The Enterprise tracks some missing Federation crew down to Target Practice Planet. Crusher breaks a leg, Geordi takes control, and Picard has to sit through a presentation about a timeshare.
The underutilization of Troi creeps in. She gives meaningful looks for like 10 minutes before she has a line. Some episodes she’s mysteriously “away at a conference”. She must have an awesome lanyard collection to go with her scarves.
What’s the armament on the Lollipop?
Don’t fuck with the Candyland Crew.
Fiancé’s Favorite Moment:
The cavern sequence with Picard and Crusher. Some of the best acting in the series so far.
Some good life lessons for being a good person/leader.
Q, an all powerful being with the hubris of a trust fund real estate magnate, puts the crew (and humanity) on trial. They just have to solve a puzzle to prove they’re not the same murderous maniacs they were in the 21st century.
I could have sworn they get to Farpoint in the start of this episode. Nope. Q taunts them for half an hour before we even see the station.
All of these actors are still figuring out their characters, so I can forgive some of the overacting on display.
With a close 2nd being “He just asked to fuck right now, right?” The fiancé wasn’t buying Riker’s innocent intentions when he asked Beverly “for a stroll”. Everything surrounding Riker in this episode is dripping with innuendo. From Troi’s looks of longing (with awkwardly soaring music), to an officer staring at his ass after helping him find the holodeck, it’s bonetown for number one.
Fiancé’s Favorite Moment:
Q and his transformations. A playful and creative adversary.
“It’s Star Trek.” By which she means do-gooders in space. So it lives up to the expectations set by the original series.
Full Disclosure: I’m a Star Trek nerd. Steeped in science fiction from birth (there was a Spock poster in the room), I’ve seen all of The Next Generation (TNG), Deep Space Nine (DS9), Enterprise, most of Voyager, and all of the movies before the reboot. My fiancé, however, had no such upbringing. Sure, she knows of Captain Picard through immersion in pop culture, but she never watched the shows*. But relationships are built on a foundation of communication, shared experiences, and smiling politely when they reveal a Huey Lewis tape was the first album they owned. I’d be remiss if I didn’t share my love of The Next Generation so she can understand what molded me (for better or worse) during my formative years.
Calling TNG’s first season spotty is generous. I was never going to convince her to plop down for 26 episodes of a show I haven’t watched since it premiered almost 30 years ago. I’m not expecting her to learn Klingon or beat Wil Wheaton at bar trivia night. I mean, this season doesn’t even have the sex appeal of Riker’s beard. So I did what many have done before me: narrowed down the episodes to what I thought was required based on my hazy recollection. Plus a little help from listening to a Star Trek Podcast (I told you I was a nerd. Stop acting surprised.).
What makes it required?
Character introductions, strong character development, intriguing science fiction concepts, etc. Some guides pare this season down to 5 episodes. I don’t think you can get to know these characters in 5 episodes. Especially in a first season that’s light on characterization and arcs.
Continuity (C) – All episodes marked as C are not necessarily great. Or maybe even good. But they are required to make sense of things, even if it’s for a payoff seasons later.
Silliness (S) – These episodes are ridiculous. But I’m looking forward to the “WTF just happened?” bonding time on the couch with my fiancé.
It’s a good plan. And you can follow along! As we watch each episode, I’ll post a brief entry with my scientific findings. Do I regret including an episode? Was it as bad/good/cheesy/erotic as I remember? What did the fiancé think of the whole thing? How many times did Picard adjust his jumpsuit? Stay tuned.
*We already went through a similar experiment with Star Trek TOS and those 6 films. No, I didn’t make her watch The Final Frontier. I’m no monster.