and was relying on these logs to garnish mission details, I think I might barf after wading through the knee-deep slush of Michael’s inner musings.

    My mind is geared to using the mission log to set the plot for the show or to sum up where we are in the action. Instead, I find myself enduring her emotional diatribes. That wouldn’t be so bad except for the second thing that bugs me. She pours her emotions into her logs and then…

  2. …every scene reeks of the same emotion she put into her logs.

    What use is it keeping a personal log if you exhibit every emotion on your sleeve as you interact with your colleagues? How many of you have been mildly uncomfortable watching looooonng, drawn-out, emotionally overcharged scenes where Michael is about to cry—no, wait—she’s laughing—no, wait—she’s upset—no, wait… they’re crying and hugging now.

    I thought the point of personal logs is to express what you don’t feel comfortable expressing out in the open? I find myself resting my chin on my hand waiting for the scene to proceed… but only after Michael stands in front of the other character in the scene and gruelingly expresses how she feels about the matter.

    Now, I can withstand one of these per episode. But every. single. time. she. has. to. meet. with. another. character. she. must. first. have. a. heart. to. heart. Is this Star Trek or the TGIF lineup on ABC in the 90s. Oh, Uncle Joey, save us!
Heather Kadin Says Georgiou will Feature Heavily in “Most of” Discovery  Season 3 — Daily Star Trek News
Philippa says to Michael, “Okay. I understand how you feel. However, the ship is about to explode in 37 seconds, so could you put a sock in it, help me solve this problem, and then we can discuss your emotions over a raktijino?”
Janeway asks, “Why are you all just sitting around staring at me?” Seven responds, “We are emulating the cast of Star Trek Discovery, Captain, wherein we watch you prattle on and on for countless minutes ignoring our wealth of expertise.”

3. Why is everyone else standing around staring? Contribute!

I am used to the other Star Trek shows wherein there is a group of different officers discussing a problem. Each character gets to showcase their area of expertise as the captain conducts a go ’round the table. Problems are not solved by just two or three characters but through the collective ideas formed from the experienced Starfleet crew.

I miss that.

It seems like all this bridge crew is good for is announcing their status reports and then following orders. I guess they don’t get much time to express their opinion seeing as how Michael Burnham is hogging up the mission log data space.

4. Why is Michael the center of attention every show?

Tilly is shocked. “Oh my goodness, Michael. You were not in the last two scenes. This must be some sort of pandimensional paradox.”

Is it me, or did the other franchises (with the exception of Picard—I mean it is named after him) kind of give us a rotating spotlight of stories? The Original Series basically rotated between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. Later shows, like The Next Generation and Voyager, had different episodes highlight different senior staff members. Deep Space Nine gave us more episodes starring Quark and Garek, the bartender and tailor, than Discovery has highlighted other bridge crew members outside of Saru, Tilly, and (ugh) Michael.

I was proud to say that after the first season of any Star Trek show, I could name all of the bridge crew members. Not so with Discovery. Here. I will prove my point. Without using Google, name these three characters.

Meet the STAR TREK: DISCOVERY Bridge Crew Cast • TrekCore.com

How did you do?

You probably did as well as I did. Operations officer with an awesome haircut. Female robot person. The guy I can’t give the name I think because people will think I am making racial comparisons because he stands basically in the same spot as Ensign Kim does on Voyager.

I mean, I watch Star Trek for infinite diversity in infinite combinations! Michael every show is NOT diverse. I need more combos of story. I want to get to know these characters with episodes that just highlight their accomplishments, wants, and desires. And don’t even get me started on the two characters I REALLY want to hear more about…

Now, I have to close this rant with one thing. It could be possible that the crew at CBS spends so much money on SFX that they have no choice than to draw out scenes with touchy-feely writer goo. That would make sense as to why scenes are tortuously elongated.

Any other theories out there?


