retail news in context, analysis with attitude

You know how some retailers are experimenting with different formats and different sized stores, figuring that they need different offerings in order to appeal to different consumers and different times?

This can be enormously effective, I think. Not only does it expand a company's potential appeal, but it also can force a company and its personnel to develop new competencies. In the end, it creates learnings that can only benefit a business.

I mention this because that's what the current producers of 'Star Trek" are doing. As noted here numerous times, having successfully developed a new series called "Star Trek: Discovery," which has been taking place about a decade before James T. Kirk took command of the USS Enterprise (Christopher Pike is the captain), they are shortly going to release "Star Trek: Picard," which will explore the late-in-life adventures of Jean-Luc Picard, who when last we saw him was captain of the USS Enterprise-E. (These are all seen on CBS All Access, the network's streaming service.)

Now, for the second year in a row, they are coming out with a series of what they're calling "Short Treks," mini-films of about 15 minutes or so that explore different characters from the various series in unusual ways; they often employ first-time directors new to the property, and take liberties with style and tone that might not be taken in the regular series.

It is, I think, a very smart idea. It is a way of creating a kind of chef's table of programming … it satisfies the audience, challenges the business to innovate, and gets people to develop new competencies.

The first of the 2019 "Short Treks" is "Q&A," written by novelist Michael Chabon, and it is a humorous glimpse of Mr. Spock's first few hours on Pike's Enterprise, when he is stuck in a turbo lift with Number One, the ship's second in command. Ethan Peck (Gregory Peck's grandson, go figure) continues to give us an entirely legitimate new spin on Leonard Nimoy's iconic character and Rebecca Romjin puts real flesh on a character who was only briefly seen in flashbacks in the original series. (And Anson Mount returns, briefly, as Pike - making me yearn for a new series that focuses on his adventures - he's terrific.) "Q&A" is funny and charming and a worthy addition to the show's mythology.

I have a new white wine to recommend this week - the 2015 Heritance Sauvignon Blanc from California's Napa Valley, which has a lovely tropical thing going for it and was great with a shrimp-and-scallop cake dish that I made the other night and served with sautéed spinach.

That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend.

Back Monday.

KC's View: