Star Trek: Strange New Worlds is actually… very normal Star Trek, which shouldn't be startling in any way, except they stopped making it.
I'm willing to put up with a lot from Star Trek without any kind of tangible reward. I don't think of myself as a Trekkie, no hate, I just don't think I'm hardcore enough, but I have definitely seen every episode of every Star Trek Show and played Every Videogame so maybe I'm manufacturing some distinction that doesn't wholly exist.
One of the ways it is normal Trek is that it is interested more, smaller stories. It's not that there aren't long-running themes or character history, it's that through the show we intersect with new cultures all the time and we have to ask questions, and be better than we are, or be worse - briefly - to forestall a greater ill. I guess I didn't understand how much I wanted this; I like to inhabit a mythos as much as the next person but I want more surface area. I want more time doing different kinds of things, and I don't need every show I watch to be some puzzle box I gotta fuck with all the time and then go to the Reddit to make sure I am getting it.
One of the other things it does that I would consider Very Trek is that it has an optimistic outlook on what humanity is and is capable of. Not every Trek show is like this, or must be like this. Discovery and DS9 interrogate the edge cases in ways that I like. But people have the power in this show to overcome tragedy and dread and terror. It's possible to heal. It refuses to fetishize suffering in a way that feels heroic, largely because of the world it has the audacity to exist in.
It also stuck the landing really hard, in a way that Glub and I discussed at length. I don't know what I'm gonna do on Thursdays, now. Be sad, I guess.