"The Outrageous Okona"
And it took four different writers to come up with this early TNG icon. Three of the four having imdb.com profiles so barren you could probably surpass them in not only the number of projects they've worked on, but probably good material to.
For all the comedy that wasn't funny, for all the drama that wasn't dramatic and for the lovable character who wasn't even likable, my biggest gripe against this episode can be put into two simple words.
For those unfamiliar with the name, it's actually a term used to describe a character that a writer creates for no other purpose other than to self-emulate him/herself into the story. This character is usually portrayed to be smart, brave, clever and awe-inspiring to just about every other character in the story regardless of their actions. Sound familiar? A few examples of Star Trek Mary Sues are Wesley Crusher (Gene Roddenberry) and Captain Janeway (Jeri Taylor). When the experienced television writers are susceptible to throwing in their selfish fantasies where they don't belong, they're usually going to be bad, and The Outrageous Okana is a perfect example of that.
And that's the only way I can describe how this episode was written, because not only do they not give Okona any redeeming qualities, the writers have to resort to telling you that he is awesome. You'll have Troi smiling at his antics, you'll have Riker commenting on his character in a positive light and you'll have Okona telling everyone that his jokes are indeed funny. And this happens all the time in this episode, including the b-plot with Data trying to be funny.
Okona: That was a joke. It's funny.
Guinan: No, the joke was funny.
I'm sorry, but having your characters say that a joke is funny or think that a character is charming DOESN'T MAKE IT SO.
The only thing this episode does that I can give it credit for was showing two Mary Sues coming together and, just as their roles dictate, inspiring one another with their awesomeness. It's so forceful and out of place I thought by BluRay disc was going to pop out
Ok, I'm going to stop here for now but I want to end this bit on the original joke that was meant to be in place of the "You're a droid and I'm a noid (annoyed, whatever)" one. Special thanks to SFDebris for this one.
"My job places me under some obligations, like a vow of secrecy. I can't repeat anything I hear or see. Now the obligation of the patron is to tell the truth. Otherwise I'm being placed under a commitment to keep a secret about nothing. That's not fair, it's called 'wasted honor'! You understand?"
Anyone get it?
Okona: Did I say something funny?
SFDebris: If you did, it was only by accident.