Wow, Episode 2 had at least nine minutes of story jammed into its 48-minute run time.
There’s such little STORY in these things. That one was just dreadful; it’s one conversation purely about emotions after another. It’s just so pointless to do it this way. The emotions and characters would be a zillion times more meaningful if you had mostly plot and kept the emotions subtle.
Good drama presents emotion through ACTION. (By action I don’t mean fights and battles; I mean in the general sense of drama, action being characters doing things in advancement of goals.) Show me people acting like people. I’ll get the emotions. I don’t need them spoonfed to me.
There is a scene in Next Generation where Picard and Dr. Crusher are marooned on some alien world, and something - I don’t remember if it’s some energy or alien tech - causes them to know each other’s emotions, and it’s clear Picard has feelings for Beverly. There is no crying, no frantic shrieking. The scene is played calmly, two adults saying things in a manner consistent with two measured, mature people, played by genuinely good actors who play the characters in a manner consistent with how mature adults, senior military officers, would speak and act. Tiny movements, emphasis on one word, a glance, the tilt of a head convey meaning in interesting ways. In two minutes, the scene carries such immense, devastating emotion. It’s so poignant and sad, these revelations of adoration, of sadness, of loneliness, of years lost. The emotion is made powerful by the fact that these scenes ARE so rare in that show, especially from these strong, emotionally controlled people. The scene has been set up by hours upon hours upon hours of true drama, of people DOING things, and you seeing a thousand little hints that these two people might love one another. When it finally breaks through it’s just heart rending, and so identifiable, these feelings of longing we’ve all felt.
Discovery just throws tearful, emotional speeches at you by the dozen, and they stop meaning anything. Leaving aside the fact that I find it impossible to believe a person like Michael Burnham, who cannot control her emotions at all, could effectively command a warship with hundreds of crew members, it just completely ruins any sense of genuine emotion when they’re giving melodramatic speeches every five minutes. Star Trek: The Next Generation was a fine restaurant. Discovery is fast food, and not good fast food.