      1. Lol…perfect..great article…my wife and I sit through these poorly written scripts and think..man, a good captain kirk fight scene would be great about now!!…what is going on with these touchy feely cast scenes?? Yuck..or its totally that ” millenial..lets make it dark..(read boring)…as possible”

  1. I think there are huge differences in writing styles from previous Trek to Disco. It is difficult to adjust. Way more difficult than when TNG first aired and we just did not know what to expect but then came to love it. I am not loving this at all.

  2. Owosekun, Airiam, Rhys. *checks Google* Three for three.

    While I have plenty of my own issues with Disco, it was never intended to be an ensemble show.

  3. Totally digging Disco but I see your point, Michael. The melodrama can be a bit thick. But I had no expectations going in and have been pleasantly surprised. Same situation with Lower Decks. I hope CBS follows through with Strange New Worlds because Pike, Number One, and Spock would be the absolute bomb.

  4. Wow, you freaking clairvoyant, CBS or Consistent, Bad, Sh@* cannot grasp character development of the ships core group for any viable reason. The Robot girl who they killed off like really? I mean like I would have cared about that episode? Hell she was a nobody anywayqq, and please Lord help me but if I have to watch Michael tear up one more time I will hurl up my dinner on every episode because as far as I’ve seen Michael Burnham’s character absolutely must have an emotional upheaval on every episode that brings her to tears. Oh lest I forget with 98% of all episodes with MB as the center piece character it literally becomes exhausting to watch.

  5. Dont forget her precursor “emo look”, head tilted with bulging eyes and her mouth agape, she has in all her scenes foretelling you to fast forward for 2 minutes skipping her boring babbles to get back to the engaging parts of the show.

    The writers desperately need to read this opinion and integrate it accordingly.

    1. Yes CBS is turning Discovery into a shitshow with a constant focus on her character and the fact that there is a ridiculous amount of stupid emotion pouring all over the place where in every episode she has to break out into tears pretty pathetic I mean why there’s so much focus on her character only and no development for other characters who are obviously needed and important to the cast I just don’t get that somebody has some kind of an emotional love affair with that character or they have a serious investment in solely focusing on her character for somebody’s paying them off to focus on strictly her character why they do that I simply do not understand alongside that maybe it’s just the writer simply doesn’t have the skill set to broaden the other characters to make the show really what it needs to be

      1. Oof. That was a hard read. Punctuation is so 2019 I guess. Love your points but needs some periods.

  6. They could fix it by someone, anyone in the writer’s and producers department picking up a copy of the Original Series or The Next Generation Writer’s Bibles.

    rule # 1. Believability. As simple as that. This is our standard test that has led to STAR TREK believability.

    Episode 1 of Season 1 throws Believability out the window. One of the rules was “if you are proposing a stroy, try it in a different background.”

    So if the Captain and the XO of a U.S. Battlecruiser are on the bridge, in front of the crew, arguing over if they should fire on, let’s say the Russian Sub they have picked up on sonar. The Captain CLEARLY tells the XO, “NO”, and then the two of them leave the bridge. A few moments later the XO comes back onto the bridge and starts issuing orders to fire on the Russian Sub.

    That’s it, she is arrested, and thrown in the brig.

    “Star Trek does not do stories about psi-forces or mysterious psychic powers” (TNG Writer’s Bible) And yet Sarek is able to Mind Meld with Burnham from LIGHT YEARS away, because a “Fragment of his Katra (SOUL)” was left in her body?

    This is one of the things I’m glad that STA does, their writer guidelines Are the Original Writer Guidelines

    and then we come to Michael “Do it my way Damned be the Rules” Burnham. This takes us back to believability. Michael Burnham was raised on Vulcan, and yet she is by and large the most emotionally volatile character in Star Trek history. Her constant, and continued insistence in “breaking the rules and doing it her way” make it unbelievable that she would EVER graduate Starfleet Academy, let alone become XO of a Starship.

    Now, I can hear the Burnham defenders “Oh, you mean like Kirk, and Others” .. To which I will answer, yes Kirk, Riker, heck even Data broke the rules Rarely, from time to time,


    Star Trek works best when it is an ensemble cast. to have this show focus on the worst written, worst acter character in the history of Star Trek makes my skin crawl.

