Favourite Much-Maligned TNG Episodes

Discussion in 'The Next Generation' started by BigJake, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I was put in mind of this subject by watching a video recap of first-season TNG the other day during which I realized that -- for as much opprobrium as is hurled at it today -- I actually quite liked a lot of it at the time and still do today. So I thought I'd put it out there; which maligned episodes of TNG do you enjoy?

    My leading picks? The Naked Now and Code of Honor.

    Yes, The Naked Now was an odd choice of story for the second episode, and a retread of a TOS plot... but everyone still sold it pretty well and it gave us the deathless "programmed in multiple techniques of pleasuring" side of Data, which was a win with me then and still is today.

    Code of Honor was a mixture of cheesy TOS elements, including a fight-to-the-death ritual, Captainly trickery and goofy alien primitives. But it's still good cheese! Darned if I don't have any less fun watching this than, say, The Gamesters of Triskelion. Yes, the goofy aliens are given an unfortunate overlay of racism by the odd choice of casting all the Ligonians as African -- but hey, it's a step up from blonde surfers in orange-face and we've seen this done before with all-Caucasian planets too. More importantly the actors playing the Ligonians make a heck of a lot of hay out of, to put it politely, limited parts.

    Overall I liked the unpredictability of Season One TNG. The charge often levelled at it that it was trying to be TOS is true, but in retrospect not such a terrible thing; it also derived some charm and quality from that, and furnished a boatload of accidental magic that most shows never attain in multiple seasons. It was messy and nobody really knew what was going on, but it still entertained, in some ways because of that messiness.

    In fact, looking down a list of episodes from that season, I can more easily pick out the few that I didn't like from the many I did. The Last Outpost; Haven (just a bit dull); Angel One (way too Amazon Women on the Moon); Symbiosis (a touch predictable). The rest... still hold up.

    Yes? No? Got picks of your own? (They don't have to be season one.) Fire away.
     
  2. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm a much bigger fan of seasons one and two than what came later. So I'll pick an episode from one of the latter seasons: "Power Play". I'm not exactly sure how much love it gets, but I rarely see it discussed on these boards. Spiner is great as usual, Sirtis and Meaney get to stretch their acting legs and the story is fun, in the spirit of TOS.
     
  3. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Apparently The Royale gets a ton of crap, but I love it, so that's my #1 favorite "much-maligned" episode.

    Code of Honor is enjoyable on a technical level because of the Fred Steiner score. It gives TNG a very TOS sound. It's a shame it was done for such an awful episode. Not only was it racist, but it was also a lame retread of Amok Time.

    Night Terrors is a good episode, though it gets too much flack because of the floating Troi moments. Those aside, there's a lot to like there.
     
  4. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    +1 for all of these. :techman:
     
  5. USS KG5

    USS KG5 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I will probably have to duck and cover for saying this, but a lot of the S7 episodes that get slated I quite enjoyed, including "Masks" and the one where they all turn into animals. Although the plots strain credibility they are very creative, and a lot of fun, IMHO.
     
  6. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    "The Royale" is my favorite much-maligned episode. It's cheesy in parts, but has a cool story at the center of it, and some of the jokes are top notch. Watching Data clear the craps table, Worf replying to the request for room service ("No!"), and Noble Willingham's character (Texas) made for a fun episode. Plus, it was the first episode I ever owned on VHS.
     
  7. Mojochi

    Mojochi Commodore Commodore

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    I've heard people harp on Tin Man before. I quite like it. I'll pick that one. I think people can't enjoy it because of the guest actor, but he's not too awful enough to ruin it for me, unlike the lady in "The Quality of Life". She ruins that whole episode, which is otherwise decent enough
     
  8. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    "Booby Trap". Geordi was the original Reg.
     
  9. BigJake

    BigJake Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Agreed with all those picks; "Power Play" is actually one of my favourite episodes of the series (I think it's getting fashionable to dismiss it as an instance of the-crew-get-possessed but it was probably TNG's best and creepiest take on that concept).
     
  10. jimbotron

    jimbotron Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I also have a fondness for season 7 more than the others because it was the first season I watched when it was still new. Good, bad, I generally remember what I was doing in 1993/94 (homework) as each episode aired.
     
  11. Shat Happens

    Shat Happens Captain Captain

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    "Justice" for the chicks (1980s style!) and almost killing Wesley
     
  12. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    Masks was the first episode I thought of when I saw the thread. It really does show how great a range Spiner has, which is why I liked the episode.
     
