I have come to the conclusion that I never need to watch "The Outrageous Okona" again, and I think it may have just officially replaced "Shades of Gray" as my least favorite TNG episode.
Really? It's certainly no high point, but I can still think of at least a dozen
episodes that are harder to sit through than Okona (Masks, Code of Honor, Night Terrors, Angel One...)
Indeed, I like the Okona episode. Yeah the Data subplot is abysmal and THAT I don't like but I can watch it a lot more than I can Masks, Shades of Gray, or Beverly's Masturbating to her Grandma's Pornographic Diary episode.
Oh, trust me, I'm not rushing out to re-watch Shades
or Sub Rosa
anytime soon, and Angel One
is a definite low point of season one. But partway through Okona
I simply realized I was getting no entertainment value out of it whatsoever. The Data/Guinan scenes hold some cringeworthy watchability but hardly a reason to push play. Even Angel One
had some amusing Riker/Yar moments.
It would have been interesting to see how Yar could have developed over the course of seven years. There was some great untapped potential to that character, even if it hadn't been realized by the writers or the actress.
Shades of Gray
has some nice character moments on the planet. Riker is interesting to watch as he succumbs to his infection and I do like Data and Geordi's efforts to retrieve the sample. Pulaski also fares well. Once Riker is in sickbay I'm pretty well done, but the set-up alone is better than most of the other episodes listed above in their entirety.
I'm also restricting myself from watching any TNG other than the blu-rays as they are released, so I'm revisiting episodes that I haven't otherwise watched in quite some time and have only watched S1 and 2 stories recently
It really is something remembering when this was all there was of TNG. I taped each ep as it aired originally and savored every one. There were disappointments, sure, but it was also Star Trek. Nice to watch these seasons on their own merits and not in comparison to what would come later.