    I won’t even go into the glaring inconsistencies that make it clear that Discovery did not exist in the same universe/timeline as TOS and TNG, that is a whole other rant.

    In the end, I think the thing that CBS can do to fix Discovery is have Burnham die in a fiery explosion while off on one of her “I am the center of the universe” quests.

    1. You have Vulcan mind melded me to the point of me crying you are so on point and righteously correct. Michael Burning must does ASAP !!

    2. Michael Burnum has proven over and over and over again. Her now famous ideology. The needs and wants of the “One” far out way the needs of the “Many” “I am Starfleet”

  7. The only great part about Discovery is the Johnathan Frakes episodes. Even when you miss reading the full credits you can tell just by how they episode ‘feels’ that its one of his.

  8. I’m here because I googled, “Does Commander Michael Burnham cry in every single episode of Star trek Discovery?”

    1. Maybe it’s something simply written into every episode on purpose. Maybe the actress has signed into her contract for discovery that in every episode that ends with or has properties where she shows extreme love or emotion or sadness she has to shed tears and then she gets her little emotional cry bonus for every tears scene. I honestly cannot understand how the writers don’t get it. Don’t they wake up and and go screaming to the producer that they’d had enough and are contemplating suicide? I’m sickened enough already for that I mean it’s hard to say but if I see that woman cry one more time in an episode I might just pluck out my evey’s with a flaming BBQ fork.

      1. FYI. I edited out a curse word for two reasons. 1. This site is a happy place with kids who read this stuff. This is not the forum for Seething anger for a made up TV. That’s Reddit. And 2. Only use words to describe women that you would use for your own mother. We want to be respectful to all people, be they real or made up. Dignity first.

      2. “Maybe the actress has signed into her contract for discovery that in every episode that ends with or has properties where she shows extreme love or emotion or sadness she has to shed tears and then she gets her little emotional cry bonus for every tears scene.”

        Never ever heard of anything as preposterous as that, but I guess anything’s possible.

  9. LOL!!! I just read this whole thread because I googled “Star Trek Discovery crying every episode.”

  10. Like others, I’m here because I googled “ST Discovery crying every episode.” LOL. It’s just ridiculous. And it’s not just Burnham’s character. The engineer and doctor, the redheaded engineer who was recently promoted to XO (preposterous!) and now the young Trill engineer. Speaking of…this latest episode killed me with the oh-so-brave treatment of the Trill asking to be called “they” like it was some after school special moment. It’s the frikkin future! That should not have been a big deal, with the engineer and doc acting all proud of them for speaking up. That moment should have been a simple “I prefer to be called they.” Engineer: “Ok. So let’s get to work with this thingamajig…” and… scene. Is being non-binary supposed to still be something folks are afraid to admit 1000 years in the future??? Lordy!

    And everyone needing constant reassurance from someone that they are good at what they do…. WTH? Are these people not Starfleet officers? Why aren’t they more self-assured? There’s too many crisis of confidence on this show. Ugh. I enjoyed previous seasons. This one is just making me a little nutty though. It’s like they turned the melodrama up to 11. Knock it off! ….. Ok. thanks, rant over. 🙂

  11. There is more emotion in one Star Trek Discovery than any other, and I’ve seen them all, several times. I wonder if anyone has kept track of how many times she’s (Michael Burnham) cried? I wont reiterate on all the points Michael Dismuke posted, only to say, WOW! you hit it on the nose. I too hope the writers read this and say “I can fix that”.

  12. couldn’t agree more!!!!!!! I had googled: “Star Trek discovery always dealing with emotional stuff” Not sure why (in it’s present state) it’s getting good reviews and hasn’t been cancelled like some much better shows have been in the past…

  13. Totally agree. Come on…..a ship with feelings, a captain that practically cries every episode and all this touchy feeley talking crap is just not Star Trek. Only characters I like are Philippa & Book because they can kick ass and that snot dripping alien that reminds me of a sleestak. Hope Strange New Worlds brings back classic Trek story telling. Also hope Section 31 show sees the light of day. Those episodes have been some of the better ones of Discovery.

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