  13. Nebusj

    Nebusj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm going to stand up here for ``Shades of Grey''. It's hard to think of an episode more unfairly maligned, and almost entirely on its reputation as a Clip Show.

    But it's one of Next Generation's few ventures in the straight race-against-a-deadline medical mystery, with no distracting B-plots or subplots. It's tightly focused around Pulaski --- who has almost no episodes about her --- and the scientific process of trying to pin down and cure something in the field and without the luxuries of experimental subjects or time. It starts from a charmingly laid-back teaser and keeps building the tension until the final break.

    And for all the whining about it being a clip show, the amount of screen time spent in stuff we already saw is surprisingly low. It would have been nice to have some new 'clips' showing things we hadn't seen before (such as from scenes cut from earlier episodes, if we're to keep the episode made on the cheap), but you can pick any episode and pin down some little changes that would have made it stronger.

    So, there. ``Shades of Grey''. Hard to find a more overly-maligned episode.
     
  14. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    I remember when the original DVDs came out and I was watching a number of early TNG episodes for the first time, it was Shades of Gray that made me really come to appreciate Pulaski. Later on rewatches, I've grown to like her, but Shades of Gray was the start of it. You're right it is a straight laced race against the clock story, and I thought it was a pretty good one. I still don't understand where the whole "Garbage" comment comes from when it comes to the episode? Was it the clips or was it the Virus from the root?
     
  15. Pondwater

    Pondwater Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    That's one of my favorites too!! Although, my all time for the same of this thread is "The Neutral Zone".

    Especially when Sonny asks to watch television to see how the Braves are doing. "Still finding ways to lose" :lol: I think of that every time they lose real bad.
     
  16. 2takesfrakes

    2takesfrakes Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    "Haven"

    It's the only Lwaxana Troi episode that's watchable. Some over-the-top moments, too, like the talking treasure chest and Yar's hairdo ...
     
  17. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    "The Neutral Zone" is my 2nd favorite season one episode, behind "11001001." Sonny just makes that whole episode. :lol:
     
  18. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    "The Neutral Zone" is my favorite first season episode.
     
  19. BillJ

    BillJ Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Not my favorite, but definitely top five.
     
  20. GalaxyX

    GalaxyX Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    "The Neutral Zone" is maligned?

    I thought it was a cool episode, if a little slow. I feel bad for Troi. Some banker goof was able to read the Romulans better than she could, and he's not empathic :p

    Justice was kind of cool for the god floaty thing up there with the "BOOM! State the purpose!!" The rest was pretty bad.

    Code of Honor was a good TOS style story, but somewhere along the way someone thought it was a good idea to have a cast of all black people, and make them be tribal jerks.

    Shades of Grey sucked because it was all clips from previous episodes.

    For me, what made me hate it was the fact that Riker is supposed to be dreaming this shit, but we get the perspective of him in the 3rd person, and sometimes from other crewmembers (:rolleyes:). I did like the bit about Data superspeed catching that evil evil root before it stung Geordi. And the joke about Riker's dad and the snake was funny. I think it was the first time I heard it.

    The Royale kicked ass! Only things that sucked, showing pieces of a NASA rocket only to be let down that no other cool NASA stuff would show up. Also they should have found the guy alive, although I'm not sure it could have been done realistically (how would someone turn out after spending 38 years in a repeating holodeck novel of the Royale where you can't even talk to people because they are programmed to do their particular tasks in the novel?)

    Haven's only cool bit was the "Haven" ship. That was a cool Probert design (as all his stuff usually is). The rest sucked donkey balls.

    Masks was a cool Sci-Fi concept that somehow got lost in the implementation of the episode. I think the problem was in the fact that it dealt too much with the myth rather than the fact about that particular race. I did enjoy Data's "Masaka is waiting!" bit :)

    Tin Man rocked!! I had no idea this one was maligned either. I had no issues with the guest star. I think he did well. How you you handle constantly hearing crowds of thoughts of people, even while sleeping? You'd probably be on edge all the time, just like that guy was, and would jump at the change to make the voices stop :lol:

    Only thing I didn't like was how incredibly powerful the Tin Man was. It blew up a Romulan Bird of Prey like popping a balloon, and fried half the Enterprise's computer. I have a hard time believing an organic creature could develop abilities like that. But hey, who knows.

    Sub Rosa is watchable for 2 things: "Dae nat light da caendle!!" (:lol:), and watching Beverly have an orgasm (:drool: :))