Binge-worthy television is all the rage. Series like Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, and Breaking Bad are turning viewers into eager and awestruck couch potatoes.
And it’s easy to see why—production, storytelling, and acting are firing on all cylinders; characters are given room to develop; plots twist and turn surprisingly.
In terms of overall quality and entertainment value, television is giving box office juggernauts, like Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a run for their money. I mean they don’t call this the Golden Age of Television for nothing!
But modern television is more than just entertainment escapism; it’s a cultural currency.
We theorize, and we spoil. We “talk it out” with friends. We scour the internet for clues. We troll. We read magazine articles. We watch. We re-watch.
And we love it.
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t see this as a negative by any means. Our brains love stories, and, according to the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkley, consuming stories produces, “oxytocin as the neurochemical responsible for empathy and narrative transportation.”
Let me boil that down: binge-watching television is feeding your oxytocin addiction. When you get hooked on a story, especially one that continues over an extended duration, you’re feeding an addiction.
That’s some cool shit.
All this goes to say—in a weird, roundabout manner—this is why I’m surprised more people aren’t watching Star Trek: Discovery.
And I think I know why.
In a time when superheroes fight to save Earth from Thanos, Jedi’s duel it out on the salt-covered planet of Crait, and the Mother of Dragons is joining forces with Jon Snow, there are still some things that mainstream audiences find a little too nerdy.
Here’s the thing you need to know: Star Trek: Discovery isn’t Star Trek in a conventional sense.
Sure, it’s set in the same universe, with the same gadgets, command structure, and lingo, but it’s not an episodic, monster-of-the-week show built for syndication. Star Trek: Discovery is a distillation, a synthesis of modern storytelling built on a vast and rich framework. They keep the technobabble to a minimum. The emphasis is put on character development and plot. What more can you ask for?
Star Trek: Discovery is nearing the end of its first season, and, in my humble opinion, I think it’s safe to say that it’s the sci-fi Game of Thrones.
It’s that good.
I really hope you give it a chance.
A lot of people grumble because Star Trek: Discovery is only available through CBS All Access. I get it. It’s inconvenient. It’s a transparent cash grab. Yadda, yadda, yadda.
Streaming services aren’t going away. If anything, they’re only going to become more prevalent as studios attempt to monetize their properties and carve out their corner of the online market. If you like something, you’re going to have to pay for it.
Helpful hint: you can add CBS All Access to Amazon Prime for a limited time to watch the show. It’s only $9.99 for more than 15 hours’ worth of entertainment.
I’ll let you draw your own conclusion, but I think it’s worth it. Go ahead and feed that oxytocin addiction. I know you wanna.