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Wed, Feb 24, 2021, 5:09pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Conspiracy

Surprised at some of the dislike for this episode but to each their own.

I'm not sure what my previous favorite S1 episode was, probably the one with Lore, but this one easily overtakes it.

I had forgotten this episode so I honestly thought Picard was being duped and the first group he met were the real conspirators. Which, given how much more sophisticated TV storytelling has become, I think says a lot about the great job they did setting a tone here where at least one viewer, myself, wasn't sure which side was right some 33 years later. Riker's initial resistance to believing helped in this regard even if it felt a little kneejerk and poorly-explained.

All of my quibbles about this episode are minor. I liked the return of Remmick but, even knowing he'd never become a member of the crew, I was sad to see him get blowed up. It was a lost opportunity. A character who had previously antagonized the crew as part of his investigation would have been a great addition and allowed for some interesting episodes where we would have seen members of the crew inclined to not like or trust him grow to know and like him.

I was 13 or so when this episode aired and I had given up on watching TNG after 'Justice' - even as a kid I hated the pandering aspect of using sexuality so clumsily to tittilate viewers. If I had seen this episode at age 13 I think I would have become a diehard Trekkie.
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Wed, Feb 24, 2021, 5:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: We'll Always Have Paris

The resolution was fun but it could have been better. I wish that each Data had been more of a mirror of the previous one with identical movements and words just spoken with a brief delay to really have the tesseract feeling hit.

Still, S1 is starting to do better than I remembered. My first time watching it through was like a decade ago and I hated pretty much every moment of season 1. Maybe being locked in during a pandemic has made a show like this more comforting, but at this point I'm enjoying it a lot more than I would have expected, warts and all.
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Wed, Feb 24, 2021, 4:56pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Skin of Evil

It's not as bad as I remembered and the tribute to Tasha was great I just wish it happened in season 3. Not because I particularly cared for the character or loved the actress just that with an ensemble cast this large we only got a few Tasha-heavy episodes. Her biggest moments in the show was being kidnapped by a, shall we say, problematic society in terms of how it feels like a representation of actual human civilizations.

That and the uncomfortable invocation of 'rape gangs' a couple of times including in an episode with a heavy sexual component.

The goodbye ceremony was fantastic but it failed to deliver any type of emotional hit because we just hadn't had enough time to really get close to the character. Had the actress decided to move on from the show a couple of years later, however, it would have been a landmark moment in TV because I can't recall any show with major deaths like hers would have been up to that point.
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Wed, Feb 24, 2021, 4:52pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Symbiosis

Well said Different Bob.

Honestly, there's just something about the Prime Directive that sort of romanticizes the idea of a society pulling itself up by its bootstraps while ignoring the very real suffering that must take place.

Imagine a Federation type organization was monitoring earth during WW2 or the Bubonic plague. Untold suffering allowed to go on for centuries without intervention because of this absurd idea that a civilization cannot take a shortcut.

Better to let children suffer from parasites that eat out the back of their eyeballs than to maybe disrupt a society built around backwards beliefs and woefully inept medical capabilities.
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Mon, Feb 22, 2021, 7:00pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Symbiosis

I doubt this is an original opinion but I"ll write it anyways - the Prime Directive annoys the hell out of me because we see endless instances of it being ignored until the plot demands it.

It's cool to beam drug dealers and addicts onto the ship but preventing an entire population being unwittingly held hostage by drug dependence in the guise of a plague is peachy-fine?

I get where it makes sense with regards to populations who lack the technological advancement to discern the Federation from gods but the way the Prime Directive is invoked almost always elicits an eyeroll from me because it's clear that it only matters to the writers when the plot demands.
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Mon, Feb 22, 2021, 5:16pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: The Arsenal of Freedom

Perfectly fine episode, a little simplistic with its trope-y message about the weapon dealers killed by their own weapons. Judged against the times it was a positive and progressive message. It just seems really simplistic and on the nose 3 decades later.

My main issue is the Chief Engineer. I've read that Roddenberry didn't want there to be friction between the crew of the Enterprise which is childish in my opinion.

The friction here is incredibly clumsy with confrontation between the new Chief Engineer and Geordi. Reasonable, well-intentioned people can disagree without one of them having to be a bad person. Here's the first significant disagreement I can recall in TNG and one of them is LaForge, portrayed by one of the nicest people on earth, and the other is a huge douchebag who is overly aggressive and as close to being a 'bad person' as you can get without being a villain of the episode.

Disagreements between well-intentioned people on the same side is good TV and excellent fodder for character development but not when done like this.

As far as season 1 goes it's a pretty good little episode with minimal other issues.
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Sun, Feb 21, 2021, 8:34pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Coming of Age

I honestly can't recall a Wesley episode I liked more. His interaction with the webbed finger angry alien man is one that has stuck with me from the first time I saw the episode on TV to now, several mostly Trek-less decades later.

I also really enjoyed the whole antagonistic investigator premise.

I could have done with a better Psych test for Wesley. Have the 'test' start as one premise and then have one of the teachers run in and say all students have to evacuate, tests are postponed, etc. It was too obvious that the emergency was the test because nothing else had happened after he entered the room.

Bonus amusement at the idea of Starfleet bringing in failed actors for low paying gigs for corporate training (something I've personally done) instead of just using holodeck tech...
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Sun, Feb 21, 2021, 8:30pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: Home Soil

So far I'd say this was the best S1 had to offer. Which isn't saying much, I wasn't riveted or blown away but it was...watchable.
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Sun, Feb 21, 2021, 5:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: TNG S1: When the Bough Breaks

This episode is so frustrating I keep writing huge essays about it here and then deleting them. The 'so advanced they lose the ability to understand their own tech' type of society is a fun concept and everything promising about it is ruined by the writing where simple answers are ignored for the purpose of plot. Tech for children? Sure, but let's do that with orphaned children who need homes rather than freaking *kidnapping*.

The one complaint I have that I don't think I've seen anyone else have, though, is the ludicrous premise of a society where someone can take something they want from someone else and then just arrange compensation.

No society even remotely similar to human civilization here on earth could progress with that as a fundamental law. The Aldeans would not have made it out of the stone age if Grok preferred Ung's cave and could just go squat in the cave while Ung was out picking berries. Like your neighbor's wife? Go grab her and drag her back to your hide tent. This whole concept is ridiculous because it would just lead to ceaseless violence and instability in the society.

It's so mindnumblingly bad I am angry and my entire day is ruined.
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